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Impact Factor:0.276 | Ranking:Ethnic Studies 14 out of 15 | Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary 76 out of 95
Source:2014 Journal Citation Reports® (Thomson Reuters, 2015)

The “Wild Indians” of Andros Island

Black Seminole Legacy in the Bahamas

  1. Rosalyn Howard
    1. University of Central Florida

Abstract

Andros Island, Bahamas, served as a refuge for freedom-seeking Black Seminoles who escaped from Florida. They began landing secretly on the island in 1821 after the British in Nassau reneged on their promise to help the Seminole Indians and Black Seminoles fight against White aggressors in Florida. While conducting research on Andros Island in 1937, anthropologist John Goggin met Felix MacNeil, a descendant of the Florida Black Seminole refugees. His encounters with MacNeil and others led Goggin to conclude that he had positively identified the legendary “Wild Indians” of Andros Island as descendants of the Florida Black Seminoles. The majority of residents in the present-day settlement of Red Bays on Andros Island are descended from those original exiles from Florida. This article provides an ethnohistorical perspective of the Black Seminole legacy in Florida and the Bahamas that focuses on the oral history and lives of Felix MacNeil and other descendants.

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