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Marc Mazique

John Horse (also known as John Cavallo, Juan Cavallo, Cohia, and Gopher John) was born in 1812 in Florida to Charles Cavallo, a Seminole tribesman, and a black woman living among the Seminole people of the then-Spanish territory. The Seminole were a Native American nation made up of Creek refugees and both free blacks (including numerous runaway slaves) and black slaves. While many Seminole owned slaves—Charles Cavallo presumably owned Horse's mother—modern scholars describe the Seminole practice as more feudally based, with slaves enjoying relative liberty and self-determination (families, homes, and property) for giving a percentage of their harvest to their masters. Blacks even set up independent maroon communities, and Seminole and blacks intermarried.

Little is known of Horse's early years. In 1818 he and his mother fled their home in the village of Sewanee to escape the advance of United States troops commanded by General Andrew ...

Article

Kevin Mulroy

Seminole Maroon leader and Mexican army officer, also known as Juan Caballo, John (or Juan) Cavallo, John Cowaya, John Coheia, Gopher John (beginning in 1826), and Juan de Dios Vidaurri (during and after 1856), was born in the Florida Alachua savanna west of Saint Augustine. His father is believed to have been of mixed American Indian and Spanish heritage and his mother of African and American Indian descent. Until his early thirties he was considered a Seminole slave. His surname is a translation of that of Charles Cavallo, his Indian owner. Cavallo might also have owned Horse's mother and been his father.

The Seminole Maroons were mostly runaways from South Carolina and Georgia plantations together with slaves captured by Seminoles from Florida plantations and some free blacks Some were considered Seminole slaves but servitude among the Seminoles was based upon tribute and ...