History -Where we came from

Seminole Timeline

1510 - First recorded European contact with Seminole ancestors, Spanish slave ship reaches South Florida peninsula.

1513 - Spaniards claim Eastern U.S., call it La Florida.

1539-43 - Hernando DeSoto explores Southeast - first white contact for many Tribes.

1565 - Spaniards establish St. Augustine - first permanent European city in North America.

1670 - English settle Charles Towne, begin coastal skirmishes with Spanish.

1690s - French settle Louisiana.

1704-1708 - English destroy Spanish Florida missions, kill or enslave thousands of Natives.

1740 - Alachua, earliest recorded Seminole town, established in North Florida.

1763 - Spain cedes Florida to England.

1776 - Revolutionary War creates U.S.A.

circa 1804 - Osceola (William Powell) born near Tuskeegee, Alabama.

1813-14 - Creek War in Alabama forces Native survivors to flee southward where they join Florida natives. Gen. Andrew Jackson rises to power.

1816 - First Seminole War begins after Jackson crosses into northern Florida.

1823 - Treaty of Moultrie Creek. Seminoles give up 28-million acres, retain 4 million.

1832 - Treaty of Payne s Landing ratified by Congress. Promised 5 million acres in southwest Florida to Seminoles.

Dec. 28,1835 - Osceola leads Seminoles at Battle of Withlacoochee, slays U.S. Indian Agent. Maj. Francis Dade, 105 soldiers killed en route to Fort King (Ocala). Second Seminole War (1835-1842) begins.

1837 - Osceola captured under flag of truce, removed to South Carolina prison where he dies in January 1838.

1837 - Christmas Day. Battle of Okeechobee, 1,000 federal troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor, against fewer than 500 Seminoles, led by Alligator, Abiaka, Jumper and others. Twenty-six of 37 dead are U.S. soldiers, most of them Missouri Volunteers.

1838 - Trail of Tears forces 16,000 Cherokees from their eastern homeland to Oklahoma. At least 2,000 die along the way. About 3,000 Seminoles, including Wild Cat (Coacoochee) and Alligator are shipped to Oklahoma.

1855 - Billy Bowlegs leads attack on U.S. Army surveyors. Third Seminole War begins

1858 - Third Seminole War officially ends with capture of Bowlegs. A few hundred Seminoles, including Abiaka, remain in Big Cypress and other isolated parts of Florida. U.S. government abandons efforts to remove all Seminoles.

1890s - Seminoles and whites begin to trade peacefully on the borders of the Everglades.

1926 - Hurricane devastates Everglades wilderness, many Seminoles homeless.

1928 - Tamiami Trail opens, fueling the boom in South Florida tourism. Seminoles begin to sell crafts and wrestle alligators. Killer hurricane hits Lake Okeechobee region, whips up a tidal wave that drowns 4,000 in worst natural disaster before Hurricane Andrew.

1934 - Indian Reorganization Act, promotes Native self-determination. Five Civilized Tribes, a book written by Grant Foreman, arbitrarily designates Seminoles, along with Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee and Creek, civilized.

1936 - Herd of half-starved cattle arrive in Brighton from Apache. Seminole cattle industry begins.

1939 - First formal education at Brighton Indian Day School, opened by teachers William and Edith Boehmer.

1946 - Creation of United States Indian Claims Commission.

1947 - Seminole Indians file petition with Claims Commission for a settlement to cover lost lands. FSU students choose "Seminoles" as official school mascot.

1953 - U.S. House Resolution proposes termination of Seminole Tribe.

1957 - Seminole Constitution ratified by vote of 241-5. Tribe gains federal status as the Seminole Tribe of Florida. First Tribal Council is elected; Billy Osceola, first elected chairman; First president Frank Billie resigns, succeeded by Bill Osceola. First annual budget: $12,000.

1962 - Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida gain federal recognition.

1963 - First Seminole newspaper, "Smoke Signals" published. Renamed "Alligator Times" in 1973, "Seminole Tribune" in 1982.

1967 -- Betty Mae Jumper, first woman elected to chair any tribe in North America.

1968 - Oath of Unity signed by Choctaw, Cherokee, Seminole and Miccosukee Tribes, leading to formation of United South and Eastern Tribes (USET).

1971 - Howard Tommie elected Chairman. Eight-year term sees advent of tax-free cigarette sales, which boost Tribal budget to $4.5 million annually by 1976.

1979 - James E. Billie elected Tribal Chairman. Bingo becomes biggest source of Tribal income. Immokalee, Tampa reservations established.

1981 - U.S. Supreme Court affirms TribeÕs right to high-stakes bingo at Hollywood in Seminole Tribe of Florida vs. Butterworth. Tampa bingo hall opens

1988 - National Indian Gaming Regulatory Act passed, limits placed on Class III games, including electronic video machines. Limited casinos set up at Hollywood, Immokalee and Tampa reservations.

1990 - The Seminole Tribune receives Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award from Ethel Kennedy.

1992 - Seminoles in Florida and Oklahoma collect land claims against the U.S. for unconscionable acts during the Seminole Wars. With interest, Seminole Tribe of Florida nets almost $10 million. Independent Seminoles refuse to settle; funds are held in trust.

1995 - Tribe moves headquarters to new four-story building in Hollywood.

1996 - Fort Pierce reservation established.

1996 - Cattleman Fred Smith, Tribal president longer than anyone, dies in Brighton. James Billie elected to record fifth term as Chairman, Tribal budget exceeds $100 million..

1997- Sovereignty of Tribe challenged by National Indian Gaming Commission, U.S. Attorney. Seminoles assume full management of gaming activities on Hollywood reservation. Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum opens.

Compiled by Charles Flowers, Peter B. Gallagher and Patricia Wickman