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Osceola
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Native American Icon
    (1804-January 20, 1838)
    Born near Alabama, Georgia
    Given the nickname Billy Powell by white homesteaders
    Led an Indian uprising against the U.S. Army over the forced removal the Seminoles from their lands in Florida - known as the Second Seminole War (1835-1842)
    Died of malaria while imprisoned at age 33
    Osceola County, Florida named in his honor
    Though he claimed to be a full-blooded Indian, there are reports he was the result of a union between his Creek Indian mother and a white trader.
    When some Seminole chiefs signed a document giving up some of their land for land outside of Florida, he grabbed the document, stuck a dagger through it and stated, 'This is the only treaty I will make with the white man!'
    He killed and scalped a U.S. Army general and four of his men who had mocked him earlier for his refusal to sign the document.
    After he died, an army doctor removed and embalmed his head, where it eventually ended up in New York's Surgical and Pathological Museum, destroyed by a fire in 1866.
    Though he was not a native Seminole or even elected a chief, he was given the task of leading the uprising against the U.S. Army.
    His band of 4,000 men successfully held 100,000 soldiers at bay by employing guerrilla warfare tactics, swiftly attacking troops and retreating into the swamps of Florida.
    He was tricked into coming to a truce meeting where he was captured, outraging the Seminoles and most of the white Florida population.
    He was given a burial with full military honors.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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