"Savages of Southern Sunshine": Racial Realignment of the Seminoles in the Selling of Jim Crow Florida

Henry Knight Lozano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the late nineteenth century, white land and tourism promoters invested in the selling of Florida to American migrants and winter visitors began to recast the Seminoles. From being feared and denigrated as mixed-race killers, associated with runaway slaves, who had defied earlier US attempts to remove them to the West, the Seminoles were realigned by boosters into praiseworthy specimens of moral and racial purity. According to promoters, the Seminoles were now human emblems of the Florida wilderness, but also pure-blood primitives. As such, they fitted much better with the Jim Crow ideals of benign racial separation. Although neither smooth nor complete, this process of racial realignment transformed the Seminoles from terrifying threat to marketable curiosity, easing the incorporation of the Seminoles into the selling of south Florida.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-273
JournalJournal of American Studies
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

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