The Hitchitee Indians
The Hitchitee Indians were once a part of the
Creek Confederacy. They inhabited the northern half of the Florida peninsula.
This tribe was eventually absorbed into the Seminole tribes.
Before the people who would later be called
Seminoles migrated south from Alabama and Georgia, Florida was inhabited
by the Timucua, the Ais, Apalachee and the Pensacola. In 1597, the Spanish
Governor of Florida described the Ais people as the most populous tribe he
had seen. They were gone by the 1740s.
After the Ais died out, Seminole Indians of
Creek ancestry populated this area, fighting three wars with the United States
before most of them were forced to relocate to Oklahoma. Originally the Seminole
weren't actually a tribe, but were a group of separate people from many tribes
who occupied the same geographical area at the same time. A portion of this
branch of Creek Indians retreated into the Florida swamplands to evade capture
by the US Army, and eventually became the dominant native american society.
The 1770s is when most Florida Indians collectively became known as Seminole,
a name meaning "wild people" or "runaway."