Books That Inspire 2007


 
Everlasting Fire: Cowokoci's Legacy in the Seminole Struggle Against Western Expansion
John L. Elder


Everlasting Fire explains the reasoning and defiant behavior of Seminole Chief Cowokoci, alias Coacoochee or Wild Cat, towards the United States government.

Wild Cat loved his country and its people. He didn't believe in slavery and actively accepted runaway and free slaves into his Seminole community in Florida. Here slaves enjoyed a lifestyle that included tools, guns, land and livestock. There was no harsh treatment. Slaves formed their own villages and assimilated into the Seminole community. As all Seminoles, the slaves were judged by their character, courage, resourcefulness and obedience to the tribe laws.

Wild Cat had a deep understanding of the white man and his laws, and actively rebelled against the relocation of Seminoles to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Even when he was moved to Indian Territory in 1842, he remained an Indian activist for his tribe.

This book inspired me because a friend of mine wrote it. John and I were fellow Masters students of Museum Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma. John was always talking about the research he was doing on this Seminole Chief called Wild Cat and I teased him about "Bob Cat". I was so happy when he was able to publish his historical account of a true heroic Native American.


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Bobby A. Anderson
Slide Librarian
School of Art and Art History