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More Osceola Dis-Information

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Unfortunately connected to the web page on the languages of the Muskogee, Seminole, and Miccosukee Indians, is this web page "Chief Osceola's Biography" at http://www.geocities.com/bigorrin/osceola3.htm

The writer has some genealogy and family stories connected to Osceola. Unfortunately, he uses one of the worst ever references to Osceola, which is the book: "War Chief of the Seminoles" by May McNeer (Ward.) This book is so bad that at one time I use to buy every copy I saw on ebay just to get them out of circulation. What McNeer writes in this book is 95 percent hogwash.

Why is the McNeer book so bad? Because almost everything she describes can be proved wrong by historical documentation and written eyewitness accounts. McNeer is the great-granddaughter of Dr. Frederick Weedon who removed Osceola's head when the Seminole died, and kept it for a souvenir in his medical collection. McNeer writes her book on family oral tradition and not according to any historical documentation. It is a children's book written so a nine-year-old can easily read it.

Although McNeer was in possession of some artifacts belonging to Osceola, what she claims cannot always be established, and often proved to be wrong. For example: what she says happened at the discussion during Osceola's capture is different than what several eyewitness accounts recorded who were there. (General Jesup was not present at the capture, but left statements to be read to Osceola by General Hernandez. These are all very well documented.) So a lot of what McNeer says has to be suspect.

McNeer is also the only person who claims that Osceola's head was destroyed in a fire at a museum in Philidelphia in 1866, and even that is suspect.



Osceola by George Catlin. Not a very correct image because of the mountains in the back, and the two-tone colored leggings; but I put it here because not everyone is familiar with this image.



Over the past ten years I have had my web page up, I have been emailed by several people who claim to be descended from Osceola. Some of these comments are very good, and some are not. The genealogy from McQueen down to Osceola is documented and well established. This comes from Thomas Woodward, a Creek Indian who gave the genealogy in one of his writings in the 19th century, and knew the family and clan personally. You can't beat eyewitness accounts who knew the people very well.

Once I had someone email me and present a genealogy that was totally different from the documented sources. Unfortunately, I had to disagree with what she sent me. I cannot throw out a well-established and well-documented record for something that is not in agreement with the historical sources. I am sorry she took offense, but that is the way it goes when doing historical research. Sometimes family oral histories are not correct. If there is well established historical documentation, then I have to go with that unless I have good evidence to think otherwise. I have seen a lot of genealogies say how their family is related to the Queen of England, but provide little or no proof.

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