Who was John Horse? #BlackHistoryMonth
John Horse was an Black American freedom fighter in the early 19th century. He was born a slave in Florida in 1812 and was possibly of Choctaw descent. His escape from slavery in 1835 led to his enlistment in the Seminole militia, where he participated in several skirmishes against US forces. His actions earned him respect among the Seminole people, who gave him the honorific title "John Horse" as a testament to his bravery.
During the Second Seminole War, John Horse served as an intermediary between his people and the US army. He was instrumental in negotiating peace treaties and facilitated a number of successful negotiations between the two sides. He also provided a safe harbor for escaped slaves by sheltering them in his home, earning him the nickname “the Negro Moses”.
John Horse's tireless efforts to secure freedom and justice for Black Americans in the south did not go unnoticed. He was rewarded for his tireless work with a plantation of his own in Texas by way of land grants from the Texas legislature in 1855. This plantation became known as “Mount Prospect” and was the first ranch established by an Black American in Texas.
John Horse continued to be an advocate for civil rights in the south after the Civil War, helping to establish three schools in Texas and Louisiana for freed slaves. He was also active in politics, serving as a delegate to the Republican National Convention of 1872.
John Horse dedicated his life to bettering the lives of Black Americans in the south, displaying unyielding dedication to his people in the face of great odds. His legacy lives on today as an Black American freedom fighter and a model of leadership and courage.