Osceola, a Seminole Warrior

Osceola, Seminole Warrior and Advocate

Osceola's Grave

Osceola's Grave Site in Charleston, South Carolina

Seal of the city of Seminole, Florida

Image displayed on the City of Seminole Website

Osceola was a critical leader for the Seminoles during the Second Seminole War. 

He was born around 1804 and then died while imprisoned by US troops on January 30th, 1838.

He was born under the name of William Powell and was a Creek Indian by blood. He was born near the border of Alabama and Georgia. Little Owl was another name he was known by. Asiyahola was the original spelling of his name, but due to pronounciation and language barriers, he became known as Osceola. 

He fought previously to the Second Seminole War, in the years 1812 and 1818 against American troops. 

While never a chief, Osceola came to be known as a leader during the Treaty of Payne's Landing. He helped rally the Indians that opposed the treaty. Not only was it Seminole Indians, but also fugitive slaves as well as free Africans who had joined the Seminoles years before. 

Osceola was captured by US troops under a false flag of truce. It was under imprisonment that he died from malaria. 

After his death, Osceola was decapitated by a Dr. Weedon. He then imbalmed Osceola's head as a trophy. This was passed between person to person for years. The head was destroyed in a fire in 1865 during a fire at the Medical College of New York, where it resided at the time.

Some of Osceola's possessions are now in the Smithsonian Institution's anthropology collection. 

His legacy is still remembered today. On the city's website, the city of Seminole, Florida, has designed its own city seal. Displayed in the middle of the seal is artwork of the famous Osceola.