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(ŏsēō`lə, ō–), c.1800–1838, leader of the SeminoleSeminole,
Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Muskogean branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). They separated (their name means "separatist") from the Creek in the early 18th cent.
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. He was also called Powell, the surname of his supposed white father. In the early 1830s, Osceola was living close to Fort King, near the site of Ocala, Fla. Although not a chief, he rose to a position of prominence among the Seminole and led the young warriors who denounced the treaties of 1832 and 1833, which provided for the removal of the Native Americans to the West. In Dec., 1835, Osceola's warriors killed Wiley Thompson, the Indian agent in charge of the removal. U.S. troops under General Jesup drove his band southward into the Everglades, but Osceola, skillfully using guerrilla tactics, resisted capture. Fighting ceased early in 1837, only to break out again in June. Overtures for peace were sent to Osceola, and he agreed to meet with Jesup in St. Augustine under a flag of truce. Jesup, never intending to discuss peace, had Osceola seized and imprisoned at Fort Moultrie, S.C., where he died shortly afterward.


See study by W. and E. Hartley (1973).

References in periodicals archive ?
Mascots like Chief Osceola, which are often based on stereotypical images of Native American tribes, are still common in sports--from high schools and colleges to professional teams.
Chief Osceola, Florida State University's mascot, rides in on his horse before a football game.
29) The image of Chief Osceola astride his horse brandishing a flaming spear--a scene of warlike savagery--is a Euramerican creation born of manifest destiny, myths of the Oregon Trail, and, more contemporarily, Hollywood's versions of John Wayne battling the fierce, bloodthirsty "red man.
Soon, constituents--as well as the public that sees national championship football games and the mascot fanfare exhibited there--cannot think of the Seminole tribe without bringing to mind the garnet and gold glitz of Chief Osceola and the FSU Seminoles.
Before the first players take the field at a Florida State University football game, a student dressed as Chief Osceola, a 19th-century Seminole warrior, rides a horse to the 50-yard line and throws a flaming spear into the ground.
We've given them license to be theatrical," says one tribe official, referring to the Chief Osceola mascot.
When Chief Osceola, Florida State University's Indian mascot, rides onto the field on horseback before football games and plants a flaming spear at the 50-yard line, the team's fans erupt with cheers.

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