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Etowachutke Tribe, Florida Gaskin Settlement

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Thomas2 Gaskin (T.C.1) He married Abby.

Hundreds of Negroes crossed the American border in to Spanish Florida to escaped slavery. These swamps and forests became their home. The men built houses for their families and raised crops in this hidden and fertile land, along the Willacoochee River. Many of these fugitives joined the Seminoles, a tribe that had left the Creek Indians (Seminole means runaway). America’s first foreign treaty (1790) demanded that the Creeks “deliver” those Negroes who lived among them. But the Indians continued to protect their new black friends in defiance of all authority. Generation, after generation of Negroes lived in this quite valley. By the time the War of 1812 ended, the furious slaveholders demanded that force be used to eliminate Florida as a “perpetual harbor for our slaves”, as General Andrew Jackson called it. The Creek Indians hired by the United States took part in the invasion of Florida in 1816. After the destruction of Fort Negro, they marched the survivors back to Georgia. This daring invasion of Spanish soil was a powerful argument in convincing Spain to sell Florida before Jackson merely took it. But the sale of Florida in 1819 did not end the problem of Negro runaways and their Indian friends. Three Seminole Wars were necessary to break the spirit of resistance and move the Seminoles to Oklahoma.

This last Seminole War lasted eight years (1835 – 1842) and cost the United States 1,500 men and $20,000,000. It was the most expensive Indian War waged by this country. It began, according to the records, with a fight between Chief Osceola (Oscilla, Georgia is named after him he was born in Georgia in 1804), and an American officer at the United States port of Fort King. When slave catchers seized Osceola’s Negro wife, Morning Dew, the Chief battled furiously, striking an officer who came to restrain him. In jail Osceola vowed revenge. His black and red tribesmen took to the warpath, effectively using hit and run tactics. After the war had been under way for a year, General Thomas Jesuup of the American forces stated: “This, you may be assured, is a Negro, not an Indian War.”

Beginning in the early days of the Republic and continuing throughout the wars with Seminole tribes, Indian and American Army officers exchanged bitter notes and letters about the Indian’s protection of runaway slaves or the attacks on Indian villages by slave catchers. This is part of that war of words as revealed in American State Papers dating from 1818 to 1835.

Source: Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 75-116623

The Seminole Tribe once part of the Muscogee Creek Confederacy (part of a huge Civilization of the Mississippian Culture 700 AD – 1600 AD) escaped warfare caused by invaders of the British and French during the 16 hundreds, and later by the American Government. The People now known as “Seminole’ escaped by moving to Florida joining the surviving Natives of other destroyed Chiefdoms of ancient Florida.

They lived peacefully and took in escaped African Slaves. The language spoken by the Seminole Indians is known as Muskogee. They typically farmed the lands, hunted and fished the abundant waters off the coast of Florida. They began to manufacture guns and tools influenced by Europeans and exchanged goods with European traders…They lived in log homes and chickees gathered around trading centers and court yards.

Unfortunately, things took a turn around 1732, when settlers started heading southward into Florida. Once they arrived, many Seminole Indians were kidnapped, tortured, raped, or killed. But the Seminoles held their own ground and stayed within their territory, many migrating near where Tampa exists today.

Those who stayed ended up being forced to work for money, either as an agricultural helper or a tourist attraction. In 1957, a law was passed declaring the tribes in Florida were officially the Seminole Tribe of Florida. In 1970, the Seminoles were awarded over $12 million by the government because of land taken from them by the United States military. Today the tribe is still in existence and is a proud part of the state of Florida’s rich heritage.
Children of Thomas Gaskin and Abby are:

2 i. Joe3 Tucker.
3 ii. Ashly Tucker.
+ 4 iii. Mitchell Gaskin.
5 iv. George Gaskin.
+ 6 v. Henry Gaskin.
+ 7 vi. Jesse Gaskin.
8 vii. Joe Gaskin.
9 viii. Shaffer Gaskin.
+ 10 ix. Elizabeth Gaskin.
+ 11 x. Joe Harper.
+ 12 xi. Thomas Gaskin, born March 04, 1880; died June 12, 1952 in Ocilla Georgia.
+ 13 xii. Eli Gaskin, born December 07, 1888; died March 28, 1951.
+ 14 xiii. John Gaskin, born June 26, 1900; died January 1976 in Willacoochie, Georgia.
+ 15 xiv. Jeff Gaskin.
16 xv. Jim Gaskin.


Prospect School

A photo of the school is here.

School board minutes of July 6, 1903, show Gilbert Evans appointed as teacher.

A 1903-04 roster of pupils shows: Lawrence Adkins (12), Meadow Gaskins (8), Marvin Gaskins (6), Norton Gaskins (13), Wally Guy (14), George Richburg (13), Robert Richburg (6), Pearl Richburg (9), Henry Richburg (18), Belle Adkins (10), Lottie Guy (8), Leila Gaskin (7), Bertie Gaskin (7), Flora Adkins (7), Lawrence Gaskins (12), John Jackson Gaskins (5), Fred Gaskins (14), Henry Taylor (12), Willie Roach (6?), John Roach (11), Annie Roach (13), Ella Roach (7), Emily Gaskins (11), Burton Lang (9), Agnes Gaskins (13), Garfield Evans (13), last name Gaskins (16), Leslie Kersey (14), Lula Barns (14). Gilbert A. Evans is the teacher.

Photo from Old Brooksville in Photos & Stories
School board minutes of July 5, 1909, show Ida Jackson appointed as the teacher.

A 1909 roster of pupils shows: Belle Adkins (15), Flora Adkins (13), Leila Gaskins (12), Carrie Gaskins (8), Lottie Guy (14), Ila Lyons (9), Pearl Richbourg (15), Catherine Richbourg (8), Lawrence Adkins (17), Paul Emerson (11), Vivian Gaskins (7), John Gaskins (11), Marvin Gaskins (11), Meadow Gaskins (14), Jesse Lyons (13), Edmond Lyons (14), Loney Lyons (10), Robert Richbourg (12). The teacher is R. S. Moseley.

The Prospect Community historical marker reads:

The first Prospect Church/School, built of logs in 1855, was located southeast of here. In 1887, David and Elizabeth Jane Osburn deeded two acres north of here, near Blue Sink, for the next church and school. They were built of pine lumber by Jack Osburn and Jack Gaskin. … The second Prospect School continued at this location until the 1890s when a third school was built about three miles south. It continued until 1942 when the students transferred to Dade City schools. S. M. “Med” and Mae Gaskin bought the building and used the material for an addition to their home, which had been the Sand Pond School on Ft. King Road south of Leheup Hill.

The following is taken from The Historic Places of Pasco County:

The heart of this historic community was located in the center of the horseshoe-shaped portion of Prospect Road south of the present town of Saint Leo. The first recorded settler was Jacob Wells, who arrived about 1842 from Madison County, Florida, and settled on a homestead near Riggs Hammock on the original Handcart Road. Located a few hundred yards west of the current Prospect Road and along the west side of the present-day Saint Leo Town Hall, Handcart Road got its name (according to Ruth Osburn Jones) because it was a trail just wide enough to push a two-wheeled cart, but it was broadened to accommodate an ox cart as more settlers arrived in the 1850s.

The first Prospect Church/School, built of logs in 1855, was located southeast of here.
In 1887, David and Elizabeth Jane Osburn deeded two acres north of here, near Blue Sink, for the next church and school. They were built of pine lumber by Jack Osburn and Jack Gaskin. The cemetery adjoined.
This congregation joined the Florida Methodist Conference and at one time had 153 members. The group disbanded in 1941 and members transferred to other area churches.
The second Prospect School continued at this location until the 1890s when a third school was built about three miles south. It continued until 1942 when the students transferred to Dade City schools. S.M. “Med” and Mae Gaskin bought the building and used the material for an addition to their home, which had been the Sand Pond School on Ft. King Road south of LeHeup Hill.

The Birth Of Prospect

Jacob Wells, one of those buried there, came from Madison County in 1842 and set up a home near Riggs Hammock on what originally was Handcart Road, now Prospect Road.

A community developed there called Prospect, about two miles south of State Road 52 where today’s Prospect Road curves west. A log church was built in 1855 and also served as a school. The first Prospect church closed in 1868 but a second was built in 1887 by Jack Osburn and Jack Gaskins on 20 acres deeded by David Osburn Jr. and his wife, Sally Kersey Osburn.

The congregation joined the Florida Methodist Conference, and in 1940 the building, then known as Sand Pond School, was purchased for $100 by Med and Mae Stanley Gaskin. They used it for a residence on Fort King Road.

The second Prospect church had been located a few hundred yards north of the original church, about a mile southwest of the south end of the lake that took the name of a pet bull in the 1830s.

According to legend, a covered wagon traveling along Fort King Road with a herd of cattle stopped for water. Most of the cattle drank from shore, but Buddy the bull waded in and wouldn’t budge when it was time to move on.

Some say Buddy waded out so far he drowned, while others say the stubborn bull left the water when he was ready and caught up with the herd.

The lake became known as Buddy’s Lake, then Buddy Lake and finally Lake Buddy.

The community of Prospect was also known as Buddy Lake Settlement.

Citrus Money Brings Prosperity

Lake Buddy became Lake Pasadena in the 1880s when the wealthy community of Pasadena sprang up with profits from the citrus industry.

Lake View Highlands Hotel. Image courtesy of the Pioneer Florida Museum.
The Lakeview Highlands Hotel, located not far from Pasadena and Chesterfield roads, off Clinton Avenue, was built about 1888. It was a luxury hotel where wealthy visitors from the north vacationed.

But the freezes of 1894 and 1895 ended the prosperity of the community and the hotel, which burned in 1899. [actually Dec. 31, 1901 -jm]

The historic Pasadena Church, at 36134 Clinton Ave., is the only remaining structure from the grand old days. The church, built in 1880s, also served as a community social center and, from 1888-1988, as a polling place.

The church was purchased in 1932 from the Methodist Conference and preserved by the Fort King Home Demonstration Club, forerunner of the Pasco County Extension Homemakers Clubs, now called Family and Community Education Clubs.

The structure was returned to a place of worship in recent years when it was bought by the Living in Faith Fellowship.

A house at 11635 Pasadena Road, at the northwest corner of Pasadena Road and Fordyce Lane, also was built in the 1890s. It is called the Fordyce House, although the family was not the original builder. The house features a square turret upstairs which let in outside light to illuminate the inside staircase. Barbara Berger is the current owner.

Also considered a historic site in the Pasadena area is the Solberg House, 11211 Fort King Road, between Waterfall Drive and Lake Pasadena Road. The Georgian-style house was built about 1915.

Sverre Solberg, a Norwegian ship captain, bought the house in the early 1930s from Toombs and Lyman Dairy. Solberg served as an officer of the Lykes Brothers Steamship Lines, headquartered in New Orleans. While he was at sea, his wife, Belle Mead “Billie” Solberg, had 10 acres cleared for a citrus grove.

Sometime after she was widowed, Billie Solberg moved to a smaller house nearby. Her original house is now owned by Kimberly L. Michaels.

Just south, at 10550 Fort King Road, is the Dew Home. The rural Florida-style house was built in 1913 by William Dew, Charlie Knapp and Howard McKillips.

The single chimney that supported three fireplaces was one of the first in the area. And the two bedrooms and a portico upstairs afforded a grand view of the countryside.

Except for an open north porch upstairs that has been removed, the house has retained its original characteristics, complete with the tin roof.

Grace Cripe married Dew in 1929, and they moved into the house in 1943. After William died, Grace lived there until she died in July 2000 at 96. The house remains in her estate.

Across Fort King Road, on the west side, is a house ordered from a Sears catalogue by Fred T. and Lizzie Himmelwright in 1926.

The next year, the Himmelwrights built the Linda Vista (Spanish for “pretty view”) Store next to their home. The country store sat atop LeHeup Hill, overlooking the communities of Pasadena, Prospect, Dade City, Saint Leo, San Antonio, Sand Pond and Zephyrhills.

Linda Vista had a lunch counter and a large sitting room for community events. Outside were gas pumps.

Travelers proceeding south on Fort King Road from LeHeup Hill will pass the historic sites of the Freedtown and Earnestville communities. [Note: The name Freedtown is possibly a modern name for this community. -jm]

On the south side of Lake Pasadena, near Bozeman Road, is the site of Earnestville. It was settled about 1875 when Elijah Embree Earnest and wife Virginia opened a store on Lake Buddy. The freezes of 1894 and 1895 hit the community hard, and its post office closed in 1899.

The freezes also caused residents to abandon Freedtown. It was established about 1869 by recently freed slaves near the end of what is now Bozeman Road, off Fort King Road.

The settlement lasted for a generation, with log cabins, a cemetery and an African Methodist Episcopal Church. The buildings were torn down and the cemetery covered over. Church members moved to Dade City and founded Mount Zion AME Church.
The Prospect Cemetery no longer exists. Six graves were moved to nearby Williams Cemetery in the 1960s.

CHIEF-TESS Etowahchutka Tribe Florida 1660 -1813 my family stayed in the swamps and some were removed to the Midwest Mississippi Shawnee Gaskin City Illinois some were murdered. Once home to the Eufaula Indians, Prospect Community, also known as Gaskin Settlement, was west of Lake Buddy and Lake Pasadena.
In 1842, Jacob Wells was the first recorded settler in the area. His sister, Elizabeth Jane Osburn, and her husband, David, arrived in 1853 followed by Lybron Kersey, Lewis Gaskin and others.

General Jesup was well satisfied. He reported that the Florida war was ended. And indeed it might have been had the terms of the agreement been adhered to But slave claims were pushed; unprincipled men went into the Indians’ territory and seized negroes; there was bitter complaint against the fifth article Declares the treaty to be “in the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity”, states the bona fides of the signatories, and declares the intention of both parties to “forget all past misunderstandings and differences” and “secure to both perpetual peace and harmony”. 1.Acknowledging the United States to be free, sovereign and independent states, and that the British Crown and all heirs and successors relinquish claims to the Government, property, and territorial rights of the same, and every part thereof;
2. Establishing the boundaries between the United States and British North America;
3. Granting fishing rights to United States fishermen in the Grand Banks, off the coast of Newfoundland and in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence;
4. Recognizing the lawful contracted debts to be paid to creditors on either side;
5.The Congress of the Confederation will “earnestly recommend” to state legislatures to recognize the rightful owners of all confiscated lands “provide for the restitution of all estates, rights, and properties, which have been confiscated belonging to real British subjects Loyalists”;
6. United States will prevent future confiscations of the property of Loyalists;
7 .Prisoners of war on both sides are to be released and all property left by the British army in the United States unmolested (including slaves);
8. Great Britain and the United States were each to be given perpetual access to the Mississippi River;
9. Territories captured by Americans subsequent to treaty will be returned without compensation;
10. Ratification of the treaty was to occur within six months from the signing by the contracting parties.

A meeting to negotiate a treaty was scheduled for early September 1823 at Moultrie Creek, south of St. Augustine. About 425 Seminoles attended the meeting, choosing Neamathla, a prominent Mikasuki chief, to be their chief representative. Under the terms of the treaty negotiated there, the Seminoles were forced to place themselves under the protection of the United States and to give up all claim to lands in Florida, in exchange for a reservation of about four million acres (16,000 km²)
Under the Treaty of Moultrie Creek, the United States government was obligated to protect the Seminoles as long as they remained peaceful and law-abiding. The government was supposed to distribute farm implements, cattle and hogs to the Seminoles, compensate them for travel and losses involved in relocating to the reservation, and provide rations for a year, until the Seminoles could plant and harvest new crops. The government was also supposed to pay the tribe US$5,000 a year for twenty years, and provide an interpreter, a school and a blacksmith for the same twenty years. In turn, the Seminoles had to allow roads to be built across the reservation and had to apprehend any runaway slaves or other fugitives and return them to United States jurisdiction.

The hostile actions of the Seminoles at the close of the year 1835 convinced the War Department of the United States that the Seminole Indians would not submit to be driven from one section of the country to another like sheep. Though the combined force of Indian and Native warriors was not supposed to be greater than twelve hundred, their treacherous nature and the wildness of the country, made the task of subduing them so difficult as to require many times that number of soldiers. General Clinch was already in the field not far from the village of Micanopy. There were several forts in the Indian country, but they were meagerly garrisoned. General Scott was made commanding General of the Army in Florida, with authority to call on the governors of South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama for assistance. He went to work at once to raise a force for an Indian war.
Meanwhile Major General Gaines, who was commander of the Western Military Department, started to Florida with a force of more than a thousand men. He ventured into the Seminoles’ country with the hope of meeting them and fighting a decisive battle. He passed the scene of the Dade massacre and saw the work the savages had done, and after burying the dead he continued his march to Fort King. But in the whole of his march he saw not a single Indian. He had expected to find supplies for his army at Fort King, but being disappointed in this, he was obliged to return to Tampa with all speed.
While looking for the ford across the Withlacoochee River he ran into an Indian ambush and was so harassed by the savages that he had to give up his plan of crossing the river and go into camp. He had ordered General Clinch to meet him in this neighborhood, and he sent out expresses to see what prospect there was of his arrival. The Indians were gathering in large numbers, and he believed that if General Clinch arrived in time their combined forces could surround them and crush them. But his supply of food was so reduced that he was obliged to have his horses killed to provide the men with meat. All the while the Indians were lying in wait and assailing all who ventured beyond the fortifications of the camp.

Etowahchutke Tribe, Florida Allotments
of Native American burial ground act
“Buddy’s Lake Settlement”
Leroy, Fred, Lawrence, Mead, and Marvin Gaskins
Honorable Chief-Tess Victoria Elizabeth Gaskins
Undersigned Respondent,
Vs. Complaint in Tort Human Rights Violation Civil Rights
State of Florida
City of Dade, County of Pasco CASE#_________
Citizens of the State of Florida
United States Department of the Interior
The Bureau of Indian Affairs
Secretary of the Interior
Undersigned Defendants
Complaint in tort Human Rights Violation Civil Rights…/etowahchutke-tribe-flor…/
Etowahchutke Tribe, Florida Allotments of Native American burial ground act
Osceola (1804 – January 30, 1838), aged 33–34) born as Billy Powell,
Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution vests Congress, and by extension the Executive and Judicial branches of our government, with the authority to engage in relations with the tribes, thereby firmly placing tribes within the constitutional fabric of our nation. When the governmental authority of tribes was first challenged in the 1830’s, U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall articulated the fundamental principle that has guided the evolution of federal Indian law to the present: those tribes possess a nationhood status and retain inherent powers of self-government. Most of today’s federally recognized tribes received federal recognition status through treaties, acts of Congress, presidential executive orders or other federal administrative actions, or federal court decisions.
In 1978, the Interior Department issued regulations governing the Federal Acknowledgment Process (FAP) to handle requests for federal recognition from Indian groups whose character and history varied widely in a uniform manner. These regulations – 25 C.F.R. Part 83 – were revised in 1994 and are still in effect.
Also in 1994, Congress enacted Public Law 103-454, the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act (108 Stat. 4791, 4792), which formally established three ways in which an Indian group may become federally recognized:
By Act of Congress,
By the administrative procedures under 25 C.F.R. Part 83, or a tribe whose relationship with the United States has been expressly terminated by Congress may not use the Federal Acknowledgment Process
There have been three major legislative actions that restructured the Bureau of Indian Affairs with regard to education since the Snyder Act of 1921. The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 introduced the teaching of Indian history and culture in BIA schools, which contrasted with the federal policy at the time of acculturating and assimilating Indian people through the BIA boarding school system. The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 (P.L. 90-638) gave authority to the tribes to contract with the BIA for the operation of local schools and to determine education programs suitable for their children. The Education Amendments Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-561) and further technical amendments (P.L. 98-511, 99-89, and 100-297) provided funds directly to tribal schools, empowered Indian school boards, permitted local hiring of teachers and staff, and established a direct line of authority between the OIEP Director and the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affair
The Battle Seminole Village

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