Osceola was a military leader of the Native American people, Seminole. In the 1830s he fought against the U.S. government, because they wanted the Seminole to leave their homeland in Florida.
Osceola was born in 1804 in Georgia. His mother was a Native American, member of the Creek nation. A white Scottish trader, William Powell, became his mother’s second husband. The family moved to northern Florida and joined the Seminole when Osceola was a boy.
In 1819 Spain sold Florida to the United States and this opened the fertile lands of the Seminole for white Americans. Later, in 1823, an agreement was signed according to which the Seminole had to leave the coastal territories and move inland, to the marshy lands of central Florida, which were not suitable for habitation. Osceola spoke out against it and was sent to prison. After the release he organized a fighting force. The warriors killed the U.S. official and the Seminole chief who had signed the treaty. So the Second Seminole War began in 1835. Resistance lasted almost two years.