This reproduction shows the Indian Tribes of the Southeastern portion of North America. The dates below the name of the tribe show when they thrived, once they were discovered. The ones that we recognize most readily are the Calusa of Southwestern Florida, the Tegesta (or Tequesta or Tekesta) of the Miami area, the Timucua of North Central and Central Florida. Sometimes there were references to the Ais of east-central Florida or the small tribes of Ocale and Pensacoloa because towns still have those names. These were the so-called indigenous tribes because they were present when the Europeans arrived. Many of these died from illness brought over from Europe, fights with the explorers or conquistadors, slavery or escape from new settlers.
Because the same threats existed north of Florida many of those indians migrated south into the area and were usually called by the general term ""Seminole"". Many of these were Creek Indians from the southeast or Muskogee or Mikasuki who still retain those names. Others were Yamasee and Apalachee in the northern part of Florida.
Most of the Seminoles migrated to Florida because of conflicts with the European settlers in the 1700s and took over land that had been abandoned by the indigenous tribes. They were sometimes joined by slaves escaping from the American colonies. The new tribes were sometimes friendly with European traders or sometimes used by one European group (British, Spanish or French) to further their particular interests or oppose the attempts by another European group to invade or settle or take over their property or trading areas. In October of 1784 a Treaty at Pensacola allied the Creek Indians with Spain. These conflicts were part of what led to the three Seminole wars.
Emerson, William C., M.D. ""The Seminoles: Dwellers of the Everglades"". Exposition Press, New York: 1954.
Knetch, Joe. ""Florida's Seminole Wars (1817-1858)"". Publ. by Arcadia Publishing, 2003.
Winsor, Justin. ""Narrative and Critical History of America"". Houghton, Mifflin & Company. Boston & New York, 1886.