A Man Called Horse: John Horse and the Black Seminole Underground Railroad

Abrams. Sept. 2021. 112p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781419749339.
Gr 6-9–This fascinating look at the complex life of Black Seminole leader John Horse, a warrior, diplomat, and champion for his people, follows his tireless search for freedom, safety, and home. Foundational background is given about Seminole Indians and Black Seminoles (descendants of Seminoles and free Blacks and escaped slaves) as well as the First Seminole War, the Indian Removal Act, and the Second Seminole War. It was during the Second Seminole War that John Horse, a skilled negotiator, interpreter, guide, and advisor, began to rise to leadership. Horses’s life and travels are detailed as he sought peace and security for his people through the southern United States, and eventually Mexico. Escapes, deportations, challenges, promises, possibilities, and perilous situations marked Horse’s quest. He worked determinedly to find a new home for Black Seminoles, who had unresolved and changing statuses during this time of the mid-to-late 1800s. Horse was constantly negotiating to encourage protection, treaties, land grants, and autonomy for his people. Engravings, photographs, illustrations, and painting adorn most of the full-color pages, with chapters providing just enough information to feel thorough without feeling overwhelming. Well laid-out and engaging, this biography shows the significant impact John Horse had on the rights, recognition, freedom, and protection of Black Seminoles, who were considered slaves by Americans and Seminoles. The volume wraps up with additional information on battles, places of refuge, rescues, and expeditions. A time line, author’s note, chapter notes, bibliography, and index round out the book.
VERDICT An important examination of a historical figure who hasn’t been featured that often in books for young readers.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing