During the Seminole War Congressional attention eventually turned to the slave
aspects of the war, primarily because of a speech by Joshua Giddings. Giddings was
anti-slavery, and also pro-Black Seminoles. In 1858 Giddings wrote the first
history of the Black Seminoles titled "The Exiles of Florida," subtitled 'Or the Crimes
Committed by Our Government Against Maroons, Who Fled From South Carolina and Other Slave States, Seeking Protection Under Spanish Laws.
Giddings wrote of the slaves who escaped to Florida: "They [the Seminoles] held their slaves in a state between that of servitude and freedom; the slave usually living with his own family and occupying his time as he pleased, paying his master annually a small stipend in corn and other vegetables. This class of slaves regarded servitude among the whites with the greatest degree of horror."
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