Abstract: Exploring Possible Biases in the Commemoration of the Seminole Wars

     There are many ways information about the past can be manipulated or presented in a specific light to influence how the public sees the event. I’ll be exploring how the Seminole Wars, which are today not considered a historical event to be proud of, have been portrayed and commemorated for the public, both at the time of the wars and in the present. I plan to gather factual information on the Wars from various secondary sources, such as the book The Seminole Wars: America’s Longest Indian Conflict by John Missall and Mary Lou Missall, and compare this with two types of presentations to the public. Primary source accounts of the wars written at the time, such as Woodburne Potter’s The War in Florida from 1836, may reveal bias in how the Wars were portrayed to the public at the time. I also plan to visit various battlefields, cemeteries, museums, and other Wars sites in Florida such as the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, and evaluate the facts, pictures, reenactments, artifacts, memorials, or plaques to see if there is a possible bias in what information was included and how it is presented to the public currently. I will also be exploring whether there is change over time in how biased or unbiased the commemorations are. To increase my understanding of bias in historical commemorations, I’ll also be looking at sources like James W. Loewen’s Lies across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong.