Seminole Chief Osceola, Billy Powell

Osceola 1833

State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

Osceola was named Billy Powell at birth in 1804 in the Creek village of Talisi, now known as Tallassee, Alabama, in current Elmore County. “The people in the town of Tallassee…were mixed-blood Native American/English/Irish/Scottish, and some were black. Billy was all of these.” He was born to Polly Coppinger, a Creek woman, and William Powell, an English trader. Polly was the daughter of Ann McQueen and Jose Coppinger.  Because the Creek have a matrilineal kinship system, Polly and Ann’s other children were all considered to be born into their mother’s clan; they were reared as traditional Creek and gained their status from their mother’s people. Ann McQueen was also mixed-race Creek; her father James McQueen was Scots-Irish. Ann was likely the sister or aunt of Peter McQueen, a prominent Creek leader and warrior.  Like his mother, Billy was raised in the Creek tribe.

Like his father, Billy’s maternal grandfather James McQueen was a trader; in 1714 he was the first European to trade with the Creek in Alabama. He stayed in the area as a fur trader and married into the Creek tribe. He became closely involved with the people. He is buried in the Indian cemetery in Franklin, Alabama near a Methodist Missionary Church for the Creek.

In 1814, after the Red Stick Creek were defeated by United States forces, Polly took Osceola and moved with other Creek refugees from Alabama to Florida, where they joined the Seminole. In adulthood, as part of the Seminole, Powell was given his name Osceola. This is an anglicized form of the Creek Asi-yahola, the combination of asi, the ceremonial black drink made from the yaupon holly, and yahola, meaning “shout” or “shouter”.

In 1821, the United States acquired Florida from Spain. More European-American settlers started moving in, encroaching on the Seminole. After early military skirmishes and the 1823 Treaty of Moultrie Creek, by which the US seized northern Seminole lands, Osceola and his family moved with the Seminole deeper into central and southern Florida.

As an adult, Osceola took two wives, as did some other Creek and Seminole leaders. With them, he had a total of at least five children. One of his wives was African American, and he fiercely opposed the enslavement of free peoples.

Through the 1820s and the turn of the decade, American settlers kept up pressure on the US government to remove the Seminole from Florida to make way for their desired agricultural development. In 1832, a few Seminole chiefs signed the Treaty of Payne’s Landing, by which they agreed to give up their Florida lands in exchange for lands west of the Mississippi River in Indian Territory. According to legend, Osceola stabbed the treaty with his knife, although there are no contemporary reports of this.[6]

Five of the most important Seminole chiefs, including Micanopy of the Alachua Seminole, did not agree to removal. In retaliation, the US Indian agent, Wiley Thompson, declared that those chiefs were deposed from their positions. As US relations with the Seminole deteriorated, Thompson forbade the sale of guns and ammunition to them. Osceola, a young warrior rising to prominence, resented the ban. He felt it equated the Seminole with slaves, who were forbidden to carry arms.

Thompson considered Osceola to be a friend, and gave him a rifle. Later, though, when Osceola quarreled with Thompson, the agent had the warrior locked up at Fort King for a night. The next day, to get released, Osceola agreed to abide by the Treaty of Payne’s Landing and to bring his followers in to the fort.

On December 28, 1835, Osceola led an attack on Fort King (near modern-day Ocala) which resulted in the assassination of the American Indian Agent Wiley Thompson. Simultaneously, Micanopy and a large band of Seminole warriors ambushed troops under the command of Major Francis Dade south of Fort King on the road to Fort Brooke (later Tampa). These two events, along with the Battle of Withlacoochee on December 31 and raids on sugar plantations in East Florida in early 1836, marked the beginning of the Second Seminole War.

Osceola arrest

State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

In late October 1837, Osceola contacted General Joseph Hernandez, through a black interpreter named John Cavallo (also John Horse), to arrange negotiations about ceasing hostilities. General Thomas Jesup responded by ordering Hernandez to seize Osceola and his party should he have the chance.

Osceola’s camp, located one mile south of Fort Peyton, raised a white flag of truce in order to signal their desire to negotiate. When Hernandez and his entourage reached the camp, they promptly seized Osceola and the warriors, women and children present. Osceola and his band were brought to St. Augustine and imprisoned at Fort Marion (Castillo de San Marcos).

Remarkably, on November 30, Coacoochee (Wildcat) and 19 other Seminoles escaped Fort Marion; Osceola was not among them. Coacoochee’s escape prompted Jesup to transfer the most important Seminole captives out of the area. In late December 1837, Osceola, Micanopy, Philip and about 200 Seminoles embarked from St. Augustine for Fort Moultrie on Sullivans Island, outside Charleston, South Carolina.  After their arrival, they were visited by townspeople.

Osceola’s capture by deceit caused a national uproar. General Jesup and the administration were condemned by many congressional leaders.

Osceola George Catlin

George Catlin and other prominent painters met the war chief and persuaded him to allow his picture to be painted.  The painting above is by Catlin.  Robert J. Curtis painted an oil portrait of Osceola as well. These paintings have inspired numerous prints and engravings, which were widely distributed, and even cigar store figures.

Osceola, who previously contracted malaria in Florida, became severely ill soon after arriving at Fort Moultrie.   Osceola died of quinsy (though one source gives the cause of death as “malaria” without further elaboration) on January 30, 1838, three months after his capture. He was buried with military honors at Fort Moultrie.

After his death, army doctor Frederick Weedon persuaded the Seminole to allow him to make a death mask of Osceola, shown below, as was a European-American custom at the time for prominent people.

Osceloa death mask

State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

Later Weedon removed Osceola’s head and embalmed it. For some time, Weedon kept the head and a number of personal objects Osceola had given him.

Later, Weedon gave the head to his son-in-law Daniel Whitehurst. In 1843, Whitehurst sent the head to Valentine Mott, a New York physician. Mott placed it in his collection at the Surgical and Pathological Museum. It was presumably lost when a fire destroyed the museum in 1866. Some of Osceola’s belongings are still held by the Weedon family, while others have disappeared.  One of Chief Osceola’s possessions is shown below.

Osceola possession

State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

Captain Pitcairn Morrison sent the death mask and some other objects collected by Weedon to an army officer in Washington. By 1885, the death mask and some of Osceola’s belongings ended up in the anthropology collection of the Smithsonian Institution, where they are still held.

Osceola’s grave marker says, “Osceola, Patriot and Warrior, died at Fort Moultrie, January 30, 1838.”

Osceola grave

State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,


About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
This entry was posted in Creek, Seminole, Traders, Treaty. Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Seminole Chief Osceola, Billy Powell

  1. Michael A. Neider Jr. says:

    I was told that my grandmother (Elna Powell) was the daughter of one of Chief Osceolas daughters….if anyone can help me with my ancestory please contact me….@….. thank you.

  2. Nancy Renfrow says:

    Chief Osceola was the son of my great, great Uncle Billy Powell.
    Nancy Renfrow
    Granddaughter of Nanny Powell Renfrow
    Osceola is in out Powell Family History Book.

    • Jo Ann Terpo says:

      Can I get a copy of the Powell History Book. I was told it was out of production.

    • Tammy Powell says:

      wonder if we are related I was told he is my great grand uncle as well
      would love the book

    • Kelly Leffler says:

      There is or was a Powell Family History Book? Is this a book that was in print or is it a personal book? I’m trying to get info about my line…Sari Missouri is Osceola’s Sister and daughter of Polly as well. If there is something out there that can help me with confirming connections it would he helpful.

      • Debbie Smith says:

        Osceola and the Great Seminole War” by Thom Hatch is the best resource that I have seen P. 5 starts detailing his family lineage . I think it is used as a resource.

  3. DeniseJohnson says:

    I WAS Informed that Chief Osceola is our great, great, great grandfather. My great grandmothers name was Ola Ellington from Dothan, Houston County, Alabama. Her mother was Native American. I would love to find out for sure if we are descendants of the great Chief Osceola!

  4. Nancy Renfrow says:

    My name is Nancy E. Renfrow. I am soon to be 76 years old.My paternal grandmother was Nanny Powell Renfrow. Osceola’s grandfather ( William Powell’s father ) was Absolam Powell the 1st. Absolam Powell the 1st was my great, great, great, great grandfather.

    I love Catlin’s painting of Osceola. I have a small original print of Osceola.

    Some of the information the family believed does not agree with information I read online.

  5. says:

    My Mother was a Powell. She grew up in Fair Bluff, NC. She mentioned that she was related to Osceola. She mentioned Absolam Powell as well. She said he was a preacher during the Confederate War. She has a Powell Family Book which was created by Bruce Powell.
    James Parker

  6. Osceola were my ancestors and we still resides in America today but many things have been kept from us, My name is McKenley son of Hannah Mary Ella Walker/ McKinney

  7. Billy Powell says:

    I was shopping recently at Home Depot and an elderly associate ask me what my name was. When I told him, Billy Powell he relayed a brief history of Osceola. This peaked my interest and I began researching Osceola and found a few interesting points. His mother was Polly Coppinger and father William Powell. My father who died in 2000, his only sister was named Polly. His brother, Luther Frank Powell passed away in the early 1990’s and Polly a few years later. All the Powell’s were born and raised in the south Alabama Florida panhandle area and lived in the Troy as well as Montgomery, Tallassee and Franklin Alabama areas. Seems more coincidental, but maybe there is a distant relationship to Osceola. Plan to do further research and DNA ancestry background check to find a possible link.

    • Jimmy L McGhar says:

      Hello, I live in Macon Co, Alabama and would be interested in talking with you about the Powell family of Macon Co and Osceola. 334-444-5466 . Hope to hear from you.

    • Vicki Lee Wise says:

      My family is also related to the William Powell heritage were you able to find any information? Thank you Vicki Lee Wise 870.414.3061

      • Debbie Smith says:

        This is the Osceola research I have found – there are numerous versions of this story. Note: most researchers believe that William Powell, 1761-1830, is the step father of Osceola b 1804 in Talisi, AL, not his real father.

        MOTHER: POLLY Ann (Coppinger) Powell 1769/71 – married 3X.
        • B: Oct. 15, 1771- about 1814
        SP #1 (may be): Checartha Yargee Son Of “Big Warrior” b. 1785 (date? 16
        yrs),Hickory Ground Town, d. After 1865, In Creek Indian Nation (Oklahoma,
        PARENTS: Big Warrior George Washington Cornells Aka Tustenuggee
        Thloco Cornell and Tuskenua Mad Dog
        Husband #1 died/killed.

        Polly then married William Powell, a white Scottish trader, who adopted
        Polly’s 3 children – Sara Missouri, Sanee, and William (Osceola) Powell.
        SP #2: John “William”Powell (Chufi Hadjo) 1761-1830, “Little Trader” (oldest of 8 kids of James & Also Powell) m. in Seminole Co., GA (SW GA near Jackson Co., FL/ Houston Co, AL) OR 1778-1852 Source: findagrave
        Their KIDS (3+ 2 by William Powell):
        1. Sunnie/Sanee (Powell) Rhoden 1798- about 1855
        2. Maurnee (DP Note- William Powell’s child only)
        3. Billy “Osceola” b 1804, in Talisi, AL. m. Che-Cho Ter (Morning Dew)
        4. Hepsy Homarty ( DP Note- William Powell’s child only)
        5. Sari Missouri Powell b: 1793 in Ecunhutkee, Tallahassee Territory, GA “Miss
        Sari” m. John Milledge Canaday
        SP #3: 1798-ab 1855 another Creek Indian, name unkn.
        (Bk SOURCE below. “Osceola’s Legacy “ by Patricia Wickman (Osceola expert), CH 2, p. 52)
        1814: POLLY Ann (Coppinger) Powell 1769/71 – and WILLIAM POWELL were
        together during the BATTLE OF HORSESHOE BEND where Major General
        Andrew Jackson defeated the Red Sticks, 77 survivors headed to the swamps
        of THE OKEFENOKEE. Osceola was 10 years old.
        Osceola left for FL with William Powell and his mother, Ann Nancy “Polly”. On the route they split- Powell did not want to go to FL, so he left with his 2 daughters (Maurnee and Hepsy) from a previous marriage, wife #1 (Hepsy Homarty was daughter of Powell’s 3rd family, half sister of Osceola).
        The group made it to the St Marys River to a fort called “Fort Moniac” where they escaped. Polly and Osceola later left from Ft. Moniac along the St. Mary’s River toward Ocala. For the next 4 years Osceola lived a semi nomadic lifestyle.
        Source below :
        In 1800 John Canaday (Osceola’s brother in law) traveled up the St. Marys River and built a cabin near what is now Moniac. Then he visited relatives in Northern Alabama where he met and married Missouri Powell, Osceola’s sister. Later, he went back up there to fight Andrew Jackson but when the Red Stick Creeks were defeated in 1814, he brought his wife’s family, including Osceola, down to this area. The Canadays remained here and Missouri’s sister’s family later went to adjacent Columbia County, Florida, but the rest of Osceola’s family moved farther down into Florida where he grew up and became famous as a leader of the Seminoles
        Osceola (Us Se Yoholo) enrolled on Talisi Tribal Town Roll of 1832 – # 161.
        wives (2) each had 1 child who arrived at Fort Mellon Nov 1837 with him:
        1. Wife #1: Ui -chee – m. 1826 May be a nickname or she may be a Euchee woman.
        May be Che cho la of Morning Dew , Osceola – 22 years old, she was 15.-four children (Hartley, 118). M 1826. She spoke English, was interpreter for him. 2-4 kids.
        2. Wife #2: Ah-lik-Chen m. about 1834, not much known about her
        SOURCE: Hartley
        Peoka – m. 1834 CHILD: John Wesley Powell.
        Are the two listed above the same woman?
        “Polly” was with him also but she is not listed as his mother.
        Other sources list Osceola’s wives as: Ouscaloosa ???
        • SOURCES:
        * “Osceola’s Legacy “ by Patricia Wickman (premiere Osceola expert) .
        *Osceola – two wives SOURCE: McNeer (42)
        *Most credible Osceola lineage Source: Thomas S. Woodward –
        Indian agent- who wrote “Reminisces Series”.
        * Betty Wadford- a long time Osceola researcher -Missouri was her 3X
        Great Grandmother- Gainesville resident, 77, in April 2008.

  8. I have been told all my life that we are related to Osceola but now I want to know my Granny was from Eldorenda Ga I am from Fla so now I want to know I favor him I have the lines on my face he has and I have his cheek bones so yes I really want to know

  9. Craig Brown says:

    I’d love to hear more from some of you. After digging further into my family background, i found out that my Grandmother, “Osceola” was named after my great, great, great grandfather who was a slave that sought refuge in the Seminole tribe. One of the conditions of him staying there was to marry Chief Osceola’s niece and to name all of his descendants Osceola. My great Grandmother was named Osceola, after her my grandmother was named Osceola, along with my father’s sister (my auntie) that was named Osceola. The tradition of passing the name down stopped there due to very trivial matters. If anyone has any genealogy of the Chief and his brother please contact me by email.

    • Erin Beck says:

      Hello Craig,

      My name is Erin, and I am responding to a comment you left on, from 2017.

      My great-great-grandmother’s name is also Osceola. She was born in 1886 and died in 1961. My family hid the record of her birth-parents, and I know nothing about them except that her mother or father was likely a fieldhand in North Carolina. Though Osceola was half-Seminole, she passed as white (“Ossie Wilson Beck”) her entire life. She is buried in Rowan Memorial Park Cemetery in Salisbury, NC. Is this near where any of your ancestors lived?

      Also, does the town of Jenks, Oklahoma mean anything to your heritage? Osceola nicknamed her daughter Victoria Viola “Jenks”, but no one in my family knows why.

      Thank you for any help! I’m awaiting the results of an Ancestry DNA test currently. I was very excited to learn from your comment that Osceola’s relatives had a tradition of passing down his name from generation to generation.

  10. Susan says:

    Perhaps you could find descendants or relatives of Osceola’s father and compare their DNA with your DNA to see if there is a match, then you would know for certain, provided there is a match. It would perhaps also answer the question as to whether or not William Powell was Osceola’s biological father.

    • Ben Powell says:

      I am willing to cooperate with DNA match. My DNA matches John William Powell Chufi Hadjo and Chekika Polly Ann Coppinger Powell, Parents of Osceola. I have many pictures of my findings on Facebook if you’d like pictures and proof. I look identical to Osceola’s Bust Death mask in St. AUGUSTINE, Fl. I thought the statue was me at first.

      • Susan says:

        Hello, Ben. Are you on Ancestry? My family is on that site as to our DNA results. We are direct descendants of James Powell, William Powell’s brother.

      • Susan says:

        Ben, I have a cousin on, Timothy Powell, who is a direct descendant of James Powell (William Powell’s brother). If you were to add your DNA results to Ancestry, hopefully, Tim Powell would show up as a match as a cousin of some sort. We would then know for certain of the connection and that William Powell was, in fact, Osceola’s biological father.

      • To know for sure, you have to match on the same segment with at least two people proven to have the same ancestor and to not have other common ancestors. You can’t do that at Ancestry because they don’t provide you with segment information.

      • this i find to be really some thing as to why well in my family we have 5 William Powell’s in on of my family trees that well i have looked up genealogy on. also was told that one of them could have been Osceola. and about what is knowed in my family is that we do have native American Indian as well as French Creole

      • bryan lowe says:

        Where are your pages on facebook. I am trying to find out what day Osceola was born. So far i have not found anything.

      • bryan lowe says:

        Where are the pictures? I would like to see them.

  11. Les Bohlen says:

    Does anybody know the names of Osceola’s wives? I had heard that Oskaloosa, Iowa was named after a wife of Osceola named Ouscaloosa. I can’t find that name anywhere. There is also a city in Iowa named after Osceola. I can’t find the connection to Iowa.

    • Ben Powell says:

      Hello, Hensci, Estonko?
      MY name is Benjamin Powell and I am the 4x Great Grandson of Osceola Billy Powell. I am trying to connect with our People and learn about our culture. I moved a lot and reside in Northeast Mississippi. I’d very much love to connect with our people. Andrew Jackson ordered my entire bloodline to be killed. We made it by going to London,England for a time and came back. I’m reaching out to anyone who can enlighten me about my family. My telephone number is (662)596-5938. Text first and let me know who you are and I will reply. Hope to meet you all some day! Mvto, Thank you, Ben Powell.

    • Ben Powell says:

      I have found many names for My 4x Great Grandmother, wives of Osceola Billy Powell. I was told Peoka. Then there’s Che Cho Ter his other wife. I found Oscalousa meaning last of the beautiful. Ouichee and Ahlikchen. The most promising I found was a letter by Congress in 1836 stating that Us Se YOHOLO had several children with the daughter of Mad Wolf aka Yaha Hajo. Her name is Lousanna Harjo. I seek her to find a clan and name of our Band of Seminole. I know Os Se YOHOLO is enrolled on the Talisi Tribal Town Rolls of 1832 as number 161. I’ve spent 5 exhausting months searching night and Day for the answers.

  12. Ben Powell says:

    I am Benjamin Powell,Osceola Billy Powell is my 4x Great Grandfather and His wife Peoka Powell is my 4x Great Grandmother. Does anyone have any family information about Peoka? I know they had my 3x Great Grandfather John Wesley Powell. I need more information to plug into our family tree. What is Peoka’s Christian name? I know she is half Seminole and half Scotts Irish.

    • Ben Powell says:

      I know we come from Wind Clan. Apparently I’m Tuhkabatchee. I was Raised White. This is a wonderful journey. What I’ve ascertained thus far is that James McQueen punched his commanding officer in the Royal Navy and jumped ship and swam back to land. He settles with the Muscogee(MVSKOKE) Creek. He married Katherine Redstick Fraser, the Daughter of Chief (Mico) Eagle Wings of Tuhkabatchee. Together James and Katherine had Peter McQueen Talmuches Hodjo, Mico of the Tallassees. Osceola claimed this and that he was Tuhkabatchee. James and Katherine also had Anne McQueen who married Don Jose Coppinger, the last Florida Governor appointed by Spain. Anne and Jose Coppinger had Chekika Polly Ann Moniac Coppinger, the Mother of Osceola Billy Powell. Chekika Married John “William”Powell (Chufi Hadjo) during the Wars our family went to Florida to stay with Chekika’s Cousin of the Seminole. Osceola married Peoka and had John Wesley Powell. John Wesley Powell is my 3x Great Grandfather. I am the direct descendant of Osceola Billy Powell. I’m trying to learn about our Muscogee and Seminole customs and language. Kind of difficult as I live in Mississippi and far away from our people. Looking for family that can teach me more.

      • Patty Daley says:

        My name is Patty Daley I was just reading your family history. I am 4th great granddaughter of Osceola Billy Powell. His daughter Napanee is my 3rd great grandmother. I Don’t know much just what I read. Would like to know more. Also looking for our band of ancestors and a tribal number. My e-mail is or can text me at319-931-4429. I live in Missouri.

      • Hi, I am really interested in Kathrine Frasers Parents. I keep coming up short. I am apart of the Canaday line, Sari being my direct connection. Kathrine’s great granddaughter. But I haven’t found anything that confirms who Kathrine is really. And the family history stops short at her name, listing her as a Redstick Creek, Name Kathrine Fraser. Any info you can share that can confirm Kathrine’s actual parents or parent would be really helpful!

      • Hi, I would love any information you may have on Kathrine. She is Sari’s great grandmother. Sari is my direct line. My family resource stops with her name being Kathrine Fraser, Redstick Creek. But there is no information that is connected to her as to who her parent or parents were. I’ve seen mixed things and trying to confirm has been a pain. So if you have any information that can confirms who her parent or parents are, that would be really helpful. Thanks!

  13. DAP says:

    In the book, “Shawnee Heritage IV 1700s to 1750” , it lists the mother of Queen Ann 1747 as being Stelona Fraser , niece of Katherine Fraser. Her father, James McQueen, had numerous wives, most of which were kin to 1st wife Katherine Fraser. Betty Wadford has always listed Katherine Fraser as the mother. The Shawnee connection- Tecumseh, Great Shawnee leader, had a Creek mother, was considered Creek since the Creeks went by the mother.s line.

    I have chased the Rachel Rhoden to Sanee/Sanse/Santee/Sunnie Powell (Osceola’s sister?) for 10 years but can not find a paper trail to back it up.l had given up on it when my. DNA showed an Osceola connection through my Burnside line but not through Rachel Rhoden.

    • Be very careful with that book. There is no source documentation and it’s simply wrong in some cases.

      • DAP says:

        Thank you very much. I thought I had found a great hidden source since he had 6-7 versions of their history but then I read that his sources were message boards. It made sense then that many of his family lines made no sense. Thank you for making sure I got that message. Disappointing for those of us who work hard to get it right.

  14. David Bowers says:

    The second paragraph says that, “Like his father, Billy’s maternal grandfather James McQueen was a trader.” Wouldn’t that be Billy’s maternal great-grandfather (ie, Polly’s maternal grandfather)? Or is that sentence purposely ignoring the generational increment? I’m just seeking additional clarity as I find the extent of the European heritage in these “native Americans” (particularly in the Creek tribes) to be a fascinating aspect of the social/ethnic characterizations in the recorded native American history. Of course, if Debbie Smith’s record is correct, that significantly would tilt Osceola’s ethnicity to mostly Southeastern U.S. native American lineage.

  15. Debbie Smith says:

    James McQuuen would appear to be his great grandfather:
    James McQueen to Osceola
    Source: Baker Co Historical Lib- McQueen family book, Betty Wadford (about 90
    yrs. old in 2019, living?)-3X great granddaughter of Missouri Powell Canaday, Thomas Woodward 1683-1811

    I. James McQueen 1683-1811 Scottish

    m. wife 1: Katherine Fraser (Best guess, Betty Wadford source)

    m. in 1754 WIFE 2- Stelona Fraser 1739-before 1792. not reliable

    (Katherine’s niece) Problem – mother would be 8 yrs old

    Source*- Bk- Shawnee Heritage IV 1700s to 1750s by Don
    Greene- unreliable source, based on online family trees.

    1747-1795 (“ Greene went into message boards copied what other people had written, put in a book as factual.”

    II. Ann NANCY (McQueen) Coppinger 1747-1795 1769/71-1814 FL

    M Jose Coppinger, 1730-1833- (of Coppinger clan
    OR Gov of E. FL)

    III. POLLY Ann (Coppinger) Powell 1769/71
    m 3X Oct. 15, 1771- about 1814

    SP #1 (may be):+Checartha Yargee Son Of “Big Warrior” b. 1785 (date? 16 yrs),

    Hickory Ground Town, d. After 1865, In Creek Indian Nation (Oklahoma, par.

    Big Warrior George Washington Cornells Aka Tustenuggee Thloco Cornell and

    Tuskenua Mad Dog

    SP # 2: WILLIAM Powell 1761-1830, “Little Trader” (oldest of 8 kids of James & Also Powell) m. in Seminole Co., GA (SW GA near Jackson Co., FL and Houston Co, AL) OR 1778-1852 findagrave

    Their KIDS:(3 + William’s 2):
    1. Sunnie/Sanee (Powell) Rhoden 1798- about 1855

    2. Billy “Osceola” b 1804, in Talisi, AL. m. Che-Cho Ter (Morning Dew)

    3. Sari Missouri “Miss Sari” m. John Milledge Canaday
    William’s 2 kids: 1. Maurnee (DP Note- William Powell’s child only)
    2. Hepsy Homarty ( DP Note- William Powell’s child only)

    When Polly & William split on way to FL, Maurnee and Hepsy stayed with William. 1798-ab 1855

    Sp: #3: another Creek Indian, name unkn

    • Karen Rhoden says:

      I am trying to find out who Sanee Powell Rhoden”s spouse was, as well as the notion there were two men named Yoha-Hadjo Rhoden. I am related to Rhoden’s, John’s Crews and Canaday’s.

      • Debbie Smith says:

        PARENTS OF
        RACHEL RHODEN, b. 1845-1927 m.1. FNU Dowling 2.Fleming Beasley-spouse #2 m. 1892 My LINE
        (neither was the father of Nathan Grover Rhoden B. 6 Jan 1872 Gaineyville (St. George), GA -D 18 Jul 1946 Baxter, FL My line His father-unknown/death certificate.

        *Sanee/Sunnie 1798 (Osceolas’s sister)/ Yoha Hadjo RHODEN or Yoha Hadjo only b 1795 Yoha’s Father: Levi RHODEN. SOURCE: RHODEN family book, Baker Co., Historical Lib
        OR This line below seems more accurate:
        * F: James J. Rhoden, b. 1820 GA/ SC (not 1793)– 1870 Baker Co., FL
        Parents: Jacob & Polly Rhoden
        SOURCE: James J Rhoden (
        M: Malinda “Linnie” Moore, b. Jan. 3, 1822 Ware Co., GA (not 1798)
        CORRECT if Osceola LINK is correct (Doubtful)
        1. James McQueen 1683-1811 /Katherine Fraser B 1705 AL ( most likely)
        or Selena (unreliable source) Fraser 1739
        2. CHILD: Ann Nancy Powell 1747 m Don Jose Coppinger, 1730 gov of E Fl
        3. CHILD: Polly Ann Moniac Coppinger 1769 m John William Powell, Sr.1761
        4. CHILD: Sanee 1798 (Osceola’s sister) m Yoha Hadjo Rhoden 1793
        5. CHILD: Rachel Rhoden 1840-1929 w 8 kids no known fathers
        All information seems to be true except that of Rachel Rhoden being the daughter of Sanee Powell. That story is passed on through the Canady family which may be true for the Canaday family. The connection does not seem to fit for Rachel Rhoden, b 1845,GA- apparently had 7 or 8 children without being married. She married after the birth of her last child. She is no longer listed in the James J./Malinda Rhoden family home on the census after the age of 15.

        Rachel Rhoden is a “Rhoden’ by birth (James J/Malinda, listed in census). I’m not sure why the Rhoden family history listed Yoha Hadjo’s last name as “Rhoden”-only place I have ever seen it. Rachel is in my line- I can not find a connection to Osceola. I have looked for at least 10 years. I think there may be a connection to the Canaday family. It makes sense that the Creek Indians hid out in the Okefenokee and possibly Rachel took the story from the Canaday family while working in that area. If anyone has a better possibility, add it below. Gene Barber wrote in later articles that Osceola was never in the area and that he regretfully added to the myth by printing that story as truth. I think the Creek Indians were in the swamp because no one would go after them in that swamp.

        “the Okefenokee Swamp was a refuge for Indian people, fugitives from slavery, deserters during the Civil War (1861-65), and others seeking concealment. Various traditional narratives deal with these topics, including accounts by present-day descendants of Indian people who fled to Fort Moniac on the St. Marys River during the Indian removals. In contrast to the widespread view that “there are no Indians in Georgia,” family folklore among these descendants suggests that some Indian people stayed in the Okefenokee area, hiding their heritage and intermarrying with early European American settlers.”

        Rachel had 8 illegitimate children including Nathan Rhoden, my line. I thought I would find who was father was by ordering his death certificate but his father is listed as unknown. I have read that his brother, Levi, was born two years after Nathan and was the child of a “Dowling” and many times people have connected that name to Nathan but the death certificate did not verify that.

  16. Dave Schettler says:

    My wife, Kathy Johnston Schettler, has letters from her grandmother to her father detailing how they are descended from Hilda (a Muscogee Creek Indian Doctress) who was an older mulatto/native Indian sister of Osceola’s wife (either Che-cho-ter or Pe-o-ka). Hilda’s daughter was Diana Sarah Wragg {born abt. 1815, died 1884} (a mulatto Creek Indian) from Charleston, South Carolina who was ‘married’ (although not allowed by law in S.C) to Thomas Lowndes Wragg, who was a prominent commercial trader on the wharfs of Charleston, Osceola had been captured and was taken to Charleston, S.C. where he was imprisoned at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island. It is written that residents of Charleston went to Fort Moultrie to meet and talk with Osceola, even inviting him to attend plays inside the City which was allowed. Being a matriarchal society, the Muskogee Creek would have allowed multiple wives especially in situations where it was a sister where the family needed to be taken care of. The painting by George Caitlin of Osceola showing him standing with his rifle with his two wives in the background along with a baby boy. It seems very likely that these wives could be Che-cho-ter and Hilda. Another recent discovery of a painting in a museum in England was researched and it is discovered that the painting is most likely of Osceola’s wife Pe-o-ka and her son. (see following web link:'s%20lynn/King's%20Lynn%202011.pdf ). We would love to be able to discuss further anything that other’s may know about this genealogy of Osceola and his wives. My wife, and one or our son’s have done their DNA analysis with and we are hoping to find others that are related to Osceola’s family. Please contact Kathy Johnston Schettler or myself at the following email addresses: or; phone (509)888-8335.

  17. Jake Powell says:

    Is there still a copy of the book because Osceola is one of my great grandfathers and I’m trying to do some research on it

    • Debbie Smith says:

      The best books I have found on Osceola were “Osceola’s Legacy” by Patricia Wickman, “Osceola and the Great Seminole War: A Struggle…” by Thom Hatch and,“Reminisces Series”. by Thomas S. Woodward, Indian agent. ( haven’t read last one but have seen quotes from it ).

  18. Bryan Lowe says:

    Does anyone have any information on the exact day Osceola was born in 1804? I am trying to figure out how old he was when he passed on.

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