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AnArchivist, Sean Linezo.



on exhibit at PENSACOLA MUSEUM of Art Sep 6 - Dec 5, 2020.

Osceola is an iconic figure in Florida History as a Seminole War leader who represents the spirit of resistance to the Indian Removal Act of Andrew Jackson. These 3 reproductions were made from a mold of his death mask and each illustrate a different version of the same event, the death of Osceola - from popular history, academic history and tribal history.

All three of these versions agree that Osceola was born of mixed-race and during times of war grew to be a charismatic and influential leader. He also refused to sign treaties and was eventually captured by the US government while under a flag of truce and died in prison at Fort Moultrie. From there the popular history keeps things simple by saying he died of starvation and a broken heart. The official archives and academic history continue with details that after his death, his attending physician made a death mask and then cut-off and kept the head of Osceola. The tribal history, which is omitted from Academic history and the official Archives, goes on to explain that for generations the oral tradition has always said Osceola was "shot in the head and the heart" during negotiations after continuing to refuse to sign a treaty  and agree to move his people from their ancestral lands.