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John Horse, also known as Juan Caballo, Juan Cavallo, John Cowaya or “Gopher John,” was a black Seminole warrior and military advisor to Osceola. His aliases were the products of different slave owners in Spanish Florida. Born of African and Indian descent, Gopher John was said to be the most successful black freedom fighter of his time. He led his people during the slave uprising of 1850 and led a massive pilgrimage from Florida to Mexico.

The muscular, six-foot tall soldier was an expert marksman and said to be one of the coolest and confident men in the land. He wore long, straight hair under his turban with plumes, a hunting shirt that gathered at the waist with a sash and silver clips on his lapels. His leggings were decorated with ribbons.

Little Known Black History Fact: Gopher John, Seminole Warrior  was originally published on

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