Just over a hundred years ago, the state of Florida created Dade Memorial Park to commemorate 108 US soldiers killed by Seminole Indians in 1835, an engagement at the time labeled “Dade’s Massacre.” Whereas the event itself briefly gained much attention throughout the United States and triggered the Second Seminole War (1835–42), the site’s creation and interpretations tell us much about the factors that shaped historical memorialization in public spaces in Florida and the Deep South. Specifically, this article examines the role of settler colonialism theory and Native American perspectives in the setting’s evolution into today’s Dade Battlefield Historic State Park.
Remembering the “Dade Massacre”: Regional Memory, Settler Colonialism, and Native American Perspectives
Daniel S. Murphree is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Central Florida who specializes in early American history with an emphasis on Native peoples living in what was once known as La Florida. His scholarship has appeared in multiple journals as well as the monograph Constructing Floridians: Natives and Europeans in the Colonial Floridas, 1513–1783 (University Press of Florida, 2006/2017) which received the Florida Book Awards "Silver Medal"—Nonfiction Category and Florida Historical Society's "Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Award." He also edited the three-volume work titled Native America: A State-by-State Historical Encyclopedia (Greenwood Press, 2012).
Daniel S. Murphree; Remembering the “Dade Massacre”: Regional Memory, Settler Colonialism, and Native American Perspectives. The Public Historian 1 May 2023; 45 (2): 108–133. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2023.45.2.108
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