During the first half of the nineteenth century in the U.S., African Americans and Native Americans in some places began bonding together because of their shared enemy, the white man. Slaves in the southernmost states fled south to Florida rather than attempt a longer escape to the north, knowing that the Florida wilderness provided a better opportunity to avoid capture and return to their owners. Some came to live with Native Americans in their villages and helped make a living there. In the course of these relationships, a sizeable number were relocated with the Five Civilized Tribes to what now is Oklahoma. By the start of the Civil War, more than 4,000 former slaves lived there. Therefore, don’t overlook checking records relating to Native Americans to locate African American ancestors.
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