St. Mark's National Wildlife Refuge is Muscogee Land

St. Mark's National Wildlife Refuge

{St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge originally posted by usinterior} On the coast of the Florida panhandle, what is now St. Mark’s National Wildlife refuge was once part of the short lived State of Muskogee. From 1799-1803, this nation declared independence from the Spanish Empire and passed various resolutions including demanding the return of all stolen Muscogee (Creek) land and the death of the U.S. Indian Agent to the Creek Nation, Benjamin Hawkins (Note: It seems like other Muscogee supported Hawkins - part of a split that led to the Creek civil war a decade later). While the Spanish eventually defeated and reclaimed the State of Muskogee, it was an important experiment in what indigenous sovereignty might look like in a colonial world. 

Today the Muskogee Nation of Florida, who resisted removal during the Indian Removal Act, are still fighting for Federal Recognition. Throughout much of the 19th century, it was illegal to identify as Indian in Florida, making it difficult to prove continual existence as a tribe. However, the state recognized them in 1986 and there is currently a recognition bill being considered in Congress, so possibly after over 200 years there will once again be a sovereign Muscogee Nation in northwest Florida. #publiclandisnativeland