Billy Bowlegs Biography

Billy Bowlegs

Holata Micco
Seminole leader
Born: c. 1810
Birthplace: Florida

Holata Micco, commonly called Billy Bowlegs, and known as the “Alligator chief,” was a Seminole leader who fought in the Second (1835–1842) and Third Seminole wars (1855–1858) against the U.S. government. As more and more settlers moved to Florida, the U.S. was determined to move the Seminoles to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). The three wars resulted in 3,000 Seminoles removed from Florida and more than 1,500 dead. It was a costly, $20-million war for the U.S., which met fierce resistance.

After the Second Seminole war, Bowlegs refused to move to Indian Territory and was given a small parcel of land in the Everglades. When whites then encroached upon this remaining land, Bowlegs initiated the Third and final Seminole war, in 1855. It was the last Indian war fought east of the Mississippi. After several years of attacks by the U.S. Army, Bowlegs and his remaining band of 40 warriors resigned themselves to removal to Indian Territory in 1858. There he eventually died of small pox.

Died: 1859?