Members of the Seminole Tribe boarded a boat at Johns Pass in Madeira Beach on Sunday for a journey to retrace a portion of the path their ancestors took during the Third Seminole War of the mid-1800s.
Seminoles captured during the war were taken to holding pens on Egmont Key before being loaded onto boats bound for reservations.
Their ancestors have called the trip a “Trail of Tears,” a name used by the Cherokee tribe to describe their own relocation.
The Seminoles will travel to the Panhandle village of St. Marks, south of Tallahassee, where buses will take them to the state capital for a twofold presentation to state leaders — one about their history and one about the disintegration of Egmont Key, where some of their ancestors who didn’t survive their stay are buried. The Seminoles hope to see their graves preserved and their heritage restored on the island, which is eroding into the sea.