Thursday, February 10, 2011
Black (Indian) History Month "Caesar BRUNER"
The Bruner’s were a successful and wealthy livestock owning family within the Seminole Nation. One of Caesar’s relatives, Ben Bruner became the leader of the Jim Lane band of the Seminole tribe following the Civil War which later became known as the Bruner Band and subsequently Caesar Bruner became the band leader as he came to be the most known and respected of the Seminole leaders. To this day the Caesar Bruner Band exists in the Seminole Nation.
Caesar Bruner was among the many Seminole’s who were considered Loyalist and some enlisted in the Union Army. The Loyal Seminoles presented claims to the United States following the war for lost property and this is one of the reasons the Bruner’s maintained their wealth following the Civil War.
During the Civil War Freedmen in the Seminole Nation became an integral part of the nation and held positions as blacksmiths, religious leaders, interpreters, store owners, guides, politicians and many other important positions of responsibilities as citizens in their nation. Caesar Bruner was no exception. He was a store clerk, interpreter and religious leader. He also attended council meetings as a leading man within his nation.
The Caesar Bruner Band as were all freedmen within the Seminole Nation, were given “equal rights” in the nation following the War of Rebellion through Reconstruction and up to Oklahoma statehood. As a political entity within the Seminole Nation the Caesar Bruner Band and the Dosar Barkus Band maintained their role in representing their freedmen constituency within the Seminole Nation.
One of the critical decisions Caesar Bruner had to make during Reconstruction was the relocation of the people who lived in the Bruner Town settlement near Salt Creek to establish it at Turkey Creek. As stated earlier the Bruner’s engaged in raising livestock and the encroachment of nearby cattle rustler’s was the main cause of the relocation.
Around 1879 when Caesar Bruner moved his band to Turkey Creek he also assumed leadership of the Jim Lane Band and the band began to bear his name. As statehood approached in 1906, Caesar’s son Ucum Bruner replaced him as leader but the band retained the name and to this day it remains the Caesar Bruner Band of Seminole Indians.
Source: The Seminole Freedmen by Kevin Mulroy