Osceola, detail of a lithograph by George Catlin, 1838—Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
(born c. 1804, Georgia, U.S.died Jan. 30, 1838, Charleston, S.C.) Seminole Indian leader during the Second Seminole War. The war began in 1835 when the U.S. government attempted to force the Seminole off their traditional lands in Florida and into the Indian territory west of the Mississippi River. Osceola and his followers employed guerrilla tactics and forced a truce. During negotiations he was arrested and removed to a military fort at Charleston, S.C., where he died.