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Beads, beads, and more beads!

Flasks

Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2020
79
18
HISTORIC INDIAN TRADE BEADS
A small cache of colored glass beads were found near present day Ft. Myers, Fl. in an area where a trading post was once located during the Seminole Indian Wars of 1835 thru 1838.
A detachment of about 30 Dragoons under the command of Lt. Col. William S. Harney were manning the fort when attacked by Seminole War chiefs- Alpatter, Micco, and Billy bowlegs along with about 100 warriors. This event became known as the Harney Massacre. Only 5 occupants of the trading post survived by fleeing the carnage and escaping into the dense underbrush and the woods. The Indians looted all the supplies but overlooked a square wooden box of trade beads. The structure was then set on fire and burnt to the ground.
In approximately 1992, construction was underway digging footer for a new home and construction workers noticed the various colors in the soil and the word got out that “old beads” were discovered. A local amateur archaeologist heard of this find and immediately set out and made an agreement with the property owner for “digging rights” and was allowed to excavate the site hoping to find assorted and valuable items but the sifting screen revealed nothing but beads. These beads are part of this recovery effort. These glass beads were carefully washed, the dirt removed from the holes, and sorted into similar shapes, types, and sizes and then strung with different patterns for necklaces. The photo attached shows the beads as they were scooped from the sifting screen.
The total amounted to about 50 lbs and filled a 5 gallon water jug. I've given a lot of my share away, made several bead items and still have about ½ quart left. The picture shows the beads as they were removed from the sifter. Occasionally you will find these beads on ebay and listed as “Harney massacre beads”
 

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yacorie

Well-Known Member
Dec 10, 2018
239
28
CT
Awesome story and beads. You’ve shared so many stories that I’m going to suggest most of us would be happy to be even to tell one of.

keep the posts and pictures coming
 

Flasks

Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2020
79
18
Awesome story and beads. You’ve shared so many stories that I’m going to suggest most of us would be happy to be even to tell one of.

keep the posts and pictures coming
I thought you might enjoy seeing what I did with some of these beads. Each bead had to be washed and the center dirt pushed out of the hole with a fine needle. I then selected a pattern for a necklace. I then made the arrowhead pendant out of old genuine ivory piano keys representing a broken off front part of an early Indian arrow. The wooden shaft is secured to the arrowhead with artificial sinew. Many of my beads were made into long bands for hat's, clothing, check book covers, and knife scabbards. I still have thousands of these beads and I don't advertise them for sale as I never know what idea I'll come up next.
 

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