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Video: Forgotten Coasts . . . the Return to Wild Florida

Video:  Forgotten Coasts . . . the Return to Wild Florida


You will thoroughly enjoy this beautiful PBS-BBC film that takes viewers to the Florida that the Seminoles saw in the 1700’s, when they first entered the Sunshine State.  It is slightly less than 1 hour long.


PS:  I was born IN the Okefenokee Swamp in Southeast Georgia.  From those experiences, I would not dream of dancing through black water, wearing shorts and rubber sandals like these three adventurers did.   I had my first encounter with a Cottonmouth at age six.  It dropped into my flat bottom canoe.  I had to kill it with a butcher knife. 

Once, you are in a situation where a Cottonmouth Moccasin or a Diamondback Rattler is in striking distance of your leg . . . you do not have such a caviler attitude.  And then there are the leeches, unseen sharp limbs in the water and poisonous frogs.   Oh did I mention the Coral Snakes?  They are in South Georgia and Florida, too.   If they bite you in the right spot, you will be dead in seven minutes.

Then again . . . the Seminoles went into these waters regularly, wearing just moccasins or sandals.

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    The thought of raising children in downtown gator city tends to alarm me, even though native people resided in gator country for thousands of years.


    Growing up part- time in Fargo, Daddy took me out into the deep swamps beginning when I was four, continuing to age five. Daddy gave me a Buck knife, after many training sessions, with which I was taught by doing, to cut, suck, spit, except cottonmouth. If bitten by cottonmouth, I should sit down and sing as that would make death less painful.
    Question occurring many years later: would the cutting, sucking, spitting have saved a life? As older teenager, old swampers taught me about some vines, leaves, mud “that would be better”.

    Thanks, Richard

    • I don’t know. Doctors now say to not use a snake bite kit and instead get as fast as possible to a hospital, where you will be charged $225,000 for their services and anti-venom. What if you are a long way from your car when bitten? I keep a snake bite kit with me always in the woods.

      If you recall my earlier article on the subject. One company, based in Australia has a monopoly on anti-venom in the United States. The same anti-venom by the same company costs only 5% as much in Mexico and Canada, what hospitals charge here.


        Thanks, Richard. Never have I found anyone who knew of success/failure of described method, but hoped you might know.
        Yes, I read all your articles. The stated anti-venom changes are repulsive/disgusting.

        Thank you.



    Really enjoyed the video. Mother Nature trying to survive what mankind has about destroyed in many places. Films like these need to be shone more so the general public may understand eco-systems and the important role they play in the world all around us. Everyday I see “Progress” creeping into the rural areas, which is fed by greed in one way or the other. They had a fight over an approximately 300 year old tree for progress, some fought with the city to keep it, while the developer fought that he had right to cut it down. City said his property so very next morning at first light down came the tree to the horror of everyone driving by. This was a Huge tree now chopped to pieces. In the end developer didn’t get his apartment complex, sold out to others and now Walgreens and commercial spaces. If people don’t say enough already ,try to reverse some of the damage done then what do we leave for the future? A Memory of the way it was. Let’s Hope not. I want my children and the future generations to Understand just How Important Mother Nature Is and try to protect it for those to come.


    Will current & past articles appear in a book. I am getting out of room in my computer!
    And, do other people show no native American DNA; when we know and have pics and memories
    of native family members!
    I have tried 2 different companies, and been frustrated with the results.

    • Sharon, all the articles remain on the website. AccessGenealogy keeps the older articles on their website.

      I am told by Ric Edwards that it is very possible to have a lot of Native American heritage and yet show none in a DNA test. All you need is for one generation not to pass the Native American DNA to the next and it is lost permanently.

      Don’t know if I will ever write another book. Book sales in the United States have experienced a catastrophic drop. People are spending their time text messaging!


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