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John Frippo Brown was a Confederate States Army officer and the last principal chief of the Seminole Nation before Oklahoma statehood.

Early life[]

Born October 23, 1842, near Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, Brown was the eldest child of Dr. John F. Brown, Sr., a physician, and Lucy Redbeard, of the Seminole Tiger Clan. His sister, Alice Brown Davis, was the Seminoles' first woman chief.[1] Brown had five other siblings including Andrew J. Brown.[1][2]

Brown served in the Confederate Army as an officer under Seminole chief John Jumper. He represented the Seminole Nation in postwar negotiations and signed the Reconstruction Treaty of 1866.[1]

In 1867, Brown's parents died in a cholera epidemic and his sister, Alice, moved to Wewoka to live with him.[2]

Chief of the Seminole Nation[]

After the Seminole Nation agreed to the Reconstruction Treaty of 1866, there was a period of friction due to the U.S. government's recognition of Big John Chupco as the Chief of the Seminoles, although the majority of the tribe followed the leadership of John Jumper. The tribe soon elected its own chief and chose Jumper who resigned soon afterward. Brown, who was his son-in-law, was then elected chief.[3]

Brown served as "governor" of the tribe from 1885 to 1901, when Hulputta Micco defeated him. Following Micco's death in 1905, he was re-elected and served until tribal government was abolished in 1906.[1]

Brown negotiated the Seminole agreement with the Dawes Commission in 1897 and served as a delegate to the Sequoyah Constitutional Convention in 1905.[1]

As chief of the tribe, Brown traveled to Washington, D.C., frequently to meet with national leaders. During that time he befriended U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.[4]

Personal life[]

Brown owned a ranch southeast of Wewoka and, along with brother Andrew J., ran the Wewoka Trading Company. He also gave sermons at the Spring Baptist Church from 1894 until his death. He had at least twelve known children with his first wife, Lizzie Jumper. He married twice more.[1]


John F. Brown died at Sasakwa on October 21, 1919.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 May, Jon D. "Brown, John Frippo." Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Accessed 25 Sept 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bates, Rechenda Davis. "Davis, Alice Brown." Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture. Accessed 25 Sept 2009.
  3. "Seminole History." The Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes. Accessed 25 Sept 2009.
  4. "Home of John F. Brown." Oklahoma Federation of Labor Collection, M452, Box 5, Folder 2. Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma. Retrieved 25 Sept 2009.