Page Turn Episode 028

Hello and welcome to Episode Twenty Eight of Page Turn: the Largo Public Library Podcast. I’m your host, Hannah!

If you enjoy the podcast subscribe, tell a friend, or write us a review!

The Spanish Language Book Review begins at 15:47 and ends 20:08 at
The English Language Transcript can be found below

But as always we start with Reader’s Advisory!

The Reader’s Advisory for Episode Twenty Eight is Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. If you like Red, White & Royal Blue you should also check out: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory, Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, and Boyfriend Material by Alexia Hall.

My personal favorite Goodreads list Red, White & Royal Blue is on is Books That Make You Vomit With Joy!.

Today’s Library Tidbit is about the history of the Native American population of the greater Tampa Bay Area.

The first people to live in the area were Paleoamerican peoples. We don’t know much about them as we do later people groups as many of the artifacts that they would have left behind have either decayed with age, or are underwater. The Florida coast line being much different then than now. Much of what we know about the Paleoamerican people in Florida come from archaeologists doing underwater excavating in springs. The first people arrived in Florida during the time of the Pleistocene megafauna, think mammoths, giant tortoises, and bison antiquus. Paleoamericans used stone tools, including spear points, blades, scrapers, gouges, and more. Archaeologists have also discovered ivory, antler, shell, and wood tools, including eyed needles, pins, mortars and a throwing stick or boomerang. The closest site to Pinellas County that has been discovered and excavated is the Harney Flats site in Hillsborough County.

The next distinct culture that we have archaeological records for is the Manasota culture. The Manasota are named for the modern names given to the area that they mostly lived in, Manatee and Sarasota. It’s important to keep in mind that most names for prehistoric peoples are names given to them by modern people, probably white people who have no familial connection to them. The most famous archaeological site for the Manasota in Pinellas County, at what is now the St Pete-Clearwater airport, is now named Yat Kitischee a Muskogee name that means “red people”. Muscogee is one of two officials languages of the Seminole Tribe. The original site was Moog Midden after the electronics plant that was nearby.

The Manasota culture was fully adapted to coastal life. Archaeological sites have been found along estuaries and near bays for easy access to fish and shellfish, as well as along rivers for access to plants and land animals. There is evidence that they hunted and fished with spears and harpoons with bone and stone points. They may also have used bow and arrow for fishing and hunting as well, though there is less archaeological evidence to suggest that.

Most of what we know about the Manasota culture revolves around their burial rites. Older Manasota burial plots are found near settlements and do not hold any grave goods or evidence of preferential treatment for the dead. This suggests a more egalitarian culture, however, we do not know this for certain. As time passed the Manasota adopted the mortuary practices of surrounding cultures, which included some ceremonial or religious burial practices. Around 200 ad there is evidence that the Manasota adopted the religious practices of Weedon Island. First the Manasota adopted the practice of burial mounds for their dead, but later they also adopted the practice of burying their dead with grave goods.

We do not have evidence for what happened to the Manasota culture, but it is believed that they were assimilated into the Safety Harbor culture which appeared around 900 ad. The Safety Harbor culture is named from an archaeological site in Safety Harbor, which is in turn named for being a safe harbor from pirates in the 18th Century.

Unlike the Manasota, which were believed to be more or less egalitarian the Safety Harbor culture was very stratified. Evidence shows that they had a noble/ruling class, a warrior class, a peasant class and also slaves. The culture was a chiefdom culture which would have a principal town with a temple mound and a central plaza. There have been 15 chiefdom discovered ranging from southern Pasco to northern Sarasota and from east to west covers the entire Tampa Bay Area. Most chiefdom were along the coast and only one has been found inland so far. The chiefdom for Tocobaga is located in Philippe Park in Safety Harbor and you can visit the site. What remains are a large temple mound, a smaller burial mound, and two shell middens. Records indicate the Tocobaga was a major power in the Safety Harbor culture and the entire culture is often referred to using just this chiefdom. The Safety Harbor people did not survive contact with the Spanish and the diseases that they brought with them.

There is a gap of about a hundred years between Native American cultures as Native Americans fought against the destruction brought upon them by white colonizers. The dominate culture in Florida that emerged were named the Seminoles. This name is derived from the Muscogee word simanó-li which may or may not have come from the Spanish word cimarrón, both of which can be translated as runaway or wild one. The Seminole tribe is largely derived from the Muscogee tribe.

The Muscogee were originally from southern Tennessee, Alabama, western Georgia, and northern Florida, however, when the British invaded their lands the Muscogee were forced to flee the violence south and farther into Florida. The Spanish colonizers who controlled Florida at that time may have invited them in the hopes that they would side with the Spanish against the English. This tenuous relationship with the Spanish lasted through the American Revolutionary War. In a truly baffling bit of history the Treaty of Paris transferred the control of Florida from Spain to Great Britain in 1763. Then the Peace of Paris treaty transferred the control of Florida back to Spain. In those 20 years Florida has been turned into two separate territories, West Florida and East Florida, but that’s not really important to today.

I bring up this interesting bit of history to note that then US General Andrew Jackson made the decision to invade Spanish territory to wage the First Seminole War. As the US was also at war with Britain at the time and in a weird twist the British recruited Native Americans in Spanish occupied territory to fight against the US. Weird in that Great Britain was also waging a war against Spain at the time so stretching themselves to potentially help the Spanish was a choice.

Throughout it’s entire existence the Seminole tribe welcomed in Black individuals who had escaped slavery or freemen who found more community with Native Americans than with the Spanish. The existence of the Black Seminoles and communities of free black people in Florida was a large component of why the Seminole Wars happened. That and the desire to conqueror and colonize more land by the US. The leaders of the US were concerned that having large communities of free black people living so close to their borders would encourage the enslaved population to revolt or runaway.

I don’t have the time to go into the full history, or even a bit of the history of the Seminole Wars, but I will highlight the major events around the Tampa Bay Area. After the end of the First Seminole War, Andrew Jackson decided to attack Angola, a prosperous community of escaped slaves that existed for years near what is now called Bradenton. As far as anyone call simply for existing. Most of the free people who lived there were enslaved, others escaped to the Bahamas where they continued to practice Seminole traditions.

The Second Seminole War started because the United States Government, spear headed by then President Andrew Jackson, decided to force relocate the Seminole Tribe to Oklahoma. Naturally the Seminoles resisted this demand. On December 23rd, 1835 Major Francis Langhorne Dade was taking a two companies of American soldiers from what is now Tampa to what is now Ocala. On the way, Seminoles attack them, killing all but 3 of the soldiers. While skirmishes had not ever really ended between the First and Second Seminole Wars, this is the event that is credited for officially starting the Second Seminole War.

By the Third Seminole War the Seminole population had been pushed farther and farther south. Or they had been forced to relocate to Oklahoma, creating two different Seminole tribes. The Third Seminole War was more a series of skirmishes than any formal battles. As the Seminoles were excellent at guerrilla warfare, hitting the US troops and then disappearing into the Florida landscape where the US soldiers were unable to follow, the US decided that the way to win the war was to destroy the Seminoles food supplies. Facing starvation the majority of the remaining Seminoles agreed to leave Florida for Oklahoma. However, a population fled into the swamps and the descendants of the Seminoles who refused to leave their land make up the current Seminole tribe.

This is an incredibly short history of Native American life in the Tampa Bay Area. There is a lot more to the history and the people who once lived here. We have several books on the Seminole tribe. Check upstairs under the call number 970.3 and for information on Black Seminoles check under 973.04.

And now it’s time for Book Traveler, with Victor:
Intro: Welcome to a new edition of Book Traveler. My name is Victor and I am a librarian at the Largo Public Library. Today I’m going to talk to you about a book we have in the Spanish collection titled Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston.

Synopsis: When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius―his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

Opinion: The book was recommended by a librarian and despite not having heard of it before, I had to read it after seeing so many positive reviews. I read the English version first, and as soon as the Spanish translation came out I had to read it at once. In my opinion the book is very cute where, despite some difficulties, everything is very idealistic. It is an alternate world where many of us would like to live. It all starts with the rivalry of Alex, the son of the first woman president of the United States, and Henry, the Prince of England. This rivalry develops until it becomes something else.

Red, White & Royal Blue brings us to Washington, DC. Alex Claremont-Díaz is the presidential First Son, and along with his sister June and his best friend, and ex-girlfriend, Nora, they form the Golden Trio of the White House. Among their social obligations is to form international ties. That is why Alex goes to a Royal Wedding in England and has an altercation with Henry. They form such a grand scene that photographs of the altercation between Alex and His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales go around the world, threatening American / British relations. The group that manages the president’s public relations tells her that they have to fix the problem and now they must pretend to be best friends and calm the waters. While the detractors of the President want to ruin her reelection and Alex’s political aspirations are jeopardized, what they don’t need is trouble with the Prince, so both men accept. When they start pretending to be friends, they start seeing each other more often, they go to lunches, social gatherings, special events until little by little something more than a rivalry grows between them. Both will be surprised to discover in the other a deeper person than what they originally thought. Alex and Henry find themselves in the middle of a secret relationship that could bring down both nations.

Something I didn’t like about the translation was the use of some romantic words that are not normal among people in their twenties. Although it may also depend on the person who did the translation since Spanish has many different dialects.

I am not going to talk about the plot any more so as not to spoil the fun but it is a highly recommended book.

Outro: It is all for today. Until the next edition of Book Traveler. Bye.

Stay safe everyone out there! Check out our virtual programming here and also don’t forget to sign up for our Read Woke Initiative on Beanstack!

For everyone interested our intro music is by Break the Bans and the outro music is by Jahzzar, both artists can be found on Free Music Archive.