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Sequoyah Research Center

Halpatter Tustenuggee “Alligator”

Halpatter Tustenuggee (Alligator), born about 1795, was about five feet tall but well proportioned. According to John K. Mahon, “He was a natural comedian, evoking a laugh even in solemn councils. Yet in dealing with white men he acted as if born to the purple. His manners, in all respects, were as fine as theirs. Behind his open face and Roman nose was a stock of shrewdness, craft, and intelligence second to none.” Alligator, with about 120 warriors, fought against the U. S. Army under Zachary Taylor at Lake Okeechobee on December 25, 1837, where 26 whites were killed and 112 wounded, and 11 Seminoles were killed and 14 wounded.

Source: John K. Mahon, History of the Second Seminole War, 1835-1842 (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1967), 127, 227.

Updated 4.19.2010