|Regions with significant populations|
|Traditional tribal religion, Christianity (Protestantism)|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Choctaw, Muscogee Creek, and Seminole peoples|
The Chickasaw ( // CHIK-ə-saw) are an indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands. Their traditional territory was in the Southeastern United States of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Their language is classified as a member of the Muskogean language family and in the present day, they are organized as the federally recognized Chickasaw Nation.
The Southeastern United States is broadly, the eastern portion of the Southern United States, and the southern portion of the Eastern United States. It comprises at least a core of states on the lower East Coast of the United States and eastern Gulf Coast. Expansively, it includes everything south of the Mason–Dixon line, the Ohio River and the 36°30' parallel, and as far west as Arkansas and Louisiana. There is no official U.S. government definition of the region, though various agencies and departments use different definitions.
Mississippi is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Mississippi is the 32nd largest and 34th-most populous of the 50 United States. Mississippi is bordered to the north by Tennessee, to the east by Alabama, to the south by the Gulf of Mexico, to the southwest by Louisiana, and to the northwest by Arkansas. Mississippi's western boundary is largely defined by the Mississippi River. Jackson is both the state's capital and largest city. Greater Jackson, with an estimated population of 580,166 in 2018, is the most populous metropolitan area in Mississippi and the 95th-most populous in the United States.
Sometime prior to the first European contact, the Chickasaw migrated from western regions and moved east of the Mississippi River, where they settled mostly in present-day northeast Mississippi and into Lawrence County, Tennessee.That is where they encountered European explorers and traders, having relationships with French, English and Spanish during the colonial years. The United States considered the Chickasaw one of the Five Civilized Tribes, as they adopted numerous practices of European Americans. Resisting European-American settlers encroaching on their territory, they were forced by the US to sell their country in the 1832 Treaty of Pontotoc Creek and move to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) during the era of Indian Removal in the 1830s.
The European colonization of the Americas describes the history of the settlement and establishment of control of the continents of the Americas by most of the naval powers of Western Europe.
The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows generally south for 2,320 miles (3,730 km) to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is entirely within the United States; the total drainage basin is 1,151,000 sq mi (2,980,000 km2), of which only about one percent is in Canada. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth-longest and fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
Lawrence County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 41,869. Its county seat and largest city is Lawrenceburg.
Most Chickasaw now live in Oklahoma.The Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma is the 13th largest federally recognized tribe in the United States. Its members are related to the Choctaw and share a common history with them. The Chickasaw are divided in two groups (moieties): the Impsaktea and the Intcutwalipa. They traditionally followed a system of matrilineal descent, in which children were considered to be part of the mother's clan, whence they gained their status. Some property was controlled by women, and hereditary leadership in the tribe passed through the maternal line.
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally occupying what is now the Southeastern United States. Their Choctaw language belongs to the Muskogean language family group. Hopewell and Mississippian cultures, who lived throughout the east of the Mississippi River valley and its tributaries. About 1,700 years ago, the Hopewell people built Nanih Waiya, a great earthwork mound located in what is central present-day Mississippi. It is still considered sacred by the Choctaw. The early Spanish explorers of the mid-16th century in the Southeast encountered Mississippian-culture villages and chiefs. The anthropologist John Reed Swanton suggested that the Choctaw derived their name from an early leader. Henry Halbert, a historian, suggests that their name is derived from the Choctaw phrase Hacha hatak.
Matrilineality is the tracing of kinship through the female line. It may also correlate with a social system in which each person is identified with their matriline – their mother's lineage – and which can involve the inheritance of property and/or titles. A matriline is a line of descent from a female ancestor to a descendant in which the individuals in all intervening generations are mothers – in other words, a "mother line". In a matrilineal descent system, an individual is considered to belong to the same descent group as their mother. This matrilineal descent pattern is in contrast to the more common pattern of patrilineal descent from which a family name is usually derived. The matriline of historical nobility was also called their enatic or uterine ancestry, corresponding to the patrilineal or "agnatic" ancestry.
The name Chickasaw, as noted by anthropologist John Swanton, belonged to a Chickasaw leader. [tʃikaʃːa] ), meaning "rebel" or "comes from Chicsa". A documented prior source was when the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto named them as "Chicaza" when De Soto's expedition came into contact with them in 1540 as the first Europeans that explored the North American south east.Chickasaw is the English spelling of Chikashsha (Muskogee pronunciation:
Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who was involved in expeditions in Nicaragua and the Yucatan Peninsula, and played an important role in Pizarro's conquest of the Inca Empire in Peru, but is best known for leading the first Spanish and European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States. He is the first European documented as having crossed the Mississippi River.
The origin of the Chickasaw is uncertain. Twentieth-century scholars, such as the archaeologist Patricia Galloway, theorize that the Chickasaw and Choctaw split into as distinct peoples in the 17th century from the remains of Plaquemine culture and other groups whose ancestors had lived in the Lower Mississippi Valley for thousands of years.When Europeans first encountered them, the Chickasaw were living in villages in what is now Northeastern Mississippi.
The Plaquemine culture was an archaeological culture centered on the Lower Mississippi River valley. It had a deep history in the area stretching back through the earlier Coles Creek and Troyville cultures to the Marksville culture. The Natchez and related Taensa peoples were their historic period descendants. The type site for the culture is the Medora Site in Louisiana; while other examples include the Anna, Emerald, Holly Bluff, and Winterville sites in Mississippi.
The Chickasaw migrated into Mississippi.Their oral history says they and the Choctaw, once one people, migrated from west of the Mississippi River into present-day Mississippi in prehistoric times; the Chickasaw and Choctaw split along the way. The Mississippian Ideological Interaction Sphere spanned the Eastern Woodlands. The Mississippian cultures emerged from previous moundbuilding societies by 880 CE. They built complex, dense villages supporting a stratified society, with centers throughout the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys and their tributaries.
Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interviews. These interviews are conducted with people who participated in or observed past events and whose memories and perceptions of these are to be preserved as an aural record for future generations. Oral history strives to obtain information from different perspectives and most of these cannot be found in written sources. Oral history also refers to information gathered in this manner and to a written work based on such data, often preserved in archives and large libraries. Knowledge presented by Oral History (OH) is unique in that it shares the tacit perspective, thoughts, opinions and understanding of the interviewee in its primary form.
In the 15th century, proto-Chickasaw people left the Tombigbee Valley after the collapse of the Moundville chiefdom and settled into the upper Yazoo and Pearl River valleys in Mississippi. Historian Arrell Gibson and anthropologist John R. Swanton believed the Chickasaw Old Fields were in Madison County, Alabama.
These people (the Choctaw) are the only nation from whom I could learn any idea of a traditional account of a first origin; and that is their coming out of a hole in the ground, which they shew between their nation and the Chickasaws; they tell us also that their neighbours were surprised at seeing a people rise at once out of the earth.— Bernard Romans, Natural History of East and West Florida
Another version of the Chickasaw creation story is that they arose at Nanih Waiya, a great earthwork mound built about 300 CE by Woodland peoples. It is also sacred to the Choctaw, who have a similar story about it. The mound was built about 1400 years before the coalescence of each of these peoples as ethnic groups.
The first European contact with the Chickasaw ancestors was in 1540 when the Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto encountered them and stayed in one of their towns, most likely near present-day Tupelo, Mississippi. After various disagreements, the American Indians attacked the De Soto expedition in a nighttime raid, nearly destroying it. The Spanish moved on quickly.
The Chickasaw began to trade with the British after the colony of Carolina was founded in 1670.With British-supplied guns, the Chickasaw raided their neighbors and enemies the Choctaw, capturing some members and selling them into Indian slavery to the British. When the Choctaw acquired guns from the French, power between the tribes became more equalized and the slave raids stopped.
Allied with the British, the Chickasaw were often at war with the French and the Choctaw in the 18th century, such as in the Battle of Ackia on May 26, 1736. Skirmishes continued until France ceded its claims to the region east of the Mississippi River after being defeated by the British in the Seven Years' War (called the French and Indian War in North America).
Following the American Revolutionary War, in 1793-94, Chickasaw fought as allies of the new United States under General Anthony Wayne against the Indians of the old Northwest Territory. The Shawnee and other, allied Northwest Indians were defeated in the Battle of Fallen Timbers on August 20, 1794.
The 19th-century historian Horatio Cushman wrote, "Neither the Choctaws nor Chicksaws ever engaged in war against the American people, but always stood as their faithful allies." Cushman believed the Chickasaw, along with the Choctaw, may have had origins in present-day Mexico and migrated north.That theory does not have consensus; archeological research, as noted above, has revealed the peoples had long histories in the Mississippi area and independently developed complex cultures.
In 1797, a general appraisal of the tribe and its territorial bounds was made by Abraham Bishop of New Haven, who wrote:
The Chickasaws are a nation of Indians who inhabit the country on the east side of the Mississippi, on the head branches of the Tombeckbe (sic), Mobille and Yazoo rivers. Their country is an extensive plain, tolerably well watered from springs, and a pretty good soil. They have seven towns, and their number of fighting men is estimated at 575.
George Washington (first U.S. President) and Henry Knox (first U.S. Secretary of War) proposed the cultural transformation of Native Americans.Washington believed that Native Americans were equals, but that their society was inferior. He formulated a policy to encourage the "civilizing" process, and Thomas Jefferson continued it. The historian Robert Remini wrote, "They presumed that once the Indians adopted the practice of private property, built homes, farmed, educated their children, and embraced Christianity, these Native Americans would win acceptance from white Americans." Washington's six-point plan included impartial justice toward Indians; regulated buying of Indian lands; promotion of commerce; promotion of experiments to civilize or improve Indian society; presidential authority to give presents; and punishing those who violated Indian rights. The government appointed Indian agents, such as Benjamin Hawkins, who became Superintendent of Indian Affairs for all the territory south of the Ohio River. He and other agents lived among the Indians to teach them, through example and instruction, how to live like whites. Hawkins married a Muscogee Creek woman and lived with her people for decades. In the 19th century, the Chickasaw increasingly adopted European-American practices, as they established schools, adopted yeoman farming practices, converted to Christianity, and built homes in styles like their European-American neighbors.
The Chickasaw signed the Treaty of Hopewell in 1786. Article 11 of that treaty states: "The hatchet shall be forever buried, and the peace given by the United States of America, and friendship re-established between the said States on the one part, and the Chickasaw nation on the other part, shall be universal, and the contracting parties shall use their utmost endeavors to maintain the peace given as aforesaid, and friendship re-established." Benjamin Hawkins attended this signing.
In 1818, leaders of the Chickasaw signed a treaty ceding all claims to land north of the southern border of Tennessee.The Chickasaw were allowed to retain a four-square-mile reservation, but were required to lease the land to European immigrants.
In the mid-18th century, an American born trader of Scots and Chickasaw ancestry by the name of James Logan Colbert settled in the Muscle Shoals area of Mississippi. He lived there for the next 40 years, where he married three high-ranking Chickasaw women in succession.Chickasaw chiefs and high-status women found such marriages of strategic benefit to the tribe, as it gave them advantages with traders over other groups. Colbert and his wives had numerous children, including seven sons: William, Jonathan, George, Levi, Samuel, Joseph, and Pittman (or James). Six survived to adulthood (Jonathan died young.)
The Chickasaw had a matrilineal system, in which children were considered born into the mother's clan; and they gained their status in the tribe from her family. Property and hereditary leadership passed through the maternal line, and the mother's eldest brother was the main male mentor of the children, especially of boys. Because of the status of their mothers, for nearly a century, the Colbert-Chickasaw sons and their descendants provided critical leadership during the tribe's greatest challenges. They had the advantage of growing up bilingual.
Of these six sons, William "Chooshemataha" Colbert (named after James Logan's father, Chief/Major William d'Blainville "Piomingo" Colbert) served with General Andrew Jackson during the Creek Wars of 1813-14. He also had served during the Revolutionary wars and received a commission from President George Washington in 1786 along with his namesake grandfather. His brothers Levi ("Itawamba Mingo") and George Colbert ("Tootesmastube") also had military service in support of the United States. In addition, the two each served as interpreters and negotiators for chiefs of the tribe during the period of removal. Levi Colbert served as principal chief, which may have been a designation by the Americans, who did not understand the decentralized nature of the chiefs' council, based on the tribe reaching broad consensus for major decisions. An example is that more than 40 chiefs from the Chickasaw Council, representing clans and villages, signed a letter in November 1832 by Levi Colbert to President Andrew Jackson, complaining about treaty negotiations with his appointee General John Coffee.After Levi's death in 1834, the Chickasaw people were forced upon the Trail of Tears. His brother, George Colbert, reluctantly succeeded him as chief and principal negotiator, because he was bilingual and bicultural. George "Tootesmastube" Colbert never reached the Chickasaw's "Oka Homa" (red waters); he died on Choctaw territory, Fort Towson, en route.
In 1832 after the state of Mississippi declared its jurisdiction over the Chickasaw Indians, outlawing tribal self-governance, Chickasaw chiefs assembled at the national council house on October 20, 1832 and signed the Treaty of Pontotoc Creek, ceding their remaining Mississippi territory to the U.S. and agreeing to find land and relocate west of the Mississippi River. Between 1832 and 1837, the Chickasaw would make further negotiations and arrangements for their removal.
Unlike other tribes who received land grants in exchange for ceding territory, the Chickasaw held out for financial compensation: they were to receive $3 million U.S. dollars from the United States for their lands east of the Mississippi River.In 1836 after a bitter five-year debate within the tribe, the Chickasaw had reached an agreement to purchase land in Indian Territory from the previously removed Choctaw. They paid the Choctaw $530,000 for the westernmost part of their land. The first group of Chickasaw moved in 1837. For nearly 30 years, the US did not pay the Chickasaw the $3 million it owed them for their historic territory in the Southeast.
The Chickasaw gathered at Memphis, Tennessee, on July 4, 1837, with all of their portable assets: belongings, livestock, and enslaved African Americans. Three thousand and one Chickasaw crossed the Mississippi River, following routes established by the Choctaw and Creek.During the journey, often called the Trail of Tears by all the Southeast tribes that had to make it, more than 500 Chickasaw died of dysentery and smallpox.
When the Chickasaw reached Indian Territory, the United States began to administer to them through the Choctaw Nation, and later merged them for administrative reasons. The Chickasaw wrote their own constitution in the 1850s, an effort contributed to by Holmes Colbert.
After several decades of mistrust between the two peoples, in the twentieth century, the Chickasaw re-established their independent government. They are federally recognized as the Chickasaw Nation. The government is headquartered in Ada, Oklahoma.
The Chickasaw Nation was the first of the Five Civilized Tribes to become allies of the Confederate States of America.In addition, they resented the United States government, which had forced them off their lands and failed to protect them against the Plains tribes in the West. In 1861, as tensions rose related to the sectional conflict, the US Army abandoned Fort Washita, leaving the Chickasaw Nation defenseless against the Plains tribes. Confederate officials recruited the American Indian tribes with suggestions of an Indian state if they were victorious in the Civil War.
The Chickasaw passed a resolution allying with the Confederacy, which was signed by Governor Cyrus Harris on May 25, 1861.
Up to this time, our protection was in the United States troops stationed at Fort Washita, under the command of Colonel Emory. But he, as soon as the Confederate troops had entered our country, at once abandoned us and the Fort; and, to make his flight more expeditious and his escape more sure, employed Black Beaver, a Shawnee Indian, under a promise to him of
five thousand dollars, to pilot him and his troops out of the Indian country safely without a collision with the Texas Confederates; which Black Beaver accomplished. By this act the United States abandoned the Choctaws and Chickasaws. . .
Then, there being- no other alternative by which to save their country and property, they, as
the less of the two evils that confronted them, went with the Southern Confederacy.— Julius Folsom, September 5, 1891, letter to H. B. Cushman
At the beginning of the American Civil War, Albert Pike was appointed as Confederate envoy to Native Americans. In this capacity he negotiated several treaties, including the Treaty with Choctaws and Chickasaws in July 1861. The treaty covered sixty-four terms, covering many subjects such as Choctaw and Chickasaw nation sovereignty, Confederate States of America citizenship possibilities, and an entitled delegate in the House of Representatives of the Confederate States of America.Because the Chickasaw sided with the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, they had to forfeit some of their land afterward. In addition, the US renegotiated their treaty, insisting on their emancipation of slaves and offering citizenship to those who wanted to stay in the Chickasaw Nation. If they returned to the United States, they would have US citizenship.
This was the first time in history the Chickasaws have ever made war against an English speaking people.
The Chickasaws were first combined with the Choctaw Nation and their area was called the Chickasaw District. Although originally the western boundary of the Choctaw Nation extended to the 100th meridian, virtually no Chickasaw lived west of the Cross Timbers. The area was subject to continual raiding by the Indians on the Southern Plains. The United States eventually leased the area between the 100th and 98th meridians for the use of the Plains tribes. The area was referred to as the "Leased District".
|Treaty||Year||Signed with||Where||Main Purpose||Ceded Land|
|Treaty with the Chickasaw||1786||United States||Hopwell, SC||Peace and Protection provided by the U.S. and Define boundaries||N/A|
|Treaty with the Chickasaw||1801||United States||Chickasaw Nation||Right to make wagon road through the Chickasaw Nation, Acknowledge the protection provided by the U.S.||(Not Available yet)|
|Treaty with the Chickasaw||1805||United States||Chickasaw Nation||Eliminate debt to U.S. merchants and traders||(Not Available yet)|
|Treaty of with the Chickasaw||1816||United States||Chickasaw Nation||Cede land, provide allowances, and tracts reserved to Chickasaw Nation||(Not Available yet)|
|Treaty of with the Chickasaw||1818||United States||Chickasaw Nation||Cede land, payments for land cession, and Define boundaries||(Not Available yet)|
|Treaty of Franklin (un-ratified)||1830||United States||Chickasaw Nation, See Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 7||Cede lands east of the Mississippi River and provide protection for the 'weak' tribe||(Not Available yet)|
|Treaty of Pontotoc||1832||United States||Chickasaw Nation||Removal and Monetary gain from the sale of land||6,422,400 acres (25,991 km2).|
Because of their siding with the Confederacy, after the Civil War the United States government made a new peace treaty with the Chickasaw in 1866. It included the provision that they emancipate the slaves and provide those who wanted to stay in the Chickasaw Nation with full citizenship; they and their descendants became known as the Chickasaw Freedmen. Descendants of the Freedmen continue to live in Oklahoma. Today, the Choctaw-Chickasaw Freedmen Association of Oklahoma represents their interests.
The Chickasaw Nation never granted citizenship to the Chickasaw freedmen. The only way blacks could become citizens at that time was to have Chickasaw parents or to petition for citizenship and go through the same process as any other race to gain citizenship, if they were of known Chickasaw descent. Because the Chickasaw Nation had working relations with the Confederacy and did not adopt their freedmen after the Civil War, they were penalized by the U.S. Government. It took over half of their lands, with no compensation, although the territory had been negotiated as Chickasaw property in previous treaties for their use after removal.[ citation needed ]
The Chaloklowa Chickasaw Indian People were recognized as a "state-recognized group" by South Carolina in 2005. They are headquartered in Hemingway, South Carolina.In 2003, they unsuccessfully petitioned the US Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs to try to receive federal recognition as an Indian tribe.
The suffix -mingo (Chickasaw: minko) is used to identify a chief. For example, Tishomingo was the name of a famous Chickasaw chief. The towns of Tishomingo in Mississippi and Oklahoma were named for him, as was Tishomingo County in Mississippi. South Carolina's Black Mingo Creek was named after a colonial Chickasaw chief, who controlled the lands around it as a hunting ground. Sometimes the suffix is spelled minko, but this most often occurs in older literary references.
In 2010, the tribe opened the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma. It includes the Chikasha Inchokka’ Traditional Village, Honor Garden, Sky and Water pavilion, and several in-depth exhibits about the diverse culture of the Chickasaw.
|journal=(help) and Accompanying one photo, exterior, undated (32 KB)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chickasaw .|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1921 Collier's Encyclopedia article Chickasaw .|
As general terms, Indian Territory, the Indian Territories, or Indian country describe an evolving land area set aside by the United States Government for the relocation of Native Americans who held aboriginal title to their land. In general, the tribes ceded land they occupied in exchange for land grants in 1803. The concept of an Indian Territory was an outcome of the 18th- and 19th-century policy of Indian removal. After the Civil War (1861–1865), the policy of the government was one of assimilation.
The term "Five Civilized Tribes" derives from the colonial and early federal period in the history of the United States. It refers to five Native American nations—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek (Muscogee), and Seminole. These are the first five tribes that European settlers generally considered to be "civilized". Examples of colonial attributes adopted by these five tribes include Christianity, centralized governments, literacy, market participation, written constitutions, intermarriage with white Americans, and plantation slavery practices. The Five Civilized Tribes tended to maintain stable political relations with the Europeans.
The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was a treaty signed on September 27, 1830, and proclaimed on February 24, 1831, between the Choctaw American Indian tribe and the United States Government. This was the first removal treaty carried into effect under the Indian Removal Act. The treaty ceded about 11 million acres (45,000 km2) of the Choctaw Nation in what is now Mississippi in exchange for about 15 million acres (61,000 km2) in the Indian territory, now the state of Oklahoma. The principal Choctaw negotiators were Chief Greenwood LeFlore, Musholatubbee, and Nittucachee; the U.S. negotiators were Colonel John Coffee and Secretary of War John Eaton.
The American Dawes Commission, named for its first chairman Henry L. Dawes, was authorized under a rider to an Indian Office appropriation bill, March 3, 1893. Its purpose was to convince the Five Civilized Tribes to agree to cede tribal title of Indian lands, and adopt the policy of dividing tribal lands into individual allotments that was enacted for other tribes as the Dawes Act of 1887. In November 1893, President Grover Cleveland appointed Dawes as chairman, and Meridith H. Kidd and Archibald S. McKennon as members.
The Unassigned Lands in Oklahoma were in the center of the lands ceded to the United States by the Creek (Muskogee) and Seminole Indians following the Civil War and on which no other tribes had been settled. By 1883 it was bounded by the Cherokee Outlet on the north, several relocated Indian reservations on the east, the Chickasaw lands on the south, and the Cheyenne-Arapaho reserve on the west. The area amounted to 1,887,796.47 acres.
The Choctaw Nation is a Native American territory and federally recognized Indian Tribe with a tribal jurisdictional area and reservation comprising 10.5 counties in Southeastern Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation maintains a special relationship with both the United States and Oklahoma governments.
The Fort Smith Council, also known as the Indian Council, was a series of meetings held at Fort Smith, Arkansas from September 8–21, 1865, that were organized by the United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Dennis N. Cooley, for Indian tribes east of the Rockies.
The Chickasaw Nation is a federally recognized Native American nation, located in Oklahoma in the United States. The Chickasaw Nation originated in its homeland of the American Southeast, with territory in what are defined as modern-day Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.
Levi Colbert (1759–1834), also known as Itawamba in Chickasaw, was a leader and chief of the Chickasaw nation. Colbert was called Itte-wamba Mingo, meaning bench chief. He and his brother George Colbert were prominent interpreters and negotiators with United States negotiators appointed by President Andrew Jackson's administration to gain cession of their lands and arrange for removal to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. They were under considerable pressure from the Mississippi state government, white interlopers in their area, and the federal government.
The Choctaw freedmen were indigenous people of color who were granted citizenship in the Choctaw Nation. Their freedom and citizenship were requirements of the 1866 treaty the US made with the Choctaw; it required a new treaty because the Choctaw had sided with the Confederate States of America during the war. The Confederacy had promised the Choctaw and other tribes of Indian Territory a Native American state if it won the war.
Holmes Colbert (Chickasaw) was a 19th-century leader of the Chickasaw Nation in Indian Territory. Of mixed European and Chickasaw ancestry, Colbert was born to his mother's Chickasaw clan and gained status through them, as the tribe was matrilineal.
The Treaty with Choctaws and Chickasaws was a treaty signed on July 12, 1861 between the Choctaw and Chickasaw and the Confederate States of America. At the beginning of the American Civil War, Albert Pike was appointed as Confederate envoy to Native Americans. In this capacity he negotiated several treaties, one of the most important being with Cherokee chief John Ross, which was concluded in 1861. The treaty was ratified and was proclaimed on December 20, 1861 by the Confederacy. The Choctaw and Chickasaw also duly ratified the treaty.
The Yowani are a band of the Choctaw tribe. Their original territory was along the Chickasawhay River in Mississippi, where they had a village known as Yowani. European traders set up a post nearby, which later developed in the 19th century as the town of Shubuta. The Yowani continued to expand their holdings, eventually venturing into Louisiana, where they established close ties with the Koasati and Caddo. They later adopted many of the Caddo customs.
The American Civil War saw Native American individuals, bands, tribes, and nations participate in numerous skirmishes and battles. Native Americans served in both the Union and Confederate military during the American Civil War. They were found in the Eastern, Western, and Trans-Mississippi Theaters. At the outbreak of the war, for example, the majority of the Cherokees sided with the Union, but soon after allied with the Confederacy. Native Americans fought knowing they might jeopardize their sovereignty, unique cultures, and ancestral lands if they ended up on the losing side of the Civil War. 28,693 Native Americans served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War, participating in battles such as Pea Ridge, Second Manassas, Antietam, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and in Federal assaults on Petersburg.
The Choctaw in the American Civil War participated in two major arenas— the Trans-Mississippi and Western Theaters. The Trans-Mississippi had the Choctaw Nation. The Western had the Mississippi Choctaw. The Choctaw Nation had removed West prior to the War. But, the Mississippi Choctaw had elected to remain in the East. Both the Choctaw Nation and the Mississippi Choctaw would ultimately side with the Confederacy.
Chief George Colbert, also known as Tootemastubbe, was a Native American leader of the Chickasaw people in the early 19th century. He commanded 350 Chickasaw auxiliary troops, whom he had recruited, as a militia captain under Andrew Jackson during the Creek War of 1813-1814. Later he joined the US Army under Jackson for the remainder of the War of 1812.
On the eve of the American Civil War in 1861, a significant number of Indigenous peoples of the Americas had been relocated from the Southeastern United States to Indian Territory, west of the Mississippi. The inhabitants of the eastern part of the Indian Territory, the Five Civilized Tribes, were suzerain nations with established tribal governments, well established cultures, and legal systems that allowed for slavery. Before European Contact these tribes were generally matriarchial societies, with agriculture being the primary economic pursuit. The bulk of the tribes lived in towns with planned streets, residential and public areas. The people were ruled by complex hereditary chiefdoms of varying size and complexity with high levels of military organization.
The Treaty of Pontotoc Creek was a treaty signed on October 20, 1832 by representatives of the United States and the Chiefs of the Chickasaw Nation assembled at the National Council House on Pontotoc Creek, Mississippi. The treaty ceded the 6,283,804 million acres of the remaining Chickasaw homeland in Mississippi in return for Chickasaw relocation on an equal amount of land west of the Mississippi River.
Cyrus Harris (1817-1888), a mixed blood Chickasaw born in Mississippi, was elected the first Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, and served five non-consecutive two-year terms. Although his formal schooling was limited at an elementary level, he became fluent in both the English and Chickasaw languages. He and his family relocated to Indian Territory in 1837, where he was employed in business and also served as an interpreter and developed a keen interest in Chickasaw politics. In 1856, he was elected to his first term as Governor of the newly established Chickasaw Nation His accomplishments included organizing a national government after the Chickasaw Nation and Choctaw Nation formally separated into two distinct entities. He also executed a formal alliance between his nation and the Confederate States of America after the outbreak of the American Civil War. After the cessation of hostilities, he played a major role in the recovery of the nation from its devastated condition. He retired from politics in 1874, after serving his fifth term as Governor. He died in 1887 at his home in Mill Valley, and was buried at the cemetery in Mill Valley.