The Choctaw Tribe

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The Choctaw Tribe

Adapting to RemovalOne of Mississippi's and the United States' most inhumane actions was the forced removal of American Indians from the South to lands west of the Mississippi River in the early 1800s.It did not help Indians that the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 provided lands to the west to which the United States could banish them, or that by 1815 there was no longer a viable European ally in the area who could counteract American demands.The Indians remaining in Mississippi were forced to relinquish their communal land-holdings in return for small individually owned allotments. Even though Mushulatubbee realized the deerskin trade was nearing its end, he remained devoted to a traditional political arrangement. The chiefs distributed goods and favors to their family and friends.

The Choctaw Tribe OriginThe Choctaw Indians were originally from the southeastern states of Mississippi, Louisiana, or Alabama.The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830 removed the Choctaw Indians from their land to reservations allotted for them. The United States government had the Choctaws moved to Oklahoma. A bad blizzard in the region, combined with suffering due to lack of food, a wagon shortage, and suffering and death led this to become known as the Choctaw’s Trail of Tears.

CHOCTAW REMOVALWHEN: On September 27, 1830, the Choctaw government ceded all lands east of the Mississippi River, including the last portion of Choctaw lands in Alabama along the Mississippi border, in the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. Alabama pioneer George Strothers Gaines organized and oversaw the Choctaw removal in the winter of 1831-32.(EOA links. 1).HOW: The First removal began in October of 1831 with 4000 Choctaw being transported on foot and by wagons to the Mississippi then west on steamboats. Due to poor planning and bad weather, however, the river leg of the journey was shortened and the Choctaw were forced to walk much farther than had been planned. Most of the first wave didn’t arrive, tired and ill, in Oklahoma until March 1832.(oklahoma. 1)

The Process of the RemovalOn average the relations between the Choctaw and the various European powers were friendly. This friendly relationship came to an abrupt halt when the United States came into sole possession of the region, and, hungry for land adopted an imperialistic attitude toward the Choctaw.Beginning in 1786 with the Treaty of Hopewell, the United State’s intentions were made clear. This treaty was the first attempt by the U.S. to establish hegemony over the Choctaw and it required the return of escaped slaves, turning over of any Choctaws whom had been convicted of crimes by the U.S., and the return any property, which had been captured during the Revolutionary War. The treaty is even more arrogant in tone when consider that up until 1798, the territory occupied by the Choctaws was technically Spanish. As soon as Spain ceded the region, U. S. began enforcing the Treaty of Hopewell.Actual loss of Choctaw land began a scant three years later with the signing of the Treaty of Fort Adams in 1801. This treaty strengthened the Treaty of Hopewell, directed the construction of a wagon road called the Natchez Trace and “compensated” the Choctaw $2000 in trade goods and three sets of blacksmithing tools for 2.5 million acres of land referred to as the “Old Natchez District”.Further treaties in 1803 and 1805 (The Treaty of Hoe Buckintoopa and the Treaty of Mount Dexter) resulted in the loss of an additional 850,000 and 4.1 million acres in exchange for a small cash payment to be applied to the accrued debt the Choctaw had built up with certain traders, a $3000 annual payment to the tribe and some manufactured goods.

The Choctaw Indians traveling on the Trail of Tears

The Choctaw TribePrice, Koscielniak

~Important Leaders~The choctaw tribe was a loose confederation of three political districts for one chief assigned to each district. The three chiefs were, Pushmataha, Mushulatubbee, and Apukshunnubbee.The district chief attained his position through demonstrated leadership potential. Their jobs were to conduct the official business of the Tribe under the 1825 constitution, and to care for all of the matters of importance within his district. Pushmataha represented the southern district, the "Okla-hvnnali" people. He played a major role in negotiations with other people and is said to be the “Greatest of all Choctaw Chiefs”.Chief Mushulatubbee represented the middle district or the "Haiyip Atukla” people.He lead his tribe to the Indian territory and signed off on many treaties. Lastly, Chief Apukshunnubbee was responsible for the western district, or the “Okla Falaya” people; He led his district to Mississippi.

Works CitedNation, Cherokee. "Choctaw History." Choctaw History. N.p., 2014. Web. 26 Jan. 2014. "Choctaw History." Choctaw History. Electronic Publishing Center- OSU Home, Sept. 2012. Web. 26 Jan. 2014."Choctaw Indians." Learn about the History of the. Tribal Directory, 1995. Web. 30 Jan. 2014."What Route Did the Choctaw Take during the Removal - Google Search." What Route Did the Choctaw Take during the Removal - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. "EOA Links." Encyclopedia of Alabama: Choctaws in Alabama. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014."Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma." Removal. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.


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