Choctaws and Chickasaws in Indian Territory

There is a tradition that these two tribes once inhabited the same country where they now live, and that a great tribe of Indians from the northwest made war on them so long and so fiercely that they decided to leave the country. They started east, guided by a dog and a magic pole. At night they would plant the pole in the ground, and in the morning the way the pole would be leaning would be the way they would go. They traveled east until they came to the Mississippi River. The dog was drowned crossing the river, leaving them nothing but the pole for a guide. They then traveled south for some distance along the Mississippi. They remained in the new country until they first saw the white man. The Chickasaws reheld they are only Choctaws, but the word Chickasaw “means “reheld.” They have never shed the blood of the white man, and brag of it. They have adopted the white man’s ways and his religion.

The Choctaws and Chickasaws, like the other tribes, made a treaty in 1866 and parted with those lands of theirs lying in what is now Oklahoma, on which the government settled the Comanches, Kiowas, Apaches, Caddos and Wichitas, whose country was opened for settlement on August 5, 1901. A more sensible method of opening was adopted this time, by drawing, so that each man had an equal chance, and the lucky man won. The lands of the Choctaws and Chickasaws were allotted about the same as the lands of the other five civilized tribes.

This closes the history of the five civilized tribes and Oklahoma with the exception of the big pasture that will be open on the 3rd day of December, 1906. A Cherokee allotment is $325 worth of land, and the land is graded from 50 cents an acre to $6.50. The Creeks have 160 acres each, and have a surplus that is to be sold to the highest bidder. The Choctaws and Chickasaws have 320 acres each. Every one of them who can write his own name is allowed to sell all his land but his homestead by applying to the Secretary of the Interior through the Indian agent. A great part of Oklahoma was long counted part of Texas, but it was finally decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that not the North Fork of the Red River, but the Red River itself was the dividing line between Oklahoma and Texas as far as the east line of the Pan-handle country. Beaver County was a tract of land which none of the tribes claimed, and was for many years called “No Man’s Land.” Fort Supply was established in ’67, it was the first fort to be established in Oklahoma. It was located on Beaver creek in what is now Woodward County, Oklahoma, which was the first step to be taken to rid that part of the plains of buffalo.

Source: Puckett, J. L. and Ellen. History of Oklahoma and Indian Territory and Homeseeker’s guide. Vinita, Oklahoma, Chieftain Publishing Company, 1906.

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