1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Chickasaws

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CHICKASAWS, a tribe of North American Indians of Muskhogean stock, now settled in the western part of Oklahoma. Their former range was northern Mississippi and portions of Tennessee. According to their own tradition and the evidence of philology, they are closely connected with the Creeks and Choctaws; and they believe that they emigrated with these tribes from the west, crossed the Mississippi, and settled in the district that now forms the north-east part of the state of that name. Here they were visited by De Soto in 1540. From the first they were hostile to the French colonists. With the English, on the other hand, their relations were more satisfactory. In 1786 they made a treaty with the United States; and in 1793 they assisted the whites in their operations against the Creeks. In the early years of the 19th century part of their territory was ceded for certain annuities, and a portion of the tribe migrated to Arkansas; and in 1832–1834, the remainder, amounting to about 3600, surrendered to the United States the 6,442,400 acres of which they were still possessed, and entered into a treaty with the Choctaws for incorporation with that tribe. In 1855, however, they effected a separation of this union, with which they had soon grown dissatisfied, and by payment to the Choctaws of $150,000 obtained a complete right to their present territory. In the Civil War they joined the Confederates and suffered in consequence; but their rights were restored by the treaty of 1865. In 1866 they surrendered 7,000,000 acres; and in 1873 they adopted their former slaves. They had an independent government consisting of a governor, a senate, and a house of representatives; but tribal government virtually ceased in 1906. The Chickasaws of pure or mixed blood numbered 4826 in 1900, and with the fully admitted “citizens,” i.e. the freed slaves and adopted whites, the whole nation amounted to some 10,000.

See Handbook of American Indians (Washington, 1907).