Council House (1855-1858)

When our Chickasaw people were forcibly removed from our Homeland, including parts of present-day Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee, beginning in 1837, they were removed to Indian Territory. They purchased an interest in land and resources from the Choctaw Nation, outlined in the Treaty with the Choctaw and Chickasaw (also known as Treaty of Doaksville). Preferring to oversee our own tribal affairs on our own land, in 1855 a treaty between the Choctaw and Chickasaw formally separated the two nations, and it set the physical boundaries of each nation.

Later that year, Chickasaw leaders and citizens met on Pennington Creek at Good Spring (present-day Tishomingo) to begin shaping the government of the new nation. A log building and brush arbors served as a meeting place. Within the log Council House, a committee drafted a constitution, ratified in 1856, which formally developed and defined an independent Chickasaw government. The log Council House served the Chickasaw Nation until a large, brick building was built in 1858 becoming the Chickasaw National Capitol.

Sometime prior to 1900, the original log structure was moved to the farm of Chickasaw Governor R. M. Harris, where it was used as a playhouse and smokehouse. In the 1930s, the building was relocated to the Capitol grounds in Tishomingo. Today, the Council House, which played such an important role in early Chickasaw government, is now protected and preserved within the walls of the Chickasaw Council House Museum.