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Historical Articles

The subjects of these profiles are not famous, but they are accomplished and remarkable. The subjects include a former major league pitcher, a diplomat in the making, a convicted murderer, and a language expert who is making sense of colonial attempts to spell Chickasaw words before the tribe had a written language.
These articles are meant to describe the Chickasaw culture in a meaningful way by citing a few very good sources of information from their contemporaries and ours. Subjects include the sacred rite of retaliation and women’s roles during a time of unrelenting warfare.
These articles range from Gov. Anoatubby's initiatives to reestablish a meaningful presence in the Old Homeland, to the tribe’s interest in disinterred prehistoric Indian remains near Nashville, to the offer to acquire thousands of items that belonged to ancestral Chickasaws who lived and died in the Homeland.
These historical accounts are arranged in chronological order. They range from prehistory (before the people became a tribe) to their first meeting with white men through the late 18th century when Chickasaws had to choose whether to ally with the fledgling United States or the Spanish Empire.
Most of these articles describe an important part of the development of the modern Chickasaw Nation under former Governor Overton James. Other articles involve an earlier era when tribal government was abolished or about to be. For students of tribal culture, Josiah Mikey was the most influential information source you’ve never heard of.
Had he been born a few generations earlier, he might well have been a great Chickasaw stickball player. With his large muscular build, athleticism and intensely competitive nature, he would have been a force to be reckoned with. As it was, he was born in 1908 as the Chickasaw ...
In 1744, the English trader James Adair, then in his early 30s, guided a packtrain of trade goods into the Chickasaw Nation and began both a remarkable business and friendly relationship with the tribe that lasted more than two decades.
History’s first glimpse of Chickasaws occurred when Hernando de Soto’s Spanish expedition settled into a village the Indians had abandoned in December 1540. Although the Spaniards stayed into March and had frequent contact with the Chickasaws, “glimpse,” unfortunately, is the ...
Scholarly works of history by graduate students usually never amount to much-- except in the scholar’s fevered mind during the university-sponsored baptism of fire that constitutes the development of a thesis or dissertation. Such works normally take one to three years to comp...
Margaret Wheeler’s warm, welcoming smile greeted me as I entered the upstairs foyer of the beautifully restored McSwain Theatre in Ada.
Last May, the Chickasaw Nation provided a grant to the Archaeological Conservancy, a private, non-profit organization, to purchase approximately 35 acres of ridge-top land in southwestern Lee County, Mississippi.
To end tribal affairs of the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations, the United States government and the nations signed an agreement in 1897 specifying that the U.S. would purchase all of the tribes’ land not allotted to individual tribal members.
From the three villages in the southern part of their nation, the Chickasaws looked west across the prairie to where the French forces had bivouacked.
Throughout most of the 18th century, the bulk of Chickasaws lived in elongated villages in northeastern Mississippi, in or near modern-day Tupelo, Mississippi. During the century, the villages were not static. As circumstances dictated, some villages expanded, some contracted;...
Early in the 18th century, England and France were trying to strengthen their new colonies in the lower Mississippi Valley by vying for alliances with Indian tribes.

Last Updated: 12/10/2015