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 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.
Indian Territory
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.
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.
Few of us can recall what we were doing on any particular date unless it was associated with something either very, very good or very, very bad.
Margaret Wheeler’s warm, welcoming smile greeted me as I entered the upstairs foyer of the beautifully restored McSwain Theatre in Ada.
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.
After several years of cycling through phases of research, writing and revising, I finally completed a draft last fall of a book-length manuscript titled, A Narrative Social History of the Chickasaw People, Prehistory to 1763. In November, I submitted the manuscript to Chicka...
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...
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;...
In the 1780s the Chickasaws were split into roughly two factions. They were distinguished mainly by their two well-known, charismatic leaders and the imperialist nations they supported. One faction, led by Piomingo, supported the Americans; the other, led by Ugulaycabe, genera...
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.
“Two nations at peace, each chuse [sic] these protectors in the other, usually send them presents. His business is to make up all Breaches between the 2 nations, to keep the pipes of peace by which at first they contracted Freindship, [sic] to devert [sic] the Warriors from an...
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