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.
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 ...
ln developing an article on the history of the Great Seal of the Chickasaw Nation, I started with the little I knew, delineated what I did not know, noted possible sources of information and hoped, as always, that some interesting answers and unexpected bonuses would turn up.
This article is part of an occasional series associated with the goal of preserving the approximately 300 acres that remain of Chokkilissa', meaning deserted dwelling or place. Located on private parcels of land in north Tupelo, Mississippi, Chokkilissa' was the Chickasaw’s ec...
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.
Divided into many small groups, about three hundred Chicasa warriors crept silently through the savannahs to encircle and infiltrate the sleeping Spanish encampment-which until ten weeks before had been a Chicasa village.
A new comprehensive tribal medical facility, the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center, is being built in Ada and should be operating in the summer of 2010. With the opening coming up, it seems appropriate (at least to an historian) to produce a version of the story of the develop...
In 1921, John Swanton of the Smithsonian Institution spent several days in the Ada and Tishomingo areas interviewing Chickasaws about long-held tribal cultural and religious beliefs. Swanton’s 102-page article on the subject was published in small print in one of the Smithsoni...
Thomas is an outstanding and highly acclaimed artist who has helped to educate the general public about the culture and history of the Chickasaw Nation.
One hundred years ago, official representatives of the Chickasaws, Choctaws and federal government met in Atoka and after much negotiations, agreed that the Indian Nations would be divided up among their members and that their governments would be extinguished by 1906.
In writing about the ancient Chickasaws’ social organization, customs and ceremonies in his book, The Chickasaws, Arrell Gibson repeatedly cited an article by a Columbia University anthropologist named Frank G. Speck.

Last Updated: 12/10/2015