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Timeline / Defining Rights and Responsibilities / 1837: Chickasaw are removed to Indian Territory

1837: Chickasaw are removed to Indian Territory

The U.S. Department of War forcibly removes the Chickasaw from Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, and Tennessee, to Indian Territory (which is now known as Oklahoma). Unlike others removed from the Southeast, the Chickasaw negotiate compensation for lost lands from the U.S., receiving more than $500,000. They travel with their belongings, livestock, and families across the Mississippi River, following the same paths trod by the Choctaw and Muscogee Creek.

Federal-Tribal Relations, Land and Water
Great Plains, Southeast

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U.S. allotment of land in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) to tribes forcibly removed from their own lands

Courtesy of Oklahoma Historical Society

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Lands taken from Chicksaw and forced removal routes

Courtesy The Chickasaw Nation

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Map showing the Cherokee Trail of Tears and other forced relocation marches.

During the 1830s the U.S. government forced tens of thousands of Native Americans, including many members of the Cherokee, Muscogee Creek, Seminole, and Choctaw nations from their homelands to Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma). The phrase “Trail of Tears” originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw Nation in 1831.