Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Treaty with the Choctaw - 1830

Before I can proceed with the story of Samuel and Mary Middleton Porter, it is important to know the history of the development and formation of what is now Attala County, Mississippi. The signing of The Treaty with the Choctaws at Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830 resulted in the removal of the Choctaw people to Fort Smith, Arkansas Territory, beginning in the early 1830's. It also opened up for settlement large amounts of rich and fertile lands near the Natchez Trace and the Big Black River. Attala County, along with several nearby counties, was formed as a result of this treaty, and people from many different locations migrated to the area. As it was with most American settlers, the people who settled there were attracted by the plentiful natural resources the area offered and the promise of a new and better way of life.

The Signing of The Treaty at Dancing Rabbit Creek

The Treaty, containing twenty-two (22)articles, the treaty was
"Done, and signed, and executed by the commissioners of the United States, and the chief, captains, and head men of the Choctaw nation at Dancing Rabbit creek (on the) 27th day of September, eighteen and thirty." For history's sake, I highly recommend the reading, in full, of the Treaty with the Choctaws. However, for the purpose of this post, I have not attempted to transcribe the Treaty in full. Instead, I am providing excerpts, usually entire Articles, that either contain essential elements of the Treaty that deal with distribution of lands in the Choctaw Nation or that contain names of individuals who were directly affected by the provisions of the Treaty and specifically those who received land as a result of the Treaty.

Article III of the Treaty reads as follows:

"In consideration of the provisions contained in the several articles of this Treaty, the Choctaw nation of Indians consent and hereby cede to the United States, the entire country they own and possess, east of the Mississippi River; and they agree to move beyond the Mississippi River, early as practicable, and will so arrange their removal, that as many as possible of their people not exceeding one half of the whole number, shall depart during the falls of 1831 and 1832; the residue to follow during the succeeding fall of 1833; a better opportunity in this manner will be afforded the Government, to extend to them the facilities and comforts which it is desirable should be extended in conveying them to their new homes."

Article XVI states:

"Each Choctaw head of a family being desirous to remain and become a citizen of the States, shall be permitted to do so, by signifying his intention to the Agent within six months from the ratification of this Treaty, and he or she shall thereupon be entitled to a reservation of one section of six hundred and forty acres of land to be bounded by sectional lines of survey; in like manner shall be entitled to one half that quantity for each unmarried child which is living with him over ten years of age; and a quarter section to such child as may be under 10 years of age, to adjoin the location of the parent. If they reside upon said lands intending to become citizens of the States for five years after the ratification of this Treaty, in that case a grant in fee simple shall issue; said reservation shall include the present improvement of the head of the family, or a portion of it. Persons who claim under this article shall not lose the privilege of a Choctaw citizen, but if they ever remove are not to be entitled to any portion of the Choctaw annuity."

Article XVIII contained this language:

"The U. S. shall cause the lands hereby ceded to be surveyed; and surveyors may enter the Choctaw Country for that purpose, conducting themselves properly and disturbing or interrupting none of the Choctaw people. But no person is to be permitted to settle within the nation, or the lands to be sold before the Choctaws shall remove. And for the payment of the several amounts secured in this Treaty, the lands hereby ceded are to remain a fund pledged to that purpose, until the debt shall be provided for and arranged. And further, it is agreed, that in the construction of this Treaty wherever well founded doubt shall arise, it shall be construed most favorably toward the Choctaws."

Article XIX contained this information:

"The following reservations of land are hereby admitted. To Colonel David Fulsom four sections of which two shall include his present improvement, and two may be located elsewhere, on unoccupied, unimproved land. To I. Garland, Colonel Robert Cole, Tuppanahomer, John Pytchlynn, Charles Juzan, Johokebetubbe, Eaychahobia, Ofehoma, two sections, each to include their improvements, and to be bounded by sectional lines, and the same may be disposed of and sold with the consent of the President."

On September 28, 1830, four (4) supplemental articles were added. The first article states ".... at the request of "various Choctaw persons who have been presented by the Chiefs of the nation, with a desire that they might be provided for. Being particularly deserving, an earnestness has been manifested that provision might be made for them. It is therefore by the undersigned commissioners here assented to, with the understanding that they are to have no interest in the reservations which are directed and provided for under the general Treaty to which this is a supplement. As evidence of the liberal and kind feelings of the President and Government of the United States, the Commissioners agree to the request as follows, (to wit) Pierre Juzan, Peter Pitchlynn, G. W. Harkins, Jack Pitchlynn, Israel Fulsom, Louis Laflore, Benjamin James, Joel H. Nail, Hopoynjahubbee, Onorkubhee, Benjamin Laflore, Michael Laflore and Allen Yates and wife shall be entitled to a reservation of two sections of land each to include their improvement where they at present reside, with the exception of the three first named persons and Benjamin Laflore, who are authorized to locate one of their sections on any other unimproved and unoccupied land, withing their respective districts."

Supplemental Article. II adds:

"And to each of the following persons there is allowed a reservation of a section and a half of land, (to wit) James L. McDonald, Robert Jones, Noah Wall, James Campbell, G. Nelson, Vaughn Brashears, R. Harris, Little Leader, S. Foster, J. Vaughn, L. Durans, Samuel Long, T. Magagha, Thos. Everge, Giles Thompson, Tomas Garland, John bond, William Laflore, and Turner Brashears, the two first named persons, may locate one section each, and one section jointly on any unimproved and unoccupied land, these not residing in the Nation. The others are to include their present residence and improvement.

Also one section is allowed to the following person (t wit) Middleton Mackey, Wesley Train, Choclehoma, Moses foster, D. W. Wall, Charles Scott, Molly Nail, Susan Colbert, who was formerly Susan James, Samuel Garland, Silas Fisher, D. McCurtain, Onklahoma, and Polly Fillecuthey, to be located in entire sections to include their present residence and improvement, with the exception of Molly Nail and Susan Colbert, who are authorized to locate theirs, on any unimproved unoccupied land.

John Pitchlynn has long and faithfully served the nation in Character of U. States Interpreter, he has acted as such for forty years, in consideration it is agree, in addition to what has been done for him there shall be granted to two of his children, (to wit) Silas Pitchlynn, and Thomas Pitchlynn one section of land each, to adjoin the location of their father; likewise to James Madison and Peter sons of Mushulatubbee one section of land each to include the old house and improvement where their father formerly lived on the old military road adjoining a large Prararie. And to Henry Groves, son of the Chief Natticache there is one section of land given to adjoin his father's land. And to each of the following persons half a section of land is granted on any unoccupied and unimproved lands in the Districts where they respectively live (to wit) Willis Harkins, James D. Hamilton, William Juzan, Tobias Laflore, Jo Doke, Jacob Fulsom, P. Hays, Samuel Worcester, George Hunter, William Train, Robert Nail, and Alexander McKee. And there is given a quarter section of land each to Delila and her five fatherless children, she being a Choctaw woman residing out of the nation; also the same quantity to Peggy Trihan, another Indian woman residing out of the nation and her two fatherless children; and to the widows of Pushmilaha, and Pucktshenubbee, who were formerly distinguished Chiefs of the nation and for their children four quarter sections of land, each in trust for themselves and their children."

Supplemental Article IV adds these provisions:

John Donly of Alabama who has several Choctaw grandchildren, and who for twenty years has carried the mail through the section of land, it is accordingly granted, to be located in one entire section, on any unimproved and unoccupied land. Allen Glover and George S. Gaines licensed Traders in the Choctaw Nation, have accounts amounting to upwards of nine thousand dollars against the Indians who are unable to pay their said debts without distressing their families; a desire is expressed by the chiefs that two sections of land be set apart to be sold and the proceeds thereof to be applied toward the payment of the aforesaid debts. It is agreed that two sections of any unimproved and unoccupied land be granted to George S. Gaines who will sell the same for the best price he can obtain and apply the proceeds thereof to the credit of the Indians on their accounts due to the before mentioned Glover and Gaines; and shall make the application to the poorest Indian first. At the earnest and particular request of the Chief, Greenwood Laflore there is granted to David Haley one half section of land to be located in a half section on any unoccupied and unimproved land as a compensation, for a journey to Washington City and dispatches to the Government and returning others to the Choctaw Nation."

Some Names of Individuals Who Either Signed the Treaty or Who Witnessed the Signing of the Treaty

Jno. H. Eaton
John Coffee
Robert Cole
David Folsom
John Garland
Captain Thalco
Pierre Juzan
John Ruland, Secretary to the Commission
Jon. L. Bean, Special Agent
Law Taliaferro, Indian Agent
R. B. Mason, Captain
G. Loomis, Captain
James Peterson, Lieutenant
N. S. Harris, Lieutenant
Henry Bainbridge, Lieutenant
John Gale, Surgeon
J. Archer, Lieutenant
J. Dougherty, Indian Agent
Thomas A. Davies, Lieutenant
William S. Williamson, Sub Indian Agent
Andrew S. Hughes, Sub Indian Agent
A. G. Baldwin, Lieutenant
David D. Mitchell
H. L. Donsman
Wynkoop Warner
George Davenport
William Hempstead
Benjamin Mills
William H. Warfield, Lieutenant
Sam R. Throokmoor
John Connelly
Amos Farror
Antoine LeClaire, Interpreter/Sax and Fox Tribes
Stephen Julian, U. S. Interpreter
Jacques Mette, Interpreter
Michel Berda, Moho Interpreter
S. Campbell, U. S. Interpreter
William Gordon
James Archdale Hamilton
David D. Mitchell
William Saidlau
Jacob Halsey
Felix F. Wain, Indian Agent
John F. A. Sanford, Indian Agent
William C. Heyward
D. J. Royster
Samuel Kinney
Merewether Lewis Clark

The entire Treaty with the Choctaw was later published as a Proclamation on February 24, 1831.

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