Collection: Five Civilized Tribes In Oklahoma

Slavery in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations

Slavery was an existing institution in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations at the time of and prior to the treaties of 1830 and 1837, and the same general rule regarding the status of the offspring of slaves seemed to have prevailed there as in the neighboring States. Out of the social system thus existing various conditions arose resulting in the following classes: Where one parent was an Indian citizen (male or female) and the other a non-citizen having the status of a free person. In such the offspring were entitled to enrollment regardless of the race of the non-citizen parent. Where one parent was an Indian citizen (male or female) and the other had the status of a slave. Here the rule seems to have been that the offspring would follow the mother; that is to say, if she were a slave her children would also be slaves, as was the rule generally in slave-holding States, but if the mother was an Indian citizen the children, would take her status regardless of the status of the father. Slavery in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations was abolished by Article II of the treaty of April 28, 1866 114 Stat., 769, between the United States and the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians. Thereafter the old distinction between “bond and free”‘ vanished and all had the status of free people, blacks as well...

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