The U.S. government wanted the Chickasaws and other nations to disappear into the American melting pot. On April 26, 1906, Congress approved House Resolution 5976, “An Act to Provide for the Final Disposition of the Affairs of the Five Civilized Tribes in the Indian Territory and for Other Purposes.” This act paved the way for Oklahoma’s statehood the following year.
The act closed tribal rolls by March 4, 1907 and provided for the sale of town sites. All tribal buildings were sold, and the proceeds were deposited in the U.S. Treasury and credited to the tribe. Tribes had to give up control of their schools.
Section 28 of this act extended tribal governments until otherwise provided by law. However, it was not clear if the Chickasaw could still hold tribal elections every two years. After asking Congress, the tribe was told the act was worded to make elections unnecessary, thereby putting Governor Johnston in his position for life or until Congress passed different legislation.