A separation from the Choctaw Nation and a new era of self-governance

In 1855 the Chickasaw signed a treaty of separation from the Choctaws and regained their independence and rights to self-government. In 1856, they agreed upon a constitution with a separation of powers under the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. Cyrus Harris became the first elected governor of the Chickasaw Nation and moved the capitol to Tishomingo. He was fluent in English and Chickasaw, a talent that served the tribe well. Governor Harris' leadership helped revitalize the Chickasaws as a nation. His lasting fingerprint on tribal government can still be seen.