Relinquished Chickasaw lands in exchange for suitable land west of the Mississippi River

The Treaty of Pontitock Creek (also referred to as Pontotoc Creek), signed at the Chickasaw Council House on October 20, 1832, relinquished Chickasaw lands east of the Mississippi River in exchange for a promise to find suitable land west of the Mississippi River. The remaining Homeland, known as the Chickasaw Cession, was to be surveyed and sold after Chickasaws made their selections. It became such a complicated and confusing document that two days later a supplement to clear up details and loose ends was signed by both parties. Chickasaw negotiators included Ishtehotopa, Tishominko, Levi and George Colbert, William McGillivray, Isaac Albertson, and many other Chickasaw leaders.

Each adult Chickasaw was to receive a temporary, one-section or larger (given family size) homestead to reside upon until Removal. Proceeds from sale of the lands were to be placed in a trust fund held by the U.S. government for Chickasaw tribal citizens after covering the costs of Removal. Chickasaw families who wished to remain in Mississippi on the homestead could do so, granted they made improvements to the tracts of land, including clearing and cultivating the land at least one year in good farming order and condition, as outlined in Article 5 of the Treaty. After one year of improving the land, Chickasaw citizens could sell the improved land to provide for their families on the journey to their new land in Indian Territory.

Unfortunately, numerous treaties, acts and policies had passed by 1832 that strongly urged against any Chickasaw citizen to remain in Mississippi. Land acquired by the federal government from the Southeastern Indians was quickly auctioned and sold. Settlers rushed in despite a provision from Article 15 of the treaty promising that the U.S. government would prevent white intrusion until the Chickasaws had actually left the land. Disobeying treaty obligations, settlers tried moving into homes still occupied by Chickasaw families, and the settlers tried to take over Chickasaw’s livestock and fields.

For more information on the Treaty of Pontitock Creek click here.