A relationship with the Chickasaw people that lasted more than two decades

James Adair was an English trader who lived among the Chickasaw tribe for some time, learning about their customs and culture. He was especially fond of the Chickasaw for their loyalty to the English.

As an experienced trader, Adair traveled into the Chickasaw Nation in 1744, where he struck up a friendly business relationship with the tribe that lasted more than two decades. Here he learned their language and was accepted into the tribe.

While living with the tribe, Adair began to understand the hierarchy of the Chickasaw. He wrote that all tribal people are equal, in terms of personal liberty. The merit that one would acquire was determined by demonstrating superior virtue. Adair noted that members of the tribe did not aspire for merit for personal gain, but rather for the honor of living and dying for the their tribe.

In 1768, Adair left the Chickasaw in attempt to publish his documentation of the Chickasaw. The book, History of the American Indians, was an attempt to prove that the Indians were the lost tribes of Israel. He believed that they were Jews and attempted to show that in his text. The book was published in 1775.


  • Extensive trader
  • Author of History of the American Indians