Helped pave the way for Chickasaw prosperity into the new American century of the 1800s

Chickasaw Leader, Piominko, was born around 1750 at Chokkilissa’- Old Town, Mississippi. As a teenager, he earned the name "Mountain Leader," from the Cherokees and later the title Piominko. His name prior to Piominko is believed to have been Tushatohoa.

During the 1780s, the United States was struggling as a new country. Piominko was faced with having to ally with either the Spanish colonialists or the young United States. In a bold move, based on faith and the need for the Chickasaws to ally with the ever-growing technologically powerful Americans, he signed the Treaty of Hopewell in 1786, which formalized the tribe's alliance with the U.S. government.

Piominko established a personal relationship on behalf of the Chickasaws with President George Washington, visiting him officially in Philadelphia and also at Mt. Vernon in Virginia. Piominko secured American support for the Chickasaws at a time when the Chickasaw population was very low and the tribe was under attack from much larger confederacies.

Allegiances were split between the Chickasaws and the Creeks. The Creeks wanted the Chickasaws to get rid of American agents. But Piominko's loyalty to the U.S. was resolute. In turn, the Creeks and some Cherokees and other small parties of Indian tribes began to attack and kill Chickasaws and their American guests. As more issues arose regarding the safety of the Chickasaws, Piominko knew something had to be done. In 1794, he made his way to Philadelphia to meet with President George Washington. After meeting with Washington and his constituents for a number of days, more alliances were discussed, and aid for the Chickasaws produced.

The influential Chickasaw Leader, Piominko, was awarded a peace medal from President Washington in turn for his loyalty and trust to the United States. Unfortunately, both Washington and Piominko died within the next five years, and the promises were not kept.

Piominko helped pave the way for Chickasaw prosperity into the new American century of the 1800s.

Accomplishments

  • Formalized Chickasaw's alliance with the United States government
  • The first to define the Chickasaw Nation treaty boundaries on a map drafted at the Hopewell, South Carolina, treaty proceedings in 1786. It is said that Piominko carried a copy of this map with him for the rest of his life, once requesting to have it redrafted after years because it was worn out.
  • Signed the Treaty of Hopewell in 1786
  • Received a U.S. George Washington presidential peace medal
  • A statue in Tupelo, Mississippi, is a tribute to the great Chickasaw leader
  • Inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2010