Five Civilized Tribes


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Five Civilized Tribes,

inclusive term used since mid-19th cent. for the CherokeeCherokee
, largest Native American group in the United States. Formerly the largest and most important tribe in the Southeast, they occupied mountain areas of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.
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, ChickasawChickasaw
, Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Muskogean branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). They occupied N Mississippi and were closely related in language and culture to the Choctaw.
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, ChoctawChoctaw
, Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Muskogean branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). They formerly occupied central and S Mississippi with some outlying groups in Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana.
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, CreekCreek,
Native North American confederacy. The peoples forming it were mostly of the Muskogean branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languages).
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, and SeminoleSeminole,
Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Muskogean branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). They separated (their name means "separatist") from the Creek in the early 18th cent.
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 tribes of E Oklahoma. By 1850 some 60,000 members of these tribes were settled in the Indian TerritoryIndian Territory,
in U.S. history, name applied to the country set aside for Native Americans by the Indian Intercourse Act (1834). In the 1820s, the federal government began moving the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Choctaw, and Chickasaw) of the Southeast to
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 under the Removal Act of 1830, which provided that this territory was to be held communally on the condition that the tribes surrendered certain land rights E of the Mississippi River. These tribes never lived on a reservation and were officially recognized as domestic dependent nations. Before crossing the Mississippi River, the Cherokee and the Creek had evolved a highly developed agricultural culture in the SE United States. Each tribe had a written constitution, a judiciary system, a bicameral legislature, an executive branch, and a public school system.

After the American Civil War, the majority of tribes having aided the Confederacy, all treaties were put aside, their lands were restricted to E Oklahoma, and their black slaves, who had numbered several thousand, were freed. Later a federal policy of detribalization resulted in loss of the governmental functions of the Five Tribes and the division of all land into individual holdings. Although the tribal governments have continued to function, they have little authority and serve mainly in an advisory capacity.

Bibliography

See G. Foreman, The Five Civilized Tribes (1934, repr. 1966) and Indian Removal: The Emigration of the Five Civilized Tribes (new ed. 1953, repr. 1966); A. Debo, And Still the Waters Run (1940, repr. 1966); R. S. Cotterill, Southern Indians (1954, repr. 1963); M. T. Bailey, Reconstruction in Indian Territory (1972); T. Perdue, Nations Remembered (1980).

References in periodicals archive ?
Amidst much debate, intrabral division, bitterness, and even wars with both themselves and the United States, the Five Civilized Tribes reluctantly signed treaties agreeing to abandon their ancient homelands and move westward.
These songs help bring to light the suppressed truth of Black people on the Trail of Tears: the fact that the Five Civilized Tribes owned Black slaves.
By 1861, when the first of the Confederate States had already begun to secede from the United States, the Five Civilized Tribes were caught in the middle.
The Dawes Commission and the allotment of the Five Civilized Tribes, 1893-1914.
Moffitt, "A History of Early Baptist Missions Among the Five Civilized Tribes," 76.
See also "BIA to the Chickasaw, Creek & Choctaw 8/4/59," Files of the Office of Tribal Government Services, Five Civilized Tribes Files, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington PC.
A: At the opening of The Passage [a permanent display of Cherokee artwork on the shores of the Tennessee River], it was incredible to see the presence of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, who came back to these sites--to see the emotion and the passion they brought to the river, and to see the Five Civilized Tribes come together .
For descendants of the five civilized nations forced westward on the Trail of Tears--Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw Creek and Seminole--some of the legwork is cut down, since repositories such as the Five Civilized Tribes Museum and the regional National Archives facility in Fort Worth, Texas, hold a wealth of documents.
The park is also home to Five Civilized Tribes Museum, which houses artwork and antiquities from Indian tribes in the area.
These were the Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes, and especially the Seminoles, who resisted their removal from Florida in eight years of guerrilla warfare, succumbing finally to a combination of deception and superior force.
A past president of the Oklahoma Press Association, he also was a founding member of the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee.
It provides four primary source documents, including maps of Indian Territory (Oklahoma) and Will Roger's application for enrollment in the Five Civilized Tribes.