Five Civilized Tribes

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Five Civilized Tribes

Five Civilized Tribes, inclusive term used since mid-19th cent. for the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole tribes of E Oklahoma. By 1850 some 60,000 members of these tribes were settled in the Indian Territory 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.


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).

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References in periodicals archive ?
It can also have a limited relevance to the hot-button topic of rights of the slaves owned by the Five Civilized Tribes even well prior to removal.
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.
He was also unusual in being a defender of the rights of the Five Civilized Tribes, believing Native Americans had rights to their land.
Known as the Five Civilized Tribes, the Cherokee, Seminole, Choctaw, Creek, and Chickasaw moved to Indian Territory, establishing distinct democratic republics and governing their own schools, legal systems, newspapers, and so on.
(54) Congress also passed specific acts (55) to reverse the effects of previous policies established with the intention of destroying the governance structure of particular tribes, such as the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma.
Many of those tribes, including what Americans at the time often referred to as the "Five Civilized Tribes" were moved to the Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma as a result of President Andrew Jackson's removal policy in the 1830s and 1840s.
This is the first anthology to focus on members of the Five Civilized Tribes who refused to relocate after 1830.
The Dawes Commission and the allotment of the Five Civilized Tribes, 1893-1914.
Under colonial and American law, the so-called 'five civilized tribes'- the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks and Seminoles - were all permitted to hold black slaves.
Claiming Indian blood is not a cash cow, says Marilyn Vann, president of the Descendents of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes.
The Muscogee Indians, better known as the Creeks, (1) and recognized as one of the Five Civilized Tribes, (2) lived along the Chattahoochee River in Georgia and Alabama when white settlers began arriving.
(5) The Commissioner of the Office of Indian Affairs issued a printed report every year, which included such subjects as "allotments," "obstacles to self-support," "leasing of Indian lands," "Five Civilized Tribes," "Indian employment," and "Indian schools."