1 Reply Latest reply on May 13, 2020 2:25 PM by Rebecca Collier

    Seeking customs & laws of the Choctaw


      What is the origin of the 19th Century Choctaw law that made white people citizens of the Choctaw Republic when they intermarried (that is, when they married members of the Choctaw nation)? I believe this was required by the terms handed down by the United States government at the Fort Smith Council of 1865, and subsequently by the Treaties of 1866. But I wanted to know whether it came from an earlier Act of Congress or perhaps earlier customs or statutes or constitutions of the Choctaw Republic or even from the customs or laws or decrees of the Choctaw nation prior to the removal to Indian Territory.

        • Re: Seeking customs & laws of the Choctaw
          Rebecca Collier Ranger

          Dear Mr. Wofford,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Letters Received, 1824 - 1880 in the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (Record Group 75) that includes requests, claims, complaints, applications, and petitions from Indians and private citizens. This series has been microfilmed as National Archives Microfilm Publication M234. We also located the series Indian Treaties, 1789 - 1869 in the General Records of the United States Government (Record Group 11) that include 15 file units & 27 items that pertain to the Choctaw. Some of the records have been digitized. For access to the non-digitized records and M234, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at archives1reference@nara.gov.


          In addition, we located 1 series, 17 file units & 1 item in the Records of the U.S. Senate (Record Group 46) and located 2 series, 11 file units & 1 item in the Records of the U.S. House of Representatives (Record Group 233) that pertain to the Choctaw and may include the information you seek. For access to these and any additional records, please contact the Center for Legislative Archives (LL) via email at legislative.archives@nara.gov.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1 & LL. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          We suggest that you contact the Choctaw Nation and view the 1847 version of The Constitution and Laws of the Choctaw Nation digitized by the Library of Congress.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!


          [Some information provided by Cody White, Subject Matter Expert]


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