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REGISTER OF CHOCTAW EMIGRANTS TO THE WEST 1831 and 1832
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REGISTER OF CHOCTAW EMIGRANTS TO THE WEST 1831 and 1832. Betty C. Wiltshire. Paperback, 1993,8 � in. x 11 in., Index, 160 pp.
The United States Government, desiring more land in Mississippi for white settlers, persuaded the Choctaw Indians to give up their lands in Mississippi and migrate to new lands in the west, furnished by the government. This was agreed to in the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, signed September 27, 1830. This treaty offered various favors to the Choctaws, but the primary influence seems to have been their helplessness against the United States Government and the promise that they would be able to make their own laws without government interference if they went west. Many Choctaws were against the removal, which led to the provisions in Article 14 of the treaty, allowing tribesmen who wished to remain in Mississippi to do so; and many did.
The Government was to furnish transportation for the removal, but the majority of the Choctaws traveled in groups on their own. The migration was extremely difficult on the Choctaw Nation, many dying of cold and severe weather, sickness and hunger, along the way. Most of the tribe emigrated in 1831 and 1832, to five areas: Fort Towson Depot, Old Miller Court House Depot, Horse Prairie Depot and Mountain Fork Depot, all in what is now southeast Oklahoma; and to Fort Smith, Arkansas. Lt. J. R. Stephenson of the U. S. Army, was in charge of registering the emigrants and supplying their needs upon arrival in the new indian territory. This registration by Lt. Stephenson did not include the Fort Smith emigrants.
The information in this book was copied directly from microfilm, Roll #RG 75, at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Volume 5 of this registration, which had some of the Horse Prairie Depot emigrants listed, was not available; but even so, the registration contains over 3600 names of Choctaws and their slaves, who survived the emigration to the west during 1831 and 1832..