The Choctaw Nation, originally from the lower Mississippi Valley region, were moved by the United States government to Indian Territory by the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830. The exceedingly difficult Trail of Tears led to present day Oklahoma, specifically to the south east corner.
By the end of the Civil War, the Choctaw Nation encountered multiple opportunities for development and enrichment, most notably through various railroads. Choctaw reacted with assertion of national sovereignity through the National Assembly of the Choctaw Nation, rejecting railroad crossing of the land. This is most obvious in several bills passed by the nation, including Bill No 5 found here.
This web site seeks to explore the relationship between the Choctaw Nation and various entities and individuals that crossed the land, beginning with a collection of documents, supplemented by timelines and maps related to the crossing. The U.S. Government became involved numerous times through Indian agents and the Department of the Interior negotiating bewteen railroads and the Choctaw Nation. The Choctaw records contained here relate specifically to railroads, most notably to the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad (the Katy), the Fort Smith and Western Railroad and the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway.
Click the links to see the documents. Use the timeline to compare effective dates of the documents listed here.
Bill No 1 part 2 part 3
Bill No 4 part 2
Bill No 5
Bill No 23 This is strongest worded bill against railroads, but the date is unknown.
Letter to President Grant Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 asking for the president to not authorize the Katy railroad to cross the Choctaw Nation
Payment 1 from Choctaw Oklahoma and Gulf Quarter 1, 1897
Letter from Department of Interior Page 2 Page 3 giving instructions on acquiring land for the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway 1897
Letter from Department of Interior Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7
Letter from Choctaw Nation responding Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Choctaw Response to land demands
Letter from Department of Interior 1900 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 giving instructions on getting land for the Fort Smith and Western Railway 1900
Letter from Department of Interior 1900 Page 2 Clarifying instructions for the FS&W Railway
Letter from Chicago Rock Island and Pacific Page 2 Paying for 2 acres of land