Native American Choctaw Nation's Decision to Stay or Move - Dancing Rabbit Creek Treaty - Treaty of 1830

Overview and Objectives

This Learning Center will provide the learner the history of the Dancing Rabbit Creek Treaty and its effects on the Choctaw people and other nations that were involved in the signing of this 1830 treaty. Students will analyze and evaluate the events that transpired at the assembly of the United States officials and the Choctaw leaders. Learners will learn what happened to the Choctaws who remained in Mississippi after the Removal Act, as well as those who traveled the Trail of Tears to relocate in Oklahoma. Through the use of research, role-playingcreative writing, artistic depictions, mapping to chart travel of relocation and mathematical computations, students will gain a stronger knowledge of the Dancing Rabbit Creek Treaty of 1830 and its effects on the people involved.

Enduring Understandings

  • The Dancing Rabbit Creek Treaty can be interpreted from the viewpoints of the various groups that were involved in its discussion and signing.
  • The Treaty of 1830 had major impacts on the indigenous Mississippi Choctaw people.
  • The  Treaty of 1830 resulted in the migration and removal of one group of Choctaws, who eventually settled in Oklahoma.

Time required

5 class periods (based on 50-minutes class periods)

Learning Objectives

  • Students will learn how the Dancing Rabbit Creek Treaty came to be signed.
  • Students will learn the effects of the Dancing Rabbit Creek Treaty on Choctaws, both those who remained in Mississippi and those who journeyed to Oklahoma.
  • Students will know the provisions of the Removal Act.
  • Students will learn about the Trail of Tears.

Classroom resources

Refer to the Resources section of this Learning Center to download documents.

  • Internet connections for information on treaties
  • Articles of Dancing Rabbit Creek Treaty
  • Copy of the Indian Removal Act
  • Map of Mississippi
  • United States Map showing the Trail of Tears
  • Photographs of Native American Tribal leaders and United States officials who led the treaty discussions
  • Diagram of the treaty setting

Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, 1830

A treaty of perpetual friendship, cession and limts, entered into by John H. Eaton and John Coffee for a~d m beha.If of the Government of the United States, and the Mingoes, Chiefs, Cap­tains and Warriors of the Choctaw Nation, begun and held at Dancing Rabbit Creek on the 15th of September in the year 1830.

WHEREAS the General Assembly of the State of Mississippi has extended the laws of said state to persons and property within the chartered limits of the same, and the President of the United States has said that he cannot protect the Choctaw people from the operation of those laws. Now, therefo~e, that the. Choctaws may live under their own laws in peace WIth the Urnted States, and the State of Mississippi, and have, accordingly agreed to the following articles of treaty.

ARTICLE 1. Perpetual peace and friendship is pledged a.nd agreed upon, by and between the U nited St~tes, and the Mm­goes, Chiefs and warriors of the Choctaw Na~or: of Red people, and that this may be considered the treaty eXlstmg between the parties, all other treaties heretofore existing and inconsistent with

the provisions of this are hereby declared null and void..

ARTICLE 2. The United States, under a grant speCIally to be made by the President of the United States, shall cause to be conveyed to the Choctaw nation, a tract of country West of the Mississippi river iQ fee simple, to them and their descendents, to



insure to them while they shall exist as a nation, and live on it, beginning near Fort Smith, where the Arkansas boundary crosses the Arkansas river, running thence to the source of the Canadian Fork if in the limits of tile United States, or to those limits; thence due South to Red river, and down Red river to the West boundary of the territory of Arkansas, thence North along that line to the beginning. The boundary of the same to be agreeable to the treaty made and concluded at Washington City in the year 1825. The grant to be executed, so soon as the present treaty shall be ratified.

ARTICLE 3. In consideration of the provisions contained in the several articles ·of this treaty, the Choctaw nation of Indians con­sent, and hereby cede to the United States the entire country they own and possess East of the Mississippi river, and they agree to remove beyond the Mississippi river, early as practicable, and will so arrange their removal, that as many as possible of their people not exceeding one half of the whole number shall depart during the falls of 183 I and 1832 the residue to follow during the succeeding fall of 1833. A better opportunity, in this manner, will be afforded the government to extend to them the facilities and comforts which it is desirable should be extended in en­couraging them to their new homes.

ARTICLE 4. The government and people of the United States, are hereby obliged to secure to the said Choctaw nation of red people the jurisdiction and government of all the persons and property that may be within their limits West, so that no state or territory shall ever have a right to pass laws for the govern­ment of the Choctaw nation of red people and ,their descend­ents: and that no part of the land granted them shall ever be embraced in any territory or state, but the United States shall forever secure said Choctaw nation from and against all laws, except such as from time to time, may be enacted in their na­tional councils, not inconsistent with the constitution, treaties and laws of the United States; and except as may and which have been enacted by Congress to the extent that Congress under the constitution are required to exercise a legislation over Indian affairs. But the Choctaws, should this treaty be ratified, express a wish that Congress may grant to the Chootaws the rights of punishing by their own laws, any white man who shall come

into their nation, and infringe any of their national regulations.

ARTICLE 5. The United States are obliged to protect the Choc­taws from domestic strife, and from foreign enemies, on the same principles that citizens of the United States are protected; so that whatever would be a legal demand upon the United States for defence or for wrongs committed by an enemy of a citizen of the United States, shall be equally binding in favor of the Choctaws, and in all ,cases where the Choctaws shall be called upon, by a legally authorized officer of the United States, to fight an enemy, such Choctaw shall receive the pay and other bene­fits, which citizens of the United States receive in such cases: provided, no war shall be undertaken ·or prosecuted by said Choctaw nation, but by declaration made in full council, and to be approved by the United States, unless it be in self defence against an open rebellion, or against an enemy marching into their country; in which cases they shall defend until the United States are advised thereof.

ARTICLE 6. Should a Choctaw, or any party of Choctaws, com­mence acts of violence upon the person or property of a citizen of the United States or join any war party ag-ainst any neigh­boring tribe of Indians, without the authority in the preceding article and except to oppose an actual or threatened invasion, or rebellion, such person so offending shall be delivered up to an officer of the United States, if in the power of the Choctaw nation that such offender may be punished, as may be provided in such cases by the laws of the United States; but if such of­fender is not within the control of the Choctaw nation, then said Choctaw nation shall not be held responsible for the injury done by said offender.

ARTICLE 7. All acts of violence committed upon persons and

property of the people of the Choctaw nation, either by citizens

of the United States, or neighboring tribes of red people, shall

be referred to some authorized agent by him to be referred to the

President of the United States, who shall examine into such cases,

and see that every possible degree of justice is done to said In­

dian party of the Choctaw nation.

ARTICLE 8. Offenders against the laws of the United States, or

any individual state, shall be apprehended and delivered to any

duly authorized person where such offender may be found in


the Choctaw country, having fled from any part of the United States, but in all such cases application must be made to the agent or the chiefs and the expense of his apprehension and delivery, provided for, and paid by.the United States.

ARTICLE 9. Any citizen of the United States, who may be ordered from the nation by the agent and constituted author­ities of the nation, and refused to obey, or return to the nation, without the consent of the aforesaid persons, shall be subject to such pains and penalties as may be provided by the laws of the United States, in such cases. Citizens of the United States travel­ling peaceably under the authority of the laws of the United States, shall be under the care and protection of the nation.

ARTICLE 10. No person shall expose goods, or other articles for sale, as a trader, without permission from the constituted authorities of the nation, or authority of the laws of the Congress of the United States, under penalty of forfeiting the articles; and the constituted authorities of said nation shall grant no license, except to such persons as reside in the nation and are answerable to the laws of the nation. The United States shall be particularly obliged to assist to prevent ardent spirits from being introduced into the nation.

ARTICLE I I. Navigable streams shall be free to the Choctaws

who shall pay no higher toll or duty than citizens of the United

States. It is agreed further that the United States shall establish

one or more post offices in said nation and may establish such

military post roads, and posts, as they may consider necessary.

ARTICLE 12. All intruders shall be removed from the Choctaw

nation and kept without it. Private property to be always re­

spected, and on no occasion taken for public purposes without

just compensation being made therefor to the rightful owners.

If an Indian unlawfully steals any proper,ty from a white man, a

citizen of the United States, the offender shall be punished, and

if a white man unlawfully takes anything from an Indian, the

property shall be restored, and the offender punished. It is fur­

ther agreed that when a Choctaw shall be given up to be tried,

for any offense against the laws of the United States, if unable

to employ council to defend him, the United States will do it,

that his trial may be fair and impartial.

ARTICLE 13. It is consented that a qualified agent shall be ap-


pointed, for the Choctaws, every four years unless sooner re­moved, by the President, and he shall be removed on petition of rhe constituted authorities of the nation the President being satis­fied there is sufficient cause shown. The agent shall fix his resi­dence convenient to the great body of the people, and in the selection of an agent, immediately after the ratification of this treaty, the wishes of the Choctaw nation on the subject, shall be entitled to great respect.

ARTICLE 14. Each Choctaw head of a family, being desirous to remain, and become a citizen of the States, shall be permitted to do so, by signifying his intention to the agent within six months from the ratification of this treaty, and he or she shall thereupon be entitled to a reservation of one section of six hundred and forty acres of land, to be bounded by sectional lines of survey; in like manner, shall be entitled to one half that quantity, for each unmarried child which is living with him, over ten years of age, and a quarter section to such child as may be under ten years of age to adjoin the location of the parent. If they reside upon said lands intending to be·come citizens of the States, for five years after the ra·tification of this treaty, in that case, a grant of land in fee simple shall be issued; said reservation shall include the present improvement of the head of the family, or a portion of it. Persons who claim under this article shall not lose the privi­leges of a Choctaw citizen, but if they ever remove are not to be entitled to any portion of the Choctaw annuity.

ARTICLE 15. To each of the Chiefs in the Choctaw nation (to wit), Greenwood LeFlore, Nutackachie and Mushulatubbee, there is granted a reservation of four sections of land two of which shall include and adjoin their present improvements and the other two located where they please but on unoccupied, unimproved lands; such sections shall be bounded by sectional lines, and with the consent of the President, they may sell the same. Also, to the three principal chiefs, and to their successors in office, there shall be paid two hundred and fifty dollars, an­nually while they shall continue in their respective offices; except to Mushulatubbee, who, as he has an annuity of one hundred and fifty dollars, for life, under a former treaty, shall receive only the additional sum of one hundred dollars, while he shall continue in office, as chief. And if in addition to this the nation shall think


proper to elect an additional principal chief of the whole to superintend and govern, upon republican principles, he shall re­ceive annually, for his services, five hundred dollars, which al­lowance to the chiefs, and their successors in office, shall continue for twenty years. At-any ti"me when in military service, and while. in service by authority of the United States, the district chiefs, under, and by selection of the President, shall be entitled to the pay of Majors; and the other chief, under the same circum­stances, shall have the pay of a Lieutenant Colonel. The speakers of the three districts, shall receive twenty five dollars a year, for four years: and the three secretaries, one to each of the chiefs, fifty dollars each, for four years. Each Captain of the nation, the number not to exceed ninety-nine, thirty-three from each dis­trict, shall be furnished, upon removing to the West, with each a good suit of clothes, and a broad sword, as an outfit, and for four years, commencing with the first of their removal shall each receive fifty dollars a year, for the trouble of keeping their people at order in settling: and whenever they shall be in mili­tary service, by authority of the United States, shall receive the pay of a captain.

ARTICLE 16. In wagons, and with steamboats, as may be found necessary, the United States agree to remove the Indians to their new homes, at their expense, and under the care of discreet and careful persons, who will be kind and brotherly to them. They agree to furnish them with ample corn and beef, or pork for themselves and families, for twelve months, after reaching their new homes_ It is agreed further, that the United States will take all their cattle, at the valuation of some discreet person to be appointed by ·rhe President, and the same shall be paid for in money after their arrival at their new homes, or other cattle, such as may be desired, shall be furnished them; notice being given, through their agent of their wishes upon this subject of their removal, that time to supply ·the demand may be afforded_

ARTICLE 17. The several annuities and sums secured under former treaties, to the Choctaw nation and people, shall con­tinue, as though this treaty had never been made. And it is further agreed, that the United States, in addition, will pay the sum of twenty thousand dollars for twenty years, commencing after their removal to the West, of which in the first year after

their removal, ten thousand dollars shall be divided and arranged,

to such as may not receive reservations under this treaty.

ARTICLE 18. The United States shall cause the lands hereby

added, to be surveyed: and surveyors may enter the Choctaw

country for that purpose; conducting themselves properly, and

disturbing or interrupting none of the Choctaw people. But no

person is to be permitted to settle within the nation, or the lands

to be sold, before the Choctaws shall remove. And for the pay­

ment of the several amounts secured in this treaty. The lands .hereby ceded, are to remain in a fund pledged to that purpose, until the debt shall be provided for and arranged. And further it is agreed, that in the construction of this treaty, wherever well founded doubts shall arise, it shall be construed most favourably towards the Choctaws.

ARTICLE 19. The following reservations of land are hereby ad­

mitted. To Col. David Folsom, four sections of which two shall

include his present improvement, and two may be located else­

where, on unoccupied, unimproved land.

To J. Garland, Col. Robert Cole, Tuppanahomer, John Pitch­

lynn, John Charles Juzan, Johokebetubbe, Eraycha:hobea, Ofe­

homa, two sections each, to include their improvements, and to

be bounded by sectional lines; and the same may be disposed of

and sold, with the consent of the President, and that others, not

provided for, may be provided for, there shall be reserved as


First, one section to each head of a family, not exceeding forty

in number, who, during the present year, may have had in actual

cultivation with a dwelling house thereon, fifty acres or more.

Secondly, three quarter sections after the manner aforesaid, to

each head of a family, not exceeding four hundred and sixty, as

shall have cultivated thirty acres or less than fifty, to be bounded

by quarter section lines of survey, and to be contiguous and ad­

joining. Third, one half section as aforesaid, to those who shall

have cultivated from twenty to thirty acres; the number not to

exceed four hundred: Fourth, a quarter section as aforesaid, to

such as shall have cultivated from two to twelve acres: the num­. ber also, not to exceed three hundred and fifty persons. Each of

said classes of cases, shall be subject to the limitations contained

in the first class and shall be so located as to include that part of


the improvement, which contains the dwelling house. If a greater number shall be found to be entitled to reservations, under the several classes of this article, than it is stipulated for under the limitation prescribed; then, and in that case the chiefs, separately and together, shall determi~e the persons who shall be excluded in the respective districts. Fifth, any captain, the number not ex­ceeding ninety persons, who, under the provisions of this article shall receive less than a section, he shall be entitled to an addi­tional quantity of half a section, adjoining to his other reserva­tion. The several reservations secured under this article, may be sold, with the consent of the President of the United States; but should any prefer it, or omit to take a reservation for the quan­tity he may be entitled to, the United States will, on his remov­ing, pay fifty cents an acre, after reaching their new homes; provided, that before the first of January next, they shall pro­vide to the agent, or some other authorized person, to be ap­pointed, proof of his claim to the quantity of it. Sixth. Likewise children of the Choctaw nation, residing in ,the nation, who have neither father nor mother, a list of which, with satisfactory proof of parentage, and orphanage, being filed with agent in six months, to be forwarded to the War Department, shall be en­titled to a quarter section of land, to be located under the direc­tion of the President, and with his consent, the same may be sold, and the proceeds applied to some beneficial purpose for the benefit of said orphans.

ARTICLE 20. The United States agree and stipulate as follows, that for the benefit and advantage of the Choctaw people, and to improve their condition, there shall be educated under the direc­tion of the President, and at the expense of the United States, for.ty Choctaw youths, for twenty years. This number shall be kept at school; and as they finish their education, others, to sup­ply their places, shall be received, for the period stated. The United States agree also, to erect a council house, at some con­venient, central point, after their people shall be settled, and a house for each chief; also, a church, for each of the three dis­tricts, to be used as school houses, until the nation may conclude to build others: and for these purposes, ten thousand dollars shall be appropriated. Also fifty thousand dollars (viz.) twenty-five hundred dollars annually, shall be given for the support of three