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

Background Information

On September 15, 1830, leaders of the Native American Choctaw Nation met with United States officials at Dancing Rabbit Creek in central Mississippi to discuss the removal of the Choctaw Nation to a defined area in Oklahoma. This treaty discussion resulted in the signing of a treaty on September 27, 1830.

The controversy was sparked by the Choctaw determination not to sign a treaty that would cost them their Mississippi homeland. The officials wanted the Choctaws to agree to move west. Most Choctaw leaders refused to accept this action and left the meeting. A few leaders remained behind and eventually signed a treaty.

The treaty agreed to the migration and removal of the Choctaw tribe west. The Choctaws who refused to move and stay in the east had to agree to live by the law of the state of Mississippi. Some 14,000 Choctaws left Mississippi to travel to Indian Territory in the west (now the state of Oklahoma). The route that this group of Choctaws followed in their removal was called the Trail of Tears both because of the forced removal of thousands of people from their homeland, and because so many people died along the way. About 5,000 members of the Choctaw Nation chose to remain in Mississippi and became citizens of that state. This treaty resulted in the Choctaw Nation becoming a divided people.

The Dancing Rabbit Creek Treaty took its name from the site of the discussion.