Stigler in Haskell County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)
In Memory of the Early Choctaw Settlers
and to Our Ancestors Who Perished on the "Trail of Tears"
The signing of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek on Sept. 27, 1830, was the final negotiation to remove the Choctaws from their ancestral homelands in Mississippi and Alabama to Indian Territory. The trip covered 600 miles. Many small groups had emigrated between the date of the treaty and the fall of 1831, leaving in anticipation of the removal action of the U.S. Gov. The first organized removal left Vicksburg, Mississippi on Nov. 2, 1831. The elderly and small children rode in wagons while the remainder walked. Each person was allowed to take what they could carry, while homes, possessions, and lands were left to be taken over by white settlers.
Starvation and cold winters followed closely. The emigration of 1831-32 experienced one of the worst winters in memory. The U.S. Government provided food for the trip which often was stolen, arrived late or spoiled. At each stopping place, the Choctaws buried their loved ones. Few elderly or young children survived the trip. The death rate along the trail averaged one death every quarter mile. The dead were left beside the trail or buried in hastily dug shallow graves.
Captain William Armstrong, Superintendent of Removal, who accompanied one removal, reported on Nov. 10, 1832, that the Choctaws struggled 7 days crossing 30 miles of Arkansas swamp in waist deep water, many dying from cholera.
Upon arrival in Indian Territory, new homes had to be carved out of the wilderness, fields planted and lives put back together in the new land. These Choctaws were to be the front-runners to settle the new land for future generations, but toward the end of the 19th century they received another shock. The U.S. Government opened the Choctaw Nation to individual allotment to settle non-Indians, and Tribal Government was reduced to shambles when in 1907, Oklahoma became a state. Many thought statehood would be the “death knell” for the Choctaw Nation, but they underestimated the courage and determination of our people.
We are reminded of the faith of the Choctaw, when ¼ of their tribe perished on the forced march, and we look back, not for bitterness, but for strength and hope. In that march our people were tested with tremendous hardships, and survived. So, when difficulties arise, remember
Sharon Ruth James
Miss Indian Oklahoma 1982-83
Joe L. Todd
Oklahoma Historical Society
This monument to the Choctaw was dedicated on
May 19, 1984 by the Chahta Heritage Society
Erected 1984 by Chahta Heritage Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Trail of Tears series list.
Location. 35° 15.212′ N, 95° 7.426′ W. Marker is in Stigler, Oklahoma, in Haskell County. Marker is on East Main Street (Oklahoma Route 9) east of SE 2nd Street, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located near the sidewalk on the north side of the Haskell County Courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 204 East Main Street, Stigler OK 74462, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Haskell County World War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Unmarked Settlers' Graves Monument (within shouting distance of Battle of the J.R. Williams (approx. 3½ miles away); Tamaha Jail and Ferry Landing (approx. 3½ miles away); a different marker also named Tamaha Jail and Ferry Landing (approx. 12.8 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek (1830). It was the first treaty signed after the creation of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 to begin the removal of eastern Indians to the Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. In it, the Choctaw ceded control of their communally held lands in central Mississippi and west-central Alabama, more than 10 million acres, to the U.S. government. (Submitted on January 26, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Trail of Tears. Working on behalf of white settlers who wanted to grow cotton on the Indians’ land, the federal government forced them to leave their homelands and walk hundreds of miles to a specially designated “Indian territory” across the Mississippi River. This difficult and sometimes deadly journey is known as the Trail of Tears. (Submitted on January 26, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 26, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 26, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 26, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.