99) [Note: This is a single part of what will be, by my classification, about 240 compact tribal histories (contact to 1900).
The normal process at this point is to circulate an almost finished product among a peer group for comment and criticism.
At the end of this History you will find links to those Nations referred to in the History of the Chickasaw.
Chickasaw Location At some time around 1300, the Chickasaw crossed the Mississippi River from an earlier location to the west (presumed to have been the Red River Valley).
According to tradition, their first permanent settlement east of the river, was Chickasaw Old Fields on the Tennessee River just west of Huntsville, Alabama.
Although they maintained a presence in northwest Alabama in later years, by 1700 Chickasaw Old Fields had moved southwest to the headwaters of the Tombigbee River in northeast Mississippi, their homeland during the historic period.
The Chickasaw also controlled western Tennessee and Kentucky west of the divide between the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers including the Chickasaw Bluffs which overlook the Mississippi River at Memphis.
One group moved east during 1723 at the invitation of South Carolina and settled on the Savannah River near Augusta, Georgia.
After the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830, the Chickasaw ceded their land east of the Mississippi in 1832 and agreed to remove to the Indian Territory.
The eastern band spent a few years among the Creeks in eastern Alabama before rejoining the main body in northern Mississippi
The failure to find suitable land delayed their move until 1837, after which the Chickasaw settled in southeast Oklahoma on land leased from the Choctaw.
Their union with the Choctaw was not happy, and in 1854 the Chickasaw separated and relocated to their own territory in south-central Oklahoma.
Although many Chickasaw left or merged with the general population after allotment took their lands, 12,000 still live in the vicinity of their tribal headquarters at Ada.
Of the two, the Choctaw were by far the larger by a factor of four to five times, but the Chickasaw were still sizeable, numbering as many as 15,000 before their contact with Europeans in 1540.
The depopulation of the region’s native populations by epidemics left by the De Soto expedition reduced them, but because of their small, scattered villages, the Chickasaw appear to have suffered less than their neighbors.
This seems accurate, since Iberville’s later report in 1702 (based on figures provided by the Chickasaw) gave 580 cabins and 2,000 warriors, also about 10,000.
However, their population did not fall as fast as as expected because their remote location protected them from the epidemics which were decimating tribes in the east.
At the same time, many of the Scottish traders from Charleston were marrying Chickasaw women which produced so many mixed-blooded Chickasaw that white traders commonly referred to them as the “breeds.
” Although British estimates during this period varied, it is evident that warfare was taking a terrible toll of the Chickasaw.
By 1761 they had fallen to 400 warriors, but this was revised upwards during 1768 to 500 men (2,500 total).
The Chickasaw were also able to maintain their numbers by absorbing remnants from the Natchez, Chakchiuma, Tapousa, Ibitoupa, and Nappissa (Napochi)
This remained relatively constant for the remainder of the 1800s: 4,700 in 1853; 4,500 in 1865; with a low point of 4,204 in 1910.
The name apparently comes from a Chickasaw tradition about two brothers (Chisca and Chacta) whose descendants became the Chickasaw and Choctaw.