Timeline of American Indian Removals
Tribes Native to Oklahoma
Caddo (in Oklahoma for trade and hunting purposes)
Tribes removed to Oklahoma
- 1802 What was called the Georgia Compact is the beginning salvo towards Indian removal.
- 1803 Louisiana Purchase
Approximately one-fourth of the Cherokee Nation from southeastern US voluntarily migrate to
Arkansas Territory (attached to Missouri) settling between the White and Arkansas Rivers in northwest Arkansas.
On December 7 the Territory of Missouri is organized by Congress.
July 8 a treaty was concluded between the Cherokees and representatives of the United States. Though sixty-seven chiefs signed the document, a majority of the tribe opposed it. Those removed to Arkansas Territory are called "Old Settlers."
The Quapaws native to Arkansas sign a treaty accepting land or reservation of one million acres between the Arkansas and Ouachita Rivers.
Delaware aka Lenape Indians cede lands in Indiana under the Treaty of St. Mary's. This is not the first treaty leading to removal. The Lenape people lived along the Delaware River along the east coast of America. Their people at one time lived on Manhattan Island in New York State. During the eighteenth century they were disposed of lands in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and by 1818, Indiana.
Miami Indians living in Indiana cede land under provisions of the Treaty of St. Mary's.
The Kickapoo Indians originally from Wisconsin sign a treaty removing them from Illinois to Missouri; however, a remnant band remained in Illinois harassing white settlements.
The Treaty of Doak's Stand is the first of removal treaties involving the Choctaws of Mississippi. A portion of the tribe removes to southwest Arkansas Territory.
The Delaware remove from Indiana.
Missouri becomes a state.
- 1824 Quapaws cede all their lands in Arkansas Territory, moving to northwest Louisiana and
residing with the Caddo Indians.
Forts Gibson and Towson are established in Indian Territory to provide protection for tribes moving from the East.
- 1828Andrew Jackson elected president.
The Western or Old Settler Cherokees remove from Arkansas Territory to Indian Territory. This removal will begin a protracted war with the Osage Indians as the Cherokee are encroaching on Osage lands.
The Indian Removal Act fostered by President Jackson passes Congress.
The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek stipulates the removal of Choctaw Indians from Mississippi.
The Choctaw Nation begins removal from Mississippi to Indian Territory thus becoming the first of the Five Tribes to be forcibly removed and beginning a decade of trail of tears.
Several tribes in Ohio sign treaties requiring removal from the state. They include the Senecas, Shawnees, and Ottawas.
The Treaty of Payne's Landing begins the process for removal of the Seminoles of Florida. It would take almost twenty years and 15 million dollars to force the tribe from their lands.
The Treaty of Pontotoc in Mississippi requires the removal of the Chickasaw Tribe from their lands.
Andrew Jackson is reelected President.
The Wyandots (Hurons) of Ohio cedes lands through the Treaty of McCutchensville.
The following tribes conclude various treaties with the United States all forced to give up lands:
The Sauk and Fox cede lands east of the Mississippi River for land in Kansas.
The Prairie Band of Potawatomis cede lands in Indiana for land in Kansas.
The Shawnees and Delawares cede lands in Missouri for land in Kansas.
The Kaskaskias and Peorias cede lands in Illinois and Missouri.
The small tribes of Stockbridge, Munsees, Brothertons, and New York Oneidas) cede lands. These tribes in particular will relocate in the northeast corner of Indian Territory.
The Piankeshaws and Weas in Illinois and Missouri cede lands.
The Quapaws of Arkansas conclude a treaty that removes the tribe to Indian Territory located in the extreme northeast corner bordering Kansas and Missouri.
The Illinois Kickapoos remove to Kansas.
The Ottawas of Ohio conclude treaty that cedes land and requires removal.
A treaty requires the Caddos of Louisiana to remove beyond the limits of the United States. They are virtually left landless ultimately migrating into the Republic of Texas.
The Apalachicola of Florida (part of the Muscogee-Creek Confederacy) begins removal.
The Indian Intercourse Acts designates territories west of Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana as "Indian Territory." Indian Territory at this time will be from the Red River of Texas north to the Canadian border.
The Muscogee-Creek Tribe begins removal.
The Treaty of New Echota provides for the removal of all Cherokees east of the
Arkansas becomes a state.
The Seminoles of Florida begins removal.
The forced removal of Muscogees and Creeks begins.
The Republic of Texas is established.
- 1837 The Chickasaws voluntarily remove, settling on the western fringe of the Choctaw Nation
in Indian Territory.
Forced removal of 16,000 Cherokees begins.
Potawatomis of Indiana begin forced removal on their Trail of Death.
1839 Cherokee Trail of Tears continues incurring approximately 4,000 deaths along the way.
The Kickapoos in Kansas remove to Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
1842 Fort Washita established in Indian Territory.
The Treaty of Buffalo Creek provides the removal of the Seneca Indians.
The Wyandot tribe removes from Ohio.
The Sauk and Fox of Iowa cede land and prepare for removal within Kansas.
Florida becomes a state.
Texas enters the Union.
Miami Indians remove from Indiana.
Iowa enters the Union.
Wisconsin becomes a state.
Potawatomis remove from Wisconsin.
Kansas-Nebraska Act organizes Kansas Territory.
Upper and Lower Brazos Reserve is created in northern Texas for Caddos, Keechis, Wacos, Delawares, Tonkawas and Penateka Comanches.
The Seminoles of Florida removal era ends.
The Texas Indians located at the Brazos Reserve are removed to the Leased District in western Indian Territory near the Wichita Indians.
Abraham Lincoln elected President.
Civil War erupts.
Kansas enters the Union.
Treaty of Little Arkansas River assigns reservation to Cheyenne, Arapahos, Kiowas, and
Comanches in western Indian Territory.
Civil War ends.
Repressive treaties concluded with the Five Tribes reducing land base in Indian Territory.
Sauk and Fox remove from Kansas to Indian Territory.
Citizen Potawatomi remove from Kansas to Indian Territory.
Treaty of Medicine Lodge is concluded reassigning Cheyenne and Arapahos reservation in Indian Territory.
Iowa tribe removes from Kansas to Indian Territory.
Fort Sill established is southwestern Indian Territory.
Osage Tribe in Kansas purchase land from Cherokee Nation creating the Osage reservation.
Pawnee tribe is removed from Nebraska to Indian Territory.
Red River or Buffalo War between the United States military, the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, and Kiowa Indians are finally subdued and confined to their reservations.
Ponca Tribe is removed from Nebraska to Indian Territory.
Iowa Indians remove from Nebraska and Kansas to Indian Territory.
Boomer Movement begins under David L. Payne to open the Unassigned Lands in central Indian Territory as public domain for settlement purposes. This generates considerable discussion among the Cherokee and Creeks how to thwart Payne's efforts.
David Payne dies in Wellington, Kansas. Second in command William Couch takes over.
General Allotment Act authored by US Senator Henry L. Dawes passes Congress.
The Unassigned Lands opened to settlement.
Oklahoma Territory organized.
The Jerome Commission begins work to induce tribes other than Five Tribes and Osage Nation to cede lands and take allotments in severalty.
Sac & Fox-Shawnee lands opened for settlement.
Cheyenne & Arapaho lands opened for settlement.
Dawes Commission created.
The Cherokee Outlet is opened with 100,000 persons making the run for homesteads.
Geronimo's band of Chiricahua Apaches after being subdued by the military in 1886, removed as prisoners to Florida then later to Alabama are finally relocated to Fort Sill.
Curtis Act passes Congress forcing the Five Tribes to treat with the Dawes Commission.
Muscogee-Creek, Seminoles, Choctaws and Chickasaws are enrolled by the Dawes Commission.
The Cherokee Nation is enrolled by the Dawes Commission.
Kiowa, Comanche, Wichita & Affiliated Bands lands opened for settlement by lottery.
The Osage Nation takes allotments in severalty. The Osage Nation is the only tribe that retains mineral after allotment which members continue to benefit to the present.
The Dawes Commission Final Rolls for the Five Tribes closes.
- 1907 Oklahoma becomes a state.
Encyclopedia of American Indian Removal, Volume 1, A-Z, by Daniel F. Littlefield and James W. Parins, Editors, Greenwood Press, 2011.
The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, Volume 1, A-L, Dianna Everett, Ph.D. Editor Linda Wilson, Larry O'Dell and Jon D. May Associate Editors, Oklahoma Historical Society, 2009.
The Handbook of Texas, Volume 1, Edited by Walter Prescott Webb, Texas State Historical Association, Austin, 1952
Indian Treaties 1778-1883, Compiled & Edited by Charles J. Kappler, Interland Publishing Inc., New York, 1972.
William D. Welge, CA
Director, Office of American Indian Culture & Preservation