August 31, 1830
Representatives of the Chickasaw Nation signed the Treaty of Franklin with the United States, agreeing to cede their land in Alabama and Mississippi for an equal amount of land in the West. The treaty followed the passage of the Indian Removal Act earlier that year, but was soon voided due to the lack of suitable land. The two sides renegotiated in 1832 with the Treaty of Pontotoc Creek, in which the United States agreed to pay $3 million for Chickasaw land — although payment stalled for 30 years. In 1837, most of Chickasaw Nation finally traveled to Oklahoma along the Trail of Tears, on which more than 500 died of dysentery and smallpox.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
This section from an 1824 map of Alabama shows the extent of Chickasaw territory in the state prior their removal in the 1830s. The majority of Chickasaw lands lay in what are now northern Mississippi and western Tennessee, but the tribe also occupied portions of present-day Colbert (not created until 1867), Franklin and Marion counties. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of the University of Alabama Cartographic Research Laboratory)
A sketch by Bernard Romans of a Chickasaw warrior. In 1775, Romans published A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida, which detailed life in the Southeast during the Colonial era. Romans’ work provides a detailed description of Native American life in the region prior to widespread white settlement. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Library of Congress)
Andrew Jackson, president of the United States. (From the original painting by W.J. Hubard; drawn on stone by A. Newsam; Printed by Childs and Lehman, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.