Fort Smith Conference - 1865
click picture to
enlarge |Artist: Mike
Sponsor: Lilah B. Marshall & Paula
Dedication: February 28,
Size: 90" x 56"
Type: Oil on Canvas
Location: 4th Floor, Outside
The Fort Smith Council was
convened at the Fort Smith military post on September 8,
1865, to renegotiate treaties between the United States
and the tribes who aligned with the Confederacy during
the Civil War.
Tribes represented were the
Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Comanche, Creek, Osage, Quapaw,
Seminole, Seneca, Shawnee, Wichita and Wyandotte. Among
the representatives on the part of the United States were
D. N. Cooley, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Elijah Sells,
Superintendent of Indian Affairs; and Colonel E. S. Parker.
Tribes were informed that those
who had entered into treaties with the late Confederate government
had forfeited all of their rights and protection from the
Government of the United States and that their property was
subject to confiscation. The Government indicated that certain
conditions would need to be met before renegotiating, including
the abolishment of slavery.
Another important proposal put
forth for consideration was the joining together of all the
tribes in the Indian Territory into one commonwealth government.
It was at this time when Allen
Wright, Principal Chief of the Choctaws, proposed the word “Oklahoma” for
consideration as the name to be given to a common government.
The name was taken from two Choctaw words meaning “Land
of the Red Man.”
The tribes objected to the peace
terms presented and after an unproductive session of thirteen
days, the Fort Smith Council adjourned to meet at Washington
the next year. Before the closing, however, a simple treaty
of peace was negotiated with the tribes restoring allegiance
to the United States.
The Fort Smith Council is claimed
by the Indian Office not to be a treaty, but simply an agreement
which formed the basis for later treaties, such as the Seminole
Treaty of May 21, 1866 and the treaty with the Creeks on
June 14, 1866.
Images are copyright
of The Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund,
Inc. and the artist. Please contact Sandra Shelton at 521-5663
or email@example.com for
further copyright information.