Chahta Tamaha, Indian Territory

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Armstrong Academy Site
Chahta Tamaha, Indian Territory is located in Oklahoma
Chahta Tamaha, Indian Territory
Chahta Tamaha, Indian Territory is located in the US
Chahta Tamaha, Indian Territory
Location Bryan County, Oklahoma
Nearest city Bokchito, Oklahoma
Coordinates 34°3′1″N 96°11′59″W / 34.05028°N 96.19972°W / 34.05028; -96.19972Coordinates: 34°3′1″N 96°11′59″W / 34.05028°N 96.19972°W / 34.05028; -96.19972
Built 1845
NRHP Reference # 72001056[1]
Added to NRHP April 13, 1972

Chahta Tamaha (Choctaw Town) was an important town in the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory that served as the Choctaw capital from 1863 to 1883. The town grew up around the Armstrong Academy. The townsite is located in present-day Bryan County, Oklahoma. Today nothing is left of the town or the Academy.[citation needed] However, the Armstrong Academy Site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

History[edit]

Foundation until the Civil War[edit]

Armstrong Academy was founded as a school for Choctaw boys in 1844.[2] It was named after William Armstrong, a popular agent of the Choctaws.[3] The site was selected because there was a good fresh water spring with enough current to run a gristmill.[2] A large wood supply was available.[2]

The first classroom buildings and dormitories were built of logs from the area.[2] In the late 1850s a brick building replaced the log building.[2] A two-story brick addition was added later.[2] A trading post, blacksmith and church were established early on.[2]

As a school the average attendance was about 65 students[3] though in 1859 it had about 100 students.[3]

"The mission was transferred from the American Indian Mission Association to the Domestic Board of Southern Baptist Convention." [3]

The Baptist Missionary Society of Louisville, Kentucky directed activities until 1855.[2] In that year it was turned over to the Cumberland Presbyterian Board of Foreign and Domestic Missions who directed it until the school closed in 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War.[2][3] Allen Wright, then a Choctaw Presbyterian missionary, served as principal instructor at the academy during 1855–1856.[4]

As Choctaw capital/Chahta Tamaha[edit]

During the Civil War the academy closed.[2] Part of the building was used as a Confederate Hospital.[2] The Choctaw Council met there in 1863, and the Choctaw capital was transferred there during the same year.[2][3]

The United Nations of Indian Territory delegates (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Choctaw, Seminole, and Caddo) met here with the Confederacy to plan war strategy.

Commercial activities increased during that time.[2]

Capital moved[edit]

Chahta Tamaha remained the capital of the Choctaw Nation until 1883, when the capital was relocated to Tuskahoma.[2] In that same year the Armstrong Academy again became a school.[2] Admission was limited to orphaned boys.[2][3]

Destruction[edit]

The Armstrong Academy was destroyed by fire in February 1921.[2] The Federal government refused to rebuild it,[2] and today the area has reverted to its original state as a deserted pasture. Nothing remains of the town but rubble from the Armstrong Academy.

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Morris, John (1977). Ghost Towns of Oklahoma. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-8061-1420-0. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Armstrong Academy - Bryant County, Oklahoma". Historical Foundation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America. April 14, 2004. Retrieved March 22, 2009. 
  4. ^ Meserve, John Bartlett. "Chief Allen Wright." In: Chronicles of Oklahoma vol. 19,no. 4, December, 1941. Retrieved December 17, 2012. Archived May 7, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.

Sources[edit]

  • Wright, Muriel H. "Historic Spots in the Vicinity of Tuskahoma". Chronicles of Oklahoma 9:1 (March 1931) 27-42. (accessed February 8, 2007)
  • Wright, Muriel H., George H. Shirk, Kenny A. Franks. Mark of Heritage. Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1976.

See also[edit]

Armstrong Academy Cemetery