Choctaw freedmen

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The Choctaw freedmen were enslaved African Americans who were emancipated after the American Civil War and were granted citizenship in the Choctaw Nation. Their freedom and citizenship were requirements of the 1866 treaty the US made with the Choctaw; it required a new treaty because the Choctaw had sided with the Confederate States of America during the war. The Confederacy had promised the Choctaw and other tribes of Indian Territory a Native American state if it won the war.

"Freedmen" is one of the terms given to the newly emancipated people after slavery was abolished in the United States. The Choctaw freedmen were officially adopted as full members into the Choctaw Nation in 1885.[1]

Like other Native American tribes, the Choctaw had customarily held slaves as captives from warfare. As they adopted elements of European culture, such as larger farms and plantations, they began to adapt their system to that of purchasing and holding chattel slave workers of African-American descent.[2] Moshulatubbee had slaves, as did many of the European men, generally fur traders, who married into the Choctaw nation. The Folsom and LeFlore families were some of the Choctaw planters who held the most slaves at the time of Indian Removal and afterward.[2]

Slavery lasted in the Choctaw Nation until 1866. Former slaves of the Choctaw Nation would be called the Choctaw freedmen, and then and later, a number had Choctaw as well as African and sometimes European ancestry. At the time of Indian Removal, the Beams family was a part of the Choctaw Nation. They were known to have been of African descent and also free.[2]

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