Thomas Mitchell Buffington was born October 15, 1855, in Going Snake District of the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, now in Adair County, Oklahoma. He served as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from the 14th to the 23rd of December, 1891, upon the deaths of the Principal Chief Joel B. Mayes and the Second Chief Henry Chambers, as he had right of succession, being president of the Senate.
He later served as mayor of Vinita. In 1899 he resigned as mayor and ran for the office of Principal Chief and won, serving until 1903.
- Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume 17, No. 2, June, 1939, Chief Thomas Mitchell Buffington and Chief William Charles Rogers, by John Bartlett Meserve 
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