Chickasaw Marriage and Divorce

Noncitizens must reside in the Chickasaw Nation for a period of 2 years before they can procure a license to marry a citizen of the nation; must be of good moral character and industrious habits; must be recommended by at least 5 good and responsible citizens of the nation and of the county wherein they reside; pay a license fee of $50, and, finally, all must be approved by the county judge. Such marriage confers the right to citizenship and the right to select and improve lands. In case a citizen of the United States, having married a member of the Chickasaw Nation, shall voluntarily abandon or separate from such member of the Chickasaw Nation, such citizen of the United States shall forfeit all right acquired by such arriage in the Chickasaw Nation and be liable to removal as an intruder from the limits thereof, and it has recently been decided that when a citizen of the United States marries a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation within the limits of a state or

territory other than the Chickasaw or the Choctaw Nation, and according to the marriage forms and ceremonies of such state or territory, no citizen rights are acquired by such marriage.

Polygamy and concubinage are prohibited. Marriages must be solemnized by a judge or other person lawfully authorized to perform the marriage ceremony. Persons found guilty of polygamy are compelled to remain apart until the disability is removed, pay the cost of suit, be fined $50, and in case of inability to pay the Line be confined for from 1 to 6 months in jail. By the act of October 10, 1876, all persons convicted of crimes where lines are the penalty and are not able to pay the same are subject to 3 months’ imprisonment in the national jail, with or without hard labor, at the discretion of the court, but the act shall not be construed to interfere with the terms of imprisonment provided for violation of other laws. Persons guilty of concubinage or adultery are compelled to separate forever, and are subject to a fine of $50.


Donaldson, John. The Chickasaw, 11th Census of the United States. Washington, D.C.: Robert P. Porter, Superintendent, US Printing Office. 1892

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