Chickasaw Council House

Chickasaw Nation Government

Chickasaw Council House
Chickasaw Council House

By the Chickasaw constitution no religious obligations are imposed. All denominations are protected. Free speech is guaranteed. No unreasonable search of person or house is permitted. Speedy trial is assured in criminal prosecutions, and persons are held responsible only on indictment or good information. All prisoners are bailable except those charged with murder. Remedy is provided for injury to lands, goods, person, or reputation. Excessive bail can not be exacted. No cruel or unusual punishments are inflicted. The right of trial by jury is inviolate. A person can not twice be put in jeopardy of life or limb for the same offense. The legislature has jurisdiction in the matter Of bearing arms. There is no imprisonment for debt. Elections are viva voce. All male persons over 19 years of age, by birth or adoption members of the Chickasaw Nation, who have resided 6 months immediately preceding any election in the nation, and not otherwise disqualified, are deemed qualified electors.

Chickasaw Council Senate and House, 1890

  1. Wall Lewis
  2. Martin Newberry
  3. Johnson Keel
  4. Willis Brown
  5. Billy Goforth
  6. Charley Mule
  7. Billy Hawkins
  8. Amos Colbert, Interpreter
  9. Albert McKinney
  10. Robert Newberry
  11. Benjamin Kemp, Clerk of House
  12. Hogan Keel
  13. Hogan Keel, House Interpreter
  14. Benjamin Pipey, Speaker of House
  15. Bob Kemp
  16. Sam Tyumby
  17. John Keep
  18. Chilli Alexander
  19. Thompson Pickens
  20. George Colbert
  21. Isom O. Kyaube
  22. Wall Alexander
  23. Dr. Falater
  24. Hogan Maytubly


Members of the senate and House of Representatives of the Chickasaw Nation are elected for 1 year. They receive $4 per diem. Senators must be 30 years of age and representatives 20 years of age. The number of senators shall never exceed two-thirds of the number of representatives. Each county is entitled to 3 senators and 5 representatives. The house and senate each choose their presiding and other officers. A two-third vote of either house is necessary to expel a member. Members of the legislature are exempt from arrest going and. returning, except for felony, breach of the peace, and treason. The business of the legislature is transacted with open doors. Without the consent of the other neither house can adjourn for more than 3 clays. All revenue and appropriation bills originate in the house. Senators and representatives are prohibited from holding any other civil office. The house has solo power of impeachment, and all impeachments are tried by the senate. In case of impeachment the parties convicted are subject to trial and punishment according to law, to removal from office, and are disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the Chickasaw government.


The governor of the Chickasaw Nation is elected by the votes of the qualified electors and holds office for 2 years. The governor is not eligible for more than 4 years in any period of 6 years. He must be 30 years of age, a resident of the nation for one year next preceding his election, and a Chickasaw by birth or adoption. He can not hold any other office while governor. In case of death, removal, or resignation of the governor the president of the senate, and next the speaker of the House of Representatives succeeds him. The offices of secretary, auditor, treasurer, and attorney general of the Chickasaw Nation are provided for. They are required to attend at the seat of government, Tishomingo, quarterly and during each session of the legislature. The governor has the authority to call out the militia whenever he may deem it necessary for the protection and welfare of the nation. The executive receives an annual salary of $1,500.


The judicial powers of the Chickasaw Nation as applied to citizens are vested in a supreme court and district and county courts. The Supreme Court consists of a chief justice and 2 associates, any two of whom shall form a quorum. The judges must be 30 years of age. Their term of office is 4 years. The judges of the county courts are elected by the people and have jurisdiction in all cases not exceeding $100, and also act as probate judges. They hold office for 2 years. The district attorney, elected by the people, also acts as attorney general of the Chickasaw Nation.

Politics and Office Holding

No citizen is allowed to hold more than one national office at the same time. Officers not paid from the national fund are exempt from this rule. There are two political parties among the Chickasaws, the National or Pull Back party and the Progressives. The white men have no vote and the last legislature disfranchised the “galvanized” or “married in” whites. The present is a Pall Back administration. The Pull Backs are in favor of leaving national affairs just as they are. The majority of the Pull Backs are (ace holders. The Progressive party favors the division of the land in severalty, statehood, and opening up the country to whites and others. The full bloods are a very small minority among the Pull Backs, and as a rule hold but a few acres each.


It is stipulated in the thirty-ninth article of the treaty of 1866, between the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes of Indians, that no person shall expose for sale in the Chickasaw Nation any goods or other article of merchandise without obtaining a permit from the legislature thereof, Trading without obtaining a permit incurs the penalty of having all goods and merchandise confiscated. A tax of 1 per cent is charged by the nation on all goods, merchandise, or other articles for sale or barter. No trader’s permit can be granted for a longer period than 3 years. Citizens are required to have permits, but are exempt from taxation. Noncitizens are required to pay $5 per year for residing in the Chickasaw Nation, and no permits are granted for a longer period than 1 year. Noncitizens wishing to remain in the Chickasaw Nation for a shorter time than 6 months can also by paying the permit collector 50 cents a month for every month or part of a mouth. Permit collectors are elected in each county of the Chickasaw Nation for a period of 2 years. They are required to give bond in the sum of $500 to the governor, and for their services they are paid 15 per cent of all the money they may collect. Deputy permit collectors may be appointed by the permit collectors, who are to be paid by the permit collectors out of the 15 per cent they receive for their services. An inspector of permits for each county is appointed by the government. The inspector takes up all permits granted in his county and gives his receipt for the same. Inspectors are entitled to 10 per cent out of the permit money.

Persons living in the nation under permit shall not be allowed to bring in or hold more than 5 mulch cows, nor keep hogs outside of enclosures, but are allowed all the work horses, mules, and cattle necessary for farm work.


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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