The southeast, of course, was the original home for none of them, because all had come from other lands. They had lived there for hundreds of years by the time the United States government’s policy of encouragement and persuasion evolved into one of pressure and brute force.
In fact, the federal government carried out the wishes of Georgia and other Southern states in particular and the American citizenry in general. Those wishes involved removal of the Indians from the lands where white pioneers wished to settle and from the society that whites did not wish mutated by Native bloodlines or customs. This was accomplished in spite of the aforementioned fact that the southeastern “civilized” tribes in particular vigorously pursued American acculturation.
Choctaw hunting parties had forayed west into Indian Territory for decades. Numerous tribesmen knew the region covering most of modern-day southeast Oklahoma that the U.S. government offered them in exchange for a chunk of their remaining lands in Mississippi. After the Choctaws and the United States had concluded a series of modest treaties over the years, in 1820 Pushmataha and other chiefs were again compelled to negotiate, this time with General and future President Andrew Jackson. And this time the negotiations concerned not hunted-out lands on the periphery of the Choctaw country; instead, they focused on core tribal territory.
Read the entire Oklahoma story in John J. Dwyer's
The Oklahomans: The Story of Oklahoma and Its People
volume 1 of a 2-part series on the 46th state and the people who make this state very special.