History of the Choctaw

Makayla Bell

The Choctaws were relentless warriors and skilled traders in the 1800s. They were a North American Indian tribe of Muskogean linguists that lived in what now is Southeastern Mississippi. Like most tribes in the 1800s, agriculture was a huge part of survival. With all Southeastern tribes, the Choctaws were claimed to be the best agricultures of the time. They gathered many wild plants but mainly focused on corn, beans, squash, pumpkins, and sunflowers. Unlike today’s stoves and ovens, the Choctaws cooked with coals and fires or steamed their food in leaves. With the same animal that they killed for food, they also harvested the hide to make canisters. Having all these crops they need a way to trade with other countries. In the upcoming years, salesmen from several countries began to travel to America hoping to find new things. The North American colonials began their march and met the Americans there during these travels. 

The War of 1812 was an outcome of the Britain and France war. With the United States neutral side to both parties, they did however feel betrayed and took it into their own hands. France not accepting their agreement to be neutral, punished American ships. By 1810 their composure had settled down but Britians didn’t budge. On the frontier of the United States Britain had started an uproar with the Native Americans. This issue led up to Congress declaring war on Great Britain in 1812. During this, the Americans gave the Choctaws their own will if they wanted to join the war. Many however were too worried to proceed with the fact that the Euro-Americans might realize they’re allies. With 135 men raised only 4 of them were associated with Choctaws. 

By the end of December 1814, an exceeding 11,000 British troops were in coastal Louisiana. With the 795 Choctaw troops that were enlisted, a group of 50 and 60 Choctaws marched under the rule of Andrew Jackson. With Britain’s attempt to capture New Orleans and put an end to the war of 1812, it quickly went downhill. When Britain succeeded in killing Captain Canvell and many men they thought it would be the end. With Choctaws lined up on the lines of the swamp war started up once more. With the Choctaw’s unexpected and surprise attack, the Britians went into a panic. The Choctaw’s experience with the land made it easier to kill half and even more of the British soldiers.