Pushmataha: Choctaw Warrior, Diplomat, and Chief

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Greg O'Brien, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Few Choctaws from the early 1800s are better known than Pushmataha. He negotiated several well-publicized treaties with the United States, led Choctaws in support of the Americans during the War of 1812, is mentioned in nearly all histories of the Choctaws, was famously painted by Charles Bird King in 1824, is buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C., and, in April 2001, a new Pushmataha portrait was unveiled to hang in the Hall of Fame of the State of Mississippi in the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson, Mississippi. Early twentieth-century ethnologist John Swanton referred to Pushmataha as the “greatest of all Choctaw chiefs.”1

Despite his seeming familiarity, Pushmataha's life is not as well documented nor as well known as a careful biographer would like. What is known suggests that Pushmataha was an exceptional man and charismatic leader. He had deep roots in the ancient Choctaw world, a world characterized by spiritual power and traditional notions of culture. In addition, Pushmataha effectively confronted a rapidly changing era caused by the ever-expanding European and American presence.

Additional Information

Mississippi History Now (July 2001)
Language: English
Date: 2001
Pushmataha, Choctaw, Native Americans, Amerindians, Biography, Culture

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