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Manuscript Collection: Peter Pitchlynn

Collection Overview

Collection summary derived from "Guidebook to Manuscripts", 1969: Peter Perkins Pitchlynn, Chief of the Choctaws, (1806-1881) was one of the persons selected by the Choctaws in 1828 to survey the southeast section of Indian Territory, the land they had chosen for their home when they were forced to leave Mississippi. Peter Pitchlynn's father was John Pitchlynn, a white man and interpreter for the United States Government, who had married a Choctaw woman of the famous Folsom family. Peter Pitchlynn signed the Dancing Rabbit Creek Treaty of 1830 whereby the Choctaws gave up their lands in Mississippi for the lands in Indian Territory. Pitchlynn was a well-educated and enlightened man and left a legacy of valuable historical documents in the form of his personal papers which, together with those of his daughter, Sophia, make the Pitchlynn collection a most important one. He was appointed official Choctaw Delegate to Washington in 1853 and carried on negotiations with the Federal Government for the payment of claims, known as the "Net Proceeds Claims," for the land from which they had been removed. As principal chief, it was his duty to negotiate the Treaty of 1866 which readmitted the Choctaws to the Union following the Civil War. His portrait, a watercolor owned by the Gilcrease Institute, was painted by George Catlin in 1834. Included are the original drafts of the "Dancing Rabbit Creek Treaty," papers stating the position of the tribe in the Civil War, and letters pertaining to family affairs.

Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive
30 items
1797 - 1929
CSV file

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Access Restrictions

Available by appointment only at the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR) with the exception of materials with donor restrictions. Contact Library staff in advance to inquire if materials exist pertaining to your research interests.

Use Restrictions

Please contact the Rights and Reproduction Department for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission will be granted by the Gilcrease Museum as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.


The Gilcrease Foundation acquired these materials before 1964 and is housed in the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR). The library currently receives most materials through community donation, board members, artists and the acquisition of manuscript collections.

Staff, interns, and volunteers of the Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive have contributed to the organization and maintenance of the files since the collection passed to the City of Tulsa in the 1950s.