It is known that many Africans intermarried with Native Americans. Less widely known is the fact that many Native Americans also owned African slaves, and fathered children with African slave women. In addition there were smaller numbers Free People of Color who lived in many of the nations and who also lived and married persons from the same nations, and whose descendants claim ancestry from the Oklahoma Black Indian people.As a result, thousands of Americans have African and Indian ancestry.
This web page is dedicated to the Freedmen of Indian Territory--now Oklahoma, who were the former slaves and also the Free Persons of Color in the Five Civilized Tribes. Within these nations-the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Nations -- genealogists will find thousands of records documenting the history of those African people living within the Indian nations. More than 20,000 Africans were adopted into these nations before the end of the 19th century. The Treaty of 1866 brought about the abolishment of Slavery in Indian Territory, and the adoption of the former slaves into 4 of the 5 nations. Although many of the nations have now chosen to ignore this critical treaty, the history stands as the major official connection of these Oklahoma nations have to their African brethren that cannot be disputed historically. This page shall contain transcriptions from official documents, and shall highlight methods of family history documentation that can be used by the hundreds of thousands of Indian Territory Freedman descendants.
Furthermore, several census counts were taken between 1866 and 1907, specifically of the African Native people in Indian Territory. Join the journey of researching the history of these African people, and explore a unique part of the African Diaspora, through the history of the Africans of Indian Territory.
Back to Main Page