The Chickasaw Indian tribe lived in the lower Mississippi Valley, and the tribe's first contact with Europeans happened in 1540. The Chickasaw were known for their highly developed ruling system. The tribe members were successful traders with other tribes and the French and English. During the French and Indian War, the Chickasaw tribe sided with the English. The Chickasaw were part of the "Great Removal" to Indian Territory along the Trail of Tears.
The Treaty of Doaksville in 1837 called for the resettlement of the Chickasaw with the Choctaw tribe. The Chickasaw separated from the Choctaw in 1856 and formed their own government.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, the Chickasaw Indian tribe sided with the South. The tribe raised troops, and the Choctaw/Chickasaw Mounted Regiment fought in some of the last battles of the war. Although the war resulted in financial hardships for the tribe, the Chickasaw eventually regained financial prosperity. Many tribe members became successful ranchers and farmers. The Chickasaw tribe built some of the first schools and banks in Indian Territory.
When Oklahoma earned statehood in 1907, the President of the United States appointed the principal officers of the Chickasaw nation. In 1970, Congress passed legislation allowing the Chickasaw nation, and other tribes, to elect their own principals.