Whereas the dissolution of the Federal Union under which the government of the United States existed, had absolved the Muscogee, Seminole, Choctaw and Chickasaw Nation of Indians from allegiance to any foreign government whatever, that by the providence of God, the current of events has left them free and independent to form such alliances as may ensure their own safety, promote general welfare, provide for the common defense, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, as may to them seem best and retain unimpaired their Tribal or National rights, titles and interest in and to the country which they now respectively hold; Therefore Articles of Confederation and perpetual union are hereby entered into by and between the Muscogee, Seminole, Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians by their commissioners in convention, held at North Fork in the country of the Muscogee, on the first day of July, A.D. 1861.
Article 1. We agree that such Tribe or Nation, party to this act of Confederation, shall retain its sovereignty, freedom and independence and jurisdiction and constitutional rights not expressly delegated to the Grand Council of the United Nations of the Indian Territory to be composed of any members from each Tribe or Nation, and the title of their laws shall be “Be it enacted by the Grand Council of the United Nations of the Indian Territory.”
Article 2. It is further agreed that the four Tribes or Nations herein mentioned have severally entered into a firm league and friendship with the each other for their common defense, the security of their liberties and their mutual and general welfare, and bind themselves to apart each other against all force offered to or attacks that might be made upon any or all of them, or account of their sovereignty independence country or any other positions whatsoever, and for the convenient management of the general interest and welfare of the Confederate Tribes or Nations, it is hereby determined that delegates shall be annually elected in such manner as the Council or Legislation or each Tribe or Nation shall direct, to meet in the Grand Council at North Fork, on the first Monday of September of every year, provided, however, that first meeting of the Grand Council of United Nations shall be on the first of December A.D. 1861 and should provide further that the Council or Legislation of each Nation shall have approved of the Articles of Confederation, and due notice shall have been first given by the Executive Authority of each Nation to the other.
Article 3. It is also agreed to that the Principal Chief or Governor of each Tribe or Nation, party to this Confederation shall all attend the meetings of Grand Council of the United Nations and give such information of the state of affairs in their respective districts or country, and recommend any measures they may desire necessary to the Grand Council for their consideration. A majority of Chiefs or Governors signing any bills, resolutions or acts which may be passed by the Grand Council it shall become the force of a law, as if all the Chiefs or Governors of the Confederation had approved and signed the same.
Article 4. In case any of the Principal Chiefs or Governors of the several Nations or Tribes herein mentioned, be indisposed or unable to attend the meetings of the delegates; he shall have the power to appoint one in his place to perform the duties required of the Principal Chief or Governor during the session of the Grand Council; also, either of the Chiefs or Governors shall have the privilege of convening the Grand Council, should he deem the consideration of affairs among his people require it, by giving due notice of the time to other Chiefs or Governors.
Article 5. When vacancies happens or the Grand Council from the Tribes or Nations herein Confederated, the Executive Authority thereof shall fill the vacancies by appointments.
Article 6. The Grand Council shall choose their President and other officers and make such needful bills for the government of the House, as they may deem proper and necessary, and shall be the judges of the election returns and the qualifications of its members; and a majority of delegates shall constitute a quorum to do business but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day until five days shall have transpired when they shall adjourn sine die.
Article 7. Each Nation or Tribe may give such compensation to each of their respective members as they may think best to allow.
Article 8. Any other Nation or Tribe of Indians, not a party of this Compact, may be admitted into this Confederacy by conforming to the foregoing Articles of Confederation, and with the consent of the Grand Council.
Article 9. It is further agreed and understood, that, for the mutual protection and safety of the Nations or Tribes parties to this Compact the right of way to all forces of the Confederate States of America through our territory is hereby granted.
Article 10. The Grand Council shall have power to call on each of the Nations or Tribes herein confederated, to furnish any number of troops to repel invasion by a foreign enemy, or to suppress insurrections under such regulations and measures as they may deem necessary to adopt.
Article 11. It is further agreed that such Nations or Tribes, parties to this Compact shall be bound to abide by the determinations or acts passed by the Grand Council in pursuance of the powers herein granted.
Article 12. It is also agreed that whenever two-thirds of the members of the Grand Council desire to amend or change any part of the foregoing Articles of Confederation, they shall make amendments or change the same in such manner as they may think proper.
Article 13. That when any one of the Nations or Tribes herein confederated become dissatisfied and desire to withdraw from the same, they shall give their reasons in writing, and be required to give notice of their intention to the Grand Council which shall have power to absolve them from all obligations of the Compact. Whereas, it is highly necessary that the right of way and free passage through the several districts or country of the Muscogee, Seminole, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Nations of Indians be granted forthwith to all forces or troops which may desire to make their march through any of the Districts or countries aforesaid, in order to repel the invading forces of Abraham Lincoln, therefore
Be it resolved by the Commissioners in convention assembled, that the right of way and free passage be and is hereby granted to all forces of the Confederate States of America, as well as to the forces of any Nation or Tribe who may desire to march their forces through to any part of the Indian Territory to repel the invading forces of abolition hands under Abraham Lincoln, whose army is now approaching our position.
This resolution to be in full force and effect from and after its passage.
President of the Convention
Geo. W. Harkins, Sr. Secretary
Seminole Commissioners: Muscogee Commissioners:
Pahsocya hola, his x mark, George M. Steadather,
Pasbunnucko chi, his x mark, Louis McIntosh,
James M.L. Smith,
Choctaw Commissioners: Samuel Chekele,
Forbis Leflore, D.W. McIntosh,
Sampson Folsom, George W. Walker,
William Bryant, Leon Burnett,
Alfred Wade, John Smith
McKee King, Chickasaw Commissioners:
William King, Edmund Pickins,
Rufus Folsom, Asha Letubbee, his x mark,
Allen Wright, William Frazier, his x mark,
William Pitchlynn, Chun shepher Columbus, his x mark,
S.P. Turnbull, James Gamble,
John E. Hudson,
Joel E. Kemp
John M. Johnson,
James A. McClish,
Martin N. Allen,
February 7, 1861
Resolved by the General Council of the Choctaw Nation assembled, That we view with deep regret and great solicitude the present unhappy political disagreement between the Northern and Southern States of the American Union, tending to a permanent dissolution of the Union and the disturbance of the various important relations existing with that Government by treaty stipulations and international laws, and portending much injury to the Choctaw government and people.
Resolved further, That we must express the earnest desire and ready hope entertained by the entire Choctaw people, that any and all political disturbances agitating and dividing the people of the various States may be honorably and speedily adjusted; and the example and blessing, and fostering care of their General Government, and the many and friendly social ties existing with their people, continue for the enlightenment in moral and good government and prosperity in the material concerns of life to our whole population.
Resolved further, That in the event a permanent dissolution of the American Union takes place, our many relations with the General Government must cease, and we shall be left to follow the natural affections, education, institutions, and interests of our people, which indissolubly bind us in every way to the destiny of our neighbors and brethren of the Southern States, upon whom we are confident we can rely for the preservation of our rights of life, liberty, and property, and the continuance of many acts of friendship, general counsel, and material support.
Resolved further, That we desire to assure our immediate neighbors, the people of Arkansas and Texas, of our determination to observe the amicable relations in every way so long existing between us, and the firm reliance we have, amid any disturbances with other States, the rights and feelings so sacred to us will remain respected by them and be protected from the encroachments of others.
Resolved further, That his excellency the principal chief be requested to inclose, with an appropriate communication from himself, a copy of these resolutions to the governors of the Southern States, with the request that they be laid before the State convention of each State, as many as have assembled at the date of their reception, and that in such as have not they be published in the newspapers of the State.
Resolved, That these resolutions take effect and be in force from and after their passage.
Approved February 7, 1861.