Greenwood McCurtain, Chief to the Choctaw Nation

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Greenwood McCurtain, Chief to the Choctaw Nation

Also Known As: "Green"
Birthplace: Twp 8, Choctaw Nation, Oklahoma, USA
Death: Died in Kinta, Haskell County, Oklahoma, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Cornelius McCurtain, Chief to the Choctaw Nation and Mahayia Amy McCurtain
Husband of Rhoda McCurtain; Kate McCurtain and Martha Ann McCurtain
Father of Benjamin Franklin McCurtain; James F. McCurtain; Isabell McCurtain; Alice McCurtain; Lena McCurtain and 5 others
Brother of Jackson Frazier McCurtain, Col., CSA, Chief to the Choctaw Nation; Isabelle Riddle; Sina McCurtain; Edmund Aaron McCurtain, 2lt, CSA, Chief to the Choctaw Nation; David McCurtain and 2 others

Occupation: Choctaw Chief
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Greenwood McCurtain, Chief to the Choctaw Nation

Green McCurtain

When Green McCurtain took office in October 1902, he served until his death o­n December 28, 1910. In the election of 1902, Thomas Hunter of Hugo, was McCurtain’s opponent. In October 1902 before the votes were canvassed the U.S. Government had to send in soldiers to Tushka Homma to keep peace. Gilbert W. Dukes was a friend of Tom Hunter and the morning o­n which the votes were to be canvassed he walked into the Choctaw Capitol with Tom Hunter and outgoing Chief, turned over everything to Hunter as his successor. Major Hackett, U. S. Marshal, who was a friend of Gilbert Dukes and Tom Hunter, took possession of the capitol and grounds, with Tom Hunter as Chief, and proceeded to organize a council; the followers of McCurtain being barred from the building. Indian Agent Shoenfelt was o­n the ground and attempted to settle the difficulty but it was impossible because the U. S. Marshal representing the Judicial Department was in charge. Therefore, agent Shoenfelt sent a message to the War Department at Washington for troops. The order went to Fort Sill for soldiers to go to Tushka Homma. Saturday about noon, which was the last day provided by Constitution to canvass the votes, the U. S. Soldiers composed of 200 Negroes with white officers, came in, marched to the capitol, and after the commander consulted for o­ne hour with the U. S. Marshal and the Agent, he took charge of the building, disarming all occupants of the building and instructing them to tend to any business necessary.

The members of the two factions then entered into fistfights in which the command took no side, while the votes were being canvassed. It was dark when the canvassing was completed and Green McCurtain was declared elected as Principal Chief of Choctaw Nation. Peter J. Hudson was an interpreter for Green McCurtain’s faction and witnessed and took part in the trouble.

In 1904 another election was held with Green McCurtain and Thomas Hunter as Candidates and Green McCurtain was re-elected. He served until October 1906. In August 1906 Wesley Anderson of Tushka Homma was Elected Principal Chief but was not confirmed from the fact the tribal government was supposed to have expired March 4, 1906. It was said of him that he was “first an Indian and then a Democrat but there came a time when he believed the Democratic delegation in Congress was unfriendly to his people and he became and died a Republican.” He had no opponent, so Green McCurtain was the last elected Chief, and continued to serve until his death. Greenwood McCurtain, a staunch Baptist, passed away o­n December 28, 1910

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Green, or possibly Greenwood, McCurtain, a younger brother of Chiefs Jackson Frazier and Edmund McCurtain, was born at or near the town of Skullyville in the old Indian Territory on November 28, 1848. His educational advantages were limited to the neighborhood common schools. He served as sheriff of Skullyville County for one term beginning in 1872 and for three terms as representative to the National Council, being for the years 1874 to 1880 inclusive. From 1880 to 1884, he was trustee of schools for the First or Moshulatubbe District, thereafter becoming district attorney for that district. In August 1888, he was elected national treasurer, to which position he was reelected in 1890. At the expiration of his terms as treasurer, he was chosen to the senate in 1893 for a two year term.

Chronicles of Oklahoma,Volume 13, No. 3,September, 1935,THE McCURTAINS,


In October 1896, Green McCurtain became chief of the Choctaws and the tribal government was committed to the allotment in severalty of the tribal domain and a policy which was ultimately to lead to the extinguishment of the political status of the tribe. A majority of the council were of the Tuskahoma Party, and with this backing the new chief took vigorous steps to accomplish an adjustment of the allotment matter with the commission. With marked rapidity, he moved from one conference to another and placed the Choctaws in the position of advantage of being the first of the five tribes to reach an agreement with the commission. This was the so-called Atoka Agreement of April 23, 1897, embodied as Section 29 of the Curtis Act of June 28, 1898 and approved by a vote of the members of the tribe. This fact evidences two actualities, first, that through his matchless courage and marked ability, Chief McCurtain had broken down the most persistent opposition and converted his people to the wisdom of his policy, and second, that the Choctaw people had great confidence in his judgment and integrity.

Chronicles of Oklahoma,Volume 13, No. 3,September, 1935,THE McCURTAINS,


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Greenwood McCurtain, Chief to the Choctaw Nation's Timeline

October 28, 1848
Twp 8, Choctaw Nation, Oklahoma, USA
January 29, 1873
Age 24
Caddo, Bryan County, Oklahoma, United States
March 15, 1874
Age 25
Oklahoma City, LeFlore, Oklahoma, United States
December 18, 1874
Age 26
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, United States
January 10, 1877
Age 28
February 8, 1879
Age 30
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, United States
August 9, 1881
Age 32
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, United States