Chahta Tamaha, Indian Territory facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Armstrong Academy Site
|Location||Bryan County, Oklahoma|
|Nearest city||Bokchito, Oklahoma|
|NRHP reference No.||72001056|
|Added to NRHP||April 13, 1972|
Chahta Tamaha (Choctaw Town) was an important town in the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory that served as the Choctaw capital from 1863 to 1883. The town grew up around the Armstrong Academy. The townsite is located in present-day Bryan County, Oklahoma. Today nothing is left of the town or the Academy. However, the Armstrong Academy Site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Foundation until the Civil War
Armstrong Academy was founded as a school for Choctaw boys in 1844. It was named after William Armstrong, a popular agent of the Choctaws. The site was selected because there was a good fresh water spring with enough current to run a gristmill. A large wood supply was available.
The first classroom buildings and dormitories were built of logs from the area. In the late 1850s a brick building replaced the log building. A two-story brick addition was added later. A trading post, blacksmith and church were established early on.
As a school the average attendance was about 65 students though in 1859 it had about 100 students.
"The mission was transferred from the American Indian Mission Association to the Domestic Board of Southern Baptist Convention."
The Baptist Missionary Society of Louisville, Kentucky directed activities until 1855. In that year it was turned over to the Cumberland Presbyterian Board of Foreign and Domestic Missions who directed it until the school closed in 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War. Allen Wright, then a Choctaw Presbyterian missionary, served as principal instructor at the academy during 1855–1856.
Armstrong Academy was located in Blue County until 1886, when the area became part of a newly formed county, Jackson County. Both counties were part of the Pushmataha District, one of three administrative regions of the Choctaw Nation.
As Choctaw capital/Chahta Tamaha
During the Civil War the academy closed. Part of the building was used as a Confederate Hospital. The Choctaw Council met there in 1863, and the Choctaw capital was transferred there during the same year.
Commercial activities increased during that time.
Chahta Tamaha remained the capital of the Choctaw Nation until 1883, when the capital was relocated to Tuskahoma. In that same year the Armstrong Academy again became a school. Admission was limited to orphaned boys.
The Armstrong Academy was destroyed by fire in February 1921. The Federal government refused to rebuild it, and today the area has reverted to its original state as a deserted pasture. Nothing remains of the town but rubble from the Armstrong Academy.
- Wright, Muriel H. "Historic Spots in the Vicinity of Tuskahoma". Chronicles of Oklahoma 9:1 (March 1931) 27-42. (accessed February 8, 2007)
- Wright, Muriel H., George H. Shirk, Kenny A. Franks. Mark of Heritage. Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1976.
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