Choctaw Nation Capital

The First Capital of the Choctaw Nation

Nvnih Waiya

The first capital was finished in 1838 and served as the capital of the Choctaw Nation until 1850.

"When the new capitol was completed in 1838, it was the best of its kind and presented the finest specimens of the workmanship of the skilled artisans who came to the Indian Territory in early days. Its appearance even elicited praise from persons from the East who had occasion to visit the Choctaw capitol and were competent judges of good workmanship. The building was a spacious one, erected from pine logs felled in the neighboring forest, all hand hewn with even facings of 12 by 6 inches. The doors and window frames and outside, wooden shutters with movable slats were hand dressed. The two tall chimneys with large open fireplaces, were of dressed stone. On the inside of the building the walls were carefully covered with plaster and then painted white. Since the General Council was composed of only one body at first, there was one large hall provided for its meetings. A railing was placed around the seats for the council members, in the center of the room, to separate them from those for the spectators, as there were always many visitors during the sessions of the Council. In the center of the hall, stood a post, painted white, serving not only as a support to the ceiling but also as a "sound transmitter." At one end of the building were two small rooms used for meetings of special committees and of the supreme court. On the outside of the building, the dark green of the window shutters contrasted with the snow-white of the walls which had been whitewashed, according to the usual plan adopted by the Government in finishing up buildings of frame or hewn logs, erected under its supervision in early days. Some of the old-timers have said that the appearance of the first council-house of the Choctaws in the Indian Territory was 'splendid and substantial'" (33-34)

The Capital of the Choctaw Nation 1850-1883

In October of 1850, the capital of the Choctaw Nation was moved from Nanih Waiya to Doaksville. ( Click to read more about Doaksville.)

Under the Skullyville Constitution of 1857, the capital was temporarily moved to Boggy Depot.

In 1860 under the new Constitution, Doaksville was once again made the permanent capital of the Choctaw Nation.

In 1863, the capital was once again moved, this time to the Armstrong Academy and was known as Chahta Tamaha and would remain the capital until 1883.


16 October 1883, the capital of the Choctaw Nation was relocated to Tushkahoma.

"...Tushka Homma, the new capital of the Choctaws. The town has a beautiful location, situated in the prairie-covered valley where the hills widen out to four or five miles, and to our eye is one of the prettiest spots in the beautiful Indian Territory. A year ago nothing marked the site of the town, but today we found a number of buildings, stores and hotels. The capitol building is the finest structure in the Territory and reflects great credit on the building committee and Mr. H. T. Jackman, the contractor. It is of brick, three stories with mansard roof, with ample room for the two branches of the Council, executive offices, supreme court room, offices of the different officials of the government and a committee, all furnished and curtained in an elegant manner, at a cost of over $25,000.00, and the work all finished since last council which passed the bill moving it from old Armstrong Academy." (37)

"The new town of Tushkahoma seemed destined to a struggle for its existence. When the St. Louis & San Francisco R. R. constructed its line between Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Paris, Texas, in 1887, the company demanded a large bonus from the Choctaw Council before it would locate a station at Tushkahoma. The Council refused to pay the bonus. Thereupon, the railroad station was located about two miles south of the new council-house and the town was forced to move to its present site." (39)


Today, the Choctaw Nation headquarters are located in Durant, Oklahoma and the Tushkahoma capital is home to the Choctaw Nation Judicial Department.


Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Wright, Muriel, "Historic Spots in the Vicinity of Tushkahoma," Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol. 9, No. 1, March 1931.