Copyright © Janice Tracy, Cemeteries of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Left: Brooksfield Cemetery
Noxubee County, Mississippi

On December 23, 1833, sixteen new counties were formed in the State of Mississippi as a result of an agreement signed with the Choctaws. This agreement, signed on September 7, 1830, in a location that is now part of Noxubee County, became known as The Treaty at Dancing Rabbit Creek. The new counties that were named from former Choctaw lands, are listed here in the order in which they were formed: Noxubee, Kemper, Lauderdale, Clark, Oktibbeha, Winston, Choctaw, Tallahatchie, Yalobusha, Carroll, Jasper, Neshoba, Smith, Scott, Leake and Attala. Also included in these former Choctaw lands were portions of Sunflower, Bolivar, Quitman, Holmes and Lowndes Counties.

This blog will include information about cemeteries located in these counties that were once part of the Choctaw Nation, and about those who settled in them, along with some stories about the people who were left behind. Since I already write Graveyard Rabbit blogs about cemeteries in
Attala and Holmes Counties, this blog will be written about cemeteries in the other counties covered by The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. I also write a Graveyard Rabbit blog about Madison County, Mississippi. As an opening post here today, I am providing as background some of the provisions of The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

Historic Marker near where the Treaty of Dancing
Rabbit Creek was signed on September 7, 1830
This location is now part of Noxubee County, MS

After a period of negotiations, representatives of the U. S. Government met with the Choctaw chiefs and other representatives at Dancing Rabbit Creek, Chukfi ahihla bok, in Choctaw, meaning literally, Rabbit-there-dances creek. At this location, the Choctaw removal was explained to an audience that contained over 5,000 men, women, and children. It is difficult to know how the Choctaw people in this audience felt, but they must have known their futures were all at stake. The treaty that was subsequently signed on September 7, 1830 became known as The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, and its terms resulted in one of the largest land transfers ever signed between the United States Government and American Indians during a time of peace. The Choctaw Nation signed away approximately 11 million acres of their traditional homeland in the United States. Terms of the treaty allowed some members of the tribe and their families to stay in the State of Mississippi, and Article IV of the treaty allowed Mississippi Choctaws to be the first non-European group to become citizens of the United States.

The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was ratified by the U. S. Senate on September 15, 1831, and its ratification resulted in
the Choctaw becoming the first of "The Five Civilized Tribes" to be removed under the Indian Removal Act of 1830. By 1832, tens of thousands of Choctaw people would begin the long journey to Oklahoma Territory. That journey, one that spanned several hundred miles and lasting many months, resulted in many lives that were lost along the way. That journey is known as
"The Trail of Tears."


  1. Thank you Janice for starting another important graveyard rabbit blog --- The Graveyard Rabbit of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

    I look forward to reading more about the history and heritage of Mississippi through your excellent articles.

    Terry Thornton
    Fulton, Missssippi

  2. I am so glad you have started this blog focusing on the graveyards and the history of the counties of Mississippi that were formed because of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

    My first brush with this Treaty came through research of my Stone family line and the family of Isabelle Brooks Stone. I wrote an article on my blog, Genealogy Traces, about some of that families struggles during that time.

    I look forward to reading more from you in the days to come. Thanks for your insightful research and your great style of writing.