BlackPast.org Facebook BlackPast.org Twitter

Donate to BlackPast.org BlackPast Blog
  • African American History
  • African American History in the West
  • Global African History
  • Perspectives

NOTE: BlackPast.org will not disclose, use, give or sell any of the requested information to third parties.

4 + 4 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Shop Amazon and help BlackPast.org

Blackpast.org in the Classroom

Emancipation Day (August 4th)

Image Ownership: Public Domain
On August 4, 1865, the Loyal Creek Council formally declared that African Creeks would be considered full citizens of the Creek Nation.  African Creeks soon designated August 4th “Emancipation Day” and organized celebrations, including picnics, parades and speakers beginning as early as 1867, which continued through the Territorial days and early years of Oklahoma statehood.  The celebration fell into disuse as the African Creeks and other Indian freedpeople were increasingly marginalized in the twentieth century.  The celebrations have been revived recently as the freedpeople of the various Indian nations struggle for tribal recognition.  The action of the Creek Council was nearly a year before the Creek Treaty of 1866 was ratified.  Under Article II of that treaty, African Creeks were given full citizenship rights, including “rights to the soil” and the right to share equally in the division of tribal monies.  

The 1866 Treaty was the culmination of a process that began in the summer of 1861 when Opothleyahola, an Upper Creek leader, declared that any slave who joined his party in opposing the Creek Confederate treaty would be considered free.  The Loyal Creeks had also negotiated an earlier treaty with the United States in the summer of 1863 with essentially the same language as the 1866 treaty regarding African Creek rights.  The Creeks finally rejected that treaty after the U.S. Senate altered it with unacceptable amendments regarding a proposed land cession.

Sources:
Gary Zellar, African Creeks: Estelvste and the Creek Nation (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007).

Contributor:

University of Saskatchewan

Entry Categories:

Copyright 2007-2017 - BlackPast.org v3.0 NDCHost - California | blackpast@blackpast.org | Your donations help us to grow. | We welcome your suggestions. | Mission Statement

BlackPast.org is an independent non-profit corporation 501(c)(3). It has no affiliation with the University of Washington. BlackPast.org is supported in part by a grant from Humanities Washington, a state-wide non-profit organization supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the state of Washington, and contributions from individuals and foundations.