The Archivist: George Washington's birthday observed with story of chief being appointed as captain of militia
Today, Feb. 22, we celebrate the 289th birthday of President George Washington.
To honor the first president of the United States of America on his birthday, The Daily Oklahoman published this article on Feb. 22, 1920:
That the Chickasaw Indians were early known as one of the "civilized tribes," and played a large part in the upbuilding of the United States by working with the "father of his country; George Washington, whose birthday is being celebrated today, is forcibly shown by a document recently filed with the Oklahoma Historical Society at the state capital. This is a commission signed by Washington, making Muckleshamingo, then a chief in the Chickasaw Nation, a captain of militia.
Muckleshamingo's name was changed from Mokulichih Miko which translated as "the chief who excels" according to "History of the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez Indians" by Horatio Bardwell Cushman.
Muckleshamingo's duty, according to the commission, was to aid in the actions against "the hostile tribes northwest of the Ohio," which was then an unknown land, since the commission was signed July 25, 1794, "in the nineteenth year of the Independence of the United States."
After Muckleshamingo died, it was kept in the family until its custodian went to fight in the war between the states. He gave it to a friend of W.M. Guy, later governor of the Chickasaw nation, with the injunction that if he was killed in the war, the governor was to keep the commission. At the death of Governor Guy, it passed into the hands of his niece, Mrs. W.R. Ingraham (Mollie Heald Ingram) of Oklahoma City, who has turned it over to the historical society.
The commission bears Washington's signature and that of Henry Knox, secretary of war.
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