Peter Pitchlynn

Peter Pitchlynn 1864 - 1866

Peter P. Pitchlynn was born in Noxubee County, Mississippi, January 30, 1806. His parents were Colonel John Pitchlynn, a white man, and Sophia Folsom, a Choctaw. He began his education by attending a Tennessee boarding school located about 200 miles from his home in Mississippi. Later he attended an Academy in Columbia, Tennessee. To complete his education he became a graduate of the University of Nashville. After he obtained his degree he returned to his home in Mississippi and became a farmer.

His first act was to erect a comfortable log cabin so he could marry Rhonda Folsom, his first cousin. Reverend Cyrus Kingsbury, a missionary, performed the ceremony. After his first wife's death, Peter married a widow, Mrs. Caroline Lombardy. Pitchlynn was instrumental in closing all the shops selling liquor to the Indians in Mississippi.

As a Council member, he proposed the establishment of a school for Choctaw children to be located in Kentucky. Because of his efforts the Choctaw Academy became a reality. He was also the forerunner of the removal of the Indian tribes to Indian Territory. The Choctaws looked upon him as their philosopher and friend. He represented them in Washington for many years.

Peter P. Pitchlynn was elected Principal Chief of the Choctaws in 1864 and served until 1866. After his tenure he retired in Washington, D. C. and devoted his attention to pressing the Choctaw claims for lands sold to the United States in 1830. In addition to being a regular attendant of the Lutheran Church, he was also a prominent member of the Masonic Order.

He passed away January 17, 1881 in Washington, D. C. He is buried in the Congressional Cemetery where an impressive marker was erected over his grave by a grateful Choctaw Nation.