In September, 1865, a General Council of Tribes residing within the Indian Territory was held at Fort Smith, Arkansas. Represented were Freedmen and Indians of the following Nations; Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Comanche, Creek, Osage, Quapaw, Seminole, Seneca, Shawnee, Wichita and Wyandotte; including Representatives of the United States; D.N. Cooley, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Elijah Sells, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Thomas Wistar, Gen. W.S. Harney, and Col. E.S. Parker. The primary objective of the General Council was to end Slavery, Hostilities arising from the Civil War in Indian Territory, and returning Indian Country to peace-time conditions.
Indian Freedmen participated as signatories: “At this council the Indians were informed that those tribes which had entered into treaties of alliance with the late Confederate government had forfeited all of their old rights of consideration and protection from the government of the United States, and that their property was subject to confiscation. The tribes were induced to enter a treaty ending the Civil War in Indian Territory, form a union (commonwealth) with a territorial form of Government, with abolishment of any forms of Slavery (captivity) and ensure citizenship with full tribal rights for all members.” The 1865 Treaty was signed by all Nations in attendance, with the exception of the Cherokees. Thus, the Council concluded and *adjourned September 21, 1865.