Gov. Douglas H. Johnston
1856 - 1939
Douglas Henry Johnston was born Oct. 13, 1856, in the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory. He was educated at the Chickasaw Academy and Bloomfield Academy.
He served as 26th and 28th governorship of the Chickasaw Nation during his career, having been elected to the office in 1898, 1900 and 1904.
He was the first Chickasaw governor to be appointed by the president of the United States in 1906. He served as the Governor of the Chickasaw Nation for more than 30 years, until his death in 1939.
Governor Johnston worked tirelessly for the Chickasaw Nation when he made ratifications to the Atoka Agreement and worked to maintain tribal control of Chickasaw schools.
The ratification to the Atoka Agreement allowed the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations to oppose the applications of many who fraudulently applied to Dawes Commission for Chickasaw citizenship and allotment of property. This helped preserve the integrity of the citizenship of the Chickasaws.
Johnston’s administration had several legal victories that helped the Chickasaw Nation regain prosperity. Because of the changes to the Atoka Agreement, the courts revoked nearly 4,000 fraudulent claims of citizenship, and saved the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes approximately $20 million. In 1924, Johnston and the Chickasaw Nation garnered permission to sue the federal government in the U.S. Court of Claims to reacquire funds the government illegally obtained from tribal resources.
Douglas H. Johnston was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1931. Johnston County, Oklahoma is named after him and his house, the Chickasaw White House, now serves as a museum in Emet, Oklahoma.