Oklahoma County Histories

Flag_of_Oklahoma-200During the 19th century, thousands of Native Americans were expelled from their ancestral homelands from across North America and transported to the area including and surrounding present-day Oklahoma. The Choctaw was the first of the Five Civilized Tribes to be removed from the southeastern United States. The phrase “Trail of Tears” originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw Nation in 1831, although the term is usually used for the Cherokee removal.

Spaniard Francisco Vásquez de Coronado traveled through the state in 1541, but French explorers claimed the area in the 1700s and it remained under French rule until 1803, when all the French territory west of the Mississippi River was purchased by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.

About 17,000 Cherokees — along with approximately 2,000 black slaves owned by Cherokees — were removed from their homes. The area, already occupied by Osage and Quapaw tribes, was called for the Choctaw Nation until revised Native American and then later American policy redefined the boundaries to include other Native Americans. By 1890, more than 30 Native American nations and tribes had been concentrated on land within Indian Territory or “Indian Country.”

Map of the Indian and Oklahoma territories, 1894

Map of the Indian and Oklahoma territories, 1894

Many Native Americans of this region served in both the Union and Confederate military during the American Civil War. Slavery in Indian Territory was not abolished until 1866.

In the period between 1866 and 1899, cattle ranches in Texas strove to meet the demands for food in eastern cities and railroads in Kansas promised to deliver in a timely manner. Cattle trails and cattle ranches developed as cowboys either drove their product north or settled illegally in Indian Territory. In 1881, four of five major cattle trails on the western frontier traveled through Indian Territory.

Deliberations to make the territory into a state began near the end of the 19th century, when the Curtis Act continued the allotment of Indian tribal land. Attempts to create an all-Indian state named Oklahoma and a later attempt to create an all-Indian state named Sequoyah failed but the Sequoyah Statehood Convention of 1905 eventually laid the groundwork for the Oklahoma Statehood Convention, which took place two years later.

On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma was established as the 46th state in the Union.

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Collection Details

  1. LUTHER B. HILL, A. B, A HISTORY OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA – VOLUME I. , THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1909
  2. LUTHER B. HILL, A. B, A HISTORY OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA – VOLUME II. , THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1909
  3. WM. T. LAMPE, TULSA COUNTY IN THE WORLD WAR, 1919
  4. PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF OKLAHOMA, COMMEMORATING THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF CITIZENS WHO HARVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE PROGRESS OF OKLAHOMA & THE DEVELOPMENT OF ITS RESOURCES, CHAPMAN PUB. CO., 1901
  5. ROBERT C. JURNEY, KAY COUNTY, OKLAHOMA, OKLA , KAY COUNTY GAS CO., 1919, 1919
  6. W.A. CRATER, MCCURTAIN COUNTY AND SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA: HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, STATISTICS, TRIBUNE PUB. CO., 1923, 1923
  7. A HISTORY OF OLD GREER COUNTY AND ITS PIONEERS, GREER COUNTY, 1866, 1866
  8. MUSKOGEE AND NORTHEASTERN OKLAHOMA, INCLUDING THE COUNTIES OF MUSKOGEE, MCINTOSH, WAGONER, CHEROKEE, SEQUOYAH, ADAIR, DELAWARE, MAYES, ROGERS, WASHINGTON, NOWATA, CRAIG AND OTTAWA, S.J. CLARKE PUB. CO., 1922, 1922
  9. JOSEPH B. THOBURN, A STANDARD HISTORY OF OKLAHOMA: AN AUTHENTIC NARRATIVE OF ITS DEVELOPMENT FROM THE DATE OF THE FIRST EUROPEAN EXPLORATION DOWN TO THE PRESENT TIME, INCLUDING ACCOUNTS OF THE INDIAN TRIBES, BOTH CIVILIZED AND WILD, OF THE CATTLE RANGE, OF THE LAND OPENINGS AND THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE MOST RECENT PERIOD (5 VOLS.) (VOL 1), THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 1916
  10. JOSEPH B. THOBURN, A STANDARD HISTORY OF OKLAHOMA: AN AUTHENTIC NARRATIVE OF ITS DEVELOPMENT FROM THE DATE OF THE FIRST EUROPEAN EXPLORATION DOWN TO THE PRESENT TIME, INCLUDING ACCOUNTS OF THE INDIAN TRIBES, BOTH CIVILIZED AND WILD, OF THE CATTLE RANGE, OF THE LAND OPENINGS AND THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE MOST RECENT PERIOD (5 VOLS.) (VOL 2), THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 1916
  11. JOSEPH B. THOBURN, A STANDARD HISTORY OF OKLAHOMA: AN AUTHENTIC NARRATIVE OF ITS DEVELOPMENT FROM THE DATE OF THE FIRST EUROPEAN EXPLORATION DOWN TO THE PRESENT TIME, INCLUDING ACCOUNTS OF THE INDIAN TRIBES, BOTH CIVILIZED AND WILD, OF THE CATTLE RANGE, OF THE LAND OPENINGS AND THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE MOST RECENT PERIOD (5 VOLS.) (VOL 3), THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 1916
  12. JOSEPH B. THOBURN, A STANDARD HISTORY OF OKLAHOMA: AN AUTHENTIC NARRATIVE OF ITS DEVELOPMENT FROM THE DATE OF THE FIRST EUROPEAN EXPLORATION DOWN TO THE PRESENT TIME, INCLUDING ACCOUNTS OF THE INDIAN TRIBES, BOTH CIVILIZED AND WILD, OF THE CATTLE RANGE, OF THE LAND OPENINGS AND THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE MOST RECENT PERIOD (5 VOLS.) (VOL 4), THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 1916
  13. JOSEPH B. THOBURN, A STANDARD HISTORY OF OKLAHOMA: AN AUTHENTIC NARRATIVE OF ITS DEVELOPMENT FROM THE DATE OF THE FIRST EUROPEAN EXPLORATION DOWN TO THE PRESENT TIME, INCLUDING ACCOUNTS OF THE INDIAN TRIBES, BOTH CIVILIZED AND WILD, OF THE CATTLE RANGE, OF THE LAND OPENINGS AND THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE MOST RECENT PERIOD (5 VOLS.) (VOL 5), THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 1916

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