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Despatches from Oklahoma Indian Territory (1889)

Map of Oklahoma/Indian Territory

In the first half of the 19th century, the members of the so-called "Five Civilized Tribes" — Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek (Muscogee) and Seminole — were compelled by the US Government to relocate from the Southeastern United States to an area designated as "Indian Territory," in the eastern part of present-day Oklahoma. By the 1880s, their new homelands had come under intense pressure from the westward spread of US settlement.

The reporter for the New York "Sun" filed this two-part report on the state of Indian affairs on the very eve of the notorious 1889 Land Rush. The articles are unsigned, but the reporter is believed to have been John Randolph Spears. An earlier "Sun" article (February 17, 1889) chronicled the attempts over the preceding 10 years to establish white settlements within the Territory.

The newspaper archive is accessible online at chroniclingamerica.loc.gov .

April 7, 1889 Transcript PDF EPUB
April 28, 1889 Transcript PDF EPUB