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SKULLYVILLE COUNTY, CHOCTAW NATION KNOWN ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS: THAT, WHEREAS [T G OVERSTREET] A CITIZEN OF THE CHOCTAW NATION, HAS THIS DAY PETITIONED ASKING THAT A PERMIT BE GRANTED TO [THOS GOSSET] A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, TO REMAIN IN HIS EMPLOY IN THE CAPACITY OF A [FARMER] FOR THE YEAR 189[4]
Fort Smith, Ar., 1894. Horizontal folds, light spotting and ink offsetting. Very good. A very interesting partially-printed folio broadside concerning the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma. A rather elegant "work permit" issued to one of the horde of American citizens who flocked to Oklahoma following the opening of the territory to white settlement in 1889. The epic Oklahoma Land Rush and its aftermath settled the future state but also unsettled a good many Native Americans. The need to protect Native Americans against exploitation by would-be "hired hands" or tenant farmers is self-evident. Thomas Gosset sought employment from Thomas G. Overstreet, who at this point, it would seem, could easily take care of himself. By now a prosperous rancher-farmer, Overstreet was a white man from Missouri who married Margaret Victor, of Choctaw ancestry, and came with his new bride to Indian territory in 1871. By marriage Overstreet became a citizen of the Choctaw Nation with the right to own land, which he exercised to the fullest. Overstreet acquired 3000 acres of rich Arkansas River bottomland at the foot of Short Mountain in what is todayLe Flore County, Oklahoma. Skullyville was absorbed into Le Flore County prior to Oklahoma statehood. In 1890, he began work on an elegant 15-room residence which was occupied by his descendants until the 1970s and is today the landmark Overstreet-Kerr Historical Farm. Overstreet contributed to the advancement of regional agriculture and for a time served as president of the first national bank of Warner, Indian Territory. His descendants continued to play a prominent role in the life of the community. Skullyville, Oklahoma lies fifteen miles west of Fort Smith, Arkansas. It was settled by the Choctaws in 1832 when they were removed from their homelands. Given that the Choctaw were amongst the first Native American tribes to arrive in the territory, Skullyville was one of the first organized communities in Oklahoma, and served as the first capital of the Choctaw Nation. Today, Skullyville is a ghost town, with only the cemetery remaining. J.H. Mayers, the printer who occasionally worked for the Choctaw Nation, was successor to W.H. Mayers, publisher of the THIRTY-FIFTH PARALLEL, a Fort Smith newspaper published between 1859 and 1861. A rare Native American broadside from Indian Territory, printed over a decade before Oklahoma statehood was granted. No copies in OCLC.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2016-01-13           Check availability:      Biblio    

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