CHEROKEE OUTLET 1866-1893

All of the area later known as the Cherokee Outlet was acquired from France in 1803 in the Louisiana Purchase. About 1719, an important French Trading Post was established 5 miles northeast of today’s Newkirk on the west bank of the Arkansas River at the mouth of Deer Creek, named Ferdinandina. This village flourished during the first half of the 18th century and is generally considered to be the first white settlement in present day Oklahoma. In 1828, a perpetual outlet west, in addition to other lands, was ceded to the Cherokees under a treaty between the western segments of the tribe the federal Government. The outlet extended across the northern part of the region that became the State of Oklahoma. From the 96th meridian on the east to the 100th meridian on the west, and northward 2.46 mile from the Kansas-Oklahoma boundary and 58 miles southward under the 1828 treaty and other treaties. In 1933 and 1835, the Cherokees exchanged their ancestral home in the Southeastern part of the United States for land n the Indian Territory west of the Missouri River. In 1838-39, the majority of the tribe was forcibly removed to their western lands. Only a few individual Cherokees ever held land on the Outlet.

At the conclusion of the Civil War, the United States Government and the Cherokee Nation entered into a treaty dated July 19, 1866, under which the Indians gave permission for friendly tribes to be settled on the Outlet. Between 1870 and 1881, the Osage, Pawnees, Nez Perces, Tonkawas, Poncas, Otoes, and Missourins were assigned reservations on the outlet lands. For this land the Cherokees received from 47.5 cents to 70 cents per acre. Also in the post war years great herds of cattle were driven from Texas to the cowtowns in Kansas or to pastures on the northern plains. Between 1866 and 1844 more than 5 million head of cattle crosses the Indian Territory, most passing through the outlet. In 1893, a group of ranchers met at Caldwell, Kansas and formed the Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association. This organization secured a lease from the Cherokees, divided the outlet into individual ranges and continue to hold the grazing lands until 1891.

For many years, homesteaders had sought to occupy the lands of the outlet being used by the Livestock Association. Beginning in 1880, groups of would-be settlers known as “Boomers” invaded the Indian Territory hoping to force the Congress to open the lands for white settlement. Federal Commissioners began negotiating with the Cherokees in the summer of 1889 for the purchase of the outlet at a price of $1.25 per acre. The Indians were reluctant to accept this price as a syndicate of cattlemen was offering $3.00 per acre. Finally on February 17, 1891, President Benjamin Harrison yielded to pressure from prospective settlers and issued a proclamation denying the cattleman further use of the grazing lands thereby terminating the grazing fees being paid to the Cherokees. On December 19, 1891 the tribe signed an agreement with the Federal Government under which it received $8,595,736.12 or approximately $1.40 per acre for the remaining 6 million acres of the outlet.
On September 16, 1893, the greatest land run in the history of the state took place. More than 100,000 eager land seekers raced for claims. The former Cherokee Outlet developed into an important agricultural area with wheat as the major crop. There likewise is extensive cattleraising. Petroleum production and refining are also significant economic factors.


Monument was erected by the Cher-Ok-Kan Association
June 27, 1982

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pioneer Woman Museum  
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