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Indians in the
Indian Pioneer Papers
" The Cherokees began to think of joining the West Cherokees. They simply could endure no longer. Like everything, it took a leader, and Major Ridge, his son, John Ridge, and two nephews Elias Boudinot and Stan Watie became leaders. Of course, John Ross was the Chief and they all got to squabbling. Ross did not want to move his people, but by some hook or crook, Boudinot and Ridge signed a treaty to move, and claimed it was the will of the majority, but it was not, and the Government waited a little while and sent Gen. Scott and two or three thousand soldiers. The soldiers gathered them up, all up, and put them in camps.They hunted them and ran them down until they got all of them. Even before they were loaded in wagons, many of them got sick and died. They were all grief stricken they lost all on earth they had. White men even robbed their dead's graves to get their jewelry and other little trinkets."
                                                                                                 Elizabeth Watts
                                                                                   (Interview by L.D. Wilson in 1937)
The following is a collection of first person narratives of the Indian Territory culled from the Indian Pioneer Papers of the Oklahoma Historical Society. It was collected by interviewers from the WPA in the late nineteen thirties. This collection is by no means exhaustive. However, it does give remarkable insight into those early days in the territory and the people who put the "Indian" in Indian Territory.The originals of these documents lie at: OKGenWeb

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John Martin Adair  Lillian Lee Anderson  Thomas A. Anderson  Bradley Anderson
Noel Baker Jimmie Barnett Wyley Beavers Jane Yarborough Berryhill
Richard LewisBerryhill Andrew Jackson Berryhill Lizzie Billy Bohanan Eliza Coker Breeding 
Oliver Hazard P. Brewer  Archibald Campbell  Rolla Canard George T. Candy 
Sarah Capps Robert B. (R. B.) Choate Lottie Choate 
Creek Town Emma Crotzer  William Anthony Cummins  Czarina Samuel Dandridge
I.T Dodd Margaret A. Drew R. Z. Dugan John Duncan
James W. Duncan J. G. Duncan Bell Haney Airington  Sarah Ann Harlan
Elmer Hill Samantha Hillen Lane William Rex Howland Effie B. Jackson 
Tennessee James (Mrs.) Louis R. Jobe F. W. Keith Ebenezer Cutnezer Kemp 
Frederick Augusta Kerr, Jr Ellis Ketcher  kol C. Ketchum Josephine Usray Latimer
Willie Larney Andrew J. Langley Robert Lynch  Ewing Markham 
Elizabeth Kemp Mead Jackson Miashintubbee Edgar Moore  Glove Morris s
W. W. Payne  Rev. Thomas Perryman  William Porter  Lincoln Postoak 
Nancy Jane Rider (Mrs.)  Louise Rider James B. Russell  Annie Maude Usray Self 
Clarence Starr  Elmira Stevens Susan Bond Spring Dennis Vann 
Eastman Ward  Elizabeth Watts (Mrs.)  Nathaniel Dow Willis 

 

Background:
Diana Fletcher
Source:
Western History Collections,
University of Oklahoma Libraries