Connected successfully  The Okie Legacy: Vol 19, Iss 7 History of U. S. Territories

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Volume 19, Issue 7 -- 2017-10-13

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My guide to Indian Country map, there is a Castle Butte, elev 5460' located just ne of Tuba City. Last week you commented about Hwy 666 being renamed 491 [more]...
 ~Marvin Henry regarding Okie's story from Vol. 11 Iss. 25 titled UNTITLED

I couldn't get it to open either. Finally had to pretend I was going to forward the message so that I could push the url down a bit to get it away from the rest of the line. Same thing happened with Volume 8 this week.
 ~Christy C regarding Okie's story from Vol. 8 Iss. 1 titled UNTITLED


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NW Okie's Corner

Alva, Oklahoma - At 11:55am, 16 September 1893, Saturday, the Cherokee Strip was without inhabitants; at 12:05pm, 75 thousand people were pushing forward with utmost speed. Friends became separated, everyone was left to look out for themselves. Men cursed, shouted; women, children screamed.

After the first rush the strippers gradually spread out over the prairie. Those fortunate enough to possess fast horses quickly took the lead and the patient home seeker who had been waiting for months for the opening stood no chance at all.

Many young women were mounted on thoroughbreds, holding their own in the rush for land. The trains were a dismal failure, for running at the rate of 12 miles an hour they were easily passed by horsemen.

1893 Land Runners:
* Noble & Case had a good business house erected in Alva, and putting in a stock of hardware. H. E. Noble returned from Alva to Kansas. He said the town was booming. Good water was found at a depth of 27 feet.

* There was mention the city attorney of Kiowa, Kansas was arrested by the soldiers the Thursday before the 1893 Run as a "sooner." No particulars were listed, though.

* Arthur Furgerson, who started to make the run from Hardtner, KS to Alva, met with an accident before he had run very far. His horse stepped in a prairie dog hole, breaking its leg.

* W. A. McWilliams returned from his trip to Alva where he got a nice claim on the Case flats, north and west of Alva nine miles. In lifting a barrel of water from a wagon he hurt his back and had to return for physical repairs.

* Miss Helen Cameron returned Wednesday from Alva. She boasted of a fine claim near the town.

* W. D. Mackey, of Kiowa, started on a race horse for a choice claim five miles distant. He was thrown from his horse and injured in the side, but he drove his stake where he fell, capturing a fine claim adjoining Kansas.

* D. R. Streeter had his team harnessed to a plow on the line at the foot of Seventh Street, and at the signal stuck the plow in the rich soil, proving his claim to a fine farm. He did not stop till he had encircled the land with a furrow, the first sod turned up in the new country.

* Milt Hull, editor of the Kiowa Journal, started to Alva on the Santa Fe train, but fell off when seven miles out. His misfortune resulted in the location of a fine claim on the spot.

* An interesting story of the Cherokee Strip Run of 1893, was a lady run for a claim south of Caldwell on that Saturday, 16th September 1893. In climbing over a barb wire fence her dress caught, and in the hurry and excitement her clothing was pulled off. A modest newspaper correspondent said it was easy enough to see that she was no gentleman.

Hoke's Smith Registration Booths (Hell's Half Acre)
Probably the hardest worked man in Kiowa during the Strip rush was Postmaster Charles. The line before the delivery window of the post office resembled one of Hoke Smith's registering booths. There would be no counties or towns in the Strip which would be named in honor of Hoke Smith. The part of the town usually disignated as "Hell's half acre" may bear his name in memory of his registering booths.

The facilities for registration were totally inadequate, and the "boomers" soon learned that the scheme was an outrage and a fraud. Great lines of people and stood in front of the booths for four days in the blazing sun, during which time an unprecedented hot wave swept over the country, and hot winds blew as a blast from a furnace mouth, adding to the miseries of the waiting men and women.

Food was scarce, and so little water was to be obtained that it was valued at from 5 cents to 15 cents a glass. These hardships, heaped upon men already wearied and exhausted by waiting in line day and night, proved to be more than human nature could endure. Many were prostrated and some died. The prostrations, so far as reported, numbered over 100 and the deaths ten. In the midst of these deplorable conditions there was some bright spots. The men, true to the American respect for women, gave up their places in the line to the suffering members of the weaker sex. At Arkansas City women were permitted to enter the booths in squads of hundreds without ever joining the line. Good humor as a rule prevailed during the tiresome wait, and nothing of a disgraceful nature marred the occasion.

While the long wait for the opening was not altogether a continued round of uninterrupted pleasure, it would become one of the most memorable features in the boomers' pioneer experience.

The booth system may have been well intended but it was a foolish regulation in its inception, a bungling farce in its execution. It harassed and hindered every honest man and woman who was really entitled to a claim or town lot in the promised land.

Instead of being a protection against "soonerism" it served to furnish certificates of character to dishonest invaders. It entailed untold hardships on the poor, the weak and guileless, while it afforded abundant opportunities for blackmail to unprincipled officials and their scoundrelly abettors.

The reporter stated during a two days he watched the booths of Orlando, he never in the same length of time seen so much petty fraud and gouging of the unwary.

We know there are more 1893 Strip Run stories out there that have never been told. If you have a story you heard from your grandparents carried down through their parents, we would like to hear from you.

Good Night and Good Luck in you research.
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Cherokee Indians & Cherokee Strip 1893 Settlement

Oklahoma - Before the 1893 settlement of the Cherokee Strip, the Cherokee Indian had resisted the march of civilization westward for nearly two centuries.

Found on Newspapers.com

As early as 1712 their land on the eastern coast was encroached upon by the whites and they began selling off their territory, retiring westward step by step until they become cornered in a comparatively small area finally allotted to them in the Indian Territory, in what is today Oklahoma.

In 1721 the Cherokees dominated vast tracts of land in the East and southeast. In that year they ceded to South Carolina 1,679,000 acres. Since then they had disposed of by treaty a intervals of from five to twenty-five years no less and 87,300,000 acres to North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Kansas and the United States.

It has been proven the Cherokee Indian were not much of a business manager, and were easily swindled out of their lands by the greedy white man. Out of all the transaction, exclusive of the Cherokee Strip, the Indians received by $2,000,000. For the Strip they received $8,600,000, but only after a hard fight with the United States government.
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1893 - Cherokee Strip Thickly Populated Territory At Long Last

Oklahoma - At 12 o'clock, September 16, 1893, Saturday Kansas and Oklahoma tipped up simultaneously and spilled a large per cent of their population on to the Cherokee Strip.

Found on Newspapers.com

The event that thousands awaited with impatience occurred and the Cherokee Strip as a settled territory, and before the cloud of dust raised by the boomers had settled the settlers begun to think of statehood. The heaviest rush was from Arkansas City, Orlando and Hennessey. Everyone who went in after a piece of land got it, but 75% of those who went after town lots were left. The plebian touched elbows with the plutocrat in the maddest rush ever witnessed.

Of course, there were many serious accidents, but the area wonder was that the fatalities were not greater. Men and women took risks which under other circumstances they could not be tempted to try for ten times the fancied gain.

The Cherokee Strip, comprised 6,3888,950 acres, lay to the Northwest corner of the Indian Territory. Its northern boundary was the southern line of Kansas, and its southern boundary parallels its northern line, giving it a width of 57 miles and a length vaping from 167 to 210 miles.

The extent of the tract was not easily comprehended without comparison. It was equal to the combined area of two Rhode Islands, Delaware and Connecticut, with 167 square miles to spare. It became a part of Oklahoma Territory when the President issued his proclamation three weeks before, and was now under its laws. It made Oklahoma'a area 39,303 square miles' and raised that territory to the dignity of being larger than twelve different states of the Union.

With the home seekers who added themselves to Oklahoma's population that Saturday, that territory had good reason to demand admission to the sisterhood of states, which demand was then being pressed upon congress by Delegate Flynn.

The prices set upon the various portions of the land made a very good index of its worth. The extreme eastern portion of the Strip would come in at a cost to the settler at $2.50 per acre, the middle portion $1.50, and all west of that $1. The extreme eastern part contained the most valuable land. It was good rich farming land. It was well watered and fairly well timbered. The middle division was fair land, but south of the Arkansas River there was a scarcity of water. The western division was good for little but cattle grazing. It partook of the character of the Texas Panhandle and southwestern Kansas, though some of it was very fine and would prove productive.

The Cherokee Strip was watered by the Arkansas and Cimarron rivers, several smaller streams and many creeks. The settlers would not lack transportation facilities. The Santa Fe had two lines through the country, one passing through directly south from Arkansas City and the other diagonally from Kiowa to the Southwest corner. Between the Santa Fe's lines the Rock Island passed through from Caldwell, Kansas, in a north and south line.

The country had been divided into seven counties: K, L, M, N, O, P and Q. Each county had been provided by the government with county seat and by speculative townsites with various prospective towns. The governor of Oklahoma had appointed the county officers, and the settlers would soon be provided with the political and legal machinery necessary for government. From a barren waste, the resort of the fugitives from justice and rendezvous of desperadoes, where train robberies had been planned and executed, whence marauding parties had gone forth to raid banks, and the hers of cattle, the home of the Daltons, starts and numerous other gangs, the Strip would shortly be transformed into a populous, peaceful, ambitious, thrifty community.
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1893 Boomers & Cherokee Strip

Oklahoma - For a year the boomers had been gathering on the borders of the Cherokee Strip waiting for the opening of the land to settlement. Many were persons who failed to secure lands in Oklahoma.

Others had been attracted by alluring circulars from professional boomer societies, who hoped thus to arouse the government to a sense of the necessity of opening the lands to settlement; while others, having lost their homes in the states through misfortune or calamity, moved to the Strip, knowing that it must soon be opened to settlement.

The great crowd did not begin to assemble until after the issuance of the President's message actually setting the opening hour. But when they did come they came in greater numbers than was ever seen inane new land about to be given to the people. The crowds increased beyond the expectation of all concerned. They thronged all the hotels and temporary lodging places and overflowed into the boomers' camps which had been established along the rivers and creeks near the borders.

It was September 11th, 1893 Hoke's infamous registration booths opened for business, and from then on the boomers found plenty to keep them busy in seeking the opportunity to secure the certificates issued from them. These certificates were the tickets of admission into the Strip, and without a certificate no one could cross the border. If a person without a ticket escaped the vigilance of the guard he would not be permitted to file preliminary papers on any claim. This plan was adopted by the general land office as a means of checkmating the "Sooner," the most troublesome of all classes of boomers, the individual who took advantage of his fellows by entering the land before the appointed time. The plan was at first hailed with delight by the honest boomers, but when the registration booths opened for business it soon became apparent that with the facilities provide all could not be furnished with certificates, and then the "boomers" to fear that the efforts to checkmate the "sooners" might deprive the prospective settlers of the opportunity to enter the land.

It appears the facilities for registration were totally inadequate, and the boomers soon learned that the scheme was an outrage and a fraud. Great lines of people and stood in front of the booths for four days in the blazing sun, during which time an unprecedented how wave swept over the country, and how winds blew as a blast from a furnace mouth, adding to the miseries of the waiting men and women.

Food was scarce, and so little water was to be obtained that it was valued at from 5 cents to 15 cents a glass. These hardships, heaped upon men already wearied and exhausted by waiting in line day and night, proved to be more than human nature could endure. Many were prostrated and some died. The prostrations, so far as reported, numbered over 100 and the deaths ten. In the midst of these deplorable conditions there was some bright spots. The men, true to the American respect for women, gave up their places in the line to the suffering members of the weaker sex. At Arkansas City women were permitted to enter the booths in squads of hundreds without ever joining the line. Good humor as a rule prevailed during the tiresome wait, and nothing of a disgraceful nature marred the occasion.

While the long wait for the opening was not altogether a continued round of uninterrupted pleasure, it would become one of the most memorable features in the boomers' pioneer experience.
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1893 - The Strip From Kiowa

Oklahoma - Back in September, 1893, The Medicine Lodge Cresset, out of Medicine Lodge, Kansas, dated 22 September 22, 1893, Friday, on page 2, had some interesting tidbits of information and history concerning the Cherokee Strip and the Land Run of 1893. This part concerns the Strip from Kiowa, Kansas in to the Cherokee Strip near Alva and other little communities that sprang up near the border of Oklahoma and Kansas. The honest citizen seemed to play the part of a sucker while the leading star parts were acted by the "sooner," the rascal and the bully.

They reported the rush to the strip from Kiowa, 16 September 1893, Saturday was exciting. Kiowa had her share of this boomer population. The crowds for the last run had been variously estimated at from 5,000 to 10,000. It was thought the number who rushed over the South line of Barber County was not far from 15,000.

A number of "sooners" slipped through Friday night but some were caught after a nine mile chase. At 11:53 o'clock a restless son of Africa accidentally discharged his gun, and the waiting crowd mistaken it for the signal rushed pell mell across a narrow gulch and scattered all over the plain which spread out as far as the eye could measure in a panorama of green. The crowd had got fairly under way before Capt. H. H. Hardie, of the 3rd Cavalry, four minutes later, gave the official signal.

The negro was captured and held until the last of the boomers had disappeared. In the start Vernon Macy, a boomer from Kiowa County, was unhorsed and his shoulder dislocated. Another boomer was also seriously injured in a runaway.

The race was made one very conceivable manner on foot, astride race horses, in carts, buggies, lumber wagons, stage coaches, tallyhos, bicycles and the Santa Fe train. One lady bravely rode the cow catcher of the engine which pulled the first train into the Strip. Alva, the county eat of County M, twenty miles south of Kiowa, was the objective point for about 2,000. The Santa Fe ran two sections of ten coaches and flat cars each loaded to the bumpers' and 300 others made the race on and behind fast horses. The prize for the test of speed between horses and steam was the choice business lots in Alva, and the horses won by 20 minutes.

Some of the accounts were lurid enough in their style to suit the most sensational and yet so inaccurate as to be absolutely worthless if the reader was seeking for actual information. But while a great many blood curdling incidents were narrated that never occurred, it is true that half the suffering entailed by this opening will never be told.

They also report the booth system may have been well intended but it was a foolish regulation in its inception and a bungling farce in its execution. It harassed and hindered every honest man and woman who was really entitled to a claim or town lot in the promised land.

Instead of being a protection against "soonerism" it served to furnish certificates of character to dishonest invaders. It entailed untold hardships on the poor, the weak and guileless, while it afforded abundant opportunities for blackmail and boodle to unprincipled officials and their scoundrelly abettors.

The reporter stated during a two days he watched the booths of Orlando, he never in the same length of time seen so much petty fraud and gouging of the unwary. Lines were formed supposedly going toward the booths. Then some red nosed minion of the administration would go out along the line and under his orders the weary and date throng would march and counter march, sometimes facing towards the booth, sometimes the other way. Why they marched or why they turned about nobody knew. While the crowd marched and counter marched and performed such military evolutions as Hoke's subaltern might happen to direct such persons a happened to have a stand in with the clerks and guards and a little extra change which they were willing to place where it would do the most good were quietly walking in the back way and registering with pleasant dispatch.

Among the victims of this sort of official bunco business was a poor old fellow wearing the insignia of the G.A.R. and whose legs had proceeded him by several years to the grave. He had been waiting in the broiling sun, the fierce hot winds and stifling dust for two days, he said, and was apparently no nearer the booth than at the beginning. He did not seem to understand the why in the case and probably didn't later.

If the booth system was bad, the run was little better. The fellows who attempted to obey instructions of the officers in charge almost universally got left. The honest citizen seemed to play the part of a sucker while the leading star parts were acted by the "sooner," the rascal and the bully.

Twenty thousand persons, young, middle-aged and old, white, yellow, black and tan colored rushed madly away over the prairie, down steep bluffs and across deep ravines when a misstep would cost their lives or a broken limb, or rode on cow-catchers, hung on brake rods, stood jammed on car platforms for the chance of getting a town lot in a town where there could not be over three hundred lots at the outside of any considerable value.

Nature added its share of misery for the wild-eyed settler. For weeks no rain had fallen on the thirsty soil. The water courses had degenerated to dry ravines and stagnant pools. Water became an article of commerce and its possession an evidence of plutocracy. The dust laden winds abolished the color line except that the African had a slight advantage over the Caucasian in the matter of complexion. Dirt was the universal condition and a clean shirt was a badge of aristocracy and an unseemly attempt to put on airs that was resented by the common populace with derision.
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1893 - Cherokee Strip Decidedly Lacked Registration Booths

Oklahoma - Back in 1893, it was no wonder that the mutterings against the whole scheme of registration which began the Monday before September 16th, 1893, were growing louder and uglier.

Anyone who visited those booths on the day the Land Run of 1893 and saw congregated there at least 12,000 people, more than three-fourths of whom were lined up for a place, it was at once apparent that it would be a physical impossibility to register all who make application. The clerical forces should have been doubled in number. Many settlers would be unregistered by Saturday noon.

So complete was the failure of Hoke's registration scheme that every possible influence was being brought to bear on the powers at Washington to annul the order and permit every one to make the race next Saturday that desires to do so. Lieutenant Caldwell, in command of troop B, Third cavalry, stationed at Booth No. 9, sent a telegram to Washington by way of Camp Supply, through his superior officer, Colonel Parker, informing the secretary of the interior of the deplorable conditions which exists and recommending that for the sake of humanity and to prevent further suffering and death, that the registration be discontinued.

The number that had succumbed to the heat, dust and thirst at the booths south of Arkansas City was appalling. All along the line the men had fallen in their tracks and been carried away, some to recover and others to die. It was impossible to obtain anything like an accurate list, but reports placed the number all the way from is to twenty.

The water supply of Arkansas City was well nigh exhausted. The waterworks pumps were worked to their full d=capacity, but there was not enough water in the standpipe to fore a stream to the second stories of buildings.

In Wichita, Kansas, Chief Clerk M. A. Jacobs in charge of the registration of Cherokee Strip home seekers, and of the officials of the land office, instructed the chiefs of the booths to hire without further orders all the men necessary to register every person in line by the night before the run. There were now seventy-six clerks in the booths and he expected to have 100 by the next day.
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History of U. S. Territories

USA - Did you realize that Puerto Rico is one of five inhabited U. S. Territories, along with American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U. S. Virgin islands?

The capitals of these territories are Pago Pago in American Samoa; Hagåtña in Guam; Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands; San Juan in Puerto Rico; and, Charlotte Amalie in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I sometime wonder if our moron of a President realizes that U. S. Territories are regions under the sovereign jurisdiction of the federal government (Congress) of the United States, including all waters (around the islands or continental tracts and all U. S. Naval vessels. The United States asserts sovereign rights for exploring, exploiting, conserving, and managing its territory.

Under Article IV of the U.S. Constitution, territory is subject to and belongs to the United States (but not necessarily within the national boundaries or any individual state). This includes tracts of land or water not included within the limits of any State and not admitted as a State into the Union.

The Constitution of the United States states:
"The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State." — Article IV, United States Constitution.

Supreme Court of U.S.
All territory under the control of the federal government is considered part of the "United States" for purposes of law.[5] From 1901–1905, the U.S. Supreme Court in a series of opinions known as the Insular Cases held that the Constitution extended ex proprio vigore to the territories. However, the Court in these cases also established the doctrine of territorial incorporation. Under the same, the Constitution only applied fully in incorporated territories such as Alaska and Hawaii, whereas it only applied partially in the new unincorporated territories of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. A Supreme Court ruling from 1945 stated that the term "United States" can have three different meanings, in different contexts:

"The term "United States" may be used in any one of several senses. It may be merely the name of a sovereign occupying the position analogous to that of other sovereigns in the family of nations. It may designate the territory over which the sovereignty of the United States extends, or it may be the collective name of the states which are united by and under the Constitution. — Hooven & Allison Co. v. Evatt, 324 U.S. 652 (1945)

The United States Department of the Interior is charged with managing federal affairs within U.S. territory. The Interior Department has a wide range of responsibilities (which include the regulation of territorial governments and the basic stewardship for public lands, et al.). The United States Department of the Interior is not responsible for local government or for civil administration except in the cases of Indian reservations, through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as those territories administered through the Office of Insular Affairs. The exception is the "incorporated and unorganized" United States Territory of Palmyra Island, the legal remnant of the former United States Territory of Hawaii since 1959, in which the local government and civil administration were assigned by the Secretary of the Interior to the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2001.

As a result of several Supreme Court cases after the Spanish–American War, the United States had to determine how to deal with its newly acquired territories, such as the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, Wake Island, and other areas that were not part of the North American continent and which were not necessarily intended to become a part of the Union of States. As a consequence of the Supreme Court decisions, the United States has since made a distinction between incorporated and unincorporated territories.

In essence, an incorporated territory is land that has been irrevocably incorporated within the sovereignty of the United States and to which the full corpus of the U.S. Constitution applies.

An unincorporated territory is land held by the United States, and to which Congress of the United States applies selected parts of the constitution. At the present time, the only incorporated U.S. territory is the unorganized (and unpopulated) Palmyra Atoll.

The United States currently administers 16 territories as insular areas:
* American Samoa
* Guam
* Northern Mariana Islands
* Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico (Spanish for "Rich Port"), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit. "Free Associated State of Puerto Rico") and briefly called Porto Rico, is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeast Caribbean Sea. Originally populated by the indigenous Taíno people, the island was claimed in 1493 by Christopher Columbus for the Crown of Castile during his second voyage. Puerto Ricans are by law natural-born citizens of the United States and may move freely between the island and the mainland.[23] As it is not a state Puerto Rico does not have a vote in the United States Congress, which governs the territory with full jurisdiction under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950. As a U.S. territory, American citizens residing on the island are disenfranchised at the national level and do not vote for president and vice president of the United States, and do not pay federal income tax on Puerto Rican income.
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* Minor Outlying Islands: Bajo Nuevo Bank, Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Palmyra Atoll, Serranilla Bank, Wake Island.
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