Connected successfully  The Okie Legacy: Vol 18, Iss 37 April, 1889 Run, Indians Uneasy

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                             Volume 18, Issue 37 -- 2016-10-13                     

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April, 1889 Run, Indians Uneasy


During the Run of 1889, Indian Territory, in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, dated 19 April 1889, Friday, page 1, we learn about the "Indians Uneasy."

The Indians on the reservation showed signs of being troublesome. The city was full of the redskins, who were buying ammunition and firearms. They said Oklahoma was not large enough for the whites going there, and they were not going to be driven off their reservation without fighting, and that they would shoot the first white men who came on their reservations.

Reports from Caldwell and Hunnewell said that hundreds of wagons of boomers were entering the territory from those localities. These were the only two other gateways besides Arkansas City on the north. It was reported that several persons were drowned at the willow Springs ford on that day.

A cowboy came in with a story that he received $20 for piloting a party into Oklahoma territory, and that a squatter was on the claims party had selected and that they forcibly ejected him. He was ready to take a like sum to pilot another party by what he called a short trail, but all the boomers who seemed to have money had left.

At a meeting that evening of a large number of the members of the different town site companies there it was decided that attempts to locate any own sites in Oklahoma at present would be fruitless. All the land office officials started for their respective destinations the next day. Several of the officials in command of the military posts on the border expressed their regret that they could not allow the boomers to go right into Oklahoma, but they would have to drive them back. Despite this fact it would be almost an impossibility with the few troops on the border to keep the boomers out all around. Three men near Lisbon, named Hossell, Keith, and Hansen, who had cultivated land near there for ten years and were sautéed on large farms, had been permitted to remain on them. This was causing a great deal of dissatisfaction. Five men with permits from Capt. Woodson were arrested that evening twenty-one miles south of the Oklahoma line, accompanied by five of their neighbors with teams. The last five were brought back, and the others allowed togo on.

Miss Miller of Wichita passed through there with an escort and passport, with supplies and furniture for the Kingfisher Land Office. In accordance with "cannonball" Green's contract the Rock Island Road would make every preparation for the reception of people from Pond Creek by stage. It had been decided to establish a provisional government at Guthrie as soon as the boomers arrived. They would hold a town meeting, give thirty days' notice, and then hold a county election. Cavalry from all points near the Territory had been ordered to the trail entrances to prevent the entry of boomers before Monday noon.

Still Coming
There was a constant stream of prairie schooners passing through there to follow the trail of those who started through the strip earlier that morning. Heavy rains were threatening again, and the prospect of the boomers getting through over swollen streams and bad roads to the border by Sunday become still more problematical. The early contingent was a motley crowd. Their vehicles were drawn by horses, mules, and oxen of all grades and conditions, many so poor and sickly that they fell by the wayside almost every mile. Men, women, and children, to the number o 4,000, trudging along on foot presented a woebegone appearance. It would take three days' travel with good weather to make the sixty miles necessary to reach the border of the promised land, and the roads were almost impassable, while every stream the trail crossed was swollen to twice its unusal size. It was feared that great suffering and hardship would yet be endured before these people reached their destination.

The multitude that broke camp and left at daybreak that morning were led by Alonzo Williams of Chautauqua County, Kansas, carrying a small Untied States flag. After he had gone about six miles into the Cherokee strip he was passed by W. R. Dunlap of Latham, Butler County, Kansas.

The sensation of the hour on that day was the reported attempt to bring Register Roberts of the Lisbon Land Office into a combine to help locate a town site in the interest of a certain syndicate.

From present indications there was a strong movement on foot to make Guthrie the capital of the new territory. A meeting of those interested in town sites there would be held Saturday night to formulate a plan of definite action.

Arrangements for the press to enter Guthrie Monday had been completed. A special car would be provided on the first train Monday morning for the journalists, reaching the line between the strip and Oklahoma exactly at noon. The committee had power to start the special train back and drop any special matter at Winfield or here. The scarcity of wires in this section had obliged the reporters to combine and send as much of their news as possible to the first repeating statins in duplicate. It was the only way to get matter through.
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