Nipped in the Bud

State of Sequoyah, 1905, courtesy McCasland Map Collection, Oklahoma State University

State of Sequoyah, 1905, courtesy McCasland Map Collection, Oklahoma State University

After unassigned lands in Indian Territory were taken to form Oklahoma Territory in 1890, it became obvious that white settlement would continue in that area. By 1902, representatives from the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole) were proposing statehood for Indian Territory, which still existed in the eastern part of present day Oklahoma. The new state would be called Sequoyah, after an esteemed Cherokee man who had developed the Cherokee alphabet.

A constitutional convention met in 1905. Delegates drew up a constitution, established boundaries, and elected delegates to petition Congress for statehood. Easterners pressured president Theodore Roosevelt not to consider this idea, and Roosevelt eventually decided that only one state could enter the union: Oklahoma. Today, Oklahoma has the second-largest native population of any state.

William Henry Davis Murray, White Delegate to Sequoyah Convention

William Henry Davis Murray, White Delegate to Sequoyah Convention

Chief Pleasant Porter, Sequoyah Convention Chair

Chief Pleasant Porter, Sequoyah Convention Chair

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