Sunday, January 13, 2019

Guthrie & OKC Play 'Capture the Flag'

  The story was that Oklahoma's first post-territorial governor stole the state seal in the dead of night, drove from Guthrie to Oklahoma City, stashed the seal under his hotel bed and collapsed from exhaustion.
  The temporary Capitol was in Guthrie, OK. But the plan for a permanent Capitol Building brought with it a fight between the republicans in the West, and the Democrats in the East. they originally sought to create 2 states (Oklahoma & Sequoyah), but Roosevelt didn't want another Democrat state(Sequoyah), so he supported a 1-state solution and hoped the Western republicans would prevail.

The New Jerusalem 

   William H. "Alfalfa Bill" Murray proposed buying a township for the capital. He proposed selling lots around the capitol building and said the chosen place should have "good drainage and a picturesque grandeur. " This and similar plans became known as the "new Jerusalem" approach to the capital - creating an entirely new city on the prairie with construction of the Capitol funded by the platting and selling of lots.


  On Nov. 3, 1908, an election was held on a state question calling for the acquisition of a capital site and the selling of lots to finance construction of the Capitol. Although more voters than not approved the measure, it did not pass by the necessary majority.

  Oklahoma City sent out trainloads of boosters to canvass the state on June 5. The following Saturday, 160,000 voters - all of them male - went to the polls. Oklahoma City won handily. Guthrie was second and Shawnee a distant third.

Capture The Flag

  Legends surround the removal of the seal in 1910, and the truth - not nearly as colorful - has been washed by the passage of time.  So nobody really knows exactly how Oklahoma City became the state capital a bit earlier, shall we say, than expected.  Dirty laundry is how one source says it happened. Dirty tricks is how Guthrie partisans saw it.

Stolen Seal Finds Home

  The trip north had actually taken longer because of a flat tire at Seward. Back in Oklahoma City by 7 a.m., Anthony met Gov. Haskell, who arrived that Sunday morning by train from his home in Muskogee.

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Land Run


  The famous Land Run of 1889 was itself a form of fraud, as were later runs. The original Indian removal promised land to the Indians "in perpetuity." But the runs, in opening the territory to large-scale settlement by whites, effectively scuttled the basic idea of Indian Territory as Indian land. White settlers were delighted, and the runs have been widely celebrated. Yet for the Indians the runs meant that whites were again breaking solemn promises made to them.

  Fraud also occurred in the practices of Texas cattlemen who drove their herds across the Indian Territory on the way to market. They were supposed to get the permission of the Indians and pay them fair value. But the Indians lived in tribal communities and knew little about private property and market value. The resulting transactions were apt to be to the disadvantage of the Indian landowners.
 Harry Holloway, of the Oklahoma Historical Society said.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Scandalous Behavior: Trail Of Tears


  Political corruption is not easily defined. The legal definition is clear but unsatisfactory, because the press often refers to ill-defined scandals that cannot be completely ignored. Therefore, it is better to use a broad definition encompassing scandalous behavior by officials who abuse the public trust for reasons not only of personal gain, but also for other reasons that may have serious negative consequences for public affairs. At the outset it merits mention that Oklahoma does not rank as the most corrupt of states. That dubious distinction typically goes to Louisiana. Still, Oklahoma has had outstanding cases of scandal reaching into the highest levels of state government, including the state's Supreme Court and the chief executive.
  As for the historical record, Oklahoma began as Indian Territory in the early 1800s, and much of the nineteenth century was laced with fraud perpetuated against American Indians. The infamous Trail of Tears of the 1830s began in a scheme by federal officials to transfer Indians from their tribal holdings on the east coast, which white settlers sought, to what was then a distant western wilderness. Removal of the Indians was supposed to be voluntary. But voluntary compliance broke down, and officials resorted to force. The resulting forced march by the Indians through winter weather killed men, women, and children by the thousands. This abuse of the public trust by officials surely ranks as one of the most shameful chapters in both national and state history.
 Harry Holloway, of the Oklahoma Historical Society said;