"Five Civilized Tribes" treated rather rudely . . .
President Thomas Jefferson considered the land west of Louisiana as "Indian Territory" and assumed it would always provide enough space and freedom for the Indians. In this Oklahoma Territory, "Five Civilized Tribes," each set up their own independent communities of schools, courts, legislatures and capitals. (Some Indian farmers even had slaves and sided with the South in the Civil War.) After the war, however, the Federal Government found reasons to continually take more land from the Indians . . . to build roads, railroads, towns, and to "open up" the area to white settlers. In the famous "Land Rush" of 1889 over 50,000 settlers poured into Oklahoma Territory -- in one day -- to stake claims on the land. Other Land Rushes followed, and the Indian Territory continued to shrink. Undaunted, these tribes of Cherokee, Creek, Chocktaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole, adopted a constitution and attempted to form a new State, "Sequoyah." But they were flatly rejected by Congress and instead bundled into the state of Oklahoma when it achieved statehood in 1907.
Name Origin: Indian. ("Red People")
Capital: Oklahoma City
Area: 69,919 square miles
Statehood: November 16, 1907 (46th)
Nickname: The Sooner State
Motto: "Work conquers all things"
Famous For: Oral Roberts Univesity, Will Rogers Memorial, Alabaster Caverns State Park, National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Pioneer Woman Statue, Cattle Ranching, Oil, Plastics, Rubber, Cotton.