Indian Lands Near The Unassigned Lands

Stop 11: Coming Soon to W Main St east of N Broadway Ave at the SW Corner of Santa Fe Parking Garage, Downtown

A month after the Land Run, Cheyenne and Arapahoe delegates were in Oklahoma City to negotiate the future of their lands west and north of the Unassigned Lands.

After the Civil War, Indian tribes that had sided with the Confederacy were forced to cede their land in western Oklahoma to the US government for the later resettlement of other tribes. But the Creeks and Seminoles retained residual claims to the Unassigned Lands. On March 1, 1889, Congress approved a treaty acquiring the Creek claims, and the next day they authorized the acquisition of the Seminole claims and opening of the Unassigned Lands for settlement.

The Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes were given land in the Cherokee Outlet (north of the Unassigned Lands) and west of the Unassigned Lands by treaty in 1867. In 1889 the winds of change in Washington persuaded tribal leaders to consider opening these lands for non-Indian settlement. On May 23 and 24, 1889 a group of Cheyenne and Arapahoe leaders met with federal officials in Oklahoma City and worked out an agreement. Ratified after a bitter struggle within the tribes, this agreement led to land runs opening their western land on April 19, 1892 and the Cherokee Outlet on September 16, 1893.

  • 1862
    The Homestead Act opens up settlement in the western U.S. by allowing any adult American to claim up to 160 acres of free federal land. 15,000 claims are made by the end of the Civil War.
  • 1866
    The Civilized Tribes are forced to cede large portions of their land, including the Unassigned Lands, to the U.S. Government for relocation of other Native American nations.
  • 1880
    Boomers begin attempts to settle in the Unassigned Lands. The U.S. military repeatedly forces them out.
  • 1887
    The Santa Fe Railroad from Kansas to Texas is completed. Multiple stops are opened in the Unassigned Lands.
  • January-March 1889
    Creek and Seminole Nations release claims to the Unassigned Lands, and Congress approves opening the land for settlement.
  • March-April 1889
    "Boomer camps" pop up along and inside the borders of the Unassigned Lands.
  • March 23, 1889
    President Harrison's Proclamation sets noon on April 22 as the time and date for the Land Run
  • April 19, 1889
    Prospective settlers are escorted from the Kansas and Texas borders to the perimeter of the Unassigned Lands. Those already inside are required to leave.
  • April 20, 1889
    Land east of the railroad tracks at Oklahoma Station is reserved for military use
  • April 22, 1889 at noon
    Oklahoma Land Run officially begins.


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