Frontier Justice – Who is in charge?

When Mayor Couch was elected as temporary mayor on April 27 and elected again on May 1, the city government was “provisional” with no direct authority granted by federal law. They had the legitimacy of election by fellow citizens but unremitting criticism from others for being illegal sooners and operating under the Articles of Confederation drawn up by the Seminole Town Company.

The military under Captain Stiles reliably supported the provisional city government until ordered by Washington to The Land Office in Guthrie was part of the Interior Department. Federal Courts in Muskogee and Wichita ruled on certain matters. And the Federal Marshall in Wichita had deputies with responsibility for enforcing federal law in Oklahoma. Except for the courts, the other federal officials reported eventually to the President. But the War Department, Interior Department, and Justice Department didn’t always agree on how things should be run on the local level.

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