The Antelope Hills
|Elevation||2,585 ft (788 m)|
|District||Roger Mills County, Oklahoma|
The Antelope Hills are a series of low hills in the bend of the Canadian River in northwest Roger Mills County, Oklahoma, near the border between western Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle. They were a major landmark for the Plains Indians and travelers on what is now the western plains of Oklahoma. The area was part of the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation until the Land Run of 1892 opened it to non-Indian settlement. The hills are on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Canadian River is the longest tributary of the Arkansas River in the United States. It is about 906 miles (1,458 km) long, starting in Colorado and traveling through New Mexico, the Texas Panhandle, and Oklahoma. The drainage area is about 47,700 square miles (124,000 km2).
Roger Mills County is a county located in the western part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,647, making it the third-least populous county in Oklahoma. Its county seat is Cheyenne. The county was created in 1891.
Plains Indians, Interior Plains Indians or Indigenous people of the Great Plains and Canadian Prairies are the Native American tribes and First Nation band governments who have traditionally lived on the greater Interior Plains in North America. Their historic nomadic culture and development of equestrian culture and resistance to domination by the government and military forces of Canada and the United States have made the Plains Indian culture groups an archetype in literature and art for American Indians everywhere.
According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, there is some evidence that prehistoric humans used this area as a hunting ground. Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado first mentioned these hills in 1541. In 1682, René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the area for Spain, which ceded it to France in 1800. It became part of the United States in 1803, through the Louisiana Purchase.The region was included in Indian Territory until Oklahoma Territory was formed in 1890, and had become the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation in 1867. The Land Run of 1867 opened the area to non-Indian settlement, when it became part of County F. It became part of Roger Mills County after Oklahoma became a state in 1907.
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition of the Louisiana territory of New France by the United States from France in 1803. The U.S. paid fifty million francs ($11,250,000) and a cancellation of debts worth eighteen million francs ($3,750,000) for a total of sixty-eight million francs. The Louisiana territory included land from fifteen present U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The territory contained land that forms Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska; the portion of Minnesota west of the Mississippi River; a large portion of North Dakota; a large portion of South Dakota; the northeastern section of New Mexico; the northern portion of Texas; the area of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide; Louisiana west of the Mississippi River ; and small portions of land within the present Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Its non-native population was around 60,000 inhabitants, of whom half were African slaves.
As general terms, Indian Territory, the Indian Territories, or Indian country describe an evolving land area set aside by the United States Government for the relocation of Native Americans who held aboriginal title to their land. In general, the tribes ceded land they occupied in exchange for land grants in 1803. The concept of an Indian Territory was an outcome of the 18th- and 19th-century policy of Indian removal. After the Civil War (1861–1865), the policy of the government was one of assimilation.
Before the American Civil War, this area was part of Comancheria, because the Comanche tribe regarded the land as their hunting ground and cattle grazing land. They vigorously opposed settlements by white immigrants and non-indigenous Native Americans, leading to much destruction and bloodshed. The U. S. military was ineffective in stopping Comanche raids into Texas and Mexico. Finally, the Texas Rangers and some Native American allies began a campaign in 1858 to eliminate the problem. The campaign culminated in the Battle of Little Robe Creek on May 12, 1858.
The Comancheria is the region of New Mexico, west Texas and nearby areas occupied by the Comanche before the 1860s.
The Battle of Little Robe Creek, also called the Battle of Antelope Hills, took place on May 12, 1858. It actually was a series of three distinct encounters that took place on a single day, between the Comanches on the one side, and Texas Rangers, militia, and allied Tonkawas attacking them. It was undertaken against the laws of the United States at the time, which strictly forbade such an incursion into the Indian Territories of Oklahoma, and marked a significant escalation of the Indian Wars. It also marked the first time American or Texas Ranger forces had penetrated the Comancheria as far as the Wichita Mountains, and Canadian River, and it marked a decisive defeat for the Comanches.
After gold was discovered in California in 1848, the large number of people traveling west created a need for a wagon road. Captain Randolph B. Marcy was commissioned to lead a party to survey the route for such a road from Fort Smith to California. This became known as the California Road. Marcy described the Antelope Hills as, ". . . about one hundred and fifty feet high, of porous sandstone, and appear to be the result of volcanic action. They rise almost perpendicularly from the smooth prairie, are flat upon the top, and present every indication of having been raised out of the earth by volcanic agency. They are near the 100th degree of longitude, and are sometimes called the Boundary mounds, as being near the line formerly claimed by Texas as her eastern boundary."
Randolph Barnes Marcy was an officer in the United States Army, chiefly noted for his frontier guidebook, the Prairie Traveler (1859), based on his own extensive experience of pioneering in the west. This publication became a key handbook for the thousands of Americans wanting to cross the continent. In the Civil War, Marcy became chief of staff to his son-in-law George B. McClellan, and was later appointed Inspector General of the U.S. Army.
According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, there were two trails that may have been known as the California Road at the time of the California Gold Rush. A southerly route, which ran from the through present-day Oklahoma,(but then known only as Indian Territory, along the Canadian River. A northern route was usually called the California Trail.
The Antelope Hills area was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 14, 1978.
This area is sparsely populated. The main economic activities are agriculture and petroleum production, because it lies atop the Ogallala Aquifer and the Anadarko Basin.
The Ogallala Aquifer is a shallow water table aquifer surrounded by sand, silt, clay, and gravel located beneath the Great Plains in the United States. One of the world's largest aquifers, it underlies an area of approximately 174,000 sq mi (450,000 km2) in portions of eight states. It was named in 1898 by geologist N. H. Darton from its type locality near the town of Ogallala, Nebraska. The aquifer is part of the High Plains Aquifer System, and rests on the Ogallala Formation, which is the principal geologic unit underlying 80% of the High Plains.
The Anadarko Basin is a geologic depositional and structural basin centered in the western part of the state of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, and extending into southwestern Kansas and southeastern Colorado. The basin covers an area of 50,000 square miles (130,000 km2). By the end of the 20th Century, the Anadarko Basin was producing the largest amount of natural gas in the United States. Notable oil and gas fields within the basin include the Hugoton-Panhandle Gas Field, West Edmond Field, Union City Field and the Elk City Field. The basin is also the only commercial source of iodine in the United States and a major producer of helium.
The surface was originally formed by sediments (sand, clay and caliche) carried down by streams from the Rocky Mountains. These eventually formed sandy, loam soils. Native plants are mostly prairie grasses and a few broadleaf trees, Wooded areas are mostly composed of cottonwood, willow, mesquite and eastern red cedar trees. Wildlife is mostly mule deer, whitetail deer, pronghorn antelope, and rabbit. Avian species include bobwhite quail, Rio Grande turkey, and ring-necked pheasant.
The Antelope Hills site (NRIS #78002259) was listed in 1978. The nearest community is Durham, Oklahoma.
Antelope Hills Expedition
The Arapaho are a tribe of Native Americans historically living on the plains of Colorado and Wyoming. They were close allies of the Cheyenne tribe and loosely aligned with the Lakota and Dakota. The Arapaho language, Hinónoʼeitíít, is an Algonquian language closely related to Gros Ventre (Ahe/A'ananin), whose people are considered to have separated from the Arapaho at an early time. The Blackfeet and Cheyenne also speak Algonquian languages, but theirs are quite different from Arapaho.
The Cheyenne are one of the indigenous people of the Great Plains and their language is of the Algonquian language family. The Cheyenne comprise two Native American tribes, the Só'taeo'o or Só'taétaneo'o and the Tsétsêhéstâhese. These tribes merged in the early 19th century. Today, the Cheyenne people are split into two federally recognized Nations: the Southern Cheyenne, who are enrolled in the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma, and the Northern Cheyenne, who are enrolled in the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana.
Grady County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 52,431. Its county seat is Chickasha. It was named for Henry W. Grady, an editor of the Atlanta Constitution and southern orator.
Ellis County is a county located on the western border of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,151, making it the fifth-least populous county in Oklahoma. Its county seat is Arnett.
Custer County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 27,469. Its county seat is Arapaho. The county was named in honor of General George Armstrong Custer.
Kiowa people are a Native American tribe and an indigenous people of the Great Plains. They migrated southward from western Montana into the Rocky Mountains in Colorado in the 17th and 18th centuries, and finally into the Southern Plains by the early 19th century. In 1867, the Kiowa were moved to a reservation in southwestern Oklahoma.
Land run usually refers to a historical event in which previously restricted land of the United States was opened to homestead on a first-arrival basis. Lands were opened and sold first-come or by bid, or won by lottery, or by means other than a run. The settlers, no matter how they acquired occupancy, purchased the land from the United States Land Office. For former Indian lands, the Land Office distributed the sales funds to the various tribal entities, according to previously negotiated terms. The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 was the most prominent of the land runs while the Land Run of 1893 was the largest. The opening of the former Kickapoo area in 1895 was the last use of a land run in the present area of Oklahoma.
The Territory of Oklahoma was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 2, 1890, until November 16, 1907, when it was joined with the Indian Territory under a new constitution and admitted to the Union as the State of Oklahoma.
The Red River War was a military campaign launched by the United States Army in 1874 to remove the Comanche, Kiowa, Southern Cheyenne, and Arapaho Native American tribes from the Southern Plains and forcibly relocate them to reservations in Indian Territory. Lasting only a few months, the war had several army columns crisscross the Texas Panhandle in an effort to locate, harass, and capture highly mobile Indian bands. Most of the engagements were small skirmishes in which neither side suffered many casualties. The war wound down over the last few months of 1874, as fewer and fewer Indian bands had the strength and supplies to remain in the field. Though the last significantly sized group did not surrender until mid-1875, the war marked the end of free-roaming Indian populations on the southern Great Plains.
The Colorado War was an Indian War fought from 1863 to 1865 between the Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations and white settlers and militia in the Colorado Territory and adjacent regions. The Kiowa and the Comanche played a minor role in actions that occurred in the southern part of the Territory along the Arkansas River, while the Sioux played a major role in actions that occurred along the South Platte River along the Great Platte River Road, the eastern portion of the Overland Trail. The United States government and Colorado Territory authorities participated through the Colorado volunteers, a citizens militia while the United States Army played a minor role. The war was centered on the Colorado Eastern Plains.
Fort Supply was a United States Army post established on November 18, 1868, in Indian Territory to protect the Southern Plains. It was located just east of present-day Fort Supply, Oklahoma, in what was then the Cherokee Outlet.
Southwest Oklahoma is a geographical name for the southwest portion of the state of Oklahoma, typically considered to be south of the Canadian River, extending eastward from the Texas border to a line roughly from Weatherford, to Anadarko, to Duncan. Geologically, the region is defined by a failed continental rift known as the Southern Oklahoma Aulacogen. The austere nature of the prairie landscape with intermittent island ranges has made it a favorable place for artists and photographers alike. For tourism purposes, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department has designated Southwestern Oklahoma as Great Plains Country, and defined it to consist of 14 counties including Roger Mills, Custer, Beckham, Washita, Caddo, Kiowa, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Comanche, Tillman, Cotton, Stephens, and Jefferson counties.
Iron Jacket was a Native American War Chief and Chief of the Comanche Indians.
The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Nations are a united, federally recognized tribe of Southern Arapaho and Southern Cheyenne people in western Oklahoma.
The Land Run of 1892 was the opening of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation to settlement in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. One of seven in Oklahoma, it occurred on April 19, 1892, and opened up land that would become Blaine, Custer, Dewey, Washita, and Roger Mills counties. The land run also opened up what would become part of Ellis County, but was designated County "E" and then Day County prior to statehood.
Little Raven, also known as Hosa, was from about 1855 until his death in 1889 a principal chief of the Southern Arapaho Indians. He negotiated peace between the Southern Arapaho and Cheyenne and the Comanche, Kiowa, and Plains Apache. He also secured rights to the Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation in Indian Territory.
John Homer Seger was an American educator best known for his work with the Arapaho tribe in Oklahoma. Seger was born in Geauga County, Ohio, and grew up in Illinois. He joined the Union Army in 1864; after the war, he worked in Wisconsin and Kansas. In 1872, Seger took a position as a mason and carpenter for a new school at the Darlington Agency on the Cheyenne-Arapaho Indian Reservation in what was then the Indian Territory. When the school opened in 1875, Seger became its first superintendent, a position he held until 1882.