Sooners

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Unassigned Lands - 1885 Unassigned Lands 1885.jpg
Unassigned Lands – 1885

Sooners is the name given to settlers who entered the Unassigned Lands in what is now the state of Oklahoma before the official start of the Land Rush of 1889. President Benjamin Harrison officially proclaimed the Unassigned Lands open to settlement on April 22, 1889. As people lined up around the borders of the Oklahoma District, they waited for the official opening. It was not until noon that it officially was opened to settlement. The name derived from the "sooner clause" of Proclamation 288 — Opening to Settlement Certain Lands in the Indian Territory, which stated that anyone who entered and occupied the land prior to the opening time would be denied the right to claim land. [1]

Settler person who has migrated to an area and established permanent residence there

A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize the area. Settlers are generally from a sedentary culture, as opposed to nomads who share and rotate their settlements with little or no concept of individual land ownership. Settlements are often built on land already claimed or owned by another group. Many times settlers are backed by governments or large countries. They also sometimes leave in search of religious freedom.

Unassigned Lands Homestead in Oklahoma, United States

The Unassigned Lands in Oklahoma were in the center of the lands ceded to the United States by the Creek (Muskogee) and Seminole Indians following the Civil War and on which no other tribes had been settled. By 1883 it was bounded by the Cherokee Outlet on the north, several relocated Indian reservations on the east, the Chickasaw lands on the south, and the Cheyenne-Arapaho reserve on the west. The area amounted to 1,887,796.47 acres.

Oklahoma State of the United States of America

Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

Contents

According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, the designation "Sooner" initially had a very negative connotation. However, the negative connotation began to change by the time of statehood, and is no longer considered negative by most residents. In 1908, University of Oklahoma football team adopted the nickname "Sooners". The U.S. state of Oklahoma has been popularly nicknamed the "Sooner State" since the 1920s. [1]

University of Oklahoma public research university in Norman, Oklahoma, United States

The University of Oklahoma (OU) is a public research university in Norman, Oklahoma. Founded in 1890, it had existed in Oklahoma Territory near Indian Territory for 17 years before the two became the state of Oklahoma. In Fall 2018 the university had 31,702 students enrolled, most at its main campus in Norman. Employing nearly 3,000 faculty members, the school offers 152 baccalaureate programs, 160 master's programs, 75 doctorate programs, and 20 majors at the first professional level. David Boren, a former U.S. Senator and Oklahoma Governor, served as the university's president from 1994 to 2018. James L. Gallogly succeeded Boren on July 1, 2018.

U.S. state constituent political entity sharing sovereignty as the United States of America

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Characteristics

Sooners were often deputy marshals, land surveyors, railroad employees, and others who were able to legally enter the territory early. [2] Sooners who crossed into the territory illegally at night were originally called "moonshiners" because they had entered "by the light of the moon." These Sooners would hide in ditches at night and suddenly appear to stake their claim after the land run started, hours ahead of legal settlers. [1]

United States Marshals Service federal law enforcement agency of the United States

The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is a federal law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice. It is the oldest American federal law enforcement agency and was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789 during the presidency of George Washington as the Office of the United States Marshal. The USMS as it stands today was established in 1969 to provide guidance and assistance to Marshals throughout the federal judicial districts. USMS is an agency of the United States executive branch reporting to the United States Attorney General, but serves as the enforcement arm of the United States federal courts to ensure the effective operation of the judiciary and integrity of the Constitution.

Surveying The technique, profession, and science of determining the positions of points and the distances and angles between them

Surveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them. A land surveying professional is called a land surveyor. These points are usually on the surface of the Earth, and they are often used to establish maps and boundaries for ownership, locations, such as building corners or the surface location of subsurface features, or other purposes required by government or civil law, such as property sales.

Relationship with Boomers

The term Boomer relating to Oklahoma refers to participants in the "Boomer Movement," white settlers who believed the Unassigned Lands were public property and open to anyone for settlement, not just Native American tribes. Their reasoning came from a clause in the Homestead Act of 1862, which said that any settler could claim 160 acres (0.65 km2) of public land. [3] Some Boomers entered and were removed more than once by the United States Army. [4]

Boomers (Oklahoma settlers)

Boomers is the name given to settlers in the Southern United States who attempted to enter the Unassigned Lands in what is now the state of Oklahoma in 1879, prior to President Grover Cleveland opening them to settlement by signing the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889 on March 2, 1889. Boomers preceded by a decade the Sooners, settlers who entered the Unassigned Lands just prior to the April 22, 1889 official opening.

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

Those who actually observed the official start of the land run and began the race for free land often found choice sections of land already occupied by Sooners or, in some cases, by Boomers. Problems with Sooners continued with each successive land run; in an 1895 land run as much as half of the available land was taken by Sooners. Litigation between legitimate land-run participants and Sooners continued well into the 20th century, and eventually the United States Department of the Interior was given ultimate authority to settle the disputes. [1]

United States Department of the Interior United States federal executive department responsible for management and conservation of federal lands and natural resources

The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) is the United States federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal lands and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, territorial affairs, and insular areas of the United States. About 75% of federal public land is managed by the department, with most of the remainder managed by the United States Department of Agriculture's United States Forest Service.

Sports

In 1908, the University of Oklahoma adopted "Sooners" as the nickname of its football team, after having first tried "Rough Riders" and "Boomers". Eventually, Oklahoma became known as "The Sooner State." [1] The school fight song is titled "Boomer Sooner." The school "mascot" is a replica of a 19th-century covered wagon, called the "Sooner Schooner."

"Boomer Sooner" is the fight song for the University of Oklahoma (OU). The lyrics were written in 1905 by Arthur M. Alden, an OU student and son of a local jeweler in Norman. The tune is taken from "Boola Boola", the fight song of Yale University. A year later, an additional section was appended, borrowed from the University of North Carolina's "I'm a Tar Heel Born".

Sooner Schooner official mascot of the sports teams of the University of Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooner Schooner is an official mascot of the sports teams of the University of Oklahoma Sooners. Pulled by two white ponies named Boomer and Sooner, it is a scaled-down replica of the Studebaker Conestoga wagon used by settlers of the Oklahoma Territory around the time of the Land Run of 1889 and is considered the first mobile home. Its name comes from the common term for such wagons and the name for settlers who sneaked into the Territory before it was officially opened for settlement ("Sooners").

Related Research Articles

Kingfisher County, Oklahoma county in Oklahoma, United States

Kingfisher County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,034. Its county seat is Kingfisher. The county was formed in 1890 and named Kingfisher by a vote of residents.

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.

Oklahoma Territory territory of the USA between 1890-1907

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.

David L. Payne American pioneer, father of Oklahoma

David Lewis Payne was an American soldier and pioneer. Payne is considered by some to be the "Father of Oklahoma" for his work in opening the state to settlement.

Cherokee Outlet

The Cherokee Outlet, or Cherokee Strip, was located in what is now the state of Oklahoma in the United States. It was a sixty-mile (97 km) wide parcel of land south of the Oklahoma-Kansas border between the 96th and 100th meridians. The Cherokee Outlet was created in 1836. The United States forced the Cherokee Nation of Indians to cede to the United States all lands east of the Mississippi River in exchange for a reservation and an "outlet" in Indian Territory. At the time of its creation, the Cherokee Outlet was about 225 miles (360 km) long. The cities of Enid, Woodward, and Ponca City would later be founded within the boundaries of what had been the Cherokee Outlet.

Land Rush of 1889

The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 was the first land rush into the Unassigned Lands. The area that was opened to settlement included all or part of the present-day Canadian, Cleveland, Kingfisher, Logan, Oklahoma, and Payne counties of the US state of Oklahoma. The land run started at high noon on April 22, 1889, with an estimated 50,000 people lined up for their piece of the available two million acres (8,000 km²).

Indian Appropriations Act

The Indian Appropriation Act is the name of several acts passed by the United States Congress. A considerable number of acts were passed under the same name throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, but the most notable landmark acts consist of the Appropriation Bill for Indian Affairs of 1851 and the 1871 Indian Appropriations Act.

History of Oklahoma history of the U.S. state of Oklahoma

The history of Oklahoma refers to the history of the state of Oklahoma and the land that the state now occupies. Areas of Oklahoma east of its panhandle were acquired in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, while the Panhandle was not acquired until the U.S. land acquisitions following the Mexican–American War.

Land Run of 1893

The Land Run of 1893, also known as the Cherokee Outlet Opening or the Cherokee Strip Land Run, marked the opening to settlement of the Cherokee Outlet in Oklahoma's fourth and largest land run. It was part of what would later become the U.S. state of Oklahoma in 1907.

The Land Run of 1891 was a set of horse races to settle land acquired by the federal government through the opening of several small Indian reservations in Oklahoma Territory. The race involved approximately 20,000 homesteaders, who gathered to stake their claims on 6,097 plots, of 160 acres (0.65 km2) each, of former reservation land.

Northwestern Oklahoma

Northwestern Oklahoma is the geographical region of the state of Oklahoma which includes the Oklahoma Panhandle and a majority of the Cherokee Outlet, stretching to an eastern extent along Interstate 35, and its southern extent along the Canadian River to Noble County. Northwest Oklahoma is also known by its Oklahoma Department of Tourism designation, Red Carpet Country, which is named after the region's red soil and alludes to the metaphor that the panhandle is a "red carpet" into Oklahoma. The region consists of Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper, Woods, Alfalfa, Grant, Kay, Ellis, Woodward, Major, Garfield, Noble, Dewey, Blaine, and Kingfisher counties.

American pioneer

American pioneers are any of the people in American history who migrated west to join in settling and developing new areas. The term especially refers to those who were going to settle any territory which had previously not been settled or developed by European, African or American society, although the territory was inhabited by or utilized by Native Americans.

Socialist Party of Oklahoma

The Socialist Party of Oklahoma was a semi-autonomous affiliate of the Socialist Party of America located in the Southwestern state of Oklahoma. One of the last states admitted to the Union, the area later incorporated into Oklahoma had been previously used for reservations to which indigenous Native American populations were deported, with the area formally divided after 1890 into two entities — an "Oklahoma Territory" in the West and an "Indian Territory" in the East.

Charles C. Carpenter was a Boomer leader who organized and instigated the first unauthorized attempt to homestead the Unassigned Lands in Oklahoma Territory in May 1879.

William Couch First mayor of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

William Lewis Couch, a native of North Carolina and later a resident of Kansas, was best known as a leader of the Boomer Movement and as the first provisional mayor of what became Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He joined the Boomer Movement in 1880 and became the sole leader of the movement after David L. Payne's death on November 28, 1884. He participated in the Oklahoma Land Run on April 22, 1889 and was elected provisional mayor soon thereafter on April 26, 1889. He remained mayor until November 11, 1889. On April 4, 1890, he was shot by J. C. Adams in a dispute over his homestead claim, and died on April 21, 1890.

Robert Galbreath Jr. (1863–1953) was an American pioneer entrepreneur, wildcatter and oilman in Oklahoma. A native of Ohio, he traveled to Kansas and California in the late 19th century. Returning East by way of Indian Territory, he participated with his brother, Herman, in the Land Rush of 1889 for the Unassigned Lands. Afterward, he sold his claim and settled in the new town of Edmond. He became an early wildcatter and oil producer. His most notable accomplishment was the discovery of the Glenn Pool oilfield.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Blochowiak, Mary Ann. "Sooners". Oklahoma Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2006-02-18. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
  2. "The Land Run – Boomers vs. Sooners" (PDF). 2007-2008 Proposed Budget. City of Tulsa, Oklahoma . Retrieved 2007-05-11.
  3. "The State of Oklahoma". Netstate.com. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
  4. Rister, Carl Coke (1942). Land Hunger, David L. Payne and the Oklahoma Boomers. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 41, 45–50.