JANUARY 27, 1825

CONGRESS APPROVES CREATION OF INDIAN TERRITORY (OKLAHOMA)

After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, President Thomas Jefferson envisioned an “Indian colonization zone”– a permanent Indian frontier on the west bank of the Mississippi to resolve the conflict between the Native inhabitants and Euroamericans.  John C. Calhoun, Secretary of War under President James Monroe, devised the first plan for an “Indian zone.”  Monroe approved the plan on January 27, 1825.  The Indians east of the Mississippi were to voluntarily exchange their lands for land in the west.  Dozens of tribes were later removed by treaty and under the 1830 Indian Removal Act, by which the president forced tribes to cede their lands east of the Mississippi.  An 1834 Trade Act further defined “the Indian country” as that part of the United States west of the Mississippi and not within the states of Missouri, Louisiana, or Arkansas Territory, or any other organized territory.  Whites were excluded from the region for most purposes and trade with Indians was regulated.  

Source:  Dianna Everett, “Indian Territory,” Oklahoma Historical Society.  Retrieved 12/9/2019, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entryname=INDIAN%20TERRITORY
Map:  “A Map of the Indian Territory, Northern Texas and New Mexico Showing the Great Western Prairies,” Author unknown, 1844.  Public Domain. Source: Wikipediahttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gregg_A_Map_of_the_Indian_Territory_1844_UTA.jpg

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