Sunday, March 23, 2008

Today In History: What A Rush!

On this day in 1889, two million acres of the "Unassigned Lands" in the Oklahoma Territory were opened for homesteading. Fifty thousand people charged in for a slice of freedom and a piece of land to call their own. Plus a chance to form new cities, with their attendant municipal governments and neighborhood vigilance committees to keep the riffraff out.


Anonymous said...

My boss is a homestead family and no he was not a "sooner".

He still has the family lands and plans upon retiring there in a few years. They have some land fallow and revert to forest and the rest is open land that is farmed.

When he retires he will have his own private rifle range out to 1200 yrds and a pistol range within an easy walk from the barn. I wish my ancestors could have picked half as nice a spot.

His Grandfather chose extremely well for a young guy.

Anonymous said...

If you haven't read Allan Eckhart's "THAT DARK AND BLOODY RIVER", it's worth your time. It's a fascinating study of the European settlement of the Ohio River valley. My mother-in-law was actually able to glean some genealogical information from it.

What I found so darkly humorous about the book was trying to imagine what was going through the minds of the Shawnee during that period. These guys were killing settlers by the boatload and suffering little in the way of casualties in return. But no matter how many scalps they took, they just couldn't make a significant dent in whitey's population. There were just too many eurotrash coming down the river.

Nothing else sucks like being on the receiving end of a massive tide of illegal immigrants.

CGHill said...

Actually, we kept out only the raff; the riff flourished.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm confused.

I thought the first "run" was April 22, 1889.

CGHill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CGHill said...

Technically, this was the day that President Harrison signed the proclamation which opened up the Unassigned Lands and which set the date for first admission of settlers to the 22nd of April. (Originally it was to have been the 20th, which was a Saturday, but Harrison reportedly was worried that the settlers would fail to observe the Sabbath, what with all that running around and staking claims and all, and so the Run was moved to the following Monday.)

Assrot said...

Sounds like one of the many times in our history that we were given free range to murder the native peoples and steal everything they had.

But then, what do I know? I'm only part Native American. Some of my ancestors on the white side of the fence took part in the murdering and pillaging. My wife is full blooded Native American however. Her family has some very good historical records and documents on exactly how and when the white man decided this country had become theirs to steal and on how they systematically went about it.

Very little to be proud of that I can see.