Tuesday, December 13, 2011

State of Sequoyah

The proposed State of Sequoyah 

In honor of commenter Mary (born in Sentinel, Oklahoma) we take a closer look at the Sooner State this time.

The State of Sequoyah was the proposed name for a state to be established in the eastern part of present-day Oklahoma. In 1905, faced by proposals to end their tribal governments, Native Americans of the Five Tribes in Indian Territory proposed this state as a means to retain some control of their land.

The proposed state was ‘Sequoyah’ named in honor of the Cherokee Sequoyah who created an effective writing system for the Cherokee language in 1825. In 1905 a constitutional convention was called and a constitution was adopted. A referendum resulted in 56.279 votes in favor of the constitution and 9.073 votes against.

However the petition for statehood was denied by the US Congress, mainly due to the resistance of Eastern delegates who were afraid there would be too many Western states. Instead, in 1907 Indian and Oklahoma territories were merged into one state whose name is a Choctaw word for 'red people': Oklahoma.
next episode: Sally


  1. Rob, this state and nation would have been so different had this state come to be. The Indian nations would have been more prominent in our modern history I think. My family settled in Oklahoma Territory, as opposed to Indian Territory (which would have become Sequoyah). They were not Sooners, but close to it. My grandmother's uncle was in the Land Run into Oklahoma on the western border of the state. He lined up on the Texas border and waited for the gunshot start. People took off on horseback, buggy and wagon. He only had one team, which he left with his family and the wagon. He set off on the run on foot. He literally "ran" into the state to stake his claim in what became the town of Cheyenne, Oklahoma. The Cherokees were one of the five civilized tribes that made the trek to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears. Some of them hid out in the North Carolina mountains (and still live there). The Choctaws were another civilized tribe sent to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears. During World War II the U.S. military used a group of Choctaw soldiers to send critical messages in their own language in the European theater (which the Germans could not de-code). These Choctaw Code Talkers have become heros to us for their contribution to the war effort. Very interesting that they may have been from the State of Sequoyah!

  2. Thank you for the extra information! You seem to know an awful lot about it. I had never heard of the Choctaws before, they are not very famous I guess. But I'm glad they are considered heroes now a days. Those land runs must have been quite the spectacle!


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