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Sequoyah, Proposed State of

SEQUOYAH, PROPOSED STATE OF

SEQUOYAH, PROPOSED STATE OF. In April 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt made a railroad campaign throughout Indian Territory, encouraging the Five Civilized Tribes to unite with Oklahoma Territory into one state. Most Indian leaders, however, opposed uniting; they feared losing their land yet again and felt the United States was reneging on its treaty. Instead, they proposed a separate state of Sequoyah. The leaders of the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Seminoles, and Osages ignored Roosevelt's wish and held their own constitutional convention. The chief of the Chickasaws was in favor of joint statehood and refused to participate, though later he sent his private secretary to attend. On 22 August 1905, the convention was held at the Hinton Theater in downtown Muskogee, with 182 Native and non-Native elected delegates. This constitutional convention was the first such cooperative effort between whites and Natives. They published the Sequoyah Constitution on 14 October 1905, and held an election on 7 November. Of the 65,352 votes cast, 56,279 were for the ratification of the constitution. A copy of the constitution and the election results were sent to Congress, but they refused to consider the document. In 1907, the Indian and Oklahoma Territories became one state, Oklahoma, the Choctaw word for "home of the red man."

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Faulk, Odie B. Oklahoma: Land of the Fair God. Northridge, Calif.: Windsor Publications, 1986.

Gibson, Arrell Morgan. The History of Oklahoma. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984.

———. Oklahoma: A History of Five Centuries. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1981.

Mary AnneHansen

See alsoIndian Policy, U.S.: 1900–2000 ; Indian Territory .

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