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Early Printed Map of Oklahoma—Very Rare Cherokee Strip Sales Map

Streeter: “One of the Greatest Land Rushes in History”

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313.     [MAP]. HUDSON-KIMBERLY PUBLISHING COMPANY. Map of Oklahoma Compiled from the Official Records of the General Land Office and Other Authentic Sources by Hudson-Kimberly Pub. Co. Scale 8-1/2 Miles = 1 inch. Kansas City, Mo. U.S. Land Offices at Guthrie, Oklahoma, Kingfisher and Beaver. [untitled inset map of Oklahoma and Beaver County (i.e., Panhandle) in relation of surrounding states, neat line to neat line: 9.4 x 12.5 cm] [above lower margin, inset map, neat line to neat line: 10.7 x 33.6 cm] Beaver Co. Part of Territory…. [above preceding map, explanatory grid] A Township of Land [below lower neat line] Hudson Kimberly Pub. Co., Printers and Publishers. 1014-1016 Wyandotte Street, Kansas City, Mo. Kansas City, [ca. 1893]. Full color lithograph map of Oklahoma Territory on a grid pattern, decorative pictorial cartouche with Native American theme, neat line to neat line: 57.6 x 71 cm; overall sheet size: 60.6 x 76 cm. Creased where formerly folded (a few clean splits with a few minor losses), blank margins with a few minor chips along edges, mild staining (mostly marginal), overall light foxing, old paper mount on verso, overall very good condition, with excellent color. OCLC locates no copies.

     This is a very early separately printed map of Oklahoma. The Gilcrease Hargrett catalogue has an entry for an 1885 map published by the Kansas State Journal Map, which they designate as “the first map of Oklahoma, and a prime rarity” (see also Phillips, America, p. 736, first entry under Oklahoma). The present map is unrecorded and not in Phillips (America), Gilcrease, or other standard sources. We trace no sales records. Likely based on and adapted from the following official map issued in 1893 by the U.S. Department of the Interior (General Land Office), the map issued in conjunction with the opening of Cherokee lands for sale as homesteads in the Cherokee Outlet in Oklahoma Territory: Map of the Cherokee Outlet Oklahoma Territory showing Lands to be Opened for Settlement on September 16th 1893 under Proclamation of the President Compiled under the direction of Hon. S.W. Lamoreux Commissioner General Land Office by Harry King, C.E. Chief of Drafting Department G.L.O. 1893 (see Streeter Sale 3957). The official U.S. map has the following text: “All Lands $1.50/100 per Acre 97°30’ All Lands $2.50/100 per Acre.” In the present map the information has been adapted with red text along the three sections of Cherokee Outlet reading left to right: “$1.00 PER AC.,” “$1.50 PER AC.,” and “$2.50 PER AC.” The official map appears to have been widely adapted for commercial use, as here, along with several different versions by various publishers and entrepreneurs. For instance, Yale has a very similar map with slightly different dimensions and the imprint of J.H. Murphy & Bro. (dated by Beinecke as [189?]).

     The top third of the map shows the “Cherokee Strip” in blue extending about four-fifths of the way from west to east, after which are shown the much smaller reserves of the Tonkawa, Ponca, Otoe & Missouria, Kansas, Osage, and Pawnee. In yellow are the former lands of the Cheyenne, Arapahoe, Iowa, Sac, Fox, Pottawatomie, and Wichita, which are now the newly established counties of Day, Mills, Blaine, Kingfisher, Logan, Payne, Canadian, Oklahoma, Lincoln, Greer, Pottawatomie, and Lincoln. Apparently, the wholesale marketing of Native reserves had not worked out completely (yet)—the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache reserve is uncolored with the key feature being a quite large Fort Sill Military Reserve.

     Just as the Texas Panhandle is too tall to fit on some Texas maps and must be depicted in an inset, Oklahoma’s Panhandle, here labelled as Beaver County, is a long, thin inset in the lower right portion of the map. In 1907 when Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory became the single state of Oklahoma, Old Beaver County (also known as “No Man’s Land”) was divided into three counties (present Beaver, Texas, and Cimarron counties.) At one point part of Beaver County was actually within Texas’ boundaries.

     The appearance of Greer County on an Oklahoma map is intriguing to find on a map from the 1890s, since Greer County was part of Texas until 1907. As set out in a long, fascinating article in the Handbook of Texas Online, Greer County was the subject of extended claims and litigation going back to the Adams-Onís Treaty:

The controversy had its origin in the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819, which designated the boundary between Spanish territory and the United States. The part of that treaty affecting Greer County provided that the boundary should follow “the course of Red River westward to the degree of longitude one hundred west from London and twenty-three from Washington; then crossing the said Red River and running thence by a line due north to the River Arkansas.” Accompanying the treaty was the Melish map, on which the boundary line had been delineated. This map, as was later discovered, embodied two errors that were largely responsible for the dispute between Texas and the United States. According to this map the 100th meridian was from ninety to 100 miles farther east than the true 100th meridian; furthermore, the Red River, in its upper course, divides into two major branches instead of having only one as shown on the Melish Map….

On the basis of these arguments and contentions, the matter finally went to the Supreme Court, on March 16, 1896, where it was decided that the territory known as Greer County was not under the jurisdiction of Texas but under that of the United States. Greer County thus became a territory of the United States and, in 1906, part of Oklahoma.


Sold. Hammer: $1,900.00; Price Realized: $2,280.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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