History of Oklahoma

By Edward Everett Dale; Morris L. Wardell | Go to book overview

__ XII___
The Boomer Movement

FORCES FAVORING WHITE SETTLEMENT OF INDIAN TERRITORY

THE PROVISIONS in the treaties of 1866 by which the Five Civilized Tribes agreed to give rights of way to any railroads that might be built across their lands had evidently been inserted through the influence of persons who expected that sooner or later these Indian lands would be opened to white settlement. Charters were soon issued to railroad companies that proposed to construct lines across the Indian Territory. These charters all provided that if the Indian title to these lands should ever be extinguished and if the lands should become a part of the public domain of the United States, the companies were to receive generous land grants in alternate sections on either side of their tracks. Under such a charter, construction was begun on the north-south line, originally called the southern branch of the Union Pacific, but soon to be known as the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas. By 1870 the line had reached the border of the Indian Territory, and three years later had been completed entirely across it to Denison, Texas, just south of the Red River. Here it was soon joined to lines reaching farther south, thus forming a direct railway route from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico.

This railroad, which gave the cattle raisers of eastern and central Texas a contact with the important markets, lessened somewhat the great northern drives of trail herds from this

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