Cedar Valley Realtor

Statehood

In 1902, the leaders of Indian Territory sought to become their own state, to be named Sequoyah. They held a convention in Eufaula, consisting of representatives from the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Muscogee (Creek), and Seminole tribes, known as the Five Civilized Tribes. They met again next year to establish a constitutional convention. [edit]The Sequoyah Constitutional Convention and statehood attempt Main articles: State of Sequoyah and Sequoyah Constitutional Convention The Sequoyah Constitutional Convention met in Muskogee, on August 21, 1905. General Pleasant Porter, Principal Chief of the Muscogee Creek Nation, was selected as president of the convention. The elected delegates decided that the executive officers of the Five Civilized Tribes would also be appointed as vice-presidents: William Charles Rogers, Principal Chief of the Cherokees; William H. Murray, appointed by Chickasaw Governor Douglas H. Johnston to represent the Chickasaws; Chief Green McCurtain of the Choctaws; Chief John Brown of the Seminoles; and Charles N. Haskell, selected to represent the Creeks (as General Porter had been elected President). The convention drafted the constitution, established an organizational plan for a government, outlined proposed county designations in the new state, and elected delegates to go to the United States Congress to petition for statehood. If this had happened, the State of Sequoyah would have been the first state to have a Native

merican majority population. The convention's proposals were overwhelmingly endorsed by the residents of Indian Territory in a referendum election in 1905. The U.S. government, however, reacted coolly to the idea of Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory becoming separate states; they preferred to have them share a singular state. Murray, known for his eccentricities and political astuteness, foresaw this possibility prior to the constitutional convention. When Johnston asked Murray to represent the Chickasaw Nation during Sequoyah's attempt at statehood, Murray predicted the plan would not succeed in Washington, D.C.. He suggested that if the attempt failed, the Indian Territory would work with the Oklahoma Territory to become one state. President Theodore Roosevelt and Congress turned down the Indian Territory proposal. Seeing an opportunity for statehood, Murray and Haskell proposed another convention for the combined territories to be named Oklahoma. In 1906, the Oklahoma Enabling Act was passed by the U.S. Congress and approved by President Roosevelt. The act established several specific requirements for the proposed constitution.[23] Using the constitution from the Sequoyah convention as a basis (and the majority) of the new state constitution, Haskell and Murray returned to Washington with the proposal for statehood. On November 16, 1907 President Theodore Roosevelt signed the proclamation establishing Oklahoma as the nation's 46th state.