The Indian Territory was the land the
government had set aside for the Plains Indians, west of the Mississippi River.
They’d been forcibly relocated there in 1830, after the Indian Removal Act. This
territory was divided into sections for the different tribes, with a bit in the
middle that wasn’t allocated to any particular tribe. Even though this
section in the middle was not open to white settlement, white people had been
trying to move there since the start of the 1880s, and the US Army had to
continuously move them off. 1893: The Oklahoma land rush. In 1887, the Dawes Act
changed everything. The Dawes Act ended reservations for the Plains Indians. The
land was divided up into 160 acre plots, and each Plains Indian family was given
a plot. All the rest of the land was put up to the general public for sale. Many
Plains Indians sold off their land as they did not wish to become farmers. Many
of these who sold off their land were cheated into selling their lands off
very cheaply by white land speculators. Things changed again in 1889 when the US
government opened up the middle section of Indian Territory for white settlement.
They sent in government surveyors to divide 2 million acres of land up into
160 acre sections. They then announced that at 12:00 noon, on the 22nd of April
1889, the area would be open for claims. Thousands of hopeful settlers lined up,
waiting on the boundary of the unopened territory. Once a signal was given,
everyone rushed over the boundary to reach a section and claim it as their
own. This was Oklahoma’s first land rush. In
total, there were 7 land rushes in Oklahoma. The first was in 1889, 2 million
acres, and the last in 1895, which was only 88 000 acres. The largest land rush,
however, was in 1893. At 12:00 noon, this time on the 16th of September 1893, the
boom of a cannon was the signal that unleashed Oklahoma’s largest land rush.
An estimated 100 000 people raced to grab the best plots from the 8 million
acres which were opened up. 1893: the Oklahoma Land Rush. Thanks for watching.
Also, I was talking to one of the history teachers
at my school the other day about the fact I was making this video. He told me
that a good way to think of the land rush was it was like Black Friday, but with
land instead of the contents of a shop. So you’ve got people running around to
get the best land claim rather than the cheapest 42 inch TV. He also told me that
I had to use that in my video and credit him for it. See, I snuck it on at the end. Please do feel free to like and subscribe (it was a
hint) and also if you’d like to check out some other videos then I have plenty of
them (that was also a hint).