And Still the Waters Run


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The back of the book reads:

"This classic work tells the tragic story of the liquidation of the independent Indian republics of the Choctaw, Chickasaws, Cherokees, Creeks, and Seminoles, known as the Five civilized tribes. At the beginning of the present century about seventy thousand of these Indians owned the eastern half of the area that is now the state of Oklahoma, a territory immensely wealthy in farmland, forest, coal mines, and untapped oil pools. Farmers, cattlemen, and coal diggers, they held their land in common and maintained their political and economic status in the area was guaranteed by treaties and patents from the federal government of the United State. Bu white people began to settle among them, and by 1890 these immigrants were overwhelmingly in the majority. Congress therefore abrogated treaties that it had promised would last "as long as the waters run," and when Oklahoma was admitted to the Union in 1907, the Indians received what Angie Debo calls the "perilous gift of American citizenship."

This book-- which Oliver LaFarge labeled a "work of art"-- documents the orgy of exploitation that followed. Within a generation the Indians were almost stripped of their holding, and were rescued from starvation only through public charity. Discovery of oil only intensified the struggle, and "grafting off the Indians" attained the status of a major industry."

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