First newspapers in Oklahoma…

May 9, 2011 by  
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The history of present-day Oklahoma is different from most states, as most of the district was set apart by Congress in 1834 for the occupation of five tribes of southern Indians who were taken there from 1820-1840. In 1889 part of the area was opened for white settlement, although  a considerable number moved into the territory before lawful entry, causing them to to be called “Sooners”. Oklahoma did not become a state until 1907, the third last of the continuous 48 to do so (New Mexico & Arizona were the last).

The first Oklahoma printing press came by way of Georgia & Tennessee where it published various Indian pamphlets. The first newspaper in Oklahoma was the “Cherokee Advocate” which began Se[pt. 26, 1844 at Tahlequah, printed in both English and Cherokee. It was preceded by one month by the “Cherokee Messenger” but it was more of a magazine than a newspaper, and it lasted for just 13 issues. The “Advocate” continued publishing–with some interruptions–for over 60 years.

The “Choctaw Telegraph” was issued at Doaksville in the Choctaw Nation near the end of 1848 but it did not last beyond a year. But it was then revived in 1870 and continued until 1907. Yet another newspaper was printed at Doaksville in May, 1850, called the “Choctaw Intelligencer“. Printed in both English & Choctaw it lasted for about a year. The other pre-Civil War newspaper was actually a high school publication called the “Cherokee Rosebud” and done by the students of Park Hill Female Seminary at Tahlequah. It began in 1848.

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