First newspapers in Oklahoma…

May 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

Historic printing press returns home…

June 24, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The following appeared in the May/June issue of “The History Channel Magazine“. Given its focus I thought it worth sharing with our collectors:

“The ‘Cherokee Advocate‘ became the first newspaper published in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) on Sept. 26, 1844. Published weekly, in both Cherokee and English, it provided Cherokees with information about their people and the United States. When it first started publication it was the country’s only tribal-owned newspaper; it would later be joined by the “Choctaw Intelligencer” in 1850 and the “Chickasaw Intelligencer” in 1854.

The last issue of the Advocate was published in 1906 after the federal government dissolved the Cherokee Nation. The printing office, press, and other equipment were sold to a Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, publisher in 1911, and the Cherokee syllabary typeset was sent to the Smithsonian Institution for preservation.

After nearly 100 years, the Cherokee Advocate printing press returned to its original home at the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in early 2010. The printing press will be one of the museum’s centerpieces. For more information, visit”