“Indian Territory.” From Atlas of the World. Philadelphia: Wm.M. Bradley & Bro., 1887. 12 1/2 x 17. Color wax engraving. Very good condition.
An original antique map of the Indian Territory from shortly before the creation of the Oklahoma Territory. The Indian Territory was formed as a result of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, when lands west of the Mississippi were set aside for the Indian Tribes forced to relocate from east of the Mississippi River. By 1856 these lands had been reduced to the present borders of Oklahoma. After the Civil War, the government forced the tribes into new treaties, gaining back some of the land for the government and allowing railroads to cross the territory (the Missouri Pacific and Atlantic & Pacific lines are shown on this map). This resulted in a substantial area in the central part of the state in theory not connected to any tribe and owned by the U.S. government. This region of “unassigned” lands, popularly called “Oklahoma,” was finally opened to whites in 1889, resulting in the great “land rush” of that year. From then on the lands set aside for the Indians were shrunk until in 1907 Oklahoma entered the Union as the 46th state. This map shows the Indian Territory before it was reduced.