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Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Indian Territory

INDIAN TERRITORY, formerly a territory of the United States, now incorporated in the State of Oklahoma. It was a part of the Louisiana Purchase and in 1829 was set apart by Congress for the occupation of Indians east of the Mississippi river. The portion of the territory was taken in 1890 to form a part of Oklahoma Territory. Indian Territory then had an area of 31,246 square miles. It was occupied by the Five Civilized Tribes, the Cherokees, Creeks, Seminoles, Choctaws, and Chickasaws. By various enactments of Congress the territory was divided among the individuals of each tribe. An enrollment of the members of the tribe was begun and completed on June 30, 1907. In 1914 the allotments of land were practically completed. The discovery of oil and gas wells within the territory produced great prosperity among the Indians owning these lands which have been leased for operation. The movement for statehood in the territory began in 1892 and was followed by a Constitutional Convention held in 1905. The preference of the inhabitants of the territory was for separate statehood, but Congress, however, preferred to establish a joint state composed of Oklahoma and Indian Territory. The statehood bill was passed by Congress in June, 1906, and on Nov. 16, 1907, Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory became the State of Oklahoma. See Oklahoma, and Indians, American.