The story of Oklahoma is as unique as the state's odd saucepan shape. Originally set aside by treaty as Indian Territory, the rich, fertile land was to belong to the Indians "as long as grass grows and water runs." But after the Civil War a vast horde of homesteads, wealthy cattlemen, expansion-minded railroad men and unscrupulous opportunities stood poised at the borders. "Oklahoma or Bust!" became the slogan of the day, and United States Army forces patrolled constantly to keep out the militant trespassers—Boomers—determined to force their way into Oklahoma lands.
In The Story of Oklahoma Lon Tinkle describes this epic struggle as he relates the history of a great midwestern state—a history packed with tragic Indian migrations, wild stampedes for land and a mad scramble to strike oil. Here too are the men who determined Oklahoma's destiny: loyal Indians building an impressive civilization in a strange new home; hardy homesteaders racing into the territory on horse, in wagon and even on foot in one of the most spectacular land-rush sagas of the West; skilled oil men, and colorful native sons like Will Rogers and Jim Thorpe.
In a relatively short span of time, as history is measured, Oklahoma has emerged from a wilderness thinly populated by Indian nations to a proud, highly cultivated, well populated and tremendously rich state of the Union. The Story of Oklahoma brings vividly to life the events and the people responsible for this dramatic change.
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