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Rare Map of Oklahoma: Chisholm Trail and Original Choctaw Names

A Rare Map of Oklahoma from 1892 shows the Chisholm Trail, original Choctaw districts and counties, and a whole lot more.

Map fo Oklahoma in 1892
Rand McNally published this map of Oklahoma and Indian Territory in 1892. It can be found in the Barry Lawrence Ruderman Collection, linked below.

Link to rare map of Oklahoma from 1892


Today's Oklahoma once comprised lands claimed by the Caddos, Wichitas, Osages, Kiowas, Apaches, and Comanches (among many other tribes, several of whom no longer exist). In the colonial era (1580s to 1803), it was part of the French, then Spanish, then French (briefly) "empires" but saw very little colonization. After the United States' Louisiana Purchase of 1803, it briefly fell under the jurisdiction the Missouri Territory between 1812 and 1819, when it comprised the western half of Arkansas Territory. In1824, it became "The Indian Territory" after presidential and congressional efforts created a reservation for the forcibly removed nations in the southeastern United States. After the Civil War, the nations lost their many of their autonomy, and the territory was opened to white settlers by 1889. This led to the creation of Oklahoma Territory in the west, and Indian Territory remained in the eastern part. By 1907, the state formed as Oklahoma even though the nations preferred a separate existence under the presumed state name, Sequoyah.


So, long story short, all of this history was combined in this map, published by Rand McNally in 1892 and found in Barry Lawrence Ruderman's Rare Maps collection (I've read that some people think it's a new source; I've been frequenting and citing this collection for years). Following are two "snapshots" from the map with some history explained.


Partial map showing today's Jefferson County, Oklahoma
The 1892 map depicts the Chisholm's Trail heading northward as a stagecoach road, then becoming an ill-defined pathway before resurfacing further north as an actual road above the Canadian River.

The first image "snipped" form the map, with the purple arrow pointing northwards, depicts the Chisholm Trail. It appears to be that this map is one of the earliest ones that names the Abilene Cattle Trail, Chisholm's Trail, which was so-named because the path led to Jesse Chisholm's trading post on the Canadian River.


Portion of 1892 map depicting Choctaw Nation
The 1892 map explains a lot of history of the Choctaw Nation inside Indian Territory, including its historical, Choctaw names.

In the rare 1892 Rand McNally map of Indian Territory and Oklahoma, a plethora of historical names are included. This 2nd "snip" from the map depicts the southern portion of the Choctaw Nation in Indian Terriotry. Look at the county names, and the district names, that made up the Choctaw Nation. For genealogists as well as Indian Territory researchers, this is a great tool, and another reason this map is so rare: mostly, the historical names are found in libraries, not in maps.


Following are, roughly, the old counties and their current county names. I will be off because I did this as a comparison. There are woefully few sources, except primary ones in the Oklahoma Historical Society's archives, that recognize the original jurisdictions of the nations.


Apuckshunnubbee District:

Towson County --> Choctaw, Pushmataha, and McCurtain Counties

Cedar County ---> Pushmataha County

Nashoba County --> Le Flore and McCurtain Counties

Eagle County ---> McCurtain County

Red River County ---> McCurtain County

Wade County ---> Le Flore, Haskell, and Latimer Counties


Pushmataha District:

Fork County ---> Pushmatah, Latimer, Pittsburg and Atoka Counties

Kiamishi County ---> Choctaw County

Blue County ---> Bryan and Marshall County

Jacks County ---> Atoka, Coal, and Pittsburg Counties

Atoka County ---> Atoka, Coal, and Johnson Counties


Mosholatubee District:

Toboxy County, Gaines County, Sugar Loaf County, Scullyville County, San Bois County.

Le Flore County, Haskell County, Latmer County, Pittsburg County, Hughes County.


All I can say is: thank you once again, Barry Ruderman Lawrence Collection. What a find! The map can be purchased as a hi-resolution file here: https://www.raremaps.com/gallery/purchase/91047


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