Indians and Pioneers: The Story of the American Southwest
Before 1830. By Grant Foreman. Revised Edition. (Nor-
man: The University of Oklahoma Press, 1936. Pp. xv, 300.
The early history of the country that is now western Arkansas
and eastern Oklahoma is a story of confusion and turbulence. It
was affected by French and Spanish rivalry when emperors vied
for control of the prairie Indians. Into it moved early in the
nineteenth century the Osage, nearly always at war with surround-
ing peoples. From their villages along the Arkansas River these
Indians fought with the Caddoan tribes to the south and east, the
Wichita, Comanche, and Kiowa to the west, and even the Pawnee
of the Platte. Late in the eighteenth century straggling bands of
Delawares and Cherokees settled here in the land of the docile
Quapaw. Some Choctaws, Creeks, and Chickasaws also came and
the immigrant Indians were soon at war with the Osage.
In an effort to stop the Indian wars and protect white settlers
to the east the military established Fort Smith, Fort Gibson, and
Fort Towson. Although these posts encouraged the migration of
the white people, they did not end the wars or bring security to
the frontier. Indeed, on one occasion it was said of Fort Towson
that it was "likely to need protection from citizens instead of
giving them protection." Zealous missionaries came and wrought
well but never succeeded in reaching many of the natives.
After the War of 1812, white people came in numbers and lodged
along the Arkansas and Red rivers. The country seemed more
inviting to them after the Quapaw ceded the land between those
streams, and Spain, in the treaty of 1819, gave up all claim to
the territory north of the Red River and east of the one hundredth
meridian. In preparation for the settlers the general assembly of
Missouri and later that of the Territory of Arkansas created
counties extending far into the present Oklahoma. These counties
included territory already ceded or about to be ceded by the United
States government to the Indians. Some of the settlers had to
be removed and there was much ill feeling. The western boundary
of Arkansas was shifted repeatedly in the effort of the general
government to satisfy the land-hungry white settlers on the one
hand and protect the rights of the Indians on the other. This
volume closes with the year 1830, before the great migration of
the Five Civilized Tribes had got well under way.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101103/. Accessed October 25, 2014.