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NYT 100 Years Ago: Creek 'revolt' in Oklahoma


An Indian "revolt" in Oklahoma landed on the front page of The New York Times on March 29, 1909.

According to "Indians in Revolt; Six Whites Killed," more than a hundred -- or "possibly several hundred" -- members of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, along with "outlaw negroes" and "half-breeds" were responsible for the deaths of law enforcement personnel. The story said Creek Chief Crazy Snake was furious with the U.S. for opening up tribal lands to allotment.

The article describes how sheriff's deputies captured the chief's son -- a "college-bred Indian" -- and started to hang him. Young Harjo was reportedly spared from death after he agreed to tell the deputies where his father and his father's followers were located.

According to a July 5, 1909, story, Chief Crazy Snakes was charged with the murders of two deputies.

Get the Story:
The TImesTraveler: ‘First Real Indian Uprising of Years,’ in Oklahoma (The New York Times 3/29)