Tales of the Old Indian Territory and Essays on the Indian Condition


Tales of the Old Indian Territory and Essays on the Indian Condition

John Milton Oskison
Edited and with an introduction by Lionel Larré

American Indian Lives Series

680 pages
French flaps


June 2012


$70.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
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June 2012


$70.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Indian Territory, which would eventually become the state of Oklahoma, was a multicultural space in which various Native tribes, European Americans, and African Americans were equally engaged in struggles to carve out meaningful lives in a harsh landscape. John Milton Oskison, born in the territory to a Cherokee mother and an immigrant English father, was brought up engaging in his Cherokee heritage, including its oral traditions, and appreciating the utilitarian value of an American education.

Oskison left Indian Territory to attend college and went on to have a long career in New York City journalism, working for the New York Evening Post and Collier’s Magazine. He also wrote short stories and essays for newspapers and magazines, most of which were about contemporary life in Indian Territory and depicted a complex multicultural landscape of cowboys, farmers, outlaws, and families dealing with the consequences of multiple interacting cultures.

Though Oskison was a well-known and prolific Cherokee writer, journalist, and activist, few of his works are known today. This first comprehensive collection of Oskison’s unpublished autobiography, short stories, autobiographical essays, and essays about life in Indian Territory at the turn of the twentieth century fills a significant void in the literature and thought of a critical time and place in the history of the United States.

Author Bio

John Milton Oskison (1874–1947) had a long career in New York City journalism and was also a well-known and popular writer in his time, writing short stories and essays for newspapers and magazines in both the United States and London. Lionel Larré is an associate professor of English at the Université Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux 3. He has published two books in France and numerous articles on Native American subjects.


"Oskison cuts an unorthodox and compelling figure in this remarkable anthology."—Publishers Weekly

"For readers interested in regional histories and autobiographical sketches of life in Indian Territory, Oskison's writing doesn't disappoint."—Ellen Cushman, Wicazo SA

"Readers of this anthology will appreciate Larré's thoroughly written introduction and his masterful selection of John Milton Oskison's writings with their subtle insights into the rich, multicultural milieu that was Indian Territory, and into the complexity of American Indian affairs in the early twentieth century."—James Pate, Chronicles of Oklahoma

Table of Contents

Part 1. Autobiography
A Tale of the Old I.T.: An Autobiography by John Milton Oskison
A Trip to Yosemite Valley: Graphic Picture of Grand Scenery Drawn by a Vinita Boy
A Letter to His Father: John Milton Oskison Writes of His Visit in Europe
An Autobiographical Letter to Journalist Frederick S. Barde
Part 2. Fiction
I Match You: You Match Me
Tookh Steh's Mistake
A Schoolmaster's Dissipation
Only the Master Shall Praise
When the Grass Grew Long
The Biologist's Quest
I Saw an Eagle Strike
To "Youngers' Bend"
A Border Judge and His Court
Working for Fame
The Fall of King Chris
"The Quality of Mercy"
The Greater Appeal
The Problem of Old Harjo
Young Henry and the Old Man
Koenig's Discovery
Out of the Night That Covers
Walla Tenaka--Creek
The Apples of Hesperides, Kansas
The Man Who Interfered
The Other Partner
The Singing Bird
Part 3. Essays
Cherokee Migration
The President and the Indian: Rich Opportunity for the Red Man
The Outlook for the Indian
Friends of the Indian
Lake Mohonk Conference
The Need of Publicity in Indian Affairs
Remaining Causes of Indian Discontent
Making an Individual of the Indian
A Carlisle Commencement
The Indian in the Professions
The Enduring Qualities of the Indian
The Little Mother of the Pueblos
An Apache Problem
Acquiring a Standard of Value
Arizona and Forty Thousand Indians
The Closing Chapter: Passing of the Old Indian
A Bigger Load for Educated Indians
In Governing the Indian, Use the Indian!
The New Indian Leadership
Source Acknowledgments

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