19th Century Maps, Engraving, Maps, Past/Present, Wax engraving

Past/Present: Oklahoma Territory

Both of the maps featured in today’s post appeared in Rand McNally’s “Universal Atlas” and depicted the early configuration of present day Oklahoma. As a result of the Oklahoma Organic Act of 1890, the western portion of present day Oklahoma became the Oklahoma Territory. (The name was derived from a Choctaw term, which means “red people.”) The eastern portion of the state remained the Indian Territory. Originally, both areas petitioned to become separate states, but they were refused. Rather, in 1907, they combined and Oklahoma became the 46th state. Although published only two years apart, the later map is far more detailed than the identically titled map published in 1893. Indexes in the upper and lower margins speak to the huge boost in settlement population, especially in the northwest section of the Oklahoma Territory.

Image on Left: Western Portion of Oklahoma. [Indian Territory.] Published by Rand McNally & Co. Multi-color wax engraving, 1893. From Rand McNally’s “Universal Atlas.”

Image on Right: Western Portion of Oklahoma. [Indian Territory.] Published by Rand McNally & Co. Multi-color wax engraving, c.1895. From Rand McNally’s “Universal Atlas.”

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