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Sequoyah County

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    Sequoyah County was part of Lovely's Purchase, a controversial acquisition of territory in 1816 from the Osage for Arkansas Cherokees who came west before removal. Part of Arkansas Territory's Lovely County in 1827, the area became part of the Western Cherokee Nation in 1829 when Cherokees in Arkansas, and with them, Dwight Mission, were removed to Indian Territory. The Christian mission was reestablished on Sallisaw Creek, eleven miles northeast of Vian where it continued under the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2005.
    While under authority of the Cherokee Nation, the area first called Skin Bayou District changed to Sequoyah District in 1851. Present Sequoyah County also comprises part of the old Illinois District. Early Cherokees (Old Settlers) established the first capital, Tahlonteeskee (Tahlontuskey), operative from 1829 to 1839 near the mouth of the Illinois River, near present Gore. Tahlonteeskee remained a meeting place for Old Settlers as Cherokee government and the Cherokee center of gravity shifted to Tahlequah. During the Civil War the area near Webbers Falls (in present Muskogee County) was a hotbed of sympathy for the Confederacy, fueled by the stealthy successes of Stand Watie, a Cherokee and a Confederate colonel (later a brigadier general). However, the only significant Civil War action in present Sequoyah County was Watie's notorious June 15, 1864, capture of the steamboat J. R. Williams by attacking from Pleasant Bluff, at present Tamaha in Haskell County. The steamboat ran aground on the north side of the Arkansas River, and Watie and his men looted it, enlivening the Southern cause.
    Between the Civil War (1861-64) and 1907 statehood, proximity to Fort Smith made the area especially susceptible to intruders, illegal residents. Three mostly white communities near the Arkansas border, Paw Paw, Cottonwood, and Muldrow, were almost entirely inhabited by intruders, although citizenship disputes in Cherokee and federal courts persisted through the turn of the twentieth century. Intrusion and intermarriage among Cherokees, whites, and African Americans contributed to cultural undercurrents that lasted into the twenty-first century. Cherokee courts operated, but after the Civil War had no jurisdiction over U.S. citizens living in Indian Territory, which complicated the intruder issue. The area fell under federal judicial districts headquartered at Van Buren and Fort Smith in Arkansas and, after 1889, in Muskogee.


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    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
    Phone: (405) 522-3579
  • The Oklahoma State Archives provides an excellent library of genealogy records including: Commissioner of Confederate Pensions Applications, 1915-33, Commissioner of Confederate Pensions Pension Files, 1915-49, U.S. District Land Office Homestead Registers, 1889-1908, Oklahoma Supreme Court Applications to the Bar, 1907-42, Oklahoma Board of Medical Examiners Deceased Files, 1907-86, Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy Deceased Pharmacist Files, 1907-75, and Oklahoma Board of Chiropractic Examiners Inactive License Files, 1921-84.

Oklahoma Genealogical Society Library and Archives

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    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105-4997
    Phone: (405) 522-5225
  • The Oklahoma Genealogical Society maintains a library and archives that the public is allowed to visit. The Library and Archives contains over 62,000 volumes with emphasis on Oklahoma, Native American, and western history. In addition to these materials -- many of which are rare and out-of-print -- the library also houses a number of special collections.
County Clerk
120 East Chickasaw St.
Sallisaw, OK 74955
Phone (918)775-4516
Court Clerk|120 East Chickasaw St.
Sallisaw, OK 74955
Phone (918)775-4411
Fax (918)775-1223

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Adjacent Counties

Cherokee County | Adair County | Le Flore County | Haskell County | Muskogee County
Crawford County, Arkansas | Sebastian County, Arkansas

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