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Gotts Surname Family History


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131 - 6 Henry, Arvilla and Indian Territory

Indian Territory history

To understand what happens next needs some understanding of the area known as Indian Territory and when Oklahoma became a state.

This map from Wikipedia/Wikimedia, is overlaid with some places mentioned in this tree. Click here to read about the history of the Osage Nation, which describes some of the struggles that the Indian nations had to face.

Here is a very brief summary: From 1830 native Indians were encouraged/forced to move to new lands from across USA. The ‘Five Civilised Tribes’ on the right (Osage, Cherokee, Muscogee, Chickasaw and Choctaw) were moved to this land and encouraged to take up farming of this poor quality land. Elsewhere, the tribes were put under the government of church missionaries, who in some cases forcibly destroyed the political and social structures of the Indians in the name of integrating them into the US ethics. This link to Oklahoma History Center describes the missionaries in the Indian Territory, which suggests the missionaries were not in charge of the government of the Osage or Muscogee tribes.

Indian Territory was added to Oklahoma when it became a state in 1907. Oil was found in their land in 1880s, and although the Indian nations got a revenue which was distributed to the rights holders, there were many attempts to defraud them of their rights. Read the links for more information.

This shows Arvilla was working within the Indian communities, but we don’t know whether Henry was there.

However the reason for her leaving may be explained on the next page.

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 Having provided this background, there is a record of Arvilla Gotts joining the Quakers at Skiatook, in the Osage Nation 25 June 1888. She is the only Gotts within their records, which also show her leaving 24 May 1890. These are in the Wyandotte Monthly Meeting, which has a front page describing what they are doing, ie setting up meeting places within some of the tribal villages.