Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

Degree Discipline



As recently as fifty-five years ago, the present Lincoln County, Oklahoma was a part of the Louisiana Purchase that our government had given to the red man for his home. No white man was permitted to own land there. It was inhabited strictly by Indians, except for a few Negroes that had been brought there as slaves from the Southern states east of the Mississippi.

The Indians made their own laws, followed their own customs, and lived in their own way.

After the War between the States in i860, Congress said that the Indians must give up some of their land. This land, together with other tracts which Congress bought from the Indians, became known as the "Oklahoma territory".

White men looked with longing eyes upon this valuable and practically empty land. They wanted to go in and develop the country. So in I889, a bill was introduced into Congress opening Oklahoma to settlement. The opening was marked by an event known in history as the "run". People came from all parts of the United States to claim land for farms and home sites. This is the beginning of the history of the Negro as a freeman and Y/hite man in Oklahoma.

In I89G, the year after the "run", the Oklahoma territory was divided into counties; and in I893 the first schools were established. They were supportedbythe county and were mixed. The children of the whit8 and. colored races attended the same schools. The teachers were all white.

This system of education was followed four years, and in 1897 John Embry, a white Lincoln County Lawyer, introduced a bill in the legislature asking for the establishment of separate schools for the white and colored children of Lincoln County. The bill was passed and the Constitution was amended and provided that whenever there shall be as many as eight colored children in any school district in the territory of Oklahoma, there shall be a district formed for the education of colored children in the same manner and upon the same application as other school districts are formed.

Committee Chair/Advisor

A. C. Preston

Committee Member

E. M. Norris

Committee Member

0. J . Baker

Committee Member

H. E. Wright


Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View





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