Highly detailed map of Indian Territory, reflecting the status of lands allocated to 32 Indian tribes in what is now Oklahoma.
Tribal lands are named, colored-coded, and include legal references to the treaties that relocated the tribes. The map is among the first to designate the emerging territory of Oklahoma. It also represents a fascinating footnote to the history of George Catlin's Indian Gallery.
The map first appeared in 1885 in Part V of the Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, written by the lawyer Thomas Donaldson. Donaldson was instrumental in bringing Catlin's Indian Gallery and collection to the Smithsonian after the artist's death. The collection was exhibited and then published, first in the Smithsonian Report of 1885 and then in a separate publication of 1886, which was reissued in 1887. The report included two large folding maps-one on Indian reservations, and the other, the present map on Indian Territory illustrating the federal allocation of Indian lands. The federal government's policy of Indian relocation began as early as 1817, and in the years following, many principal Eastern Indian tribes were removed to the region where the Five Civilized Tribes formed the nucleus of organized government. By 1885, however, representatives of about fifty tribes had settled on lands once promised to the original five. The map offered here reflects these allocations. The Oklahoma panhandle-which at this time consisted of "Public Lands"-is not shown.