"Pressing for Sequoyah" argues print became a dominant medium used by Native nations, communities, and individuals in the 1890s through the early 1900s to resist greater U.S. intervention in Indian Territory (present-day eastern Oklahoma). This essay looks at spatial and governmental practices manifested through the production and circulation of print in a moment of sweeping change for Indian Territory: the years between the Curtis Act (1898)—which began the allotment process for the Five Tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Mvskoke-Creek, and Seminole)—and the State of Sequoyah movement (1905). This moment was not simply archived in the newspapers, magazines, and other ephemera of the era, but their content, composition, and circulation worked in concert with grassroots organizing. With the end of formal treating practices between the U.S. and Native people in the 1870s, the printed page, like the state of Sequoyah, became an alternative, at times anti-assimilative, tactic in the continued effort to challenge imperial control. The Sequoyah movement functioned as the last large-scale intratribal effort to curtail the transformation of the Oklahoma and Indian territories into a white-dominated, U.S-controlled space, i.e. a U.S. state. Through its name and organization efforts, Sequoyah asserted a textual and aesthetic imagining of Indigenous interference in colonial geopolitics.


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pp. 335-364
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