Rev. Allen Wright, a full blood Choctaw Indian,
together with his mother, sorrowfully tread the "Trail of Tears" from Mississippi
to the Choctaw Nation in the year 1833. The good mother died on the long,
tedious, and hard trip, leaving this Indian lad, untutored, an orphan, in
a wild and strange land, among unfriendly and strange people, without a guiding
hand to assist him over the pitfalls of life.
Yet this orphan Indian boy arose like a midnight
meteor to become and remain, the greatest benefactor and statesman among
them all, and his memory will live forever to perfume struggling human hearts
among all races of Mankind.
In the year 1866, the president of the United
States named Rev. Allen Wright as the First Governor of the Choctaws. This
was a signal honor awarded to a great Indian, without a "political pull",
and without the asking. Allen Wright was a great Statesman, and the first
preacher among the Choctaws, and his appointment was most fortunate for the
struggling and starving and dying Choctaws.
Never since has the Choctaws, or any other
people, had a better Governor, nor a more unselfish one.
By the close of the year 1866, his first year
as Choctaw Governor, "Capt." Wright as he was then called, he having risen,
by his own merit to that rank, as a soldier of the "South" in the Confederate
Army, negotiated, single handed, a treaty with the United States, fashioning
a territorial government out of the lands then ceded to and occupied by the
Choctaws, Chickasaws, Cherokees, Seminoles, and the Creeks, and now known
and commonly called the "Five Civilized Tribes".
The Government of the United States, desired
and insisted that this new county bear a distinctive Indian name. Allen Wright
"invented" and proposed the name, "Oklahoma", which is derived from two Choctaw
words, "okla" meaning people and "homa" meaning red, the translation being
"The Land of the Red People".
The word "Oklahoma" had never before been
heard of or used anywhere by anyone. However, that territorial government,
as dreamed of and provided for, by that proposed "treaty" was never established.
But under a later Act of Congress the "Territory
of Oklahoma" was craved out of the lands of the Indian Territory and opened
to white settlement in 1899 and officially, by our government, given the
name originally selected by Governor Allen Wright, in the year 1866.
Forty-one years later - or - the year 1907,
by Act of Congress, when the "Territory of Oklahoma" and the "Indian Territory"
were admitted as one state into the union of states, the name of our new
state was officially adopted by our people and the President and Congress
of the United States as "Oklahoma" as planned and suggested by this great
Indian genius and statesman, Allen Wright, in the year 1866.
The United States government paid Allen Wright,
direct and in cash, while he was the Treasurer of the Choctaw Indian people,
two million dollars cash, without requiring of him any bond, or any security
whatever. This was the only time, and the first time in the history of our
National government, that a man's rugged honesty, and his sterling integrity
was ever trusted with $2,000,000.
Be it said to the everlasting memory of my
friend Allen Wright, that every cent of this stupendous sum of money was
religiously and scrupulously accounted for and approved by our National
Government. Honesty in public office, personified.
I am just wondering how many of our Public
White Officers in this good year of 1949 -- whether those officers be County,
State, or Federal, would our Government trust with two million dollars, without
bond or security.
In the pioneer days of 1866, real honesty
and patriotism presided in the hearts of public officials. Now, it is said,
some of the highest stations of honor and trust, have been held by, and are
honey-combed by Communists, crooks and traitors and corrupt politicians.
This illustrious Statesman died at Boggy Depot,
now in Atoka County, in the year 1885.
Allen Wright was as much "The Father of the
Choctaws" as was George Washington "The Father of his Country". -- Judge
James H. Mathers