Coal County, Oklahoma
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Coordinator: Mel Owings

 

ALLEN WRIGHT,
GREATEST OF ALL CHOCTAWS
(From the Coalgate Record-Register February 3, 1949)
      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

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The above article although it was originally published in the Coalgate Record-Register was transcribed from the Coal County Genealogical Society's quarterly Newsletter. The newsletter is edited by Billie Jean Rice with assistance from Doris Breger and Jimmye Watson. Please click on their link below to find out more about this important source of information for anyone doing research in or about Coal County.

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