Artist: Ron Embleton (biography)
Medium: Gouache on Board
Size: 13" x 11" (335mm x 270mm)
Signature: Signed by Artist bottom rightThis is the Signed original Gouache painting by Ron Embleton.
At precisely twelve noon on September 16, 1893 a cannon's boom unleashed the largest land rush America ever saw. Carried by all kinds of transportation - horses, wagons, trains, bicycles or on foot - an estimated 100,000 raced to claim plots of land in an area of land in northern Oklahoma Territory known as the Cherokee Strip. There had been a number of previous land rushes in the Territory - but this was the big one.
In 1828 Congress designated the land that would become Oklahoma as Indian Territory. White settlers were required to leave, and a number of tribes from the East and South were forcibly moved into the area from their ancestral lands. Chief among these were the Five Civilized Tribes - the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole - who allied themselves with the South during the Civil War.
Following the war, the US government looked upon these tribes as defeated enemies. This animosity combined with increasing pressure to open up the Indian Territory to white settlement prompted the first land rush in 1885, a second followed in 1889. By the time of the Oklahoma land rush of 1893, America was in the grip of the worst economic depression it had ever experienced. This was one of the factors that swelled the number of expectant land-seekers that day.
Many would be disappointed. There were only 42,000 parcels of land available - far too few to satisfy the hopes of all those who raced for land that day. Additionally, many of the "Boomers" - those who had waited for the cannon's boom before rushing into the land claim - found that a number of the choice plots had already been claimed by "Sooners" who had snuck into the land claim area before the race began. The impact of the land rush was immediate, transforming the terrain almost overnight. Gorgeous dramatic art by the incomparable Ron Embleton originally published in World of Wonder #105 as part of the fondly remembered The Winning of the West series (part 10) in 1972. A rare example of an Embleton signed strip in this series.