Oklahoma was first discovered by Europeans in the 1540's when Spain sent Coronado to search for land and gold in the New World, but the French actually started settlements there. The land was claimed alternately by both Spain and France in the centuries that followed, only to be handed over to the U.S. government as part of Thomas Jefferson's Louisianna Purchase agreement with Napoleon in 1803. To protect this investment, a string of Forts were built by the U.S. military, the names of which are familiar to me from news stories, history books and Western movie scenes: Fort Smith, Fort Gibson, Fort Arbuckle, Fort Washita, Fort Cobb, etc.
Assigned to these Forts were men who also have well known names, such as:
|White House Portrait|
Robert E. Lee, and, Jefferson Davis
|R.E. Lee; mcwm.org|
|J. Davis, courtesy sonofthesouth.net|
It has been a while since I've been in a history class, and, upon reflection I am not surprised, but I don't think I have ever really thought of my home state as being part of Louisianna before:
Enough of this detour for now...