Ed Vebell (American, 1921 - 2018) "Oklahoma Land Rush" Signed lower right. Original Acrylic painting on Illustration Board.
Provenance: Collection of James A. Helzer (1946-2008), Founder of Unicover Corporation.
This artwork was originally published on the Fleetwood Commemorative Cover for Epic Events in American History series issued in 1985.
In one of the most tragic chapters of Amherst history, the State of Georgia -- with the support of President Andrew Jackson -- concocted a scheme to uproot all Indians of the "Civilized Tribes" from their hereditary soil, and give the land to Georgians. Chief Justice Marshall ruled this illegal, but Jackson's response was, "Mr. Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!" Thus the 1830s saw most of the Georgia Indians -- Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw and others -- forcibly driven out of their lands and marched a thousand miles west to "Indian Territory," the forerunner of Oklahoma. Not until 1889 was this vast territory of some 200 million acres open to American settlers. The date set for the opening -- April 22, 1889 -- saw the first "run" of homesteaders staking out their claims. That first "run" attracted some forty thousand competitors, later runs occurred all throughout the 1890s. Here is how one of the participants remembered it: He asked me to think of four of five horses lined up at the post; they break and are away. Well, sir, in this race there were thousands of horses and thousands of riders and drivers and they stretched in a line across the prairies as far as you could see. Most of the horses were under saddle. The others were hitched to every kind of rig -- light rigs, buckboards, spring wagons and sulkies were the best. There were covered wagons, lots of them, and even people on foot.
Image Size: 20 x 21 in.
Overall Size: 26 x 26.75 in.
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