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Indian Territory Reservation

The provisions for Citizen Potawatomi’s move to the Indian Territory were stipulated in a treaty signed on February 27, 1867. Signatories and the officials from the Office of Indian Affairs agreed that a delegation of Citizen Potawatomi travel to the Indian Territory and select a tract of land, not exceeding 30 miles square. The treaty stipulated that they would buy the reservation with the proceeds from selling their “surplus” lands in Kansas at one dollar per acre to the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad.

In 1869, a party of Citizen Potawatomi traveled to Indian Territory and selected a tract of land that became the site of the Citizen Potawatomi reservation in present-day Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma. They chose a section of land that encompassed 576,000 acres between the north and south forks of the Canadian River. The land lay just west of the Seminole reservation and had an eastern boundary at the Indian Meridian.

The earliest families to make the journey to their new reserve arrived in the Indian Territory in 1872. Since they paid for the move themselves, these families were among the more affluent Potawatomi families who were able to move from Kansas and included members of the Anderson, Bourbonnais, Melot, Clardy, Pettifer, Bergeron and Toupin families. They were soon followed by more Potawatomi emigrants. Most who would make the journey had done so by the mid-1870s.

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