AUTO TRAILS Back Roads into the Past
AUTO TRAILSBack Roads into the Past

Oklahoma's U.S. Highway 70

U.S. Highway 70 is bordered on the south by cotton-growing area and on the north by what was once heavily forested timberlands. The highway across southern Oklahoma follows the trail blazed by the Choctaw Indians, who traveled westward from Mississippi to new homes here, in what was then the Indian Territory.


The boundary between the Choctaw Nation and what became the State of Arkansas was created in the Treaty of 1825. The land was granted to the Choctaw in the Treaty of Doak’s Stand in 1820, but the boundaries were disputed by the Territorial Government of Arkansas. The eastern boundary of the Choctaw Nation was laid out 100 paces west of the southwest corner of the main garrison at Fort Smith and extended due south to its intersection with the Red River. The western boundary of the nation would be the 100th parallel, the southern boundary the south bank of the Red River, and the northern boundary the Canadian River to its confluence with the Arkansas River and the Arkansas River to the eastern boundary. 


Once the eastern boundary was surveyed, fixed, and approved by the new Bureau of Indian Affairs, the white population, which had infiltrated into eastern Oklahoma as far west as the Kiamichi River, was removed back east of the boundary by the military.[i] 


[i] Green, Len; How to Lose a Nation in Seven Not-So-Easy Treaties; Bishinik, October 1978.


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