Captain David L. Payne and a group of Boomers crossing from Kansas into the Oklahoma country in 1883. (OHS photo archives. All rights reserved.) Click here to view extra large image
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The Homestead Act opens up settlement in the western U.S. by allowing any adult American to claim up to 160 acres of free federal land. 15,000 claims are made by the end of the Civil War.


The Five Civilized Tribes are forced to cede large portions of their land, including the Unassigned Lands, to the U.S. Government for relocation of other Native American nations.


Boomers begin attempts to settle in the Unassigned Lands. The U.S. military repeatedly forces them out.


The Santa Fe Railroad from Kansas to Texas is completed. Multiple stops are opened in the Unassigned Lands.

January-March 1889

Creek and Seminole Nations release claims to the Unassigned Lands, and Congress approves opening the land for settlement.

March-April 1889

"Boomer camps" pop up along and inside the borders of the Unassigned Lands.

March 23, 1889

President Harrison's Proclamation sets the time and date for the Land Run.

April 19, 1889

Prospective settlers are escorted from the Kansas and Texas borders to the perimeter of the Unassigned Lands. Those already inside are required to leave.

April 20, 1889

Land east of the railroad tracks at Oklahoma Station is reserved for military use.

April 22, 1889 at noon

Oklahoma Land Run officially begins.


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