History 430: Theory and Practice

Document Type

Undergraduate Research

Publication Date

Spring 4-19-2011


Indian relations have been a major part of American society since America was discovered, and as Americans continued to expand farther west, these issues became increasingly magnified. There are many stories of the trials and tribulations that many Native Americans faced as they were continually persecuted and forced to give up their land. Stories such as the Trail of Tears sprout up in most textbooks throughout schools. However, there are many other stories that seem to slip through the cracks and do not receive near as much spotlight in history lessons today. The story of the Quapaw Tribe, who were primarily located in Northeastern Oklahoma, is a particularly interesting tale. In the early 1900s there was a massive discovery of lead and zinc in Northeastern Oklahoma in Quapaw Territory. The land of the Quapaw became significantly more valuable from this discovery, which would prove to erupt into a firestorm of debates and disagreements between the Quapaw and the mining companies looking to mine the land. This research focuses on the relationships between the Indians and the mining companies, and will show how in many cases the mining companies tried to take advantage of the Quapaw and deprive them of their basic rights as citizens of the United States.