UNIT 1: THE EARLY DAYS IN OKLAHOMA
CHAPTER ONE: EARLIEST OKLAHOMANS
The most important contribution made by Clovis people was the Atlatl, a spearthrower. The atlatl was a stick-like device about two feet long, weighted and fashioned to hold a spear securely. It allowed greater velocity and whip action and enabled the hunter to hit an animal as far away as 300 feet with a great deal of force. Folsom people, the next known inhabitants of Oklahoma, also used the atlatl.
CHAPTER TWO: THE FIRST WHITE VISITORS
During their search for riches, Coronado had traveled back across part of Oklahoma and western Kansas and had found a Wichita-type village inhabited by a tribe of tattooed farmers. Friar Juan de Padillo, a chaplain with the expedition, decided to return there when Coronado’s army returned to Mexico. Padillo wished to establish a mission for the tribe. There is no record of what their eventual fate may have been.
CHAPTER THREE: AMERICAN EXPLORERS
He finally came to the Great Salt Plains, which he said was “glistening like a brilliant field of snow in the summer sun.” The Indians, using turkey wings as brooms, swept the salt into bags to be taken home. Sibley made the first official record of the site, which geologists later reported had once been a great salt sea. The Salt Plains soon became a life-sustaining stop for pioneers moving west across the continent.
CHAPTER FOUR: EARLY GOVERNMENT
Chouteau himself lived luxuriously in the wilderness. He built a home described by a friend as a “two story log palace,” in which he entertained many travelers. Among those were the famous writer Washington Irving and Sam Houston, who later became the President of the Texas Republic. A.P. Choteau married Sophie Labbadie, and the couple had six children – five daughters and a son.