Pryor and Sam Houston
at Three Forks
to enlarge |Artist: Mike
Sponsor: Sen. Kevin Easley
Size: 36" x 48"
Type: Oil on Canvas
Location: Senate Lobby
Nathaniel Pryor and Sam Houston
conduct trade on a flatboat along the Three Forks, where
the Neosho (Grand), Verdigris and Arkansas Rivers flow
together. Known for many years as a trading place, Three
Forks gained popularity as a riverboat and trade destination.
This region became an early hub for traffic west of the
Mississippi. The rivers were important for the export of
furs, salt and tobacco, which were traded at St. Louis,
Arkansas Post and New Orleans.
Nathaniel Pryor (1775-1831)
was an explorer, soldier, trader and Indian agent. He served
as a sergeant in the Lewis
& Clark expedition in 1803. During the War of 1812, Pryor
served as captain under General Andrew Jackson at the Battle
of New Orleans. Upon discharge from the army, Pryor settled
along the Arkansas River, where he bartered with the region’s
Indians. In 1819, he received a license to trade with the
Osage at Three Forks, located about four miles northeast
of present-day Muskogee. There, on the Verdigris, about two
miles above its confluence with the Arkansas, Pryor established
a trading post. General William Clark of Missouri Territory
appointed him acting Osage sub-agent in 1827. Captain Nathaniel
Pryor died at the Osage sub-agency, located southeast of
present-day Pryor in Mayes County, Oklahoma. That community,
and nearby Pryor Creek, bear his name.
Sam Houston was born in 1793.
He left home in his early teens and lived with the Cherokees
during his formative years and was adopted into the tribe
by the Chief. He l was elected governor of Tennessee in
1827, but resigned in 1829 amid scandal of a failed marriage.
Houston took refuge among his old friends, the Cherokees,
in lands along the Arkansas River. He adopted Cherokee
dress and proclaimed himself a citizen of the Cherokee
nation. He took a Cherokee wife, Tiana Rogers, whose family
became an important part of the native-American heritage.
Tiana’s nephew, several generations removed, was
Will Rogers. Sam Houston built a large log house in eastern
Oklahoma, which became known as “Wigwam Neosho.” It
was located “near the Neosho River, a little above
Cantonment Gibson, and thirty miles from the lodge of Oo-loo-te-ka
(the Cherokee father of his youth).” Here he engaged
in trading, entertaining friends, and planting an apple
Houston later took off to liberate
the Republic of Texas. He led the Battle of San Jacinto during
the Texas Revolution against Mexico. Houston served as the
first President of the Republic of Texas from 1836 to 1838
and from 1841 to 1844. He served as Senator for Texas from
1846 to 1859 after Texas had been admitted to the Union,
and was elected as Governor of Texas in 1859, but was removed
as Governor when he refused to take an oath of allegiance
when Texas voted to secede from the Union. He retired to
the town of Huntsville, where he died in 1863.
Images are copyright
of The Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund,
Inc. and the artist. Please contact Sandra Shelton at 521-5663
or email@example.com for
further copyright information.