The First Eight Months of Oklahoma.
MONDAY, APRIL 22d, 1889.
Monday, April 22d, 1889! A never to be forgotten Day! More than forty thousand human beings wailed in feverish anxiety on the borders of the promised land for the watchman's cry of "Noon! Twelve O'clock!" From far and near they had traveled on foot, in wagons, on horseback, and by railways. Their wanderings in the wilderness were over. Canaan lay before them resplendent and enticing. The sun rushed along his way till the center station in the heavens was reached. A wild shout ascended from forty thousand throats and it was greater by far than the glad cry that echoed across the Red Sea when the children of Israel were delivered from the hosts of Pharaoh. The halted forces broke and rushed over in-to the land so long waited and hoped for-and lo, when the sun went down, the elysian fields, the high hills, the happy valleys, and the sylvan shades of
Oklahoma -The Beautiful Land - teemed with a joyous, civilized people- who were there to build homes, carve out fortunes, achieve fame, raise families and mingle together in the sorrows and joys and vanities of this life.
This wonderful gathering of people-this "nation born in a day"-is a mighty argument for a republican form of government, a government founded upon the con-sent of men. England has been gathering trophies for a thousand years and has so many that she looks down with a lofty frown upon the attempts of all young nations. On land and sea she has been a potential force; out of barbarism she had the strength to civilize herself and to hold the theory of a constitutional government secure when it seemed as though that theory had been well nigh abandoned by other nations. She had the strength to create a code founded on absolute justice. She had the inspiration to create a literature which is a light to the world.
In arts and arms she has held herself abreast with the foremost of nations. All in all, England has made a place for herself in history which is more glorified than was that of
Rome when Rome ruled the world and made a record which has come sounding down the ages clear and full as
a trumpet blast and deep as the detonation of heavy guns. But Old England never had an Oklahoma. It is true that she has planted colonies the world around, and has established her laws in them which guarantee protection and justice to all who seek domiciles under her flag; but the poor of the world have never in force sought homes in them. She owns a continent in the Austral sea which is rich in natural products-the products of the fields and mines. For a hundred years, England has had a colony there; for half a century, since steam has been annihilating distances on land and sea, she has made persistent efforts to people that region, but even now the whole population do not equal in numbers those who have landed from abroad at the port of New York during the past decade. The reason of this is that over each one is the shadow of the sovereign power, and the rules of trade which English statesmen have adopted, bear hard upon her possessions. Through her triumphs of thirty generations, there has been nothing in her career which has struck the world as a new departure from the old law of might which ruled the world in the Stone Age, and which still holds universal sway. There has never been any tribute to England's form of government like the opening and settlement of Oklahoma is to that of the United States. There are spoils of war and spoils of peace; there is all the ostentation which comes of unlimited wealth and power; but there is nothing in the history of any country or government that can be compared to the peaceable settlement of the Oklahoma country. It was a boon of mercy to thousands of souls and in its opening a new hope has been born in hearts that were despairing. The United States government is the fairest ever kissed by the sunlight of heaven. Its ways are lovely and its paths peaceful. May it endure forever.