Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Story behind Bowlegs, Oklahoma


Bolek, also known as Billy Bowlegs, was a fierce Seminole Chief from Florida. After signing a treaty in 1832, Bowlegs and his 200 warriors were peaceful until his fellow Seminole Chief Osceola was wrongfully imprisoned. Chief Bowlegs and his warriors led many successful raids against the U.S. Military. Finally in 1858, the government convinced Chief Bowlegs to relocate to the new Indian Territory in Oklahoma. He was given $10,000 dollars and each of his followers received $1,000. Here he became a prominent chief to his people and was once again peaceful. During the Civil War, he became a captain in the Union Army and was instrumental to the success in this region against the Confederacy. In 1864, the famous chief died of smallpox.
Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress

1 comment:

Samuel said...

There are so many stories over why a town gets a name. It is generally believed that when oil was found in the area of the town now called Bowlegs, it was found on the farm of Lulu Bowlegs a descendant of one of the slave of Chief Billy Bolek aka Billy Bowlegs.