Oklahoma Land Rush and Book Giveaway

Laurie Kingery writes
I’d like to thank the fillies of Petticoats and Pistols blog for inviting me to come blog with them again to celebrate the publication of the “Bridegroom Brothers” continuity series that takes place in the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889—and that historic event is what I want to discuss today.
Last February I was peacefully working on my latest installment in my “Brides of Simpson Creek” series for Love Inspired Historicals when my agent called with an exciting opportunity. Did I want to take part in a three-author continuity series for my publisher commemorating the opening of the Oklahoma Territory to settlers in 1889?
OK land rushWith visions from the exciting land rush scene in the old Tom Cruise movie “Far and Away” dancing in my brain, my whooped “YES!” probably could have been heard clear to her office several states away without benefit of the phone lines. With my yes, the whirlwind began. I would write the first book in the trilogy, while LIH authors Karen Kirst and Allie Pleiter would be writing the second and third books.
Our books concerned three brothers looking for a new start in a new land, and the women each fell in love with. I had to “bone up” on the Oklahoma Land Rush fast, as well as begin emailing my fellow authors in the continuity so that our stories meshed smoothly from the beginning. We set up an online loop and a private Pinterest page to pin images of the setting and the event, and began writing.
The first thing that I learned was that there was not one land run opening up all of Oklahoma to settlers, but several, each opening up a different area of land. Our books concerned the first land run, which took place in 1889 which settled the section of Oklahoma including modern-day Oklahoma City.
Why did the U.S. government, under President Grover Cleveland sign the Indian Appropriations Act, opening up the Indian Territories of Oklahoma to settlers, when those lands had been promised to the Native American tribes who were given reservations there?
OK Indian map
Settlers, called “Boomers” had been clamoring for admission to this prime land, even sneaking onto the lands before the Homestead Act was signed. Many of the Indians,especially Cherokees in Texas, had sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War, and some say the US government opened their land in Oklahoma to white settlers in a long-delayed retaliation.
In any case, the new president, Benjamin Harrison, designated April 22 as the day for the first land rush. There would be 1.9 million acres in plots of 160 acres each. It is estimated that 50,000 men and women lined up for these homesteads, in wagons, on horseback, on bicycles, and even on foot.
Some settlers sneaked into the land early to find the best pieces of land, despite the efforts of the U.S. army to prevent them. They were called “Too-Sooners” or “Sooners” and Oklahoma is still known as the “Sooner State” today.
At noon on April 22, a shot was fired and bugles sounded, and the settlers raced in to stake their claims by driving in a stake, then remaining there to hold that land against all other claimants. Whole cities were founded in half a day, including Guthrie and Oklahoma City.
The new Oklahomans had to learn to live with their Native American neighbors, who still held land there, and our books cover this adjustment process with a romance between a Cheyenne woman and one of the Thornton brothers. Oklahoma still boasts a proud Indian heritage. Since I have Cherokee blood, it’s important to me that the Cherokees driven out of the eastern U.S. settled in northeastern Oklahoma, and made their capital at Tahlequa.
I hope this short account of the Land Rush of 1889 has made you want to read the books in the continuity. I will be giving away a copy of the first one of the trilogy, THE PREACHER’S BRIDE CLAIM, to one lucky commenter. It is out now (mid-April), and the other two books, THE HORSEMAN’S FRONTIER FAMILY, by Karen Kirst, will be out in May, with the final book, THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART, by Allie Pleiter, will come out in June.
Again, thanks for having me here—I love to visit Petticoats and Pistols!



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40 thoughts on “Oklahoma Land Rush and Book Giveaway”

  1. Hello karen. Congrats to you. Betting on your book being really good. Love the cover and Title. Funny thing I just was an older movie tonight about the OK. Land Rush, now this. Please put my name in the drawing. Thanks for the give-away.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  2. Hi, Laurie! Congratulations on the release of THE PREACHER’S BRIDE CLAIM! It sounds like a wonderful story and I look forward to reading the trilogy. Thank you for sharing this fascinating post and giveaway opportunity.

  3. The topic is interesting to me because I had family that was in the 1889 rush, and got land. Also my great grandparents went down in Chickasha to run a hardware store since the counties west of the town was opened to settlement in 1901. Lots of history there. I’d love to win your book so I could learn more about those times.

  4. Hi Laurie! Welcome back. We always enjoy your visits and what an interesting subject. I think it would’ve been quite a sight to see all those people racing across the countryside toward a dream, something they could call theirs. I loved that movie “Far and Away” with Tom Cruise. It showed the depth of people’s hearts and their determination to have a piece of land to settle and make a home. They had hope and courage and drive. All the things we love the characters in our books to have.

    Congratulations on the new release. It looks great. I’m wishing you tons of success!

  5. Hi Laurie! The Preachers Bride Claim sounds like a wonderful story. The trilogy will be a great read. Thank you for the interesting post and giveaway.

  6. Maxie Anderson, thanks for commenting. I’m glad you liked the cover. I thought the identical white tents made it look like a well-run Boy Scout camp, not like the jumble of tents and wagons, etc. I had envisioned, but this is prettier. Was the movie you saw “Far and Away” or “Cimarron?”
    Blessings, Laurie Kingery

  7. Linda Hubalek, thanks for commenting. How cool that you have ancestors who were Land Rushers! I love travelling through Oklahoma when I can.
    Blessings, Laurie Kingery

  8. Linda Broday, thanks for your comments. Petticoats and Pistols is my favorite blog to visit. I agree with you about “Far and Away”–great movie.
    Blessings, Laurie Kingery

  9. Melanie Backus, thanks for commenting. I hope you will enjoy the other two books in this continuity series. It was such a privilege to work with the two other authors, Karen Kirst and Allie Pleiter–great ladies and writers!
    Blessings, Laurie Kingery

  10. thanks for the post! I always admired those who went out in search for their own start in places they had know idea. It took a strong heart and iron will do that. I would love to win your book!

  11. Thanks for sharing your post about the Land Rush… Congrats on the release of THE PREACHER’S BRIDE CLAIM!

  12. Hi Laurie! Welcome to the Junction! I loved your post about the Oklahoma Land Rush. Like you, I immediately thought of the movie, Far and Away! Congrats on your release. Can’t wait to read this one!

  13. Hi Laurie, please forgive me calling you Karen in my first comment. I was at my son’s home when we watched this. It was Cimarron. I probably saw the other one at some time but can’t remember. It was sad tho that so many people got hurt. Especially when someone actually did it on purpose to be ahead. People had to be tough back then. Not sure any of my relatives were in this. My parents were married at 15 and 21 and raised 8 children, me being number 7. I and some of my siblings was born in Erick, OK. But they moved to TX. when I was around a year old. After I married I lived in quite a few OK. towns, and have family still living there. I have always loved books about Indians. My mother and daddy both had some Indian blood from several generations back. I don’t know for sure which tribe. Cherokee I believe. I found out in later years the house across the street from where my folks were living when we moved back to OK. was where my grandparents when my parents married. Had never heard that before. Later years when I moved back there, I lived in that same house . I think that is neat! Sure I can win your book. GOD bless, Maxie

  14. Maxie Anderson, no problem, I answer to almost anything. 🙂 Thanks for sharing some of your family history. I have Cherokee blood too, probably from the western band that came on the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma, since many of them went on to Texas,where my mom’s folks are from.
    Blessings, Laurie Kingery

  15. What an interesting post, thank you. My husband’s roots are from Oklahoma and I have always wondered why they call it the Sooner state. Now I know.

    I would love to be entered into your giveaway if its not too late.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  16. Just the name of the book makes me want to pick it up and read it. I have friends from Oklahoma. I will have to test their knowledge.

  17. I am looking forward to reading THE PREACHER’S BRIDE CLAIM.Congratulations on the release of THE PREACHER’S BRIDE CLAIM. Please enter me in contest. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  18. Renee, thanks for commenting. It was certainly fun to write my book in conjunction with LIH authors Karen Kirst and Allie Pleiter, who wrote the second and third books.
    Blessings, Laurie Kingery

  19. Heidi, I agree–the Land Rush era was a time when it seemed like anything was possible–certainly new beginnings. Thanks for commenting.
    Blessings, Laurie Kingery

  20. Faith, thanks. There was so much research on the Land Rush that we couldn’t even fit it all in, which is usually the way with historicals, I guess. Thanks for commenting.
    Blessings, Laurie Kingery

  21. Nancy M, I’m so glad to hear you liked the title. I must admit this was not my choice–I called the book CIMARRON DREAMS. I had already had a book out called THE PREACHER’S BRIDE, and was afraid it would be confusing, but the editors wanted to refer to each man’s job in the series–preacher, horseman, lawman, so I guess it worked.
    Blessings, Laurie Kingery

  22. The Land Rush was an exciting time and opportunity for many settlers. Unfortunately, it was at the expense of the Native Americans, again. Can you imagine what would happen if 20 or 50 years after the Land Rush, the US government came through and told the owners of the land they had changed their mind and were giving the land to someone else? The Cherokee especially lived very “civilized” lives similar to the white settlers on the East Coast. Some were prosperous farmers and land owners. All that was taken away and they had to start over again in Oklahoma. Again many prospered becoming successful business owners and large farm owners only to have many of them lose it all again
    I am glad for the opportunities the Land Rush gave so many, but sad for the cost of it to the native peoples.

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