Forgotten Oklahoma history

By David Dary
What: The U.S. government’s first peace treaty with the Plains Indians.

When: August 24, 1835.

Where: In what is now southern Cleveland County, north of Lexington and northeast of Purcell. It was a favorite campground used by Comanches on buffalo hunts.

Summary: The War Department in Washington ordered the military to establish a peace treaty with the Plains Indians, including the Comanche, Wichita, Kiowa and Apache, who lived west of the Cross Timbers region. The U.S. Army established Camp Holmes, sometimes called Fort Mason.

As many as 7,000 Plains Indians camped in the area for about six weeks as government officials and American Indian chiefs discussed the treaty.

The treaty established friendship between the Plains Indians, eastern American Indians and white settlers. It granted U.S. citizens passage through the area and permitted the American Indians to hunt and trap west of the Cross Timbers region to the western limits of the United States.

A.P. Chouteau, a well-known trader, established a trading post on what is now known as Chouteau Creek. It operated for many years. Nearby Camp Holmes was abandoned in 1889.