I offer today’s article as a reminder that people have never been in total agreement about freedom, government, law enforcement, taxation, or anything else. And I might also mention to my female readers that women did not have much say in this…except to whisper their thoughts into a male ear. Women could not vote until 1920 or even serve on a jury.
The Caddo Herald
January 17, 1919
Women Can’t Serve on Oklahoma Juries
Oklahoma City, Ok. Jan. 12- Following the constitutional provision on the subject, Attorney General Freeling has ruled that women cannot legally sit upon a jury in any court in the state. A statue on the subject specifies that juries must be composed of “male” persons. It is agreed that another legislative act could change this, but a legislative act could not permit women to be members of a jury because of the constitutional provision that cannot be changed except by a vote of the people.
The Blue County Democrat
September 15, 1905
McPherren Not Convert
Still Believes in Single Statehood
With reference to the report published in several Territory papers that Charles E. McPherren of Caddo was a convert to double or separate statehood, Mr. McPherren states his position as follows:
“The report that I stated to anyone that I was a convert to separate statehood is a mistake. My position on the statehood question, while of little importance, is unchanged. I have attended as a delegate all single statehood conventions held during the last ten years. Before espousing the cause of single statehood I carefully considered the situation, concluding that statehood with Oklahoma was the only statehood possible. I am of that opinion still.
The fact is there has never before been an issue as much to the advantage and divisibility as separate and single statehood. No well informed person has ever regarded separate statehood as among the possibilities. The great majority of those who are now leaders in the separate statehood movement have heretofore earnestly maintained that the Indian Territory was wholly unprepared for any kind of statehood. The Muskogee Convention evidences a favorable change of belief on the part of those who have heretofore opposed and has the effect of committing all opposition to statehood. This change results from the agitation on the part of single statehood supporters, which has proven a campaign of education and has been productive of much good.
While it is urged that the enthusiasm of many of the recent converts to double statehood is moved by a desire to “muddy the water” and defeat, or at least delay impending statehood, I prefer to believe it sincere. If such supporters are sincere, it is perfectly proper for them to meet and petition Congress: when they do more than was done at Oklahoma City. If the movement is not founded in good faith the fact will soon develop and no injury to statehood will result. The calling of the constitutional Convention is in my opinion only a novel and perhaps premature method of presenting the matter to Congress; it probably comes of a desire to impress Congress with the truth that we are perfectly capable of framing good, fundament law- as to whether this convention can produce such in the shape of a Constitution, remains to be seen.
A contest at this time between those favoring single and double statehood can be productive of no good results and should be discouraged by all who desire statehood whether double or single. Statehood is what we all want and need; if immediate statehood, accompanied by the repeal of all exemptions of land from taxation can be secured, who can maintain that the Indian Territory has not all the requisites of a great state? If those who favor separate statehood do not insist upon the repeal of such exemptions as a condition precedent to statehood, they invite grave suspicion as to their good faith or business ability. Separate statehood without taxation of allotments would be tantamount to confiscation of personal and town property.
There should be a friendly rivalry between the supporters of single and double statehood; no supporter of either kind of statehood has or can consistently take the position that being unable to secure the kind he prefers he would reject the other; the proper course is for the supports of each to present their cases to Congress without bitterness or recrimination.
This method will convince Congress we are heartily sick of present conditions and all agree that statehood is the proper medicine; as our physician Congress will prescribe the proper kind of statehood; whether double or single, the people of the Territory will be satisfied.”