I found this little item about deputies and immediately wished that I had discovered it before my book was completed. However, as I always say, my research is an ongoing process. This piece is interesting in light of the fact that Bass Reeves, one of the first and most famous African Americans to become a deputy in the Territory, was appointed in 1875. He served for thirty-two years and by most accounts was respected for his skills and integrity. Perhaps the editor just didn’t like the two individuals he mentions.
The Caddo Banner
April 27, 1894
It was hoped that when Marshal Williams was appointed that he would give us a clean force. But it seems that he has no care what kind of men he appoints. Cash Elliot, a negro who has served two terms in the penitentiary is one of his deputies and goes after a white man just as if he was one himself. Bill Colbert, another negro, is one of his deputies.
On the same page is a lengthy article about Indian problems, and I might have disregarded it since there were so many similar pieces in the paper during this time period. Questions about treaties, land, government, schools, etc. were debated in Washington and in every town in the Territory. Meetings and councils seem to have been a weekly event as the details of Oklahoma’s future were hashed out. However, as I scanned this page the word “electricity” caught my eye.
This appears to be a portion of a speech given by Senator Platt at South McAlester. It is very difficult to read because of the way it was scanned and the end of it, continued on another page, is unreadable.
“I wish all the members of the Senate and the House could look in here tonight on this audience and these surroundings could be transferred as it were and there thrown upon a screen as photographs are upon a canvas, and the members of the House and Senate, seeing it, could understand a little something of the condition of affairs that today exist in the Indian Territory.
A few years ago I saw in the newspapers that there had been a wonderful invention in electricity so that in a race at Sidney the audience at Melbourne could see by images the race as it progressed and tell what horse was winning. That was not true, but it was a prophesy of what was to be true and some of our electricians are solving that question today. If this scene could be transferred to Washington and there thrown as I have suggested before the members of Congress they could more intelligently solve the problem they have to deal with.”
I find it fascinating to think about someone in 1894 envisioning the use of television to solve his problems! However, the very first notion of television was imagined in 1878 and some of the concepts were put into use as early at 1881. A German university student actually patented the first electromechanical TV system in 1884, but the first demonstration of moving images didn’t occur until 1925. I clearly remember my grandmother buying the first television owned by anyone in our family, and I also recall my first encounter with “living color” images!