With the motto "We Seek to Enlighten," the Indian Journal, the first newspaper published in the Creek Nation, commenced in May 1876 at Muskogee, Indian Territory. Chicago newspaperman Myron P. Roberts and Cherokee William P. Ross served as the first publisher and editor, respectively. Printed by the Indian International Printing Company, the paper circulated among all the Indian nations in Indian Territory. Articles printed in Muskogean and English worked to dispel the public's misconceptions of the American Indians as well as to inform Indians about their changing world. The weekly newspaper moved several times between Muskogee and Eufaula until 1887, after which it remained in Eufaula.
In 1887 Dr. Leo E. Bennett, a physician and newspaperman from Kansas City, was editor, and the Indian Journal Printing Company, a joint-stock company of Creek businessmen, served as printer. By 1890 the Indian Journal, one of four newspapers published in the Creek Nation, had a circulation of approximately eight hundred. While Alexander Posey served as owner and editor from 1902 to 1904, his writing style brought national attention to the publication. Through the 1900s the newspaper continued under various publishers. At the turn of the twenty-first century the state's oldest continuously published paper promoted hometown news and Lake Eufaula.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Carolyn Thomas Foreman, Oklahoma Imprints, 1835-1907: A History of Printing in Oklahoma Before Statehood (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1936). "Journalism Oklahoma" and "Newspapers Creek Nation," Vertical Files, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Grace Ernestine Ray, Early Oklahoma Newspapers: History and Description of Publications From Earliest Beginnings to 1889 (Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1928). Sam G. Riley, "Indian Journal, Voice of Creek Tribe, Now Oklahoma's Oldest Newspaper," Journalism Quarterly 59 (Spring 1982).
Linda D. Wilson
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