Lease agreements for land in the Osage Reservation, Indian Territory and related correspondence
Contractual agreements and related notes and correspondence concerning lease of land in the Osage Reservation of Indian Territory (later the state of Oklahoma) for purposes of cattle grazing and oil and gas exploration. Includes agreements with Independence, Kansas banker Henry Vernon Foster and with Crane & Larimer, also of Independence, Kansas.
- Creation: 1883 - 1896
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History of the Osage Nation
Preparatory to their removal from Kansas in 1872, the Osage purchased nearly one and one-half million acres of land from the Cherokees, constituting the Osage Reservation in what is now Osage County, Oklahoma. The Osage Reservation’s potential for grazing land and oil production attracted the interest of Independence, Kansas banker Henry Vernon Foster, living near the Osage Reservation’s northern border.
From 1882 to 1894, Foster leased Osage Reservation land on which he pastured cattle. In 1895, he applied to the U. S. Department of the Interior for a mining lease of the entire Osage Reservation for the purpose of oil and gas exploration. He secured the lease from the Osage Nation, but died while negotiations for its approval were still pending before the Department of the Interior. By consent of the Department, the lease was obtained by his brother, Edwin B. Foster. From 1896 to 1916, the Foster lease was the sole contract by which petroleum of the Osage Reservation was developed.
.25 Linear Feet (1 document case)
Language of Materials
Scope and Contents
Documents in this collection include agreements either signed or proposed for lease of land in the Osage Reservation of Indian Territory. They relate primarily to interests of Independence, Kansas banker Henry Vernon Foster in leasing the entire Osage Reservation for purposes of oil and gas exploration. Included are copies of December 1895 letters regarding related discussions with the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, notes detailing suggestions by "the Indian Department” concerning Foster’s proposed lease, and two unsigned and undated copies (one annotated, in draft) of Foster’s proposed lease agreement.
Also included is an 1890 agreement between Foster as vendor and Albert Roland Shaw as purchaser of Osage Reservation ranch land, citing agreements of 1883 and 1888 between the Osage Nation of Indian Territory and Crane & Larimer of Independence, Kansas for lease of 80,000 acres of the Osage Reservation for ranching purposes. Included are the two handwritten lease agreements between Crane & Larimer and the Osage Nation, bearing names of tribal members. The 1883 agreement is accompanied by separate certifying statements of U.S. Indian Agent Laban J. Miles, the Osage National Council Secretary, and the Judge of Kansas’ 13th Judicial District.
Folder arrangement is chronological.
RH MS 514
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchase, Charles Apfelbaum.
- Guide to the Osage Reservation, Indian Territory Collection
- Lease agreements for land in the Osage Reservation, Indian Territory and related correspondence
- Finding aid prepared by mh, 2004. Finding aid encoded by mh, 2004. Finding aid revised by mrk, 2009; mwh, 2021, 2023.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English.
- Finding aid permalink
- Preferred citation
Lease agreements for land in the Osage Reservation, Kansas Collection, RH MS 514, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas