Choosy Oklahomans reject Weaver for survey committee


James Baird Weaver proves he's a leader

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The early adventures of James Weaver

Before he was in politics, James delivered mail, went with one of his brother-in-laws on a cattle drive to California, and considered staying there to look for gold. Instead, he headed for Panama before finally returning home to study Law.

Who's going to fix this problem?

Meanwhile, the people who were the first to live in Oklahoma were very careful about the way they built their town. How big should it be? Where should the town center be located? How should the streets be named?

There was a lot of confusion about the best way to plan for buildings and streets.

So, a meeting was held to choose a group of people to figure out the right places for everything. Planning a new city takes a lot of thought and not everyone is qualified.

What they didn't do was choose James Baird Weaver, who was a leader from a different state and had helped open up the Oklahoma lands. The people didn't think he would do a good job as town surveyor.

Why James was not appreciated by everyone

Do you think they were upset because James opposed slavery and had left the Democratic party to join the Republicans? He'd been a military man in the Confederate Army, and afterwards, became heavily involved in the Methodist Church and was in favor of prohibition. He seemed to hold fairly strong opinions.

James soon grew upset with the Republicans because of their policies, and switched to the Greenback Party as it seemed more egalitarian. He must have been a thinker, because he often disagreed over what was best for the common people.

He must have also been quite charismatic, because when he ran for president in 1892 as part of a new political party (the People's Party), he got over a million votes!

****If you enjoy reading about the history of Oklahoma, you might like The man who turned a hole in the ground into a business


Hi, I'm Judy! I love bringing a magnifying glass to where psychology and history cross. What makes people do what they do? Why did they make that choice? What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments and share this article on social media and with family and friends, if you'd like.

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Judy Derby has worked in the surrounding communities as a social worker and advocate. providing resources and information to help local families meet their basic needs. She's been writing about social issues and related topics for over 10 years.

Antlers, OK

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