Not “Cherokee Railroads” but Railroads in Indian Territory


Railroad tracks

I have been thinking recently on the conceptualization of how we think of and have thought of railroads and where they belong. I realized that often railroads are considered in the area in which they serve (Nebraska railroads, Kansas City Railroads, etc.) but that is a misplaced understanding. For me, it is largely how we think about railroads and what comes first – the location or the system.
In the past, historians have considered how Native Americans reacted to railroads without an inclusive perspective. I believe it is best to be as inclusive as possible. Railroads crossed through the Indian Territory, reaching into and across multiple Native nations. To fully understand the impact and consequences of railroads, it is valuable to consider how they were parts of systems rather than just affecting one location. Sophisticated Capitalism seeks to draw the reader into a deeper understanding of railroads in the Indian Territory.

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