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"My mother, Carolina Jones, was born in the state of Tenneessee and is buried there. My grandmother on my mother's side, Nancy Jones, was born in the state of Mississippi and is buried in White County, Tennessee.  I was born April 3, 1849, at Stagestand, White County, Tennessee... There were three more children in our family older than I; my father died when I was a very small baby and my mother could not take care of all the children as she was not able to care for us and make the living for us that she wanted us to have so she let Spencer Holder and wife have me to raise and I stayed with them until I was grown. "

This is the first paragraph of fourteen pages from an interview of William Perry Earles of Ringling, Oklahoma, 1938 as part of one of the Works Progress Administration projects called The Indian-Pioneer Papers . This project involved gathering oral histories during the 1930's by government workers from thousands of Oklahomans regarding the settlement of Oklahoma and Indian territories as well as their experience during those days. The University of Oklahoma Western History Collection has digitized the Indian Pioneer Papers collection. It consists of approximately 80,000 indexed alphabeticaly by personal name place name or subject. [1] The University of Oklahoma has

"In 1936, the [Oklahoma Historical] society teamed with the history department at the University of Oklahoma to get a Works Progress Administration (WPA) writers' project grant for an interview program. The project employed more than 100 writers scattered across the state, with headquarters in Muskogee, where Grant Foreman served as project director. Asked to "call upon early settlers and (record) the story of the migration to Oklahoma and their early life here," the writers conducted more than 11,000 interviews, edited the accounts into written form, and sent them to the project director who completed the editorial process and had them typed into more than 45,000 pages. When assembled, the Indian-Pioneer Papers consisted of 112 volumes, with one set at the university, the other at the society. There are only two complete bound sets of originals." http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~lpproots/Neeley/indian_pioneer_papers.htm


Indians in the Indian Pioneer Project index http://goodoowah.50megs.com/indpio/


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