Pushmataha County, Oklahoma

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Pushmataha County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of 2000, the population was 11,667. Its county seat is Antlers[1].



Administrative History

  • Ca. 1000-1500: Caddoan Mississippian civilization at Spiro Mounds
  • 1492-1718: Spain
  • 1718-1763: France
  • 1763-1800: Spain
  • 1800-1803: France
  • 1803–present: United States
  • 1824-1825: Miller County, Arkansas Territory (eastern portion of the county)
  • 1825-1907: Choctaw Nation of Indian Territory
  • 1907-present: State of Oklahoma[2]

Prehistory and Exploration

During prehistoric times Pushmataha County was the home during the Middle Woodland period of the Fourche Maline culture. Over time, and possibly through contact with the Middle Mississippian culture to their northeast, the Fourche Maline became the Caddoan Mississippian culture. One of their most impressive sites was at Spiro Mounds, near Spiro, Oklahoma, whose trade territory easily encompassed the full extent of the Kiamichi River and Little River valleys.[3]

North America’s history changed forever in 1492 with the arrival of Europeans under Christopher Columbus. Within decades European explorers were ranging wide and far across the North American interior, seeking fame, treasures, and conquests on behalf of their empires.

France’s Bernard de la Harpe explored the area of the modern Pushmataha County in 1719. New Orleans was founded the year before, and with de la Harpe’s exploration France was making an imperial thrust into the Mississippi River valley seeking trade with the native peoples and also a route to New Mexico. After this time France claimed this region of North America.[4]

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