EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF ONLY THREE RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE CHEROKEE NATION INDIAN TERRITORY DATESTAMP. A RARE MARKING ON A FOLDED LETTER CONTAINING FASCINATING CONTENT ABOUT DAILY LIFE OF THE MISSIONARIES IN 19TH CENTURY AMERICAN INDIAN TERRITORY.
According to http://www.blogoklahoma.us/place.asp?id=13, Rev. Jessy Busyhead settled at Baptist Mission in Oklahoma in 1839, following the Cherokee removal from the East. He held services in his home until the Baptist Mission was established in 1841 by Rev. Evan Jones. A Cherokee National School was founded near there in 1843, and the mission established a female seminary there in the same year. The Mission Board of Boston furnished a printing press, and The Cherokee Messenger was printed at this mission, which was the first periodical in Oklahoma. According to the website http://cherokeeregistry.firstlightonline.org, a rift developed between the Missionaries, with slave owners on one side (Busyhead owned slaves) and abolitionists such as Evans on the other. This led to a schism among Cherokee Baptists as early as 1844-45, with Evans expelling Cherokee slaveowners from the church. This provided an opening for Southern Baptists, who started competing missions for slaveowners, who tended to be from the wealthier class. The Mission Station was burned by Confederates during the Civil War because of the missionaries' anti-slavery teachings, and the mission was never rebuilt.
The post office at Cherokee was active from 1842 to 1844, and it is one of the earliest to employ the word "Nation" in its postmarks. Three examples of this marking are known: 1) Sep. 15, 1843 from Sarah Hibbard to her sister Deborah in Manchester N.H.; 2) Feb. 17, 1844, the folded letter offered here; and 3) April 8, 1844 folded letter to Rev. Babcock in Thetford Vt.
Ex Chase and Bleuler