TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On April 15, 1872, Cherokee Nation citizen Ezekiel Proctor was on trial in a Cherokee Nation court for the murder of Cherokee Nation citizen Mary “Polly” Hildebrand when a U.S. Marshal’s posse sent to arrest Proctor interrupted the trial.
“Sovereignty on Trial: The Tragedy at Goingsnake” carefully examines what is considered the deadliest day in U.S. Marshal Service history, in which the military was not involved and preludes a jurisdictional conflict that would last for far too long.
“On the 150th anniversary of this tragic event, we’re taking a closer look at the death at the Hildebrand-Beck Mill, events leading up to the trial, the shootout and its aftermath,” said Karen Shade-Lanier, exhibits manager for Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism. “There’s a lot to be learned here, and a lot that is relevant to conversations even still today.”
Originally built in 1844, the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court is Oklahoma’s oldest public building. Today, the 1,950-square-foot museum features exhibits on three historic aspects: the Cherokee National Judicial System, the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers, and the Cherokee language. It is located at 122 E. Keetoowah St. and open to the public Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For information on Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, including museum operations, please call (877) 779-6977 or visit www.VisitCherokeeNation.com.