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date: 20 February 2020

Bronson, Ruth Muskratlocked

(3 Oct. 1897–12 June 1982)
  • Kirby Brown

Extract

Bronson, Ruth Muskrat (3 Oct. 1897–12 June 1982), cherokee activist, educator, and federal official, was born Ruth Muskrat, the fourth of seven children, on a small farm in the Delaware District of the Cherokee Nation near what is now Grove, Oklahoma. Her mother, Ida Lenora Kelly, was the child of English-Irish immigrants who entered the Cherokee Nation on work permits from Missouri. Her father, James Ezekiel Muskrat, was a descendant of both Old Settler Cherokees and those forcibly removed from their homes in Georgia two decades later during what has come to be known as the Trail of Tears. A language speaker and conservative traditionalist, James was a committed Cherokee nationalist in a time when Cherokee sovereignty was increasingly under assault by industrial interests, territorial advocates, and proponents of allotment, assimilation, and Oklahoma statehood. With the passage of the Curtis Act in ...

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