Welcome to the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of the Oklahoma Archives!
Shawnee is taken from the Algonquian word Shawunog, meaning 'Southerners.' The Absentee band is one of three who live in Oklahoma.
The Absentee-Shawnee lived along the Ohio River in prehistoric times, until wars with the Iroquois forced them to leave the region and migrate southeastward (thus their 'southern' name). The first English colonist found the Shawnee in South Carolina and Georgia, with a few bands scattered and settled in other Southern states, some as far as the Gulf Coast.
By 1692, most Shawnee had moved to what is now northeastern Pennsylvania; another group settled in Tennessee, then was driven to Kentucky. After 25 years, the two factions reunited, settling north of the Ohio River.
For 40 years, the Shawnee waged war with settlers-until 1795, when the Treaty of Greenville was signed.
As early as 1800, the bands that would become the Absentee-Shawnee began moving south and west. Some settled in Indian Territory (now McCurtain County); others went on to Texas and Louisiana. In 1839, some who settled in Texas were driven out and took refuge in the Cherokee Nation. During the 1859 mass Indian expulsion from Texas, another band was sent to Caddo County, then moved to the Seminole Nation and settled on adjacent Potawatomi lands.
In 1890, Shawnee tribal lands between the Seminole and Potawatomi were allotted to individual members and the remaining land opened to homesteaders by a land run in 1891.
2025 Gordon Cooper Drive
Shawnee, OK 74801-9381
Gene Phillips -State Archivist
Linda Simpson - Archivist-Indian Nations/Indian Territory
Help the Absentee-Shawnee Archives grow, kindly submit your data.
If you have any cemetery records, bible records, deeds, applications for citizenship in the Absentee-Shawnee, land patents, probate records, allotment records, etc, that pertain to the Absentee-Shawnee, please send them to me as an attachment in an e-mail to Interim File Manager. Please be sure to identify that it is for the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe. It also needs to be a plain text file, no HTML and no images. This ensures that everybody will be able to read it, no matter what kind of web browser. Here is a help file.
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Last Updated: 29 Aug 2009