Perryman Family & Multi Culturalism in Oklahoma


Native Slavery

The European Slave Trade was thrived in North Carolina and in South Carolina long before it reached Oklahoma. The English, of the American colonies, sold Native and African slaves. English captives from Native tribes were sold locally and to slave plantations in the Caribbean. Slavery was a thriving agricultural industry that became a part of Indian communities across the country due to forced assimilation and acculturation.

As tribes became acculturated many native families adopted white customs including slavery. This is commonly found in many histories of Native families in Oklahoma. Tribes that were the earliest to encounter Europeans are some of the most fully assimilated today yet still honor their heritage and many continue to balance both walks of life. Red, Black and White families formed families which produced communities that grew into statehood. Creolization is the deepest root of Oklahoma history. Over the years racial blending has removed some of the identifiable features once recognized but we know who we are and embrace our multi-cultural history more than ever before.


The connection between forced assimilation, assimilation by white society, and adopted oppression are topics Jai continues researching.  Jai was born in 1963 and recalls being a little girl going to the cotton fields with her grandmother, Tink Rogers. Tink and the other Indian people worked alongside Black cottonpickers in the fields of Oklahoma.

 Although, slavery is researched as an institution in past history Jai argues the psychological affects of slavery and of forced assimilation manifest as racial biases intertribally, intratribally and remain evident within Oklahoma families and society today.


An example of global influence on racial ethnicity and cultural diversity is found in the family of the author of this page. Jai Rogers is Cherokee and Choctaw with African American and Anglo ancestries. However, her family was grown in to a wealth of ethnicities with the birth of each new generation. Her family now includes and ethnoscape of Iranian, El Salvadorian and Polynesian heritage.

The Perryman family is an iconic representation of racial and cultural diversity not only in Oklahoma history but Native American history, and U.S. history. They are an invaluable source for research in American Studies, Cultural Studies and Ethnic Studies. Explore American history with a trained eye to discover early narratives have overlooked the rich voices of non-white experiences in the making of the United States. 


Jai Made a Sound Cloud Byte!

Sound Cloud: Origin of the Perryman Name

The link above is a 1 minute sound byte of an interview with Robert Trepp telling the origin of the Perryman name. The Perrman family is a historical Creek Nation family. George and Rachel Perryman are considered the founding family of Tulsa Oklahoma. George signed the charter giving Tulsa its name.

Digital Humanites

(*I am still trying to learn to use Audacity to edit my oral history recording and then upload it to Vimeo. Once I do that I will post a link to it here.)

I have learned about several tools this semester for documenting culture and history in the digital art form. The skills we have acquired in implementing digital and multimedia projects are very marketable when in the workforce. Whether archiving for historical preservation such as oral histories and folklore or for future analysis we can use free online software like Audacity for recording and editing multi track mixing. is for building webpages and the format is very user friendly. can be used to showcase the results of any research project. I will use it to consolidate my research on the Perryman family.

The strongest skills I have learned from our class that I will use endlessly are how to identify and cite primary and secondary sources and how to determine if they are considered scholarly and peer reviewed. In addition to this it is very important to know how to locate images that are available to be reused or edited for public use according to the Fair Use laws and how to give credit when borrowing those images.

I am more comfortable with Word Press Blogs, HistoryPin, Storehouse, Youtube, Vimeo and WindowMovieMaker. The guest lectures and hands own opportunities were interesting and creative as were the tours of the OSU-Tulsa archives and the Tulsa City-County Library archives.

Visual Essay Reflecting Miller’s Modern Family

Video Essay Project: Stress. Tired. Rushed.

This is the video project Shannon, Ali and I worked on. The purpose of this essay is to create a visualization of Claire Cain Miller’s writing in the New York Times, “Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family.  We selected and used a combination of images found online to reflect the families Miller describes in a new study by Pew Institute. We then added text to give the viewers brief details found in the Pew study. The final layer of the video is a soundtrack to enhance the visual exercise with a audio experience. The purpose of this is to make the video more enjoyable. Shannon selected the soundtrack specifically for its wording about families.

I have never used Windows Live Movie Maker before so I really appreciate Shannon’s help. We learned, in this process, sometimes uploading online images from other sources can distort the quality in the final project.

You can see the difference in graphic quality when visiting the Pew Social Trends webpage and compare it to the this graphic we borrowed.


Pew Social Trends Website

Reviewing Video Essays

In reviewing the video essays I identified Public Secrets: Tate Brady as being an example of voice-over narration in combination with the speaker who utilizes a type of “history pin” by stapling images from the past to current locations as he tells the history of that location. I think this project does a good job of weaving the past into the consciousnesses of the present preservative by physically showing current day locations in the storytelling. Many people feel removed from the past and this method brings it to life.  The camera angles and film work makes the viewer feel like they are a part of the tour and clearly identifies the location as Tulsa. The argument is clear, direct and yet unbiased which can be a challenge in storytelling. Wrapping up the ending by showing Tate Brady buried in the same location as many of the Blacks killed in the Tulsa Race Riot is a creative irony and demonstrates how life can come full circle.

As discussed in class, the Oklahoma History video jumps from the earliest days of Indian Territory/Oklahoma statehood (1905) to the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot and then to the OKC Bombing (1995). This leaves out a large portion of history which conflicts with the title of the video. Changing the title could make the video flow better. The portion of the video about the race riot begins with a slide of the aftermath which seems out of sequence. The ending has slides of famous people from Oklahoma and ends with a slide of OSU. Again, the flow seems disjointed and could have been improved by the use of text+image rather than what I think is called “supercut” or just images one after another. Voice narration and slide transition effects would have worked well with this video too.

I don’t recall the name of the video we watched in class but it was from online and done by a high school student. It did not have any text or narrative which could have help the context but the images used did show a history timeline (of sorts) of the native american experience. However, we did agree the soundtrack selection seemed to have no connection to the story line or context of the video so it was more distracting that beneficial.

Perryman Family Research Update

The Perryman have extensive history in contributing to histories of Ft. Gibson, Wagoner, Muskogee, Verdigris, Broken Arrow, Tulsa and Tulsa areas. My research for this project is going well. The Perryman family is well documented in U.S. and Oklahoma history as a prominent Muscogee (Creek Nation) family.

The obstacles I am encountering are that the Perryman’s are a [very] well documented family historically. I would like to find new and interesting information about this family in addition to the history already documented. I am focusing on the family who are descendants of Benjamin Perryman as they are the linage directly associated with establishing several communities Oklahoma, including Tulsa. The family originally arrived in Indian Territory following the forced removal of the Muscogee people from their ancestral lands in the south and southeastern United States in the 1820s to Ft. Gibson, Indian Territory.

I contacted Wally Trepp (one of the son’s of Monetta Trepp) who sits on the Board of Directors for the Perryman Ranch. He was kind enough to provide me with the phone number of his brother, Rob Trepp, who is the Perryman Family spokesperson. He will be available for contact after November 10th and I will respectfully request a recorded interview with him highlighting his mother’s legacy.

Monetta (Perryman) Trepp passed April 26, 2013. Around 2003 she invited to present before the Greater Tulsa Indian Affairs Commission about police brutality and racism against American Indians which resulted in Amnesty International USA taking racial profiling testimonies by Native Americans, African American and Islamic communities in Oklahoma. The 2003 gathering was held at the Greenwood Cultural Center and organized by the Domestic Human Rights Program.

I am honored to direct this research around her legacy. She was active in Tulsa civic affairs, John Knox Presbyterian Church, Tulsa Boys Home, Tulsa Public Libraries, a founding member of the American Indian Theater Company, the Tulsa Indian Arts Festival, and the National Indian Monument and Institute. Her sons are Robert, Wally, and Tom who sit on the Board of Directors of the historic Perryman Ranch.

Monetta Trepp’s Muscogee ancestory include being a,”member of the Beaver Clan of Loca’pokv Talse tribal town and was proud of her ancestors, who included her grandfather, Mose Perryman, who served in the Muscogee Nation House of Warriors; her great-grandparents, George Perryman, who signed Tulsa’s original municipal charter in 1898, and Rachel Perryman, who raised many nephews and nieces and other orphans at her home in Brookside; George’s brother, Legus Perryman, who was Principal Chief of the Muscogee Nation; and his brother, Josiah Perryman, who was Tulsa’s first postmaster; her great-great- grandfather, Alexander, who died fighting for the confederacy in the U.S. Civil War, and his wife Hanna; her great-great-grandfather, Lewis Perryman, who established the first store at Loca’pokv long before it grew into the town of Tulsa; her great-great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Perryman, who was Second Chief of the Lower Creeks after removal from Alabama and signed the 1833 Treaty between the USA and the Muscogee Nations; and her great-great-great- great- grandfather, Takosv Haco, who signed the 1796 Treaty between the USA and the Muscogee Nation.”

University of Tulsa – Voices of Oklahoma/Oral History

Tulsa World Photo and Background of Monetta Perryman Trepp.

Click to see obituary detailing tribal history.

Timeline Link to the Benjamin Perryman Family

TIMELINE for Children of Benjamin Perryman

(The myHistor program is not allowing me to upload photos to the “events” but I will continue trying prior to class on October 29th.)

The Perryman family is a historic family of the Muscogee Nation. They originally came to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) during the U.S. forced removal of indigenous peoples from the eastern and southeastern United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The ancestral homelands of the Muscogee people (Este Mvskokvlke) included:  Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi,and South Carolina according to this Creek Indian Family Search link.

The Perryman family is deeply rooted in Oklahoma history including being the founders of Tulsey Town (Tulsa). They established the 1st post office in Tulsa and the 1st trading post as well as established much of Broken Arrow, Coweta, Wagoner, and Verdigris areas while owning up to  200,000 acres of pasture and ranch land.

This is a photo of Benjamin Perryman of whom the historic legacy began in Oklahoma.


Digital History: Indian Removal Timeline

How Many Native American Tribes Live in Oklahoma?

Historic Perryman Cemetery (Tulsa OK)

When searching online for the title above I found maps identifying the names of Native American Tribes in Oklahoma yet with varied numbers. According to a 1999 map, published by the Five Civilized Tribes Museum, there are only 14 tribes in Oklahoma.Map of OK Native Tribes

However this map was created to identify the tribes who were forced onto Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma). It is a good example illustrating the tribes relocated to Oklahoma but if the researcher was expecting this to be a current depiction simply because the image populated during the online search it would mistakenly misrepresent the 38 federally recognized tribes listed by the National Conference of State Legislature (NCSL).

Take into consideration the 38 tribes identified by the NCSL does [not] include tribes or bands that do not have federally recognized status but are in fact native people and communities within the boundaries of Oklahoma.

There are 33 tribes according to 500 Nations website and 39 according to the Oklahoma Historical Society. listed  57 tribes because they are including some bands as well as tribes such as the Yuchi (Euchee) people who are not federally recognized but are include on this map. Note they do cite their resources: Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #30 1907. ) It is important to look for sources who cite their resources for further research and to compare statistics for accuracy.

It is important to compare statistics, infographics, timelines and historical maps when gathering data because information can be misleading depending upon who is publishing it, who is sponsoring the research and why it is being proposed. For example, if a company is researching a prospective target market of Native American people the company would need an accurate mapping of how many tribal identities were [physically] living in Oklahoma and their locations rather than a more limited representation of the numbers accounted for politically or those who chose not to identify as Native American on a Census report.

An example of how mapping could be abused would be if a company’s competitor chose a map showing a lower population that inaccurately represents the number of tribes present in Oklahoma for the intention of misleading the first company.

Trace Gathering

Documentary photographer Russell Lee (1903-1986) exemplifies the skills David Kyvig and Myron A. Marty describe in our reading this week, Traces and Story-Telling. Lee portrayals of hardship during the Oklahoma Dust Bowl are indeed haunting largely due to implementing the guidelines of Kyvig and Marty.

Lee clearly establishes the relationships of his human subjects to the crisis of events. The people in the photographs become a part of the newspaper covered walls inside their shanties. They merge as one with their sparse belongings, rag-tag jalopies and the hardships that engulf them as historical traces surround them and come to surround the viewer as well because of Lee’s mastering the power of perception.

I viewed the Russell Lee exhibit when it came to Philbrook recently. The power of his storytelling through photographs stayed with me for weeks. I felt as if I had traveled into the suffocating girt and dried tears of the children and families who hung on the gallery walls. I found myself going through the exhibit several times “reading” the eyes of the subjects, the backgrounds, the dirt in their nails.

Lee captured the history, the emotions and the experience of the people many Oklahoma’s come from. They are our people and Lee made them nation’s people. The experience of the Russell Lee show stays with me to this day.