This exhibit named “Sovereignty on Trial: The Tragedy at Goingsnake” looks at the story of Cherokee Nation citizen Ezekiel Proctor and what has been called the Goingsnake Massacre on the event’s 150th anniversary.
From the Cherokee Nation website:
"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. A shootout broke out leaving 11 men dead or fatally wounded, including a deputy U.S. Marshal. Proctor’s trial and its aftermath became the centerpiece of long-standing jurisdictional debate between the federal court and Cherokee Nation. That debate continues into the present even after the Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling that the reservation of Muscogee Nation in Oklahoma was never disestablished. The decision ultimately impacted Cherokee Nation and its jurisdiction in criminal matters."
This exhibit runs from April 5, 2022 through April 8, 2023.
Visit Tahlequah, Oklahoma, to see this exhibit in person and learn more about this event still relevant today.
The Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum address is 122 E. Keetoowah St. Tahlequah, OK 74464.