OKLAHOMA CITY — A State Historic Preservation Office webinar on Thursday, June 20, at noon, will focus on the complex figure of Robert M. Jones, a Choctaw man who became one of the South’s wealthiest individuals through his involvement in slavery, commerce and land acquisition during the 19th century. Dr. Jeff Fortney, professor of history at Dallas College, will be the presenter.


Jones’s life and career during Indian Removal, rebuilding in Indian Territory, the Civil War and Reconstruction will be explored to gain insights into the intertwined histories of the Choctaw Nation and capitalism in the South.


Jones was both a highly successful businessman and Choctaw nationalist, yet his legacy is complex since much of his wealth was amassed through the exploitation of enslaved African Americans. By highlighting his role in the Choctaw Nation’s economic development, politics and social relations, this research presents a nuanced portrait of a figure who was both a benefactor to his nation and a deeply flawed individual. Questions and discussion are welcomed.


Registration for the “Lunch and Learn” webinar is required. For more information, contact Kristina Wyckoff, Section 106 coordinator and historic archaeologist, at 405-521-6381 or kristina.wyckoff@history.ok.gov.


The State Historic Preservation Office is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.