Senator Charles Ford announced the dedication of another original painting commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. The painting, titled “Nathaniel Pryor and Sam Houston at Three Forks” by nationally renowned artist Mike Wimmer of Norman, was unveiled during a ceremony in the Senate Chamber this afternoon.
“This piece portrays Nathaniel Pryor and Sam Houston conducting trade on a flatboat along the Three Forks area of the Arkansas River area. It will give visitors a unique glimpse of our native heritage and humble beginnings,” explained Senator Ford, President of the Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc.
Three Forks is where the Neosho (Grand), Verdigris and Arkansas Rivers flow together. This region was an early hub for traffic west of the Mississippi; and for trading at St. Louis, Arkansas Post and New Orleans.
Nathaniel Pryor, born in 1775, was an explorer, soldier, trader and Indian agent, and served as a sergeant in the Lewis & Clark expedition in 1803. During the War of 1812, he served under Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans. He settled along the Arkansas River, where he bartered with the region’s Indians. The community of Pryor and nearby Pryor Creek bears his name.
Sam Houston lived for several years among the Cherokees along the Arkansas River, where he built a large log house known as “Wigwam Neosho” near Fort Gibson. He later became the first President of the Republic of Texas and after the state was admitted to the Union, he served as a U.S. Senator and Governor.
The painting was sponsored by Senator Kevin Easley (D-Broken Arrow), who represents the Three Forks area near Muskogee.
“These two men were key figures in our history. It’s my hope that this painting will serve as a testament to our rich heritage and to the lives and contributions of Nathaniel Pryor and Sam Houston,” noted Senator Easley.
This and other art commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. can be found on the Internet at: http://www.lsb.state.ok.us/senate/welcome.html.