PLAINVIEW - Dr. Kevin Sweeney, assistant professor of history at Wayland Baptist University, had three articles published during the fall semester.
"The Desiccated Plains: Comanche and Non-Indian Settler Responses to Drought in the Southern Plains" was published in the Fall/Winter 2003 issue of The Heritage of the Great Plains . The article compares the ways in which Comanche and non-Indian settlers responded to drought. The Comanche did not have the benefit of government aid and tended to increase their raids for horses and captives which they traded for needed supplies, or they moved out of the region, an action which triggered warfare with other tribes. Non-Indians typically moved out of the region looking for work or to live with relatives until the drought broke.
"Pandora's Drought: Aridity and the Brazos and Clear Fork Indian Reserves" was published in the 79 th volume of The West Texas Historical Association Year Book , published in October 2003. Sweeney's article deals with the effects of a prolonged drought in north-central Texas that lasted from 1854-65. Some paleoclimatologists claim this drought was more severe than the Dust Bowl. Two Indian reservations were located west of Fort Worth from 1855-59, and the drought triggered competition for resources among the warlike Comanches and the settlers, who eventually attacked a band of reservation Indians and even the reservation itself, forcing the peaceful Indians to move into Indian Territory now called Oklahoma.
"And the Skies were not Cloudy All Day: Drought and the Cherokee Strip Land Run, 1893-97" was published in the Fall/Winter 2003 issue of Chronicles of Oklahoma . The article examined the role of drought on the Cherokee Strip Land Run in 1893 Oklahoma. A severe drought lasting from 1893-97 made sure only those with money could outlast the drought. In order to maintain a claim on land, residents had to live on the claim for at least six months out of a year, so most families kept their women and children there while the men looked for work elsewhere. Property valuations prove those who remained were relatively well off, while those with little property value typically did not remain on the land.