Thomas Jefferson & Oklahoma’s Salt Plains - Podcast


Nathan Boone, soldier-explorer son of Daniel Boone leads American Dragoons through the salt flats of the Cimarron River

Nathan Boone, soldier-explorer son of Daniel Boone leads American Dragoons through the salt flats of the Cimarron River west of present-day Freedom in 1843. Mural by Robbie Pierce and Don Prechtel. Courtesy Alva (OK) Mural Society. (www.alvamurals.org)

President Thomas Jefferson’s masterful Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon is fairly common knowledge. What isn’t is a prime objective of Jefferson’s with that purchase: gaining what came to be known as The Great Salt Plains, located in northwest Oklahoma. John’s good friend and pastor Wade Burleson, an award-winning author, broadcaster, and avocational historian, continues “The Burleson Chapters” of OKLAHOMA GOLD! during John’s sabbatical that his Red River Institute of History Board of Directors has asked him to take to complete THE OKLAHOMANS 2.


Thomas Jefferson, Daniel Boone’s son Nathan Boone, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma make for an epic twenty-eighth episode of our weekly OKLAHOMA GOLD! radio program and podcast. Go HERE to listen to them all! Future episodes explore more great heroes, events, and movements of Oklahoma History.

Enid photographer Mike Klemme’s spectacular aerial shot of the Great Salt Plains in Alfalfa County, northwest Oklahoma

Enid photographer Mike Klemme’s spectacular aerial shot of the Great Salt Plains in Alfalfa County, northwest Oklahoma. The ancient, repeated flooding of seawater trapped in the area formed the Salt Plains as the water evaporated, leaving salt deposits. Indigenous tribes and early pioneers both utilized the salt. The wildlife refuge established in 1930 is an important feeding and resting area for migratory waterfowl and endangered species. (www.mikeklemme.com).

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and one of America’s greatest presidents. Philosophically inclined (with Aristotle) toward a modestly-sized country of “yeoman farmers,” he ironically endures as the grand visionary for American expansion, power, and Manifest Destiny.

Intrepid explorer, Indian agent, and college founder George Sibley

Intrepid explorer, Indian agent, and college founder George Sibley became President Thomas Jefferson’s point man for finding the “Salt Mountain” mother lode of present-day northwest Oklahoma, in an era when that mineral was among the world’s most precious.

Be sure to check out all of our other episodes of the weekly OKLAHOMA GOLD! radio program and podcast. Go HERE to keep up with them all. Future episodes explore more great heroes, events, and movements of Oklahoma History.

Many thanks to Atwoods Ranch and Home, a farm and ranch supply company based in Enid, Oklahoma, for their support of the Red River Institute of History and OKLAHOMA GOLD! Please support them as you are able! Wherever you are, you can order online from thousands of quality products on their terrific website HERE. Atwoods also has 66 stores in 5 states: Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. In addition to farm and ranch supplies, Atwoods stores sell clothing, lawn and garden items, tools, hardware, automotive supplies, sporting goods, pet supplies, firearms, and seasonal items.