We've reimagined Joe Compton as a veteran of the U.S. 9th Cavalry, an African American regiment formed in 1866 along with the 10th Cavalry as the first peacetime all-Black U.S. Army units. Their nickname was bestowed on them by the Native Americans they were tasked with fighting. The last surviving Buffalo Soldier, Mark Matthews, died in 2005 at the age of 111. We recognize their service with humble gratitude. The prop newspaper from this episode includes a real story of the Buffalo Soldiers written by Frederic Remington in 1889 and first published in The Century Magazine.
The history of African Americans in Oklahoma is complicated and largely unhappy, although there was a brief time when it was promoted as a kind of promised land for former slaves after the Civil War. Pre-order customers of this episode received a bonus prop which was a replica combining a number of different real recruitment posters for African Americans to settle in the Indian Territory. There really was an Oklahoma Immigration Association based in Topeka, led by people like Edward P. McCabe and William Eagleson. Our sincere thanks go out to our intrepid research assistant David G. Cercone, who reached out despite the fact that libraries and museums are closed by COVID, and managed to get a lot of fascinating information for us. (It turns out the people at the Oklahoma Historical Society are big fans of H.P. Lovecraft!) Our thanks also to the librarians and archivists who answered David's calls, including Veronica Redding of the OKHS, Malea Walker of the Library of Congress, and Karen Kirsheman of the Free Library of Philadelphia.