Essay on Osage Nation 's Black Gold

1031 Words Nov 15th, 2016 5 Pages
Osage Nation’s Black Gold
The Petroleum industry burst at the seams across the United States’ rich petroleum deposits throughout the 19th century. In the wake of the rush for the black liquid gold, boomtowns grew overnight and the landscape was instantaneously changed. Yet, Osage Nation stood apart from the rest of the Oklahoma in the development of the expansive oil fields throughout the state.
Under the tradition of the common laws adopted by the British the land right was under private ownership; yet the land and mineral rights could be sold independently of each other, which the Osage Nation took full advantage of during the rise of the petroleum economy (Reese and Loughlin, 93). Petroleum created a distinct challenge to these laws because oil can be removed underground by accessing the same oil deposits from various locations above land; the various oil prospects could be in direct competition for the same oil pool just accessed on differently owned land (Reese and Loughlin, 93). This situation became a burden to courts, as the competition grew during the late 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. The ‘rule of capture’ became the favored legal standard, which meant that the 1st to bring the oil topside had full ownership of the product (Reese and Loughlin, 93).
The ‘rule of capture’ was a hotly debated legal principle. The United States’ Supreme Court enforced the finders’ keepers model with the decision on Brown v. Spilman in 1895; a ruling that would cause…

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