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Whipping Tree


category : Ethnic Heritage
Whipping Tree Standing on the lawn of the present day Seminole County Court House is the Whipping Tree where the Seminoles punished their criminals prior to 1907.

The government of the Seminoles was built upon the traditional form that had been used in the tribe for generations. Fourteen bands elected representatives to serve on the Seminole council, and that body enforced the laws, with the help of lawmen, known as the Light Horsemen.

When a criminal was apprehended, he was brought before the Court and if found guilty of a minor crime, was sentenced to twenty-five lashes across the bare back with a six-foot hickory switch. If the prisoner was tried for a second offense, the punishment was doubled. If it was a major crime such as murder, the punishment was death by a firing squad. In such case, the offender was allowed to go free on this word that he would return in time for his punishment.

At no time did a Seminole convicted for murder fail to return to face his executioners.


Address: Court House Lawn, 2nd and S. Wewoka

Come visit us in Wewoka, Oklahoma

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Outdoor Murals

"Wewoka Switch" - artist, Kenneth & Edwana Gayler Located between 3rd and 4

Wewoka, OK Arts

Seminole Nation Museum

Founded in 1974 by the citizens of Wewoka, the Seminole Nation Museum documents the history and culture of the Seminole Indian Nation, the Freedmen, and the early Oklahoma Pioneers since 1849.

Wewoka, OK Museums

Wewoka Library

One of the most beautiful small libraries of Oklahoma belongs to Wewoka. Founded in 1929, its architecture is reminiscent of New England. It has been recently renovated, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wewoka, OK Historic Buildings

Seminole Tribal Complex

The Seminoles are a very proud people, devoted to their heritage and traditions. They believe strongly in their culture, which is displayed in many ways, including Stomp Dances Art, Storytelling, Music, and the devotion to their loved ones who pass on.

Wewoka, OK Ethnic Heritage

Whipping Tree

Standing on the lawn of the present day Seminole County Court House is the Whipping Tree where the Seminoles punished their criminals prior to 1907.

Wewoka, OK Ethnic Heritage

Things to do Ethnic Heritage near Wewoka, OK

Melvin B. Tolson Heritage Center

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