April 19, 2017 – Bartlesville, OK
Longtime Oklahoma Wesleyan professor, Dr. Dan Wimberly, is preparing to launch a new book on the story of a Cherokee Nation leader, Jesse Bushyhead.
“After moving to Oklahoma, I was introduced to the rich history of the Cherokees,” shared Dr. Wimberly. “And after delving into this topic, I became aware of Jesse Bushyhead, who was both a statesman and missionary. Fortunately for me, there was not a biography of this highly significant character, who made such valuable contributions to the political life of Cherokees and Christianity on the frontier.” Thus, Cherokee in Controversy: The Life of Jesse Bushyhead became a reality, and for Wimberly, a subject that went deeper than simple academic interest.
Early in his career, Bushyhead gained recognition as a reliable Cherokee interpreter and translator. He was also the pastor of at least two autonomous Cherokee Baptist congregations and aided in the establishment of several mission stations. Not only was Bushyhead a spiritual shepherd, he served as a detachment leader during the forced removal on the Trail of Tears, and later a principal participant in the formation of the new Cherokee government.
The core aspect of Cherokee in Controversy, said Wimberly, is “the struggle of Bushyhead and others like him to come to terms with assimilation, both religiously and politically, while maintaining a Cherokee identity.”
Dr. Wimberly, now a semiretired adjunct professor for OKWU, served as a full-time faculty member in History and Political Science at the University. True to his professorial self, the advice he shares for upcoming researchers is to “leave no stone unturned and meticulously document and check the accuracy of your work.”
To celebrate Dr. Wimberly’s accomplishments, OKWU will host a book launch party on May 4, 2017, beginning at 10:30 AM in the Drake Library on the OKWU Bartlesville campus. The event is open to the community.