I am advised that there is an unexpended balance of about $45,000 of the fund appropriated for the relief of the sufferers by flood upon the Mississippi River and its tributaries, and I recommend that authority be given to use this fund to meet the most urgent necessities of the poorer people in Oklahoma.
Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901), U.S. president. Special Message to Congress, August 8, 1890. A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897, p. 82, Government Printing Office (1898).
Oklahoma had been opened for settlement in 1889; many settlers struggled to survive, their crops ruined by drought.