Sarah Rector: The Richest Girl in the USA.
Sarah Rector was a "freedman" of a Native American tribe in the Oklahoma territory. Per a peace treaty, freed persons were given land - typically unusable land. Sarah's dad leased her land to Standard Oil to offset taxes. Well folks, it was a gusher, and Sarah became the richest girl in the nation - at age 12. Remember all around good dude Robert Abbot from a previous post? Well, he published an article about the mishandling of Sarah's money in the Chicago Defender, prompting W.E.B. Dubois to establish a Children’s Department at the NAACP and Booker T. Washington to personally intervene on Sarah's behalf. From then on, Sarah enjoyed her wealth. It is said she liked fine clothes and fast cars - receiving her share of speeding tickets. She never forgot herself and often sent her chauffer out to drive the neighborhood children to school. She lost most of her money in the depression and not much is known about her later life. I was tipped off about Rector on a trip to the incredible Eso Won Books in Leimert Park where the proprietor, James Fugate, is wonderfully and spectacularly knowledgeable about every book in the shop. I explained to him that my family was owned by Native peoples in the Oklahoma territory. I regaled him with an account of how the large plot of land my grandfather owned on the Red River - the one given to him by the government per the treaty with the Choctaw nation and actually grew pecan trees fairly well - was the same large plot of land my grandfather sold to his cousin for a tank of gas to California. Fugate laughed and handed me Searching for Sarah Rector by Tonya Bolden.
For more on how Native American's owned black slaves see the post, Native Americans Owned Black Slaves. No joke.