Code switch: Family, fortune, and the fight for Osage headrights

The NPR article/podcast I read and listened to was about Richard J Losinger who was adopted at a young age when his mother dropped him and 2 other siblings off at a gas station in Texas, his mother had 7 children in total. He was adopted by a white family and ended up reconnecting with his birth family and had what he called a friendly but distant relationship. His mother passed away in 2010 and he found out after the funeral and was upset that he was never told; he felt he and his other siblings that were adopted deserved to get a share of her estate as they were still her children. Their mother inherited her headright from her husband, which was a payment for the resources taken from the land like oil. After Richard brought it to the court a judge decided to look into the inheritance and gave the other siblings a share. Richard then looks into the headright and discovers a lot about it and why it was founded the way it is. He learns that a lot of the ownership was taken from the Osage people through marriage, then their partners killed them to have full rights to it. As the podcast continued Richard grew remorse about reopening the inheritance and said he should have just left it the way it was, he said after he passes away his shares will not go to his children which they completely understand, but to the Osage people. I agree with Richard that the headrights are sacred to the people, and they deserve all of it because it was given to them for being forced out of their homes. It’s unfair that so much of the shares were taken by non-Osage people, and they should get it back. It was nice to also hear directly what Richard had to say about the topic and not hear someone’s interpretation of what he thought and felt.

One thought on “Code switch: Family, fortune, and the fight for Osage headrights

  1. I found it interesting how the adopted children were not automatically given a share of the estate even though they were technically her children. I agree with your point that it is unfair how a lot of the shares were taken by non-osage people and that they should get it back. I also wanted to state that I agree with your opinion on how it is nice to hear someone’s thoughts instead of an interpreted version.

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