Compiled by Edward E. Hill, 1965
The National Archives in Washington, D. C., holds much of the original Bureau of Indian Affairs records for Indians. These original records must be viewed in person at the National Archives.
Introduction ... Table of Contents ... Appendix I-III
... Index: A-Em ... Em-Mo
Entries: 1-74 ... 75-120 ... 121-197 ... 198-284 ... 285-355 ... 356-443 ... 444-521 ... 522-576 ... 577-643 ... 644-711 ... 712-784 ... 785-860 ... 861-940 ... 941-998 ... 999-1040 ... 1041-1112 ... 1113-1182 ... 1183-1243 ... 1244-1362 ... 1363-1401
On August 20, 1907, the Bureau discontinued the practice of maintaining separate series of incoming and outgoing correspondence. There after correspondence was filed according to a decimal-subject classification system. File numbers, however, continued to be assigned to letters in order of receipt. In addition, letters were assigned to a particular subject classification and to a jurisdiction. The jurisdictions were mainly the field units of the Bureau: agencies, schools, institutions, hospitals, sanatoriums, and warehouses. There is also an "Indian Office" designation for records relating to the central office of the Bureau and a "General Service" designation for general administrative records not relating to any particular jurisdiction. There are a few subject designations for tribes, geographical areas, and liquor traffic.
Copies of letters sent, letters received in reply, and any other records relating to the same specific subject as the first or base letter received were filed with that letter; and all this material was fastened together to form a dossier or, as it was usually called by the Bureau, a file. In these files were also placed contracts, bonds, and other kinds of documents that formerly had often been segregated from the correspondence.
The Bureau originally kept a file open indefinitely. For the files begun after 1932, the Bureau adopted the policy of closing them after 10 years and starting new ones if necessary. The files were culled periodically, and items approved by Congress for disposal were destroyed. By agreement between the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the National Archives, certain files for entire subject classifications have also been disposed of after a specified period.
Since these records are arranged by subject as well as by jurisdiction, it was necessary to remove fewer records from the central files to form special series than was required with the earlier records. Some records, however, filed according to the central filing system, were main tamed in the operating divisions rather than in the Mail and Files Section; and there is a sizable number of classified files among division records now in the National Archives.
In 1936 the Bureau adopted a different filing system, known as the "New System" or "Shafer System." (For a description of this system, see entry 122.) After this system was discontinued, most of the records were converted to the decimal classification system. In addition to the subject classified files, the Bureau maintained a chronological file of copies of outgoing letters (see entry 123)
The Bureau has compiled elaborate card indexes indicating where specific letters were filed and which files contained records relating to particular persons or subjects. These indexes have been retained by the Bureau.
1907-57. 8,033 ft.
Included are letters received, copies of letters sent, reports, memoranda, minutes, petitions, leases, contracts, affidavits, applications, certificates, licenses, permits, bonds, wills, other legal documents, tables, circulars, accounting records, clippings, photographs, diagrams, and blueprints. These records are grouped as follows: records relating to the central office of the Bureau ("Indian Office"); general administrative records ("General Service"); and records relating to the individual field units of the Bureau, with a few subject designations, arranged alphabetically by name of jurisdiction or subject. (For a list of headings, see appendix II.) The records for each jurisdiction or other designation are arranged according to the decimal classification system. (For a select list of classifications, see appendix III.) Within each classification there are individual dossiers or files for records relating to a specific subject; these files are arranged by year and thereunder by file number of the first letter (base letter) filed therein. The individual documents within a file are usually arranged chronologically. Since the date of a file was determined by the first letter placed in it, there are actually individual documents among these records dated as late as 1949. The complete citation for a file consists of the file number and year of the base letter, the decimal classification, and the name of the jurisdiction or other heading (for example, 65789-23-345 Shoshone).
The indexes to these records have been retained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Some records filed according to the decimal classification system are among division records of the Bureau, particularly among the records of the Construction Division, the Civilian Conservation Corps -- Indian Division, the Indian Organization Division, and the Rehabilitation Division. (For other contemporary series of correspondence, see entries 122-126. For earlier correspondence, see entries 91 and 96.) Later classified files are in the Federal Records Center, Alexandria, Va., and in the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Accretions. Very spotty; not all agencies and years included. No name indexes. (They are listed and located separately, so a researcher has to look at multiple lists to order them. It can be somewhat confusing. They are not integrated with the rest of the 1907-1939 files.) (new entries)
1936. 80 ft.
These records consist of letters received, copies of letters sent, and related records. They are similar to the records in the main series of classified files of the Bureau (entry 121); but they are arranged according to a different system, known as the "New System" or "Shafer System." This system was used only during the year 1936, after which the old decimal system was restored. Some records dated later than 1936, however, were added to files begun in that year as were some records of earlier date.
The "New System" was a numerical subject classification scheme. Certain subject classifications were assigned "classification numbers." The subject "reforestation," for example, was assigned classification number 26400. To each classification number was assigned a block of 200 "unit numbers"; and 111 field units of the Bureau were assigned unit numbers in alphabetical order (for example, Hoopa Valley was assigned unit number 42 and Hopi, unit number 43). There remained 89 unit numbers for new jurisdictions that might be established. A file number consisted of the classification number combined with the unit number. Thus correspondence relating to reforestation at Hoopa Valley is designated by the file number 26442. In addition to the file numbers assigned in the above manner, there are many special file numbers assigned to correspondence relating to subjects that did not fit into the pattern of classification and unit numbers.
The records in this series are arranged by file number. Within each file the individual documents are arranged chronologically. The Bureau has retained index cards for records filed under the "New System" with index cards for the records filed under the decimal system. Most of the records have been removed from the "New System" and filed under the decimal system or with division records. There are cross-references to indicate most of these removals. A copy of a guide to the filing system, prepared by the Bureau, is available in the National Archives; this guide, however, is incomplete.
1909-36. 90 ft.
Copies of outgoing correspondence. For the years 1909-32 and 1935-36, the letters for only the last five working days of March and September have been retained; for the years 1933-34, all the letters have been retained. Arranged chronologically. The letters for each day are divided according to the unit of the Bureau handling them or, in some cases, by certain subjects. The headings, which varied over the years, include: Land, Finance, Purchase, Health, Extension, Coordination, Heirship Cases, and Administrative. Copies of letters sent to or prepared for the signature of the Secretary of the Interior are filed together.
These letters are useful mainly as an indication of the quantity of Bureau correspondence and its distribution within the Bureau organization at different times and as an illustration of the kinds of correspondence handled by the different divisions. Most of the copies of letters sent are in the central classified files of the Bureau (entry 121), and it is these records that should be used for intensive research concerning a particular subject.
Letters received in response to an article by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in the Ladies Home Journal, suggesting that white children make contributions toward Christmas gifts for Indian children. Copies of replies by the Commissioner are attached to the incoming letters. Each letter bears the 062 decimal classification but has no file number (see entry 121). Arranged chronologically by date of incoming letter.
1925-26. 1 in.
Chiefly letters from the Department of Justice to the Secretary of the Interior, often with enclosures from U.S. attorneys. They relate to the disposition of suits brought by the United States against certain persons. Arranged alphabetically by surname of defendant.
ca. 1859-1934. 47 ft.
Records withdrawn from the letters received by the Bureau (entries 79 and 91), the central classified files (entry 121), records of the Land and Inspection Divisions, special reports, materials prepared for congressional hearings, and other records that apparently were segregated to accommodate their unusual size or to bring related records together. They relate to land matters (boundaries, patents, surveys, and leases), heirship cases and other legal matters, claims, personnel matters, estimates, enrollments, investigations, schools, and many other subjects. These records are arranged in bundles. Each bundle relates to a particular subject and often consists of records assigned the same file number. Within the bundles, the arrangement of the records varies. A list of the records in this series is available in the National Archives.
1910-11. 1/4 in.
Blueprint copies, most of which show the overall organization of the Bureau. Arranged chronologically.
The following related records have been described together in this section rather than attempting to divide them into chronological periods. Some of the records at one time were maintained in the Bureau's library.
1884-1925. 8 vols. 2 ft.
Printed, processed, press, and carbon copies of orders issued by the President, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the Chief Clerk, the Secretary of the Interior, and other officials. The orders relate chiefly to organization, office procedure, the handling of correspondence, and personnel matters. They were intended primarily for the employees of the central office of the Bureau rather than for field employees. The early orders are not designated as such, and many of them are actually circulars or circular letters (see entries 131, 132, and 134). After the numbered series of orders to field officials (entry 129) was begun, most of the orders in this series were issued by the Chief Clerk; and many of them are little more than announcements. Arranged chronologically. The first seven volumes of orders are indexed by subject.
1916-28. 7 in.
Chiefly processed copies of orders directed to field officials of the Bureau and relating mainly to financial matters. Such directives were formerly issued as circulars or circular letters (entries 131, 132, and 134). This series is therefore distinct from the orders intended for the central office of the Bureau (entry 128). Arranged by number assigned to the order as it was issued. For replies and copies of later orders, see entry 130.
1916-34. 8 ft.
Replies to orders described in entry 129 and to later orders; A copy of the order is frequently included with the reply. For the period after 1928, this series is the only source for copies of most of the orders. Many of the replies are merely acknowledgments, often on postal-card forms. Some of the replies, however, give information requested. Arranged by number assigned to the order as it was issued.
1854-85. 3 vols. 4 in.
Chiefly printed and processed copies of circulars issued by the Bureau and sent for the most part to superintendents and agents. Included are some copies of circulars issued by the Interior and Treasury Departments. The circulars relate primarily to procedural matters, particularly to accounts. Included also are some office memoranda concerning office procedure. Arranged chronologically. In 1878 the Bureau began to number circulars as they were issued. Earlier circulars were usually copied in the letter books of outgoing correspondence (entry 84). For later circulars, circular letters, and orders, see entries 128, 129, 130, 132, and 134.
1904-34. 5 ft.
Copies of circulars issued by the Bureau. From 1897 until July 1907 circulars were issued and numbered consecutively by each division. There after one set of numbers, beginning with No. 160, was used throughout the Bureau. The circulars, sent primarily to field officials of the Bureau, were designed to issue instructions, to explain policy, and to request or give information. The set of circulars is incomplete, particularly for the earlier period and for the period after 1932. Supplements to circulars were filed with the original circular. Some typed copies of circulars were maintained separately from the main set, which consists chiefly of processed copies. Incomplete subject indexes are available. For replies to the circulars, see entry 133. For other series of circulars and circular letters, see entries 131, 134, 135, 136, 718, 719, and 830.
Records are contained in file folders. The first two folders in the first box contain a subject index. Thereafter, boxes 1 through 3 contain unnumbered orders in chronological order dating from 1908 to 1925. Box 4 contains unnumbered circulars dating from 1918 to 1925 arranged in chronological order. Boxes 5 and 6 contain numbered orders dating from 1916 to 1955 arranged in numerical order. Box 7 contains miscellaneous circulars dating from 1854 to 1885 arranged in chronological order. Boxes 8 through 11 contain unnumbered circulars dating from 1926 to 1950 arranged in chronological order. Boxes 12 through 25 contain numbered circulars dating from 1907 to 1950 arranged in numerical order. These records are available on microfilm publication M1121. (new entry)
These records consist of a very wide variety of documents. Each group is arranged either generally chronologically or numerically. Records include Departmental memoranda, Indian Office memoranda, Executive Orders, Departmental orders, Secretary's Office numbered orders, numbered and unnumbered circulars, circular letters, field orders, office memoranda, and miscellaneous records. The events of the periods covered, including the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War, are reflected in these records. (new entry)
These boxes contain card records of forms. Arrangement is numerical by card number. Essential information from the obsolete forms was recorded onto the cards including the date of obsolescence. (new entry)
These boxes contain card records of forms. Arrangement is numerical by card number. Essential information from the forms was recorded onto the cards. (new entry)
Arrangement of numbered circulars is in numerical order. Arrangement of unnumbered circulars is generally in chronological order. These circulars pertain to BIA administrative matters. Also included among them is a manual of laws relative to Indian credit in Oklahoma, a copy of GAO Office of Investigations Report of Study and Investigation of the Funds and Securities of the Several Indian Tribes, Including Those of Tribal Organizations, and a file of circulars from other agencies of interest to the BIA dating from the World War II era. (new entry)
1907-35. 58 ft.
Replies to many of the circulars described in entry 132. Most of the replies were received from superintendents, agents, and other field officials of the Bureau. They consist of letters and postal-card forms of acknowledgment, reports on information requested, and completed forms. Included are some copies of letters sent by the Bureau concerning replies to circulars or failure to reply. Copies of the circulars are also often included. The replies are arranged by the circular number to which they relate and thereunder for the most part alphabetically by name of agency or school replying.
1915-34. 8 ft.
Processed and typed copies of circular letters issued by the Bureau, with replies and other correspondence concerning them. Circulars (entry 132) and circular letters are similar, and no clear distinction can be made between them. Circular letters, however, are more likely to give or request information concerning some specific subject and are less likely to deal with procedural natters. Included with the circular letters are some miscellaneous processed materials issued by the Bureau for informational purposes. The replies are sometimes merely acknowledgments, often on postal-card forms; but frequently there are reports and completed forms. Included also are copies of letters sent by the Bureau concerning the circular letters and replies to them. The circular letters are arranged chronologically by date of issuance. The dates of some undated circular letters have been estimated. Replies and related correspondence are filed with the appropriate circular letter in no set order. For the period after September 1932 the records consist chiefly of replies to the circular letters.
1926-28. 2 in.
Relate to educational matters. Some of the replies are merely acknowledgments of receipt, often on a postal-card form; others given requested information. Included are some copies of letters sent by the Bureau concerning the circulars. The circulars are arranged by number assigned to each one as issued. Replies and related correspondence are filed with the appropriate circular in no set order. There is one unnumbered circular at the end of the series.
1921-22. 12 in.
Issued by the Bureau to inspectors, special agents, and other supervisory officials. These circulars were intended to explain policies and viewpoints of the Bureau and to offer helpful suggestions. Arranged by circular number, which in effect is in chronological order.
This collection includes regulations pertaining to administration, bookkeeping and accounting, purchasing bids, contracts, bills of lading, personnel, education, medical, construction, extension, forestry and grazing, irrigation, roads, land, and law and order. Included among these records are some manuals. (new entry)
The photographic records described below -- consisting of both still and motion pictures -- are those that are maintained separately from the textual records. To avoid confusion, they are described in this separate sections No attempt has been made to describe them in relation to the organization of the Bureau, although same of the series were probably maintained by a division or field office rather than among the general records of the Bureau. Many other photographs are interspersed among the textual records.
1872. ca. 100 items.
Six portfolios containing portraits of members of delegations of Indians who visited Washington in 1872. The portraits were made by Alexander Gardner. Arranged by name of tribe or band and thereunder numerically, with some gaps. Each portfolio includes a table of contents.
ca. 1874. 17 items. 1/2 in.
A portfolio of mounted photographic prints of chiefs and other Indians. Arranged by name of tribe.
1876-85. ca. 150 items. 7 in.
Three albums of photographic prints of Indians, Indian schools and agencies, and other related subjects. Arranged alphabetically by name of State or territory, with some separate sections for nonreservation schools. Each album includes a table of contents.
ca. 1895-96. 37 items. 1 in.
An album of photographic prints that were made by William Dinwiddie for the Bureau of (American) Ethnology. Arranged by name of ethnic family or tribe and thereunder numerically. The is an alphabetical index to names of Indians concerned.
1897. ca. 200 items. 1 ft.
Prints and glass negatives of individual Indians and groups living on reservations in southeastern Idaho. The prints and negatives are each arranged by assigned numbers.
ca. 1900. 45 items. 2 ft.
Wooden-framed "magic lantern" slides of various subjects. These slides were used for instruction at Carlisle School. Arranged by assigned number, with gaps. For other slides used at the school, see entry 143.
ca. 1905. ca. 80 items. 1 ft.
Glass lantern slides (some hand-colored) that were used for instruction at Carlisle School. Arranged by geographic location. For other slides used at the school, see entry 142.
1910. ca. 50 items. 1 in.
An album of photographic prints showing activities at the school. These prints were made by Louis R. Bostwick of Omaha. Arranged by subject.
1886-1913. ca. 65 items.
An album of photographic prints showing chiefly Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians and their homes. Arranged in part chronologically and in part by subject.
ca. 1913. 52 items.
Glass slides illustrating living conditions of the Indians. Arranged by assigned number.
ca. 1915. ca. 450 items. 5 ft.
Photographic prints, lantern slides, and glass negatives showing Indians suffering from tuberculosis and other diseases. Also shown are diseased and healthy organs, and various phases of and facilities for treatment of diseases. Arranged by type of record and thereunder the prints and slides are each arranged numerically by assigned number.
1918. ca. 100 items. 1 in.
An album of photographic prints showing chiefly activities and buildings and other improvements of the Indians. Arranged by subject.
20 items. 2 in.
Hand-colored glass slides. Arranged by subject.
1922. ca. 300 items. 10 in.
Photographic prints and negatives showing Indian farms and various phases of farm life. The prints are arranged alphabetically by name of Indian farmer.
1909-30. ca. 125 items. 4 ft.
Photographic prints showing chiefly reservations, buildings, groups of Indians, and Bureau employees. Arranged alphabetically by name of State.
1929-40. ca. l,000 items. 2 ft.
Thirteen albums of photographic prints showing chiefly Indians, Bureau employees, activities of agencies (especially road construction), homes, and scenic attractions. Arranged by agency or reservation.
1934-36. ca. 10,000 items. 14 ft.
Composite aerial prints of the Fort Apache, Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni Reservations. The prints, made for the Soil Conservation Service, are arranged in a geographical pattern. Included also are some index maps.
ca. 1904-36. 2 ft.
Mainly mounted photographic prints relating to various aspects of Indian life and Bureau activities. Arranged in part by subject and in part by size of photograph.
1908-26. ca. 900 items. 1 ft.
These negatives are stored in the Nitrate Film Depository at Suitland, Md. They relate to many aspects of Indian life and Bureau activities.
These are photographs taken at various reservations in the West. They show areas before, during, and after construction and restoration work. (new entry)
1908-20. 13 reels.
Silent motion pictures taken during expeditions among Indian tribes in 1908, 1909, 1913, 1915, and 1920. They show Indian customs, dances, and activities (including flag-raising ceremonies and those in which some of the tribes declared their allegiance to the United States preparatory to their receiving citizenship). One reel shows the adoption of Marshal Foch by the Crow Indians.
1921. 1 reel.
A silent black-and-white film that documents a trip on the revenue cutter Bear from the Aleutian Islands to Plover Bay, Siberia, by way of Point Barrow, Alaska. Included are many scenes of Eskimo life and of the Arctic.
The records described in entries 158-162 are general cartographic records of the Bureau that are maintained separately from the textual records. They are not attributed to any specific office or division within the agency. For other separately maintained cartographic records, see entries 642, 643, 665, 666, 673, 674, and 1380. There are many other maps and plats among the textual records.
1878-1944. 29 items.
Published maps showing the distribution and approximate area of Indian reservations, the locations of Indian agencies, district boundaries and headquarters of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and hospitals, schools, a nd irrigation projects operated by the Bureau. Some of the earlier maps also show the number of Indians on each reservation. Arranged chronologically by date of publication.
1940. 1 item.
A published map showing hospitals, headquarters stations of field nurses and physicians, reindeer stations, and radio stations.
n.d. 3 items.
Published maps showing the jurisdiction of the Sisseton Agency, S. Dak., the Winnebago Agency, Nebr., and the Potawatomi Agency, Kans. and Nebr.
1908-44. 130 items. 1 in.
Published maps of individual. Indian reservations showing boundaries, place names, drainage features, roads and railroads, schools, churches, swamplands, agency reserves, other reserved lands, and withdrawn lands. Arranged alphabetically by name of reservation.
1941. 1 item.
A published volume with descriptive text and illustrations relating to the preparation of maps and plans and to the symbols to be used on maps prepared in the Bureau.
1800-1939. 16,656 items. 11. ft.
A numbered file of manuscript, published, annotated, and photo processed maps prepared or collected by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Among these maps are general maps of the United States and maps of parts of the United States showing routes of explorations, Indian tribal lands and land cessions, lands purchased from Indians, reservations, proposed reservations, changes in reservations, townships and townsites in Indian lands, military forts and reservations, roads and railroads, land grants to railroads through Indian lands, and private land claims. Included are maps and plats of Indian reservations or parts of reservations showing topographic features, vegetation, boundary lines and changes in boundaries, areas selected for withdrawal from and additions to reservations, irrigated lands and lands subject to irrigation, cultivated and uncultivated lands, allotments to individuals, churches, schools, agency reserves, mining claims, and settlements. Also shown are grazing, mineral, and timber lands and rights-of-way of railroads, canals, ditches, electric transmission lines, highways, gas pipelines, telephone and telegraph lines, and reservoir and dam sites.
Included also are special maps consisting of plats of townsites located in Indian reservations; plans of military reservations, railroad station grounds, and irrigation and reclamation projects; ground and building plans of Indian schools, reserves, and military forts; and plans of power-development projects.
The maps are arranged numerically by file number assigned in the agency. A 3" x 5" card index lists the maps by area or State and thereunder by tribe, Indian reservation, military reservation, or other administrative unit; thereunder by subject; and thereunder by map number. Four old map registers or ledgers accompany the records and contain information about individual maps that is often not included on the cards. Maps in this series are described in detail in entries 1-413 of National Archives Special List No. 13, "List of Cartographic Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs," compiled by Laura E. Kelsay in 1954.
For some of the series described below there is no positive evidence to establish that they were maintained in the Office of the Commissioner rather than in the Mail and Files Section as general records or in one of the operating divisions except that they are now among the Commissioner's records. Because of the long period of time covered by the records and their rather diverse nature, the series entries have been arranged for the most part in chronological order. When practicable, however, entries for series of the same kinds of records and for series of records concerning related subjects have been grouped together.
1837-38, 1845. 1 vol. 1/2 in.
Contains bank account records of Commissioner Carey A. Harris, 1837-38, and public and private postage accounts of the Commissioner's office, 1845. Arranged by account.
1871, 1873-85, 1889-1901. 13 vols. 1 ft.
Press copies of outgoing letters prepared in the Office of the Commissioner. Many of the letters relate to personnel matters, particularly appointments. Included are letters concerning charges against the Commissioner and other officials, investigations, procurement of goods for Indians, legislation, relations with religious groups, organization, regulations, visitors on reservations, travel plans of the Commissioner, accounts, and many other subjects. Many of the letters are marked "informal," "personal," "unofficial," or "confidential," indicating that they were not part of the regular outgoing correspondence of the Bureau. For some of the Commissioners there is an appreciable quantity of nonofficial correspondence. Most of the letters are signed by the Commissioner. The letters of Acting Commissioners are usually in the letter books of the Chief Clerk and Assistant Commisioner (entry 181). There are only a few letters for 1871 and no letters for 1872 or for the period from February 25, 1885, through February, 19, 1889. Arranged chronologically by date of letter. In the individual volumes are alphabetical indexes to names of addressees and sometimes to names of persons to whom the letters refer. The letters copied in these letter books are not ordinarily included in the general series of letters sent by the Bureau (entries 84, 85, and 96). For other outgoing correspondence of the Office of the Commissioner, see entries 170 and 173. No series of letters received by the Commissioner corresponds with this series of letters sent.
1866-67. 3 in.
A handwritten copy of testimony taken before the Comanittee on Indian Affairs of the House of Representatives concerning the awarding of contracts for annuity goods for Indians by Commissioner of Indian Affairs Lewis V. Bogy. Arranged chronologically.
1866-78. 3 in.
Letters received by the Department and by the Bureau concerning the investigation by a Board of Inquiry of charges against Chief Clerk Samuel A. Galpin and of alleged irregularities in the Bureau. There are letters from persons offering information, letters from the Board, and letters of protest from Galpin and other persons concerned. Included are the printed proceedings and a report of the Board. Also included is Galpin's appointment file, withdrawn from the records of the Appointments Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior. Arranged in rough chronological order. For a draft of the report of the Board, see entry 168.
1877. 1 vol. 1 in.
A press copy of a draft of a report of the Board of Inquiry convened to investigate charges against Chief Clerk Samuel A. Galpin and alleged irregularities in the Bureau. A printed copy of the final version of the report has been inserted in the volume. Included is an incomplete alphabetical subject index. For other records concerning the investigation see entry 167.
Aug. 20, 1877. 1 in.
The handwritten original and a copy of a report submitted by a board appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to examine into the Bureau's methods for transacting its business. The report for the most part relates to accounting and record keeping practices.
1873-79. 1 vol. 1 in.
Press copies of letters received from and sent to Indian agents, the Secretary of the Interior, War Department officials, and others concerning Ute lands in Colorado -- particularly reservation boundaries, cessions, and trespassers. Arranged chronologically. The originals or record copies of these letters are usually in their proper places in the general correspondence of the Bureau (entries 79 and 84). For Special Case 112, which relates to the activities of the Ute Commission, see entry 102.
ca. 1876. 1 vol. 1/4 in.
Contains names and addresses of persons and institutions, particularly of those interested in Indians. Arranged by initial letter of surname of person or name of institution.
1880-86. 1 vol. 1 in.
Contains names and addresses of former Indian agents; names, addresses, and file references for both recognized and disbarred attorneys and agents; schedules of receipts of certain financial records from field officials; information concerning the location of agencies; file references concerning an 1881 Winnebago act; abstracts concerning the taking of a special census in 1884; and other pertinent information. Arranged in part alphabetically by initial letter of name or subject and in part by type of information .
1902. 1 vol. 1 in.
Press copies of several letters from, to, or concerning Miss Reel. They relate particularly to possible violations of civil service regulations. Arranged in rough chronological order.
1906, 1908. 1 vol.
Press copies of two memoranda concerning amended versions of the Indian appropriation bills before Congress in 1906 and 1908, which were prepared for conference committees of Congress. The memoranda list the opinions of the Bureau concerning individual items in the order in which they appear in the bills. Arranged chronologically.
1910-12. 3 in.
Printed circulars issued by the President's Commission and copies of reports concerning the Bureau. The circulars are arranged chronologically. Other records concerning the inquiry are in the central classified files of the Bureau (entry 121), particularly in the 101 classification for the Indian Office.
The box contains three copies of this report. They are from the records of the Office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. (new entry)
1914-17. 1 vol. 2 in.
Given for each visitor are his Indian and English names, his address, and name of his tribe. Arranged chronologically by date of visit.
1921-32. 2 in.
Included are letters received, copies of letters sent, memoranda, and mimeographed itineraries. These records consist chiefly of correspondence with and concerning Stella M. (Mrs. H. A.) Atwood, Chairman of the Committee on Indian Welfare of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. There is, however, also an appreciable amount of correspondence with Field Representative Erl A. Bates, much of which was conducted by R. P. Green, Assistant to the Commissioner. Arranged by name of correspondent or by subject and thereunder in rough chronological order. These records are only a fragmentary part of a once larger series.
These records are maintained in files in order of subject. A listing of these is to be found at the beginning of box 1. Hill describes these records as the "papers of historian Annie Heloise Abel[-Henderson], ca. 1912-20, which include some personal correspondence but consists mainly of transcripts and copies of Bureau records and notes; and a 'Biographical & Historical Index of American Indians and Persons Involved in Indian Affairs,' on 3- by 5-inch cards. The index has been published by G.K. Hall in eight volumes and is useful for research in published sources." (new entry)
This is a scrapbook of newspaper and magazine clippings of Cato Sells, a Commissioner of the U.S. Indian Service. Arrangement is by subject and there are tabs denoting the various sections, although the writing on some of the tabs is faded beyond readability. The articles pertain to Indian affairs in general as well as Sells' work in that regard in particular. (new entry)
The bulk of these records are newspaper clippings in a scrapbook, while there are also some loose clippings. They pertain to the life and work of Charles H. Burke, Commissioner of Indian Affairs under President Warren G. Harding and U.S. Congressman from South Dakota. There is also a copy of the Congressional Record with his obituary. (new entry)
1933-45. 7 ft.
Included are letters received, copies of letters sent, memoranda, reports, processed procedural and reference material, clippings, copies of publications, and legal documents. The records relate to many subjects. Particularly significant are those records concerning alleged Nazi activities (centering around the American Indian Federation), the Court of Claims suit of the California Indians, the Navajo Indians, the Pueblo Indians, peyote, the War Relocation Authority and the internment of Japanese on Indian lands, a study of Indian personality, conferences and other meetings, and trips of the Commissioner. There are a few pre-1933 records, some of which were taken from the files of the American Indian Defense Association. (Collier was National Executive Secretary of the Association before he became Commissioner of Indian Affairs.) There are also a few post-1945 records that were added to the file after Collier left office. Arranged alphabetically by subject or by name of correspondent and thereunder for the most part chronologically. For other records maintained in the Office of the Commissioner during Collier's tenure, see entries 179 and 180.
1919-45. 3 in.
Included are manuscripts of statements and articles prepared for the most part by Collier; printed articles and copies of periodicals containing articles by Collier; clippings; copies of correspondence; and poems. Some of this material was prepared before and some of it after Collier became Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1933; and some of it does not relate in any way to Indian administration. Arranged by type of record.
Nov. 1943-June 1944; July 1-Aug. 3
and Oct. 2-31, 1944. 1 in.
Carbon copies of letters sent from the Office of the Commissioner. Arranged for the most part chronologically, but with the few letters for the November 1943-June 1944 period inserted out of chronological order.
These are the files of Commissioner William A. Brophy. They are arranged by subject. Among the subjects covered are Alaska, Navajos, Brophy, and articles by Ataloa. (new entry)
Arrangement of these files is according to subject. Subjects included are Alaska, Pueblos, Fort Berthold Agency, Navajos, miscellaneous activities, and speeches and articles. (new entry)
Arrangement of files is according to subject. Subjects of files include Aberdeen Area Offices and Agencies, Albuquerque Area Office and Agencies, Anadarko Area Office and Agencies, Indians in World War II, Juneau Area Office, legislation, Management Planning Progress Report, Minneapolis Area Office and Agencies, Muskogee Area Office and Agencies, Indian organizations, Phoenix Area Office and Agencies, Portland Area Office and Agencies, Sacramento Area Office and Agencies, speeches - D. Myer, studies and surveys, and Window Rock Area Office and Agencies. (new entry)
Speeches of Commissioner Louis R. Bruce and others in the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Speeches are arranged according to speaker or audience to whom delivered. Some are drafts with annotated corrections. (new entry)
Files of Commissioner Morris Thompson. Files are arranged by area offices. (new entry)
Unarranged. The records were apparently maintained by John Herrick, Assistant to the Commissioner. Contains reports submitted by the Commissioner relating to various facets of Indian participation in the war effort such as enlistments, Indian manpower in manufacturing industries, and natural resources on Indian reservations. Copies of Selective Service regulations are included along with circulars, orders, and correspondence with Selective Service officials. There a small clipping file of Indians in the military. Files relating to legislation and executive orders, education as it pertained to national defense, and speeches before the National Defense Advisory Commission are also included. (new entry)
Arranged alphabetically by name of agency, with some general and miscellaneous information at the beginning. The bulk consists of monthly military service reports. This standardized form broke statistics down into the categories of Indians not employed at the agency, Indians employed at the agency, and non-Indians employed at the agency. These were then listed by those voluntarily enlisted, by those registered for draft, by those inducted into selective service, and by those deferred. Correspondence between agency superintendents and headquarters on procedural matters accompanies the reports. No reports are present for certain tribes despite file markers suggesting they once were. Starting in1944 the forms were no longer required but were often sent in well into 1945. The reports were compiled in response to Circular 3368 regarding Registration of Residents on Reservations. There are also two files consisting of responses to a July 1941 circular from the Commissioner regarding Indian employment in National Defense Industry. There are also fragmentary records relating to Indian war casualties and problems with the draft. At the end of the series is printed material on Indian appropriations and 1944 records relating to a hearing before Congress ordering an investigation into Indian affairs. (new entry)
Essentially unarranged but with similar subjects grouped together. The records primarily concern the Poston Relocation Center located near the Colorado River Indian Reservation but also cover the camps at Pima and Parker in Arizon. Topics include education, release of internees, construction and development, health, and disturbances. There are numerous studies and opinions on the treatment of the Japanese. Also included are monthly and weekly reports on the Poston center. Includes general files on Poston (including petitions by Japanese detainees to retain project director Wade Head). War Relocation Authority budgets for the Colorado River War Relocation Project, WRA administrative instructions, and a 1946 appraisal report on the value of property at the former camp are also included. Arsenberg's "Report on a Developing Community: Poston, AZ". There are Dies committee hearings and correspondence., newspaper and magazine clippings, and paintings by internees. Some of the records are in Japanese. (new entry)
The position of Chief Clerk was established in 1824 when the Bureau was created. Until 1886 the Chief Clerk was the second ranking official in the Bureau and served as Acting Commissioner during the absence of the Commissioner. He was in charge of the Washington office staff and handled office supplies and equipment, messenger service, and other matters that did not properly belong to one of the divisions. When the Civilization Division was abolished in 1885, the Chief Clerk assumed responsibility for traders' licenses.
In 1886 Congress established the position of Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs. He was to be Acting Commissioner in the absence of the Commissioner and to perform the duties normally carried out by a chief clerk. The Miscellaneous Division, established in 1889, assumed responsibility for traders' licenses and for office supplies. It later also assumed responsibility for office personnel matters and other activities that might normally have been assigned to a chief clerk.
In 1906 the position of Chief Clerk was reestablished in addition to that of Assistant Commissioner. (From 1910 until 1915 the Chief Clerk was designated as Second Assistant Commissioner.) Until 1908 the duties of the Chief Clerk were limited primarily to the supervision of the office force. During the reorganizations of 1908 he was assigned additional duties. When the Miscellaneous Division was abolished in one of the reorganizations, the Chief Clerk took over much of its work -- including that relating to office supplies, expositions, and office personnel matters. He was also given supervision of the library, which was designated as the Library Section in 1909. During 1908 and 1909 the Chief Clerk was given supervisory control over four other sections: Cooperation, Mail and Files, Statistics, and Stenographic. The Cooperation Section was responsible for liquor control, employment of Indians, plant and animal industry, forestry, and irrigation activities. In 1909 this Section was abolished and its duties were divided between the Land and Education Divisions. By September 1909 the Mail and Files, Statistics, and Stenographic Sections had been transferred to the new Methods Division. When the Division was abolished in 1912, the three sections were returned to the Office of the Chief Clerk. (At that time the Chief Clerk was the Second Assistant Commissioner.) It was originally planned that the Stenographic Section would perform all the stenographic and typing work of the Bureau; but, instead, it became a pool of extra workers. The Statistics Section was transferred to the Education Division in 1914, but it was returned to the Office of the Chief Clerk in 1926. The Stenographic Section and the Mail and Files Section remained in the Office of the Chief Clerk until it was abolished in 1934. The Chief Clerk's duties were assigned to an acting Assistant to the Commissioner, whose title was later changed to Assistant Finance Officer (and Business Manager). After he was relieved of the duties of the Chief Clerk, the Assistant Commissioner had no specifically assigned administrative duties other than to act as Commissioner when necessary. In 1944 a second Assistant Commissioner was appointed.
In 1949 each of the Assistant Commissioners was put in charge of an administrative division -- the Division of Resources and the Division of Community Services. The Division of Resources has been abolished, but there are now an Assistant Commissioner in charge of the Division of Administration and an Assistant Commissioner in charge of the Division of' Economic Development. There have also been established positions of Deputy Commissioner and Associate Commissioner, which outrank the position of Assistant Commissioner. There are no records in the National Archives for any of the offices established after 1949.
Records for the Statistics Section, the Library Section, and for the Mail and Files Section, which had custody of the general records of the Bureau, were separately maintained., For the records of the Office of the Finance Officer, see entries 196 and 197.
1871-93. 11 vols. 11 in.
Press copies of outgoing letters prepared in the Office of the Chief Clerk and, beginning in 1886, the Office of the Assistant Commissioner. Many of the letters relate to personnel matters, particularly those concerning the clerical staff of the Washington office. Included are letters relating to office organization and procedure, traders' licenses, transportation for Indian pupils, instructions to field officials, supplies, submission of reports, legislation, and many other subjects. Included also for the Assistant Commissioner is more informal correspondence, sometimes relating to political and personal matters. During the earlier years many of the letters were signed by the Commissioner. There are no letters for the period from September 1, 1875, through June 15, 1877. The letters are arranged for the most part chronologically. From February 1877 until October 1888, however, two volumes were used at the same time; the more informal letters were usually kept separate from those of a more strictly administrative nature. In most of the volumes there are alphabetical indexes to names of addressees, and sometimes to names of persons who are mentioned and to pertinent subjects. In some of the volumes there are also notations on the letters of page numbers where other letters sent to the same person appear.
For other letters sent by the Chief Clerk and the Assistant Commissioner, see entries 182, 183, and 184.
Feb.-June 1880. 1 vol. 1 in.
Press copies of letters and a few telegrams containing chiefly in structions to inspectors and special agents, dated from February to June 1880. Included are copies of letters to the Secretary of the Interior concerning inspections and investigations. There is also an 1892 letter entered in the volume by mistake. Arranged chronologicaly. In the back of the volume there are press copies of memoranda and samples of form letters concerning regulations for appointments, necessary qualifications for employees, the rendering of accounts and other subjects. These memoranda and form letters are undated for the most part but they appear to have been prepared about 1888.
1905-8. 1 vol. 1 in.
Press copies of letters sent by Larrabee during periods when he was Acting Commissioner in the absence of Commissioner Leupp. Arranged chronologically. There is an alphabetical index to names of addressees.
1908-12. 6 vols. 8 in.
Press copies and some carbon copies of letters prepared in the Office of the Chief Clerk until July 1, 1910, and thereafter in the Office of the Second Assistant Commissioner. The letters relate to appointments, promotions, reductions in grade, transfers, separations, and other personnel matters in the Washington office of the Bureau. There are copies of letters sent to the Secretary of the Interior the Chief Disbursing Clerk of the Department, to Civil Service Commission, employees, appointees, applicants, and others. The letters may be signed by the Chief Clerk, the Second Assistant Commissioner, the Commissioner, the Acting Commissioner, or the Assistant Commissioner. Included are copies of appointments signed by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior. In the first part of the first volume (March 18-May 27, 1908) there are also included letters concerning traders' licenses, exhibits, supplies, general requests for information, and other subjects formerly handled by the Miscellaneous Division. The volumes described in this entry are actually a continuation of the press copybooks of the Miscellaneous Division that are among the bureau's general letter books described in entry 96. The letters are arranged chronologically. In the individual volumes there are indexes to names of addressees and sometimes to names of persons mentioned in letters. There are contemporary and later records concerning Washington office personnel in the appropriate classifications of the central classified files, under the heading "Indian Office" (entry 121); but most of the records concerning individual employees during this period and later are in the Federal Records Center, St. Louis, Mo.
ca. 1886-94. 1/2 in.
Memoranda and reports (chiefly copies) and printed copies of regulations and Presidential proclamations concerning boundaries of reservations, land acquired from Indians, and allotments to Indians. Arranged in rough chronological order.
May 14, 1877. 1/4 in.
A list of certificates, deeds, receipts money, medals, and other property in the safe at the time of a change in custody.
ca. 1881. Negligible.
Given for each individual agency are its name, location, name and salary of agent, number of Indians, and information concerning expenditures for salaries and other purposes. Arranged alphabetically by name of agency.
1883. 1 vol. 1/2 in.
For each employee are given his name, state from which he was appointed, date of original appointment, date of present appointment, and salary. Arranged alphabetically by initial letter of surname of employee.
Mr. Zimmerman was Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1933 until 1950. After the reorganization of 1949 he was in charge of the Division of Resources. The correspondence consists of letters received and copies of letters sent. Included are some reports, memoranda, and processed and printed procedural and reference materials. Arranged alphabetically by name of jurisdiction or person or by subject and thereunder for the most part chronologically. There is little correspondence dated later than 1913. Some later correspondence is included with the memoranda described in entry 190.
1944-50. 10 in.
Chiefly memoranda sent and received, but included are some reports, processed procedural and reference material, and letters. Arranged alphabeticaly by subject and thereunder for the most part chronologically.
1939-46. 3 in.
This file, probably only a fragment of a once larger series, includes letters received, copies of letters sent, memoranda, minutes, printed pamphlets, periodicals, and manuscripts of addresses. McCaskill became Assistant Commissioner in 1944; from 1939 until 1944 he had served as Field Representative and Assistant to the Commissioner. Arranged by the following subjects and thereunder in rough chronological order: Anthropological Work, Indian Rights Association, Internment of Japanese, Religious, Organizations, and Wardship Committee
1946-50. 6 in.
Included are office memoranda, letters received, copies of letters sent, reports, printed and processed procedural and reference material, and drafts of statements, addresses, and proposed legislation relating mainly to policy and administrative matters. There are some records dated earlier than 1946, the year in which Provinse took office. After the reorganization of 1949, Provinse was in charge of the Division of Counmnity Services. The records are arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder in rough chronological order.
1932-49. 5 in.
Included are printed and processed copies of the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs other reports, pamphlets, maps of river basins, and proceedings of hearings concerning proposed amendments to the regulations for protection of Alaskan fisheries issued by both Government and private sources. The dates given above are those of the publications; Provinse did not become Assistant Commissioner until 1946. The records are arranged in part chronologically and in part by type of material.
Between 1931 and 1945 the number of officials who were designated as Assistants to the Commissioner varied from two to four. When the position was created in 1931, the two Assistants were to divide supervisory control over the functional divisions of the Bureau. One Assistant was designated as the Assistant to the Commissioner for Human Relations, and the other Assistant was designated as the Assistant to the Commissioner for Property. The specific responsibilities of Assistants to the Commissioner, however, were changed so frequently that it is difficult to determine their duties at any orie time. There are office records in the National Archives for only three Assistants to the Commissioner. For two of these, Joseph C. McCaskill and Fred H. Daiker (see entries 191 and 194), there are only fragmentary records covering periods during which they held other positions as well as that of Assistant to the Commissioner. The only sizable file is that for John Herrick, who had particular responsibility for rehabilitation and relief activities in addition to his other duties. He may be considered as the successor of the Assistant to the Commissioner for Human Relations.
1929-43. 1 in.
This file, probably only a fragment of a once larger series, includes memoranda, copies of letters sent, drafts of legislative proposals, circulars and other processed procedural material, a photostatic copy of testimony of Mrs. Alice Lee Jemison before a congressional committee, and other records relating chiefly to the legal definition of the terms "Indian" and "wardship" and to the American Indian Federation. During the period covered by these records Daiker was, successively, Chief of the Inspection Division, Junior Assistant to the Commissioner, Assistant to the Commissioner, and Director of Welfare. The records are arranged by subject and thereunder in rough chronological order.
1936-41. 5 ft.
Included are copies of letters sent, memoranda letters received, reports, tables, charts, processed procedural and reference material, minutes, estimates, and term papers that were submitted in classes. A few records are dated before 1936 and a few are dated after 1941. Arranged by broad subject areas or classifications, the most important of which are the following: School Courses, Personnel, Divisions (of the Bureau) and Subjects, Indian Rehabilitation and Relief, Government Agencies, District Coordination and District Set-Up, Memoranda, and Indian Agencies. Within these classifications the records are arranged in different ways, but for the most part they are arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder chronologically.
Arrangement of files is by subject. Shepard held numerous positions, with focus on the fields of forestry, soil conservation, agricultural rehabilitation, and Indian education. Subjects are varied and miscellaneous. (new entry)
Unarranged essentially but with similar subjects grouped together. Series was maintained by Advisor Ward Shepard. Includes principally reports, draft proposals, project material, and printed material along with correspondence, memoranda, and minutes of meetings. The Inter-American Indian Institute (IAII) was established in 1940 to facilitate an exchange of information between countries of the Western Hemisphere with large Indian populations. The U.S. counterpart, the National Indian Institute (NII), was established in 1941 by Executive Order 6930 in the Department of the Interior with support from the Bureau. A sizable portion of the records relate to conferences sponsored by the Institute including the 1940 conference in Patzcuaro, the Inter-American Conference on Indian life of the early 1940's, and the 1948 conference in Cuzco, the first major one of the post-war era. "Final Acts" of these conferences are included. Some records relate to projects undertaken jointly by the IAII and NII such as the one providing protection and services to Papago and Kickapoo Indians living along the Mexican border. There are subject files on individual countries that contain press clippings and reports some of which are statistical in nature. Publications by the IAII and NII are included along with many published by the U.N. (particularly relating to the Point Four Program) and British colonial publications. Many of the records are in Spanish. (new entry)
Unarranged. This was the first major conference of the Inter-American Indian Institute (IAII) held in the United States. Included are copies of the final report; other reports on specific topics covered at the Conference such as the controversy over human rights of the Miskito Indians of Nicaragua; copies of the proceedings of the 8th Conference held in 1980; official policy statements of the Department of State (principally concerning the situation in Central America); statements by the Nicaraguan government; and press clippings. There are also printed publications in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. A collection of administrative records related to the sponsorship of the conference such as mailing lists of invitees, letters sent by invitees unable to attend, and publicity brochures is also included. (new entry)
The position of Chief Finance Officer (the title was later shortened to Finance Officer) was established in 1931. After the position of Chief Clerk was abolished in 1934, the Finance Officer took over responsibility for administrative matters in general. In 1940 his title was changed to Chief Administrative Officer and he was put in charge of the Administration Branch.
1933-42. 1 ft.
Memoranda, letters received, copies of letters sent, reports, tables, mimeographed digests of the Congressional Record, printed copies of bills and acts, and other printed and processed procedural and reference material. The records relate chiefly to proposals for legislation, status of bills, and requests for information concerning legislation. Arranged alphabetically by subject or by type of record and thereunder for the most part chronologically. For other memoranda, see entry 197.
1937-42. 5 in.
Copies of memoranda sent to the Office of the Solicitor of the Department of the Interior, memoranda received from that office, and intraoffice memoranda concerning proposed legislation. Included are some draft. And printed copies of bills. The records concerning a particular bill are together. Arranged by numbers assigned in chronological order to the memoranda sent to the Solicitor.