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
Throughout the period from the establishment of the Bureau in 1824 until 1907 the basic records of the Bureau were maintained in separate series of incoming and outgoing correspondence. Most of this correspondence was with superintendents, agents, and other field employees of the Bureau; but there was also much correspondence with the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Interior, the General Land Office, Treasury Department officials, officials of other Government agencies, Members of Congress, businessmen, Indians, missionary groups, and private citizens. The correspondence increased progressively over the years.
Each incoming letter was registered and, beginning in 1836, was given a registry number, which was written or stamped on the letter when it was received. (Some of the earlier registers, however, seem to have been compiled at a later date.) The information recorded in the registers varied over the years, but in general it included the date of each letter, the name of the writer; and some indication of the contents and of the handling of the letter within the Bureau. The same information that was entered in the register was normally written on the back of each letter and was referred to as the "endorsement."
The method of registering is significant because the filing arrangement of the records was based in large part on the order in which they were registered. From 1824 through 1880 the register volumes were divided into alphabetical sections. Letters were registered in the appropriate section according to name or some other designation of the writer. In July 1836 the Bureau began to use file numbers. The first letter registered in the "A" section of a register was designated "Al," the second "A2", and so forth. A set of numbers was not used for any definite period of time; the sequence might run for several years, a year, or only part of a year.
In the earlier years the letters were filed in about the same order as that in which they were registered; that is, alphabetically by initial of name or other designation of writer and thereunder chronologically in order of receipt. In 1836 the Bureau began to file letters according to the field jurisdiction (superintendency or agency) or other subject classification to which they related. The pre-1836 letters were later rearranged to conform to the jurisdictional pattern. Originally all the letters received during one year were kept together and thereunder were arranged by name of jurisdiction. All the letters relating to one jurisdiction have now been brought together, and within each jurisdiction and for each year the letters are arranged approximately in registry order (beginning in 1836 almost exactly).
From 1881 until 1907 the Bureau used a different method of registering and filing its incoming correspondence. Letters were registered in strictly chronological order as received, and file numbers were assigned in the order of registry. The records themselves originally were maintained in registry order by the Bureau divisions that handled them. No jurisdictional or alphabetical breakdowns were used. In 1908 the letters were withdrawn from the divisions and consolidated into two groups in the Mail and Files Section. Letters that had been in the custody of the Land Division were kept together, in registry order, under the heading "Land." All other letters were placed in registry order in a general classification designated "Education." Since the registers alone did not provide adequate control of these records, it was necessary to compile name and subject indexes in order to locate letters relating to a particular jurisdiction, person, or subject.
From 1824 until 1886 outgoing correspondence was copied by hand into letter books. Except for letters to the Secretary of the Interior (to the Secretary of War until 1849) and to certain other high officials that after 1838 were copied separately into a series of "Report Books," the copies of outgoing letters were kept in chronological order until 1869. Thereafter the voluminous correspondence made it necessary to copy into two or more letter books simultaneously. These letter books were divided according to general subjects such as land, civilization, and finance -- subjects reflecting the major organizational units of the Bureau. The individual letter books were indexed by name of addressee and to some extent by subject. As a further control, abstracts of the outgoing letters were compiled; these correspond to the registers of letters received. The arrangement of these abstracts varies, but through 1880 it was generally according to jurisdiction and thereunder in chronological order. Thus from 1836 to 1880 the incoming correspondence was arranged by jurisdiction but controlled chronologically by registers. For the outgoing correspondence the pattern was reversed, the arrangement of the copies of letters sent being chronological and the jurisdictional breakdown being reflected in the abstracts. Both chronological and jurisdictional controls were thus preserved.
Beginning in 1881 the abstracts of letters sent, like the registers of incoming correspondence, were arranged in chronological order with no alphabetical or jurisdictional breakdowns. The abstracts were numbered in order, but the letters were not. It is usually possible, nevertheless, to identify and locate letters from the information given in the abstracts. No abstracts were compiled in 1907. Instead the letters were numbered and a register was compiled that indicated the letter book in which a letter bearing a given number could be located. Until 1884 the references given in the abstracts are to the handwritten copies of letters sent; thereafter the references are to press copybooks maintained in the several divisions. By 1886 the practice of making handwritten copies had been discontinued. The divisional press copybooks therefore usually contained the only copies of letters sent that were retained until 1907. After 1881 the abstracts were arranged chronologically and, within each division, the press copies were arranged chronologically. As with the incoming correspondence, it was necessary to compile indexes to locate letters concerning particular jurisdictions, persons, or subjects. Through 1906 references in these indexes were to abstract numbers; and for the year 1907, when no abstracts were compiled, references were to letter numbers. The press copybooks, like the letters received, were consolidated in the Mail and Files aection in 1908.
In addition to the basic serics of correspondence, numerous others are described below. Most of these series consist of documents that were removed from the incoming correspondence and brought together by the Bureau for easier reference.
1824-80. 126 vols. 29 ft.
Registers for the records described in entry 79. The information given for each letter includes name of writer; date it was written; beginning in April 1834, date it was received; place where it was written; a summary of its contents; the jurisdiction or other heading under which the letter was filed; and, beginning in July 1836, the file number assigned to each letter upon its receipt. Beginning in December 1846, when divisions were formally established, the division of the Bureau to which the letter was referred for reply or other action was also noted (for example, "L" for Land Division). Ater April 1834 there may also be references to related records and an indication of the final action taken concerning the letter.
Each volume is divided into alphabetical sections. During 1879 and 1880 two volumes were used simultaneously, one for the first half of the alphabet (A-M) and the other for the second half (N-Z). Letters were entered in the order of their receipt (approximate for the earlier years) in the apnropriate section, usually by the initial letter of the writer's surname. The letters "I" and "J" were combined for registering and filing purposes. Correspondence from certain officials was usually registered under an initial indicating their official titles ("I" for Secretary of the Interior, "A" for Second Auditor, and the like) rather than under a surname that might change frequently. In the early period, however, even correspondence from these officials was more frequently registered under the family name. Correspondence from Indians was often registered under the name of the tribe, and correspondence from businessmen was sometimes entered under the name of the firm with which they were affiliated. Letters from agents and superintendents were usually registered under the name of the individual rather than the name of the jurisdiction. The major exception to this concerns correspondence from Territorial Governors serving as ex officio superintendents, which was usually registered under the name of the Territory. From April to December 1877 correspondence from superintendents and agents was registered under the name of the superintendency or agency.
The registers contain some cross-references to enclosures and to letters registered under a name different from the expected one; these cross-references, however, are incomplete. Many of the letters registered as received are not among the records described in entry 79. Many of them were referred to the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Interior, the Second Auditor, or some other official outside the Bureau. After April 1834 an indication of these referrals was made in the registers. When a letter was withdrawn from the main series of correspondence and filed with some other series or grouping of records such as a treaty file or a special file -- a practice that increased with the years -- a notation was not always made in the register nor was a cross-reference always placed with the correspondence. This is one of the reasons why some registered letters are missing and cannot be accounted for. These registers have been microfilmed by the National Archives as M18, rolls 1-126. For special registers of incoming correspondence, see entries 76-78. For registers of correspondence after 1880, see entry 88.
Feb.-Dec. 1832; May-July 1833. 1 vol. 3 in.
For each letter are given name of writer, date, address, subject matter, and an abstract of the reply or notation of any other action taken. During 1832 the letters were registered by week of receipt, with no alphabetical breakdown; during 1833 they were registered by day of receipt. For the main series of registers of letters received for this period, see entry 75.
1836-64. 1 vol. 2 in.
A register for letters that were omitted from the regular registers of letters received (entry 75). Each entry gives name of writer, date and address of letter, date of registration, file number, jurisdiction or other classification to which it was assigned, a summary of its contents, and sometimes an indication of action taken. This volume, like the main series of registers, is divided into alphabetical sections. The individual letters were registered in order of receipt and in the appropriate section under the surname or official position of the writer. The letters were not segregated but were filed with the main series of incoming correspondence (entry 79).
1875-78. 1 vol. 2 in.
A register of incoming correspondence relating to the U.S. International Exhibition, or Centennial Exhibition, held at Philadelphia in 1876. The correspondence, most of which relates to the exhibit concerning Indians, is filed under the "Centennial" heading of the records described in entry 79. Each register entry gives name of writer, date and address of letter, a summary of its contents, and an abstract of the reply to the letter or a notation of other action taken. Until February 1876 the letters received relating to the Exhibition were registered in the regular registers of letters received (entry 75) as well as in this special volume. Beginning in that month, however, this special register was used exclusively, and a separate filing system was initiated. Letters were still registered alphabetically by initial of the surname of the writer and thereunder in the order of the file numbers assigned to the letters as received. The numbers, how ever, began with 10,000 and continued consecutively through the year 1878. This register has been microfilmed by the National Archives as M234 For letters sent relating to the Exhibition, see entry 86.
Incoming correspondence from all sources -- including agents, superintendents and other employees of the Bureau -- concerning Indian lands, emigration, treaty negotiations, subsistence, annuity payments, conflicts, depredations, claims, traders and licenses, population, education, progress in agriculture, health, employees, buildings, supplies, accounts, other administrative matters, and many other subjects relating to Indians and the operations of the Bureau. These records also include instructions, decisions, authorizations, and other communications from the Secretary of the Interior (from the Secretary of War until 1849); letters from the Second Auditor, the Second Comptroller, and other Treasury Department officials concerning accounts and other financial matters; letters from the General Land Office concerning surveys and the use of the public domain; letters containing copies of military reports and other enclosures from the Secretary of War and Army officers; inquiries and other letters from the President, Members of Congress, and other officials; requests, claims, complaints, applications, and petitions from Indians and private citizens; letters from persons or firms having commercial relations with the Bureau; and other correspondence from persons interested in Indians or the activities of the Bureau. Arranged alphabetically by name of field jurisdiction (superintendency or agency) or other subject heading, thereunder by year, and thereunder in registry order (alphabetically by initial letter of surname or other designation of writer and thereunder chronologically by date of receipt).
The Bureau was not consistent, however, in assigning letters to jurisdictions. Letters relating to an agency for all or part of its existence may be filed under the agency's own name or under the name of the superintendency to which it was responsible. Letters relating to the agencies formerly assigned to a superintendency were sometimes filed under the name of the superintendency even after it had been abolished. When an agency was discontinued because of the removal of the Indians, some of the correspondence relating to the affairs of those Indians for several years may have been filed under the name of the discontinued agency. The pre-1836 letters were not arranged according to jurisdictions until about 1910. The persons performing this work frequently assigned letters to jurisdictions that were not established until much later than the date of the letter and, in some cases, assigned them to "jurisdictions" that never existed. In perfecting the arrangement of these records in the National Archives, many of these artificial jurisdiction headings have been eliminated and the letters placed with the records of more suitable jurisdictions.
In addition to jurisdictions, the Bureau used four subject headings: "Annuity Goods," "Centennial" (see entry 78), "Schools," and "Stocks" (for letters concerning securities and tribal trust funds). There is also a miscellaneous classification for records relating to general policy and administration or which for some reason do not relate to any particular jurisdiction. Records relating to the emigration and land reserves of the Indians of certain agencies and superintendencies are sometimes filed separately from the other records relating to the jurisdiction and are designated "Emigration" or Reserves." These segregated records immediately follow the general records relating to the jurisdiction (that is, records relating to Ohio Emigration and Ohio Reserves follow the records relating to the Ohio Agency). There are, however, many records relating to Indian emigration and land reserves among the general records for the various jurisdictions, including those for which there are segregated records. Records concerning Indian reserves are also among the records of the Land Division (entries 524, 525, 527, 528, and 529). For a complete list of the jurisdictions and other classifications used by the Bureau, see appendix I.
For details concerning the registration of letters, see entry 75. Until July 1836, when the Bureau began to use file numbers, the letters for each year that were registered in one alphabetical section are arranged by date of letter, which does not conform exactly with registry order that was determined by date of receipt of letter. The later letters are arranged according to file numbers and consequently are for the most part in registry order. Only a few of the file numbers assigned during any one period will be found in the records for any one jurisdiction. For example, Nos. 45, 89, and 197 may be the only file numbers under "B" that were assigned to letters relating to the Neosho Agency in a certain period. The other "B" file numbers may be assigned to letters relating to other jurisdictions. In 1859, 1872, and 1873 new sets of file numbers were begun in the middle of the year. The earlier letters are filed first even though their file numbers may be higher than those assigned to letters received later in the year. For the 1873 letters there are duplications in file numbers (there may be two C188's, assigned to letters in the same or in different jurisdictions). Since letters were registered and their file numbers assigned when the letters were received, a letter written at the end of one year may not have arrived at the Bureau until next year; it was thus registered and filed with the correspondence for that year.
A complete citation for a letter consists of the name of the jurisdiction to which it was assigned, the alphabetical section in which it was registered, the file number, and the year received (for example, Winnebago D456-65). For a pre-1836 letter the name of the writer and the date of the letter, as well as the name of the jurisdiction, are necessary to identify it.
Many letters, which the Bureau removed from the main series of letters received, are in other series or groupings of records of the Bureau. These include Special Files (entry 98), Special Cases (entry 102), Executive Order File (entry 17), Treaty Files (entries 103 and 104), Irregularly Shaped Papers (entry 310), Inspectors' Reports (entry 951), Special Series A (entry 126), later correspondence, divisional records, and field records. There are cross-references for many of these removals.
For registers of these records, see entry 75. For earlier correspondence received by the Secretary of War relating to Indian affairs, see entry 1. For later incoming correspondence of the Bureau, see entry 91. For letters sent by the Bureau during the years 1824-80, see entries 84-85. These records have been microfilmed by the National Archives as M234, rolls 1-962. See Creek rolls.
1824-29. 2vols. 5 in.
Registers for the first five letter books described in entry 84. Given for each letter are name of addressee, date, summary of contents, and volume and page of letter book where it was copied. (These letter books, originally marked A, B, C, D, and E and so cited in the registers, are now numbered 1 to 5.) The first register is for the first three letter books and the second register is for the other two. Entries in each volume are arranged alphabetically, usually by initial of surname of addressee but sometimes by an initial denoting his official position or tribal affiliation. Within each alphabetical section the entries are arranged in rough chronological order. Some of the entries for letter sent to the same person were grouped together. No registers are known to exist for the years 1830-38, inclusive. For later registers (abstracts) of outgoing correspondence, see entries 81 and 82.
1839-41. 2 vols.
Registers for part of the outgoing correspondence described in entries 84 and 85. Each entry gives name of addressee, date of letter, and an abstract of its contents. The individual entries are duplicates of those in the main series of abstracts described in entry 82. Arranged by district (superintendency), thereunder by tribe, and thereunder chronologically.
1839-80. 28 vols. 6 ft.
Registers for most of the outgoing correspondence described in entries 84 and 85. Given for each letter are name of addressee, date, and an abstract of the contents. Beginning in 1847 the volume number and the page number on which the letter was copied were cited; and, beginning in 1876, the division of the Bureau that handled the letter was also noted (for example, "F" for Finance Division).
The arrangement within volumes varied over the years. In volumes for the years until 1855 the entries were arranged by superintendency and thereunder by tribe. Beginning in 1855 there is a breakdown by agency for each superintendency and thereunder a breakdown by tribe. By 1857 the volumes were arranged for the most part by superintendency and thereunder by agency. The agencies within each superintendency were usually arranged alphabetically. In addition to the sections for the different jurisdictions, there were some subject headings such as "Schools" and "Annuity Goods," and a miscellaneous classification. Beginning in 1875 the arrangement within volumes was alphabetical by the jurisdictions used by the Bureau in filing its general incoming correspondence (entry 79). In all volumes, entries for the individual letters for each heading are arranged chronologically.
The individual entries for the years 1839-41 are duplicated in the abstracts described in entry 81. For earlier registers of letters sent, see entry 80; for later registers, see entry 94.
May 4-22, 1886. 1 vol. 1/2 in.
Gives names and page references for addressees of letters in volume 197 of the series of handwritten copies of letters described in entry 84. Arranged alphabetically by initial letter of surname or position of addressee.
1824-86. 192 vols. 44 ft.
Handwritten copies of the general outgoing correspondence of the Bureau. The letters include instructions to superintendents, agents, and other employees; acknowledgments of and replies to incoming correspondence; reports to the Secretary of War; and notices of appointments. Beginning in 1838 the letters to the Secretary of War (to the Secretary of the Interior after 1849) and to certain other officials, including chairmen of congressional committees, were copied in a separate series of volumes called "Report Books" (see entry 85).
Until 1869 the letters were copied in chronological order. Beginning in that year two or more books were used simultaneously. Letters relating to certain broad subjects (such as land, finance, and civilization) were copied into different books, but within each book the arrangement continued to be chronological. The first 188 volumes, numbered consecutively, are for the period from 1824 until 1884. There are no volumes numbered from 189 to 196. The last four volumes, numbered from 197 to 200, all relate to depredation claims and are for the period from July 1885 until May 1886. Most of the volumes are indexed by name of addressee and, to some extent, by subject. There are also marginal notations of the page numbers for other letters to the same person. The records described in this entry (until 1881) have been microfilmed by the National Archives as M21, rolls 1-166.
Beginning in 1870, in addition to the handwritten copies, press copies were also made of the outgoing correspondence described in entry 96. These press copies continued to be made until 1908.
For earlier outgoing correspondence of the Secretary of War relating to Indian affairs, see entry 2. For special series of letters sent, see entries 86, 252, and 926. For incoming correspondence, see entries 79 and 91. For abstracts and registers of outgoing correspondence, see entries 80-82.
1838-85. 53 vols. 12 ft.
Handwritten copies of letters sent by the Bureau, primarily to the Secretary of the Interior (to the Secretary of War until 1849). There are also letters to the President, chairmen of congressional committees, and certain other high officials; but the later volumes consist almost entirely of letters to the Secretary of the Interior. These letters were copied in these volumes only and are not duplicated in the main series of outgoing correspondence (entry 84). These volumes, in addition to formal reports, also contain requests, transmittals, replies to inquiries, and other correspondence. Beginning in 1876 there are marginal references to related incoming correspondence, and beginning in 1877 there are notations of the division of the Bureau handling the letter (for example, "L" for Land Division). Arranged chronologically. Until 1866 the volumes were indexed by name of addressee and, to some extent, by subject. These records have been microfilmed by the National Archives as M348, rolls 1-53.
For earlier correspondence sent by the Bureau to the above-named officials, see entry 84. For later correspondence to the Secretary of the Interior, see entry 96.
1876-77. 1 vol. 1 in.
Press copies of letters sent concerning Bureau participation in the United States International Exhibition, or Centennial Exhibition, held at Philadelphia in 1876. The letters relate to procurement and transportation of articles for exhibit, Indian delegations, employee matters, disposition of exhibit items, accounts, and other subjects. Arranged chronologically. There is an alphabetical index to names of addressees and to names of persons and companies referred to in the letters. There are also notations on the letters to indicate page numbers of other letters sent to the same person. Letters received concerning the exhibition are in the general series of letters received by the Bureau (entry 79).
1881-1907. 37 vols. 10 ft.
Index entries give only the years and file numbers of letters described in entry 91 and relating to field jurisdictions of the Bureau (chiefly agencies and schools), other Government agencies, persons and firms, and many other subjects. The indexes are divided into five chronological periods: 1881-86, 1887-92, 1893-99, 1900-1906, and 1907. Within each period the entries are arranged by subject in rough alphabetical order. Entries relating to agencies and schools and some of the other entries are subdivided into subjects arranged in alphabetical order. Since only the year and file number of a letter are given in the index, it is usually advisable to consult the registers of letters received (described in entries 88 and 89) for more detailed information about a letter before searching for it.
1881-1907. 144 vols. 40 ft.
Registers for letters described in entry 91. Given for each letter are name and address of writer, date it was received, date it was written, an indication of its subject matter, and its file number. There are also a notation of the division of the Bureau to which each letter was referred for handling and references to related records, and sometimes there is an indication of the action taken. Letters were registered in these volumes chronologically in order of receipt. File numbers were assigned, beginning with each year, in the order in which the letters were registered. Beginning in June 1905, letters from the Secretary of the Interior were registered in separate volumes (entry 89), and only the file numbers assigned to these letters were indicated in the main series of registers. Many letters were registered that were not filed with the series of incoming letters (entry 91). Some were referred to the Secretary of the Interior, the Second Auditor, or some other official outside the Bureau. An indication of such a referral was usually made in the register. When a letter was withdrawn from the main series of incoming correspondence and filed with some other series of records of the Bureau, a notation may or may not have been made in the register and a cross-reference placed with the correspondence. Since the registers are arranged chronologically, alphabetical indexes (entry 87) were compiled to help locate letters relating to particular subjects.
1905-7. 3 vols. 10 in.
Given are date of each letter, its file number, subject matter, references to related records, the division to which the letter was referred for handling, and occasionally an indication of the action taken. Full entries for these letters are given only in these special registers. In the main series of registers (entry 88), in which earlier correspondence from the Secretary is registered, only the file numbers assigned to these letters are given. The letters are not segregated but are part of the main series of incoming correspondence (entry 91). Arranged chronologically in order of receipt of letter.
1883-84. 1 vol. 2 in.
Given for each letter are name and address of writer, date it was received, subject matter, an indication of the action taken, and sometimes a summary of the endorsement. The file number of the letter or an indication of its referral from the Department of the Interior or elsewhere may also be given. Many of these letters are noted in this register only and not in the main series of registers and indexes (entries 88 and 89). The letters were referred to offices outside the Bureau. Arranged alphabetically by the first letter of the writer's surname and thereunder in rough chronological order.
1881-1907. 1,559 ft.
Correspondence from agents, special agents, inspectors, school superintendents, and other employees of the Bureau relating to Indian education and civilization, health and medical care, population, subsistence, annuity payments, land allotments and sales, leases, rights-of-way, inheritance and heirship, trespasses, mineral and timber rights, Indian police, traders, financial matters, buildings and equipment, employees, and many other subjects. There are also inquiries, decisions, and instructions from the Secretary of the Interior; inquiries, reports, and other correspondence from the President, the War Department, the Second Auditor and other Treasury Department officials, Congressmen, and other officials; claims, complaints, inquiries, petitions, and other correspondence from Indians, local officials, and private citizens; accounts and other communications from persons and firms having commercial relations with the Bureau; and correspondence from persons interested in Indians or the activities of the Bureau.
The records are divided into two broad classifications: "Land" and "Education." The letters filed under the heading "Land" are those that were maintained by the Land Division until the records were consolidated in 1908. All other letters are filed under the heading "Education." Within each classification the records are arranged by year and thereunder by file number. File numbers, beginning each year with 1, were assigned to the letters in order as they were registered (see entry
88) and with no regard for their content. And so there is only one letter received in 1886 bearing the file number 2344; it is filed under "Education." The next letter, 2345, is filed under "Land."
Certain types of incoming correspondence, particularly authorities from the Secretary of the Interior and claims and contracts, were registered and maintained separately from the main series of letters received (see entries 110 and 112). Many letters have been withdrawn from this series and filed with other records of the Bureau, including Special Cases (entry 102), Irregularly Shaped Papers (entry 310), Special Series A (entry 126), Executive Order File (entry 107), divisional records, and later records. Some types of letters, particularly certain monthly and quarterly reports submitted by agents, were destroyed by authority of Congress.
For indexes and registers, see entries 87-90. For earlier letters received by the Bureau, see entry 79 For letters sent, see entries 84, 85, and 96. Beginning in August 1907, letters received and letters sent were filed together in the central classified files (entry 121).
1881-1907. 18 vols. 5 ft.
Indexes to the abstracts (entry 94) for the outgoing correspondence of the Bureau (entry 96). For the year 1907, instead of the abstracts, there is a register (entry 95). Index entries give years and abstract numbers (letter numbers for 1907) of the letters sent to certain persons and of the letters relating to certain subjects and field jurisdictions (mainly agencies and schools) of the Bureau. The indexes are divided into three chronological periods: 1881-90, 1891-99, and 1900-1907. Within each period the entries are arranged in rough alphabetical order. Entries concerning agencies and schools and some of the other entries are subdivided by subjects arranged in alphabetical order Beginning in 1900, letters sent to the Department of the Interior were indexed in a separate volume (entry 93).
1900-1907. 1 vol. 3 in.
Entries give years and abstract numbers (letter numbers for 1907) of letters relating to particular agencies and schools and to other subjects. The abstracts of the letters sent to the Secretary during this period are indexed in this volume only and not in the main series of indexes (entry 92). The abstracts are not segregated but are with those described in entry 94. The index is divided into two alphabetical breakdowns, one for agencies and schools and one for personal names and other subjects. The entries relating to agencies and schools and some of the other entries are subdivided by subjects arranged in alphabetical order.
1881-1906. 81 vols. 19 ft.
Registers for most of the press copies of outgoing correspondence described in entry 96 and for part of the correspondence described in entries 84 and 85. Entries give for each letter the name of addressee, date, subject, and an indication of the division that handled it. The letters were numbered in order as they were entered in the volumes. Until 1884 the volume number and page number for the handwritten record copy of the letter (see entries 84 and 85) were given. These abstracts, however, can also be used to locate letters in the press copybooks. Arranged chronologically. Usually the letters handled each day by each division of the Bureau are grouped together. Occasionally the letters handled by a division over a period of several days are entered together. It is usually advisable to consult the subject indexes (entries 92 and 93) for references to letters concerning a particular jurisdiction, person, or other subject and then to consult these abstracts for information concerning the letters and their ex act locations in the press copybooks. These locations can be determined by the notations of the dates of the letters and the division that handled them.
Jan.-Aug. 1907. 1 vol. 1 in.
A register of outgoing correspondence of the Bureau (entry 96) for the period between the discontinuance of the abstracts of letters sent (entry 94) and the adoption of the decimal classification system for correspondence (see entry 121). This register gives only the number of the letter book containing each letter. In locating correspondence concerning a particular subject, it is necessary to use the indexes described in entries 92 and 93 in order to obtain the numbers assigned to pertinent letters. Arranged numerically by letter number.
1870-1908. 2,668 vols. 333 ft.
Press copies of the outgoing correspondence of the Bureau (in letter books). Included are instructions to agents, school superintendents, inspectors, and other employees of the Bureau; reports to the Secretary of the Interior; and acknowledgments and replies to letters received. The letter books, which were originally maintained by the various divisions, were consolidated in the Mail and Files Section in 1908. As many as three letter books may be bound into a single volume. Arranged by division that handled the letters and thereunder chronologically. The letter books contain inadequate indexes to names of addressees and to subjects of letters. Therefore, in order to locate letters concerning specific subjects, it is best to consult the indexes and abstracts described in entries 92-95. For earlier letters sent, see entries 84 and 85; for later letters sent, see entry 121. For related incoming correspondence, see entries 79 and 91.
Listed below are the number of letter books for each division and the years represented:
Division Vols. Years
Land 528 1870-1908
Civilization 52 1870-85
(Volumes 31-52 are erroneously labeled "Depredations.")
(Included are three volumes of segregated reports to the Secretary of the Interior, 1890-91.)
Finance 777 1870-1908
(Included are some segregated volumes relating to purchases, remittances, and school expenditures.)
Accounts 286 1876-1908
Medical and Educational 6 1876-81
Education 352 1885-1908
Miscellaneous 27 1885-1908
1898-1908. 38 vols.
Arrangement is chronological. These records are in press copy format. Each volume has an index at the beginning which is alphabetical by first letter of entry. Later volumes often have blank indexes. The records relate to all manner of subjects relating to dealings with Indians in this area, especially with the Five Civilized Tribes. (new entry)
n.d. 1 vol. 1 in.
Gives the names of the persons or tribes concerned and the subjects for each of the Special Files described in entry 98. There are also citations to many of the letters that were removed from the general incoming correspondence (entries 79 and 91). Arranged numerically by number assigned to each file. See Special Files List
ca. 1807-1904. 38 ft.
Correspondence, reports, accounts, affidavits, and other records relating chiefly to claims and investigations. The claims, made by both whites and Indians, were against Indians, the Bureau, and private citizens for money due for goods or services rendered, depredations, treaty obligations, and the like. The investigations were mainly concerned with the conduct of Bureau employees. The Special Files contain both records removed from the general incoming correspondence of the Bureau (entries 79 and 91) and other records. Cross-references were usually placed in the incoming correspondence to indicate the removal of records.
There are 303 Special Files, each relating to a particular subject or, in a few cases, to several subjects. The inclusive dates given above are those of the individual documents within the files. The Special Files probably were not created until sometime after 1840. Within each Special File the records that were removed from the general incoming correspondence are arranged in the same manner as those in the main series. Most of the records are for the 1824-80 period when correspondence under each file heading was arranged by year, thereunder alphabetically by initial letter of surname or other designation of writer, and thereunder by file number or chronologically by date of letter. The arrangement varies for records that were never part of the general correspondence. These records have been microfilmed by the National Archives as M574, rolls 1-85.
See Special Files List
n.d. 1 vol. 1/2 in.
Given for each case (see entry 102) are the subject and usually the agency or area concerned. Arranged by case number.
n.d. 1 vol. 1/2 in.
An alphabetical index to subjects of Special Cases described in entry 102 and to names of agencies or areas concerned.
ca. 1849-89. 2 vols. 4 in.
An incomplete register of letters removed from the general incoming correspondence (entries 79 and 91) and filed with Special Cases 1-146 (see entry 102). Entries give for each letter the name of the writer, its date, and its file number (and for 1824-80 letters, the jurisdiction). Also given are the name of addressee, date of letter, and letter book citation for out going correspondence (see entries 84, 85, and 96) sent in answer to the incoming letter. The dates given above in the series title are the inclusive dates of the letters registered. The register seems to have been started about 1880. Arranged by case number and thereunder the case entries are arranged in rough chronological order.
1821-1907. 185 ft.
Cases concerning land disputes. Most of the records within the cases were removed from the general incoming correspondence (entries 79 and 91) and brought together by subject for easier reference. The cases relate to matters such as railroad rights-of-way, establishment of reservations, boundaries, trespasses, water and grazing rights, timber contracts, allotments, leases, and sales. These cases were originally kept in the Land Division, but in 1908 they were transferred to the general records maintained in the Mail and Files Section. The inclusive dates given above are those for individual documents within the files. The first Special Cases, as such, were probably not created until about 1880.
There are 203 Special Cases, each relating to a particular subject. The individual documents within a case are usually arranged in basically the same mariner as the main series of letters received. The pre-1881 records are arranged by jurisdiction, thereunder by year, thereunder alphabetically by the first letter of the surname or other designation of the writer, and there under by file number or chronologically by date of receipt. The post-1880 records are arranged by year and thereunder by file number (chronologically by date of receipt). A cross-reference was usually placed in the general correspondence to indicate the removal of a document to a Special Case. For finding aids for the Special Cases, see entries 99-101.
1801-68. 5 ft.
Journals of treaty commissioners, proceedings of councils, reports, and other records relating to the negotiation of Indian treaties that were ratified by the Senate. Sometimes included are copies of the treaties. (The originals of ratified treaties were filed with the State Department, which proclaimed them in effect; they are now in Record Group 11, United States Government Documents Having General Legal Effect.) Most of these records have been removed from the incoming correspondence of the Bureau (entry 79) and that of the Secretary of War relating to Indian affairs (entry 1). There are usually cross-references to indicate these removals. Arranged by treaty numbers assigned by the State Department, the equivalent of a chronological arrangement by date of signing of the treaty. Other records relating to ratified treaties are among the general incoming and outgoing correspondence of the Bureau and that of the Secretary of War relating to Indian affairs (entries 1, 2, 79, 84, and 85) and among the Irregularly Shaped Papers (entry 310). National Archives Special List No. 6, "List of Documents Concerning the Negotiation of Ratified Treaties," cites documents in various series of records of the Bureau and among the records of the Indian Division of the Department of the Interior. For records relating to unratified treaties, see entry 104.
1821-69. 2 ft.
Originals and copies of treaties, journals, proceedings of councils, reports, correspondence, and other records relating to Indian treaties that were never ratified by the Senate. Some of these treaties were made between Indian tribes without the United States as a signatory. Most of these records have been removed from the general incoming correspondence of the Bureau (entry 79). There are usually cross-references to indicate these removals. Arranged chronologically by date of treaty. Other records relating to the negotiation of treaties are in the general incoming and outgoing correspondence of the Bureau (entries 79, 84, and 85). For records relating to ratified treaties, see entry 103.
1824-89. 5 in.
An incomplete set of these documents, presumably kept for reference purposes. Arranged chronologically. Included also is an incomplete list of treaties giving for each the volume number and page number where it is printed in the Statutes at Large. There is also a set of copies of treaties among the records of the Land Division (entry 637). For records relating to the negotiation of treaties, see entries 103 and 104.
6 vols. 5 in.
Records of proceedings of commissions that were sent to negotiate with Indians or to execute provisions of treaties, especially those concerning adjudication of claims and making payments to Indians. There is a journal for a commission that was sent to negotiate with the Indians west of the Mississippi, 1824-25, which includes some 1833-36 records of land surveys relating to claims in Arkansas and records of commissions that were sent to execute treaty provisions with the Potawatomi, Menominee, Winnebago, and Miami Indians, 1837-38. Arranged chronologically.
1850-92. 2 ft.
Correspondence, maps, and other records concerning Executive orders relating to Indian reservations. In many cases the original Executive orders are included. These orders usually either set aside public land for reservations or restored land to the public domain that had previously been set aside for Indian use. The records include the recommendations of superintendents, agents, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and the Secretary of the Interior and also reports of survey and other records relating to the land concerned. Most of these records have been removed from the general incoming correspondence of the Bureau (entries 79 and 91). Arranged chronologically by date of Executive order. Included with the records are an index to the orders (arranged by name of State or Territory and thereunder by name of reservation) and some other reference material concerning them. Most of these records have been published in Executive Orders Relating to Indian Reservations, 1855 to 1912 (Washington. GPO, 1912). There are other records relating to Executive orders among the general incoming and outgoing correspondence of the Bureau (entries 79, 84, 85, 91, and 96); in Record Group 49, Records of the Bureau of Land Management (formerly General Land Office); and in Record Group 11, United States Government Documents Having General Legal Effect.
1880-1907. 4 vols. 1 ft.
Alphabetical indexes to the records described in entry 110. Entries give the file numbers assigned to authorities relating to the field jurisdictions of the Bureau (mostly agencies and schools), and to persons, tribes, and other subjects. The entries for jurisdictions are arranged alphabetically by subject. There are two indexes, one for the years 1880-1903 and one for the years 1903-7. In the second index, the agency and school entries are separated from the other subject entries. Authorities are indexed in these volumes only and not in the main series of indexes of letters received by the Bureau (entry 87). For registers, see entry 109.
1880-1907. 13 vols. 4 ft.
Registers of the authorities described in entry 110. Each entry gives authority number, date of receipt, date of authority, name of agency or other unit concerned, nature of the authority, references to related records (mainly incoming correspondence), an indication of the division handling the matter, and date of action (usually the date on which a letter was sent to the appropriate agent or other official informing him that the authority had been granted). Essentially the same information is recorded on the endorsement of the authority. Authorities were entered in these registers only and not in the main series of registers of letters received (entry 88) or in the registers of letters received from the Secretary of the Interior (entry 89). Arranged by authority number, which in effect is in chronological order. For indexes, see entry 108.
1880-1907. 89 ft.
Letters from the Secretary of the Interior or his representative authorizing actions that almost always concerned expenditures. Authorizations were given for making purchases, hiring employees, settling debts, advertising, paying claims, and other actions. Arranged by number assigned to the authority in the order in which it was received. These authorities were registered and indexed separately from the other incoming correspondence (see entries 108 and 109) and were assigned their own series of numbers. The letter sent to the Bureau by the agent or other person making the request for the authority -- and referred to the Secretary -- was often returned to the Bureau with the authority. Most of these letters have been returned to their original place in the main series of letters received by the Bureau (entry 91). Notations of their file numbers were usually made in the registers and on the endorsements of the authorities. The Commissioner's letter transmitting the request for the authority was less frequently returned, except after April 1907 when the Department began stamping the approval of the request on the Commissioner's letter and returning it rather than writing a separate letter of authority.
Some of the authorities have been removed and placed with other series, particularly the Special Cases (entry 102). There are usually cross-references to indicate these removals. Before 1880 authorities were filed with the main series of letters received (entry 79). Beginning in August 1907 they were filed with the central classified correspondence (entry 121).
1877-1907. 6 vols. 1 ft.
Indexes to the incoming correspondence that constituted claims against the Bureau and contracts made by officials of the Bureau with other persons. Index entries give the file numbers assigned to claims and contracts under headings for persons, companies, agencies and schools, geographical locations, and other subjects. The incoming correspondence that was registered and indexed as claims and contracts was not entered in the main series of registers and indexes of letters received (entries 75 and 87-89). There are two sets of indexes, one for the years 1877-1900 and the other for the years 1900-1907. Each set is arranged alphabetically by subject, with subheadings for the agency and school entries and for other important entries. In the second set, the agency and school entries are segregated from those for other subjects. The Bureau discontinued the agency and school entries in 1904, but it continued the entries for other subjects until 1907 when it adopted the decimal classification system (see entry 121). For registers, see entry 112. Copies of contracts and earlier finding aids for contracts and claims are among the records of the Finance Division (entries 885 and 886). The claims for this period were destroyed by authority of Congress while the records were still in the custody of the Bureau. For later claims, see entry 892.
Card index contained in 6 drawers.
Arrangement is by agency and thereunder alphabetically by name of claimant. Information on the different cards varies by format but generally includes name of claimant, case number assigned, allotment charged, and date and amount of any payment made. (new entry)
Card index contained in 10 drawers.
Arrangement is alphabetical by name of grantor. Information on the different cards varies by format. (new entry)
Card index contained in 5 drawers.
Arrangement is alphabetical by name of grantee. Information on the different cards varies by format. (new entry)
1877-1907. 60 vols. 17 ft.
Registers of incoming correspondence that constituted claims against the Bureau and contracts made by officials of the Bureau with other persons. The register entries varied somewhat over the years; but an entry usually gives name of claimant or contractor, name of the person presenting the claim or contract (often an Indian agent or an attorney), name of the agency or other jurisdiction concerned, nature of the claim or contract, amount of money involved, and an indication of the action taken. The claims and contracts relate to the furnishing of supplies, advertising, transportation, salaries, damages, and other matters. Claims and contracts were entered in these registers only and not in the main series of registers of incoming correspondence (entry 88). Arranged by file number assigned to the letter in order of receipt. For indexes, see entry 111. There are copies of con tracts and earlier finding aids among the records of the Finance Division (entries 885 and 886). The claims for this period were destroyed by authority of Congress while the records were still in the custody of the Bureau. For later claims, see entry 892.
1836-87. 9 vols. 2 ft.
In these volumes were copied commissions, treaties, regulations, reports, memoranda, circular letters, and public notices; lists of employees, schools, contracts, land locations, patentees, claimants, and population figures; statements of funds remitted to agents, superintendents, and other persons; other financial information; and other types of information kept as memoranda by the Bureau. Most of this information is for the years 1836-51. The last two volumes, for the years 1852-87, contain chiefly copies of commissions but Volume 8 also includes statements of funds remitted. Arranged in rough chronological order. In each volume is an alphabetical index to names of persons and subjects.
1900-1908. 1 vol. 1 in.
Press and carbon copies of outgoing correspondence signed by the Chief of the Files Division. Most of the letters consist of reports to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs concerning conditions in the Division. Arranged chronologically.
ca 1900. 1 vol. 1 in.
Press copies of instructions for compiling the indexes to letters received (entry 87), letters sent (entry 92), letters sent to the Department of the Interior (entry 93), claims and contracts (entry 111), and authorities (entry 108). The instructions are for the indexes used during the 1900-1907 period.
1824-32. 1 vol. 1 in.
Contains chiefly information, reported at different times, concerning schools supported from the Civilization Fund -- a permanent fund established in 1819 to be used for the education of Indians. An individual entry may give year of report, year of school's establishment and by whom it was established, location of school, annual allowance from the fund, number of pupils, number of teachers and their families, amount of property, and other information. Included are other statements concerning schools and allotments of funds. Also included are copies of a circular issued in 1819 and regulations issued in 1820. Arranged by name of school. There is an alphabetical index to names of schools and their locations.
ca. 1851-60. 1 vol. 2 in.
This record gives name and address, volume numbers sent, dates of receipt (if known), and sometimes other pertinent information for each recipient of volumes of Schoolcraft's work, which was prepared under the direction of the Bureau. Arranged by classification of persons (such as Senators Representatives, and correspondents) and of institutions (such as libraries and foreign ministries) and thereunder for the most part alphabetically by name of person or institution.
1 vol. 1 in.
Contains chiefly newspaper clippings, but also includes copies of proclamations, petitions, legal opinions, correspondence (mainly from the Department of Justice), and congressional documents. The clippings and other items concern a wide range of subjects, but many of them relate to legal matters. Arranged chronologically.
n.d. 1/2 in.
Consists of references to records, mainly to incoming correspondence for the years 1831-32 (see entry 79). Entries give for each letter its file designation, it's date, names of writer and addressee, and an abstract of its contents. Arranged chronologically.
ca. 1823-60. 8 in.
Photostatic and typed copies of records of the Bureau -- mainly copies of letters received (entry 79). They relate to the Black Hawk War, the Seminole emigration., Texas, California, James S. Calhoun, the Pima Special Agency, and other subjects. At least some of the copies were made for Annie H. Abel, who did historical research in the Bureau about 1913. Included with these records are some copies of maps that were sent to the Library of Congress in 1925. Arranged by subject or by jurisdiction and thereunder for the most part chronologically.
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