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108. Thomas Forsyth to Secretary of War, Rocky Island, 1824 September 30
Collection Description & Creator Information
This collection preserves the files of the law firm of McCarter & English of Newark, New Jersey, for several cases before the United States Indian Claims Commission between 1958 and 1970. These cases are as follows:
Docket 11A, Otoe & Missouria Tribe and the Iowa Tribe... v. U.S.
Docket 79, The Iowa Tribe of the Iowa Reservation in Kansas and Nebraska, the Iowa Tribe of the Iowa Reservation in Oklahoma, James Norris, Roy DeRoin, Murray Campbell, Solomon Ken, Elwood Small and Jacob Doles, Members of and as Representatives of the Iowa Tribe or Nation of Indians...v. U.S.
Docket 79A, The Iowa Tribe of the Iowa Reservation in Kansas and Nebraska, the Iowa Tribe of the Iowa Reservation in Oklahoma, et. al. v. U.S.
Docket 135, The Sac and Fox Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, et. al. v. U.S.
Docket 138, The Iowa Tribe of the Iowa Reservation in Kansas and Nebraska, The Iowa Tribe of the Iowa Reservation in Oklahoma, and James Norris, Roy De Roin, Murray Campbell, Solomon Kent, Elwood Small and Blaine Kent, appearing as the representatives, and on the relation, of the Iowa Tribe or Nation of Indians, and as representatives and on behalf of all of the members thereof, Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, the Sac and Fox Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, The Sac and Fox Tribe of Missouri, Sac and Fox Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, The Sac and Fox Tribe of Missouri, Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, and Edward Mack, Pauline Lewis, William Newashe, Amos Black, Kenneth Youngbear, Charles Davenport, Harry Lincoln, Albert Davenport, Edward Davenport, Percy Bear, and Columbus Keahna, appearing as the representatives of and on the relation of the Sac and Fox of the Mississippi, and as representatives and on behalf of all the members thereof, and together with Charles W. Robidoux, John Connell, Dorothy Gilfillian, Thomas Green, and Thomas Herrick, appearing as the representatives of, and on the relation of the Confederated or United Tribes of Sac and Fox Indians and as the representatives and on behalf of all the Members thereof v. U. S.
Docket 153, The Sac and Fox Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, et. al. v. U.S.
Docket 158, The Sac and Fox Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma v. U.S.
Docket 209, The Iowa Tribe of the Iowa Reservation in Kansas and Nebraska, et. al. v. U.S.
Docket 231, The Sac and Fox Indians of Oklahoma, et. al. v. U.S.
These cases were brought principally on behalf of the Iowa, Sac and Fox, and Omaha tribes and incidentally various other confederations of tribes from the area along the Missouri River, principally in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. Besides documenting the proceedings and outcomes of these important claims cases, the documentary evidence gathered to support these cases forms a rich archive of historical material on each of the tribes involved.
These materials also involve a number of related Indian groups, including the Otoe, Missouria, various bands of Sioux, Winnebagoes, Miamis, Potawatamie, Creek, Seneca, Delaware, Wyandot, Munsee, Chippewas and Osage. These materials, gathered by historians and researchers employed by the firm, reach from 1764 through contemporary reports on use and land values prepared for the presentation of the claims. This has resulted in files of primary materials for tribal groups that are virtually exhaustive for the earlier periods.
While there are documents from the French and Spanish officials in the area in the 18th century, the bulk of the materials found here date to the first half of the 19th century, and principally to exchanges between the Indian groups and officials of the U.S. government. Most of the items come from the records of the National Archives in Washington. Researchers with interests in these tribal groups will find much of interest in this collection. The kinds of material preserved here range from correspondence between U.S. government agents in the Indian areas and those in Washington, excerpts from published works, extracts from contemporary newspaper accounts, to recent scholarly inquiries. There are records of councils, talks between tribal leaders and government agents, journals of treaty proceedings, minutes of gatherings of head men from tribal groups and Indian agents. There are excerpts from Presidential addresses relevant to Indian policy; and from reports of other high ranking government officials.
With unusual frequency the Native American voice is recorded here too. Not only are there letters from tribal leaders to the government, including numerous letters addressed to American Presidents, but there are also the records of speeches and various talks and councils as recorded by government agents on the spot. The Indian voices recorded here include Keokuk, Tai-Mah and Apanos-okimant; Young Mahaskah; Wyandot chiefs; a Winnebago Prophet; and numerous councils of Native American opinion recorded by Indian agency officials.
The non-Indian records were composed by such figures as William Clark, John C. Calhoun, Winfield Scott, Lawrence Taliaferro, Thomas McKenney and Pierre Chouteau. They include much correspondence from or to the various Secretaries of War, and every American President of the period. Although the purpose of gathering these historical documents was to give evidence of Indian occupancy and use of specific lands in specific time periods, the historians gathered every item of historical importance, whatever its content. Researchers will find primary sources in abundance for each of these tribes in these files.
The records do not include any correspondence with the tribes represented or the working papers of the firm relating to these cases.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No appraisal information is available.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Collection is open for research use.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.
- Credit this material:
108. Thomas Forsyth to Secretary of War, Rocky Island; McCarter and English Records on U.S. Indian Claims Cases, WC030, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA(609) 258-6345