Native American Manuscript Collections

Collection titles of primary source materials related to Native Americans.

*Collections marked with DIGITIZED MATERIALS have additional digitized items available.

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Armstrong, O.K., Papers, (C4056)
50.75 cubic feet, 2 audio discs, 1 film strip, 9 oversize items
The papers of O.K. Armstrong, a journalist, author, and politician from Springfield, Missouri, contain correspondence, manuscript drafts, subject files, speech material, research notes, and political material.

Ayer, Edward Everett (1841-1927), Reminiscences, 1924, (C2694)
1 volume
The collection contains reminiscences of his first trip away from home, and itinerary across the plains to California, and descriptions of people met, work in the mines, enlistment in the army and subsequent service, and the return home in 1864.


Baldwin, Royal, Account Book, 1858-1877, (C0225)
1 folder
Record of a general merchandise firm in Kennekuk, Kansas. Baldwin was manager of the Kickapoo Indian Agency in 1858. Cancelled checks, letters, and miscellaneous papers.

Bartlett, William W., Lumbering in Chippewa Valley, Wisconsin, in Pioneer Times, 1930, (C2695)
1 volume
The collection contains descriptions of early lumbering events beginning with the Treaty of Prairie du Chien in 1825, Indian troubles, early successes and failures, description of logging camp and operations, persons involved, and the Beef Slough feud and Chippewa Dam fight.

Bent, George Letters, (K0201)
0.02 cubic foot(3 folders, 1 photograph)
The collection contains correspondence and abstracts of letters written by George Bent to George E. Hyde. In addition, a photograph of Bent with his wife, Magpie is included.

Bingham, Johnston Lykins (1800-1876) and Martha Lykins (1824-1890) Collection, 1841-1950, (K0294)
4 folders, 2 volumes
Scrapbooks and other items, chiefly clippings, documenting Mrs. Lykins' promotion of the establishment of the Home for Widows and Orphans of Confederate Soldiers: an account book kept for the Patawatomi Baptist School and Mission, which Lykins, missionary, businessman, mayor of Kansas City, MO, took over from his first father-in-law, Isaac McCoy; an account book by Lykins and Brent; and clippings of material written by Mrs. Lykins, Lykins, and others.

Breckenridge, Thomas E. (1825-1897), Papers, 1894, 1950, (C0691)
5 folders
The papers contain a petition for pension, 1894; family notes, and "The Breckenridge Memoirs" by John Mitchell, 1950.

Briscoe-Reisberg, Mary J., Papers (CG0030)
0.8 cubic feet (6 folders, 13 cassette tapes)
The Mary J. Briscoe-Reisberg Papers includes papers, maps, photographs, and audio cassettes related to the Missouri Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association from 1993 to 2015.

Bullard, James (1848-1925), Diary, 1876-1878, (C0219)
3 folders
Kept by Bullard on a trip from the Dakotas to Mexico. Prospecting, weather, game, Indians, ranches, and Mexicans.


Cannon, B.B., Journal, 1837, (C1946)
1 folder
A day-by-day account of the journey of a band of Cherokee Indians being removed to the West by the U.S. government, written by the conductor of the party, October 13-December 30, 1837.

Chapman, Carl H., Papers, (CA4619)
20.3 linear feet
Papers of a prominent archaeologist and professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Chapman, Eleanor, Papers, (CA4897)
2 cubic feet
Drawings, photographs, and photostats of Indian artifacts and archaeological sites.

Chapman, John A.J., Records, 1845-1863, (C2987)
2 volumes on 1 roll of microfilm
Account book and ledger for mining and smelting operations at Ross Camp and for mercantile operations at Independence, Wayne City, and St. Joseph, Missouri. Memoranda of personal accounts, medical remedies, and farming; surveys; plats; and maps. Notes about the Civil War and jayhawking on the Missouri-Kansas border.

Clapp, Moses E. (1851-1929), Letters, 1907-1918, (C0256)
2 folders
Replies of prominent men to Clapp about invitation received or favor requested from them. Letter from a group of Crow Indians explaining problem on reservation lands; from Theodore Roosevelt about future of Progressive Party; from Roosevelt about shipping bill which President Wilson and Secretary of State Bryan proposed to Congress.

Clark, William (1770-1838), and Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809), Memorandum Book, 1809 (C1076)
1 volume
Journal of a trip from St. Louis, Missouri, to Washington, D.C. It contains the list of debts due by Clark; the trip expenses from St. Louis, Missouri, and Louisville, Kentucky; a memorandum of instruction by Meriwether Lewis with a list of private debts; and memoranda of drafts and transactions with Indian agencies. Microfilm copy available for loan.

Clark, William, (1770-1838), Letter, 1818, (C1545)
1 folder
To William Christy, Jr., St. Charles from St. Louis, Oct. 6, 1818.

Clark, William (1770-1838), Memorandum Book, 1819-1825 (C1077)
1 volume
A public account book of William Clark’s, April 1819-1 March 1825, used while he was governor of Missouri Territory and U.S. Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Microfilm copy available for loan.

Clark, William (1770-1838), Memorandum Book, 1826-1831 (C1078)
1 volume
This book contains rules for Indian agents and lists of 134 drafts drawn between 5 April 1826 and 6 June 1831. Microfilm copy available for loan.

Collier, John B., Letter, 1858, (C0508)
1 folder
To his family in Virginia from northern Missouri, Feb. 28, 1858. Comments on Indian problems, educational facilities in Missouri, family matters, and mention of the "Mormon or Utah war."


DeSmet, Pierre-Jean (1801-1873), Papers, n.d., (C1521)
1 folder
Fragment of article written by Father DeSmet about the early inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley and Indian civilization. Population, agriculture, pottery, use of metals. Refutation of Timothy Flint.

DeVilliers, Marc, La Decouverte du Missouri et L'Histoire du Fort D'Orleans (1673-1728), 1925, (C0886)
1 folder
Printed copy written in French. Early history of Missouri and the founding of Fort D'Orleans. Also partial translation.

Dougherty, John (1791-1860), Letter Book, 1826-1829, (C2292)
1 volume; also available on 1 roll of microfilm
The Dougherty letter book contains letters from Dougherty, fur trader, interpreter, and Upper Missouri Indian agent, to William Clark, superintendent of Indian affairs at St. Louis, various U.S. Army officers, Indian agents, interpreters and fur traders, U.S. War and Treasury Department officials, Missouri politicians, and private citizens.

Dyer, Daniel Burns (1849-1912) Papers, 1866-1913, (K0168)
0.75 cubic feet
The papers contain correspondence, ephemera, clippings, pamphlets, scrapbooks, and photographs related to the Daniel B. Dyer, Native Americans, and Dyer's collection of Native American artifacts.


Elgin, Robert L., Research Collection, 1960-1993, (R1261)
65 folders
These are the research files of a civil engineer, surveyor, and historian from St. James in Phelps County, Missouri. The collection includes reports, scale sketches, and photographs concerning the restoration of various historic sites in Missouri, charcoal iron furnace sites in Missouri, and prehistoric petroglyph and pictograph sites in the Missouri Ozarks.

Emmons, F[rancis] M[arion] (1837-1905), Civil War Letters, 1862-1864, (C2375)
1 folder
Written by a member of Company I, 7th Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, in southern Missouri and Arkansas to his parents and sister Cassie at LaPlata. Mentions his brother Riley, supplies, prices, morale, Indian regiments and rebel forces, burning of steamboats and gun boat, and duel of General Marmaduke and Colonel Walker.


Fort Osage Records, 1808-1815, (K0147)
4 microfilm rolls
Correspondence, reports and other documents found in the National Archives pertaining to the establishment and operation of Fort Osage, near what is now Sibley, Missouri.


Gallaher, William Houston, (1840- ), Journal, 1865, (C3924)
1 volume
The 1865 journal of William H. Gallaher, kept during his journey from St. Charles, Missouri, up the Missouri River to Montana Territory, and while living in southwest Montana.

Godsey, Roy, "Southwestern Missouri Indians," n.d., (C2089)
1 folder
The papers contain a manuscript submitted to the Missouri Historical Review about Southwestern Missouri's Indian population, especially the Osage Indians.

Graves, David William (1837-1918), Autobiography, 1916, (C0158)
3 folders
The autobiography of a Montgomery County, Missouri, farmer, schoolteacher, and Baptist missionary and minister. A donor-compiled index is included.

Gregg, Kate Leila (1883-1954) Papers, 1950s, (K0357)
40 folders
Noted historian Gregg's hand written research notes concerning Fort Osage and the three major routes (the Santa Fe Trail, the Oregon Trail, and the California Trail) to California during the 1800's. It includes personal histories, Indian affairs, the California Gold Rush, Missionaries, various wars, the Walker family and other related subjects.

Grey, John [Ignace Hatchiorauquasha] (ca. 1795-ca. 1843) Collection, 1995, (K1014)
1 volumes
Grey, was an Iroquois Leader, explorer, and mountain man. Manuscript, John Grey: Most Spirited of Mountain Men, written by Ellen Carney.


Hambright, Robert, Letter, 1845, (C3238)
1 folder
The collection contains a letter to John Hambright, Fort Osage, MO, from Fayetteville, AR, May 23, 1845, concerning the emigration of Choctaw Indians from Mississippi to Arkansas; and a newspaper clipping announcing the sale of slaves by Commissioner John Hambright, brother of Robert Hambright.

Hamilton, T.M. “Ted” (1905-2001), Papers, 1922-1984, (C3073)
14 rolls of microfilm
Papers of Saline County, Missouri, farmer and expert on historic and prehistoric weaponry. Correspondence on archaeological and historical topics, as well as personal, business, and local civic affairs. Also includes photographs, notes, organizational materials, publications, and manuscripts on Hamilton’s archaeological interests.

Harmony Mission, Reports, 1825-1827, (C1731)
1 folder
Annual reports to Secretary of War James Barbour from Nathaniel B. Dodge, superintendent, on the Indian School at Harmony Mission, Great Osage Nation. Reports on teachers and other personnel, number of students, amount of Missouri property, expenses, receipts, progress of students, health, and Indian relations.

Howell, Elijah Preston, Diary, 1849, (C1675)
1 volume
The collection contains a diary, May 6-September 24, 1849, of a journey across the plains from Athens, Gentry County, MO, to the Sacramento Valley during the California gold rush. Topics include members of company, description of wagon trains, countryside, wild game, vegetation, provisions, Indians, cholera, travel guides, landmarks, defense, wagon train problems and Mormons.


Indian Census, Missouri Territory, 1817, (C1628)
1 folder
Names of tribes, number of adults and children, towns, roving bands, where situated, type of homes, occupation, diet, and degree of civilization.


Kendrick, M. Slade (1894- ), Papers, 1951-1973, (C0628)
9 folders
Letters written to professor of agricultural economics at Cornell University by his friend, the poet John G. Neihardt (1884-1973), and related items.

Keyes, Willard, (1792-1861), Journal, 1817-1855, (C2748)
3 folders
Travel to Wisconsin and Illinois from Newfane, Windham County, VT, 1817-1820; occupations and experiences on frontier; description of Indians, wilderness, logging operations on Mississippi and Black Rivers; travel from Quincy, IL, to New England by stage, boat, and train with itemized account of expenses, 1852.


Lackey, Walter E., Letters, 1805, 1827, (C3145)
1 folder
The collection contains typed copies of a letter from John B. Treat to Henry Dearborn, 1805, describing Arkansas, the fur trade, Indian trouble, climate, population, and industry of the area; and an inspection report written by C. Groghan from Jefferson Barracks, September 1827.

Lanius, Jacob (1814-1851), Diaries, 1833-1842, (C1147)
0.4 linear feet
Diaries of an itinerant pastor for the Missouri Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church. Concerns church locations, members, revivals, meetings, ministers, and living conditions. Includes an edited transcription, with background information, by Theodore H. Wolff.

Lewis, Ethelbert Wallis, (1815-1855), Letters, 1837-1851, (C1674)
1 folder
The papers contain letters from Ethelbert to his brother, William W[alker] Lewis, of Culpepper County, Virginia, from Missouri. Lewis emigrated from Virginia in 1836. Letters describe Howard County in 1837, the Missouri legislature and Missouri and Virginia politics. Discuss crops, soil fertility, commodity prices, wages, land prices, social life, 1837, Fayette; negro hiring, education, teachers 'salaries; Indian trade, family, and friends.

Lewis, Meriwether (1774-1809), Astronomy Notebook [1805] (C1074)
1 volume
Set of formulae prepared by Robert Patterson of Philadelphia for Lewis to use in determining geographical locations by astronomical observation. Also includes a “sketch given us by Yallept, the principal chief of the Wollah-wollah nation,” and a drawing, probably by Lewis. Microfilm copy available for loan. A use copy of the notebook is also available on CD and online.

Lorimier, Louis, Will, 1808, (C2124)
1 folder
The collection contains a typed copy of the will of Lorimier of the District and Town of Cape Girardeau, Louisiana Territory. Lorimier named as his executor and heir the Shawnee woman with whom he lived, Pemanpich. The will lists names and ages of their six children.

Louisiana Territory, District of St. Charles. Tax Book, 1805, (C1225)
1 volume
List of taxable property within the District of St. Charles for assessment purposes.

Lykins Family Papers, 1841-1866, (K0294)
0.16 cubic feet
The papers contain correspondence, ledger books, and scrapbooks related to the lives and activities of Johnston Lykins, Martha Lykins Bingham, his second wife, and William Lykins, his son.

Lyon, Nathaniel (1818-1861), Letter, 1850 (C0541)
1 folder
Lyon to Hon. G[eorge] A. Tisdale, Sackets Harbor, NY, from Monterey, CA, April 30, 1850. Letter tells of a prospective trip to northern California and Oregon to settle Indian troubles. Mentions the slavery question and local amusements.


Marsh, Elias Joseph, Diary, 1859, (C2599)
1 folder
Account of a journey to the northern reaches of the Missouri River. Describes the departure, route, passengers, river currents, fur trappers, Indians, prairie country, Mormon camp, Sioux City, the wilderness, Fort Pierre Chouteau, hunting and wildlife, Fort Berthold, Fort Union, and Yellowstone River.

Matthew Rankin Walker Papers, (K0211)
.03 cubic feet
The papers of Matthew Rankin Walker consist of correspondence between Walker and several other people between 1830 and 1860.

Menard Sr., Pierre (1766-1844) Collection, 1805-1905, (K0275)
9 microfilm rolls
Microfilm of the Menard incoming and outgoing personal and professional correspondence in the Illinois State Historical Library and the Illinois Historical Survey. Letters deal with Menard's involvement in the fur trade and other businesses. Of particular interest are the letters from his daughter Berenice and her husband Francois Chouteau from their home at the mouth of the Kansas River.

Merrill, Julius Caesar (c. 1843- ), Diary, 1864, (C0371)
3 folders
Typed copy of diary which gives an account of trip from Milwaukee to Boise City, ID, in 1864. Describes the journey over the old Oregon Trail, storms, severity of weather, shortage of food and water for their livestock, scarcity of firewood and wild game food for themselves, difficulties in fording rivers, fear of Indian attack, encounters with Indians wanting to trade, and other problems of wagon train life.

Missouri, Ste. Genevieve. Archives, 1756-1930, (C3636)
1474 folders on 78 rolls of microfilm
French colonial, and territorial records of the District of Ste. Genevieve. Ste. Genevieve County records and court records. A third of the documents are dated 1756-1804; the remainder date from 1805 to 1930. Original documents are in the possession of the Ste. Genevieve County Court.

Moll, Justus R., Maps, 1870, 1915, (C3211)
1 folder
Negative photostat of a map of Greene County, MO, showing roads, Indian trails, villages and mounds, and narrative regarding Indians in Greene County, 1915. Also a copy of a map of the battlefield at Lexington, MO, September 1861, as drawn during court of inquiry in the 1870s.

Morrow, W.I.I. (1802-1876), Papers, 1839, 1852, (C2051)
1 folder
Positive photostat copy of a day by day account of the journey of Morrow, attending physician to a party of emigrating Cherokee Indians, c. 20 February-24 March 1839. Two typescript copies of a diary also included. Copy of 1852 letter from Morrow regarding use of liquor among Seneca Indians near Enterprise, MO.


Neihardt, John G. (1881-1973), Papers, 1908-1974, (C3778)
1.4 linear feet
Correspondence and miscellaneous material of poet John G. Neihardt. Neihardt was most famous for his epic, A Cycle of the West, and Black Elk Speaks. He was poet laureate of Nebraska, literary editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1929-1938, and an instructor at the University of Missouri, 1949-1965.

Neihardt, John G. Papers, (C3716)
9.4 linear feet, 41 video cassettes, 52 DVDs, 57 audio cassettes, 3 CDs, 3 audio discs (558 folders also available on 18 rolls of microfilm)
Correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, newsclippings, audio and video cassettes, and miscellaneous material of a poet. Neihardt was most famous for his epic, A Cycle of the West, and Black Elk Speaks. He was poet laureate of Nebraska, literary editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 1926 to 1938, and instructor at the University of Missouri from 1949 to 1965.

Neihardt, John G. (1881-1973), Ephemera, 1938-1987, (C1267)
0.3 linear feet, 1 audio cassette
The John G. Neihardt Ephemera consists of clippings, newsletters and photographs of tributes to Nebraska Poet Laureate and educator. Also included are letters from Neihardt to Thomas W. Wright, 1957-1973, of Hazelwood, Missouri, and Genevieve Paulson of Craig, Missouri, as well as an audiocassette of Neihardt reading poetry selections.


OSAGE FACTOR Accounts, 1813, (C1558)

1 folder
Accounts of the U.S. Barge OSAGE FACTOR, ascending the Missouri, October 5, 1813, and at Arrow Rock, MO, November 4, 1813. Indian affairs and trade.


Partridge, Edward, Letter, 1837, (C1622)
1 folder
The papers contain a letter to Emily and James H. Partridge, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, from Far West, Missouri, October 12, 1837. Disowned by his family for his Mormon beliefs, he wrote his sister Emily about his ostracism and outlined his faith. Also mentions civil and military officers, crops, wages, prices, need for lawyers, and Indian wars.

Pollock, Thomas (1805-1879), Letters, 1862-1863, (C2570)
1 folder
Letters from the first wagonmaster of the 18th Missouri Infantry, to the members of his family. Letters deal with the Civil War in the South.

Porter, Clyde H. (1889-1958) Collection, 1958, (K0526)
9 folders
Research notes and papers of Porter and his wife Mae Reed Porter, regarding families engaged in the fur trade in the Kansas City area, and the American West. Included are files on the Chouteau Family of Kansas City, the Charbonneau Family, Moses "Black" Harris, and the Thomas Vasquez Family.


Quirk, Patrick J. (1845-1921), Diary, 1865, (C3943)
1 folder
The diary of Patrick J. Quirk relates the details of a trip made in 1865 by railroad and steam-boat from Springfield, Massachusetts, to Yankton, South Dakota, on the way to the Montana Territory.


Saint Mary's Jesuit Mission and College Records, 1832-1967, (K0330)
1 microfilm roll
Records of the Jesuit mission to the Potawatomi Indians located in present Linn County, KS, which moved to present Pottawatomie County, KS and became St. Mary's College (Saint Marys, KS.). Mission and college records, reports sent to superiors, and priests' diaries. Includes early missionary records of births, deaths and marriages in Buchanan, Clay, and Jackson Counties, MO.

Schermerhorn, John Freeman (1787-1859), Papers, 1809-1909 (C0160)
0.4 linear feet
Letters and papers of Schermerhorn and his heirs, located in New York (1809-1840), Indiana (1840-1858), and Missouri (1858-1909). Schermerhorn was a frontier preacher, peacemaker with the Indians, and landowner.

Smith, Stanley C. (1928-1999), Papers, 1951-1971, (C3607)
34 folders
Papers of a newspaper editor, tavern operator, teacher, and close friend of the poet John G. Neihardt. Smith managed one of Neihardt's public speaking tours and the two corresponded regularly for twenty years. The papers consist primarily of letters, but also include records related to the 1965 speaking tour, newspaper clippings, and photographs.

Smith, Thomas Adams (1781-1844), Papers, 1798-1864, (C1029)
1 linear foot on 2 rolls of microfilm
Correspondence, letterbooks, and official papers of Brigadier General Thomas Adams Smith, a professional soldier who served in Florida during the War of 1812 and on the Canadian front protecting civilians.

Starr, Frederick, Jr. (1826-1867), Papers, 1850-1863, (C2073)
20 folders
Starr was a colonizationist, free soiler, and Presbyterian clergyman in Weston, MO, 1852-1855. The collection contains correspondence, broadsides, pamphlets, and clippings on settlement of the Kansas-Nebraska Territories, border conflicts, abolitionism vs. slavery, local politics, Indian affairs, public land sales, claims, and prices, popular sovereignty, squatters’ rights, and religion on the frontier.

Sterett, Smith A. ( -1887), Papers, 1861-1899, (C2074)
5 folders
The papers of Smith A. Sterett contain letters from business associates, friends, and family; business papers; Sterett's Confederate Army discharge; and an elementary spelling book. Sterett was a Montana Territory prospector, Helena, MT, merchant, and Nevada, MO, hardware merchant.

Stuart, J.E.B., Letter, 1860. (C0476)
1 folder
To [William Fitzhugh] Lee, from camp 10 miles above Bent’s Fort, July 16, 1860. Account of raid on small band of Indians in which warriors were killed and a number of squaws, children and pack animals were captured and several soldiers were wounded with arrows. Rumors of other army skirmishes with the Kiowas and Comanches. Cheyennes and Arapahoes very friendly.


[Thurmond], Nic[holas], Letter, 1865, (C2143)
1 folder
Description of Sterling Price's engagement at Boonville, MO, October 6-7, 1864. Price's retreat from Missouri, Oct. 1864. Army camps in Arkansas, the Federals, horror and grandeur of war, news of friends. Thurmond's wounds and his position teaching school on a Choctaw Indian reservation since November 28, 1864.

Townsend, G.S., Letter, 1838, (C2516)
1 folder
The collection contains a photostat of a letter to C.A. Harris, Bureau of Indian Affairs, from Cherokee Agency East, Jan. 25, 1838. Townsend describes his journey as attending physician to a band of emigrant Cherokees from Cherokee Agency East to Cherokee Nation West, a distance of 800 miles.


U.S. Superintendency of Indian Affairs, St. Louis, Records, 1807-1855 (C2969)
33 volumes on 6 rolls of microfilm
Correspondence, account books and treaties with various Indian tribes. Much of the material is to and from Indian agents at the area agencies. The bulk of the material is from the period when William Clark was superintendent. Also included are records of the Missouri Fur Company, 1812-1817. Originals at Kansas State Historical Society.

U.S. Superintendency of Indian Affairs, St. Louis, Records, 1824-1851 (C2970)
10 rolls of microfilm
Papers pertain to surveying of Indian lands, expenses of agencies, establishment of trading posts for the Indians, policy for emigrating Indians west of the Mississippi, depredations by Indians and estimates of costs accrued, negotiations and expenses involved with treaties, transcriptions of various chiefs' speeches and reports on the conflicts between various tribal groups.