Skip to main content

Native American history

Early encounters

Early Encounters in North America
This collection "documents the relationships among peoples in North America from 1534 to 1850. The collection focuses on personal accounts and provides unique perspectives from all of the protagonists, including traders, slaves, missionaries, explorers, soldiers, native peoples, and officials, both men and women. The project brings coherence to a wide range of published and unpublished accounts, including narratives, diaries, journals, and letters."

European Views of the Americas
Digital versions of the bibliography European Americana: A Chronological Guide to Works Printed in Europe Relating to the Americas, 1493-1750. Guide to printed records about the Americas written in Europe before 1750. Covers the history of European exploration as well as portrayals of Native American peoples.

Early American Indian documents: treaties and laws, 1607-1789
Firestone KF8202 1979
Arranged by state, this 20-volume collection includes not only treaties, but many other related documents of Indian-European contact. The bibliography of published and unpublished sources at the end of each volume is also useful.

Iroquois Indians [microform]: a documentary history of the diplomacy of the Six Nations and their league
Microfilm 10549
50 reels
Printed guide: Firestone Microforms E99.I7 I765
"Compiled by the D'Arcy McNickle Center for the History of the American Indian at the Newberry Library, Iroquois Indians provides 8,812 reproductions of original documents and records from the early 1600s to the 1920s. Here researchers will discover the minutes of council meetings, treaty conferences and negotiations, as well as reproductions of actual contracts, treaties and agreements."

The Indian Trade in the Southeastern Spanish Borderlands: Papers of Panton, Leslie and Company Archives Unbound

"Comprising the papers of the Panton, Leslie & Co., a trading firm, this collection is the most complete ethnographic collection available for the study of the American Indians of the Southeast. More than 8,000 legal, political and diplomatic documents recording the company’s operations for over half a century have been selected and organized for this collection. From the University of West Florida."

Mission records

Moravian mission records among the North American Indians [microform]
Microfilm 07202
40 reels
Printed guide: Firestone Microforms E99.M9 M672
Material from the Archives of the Moravian Church, whose mission to Native Americans lasted from 1735 to 1900. Consists of letters, diaries, and church registers. Much of the material is in German, but there is also material in English.

Papers of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions
Princeton Theological Seminary Microfilm 3681
858 reels
Printed guide: Princeton Theological Seminary, Reference BV2360.A45 1994
The section on American missions includes material on Native Americans. See http://microformguides.gale.com/BrowseGuide.asp?colldocid=3041000&Page=1

American Indian Correspondence: the Presbyterian Historical Society Collection of Missionaries’ Letters, 1833-1893
Princeton Theological Seminary Microfilm 1989
35 reels
Printed guide: Princeton Theological Seminary, Reference E98.M6 92
"Written by Presbyterian missionaries, these letters describe ministry to thirty-nine Indian tribes across America. Among the topics covered are educational methods, expenses, Indian customs, treaties with the government, and the Indians' reaction to denying their heritage - often a condition of accepting new faith."

American Indian Correspondence: Presbyterian Historical Society Collection of Missionaries’ Letters, 1833-1893 Archives Unbound
"A collection of almost 14,000 letters written by those who served as Presbyterian missionaries to the American Indians during the years from 1833 to 1893."

Sheldon Jackson Manuscript Collection
Princeton Theological Seminary Microfilm 3655
41 reels
Printed guide: Princeton Theological Seminary, Reference BV2570.A2 S5 1996
Jackson was a Presbyterian missionary who worked with Native Americans in the midwest and in Alaska, 1878-1908. See http://libweb.ptsem.edu/collections/ead/jackson_sheldon.html#a6. This collection is available in microfilm at the library of the Princeton Theological Seminary, which also holds the original manuscripts.

US government records

Proquest Congressional U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection
Collection of U.S. Government publications compiled under the directive of Congress. Includes Congressional reports and documents as well as executive agency and departmental reports ordered to be printed by Congress. See also Guide to American Indian documents in the Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1899: a project of the Institute for the Development of Indian Law. Steven L. Johnson. New York: Clearwater Pub. Co., c1977. Firestone Library (F) KF8201.A1J63 which has both a chronological list and a subject index.

Records of the Cherokee Indian Agency in Tennessee, 1801-1835 [microform]
Microfilm 10614
14 reels
Printed guide: Firestone Microforms E99.C5 R426
Reproduces in part 75.19.8 Records of the Cherokee Indian Agency, from the National Archives. Consists mostly of correspondence and fiscal records.

Letters received by the Attorney General, 1809-1870 [microform]: western law and order
Microfilm 10606
11 reels
Printed guide: Firestone Microforms HV8144.M37 L477
"Covers the states and territories of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Dakota Territory, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas and Indian Territory, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Alaska Territory, and Wyoming." See http://www.lexisnexis.com/documents/academic/upa_cis/ 10764_LtrsRecAttyGenWest18091870.pdf

Letters received by the Attorney General, 1871-1884 [microform] : western law and order
Microfilm 10626
63 reels
Printed guide: none?
See above and http://academic.lexisnexis.com/documents/upa_cis/ 1958_LtrsAttyGenWest18711884.pdf

Letters of the agents of the Colorado River Indian Agency, 1879-1914 [Microform]
1070.922
[32 reels?]
Printed guide: none
"Correspondence and records related to the administration of the Colorado River Indian Agency. The materials are arranged chronologically by the tenure of the agent."

The War Department and Indian Affairs, 1800-1824 Archives Unbound
"From 1789 until the Bureau of Indian Affairs was established in 1824, Indian affairs were under the direct control of the Secretary of War. This collection consists of the letters [and other documents] received by and letters sent to the War Department, including correspondence from Indian superintendents and agents, factors of trading posts, Territorial and State governors, military commanders, Indians, missionaries, treaty and other commissioners, Treasury Department officials, and persons having commercial dealings with the War Department, and other public and private individuals."

Native Americans in the West

American West
Contains original manuscripts, maps, ephemeral material and rare printed sources on the American West from the Newberry Library. Cover major themes in the study of the American West, including Native Americans, pioneers, mining, railroads, ranching, and the Wild West in fiction.

Indian wars of the West and frontier army life, 1862-1898 [microform]: official histories and personal narratives
Microfiche 1978
606 microfiches
Printed guide: Firestone Microforms E81 .I624
Reproduces printed books and pamphlets that document military activities on the frontier, including eyewitness accounts, official records and correspondence. See http://academic.lexisnexis.com/documents/upa_cis/2143_InWarsWestUnHist.pdf