Chronicles of Oklahoma

Skip Navigation

Electronic Publishing Center
Oklahoma Historical Society
Chronicles Homepage
Search all Volumes
Copyright 2001
Purchase an Issue

Table of Contents Index Volume List Search All Volumes Home

Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 14, No. 1
March, 1936
REPORT OF GRANT FOREMAN, A DIRECTOR OF THE OKLAHOMA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, TO THE BOARD.

Grant Foreman

Page 3

I present herewith a condensed report of material secured by me from various sources and deposited in the archives of this society. The most of this is in the form of typewritten copies, the originals of which are to be seen in various archives in Washington and other cities. From time to time over a number of years these originals were selected by me and copied by typists under my direction. Afterward the copies were bound and are now in our vault where they are available under the rules of the Society for inspection by persons interested in them.

1. A volume of 402 typewritten pages containing copies of manuscripts in the office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in Washington relating to the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, Delaware, Osage and Quapaw Indians, covering the period from 1831 to 1860. This collection, identified as Volume 1, is entitled "Miscellaneous files from Office of Indian Affairs."

2. A smaller volume of 315 typed pages identified as Volume 2 of "Miscellaneous files from Office of Indian Affairs," contains copies of manuscripts relating to the Creek, Chickasaw and Cherokee Indians.

3. Copies of early manuscripts making approximately 600 typewritten pages. A considerable part of this was acquired by me from a friend in Van Buren, Arkansas, who rescued the originals from the wreckage of an old warehouse; they include bills of lading for goods shipped up the Arkansas River to merchants in the Indian Territory from 1858 to 1862, disclosing the names of many persons identified with the history of that period. The volume includes also copies of miscellaneous documents secured from Washington and covering the period from 1845 to 1865.

Page 4

4. A volume of 470 typed pages, copies of manuscripts in the office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at Washington, D. C., relating to the Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw and other Indians and covering the period from 1830 to 1839.

5. A volume of 291 typed pages being copies of manuscripts in the Office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs relating to the Cherokee Indians from 1830 to 1840.

6. A volume of 381 typed pages, copes of manuscripts in the office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs relating to the Creek and Seminole Indians and covering the period from 1831 to 1840.

7. A volume of 342 pages being copies of manuscripts in the office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs relating to the Osage and Seminole Indians, the Western Superintendency, and to the general subject of schools among the Indians of Oklahoma covering the period from 1829 to 1842.

8. A volume of approximately 200 pages, copies of original manuscripts in the office of the Commissioner of Indian affairs relating to the Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians and covering the period from 1839 to 1859.

9. A volume of 178 typewritten pages being copies of manuscripts in the office of Indian Affairs in Washington relating to treaties and litigation resulting from the claims of loyal citizens of the Indian Territory entitled for "losses sustained during the War of the Rebellion." These papers all bear date from about 1865 to 1867.

10. A volume of 197 typewritten pages, being copies of original manucripts in the office of the Adjutant General in Washington in the files known as "Old Records Division" and "Headquarters of the Army," covering the period from 1839 to 1849.

11. A photostatic copy extending to 245 pages of the "Fort Gibson Letter Book 1834-1836 ", the original of which is in the office of the Adjutant General at Washington.

12. In 1927 while I was engaged in research in Washington, the Board of Directors in session in Oklahoma City through Judge R. L. Williams requested me to compile the records of the early postoffices in Oklahoma, the board having authorized the expenditure of the necessary funds. For this purpose I employed people

Page 5

to help me compile the information from the early records of the postoffice department. This compilation was afterward published in the Chronicles of Oklahoma beginning with page 4 in Volume 6, being the March 1928 number and continuing through the March 1929 number to page 33 of Volume 7, having thus run through five issues of the Chronicles.

13. While I was again in Washington in 1928 the Board at its May session adopted a resolution requesting me to compile the records of the Indians who served in the Confederate Army, and likewise authorized the expenditure of the necessary funds for the purpose. This work was afterwards performed by a force of twenty people employed by me and the result appears in two volumes in the vault of the society covering over 700 pages and more than 13,000 names.

The following material also was selected and typed by copyists employed by me and afterward assembled and filed in the archives of the society:

14. A volume of 57 typewritten pages bearing the title "Extracts from 'The Diary of the Moravian Missions among the Cherokee Indians, 1833, 1834, 1835, 1836, 1837, 1838'," and being copies of the archives in the Moravian Church at Winston-Salem, N. C. These were translated from the German and typed by Miss Adelaide L. Fries, archivist of the Moravian Church at Winston-Salem.

15. A volume of 347 typed pages, copies of manuscripts and newspaper articles selected by me in the State Department of Archives and History of Montgomery, Alabama, relating to the Creek Indians and covering the period from 1831 to 1915.

16. A volume of typed pages copied from the "George Gaines papers" now on deposit and seen by me in the Department of Archives and History at Jackson, Mississippi.

17. A volume of 250 typed pages being copies of original letters relating to the missionary activities of Miss Alice M. Robertson's father, Rev. W. S. Robertson, and grandfather, Rev. S. A. Worcester, and covering the period from 1838 to 1917. These letters were made available to me by the late Mrs. N. B. Moore, sister of Miss Alice Robertson, who furnished a large amount of

Page 6

supplemental material to explain and amplify the letters which appear in this volume in a series of notes prepared by me.

18. A volume of 250 pages, being additional copies of letters from the family of Miss Alice Robertson and a body of material relating to John Ross, Chief of the Cherokee Nation, covering the period from 1836 to 1933.

19. A volume of 255 typed pages, copies of the journals of the International Indian Council held at Okmulgee in the Creek Nation in June 1872, May 1873, May 1875 and September 1875. The originals of these were borrowed by me from the owners and copied for the Society.

20. Two volumes comprising 1145 typed pages being copies of letters written by and to the Rev. Cyrus Byington missionary among the Choctaw Indians from 1820 to 1866. These letters were loaned to me by Mr. E. S. Byington of DeQueen, Arkansas, a grandson of the Rev. Cyrus Byington. They are made more valuable by the addition of 89 pages of footnotes by Peter J. Hudson.

21. A volume of 182 typewritten pages prepared by the late Mr. W. B. Alberty, Cherokee, of Westville, Oklahoma, entitled, "Cherokee Indians, Life and Customs." The value of this material lies in the effort by a Cherokee Indian to picture the life of the Cherokees and is not held out to be of strict historical verity.

22. After I had supervised for five years the classifying and calendaring of the Indian material at Muskogee performed by Mrs. Rella Watts and authority was granted by Congress for the removal of these records to the building of the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City, we prepared inventories of these papers in order to leave a copy with the Superintendent for the Five Civilized Tribes in accordance with the terms of the Act of Congress. This inventory is as follows

23. Inventory of Seminole and Chickasaw records transferred from the office of Superintendent for the Five Civilized Tribes at Muskogee, to Oklahoma Historical Society, and catalogued by the historical society; 384 typewritten pages.

24. Inventory of Creek tribal records transferred from the office of the Superintendent for the Five Civilized Tribes at

Page 7

Muskogee, to Oklahoma Historical Society, and catalogued by the historical society; 701 typewritten pages.

25. Inventory of Cherokee tribal records transferred from office of the Superintendent for the Five Civilized Tribes, Muskogee, Oklahoma, to the Oklahoma Historical Society, and catalogued by the historical society; 264 typewritten pages.

26. Inventory of the Choctaw tribal records transferred from the office of Superintendent for the Five Civilized Tribes, Muskogee, Oklahoma, to the Oklahoma Historical Society, and catalogued by the society; 448 typewritten pages.

27. A volume of 785 typed pages, copies of miscellaneous documents in the office of the Superintendent for the Five Civilized Tribes at Muskogee, and some other documents of historical interest loaned to me by individuals; also a compilation of Choctaws who received their education in advanced schools outside the State of Oklahoma. This compilation was prepared by Peter J Hudson.

28. In connection with these steps for acquiring this material for the historical society, at the request of the Board of Directors I prepared a survey of the historical material in the various Indian agencies in Oklahoma. This survey was made available to members of Congress at the time the bill was under consideration and has since been distributed to historical societies and other learned societies.

29. I discovered in the Library of Congress a file of the Indian Advocate published in Louisville, Kentucky, from 1847 to 1855. This was a Baptist publication which contained a vast amount of descriptive correspondence from the Indian Territory; I secured a photostatic copy of it for our archives where it forms a valuable addition to our historical material relating to the Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes.

30. An autobiography of Mary Ann Lilley, wife of John Lilley, missionary to the Creeks and Seminoles was loaned to me by Judge C. Guy Cutlip of Wewoka. I had it typed and the copy is now in the vault of the historical society.

31. In addition I have secured interviews with a number of elderly pioneers of this country. In some instances I took a

Page 8

stenographer to the home of the subject to be interviewed. In other cases in order to secure these interviews to the best advantage Mrs. Foreman and I asked the subjects to our home where we entertained them and had stenographers present to take down the conversations regarding their recollections of facts and accounts detailed to them by other pioneers long since passed away. Among those interviewed were: Mrs. Edith Walker, granddaughter of Rev. Samuel A. Worcester, Mrs. Frank Swift, Mrs. Sue Rogers, R. P. Vann, Clarence B. Turner, Mrs. N. B. Moore, sister of Miss Alice Robertson, W. H. Balentine of Tahlequah, Mrs. Carrie Breedlove of Muldrow, Oklahoma, and Capt. John West. The five last named have since died but the society is in possession of historical material of great value and interest by reason of the interviews obtained from them. As this is written the venerable Cherokee R. P. Vann is reported at the point of death.

32. During the lifetime of Mr. Thomas Blair I secured a picture of the home of Sequoyah purchased by Mr. Blair's father from Sequoyah's widow, together with a statement and affidavit by Mr. Blair as to the facts establishing this house as Sequoyah's home.

33. Last year I made a trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where I found and made notes of considerable material in the Washington County court house relating to the history of the Cherokee Indians and other early settlers in the country adjacent to the boundary between that state and the Cherokee Nation. These and other miscellaneous notes and copies of diaries and other manuscripts are in the vault of this Society.

This inventory of material secured by me it is hoped, will be helpful to students and others interested, as probably few members of the Society are aware of its existence. As this material of near nine thousand pages was acquired from time to time and temporarily bound, a rearrangement, classification, indexing and rebinding of much of it is greatly needed in order to make it more accessible and therefore more useful to the student. I intend to give this my attention as soon as I can spare the time and necessary funds and help are available.

Grant Foreman.

Return to top


Electronic Publishing Center | OSU Home | Search this Site