Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Seminoles presenting a gift to President Truman

NATIVE AMERICANS

ARCHIVAL MATERIALS AT THE LIBRARY

Prepared by Tammy Kelly

[ Truman Papers | Other Personal Papers | Federal Records | Oral Histories]


HARRY S. TRUMAN PAPERS

PAPERS AS U. S. SENATOR AND VICE-PRESIDENT - Documents related to mining on Indian lands. [8 pages]

PRESIDENT'S SECRETARY'S FILE - Report from Julius Krug entitled "Report to the President on the Conditions of the Navajo Indians" (Subject File-Cabinet-Interior-General), and a letter containing some of President Truman's thoughts on the Iroquois tribe (Personal File-Woodward, Stanley). [15 pages]

OFFICIAL FILE - There are three major files in the Official File pertaining to Native Americans. OF 296 (Indians) contains general information about Native Americans, requests for appointments from Indians and their representatives, and correspondence urging President Truman's support of various bills before Congress. A substantial portion of this file concerns the situation among the Navajo and Hopi tribes, and the Navajo-Hopi Rehabilitation Bill of 1949. OF 6-AA (Indian Claims Commission) contains letters and telegrams in support of the bill creating the Commission and endorsements for committee members. OF 6-C (Office of Indian Affairs) contains material regarding the selection of attorneys for tribes; forms President Truman signed approving attorney contracts, principal chiefs, and trustee commission members for various tribes; and endorsements for the Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. OF 471-B contains information about Sergeant John Rice, a Native American soldier killed in Korea who was denied burial in his hometown cemetery in Iowa. President Truman arranged for him to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. There is extensive commentary from individuals approving and disapproving of his decision. Other files that contain information pertinent to Native Americans include OF 56 (Oil), OF 400 (Alaska), and OF 676 (Treaty of Greenville Celebration Commission). [4,000 pages] President Truman receives Navajo rug from Chief Joe Deerfoot.

PRESIDENT'S PERSONAL FILE - Correspondence accompanying gifts from various Indian tribes to President Truman, and also regarding the United Indian War Veterans organization and the 1948 Indian Centennial of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma. [110 pages]

CLARK CLIFFORD FILES - Material regarding legislation to settle Alaskan Native land claims and President Truman's veto of the Navajo-Hopi Rehabilitation bill in 1949 (S.1407). [12 pages]

PHILLEO NASH FILES - Material regarding housing, business, and farm loans, Social Security and veterans' benefits, the proclamation of American Indian Day, and the tribal attorney contracts issue. Also includes correspondence with various Native American organizations and drafts of legislation and statements before Congress regarding the settlement of Alaskan native land claims. [1,700 pages]

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OTHER PERSONAL PAPERS

ACHESON, DEAN – Reports and correspondence relating to the Commission on the Organization of the Executive Branch of Government’s Committee on Indian Affairs. [400 pages]

BROPHY, WILLIAM AND SOPHIE – Correspondence, reports, and legal documents regarding Native American education, health, land, and natural resources issues. William Brophy was Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1942-1948, but the bulk of the material relates specifically to Pueblo Indians in Brophy’s capacity as their attorney from 1927-1942 and 1948-1962. There is also a series containing information about other Native American tribes and Native American issues in other states. Sophie Brophy, his wife, was superintendent at the United Pueblos Agency, 1935-1942. [100,000 pages]

DOTY, DALE E. – Material relating to Alaskan Native land, fishing, and timber rights and establishment of reservations, tribal attorney contracts, the National Indian Institute, oil and gas leases, and the Navajo Reservation. Some of the documents in the Doty Papers date from the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. [650 pages]

William Brophy with Blackfoot Indians.

GARDNER, WARNER W. – Memoranda and correspondence regarding Native fishing, land, and timber rights in Alaska, and problems with determining these rights so that industry can be developed. Also includes report, “Possessory Rights of the Natives of Southeastern Alaska,” 1946. [500 pages]

HANNEGAN, ROBERT E. – Correspondence related to appointments to the Indian Claims Commission, created in 1946. [100 pages]

McGRATH, J. HOWARD – Correspondence regarding proposed legislation relating to Native Americans, mostly relating to amendments to the Social Security Act. [100 pages]

MYER, DILLON S. – Material relating to withdrawal of Bureau of Indian Affairs functions and their transfer to state/county control, education issues, tribal attorney contracts, and law enforcement issues. Myer was Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1950-1953. [400 pages]

NASH, PHILLEO – Material relating to education of Native Americans, attorney contracts, termination of federal supervision of Native American affairs, Nash’s work with the Association of American Indian Affairs, and other topics. Part of this collection also documents Nash’s work as the Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1961-1966 and contains memos and reports related to trips he took to meet with Native Americans across the country. [22,000 pages]

SPINGARN, STEPHEN – Memoranda and reports pertaining to Navajo-Hopi Rehabilitation Bill. [200 pages]

WOLFSOHN, JOEL – Report from an industrial consultant on Navajo industries, correspondence and reports regarding tribal attorney contracts, withdrawal of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian consultants to the Secretary of the Interior, and the Board of Indian Commissioners. [650 pages]

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FEDERAL RECORDS

RG 220: PRESIDENT’S COMMITTEE ON CIVIL RIGHTS – Material relating to the civil rights of Native Americans and native populations in the dependent areas of Alaska and Hawaii, and government services provided to Native Americans. Includes reports from the Commissioner of the Office of Indian Affairs for 1945-1946, an annual report from the territorial governor of Alaska to the Secretary of the Interior, and testimony before the Committee from the National Congress of American Indians. [250 pages]

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ORAL HISTORIES

CHAPMAN, OSCAR – Secretary of the Interior, 1949-1953. [75 pages]

DAVIDSON, C. GIRARD – Assistant Secretary of the Interior, 1946-1950. [6 pages]

DOTY, DALE E. – Assistant Secretary of the Interior, 1950-1952. [15 pages]

GARDNER, WARNER W. – Solicitor, Department of the Interior, 1942-1946, Assistant Secretary of the Interior, 1946-1947. [5 pages]

McCOLM, GEORGE L. – Soil Conservation Officer, Navajo Reservation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1946-52; Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs Nursery, 1952-57. [30 pages]

Navajo Tribal Council

MYER, DILLON S. – Commissioner, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, 1950-1953. [45 pages]

NASH, PHILLEO – Special Assistant to the President for Minority Problems, 1946-1952, and Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1961-1966. [40 pages]