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George L. Nelson papers

Creator:
Nelson, George L.  Search this
Names:
Speck, Frank G. (Frank Gouldsmith), 1881-1950  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
Culture:
Rappahannock  Search this
Powhatan  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Letters
Writings
Articles
Speeches
Date:
1920-1925
Summary:
The George L. Nelson papers consist of documents belonging to Chief Nelson and left in the posession of his daughter Waneta Swain. The bulk of these documents relate to the work done by Chief Nelson in establishing the Rappahannock Indian Association in 1922 and the activities that led to the recognition of the tribe as part of the larger Virginia Indians Powhatan Confederacy. Chief George L. Nelson was born and raised in Indian Neck, VA.
Scope and Contents:
The George L. Nelson papers consist of documents belonging to Chief Nelson and left in the possession of his daughter Waneta Swain. The bulk of these documents relate to the work done by Chief Nelson in establishing the Rappahannock Indian Association in 1921 and the activities that led to the recognition of the tribe as part of the larger Virginia Indians Powhatan Confederacy. These includes letters, speeches, notes and membership lists. These papers also include letters and articles from Frank Speck, an anthropologist from the University of Pennsylvania, who maintained a relationship with Nelson and his family. Additionally these records includes notes and documents written by Chief Nelson regarding the Racial Integrity act (Bill No. 68) which was enacted in 1924. There are three family photographs which were accompanied by a newspaper clipping announcing the 50th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. George L. Nelson.
Arrangement:
This collection has been arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Biographical / Historical:
Chief George L. Nelson (Rappahannock) was born circa 1883 in Indian Neck, Virginia to parents Samuel and Virginia Nelson. A member of the Rappahannock community, Nelson began working to incorporate his tribe under the state laws of Virginia. The Rappahannock Indian Association was founded in 1921 with George Nelson as Chief. In the early 1920's anthropologist Frank Speck spent time among the Rappahannock photographing Nelson and other community members.

Nelson married Polena Sensenbaugh daughter to Simon and Louisa born 1888 in South Whitely, Indiana in 1908. They became acquainted while Nelson was on his way home following a trip around the world with the Navy. George and Polena had 11 children, six sons and five daughters and the family eventually moved to Millville, New Jersey. Nelson died in 1960 in Cumberland, New Jersey. Nelson's daughter Waneta Swain Ackerman (born Waneta Pocahontas Nelson) bequeathed her father's papers to the National Museum of the American Indian in 2005.

Speck, Frank. "The Rappahannock Indians of Virginia," Indian Notes and Monographs, Volume V, No. 3. Museum of the American Indian Heye Foundation, 1925.
Related Materials:
Photographs of Chief George Nelson and family were taken both by Frank Speck and Frederick Johnson in the 1920's and can be found in their photo collections.

Frank Gouldsmith Speck photograph collection (NMAI.AC.001.032) Frederick Johnson photograph collection (NMAI.AC.001.038)
Provenance:
The Chief George L. Nelson papers were donated to NMAI in 2005 by the Estate of Waneta P. Swain, daughter to Nelson, along with an outfit worn by Nelson which can be found in the object collections (NMAI Object 265403).
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Rights:
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiphotos@si.edu. For personal or classroom use, users are invited users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian.
Topic:
Indians of North America -- Virginia  Search this
Race discrimination -- Law and legislation -- Virginia  Search this
Genre/Form:
Letters
Writings
Articles
Speeches
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); George L. Nelson Papers, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.018
See more items in:
George L. Nelson papers
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sv47579c350-fc07-4f08-a96a-5f25be07e78a
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-018
Online Media:

Thomas Henry Tibbles papers

Creator:
Tibbles, Thomas Henry, 1840-1928  Search this
Names:
Omaha World-Herald Company  Search this
Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925  Search this
Standing Bear, Ponca chief  Search this
Watson, Thomas E. (Thomas Edward), 1856-1922  Search this
Correspondent:
Crook, George, 1829-1890  Search this
La Flesche, Susette, 1854-1903  Search this
Extent:
2 Linear feet
41 Photographs
Culture:
Ponca  Search this
Omaha  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Articles
Essays
Book drafts
Correspondence
Autobiographies
Date:
1850-1956
bulk 1875-1905
Scope and Contents:
The Thomas Henry Tibbles papers include documents that span Tibbles career as a journalist and lecturer on Indian rights from the 1870s until his death in 1928. Of particular note are the documents related to his work on the Standing Bear vs. George Crook Habeas Corpus trial. This includes articles, essays and talks written by Tibbles as well as copies of a lecture given by Susette LaFlesche Tibbles. Notable correspondents include; Robert Clarkson, Joseph Cook, General George Crook, Robert N. Price and William Jennings Bryan. Examples of materials related to the Ponca land case and Standing Bear trial include reports from the Ponca Relief commitee, a petition from the Ponca people, minutes from the Council Concerning Ponca Land Right and additional documents and writings sent out by Tibbles to gain support from both the church and politicians. Also included in these papers are several drafts of Buckskin and Blanket Days, Tibbles' autobiography that was written in 1905 and published in 1957. There is a significant amount of correspondence between Chester Barris, grandson to Tibbles, and publishing houses between 1939 and 1956 in the search for a willing publisher. There is also correspondence between Barris and his aunt Theadora "Dora" Cogswell who worked on editing the manuscript. Cogswell conducted a large amount of research on the historicity of the events described by Tibbles and her notes are included in the collection. The photographs in this collection include portraits of the Tibbles/LaFlesche family as well as portraits of freinds and aquaintances. These include photographs of Edward Everett Hale, General George Crook, Governor Benjamin Butluer, Wendall Phillips, Thomas Watson, William Jennings Bryan and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged into three series. Series 1: Subject Files and Series 2: Buckskin and Blanket Days are both arranged alphabetically. Series 3: Photographs is subdivided into three subseries; Subseries 3A: T.H. Tibbles Portaits, arranged chronologically, Subseries 3B: Family and Friends and Subseries 3C: Presentation Portraits to Bright Eyes, both arranged alphabetically.
Biographical / Historical:
Thomas Henry Tibbles was born May 22, 1840, near Athens, Ohio to parents William and Martha (nee Cooley) Tibbles. In 1856, at the age of 16, Tibbles fought with anti-slavery Free-Staters in the Bleeding Kansas conflicts under James Henry Lane. Lane's troops disbanded the same year and Tibbles went on to study at Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio from 1858-1861. During the Civil War Tibbles served as a scout and newspaper correspondent in Missouri and Kansas and continued newspaper work until 1871 when he became a circuit preacher. Between 1874 and 1879, Tibbles worked on the staffs of various newspapers in Omaha, Nebraska eventually reaching the post of assistant editor of the Omaha Daily Herald. It was during his time at the Herald that Tibbles was instrumental in bringing the case of Standing Bear and the Ponca Indian people before the United States District Court at Fort Omaha. Standing Bear, along with thirty other Poncas, had returned to their home in Nebraska after being forcibly removed to Indian Territory 1878. They were being detained at the Omaha Reservation on an order from the Secretary of the Interior and Tibbles began to circulate the story of the plight of the Ponca to major newspapers gathering the support of the public. Eventually Tibbles had attorneys John L. Webster and A.J. Poppleton help Standing Bear petition the court with a writ of habeas corpus. On April 30, 1879 Judge Elmer Dundy declared that an Indian is a person within the law and that the Ponca were being held illegally, setting Standing Bear and the Ponca free. Following the trial, Tibbles continued to report on violations against Native American rights. Tibbles was a witness to the aftermath of the massacre of Native Americans at Wounded Knee in 1891, and reported this tragedy to the world. From 1893-1895, he worked as a newspaper correspondent in Washington D.C. On returning to Nebraska, Tibbles became editor-in-chief of The Independent, a weekly Populist Party newspaper. He was the Populist Party nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1904. Though unsuccessful in this campaign Tibbles continued to write on Populist issues as well as editing The Investigator from 1905-1910 and returning to the Omaha World Herald from 1910 to his retirement.

Tibbles had two children with his first wife, Amelia Owen whom he married in 1861. Eda, born in 1868 in Kansas City, married Herbert Bates in 1894 and May, born in 1870 in Danville Iowa, married Allen Barris in 1891. Amelia died of peritonitis in 1879. On June 29, 1882, Tibbles married Susette "Bright Eyes" LaFlesche (Omaha), daughter of Joseph "Iron Eye" LaFlesche. Susette LaFlesche worked closely alongside Tibbles during the Standing Bear's trial in her role as chief interpreter. Together, LaFlesche, Tibbles and Standing Bear carried out a successful lecture tour in England and Scotland in 1886-1887 speaking on issues of Indian rights. LaFlesche became well known as an eloquent writer and orator. Following her death in 1903 she was eulagized in the US Senate and was later inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame. Tibbles remarried for a final time in 1907 to Ida Belle Riddle. She remained by Tibbles side until his own death in 1928.

During his career, Tibbles wrote three books which included Ponca Chiefs (1880), which was written under the pen name "Zylyff", Hidden Power (1881) and The American Peasant (1892). Tibbles had also composed his memoirs titled Buckskin and Blanket Days which were eventually published in 1957 through the efforts of his grandson Chester Barris.
Related Materials note:
The dress of Susette "Bright Eyes" LaFlesche, wife to Tibbles, was also donated by Vivien Barris in 1984 and is a part of NMAI's Ethnology object collection. It has catalog number 25/2192.
Separated Materials:
The photographs have been moved to cool storage.
Provenance:
Thomas Henry Tibbles papers were originally donated to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation in 1960 by Vivien Barris, wife of Tibbles's grandson Chester Barris.
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Rights:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
Habeas corpus -- United States -- Cases  Search this
Ponca Indians -- Legal status, laws, etc.  Search this
Wounded Knee Massacre, S.D., 1890  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles
Essays
Book drafts
Correspondence
Autobiographies
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Thomas Henry Tibbles papers, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.066
See more items in:
Thomas Henry Tibbles papers
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sv4b4ba9f3c-13e7-4648-8b7c-fca4d07a9ecc
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-066
Online Media:

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