These papers reflect the professional lives of Alice Cunningham Fletcher (1838-1923), an ethnologist with the Peabody Museum of Harvard and collaborator with the Bureau of American Ethnology, and Francis La Flesche (1856-1923), an anthropologist with the Bureau of American Ethnology. Due to the close professional and personal relationship of Fletcher and La Flesche, their papers have been arranged jointly. The papers cover the period from 1874 to 1939. Included in the collection is correspondence, personal diaries, lectures, field notes and other ethnographic papers, drafts, musical transcriptions, publications by various authors, maps and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
These papers reflect the professional lives of Alice Cunningham Fletcher (1838-1923), an ethnologist with the Peabody Museum of Harvard University and collaborator with the Bureau of American Ethnology, and Francis La Flesche (1856-1923), an anthropologist with the Bureau of American Ethnology. Due to the close professional and personal relationship of Fletcher and La Flesche, their papers have been arranged jointly. The papers cover the period from 1874 to 1939. Included in the collection is correspondence, personal diaries, lectures, field notes and other ethnographic papers, drafts, musical transcriptions, publications by various authors, maps and photographs.
The papers have been divided into three general categories: the papers of Alice Cunningham Fletcher, the papers of Francis La Flesche, and the ethnographic research of Fletcher and La Flesche. The first two categories represent personal and professional materials of Fletcher and La Flesche. The third section holds the majority of the ethnographic material in the collection.
Of primary concern are Fletcher and La Flesche's ethnological investigations conducted among the Plains Indians, particularly the Omaha and Osage. Fletcher's Pawnee field research and her allotment work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs among the Omaha, Nez Perce, and Winnebago are represented in the collection. A substantial portion of the ethnographic material reflects Fletcher and La Flesche's studies of Native American music. Much of the correspondence in the papers of Fletcher and La Flesche is rich with information about the situation of Omaha peoples in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Also included in the collection are documents related to Fletcher's work with the Archaeological Institute of America and the School for American Archaeology. Additionally, substantial amounts of Fletcher's early anthropological and historical research are found among her correspondence, lectures, anthropological notes, and early field diaries. La Flesche's literary efforts are also generously represented.
The collection is divided into the following 3 series: 1) Alice Cunningham Fletcher papers, 1873-1925; 2) Francis La Flesche papers, 1881-1930; 3) Papers relating to the anthropological research of Alice Fletcher and Francis La Flesche, 1877-1939.
Series 1: Alice Cunningham Fletcher papers is divided into the following 10 subseries: 1.1) Incoming correspondence, 1874-1923 (bulk 1882-1923); 1.2) Outgoing correspondence, 1873-1921; 1.3) Correspondence on specific subjects, 1881-1925; 1.4) Correspondence between Fletcher and La Flesche, 1895-1922; 1.5) Publications, 1882-1920; 1.6) Organizational records, 1904-1921; 1.7) General anthropological notes, undated; 1.8) Lectures, circa 1878-1910; 1.9) Diaries, 1881-1922; 1.10) Biography and memorabilia, 1878-1925.
Series 2: Francis La Flesche papers is divided into the following 6 subseries: 2.11) General correspondence, 1890-1929; 2.12) Correspondence on specific subjects, 1881-1930; 2.13) Publications, 1900-1927; 2.14) Literary efforts, undated; 2.15) Personal diaries, 1883-1924; 2.16) Biography and memorabilia, 1886-1930.
Series 3: Papers relating to the anthropological research of Alice Fletcher and Francis La Flesche is divided into the following 12 subseries: 3.17) Alaska, 1886-1887; 3.18) Earth lodges, 1882, 1898-1899; 3.19) Music, 1888-1918; 3.20) Nez Perce, 1889-1909; 3.21) Omaha, 1882-1922; 3.22) Osage, 1896-1939; 3.23) Pawnee, 1897-1910; 3.24) Pipes, undated; 3.25) Sioux, 1877-1896; 3.26) Other tribes, 1882-1922; 3.27) Publications collected, 1884-1905, undated; 3.28) Photographs, undated.
Biographical / Historical:
Alice Cunningham Fletcher (1838-1923) was an ethnologist with the Peabody Museum of Harvard and collaborator with the Bureau of American Ethnology. Francis La Flesche (1856-1923) was an anthropologist with the Bureau of American Ethnology.
Chronology of the Life of Alice Cunningham Fletcher
1838 March 15 -- Born in Havana, Cuba
1873-1876 -- Secretary, American Association for Advancement of Women
1879 -- Informal student of anthropology, Peabody Museum, Harvard University
1881 -- Field trip to Omaha and Rosebud Agencies
1882 -- Assistant in ethnology, Peabody Museum, Harvard University
1882 -- Helped secure land in severalty to Omaha Indians
1882-1883 -- Begins collaboration with Francis La Flesche on the Peabody Museum's collection of Omaha and Sioux artifacts
1883-1884 -- Special Agent, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Omaha Agency
1886 -- Bureau of Education investigation of Alaskan native education
1887-1888 -- Special Disbursing Agent, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Winnebago Agency
1889-1892 -- Special Agent for allotment, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Nez Perce Agency
1890-1899 -- President, Women's Anthropological Society of America
1891-1923 -- Mary Copley Thaw Fellow, Peabody Museum, Harvard University
1892-1893 -- Department of Interior consultant, World's Columbian Exposition
1896 -- Vice-President, Section H, American Association for the Advancement of Science
1897 -- Collaborator, Bureau of American Ethnology
1899-1916 -- Editorial board, American Anthropologist
1900 -- Published Indian Story and Song from North America
1901-1902 -- Advisory committee, Anthropology Department, University of California at Berkeley
1903 -- President, Anthropological Society of Washington
1904 -- Published The Hako: A Pawnee Ceremony with James Murie
1908-1913 -- Chair, Managing Committee of School of American Archaeology
1911 -- Honorary Vice-President, Section H, British Association for Advancement of Science
1911 -- Published The Omaha Tribe with Francis La Flesche
1913 -- Chair Emeritus, Managing Committee of School of American Archaeology
1915 -- Published Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs Arranged from American Indian Ceremonials and Sports
1923 April 6 -- Died in Washington, D.C.
Chronology of the Life of Francis La Flesche
1857 December 25 -- Born on Omaha Reservation near Macy, Nebraska
1879 -- Lecture tour, Ponca chief Standing Bear
1881 -- Interpreter, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
1881-1910 -- Clerk, Bureau of Indian Affairs
1891 -- Informally adopted as Fletcher's son
1892 -- LL.B., National University Law School
1893 -- LL.M., National University Law School
1900 -- Published The Middle Five: Indian Boys at School
1906-1908 -- Marriage to Rosa Bourassa
1910-1929 -- Ethnologist, Bureau of American Ethnology
1911 -- Published The Omaha Tribe with Alice Fletcher
1921 -- Published The Osage Tribe, Part One
1922 -- Member, National Academy of Sciences
1922-1923 -- President, Anthropological Society of Washington
1925 -- Published The Osage Tribe, Part Two
1926 -- Honorary Doctor of Letters, University of Nebraska
1928 -- Published The Osage Tribe, Part Three
1932 -- Published Dictionary of the Osage Language
1932 September 5 -- Died in Thurston County, Nebraska
1939 -- Posthumous publication of War Ceremony and Peace Ceremony of the Osage Indians
Additional material related to the professional work of Fletcher and La Flesche in the National Anthropological Archives may be found among the correspondence of the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) and the records of the Anthropological Society of Washington.
Sound recordings made by Fletcher and La Flesche can be found at the Library of Congress. The National Archives Records Administration hold the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), including those relating to allotments in severalty for the Nez Perce by Alice Fletcher. The Nebraska Historical Society has diaries, letters and clippings regarding the La Flesche family, including correspondence of Francis La Flesche and Fletcher. The Radcliffe College Archives holds a manuscript account of Alice Fletcher's four summers with the Nez Perce (1889-1892). Correspondence between Fletcher and F. W. Putnam is also located at the Peabody Museum Archives of Harvard University.
Ethnographic photographs from the collection have been catalogued by tribe in Photo Lot 24.
Glass plate negatives from the collection have been catalogued by tribe in the BAE glass negatives collection (Negative Numbers 4439-4515).
The papers of Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Francis La Flesche have been received from an undocumented number of sources. Portions of Fletcher's ethnographic papers were donated to the archives by Mrs. G. David Pearlman in memory of her husband in 1959.
The Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Francis La Flesche papers are open for research.
Access to the Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Francis La Flesche papers requires an appointment.
Indians of North America -- Southern States Search this
Scope and Contents:
On cards compiled from information furnished in reply to letters of inquiry. The information is secondary and lacks documentation. Terms of the following languages are thought to be included: Achomawi, Alibamu, Arikara, Athapascan, Blackfoot, Catawba, Choctaw, Copehan, Creek, Dakota, Hitchiti, Hopi, Iowa, Kansa, Klikitat, Mandan, Muskhogean, Niuskoki, Nez Perce, Omaha, Osage, Oto, Paiute, Pawnee, Piman, Ponka, Quapaw, Santee, Seminole, Shahaptian, Shoshone, Teton, Washakie, Winnebago, Ute, Yankton.
Contents: Adirondack tribe (St Lawrence River) Old Manuscript Number 3553. Adoption Old Manuscript Number 4007. Refers to Algonquian method of counting -only; see Haas note 2/18/72; Old Manuscript Number 3864. "Alligewi"; Animism Old Manuscript Number 3867 and 2842-c, box 6. Blood Indians, origin of name; Brant, Joseph Old Manuscript Number 3874. Chippewa, origin of name Old Manuscript Number 3646. Chiefs, function and significance of Old Manuscript Number 2842-c, box 6. Delaware tribe, New Jersey area claimed by Old Manuscript Number 3866. Detroit River, tribes near; Ekaentoton Island-- see Ste. Marie Island Environment (Bulletin 30 draft by O. T. Mason) Old Manuscript Number 4007. Erie, origin of name Old Manuscript Number 3646. Erie and Black Mincqua tribes Old Manuscript Number 3586. [Eskimo] Arctic tribes, leaving elderly and sick people to die Old Manuscript Number 3668. Family, Bulletin 30 draft and notes Old Manuscript Number 4011 and 2842-c, box 6. Grand River (Tinaatoua), name of; Hebrew calendar; Hewitt, list of Bulletin 30 articles by Old Manuscript Number 4066. Hoboken, origin of name; Iroquois, "On the Northern and Eastern Territorial Limits of the Iroquoian people, in the 16th Century," and Algonquian tribes, at Chaleur Bay. Iroquois at Gulf of St Lawrence and Bay of Gaspe Old Manuscript Number 3625.
Iroquois, location of Six Nations tribes reservations Old Manuscript Number 3763. Iroquois false face; Iroquois preparation of corn ("as food") Old Manuscript Number 4009. Iroquoian early dress Old Manuscript Number 3660. Iroquoian "Gachoi" tribe, identity of (Correspondence with F. Bogaskie.) Old Manuscript Number 3816. Iroquoian moon names and concept of time; Iroquoian social organization, and place name-name origins; "Man," Iroquoian term for Old Manuscript Number 3781. Iroquoian towns Old Manuscript Number 4006. Kentucky, meaning of the word; Kentucky, origin of name Old Manuscript Number 3840. Lenni Lenape, meaning of the word; Logstown-- see Shenango Old Manuscript Number 3773. Lost Ten Tribes as American Indians Old Manuscript Number 3670. Mayan linguistic family and other Mayan linguistic notes including Quiche and Tepehuanan notes Old Manuscript Number 3473. Mexico: idols, sacrifices, etc. Old Manuscript Number 3807. Mexico: Indian languages. Letter from Captain W.E.W. MacKinley Old Manuscript Number 3778. Missouri, Indian village, location of Old Manuscript Number 3944. Mohawk land near Lake Champlain; Mohawk grammar; Montour family, notes for Bulletin 30 Old Manuscript Number 3812. Muskhogean social organization. Letter from J. J. Harrison. Old Manuscript Number 3891. New England tribes Old Manuscript Number 3513.
Niagara, origin of name; "Old Smoke"-- see Sayenqueraghta Old Manuscript Number 3949. Onondaga tribe, text of memorial inscription to, and correspondence Old Manuscript 4391 and 4271- box 1 (part.) Ontwaganha or Toaganha, origin and meaning of name Old Manuscript Number 3864. Owego, meaning of town's name; Pekwanoket tribe (Cape Cod); Pemaquid, Abnaki word and its origin Old Manuscript Number 89. Piasa bird- pictograph formerly near present Alton, Illinois. Article is similar to that by Cyrus Thomas, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 30. Old Manuscript Number 3981. Potawatomi, notes on the name Old Manuscript Number 4034. Potawatomi Green Corn Dance; Roanoke, origin of name Old Manuscript Number 3998. Sacagawea, spelling of; St Ignace, 3 settlements (Michigan); St Marie Island or Ekaentoton Island; Sauk, Bulletin 30 article and galley proof, notes Old Manuscript Number 3764. Sayenqueraghta or "Old Smoke" (correspondence with Alanson Skinner) Old Manuscript Number 3949. Scalping Old Manuscript Number 4025. Shenango and Logstown Old Manuscript Number 3773. Sioux, origin of name Old Manuscript Number 3624. Society of American Indians, resolutions by thanking General Hugh L. Scott, Fr. Anselm Webber and others Old Manuscript Number 3868. Susquehanna, origin of name Old Manuscript Number 3707. Tacoma, origin of name Old Manuscript Number 3470.
Thunderbird, notes on Old Manuscript Number 3552. Tinaatoa-- see Grand River; Toronto, origin of name; Tuscarora villages Old Manuscript Number 3998. Wampum Old Manuscript Number 3998. War club with inscription; West Virginia panhandle tribes Old Manuscript Number 3945. Williams, Eleazer Old Manuscript Number 3998. Women, status of Old Manuscript Number 3566. Wyandots (Huron) List of tribes of which Wyandots of today are constituted. Old Manuscript Number 3774.
Indians of North America -- Southern States Search this
Scope and Contents:
Includes typed manuscripts and original notes, on sheets of various sizes. Manuscript annotated by J.R. Swanton and some sheets typed by Swanton (copies of original ?) included. Apparently somewhat disarranged, 5/58.
Contents: 1. U-stru-ri or the Prophetic Bird-like Being (text and translation.) 2. Ru-ren f-a- A Monster (Miss Lucinda Thompson, 1888, text and translation). 3. Duel between a lame dog and a Fox (translation only). 4. Tradition of the elopment of a woman with an owl (text and translation.) 5. An uncle and his nephew, or The child adopted by the bear (Miss L. Thompson, text and translation.) 6. A man entertained by the thunderer (text and translation). 7. Superstition about dogs (translation only). 8. Making a stone giant (text and translation). 9. The Vampire Doll (translation only). 10. Ka-nen-hen'twa t or Mysterious Insect (text and translation, 2 copies of translation). Includes pencil and crayon drawing of the Mythic Bird.
NAA MS 422
U-stru-ri or The Prophetic Bird-like Being
Ru-ren f-a- A Monster
Duel between a lame dog and a fox
Tradition of the elopement of a woman with an owl
An uncle and his nephew, or The child adopted by the bear
Reverend James Owen Dorsey (1848-1895) was a missionary and Bureau of American Ethnology ethnologist who conducted extensive research on Siouan tribes and languages.The papers of James Owen Dorsey comprise mostly ethnographic and linguistic materials on various tribes of the Siouan language family as well as tribes from Siletz Reservation in Oregon. These materials include texts and letters with interlineal translations; grammar notes; dictionaries; drawings; and his manuscripts. In addition, the collection contains Dorsey's correspondence, newspaper clippings, his obituaries, and reprints.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains James O. Dorsey's research and writings as a BAE ethnologist, as well as his earlier work as a missionary among the Ponca. The vast majority of the collection pertains to his research on Siouan-Catawban languages, including the Dakota and Dhegiha languages, Chiwere, Winnebago, Mandan, Hidatsa, Tutelo, Biloxi, and Catawba. His research on Athapascan, Kusan, Takilman, and Yakonan languages from his field work at Siletz Reservation are also present, as well as some notes on the Caddoan languages. Dorsey's research files include linguistic and ethnological field notes, reading notes, stories and myths, vocabularies, drawings, and unpublished and published manuscripts. The collection also contains Omaha, Ponca, Quapaw, and Biloxi dictionaries that he compiled and materials relating to his work editing Steven Riggs' Dakota-English Dictionary. Additional noteworthy materials in the collection are Teton texts and drawings from George Bushotter and drawings by Stephen Stubbs (Kansa), Pahaule-gagli (Kansa), and George Miller (Omaha). The collection also contains Dorsey's correspondence, newspaper clippings, obituaries, and his collection of reprints.
The collection is organized into 6 series: 1) Siouan; 2) Siletz Reservation; 3) Caddoan; 4) General Correspondence; 5) Personal Papers; 6) Miscellaneous & Reprints.
Reverend James Owen Dorsey (1848-1895) was a missionary and Bureau of American Ethnology ethnologist who conducted extensive research on Siouan tribes and languages.
Dorsey was born on October 31, 1848 in Baltimore, Maryland. He exhibited a talent for languages at an early age. At age 6 he learned the Hebrew alphabet and was able to read the language at age 10. In 1867 Dorsey attended the Theological Seminary of Virginia and was ordained a deacon of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1871. In May of that year, Dorsey traveled to the Dakota Territory to serve as a missionary among the Ponca. Plagued by ill health, Dorsey was forced to end his missionary work in August 1873. By that time, however, he had learned the Ponca language well enough to converse with members of the tribe without an interpreter.
Dorsey returned to Maryland and engaged in parish work while continuing his studies of Siouan languages. His linguistic talents and knowledge of these languages attracted the attention of Major John Wesley Powell. Powell arranged for Dorsey to work among the Omaha in Nebraska from 1878 to 1880 to collect linguistic and ethnological notes. When the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) was established in 1879, Powell recruited Dorsey to join the staff.
As an ethnologist for the BAE, Dorsey continued his research on Siouan tribes. His studies focused on languages but also included Siouan personal names, folklore, social organization, religion, beliefs, and customs. He conducted fieldwork among the Tutelo at Six Nations on Grand River in Upper Canada (1882); the Kansa, Osage, and Quapaw in Indian Territory (1883-1884); the Biloxi at Lecompte, Rapides Parish, Louisiana (1892); and again with the Quapaw at the Quapaw Mission (1894). He also worked with Native Americans that visited DC, including George Bushotter (Teton), Philip Longtail (Winnebago), Samuel Fremont (Omaha), and Little Standing Buffalo (Ponca). He also spent time at Siletz Reservation in 1884 to collect linguistic notes on the Athapascan, Kusan, Takilman, and Yakonan stocks.
In addition to his research, Dorsey helped found the American Folklore Society and served as the first vice-president of the association. He also served as vice-president of Section H of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
At the age of 47, Dorsey died of typhoid fever on February 4, 1895.
1st-16th Annual Reports of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 1881-1897.
Hewitt, J.N.B. 1895. "James Owen Dorsey" American Anthropologist A8, 180-183.
McGee, W.J. 1895. "In Memoriam." Journal of American Folklore 8(28): 79-80.
1848 -- Born on October 31 in Baltimore, Maryland.
1871 -- Ordained a deacon of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
1871-1873 -- Served as a missionary among the Ponca in Dakota Territory.
1878-1880 -- Conducted fieldwork among the Omaha in Nebraska.
1879 -- Joined the staff of the Bureau of American Ethnology.
1882 -- Conducted fieldwork among the Tutelo at Six Nations on Grand River in Upper Canada.
1883-1884 -- Conducted fieldwork among the Kansa, Osage, and Quapaw in Indian Territory.
1887 -- Worked with George Bushotter to record information regarding the language and culture of the Dakota.
1884 -- Conducted fieldwork at Siletz Reservation.
1892 -- Conducted fieldwork among the Biloxi at Lecompte, Rapides Parish, Louisiana.
1894 -- Conducted fieldwork among the Quapaw at the Quapaw Mission in Indian Territory.
1895 -- Died of typhoid fever on February 4th at the age of 47.
The James O. Dorsey Papers are open for research. Access to the James O. Dorsey Papers requires an appointment
Manuscript 4800 James O. Dorsey papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Creation of this finding aid was funded through support from the Arcadia Fund.
Digitization and preparation of additional materials for online access has been funded also by the National Science Foundation under BCS Grant No. 1561167 and the Recovering Voices initiative at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.
MS 1647 Miscellaneous materials by Hewitt and others
Hewitt, J. N. B. (John Napoleon Brinton), 1859-1937 Search this
Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology -- History Search this
Scope and Contents:
Items have been tentatively identified and individually cataloged. Subjects include Hewitt, J. N. B.; Cushing, Frank H.; Powell, Johns Wesley; Hemenway, Mrs. August; Sapir, Edward; Hodge, F. W.; Radin, Paul; Kroeber, Alfred; Michelson, Truman; Fewkes, J. W.; Skinner, Alanson; Indian interest groups; Parker, Arthur C.; McGee, W. J. ; Swanton, J. R.; Walcott, Charles D.; Curtis, Charles; Bottineau, J. B.; medicine; Native American Church; religion; U. S. Army; war; Kiowa; Cheyenne; Boas, Franz; physical anthropology; Brown, John Mason; Trumbull, J. H.; Algonquin; astronomy; Thomas, Cyrus; Ten Tribes.
NAA MS 1647
Manuscript 1647, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
With the manuscript are the following free renderings in English by A. F. C. Wallace from Gatschet's inter-linear English translations: "Story of the Creation," pages 5-11; "The Migrations of the Iroquois," pages 12-27; "The Thunder and His Son," pages 46-49; "The Tuscaroras Leave North Carolina," pages 79-83; "Johnson Meets a Dwarf while Hunting," pages 84-87; "The Abandoned Baby," pages 94-97. [1948.] Autograph document by Wallace. 14 pages.