The Reuben A. Snake, Jr. Papers, located in the Cultural Resource Center of the National Museum of the American Indian, contain writings, correspondence, biographical materials, and written materials relating to the Native American Church which document the literary and political activities of this Winnebago tribal leader.
Scope and Contents:
The Reuben Snake Papers encompass original writings by Snake, correspondence, biographical materials, and written materials relating to Reuben's activism on behalf of the Native American Church.
Also included in this collection are video and audio tapes that contain interviews, talks, radio broadcasts, and other orally and visually transmitted items. These materials have been transferred to the NMAI Media Archives. All photographs have been transferred to the NMAI Photo Archives.
The Reuben Snake papers are divided into four series:
Series 1, Writings, (undated, 1972-1993),
Series 2, Correspondence (undated, 1982-1996),
Series 3, Biographical (undated, 1985-1996),
Series 4, Native American Church (1971-1993)
Biographical / Historical:
Reuben A. Snake, Jr. was born January 12, 1937 at Winnebago, Nebraska, the youngest child of Reuben Harold and Virginia Greyhair Snake. Reuben's mother divorced her husband and later remarried, but Reuben's early life was fraught with hardships, including a period of separation from his parents and siblings. When the family's financial situation improved, parents and children were able to reunite and eventually settled in Hastings, Minnesota.
Reuben entered Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1950 but later dropped out due to problems with alcohol. He joined the Army in 1956, from which he was honorably discharged, and two years later he married Kathy McKee, with whom he raised four daughters and two sons. In 1965 he quit drinking.
Reuben was active in the American Indian Movement (AIM) in the 1970s and organized many demonstrations during his tenure as national chairman of that organization. After being elected chairman of the Winnebago tribe, Reuben reorganized the tribe, centralizing its administration and improving funding and accountability. Reuben was involved with educational issues as well, serving on education committees for the National Congress of American Indians and the National Tribal Chairman's Association. He worked both nationally and internationally to help make more widely known issues of Indian health, education, and religious freedom.
Reuben began to renew his spiritual and cultural ties with the Native American Church in the 1970s and eventually became a Roadman for the church. With the help of Senator Daniel Inouye from Hawaii he fought judicial battles to legalize the importation of peyote from Mexico for use in sacramental ceremonies. In 1990, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that the sacred use of peyote was not protected by the Constitution, Reuben became the official spokesperson for the Native American Church to educate the public about church philosophy and history. He organized the Native American Religious Freedom Project to lobby for national legislation what would amend and strengthen the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.
Reuben had suffered a major heart attack in 1986, and by the early 1990s, his health was deteriorating. He died on June 28, 1993. Reuben did not live to see the results of his hard work on behalf of Native American religious freedom, Amendments to the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, which President Clinton signed into law in October, 1994. These amendments protected the religious use of peyote by Indians.
Collection donated by Kathy Snake in 2006.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadcast materials from the collection must be requested from the Archivist of the National Museum of the American Indian. Please submit a written request to NMAIArchives@si.edu. Copyright vested in Reuben A. Snake, Jr. has not passed to the National Museum of the American Indian; researchers are responsible for determining any other copyright questions.
Pikuni (Piegan) [Blackfeet Nation, Browning, Montana] Search this
Gelatin silver prints
Glacier National Park (Mont.)
This collection contains 107 gelatin silver photographs depicting mystery novelist Mary Roberts Rinehart and her family's travels around Glacier National Park in Montana during the summer of 1916.
Scope and Contents:
P20639- P20762, P21187-P21191
This collection contains 107 gelatin silver photographs depicting mystery novelist Mary Roberts Rinehart and her family's travels around Glacier National Park in Montana during the summer of 1916. The bulk of the photographs were shot by Mary herself. Rinehart wrote about this trip in her 1917 book, Through Glacier Park.
The photographs in the collection depict candid and staged outdoor portraits of Pikuni (Piegan) [Blackfeet Nation, Browning, Montana] peoples and scenes of community gatherings. Chief Eagle Child and Chief Two Guns White Calf are included in photographs. Other chiefs and leaders that may also be depicted include Medicine Owl; Curly Bear; Big Spring; Bird Plume; Wolf Plume; Bird Rattler; Bill Schute; Stabs-By-Mistake; Mad Plume; and Many Tail-Feathers. Mary Roberts Rinehart was adopted by the Blackfeet tribe and given the name Pi-ta-mak-an (Running Eagle).
Rinehart's family are featured in the photographs including her husband Dr. Stanley Marshall Rinehart, her eldest son Stanley Marshall Rinehart, Jr. (b. 1897), her middle son Alan Gillespie Rinehart (1900-1982) and her youngest son Frederick "Ted" Roberts Rinehart (b. 1902).
The collection also includes depictions of Ralph Radnor Earle (1875-1958) during his trip through National Parks. According to February 3, 1917 issue of Moving Image Picture World, Earle traveled via automobile in the summer of 1916 filming moving image footage of the National Parks, including Glacier National Park. Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946)- a founding member of Boy Scouts of America and author of the Boy Scout Handbook- is featured in some photographs as well.
Arranged by catalog number.
Biographical / Historical:
Mary Roberts Rinehart (née Mary Ella Roberts) was born in 1876 and raised in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, now the North Side of Pittsburgh. Mary and her parents, Thomas (Tom) and Cornelia Roberts, lived with Tom's mother and siblings until Mary's sister Olive was born. At 17, Rinehart enrolled in the Pittsburgh Homeopathic School for Nurses. She drew on her experiences nursing patients in the Pittsburgh Homeopathic Hospital in some of her writing. In 1896, shortly after her graduation from nursing school, she married Stanley Marshall Rinehart, a young doctor. In their house in Allegheny City, Mary Roberts Rinehart managed the household, assisted with Dr. Rinehart's medical practice, and began raising their family of three sons: Stanley Marshall Rinehart Jr., born 1897, Alan Gillespie Rinehart, born 1900, and Frederick "Ted" Roberts Rinehart, born 1902.
In the early 1900's, Rinehart began writing in earnest as a way to contribute to the family's income. The poems and short stories of her early career were published in magazines such as Munsey's Magazine and The All-Story. Her first book, The Circular Staircase, was published in 1908. As her popularity grew so did the family's income, and they moved to a large house in Glen Osborne, Pennsylvania around 1912. In early 1915, Rinehart asked her Saturday Evening Post editor to send her to Europe to report on World War I prior to U.S. involvement. Rinehart toured the Belgian front and interviewed Albert I, King of the Belgians, and Queen Mary of England at a time when very few journalists were granted such access. Rinehart returned to Europe in 1918 to report on the war to the War Department and was in Paris on November 11 when the armistice ended the war.
The Rineharts moved to Washington, D.C. during the winter of 1921-22 when Dr. Rinehart accepted a position with the Veterans' Bureau. There, Rinehart continued to write and also became involved in Washington society, hosting and being hosted by presidents, senators, and ambassadors. In summer the family traveled to their cabin at Eatons' Ranch in Wyoming, a part of the country that Mary fell in love with after being invited to join a horse packing expedition out west in 1916. In 1929 her sons Stan and Ted, along with John Farrar, launched Farrar & Rinehart Publishing Company, which would publish many of her works. Dr. Rinehart died in 1931 after a period of poor health. A few years later, Rinehart relocated to New York City, where she would be closer to her sons and their growing families. In 1937 she purchased a large house in Bar Harbor, Maine, and spent summers there until 1947 when her house burned down in a large fire. Rinehart died in 1958 in New York City at the age of 83. She experienced several episodes of poor health during her life, including breast cancer and coronary thrombosis. Despite this, she lived an active, busy life filled with writing, travel, family, and other pursuits.
More detailed information about Mary Roberts Rinehart's life can be found in her autobiography My Story, published in 1931, and My Story: A New Edition and Seventeen New Years (1948), as well as in Improbable Fiction: The Life of Mary Roberts Rinehart by Jan Cohn (1980).
[Biographical note written by the University of Pittsburgh]
The University of Pittsburgh holds a collection of Mary Robers Rinehart Papers.
The Rinehart family also donated a set of Diné (Navajo) jewelry to NMAI: Object catalog numbers 230710 – 230715.
Gift of Mr. Stanley Rinehart, Jr., 1961.
Access to NMAI Archives 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: email@example.com).
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Mary Roberts Rinehart photographs of Glacier National Park, image #, NMAI.AC.329; National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution.