This collection contains 85 glass plate negatives depicting Iroquois students and student life at the Thomas Indian School on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in New York state, circa 1900-1945.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains 85 glass plate negatives depicting Iroquois students and student life at the Thomas Indian School circa 1900-1945. The images depict student and class portraits; school activities such as school plays or performances, basketball, football, and Girl Scouts; classes such as woodworking, cooking, and agriculture; and campus buildings and grounds. The photographer is unknown, but was probably affiliated with the school. Iroquois children from Seneca [Cattaraugus], Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Tuscarora communities attended the school.
This collection is intellectually arranged in 3 series. Series 1: Student and class portraits, Series 2: School activities and classes, Series 3: School buildings and grounds. The collection is physically organized by negative number.
Biographical / Historical:
Located on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in New York State, the Thomas Asylum for Orphaned and Destitute Indian Children was established as a private institution in 1855 and named after benefactor Philip E. Thomas. Orphaned and poor American Indian children from the Seneca [Cattaraugus], Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Tuscarora communities were sent to the asylum for boarding and care. In 1875 the institution was transferred to the State of New York and run under the New York State Board of Charities. It was charged with the education and vocational training of American Indian children in their care, which is reported to have included acculturation and assimilation of Native students by means of prohibiting use of Native languages and traditional cultural practices. In 1905 the institution was renamed the Thomas Indian School. By this time, eight grades were offered at the school, which had a half-day system with students attending classes for part of the day and working the other half. By 1930, the School was classified as a junior high school, but it was eventually closed in 1957 by the State.
The New York State Archives in Albany, NY holds the Thomas Indian School Agency History Records and a collection of photographs.
This collection was donated by the grandchildren of Victor and Ethel Bissell Seneca.
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Thursday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: email@example.com).
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images depict the Seneca Iroquois Indians on the Cattaraugus Reservation in New York.
Scope and Contents:
The Keppler collection consists primarily of informal portraits of Seneca men and women made in 1900, 1904, 1905, 1908 and 1910. Keppler made most of these photographs on the Cattaraugus Reservation (including a photograph of Edward Cornplanter's Indian and Minstrel show) but also on the Tonawanda, Onondaga, and Allegany Reservations. Aside from the portraits, the photographs depict Seneca dwellings and ceremonials. Also by Keppler is a group of photographs depicting Seneca and Cayuga athletes playing lacrosse and standing for a group portrait. These he made in 1902 at the Crescent Athletic Club in New York City. In New York State, he also photographed Oneida, Onondaga, and Tuscarora individuals. The collection includes several potraits of Keppler and approximately 15 photographs dated ca. 1937 of the interior of Keppler's home. The latter showcase Keppler's American Indian object collection. He also made portraits of Native sitters in his home. There are several photographs in the collection that Keppler did not make. Among them is an 1886 print by Camillus S. Fly entitled "Council between General Crook and Geronimo," and studio portrait made before 1870 of a group of Kiowa sitters, including Lone Wolf and his wife, and full-length studio portrait of a Shoshone or Bannock man dating ca. 1870. Some of the negatives are later copy negatives.
Negatives Arranged by negative number (N18567-N18589, N21231-N21314, N21803-N21806, N23071, N23087, N23089, N23091, N23093, N23095-N23096, N23106-N23114, N34852, N36800-N36801, N37887)
Prints Arranged by print number (P00277, P01535-P01536, P01622, P01625, P01652, P01737-P01738, P02640, P10029, P12499-P12518, P13246-P13247, P13252-P13253, P13256, P13258, P13756, P16081, P16084, P16111, P16112, P16114, P25274-P25295, P37581)
Udo J. Keppler, who changed his name to Joseph W. Keppler, Jr. in honor of his father, was a political cartoonist for Puck Magazine and an avid collector of Indian artifacts, as well as being an Indian activist. This interest led him to an association with George G. Heye, director of the Museum of the American Indian. Keppler often acted as an intermediary between other collectors and Native artisans, facilitating the expansion of the Iroquois collection of the Museum of the American Indian and others. He was elected honorary chief of the Seneca in 1899 and given the name Gy-ant-wa-ka.
Biographical / Historical:
Born Udo J. Keppler, Joseph W. Keppler (1872-1956), or "Kep," was the son of Joseph Keppler, the great political cartoonist and founder and publisher of the popular and highly influential magazine, Puck. The younger Keppler was born in St. Louis, Missouri and educated in Munich, Germany and New York City. Like his father, he too was a political cartoonist. He became the art director at Puck and, when his father died in 1894, took over as publisher. Joseph W. Keppler ran the magazine until he sold it in 1914. The younger Keppler's two great interests in life were said to be Puck and American Indians. Evidently, Keppler's deep interest in Indians and Indian affairs developed out of his desire to collect Indian objects and his friendship with Mrs. Harriet Maxwell Converse, an early advocate for Native rights. Through Converse, Keppler built friendships with Iroquois living on reservations in New York State and Canada, but especially with Senecas living on the Cattaraugus and Tonawanda reservations in New York. At Converse's funeral in 1903, the 31-year-old Keppler was adopted by the Seneca Nation and made a member of the Wolf Clan. Like Converse, Keppler served as an advocate for Senecas. Most importantly, he worked to help defeat or modify plans to allot Iroquois reservations in New York State. Keppler became a major collector of American Indian objects and his passion to collect led to an association with George G. Heye. In 1901, Heye apparently accompanied Keppler to the Seneca and Cattaraugus Reservations; this trip might have been Heye's first to a Native community. From 1927 to 1942, Keppler served on the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation board of trustrees and for a time was also the Museum's vice president. In 1944, Keppler and his (second) wife Vera left New York and moved to California. Keppler died in La Jolla, California, at the age of 84.
Access is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment.
Restricted: Cultural Sensitivity
Joseph W. Keppler, Jr. collction of negatives and photographs, National Museum of the American Indian Archives, Smithsonian Institution (negative, slide or catalog number).
1. Letters received from other anthropologists and the public, with a few copies of letters sent, 1886- ca. 1933. Alphabetically arranged.
2. Letters received from Indians of the Onondaga, Tonowanda, and Tuscarora Reservations, with a few copies of letters sent, ca. 1902-ca. 1935. Alphabetically arranged.
3. Letters received from Indians of the Six Nations Reservation, Grand River, Ontario, Canada, with a few copies of letters sent, 1897-1937, Alphabetically arranged.
4. Letters sent, 1902-1905. In letterpress copybook, pages 84-338. Pages 1-83 contain an Iroquois text, untranslated. Correspondents include: Melancon, Art.[?] S. J., Archivist, College Sainte-Marie, Montreau. May 8, 1930. Concerning whereabouts of Ojibwa manuscript of Fr. Ferard.
Bureau of American Ethnology 4721 Correspondents include: Adkins, O.W., Bailey, Nicodemus, Carroll, Julia C., Chew, William, Clute, Alexander H., Coolidge, Sherman Rev. (see Society of American Indians), Cornplanter, Jesse, Doxtator, George, Gansworth, Howard, Haag, Mack, Harkin, Lee F., Henricks, Walter A. Mrs, Hewitt, Alvis B., Hewitt, Caroline, Hewitt, David B., Hill, Mrs, Hill, C. D., Hill, David Russell, Howe, Chester, Honyoust, John, Johnson, Elias, Johnson, Isaac Mrs, Johnson, Matthew L., Johnson, William J., Jonathan, Jesse, Jones, W. Franklin, Kellogg, Laura C. (Mrs O. J.), Kirk, Jesse Rev., Koeppler, John L., Lincoln, George I. (see Thomas Asylum) Lyon(s), Iva B., Lyon(s), Phoebe Patterson Mrs, Lyon(s), Emmet Chief, Metoxen, Pierson L., [RE: Mountpleasant, John] Gearlow, George C., Mountpleasant, Grant, Murray, Robert Knox, Moore, M. M., Owl, W. David (Charo.), Parker, Arthur C., (see Society of American Indians), Patterson, Holland, D., Robinson, Joe T. (U. S. Senator, Arkansas), Seneca Nation, Resolution, March 21, '03, Society of American Indians, The, Parker, Arthur C., Secretary-Treasurer (Includes 2 page biographical notes by JNBH on Jean Baptiste Bottineau) Smith, Lucy M., Tarbell, Margarette (nee M. M. White), Tuscarora Tribe, Thomas Asylum, Lincoln, George I. Superindendent, White, M. M. see Tarbell; Wild Pigeon, Chief.
Correspondents at Six Nations Reservation. (Incomplete list.) Baldwin, Marie L. B., Beaver, G. W., Buck, John, Gabaoosa, George (Garden River, Ontario, Not Brantford, Grand River), Gibson, John H., Gibson, Simeon, Gridley, Marion E. (Indian Council Fire)-- See note on reverse., Hess, Jacob, Hill, Asa R., Newhouse, Seth, 1897-1911, Thomas, David, Morgan, C. E., Lt Col., Gridley, M. includes biographical notes on the following: Dr Arthur C. Parker, William B. Newell (Rolling Thunder), Dr George W. Beaver, W. David Owl, Louis Deer (Oskanonton).
"H" section includes office memos and various papers relating to Hewitt and his career with the Bureau of American Ethnology. (They are not necessarily received from persons whose names begin with H, but should be kept together because of their relevance to Hewitt's career.) Nothing here from Horatio Hale. MCB 6/6/63.
Includes sidelights on others in Bureau of American Ethnology and out- e.g. letter from Sapir concerning Radins "dismisal" and concerning Hewitt's relationship with Hodge.
NAA MS 4271
Researcher (Fr Aloysius Schretlen, SJ) trying to locate Ojibway Manuscript of Fr Ferard says not at Wikwemikong, Jesuit Motherhouse in Canada, as stated elsewhere. Says "I much fear the manuscript may have been lost in the disastrous fire of 1954, for I feel sure it would have been shown to me..." (correspondence 88-464, dated 3/17/88) KTB 4/5/88