Chicago Indian Agency (Illinois)
The Chicago Agency
Indian Tribes Associated With This Agency
The Chicago Agency was established in 1805 and was responsible for the Indians of Illinois and the southern part of what is now Wisconsin. During the years of its operation, the assignment of various tribes shifted quite often, as did the place the agencies reported. From 1821 to 1832, there was a subagency at Peoria which reported to the Chicago Agency for its first year of operation. The tribes assigned to that subagency were reassigned to the Chicago Agency when it was abolished in 1832.
The Chicago Agency was also sometimes called the Illinois Agency. The Chicago Agency was discontinued at the end of 1834 and the Indians under its supervision were removed to areas west of the Mississippi River, but the Chicago agent continued to perform the duties as Superintendent of Emigration, so correspondence was still filed under the Chicago heading until as late as 1847.<
Agents and Appointment Dates
Charles Jouett July 27, 1802; resided at Detroit until 1805. Served until 1811, From 1811 - 1815 there was no agent at Chicago. John Bowyer July 14, 1815, Charles Jouett March 15, 1816, Alexander Wolcott March 27, 1819, Thomas J.V. Owen February 8, 1831; after December 31, 1834 he was Superintendent of Emigration and acting agent., Capt. J. B. F. Russell (acting) September 24, 1835, Gholson Kercheval (acting) July 26, 1836, Col. L. H. Sands (acting) July 14, 1837, Abel C. Pepper (acting)
Superintendent of Emigration and acting agent in Indian Assinged additional duties as Superintendent of Emigration and acting agent at Chicago February 26, 1838 
Agencies and subagencies were created as administrative offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its predecessors. Their purpose was (and is) to manage Indian affairs with the tribes, to enforce policies, and to assist in maintaining the peace. The names and location of these agencies may have changed, but their purpose remained basically the same. Many of the records of genealogical value (for the tribe and tribal members) were created by and maintained by the agencies.
Letters received from the Chicago Agency, 1824-1847, are included among Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, filmed by the National Archives as their Microcopy M248, Rolls 132-134. This set of records is also available at the Family History Library and its family history centers (their microfilm roll numbers 1660862 thru 1660864).
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974, pp. 37-39
- The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. By Edward E. Hill. Clearwater Publishing Co., New York, NY ©1974. FHL Book 970.1 H551o
- American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998, Microcopy M234, p. 8.
- American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998.
- Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981.
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974.
- Historical Sketches for Jurisdictional and Subject Headings Used for the Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880. National Archives Microcopy T1105.
- Marquette University. Guide to Catholic-Related Records in the Midwest about Native Americans.
- Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Services. Available online