Montana Superintendency of Indian Affairs

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United States Gotoarrow.png American Indian Research Gotoarrow.png Bureau of Indian Affairs Gotoarrow.png Superintendencies Gotoarrow.png Montana

History

The Montana Superintendency of Indian Affairs was established in 1864. After the Superintendency was abolished in1873, the agents reported directly to the Office of Indian Affairs in Washington, DC. Some correspondence continued to be filed under "Montana" until the filing system was changed in 1881, however.

The records of the Montana Superintendency relate to most aspects of Indian affairs in its area, including negotiation and enforcement of treaties, Indian migration and subsistence, removal of Indians, annuity and other payments to Indians, location of agencies, traders and licenses, suppression of liquor traffic, hostilities and military operations, depredation claims, construction and repair of buildings, purchase and transportation of goods and supplies, employees, and accounts.

Records for Superintendencies exist in the National Archives and copies of many of them are also available in other research facilities.

Tribes

Blackfeet, Piegan, Blood (Kainah), Grosventre, Flathead,Kutenai, Pend d'Oreille, Crow, Assiniboin, Shoshoi, Bannock, Tukuarika (Sheepeater),  and severl bands of Sioux.

Governors and Ex Officio Superintendents

Sidney S. Edgerton June 22, 1864, Green Clay Smith July 13, 1866 [1]

Superintendents

Maj. Gen. Alfred Sully, June 1, 1869, Jasper A. Diall, September 9, 1870, and James Wright, December 11, 1872 [2]

Agencies

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.

Correspondence regarding the Blackfoot, Piegan, Blood (Kainah), Grosventre Indians, Flathead, Upper Pend d'Oreilles, Kutenai Indians, Crow Indians, Assiniboin Indians, and, to a lesser extent, the Northern Cheyenne, Arapaho, Shoshoni, Santee, Yankton, Yanktonai, Teton, Bannock, Shoshoni, and Tukuarika Indians are included.

Records

Records of the Montana Superintendent of Indian Affairs, 1867-1873, are at the National Archives and have been microfilmed as their Microcopy Number M833. Copies are also available at the Denver and  Seattle Regional Archives. This set of microfilm of the records of the Montana Superintendency is also available at the Family History Library and its family history centers.

Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs from the Montana Superintendency, 1864-1880, have been microfilmed by theNational Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M234. Copies are available at the National Archives and at the Family History Library and its family history centers on their microfilm roll numbers 1661218 thru 1661248.

Records of the Montana Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 1867-1873. M833. 3 rolls. FHL Film: 1618090

References

  1. 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
  2. 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

Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Press, [1974].

Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington [District of Columbia]: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1981.

Historical Sketches for Jurisdictional and Subject Headings Used for the Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880. National Archives Microcopy T1105.

Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington, DC: