St. Peters Indian Agency (Minnesota)
Indian Tribes Associated With This Agency
The St. Peters Agency was established in 1819 and was responsible for the Indians in present-day Minnesota and part of Iowa, previously assigned to the Prairie du Chien Agency. By 1827, the Chippewa were the responsibility of the Sault Ste. Marie Agency. The Sioux belonging to this agency were called the Sioux of the Mississippi to distinguish them from the other Sioux assigned to the Upper Missouri Agency.
There were four main bands of Sioux assigned to the St. Peters Agency, called collectively the Sioux of the Mississippi -- Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Sisseton, and Wahpeton. The Yankton and Assiniboin Sioux were more closely associated with the Upper Missouri Agency. In 1834, the Mdewakanton Band of Sioux known as Wabisha's Band, were transferred to the Prairie du Chien Agency, but were transferred back in 1841.
The St. Peters Agency was located at the mouth of the St. Peters River (now known as the Minnesota River) at the site of Minneapolis. The Indians under its jurisdiction resided in Minnesota and Iowa. For three years from 1848 to 1851, St. Peters operated as a subagency.
By 1854, the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute had moved to their new reserve and the agency headquarters was moved to a location near the mouth of the Redwood River on that reserve. Agency buildings were provided for the St. Peters Agency at both the location at Redwood River (also called the Lower Sioux Agency), and at Yellow Medicine on the reserve for the Sisseton and Wahpeton (also called the Upper Sioux Agency).
Due to an uprising in Minnesota in 1862, many of the Sioux were moved in 1863 to an area in Dakota Territory near the mouth of Crow Creek. They came under the Winnebago Agency for a short time. By 1865, the St. Peters Agent moved to the Crow Creek area and the agency came to be known as the Santee Sioux Agency.
Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs from the Wyandot Subagency, 1824-1870, have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M234, Rolls 757-766. Copies are available at the National Archives and at the Family History Library and its family history centers on their microfilm roll numbers 1661487 thru 1661496.
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974, pp. 160-162.
- 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