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Asa Waldo Wildes daybook, 1849-1864 (majority within 1857)

1 volume

The Asa Waldo Wildes daybook contains an account of his 1857 trip from Detroit to Michigan's Upper Peninsula via Lake Huron and Lake Superior, as well as poetry, financial accounts, and a draft of an 1857 survey report.

The Asa Waldo Wildes daybook contains an account of his 1857 trip from Detroit to Michigan's Upper Peninsula via Lake Huron and Lake Superior, as well as poetry, financial accounts, and a draft of an 1857 survey report.

The daybook opens with a note regarding the death of Wildes's young son Francis on September 17, 1849, accompanied by a pair of short poems; other poetry, dated 1857 and 1858, appears on the next 11 pages. The next segment consists of a 28-page draft of a survey made for the Marquette & Ontonagon Railroad.

A 38-page account concerns Wildes's journey to the Upper Peninsula on the steamer Illinois, beginning May 18, 1857. Wildes wrote about the 1812 Siege of Detroit, seen through the eyes of a War of 1812 veteran (pp. 11-12), but focused primarily on the sights and people encountered along Michigan's eastern and northern coasts. He described both American and Canadian cities along the lakeshore, and on one occasion detailed his interactions with local Indian traders, whom he met near Saginaw Bay. Despite its springtime start, the Illinois frequently encountered ice while on Lake Superior and became trapped on several occasions before reaching Fort Wilkins and Portage Charter Township. Once on land, Wildes focused on natural resources, paying special attention to the local copper and iron industries along Lake Superior's southern coast and around L'Anse, Michigan, where he concluded his narrative. The volume concludes with poetry and financial accounts related to the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, dated as late as 1864.


Charles E. Cleland Native American research collection, 1970-2008, and undated

117 cubic ft. (in 122 Boxes, 9 Ov. folders)

The collection includes mostly photocopies of materials generated by various lawsuits, and other materials documenting Native Americans of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and First Peoples of Ontario, Canada, their history, culture, and relationship with the presiding government.Tribes documented are noted in the subject headings.

The collection includes mostly undated photocopies of materials generated by various tribal lawsuits against states and the United States (US) government in the collection. Some of the materials date back to the 1780s, but they are not originals, they are photocopies mostly made in the 1970s-1990s or later. There are some original reports and court records created during the time period of 1970-2008. The collection is rich in and dense in documenting Native Americans of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and First Peoples of Ontario, Canada, their history, culture, and relationship with the presiding government.

The collection is in original order. It is organized alphabetically by series by tribe or community seeking tribal status, reservation boundary (KBIC) case, tax case, or for hunting and fishing rights (Voight or LCO case) (105 boxes, 102.5 cubic feet). Within each series there are various subseries which may include: calendar documents (reference documents in chronological order), Cleland reports and reports of others (un/published), Cleland’s testimony as an expert witness, reference documents and/or un/published sources including newspaper or journal articles, books, maps, government reports, laws, land, legal and tax records, correspondence, business or personal records, excerpts from journals, diaries, and accounts, treaties, various US or Canadian court documents, miscellaneous and/or related documents, footnotes, project files, transcriptions of oral histories, finding aids, various types of maps, sketches, and genealogical and/or family charts. Some materials are bound volumes and others are oversized materials. Tribes or communities represented in the collection include:

Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Wisconsin) 2 boxes (2 cubic ft.); Bay Mills Indian Community (Michigan) 15 boxes (14.5 cubic ft.); Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa (Minnesota) 8 boxes (7.5 cubic ft.); Forest County Potawatomi (Wisconsin), Notre Dame Project 4 boxes (4 cubic ft.); Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC, Michigan) 10 boxes (10 cubic ft.); Lac Courte Oreilles [Lake Superior Ojibwa]– Voigt Case 4 boxes (4 cubic ft.); Menominee (Wisconsin) 13 Boxes (12.5 cubic ft.); Mille Lacs Chippewa (Minnesota) 21 boxes (19 cubic ft.) (Note: Box 1 is actually half Menominee and half Mille Lacs Chippewas.); Saginaw Chippewa (Michigan) 13 boxes (13 cubic ft.); Sarnia [Chippewas of Sarnia Band (Ontario, Canada) who prefer to be known as Aamjiwnaang First Nation] 9 boxes (9 cubic ft.); Stockbridge-Munsee (Wisconsin) 8 boxes (8 cubic ft.).

Additional case and reference materials are found at the end in Boxes A-M (12 boxes, 9 Oversized folders, 13 cubic feet). These include: Box A: Bay Mills, US v. MI, 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box B: Bay Mills, US v. MI, KBIC Tax Case, KBIC Boundary Case, Crown v Sarnia, 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box C: Crown v. Sarnia 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box D: KBIC Boundary Case 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box E: KBIC Boundary Case 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box F: Saginaw Case 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box G: Miscellaneous Unpublished reports 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box H Finding Aids 1 box (.25 cubic ft.); Box I: Various legal cases, acts, statutes, decisions in Canadian cases 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box J: LCO Case, Stockbridge-Munsee, Mille Lacs, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box K: Crandon Mine, Menominee Case, treaties US 1 box (1 cubic foot); Box L: Menominee Documents (really 1 Oversized folder on shelf); Box M: Calendars, Reference documents 1 box (1 cubic foot).

Also included are 5x8 inch notecards (4 boxes, 1.5 cubic foot), which usually document in one box each: KBIC, Grand Portage, MI and MN Chippewas, and Voigt.

Lastly, nine oversized folders (larger than legal-size, about .5 cubic foot) include mostly photocopies of a wide variety of maps, treaty signers, genealogy notes and family tree, and land claims.

All boxes in the collection are 1 cubic foot boxes except for the following: Boxes #15, 25, 68, 74-75 are .5 cubic foot boxes; Box #113 is .25 cubic foot box, Box #117 is really an Overszied folder; Boxes #119-122 are 5x8 inch index card boxes.

Materials were collected from a plethora of local, state, and national archives and historical institutions, as well as tribal archives, and various courts, both American and Canadian.

Abbreviations: Professor Cleland and his staff used numerous, and sometimes various, abbreviations for institutions, record groups and/or series names or other citations. Some of these were obvious to the processors, others were not. Many of these abbreviations are not identified in this finding aid. For example, enclosure is abbreviated multiple ways. These variations were retained during processing. Some of these variations are obvious and can be deduced by researchers from the materials.

Also, due to the length of the collection, a number of abbreviations and grammatical changes were implemented by the archivist.

The archivist also deleted: ["no reference" and "incomplete reference"], the, a, or an (articles) at the beginning of a title; Anonymous or Author unknown or a.u.; unknown dates, undated, ND, or n.d. and s.u. Marian also changed: Microfilm to micro and “and” to and; and abbreviated certain common words, as noted below, and the names of months.

Abbreviations used widely by Professor Cleland, his staff, and Marian the Archivist include: ABCFM=American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions; AFCP=American Fur Company Papers; AG=Attorney General; ARCOIA=Annual Report of Commissioners of Indian Affairs; B or Bx=Box; BBC=Bishop Baraga Collection; BIA=Bureau of Indian Affairs; ca.=circa; CCF=Central classified files; CMU=Central Michigan University; CHL=Clarke Historical Library; Co.=County; COIA=Commissioner/s of Indian Affairs; Corp.=Corporation; Dist.=District; E=East, not eastern; encl.=enclosure or enclosed; GLO=General Land Office; HR=House of Representatives; HS=Historical Society; ICC=Indian Claims Commission; IL=Illinois; IN=Indiana; JL=Journal; LC=Library of Congress; LLL=Letters of Lucius Lyon; LRBO-OHC=Little River Band-Oral History Collection; Ltd.=Limited; MH=Michigan History (a publication); MHM=Michigan History Magazine (a publication); MI=Michigan; Misc.=Miscellaneous; MPHC=Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections (a publication); MN=Minnesota; MS=Mississippi; Mss.=Manuscript; MTRL-JP=Metro Toronto Reference Library-Jarvis Papers; N=North, not Northern; NAM=National Archives microfilm; NEB=Nebraska; NWT=Northwest Territories; OIA=Office of Indian Affairs; US=United States; PAC=Public Archives of Canada (National Archives of Canada); PAO=Public Archives of Ontario; PAO-WJLB=Public Archives of Ontario-William Jones Letterbook; Qly=quarterly; rec=received; S=South, not southern; SAM=State Archives of Michigan; TWP=township; UCA=United Church Archives; U.P.=Upper Peninsula; US=United States; UWO, RC-EP= University of Western Ontario, Regional Collection-Evans Papers; W=West, not Western; w/=with; WI=Wisconsin; WL, UWO-WP =Weldon Library, University of Western Ontario, Wawanash Papers.

Also, the original punctuation used varies. A few of the original folder labels were crossed out partially or entirely. These variations were retained during processing.

Processing Notes: Only a few duplicate copies were withdrawn from the collection. Several items which had suffered physical damage mostly due to mud or dirt stains or being badly crumpled or torn were copied and the originals were withdrawn from the collection. (The total withdrawn from this collection was less than .25 cubic ft.).

The vast majority of the collection was organized into series by tribal name or topic, foldered, and labeled before it came to the Clarke. Original folders were maintained in the collection. We endeavored as much as possible to duplicate the original label headings (which varied somewhat from series to series) in the Box and folder listing. Items that were not foldered were foldered by the archivist, and those that were unlabeled were identified and labeled by the archivist.


Claude S. Larzelere Papers, 1941-1946, and undated

1 cubic foot (in 1 box)

The papers mostly document his research interests.

The papers mostly document a wide variety of Michigan topics in which Professor Larzelere was interested or taught, and they document the life of a CMU professor.


Donald Chaput Miscellaneous Michigan Collection, 1929, 1967, and undated

1.25 cubic ft. (in 1 box, 1 Oversized folder)

Collection includes information about the history of Michigan counties, forts, places, people, events, French men and Native Americans, and mining.

Collection materials include correspondence and reference requests on various Michigan historical topics, counties, forts, and people, as well as French men and three Ottawa chiefs he researched for the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Most materials were collected between 1965 and 1967. Some materials are in French. Some materials are in French.

Oversized Materials: Map by Dept. of Conservation, Div. of Geological Survey, entitled Progress Structural Contours of the Mt. Pleasant Oil Field Area, Aug. 8, 1929, measures approximately 38x62 inches, is stained and acidic; and an undated, twentieth century reproduction of a New France, Canada Map entitled Le Canada, ou Nouvelle France, by N. Sanson, d'Abbeville, 1657, tinted in yellow, brown, and two shades of green, measures 10x14 inches, in the bottom margin it states "compliments of C. M. Burton, Detroit." The maps were separated from the boxes sometime prior to 1997. They were located, interfiled between published maps, in January 2015 by students working on a map scanning project, and were then processed by the Archivist Marian Matyn.

Processing Note: Originally, the maps were separated from the boxes sometime prior to 1997. They were located, interfiled between published maps, in January 2015 by students working on a map scanning project, and were then processed by the Archivist Marian Matyn.


James A. Clifton Native American research collection, 1806-2001 (Scattered), and undated

36 cubic ft. (in 19 boxes, 19 card boxes, 2 Oversized Folders)

Collection of wide variety of research and reference materials on Native Americans, mostly Potawatomi, Ojibwe and Ottawa, mainly in Michigan and Kansas, but also includes Wisconsin, Canadian, and other Native American tribes. The main series are: Clifton personal, research, reference, and academic materials, Bay Mills Indian Community Court Case materials, Canadian Potawatomi research materials, Kansas Potawatomi research materials, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community vs. the State of Michigan court case materials, Michigan tuition waver project materials, [Native American] Removal documents, reprints, Saginaw Chippewa Tribe court case materials, and Wisconsin vs. Baker court case materials.

Abbreviations: Due to the size of this collection, the following abbreviations have been used to cut down on the size and of the finding aid. Abbreviations used include the following: ABCFM for American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM was used by Clifton in many of his notations in the Reprints series). ARSMPIS for Annual Reports of the Superintendent of the Mount Pleasant Indian School. AG for Attorney General. BIA for Bureau of Indian Affairs. COIA for Commissioner of Indian Affairs. ICC for Indian Claims Commission. IL for Illinois. IN for Indiana. JL for journal. KN for Kansas. KUPS for University of Kansas Potawatomi Survey. MAG for Michigan Attorney General. MI for Michigan MHS for Minnesota Historical Society. MN for Minnesota. MO for Missouri. MS for Mississippi.i NAM for National Archives Microfilm. NEB for Nebraska. NY for New York. NWT for Old Northwest Territory. OK for Oklahoma. PA for Pennsylvania. Qly for quarterly. Re: for regarding. SD for South Dakota. US for United States. W for West WI for Wisconsin

Spelling Note: The spelling of Indian words, such as villages, tribes, bands, and the names of individuals, varies greatly among and within nineteenth century documents and articles. I copied the spelling [errors] or phonetic pronunciations used in these older documents for this finding aid.

Series Description: Overall, Clifton’s collection documents his academic papers, large research projects, and his reference collection. It also includes a small amount of biographical material on Clifton.

The collection consists almost entirely of photocopies or photo-static copies of published and unpublished articles or drafts of articles, speeches, complete or partial books, correspondence, contracts, curriculum vitaes, government documents, treaties, grant proposals and related materials, faxed information, lists, notes, and various other reference materials, maps, a small number of duplicated black and white photographs, mainly from the Smithsonian Institute, and other materials, including a few overheads.

The originals in the collection include some Clifton’s correspondence and some of his notes and notecards. Many of his notes, particularly in the KUPS series are typed.

The collection is first divided by the size and format of the material into three groupings. First, (mostly) letter-sized material (with some legal-size material). Second, note cards, and, third, oversized material.

The letter-size material is then organized into a number of series. Each series is then organized alphabetically by subject, and then within each series alphabetically and chronologically by the folders’ headings, as appropriate. As much as possible, the archivist used Clifton’s headings, or an expanded version of them, as needed, for ease of use by researchers. In cases were there were no folder headings, or indeed no folders, the archivist sought to organize and label materials as simply as was possible for reasonable easy use by researchers.

The following letter-size series (a total of 18 cubic ft.) are found in this collection: 1) Clifton Materials-Biographical and Academic Papers; and his large research projects and reference collection are documented in the following series: 2) Bay Mills Indian Community (BMIC) Court Case Materials; 3) Canadian Potawatomi Research Materials; 4) Kansas Potawatomi Research Materials; 5) Keweenaw Bay Indian Community vs. the State of MI Court Case Materials; 6) MI Tuition Waver Project Materials; 7) [Native American] Removal Documents; 8) Reprints; 9) Saginaw Chippewa Tribe Court Case Materials; and 10) WI vs. Baker Court Case Materials.

Most of the remainder of the collection consists topical 5x7 inch handwritten Notecards (15 cubic ft. in 19 boxes). Oversized materials (approximately 3 cubic ft.) include an oversized folder of some Isabella County (MI) plat maps (copies), 1891; and an oversized volume of various pages from multiple nineteenth century Tract Books of the General Land Office (Ionia, MI).

1) Clifton Materials, 1963-2000 (total approximately .5 cubic foot), includes his Biographical Material, 1987, 2000 (1 folder), with his Obituary, 2000; and his Academic Papers, 1963, 1972-1989, 1990, 1993, 2000, consisting of Clifton’s bibliography on Old Northwest Indian removal, 1825-1855; copies of book reviews, introductions to books and articles, his coursepack for a class; papers for publication and presentation, published articles, reports for the WI Dept of Justice for WI vs. Stockbridge [Mohican] Munsee Community (Case No. 98-C-0871), a case he researched for the WI Attorney General’s office, some of his research materials, and notes.

The Judicial Update website of Morisset, Schlosser [who specializes in federal litigation, natural resource and Indian tribal property issues], Jozwiak and McGaw (, on Nov. 18, 2004, describes the WI vs. Stockbridge Munsee Community Case No. 98-C-0871 67 F Supp. 2 d 990 (E. D. Wisc. Sept. 30, 1999) as follows: “[The] State [of WI] brought action seeking to prevent the tribe from operating Class III electronic games of chance at a casino located outside boundaries on [the] Indian reservation. Upon [the] state’s motion for preliminary injunction, the district court held that: (1) [the] state demonstrated a reasonable likelihood of success of their claim that Act of 1871 resulted in diminishment of [the] tribe’s reservation, and (2) other factors warranted granting preliminary injunction. Motion granted.”

This series documents various aspects of Clifton’s academic, publication, and research interests and activities. The rest of the collection documents his large research projects, particularly those regarding Native American court cases in MI and his Kansas University Potawatomi Survey research project.

Personal information on Clifton, aside from that found in his obituary, is not available in this collection.

2) Bay Mills Indian Community (BMIC) Court Case Materials, 1936-1998 (Scattered) (approximately 1.5 cubic ft.), which documents two court cases. The court case for which there is the most material is the BMIC vs. Western United Life Assurance Co., et al. Documenting this court case are copies of court records, correspondence and email, reference and supporting documentation, 1936-1937, 1974-1975, 1992, and, mostly, 1997-1998, collected and notated by Clifton, who worked for the MAG. The Peninsula Legal Services, P.C., served as the tribe’s legal counsel.

BMIC vs. Western began in 1996 as a land claims settlement case. The BMIC had a claim to over 100 acres of land in what is now Charlotte Beach (MI). The land was to be held in trust for ancestral bands of the BMIC by the Governor of MI. Eventually the land was sold for delinquent taxes, without BMIC’s knowledge or consent. The court case resulted in the severe decrease of the value of the Charlotte Beach property and the inability of the current owners to verify their deeds. The tribe desired the land back or an equitable settlement. The case continued with various compromises being offered and not accepted by the BMIC for ten years. Part of the continuance, documented by a smaller amount of copied material (three folders), is the BMIC vs. the State of MI, et al. court case, 1998.

The Judicial Update website of Morisset, Schlosser [who specializes in federal litigation, natural resource and Indian tribal property issues], Jozwiak and McGaw (, on Nov. 18, 2004, describes BMIC vs. Western United Life Assurance Co., no. 99-1036, (6th Cir. 2000) as follows: “Plaintiff Bay Mills Indian Community filed a complaint Asserting an interest I a parcel of property within the county [Charlotte Beach, MI]. Bay Mills alleged various federal constitutional and statutory violations in connection with the 1884 ouster from the property of its predecessors in interest, two aboriginal Chippewa bands, and sought either equitable title to the property or damages equal to its value and damages for the loss of the use and enjoyment of the land since 1884. The defendants, individuals and entities currently possessing various interests in the property, moved to dismiss the action under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12 (b)(7) and 19 for failure to join an indispensable party,the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The district court granted the defendants’ motion and dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint. Affirmed.”

In 2002 the US Senate proposed a bill to offer property in Sault Ste. Marie (MI) to the tribe, on which they could operate a casino. The committee on Indian Affairs heard the bill’s supporters and detractors and adjourned, declining the proposed bill. [Information from US. Congress. Senate. Committee on Indian Affairs. BMIC Land Claims Settlement Act. Hearing before the Committee on Indian Affairs, US Senate, 1077th Congress, 2nd Session on S. 2986 Oct. 10, 2002, a e-copy of which is available in the Park Library.]

3) Canadian Potawatomi Research Materials, 1835-1975, and undated (Scattered) (7 folders). This small series includes copies of acts, treaties, and constitutions of the Prairie Potawatomi in Kansas, 1936; materials relating to the Caldwell Band of Point Pelee, Pelee Island, and Malden, Ontario, Canada; Potawatomi Agency Correspondence, 1837-1870-1878; and Potawatomi Study Correspondence, 1973-1975; and Correspondence to/from Clifton, and Reference materials.

4) Kansas Potawatomi Research Materials, 1880-1883, 1886 1932, 1940, 1948, 1952, 1962-1965, 1973-1974, mainly 1962-1965 (approximately 2 cubic ft.)

General Kansas Potawatomi materials, mostly copied reference materials, 1880-1883, 1886 1932, 1940, 1948, 1952, 1973-1974, (9 inches, or approximately .5 cubic foot), are open to researchers. This includes correspondence, miscellaneous notes, and genealogies (family trees), as well as a large amount of reference materials, including newspaper clippings, bibliographies, and copies of articles. Also included are instructions for coding field notes and research materials for the Kansas University Potawatomi Survey (KUPS) Clifton led.

Of particular note here are the KUPS materials, mostly 1962-1965. The KUPS materials include: field notes, cross reference notes to field notes, and other research or reference materials, such as citations and maps. These materials were accumulated and categorized by Clifton, his wife, Faye, and his research assistants, Bob Bee and Ann Searcy, during their interviews with and observations of Kansas Potawatomi, also called the Prairie Band of Potawatomi, from 1962 through 1965. Many of these Potawatomi lived in the Mayetta (Kan.) vicinity. Notes and reference materials were filed within an extensive, coded KUPS folder arrangement. Many of the folders were found to be empty during processing, so researchers will notice gaps in the numerical sequence of the KUPS folders.

The FIELD NOTES of the KUPS (approximately 1.5 cubic ft.) are CLOSED TO RESEARCHERS for 70 years until 2045 [1965+70], because of the personal information in the detailed field notes, including: medical and psychiatric patient case records, alcoholism, the use of peyote, criminal records, sexual orientation, marital status, perceptions of those who were thought to practice witchcraft, sexual or physical abuse some people in the study suffered or received, and the detailed information about their financial states, as well as governmental support received, the field notes are closed.

6) Keweenaw Bay Indian Community vs. the State of MI Court Case Materials, were collected and annotated by Clifton for the State of MAG, 1988-1989 (approximately 3 cubic ft.). The Reprints in this series include copies and typed transcripts of materials sent to the MAG, which are organized either chronologically by the date of the event documented in the information, or alphabetically by topic, and include materials from 1820 through 1946 (Scattered), 1957, 1960, 1965-1966, 1972, 1979, 1982, 1985, and 1992. Types of materials in this series include: copies of depositions, notes, evidence copies of newspapers, magazines, and academic articles, books, maps, land patents and deeds, government documents, and correspondence, usually between the COIA and various Indian Agents.

According to the Michigan Indian Gaming website’s section documenting newsworthy events of 1998 (url is, this court case is described as follows: “On Feb. 12, 1998 Judge David McKeague issued a decision stating that the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community statellite[sic] casino is operating illegally because the tribe did not adhere to IGRA [Indian Gaming Regulation Acts] in opening these facilities.” “On Aug. 21, 1998 the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa Indians launched a media campaign to gather support to prevent the closing of its Turtle Creek Casino in Acme, MI. The United States Attorney General’s office filed for a preliminary injunction to shut down the tribes[sic] casino because it claims that the casino is operating illegally. This came after the U.S. 6th Circuit [Court] overturned a decision in Keweenaw vs. MI. The Court is expected to hold a hearing on the issue in November of this year.”

7) Michigan Tuition Waver Project materials, (8 folders), includes copies of materials compiled or created in 1996 by Clifton. This project resulted from the demands of MI tribes for free tuition at the University of MI, which they believe was granted to them in old MI treaties. Materials found here include: reference materials, notably several articles written and published by Alice Littlefield about Native American education and the US Indian Schools, 1989, 1993, and 1996; Mount Pleasant Indian School (Mount Pleasant, MI) documents, 1934-1996 (Scattered); some legislation, 1968; Clifton’s report, correspondence, and contract with the MAG, 1996; and the MAG’s conclusion, Dec. 1995. Clifton contracted with the MAG to collect materials to defend their side of the case.

The MI [Indian] Tuition Waver was adopted by the MI Legislature in 1976 as an entitlement descending from old federal treaty rights. The program had a long beginning, which will be briefly described here.

In 1934, the federal government dissolved the federal Indian school program, transferring the buildings, property, and care of Native American students to the state of MI. For thirty years thereafter the state of MI did not meet its obligations of providing equal treatment and education to Native American children. Student activism in the 1960s led a University of Michigan (UM) student, Paul Johnson, to sue the UM in 1971. He believed the UM should provide free tuition to Native Americans based on Article 16 of the Treaty of Fort Meigs, 1817. Ultimately, his suit failed. However, the students who worked on the lawsuit contacted members of the state legislature for support. Rep. Jackie Vaughn carefully constructed a bill based on MN’s existing tuition waiver program. In the summer of 1976, his bill, know as Public Act 174, 1976, created the MI Indian Tuition Waiver Program.

The Waver, which was amended in 1978, allows students to have their tuition paid if they are one-quarter North American Indian and have been a MI resident for at least one year. [This information is from the Clarke website (url is http://clarke.cmich. edu/ tretytuition.htm), on Dec. 3, 2004, and CMLife, p. 1 and 4A, Fri., Oct. 29, 2004.]

Ultimately, the tribes’ demands developed into the court case Children of the Chippewa, Ottawa and Potawatomy Tribes, et al., vs. Regents of the University of MI, a case which the tribe lost. However, the University of MI agreed to offer Native American students scholarships, which amounted to free tuition. (For further information on the case, see the Elmer White’s collection which is also housed at the Clarke. White acted as the attorney for the tribes.)

8) [Native American] Removal Documents, created or compiled in 1982-1983, and undated (2 cubic ft.).

The removal research project was funded by a grant from the NEH, and resulted in Clifton’s bibliography Old Northwest Indian removal, 1825-1855: a bibliography, a copy of which is found in Box 1 of this collection. A tiny part of this series includes three folders of materials relating to the grant, including: Illustrations…, undated; Notes and Correspondence, 1982; and NEH Microfilm Work reports of James McClurken to Clifton, 1982-1983.

The bulk of the series, however, consists of copies of published articles and historical Removal Documents, and some notes from Clifton, which were compiled by Clifton for reference purposes.

The published articles are in alphabetical order by author’s surnames.

The Removal Documents are in chronological order, 1807-1855, with a small amount of post-1855 materials, 1856-1980 (Scattered). Commonly found examples of historical Removal Documents in this series include: the Dept. of War, Office of Indian Affairs officials’ correspondence, journals, reports, disbursement accounts, and regulations regarding the removal of Native Americans; records of annuity payments; correspondence and other papers regulating the functions of the Superintendency, agencies, and sub-agencies; a journal of treaty negotiation, 1833; treaties and lists [sometimes censuses] of [members of] tribes or bands either remaining in their area or removed to west of the Mississippi [which have been noted specifically in the box and folder listing]; petitions of various Native Americans to the President of the US; maps; published journals of the US House and Senate; and personal correspondence.

Finally, there are a few topical Removal Document folders, which are in alphabetical order, 1839-1888 and undated [copies made in 1982 or 1983].

9) Reprints, a caption used by Clifton, (6.5 cubic ft.) is the largest series in this collection. It includes copies of general reference and/or research materials, 1820-1992 and undated, regarding various aspects of Native Americans, Africa and Africans, African-Americans, slavery, and other native peoples around the world, as well as anthropological articles. However, the majority of the series documents Native American history, including, but not limited to: Indian treaties, Indian agents, Indian removal policies, reservations, missions and missionaries, wars, captivity or travel accounts, as well as other topics. A sizable section of this series is various articles and documents from multiple issues of the WI Historical Collections. Types of materials in the series include: dissertation abstracts; parts of or complete academic or popular articles and books; reference articles, such as biographies from encyclopedias; reprints of academic articles; student papers; drafts of academic papers; papers for presentation at conferences; correspondence; notes; maps; statistics; and other materials. These materials were collected by Clifton during his academic career.

10) Saginaw Chippewa Tribe Court Case Materials, includes materials created or compiled, 1991-1992, (2.5 cubic ft.) by Clifton. Clifton was under contract with the MAG to collect materials to defend their side of the case.

Compiled materials include copies of historical documents and reference sources about the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, including: court records, reprints of articles, treaty journals, annual reports of the Mount Pleasant Indian School, Indian Claims Commission records, the amended Constitution and By-Laws of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, 1986, and other documentation, as well as Clifton’s correspondence, agreements, other information he exchanged with MAG and other associates,1797-1992 (Scattered).

Two court cases are documented in this series, mostly the US et al., vs. State of MI, et al., 1992 and, very minimally, the US vs. the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of MI, et al., 1990-1991, 1997.

The case for which there is the most material, that of the US et al., vs. State of MI, et al., dealt with tribal fishing rights. There is a long history of lawsuits in MI over Native American fishing rights. In brief, this particular lawsuit, which began in 1973 and was tried in 1978, was eventually settled out of court on March 29, 1985. In the case, the Native Americans attorney strongly argued three points. First, that the tribes involved had historically fished in the Great Lakes. Second, that they had retained the right to fish under treaties signed in 1820, 1836, and 1855. And, third, that they had actively participated in commercial fishing after those treaties and thus could logically assume that they should be allowed to continue to do so. In May 1979, the judge settled the case in favor of the tribes, however various issues remained that had to be agreed upon by both parties.

Finally in 1985 an agreement, called the Sault Ste. Marie agreement, was reached. As part of this agreement, the Great Lakes were divided into zones. The MI tribes were allowed to fish unrestrictedly to a defined maximum catch, mostly in the northern zones, and sports fishing was relegated mostly to the southern zones. The Bay Mills Chippewa community was unsatisfied with the agreement and vetoed it. After a brief trial, the agreement was put in place with the force of law until 2000. [This information is from the Clarke website (url is, on Dec. 3, 2004.]

11) WI vs. Baker Court Case Materials, includes copies of materials created or compiled in 1976 and 1978 (1.5 cubic ft.) by Clifton, who served as an expert witness for the tribe. Materials in this series include: records of related court cases, correspondence, Clifton’s expert testimony, and published articles, mostly about removal from the WI Historical Collections, date from 1830s-1934.

The State of WI vs. Baker, et al., was predated by the Voigt decision in WI. The Voigt Decision recognized the rights of the tribal hunting, fishing, and gathering activities of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Chippewa in WI as they were granted to the tribe in the treaties of 1837 and 1842.

In 1978, the Federal District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the state. In 1983 the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court ruling. At that point, the State of WI petitioned, in vain, the US Supreme Court to review the case. Five other WI Chippewa Bands then joined the case, which continued in District Court. There were three phases: I: Declaratory; II Regulatory; and III: Damages. (A Guide to understanding Chippewa treaty rights: WI edition, 1994, pp.2-3, a copy of which is in the Clarke.)

The WI vs. Baker case was brought by the State of WI against the chairman (Ordie Baker) and all of the officers of the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board. As documented here in the Opinion and Order [by Judge James Doyle], Sept. 20, 1978 (76-C-359), the state’s contention was that the tribe’s enforcement of its established codes for fishing on its reservation, which mandated that people who were not members of the tribe to purchase fishing licenses from the tribe, was illegal and interfered with the rights of the state’s citizens. The tribe’s interpretation of its treaty rights were that the tribe, as a sovereign nation, had the sole right to hunt and fish within the borders of its reservation. The state contended that this had not been the intent of the agents of the federal government who created the treaties which led to the creation of the reservation. Clifton and Judge Doyle, however, believed otherwise.

When Judge Doyle died in 1987, the case was assigned to Judge Barbara Crabb. After denying the state’s request to appeal Judge Doyle’s ruling, “she held that tribes held the authority to regulate their members and that effective tribal self-regulation precludes state regulation.” on Aug. 21, 1987 (ibid, p.3). Later, Judge Crabb decided that the tribes were self-regulating regarding the state’s walleye and muskellunge harvests held in October (1989), and in regards to the state’s deer population (1990). In 1991, Judge Crabb also ruled that while tribes did not have treaty rights to harvest timber commercially, they did have treaty rights to gather other forest products (ibid, p. 4).

12) Notecards. There are 19 card boxes (15 cubic ft.) of topical 5x7 inch handwritten notecards, documenting the removal of various Native American tribes, Clifton’s bibliography and biographical index, as well as related Native American topics. There are organized alphabetically by topic, and then either chronologically (if notes about removal documents) or alphabetically (if names or sources).

13) Oversized Materials, include an oversized folder of some Isabella County (MI) plat maps (copies), 1891; and an oversized volume of copies of various pages from multiple Tract Books of the General Land Office (Ionia, MI), 1800s.

Processing Notes: I have tried to observe Clifton’s topical and organizational scheme as much as possible. A number of items in many boxes were without folders and identifying information. These items have been placed in the most likely series or, when a topic and therefore a location was otherwise undeterminable or multiple, into the general Reprints series.

Items withdrawn from this collection include all published books, periodicals, maps, and court records, which were separately cataloged.

Also withdrawn were duplicates, illegible materials, blank sheets of papers, binders, photocopying instructions, forms for requesting copies (from many institutions), generic correspondence and post-it notes without informational value, cover sheets, and the “This article is not available.” notices from inter-library loan departments. All post-it notes with notes of substance were removed after they had been copied and a copy put in the folders.


John M. Johnston collection, 1820-1939 (majority within 1820-1892)

0.25 linear feet

This collection contains 65 letters, financial records, and legal documents related to John M. Johnston, a Native American language interpreter who lived in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and to Native Americans in Michigan during the 19th century. Henry R. Schoolcraft and Ramsay Crooks contributed letters and documents to the collection.

This collection contains 65 items related to John M. Johnston, a Native American language interpreter from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and to the history of Native Americans in Michigan during the 19th century. Included are 21 letters, 32 documents, and 12 notes and other items; most material is dated between 1820 and 1892.

John M. Johnston received personal letters from family members throughout the 19th century, including a letter from his sisters written during his time at school in New York (1831) and a letter his brother William wrote about the death of his son in the Civil War (January 23, 1863). Other items directly related to the Johnston family include 5 appointments for military positions in the 16th Regiment, Michigan State Militia; Eliza Johnston's stock certificates for the St. Joseph Manufacturing Company; an early receipt addressed to Johnston's father in Dublin, Ireland; and items regarding the division of John and Susan Johnston's property following their deaths. Also included are a printed proclamation of the United States' declaration of war on Mexico, May 13, 1846; a picture postcard of the Johnston family home in Sault Ste. Marie; and manuscript notes on the Johnston family.

The bulk of the remaining material directly concerns Native Americans in Michigan, particularly the Ojibwa (Chippewa) tribe, including 7 letters from Henry Schoolcraft to Johnston and Major W. V. Cobbs, 1835-1844; 4 letters by American Fur Company president Ramsay Crooks, 1835 and 1839; a document signed with the marks of 10 Native Americans regarding hunting and fishing rights and white persons trespassing on their lands, October 2, 1837; a letter from five natives, July 1839; one temperance pledge signed by 46 persons at the Point Iroquois Mission, October 20, 1877, with another blank, partially printed pledge; and additional items related to the economic relationship between European settlers and Native Americans in the Upper Peninsula.


LeRoy Barnett Collection, 1880-2022, and undated

46.5 cubic feet (in 75 boxes, 20 Oversized folders)

Collection of research materials on Michigan topics, mostly photocopies, notes, drafts of articles, and correspondence.

The collection consists mostly of photocopies of newspaper articles, magazine articles, information from websites, the Congressional Record, and chapters from reference and other books, on topics of interest to Barnett. Also included are his correspondence and email to various institutions and people asking for information and material, his notes, and typed articles he wrote on various topics. Topics documented in depth include: Ash, Center Line, John Farmer, Upper Peninsula railroads, Magnet Truck, Michigan railroads, the Mackinac Bridge, music and singers who sang songs about Michigan and or cars, the longstanding oleo versus margarine debates and laws, Michigan Central Railroad Co. Head Lights (a publication), Michigan jazz, traffic lights, with biographical materials on W.L. Potts, and Detroit, Mackinac and Marquette Railroad Co. maps (oversized transparencies). The materials (photocopies)on Headlights or Headlight Flashes includes: an advertising publication of the Company, which describes the comfort of traveling via the Company's trains and provides city histories with biographies of important families and individuals, as well as photographs of those people, expensive homes, businesses, public buildings, and pastoral scenes. Towns described include: Michigan City (Ind.), 1894; and the Mich. cities of: Albion, 1895; Pontiac, 1897; Benton Harbor and Flint, 1896; and Saint Joseph, 1898. Also included are microfilmed newspaper articles (photocopies), in which the Headlights of various cities were advertised, 1895-1896 and 1941, and 1997-2000 typed transcripts of other similar newspaper advertisements, 1895-1898. Additional subjects include: Agricultural Demonstration Trains of Michigan State University, 1906-1937; buying Michigan, 1795-1796; counties, name changes/considered creation of new counties; the history of county names; dandelions [as an emergency source of post-World War II rubber]; highway lighthouses [precursors to traffic lights]; lynchings; prisoners building Michigan roads during the 1920s; reflectors (roadside); roadside parks [Michigan had the first]; stagecoaches; broadcasting; homestead lands; Hollywood; the Port Huron and Milwaukee Railroad; Sabbath blue laws; Ludington (Mich.); swamp lands; centroids; Iron Range and Huron Bay Rialroad; ferries; population centers; Oldsmar, Florida; David Ward, Deward (Mich.); the Detroit and Charlevoix Railroad Company; Cigar Industry in Detroit, including strikes, unions, and women employees; Cigar Store Indians; crops of Flax and Gingseng and flax industries in Michigan prisons; Michigan Indians mentioned in county histories; Michigan Road Construction Train; Michigan World War I fruit and olive pit gathering campaign to create gas masks; Ragweed and hay fever and the Northern Hay Fever Resort Association, Topinabee, and the Western Hay Fever Association of the U.S., headquartered in Petoskey; General Philip H. Sheridan 's warhorse Rienzi; St. Mary's Falls Ship Canal Company and its subsidiary units, the Canal Mineral Land Company and the Michigan Pine Land Association; and Windmills in Detroit. Also included is a draft of a book by Graydon M. Meints on lumber baron David Ward that Barnett reviewed. The major topics found in 2021 Addition, Boxes 63-75, include: American Tract Society, Bloomers, Colporteur, Graphite Mining in Michigan, Medical Quacks, Michigan Iron and Land Company, Samuel Geil Maps of Michigan, and Whipping (Military corporal punishment). The 2022 Addition, Boxes 76-79, includes the major topics of Vigilance Committees against German Americans during World War I and Ski Trains. Other topics include: Buffalo Bill Train Accident, Carbon Works in Detroit, Detroit’s Streetlight Towers, Grand Duke Alexis A Romanov Visits Detroit, ‘Hello Girls’ [U.S. Army Signal Corps, World War I], Lindbergh in Michigan, Michigan World War II Veterans Bonus, Wetzel (Antrim County, MI, village), Bomb Mackinaw (which were 1925 practice maneuver plans to prevent enemies from crossing into the straits by dropping bombs from airplanes), and Crawfish. The collection is ongoing.

Processing Note: Abbreviations used by Barnett on folder labels were used and copied by Clarke processors exactly. Acidic materials were copied in 2014.


Lewis Cass papers, 1774-1924

3 linear feet

The Lewis Cass papers contain the political and governmental letters and writings of Lewis Cass, American army officer in the War of 1812, governor and senator from Michigan, American diplomat to France, secretary of war in the Andrew Jackson administration, secretary of state under James Buchanan, and Democratic candidate for President. These papers span Cass' entire career and include letters, speeches, financial documents, memoranda, literary manuscripts, newspaper clippings, and a travel diary. In addition to documenting his political and governmental career, the collection contains material concerning relations between the United States and Native Americans, and Cass' role in presidential politics.

The Lewis Cass papers (approximately 1195 items) contain the political and governmental letters and writings of Lewis Cass, American army officer in the War of 1812, governor and senator from Michigan, American diplomat to France, secretary of war to Andrew Jackson, secretary of state to James Buchanan, and Democratic candidate for President. Included are letters, speeches, financial documents, memoranda, literary manuscripts, newspaper clippings, and a travel diary. In addition to documenting his official and governmental activities, the collection contains material related to Cass' influence on Native American policy and his role in presidential politics.

The Correspondence series (approximately 990 items) contains the professional and political letters of Lewis Cass. These reveal details of Cass' entire career and involve many of the most important political topics of the day. Within the series are communications with many prominent American politicians and military officers, including John Adams (2 items), Thomas Hart Benton (4 items), James Buchanan (20 items), John C. Calhoun (3 items), Henry Clay (1 item), Jefferson Davis (3 items), Stephen Douglas (2 items), Secretary of State John Forsyth (5 items), Albert Gallatin (2 items), William Henry Harrison (3 items), Samuel Houston (1 item), Andrew Jackson (23 items), Thomas Jefferson (1 item), Francis Scott Key (3 items), Alexander Macomb (4 items), James Monroe (1 item), Samuel F. B. Morse (2 items), Franklin Pierce (1 item), James K. Polk (8 items), Richard Rush (6 items), William Seward (3 items), Winfield Scott (3 items), Zachery Taylor (2 items), John Tyler (2 items), Martin Van Buren (8 items), Daniel Webster (4 items), and many others. This series also contains a small number of personal letters, including communications with Cass' siblings, his nephew Henry Brockholst Ledyard, and his friends.

The collection's early papers (1777-1811) contain material related to Cass' family, his education, his professional career in Ohio, and relations between the United States government and Native Americans. The earliest item is from Elizabeth Cass' father, Joseph Spencer, relating to his service in the Revolutionary War. Two letters are from John Cass, Lewis' father, concerning business, and five items are from Cass' siblings, written to him at Philips Exeter Academy (1790-1795). His service as an Ohio congressman is represented by a single resolution, drafted by Cass, and submitted by the Ohio Congress to President Jefferson, voicing their commitment to the constitution and the Union (December 26, 1806, with Jefferson's response enclosed). Also present are nine items related to Native American relations, including formal letters to the Chippewa, Delaware, Miami, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Shawnee, and Wyandot tribes, from Superintendent of Indian Affairs Richard Butler, Northern Territory Governor Arthur St. Clair, and Secretary of War James McHenry. Of particular importance is a signed letter from several tribes to President James Monroe, composed shortly after the Battle of Tippecanoe, stressing the importance of treaties and lobbying to employ John Visger on behalf of the Indians (November 13, 1811). Two miscellaneous items from this period are letters from John Adams: one letter to Charles Guillaume Frederic Dumas requesting permission for Adams to return to America after the Treaty of Paris (March 28, 1783), and one to a group of volunteer troops of light dragoons (July 12, 1798).

Eleven letters deal with Cass' role in the War of 1812. Topics discussed include raising a regiment in Ohio (March 23, 1813), concerns with obtaining food and clothing for troops and British prisoners at Detroit (November 1813), and Cass' thoughts on receiving the governorship of the Michigan Territory (December 29, 1813). Of note is a letter containing William Henry Harrison's impressions on Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's victory on Lake Erie, sent to Secretary of War John Armstrong (enclosed in September 13, 1813). For more material relating to the War of 1812 see the Manuscript Writing series.

The collection contains 55 letters from Cass' tenure as governor of Michigan Territory (1815-August 1831). These represent a broad range of topics including territorial administration, expeditions throughout the western territory, western expansion, and studies of and treaties with Native Americans. Contacts include travelers from the east coast interested in Michigan and Indian affairs, officials in outposts throughout Michigan, officials from eastern states, and officials from Washington including presidents, their cabinets, and congressmen.

Of note:
  • November 21, 1816, January 11 and February 2, 1817: A discussion between Cass and Henry Clay regarding opening a branch of the United States Bank in Lexington, Kentucky
  • February 12, 1817: A letter concerning troop service under General Hull in the War of 1812
  • August 14 and 25, 1817: Letters between Cass and President James Monroe relating to travel in the Ohio Territory
  • June 10, 1818: Courts martial for depredations against Indians at Detroit
  • October 20, 1818: A letter from Alexander Macomb concerning the purchase of Cass' servant Sally for $300
  • December 9, 1821, October 14, 1823, and April 24, 1824: Three letters from John C. Calhoun about governmental promotions, the vice presidency, and Indian affairs
  • November 14, 1821 and February 16, 1824: two letters discussing or addressed to John C. Calhoun from Cass.
  • March 21, 1830: A letter from Cass to President Jackson requesting the reinstatement of a Major Clark into the army

Cass communicated frequently with David Bates Douglass, an engineer who worked with Cass in Michigan. In his letters, Douglass often mentions their mutual colleague Henry Schoolcraft, and Douglass' mapping areas of Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. Also of interest are five letters to George Wyllys Silliman, a lawyer in Zanesville, Ohio, and nephew of Lewis Cass, from friend William Sibly (November 17, 1827-November 6, 1828) and from cousin Elizabeth Cass (May 1, 1829). Sibly discussed personal and social news and made several comments on women. Elizabeth mentioned a month-long visit from Martin Van Buren and described Detroit as being "in turmoil" because of conflicts between the "Masons & Anti-Masons--Wing men & Biddle men--Sheldonites and Anti Sheldonites . . ."

Cass served as Andrew Jackson's secretary of war from 1831-1836. Most of the approximately 195 items concern Washington politics; department of war administration; affairs of the president and cabinet; and requests for appointments, promotions, and political favors from congressmen and other politicians. Of note are 18 letters and memoranda from Andrew Jackson to Cass and other cabinet members, regarding Indian resettlement (1831-1836), firearms delivered to members of congress (November 3, 1834), and news of generals Samuel Houston and Santa Anna and the war with Mexico (August 31, 1836). Cass was also involved with the administration of West Point; he received news of leadership changes and recommendations for admissions and teaching posts, including one request from author Washington Irving (March 20, 1834). During this period, Cass kept in close contact with Secretary of the Treasury Louis McLane.

Of note:
  • August 1, 1831: A letter from General Winfield Scott voicing support for his appointment as secretary of war
  • August 8, 1831: Cass' acceptance of the secretary of war position
  • August 29, 1831: A long letter from William Henry Harrison discussing his loyalty to Cass, Colonel Shelby's personal jealousy and his attempts to replace Harrison in congress, the presidential aspirations of Henry Clay, and the poor state of Harrison's personal fortunes
  • December 31, 1831: A letter from Susan Wheeler Decatur of Georgetown, South Carolina, concerning her declining finances
  • February 24, 1832: A letter from Henry R. Schoolcraft describing the state of the settlement at Sault Ste. Marie and mapmaking at the mouth of the Mississippi River
  • July 26, 1832: A letter from General Alexander Macomb to Cass offering condolences for the loss of his daughter Elizabeth and informing Cass of a cholera epidemic in western forts
  • December 26, 1832: Callender Irvine, United States Army Commissary General of Purchases, to Cass regarding the design and procurement of Army uniforms
  • January 24, 1833: Cass to Richard Smith, United States Bank cashier, with instructions to close the accounts of the war department and Indian Agency
  • A bundle of letters and enclosures, January 1, 1834-March 5, 1834, written by Gorham Parks to Samuel Farrar, including copies of correspondence and a petition regarding the establishment of a military buffer between Maine and British Canada
  • April 3, 1834: A letter from Cass' brother George Cass concerning his family's finances
  • May 12, 1834: Congressman James K. Polk concerning a general appropriations bill and Indian annuity bill that passed the house
  • June 20 and October 20, 1834: Two letters from Benjamin Waterhouse of Harvard University discussing temperance and early American history concerning General Wolfe's attack on Canada and Bunker Hill
  • April 18- December 24, 1835: Seven letters concerning the territorial conflict between Michigan and Ohio over the Toledo Strip
  • February 22, 1836: A letter from John Henry Eaton to Cass describing the state of affairs in Florida and a revolt of Indians in Tampa Bay
  • July 4, 1836: Edgar Allen Poe to Cass concerning contributions to the Southern Literary Messenger

From 1836 to 1842, Cass served as Jackson's minister to France. Many of the 148 items from this period are letters of introduction from Cass' colleagues in Washington, New York, Albany, Boston, Baltimore, and Virginia, for family and friends traveling in France and Europe. Though most of these travelers were well connected young men from prominent families, two letters were for women traveling without their husbands (August 29 and September 27, 1841). In 1842, before Cass returned to America, he communicated with senators and the President's cabinet regarding negotiations with the British for Canadian boundary lines, and other news from the continent. Throughout Cass' time in France, he received updates on his finances and properties in Detroit from Edmund Askin Brush.

Of note:
  • October 4, 1836: President Jackson's acknowledgement of Cass' resignation as secretary of war, and Cass' appointment as minister to France
  • February 5, 1837: Plans for the Cass family's trip to the Mediterranean on the USS Constitution, including the suggestion that the women wear men's clothing in the Holy Land
  • November 3, 1837: Remarks regarding the reaction in Boston to a visit from Sauk Chief Keokuk (Kee-O-Kuk) and a group of Blackhawk Indians
  • September 10-December 14, 1841: Ten letters about a court of inquiry concerning Assistant Surgeon General Dr. Edward Worrell's record keeping for medicine and supplies at the hospital at Fort Niagara
  • March 14, 1842: A letter from Daniel Webster to Cass relating to the abolition of slavery
  • April 25, 1842: A letter from Daniel Webster to Cass regarding the rights of "visit and search, the end of the African slave trade, the 'Creole Case,'" and the Oregon compromise
  • June 29, 1842: A letter from John Tyler reporting on Congress' activities and further negotiations with Lord Ashburton, the Maine boundary and the "Creole Case"

Between 1842 and 1857, Cass served two senate terms representing Michigan, competed for the Democratic nomination for president in 1844 and 1852, and lost the presidency to Zachery Taylor in 1848. Letters from this time period amount to approximately 278 items. In December 1842, when first arriving back in America from France, Cass received a number of welcoming letters from officials in Boston and Philadelphia, including one that suggested he could be chosen as Democratic vice presidential nominee (December 28, 1842). Cass soon returned to Detroit but kept up with news from Washington. As presidential contender and then senator, Cass was concerned with the biggest issues of the day, including relations with England over the Oregon Territory; relations with Mexico; Indian affairs; and the Wilmot Proviso and the spread of the slavery to new states and territories. In addition to discussions of slavery in the South, Cass received reports on slavery in California, Missouri, Utah, Kansas, and Texas. The year 1848 is dominated with material on the presidential election, consisting of letters expressing support and discussing the landscape of the election. Of note are 45 letters, spanning 1844-1859, from Cass to Massachusetts Congressman Aaron Hobart of Boston, which feature both personal and political content.

Of note:
  • July 8, 1843: A letter from Andrew Jackson regarding relations with France and England and the Oregon Bill
  • May 6 and 11, 1844: Letters from Cass discussing his chances to be nominated to run for president at the Baltimore Democratic Convention, and his thoughts on the annexation of Texas and the "Oregon Question"
  • July 1844: A letter from William Berkley Lewis describing the political climate surrounding Andrew Jackson's campaign and assent to the presidency (30 pages)
  • July 30 and 31, 1845: Letters from Lewis Henry Morgan concerning a council of Iroquois at Aurora, New York, and the education of the Indians of western New York
  • December 24, 1845: A letter from Henry Wheaton concerning commerce and communications through the isthmuses at Suez, Egypt, and at Panama
  • March 19, 1846: A letter from Francis Parkman, Jr., regarding the study of the Indians of Michigan's Upper Peninsula
  • August 5, 1846: A letter from Cass concerning Democratic Party politics and the war with Indians in Florida
  • December 26, 1846: A letter from Cass on the state of the Democratic Party and his intention to run for president
  • January 6, 1848: A letter from Cass discussing the Wilmot Proviso
  • April 6, 1748: A letter from Henry Hunt regarding the war in Mexico and General William Worth
  • May 23, 1848: A letter from W. T. Van Zandt who witnessed the French Revolution, and mentioned that two of the King's grandchildren hid in a nearby boarding house
  • June 13, 1848: A letter from Stephen Douglas reassuring Cass that Southerners are "satisfied with your views on the slavery question, as well as all others"
  • August 24 and November 14, 1848 and January 9, 1849: Letters from President Polk concerning the politics of slavery in the senate and the Wilmot proviso
  • October 25, 1851: A letter from relative Sarah Gillman, whose husband is prospecting in California and is in need of a loan
  • August 9, 1852: A letter from Cass to John George
  • August 30, 1853: A letter from Cass to President Franklin Pierce congratulating him on his election and recommending Robert McClelland, regent of the University of Michigan, for the position of secretary of the interior
  • April 1, 1856: W.W. Drummond of Salt Lake City commented on Mormons, polygamy, slavery, the statehood of Nevada, and local support for the Nebraska Bill. Enclosed is a printed bill of sale for a runaway slave
  • June 24, 1856: Cass' explanation that the Democratic party must work to preserve the Union

The series contains 172 letters from Cass' service as James Buchanan's secretary of state from 1857-1861. During his time, he received communications dealing with political unrest in the South over the slavery issue, and concerning foreign relations with Mexico, England, France, Russia, Nicaragua, and Cuba. Of particular interest are ten letters from the Minister to England George Mifflin Dallas who reported on parliamentary and political news in London (April 28, 1857-February 2, 1858). He discussed the British views on slavery in America and about the Oregon border; activities of the British East India Company; England's conflicts in India, West Africa, and China; the planning of the transatlantic telegraph and the first communication between Queen Victoria and President Buchanan; and American relations with France and Russia. Cass also received frequent memoranda from Buchanan concerning foreign relations, focusing on treaties with Mexico. The series contains 10 letters from supporters, reacting to Cass' resignation from Buchanan's administration for failing to use force in South Carolina (December 14, 1860-January 2, 1861). Also present are three personal letters from Cass to his young nephew Henry Brockholst Ledyard.

Of note:
  • March 19, 1857: A letter from Judah Philip Benjamin relating intelligence on the political situation in Mexico, led by Ignacio Comonfort, and urging the United States to make a treaty with Mexico for control of California without delay
  • April 20, 1857: A manuscript copy of a letter from Lewis Cass to Secretary of the Navy Isaac Toucey, concerning the U.S. commercial agent at St. Paul de Loando, Willis, sent dispatches informing them that "the slave trade on this Coast is flourishing" and that five vessels have lately left with enslaved persons. Willis also reported that "The Congo River and its neighborhood have been the head Quarters, and American gold is now quite plenty there, having been brought in vessels which clear from New York."
  • August 3, 1857: A letter from Jefferson Davis discussing issues in Cuba, Panama, Mexico, and England, and offering his thoughts on states' rights and state creation
  • August 5, 1857: A memo from Buchanan inquiring about the United States' relationship with England and political division in the Democratic Party
  • November 17-20, 1857: Sculpture design for decorations on the Capitol building at Cincinnati, Ohio
  • August 30, 1858: A letter from Francis Lieber explaining his poem celebrating the transatlantic telegraph
  • October 27, 1858: A letter from Rebecca P. Clark, General William Hull's daughter, claiming that she had a long-suppressed pamphlet ready to publish that would redeem her father's reputation and prove that the United States did not invade Canada in 1812 in order to maintain the slave state vs, free state balance of power
  • January 27, 1859: A letter from Buchannan expressing his desire to take lower California from Mexico
  • December 6, 1859: A letter from George Wallace Jones regarding the administration's position on the slavery question and the "doctrine of non-interference"
  • December 19, 1859: A letter from Jeremiah Healy, a prospector from San Francisco, requesting a loan to extract silver and lead ore from his mine to compare it to the "Comstock Claim"
  • April 14, 1760: An unofficial letter from Robert M. McClelland concerning peace with Mexico and dealings with Lord John Russell
  • May 29, 1860: A letter from former Governor John B. Floyd regarding a friend who wants to set up a commercial house in Japan
  • December 6, 1860: An unofficial letter from General John Wool concerning South Carolina's secession and troops to protect the fort at Charleston
  • December 17, 1860: A letter of support from Lydia Howard Sigourney for Cass' resignation

The collection contains only 9 letters written after Cass' resignation from the Buchanan administration until his death, though a few of these are from old connections in Washington. One particularly interesting letter is a response from President Lincoln's office concerning Cass' request that he parole two of Elizabeth Cass' nephews who were Confederate officers (June 30, 1864). Going against his standard policy, Lincoln agreed to the parole out of respect for Cass.

Of the 50 letters written after Cass' death (1766-1917), the bulk are addressed to Cass' granddaughter, Elizabeth Cass Goddard of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Cass' grandson, Lewis Cass Ledyard. These primarily relate to family and business matters and are not related to Lewis Cass. Of note are a letter from William Cook to Lewis Cass Ledyard containing copies of four letters from Cass to J. P. Cook in 1856 (September 15, 1909), and a letter to Henry Ledyard concerning Cass family portraits. Other notable contributors from this period include Ulysses S. Grant (August 18, 1868), Congressman James A. Garfield (1871) Julia Ward Howe (written on a circular for a New Orleans exposition, 1885), and Elizabeth Chase on women's suffrage (October 1886).

This series contains 24 undated letters from all phases of Cass' career, including his time in Detroit, Paris, and Washington. Of note is a letter to Cass from William Seward concerning a social engagement, and three letters to Elizabeth Goddard from Varina Davis, in which she voices her opinions on bicycling and offers sympathy for the death of a child.

The Diary series (1 volume) contains a personal journal spanning June 11 to October 5, 1837, just before Cass began his service as diplomat to France. The 407-page volume, entitled "Diary in the East," documents Cass and his family's tour of the Mediterranean and Middle East. Among the places visited were the Aegean Sea, the Dead Sea, Egypt and the Nile, Cyprus, and Lebanon. Entries, which were recorded daily, range from 3 to 20 pages and relate to travel, landmarks, local customs, and the group's daily activities.

The Documents series (116 items) is made up of financial, legal, military, honorary, and official government documents related to Cass and his relatives. Early documents relate to the Revolutionary War service of Dr. Joseph Spencer, the father of Elizabeth Cass and the military discharge of Cass' father Jonathan Cass. War of 1812 items include 16 receipts of payments to soldiers for transporting baggage, a payment of Cass' troops approved by Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, and a report made up of eyewitness accounts of General Hull's surrender at Detroit (September 11, 1812).

Material related to Native Americans includes a treaty between Anthony Wayne and various tribes (August 3, 1795); the Treaty of St. Mary's with Cass, Duncan McArthur, and the Wyandot Indians; several permission bonds awarded by Governor William Hull to Michigan merchants for Indian trade (1798-1810); and Cass' 48-page report detailing the reduction of Native population in North America (with a population count by region), the agriculture and hunting practices of Native Americans, and the history and future of American Indian relations (July 22, 1829).

Three of the items are official items that mark achievements in Cass' career:
  • March 11, 1826: Cass' oath of office for Governor of the Michigan Territory
  • August 1, 1831: Cass' appointment to Secretary of War by Andrew Jackson.
  • March 6, 1857: Cass' appointment to Secretary of State by James Buchanan.

Cass' personal accounts are documented in three ledgers kept by Edmund Askin Brush's agency, which managed his financial and land interests, including payments on loans, interest, rent, and land sales and purchases (September 1832-March 1843, January 30, 1836, and undated). Honorary documents include memberships in the New York Naval Lyceum, the Rhode Island Historical Society, and the Buffalo Historical Society, and a degree from Harvard.

Of note:
  • 1776: One bill of Massachusetts paper currency
  • January 5, 1795: Power of attorney for Aaron Burr to Benjamin Ledyard
  • December 21, 1816: An item documenting the Bank of the United States opening a branch in Lexington, Kentucky
  • 1836-1841: Twelve items related to the divorce of Mary K. Barton of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from her violent husband Seth Barton
  • November 11, 1842: A menu for a dinner celebrating Cass at Les Trois Frères Provençaux
  • November 5, 1845: A printed protest from the citizens of Massachusetts who met at Faneuil Hall, Boston, concerning the annexation of Texas as a slave state
  • 1850: Three signup sheets to purchase printed copies of a Cass speech on the Compromise of 1850 and a copy of "Kansas--The Territories"
  • February 27, 1878: Lewis Cass, Jr.'s last will and testament
Images within this series:
  • March 17, 1821: A merchant pass for the Bark Spartan, signed by John Quincy Adams, illustrated with a ship and a harbor with a lighthouse
  • July 19, 1833: A membership document from the Rhode Island Historical Society featuring neoclassical imagery of a woman in front of a city and a shield with an anchor inscribed with the word "Hope"
  • 1837: A bank note picturing Greek gods
  • 1858-1860: Three passports with large state department seals

The Speeches series (17 items) contains 16 items related to Indian affairs spanning 1792-1816, and one undated item concerning agriculture in Michigan. The speeches were delivered by individual Native Americans (Grand Glaize, Painted Tobacco, Maera Walk-in-the-Water, Yealabahcah, Tecumseh, and the Prophet); Indian confederacies to the Commissioners of Indian Affairs; and the Indian commissioners to the Cherokee, Chippewa, Ottawa, Potawatomie, Shawnee, and Wyandot tribes.

Of note:
  • November 29, 1796: A speech from George Washington to the Wyandot, Delaware, Shawnee, Ottawa, Miami, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Piankeshaw, and Kaskaskia Indians
  • August 18, 1807-1810: Five speeches to and from General William Hull and various Indian tribes, including the Wyandot Chief Maera (Walk-In-The-Water)
  • December 21, 1807-January 31, 1809: Four speeches from President Thomas Jefferson to various Indian tribes
  • 1816: A speech from Shawnee Chief Yealabahcah and the Prophet Tecumseh in a council with Lewis Cass

For additional Indian speeches see the Manuscript Writings series. The Clements Library Book Division has several published versions of Cass' political speeches spanning 1830-1856.

The Manuscript Writings series (41 items) consists of Cass' non-correspondence writings, of which 30 are undated. Though Cass did not pursue a formal higher education after his years at Philips Exeter Academy, he received many honorary degrees and published scholarly works on the history of Native Americans and American political issues. This series contains 13 items that reveal Cass' views on Native Americans, including a 104-page item on Indian treaties, laws, and regulations (1826); notes on the war with the Creek Indians in 1833 (undated); undated notes and articles on the Shawnee, Kickapoo, and Miami tribes and lands; a 23-page review of published works on Indians; two sets of notes with corrections by Cass that were later published in the Northern American Review, and a four-page essay on Indian language.

Two items relate to the War of 1812. The first is a notebook entitled "Extracts from Franklin's Narratives," which contains copies of letters, speeches, and documents relating to Tecumseh and The Prophet, Canadian Governor George Prevost, President Madison's speeches to Congress, and Canadian General Henry Proctor, spanning 1812-1813. The second is an eyewitness account of the siege and battles of Fort Erie in 1814 by Frederick Myers (September 27, 1851). Also present are copied extracts from other writers' works, including Charlevoix's Histories and a work on Indiana by an unidentified author.

Of note:
  • April 9, 1858: A memorandum in regard to an interview with Colonel Thomas Hart Benton on his deathbed
  • Undated: 34 pages of autobiographical writings
  • Undated: 42 pages of notes on the creation of the universe and the theory of evolution
This series also contains nine items written by other authors, including:
  • February 10, 1836: A poem by Andrew Buchanan performed at Mrs. White's party
  • August 30, 1858: "An Ode on the Sub-Atlantic Telegraph," by Dr. Francis Lieber
  • Undated: Two genealogical items related to Elizabeth Cass' ancestors
  • Undated: a draft of a biographical essay on Cass' early years by W. T. Young (eventually published in 1852 as Life and Public Services of General Lewis Cass)

The Printed Items series (14 items) is comprised of printed material written by or related to Cass. Many of the items are contemporary newspaper clippings reporting on Cass' role in government and eulogies assessing his career after his death.

Of note:
  • November 4, 1848: A 4-page Hickory Sprout newspaper with several articles on Cass and his presidential bid. This paper also contains pro-Democrat and pro-Cass poetry set to the tune Oh! Susannah
  • 1848: A political cartoon lampooning Cass after his defeat to Taylor in the presidential election
  • March 25, 1850: An announcement for a ball at Tammany Hall in honor of Cass
  • July 17, 1921: A Detroit Free Press article on the dedication of the Cass Boulder Monument at Sault Ste. Marie
  • Three engraved portraits of Cass
  • Undated: A newspaper clipping with recollections of Lewis Cass as a young boy
  • Undated: An advertisement with a diagram of the Davis Refrigerator.

The Autographs and Miscellaneous series (21 items) contains various autographs of James Buchanan (October 10, 1860), Theodore Roosevelt (August 11, 1901), and author Alice French with an inscription and a sketch (September 29, 1906). This series also contains 19 pages of notes from Cass collector Roscoe O. Bonisteel, who donated many of the items in this collection, and four colored pencil sketches of furniture.


Michigan collection, 1759-1959

0.75 linear feet

The Michigan collection contains appoximately 300 miscellaneous items relating to the history of present-day Michigan between 1759 and 1947.

The Michigan collection contains approximately 300 miscellaneous items relating to present-day Michigan during the 18th through the 20th centuries. Spanning 1759 to 1947, it comprises letters and documents pertaining to Native American activities, French settlement, trade, politics, town growth, agriculture, and land surveying.

A few notable letters and documents include:
  • August 8, 1763, account of the Siege of Detroit by James MacDonald.
  • Speech to the Ottawas attributed to Pontiac [1763].
  • Robert Rogers' request for the removal of "Mr. Roberts the Commissioner of Indian affairs" (September 4, 1767).
  • May 12, 1781 deed granting Michilimackinac to the British, signed by four Chippewa chiefs with their totem marks.
  • A letter from John Jacob Astor, dated August 18, 1819, which refers to the fur trade and "Mackinaw skins."
  • Discussion of the advantages of Niles, Michigan, by a recent settler (Sept. 1, 1836).
  • August 26, 1840, letter concerning the political and economic climate of Michigan.
  • Discussion of farming near Kalamazoo, Michigan (January 28, 1847).
  • Three letters from Robert McQuaid, a soldier in the 27th Michigan Infantry during the Civil War (May 21, 1863; July 12, 1863; June 28, 1864).
  • A letter dated August 7, 1916, with a description of summer vacation on Isle Royale.
  • A letter on the prospects of the Democratic Party in Michigan (May 13, 1935).

Myrick family papers, 1845-ca. 1900

3.25 linear feet

The Myrick collection contains personal, business, and legal papers of a family engaged in the business of manufacturing gravestones and monuments in western New York State. Content includes New York State politics, gold rush California, land speculation, and the Civil War.

The Myrick papers document the personal, business, and legal affairs of a major mid-Victorian purveyor of grave stones and monuments from western New York state. The central figures in the collection, Albert G. Myrick, his son, William W., and brother John William, engaged in an active and highly successful business manufacturing stone monuments for graves and other purposes, but their varied interests took them into the world of New York state politics, Gold Rush California, western land speculation, and the Civil War. Only a small portion of the collection has been catalogued at the item level, with the remainder organized into series.

Box 1 of the collection contains items that have been catalogued individually, arranged in chronological order, 1845-1889. Many of the letters were written by John William Myrick to his brother Albert, describing his myriad schemes to make a fortune in California. More literate than many 49ers, John's letters offer an intriguing social and political perspective on California during the Gold Rush, notably the violence and lawlessness prevalent in the gold fields. His letters also describe the journey across the Isthmus of Panama and then by ship to California.

The Civil War content in the collection is less extensive, but Albert Myrick corresponded with several men who were more directly affected by the war than he, either as soldiers or in other capacities. Of particular interest are John's letters describing California politics during the war (1:76, 80, 90, 114), Edward C. Boyle's letters on military and political affairs in Kentucky (1:82-83, 92), and Christ Siminger's account of the terror to which Democrats were subjected following Lincoln's assassination (1:117). Among the miscellaneous items of interest are James Tibbits' letter announcing his divorce from a wife of ill repute (1:124), and Sophia Myrick's letter dispensing a dose of motherly of guilt upon Albert, "my once beloved son" (1:78).

The bulk of the collection, boxes 2-4, consists of correspondence, accounts, and receipts kept by Albert and William Myrick. The greatest proportion of material in these boxes is comprised of the business records of the Myricks' monument company, providing a wealth of detail about their operations, from the purchase of raw marble to the production of stones and the handling of customer orders and complaints. The correspondence between the Myricks and their many agents enables a fairly thorough reconstruction of their sales techniques and their methods for keeping track of potential customers. The accounts, while not complete, provide valuable information on costs for various grades of marble and for shipping, and, of course, on customer orders.

Also included in Box 2 are some personal accounts of the Myricks and a series of accounts with and relating to the town of Palmyra, including tax records, documents relating to the local cemetery, and records of work performed for the town.

Box 4 contains additional family, personal, political, and legal correspondence. Albert's family correspondence, in particular, often goes beyond the usual familial exchange of pleasantries, particularly in the case of Mary G. Myrick, who became embroiled in a scandal when an attempt was made to take her daughter from her. These letters suggest how deeply Albert was influenced by his participation in Freemasonry, his significant role in the American Party, in the formation of the Constitutional Union Party, and in the Democratic Party, and his entanglement in a legal battle dating from his days in the New York Canal Department. A small clutch of letters from family members who had settled in the west provides some interesting descriptions of life in Michigan and in the upper Midwestern states.