TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Administrative Information

Biography of Ely Samuel Parker

Scope and Content of the Collection

Arrangement

Selected Search Terms

Container List

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Inventory of the Ely Samuel Parker Scrapbooks, 1828-1894,bulk 1870-1894


The Newberry Library
Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610-7324
USA
Phone: 312-255-3506
Fax: 312-255-3646
E-Mail: specialcolls@newberry.org
URL: http://www.newberry.org

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Lisa Janssen, 2004.

©2004.


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Creator Parker, Ely Samuel, 1828-1895
Title Ely Samuel Parker Scrapbooks
Dates 1828-1894
Dates bulk 1870-1894
Extent 3 linear feet (12 volumes)
Abstract Twelve scrapbooks, containing newspaper clippings and illustrations regarding Indian affairs, presumably kept by Ely Samuel Parker, who was U.S. Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1869-1871. Also contains a few letters and reproductions of photos in the clippings.
Language Materials are in English.
Repository Newberry Library, Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
Collection Call Number Ayer Modern MS Parker
Collection Stack Location 3 60 1

Administrative Information

Cite As

Ely Samuel Parker Scrapbooks, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Provenance

Edward E. Ayer, 1911.

Processed by

Joan Sweeney, 2001.

Access

The Ely Samuel Parker Scrapbooks are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Ely Samuel Parker Scrapbooks are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

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Biography of Ely Samuel Parker

A Seneca Indian, Ely Samuel Parker was born in 1825 in Genesee County, New York and was named Ha-sa-no-an-da (which means Leading Name). The second child of William and Elizabeth Parker, he was also bequeathed an English name, Ely Samuel Parker. It was prophesied that he would be a peacemaker and great among his Indian people, as well as the white man.

As a young boy, Ely was a representative and advocate for the Tonawanda Senecas. In 1842, he was sent to Washington, D.C. to fight the fraudulent treaties in which the Senecas lost all of their land in western New York. He remained active until 1857 when part of the land was bought back by the Senecas. Parker became chief of the wolf clan of the Seneca at Tonawanda in 1851. He was given the name Donehogswa (which means Open Door), which was the name of John Blacksmith who held the position before him.

Parker was educated at Elder Stone's Baptist School, Yates Academy and Cayuga Academy. He mastered the English language and was known for his oratorical and debate abilities. Interested in law, but ineligible to take the bar because he was not a white American citizen, Parker turned to civil engineering. He held positions for projects in New York as well as with the Federal government from 1849 to 1855. He was the superintendent of the lighthouse construction on the upper Great Lakes and in 1857 was superintendent of construction of a customhouse and marine hospital in Galena, Illinois.

Parker's military career began in the militia prior to the Civil War. In 1863, he joined the U.S. Army and was captain of engineers until the following year when he served as Grant's personal military secretary. Parker is known for his role in drafting the terms of surrender that ended the Civil War.

In 1867, Parker married Minnie Orton Sackett, a white socialite from Washington D.C. Their only daughter, Maud Theresa Parker, was born in 1878.

After the war, Parker remained as a member of Grant's staff until 1869 when President Grant appointed him Commissioner of the Office of Indian Affairs. In attempting to clean out corruption within the agency, Parker created powerful enemies. One, William Welsh, caused Parker's downfall. Parker was charged with fraud and blamed for the corruption within the agency. Although the House of Representatives exonerated him of any wrongdoing, Parker resigned from his position several months later in 1871.

Parker's accomplishments as commissioner were significant and include a peace policy with the Indians known as "Grant's Peace Policy," no Indian wars during his two years in office, and a temporarily corruption-free office.

Following his government service, Parker made a fortune in stocks, but lost it in the market woes of 1873-1875. In 1876, he took a clerk's job in the New York police department, which he held until his death. Parker died on August 30, 1895 and was buried with full military honors at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Fairfield, Connecticut. In 1897, he was re-interred next to the remains of Red Jacket, his ancestor at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York, a resting place closer to the Tonawanda Reservation.

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Scope and Content of the Collection

Twelve scrapbooks, presumably kept by Ely Samuel Parker, containing newspaper clippings and illustrations dating primarily from 1870-1894, regarding Indian Affairs. The clippings are from various and numerous newspapers across the United States. They deal primarily with Indian massacres, war and fraud with Bureau commissioners. There are a few volumes that deal with Indian archeology, relics, legends, folklore, customs, and education. The illustrations are typically portraits of Indian chiefs, generals, Indian office commissioners, war scenes, battlefield maps, dances, and dwellings. Many Indian tribes are referred to, including but not limited to the Sioux, Navajo, Osage, Apache, Cherokee, Pima, Pueblo, Creeks, Seminole, Comanche, Aztec, Choctaw, Temecula, Ponca, Cheyenne, Onondaga, Narragansett, Mashpee, Ute, and Zuni. There are also three letters addressed to Ely Samuel Parker from Samuel M. Janney, John A. Burbank and J. A. Campbell, superintendents of Indian Affairs in 1870 from the Nebraska Territory, the Dakota Territory and the Wyoming Territory, respectively. There are also a few reproductions of photographs in the clippings, including a statue of Hiawatha, British Columbia Indians at the World's Fair, a Pueblo Indian's foot race and the San Geronimo Day celebration. Many volumes contain indexes.

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Arrangement

The twelve scrapbooks are organized chronologically by the first year of their predominant (bulk) dates and are assigned volume numbers arbitrarily based on that date. This was felt necessary as some books were numbered on their spines, but had conflicting volume numbers on their indexes.

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Selected Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Newberry Library's public catalog. Researchers desiring additional materials on a particular topic should search the catalog using these headings.

Names

  • Burbank, John A., 1827-1916
  • Campbell, J. A. (John Allen), 1835-1880
  • Janney, Samuel M. (Samuel Mcpherson), 1801-1880
  • Parker, Ely Samuel, 1828-1895
  • United States. Office of Indian Affairs

Subjects

  • Clippings -- 1851-1900
  • Correspondence -- West (U.S.) -- 1851-1900
  • Indians of North America -- Government relations -- 1869-1934
  • Indians of North America -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Indians of North America -- Social life and customs
  • Indians of North America -- Wars, 1866-1895
  • Scrapbooks -- 1851-1900

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Container List

Volume Subjects
1 Red Cloud, chief of Sioux Nation; 3 letters to E.S. Parker; biographical article on E.S. Parker; Indian massacres; Osage Indians and treaty, 1870-1871
2 Indian manners, customs, traits and missions, 1833-1891 (bulk 1874-, 1882)
3 Numerous Indian tribes: Apache, Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Comanche, Kiowa, Mission, Moqui, Navajo, Osage, Pima, Pueblo, Seminole and Temecula; the Hayden survey and expedition; Spanish exploration; news from the South (Florida); and Indian education, 1828-1891 (bulk 1875-1883)
4 William Welsh, Commissioner of Indian Affairs; Delano, Secretary of Interior; Indian fraud and falsehood by the Indian Commission; Red Cloud investigation and commission; Ponca Indians; Puget Sound (Alaska) Indians, 1828-1890 (bulk 1875-1882)
5 Sioux Indians; Sioux-Pawnee war; General Custer; Sitting Bull; Little Big Horn Massacre; Spotted Tail; Red Cloud; Major Reno; General Crook; Crazy Horse; Black Hills; Cheyenne Indians, 1832-1890 (bulk 1876, 1882)
6 Indian attacks and war of 1890; Sioux Indians; Red Cloud; General Miles; Pine Ridge Agency; Buffalo Bill Cody; Wounded Knee Battle; Cheyenne Indians; General Custer; Sitting Bull; Nez Perces tribe, 1869-1892 (bulk 1877-1879, 1891)
7 Primarily Ute Indians; Indian war; Chief Ouray; Indian legends, 1832-1891 (bulk 1878-1881)
8 General Sullivan Campaign and Centennial; tracing Indian history; Waterloo Expedition; Red Jacket; Onondaga Indians; Narragansett Indians; Mashpee Indians, 1836-1885 (bulk 1879)
9 Archeology, mounds, tombs, forts, relics, ruins, cliff dwellers, handiwork, legends, superstitions, burials, folklore, cannibalism; St. Louis massacre; Franklin expedition search, 1860-1893 (bulk 1879, 1892)
10 Sitting Bull's death; General Miles; Sioux Indians; Badlands; General Brook; Red Cloud; Buffalo Bill; Ghost dance; Wounded Knee; Big Foot; Colonel Forsythe, 1890-1891
11 Random topics on various tribes and antiquity; World's Fair; Missouri Indians; Pueblo Sun dance; the Arctic; Schwatka and Esquinau Indians; listing of "new publications" about Indians, 1876-1894 (bulk 1893-1894)
12 Various Indian tribes, including Apache, Arapahoe, Blackfeet, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Choctaw, Comanche, Cree, Creek, Iroquois, Kaw, Kickapoo, Kiowa, Mannitoba, Mexican, Moqui, Navaho, Ojibway, Osage, Oti, Pawnee, Seminole, Sioux, Ute, Winnebago, Yakima, Yaqui, and Zuni; stories and legends; Sitting Bull; Indian soldiers; Indian services and care; education and schools; Buffalo Bill, 1893-1894