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Arthur Einhorn Mohawk research collection

Identifier: Ayer-Modern-MS-Einhorn

Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence and research files of Professor Arthur Einhorn, regarding the Moss Lake Territory Occupation, known as Ganienkeh, by members of the Mohawk Nation in 1974.

Includes correspondence, field notes, and scattered writings of Arthur Einhorn; newspaper clippings and magazine articles that trace the occupation of the Moss Lake territory and subsequent developments spanning from 1974-1980; and subject files containing newsletters, press releases and clippings regarding various organizations that both supported and opposed the actions of the Mohawk Nation and the Ganienkeh settlement. Also contains materials that are indirectly related to events involving the Moss Lake controversy: clippings tracing the development of a political campaign probe involving a local newspaper editor, a county Democratic assemblyman, and a state Republican party chairman, etc.; miscellaneous publications of AIM and a seasonal newsletter of New York Senator James Donovan; and a copy of a German transcript of an AIM support group in Hamburg (1975). There are also several cassette tapes and two reel-to-reel cassettes. Audiovisual recordings in this collection have been digitized and are available online. Access to the original audiovisual items is restricted.


  • Creation: 1974-1980



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Arthur Einhorn Mohawk research collection is open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Audiovisual recordings in this collection have been digitized and are available online. Access to the original audiovisual items is restricted.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Arthur Einhorn Mohawk research collection is 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 at

Biography of Arthur Einhorn

Anthropology professor and noted local history expert, interested and peripherally involved in the Mohawk Indian occupation at Moss Lake, 1974-1980.

In May of 1974, a group of Mohawk Indians seized an abandoned girl's camp at Moss Lake, NY. The community, which became known as Ganienkeh (Land of the Flint) was established as a utopian community; a place where the traditional Mohawk people could live and practice their own government and religion. Throughout the first months of occupation of the land, the Mohawk and the surrounding community coexisted peacefully. However, in October of 1974 an incident occurred that altered the way in which the Ganienkeh settlement was perceived by public. Two civilians, a nine year old girl and a twenty-two year old man, received shotgun wounds in separate altercations. The Mohawk maintained that they were responding to gunfire directed at the settlement. When the New York State Police attempted to assert jurisdiction regarding the shootings, the Mohawk cited a Treaty signed in 1794, which maintained that local authorities had no jurisdiction.

With the increased tension between the settlement and the surrounding community because of the shootings, several groups organized in opposition to the settlement. In addition, a local newspaper editor was commissioned to investigate the validity of the Mohawk's land claims. Michael Blair extensively used the research files of Arthur Einhorn to compile his report. At the time, Einhorn was the head of the Department of Anthropology at Jefferson Community College in Watertown, NY. Generally regarded as an expert on Native Americans, Einhorn kept a low profile and usually insisted on remaining anonymous. When Blair acknowledged his assistance in compiling the report on the Mohawk's land claims, the section was later deleted from the final confidential report.

The Moss Lake controversy continued through the mid-1970s, until in 1977 Mohawk representatives and the State of New York came to an agreement. The Ganienkeh settlement agreed to move to a new site, located near Altona, New York, where it remains. Einhorn continued to insist on anonymity. When Gail Landsman, an anthropologist, began her Ph.D. dissertation research on the Moss Lake controversy in 1979, correspondence between the two indicates Einhorn was adamant that she not use his name as a source. Einhorn's intense interest in the Mohawk Indian's cause is strikingly apparent by the extensive amount of research material contained in the collection.


1.3 Linear Feet (2 boxes, 1 oversize box, and 1 oversize folder)

13 items (11 audiocassette tapes and 2 open reels)


Consists of newspaper clippings, correspondence and newsletters of various organizations pertaining to the occupation of the Moss Lake territory in Northern New York State by the Mohawk Nation beginning in 1974. Also clippings and correspondence regarding a related political controversy, and correspondence and field notes by anthropologist and Native American expert Arthur Einhorn.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Arthur Einhorn Subject Files, 1974-1980
Box 1
Series 2: Moss Lake Occupation Subject Files, 1974-1980
Boxes 1-2
Series 3: Blair Report Controversy Clippings, 1975-1976
Box 2
Series 4: Audio Tapes, 1974-1975
Audiovisual boxes (restricted)

Collection Stack Location

3a 55 13-14


Gift of Arthur Einhorn, 1983.

Processed by

Laura L. Carroll, April, 2001.

Inventory of the Arthur Einhorn Mohawk research collection, 1974-1980
Laura L. Carroll
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023-01-17: Audiovisual materials have been permanently removed from the collection for preservation. Access to the original audiovisual items is restricted.

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States