Native American History Resources

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The Division of Special Collections has some interesting resources related to the culture and history of local Native American tribes, both in the Williams Collection and at Hoole Library. For Native American Heritage Month, we’d like to share a few pertinent manuscript collections.

Anthropological Research

Alabama Anthropological Society Records (W.0059): This collection contains a variety of materials, primarily from the early part of the twentieth century, of the Alabama Anthropological Society. A significant portion of the collection is made up of correspondence (incoming and outgoing) of Peter Brannon, founding member and the Society’s second president. There are also several papers or reports on Indian relics, as well as other anthropological interests. There is also a photo album containing photographs and newspaper clippings documenting Alabama Anthropological Society field trips from 1920-1922. The photographs were taken at archaeological sites in Dallas County, Macon County, and Elmore County. Finding aid:

Photo of an archaeological dig, from the

Photo of an archaeological dig, from the David DeJarnette Papers

David DeJarnette Papers (MSS.0421): This collection contains photographs related to archaeology and geology, including photos of the Stanfield-Worley Bluff Shelter dig. There is correspondence to DeJarnette when he served as editor-in-chief for the Journal of Alabama Archaeology as well as personal correspondence related to information on the Native Americans that are associated with Moundville, Alabama. This collection also contains a draft of his MA thesis. Finding aid:

Peter Brannon Papers (W.0009): Includes a diary of an archaeological trip to Georgia in 1905. Went to Brunswick, St. Simon’s Island, and Cumberland Islands. Also includes a “Catalog of his Indian Relic Collection.” Finding aid:

Other Research

James F. Doster Papers (MSS.0447): The James F. Doster papers include materials this Tuscaloosa native and history professor at The University of Alabama created and collected. As a consultant for the Creek Nation on claims with the Indian Claims Commission, Doster conducted research in archival repositories in the Americas, England, and Spain. Doster’s research helped substantiate their case against the government by documenting the Creek Nation’s history. His collection therefore offers rich resources on the history of the Deep South in general and Alabama and the Creeks specifically. Finding aid:

Page from the notebook of R. D. Spratt, from the

Partial notebook page from Notes on the Choctaw Indians, Their Language, etc.

Notes on the Choctaw Indians, Their Language, Etc. (MSS.0298): The collection contains a late nineteenth century ledger with handwritten notes by R. D. Spratt, regarding the history, legends, significant members, and language of the Choctaw Indians. A significant portion of the book deals with the Choctaw language. The book also contains two typewritten pages of information about the Choctaw. Finding aid and digitized content:

Adrien Rouquette Papers (MSS.1212): Contains a nineteenth century manuscript French/Choctaw dictionary titled Vocabulaire Choctaw (lac Pontchartrain) Louisiane, a photograph of Father Roquette’s chapel, and two clippings from newspapers. Finding aid and digitized content:

Virginia J. Hanson Papers (W.0018): Includes Research notes and correspondence written between 1935-1937 about African American and Native American folklore for her thesis. These stories are collected in three research binders titled “Negro Lore,” “Indian Lore,” and “Traditional Stories of Slaves and Civil War.” Finding aid:

D. Barron Research on Native Americans (W.0088): Contains J.D. Barron’s research materials and correspondence related to Alabama place names with roots in Native American languages. Dates from 1887-1906. Finding aid:


George Strother Gaines Paper (MSS.0551): Deals with Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians, including treaties, from 1810 to 1840. Finding aid:

Legal documents from the

Legal document from the Creek Indian Land Sales Collection

Creek Indian Land Sales Collection (MSS.0371): The collection contains six documents pertaining to the sale of lands belonging to Ko Yoo Quae, Alpetter Hadjo, Co Choc O Nee, Coch Che Yo Ho Lo, and Pelis-hart-ke–all Creek Indians living in Alabama–between 1833 and 1841. Finding aid:

John Forbes and Company Land Records (W.0074): Contains three journals recording land sales and transfers of Lanton, Leslie, and Company (later John Forbes and Company) from 1799 to 1853. The company acquired approximately three million acres of land in what is now Alabama and Mississippi after Native American tribes were pressured to cede lands. Indian indebtedness to the Panton, Leslie, and Company resulted in a triangular scheme negotiated by the company and the US Government whereby Native Americans would cede lands to the United States for cash, the Indians would use the cash to satisfy their debts, and the company would release their claims against the Indians. Finding aid:

Personal Accounts

Partial page from the Jesse Griffin letter

Partial page from the Jesse Griffin Letter

Jesse Griffin Letter (MSS.0597): The collection contains a letter dated 5 September 1813, from St. Stephens, Alabama, to his parents in which Griffin states that he has traveled fifty miles in flight from Indians, who killed more than 400 people in five days. On 30 August 1813, Creek Indians under the leadership of William Weatherford, also known as Red Eagle, attacked white settlers at Fort Mims near the convergence of the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers, killing approximately 500 people. Although Griffin and his family survived, they lost their crops, livestock, and most of their household goods. This attack was part of the Creek Indian War that lasted from 1813-1814. Finding aid and digitized item:


For a complete list, including published items, contact Chris Sawula at the Williams Collection or Kate Matheny at Hoole Library.

This entry was posted in A.S. Williams III Collection, Chris Sawula, Kate Matheny, Manuscript Collections and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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