Minnesota Superintendency of Indian Affairs

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United States Genealogy Gotoarrow.png American Indian Research Gotoarrow.png Bureau of Indian Affairs Gotoarrow.png Superintendencies Gotoarrow.png Minnesota Superintendency

History[edit | edit source]

The Minnesota Superintendency of Indian Affairs was established in 1849. After the Superintendency was abolished in 1856,responsibility for its agencies was transferred to the Northern Superintendency.

The records of the Minnesota Superintendency of Indian Affairs relate to almost all aspects of Indian Administration within its jurisdiction. There are documents relating to negotiation and enforcement of treaties, land matters, Indian emigration and subsistence, intrusions on Indian lands, law and order, annuity and other payments, inter-tribal hostilities, military operations, depredation claims, traders and licenses, missionaries and schools, location of agencies, construction and repair of buildings, purchase and transportation of goods and supplies, employees and accounts.

Records for Superintendencies exist in the National Archives and copies of many of them are also available in other research facilities.

The St. Peters Agency was responsible for four main bands of Sioux, or Dakota, Indians. These were the Sioux of the Mississippi-- Sisseton, Wahpeton, Mdewakanton, and Wahpekute.

Tribes[edit | edit source]

Winnebago, Chippewa, Sioux,

Governors and Ex Officio Superintendents[edit | edit source]

Alexander Ramsey April 2, 1849,and Willis E. Gorman, April 1, 1853 [1]

Agencies[edit | edit source]

Agencies and subagencies were created as administrative offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its predecessors. Their purpose was (and is) to manage Indian affairs with the tribes, to enforce policies, and to assist in maintaining the peace. The names and location of these agencies may have changed, but their purpose remained basically the same. Many of the records of genealogical value (for the tribe and tribal members) were created by and maintained by the agencies.

Records[edit | edit source]

Records of the Minnesota Superintendent of Indian Affairs, 1849-1856, are at theNational Archives and have been microfilmed as their Microcopy Number M842. Copies are also available at the Chicago Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration. This set of microfilm of the records of the Minnesota Superintendency is also available at the Family History Library and its family history centers.

Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs from the Minnesota Superintendency, 1849-1856, have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M234. Copies are available at the National Archives and at the Family History Library and its family history centers on their microfilm roll number 1661158.

References[edit | edit source]

Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Press, [1974].

Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington [District of Columbia]: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1981.

Historical Sketches for Jurisdictional and Subject Headings Used for the Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880. National Archives Microcopy T1105.

Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington, DC:

  1. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. By Edward E. Hill. Clearwater Publishing Co., New York, NY ©1974. FHL Book 970.1 H551o