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Isaac Ingalls Stevens papers

 Collection
Call Number: WA MSS 442-445

Scope and Contents

The Stevens papers contain correspondence, reports, memoranda, and maps documenting the 1856 declaration of martial law in Washington Territory and Indian hostilities, relations with the Hudson's Bay Company and the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, and political events during Steven's administration. In 1857, Stevens prepared a map of the Washington and Nebraska territories for his report on the railroad survey with information on various Indian tribes, reservations, settlements, and military posts.

The Isaac Ingalls Stevens Papers have been organized in four series. The first series (WA MSS 442) consists of correspondence and other papers relating to Governor Stevens' proclamation of martial law in Washington Territory. The letters from Stevens and Adjutant General James Tilton found in this section of the collection are the file copies in the writers' hands or are signed by them. (For additional material, see the Elwood Evans Papers [WA MSS 187], as well as WA MSS 509, a "Proclamation ending the Indian War of 1856 and repealing the rule of martial law in Washington Territory," May 24, 1856.) Also found in the first section of the papers is a document entitled "Proceedings of a General Court Martial or Military Commission convened at Camp Montgomery by virtue of an order from Isaac I. Stevens, Governor of the Territory of Washington, and Commander-in-Chief of the Volunteer Forces thereof," May 20-29, 1856. The document is a manuscript in the handwriting of Quincy A. Brooks, recorder. The military commission consisted of Lieutenant Colonel J. S. Hurd, Major H. J. G. Maxon, Captain C. W. Swindal, Captain W. W. DeLacy, Lieutenant A. Shepherd, Lieutenant S. B. Curtis, supernumerary, and Victor Monroe, Judge Advocate. The proceedings are signed at the end by the members of the court, and approved, May 29, 1856, by Governor Stevens. There are fifty-seven letters and papers (144 pp.) in the first section.

The second series of the collection (WA MSS 443) consists of correspondence of Isaac I. Stevens, Governor of Washington Territory, during the years 1848 to 1857. There are 206 letters and papers (541 pp.) in this section of the collection. The correspondence deals chiefly with the Indian hostilities of 1856 and relations with the U.S. Army. However, the political affairs of the Territory under Governor Stevens, the relations with the Hudson's Bay Company and Puget Sound Agricultural Company, Mullan's explorations in 1853-54, the murder of White and Northcraft, and the trial of Leschi are also matters dealt with in the correspondence. The majority of the letters to Stevens are the originals, while those from Stevens are in most cases copies or drafts preserved by the writer for his files.

The third series of the Isaac Ingalls Stevens Papers (WA MSS 444) consists of a letter (a single page) written by the Governor to M[?] F. Schmidt on March 18, 1859. The letter contains instructions as to the chapter headings in the "Geographical Memoir," which is part of Stevens' Narrative and Final Report of Explorations for a Pacific Railroad, Washington, 1860 (U.S. War Dept. Reports of Explorations and Surveys, 1860, Vols. XII-XIII).

The fourth series of the Isaac Ingalls Stevens Papers (WA MSS 445) consists of a map which is mounted on linen and folded. The map is entitled "Prepared in the Office of Explorations & Surveys, War Department, from a Map of the Indian Nations and Tribes of the Territorys of Washington and Nebraska west of the mouth of the Yellowstone. Made under the direction of Isaac I. Stevens, Gov. of Wash. Terrt. & Supt. of Ind. Affairs" [April, 1857]. The map consists of the engraved map of the region from the Rocky Mountains to Puget Sound, prepared by Governor Stevens for his report on the survey for a Pacific railroad, with information added in manuscript about the Indian tribes and reservations, settlements, and military posts. There is a manuscript extension east of the Rocky Mountains to the Yellowstone River to show the more eastern tribes, and, inserted in the lower left corner in place of the original caption and part of Oregon, two tabular statements of the Indians west and east of the Cascades, showing "tribes, population, parties to the several treaties, reservations provided in the treaties, and temporary encampments," as well as "Notes of the Indians of the Territory of Nebraska between the Rocky Mountains and the mouth of the Yellowstone."

A month before Governor Stevens was relieved as superintendent of Indian affairs by Colonel James W. Nesmith, he sent a letter and map of the Indian nations and tribes of the Territory of Washington and of the Territory of Nebraska, with tabular statements and notes, to George W. Manypenny, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, April 30, 1857. The region from the Cascades to Fort Benton has been printed on a reduced scale, with much less detail, in Hazard Stevens, Life of Isaac Ingalls Stevens, 1900, I, facing p. 16, and the "Tabular Statements" and "Notes" appear as the Appendix to Vol. I, pp. 503-505, from the original on file in the Indian Bureau. The Miller map is a copy made for the Secretary of War.

Dates

  • 1848-1859

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Isaac Ingalls Stevens papers collection is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

From the Winlock W. Miller Collection.

Arrangement

The collection consists of four groups previously cataloged separately as WA MSS 442, WA MSS 443, WA MSS 444, and WA MSS 445, and is organized into four series reflecting this previous arrangement.

Extent

0.63 Linear Feet ((2 boxes) + 1 broadside folder.)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.stevens

Overview

The Stevens papers contain correspondence, reports, memoranda, and maps documenting the 1856 declaration of martial law in Washington Territory and Indian hostilities, relations with the Hudson's Bay Company and the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, and political events during Steven's administration (WA MSS 442-444). In 1857, Stevens prepared a map of the Washington and Nebraska territories for his report on the railroad survey with information on various Indian tribes, reservations, settlements, and military posts (WA MSS 445).

Biographical / Historical

General Isaac Ingalls Stevens graduated from West Point and served in the Engineer Corps of the Army until 1853. He resigned to become governor of Washington Territory and also served as superintendent of Indian affairs until 1857. Stevens was appointed director of the survey of a northern route for a Pacific railroad.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This finding aid, created before the advent of computer-generated files, has been converted into a ASCII data file by means of scanning and Optical Character Recognition software. While attempts have been made to retain the complete information from the original document a number of format changes have been made to present the structure of this archive in accordance with current practice.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Title
Guide to the Isaac Ingalls Stevens Papers
Status
Under Revision
Author
by Beinecke Staff
Date
1993
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
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Location

121 Wall Street
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Opening Hours

Access Information

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