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Resources for Research

University of Missouri Ellis Library
Ellis Library at University of Missouri provides a Native American Studies Research Guide.

In addition, University of Missouri Libraries Special Collections and Rare Books has historical documents, many of which are only available on microfilm or microfiche.  Collections can be viewed during regular hours or  by appointment. 

The State Historical Society of Missouri
The State Historical Society of Missouri has an index of Native American Collection descriptions available on their webpage.  Also available via the State Historicay Society are art collections and biographies pertaining to history of Missouri Tribes. 

Indigenous Art Collections at The State Historical Society of Missouri
The State Historical Society of Missouri houses a number of art collections important to Indigenous History, including material from James Otto Lewis, Karl Bodmer, collaborators McKenney and Hall, as well as Edward Sheriff Curtis.

A collection of hand-colored lithographs by James Otto Lewis is accessible at the State Historical Society of Missouri.  The collection has been one of the featured exhibits at the State Historical Society of Missouri, and can be viewed by appointment.  The collection is entitled “James Otto Lewis’s Aboriginal Portfolio: Native American Portraits from the 1820s to the 30s.” 

A complete set of hand-colored Bodmer lithographs is available at the State Historical Society of Missouri to be viewed by appointment.  Karl Bodmer was a Swiss artist commissioned by Prince Maximillion to travel with German explorers of the American West in 1832.  Bodmer’s specific task was to provide artistic documentation of Native American Tribes met during their peregrination.  Some say that Bodmer was one of the most accurate in his depictions of Native American tribes. 

The State Historical Society of Missouri has a portion of the McKenney-Hall collaboration contained on 45 plates from their book History of the Indian Tribes of North America. The three volumes of the book, which Thomas McKenney authored and James Hall illustrated, were published between the years of 1838 and 1844.  More information on McKenney and Hall’s work can be found on the University of Cincinnati Libraries and Digital Collections webpage, McKenney and Hall: History of the Indian Tribes.

Also available at the State Historical Society of Missouri are a complete set of photographs by Edward Sheriff Curtis.  Although it was not recognized during his lifetime, Curtis contributed thousands of images portraying life of Native American Tribes at the turn of the 20th century.  The collection of Curtis’ photographs at State Historical Society of Missouri can be viewed by appointment.   More information about Curtis and his life work can be found on the PBS webpage Edward Curtis: Shadow Catcher.

 

Biographies of Native Americans from Missouri Tribes
caption:  White Cloud (photo courtesy of the State Historical Society of Missouri)White Cloud
White Cloud was an Ioway leader who historians estimate was born in 1784, and died in 1834.  White Cloud became a leader in his tribe at a young age following the death of his father.  He fought in a number of conflicts with the Osage, and sided with the Americans during the War of 1812.  White Cloud was present for two treaty talks with the U.S. government: the first was a 1824 treaty selling land north of the Missouri River to the Missouri border, and the second in 1830 selling the Platte lands in Missouri and Iowa.  The understanding of the treaty terms by the White Cloud and other leaders is dubious due to language barriers and different concepts of land ownership.  The treaties led to later conflict for the Ioway and other Missouri tribes. However, consistent with the measures taken in attending treaty talks, White Cloud continued to attempt peaceful collaboration with the U.S. government until his death in 1834.  For more information and sources on White Cloud, visit The State Historical Society of Missouri: Historic Missourians webpage for White Cloud.

Source: Olsen, Greg. 2012. “Historic Missourians: White Cloud.” The State Historical Society of Missouri.  Web. 

Photo:  White Cloud (courtesy of the State Historical Society of Missouri)

Sacred Sun
Sacred Sun, a Missouri native of the Osage Tribe, is believed to have lived from 1809 to 1836.  Sacred Sun is most well known because of her journey to France in 1827, accompanied by Frenchman David Dulauney and a number of others Osage Tribal Members.  Initially, the French received Sacred Sun and her friends with interest and attention, but that attention waned and so did the resources available to the Osage visitors.  Sacred Sun and the others faced terrible struggles in poverty and hunger for the remainder of their two years in France.  During this time, Sacred Sun also became the mother of twin girls.  Sacred Sun survived and returned to the United States with one of her daughters in 1829.  However, Sacred Sun faced more change finding that the Osage had been displaced in her absence.  To find out more about Sacred Sun and her amazing life journey, visit The State Historical Society of Missouri: Historic Missourians webpage for Sacred Sun.

Source: Trout, Carlynn. 2012. “Historic Missourians: Sacred Sun.” The State Historical Society of Missouri.  Web. 

Photo: Sacred Sun (courtesy of the State Historical Society of Missouri)