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Finding Aid to the Joseph Keppler, Jr. Papers MS.208
MS.208  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Preferred citation
  • Processing history
  • Biograpahical note
  • Scope and contents
  • Use
  • Acquisition
  • Arrangement
  • Related collections

  • Title: Joseph Keppler, Jr. Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.208
    Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 3.0 Linear feet (84 folders in 3 document boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1899-1960
    Abstract: Joseph Keppler Jr. was born Udo Keppler on 1872 April 4 in St Louis, Missouri. He was a writer, collector of Native American literature and artifacts, political cartoonist, and publisher. In 1898, Keppler was adopted into the Wolf Clan of the Seneca tribe and in appreciation of his social and legislative efforts on behalf of American Indians in New York, he was made an honorary Chief of the Seneca tribe and given the name "Gy-ant-wa-ka." Keppler died 1956 July 4 in La Jolla, California. The Joseph Keppler, Jr. Papers contains newspaper and magazine clippings; ephemera; correspondence; photographic material; drawings; notes on Native American ceremonies and stories; and speeches created or collected by Keppler from 1899-1960. The bulk of the collection contains correspondence and letters from Keppler's family members and associates.
    creator: Converse, Harriet Maxwell
    creator: Cornplanter, Ed, Chief
    creator: Johnson, Freeman, Chief
    creator: Keppler, Joseph, Jr., 1872-1956
    creator: Ninham, Fred
    creator: Ninham, Gertrude

    Access

    Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at rroom@theautry.org. A folder level inventory is available from library staff.

    Preferred citation

    Joseph Keppler, Jr. Papers, 1899-1960, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.208; [folder number] [folder title][date].

    Processing history

    Processed by Glenna Schroeder, circa 1977-1981. Preliminary finding aid created by Michele Anderson, 2009. Biographical note prepared by Eloise Nelson, Braun Research Library intern, 2011 June 20. Finding aid completed by Anna Liza Posas, 2013. Final processing of collection and publication of finding aid made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

    Biograpahical note

    Joseph Keppler Jr. was born Udo Keppler on 1872 April 4 in St Louis, Missouri. He was a writer, collector of Native American literature and artifacts, political cartoonist, and publisher. He later changed his name to Joseph Keppler, Jr. in honor of his father.
    His mother was Pauline Pfau and his father Udo Joseph Keppler, founded Puck magazine. Keppler, Jr. took over the publication after his father's death.
    Keppler, Jr. had two sons, Udo Keppler III and George Keppler, with his first wife Louise. Louise died in December of 1944. He later married Vera, who survived him.
    Keppler was also good friends with George Heye and assisted with the founding of the Heye Foundation’s Museum of the American Indian in 1916.
    He became active in Indian affairs and spent a great deal of time with the Seneca Nation both as an activist and as a collector. Keppler worked with others to defeat or substantially modify proposed legislation concerning the New York State reservations. He also actively promoted Iroquois lacrosse teams and his connections with the railroad enabled him to procure discount railroad passes for New York Indians.
    In 1898, Keppler was adopted into the Wolf Clan of the Seneca tribe in New York, through the sponsorship of Harriet Maxwell Converse, herself a third generation adoptee. In 1899, in appreciation of his social and legislative efforts on behalf of Native Americans in New York, he was made an honorary Chief of the Seneca tribe and given the name "Gy-ant-wa-ka."
    Keppler died 1956 July 4 in La Jolla, California, where he had been living. His residences in Woodland, New York and La Jolla were both called "Tov-nis-gah."
    References: Cornell University Library. “Guide to the Joseph Keppler Jr. Iroquois Papers, 1882-1944. Finding Aid.” http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/ead/htmldocs/RMM09184.html
    New York Historical Society. “Guide to the Keppler Family Papers, 1840-1957. Finding Aid” http://dlib.nyu.edu/eadapp/transform?source=nyhs/keppler.xml&style=nyhs/nyhs.xsl&part=body
    Hodge, F.W. “A Seneca Adoption” Masterkey 26 (1952): 94-96.
    Reily, Nancy Hopkins and Lucille Enix. Joseph Imhof: Artist of the Pueblos. Santa Fe: Sunstone Press, 1998.
    See also: Comments on Certain Iroquois Masks (1941) Heye Foundation V 12 No 4 (970.6711).

    Scope and contents

    The collection contains newspaper and magazine clippings; ephemera; correspondence; photographic material; drawings; notes on Native American ceremonies and stories; and speeches created or collected by Joseph Keppler.
    The bulk of the collection contains correspondence and letters from Keppler's family members and associates, including Chief Ed Cornplanter, Chief Freeman Johnson, Fred and Gertrude Ninham, and Harriett Maxwell Converse. Clippings consist of obituaries and articles that relate to Native American athlete Jim Thorpe; Native American culture, art, health, and food; and the Navajo, Iroquois, and Seneca tribes. There are also articles related to the discovery of bones claiming to belong to "The Missing Link."

    Use

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Acquisition

    Donated by Mrs. Vera Keppler, 1958 March 27.

    Arrangement

    • Published articles
    • Correspondence and photographs
    • Manuscripts and research material

    Related collections

    MS.876, English-Seneca Dictionary Notes, Autry National Center.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Gray Wolf, Sam
    Thorpe, Jim, 1887-1953
    Anthropology
    Clippings
    Correspondence
    Drawings
    Indian art
    Indians of North America -- Food
    Indians of North America -- Health
    Indians of North America -- Social life and customs
    Iroquois Indians
    Navajo Indians
    Obituaries
    Photographs
    Seneca Indians
    Speeches