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Parker (Ely Samuel) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Custodial History
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Processing Information
  • Arrangement
  • General

  • Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
    Title: Ely Samuel Parker papers
    Creator: Parker, Ely Samuel, 1828-1895
    Identifier/Call Number: mssPA
    Physical Description: 2.3 Linear Feet (2 boxes, 2 volumes)
    Date (inclusive): 1802-1894
    Date (bulk): 1832-1894
    Abstract: A collection of material related to the life and work of Ely Samuel Parker, Native American representative and lawyer.
    Language of Material: Materials are in English.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Ely Samuel Parker papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Purchased from W. C. Wyman, May 1920.

    Custodial History

    The material was formerly part of the manuscript collection of Arthur C. Parker, grandson of Nicholson Henry Parker; the material became part of the collection of W. C. Wyman, before being purchased by the Huntington Library.

    Biographical / Historical

    Ely Samuel Parker (1828-1895) was a Seneca Indian born on the Tonawanda Reservation in western New York; he was known as Do-Ne-Ho-Ga-Wa and was Seneca sachem of the Six Nations. At the age of 19 he served as a representative of his people to Washington, D.C., championing their cause against removal to the west. He studied law and became a lawyer; during the Civil War he became Ulysses S. Grant's military secretary and for meritorious service won the brevet appointment of Brigadier-General. From 1869 to 1871 Parker was Commissioner of Indian Affairs. In later years Parker ventured into business and held positions on the New York Police Department. He died on August 30, 1895 in Fairfield, Connecticut. Nicholson Henry Parker (1824-1892) was Ely S. Parker's brother, and as a young man was well known as a lecturer on Native American tribal history and customs. He was greatly interested in the Native American's fight against expulsion from their reservations; for many years he worked as an United States interpreter.

    Scope and Contents

    A collection of 135 items from 1802 to 1894, it consists of correspondence, documents, and manuscripts of Ely Samuel Parker relating to Native American affairs and personal matters; also included are papers of Parker's brother, Nicholson Henry Parker. The material covers many subjects including Seneca Indians of Western New York; Native American political and cultural affairs; the removal of Native Americans to lands west of the Mississippi; protests against emigration; Schermerhorn's exploring party; The Treaty of 1838 and the Amending Treaty; and the opposition and repudiation by the Senecas. The collection also includes material on the Seneca Mission Station on Buffalo Creek and studies in the Seneca language; a list of Native Americans of the Six Nations who took part in the War of 1812; a dictionary of the Seneca language; and a census of Seneca Indians, 1855 to 1857. In addition, there are Ely Samuel Parker's school compositions, chiefly about Native American life and culture, and confidential correspondence with Mrs. Harriet Maxwell Converse, American folklorist and historian of the Iroquois.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Huntington Library Staff, circa 1930. In 2020, Gayle Richardson created the finding aid derived from a legacy summary report.


    Arranged chronologically.


    Individual call numbers included in the collection: mssPA 1-126.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Indians of North America -- Relocation
    Indians of North America -- History -- 19th century
    Seneca language -- Dictionaries -- 19th century
    Seneca Nation of Indians -- History -- 19th century
    Seneca Nation of Indians -- Government relations -- 19th century
    United States -- History -- War of 1812 -- Participation, Indian
    New York (State) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
    Census records -- United States -- 19th century
    Documents -- United States -- 19th century
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 19th century
    Personal papers -- United States -- 19th century
    Converse, Harriet Maxwell, 1836-1903
    Parker, Nicholson Henry, 1824-1892