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U.S. War Department collection

Identifier: L444

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of photostats of letters recorded in the Office of the Secretary of the War Department from 1815 to 1820. The letters (originals from the National Archives) were written by and to Indian agents: B.F. Stickney, W. Turner, and John Johnston; Military Officer J. Whistler; Governor Lewis Cass; Secretary of War John C. Calhoun; and President James Monroe. One letter, a written copy of which appears in the collection, was written by Thomas Jefferson and addressed to the Ottawas, Chippewas, Potawatomis, Wyandottes, and Shawnees. Other Tribes mentioned in the collection are the Delawares, Senecas, Mingos, and Kickapoos. Fort Wayne is a frequent center of activity and discussion.

Distinct documents, in addition to the letters, are accounts and receipts for annuities distributed to the Indians under treaty provisions, abstracts of food distributions (beef, corn, bread, etc.) the listing of geographic locations and numbers of members of Western tribes, and sworn testimony against Stickney over alleged charges. Topics covered in the collection are the building of mills for Indians, the building of river defenses and of military buildings at Fort Wayne, the consolidation and the activities of the Prophet (Tenskwatawa, brother of Tecumseh) and Jean-Baptiste Richardville (a former Miami chief). Treaties mentioned are those of Fort Meigs, Juan’s Creek, and St. Mary’s.

An item-level inventory is available upon request.


  • 1815-1820


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

The Department of War was an executive department of the United States government with supervision over the military establishment of the country. Until the organization of the federal government in 1789, a War Office created in 1781 managed military affairs. An act of August 7, 1789, established a Department of War headed by a civilian secretary of cabinet ranking.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 1999 by Philip N. Williams. EAD finding aid created in 1999 by Philip N. Williams.
U.S. War Department collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.