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Manuscript Collection: Black Beaver

Collection Overview

Collection summary derived from "Guidebook to Manuscripts", 1969: Black Beaver was born at Belleville, Illinois, in 1806 and died at Anadarko, Oklahoma, in 1880. He was an interpreter at the earliest conference with the Comanche, Kiowa, and Washita tribes held by Colonel Dodge on the Red River in 1834. One of the most noted latter-day Delawares, he was guide and scout for Captain John C. Fremont on a trip to the Pacific Coast. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he had settled on a fine ranch in what is now Caddo County. At Fort Washita he was asked by Major William H. Emory, Commandant, to help guide the Union forces out of the country surrounded by Chickasaws and Choctaws who were slave owners and Southern sympathizers. During his absence he lost all of his property and was never recompensed for it. He had been the custodian of a treaty with the Indians signed by William Penn which had been passed down from one chief to another, but it was lost when his buildings were burned. This letter was written from the Wichita Agency to General Ranald Mackenzie. Black Beaver was going out for buffalo meat and salt and wanted two soldiers to go with him.

Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive
August 19, 1877
CSV file

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Access Restrictions

Available by appointment only at the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR) with the exception of materials with donor restrictions. Contact Library staff in advance to inquire if materials exist pertaining to your research interests.

Use Restrictions

Please contact the Rights and Reproduction Department for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission will be granted by the Gilcrease Museum as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.


The Gilcrease Foundation acquired these materials before 1964 and is housed in the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR). The library currently receives most materials through community donation, board members, artists and the acquisition of manuscript collections.

Staff, interns, and volunteers of the Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive have contributed to the organization and maintenance of the files since the collection passed to the City of Tulsa in the 1950s.