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Manuscript Collection: Cherokee Papers

Collection Overview

These papers consist of a collection of materials such as personal letters and legal documents ranging from before, during, and after removal, including various correspondences from Colonel Return J. Meigs, Senator James Harlan, President Ulysses S. Grant, Colonel Stand Watie, and others. There are several documents pertaining to Cherokee land rights and negotiations, including the Old Settlers’ group with the Old Settlers' Council Proceedings (1838-1865) and a list of 119 Old Settlers' members. A considerable number of manuscripts are written in the Cherokee syllabary, some of which remain untranslated. The collection has a few maps, such as a map of New Echota, and a Brainard Mission Map with a family tree of the Mindwell-Caswell families (1824). Some notable documents are the Cherokee Nation’s pardon of citizens who fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy (1865) and a Council Executive Office act pertaining to department expenses signed by President Theodore Roosevelt (1903).

Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive
95 items
1804 - 1871
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.