US War Department

U.S. War Department
1815 – 1820
1 mss box

Manuscript & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library

Processed by: Philip N. Williams, 1999

Organizational History:

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.

Scope and Content Note:

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 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.

Photocopying Policy:

Manuscript materials CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in their entirety. Photocopies and/or digital images cannot exceed 25% of a collection or a folder within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Check with a Manuscript Librarian for other options.

Box and Folder Listing:

Box 1.  U.S. War Department

1. 1815 – July 1816
2. August – December 1816
3. 1817 – 1818
4. 1819
5. 1820

Collection Information

Size of Collection: 1 mss box, 5 folders
Collection Dates: 1815 – 1820
Provenance: Unknown
Access : The collection is open for research use
Restrictions: None
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.
Language: Materials are entirely in English
Alternate Formats: None
Related Holdings: L443, Office of Indian Affairs