Guide to the John G. Carter Papers
1855-1952

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Carter, John Galen, b. 1891
Title: John G. Carter Papers
Dates: 1855-1952
Quantity: 2 linear feet and one oversize folder
Collection Number: Collection 2204, MtBC, us
Summary: The John G. Carter Papers include material from his law and writing career mainly on topics concerning Native Americans. Topics include trips Carter took in the Western United States, Cuba, the Panama Canal Zone, and Western Europe, a visit to the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana in 1909, court cases, petitions, arguments, depositions, analysis of the cases, opinions of the court, reports, and motions.
Repository: Montana State University-Bozeman Library, Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections

P.O. Box 173320
Bozeman, MT 59717-3320
United States
Phone (406) 994-4242
Fax (406) 994-2851
http://www.lib.montana.edu/archives/
University Archivist
spcoll@www.lib.montana.edu

Languages: Collection materials are in English 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Biographical Note

John Galen Carter, the son of Senator Thomas Henry Carter and Ellen L. Galen Carter, was born in Washington. He was educated in Helena and Georgetown Prep School. He received his BA from Georgetown University in 1914 and his MA in 1915. He graduated from Georgetown Law School in 1918. The same year he enlisted in the Army and served until after the Armistice. In 1921, he joined the A. R. Serven law firm, and worked with cases mainly involving the government and specialized in Indian Affairs. He was a member of the American Anthropological Society and served in county and state conventions of the Republican party in Lewis and Clark County. He married Celina D. Calvo and they had one daughter, Mary Ellen.

Content Description

The John G. Carter papers include material from his law and writing career mainly on topics concerning Native Americans. The papers have been arranged according to topic and have been divided into five series: Series 1: Diaries, Manuscripts and Publications, 1909-1936; Series 2: Business and Legal Papers, 1855-1940; Series 3: Native American Manuscripts and Publications, 1893-1939; Series 4: Carter Family Papers, 1878-1952; and Series 5: Photographs, 1904-1906. The papers include diaries of trips Carter took in the Western United States, Cuba, the Panama Canal Zone, and Western Europe. His diaries also include a visit to the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana in 1909. Also included are his writings as well as manuscripts and publications that he collected on Native Americans. His legal papers contain documents from court cases including Blackfeet et al. vs. United States and Okanogan et al. vs. United States. These papers include petitions, arguments, depositions, analysis of the cases, opinions of the court, reports, and motions. Also included in the John G. Carter papers are family papers concerning his parents such as newspaper clippings and correspondence. Photographs of Native Americans, mainly on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, are also included in the papers.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

This collection is open for research.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Series 1: Diaries, Manuscripts and Publications, 1909-1936

Series 2: Business and Legal Papers, 1855-1940

Series 3: Native American Manuscripts and Publications

Series 4: Carter Family Papers, 1878-1952; 1985

Series 5: Photographs, 1904-1906

Acquisition Information :  

Special Collections received the John G. Carter Papers in July of 1990.

Processing Note :  

This collection was processed 2009 May 15

Additional Reference Guides :  

An alternative form of this finding aid can be found at http://www.lib.montana.edu/collect/spcoll/findaid/2204.html


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1:  Diaries, Manuscripts, and Publications, 1909-1936

Series 1 contains diaries and manuscripts of John G. Carter. Most of his writings were on Native Americans and include topics such as Indian Sign Language, Fort Belknap, the Piegan Tribe of the Blackfoot Nation, and Native American ceremonies. His diaries and notes cover trips he made to Montana, North and South Dakota, Indiana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, and Vermont. Other trips include Cuba, the Panama Canal Zone, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, and Canada.

Container(s)

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Series 2:  Business and Legal Papers

As an attorney with A. R. Serven, John G. Carter was involved with numerous legal cases concerning Native Americans. Series 2 contains the business and legal papers of his law career. Important law suits include the Blackfeet et al. vs. United States during the 1920s and 1930s in which the Blackfeet, Blood, Piegan, and Gros Ventre nations sued the U.S. concerning the Common Hunting Ground set up by a 1855 treaty; Okanogan et al. vs. United States of the 1920s in which the Okanogan, Methow, San Poeils, Nespelem, Colville, and Lake Indian tribes of Washington sued the U.S. Also included in Series 2 is correspondence, petitions, arguments, depositions, analysis of the cases, opinions of the court, reports, motions, bills, and contracts.

Container(s)

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Series 3:  Native American Manuscripts and Publications

Throughout his career, John G. Carter was very interested and connected to Native American concerns. Series 3 contains manuscripts and publications he collected on Native American topics. Included are works on Indian home life, customs, ceremonies, and habitat. Also included is a typescript of Lt. James Bradley's history of the march of General Gibbons Column at the Battle of Little Big Horn.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
5/1 The Battle of the Little Big Horn, Wallace D. Coburn
5/2 Bison
5/3 Blackfoot Lodge Tales, George Bird Grinnell
5/4 The Discovery of the American Bison by the Spaniards
5/5 The Forbidden Dance, E. L. Dorsey
5/6 Habitat of Indian Bands
5/7 History of the Sioux; Indian Use of Horses
5/8 Indian and White in the Northwest: A History of Catholicity in Montana, L. B. Palladino 1831-1891
5/9 Indian Home Life, Commissioner of Indian Affairs
5/10 Indian Stories, Customs, and Ceremonies
5/11 Indian Tribes of Montana
5/12 Indian Wars and Local Disturbances in the United States; Wars, Military Expeditions and Armed Conflicts 1782-1898
5/13 The March of General Gibbons Column, pages 1-20
5/14 The March of General Gibbons Column, pages 21-39
5/15 The March of General Gibbons Column, pages 40-59
5/16 The March of General Gibbons Column, pages 60-78
5/17 The March of General Gibbons Column, pages 79-99
5/18 The March of General Gibbons Column, pages 100-Bibliography
5/19 Memorandum for Dr. A. K. Fisher on the Proper Usage of the Word Blackfoot" or "Blackfeet," as Applied to the Piegan Indians of Montana
5/20 Notes to Indian Sketches from the Collection in the Walters Gallery, Alfred J. Miller, pages 1-23
5/21 Notes to Indian Sketches from the Collection in the Walters Gallery, Alfred J. Miller, pages 24-50
5/22 Notes to Indian Sketches from the Collection in the Walters Gallery, Alfred J. Miller, pages 51-76
5/23 Notes to Indian Sketches from the Collection in the Walters Gallery, Alfred J. Miller, pages 77-104
5/24 Notes to Indian Sketches from the Collection in the Walters Gallery, Alfred J. Miller, pages 105-131
5/25 Notes to Indian Sketches from the Collection in the Walters Gallery, Alfred J. Miller, pages 132-157
5/26 Notes to Indian Sketches from the Collection in the Walters Gallery, Alfred J. Miller, pages 158-187
5/27 Notes to Indian Sketches from the Collection in the Walters Gallery, Alfred J. Miller, pages 188-218
5/28 The Progress of the Blackfeet Indians, Charles H. Burke
5/29 Railroad Commission Map of Montana 1908
5/30 River Crows and Mountain Crows
5/31 Smithsonian Institution, National Museum, and Indians, Superintendent of Documents
5/32 Social and Educational Implications of the Navajo Program, W. Carson Ryan, Jr.
5/33 Strong's History of Oregon
5/34 Surrender of Sitting Bull, E. H. Allison
5/35 Survey of Aboriginal tribes in the United States, Method of Gathering Data
5/36 Tenure of Land Among the Indians, George Bird Grinnell
5/37 Yellowstone Lake

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Series 4:  Carter Family Papers

Series 4 contains Carter family papers, including correspondence of Senator Thomas H. Carter and newspaper clippings and papers concerning his death and clippings and material on Trinity College regarding Ellen Galen Carter.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
6/1 Thomas H. Carter, Correspondence 1878; 1908
6/2 Thomas H. Carter, Business and Financial Papers 1899; 1905
6/3 Thomas H. Carter, Newspaper Clippings 1889-1905; undated
6/4 Thomas H. Carter, Newspaper Clippings 1911 September
6/5 Thomas H. Carter, Scrapbook: Montana Newspaper clippings re: Death of Thomas H. Carter
6/6 Thomas H. Carter, Address of the Honorable Lee Mantle at the exercises in memory of the late Thomas H. Carter 1913 January 31
6/7 Thomas H. Carter, Resolution adopted by the Senate of Montana, upon the death of Thomas H. Carter 1913 January 31
6/8 Ellen Galen Carter, Letter from father, H. F. Galen 1896 December
6/9 Ellen Galen Carter, Family Genealogy: Family tree of Hugh Gillogly - Ellen Burke
6/10 Ellen Galen Carter, Newspaper Clippings 1932-1952
6/11 Ellen Galen Carter, Trinity College 1933-1934
6/12 Mary Ellen Carter Grogan, correspondence 1984-1985
6/13 Newspaper Clippings 1928-1938
6/14 Poems

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Series 5:  Photographs, 1904-1906

Series 5 contains photographs mainly of Native Americans that John G. Carter collected during his career. Most of the pictures are of ceremonies performed at the Fort Belknap Reservation including the Fool Dance, Grass Dance, and Sun Dance. Also included are pictures of a "sham" battle between the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre, Medicine Man "Nosey" and Little Chief, and building a medicine lodge. Two family photographs of Thomas H. Carter and Hugh Galen are also found in Series 5.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
6/15 Photocopies #2-18
6/16 Photocopies #19-42
6/17
#1: Thomas H. Carter
#2: Hugh Galen
#3: Indians on the Flathead Reservation
Francois - Kootenai Chief at Pablo's Ranch.
1904 July
#4: Indians on the Flathead Reservation: Mother-In-Law of Pablo 1904 July
#5-6: Only Skin Lodge on Fort Belknap 1905 July
#7: On the side lines 1905 July
#8: "Good Will" Declaration 1905 July
#9: Indian Women on the Fort Belknap Reservation 1905 July
#10: Bear Dance in Gros Ventre Camp 1905 July
6/18 #11-18: Assiniboine and Gros Ventre Fool Dance at Fort Belknap Reservation 1906 July
#11: Fool Dancers Blowing Whistles While their Leader Sings A Comic Song
#12: Chief of the Fool Dancers and his Warrior
#13: Fool Dance Warrior Going Out to Attack a Dead Steer
#14: Fool Dance Warriors Discharging their arrow and spear at the Sleeping Buffalo
#15: Fool Dancers Jubilant Over Having Killed the Sleeping Buffalo
#16: Outsiders do the Butchering as the Fools Gloat Over the Choice Cuts
#17: Piece of Raw Liver in the Air, Tossed by Chief of Fools
#18: Fool Dancer Resting with Mask on Top of Head
6/19 #19-26: (Grass Dance and Sun Dance at Fort Belknap)
#19: Joe Big Beaver and Paul Horse Capture, Leaders in the Grass Dance
#20: Gros Ventre Chiefs Dressed for Grass Dance
#21: Musicians Ready for Grass Dance
#22: Dressed, or Rather Undressed, for the Grass Dance, Bodies Painted Pink
#23: Feigning to Spear Dog Meat in Pail, Grass Dance
#24: The Medicine or Sun Dance in Full Swing
#25: Dancing in the Medicine Lodge and Igniting Braids of Sweet Grass
#26: One of the Dancers Called to Center of Lodge for Presents
6/20 #27-36: (Sham Battle and Building Medicine Lodge)
#27: Assiniboine going to raid the Gros Ventre Camp
#28: Sham Battle and Camp in Distance
#29: Dressed for Parade to Sham Battle
#30: Exhorting the Indians to be ready for Sham Battle
#31: Going to Select the Sacred Tree for Medicine Lodge Pole
#32: In Selecting Tree for Medicine Lodge Pole each Related Some Tale of Conquest, then a Wreath of Sage was Tied About Tree Feet from the Ground and all Departed
#33: Medicine Lodge Pole in Place with Thunderbird Nest
#34: Raising the Thunderbird's Nest in the Medicine Lodge Pole
#35: Center Pole of Assiniboine Medicine Lodge after the Sun Dance
#36: Building Medicine Lodge, Old Nosey in Distance at Left Giving Instructions
6/21 #37-42: (Medicine Man, "Nosey" and Little Chief)
#37: Nosey's Medicine Tepee
#38: Nosey the Assiniboine Medicine Man Who has a Record of 32 Medicine Lodges and Never Fails in his Good Work
#39: Nosey and his Assistants about the Tree that was During the Morning Consecrated for Use as Center Pole of the Medicine Lodge, After a Smoke the Wreath Was Removed and Tree Cut Down
#40: Medicine Man Nosey, Chanting Versed before the Tree for the Medicine Lodge Pole is Cut Down
#41: Little Chief Consecrating Tobacco and Herbs to be Smoked About Sacred Lodge Pole Tree
#42: Little Chief

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Subjects

    • Geographical Names :
    • Canal Zone-Description and travel
    • Cuba-Description and travel
    • Europe-Description and travel
    • Fort Belknap Indian Reservation (Mont.)-Description and travel
    • Fort Belknap Indian Reservation (Mont.)-Photographs
    • Subject Terms :
    • Americans-Cuba-Diaries
    • Americans-Europe-Diaries
    • Americans-Panama-Canal Zone-Diaries
    • Colville Indians-Claims
    • Gros Ventre Indians (Montana)-Claims
    • Indians of North America-Legal status, laws, etc
    • Indians of North America-Montana-Claims
    • Indians of North America-Montana-Fort Belknap Indian Reservation-Photographs
    • Indians of North America-Photographs
    • Indians of North America-Washington (State)-Claims
    • Kainah Indians-Claims
    • Lake Indians-Claims
    • Methow Indians-Claims
    • Nespelim Indians-Claims
    • Okanagan Indians-Claims
    • Piegan Indians-Claims
    • Sanpoil Indians-Claims
    • Senijextee Indians-Claims
    • Siksika Indians-Claims
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Diaries
    • Family papers-Montana
    • Photographs
    • Subject Terms :
    • Lawyers-Montana
      • Other Creators :
      • Carter, Ellen Galen
      • Carter, Thomas Henry, 1854-1911

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