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Salem Women's Indian Association Records

Salem Women's Indian Association Records

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Open Finding Aid

SALEM WOMEN'S INDIAN ASSOCIATION RECORDS, 1885-1908





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Salem Women's Indian Association (Salem, Mass.)
Title:Salem Women's Indian Association Records
Dates:1885/1908
Quantity:0.5 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:The Salem Women's Indian Association records document this Salem, Massachusetts, organization.
Collection Number:MSS 203

Series List


Scope and Content Note

The Salem Women's Indian Association records document this Salem, Massachusetts, organization. The collection contains the constitution, annual meeting reports, financial reports and receipts, membership lists, correspondence, and material from the National Women's Indian Association. Of particular interest is the mention of speeches given to the society by Booker T. Washington and Native American poetess Pauline Johnson. The collection also includes a photograph of a Nebraskan Native American family, as well as a reprinted letter on Indian affairs written by George Washington.


Historical Sketch

The Salem Women's Indian Association was established on June 7, 1885 as an auxiliary of the Women's National Indian Association. The goals of both of these societies were to arouse popular sentiment to pressure the United States government into allowing Native Americans the protection of the law and freedom from oppression, and to contribute to both educational and missionary efforts among the Indians. Officers included representatives from each of Salem's churches. Annual membership cost one dollar, or ten dollars for life membership. Men were allowed to become members, but not to hold office. The association's first president was Mrs. Amos H. "Bessie" Johnson.


Among their efforts to sway public and political opinion, the association published and distributed pamphlets, lobbied Congress, and placed articles in the press to "promote the growth of right sentiment concerning our national duty to Indians." They also raised funds to support the state organization's efforts to send missionary teachers to the reservations and for legal aid by hosting large public lectures, especially on the annual Fast Day in April, to educate the public about the issues involved. Individual members hosted afternoon teas or "Reading Meetings" to raise funds. They also sent packages of clothing, fabric, medicine, and "Christmas cheer" to the reservation schools.


The associations had predicted that the "Indian problem" would be resolved by 1890. Declining membership and lack of resolution led to the dissolving of the Salem Women's Indian Association in November 1908.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Johnson, Pauline,1861-1913
Washington, Booker T.,1856-1915
National Indian Association
Indians of North America
Missionaries
Societies
Women--Societies and clubs
Salem (Mass.)
Salem (Mass.)--Societies, etc.

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Salem Women's Indian Association Records, MSS 203, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This material was donated by Mrs. Francis Lee in June 1916.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Hope Foster, March 1986. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, December 2015.


Related Material


Hurd Smith, Bonnie. "Salem Women's Indian Association." Salem Women's History. N.p., 2015. Web. 17 Dec. 2015. http://www.salemwomenshistory.com/Indian_Association.html


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