Vaux Family Papers and the U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners

Written by Forrest Wright on November 24th, 2009

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The Vaux family papers at Haverford College offer a unique look into the affairs of the U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners during the early nineteenth century. George Vaux, Jr. (1863-1927) was appointed to the Indian Commissioners in 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt, and served until he passed in 1927. During his appointment he traveled to Native American villages, documenting his visits.

George Jr.’s papers also include official government documents regarding his interactions with various tribes, as well as correspondence with other appointees to the Board of Indian Commissioners.

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George Jr.’s sister Marry Morris Vaux Wolcott (1860-1940) also became involved with the Board of Indian Commissioners, being appointed to the Board after George’s death in 1927. Her papers include correspondence, official government documents, and meeting minutes all related to her role with the Commissioners. She also collected material related to Native customs.

This collection goes beyond providing a fascinating glimpse into the past; it also holds some contemporary relevance. Contained within the collection are records related to tribes (specifically the Blackfeet) involved in the recent landmark restitution case where Native Americans won $3.4 billion dollars from the United States government.


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