Trade and Indian Economies

Established stories of American Indian history tend to view the indigenous population as passive victims in the face of European industry and aggression. As David Silverman points out in his essay, Indians at the Center of Colonial American History, this is only one side of the story.

It is true that Indian populations were devastated by disease and that many were enslaved by colonisers. But documents in our collection also prove that some tribes used trade to hold significant power over Europeans and other tribes.

Account [manuscript]: South Carolina, to 39 Tommy Hawks with pipes for the Cherokee Indians, 1757 Feb. 18 18 Feb 1757 Financial Record Cherokee
[Account and docket books] [manuscript]: Jackson County, Mich., 1835-1862 1835-1862 Financial Record
Accounts [manuscript]: [Charleston, S.C.], 1757-1759 28 Apr 1757; 06 May 1759; 02 Dec 1759; 28 Mar 1760 Financial Record Cherokee
Accounts [manuscript]: South Carolina, to Simeon Theus for Indian provisions, 1754-1755 21 Apr 1754; 08 Dec 1754; 02 Dec 1755; 27 Jan 1756 Financial Record Cherokee
Accounts and diary [manuscript]: Deer Creek and Rough and Ready, [Calif.], 1850 Mar. 8 - June 7 08 Mar 1850 - 07 Jun 1850 Financial Record; Diary
An act for establishing trading houses with the Indian tribes 07 Dec 1795; 18 April 1796 Printed Book
An act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes 05 Nov 1792; 01 Mar 1973 Printed Book
An act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and to preserve peace on the frontiers 07 Dec 1795; 19 May 1796 Printed Book
An act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and to preserve peace on the frontiers 11 Mar 1802 Printed Book
Autobiography [manuscript]: Taos, New Mexico, 1856 1856 Manuscript
Bills of lading [manuscript]: provisions sent to Louisbourg in 5 sloops, 1746 Aug. 26 26 Aug 1746 Official Record
Blotter #8 [manuscript]: commencing Novr. 11th 1872, ending June 5th 1873: account book, 1872-1873 11 Nov 1872 - 05 Jun 1873 Financial Record; Manuscript
[Calendar and index to the papers of the American Fur Company at the New York Historical Society], [1925-1926] [Volume 1] 1925-1926 Manuscript
[Calendar and index to the papers of the American Fur Company at the New York Historical Society], [1925-1926] [Volume 2] 1925-1926 Manuscript
[Calendar and index to the papers of the American Fur Company at the New York Historical Society], [1925-1926] [Volume 3] 1925-1926 Manuscript
[Calendar and index to the papers of the American Fur Company at the New York Historical Society], [1925-1926] [Volume 4] 1925-1926 Manuscript
[Calendar and index to the papers of the American Fur Company at the New York Historical Society], [1925-1926] [Volume 5] 1925-1926 Manuscript
[Calendar and index to the papers of the American Fur Company at the New York Historical Society], [1925-1926] [Volume 6] 1925-1926 Manuscript
Carte angloise de la Baye de Hudson ou la compagnie apellee Hudson Bay fait son commerce: tirée de la liasse des concecions accordée a plusiers compagnis par le Roy l'Angleterre pour differens commerces. Depost remise a Monseigneur le Marechal le 8 Novembre, 1719 08 Nov 1719 Map
Carte de la coste de la Louisiane, depuis la Baye de St. Bernard jusqu'a celle de Saint Joseph: ou tous les ports, rades, et bons mouillages sont exactement marquez avec les sondes, et la profondeur des terres jusqu'au dessus des Natchez c.1726 Map Natchez
Certificate [manuscript]: Taos, New Mexico, 1858 Nov. 3 03 Nov 1858 Manuscript
Concession of the Ile d’Orleans in the St. Lawrence River by the directors of the Compagnie de la Nouvelle France to the governor of New France [manuscript]: Fort St. Louis, Québec, 1638 July 1 01 Jul 1638 Official Record
Copia del manifiesto que presentó Dn. Tomás Southuel â la Superioridad en el año de 1769 [manuscript]: proponiendo el establecimiento de pescas en las sondas de las Indias Occidentales ê Yslas... 08 Feb 1783 Manuscript
A copy of the correspondence carried on at East Main by Mr. George Atkinson in the years 1784 and 85 [manuscript] 1784-1785 Correspondence
Deposition [manuscript]: Groton, Mass., 1666 Jan. 22 22 Jan 1666 Official Record
Descripcion de la Provincia de Jucatan con informe de su govierno secular y eclesiastico, comercio, cultivo, amenidad, situacion f[inancie]ra [manuscript] 12 Jul 1766 Manuscript
Diario de la expedicion que el infraescripto teniente coronel y comandante de la Provincia del Nuevo México practica de ella a la de Sonora a efecto de abrir transito para la comunicacion y comercio... [manuscript] 18 Dec 1780; 31 Dec 1780 Diary Apache
Diary [manuscript]: Fort Belknap, M[ontana] T[erritory], 1876 Sept. 12 - Oct. 13 12 Sep 1876 - 13 Oct 1876 Diary Gros Ventre (Atsina); Assiniboine; Sioux Nation; Dakota
A discovery of a large, rich, and plentiful country, in the North America... 1720 Printed Book Iroquois; Illinois
Elémens de la grammaire nipissingue [manuscript] 19 Apr 1942; 1840-1843 Manuscript; Correspondence Chippewa (Ojibway)
Emma B. Freeman photographs of Yurok and Hupa Indians: Vol 2 1914-1918 Photograph Klamath; Hupa; Yurok
Emma B. Freeman photographs of Yurok and Hupa Indians: Vol 3 1914-1918 Photograph Klamath; Hupa; Yurok
Indian agency at Green-Bay [manuscript]: to all whom it may concern---be it known, that Augustin Grignon... is hereby licensed to reside at the Big Butte des Morts, and there trade with the Indians... [license, 1836 Oct. 2] 02 Oct 1836; 19 Sep 1837 Legal Record
Indian trade. The late Sac and Fox payment. 1847 Printed Book Sac and Fox; Miami
Instructions [manuscript]: St. Louis, [Mo.], to Mr. Turcotte, 1815 May 16 16 May 1815 Official Record Sac and Fox; Winnebago; Kickapoo; Ioway; Menominee; Sioux Nation; Chippewa (Ojibway)
Instructions to Capt. Howard of his Majesty’s Seventeenth Regiment of Foot [manuscript]: orders, 1764 Aug. 31 31 Aug 1764 Correspondence
Invoice of merchandise taken by A.P. Chouteau [manuscript]: to be traded with the several nations of the Osages and other Indians residing on the Osage and Arkansaw rivers and dependencies, 1823 July 23 23 Jul 1823 Official Record Osage
Know all men by these presents that I Peter D. Littleman of the town of Stockbridge county of Calumet… 14 Aug 1848 Correspondence Stockbridge Munsee
Legal document [manuscript]: at a great generall court or assembly of the province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England begun at Boston, 1706 May 29 – Aug. 7 29 May 1706 - 07 Aug 1706 Official Record
Legal documents concerning the inventory of the estate of Jean Nicollet [manuscript]: Fort St. Louis [Québec, Québec], 1642 Nov. 27-1643 April 30 27 Nov 1642 - 30 Apr 1643 Official Record
Letter [manuscript]: [Michilimackinac, Mich.?], to Samuel Abbote, Michilimackinac, [Mich.], 1808 June 16 16 Jun 1808 Correspondence
Letter [manuscript]: [Nashville, Tenn.], to Colo. [Andrew] Haynes, 1795 Oct. 26 26 Oct 1795 Correspondence Creek; Chickasaw
Letter [manuscript]: Albany, N.Y., to [Edward E. Ayer, Chicago, Ill.], 1915 Oct. 18. 18 Oct 1915 Correspondence Iroquois; Tuscarora; Mohawk
Letter [manuscript]: Camp in Rush Valley, Utah Territory, to Col. D. Ruggles, 1859 June 12 12 Jun 1859 Correspondence
Letter [manuscript]: Davenport, Iowa, to Mr. P. Cheauteau Jr., St. Louis, 1841 Nov. 1 01 Nov 1841 Correspondence Sac and Fox
Letter [manuscript]: Fort Pierre, [S.D.], to Pratte Chouteau & Co., Saint Louis, Mo., 1835 Oct. 26 26 Oct 1835 Correspondence
Letter [manuscript]: Kaskaskia [Ill.] to Mr. P[ierre] Chouteau, St. Louis, 1840 Mar. 19 19 Mar 1840 Correspondence
Letter [manuscript]: Kaskaskia [Ill.] to Mr. Ramsay Crooks, St. Louis, 1822 July 9 09 Jul 1822 Correspondence
Letter [manuscript]: Kickapoo Trading House, [Kan.], to John B. Sarpy, St. Louis, Mo., 1836 Aug. 5 05 Aug 1836 Correspondence Kickapoo; Potawatomi
Letter [manuscript]: London, [Eng.], to Henry Stephenson, 1843 July 8 08 Jul 1843 Correspondence
Letter [manuscript]: Marais des Cygnes [River], to Mr. Pierre Chouteau, St. Louis, Mo., 1836 March 18 18 Mar 1836 Correspondence Osage
Letter [manuscript]: New York, [N.Y.], to [John Baynton and George Morgan, Philadelphia, Pa.], 1765 Mar. 19 19 Mar 1765 Correspondence
Letter [manuscript]: New York, [N.Y.], to James Abbott, Detroit, [Mich.], 1832 July 13 13 Jul 1832 Correspondence
Letter [manuscript]: Omaha, Neb., to J.D. Cox, 1870 Oct. 17 17 Oct 1870; 21 Oct 1870 Correspondence
Letter [manuscript]: Philadelphia, [Pa.], to Sir William Johnson, 1765 May 23 23 May 1765 Correspondence Stockbridge Munsee
Letter [manuscript]: Samuel Abbot, Philadelphia, to Ramsay Crooks, New York, 26 April 1822 26 Apr 1822 Correspondence
Letter [manuscript]: St. Louis, [Mo.], to Samuel Abbott, New York, 1822 Feb. 1 01 Feb 1822 Correspondence Sac and Fox; Sioux Nation
Letter [manuscript]: steamboat Warrior, to Pierre Chouteau, St. Louis, Mo., 1835 June 2 02 Jun 1835 Correspondence Sac and Fox
Letter [manuscript]: Theresa, Dodge Co., Wis., to Mr. Louis B. Porlier, 1856 July 30 30 Jul 1856 Correspondence
Letter [manuscript]: Vincennes, [Ind.], to Samuel Abbott, Saint Louis, Mo., 1823 Nov. 22 22 Nov 1823 Correspondence
Letter [manuscript]: Windsor, [Conn.], to [William] Pyncheon [i.e. Pynchon], [Springfield, Mass.?], 1639 Feb. 8 08 Feb 1639 Correspondence
Letter [manuscript]: Yreka, [Calif.], to R.C. Willi[a]mson and Carie [Eaton, Ohio?], 1856 July 22 22 Jul 1856 Correspondence Paiute
Letter and memorandum [manuscript]: Albany, [N.Y.], to Messrs. Storke & Gainsborough, [London, Eng.?], 1734 Nov. 20-28 20 Nov 1734 - 28 Nov 1734 Correspondence
Letter and two receipts [manuscript]: Portage des Sioux [Mo.], and St. Louis, 1826 Aug. 22-Sept. 20 22 Aug 1826 - 20 Sep 1826 Correspondence
Letter from a Montagnais Indian [manuscript]: to the Hudson’s Bay Company Post, Mingan [Québec], 1861 1861 Correspondence Montagnais
Letters [manuscript]: 1704-1729 1704-1729 Correspondence Miami
Letters [manuscript]: 1763-1770 12 Mar 1763; 17 Jun 1766; 22 Jun 1768; 25 Dec 1770 Correspondence Cherokee; Shawnee
Letters [manuscript]: 1818 Mar. 27-Oct. 5 27 Mar 1818; 05 Oct 1818 Correspondence Seneca
Letters [manuscript]: 1822-1824 1822-1824 Correspondence
Letters [manuscript]: 1822-1834 23 Dec 1822; 23 Aug 1824; 30 Aug 1824 Correspondence
Letters [manuscript]: 1823-1826 1823-1826 Correspondence Sac and Fox; Ioway; Sioux Nation
Letters [manuscript]: 1824-1834 1824-1834 Correspondence Dakota; Sac and Fox; Menominee; Winnebago
Letters [manuscript]: 1834-1835 1834-1835 Correspondence
Letters [manuscript]: Chicago, Ill., to Mr. O.N. Bostwick, St. Louis, 1823 Sept. 11-Oct. 24 11 Sep 1823; 24 Oct 1823 Correspondence
Letters [manuscript]: Mendota, Minn., to P. Chouteau Jun. & Co., Saint Louis, [Mo.], 1845-1846 09 Dec 1845 - 29 Jun 1846 Correspondence
Letters [manuscript]: New York, to Sir Wm. Johnson, 1766-1771 1766-1771 Correspondence Potawatomi; Shawnee;
Letters [manuscript]: Philadelphia, [Pa.], to Messrs. Storke & Gainsborough, [London, Eng.?], c.1737 Mar. 20 - 1737 May 20 20 Mar c.1737 - 20 May 1737 Correspondence
Letters [manuscript]: Québec, from the marquis de Denonville, to M. Arnoul, Intendant de la Marine, Rochefort, [France] 1686 May 8-1686 Nov. 14 08 May 1686 - 14 Nov 1686 Correspondence
Letters [manuscript]: to Br. Genl. H. [Henry] Atkinson, Fort Atkinson, Missouri, 1822 June 12 12 Jun 1822 Correspondence
Letters and agreement [manuscript]: Prairie du Chien, Wis., 1813-1842 1813-1842 Correspondence; Official Record Chippewa (Ojibway)
Letters and list [manuscript]: 1822-1836 (bulk 1822) 1822-1836 Correspondence
License [manuscript]: [Fort] Michilimackinac [Mich.], to all whom it may concern, 1804 June 25 25 Jun 1804 Official Record
License [manuscript]: [Fort] Michilimackinac [Mich.], to all whom it may conscern, 1803 June 1 [sic] 01 Jun 1803 Official Record
Licenses [manuscript]: [Fort] Michilimackinac, [Mich], to all whom it may concern, 1802-1804 20 Aug 1802; 18 Jun 1804 Official Record
Major-General Edward Braddock orderly books: typescript [between 1900 and 1913?] 26 Feb 1755 - 11 Jun 1755; 12 Jun 1755 - 17 Jun 1755 Official Record
Memorandum and account [manuscript]: New York State, 1788 July 22 24 Apri 1788 - 22 Jul 1788 Correspondence Iroquois
Message [manuscript]: [Charleston, S.C.], to Mr. Speaker and Gentl[eme]n, [ca. 1720] 1720 Correspondence
Notice. [Penalties for violations of] the act of Congress, "to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes", approved June 30, 1834. 10 Dec 1846 Printed Book
Olin D. Wheeler photographs: Vol 5 c.1880-c.1925 Photograph
Ordinance concerning unauthorized traders and trappers in New France [manuscript]: Québec, 1686 Feb. 28 28 Feb 1686 Official Record
Papers [manuscript]: 1794-1796 1794-1796 Correspondence Cherokee; Creek
Papers [manuscript]: 1808-1857 (bulk 1840-1857) 1840-1857 Manuscript Dakota
Papers, 1867-1878 1867-1868 Correspondence; Diary; Newspaper
Passport and letter [manuscript]: Fort Michilimackinac, Mich., 1770-1771 06 Aug 1770; 18 Aug 1771 Correspondence
The political condition of the Indians and the resources of the Indian territory 1874 Printed Book Cherokee; Creek; Seminole; Choctaw; Chickasaw
The public of South Carolina to John & Ulrick Tobler [manuscript]: accounts, 1758-1760 1758-1760 Financial Record; Official Record Cherokee; Creek; Catawba; Chickasaw
The public to Benj. Smith & Co... [manuscript]: bill, 1756 Jan Jan 1756 Correspondence; Manuscript Creek
Report of the Secretary of War, of a system, providing for the abolition of the existing Indian trade establishments of the United States, and providing for the opening of the trade with the Indians to individuals, under suitable regulations 08 Dec 1818 Printed Book
Report on an Indian Field Service project to provide Indians in Arizona with jobs: Washington, D.C., to George Vaux, Jr.: typescript, 1923 Nov. 6 06 Nov 1923 Correspondence; Official Record
Skins from the Fort Osage & Prairie du Chien factories [manuscript]: list, 1822 June 25 / in Mr. Kennerlys hand 25 Jun 1822 Correspondence
To the hon[o]red Court sitting in Charlestowne [manuscript]: petition, 1684 June 18 18 Jun 1684 Official Record
Trade and Intercourse with the Indian tribes: letter from the Secretary of War, transmitting copies of accounts of the expenditures for the benefit of the Indians, from the 1st August, 1830, to 31st October, 1831 1832 Printed Book; Official Record
Transcript of a 1768 petition to prohibit sale of alcohol to Indians in Illinois country, [ca. 1876] 08 May 1768; c.1876 Manuscript
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 1, Folders 1 to 3] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 1, Folders 4 to 5] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 1, Folders 6 to 7] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 2, Folders 10 to 11] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 2, Folders 12 to 14] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 2, Folders 8 to 9] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 3, Folders 15 to 18] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 3, Folders 19 to 20] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 3, Folders 21 to 22] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 4, Folders 23 to 26] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 4, Folders 27 to 30] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 5, Folders 31 to 33] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 5, Folders 34 to 35] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 5, Folders 36 to 37] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 6, Folders 38 to 39] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 6, Folders 40 to 42] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners files [manuscript]: 1912-1922 [ Box 6, Folders 43 to 45] 1912-1922 Correspondence; Official Record; Manuscript Menominee
Voucher [manuscript]: the United States to Theodore Mignault, Dr., 1859 Mar. 14 14 Mar 1859 Financial Record
Vouchers [manuscript]: John Kinzie Junr., Mackinac, [Mich.], to William McGuffin, 1820 June 22 - July 10 22 Jun 1820 - 10 Jul 1820 Manuscript
Voyageur contract between Henri de Tonty and two voyageurs [manuscript]: Québec, 1684 Sept. 27 27 Sep 1684 Manuscript; Official Record
William Clark, superintendent of Indian affairs, to all whom it may concern [manuscript]: whereas Pratte, Chouteau & Co. having applied for a license to trade for one year... License, 1836 Apr. 22 22 Apr 1836 Official Record Ioway; Sac and Fox; Otoe; Kiowa; Arikara; Pawnee; Ponca; Sioux Nation; Cheyenne; Crow; Assiniboine; Cree; Mandan; Gros Ventre (Atsina); Paiute; Flathead; Arapaho