Alaska Indian Agency
The Alaska Agency was established on 5 April 1873 by the appointment of a special agent to control liquor traffic in Alaska. The headquarters was at St. Michaels, but the agent spent much of his time traveling. The agency was abolished on 5 November 1873, although the agent did not receive word until the following spring.
From 1873 to 1877, the primary responsibility for Alaskan natives was assigned to the Army. From 1877 to 1879, the only government official in Alaska, a collector of customs, was responsible for the natives. From 1879 to 1884, when a civil government was established, responsibility for the Alaskan natives was given to the Navy.
In 1885, a General Agent for Education, onder the Office of Education, was appointed to handle the education of Alaskan children. Gradually, the responsibility for Indian affairs in Alaska was assumed by the Office of Education until 1931, when it was transferred to the Office of Indian Affairs.
Agencies and subagencies were created as administrative offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its predecessors. Their purpose was (and is) to manage Indian affairs with the tribes, to enforce policies, and to assist in maintaining the peace. The names and location of these agencies may have changed, but their purpose remained basically the same. Many of the records of genealogical value (for the tribe and tribal members) were created by and maintained by the agencies.
Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs from the Alaska Agency, 1873-1874, have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M234, Roll 1. Copies are available at the National Archives and at the Family History Library and its family history centers (their microfilm roll number 1660731).
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974, p. 9.
- American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998, Microcopy 234, p. 8
- American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998.
- Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981.
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974.
- Historical Sketches for Jurisdictional and Subject Headings Used for the Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880. National Archives Microcopy T1105.
- Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Services. Available online