Northern Superintendency of Indian Affairs
The Northern Superintendency was established in 1851 as a part of the general reorganization of the field service under an act of February 27, 1851. It superseded the Michigan Superintendency, which was abolished in 1851, and assumed some responsibilities of the former Wisconsin Superintendency, which had been discontinued in 1848. From the Michigan Superintendency it inherited the Mackinac Agency, which with the assistance of the Sault Ste. Marie Subagency, was in charge of the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi tribes living in Michigan. From the Wisconsin Superintendency it inherited the Green Bay Subagency, which had jurisdiction over the Menominee, Oneida, and Stockbridge tribes living in Wisconsin and had reported directly to the Office of Indian Affairs following the termination of the Wisconsin Superintendency. The Northern Superintendency also assumed responsibility for some Potawatomi and other Indians in Wisconsin who had not previously been assigned to an agency.
The Superintendency underwent a complete reorganization in 1865. Several agencies were added and removed to other superintendencies over the years. It was abolished in 1876, after which the agents reported directly to the Office of Indian Affairs in Washington, DC.
Records for Superintendencies exist in the National Archives and copies of many of them are also available in other research facilities.
Superintendents and Appointment Dates
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
- Chippewa Agency
- Great Nemaha Agency
- Green Bay Agency
- La Pointe Agency
- Mackinac Agency
- Omaha Agency
- Otoe Agency
- Pawnee Agency
- St. Peters Agency
- Upper Platte Agency
- Winnebago Agency
Records of the Northern Superintendent of Indian Affairs, 1851-1876, are at the National Archives and have been microfilmed as their Microcopy Number M1166. This set of microfilm of the records of the Northern Superintendency is also available at the Family History Library and its family history centers.
Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs from the Northern Superintendency, 1851-1876, have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M234. Copies are available at the National Archives and at the Family History Library and its family history centers on their microfilm roll numbers 1661328 thru 1661330.
- The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. By Edward E. Hill. Clearwater Publishing Co., New York, NY ©1974. FHL Book 970.1 H551o
Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Press, .
Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington [District of Columbia]: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1981.
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: