Puyallup Indian Agency (Washington)
Indian Tribes Associated With This Agency
A special agency was established in western Washington on 1 December 1856. By 1861 it became a distinct agency with responsibility for the Indians on the Puyallup Reservation, the Nisqually Reservation, and the Squaxin Reservation, and sometimes the Chehalis Reservation. It was sometimes called the Nisqually Agency.
The agency was originally located on the Squaxin Reservation on Squaxin Island, and was then moved to Olympia. During the years 1865-1869, one agent was assigned to both the Puyallup Agency and the Tulalip Agency.
In 1874, the agency, then located at Olympia, had responsibility for the Puyallup, Nisqually, Squaxin, Muckleshoot, Shoalwater Bay, and Chehalis Reservations. In 1882, it was consolidated with the Skokomish Agency, the Tulalip Agency, and the Quinaielt Agency, but the Tulalip Agency became an independent agency shortly after the consolidation.
In 1895, the Puyallup School in Tacoma was given the agent duties for the reservations. In 1910, the school's name was changed to the Cushman School and the agency also came to bear that name. In 1914, a separate agency, called the Taholah Agency, was established for the Quinaielt Indians.
The Cushman School was closed in 1920 and the Agency was abolished. The Muckleshot and Clallam Indians were transferred to the Tulalip Agency and the other Indians under the Cushman Agency were assigned to the Tahomah Agency.
The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:
- Allotment records
- Annuity rolls
- Census records
- Health records
- School census and records
- Vital records
Some records for Puyallup Agency and Cushman School are in the Pacific Regional Archives and Alaska Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Seattle, including:
- A special census, 1880
- Records of the Puyallup Land Commission, 1893-1909
- Land allotment and sales records, 1894-1903
- Indian census rolls, 1905-1921
- Student case files for the Cushman School, 1917-1920
Annual Indian Census Rolls were taken at this agency for 1888-1909. These rolls have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M595, rolls 407-409. Copies of these records are also available at the National Archives, their Regional Archives, and at the Family History Library and its family history centers (their microfilm roll numbers 581401-581403). These census rolls are also available online at Ancestry.com's subscription web site.
The 1900 federal census included population schedules for the Puyallup Indian Industrial School. The census includes the non-Indian employees of the Puyallup Agency, as well as many pages of Indian Population Schedules for the native population of the Reservation. They are recorded as District 256, Puyallup Indian Industrial School, in Pierce County, Washington.
Land Records 1894-1920.FHL Film: 1024298-1024300
Census, Allotees, Heirship and other records 1902-1921.FHL Film: 1024302-1024303
School Records 1902-1920.FHL Film 1024301
See also records of the Cushman Agency and School.
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974, p. 195.
- 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, pp. 178-179.
- Guide to Federal Records, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75. Available online.
- American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998, Microcopy M595, p. 51.
- 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