Superintendencies of Indian Affairs

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Superintendents of Indian Affairs for a specific locality existed from approximately 1803 until 1878, when the last Superintendency was abolished. After 1878, agents of the Bureau of Indian Affairs reported directly to the Commissioner's Office in Washington, DC, at least until the BIA created Area Offices.

A Superintendent of Indian Affairs was an administrator, communicating and overseeing the agents who worked directly with individual tribes. It was the responsibility of the superintendent to see that the agents were following official government policy. Records for Superintendencies exist in the National Archives and copies of many of them are also available in other research facilities.

Superintendent of Indian Trade,[edit | edit source]

Records[edit | edit source]

Arkansas Trading House, 1805-1810. M142. Letter Book FHL Collection, film: 1025157

Choctaw Trading House, 1803-1824. T500. FHL Collection, film: 1025085-1025090 Creek Trading House, 1795-1816. M4. Letter Book FHL Film: 1024433

Creek Factory of the Office of Indian Trade, 1795-1821. M1334.FHL Film: 1605523 (first film of thirteen)

Natchitoches Sulphur Fork Factory, 1809-1821. T1029. FHL Collection, film: 1025158

The Superintendencies, Listed Alphabetically[edit | edit source]

Arizona Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1863; abolished 1873

Arkansas Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1819; abolished 1834; to Western Superintendency

California Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1852; abolished 1873

Central Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1851; abolished 1878; from St. Louis Superintendency

Colorado Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1861; abolished 1870

Dakota Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1861; discontinued 1870; reestablished 1877; abolished 1878; from part of Central Superintendency

Florida Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1824; abolished 1834

Idaho Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1863; abolished 1870

Iowa Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1838; abolished 1846; to St. Louis Superintendency

Michigan Superintendency
[edit | edit source]

Established 1805; abolished 1851; to Northern Superintendency

Minnesota Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1849; abolished 1856; to Northern Superintendency

Missouri Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1813; abolished 1848; duties transferred to St. Louis Superintendency after 1851

Montana Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1864; abolished 1873

Nevada Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1861; abolished 1870

New Mexico Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1850; abolished 1874

Northern Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1851; abolished 1876; from Michigan and Wisconsin Superintendencies

Oregon Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1848; abolished 1873

Southern Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1851; abolished 1870; from Western Superintendency

St. Louis Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1822; abolished 1851; to Central Superintendency

Utah Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1850; abolished 1870

Washington Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1853; abolished 1874

Western Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1832; abolished 1851; to Southern Superintendency

Wisconsin Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1836; abolished 1848; to Northern Superintendency

Wyoming Superintendency[edit | edit source]

Established 1869; abolished 1870

The Superintendencies, Listed by Date of Creation[edit | edit source]

The dates of the records listed in the following chart may extend beyond the date when the Superintendency was abolished. The Bureau of Indian Affairs occasionally filed correspondence under the name of the Superintendency even after it had ceased to operate. Pre-1824 correspondence was under the jurisdiction of the War Department.






NARA# FamilySearch Catalog First Film Rolls

Missouri Superintendency 


Existing records would be filed with the correspondence of the War Department  -  -  -  -
Arkansas Superintendency 1824-1834 Tribes: Cherokee, Quapaw, Choctaw, Osage, Shawnee, Caddo and Delaware

1825-1826 Quapaw removed to Caddo or Red River Agency

1834 Most Indians had been removed from Arkansas

1834 Indians west of Arkansas were placed under the new Western Superintendency (Cherokee, Choctaw, Quapaw and others)

 -  -   1,661,759  -
St. Louis Superintendency 1822-1851  -  -   1,661,477-486  -
Florida Superintendency 1824-1853

Tribes: Seminole

Agency: Seminole or Florida

Subagency: Apalachicola

- - 1,661,616-21 -
Michigan Superintendency 1824-1851

Tribes: Chippewa, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Menominee, Winnebago, Wyandot, Seneca, Shawnee, Delaware, Miami, Oneida, Stockbridge, Munsee and Ottawa of Maumee

1832-1834 The Six Nations of New York were attached to the Michigan Superintendency

75 M1 FHL Film 1604649 71 rolls
Iowa Superintendency 1838-1849

Tribes Sac and Fox

1845 Sauk and Fox moved to the Osage River west of Missouri (now Kansas).

- - -1,661,093 -
Western Superintendency 1832-1851

Tribes: Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek, Osage, Seneca and Mixed Band of Seneca and Shawnee, Quapaw, Seminole Chickasaw, Caddo, Kiowa Comanche and others

1839 Chickasaw moved west - Oklahoma

75 M640 FHL Film 1602871 22
Wisconsin Superintendency 1836-1848

Tribes: Sauk and Fox, Winnebago, Chippewa, Menominee, Oneida, Stockbridge, Munsee, Sioux and Iowa

75 M951 FHL Film 1618086 4 rolls
California Superintendency 1849-1880

Tribes: Tejon, Tule (Tularenos) Mono, Kern River (Tubatulabal), Wikchamni, Nomelaki, Kings River, Fresno, Kawia, Nuimok, Noi-sas, Wailaki, Yupu, Yuki, Klamath, Hupa, Saia, Mattole, Pit River, Redwood (Whilkut), Wappo, Yokaia (Ukiah), Kianamaras, Pomo, Salan Pomo (Potter), Concow (Konkau) and Mission Indians.

- - 1,660,927-944 -
Minnesota Superintendency 1849-1856 Tribes: Sioux, Chippewa, Winnebago, Assiniboin and Mandan 75 M872 / 842 FHL Film1618093 9 rolls
Oregon Superintendency 1848-1880 Tribes: Umpqua, Umatilla, Cayuse, Wallawalla, Wasco. Shoshoni (Snake), Kalapuya, Clackamas, Rogue River, Warm Springs, Shasta, Klamath, Modoc, Paiute, Tenion, Nez Perce, Molala, Yamel, Joshua, Sixes (Kwatami), Chastacosta, Chetco and Bannock 75 M2 FHL Film 1617787 29 rolls
New Mexico Superintendency 1849-1880 Tribes: Navajo, Southern Apache, Utah (Ute), Abiquiu (Ute and Jicarilla Apache), Conejos (Tabaquache Ute) Pueblo, Tucson (Pima, Papago, Maricopa and Apache), Cimarron (Jicarilla Apache and Moache Ute) and Mescalero 75 T21 FHL Film 1617620 30 rolls
Utah Superintendency 1849-1880
Tribes: Ute, Shoshoni, Bannock, Paiute and Washo 
75 M834 FHL Film 1025139 2 rolls
Central Superintendency 1813,1851-1880 Tribes: Delaware, Shawnee, Wyandot, Kickapoo, Kansa, Sauk and Fox (of Mississippi and Missouri), Iowa, Potawatomi, Chippewa, Ottawa, Munsee, Peoria, Wea, Kaskaskia, Piankeshaw, Miami, Oto, Missouri, Omaha, Pawnee, Ponca, Kowa, Apache (Kiowa-Apache), Comanche, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Sioux and others 75 M856 FHL Film 1602893 108 rolls
Northern Superintendency 1851-1876

Tribes: Chippewa, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Menominee, Oneida, Stockbridge, Mackinac, Omaha, Pawnee, Otoe (Oto and Missouri Indians), Great Nemaha (Sauk and Fox of Missouri and Iowa) and Winnebago 

1863 many of the Winnebago and Sioux Indians moved to Dakota Territory

75 M1166 FHL Film 1490921 35 rolls
Southern Superintendency 1851-1871

Tribes: Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, Seminole, Quapaw, Seneca and Mixed Band of Seneca and Shawnee, and Osage Indians of southern Kansas, Wichita and Kichai.

In 1859 Caddo, Anadarko, Waco Tonkawa, Hainai, Kichai, Tawakoni, Delaware, Shawnee and Comanche Indians were moved from Texas to Wichita Agency in Indian Territory

1861-1864 Indians loyal to U.S. fled to Kansas, after the Civil War the Indians began to return to Indian territory.

75 M640 FHL Film 1602878 22 rolls
Washington Superintendency 1853-1880 Tribes: Makah, Skokomish, Yakima, Colville, Puyallup, Tulalip, Nisqualli, Nez Perce, Flathead, Spokan, Pend d'Oreille, Cayuse, Paloos, Wallawalla, Quinaielt, Blackfeet, Chehalix, Chilkat, Chinook, Clackamas, Clallam, Lake, Klikitat, Coeur d'Alene, Cowlitz. Dwamish, Lummi, Muckleshoot, Quileute, Quaitso (Queet), Squaxon and Swinomish 75 M5 FHL Film 1637277 26 rolls
Colorado Superintendency 1861-1880
Dakota Superintendency 1861-1880 Bands of Sioux: Hunkpapa, Oglala, Yankton, Blackfee, Brule, Sisseton, Wahpeton, Yanktonai, San Arcs, Miniconjou, Two Kettles (Oohenonpa), Cut Head (Pabaska) and Santee 75 M1016 FHL Film 1549631 13 rolls
Nevada Superintendency 1861-1880 75 M0837 FHL Film 1637276 1 roll
Idaho Superintendency 1863-1880 Tribes: Nez Perce, Shoshone, Bannock, Coeur d'Alene, Kutenai, Pend d'Oreille and Spokan 75 M832 FHL Film 1580047 3 rolls
Arizona Superintendency 1863-1880 Tribes:Pima, Papago, Maricopa, Tame Apache, Papago, Yavapai, Walapai, Havasupai, Mojave, Yuma, Moqui Pueblo and Scattered Apache 75 M734 FHL Film 1694796 8 rolls
Montana Superintendency 1864-1880 Tribes: Blackfeet, Piegan, Blood (Kainah), Grosventre, Flathead, Kutenai, Pend d'Oreille, Crow, Assiniboin and Bands of Sioux 75 M833 FHL Film 1618090 3 rolls
Wyoming Superintendency 1869-1880 Tribes: Eastern Shoshoni, Bannock, Arapaho, Cheyenne and Sioux 75 M1016 FHL Film 1549631 13 rolls

References[edit | edit source]

Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Press, [1974].

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. Available online