James E. Curry papers, 1935-1955
NMAI.AC.015

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAI.AC.015
Creators:
Curry, James E., 1907-1972
Paul, William L. Jr
Dates:
1932-1958
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
121.7 Linear feet
Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center
These are the papers of Washington, D.C. attorney James E. Curry, whose legal career included work both as a government attorney and in his own private practice. The bulk of the papers reflect his private practice in the area of Indian affairs.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The material in the collection includes documents relating to many aspects of Curry's career but most of it relates to his work with Indian tribes and the National Congress of American Indians. For the most, the collection is made up of such materials as letters exchanged with government officials, Indians, and other attorneys; copies of legal documents; published government documents; notes; and clippings and other printed materials. Of particular significance is a subject file relating to Indian affairs. It includes material concerning affairs of Alaskan natives and the Aleut (Akutan, Pribilof Islands), Apache (including Fort Sill, Jicarilla, Mescalero, San Carlos White Mountain), Arapaho (Southern), Assiniboine (Fort Belknap, Fort Peck), Bannock (including Fort Hall), Blackfeet, Caddo, Catawba, Cherokee (Eastern), Cheyenne (Northern, Southern), Chickahominy, Chickasaw, Chippewa (including Lac Courte Oreilles), Choctaw, Cochiti, Cocopa, Coeur d'Alene, Colville, Comanche, Creek, Croatan, Crow, Dakota (Big Foot, Cheyenne River, Crow Creek, Devil's Lake, Flandreau, Fort Totten, Lower Brule, Mdewakanton, Oglala, Rosebud, Santee, Sisseton-Wahpeton, Standing Rock, Yankton), Delaware, Eskimo (including Gambell, Kiana), Flathead, Fox, Haida (including Kasaan), Havasupai, Hopi, Iroquois (Caughnawaga, Seneca, St. Regis), Isleta, Jemez, Kalilspel, Kansa (Kaw), Kickapoo, Kiowa, Klamath, Kutenai, Laguna, Lummi, Maricopa (Gila River, Salt River), Menominee, Missouria, Mohave (Fort Mohave), Mohave Apache (Fort McDowell), Muckleshoot, Navaho, Nez Perce, Niska, Nooksak, Omaha, Osage, Oto, Papago, Paiute (Fallon, Fort McDermitt), Moapa, Pyramid Lake, Shivwits, Walker River, Yerington), Pima (Gila River, Salt River), Potowatomi, Quinaielt, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, San Juan, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Sandia, Sauk, Seminole (Florida, Oklahoma), Seneca, Seri, Shawnee (Eastern), Shoshoni (including Fort Hall), Sia, Spokan, Stockbridge, Taos (Pyote clan), Tesuque, Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Arikara, and Hidatsa), Tillamook, Tlingit (including Angoon, Craig, Juneau, Kake, Ketchikan, Klawak, Klukwan, Taku, Wrangell), Tsimshian (Metlakatla), Umatilla, Ute (including Uintah-Ouray), Walapai, Washo, Wesort, Winnebago, Wyandot, Yakima, Yaqui, Yavapai, Yuma, and Zuni. There are also materials relating to Curry's work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and National Congress of American Indians, and material that reflects his interest in conditions and events in given locations (often filed by state) and in organizations with interest in Indians. The material relating to Curry's work in Puerto Rico has been deposited in the Archivo General de Puerto Rico, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquena, in San Juan.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
The James E. Curry Papershave been arranged into 6 series: (1) Daily Chronological Files, 1941-1955; (2) Subject Files Regarding Indian Affairs, bulk 1935-1955; (3) Miscellaneous Files Regarding Indian Affairs, bulk 1947-1953; (4) Non-Indian Affairs, n.d.; (5) Puerto Rico Work, 1941-1947; (6) Miscellany, undated.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
James E. Curry was trained in law in Chicago and practiced in that city from 1930 until 1936, serving part of that time as secretary of the local branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. From 1936 to 1938, he was an attorney with the United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs, being largely involved with matters of credit affecting Indians. From 1938 to 1942, he continued service with the Interior Department but worked in several capacities involving the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration, the department's Consumers' Counsel Division, and the Puerto Rico Water Resources Authority.
In 1945, Curry returned to Washington and set up private practice, also maintaining for a time an office in Puerto Rico. In Washington, he became the attorney for the National Congress of American Indians and from that time until the 1950s his practice increasingly involved representation of American Indian tribes, mostly in claims against the federal government. In this work, for a time, he was involved in business relations with a New York Law firm that included Henry Cohen, Felix Cohen, and Jonathan Bingham.
He also often worked closely with lawyers who lived near the tribes he represented, William L. Paul, Jr., of Alaska, for example. This aspect of his practice--representing Indian tribes--was largely broken up during the early 1950s when the Commissioner of Indian Affairs began to use his powers to disapprove contracts between Curry and the tribes. In 1952 and 1953, his official relationship with the National Congress of American Indians was also ended. After this, while Curry continued until his death to act as a consultant in Indian claims with which he had earlier been involved, his career and life developed in a different direction.

Administration
Processing note
Processed by Anna M. Kerns, 24 July 1998; Susan McElrath 9 May 2001.
Author
Finding aid prepared by Anna M. Kerns, Susan McElrath
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
The Curry papers were originally donated to the National Anthropological Archives by James E. Curry's daughter Mrs. Aileen Curry-Cloonan in December 1973. In 2007 The Curry papers were transferred from the National Anthropological Archives to the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center along with several other records concerning American Indian law and political rights.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use note
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Conditions Governing Access
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Preferred Citation note
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); James E. Curry papers, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Archival Materials note
Additional material relating to James E. Curry can be found in the records of the National Congress of American Indians, also located at the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Bingham, Jonathan Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cohen, Felix Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cohen, Henry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Three Affiliated Tribes. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Alaskan natives Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aleut (Akutan, Pribilof Islands) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Indians--credit Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arapaho--Oklahoma Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arikara Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bannock--Fort Hall Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blackfeet Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Caddo Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Catawba Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cheyenne--Northern--Southern Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chickahominy Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chickasaw Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chippewa--Lac Courte Oreilles Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Choctaw Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cochiti Pueblo Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cocopa Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cocopa Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Coeur d'Alene Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Coeur d'Alene Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Colville Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Comanche Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Creek Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Croatan Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Crow Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dakota--Big Foot Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dakota--Cheyenne River Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dakota--Crow Creek Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dakota--Devil's Lake Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dakota--Flandreau Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dakota--Fort Totten Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dakota--Lower Brule Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Delaware Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eskimo--Gambell--Kiana Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Flathead Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fort Sill Apache Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fox Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Haida--Kasaan Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Havasupai Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hidatsa Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopi Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Huron Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indian claims Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Iroquois Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Isleta Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jemez Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kalispel Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kansa Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kickapoo Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kiowa Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Klamath Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kutenai Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Laguna Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Legal documents Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Letters Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lummi Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mandan Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maricopa--Gila River--Salt River Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Menominee Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Missouri Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mohave Apache--Fort McDowell Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mohave--Fort Mohave Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Muckleshoot Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Navajo Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nez Percé Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Niska Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nooksak Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notes Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Omaha Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Osage Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oto Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Paiute--Fallon--Fort McDermitt--Moapa--Pyramid Lake--Shivwits--Walker River--Yerington Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Papago Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pima--Gila River--Salt River Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Potowatomi Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Quinaielt Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
San Ana Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
San Carlos Apache Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
San Felipe Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
San Ildefonso Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
San Juan Pueblo Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sandia Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Santa Clara Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sauk Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seminole--Florida--Oklahoma Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seneca Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seri Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shawnee--Eastern Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shoshoni--Fort Hall Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sia Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Spokan Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Standing Rock Agency Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stockbridge Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Taos--Pyote clan Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tesuque Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tillamook Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tlingit--Angoon--Craig--Juneau--Kake--Ketchikan--Klawak--Klukwan--Taku--Wrangell Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tsimshian--Metlakatla Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Umatilla Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ute--Uintah-Ouray Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Walapai Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Washo Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wesort Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Winnebago Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yakama Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yaqui Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yavapai Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yuma Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zuni Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center
4220 Silver Hill Rd
Suitland , Maryland, 20746-2863
Phone: 301.238.1400
nmaiarchives@si.edu