James E. Curry papers, 1935-1955

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAI.AC.015
Creators:
Paul, William L. Jr
Curry, James E., 1907-1972
Dates:
1932-1958
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
121.7 Linear Feet
Repository:
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
Scope and Contents
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
Anna M. Kerns, Susan McElrath
Immediate Source of Acquisition
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
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
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 Materials
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
Potowatomi Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Muckleshoot Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nooksak Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Missouri Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kalispel Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Coeur d'Alene Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notes Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fox Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Haida -- Kasaan Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
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Kiowa Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eskimo -- Gambell -- Kiana Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
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Dakota -- Flandreau Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
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Navajo Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mohave Apache -- Fort McDowell Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
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Maricopa -- Gila River -- Salt River Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Iroquois Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
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Pima -- Gila River -- Salt River Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
San Felipe Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Papago Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Paiute -- Fallon -- Fort McDermitt -- Moapa -- Pyramid Lake -- Shivwits -- Walker River -- Yerington Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wesort Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tillamook Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Niska Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
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Quinaielt Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lummi Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Walapai Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blackfeet Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Taos -- Pyote clan Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tesuque Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
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Seminole -- Florida -- Oklahoma Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dakota -- Big Foot Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
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Coeur d'Alene Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Croatan Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
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Chickahominy Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chippewa -- Lac Courte Oreilles Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cheyenne -- Northern -- Southern Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bannock -- Fort Hall Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
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Indian claims Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Indians -- Credit Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Alaskan natives Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aleut (Akutan, Pribilof Islands) Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fort Sill Apache Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
San Carlos Apache Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arapaho -- Oklahoma Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dakota -- Crow Creek Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yuma Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Isleta Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Caddo Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Winnebago Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yavapai Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Delaware Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sauk Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Washo Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nez Percé Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seneca Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Omaha Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Menominee Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Comanche Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seri Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sia Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yaqui Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Crow Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Catawba Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Creek Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mandan Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hidatsa Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arikara Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Osage Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chickasaw Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Umatilla Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kansa Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tsimshian [Metlakatla] Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tlingit -- Angoon -- Craig -- Juneau -- Kake -- Ketchikan -- Klawak -- Klukwan -- Taku -- Wrangell Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ute -- Uintah-Ouray Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Laguna Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jemez Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Colville Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Havasupai Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kutenai Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Klamath Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
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Oto Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Spokan Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yakama Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zuni Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
San Juan Pueblo Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cochiti Pueblo Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Letters Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Legal documents Type 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
Cohen, Felix Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cohen, Henry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bingham, Jonathan Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Museum of the American Indian
4220 Silver Hill Rd
Suitland 20746-2863
nmaiarchives@si.edu
http://nmai.si.edu/explore/collections/archive/