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
Author
Anna M. Kerns, Susan McElrath
Processing note
Processed by Anna M. Kerns, 24 July 1998; Susan McElrath 9 May 2001.
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
Potawatomi Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Muckleshoot Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nooksack Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Missouria (Missouri) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kalispel (Pend d'Oreilles) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Coeur d'Alene Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notes Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sac and Fox (Sauk & Fox) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Haida [Kasaan] Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Salish (Flathead) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kiowa Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yuit (Siberian Yup'ik) [Gambell, St. Lawrence Island] Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hunkpapa Lakota [Standing Rock] Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sicangu Lakota (Brulé Sioux) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wahpetonwan Dakota [Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe] Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mdewakantonwan Dakota [Flandreau] Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diné (Navajo) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yavapai [Fort McDowell] Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mojave (Mohave) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Piipaash (Maricopa) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Iroquois Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wendat (Huron) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopi Pueblo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Santa Ana Pueblo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cocopa Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
San Ildefonso Pueblo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Akimel O'odham (Pima) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
San Felipe Pueblo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tohono O'odham (Papago) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Paiute Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wesort Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tillamook Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nisga'a (Niska) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stockbridge Mahican Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Quinault Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lummi Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hualapai (Walapai) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Taos Pueblo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tesuque Pueblo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eastern Shawnee [Quapaw Agency, Oklahoma] Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shoshone Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sandia Pueblo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seminole Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Coeur d'Alene Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Croatan Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Choctaw Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cocopa Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chickahominy Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lake Superior Chippewa [Lac Courte Oreilles, Wisconsin] Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tsitsistas/Suhtai (Cheyenne) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
K'apovi (Santa Clara Pueblo) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Alaskan Eskimo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Unangan (Aleut) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chiricahua Apache [Fort Sill, Oklahoma] Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
San Carlos Apache Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Inunaina (Arapaho) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sioux [Crow Creek] Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Quechan (Yuma/Cuchan) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Isleta Pueblo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Caddo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yavapai Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sauk Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Washoe (Washo) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Niimíipuu (Nez Perce) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seneca Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Omaha Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Menominee (Menomini) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Niuam (Comanche) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seri Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zia Pueblo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yoeme (Yaqui) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Apsáalooke (Crow/Absaroke) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Catawba Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Muskogee (Creek) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Numakiki (Mandan) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Minitari (Hidatsa) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sahnish (Arikara) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Osage Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chickasaw Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Umatilla Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kaw (Kansa) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tsimshian [Metlakatla] Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tlingit Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ute Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Laguna Pueblo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jemez Pueblo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Havasupai (Coconino) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kootenai (Kutenai) [Idaho] Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Klamath Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kickapoo [Oklahoma] Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oto Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Spokan Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yakama (Yakima) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
A:shiwi (Zuni) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cochiti Pueblo Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Letters Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Legal documents Genre Form 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, Maryland 20746-2863
nmaiarchives@si.edu
http://nmai.si.edu/explore/collections/archive/