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Manuscripts by Subject - Indians of North America- #10066

Title: A. C. J. Farrell Papers

Dates: 1863-1950, n.d. 

Collection Number: 10066 

Quantity: 1.75 feet

Abstract: Correspondence, notes, a play, essays, newspaper clippings, printed material, and photographs concerning case work for the Turtle Mountain Chippewa and other Northern Plains Indians. Alfred Conover Farrell served as an attorney for the Blackfoot Indians.

Provenance: A. C. J. Farrell donated this collection to the State Historical Society of North Dakota December 9, 1949. Additional materials were donated by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin in December 1989.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements are needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.



Born in 1866 to a pioneer family, Alfred Conover Jack Farrell was raised in the Montana-Dakota border country. As a young man Farrell roamed the Dakota-Montana Territory applying himself to several different occupations including trapper, gold seeker, and Indian trader. Farrell also worked as a cowboy on the Dakota, Montana and Wyoming ranges. He studied law and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1900. He practices law in New York and Washington, D.C. before returning to the West in the 1920s. He was admitted to the Oregon Bar in 1924 and practiced law there until the 1930s when he moved to California. In 1945 he went to Sayville, New York. He died in Minneapolis in the early 1950s.
During his early years Farrell traveled among and traded with the Blackfeet, Cree, Ojibway, Gros Ventre, and Chippewa tribes. He became familiar with their languages and created a Chippewa-English  dictionary of terms he collected. He also collected artifacts representative of Indian life which he donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
In 1914 Farrell was appointed legal council to the Blackfeet, Chippewa, and Gros Ventre Indian nations. He represented the Blackfeet Indians in a land claims case brought against the federal government in 1920. He withdrew from the case for health reasons but his research helped form the case which was decided in favor of the Blackfeet nation in 1933.
Farrell wrote many essays, articles, plays and poetry based on his knowledge of Indian life and lore.
Source: State Historical Society of Wisconsin manuscript register M79-156


Box 1:
1 Biographical Material                 
2 General Correspondence         1912-1950           
3 Hanna Correspondence             1939-1946           
4 Correspondence with Florence Davis  1939-1948           
5 Correspondence with Florence Davis  1949-1950           
6 General Legal Papers  1900-1928           
7 Indian Land Claim Case, Court Reports                ca 1930-35          
8 Legal Correspondence               1910-1936           
9 Diary of Flora Bender Laughton              1863      
10 Newspaper Clippings, Frontier Life     1909-1944           
11 Indian Legends            1909-1944           
12 Newspaper Clippings, Indians               [1901?]
13 Research Notes and Memos 1889-1946           
14 Indian Papers, Play and Article             ca. 1934-35         
15 Indian Papers, Newspaper Clippings  ca 1929-35          
16 Indian Papers, Pamphlets       1929-1934           
17 English, Cree, Ojibway Words, Related Correspondence          ca. 1940-50         
18 Articles, Essays and Working Papers  1901-ca38           
19 Articles, Essays and Working Papers  ca. 1901-40         
20 Chippewa, English Dictionary                1880-1920           
21 Lectures and Script Notes       ca. 1920-30         
22 Newspaper Articles Written by Farrell              1937-1942           
23 Plays                n.d.       
24 Poems            ca. 1900-33
25 Drawings       

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