Our state museums and historic sites are back open with some changes and guidelines for the health and safety of our visitors and staff. Learn more

SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Indians of North America > 10005
The State Archives is open by apointment only. To schedule an appointment, please contact us at 701.328.2091 or archives@nd.gov.

OCLC WorldCat Logo

SHSND Photobook - Digitized images from State Archives

Digital Horizons

2019-2021 Blue Book Cover

Federal Depository Library Program

Chronicling America

Manuscripts by Subject - Indians of North America - #10005

Title: Charles Lemmon Hall Papers

Dates: 1879-1938

Collection Number:  10005

Quantity: 5 feet/1r. #16066

Abstract: Diaries, Indian language dictionaries, correspondence, miscellany, and American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions records relating to Hall’s work at Fort Berthold.

Provenance:  The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the Charles L. Hall Papers as a gift from Charles L. Hall, 1936; Deborah Hertz, 1953; Evan Hall, 1963, 1968; and Harold Case, 1969.  Juliann Henriksen prepared the inventory to the Charles L. Hall Papers in February 1984.

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

Copyrights:  Copyrights to materials in 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 and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is 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.

Transfer: One album with ninety photographs separated from papers in 1936 and transferred  to Photo Archives. Five additional photographs were transferred to the Photo Archives on February 13, 1984.

Related Collections:
00110 Charles Lemon Hall
00569 Charles Lemon Hall
00734 Debra Hall Hertz


Charles Lemon Hall was born on September 18, 1847 in Winchester, England.  In 1853 the Hall family immigrated to the United States and settled in New York City.  Charles Hall attended Union Theological Seminary in Andover, Massachusetts and at the age of 27 decided to become a missionary among the Indians.   In the fall of 1874 he was ordained in the Congregational Church and dispatched to Springfield, Dakota Territory.

Charles Hall was sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to Fort Berthold, an American Fur Company trading post, to establish a mission.  He arrived at Fort Berthold on May 9, 1876.  The language barrier compelled Hall to learn the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara languages.  The Indians called Hall "Ho Washte" meaning "Good Voice."  Hall was involved in mission work for over fifty years and founded churches at Fort Berthold, Elbowoods, Independence, Shell Creek, Nishu, and Nuita.  The Congregational Church honored Hall with a Doctor of Divinity degree in 1911.
While serving at the Springfield agency he met Emma Calhoun and married her in 1876.  Emma died in 1883 leaving two children, Robert and Hannah.  Charles Hall married Susan Webb in 1886.  They had two children, Deborah and Evan.   Hall spent the last ten years of his life in retirement living with his daughter, Deborah, in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.  He died April 2, 1940 and was buried at Elbowoods, North Dakota.

Source:  Bismarck Tribune, April 3, 1940, p. 1.


The Charles L. Hall Papers date from 1879 to 1938 and occupy two feet.  The papers are divided into four series:  original diaries, transcripts of diaries, Indian language dictionaries, and miscellany.

The original diaries date from 1879 to 1938 and contain daily entries relating  weather information, school and church attendance, bible passages, gardening  activities, and general comments.

The transcripts of diaries date from 1874 to 1908 and are handwritten copies of Hall's diaries, including some of the missing original diaries.

The Indian language dictionaries series dates from 1878 to 1908 and consists  of Arikara, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Pawnee lexicons, phrase notebooks,  correspondence and translations of bible passages and hymns. 

The miscellany series dates from 1881 to 1932 and consists of correspondence, American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions records, miscellaneous manuscripts, and ephemera.  The correspondence dates from 1900 to 1932 and consists of incoming and outgoing letters concerning fund raising, translating, and oil paintings.  The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions records date from 1881 to 1886 and consists of a typescript of reports regarding the mission at Fort Berthold.  The miscellaneous manuscripts relate the history of Fort Berthold and Indians.  The ephemera consists of published materials regarding the Fort Berthold mission.


Series I Original Diaries, 1879 to 1938, Box 1-2

Consists of diaries containing daily entries relating weather information, school and church attendance, bible passages, gardening activities, and general comments.

Series II.  Transcripts of Diaries, 1874 to 1908, Box 2-3 Consists of handwritten copies of the original diaries.

Series III.  Indian Language Dictionaries, 1878 to 1908, Box 3-4 Consists of Arikara, Hidatsa, and Pawnee lexicons, phrase notebooks, correspondence, bible passage and hymnal translations.

Series IV.  Miscellany, 1881 to 1932, Box 4 Consists of correspondence, American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions records, miscellaneous manuscripts, and ephemera.


Oversize. Photographs (map case drawer) (see photograph inventory below)

Series I.  Original Diaries                               

Box 1:
1 Diaries 1879; 1880-1883; 1888 
2 Diaries 1889-1892         
3 Diaries 1893-1898         
4 Diaries 1899-1904         
5 Diaries 1905-1908; 1910-1911  
6 Diaries 1912-1917         

Box 2:
1 Diaries 1918-1923         
2 Diaries 1924-1929         
3 Diaries 1930-1935         
4 Diaries 1936-1938         

Series II.     Transcripts of Diaries

5 Diary Transcripts   51874; 1876; 1879     
6 Diary Transcripts   61881-1885 
7 Diary Transcripts   71886-1890 

Box 3:
1 Diary Transcripts   1891-1896   
2 Diary Transcripts   1897-1902   
3 Diary Transcripts   1903-1908   

Series III.    Indian Language Dictionaries

4 Arikara Manuscript Dictionary                
5 Arikara Phrase Notebook         
6 Arikara - Miscellaneous                             
7 Mandan Hymns and Scripture Selections                          
8 Hidatsa Phrase Notebook                        

Box 4:
1 Grammar and Dictionary of the Language of the Hidatsa annotated     
2 Hidatsa - Miscellaneous                            
3 Pawnee - Miscellaneous                          

Series IV.     Miscellany

4 Correspondence, 1900-1932                                                                                                                   
5 American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions Records, 1881-1886, pp. 1-139
6 American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions Records, 1881-1886, pp. 140-278    
7 Manuscripts
8 "The Story of Fort Berthold" by Dr. Charles Hall
9 Scrapbook - "The Story of Fort Berthold" by Dr. Charles Hall
10 Ephemera

Photographs Inventory
10005-001            Unidentified Native American man outside tipi, n.d.
10005-002            Missouri River, n.d. (print by Hoskins-Meyer Studio, Bismarck, ND)
10005-003            Susan Webb Hall portrait, ca. 1886 (print by Hoskins-Meyer Studio, Bismarck, ND)
10005-004            Panorama of attendees at the Indian Education Conference, Denver (CO), April 25-29, 1938 (some individuals are identified)
10005-005            Chief Bears Arm and Chief Drags Wolf beside memorial to Chief Four Bears, erected September 8, 1933
10005-006          Unidentified teenagers outside church, n.d.
10005-007          Boy and woman using a travois, “Indian Travel Photo,” copyright 1893 by J. A. Anderson
10005-008         Native American women preparing meal, copyright 1883 by J. A. Anderson
10005-009          Native American woman and man sitting by fire outside houses in village, ca. 1900
10005-010          Teenage boy and girl standing in doorway to church, girl is holding bouquet of flowers, ca. 1930s (print by Hoskins-Meyer Studio, Bismarck, ND)                     
10005-011          Unidentified Native American woman portrait, n.d.

612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

State Museum and Store: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
We are open until noon on Christmas Eve.
State Archives: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: 701.328.2666
email: history@nd.gov

Social Media:
See all social media accounts