Records of a New York City-based fund-raising organization that supported Native American Catholic missions and schools, 1904-1991. The records contain the minutes of the Board of Directors meetings and its newsletter, The Calumet. Gift of Monsignor Thomas A. Modugno, 1992. Processed by Mark G. Thiel, 1992.

For inquiries regarding successor beneficiaries to the Marquette League, contact the Black and Indian Mission Office, Washington, D.C., 202-331-8542,


Historical Note

Rev. Henry G. Ganss of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, founded the Marquette League as the Marquette Club, which incorporated in 1904 as a non-profit organization based in Manhatton, New York City. It served as an auxiliary to the Preservation Society for the Preservation of the Faith among Indian Children, a lay Catholic fund-raising organization directed by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions.

The Marquette League raised funds for Catholic Indian missions throughout the United States, but especially for those in Alaska and the Southwest. Specifically, it raised funds for building projects at missions, schools, and chapels; stipends for Native American catechists; and scholarships for Native students. To support these efforts, it established branches in several Eastern cities (e.g. Baltimore, Washington) and published The Calumet, 1913-1958, a quarterly newsletter-magazine to donors under Director-Editor Monsignor William Quinn, 1917-1925, Reverend William J. Flynn, 1925-1936, Reverend Bernard A. Cullen, 1936-1958, and Reverend Lawrence J. Cahill, 1958. From 1952-1958, it also recruited lay volunteers for service at the missions.

Thereafter, the Marquette League declined. In 1989 at St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, it celebrated its 85th anniversary and its years of service in support of Native American evangelization.Ooperations ceased in 1991.


Scope and Content

Marquette League Series 1, Correspondence: Letters, clippings, brochures, and notes including those for a 1989 celebration commemorating the Marquette League's 85 years of service.

Marquette League Series 2, Lay Apostolate File: An alphabetized card file of lay volunteers with names, home addresses, and description and location of service with dates.

Marquette League Series 3, Proceedings: Minutes of meetings with certificate of incorporation, bylaws, and resolutions interfiled in 1904, 1848, 1960-1961.  Minutes of the Marquette League Washington, D.C., branch are included in folder 1, following the records of the central organization.

Marquette League Series 4, The Calumet: The original issues are held in Series 14-1 of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Mission Records as the bulk of the issues were first acquired from the Bureau. Vol. 34, no. 2 (May, 1957) of The Calumet was incorrectly-numbered and issued as v. 45, no. 2. The Calumet on microfilm appears as Series 4 of this collection and Series 14-1 of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Mission Records with the BCIM version being less complete. The following 11 issues are missing from the Series 4 microfilm and the Series 14-1 BCIM originals: November, 1918; April-May, 1919; December, 1919; April-May, 1922; October, 1922; December, 1922; November, 1923; December, 1923; January, 1925; May, 1925; and February, 1952.

The Calumet existed as a quarterly throughout its history, although its time of issuance and format varied. It began as a 4-page quarterly, which in 1936 expanded to 12 pages with increasing numbers of photographs. Its articles and letters pertained to the operations and activities of missions and schools, their financial needs, and the lives of Native American people as a whole and those of individual native people and individual missionaries. During its last two decades it switched to a magazine format with in-depth articles and numerous illustrations.

Indian and non-Indian clergy, religious, and laity contributed articles, letters, and photographs. Most notable among the non-Indian clergy were Bishop Joseph R. Crimont, S.J., 26 articles, re: Alaska, Jesuits, Prayers and Poetry; Reverend Eugene Buechel, S.J., 20 articles (no photographs cited), re: Dakota [Brulé and Oglala] Indians, Jesuits; Reverend John P. Fox, S.J., 16 articles (no photographs cited),  re: Alaska, Jesuits; Reverend Silverius Meyer, O.F.M., 14 articles, re: Franciscans, Navajo Indians, St. Michael’s Mission (Navajo Reservation, Arizona); Reverend Joseph M. Cataldo, S.J., 12 articles, re: Jesuits, St. Joseph’s Mission (Nez Perce Reservation, Idaho); Reverend Joseph A. Zimmerman, S.J., 11 articles (no photographs cited), re: Dakota [Brulé and Oglala] Indians, Fire and Natural Disaster, Holy Rosary Mission (Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota); and Reverend George Pieper, S.J., 2 articles (also numerous featured photographs cited after 1955), re: Mission Work (Evangelization), St. Francis Mission (Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota). Non-Indian women religious (nuns) included Sister M. Claire Hartmann, S.S.S.F., 1 article, re: St. Paul's Mission (Fort Belknap Reservation, Montana), and Sister M. Macaria Murphy, F.S.P.A., 1 article, re: Schools-Catholic. Native American clergy and laity included active World War II soldiers, 8 letters, re: World War II War Efforts; Reverend John J. Brown, S.J. (Siksika [Blackfeet]), 2 articles, re: Jesuits, Native Americans-Catechists/ Priests/ Laity; Albert Calf Looking (Siksika [Blackfeet]), 1 article, re: Holy Family Mission (Blackfeet Reservation, Montana); Martin Good Rider (Dakota?), 1 article, re: Schools-Catholic; Reverend Phillip B. Gordon (Ojibwa), 1 article, re: Native Americans-Catechists/ Priests/ Laity, Potawatomi [Pottawatomie] Indians; Joseph Humming Bird (Kiowa?), 1 article, re: Marquette League-“Marquette Boys”; Little Tommy (Siksika [Blackfeet]), 1 article, re: Holy Family Mission (Blackfeet Reservation, Montana), Marquette League-“Marquette Boys”; Lincoln Ne-Che-Kipa-Cee (Unidentified), 1 article, re: World War II War Efforts; Sitting Bull (Dakota [Hunkpapa]), 1 article, re: Dakota Indians; Mrs. Swift Hawk (Dakota), 1 article, re: Dakota Indians. Reverend Gordon was also the subject of an article together with Navajo Indians.

Index to The Calumet: The index features a list of subjects, which are arranged alphabetically. There under articles are listed chronologically with authors noted.


Related materials in other Marquette special collections:

The Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records include substantial holdings of The Calumet (Series 14-1) with 11 issues missing. This newsletter also appears in the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records, Series 14-1 microfilm, but is less complete than the Marquette League edition. Letters to/from the Marquette League and the Preservation Society for the Preservation of the Faith among Indian Children are interfiled in the Correspondence (Series 1-1) under "District of Columbia," 1904-1920, and under "General-50" thereafter in folders marked, "Marquette League" and "Preservation Society."

The Anne M. Scheuerman Collection contains photography of the 1989 mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York, which commemorated the Marquette League's 85th anniversary and its years of service in support of Native American evangelization.