VALENTINE TRANT MCGILLYCUDDY PAPERS 1867, 1871-1896, 1919, 1928, 1933-1934, 1940, UNDATED

Personal papers and business records of a South Dakota physician, cartography, Indian agent, and technical school dean, which includes correspondence, financial records, news clippings, minutes of meetings with Oglala Lakota chiefs, a diary, collected publications, photography, and miscellany. Of particular note are materials pertaining to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, Fort Robinson, Nebraska, Chief Red Cloud (Mahpiya Luta) and the Oglala Lakota people, and several topographical surveys.

The Journey Museum, Rapid City, South Dakota, holds the bulk of the original records (formerly held by the Minnilusa Pioneer Museum, Rapid City), and the Devereaux Library of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, holds a substantial portion as well. The Oglala Lakota College Archives, Kyle, South Dakota, holds the original microfiche copy, produced by archivist Mark G. Thiel, 1984-1985.

Biographical Note/ Scope and Content

Valentine McGillycuddy was born, Feb. 14, 1849, in Racine, Wisconsin. He earned his M.D. in 1849 at the Marine Hospital, Detroit. He was then employed by the federal government in several topographical and medical capacities, including the Great Lakes Geodetic Survey, 1871-1874, the USA-British North American International Boundary Survey, 1874, the Black Hills Newton-Jenny Survey, 1874, the U.S. Cavalry, 1874-1876, Red Cloud Indian Agency, Fort Robinson, 1876-1877, and Pine Ridge Indian Agency, then of the Great Sioux Indian Reservation, Dakota Territory, 1879-1886. Thereafter, he served as Dean of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, 1896-1898, Mayor of the City of Rapid City, 1896-1898, and head of a Public Health Service team that investigated an Alaskan Native influenza epidemic, 1918.

McGillycuddy's pursuit of outdoor occupations began as therapy for a heart ailment, which soon switched to a love of the frontier. While at Fort Robinson, he attended to the mortally wounded Chief Crazy Horse (Tashunke Witko, 1840-1877) and participated in the transfer of the Red Cloud Agency to Pine Ridge (then renamed Pine Ridge Agency). As Indian agent, he established the first Indian reservation police force, which subordinated the chiefs' traditional authority to that of the agent Indian and became a model throughout the U.S. Indian Service. He also instituted several practices that fostered Euro-American acculturation. In 1890, at the request of South Dakota Governor Mellette, he visited the Pine Ridge Reservation to assess the Messiah Movement.

In 1875, McGillycuddy married Fanny Hoyt during a brief return to Detroit. He moved to San Francisco and married Julia Blanchard following Fanny's death in 1897.

The collection well-documents McGillycuddy's cartographic, medical, and Indian service careers. Cartography is represented in his correspondence, 1872-1878, cartographic records, and miscellany, 1928; and medicine is represented in his correspondence, 1867-1878, 1890, 1919, undated, medical records, photographs, 1919, and Fanny's diary under miscellany, 1877-1878. Occasional items pertain to Rapid City financial matters, 1877-1893, undated. The bulk of the collection pertains to his activities as U.S. Indian agent and his ongoing interest in the affairs of the Oglala Lakota people. Of special note is his correspondence, 1878-1894, minutes of meetings with Oglala Lakota chiefs, news clippings, publications, and miscellany.

Materials pertaining to the establishment and management of the Pine Ridge Indian Agency are found throughout the collection. Within the correspondence are several letters pertaining to the agency relocation from Fort Robinson to Pine Ridge, 1877, construction of new dwellings, 1879, establishment of control by the Indian Agency, 1880-1884, issuance of annuities, 1879-1887, and reduction of the Great Sioux Reservation, 1888-1889. Of particular note are letters pertaining to the subordination of tribal leadership and the conduct of Indian Agency police, e.g. Commissioner of Indian Affairs E.A. Hayt to McGillycuddy, June 24, 1879, petition of Chief Red Cloud and other chiefs to the Secretary of the Interior, June 3, 1881, letter of Captain George Sword to McGillycuddy, June 6, 1887. Layout and construction plans for the Indian Agency and hospital are included under miscellany. Reconnaissance maps in the cartographic records and Fanny Hoyt diary entries, October-November 1877, provide further information on the agency relocation. News clippings and minutes of meetings with chiefs further describe agency law enforcement, the conflict of authority between chiefs and agent, and the 1890 Messiah Movement and Wounded Knee Massacre. The publications include the 1883 Sioux lands cession agreement, reports pertaining to the census and welfare of the Oglala Lakota people, and McGillycuddy's 1886 suspension as Indian agent.

Other materials are significant within Oglala Lakota and United States history. Within the correspondence are letters regarding the size of the Black Hills gold deposits, Henry Newton to McGillycuddy, November 26, 1875; a pass for the return of Oglala Lakota refugees after the Battle of the Little Big Horn, September 23, 1879; wild west show participation, William F. Cody to Colonel Richard I. Dodge, October 29, 1879, I.A.R. O'Beirue to McGillycuddy, November 26, 1879, William Garnett to McGillycuddy, October 16, 1890, and Berlin, Germany, January 30, 1886; McGillycuddy's resignation, March 27, 1886; bison for the National Zoo, Washington, D.C., William T. Hornaday to McGillycuddy, July 11, 1889; frontier life, Frederick Remington to McGillycuddy, May 29, 1891; and alleged affects of liquor and the Omaha dance, Joseph Fast Horse to McGillycuddy, December 31, 1891. Several pieces of correspondence, 1890-1893, and South Dakota National Guard financial records pertain to McGillycuddy's peripheral involvement in curtailing the Messiah Movement at the time of the Wounded Knee massacre. McGillycuddy's patient registration and prescription book, 1876, details how the U.S. Cavalry under General Crook coped with illness. Fanny Hoyt's diary also notes the surrender and death of Crazy Horse, September 4-6, 1877; and miscellany also includes a typescript of an article published in the 1933 South Dakota Blue Book by Joseph White Bull and translated by Stanley Vestal.

Related records in repository include the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records and the Holy Rosary Mission - Red Cloud Indian School Records, Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

Reformatted records: Records that have been microfilmed are so noted, most of which are available throughout the United States via interlibrary loan. These and other records are or can be made available in digital formats via email. Reformatting fees may apply. Ask an Archivist for details.


Fiche Title
- Correspondence
1867, 1870, 1872-1878
1889-1895, 1919, 1940, undated
18-24 Cartographic Records, 1875, 1877-1878, 1880s, undated
- Financial Records
Personal, 1876, 1879, 1883, 1886-1890, 1896, undated
Pine Ridge Indian Agency, 1877-1886, undated
South Dakota National Guard, 1890-1893
33-36 Medical Records, 1876-1879, undated
37 Minutes of Meetings with Oglala Lakota Chiefs, 1879-1881



Fiche Title
38 News Clippings, 1880, 1882, 1886-1892, 1934, undated
- Publications
Federal Government, 1878, 1884
Indian Rights Association, 1882-1883, 1886
42-45 Miscellany, 1873, 1875-1878, 1881, 1886-1888, 1928, 1933, undated