Papers of the Robertson and Worcester families, 1815-1932
- 1815 - 1932
- Robertson, Alice Mary, 1854-1931 (Compiler, Person)
Use and Copyright
71 Linear Feet (66 document boxes, 3 oversize boxes, 2 +oversize boxes) : Collection shelved on 3rd floor and 5th floor oversize racks.
Biographical / Historical
Robertson was born Jan. 2, 1854, at the Tullahassee Mission in the Creek Nation, Indian Territory (now Tullahassee, Oklahoma) to parents serving as missionaries to the Native Americans living there. Self-taught early in life, Robertson later attended Elmira College in Elmira, New York. She served as a clerk for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C. from 1873 to 1879. Robertson later taught school at Tullahassee and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pa.
In 1885, she was appointed head of the Presbyterian School for Indian Girls in Muskogee. In 1894, the boarding school developed into Henry Kendall College. In 1907, the college relocated to Tulsa and later became known as The University of Tulsa.
Robertson left Henry Kendall College in 1899 to work for the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, D.C., but returned to Muskogee in 1900 after President Theodore Roosevelt appointed her as the first government supervisor of Creek Indian schools. She served as postmaster in Muskogee from 1905 to 1913, and her service to troops during World War I led to the formation of the Muskogee Chapter of the American Red Cross.
In 1920, Robertson was elected to the 2nd District of Oklahoma in the U.S. House of Representatives. She served from March 4, 1921 to March 3, 1923, but was unsuccessful in her bid for re-election. She was the second woman elected to Congress and the first woman elected after the passage of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteeing women's voting rights. Her tenure was marked by her strong personality, commitment to Native American issues, and conservative views on women's issues, including equal rights, birth control, maternity issues, sex education and childcare funding. She was known as a fiery and colorful speaker who was in much demand to speak nationally.
Following her Congressional term, Robertson was appointed by President Warren G. Harding as a welfare worker at the Veterans Hospital in Muskogee. Robertson died on July 1, 1931. She bequeathed her personal library and family papers to The University of Tulsa's McFarlin library, which houses the materials in its special collections department.
Her grandfather (Samuel Austin Worcester) and her parents were missionaries to the Creeks; her mother was one of the first women to earn a PhD and translated much of the Bible into the Creek (Muskogee) language.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Creek Indians.
- Creek Language.
- Indian Territory -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
- Indians of North America -- Education.
- Indians of North America -- Indian Territory -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
- Indians of North America -- Missions.
- Missions -- Indian Territory.
- Oklahoma -- Politics and government -- 1907.
- Presbyterian Church -- Missions.
- Printing -- Oklahoma -- History.
- Robertson, Alice Mary, 1854-1931
- Worcester family
- Papers of the Robertson and Worcester families, 1815-1932
- Milissa Burkart
- 1997 January
- Description rules
- Language of description
Part of the The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections & University Archives Repository
University of Tulsa
2933 E. 6th St
Tulsa 74104-3123 US US