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Papers of the Robertson and Worcester families, 1815-1932

 Collection
Identifier: 1931-001
Correspondence, diaries, notebooks, Creek (Muskogee) tribal materials, scrapbooks, photos, memorabilia and printed matter, pertaining to Samuel Austein Worcester, missionary to the Cherokees, his daughter Anna Eliza Worcester Roberston, his granddaughter Alice Mary Robertson, her father William Schenck Roberson, other members of her family, the reverent Timothy Hill, Robert McGill Loughridge, John Lowrie, James C. Pilling, and Pleasant Porter. Concerns missions, indian education, printing and publishing in the Indian Territory, the Indian Territory in the Civil War, and Oklahoma Politics during the 1920s.

Dates

  • 1815 - 1932

Creator

Language

These materials are in Engish and in Creek (Muskogee).

Access

This material is open for research use by any registered reader.

Use and Copyright

This material is owned by the University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from both the repository.

Extent

71 Linear Feet (66 document boxes, 3 oversize boxes, 2 +oversize boxes) : Collection shelved on 3rd floor and 5th floor oversize racks.

Biographical / Historical

Alice Mary Robertson was an instrumental figure in the history of The University of Tulsa and she was the first and, so far, only woman to represent Oklahoma in the United States Congress.

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

Gift

General

This collection has informally been known as the Alice Robertson papers and the Alice Robertson collection.

Processing Information

This collection was initially organized by students working in the library in 1934. Later it was more fully organized by WPA writers directed by Althea Bass, and then later, 1958-1961, by Hope Holloway, and her assistants, Clare Kerr and Ann Wilke. It was completely rearranged and described in 1997 by Milissa Burkart.

Source

Creator

Title
Papers of the Robertson and Worcester families, 1815-1932
Status
completed
Author
Milissa Burkart
Date
1997 January
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections & University Archives Repository

Contact:
McFarlin Library
University of Tulsa
2933 E. 6th St
Tulsa 74104-3123 US US
918-631-2496
918-631-5022 (Fax)