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Heber Mansfield Creel Papers, 1878-1881

Identifier: MC-1954-50

Scope and Contents

Lt. Heber M. Creel, of the 7th Cavalry, was assigned to study the ethnology of the Cheyennes. These manuscripts contain a large amount of material concerning the language of the Cheyenne as well as ethnology and philology.


  • 1878 - 1881


Physical Description

The manuscripts are in good condition and, for the most part, easy to read.

Conditions Governing Access

Access is by appointment only.

Biographical / Historical

Cadet at the Military Academy, Sep. 1, 1873, to June 14, 1877, when he graduated and promoted in the Army to Second Lieutenant, 8th Cavalry, June 15, 1877. Transferred to 7th Cavalry, Sept. 30, 1877. Aug. 23, 1878, He was on escort duty, transferring Indian prisoners to the Indian Territory, Sep. 3 to Oct., 1878. Afterword he was on duty with Cheyenne Indians, with a view to learning and writing a complete grammar and dictionary of their language, between Oct. and Dec., 1878, and at Ft. Reno, I. T., Dec. 9, 1878, being with Cheyenne Indians engaged in preparing a Dictionary of their Language, to Dec. 30, 1879. He resigned his committion, July 1, 1882.

Engaged in estate business, stock-raising, and farming at Devil's Lake, North Dakota, which town he located in 1882; Chairman of Board of County Commissioners, Ramsey Co., N. D., 1885-1886; Register of Deeds, 1889-1895; member of State Senate, 1896-1900; Congressional Nominee on Fusion ticket, 1898; Special Agent, U. S. Department of Agriculture, after 1903; author of dictionary and grammar of Cheyenne language and of work on Indian sign language.

Inspector and Judge Advocate General with Rank of Colonel, North Dakota National Guard, April 2, 1891. Brigadier-General, Adjutant General, North Dakota, June 29, 1905. Major-General, National Guard, North Dakota, Retired, Jan. 7, 1907, at His Own Request.


6 items

Language of Materials

Multiple languages

Related Materials

In the Gilcrease Library there is a Cheyenne-English Dictionary compiled by Rev. Rodolphe Petter, missionary to the Cheyennes in 1891 at Cantonment, Oklahoma, and printed at Kettle Falls, Washington, 1913-1915. While there are similarities between the two works, there is no proof that the Petter dictionary was based on the Creel manuscript.

Physical Description

The manuscripts are in good condition and, for the most part, easy to read.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease Museum. Repository

1400 N. Gilcrease Museum Rd.
Tulsa Ok 74127