2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 3, 2018 8:59 AM by Luci J Baker Johnson

    Bureau of Education, contracts issued in 1894

    Luci J Baker Johnson Adventurer

      I'm researching an expedition that took place in the summer of 1894. The effort was initiated by the U. S. Bureau of Education. It involved the department signing contracts with Sami reindeer herders to teach the Alaskan Eskimo how to raise and care for reindeer as a 'way of living and existing" in the 'changing' district of Alaska. I've found a letter, written by Wm A. Kjelman, a contract employee of the US Government, to Wm Hamilton, with the Bureau of Education. Below is a transcript of that correspondence:


      1894 Government Report • Letter from W. A. Kjellman to Wm Hamilton, Bureau of Education

      “Tappeluft, Norway, April 9, 1894 • Dear Sir: The five families of Lapps that I have hired are Per Aslakesen Rist and wife with two daughters, 10 and 8 years; Johan Speinsen Tornenis and wife with one child under 1 year; Mikkel Josefsen Nakkila and wife; Samuel Johnsen Kemi and wife with two children, 4 and 1 year; Mathias Aslaksen Eira and wife with one child, 4 years; Frederick Larsen, single, 18 years. • Every family is to have a pair of dogs, and the single boy has a dog that I bought for him. • I leave here on the 14th instant, and leave Christiana from New York on the 26th by the steamer Island of the Thingvalla Line, and shall probably arrive at New York about the 8th or 9th of May.”

      It's my understanding that the individual Sami families, which I believe were 7, signed a contract with the US Government to work for three years (1894-1897) at which time their commitment would be up and the US Government would pay for their return trip to Sami land.


      Here lies my question. Where might I find copies of the various contracts that were signed by the individuals (Sami)? It was an agreement with the individual families that they would work for three years in exchange for food, lodging, and stipends. There has to be some sort of 'paper trail' for these contracts?  Where might I locate this paperwork?