Dear Mr. Sayles,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Indian Treaties, 1789-1869 from the General Records of the United States Government (Record Group 11) that includes 106 file units related to the Osage that may be of interest to you. Most of these records have been digitized and can be viewed online via the Catalog. For assistance with these records, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at email@example.com.
Because the Osage were forced out of Missouri quite early, and because the National Archives’ Bureau of Indian Affairs records largely only start when the Osage were in Kansas, the treaties they signed (from around 1808 to 1825) that took away their Missouri lands would be the primary records at the National Archives. The treaties also are available online via the Indigenous Digital Archives (IDA) Treaties Explorer. Please search for “Osage” to review the applicable treaties that are in the custody of the National Archives, or you may go to “location” and search for “Missouri” to see the ceded lands. Please note that any Osage that lived there after the treaties were signed would not be captured in federal records.
Additionally, we located the series Records of Accounts, 1808-1823 for the Office of Indian Trade’s Osage Factory (1808-1823) in the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (Record Group 75) that may contain some information related to your research. These records have not been digitized. For access to and information about them, please contact RDT1.
We also located the series Central Map File-CA File, 1800-1960 in Record Group 75 that includes 21 file units related to the Osage which may have some relevant information from the time period you are interested in. Some of these records have been digitized and may be viewed online via the Catalog. Please contact the National Archives at College Park - Cartographic (RDSC) at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about these records.
Next, we located the series Letters Received, 1805-1889 from the Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1762 - 1917 (Record Group 94) that contains 46 file units related to the Osage, some of which may date to the time frame you are interested in. These records have been digitized and can be viewed online via the Catalog, and you can contact RDT1 for further assistance with them.
The War Department's Office of Indian Affairs (1824-1849), which preceded the Department of the Interior’s Office of Indian Affairs (1849-1947) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (1947-), was established in 1824 after the Osage had left Missouri, but the War Department's Office of Indian Trade (1806-1822) is responsible for some earlier records. Some examples include the series Records Relating to Accounts, 1796-1825, the series Records Concerning Finances, 1797-1881, and the series Letters Received, 1806-1824 in Record Group 75 that may include some early information about the Osage. Most of these records have not been digitized. Please contact RDT1 for access to and information about them.
From a slightly later time period, we located 13 series related to Osage ceded lands in the Records of the Bureau of Land Management (Record Group 49). Depending on which unit is listed in the Catalog entry, please contact RDT1 or the National Archives at Kansas City (RM-KC) at email@example.com with questions about these records.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1, RDSC, and RM-KC. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
In addition, we identified 20 archival collections related to the Osage Nation prior to 1825 in WorldCat. You can use the “advanced search” or “refine your search” features to customize your search parameters, too.
Beyond this, you may want to contact the Osage Nation’s Wahzhazhe Cultural Center directly to see if they can offer you any additional assistance. The Missouri State Archives, the State Historical Society of Missouri and the National Museum of the American Indian also may be able to help you with your research.
Finally, you might find some useful information and resources in Jefferson College’s library guide titled Indigenous Tribes of Missouri: Missouri's Native Peoples and the University of Missouri’s library guide titled Missouri's Indigenous Nations.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
[Some information provided by Cody White, Subject Matter Expert]
Thank you so much for the extensive search. I really didn't expect such a comprehensive reply. I write articles about the history of Ozark County for the local newspaper and you've given me a great jump start.