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Thomas H. Dodge Collection 1921-1972


Overview of the Collection

Creator: Dodge, Thomas H., 1900-1987
Title: Thomas H. Dodge Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1921-1972
Quantity: 8 Boxes (4.0 Linear Feet)
Abstract:The Thomas H. Dodge Collection houses correspondence, reports, tribal council minutes and other administrative documentation, newsclippings, and miscellaneous notes. The bulk of the collection documents Dodge's work as Navajo Tribal Council Chairman and Superintendent of the Navajo, San Carlos, Osage, and Truxton Canon Agencies from 1930 to 1960.
Identification: MSS-33
Language: Material in English
Repository: Arizona State University Library. Greater Arizona Collection
Arizona State University Library
P.O. Box 871006
Tempe, AZ 85287-1006
Phone: (480) 965-4932
Questions? Ask An Archivist!

Biographical Note

Thomas H. Dodge, son of Henry Chee Dodge (1860-1947), was born on the Navajo Reservation on June 10, 1900. His father later became the head of the Navajo Tribal Council. As a child, Thomas Dodge worked herding sheep but was later sent to study at private schools in Salt Lake City, Utah and Denver, Colorado. Dodge graduated from St. Louis University with a law degree in 1924 and practiced law in Santa Fe, New Mexico until he was elected Tribal Chairman in 1932.

As Chairman, Dodge initiated a series of livestock reduction programs and brought about consolidation of the six Indian Bureau agencies that managed the Navajo reservation. In 1936, he began his career with the Bureau of Indian Affairs as the Superintendent of the San Carlos Apache Agency. He accepted the Superintendency of the Osage Agency at Pawhuska, Oklahoma in 1958, where he worked until his retirement. During his career, Dodge also worked with the Hualapai and Havasupai tribes in northern Arizona.

In 1965, Dodge received the Distinguished Service Award of the Department of the Interior, which praised him for "forwarding the economic and social progress of the Indian people." In the same year he moved to Paradise Valley, where he remained until his death on August 15, 1987.

Scope and Content Note

The Thomas H. Dodge Collection houses correspondence, reports, tribal council minutes and other administrative documentation, newsclippings, and miscellaneous notes. The bulk of the collection documents Dodge's work as Navajo Tribal Council Chairman and Superintendent of the Navajo, San Carlos, Osage, and Truxton Canon Agencies from 1930-1960.

Series I: Correspondence is largely composed of administrative and professional letters that Dodge received in the course of his duties at the Navajo, San Carlos, Truxton Canon, and Osage Agencies. The majority of this correspondence concerns the Wheeler-Howard Indian Reorganization Act and attempts at livestock reduction associated with that legislation. Important items regarding this subject include a press release on amendments to the Wheeler-Howard Act concerning Indian property rights (Box 1, Folder 9, 1934 April 15), letters from John Collier (Commissioner of the US Office of Indian Affairs) to Dodge and the Navajo Tribe regarding the Navajo rejection of the Wheeler-Howard Act and stock reduction in particular (Box 1, Folder 13, 1935 March 25 and June 21), and Dodge's explanation to Harold Ickes (US Secretary of Interior) of the Navajo rejection (Box 1, Folder 14, 1935 June 26).

Other items of note housed in Series I include correspondence regarding a controversial article published in Scribner's Magazine by Mrs. Richard Wetherill entitled "Death of a Medicine Man" (Box 1, Folders 5-6). A letter from the Office of Indian Affairs to the Navajo Council examines the role of the Navajo Police on the reservations (Box 1, Folder 9, 1934 April 5). A memorandum from Harold Ickes on Indian Religious Freedom describes the degree of tolerance afforded Indians by federal authorities (Box 1, Folder 11, 1934 January 3). Edward Nanonka's (Hopi) letter to Dodge describes the alleged corruption of "Federal Officers of the Indian Service" (Box 1, Folder 12, 1935 December 26). Dodge's letter to John Collier offers an explanation for his resignation as Chairman of the Navajo Tribal Council (Box 1, Folder 16, 1936 May 7). E. R. Fryer's (Superintendent, Navajo Service) letter to Collier includes a draft of the Navajo Constitution and Fryer's comments (Box 1, Folder 18, 1937 September 29). Scripts for KTGM radio broadcasts about Navajo life and culture (1938-1939) are located in Box 1, Folders 20-22. A series of letters and press releases on Selective Service and the New Mexico Navajo are located in Box 1, Folder 27. Three items in this series concern health services provided to Indians: The testimony of Leta Meyers Smart before the House Subcommittee on Interior and Insular Affairs (Box 2, Folder 11, 1953 April 30); Dodge's letter to the Osage Tribe (Box 2, Folder 19, 1961 March 3); and the correspondence of an unidentified Field Solicitor of the Osage Reservation at Pawhuska, Oklahoma to Dodge as Superintendent of the Osage Agency (Box 2, Folder 20, 1962 August 14).

Series II: Navajo Tribe consists primarily of materials showing the Navajo Tribal Council and the Navajo Agency. The bulk of the series is comprised of minutes, proceedings, and resolutions of the Tribal Council and related committees. Of particular interest in the Miscellaneous Council Committee Minutes are notes on a meeting at Tohatchi, New Mexico documenting the activities of the Navajo Delegation at Washington, D.C. (Box 5, Folder 7, 1935 May 25). Among the Council Resolutions are a tribal endorsement of the construction of day schools and a facility for blind, deaf and crippled Navajos, and a call for enrollment reductions at Navajo boarding schools (Box 5, Folder 12). The Report of Mining Operations (Box 5, Folder 17) describes activities at the Northern Navajo Reservation in New Mexico and lists oil royalties received during fiscal 1936. The Employment Reports (Box 5, Folder 19-20) provide statistics for whites and Indians working on the reservations in various subject areas (e.g. irrigation, hospital, sheep laboratory). The Navajo Tribal Enterprises file (Box 5, Folder 24) includes audits of various tribal businesses. The Navajo Law Division file (Box 6, Folder 1) contains a memo to the Law Division (1934) concerning amendments to the Indian Liquor Law and "Law and Order Regulations" for reservations without "an established Tribal Court". "Social and Educational Implications of the Navajo Program" (Box 6, Folder 6) is an address given by W. Carson Ryan in 1934 when he was serving as the Director of Education for the US Indian Service. The Navajo and the New Deal file (Box 6, Folder 11) contains a John Collier report on the Wheeler-Howard Indian Reorganization Act and a press release by a New York Times columnist named Meyer Berger on the Navajo lifestyle during the New Deal period.

Series III: Apache, Hualapai, Osage Tribes contains a wide variety of correspondence, minutes, resolutions and other administrative documents. The files regarding the Hualapai include council minutes and documents concerning the Lower Colorado River Basin Project. The San Carlos Apache Tribe materials contain minutes of the Tribal Economic Advisory Committee and research proposals from the Stanford Research Institute (Box 6, Folder 28). Among the Miscellaneous Papers in the Osage Tribe materials are scattered reports of operations in the "Osage Mineral Reservation" during 1963, tribal budgeting documents from 1959-1961, and a Bureau of Indian Affairs circular concerning guardianships of Indian minors and dependants (Box 7, Folder 6).

Series IV: Personal Papers includes documentation of Indian legal cases, essays by Dodge and others, correspondence, diaries, newsclippings, speeches by Dodge and others, and miscellaneous papers and notes. The correspondence is largely routine but includes condolence letters on the death of Chee Dodge (Box 7, Folder 25) and letters from Walter Roberts including a poem entitled "Rio En Medio" (Box 7, Folders 27-28). The Dodge Diaries are primarily daily accounts of interaction with various Indians, probably conducted in the course of his Agency work. The newsclippings regarding Dodge's sister Annie Wauneka are mostly related to her receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963. The majority of the other newsclippings concern Indian affairs in general, particularly those of the Navajo. The speeches in this series also relate to general Indian affairs and are largely those of Bureau of Indian Affairs officials. Speeches of particular interest include a holograph copy of Dodge's address "Relocation: Success or Failure" (Box 8, Folder 12, circa 1956) and two Stewart L. Udall speeches given at a Bureau of Indian Affairs conference in 1966 (Box 8, Folder 14). A Royal Marks address on Indian self-government entitled "The American Problem" and the inaugural address of Paul Jones as Navajo Tribal Chairman are included in Box 8, Folder 15. The Chee Dodge papers (Box 8, Folder 21) are comprised of two affidavits concerning Navajos hired by Chee to work on his ranch and one bill of sale for a horse purchased by Chee.

Series V: Miscellaneous Papers contains documentation of a number of Indian and Indian rights organizations. The American Indian Defense Association materials include a series of photocopied letters concerning Franklin D. Roosevelt's appointment of the Secretary of the Interior, the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, and the Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. These letters specifically discuss the candidacies of John Collier and Harold Ickes. The Reports/Interview file (Box 8, Folder 24) contains information on Pueblo Lands in New Mexico. The papers of the various other associations in this series contain articles of incorporation, by-laws, reports and publications. Among the Miscellaneous Notes is a holograph list of the Indian residents of the Camp Verde Reservation. Other items of interest include a draft agreement between the National Park Service, the Office of Indian Affairs, and the Navajo Tribal Council proposing relationships and responsibilities between the three agencies for the use of national park lands (Box 6, Folder 14). An agreement between the citizens of Blonding, Utah and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs concerning the use of the "Piute Strip" can be found in Box 6, Folder 14. The Miscellaneous-Tuba City file (Box 6, Folder 17) includes completed copies of the "Application for Census Identification Number" form.


This collection consists of eight boxes divided into five series:
Series I: Correspondence
Series II: Navajo Tribe
Series III: Apache, Hualapai, Osage Tribes
Series IV: Personal Papers
Series V: Miscellaneous Papers


Access Restrictions

To view this collection, make an appointment at least five business days prior to your visit by contacting Ask an Archivist or calling (480) 965-4932. Appointments are available from Monday through Friday from 9-5, on a first come, first served basis, on the ASU Tempe or West campuses.


Arizona State University does not own copyright to this collection. Distinctive Collections recognizes that it is incumbent upon the researcher to procure permission to publish information from this collection from the owner of the copyright.

Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Collier, John, 1884-1968.
Coze, Paul.
Dodge, Thomas H., 1900-1987 -- Archives.
Dodge, Thomas H., 1900-1987 -- Diaries.
Hoover, J. Edgar (John Edgar), 1895-1972.
Ickes, Harold L. (Harold LeClair), 1874-1952.
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945.

Corporate Name(s)
Navajo Indian Reservation.
Navajo Tribal Council.
United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Navajo Area Office.
United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Osage Agency.
United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. San Carlos Agency.
United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Truxton Canon Agency.

Animal industry -- Law and legislation -- Navajo Indian Reservation.
Apache Indians.
Cattle -- Control -- Navajo Indian Reservation.
Hualapai Indians.
Indians of North America -- Arizona -- History -- Sources.
Indians of North America -- Civil rights.
Indians of North America -- Politics and government.
Livestock -- Navajo Indian Reservation.
Mines and mineral resources -- Navajo Indian Reservation.
Navajo Indians -- Education.
Navajo Indians.
Osage Indians.

Administrative Information

Credit Line

Thomas H. Dodge Collection, MSS-33. Arizona State University Library: Greater Arizona Collection.


Thomas H. Dodge donated these papers to the Arizona Collection in 1986 (ACC# 1986-00113).

Container List

Series I: Correspondence
11 Navajo Agency, 1923
12 Navajo Agency, 1927
13 Navajo Agency, 1930
14 Navajo Agency, 1931
15 Navajo Agency, 1932
16 Navajo Agency, 1933
17 Collier, John, 1933
18 San Carlos Agency, 1933
19 Navajo Agency, 1934
110 Collier, John, 1934
111 Ickes, Harold L., 1934
112 Navajo Agency, 1935
113 Collier, John, 1935
114 Ickes, Harold L., 1935
115 Navajo Agency, 1936
116 Collier, John, 1936
117 Navajo Agency, 1937
118 Collier, John, 1937
119 Ickes, Harold L., 1937
120 Navajo Agency, 1938
121 Collier, John, 1938
122 Navajo Agency, 1939
123 Collier, John, 1939
124 Navajo Agency, 1940
125 Navajo Agency, 1941
126 Roosevelt, Franklin D., 1941
127 Navajo Agency, 1941
128 Navajo Agency, 1943
129 Hoover, J. Edgar, 1943
130 Ickes, Harold L., 1943
21 Navajo Agency, 1944
22 Ickes, Harold L., 1944
23 Navajo Agency, 1945
24 Truxton Canon Agency, 1946
25 Truxton Canon Agency, 1947
26 Truxton Canon Agency, 1948
27 Truxton Canon Agency, 1949
28 Truxton Canon Agency, 1950
29 San Carlos Agency, 1951
210 San Carlos Agency, 1952
211 San Carlos Agency, 1953
212 San Carlos Agency, 1954
213 San Carlos Agency, 1955
214 San Carlos Agency, 1956
215 San Carlos Agency, 1957
216 San Carlos Agency, 1958
217 Osage Agency, 1959
218 Osage Agency, 1960
219 Osage Agency, 1961
220 Osage Agency, 1962
221 Osage Agency, 1963
222 Osage Agency, 1964
223 Osage Agency, 1965
224 Osage Agency, 1967
225 Miscellaneous, 1934
226 Miscellaneous, 1941
227 Miscellaneous, 1952
228 Miscellaneous, 1958
229 Miscellaneous, 1963
Series II: Navajo Tribe
31 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1926
32 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1933
33 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1933
34 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1934
35 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1934
36 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1936
37 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1938
38 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1939
39 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1939
41 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1940
42 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1941
43 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1942
44 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1943
45 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1943
46 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1944
51 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1945
52 Council Minutes/Proceedings, 1945
53 Council Executive Committee Minutes, 1935
54 Council Executive Committee Minutes, 1938
55 Council Administrative Staff Meeting Minutes, 1934
56 Tribal Reorganization Committee Minutes, 1937
57 Miscellaneous Council Committee Minutes, 1935
58 Miscellaneous Council Committee Minutes, 1939
59 Miscellaneous Council Committee Minutes, 1943
510 Council Resolutions: [Hopi Reservation], 1933
511 Council Resolutions, 1934
512 Council Resolutions, 1934
513 Navajo Constitution, 1934
514 Navajo Constitution, 1937
515 Navajo Tribal Election, 1938
516 Navajo Tribal Election Returns, Undated
517 Report of Mining Operations, 1935-1936
518 Statement of Trust Fund Balances, 1937
519 Employment Reports, 1938
520 Employment Reports, 1939
521 Trading Statistics, 1938
522 Hogback Coal Miners Association: Coal Miner's Code, 1941
523 Crownpoint, New Mexico: Inventory, 1942
524 Navajo Tribal Enterprises, 1945
525 Navajo Service Medical News, 1937
526 Tribal Budget, 1951
61 Navajo Law Division, 1934, Undated
62 Stock Reduction Program, 1934
63 Stock Reduction Program, 1935
64 Navajo Schools, 1935
65 Navajo Schools, 1938
66 "Social and Educational Implications of the Navajo Program", 1934
67 Navajo Library Project, 1935
68 Navajo Policies and Programs, 1935
69 Mobilization of Indian Service and Resources for National Defense, 1940
610 "Navajo Indian Welfare" by Ruth Fulkenburg Kirk, 1934
611 Navajo and the New Deal, 1934
612 Wheeler-Howard Bill, Undated
613 Miscellaneous Reports, Undated
614 Miscellaneous Papers, 1934
615 Miscellaneous Papers, 1936
616 Miscellaneous Papers, Undated
617 Miscellaneous: Tuba City, 1945
Series III: Apache, Hualapai, Osage Tribes
618 Hualapai Tribe, 1945-1965
619 Hualapai Tribal Council, 1946
620 Truxton Canon Agency, 1947-1948
621 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Constitution, 1953
622 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Council Resolutions, 1953
623 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Council Resolutions, 1954
624 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Council Resolutions, 1957
625 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Council Resolutions, Undated
626 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Elections, 1954
627 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Trading Enterprises, 1952
628 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Economic Development/Stanford Institute, 1954
629 San Carlos Apache Tribe: General Administrative Expenses, 1958
630 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Staff Meeting Minutes, 1958
631 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Education Committee Minutes, 1958
632 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Rice School Annexation, 1953
633 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Livestock Manager Contract, 1956
634 San Carlos Apache Tribe: History of San Carlos Reservation, 1940
635 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Historical Notes, Undated
636 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Reports on San Carlos Reservation, 1940
637 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Case Study in Directed Culture Change: San Carlos Indian Cattle Industry, 1956
638 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Miscellaneous Papers, 1952-1956
639 San Carlos Apache Tribe: Miscellaneous Papers, Undated
640 Osage Tribe: Agency Administration, 1960
641 Osage Tribe: Tribal Council, 1961
642 Osage Tribe: Tribal Council Resolutions, 1963
643 Osage Tribe: Explanation of Tribal Program, 1968
644 Osage Tribe: Staff Meeting Minutes, 1960
71 Osage Tribe: Study of Administrative Procedures and Functions, 1962
72 Osage Tribe: Tribal Council Newsletter, 1960
73 Osage Tribe: Principal Chiefs of the Osage, 1906-1934
74 Osage Tribe: Miscellaneous Papers, 1938
75 Osage Tribe: Miscellaneous Papers, 1957
76 Osage Tribe: Miscellaneous Papers, 1959-1964
77 Osage Tribe: Miscellaneous Papers, Undated
Series IV: Personal Papers
78 Legal Cases: Taunah and Taunah vs. H.C. Jones/IRS, Undated
79 Legal Cases: Holtsoi vs. Holtsoi, 1934-1935, Undated
710 Legal Cases: Mallory vs. US, 1957
711 Legal Cases: US vs. Skeet, 1936
712 Legal Cases: US vs. Bigman, 1939
713 Legal Cases: US vs. Seally, Undated
714 Legal Cases: US vs. Beletso et al, 1941
715 Legal Cases: US vs. Rangel, 1941, Undated
716 Legal Cases: White Mountain Apache Tribe vs. Wesley, 1950-1951
717 Legal Cases: Arizona vs. Ewing, Undated
718 Legal Cases: Lenroot Substitute, Undated (Brief)
719 Manuscripts: "Meat For the Law" by Tom Dodge, Undated (Typescript; 17 Pages)
720 Manuscripts: "The Navajo Night Chant" by Tom Dodge and Paul Coze, Undated (Holograph; 19 Pages)
721 Manuscripts: "Indians of Arizona and their Relationship to the Federal and State Government" by Ethel M. Rowe, Undated (Typescript; 10 Pages)
722 Manuscripts: "The Federal Government and the American Indians", Undated (Unsigned Typescript; 3 Pages)
723 Manuscripts: Miscellaneous Manuscripts/Notes, 1940, 1947, Undated
724 Personal Correspondence, 1935
725 Personal Correspondence, 1947-1948
726 Personal Correspondence, 1953-1955
727 Personal Correspondence, 1958-1965
728 Personal Correspondence, 1966-1967
729 Personal Correspondence, 1972
730 Diaries, 1958
731 Diaries, 1959
81 Newsclippings Regarding Annie Wauneka, 1959-1963
82 Newsclippings: Miscellaneous, 1950-1951
83 Newsclippings: Miscellaneous, 1953
84 Newsclippings: Miscellaneous, 1957
85 Newsclippings: Miscellaneous, 1959
86 Newsclippings: Miscellaneous, 1963-1966
87 Newsclippings: Miscellaneous, 1967-1968
88 Newsclippings: Miscellaneous, Undated
89 Speeches, 1934
810 Speeches, 1946
811 Speeches, 1948-1952
812 Speeches, 1956-1958
813 Speeches, 1961
814 Speeches, 1963, 1966
815 Speeches, Undated
816 Real Estate Assessment, 1940
817 Federal Employment Application, 1946
818 Miscellaneous Certificates, 1943-1949, 1960
819 Law School Notes/Exams, 1921-1924, Undated
820 Globe High School Graduation Programs, 1955-1956
821 Henry Chee Dodge Papers, 1941
822 Annie Wauneka Nomination: Will Ross Medal, 1972
Series V: Miscellaneous Papers
823 American Indian Defense Association: Correspondence, 1932-1933, 1962
824 American Indian Defense Association: Reports/Interview, 1926, 1964, Undated
825 Arizona Association of Indian Affairs, Undated
826 Arizona Wool Growers Association, 1925, 1933
827 National Association of Indian Affairs, 1934-1935
828 New Mexico Association of Indian Affairs, 1946
829 Southwest Superintendent's Council, 1938
830 Charley Mitchell Will, 1932
831 Indian Tribe List, Undated
832 Unidentified Township Subdivision Map, Undated
833 Miscellaneous Notes, 1946-1949
834 Miscellaneous Papers, 1911, 1935, Undated