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Tlingit Elders Biographical Manscripts and Oratory Collection, 1968-1994

By Stephanie Brown, Assistant Archivist

Collection Overview

Title: Tlingit Elders Biographical Manscripts and Oratory Collection, 1968-1994

ID: MS/025

Creator: Dauenhauer, Richard L. (1942-2014)

Extent: 6.0 Boxes

Date Acquired: 00/00/1994

Languages: English [eng], Tlingit [tli]

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains six boxes of working files from scholars Richard Dauenhauer and Nora Marks Dauenhauer while researching and composing their books Haa Kusteeyi, Our Culture: Tlingit Life Stories (1994), Haa Tuwunaagu Yis, For Healing Our Spirit: Tlingit Oratory (1990), and Haa Shuka: Our Ancestors (1987) that were joint published by Sealaska Heritage Institute and University of Washington Press. The Dauenhauers were employees of the Sealaska Heritage Institute while these working files were generated.

Regarding the content of the working files, these consist of interviews the Dauenhauers conducted various Tlingit elders, as well as compiled biographical files on certain Tlingit elders and topics, which contain some primary source materials not published in the books. Some of these working and biographical files contain correspondence, transcripts, interviews, clippings, programs, genealogical information, and other. The collection also contains documents from an oral transcription project (translation of speeches from Tlingit to English) undertaken by Nora Marks Dauenhauer, funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant and the Sealaska Heritage Institute. Some of the final translations appear at the end of Haa Kusteeyi and Haa Tuwunaagu Yis. Some biographical information collected in the course of research for this book would also later be included in Haa Kusteeyi. Folder 18 in Box 5 contains documents relating to Haa Shuka, and consists mostly of the University of Washington Press’ correspondence with the Dauenhauers regarding editing and other technical matters. All in all, this collection documents the process of writing these three major Tlingit studies books and provides valuable biographical and cultural information on various Tlingit elders and Tlingit culture.

Biographical Note

Richard L. Dauenhauer (1942-2014) was an American poet and translator who married into, and became an expert on, the Tlingit nation of southeastern Alaska. His wife is the Tlingit poet and scholar Nora Marks Dauenhauer. Richard, who went by Dick, held a B.A. in Russian and Slavic languages from Syracuse University, a M.A. in German from the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin Madison, with his dissertation titled “Text and Context of Tlingit Oral Tradition.” He studied in Finland under a Fulbright Fellowship in 1966-1967, before coming to Alaska in the late 1960s to teach at Alaska Methodist University. He was an author and poet and published several volumes of poetry as well as translations of poetry from languages including German, Russian, Finnish, and classical Greek. In 1981, he was named to a four-year term as Poet Laureate of Alaska. In the most recent decades Dauenhauer’s work focused on the Tlingit of Southeast Alaska. He worked for the Sealaska Heritage Institute during the 1980s and 1990s, before moving to University of Alaska Southeast, where he became President's Professor of Alaska Native Languages. The author of numerous articles and book chapters, together the Richard Dauenhauer and his wife Nora Marks Dauenhauer were also the author-editors of the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s highly regarded Classics of Tlingit Oral Literature series, titles which include, Haa Shuká, Our Ancestors: Tlingit Oral Narratives (1987), Haa Tuwanáagu Yís, for Healing Our Spirit: Tlingit Oratory (1992), Haa Kusteeyí, Our Culture: Tlingit Life Stories. (1994), and Anóoshi Lingít Aaní Ká: Russians in Tlingit America, The Battles of Sitka 1802 and 1804 (2008).

Administrative Information

Acquisition Source: Sealaska Heritage Institute

Acquisition Method: The materials in this collection were transferred to SHI archives following the publication of each of the books. Transfers to Special Collections for files concerning Haa Kusteeyi occurred in 1994, Haa Tuwunaagu in 1990, and Haa Shuka in 1987. Accession numbers: 1987.001, 1990.001, and 1994.001

Box and Folder Listing

Box 1: Biographical and research filesAdd to your cart.

Fd 1:    Documents concerning Matilda Paul Tamaree, including correspondence, memoranda, stories about her and from her as told by her daughter-in-law, Frances Lakey Paul. Also contains documents for and rough drafts of biography meant for Haa Kusteeyi, 1993, Paul family trees, newspaper clippings regarding her social activism, and her obituary from August 26, 1952, documents on her involvement in the Presbyterian church, 1931.

Fd 2:    Documents concerning Matilda Paul Tamaree, including correspondence, biographical Documents used for and rough drafts of biography meant for Haa Kusteeyi. 1993.

Fd 3:    Documents concerning Judson Brown, including draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, newspaper interviews, native issues newsletter sent to him to his address in Seattle in 1994.

Fd 4:    Documents  concerning Dr. Walter Soboleff,  including information about Soboleff family photograph collection, circa 1960s, Soboleff family tree, copy of photograph of annual Presbyterian meeting, undated, copy of Tlingit Values” statement drafted by Soboleff, 1992, handwritten research notes and interviews with some former members of his congregation, undated.

Fd 5:    Documents concerning Louis and Florence Shortridge, including draft biography for Haa Kusteeyi, articles on Chilkat blanket weaving, information on the “Tina Blanket,” undated, correspondence re manuscript of Florence Shortridge, 1994.

Fd 6:    Documents concerning William Johnson, contains biographical newspaper article, 1979, family trees, from interview with Johnson, biographical information compiled for Haa Kusteyi.

Fd 7:    Documents concerning George Davis, contains biographical information and notes for Haa Kusteeyi. Undated.

Fd 8:    Documents concerning William Paul, contains obituary from Anchorage Daily News, 5/6/1994, correspondence regarding his biographical information compiled for the Haa Kusteeyi book, 1994, rough draft of  biography for Haa Kusteyi book, 3/24/1994.

Fd  9:  Documents concerning Paul Liberty, contains family tree, rough draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi book, 6/24/1993, research notes and documents used for biographical information, obituary for daughter Helen Howard, 2/3/1984.

Fd 10: Documents concerning Charlie Joseph, contains press clippings documenting Hoonah plane crash which he and his wife survived, November 6, 1954, newspaper containing article documenting 70th wedding anniversary, 1985, obituary, 1986.

Fd 11: Documents concerning Horace Marks, contains draft from an obituary written on his death on 4/2//1994, and a rough draft of the obituary.

Box 2: Biographical and research filesAdd to your cart.

Fd 1:    Documents concerning Jim Marks, contains rough drafts of biography for Haa Kusteeyi book, 1992, outline and research notes documenting what biographical Documents would be covered in the Haa Kusteeyi, rough draft of photo captions to be used in biography, copies (3) of photo showing Hoonah dancers in traditional costume, with hand writing identifying the names of those in photo, undated.

Fd 2:    Documents concerning Emma Marks, contains rough drafts of biographies for the Haa Kusteeyi, September 25, 1992.

Fd 3:    Documents concerning L. Embert Demmert, contains rough draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, 3/16/1994, research notes, 2/23/1994, correspondence re photos to be put in Haa Kusteeyi, certificate of appreciation for service in the Presbyterian Church, 1993.

Fd 4:    Documents concerning Jimmie George Sr. contains research notes, rough draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, 2/22/1994, unopened package, rough draft writing of a biography for his 100th birthday, acknowledging his passing later on in the course of editing Haa Kusteeyi, 1990.

Fd 5:    Documents concerning Chester Worthington, contains rough drafts of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, June 1993, January 1994, March 1994, press clippings from the Alaska Daily Empire regarding Alaska Native Brotherhood meeting,1/29/1914, correspondence with Worthington’s granddaughter regarding his inclusion in Haa Kusteeyi, accuracy of documents in the book, etc.

Fd 6:    Documents concerning ANB founders, contains copies of death certificates of Billie Hibson, 1937, Mary Watson, George Fields, 1926, Eli Katanook, 1934, Marie Olson, 1918, and others, rough draft of biography of Peter Simpson, (the only non-Tlingit “founding father” of the ANB).

Fd 7:    Documents concerning Jessie Dalton, contains research into family names, rough drafts of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, October 1992, February 1994.

Fd 8:    Documents concerning ANB, contains advertisement for Elizabeth Peratrovich Day, 1994, article regarding “reverse discrimination” case in Haines, 1981, (printed in News of the Native Community), Documents about the background of Native Alaskan land claims movement in 1920s and 1930s, written by Fred Paul (except from a book).

Fd 9:    Documents concerning Andrew Hope, contains rough draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, February 1994, March 1993, research notes, undated, article regarding tribute by the ANB, 1968, biography by daughter Ellen, 1992. Interview with Less Yaw by Ellen Land regarding Andrew Hope in Sheldon Jackson school history, 1977.

Fd 10:  Documents concerning William Hobson, contains rough draft of  biography for the Haa Kusteeyi, February-March 1994, biography written by eldest daughter Martha Hobson Thomas, correspondence with family regarding revisions of his biography in the Haa Kusteeyi, 1994, poem written as a tribute by daughter Virginia Hobson Depree, Hobson family tree.

Fd 11:  Documents concerning Sally Hopkins, contains rough draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, December 1991, research notes and handwritten draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi book, 1990.

Fd 12:  Research notes and articles re Fr. William Duncan and the founding of Metlakatla, Alaska, biographical Documents on the people in the community, especially Edward Marsden, first Native American granted license to preach in North America, undated.

Fd 13:  Documents concerning Helen Mercer contains interview and notes for Haa Kusteeyi, February 25, 1993.

Fd 14:  Documents concerning trip of Sheldon Jackson choir trip to Seattle to perform at the Presbyterian General Assembly conference, 1948.

Fd 15:  Documents concerning Austin Hammond, obituary written on his death in 1993, memorial service programs, July 3, 1993, faxes of obituary, copy of rough drafts of obituary written by Richard Dauenhauer, 1993.

Box 3: Biographical and research filesAdd to your cart.

Fd 1:  Documents concerning Charlie Joseph, including correspondence with his son regarding biography in Haa Kusteeyi, rough draft of biography for that project, February 1990.

Fd 2:    Documents concerning Peter Simpson, contains general biography, March 18, 1985, and one regarding his personal and Tsimshian involvement in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, March 10, 1985, both written by his daughter Gertrude Mather Johnson.

Fd 3:    Documents concerning rededication of Princeton hall in 1984, 1994.

Fd 4:    Documents concerning Louis Shortridge, contains copy of “Raven’s Journey” rough draft of biography, notes page concerning biography.

Fd 5:    Historical writing on the history of Mt. Edgcumbe school, May 1985.

Fd 6:    Documents concerning Charlie Joseph contains further rough drafts of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, March 1994, transcripts (from tapes) of interviews about his life and traditional Tlingit upbringing, which were used for Haa Kusteeyi, and translated by Ethel Makinen.  Interview conducted in 1978.

Fd 7:    Documents concerning Johnny C. Jackson, contains rough draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi, April 1994, notes in Tlingit, notes documenting stories told by Jackson in interviews.

Fd 8:    Documents concerning Austin Hammond, contains Tlingit stories and details of his life, including stories on native art and Christianity, 1984, some notes in Tlingit.

Fd 9:    Documents concerning Jennie Thlunaut, contains story in Tlingit and English about giving of gift to Jim Marks, April 1994, other drafts of story, December, May 1992.

Fd 10:  Documents concerning Jennie Thlunaut, contains several drafts of her speech to fellow weavers, February 26, 1985.

Fd 11:  Documents concerning Andrew P. Johnson, contains several drafts of speech on traditional Tlingit beliefs, in Tlingit and English, December 5, 1975. Transcribed from cassette tape.

Fd 12: Documents concerning table of contents and acknowledgements for Haa Kusteeyi, 1993, programs from past Alaska Native Brotherhood/Alaska Native Sisterhood meetings, newspaper about the founding of ANB, 1912, brief information on the history of the ANB, 1993.

Fd 13: Documents concerning introduction and acknowledgements for Haa Kusteeyi, June 1993, notes on revisions, Sealaska Corporation newsletter, September 1993, article on “William Paul and the Alaska Voter’s Literacy Act,” in Alaska History Magazine,  Winter 1986/87.

Fd 14:  Documents concerning revisions to introduction of Haa Kusteeyi,1992, copy of Sealaska Corporation newsletter, April 1990, clippings from Juneau Empire, 1992, research notes, sheet music, notes on revisions, undated.

Fd 15:  Documents concerning Frank Peratrovich, information and correspondence re native land claims, 1994, 1950, information about founders of the ANB, 1994.

Box 4: Research filesAdd to your cart.

Fd 1:  Documents concerning references for the Haa Kusteeyi, contains correspondence with university on the proper form of citations, May 1994, note cards listing references, rough draft copies of the reference section, May 1994, March, April 1994, notes on revisions.

Fd  2 : Documents concerning Tlingit language, including charts of various verbs and verb tenses, summary of Dauenhauer book, Haa Tuwunaagu Yis, copy of introduction to book, copies of photos in book, with  handwritten comments, undated.

Fd 3:    Documents concerning NEH oratory translation project worked on by Nora Dauenhauer at Sealaska Elders Conference May, 1980, includes agreement between Nora Dauenhauer stating Sealaska’s support of her project, list of names of people to interview,  research notes, Tlingit and English.

Fd 4:    Austin Hammond and David Kadashan, and Jessie Dalton, oratories, transcripts of interviews in Tlingit, October, November 1983.

Fd 5:    Documents concerning Matthew Lawrence and Jessie Dalton oratories, contains original edited version of oratory, in Tlingit, Draft #1, (on SM disc), September 1983, Draft #2 (on disc), September 1983, Draft #3, October, 1983, Drafts of Jessie Dalton oratory, November-December 1983.

Fd 6:    Documents concerning Johnny Jackson oratory, contains drafts from 1985 regarding his words at the Kake totem pole rising in 1971, January 1985, drafts of translation response to totem speech, 1985.

Fd 7:    Contains glossary terms used in oratory project, 1987.

Fd 8:    Contains introduction to oratory project, contains handwritten rough draft, undated.

Fd 9:    Contains documents giving information on what classrooms, families and communities can do to acknowledge and celebrate Tlingit culture.

Fd 10: Contains transcripts from speeches recorded on wax cylinder 1/2/1987.

Fd 11: Contains translations from Kett Yaahaayee potlatch, 11/19/1979.

Fd 12:  Old oratory printouts, December 1987-January 1988.

Fd 13: Oratory originals, contains rough draft of potlatch oratory project, February 1984.

Fd 14:  Contains documents re Jessie Dalton, translation of speech on the significance of clan crests, undated, with research notes, undated, also contains paper by Nora Dauenhauer “Levels of Mediation in Tlingit Oratory.”       

Fd 15: Contains notes on oratory re Austin Hammond, noting that Nora Dauenhauer transcribed and annotated this speech.

Box 5: Research filesAdd to your cart.

Fd 1:    Contains  rough drafts typed by Nora Dauenhauer concerning Tlingit oratory project, and copy of research paper entitled  “Levels of Mediation in Tlingit Oratory” also written by Nora Dauenhauer, 1975.

`Fd 2:  Contains notes concerning Jessie Dalton oratory, 1971-1972, 1975, contains handwritten notes on Tlingit/English translations.

Fd 3:    Contains documents concerning “Mrs. Florendo,” an organizer of the Marks Trail Tlingit Dancers, and who was knowledgeable about the Tlingit language, and had an extensive background in teaching Tlingit in local Juneau schools as well 1967, one document concerning Jessie Dalton, outline of oratory and themes in her speech, undated.

Fd 4:    Contains notes and rough drafts on oratory speech by Jessie Dalton, 1971.

Fd 5:    Contains drafts of translations of oratory speech by David Kadashan, from ANB conference in Hoonah, 1976.

Fd 6:    Contains drafts of translations of Kake Totem speech given by Jimmy George, February 18, 1987, August 1985.

Fd7:    Contains drafts of translations of A. P. Johnson’s speech and sayings, 1987.

Fd 8:    Contains notes on various subjects being covered in the oratory project, 1984, and a draft of introduction to the Tlingit oratory project.

Fd 9:    Contains rough drafts of research paper entitled “Because We Cherish You: Treatment of Shaman Spirits in Contemporary Tlingit Oratory,” presented by Nora Dauenhauer in Zagreb, Yugoslavia (in 1988) at conference on shamanism and spiritualty, also contains letters and faxes to and from academics in Hungary regarding the conference.

Fd 10:  Contains rough drafts and notes regarding explanations of Tlingit memorial services, especially potlatches, and translation of memorial service for Philip James.

Fd 11:  Contains documents concerning Johnny C. Jackson, contains rough drafts of biography, 1988, correspondence regarding accuracy of documents in the biography, sent to Jackson family member, July 1988, memo concerning biography, July 1988, hand written research notes from 1980s, family tree, newspaper article on Kake totem raising, 1971.

Fd 12:  Contains drafts and documents concerning oratory speech by Tom Peters (from 1972), contains revisions and translations from 1987 and 1988.

Fd 13:  Contains documents concerning a memorial oratory by Willie Marks, delivered while he was hospitalized in 1976,  rough drafts of translations, January 1989, handwritten and typed notes on translations, 1980s, 1979, 1976.

Fd 14:  Contains documents concerning welcome oratory by Jennie Thlunaut, given in 1985 to her apprentice weavers at the Chilkat Weaving workshop, contains typed rough drafts of speech, January and February 1989, July 1988, handwritten rough drafts of translations.

Fd 15:  Contains documents concerning oratory by Jimmy George and Johnny C. Jackson re Kake totem raising in 1971, includes typed notes on translations, 1988, 1986.

Fd 16:  Contains documents concerning oratory by Charlie Joseph, given at memorial for Susie Paul, in 1972, typed rough drafts of translations, December 1988, handwritten drafts of translations.

Fd 17: Contains documents concerning oratory given at memorial for Jim Marks, 1968, in Hoonah, contains typed rough drafts of translations, with handwritten notes, undated.

Fd 18: Contains correspondence concerning Haa Shuka, including suggestions regarding formatting and other editing issues, 1987, correspondence regarding inclusion of book in University of Washington Press catalogue, 1987.

Fd 19:  Contains documents on acknowledgment of NEA funding for Dauenhauer book project, documents on inclusion of books in University of Washington Press catalogue.

Box 6: Research filesAdd to your cart.

Fd 1:    Contains documents concerning oratory given by Austin Hammond on the raising of the Kaagwaantaan totem pole in Fairbanks, 1988, includes typed rough drafts of translations, 1988, contains handwritten translations, 1988-1989, typed report from ceremony, 1988.

Fd 2:    Contains information on oratory of Jennie Thulanaut, and Austin Hammond, 1989, along with typed manuscript of translation with handwritten notes, 1985.

Fd 3:    Continuation of information concerning Jennie Thulanaut, handwritten notes translating oratory from Klukwan speech, November 1985.

            Fd 4:  Documents concerning Jennie Thulanaut, hand written notes translating oratory of prayer, 1988, 1986, November 1985.

Fd 5:    Contains documents concerning oratory given by Thomas Young at memorial for Jake Williams, Sitka, February 1973, typed and rough written drafts, 1985.

Fd 6:    Contains documents concerning oratory given by David Kadashan, at ANB/ANS conference in 1976, includes handwritten translations of notes and note cards, copy of rough draft of biography for Haa Kusteeyi book, 1989, handwritten translations of oratory, 1985.

Fd 7:    Contains documents concerning memorial for Jim Marks, 1988 including family trees signifying which family members belong to which clans, seating charts according to clan and moiety affiliation, Tlingit language handouts, 1984.

Fd 8:    Unbound copy of Beginning Tlingit, book by Nora and Richard Dauenhauer, 1976.

Fd 9:    Handwritten notes on various oratories, revisions of introduction, 1970s, also contains quotes from various oratories.