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Collection 2057 - Merrill G. Burlingame Papers, 1956-1976

Creator: Burlingame, Merrill G. (Merrill Gildea), 1901-

Provenance Note: One folder of letters were donated to Special Collections by Merrill G. Burlingame sometime after 1976. The letters were maintained in a separate file and not incorporated into Burlingame's main collection of papers processed as Collection 2245. An additional folder of relevant materials, previously designated as Collection 732, was incorporated with these materials on October 17, 2011. This collection was reported to the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections in 1979 and assigned number 79-630.

Historical Note: Merrill G. Burlingame (1901-1994) was a history professor at Montana State University. In 1956 the law firm of Wilkinson, Cragun, Barker & Hawkins retained his services as a historical researcher for their litigation against the United States government on behalf of Montana's Blackfeet tribe. Burlingame assisted the firm by gathering pertient materials from his research. By the summer of 1975, the firm was known as Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker and they asked Burlingame, in his capacity as their historical advisor, to give his advice and criticism of research materials they planned to use in a hearing before the United States Indian Claims Commission.

Content Description Note: The papers consist primarly of correspondence between Merrill G. Burlingame and the law firm of Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker. The earliest letters, from 1956 to 1957, are largely contractual in nature, specifiying the payment and duties expected of Burlingame by the law firm, although some historical evidence analysis is discussed. The letters from 1975-76 concern critiques of manuscripts prepared by Michael F. Foley on the administration of the Fort Belknap and Blackfeet Indian reservations by the United States government, 1855-1950s. These manuscripts were prepared for the law firm as evidence for the plaintiffs in forthcoming hearing before the Indian Claims Commission. The collection also includes a folder of Burlingame's handwritten research notes and a folder of related printed materials, clippings, and maps.

Contents

Folder 1 Correspondence, 1956

Folder 2 Correspondence, 1957

Folder 3 Correspondence, 1975-76
1. Letter: Jerry C. Straus for Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker, to Dr. Merrill G. Burlingame, July 18, 197
2. Letter: Merrill G. Burlingame to Jerry C. Straus for Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker, July 22, 1975 (file copy)
3. Letter: Merrill G. Burlingame to Jerry C. Straus for Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker, July 23, 1975 (file copy)
4. Letter: Merrill G. Burlingame to Jerry C. Straus for Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker, July 28, 1975 (file copy)
5. Letter: Jerry C. Straus for Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker, to Dr. Merrill G. Burlingame, July 31, 1975
6. Letter: Patricia L. Brown for Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker, to Dr. Merrill G. Burlingame, Aug 2, 1975
7. Letter: Merrill G. Burlingame to Jerry C. Straus for Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker, Aug 8, 1975 (file copy)
8. Letter: Jerry C. Straus for Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker, to Dr. Merrill G. Burlingame, Aug 25,1975
9. Letter:Merrill G. Burlingame to Jerry C. Straus for Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker,, Aug 30,1975 (file copy)
10. Letter: Patricia L. Brown for Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker, to Dr. Merrill G. Burlingame, Feb 24, 1976
11. Photocopies of covers of two Michael F. Foley monographs
12. Copy of defendant's exhibit FB-577, Errata - Before the Indian Claims Commission.

Folder 4 Handwritten notes

Folder 5 Clippings, maps, printed reports

Updated: 10/17/11