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Sarah Goodspeed Papers

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Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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Goodspeed, Sarah

Sarah Goodspeed was a white Christian missionary for the Woman's American Baptist Home Mission Society (WABHMS). Born in Michigan, Goodspeed worked on the Crow Indian Reservation in Pryor, Montana, in the early 20th century as a Sunday School teacher, sewing instructor, nurse's assistant, and chaperone. Eventually, she taught full-time at the Baptist day school begun at Pryor in 1918, which was opened at the request of Crow parents who resisted the brutal assimilationist tactics used at the government boarding school at Pryor.

This collection consists of photographs, correspondence, and other papers of Sarah Goodspeed, a white Christian missionary for the Woman's American Baptist Home Mission Society (WABHMS), documenting her work on the Crow Indian Reservation in Pryor, Montana, in the 1910s. Materials include a linguistic journal, eighty photographs, handwritten poetry and notes, several letters and postcards, and printed and typescript articles and essays.

The linguistic journal contains twenty-four pages of Goodspeed's documentation of various Aps√°alooke (Crow) phrases and their English translations. Three letters and from Goodspeed to her parents detail her daily routine and discuss the poor treatment of Crow people by white government agents, maintenance of the missionary buildings, church services, and school attendance figures, as well as deaths, baptisms, and other events in the community. Also present are a fundraising letter, postcards, nearly forty pages of poetry and lecture notes, cancelled checks, and handwritten cards describing Crow cultural objects (not present) and their provenance. There is also a group of printed and typescript articles and essays, by both Crow and missionary authors, which appear to have been published in local newspapers or in newsletters sent to missionary organizations. These include a handbill titled "Indians Baptized at the Crow Indian Reservation," printed accounts of John White Man Runs Him (Spies on the Enemy Strong) and Chief Bell-Rock and his grandson James Buster Bell Rock, an unattributed story titled "Bull Snake," and other articles and essays relating to wedding news and other events.

The collection also includes extensive photographic documentation of the Crow Reservation, including eighty annotated photographs, mostly picturing Crow people. Subjects are often identified by name, with annotations mentioning Mrs. Stronglefthand, Plenty Crow, Myrtle Wood Lick, Sarah Male Bear, Alexander Hair Feather and his wife, The Corn Woman, The Turnsback Plenty Family, Bull Snake, Ten Bear, Lucy Turns Back Plenty, Ralph Turns Back Plenty, Coyote That Runs, Dora Travels Well Known and her baby, Gibson Male Bear, Mrs. Medicine Rock, Guy Bull Tail, Ten Bears and his wife, and numerous others. According to Goodspeed's notations, two of the subjects, Dora Yellow Face and Among the Willows died in the first year after she arrived at Pryor; a third, Theodore White Mouth, died sometime during her service. Many of the photographs picture children, and some show Crow people and Baptist missionaries together at events such as Sunday dinners, picnics, and the baptism of Old Corn Woman. Identified locations in the photographs include the Pryor General Store and Post Office, Pryor Pass, various houses belonging to the missionaries, the school, the mission, the Bowler Post Office ("about 25 miles from Pryor"), the Custer Battlefield Memorial, and the chapel. Goodspeed may have also spent some time as a missionary or passed through the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota, as three photographs also depict Ojibwa (Ojibwe, Chippewa) people.

Original order was maintained.

Purchased from William Reese Company in 2020 (AM 2021-28).

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in January 2021. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in January 2021.

No materials were removed from the collection during 2021 processing beyond routine appraisal practices.

Publisher
Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Author
Kelly Bolding
Finding Aid Date
2021
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

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Collection Inventory

Phrase Book, circa 1913-1915. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
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Correspondence, circa 1913-1915. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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Notes, Poetry, and Cancelled Checks, circa 1913-1915. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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Photographs, circa 1913-1915. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

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Articles and Essays, circa 1913-1915. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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Cards Describing Crow Cultural Objects, circa 1913-1915. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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