Manuscript Group 220
19.5 cu ft.

Merle Henry Deardorff (b. 1890, d. 1971), was a Warren, Pennsylvania banker who developed a lifelong interest in American Indian culture. A 1911 graduate of Dickenson College, Deardorff developed close relationships with Senecas living on the Cornplanter Reservation in Warren County and regularly corresponded with such contemporary authorities on Indian culture and folklore as William N. Fenton, Donald H. Kent, George S. Snyderman, Paul A.W. Wallace, and John Witthoft. The collection consists primarily of copies of early maps, research notes, published articles, correspondence and transcripts of diaries and journals pertaining to American Indian life and culture from the colonial period to 1970. There are extensive materials relating to the Senecas of the Cornplanter Grant of western Pennsylvania, the Kinzua Dam controversy, and to such prominent Seneca leaders as Cornplanter, Governor Blacksnake, Handsome Lake, and Red Jacket. Additional Deardorff correspondence will be found among the George S. Snyderman Papers (APS Manuscript Collection 51) and the William N. Fenton Papers (APS Manuscript Manuscript Collection 20), both held by the American Philosophical Society. For related types of materials at the Pennsylvania State Archives, see also the Paul A.W. Wallace Collection (Manuscript Group 192) and the Donal H. Kent Collection (Manuscript Group 395).

PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Online Catalog Land Records