The Carlos Montezuma collection contains several digitized volumes of the Wassaja newsletter that Yavapai intellectual and activist Carlos Montezuma, MD (1866-1923) self-published during the years 1916-1922. Wassaja means “signaling” or “beckoning,” and is Montezuma’s Yavapai birth name. The newsletter was a vital source of news about Indian affairs in an era that had few outlets for such information and contains valuable reports directly from people living within the Indian reservation system. As a prominent figure in the struggle for Indian rights who played a role in the founding of the Society of American Indians, Montezuma was an intellectual leader against Indian Bureau mismanagement; he was notorious for advocating an end to the reservation system and the abolition of the BIA. This collection helps to document different facets of Montezuma’s career as an Indian rights leader and his relationship to his home community of Fort McDowell.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 480
ContributorsMontezuma, Carlos (Author)
Created1893-10-10
Description

A lecture given by Montezuma on the virtues of menthol, namely on the salve of menthol and Vaseline he invented to relieve lung problems, colds, etc. He notes the higher prevalence of lung complaints among Indians but says it is due to the rigors of reservation life. He is clearly

A lecture given by Montezuma on the virtues of menthol, namely on the salve of menthol and Vaseline he invented to relieve lung problems, colds, etc. He notes the higher prevalence of lung complaints among Indians but says it is due to the rigors of reservation life. He is clearly addressing an audience of fellow physicians. He explains that he invented the menthol salve as a replacement for the "hot poultices" of the period: on the reservation where his patients lived an average of forty miles apart from each other, the conventional hot poultices made of mustard, linseed oil or even raw meat would be rendered cold and ineffective and would lack the healthful effect of the menthol vapor. The lecture is undated: It is signed "Carlos Montezuma, Carlisle PA" so I assume this lecture originates from his tenure as the staff physician at Carlisle, sometime from 1893-1896. Date on record is approximate.

ContributorsKeller-Montezuma-Moore, Marie (Correspondent) / Montezuma, Carlos (Correspondent)
Created1921-08-01
Description

Addressing him as "Dear Wassaja", Marie Keller Montezuma writes her husband asking for money, for news of her mother, and copies of the magazine, detailing travel expenses, car trouble, and the misadventures of a trip across the Southwest.

ContributorsMontezuma, Carlos (Correspondent) / Burns, Michael (Correspondent)
Created1921-03-24
Description

Montezuma urges Mike Burns and the McDowell Indians to keep McDowell land and Verde River water; NOT to move to Salt River Reservation as proposed.

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ContributorsMontezuma, Carlos (Correspondent) / Stevens, John (Correspondent)
Created1920-03-04
Description

Montezuma thanks John Stevens for voting on a Resolution relating to the McDowell Indians, and reiterates that they want a dam for irrigation and do not want to move to Salt River.

ContributorsMontezuma, Carlos (Correspondent) / Sloan, Thomas L. (Correspondent)
Created1920-06-25
Description

Montezuma writes to Sloan about the impact of American politics on Indians and his firm belief that Indians are increasing as a people and will someday have their own Presidential candidate: also mentions printing problems in the latest Wassaja issue.

ContributorsMontezuma, Carlos (Correspondent) / Cornchief, Joe (Correspondent)
Created1920-06-15
Description

Various leaders ask Montezuma about the political status of the reservation and entreat him to protect their land and water rights.

ContributorsMontezuma, Carlos (Correspondent) / Skiuhushu, Red Fox (Correspondent)
Created1920-03-26
Description

Letter to Montezuma from the Reverend Red Fox Skiuhushu, on letterhead of his association, the American Indian Tepee Christian Mission, an "interdenominational home for Indian children while they attend public school", in White Swan, Washington. He describes his health, his subscription to Wassaja, and his opposition to the Indian Bureau.

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ContributorsMontezuma, Carlos (Correspondent) / Dickens, Charles (Correspondent)
Created1920-02-17
Description

Charles Dickens sends Montezuma news about the progress of farming at the McDowell Reservation, mentioning grain planting, the cleaning of irrigation ditches, and the family's health.

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ContributorsMontezuma, Carlos (Correspondent) / Russell, Joshua (Correspondent)
Created1919-06-03
Description

Letter to Montezuma from his friend Joshua Russell describing the farming conditions at Santan, Arizona, including irrigation water, crops of wheat, hay, corn and watermelon, and lack of fencing wire for allotted land.

ContributorsMontezuma, Carlos (Correspondent) / Burns, Michael (Correspondent) / Dickens, Geoffrey (Correspondent) / Ory, Frank (Correspondent) / Dickens, Charles (Correspondent) / Suramma, Tom (Correspondent) / Suiber, Al (Correspondent) / Mott, Harry (Correspondent) / Bennett, Joe (Correspondent) / Dickens, Richard (Correspondent) / Blake, John (Correspondent)
Created1915-01-22
Description

Mike Burns and the leaders of the McDowell community entreat Montezuma to help them stay on their land and help them go to Washington D.C. to request a dam for the irrigation of their land. They also ask him for advice about allotment.