George P. Decker and Chief Deskaheh

Biographic Note

George P. Decker (1861-1936) was a Rochester attorney active in Native American land claim cases. During the three-decade span of his professional career, Decker represented the Onondaga, Tonawanda, Cattaraugus, and the Allegany Reservations. He was also involved in representing land claims by the Six Nations of the Iroquois, namely the Oneida, Seneca and Cayuga. Decker worked with Chief Deskaheh, Speaker of the Six Nations Council, as he prepared to petition the League of Nations for recognition of the sovereign rights of indigenous peoples.

Scope and Content Note

The George Palmer Decker Collection contains legal documents, letters, Decker’s handwritten legal research notes, photographs, maps, and other materials.

Arrangement

The arrangement scheme for the collection was imposed during processing in the absence of a useable original order.

Online Availability

Note that not all materials in the George P. Decker Collection are available online. A complete listing of the collection's contents is available here: George P. Decker Collection Finding Aid [PDF]

Related Collections

DOCIP (Indigenous Peoples' Centre for Document, Research and Information), provides the database The Six Nations of the Iroquois at the League of Nations : 1923-1933. Since December 1922, Deskaheh (Levi General), Cayuga Chief, representing the Six Nations Council, was active in bringing the cause of his people (Haudenosaunee) before the League of Nations, the forerunner of the United Nations. His struggle continued after his death and remains an example. This database provides access to a selection of original documents relating to these events, and essentially covers the period from December 1922 through 1933.

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3. Six Nations Appeal to the League of Nations