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Morris C. Foote Collection

Identifier: MSN/MN 0512

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of materials created by Morris C. Foote and associated documentation concerning his military career in California, Nevada, Alaska, and the Department of the Platte. It includes 2 manuscript diaries, a diary transcription, 7 Congressional documents pertaining to the exploration of Alaska, a Chinook jargon dictionary belonging to Foote, and 29 further items from Foote's 1866-1870 military service, including general orders, reports, and correspondence.


  • Creation: 1863-1881, undated


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

Morris Cooper Foote was born on 16 September 1843 at Madison Barracks, Sackett's Harbor, New York, the son of the U.S. Army surgeon Dr. Lyman Foote (1796-1846) and Mary Morris Cooper (1806-1876). He enlisted in the New York Volunteer Infantry in 1861, beginning a forty year military career. After serving in the Civil War, he was stationed at Fort Columbus (now Fort Jay) in New York from 20 June 1866 until 20 December 1866, when he embarked for California via Nicaragua on the Steamer San Francisco. He reached Angel Island, California on 17 January 1867 and remained there until 13 July 1867, when he was ordered to Fort Ruby, Nevada. Foote arrived at Fort Ruby on 10 August 1867 and was stationed there until 2 September 1867, when he returned to San Francisco. He was in San Francisco from 6 September until 24 September 1867, when he embarked for Sitka, Alaska on the Steamer John L. Stephens. He arrived at Sitka on 9 October 1867 and remained there until 16 May 1869. He was present for such notable events as the transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United States (18 October 1867), a conflict with the Chilkat tribe (1 January 1869), and the robbery of ornaments from Sitka's Russian Orthodox cathedral by American soldiers (6 May 1869). After leaving Sitka, he was stationed in the Department of the Platte, serving at Fort Sedgwick, Colorado from 20 June 1869 through 15 April 1870, at Antelope rail station (now Kimball, Nebraska) from 16 April 1870 until 7 August 1870, and, following a 90-day leave of absence, at Fort David A. Russell in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Foote retired from military service on 19 February 1903, having attained the rank of Brigadier-General. He resided in Geneva, Switzerland until his death from heart failure on 6 December, 1905. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


.5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



Personal and military documents of Lt. Morris Cooper Foote, 9th Infantry, United States Army, along with related Congressional documents. Included in the collection is a manuscript diary recording Foote's experiences from 1866 to 1869 in Alaska (its first 19 months as a U.S. territory) and from 1869 to 1871 in the Department of the Platte.



Physical Description

39 folders.

Morris C. Foote Collection
Justin Christy
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556