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Collections - MF 079 Molly Spotted Elk Collection

MF 079 Molly Spotted Elk Collection

Number of accessions: 3
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1977 & 1999
Time period covered: 20th century
Access restrictions: yes
Description: Molly Spotted Elk (b. 1903) was the stage name of Mary Alice “Molliedellis” Nelson, a Penobscot Indian woman from Maine who entered the world of vaudeville and entertainment at a young age. In the late 1920s she starred in a motion picture, “The Silent Enemy” filmed in northern Canada. She became a dancer on the Paris stage and married a French journalist, but was forced to flee the country during the German occupation in World War II. This collection consists of three accessions. NA 1116, donated by Molly Spotted Elk’s daughter, Jean Moore of Old Town, Maine, in 1977 includes photocopies of some of Molly Spotted Elk’s writings, including a draft of a book entitled “Katahdin: Wigwam’s Tales of the Abnaki Tribes” (15 stories – 236 pp.); a story, “Plump-Plump” (45 pp.); a play, “The Captive”; an informant’s history about Santu; sheet music; Indian words for part of the body; short stories. The originals of these materials are part of NA 2573.

 

1115 Jean Moore, interviewed by Joan Brooks, summer 1977, Indian Island, Old Town, Maine. 8 pp. Tape: 1/2 hr. w/ brief cat. Moore talks about the life of her mother, Molly Spotted Elk, who was a dancer, writer, and actress. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1161 1/2 hour.

1116 Molly Spotted Elk, donated by Jean Moore (Elk’s daughter), summer 1977, Indian Island, Old Town, Maine. 295 pp. ms. Collection of some of Molly Spotted Elk’s writings, including draft of a book titled “Katahdin: Wigwam’s Tales of the Abnaki Tribes” (15 stories – 236 pp.); a story, “Plump-Plump” (45 pp.); a play, “The Captive”; an informant’s history about Santu; sheet music; Indian words for part of the body; short stories. Text: 295 pp. manuscript.

2573 By Jean Archambaud Moore, April, 1999, Indian Island, Old Town, Maine. Molly Spotted Elk (b. 1903) was the stage name of a Penobscot Indian woman from Maine who entered the world of vaudeville and entertainment at a young age. In the late 1920s she starred in “The Silent Enemy” a silent film shot in northern Canada. She became a dancer on the Paris stage and married a French journalist, but was forced to flee the country during the German occupation in World War II. This collection consists of papers belonging to or relating to the life and career of Molly Spotted Elk and her family. They document her accomplishments as a professional dancer and also as a writer and chronicler of traditional Penobscot tales and legends. Papers include correspondence, legal documents, handbills and flyers relating to her stage career and especially to the movie “The Silent Enemy,” handwritten notes and music, newsletters relating to Penobscot and Abenaki affairs and Indian Island, Maine, a small scrapbook relating to the Penobscot Indian [Brass] Band, and extensive unpublished drafts and typescripts of Indian legends. There are also diaries of Molly Spotted Elk (ca. 1923-1959?) which detail her daily life during the 1920s – 1940s. One folder contains material relating to the published biography of Molly Spotted Elk by author, Bunny McBride, published by University of Oklahoma Press in 1995. Accession folder also contains genealogy of the Nelson family, Indian Island, Maine from notes taken by Pauleena MacDougall from Jean Archambaud Moore, June 9, 1999. Text: papers, correspondence, legal documents, handbills, flyers, handwritten notes, newsletters, scrapbook, diaries, biography. Note: The material was donated in March, 1999 by Jean Moore. The materials are currently housed in seven archival document cases occupying roughly 3 linear feet. A preliminary inventory folder listing is available, but the collection is otherwise unprocessed.
Preliminary Inventory (March, 1999)
This list is based on a rough sorting of materials donated by Jean Moore in March, 1999. The arrangement described below is provisional and subject to change pending further processing and / or later additions.
BOX 1

Folder 1: Biographical Information / Press Releases
Folder 2: Birth certificate / Social Security Cards
Folder 3: Playbills / Programs
Folder 4: Film: “The Silent Enemy”
Folder 5: Film: “The Silent Enemy”
Folder 6: Film: [notes "For the cast of the Mohicans"]
Folder 7: Theater script: “Off Stage Love” by Ted Powell
Folder 8: Music
Folder 9: Art work
Folder 10: Materials relating to book Molly Spotted Elk: A Penobscot
in Paris by Bunny McBride [1995]
Folder 11: Legal documents
Folder 12: Health documents
Folder 13: French Consulat / Death notice
Folder 14: School report cards
Folder 15: Indian Island, Maine / Civil Defense planning documents
Folder 16: Indian Island, Maine / Civil Defense planning documents
Folder 17: Penobscot Nation / Wabnaki Alliance documents
Folder 18: Murder case notes

BOX 2

Unfoldered: ca. 100 Letters, unsorted, dates not yet determined
Folder 19: Miscellaneous small notes
Folder 20: Cards
Folder 21: Correspondence, unsorted, dates not yet determined
Folder 22: Correspondence, unsorted, dates not yet determined
Folder 23: Miscellaneous small items

BOX 3

Folder 24: Writings
Folder 25: Writings
Folder 26: Writings
Folder 27: Writings
Folder 28: Writings
Folder 29: Writings
Folder 30: Writings
Folder 31: Writings
Folder 32: Writings: Gluskabe Legend
Folder 33: Writings: “Plump Plump”
Folder 34: Writings: Indian basketry
Folder 35: Writings: Plant lore
Folder 36: Writings: “The Shadows of Indian Life”
Folder 37: Writings: “Adventures of Rabbit: The Duck Hunt”
Folder 38: Writings: Santu – Informant History
Folder 39: Writings: Script [?]: “The Captive”
Folder 40: Writings: “Gloos-kabe meets turtle…”
Folder 41: Writings: “Fish Woman”
Folder 42: Indian Language / Vocabulary

BOX 4

Folder 43: Writings: “Brown Boy”
Folder 44: Writings: “Katahdin — Wigwam’s Tales of the Abnaki Tribes”
Folder 45: Writings: “Cheeka” / 1
Folder 46: Writings: “Cheeka” / 2
Folder 47: Writings: “Cheeka” / 3
Folder 48: Writings: “Cheeka” / 4
Folder 49: Writings: “Cheeka” / 5
Folder 50: Writings: “Cheeka” / 6

BOX 5

Unfoldered: Notebook: “Penobscot – Abenaki / Notes, etc. Vocabulary, History, Figures, Customs”
Folder 51: Thin bound volumes / 1 [Notes]
Folder 52: Thin bound volumes / 2 [Notes]
Folder 53: Thin bound volumes / 3 [Penobscot Indian Band scrapbook]
Folder 54: Thin bound volumes / 4 [Stories and poems]
Folder 55: Thin bound volumes / 5 ["Indian Island" "The Penobscot Indians"
(1925)]
Folder 56: Thin bound volumes / 6 ["The Penobscot Indians"]
BOX 6

Folder 57: Miscellaneous unsorted notes
Folder 58: Anthropology notes [?]
Folder 59: Notes [all from one folder]
Folder 60: Notes [all from one folder]
Folder 61: Notes [all from one folder]
Folder 62: Newsprint clippings
Folder 63: Newsprint clippings
Folder 64: Photocopies / 1
Folder 65: Maps / Oversize
Folder 66: Printed materials

BOX 7

Unfoldered: Seventeen bound diaries [ca. 1923 - 1959]


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