Skip Navigation

Special Collections: Guide to the Harriet Price Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
October 2009

Collection title: Harriet Price Papers
Collection number: MS 424
Dates of collection: 1970-1987
Size of collection: 3 boxes
Provenance: Gift of Harriet Price in 1993 with additions in 2009


Harriet H. Price of Portland, Maine, is an author and social activist. Two areas dominate her work over nearly 40 years: peace and Maine’s Native American people. An active Vietnam War protester, she was the coordinator for the Hancock County People for Peace in Vietnam Now and was chosen as a delegate to the Citizens Conference To End the War in Indochina held in Paris in March 1971. She was arrested at the 1971 May Day protest activities in Washington, D.C. and was a plaintiff in a class action suit against the District of Columbia arising from that arrest.

In 1973 Price received a grant for social change from the American Friends Service Committee; she used the money from the grant to support the presence of Maine Indians at hearings on “Federal and State Services and the Maine Indian.” She also worked for the New England office of the American Friends Service Committee in Cambridge, Massachusetts, advising them on their work with Maine’s Indians.

She was the Maine consultant to the United States Commission on Civil Rights in 1972-1974 and to the American Indian Policy Review Commission in 1976. That commission, consisting of members of Congress and Native Americans appointed by Congress, was created in 1975 to study major problem areas in Indian affairs. The commission was divided into eleven task forces of which Price worked for Task Force 10: Terminated and Non-Federally Recognized Indians. The Task Force gathered information, held hearings in April 1976, and issued a report on its findings. Price interviewed and set up hearings for both groups and participated in preparing their reports.

She was active in founding the Maine Underground Railroad Association in 1997 and has done extensive research on the Underground Railroad in Maine. She is also the co-author of Maine’s Visible Black History: The First Chronicle of Its People, published in 2006.

Price received the Maryann Hartman Award from the University of Maine in 2007 in recognition of her activism and long involvement in peace and social justice issues.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains Harriet Price’s papers documenting her participation in work with Maine’s Native American population and her activities as a citizen opposed to the war in Vietnam.

The collection is grouped into two series: Series I: Files on Native American Activities and Series II: Papers as Peace Activist. A small amount of research material on the Underground Railroad in Maine is also found in the collection.

Series I, Files on Native American Activities, is arranged by organizations with which Price worked including the American Friends Service Committee, United States Commission on Civil Rights, and American Indian Policy Review Commission. It includes correspondence, reports, background material, transcriptions of hearings and newspaper clippings from Price’s service with these organizations. This series also contains publications on Maine Indian laws and legal issues and a collection of articles from the Bangor Daily News and other Maine newspapers concerning Maine Indian land claims, 1977-1987.

Series II, Papers as Peace Activist, contains information about Price’s work with the Hancock County People for Peace in Vietnam Now, including correspondence, minutes of meetings, a scrapbook, and documentation from her participation in the Citizens Conference to End War in Indochina held in Paris in 1971.

Contents of Boxes

Series I: Files on Native American Activities

Box 1


1 Social Change in Maine (American Friends Service Committee), 1973

2 The plight of the dominant culture: a paper prepared for the American Friends Service Committee’s Maine Indian Committee by Harriet Price, 1974

United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR)

3 Notes on meetings to set up hearing/report, 1972

4-10 Hearing transcript, Maine State Advisory Committee, United States Commission on Civil Rights, Feb. 7-8, 1973

11 Annotated agenda, Feb. 7-8, 1973

12 Background report: Federal and State Services and the Maine Indian, Feb. 7-8, 1973

13 USCCR-Maine Indian follow-up: T.R.I.B.E.: The Indian problem in early Canada by Alfred G. Bailey

14 USCCR-Maine Indian follow-up: correspondence, 1973

15 USCCR-Maine Indian follow-up: Follow-up requests from agencies after hearing, 1973

16 Memo: Price to Tureen, Mar. 26, 1973

17 Letter from Price to Gov. Kenneth Curtis, May 7, 1973

18 Newspaper clippings, 1973

19 USCCR: Summary of activities, American Indians, Dec. 1972

20 USCCR publications

American Indian Policy Review Commission (AIPRC)

21 General information packet

22 General information, newsletters, etc.

23 Task Force 1-11 information sheets

24 Communications updates, 1976

25 Bibliographic information

26 List of Indian community organizations

27 Task Force #10: Scope of work, Sept. 1975

28 Task Force #10: Plan of operations, Sept. 1975

29 Task Force #10: Quarterly reports, Dec. 1975-Feb. 1976

30 Task Force #10: News releases, 1976

31 Task Force #10 hearings: briefing report, Apr. 1976

32 Task Force #10: background material for commissioners for Boston hearing

33 Task Force #10: Hearing preparation packet

34 Task Force #10: Tribes, mailing lists, witnesses for hearing

35 Task Force #10: List of witnesses, hearing panel members, staff

36 Task Force #10: Narragansett Indian Tribe, Charlestown, R.I., memo re witness testimony

37 Task Force #10: List of submitted material

38 Task Force #10: Statement of Will Basque, president, Boston Indian Council

39 Task Force #10: Press release from office of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Apr. 9, 1976

Material gathered for Task Force #10 hearing

40 State Indian affairs

41 Copies of bills and acts re Indians: Mass., Conn., Maine

42 Connecticut Indian Affairs Council report, 1974

43 Connecticut Indian Affairs Council statement, 1975

44 Gov. Grasso’s remarks for the Federal Regional Council Indian Task Force, Nov. 19, 1975

45 Act to establish Mass. Indian Housing Authority

46 Land status of Maine, Mass., Conn. Indians, 1974

47 Abenakis in Vermont

48 Federal Regional Council of New England/Indian Task Force meeting minutes, Nov. 19, 1975

49 Federal Regional Council of New England memos, 1976

50 Testimony on the “Indian Health Care Improvement Act of 1975” submitted to House Indian Affairs Sub-Committee by Maine Dept. of Indian Affairs, Tribal Governors, Inc., Boston Indian Council, Inc.

51 HEW definition of Indian, 1976

52 Lists: Indian Commissions, federal domestic assistance programs, etc., 1977?

Miscellaneous documents re Maine Indians laws and legal issues

53 Housing correspondence, 1973

54 Legislative amendment to fund land suit of Passamaquoddy and Penobscot Tribes, 1973

55 Letter, April 4, 1973 to Rep. John A. Donaghy from Maine Attorney General Jon A. Lund about office of off-reservation Indian development

56 Draft report: The Northeastern Algonkian Tribes, Dec. 1976: Northeastern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and Task Force on Terminated and Non- Federally Recognized Tribes, Congressional American Indian Policy Review Commission

57 Maine Episcopal State Convention resolution on Maine Indians, 1977


58 Andrew Akins et als. v. William Saxbe et al. (U.S. District Court, District of Maine)

59 American Civil Rights Handbook (USCCR, 1972)

60 Federal Regional Council of New England. Position Paper on Federal Recognition, 1974

61 Federal Services to Non-Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and Communities. Prepared for the Eastern Indian Conference by Franklin Ducheneaux

62 “Giving it Back to the Indians” by Robert McLaughlin, 1977

63 Health care, health and illness behavior of American Indians in the state of Maine, Bhopinder S. Bolaria, 1971

64 Indian eligibility for Bureau services

65 Indians in Maine by city or town of residence, April 1, 1970 (Source: 1970 Census of Population and Housing)

66 “Maliseet and Micmac Rights and Treaties in the United States” by Gregory Buesing

67 The Memramcook Conference of North American Indian Young People, 1969

68 “Preliminary report, Passamaquoddy Indian Conditions,” by Andrea Bear, 1965; Resolution #9 re aboriginal rights, 1977

69 Recommendations for Indian Policy (House Doc. 91-363, 1970); USCA Title 25

70 “State Power and the Passamaquoddy Tribe: ‘A Gross National Hypocrisy?’” Maine Law Review, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1971

71 State of Maine. A compilation of laws pertaining to Indians, 1971

72 Study report: Federal Field Organization for Indian Programs, 1972

Box 2

1 This Land is Our Land: The American Indian in American Society 1970. National Committee on Indian Work of the Episcopal Church

2-3 Transition Laws: Federal, State and Indian. Penobscot Indian Nation, 1980

4 Your Right to Indian Welfare. United States Commission on Civil Rights, 1973

5 Newspaper clippings on Maine Indians, 1971-1976, leading up to public knowledge of the land claims

6 List of newspaper clippings in collection concerning Maine Indian land claims, 1977-87

7-18 Newspaper clippings re Maine Indian land claims, Jan. 1977-Dec. 1987

Series II: Papers as Peace Activist

19 1971 calendar used as journal for Price’s peace work

20 May Day, 1971: Price arrest/class action suit vs. District of Columbia Hancock County People for Peace in Vietnam Now

21 General file

22 Correspondence, 1970-1972

23 Letters to the editor, 1970-1972

24 Newspaper clippings, speaking engagements

25 Minutes of meetings, 1970-1972

26 Account book, financial information, 1970-1971

27-30 Scrapbook, 1970-1972

31 Citizens Conference to End the War in Indochina: Paris trip, 1971

32 Clergy and Laity Concerned, Bangor chapter, anti-war list

33 Maine Legal Defense Fund

34 Peace poster

35 Underground Railroad material, 1998-1999

Box 3

1 Citizens Conference to End War in Indochina, Paris, 1971 (Super 8 movie reel)

2 Citizens Conference audiotapes

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

Return to top level page

Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/23/2015
5729 Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5729
Phone: 207-581-1661 | Fax: 207-581-1653
© Copyright 2000-2015
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469