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Thomasina E. Jordan collection

Identifier: MS 00382

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Thomasina E. Jordan collection contains the personal and professional papers of American Indian activist Thomasina E. Jordan. The collection includes awards, certificates, correspondence, newspaper articles, and photographs. The Thomasina E. Jordan Act includes federal legislation passed by the U.S. congress to acknowledge the Upper Mattaponi Tribe and its members. This act provides eligible ethnic groups services and benefits provided by the federal government to federally recognized tribes, without regard to the existence of a reservation for the tribe. The act was named in honor of Thomasina E. Jordan.


  • Creation: Circa 1978-2007

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from the Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical / Historical

Thomasina Elizabeth Jordan (1940–1999), also known as Red Hawk Woman, was an American Indian activist who became the first American Indian to serve in the United States Electoral College in 1988. Jordan received bachelor's and master's degrees in fine arts at Bishop Lee College in Boston.

Jordan, worked tirelessly on behalf of federal recognition and tribal sovereignty for Virginia Indians. A charismatic leader and Wampanoag tribal member, she was sensitive to the onslaught of colonialism that Native people in the east endured for more than four centuries. As chair of the Virginia Council on Indians, Jordan worked to promote educational, health and economic opportunities for the Indigenous citizens in Virginia. In 2017, the 115th U.S. Congress passed the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act, H.R. 984. This bill granted federal status to six Indian tribes in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Chickahominy Indian Tribe, the Chickahominy Indian Tribe-Eastern Division, the Monacan Indian Nation, Nansemond Indian Tribe, Rappahannock Tribe, Inc., and the Upper Mattaponi Tribe. The Pamunkey Tribe was granted federal recognition in 2016 through the Bureau of Indian Affairs process, making Virginia home to seven federally recognized tribes.


15.01 Linear Feet (36 boxes )



Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Danielle Moretti-Langholtz, PH.D., the Thomasina E. Jordan Director of the American Indian Resource Center.

Guide to the Thomasina E. Jordan collection
William & Mary Special Collections Research Center staff
2023 August
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository