Annie Heloise Abel

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Annie Heloise Abel
Born(1873-02-18)February 18, 1873
DiedMarch 14, 1947(1947-03-14) (aged 74)
Other namesAnnie Heloise Abel-Henderson
AwardsJustin Winsor Prize in 1903
Scientific career

Annie Heloise Abel (February 18, 1873 – March 14, 1947)[1] was a history professor.[2] After her marriage she was also known as Annie Heloise Abel-Henderson.


Annie Heloise Abel was one of the first thirty women in the United States to earn a PhD in history.[3] One of the ablest historians of her day, she was an acknowledged expert on the history of British and American policy toward natives. As another historian has put it: "She was the first academically trained historian in the United States to consider the development of Indian-white relations and, although her focus was narrowly political and her methodology almost entirely archival-based, in this she was a pioneer."[3] Historians consider her most important work to be the three-volume The Slave Holding Indians.[4] She studied British policy toward natives throughout the British Empire, not just in the new world.

The American Historical Association awarded her the Justin Winsor Prize in 1906 for her manuscript The History of Events Resulting in Indian Consolidation West of the Mississippi River.[5]

She married George Cockburn Henderson, an Australian historian, in October 1922, in Adelaide, Australia. The following year he had a mental breakdown and was hospitalized in June 1923; at his insistence Annie returned to the United States.[6] The marriage was later dissolved.[7] Annie continued her work, traveling as needed to pursue research in Canada and England before retiring to Aberdeen, WA in the 1930s.[3]


Her works include:

  • Her master's thesis: Indian Reservations in Kansas and the Extinguishment of their Title.
  • Her doctoral dissertation: The History of Events Resulting in Indian Consolidation West of the Mississippi River.
  • The American Indian as Slaveholder and Secessionist.
  • The American Indian in the Civil War, 1862-1865.
  • The American Indian and the End of the Confederacy, 1863-1866.

Abel's papers may be found in the repository of Washington State University Libraries, in Pullman, WA. The collection includes notes, correspondence, newspaper clippings, manuscripts and other printed materials related to native policies of several English-speaking countries, as well as other historical subjects such as Russian history and women's suffrage. The collection is open for research use.[8]


  1. ^ Byers, Inzer (1979). "Annie Heloise Abel". In Mainiero, Lina (ed.). American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present. 1. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. pp. 7–9.
  2. ^ Matuozzi, Robert (2001). "Guide to the Annie Abel-Henderson Papers 1860–1939". Washington State University Libraries. Retrieved 2007-04-02.
  3. ^ a b c Anderson, James. "Annie Heloise Abel (1873-1947) An Historian's History". Flinders University Library. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Abel, Annie Heloise." American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present. Gale. 2000. Retrieved August 13, 2012 from HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  5. ^ Haskins, Charles H. (1908). "Report of the Proceedings of the Twenty-second Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association". Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1906. 1. p. 25.
  6. ^ "Abel, Annie Heloise (1873–1947) - Native American History". Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  7. ^ Fischer, G.L. "Henderson, George Cockburn (1870–1944)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Guide to the Annie Abel-Henderson Papers - 1860-1939". NWDA. Retrieved 7 March 2015.

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