Glenn L. Emmons was Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1953 to 1961 during the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Since this was the decade during which the controversy over the policy of termination began, Emmons' administration of the Bureau of Indian Affairs was important and of interest to students of Indian policy, Questions exist concerning the nature of the man, his background, and reasons for his appointment to that post. This biography hopes to answer some of these, as well as provide some insight into Emmons' policies and programs which tended to extend government involvement with Indian tribes, contrary to the prevalent opinion that he was a strict "terminationist."
Much of the research for this thesis derives from oral history: interviews with Glenn Emmons, and interviews with other individuals connected with his administration. Other data was found among the Glenn L. Emmons Papers held in the Special Collections of the Zimmerman Library at the University of New Mexico, Emmons' personal papers, various collections of the Eisenhower Library in Kansas, the National Archives, the National Congress of American Indian Records in the Smithsonian Institution National Anthropological Archives, the U. S. Public Health Service department of Indian Health, various divisions of the Washing-ton Office of the BIA, and the Interior Department Library in Washington, D. C.
Through these sources, the events of Emmons' life began to take shape. Born in Alabama, he moved to New Mexico while a child. He lived there as a banker and public figure until 1953 when he was appointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs and moved to Washington, D. C, He returned to New Mexico in the mid 1960's and continues to live in Albuquerque where he is still active in civic affairs. His appointment to the post of Commissioner centered upon his political activities with the Republican party, his civic and personal contacts with Indians and a strong recommendation by the Navajo tribe.
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Richard Nathaniel Ellis
Second Committee Member
Donald Colgett Cutter
Third Committee Member
Ferenc Morton Szasz
Boender, Debra R.. "Glenn L. Emmons Of Gallup." (1976). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hist_etds/310