Who Is the Mystery Player?

Researching the 1900 Carlisle Indian School football team again demonstrated how hard it is to identify people one doesn’t know by their photographs. The photograph in question is the 1900 Carlisle team photo that was published in the 1901 Spalding’s Guide. The person on the far left of the middle row was listed as being Charles Williams (Caddo from Oklahoma). However, he didn’t look like Charles Williams to me. He looked more like Nekifer Shouchuk (Aleut, Alaska) to me.

What do you think? Shouchuk is on the left of James Johnson (Stockbridge, Wisconsin) in the photo below. Charles Williams is to Johnson’s right in this extract from the 1902 team photo.

To determine which player was actually in the 1900 team photo, I perused game line-ups for 1900. Shouchuk wasn’t in any of them where Williams was in them all. Shouchuk’s Student Record indicated that he arrived at Carlisle in 1901. Elsewhere I learned that he couldn’t know English at that time and, in spite of his tremendous strength, it took him awhile to make the team. He needed to know English to understand the signals.

So, the person in this photo must be Charles Williams.


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