Archive for the ‘Benjamin Caswell’ Category

Carlisle Indians Played Football in 1891!

November 16, 2009

While researching Frank Lone Star for my upcoming book, Wisconsin’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals, I came across a piece in the November 4, 1892 issue of The Indian Helper, in which Frank’s older brother, John Lone Star, had joined a newly organized football team called the Rovers. This, of course, piqued my interest, so I looked further. The November 25 issue reported that the Rovers had lost to the Pirates. The Pirates were described as the “Champion Foot-ball Team of the school.” From that I gathered that the Rovers and Pirates were intra-mural teams of some sort. It also mentioned that the Pirates’ trainer (coach in modern parlance) was Benjamin Caswell. In 1894, Caswell would captain the school’s football team, the first one to play a full schedule.

The article also reported that the Pirates also defeated the “School Team on Saturday, by a score of 16 to 10.” In his memoir, Superintendent Pratt wrote that interscholastic football at Carlisle had been banned in 1890 and not reinstated until 1893. So, why would there have been a school team?

But the Rovers weren’t through for the year. They beat Martin Archiquette’s team 22 to 8 on Thanksgiving Day. One can only assume that Archiquette’s team was another intra-mural team. The Pirates weren’t through either. On the following Saturday, they lost to the Regulars. What did that name mean? Were they just regular guys or were they the team that represented the school?

Curious, I delved a little deeper. On November 13, 1891, The Indian Helper stated, “They say we are to have a foot-ball team. The ball is already here.” That could have been just some gossip. Of course the school had a ball because the boys were already playing among themselves. A little ad in the November 28 New York Times told me that there was more to it.

1891-11-28 Carlisle vs NY YMCA

Was Pratt’s memory faulty? Was this a one-off game against a foe who promised to play cleanly? After all, it was a Christian organization. More research will be needed to discover the truth.

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Galleys Received

May 27, 2008

The advance reading copies (called ARCs in the trade) arrived for my new book and are being sent out to reviewers. This is a big moment in a writer’s life: seeing thousands of hours of hard work turned into something tangible. In the old days (pre-computer), ARCs were called galleys, bound galleys or galley proofs. Authors, editors and publishers go over these babies with a fine-tooth comb looking for errors, typos or things that have changed since writing was complete. It is an impossible task because, after all this scrutiny, some typos escape and find their way into the final book. But we try.

Another important use of ARCs is to see how the photos and artwork come out in print. Overall they came out very well, better than expected. But a cartoon about the Oorang Indians from a 1922 Baltimore newspaper is too dim. The challenge now is to figure out how to darken it without losing the detail.

This weekend I received some additional information and a correction regarding Louis Island from a family member who happened to see a previous blog. That was fortuitous because I want the book to be as accurate as possible. This blog is already proving to be of some value. That encourages me to continue with it.

Having these ARCs provides local booksellers the opportunity to provide their customers something extra. People can look at an ARC and pre-order the book if they choose. The bonus, besides being sure of getting a copy of the book as soon as it comes out, is to receive an inscription of his or her choice signed by the author. On-line booksellers also take pre-orders but personalized inscriptions are impractical.