Posts Tagged ‘Francis Leupp’

1908 Carlisle-Denver Game Canceled

May 31, 2009

Like most of the interesting things I find, I unexpectedly stumbled across a November 19, 1908 Nebraska State Journal article that said the upcoming game between the Carlisle Indians and the University of Denver had been canceled. Post-season (about anything after Thanksgiving in those days) road trips were not unusual for the Indians. As early as 1896, they played a night game in the Chicago Coliseum on December 19 against that year’s Champions of the West, Wisconsin. And 1908’s trip wasn’t as long or as elaborate as some. It started early with a November 21 game against Minnesota in Minneapolis. Five days later, the opponent was St. Louis University in St. Louis. Six days after that it was Nebraska in Lincoln. Three days after that was to be the Denver game in Denver. According to the article, Denver officials were informed by Carlisle officials that the game was called off because, “…that leave of absence could not be secured for so long a journey.” The article didn’t say if it was Superintendent Friedman, who was new at his post, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Francis Leupp, or someone else. There had been recent communications with Pop Warner and he had said nothing about a cancelation. Denver didn’t take it lying down.

According to the paper, they went straight to the top: “President Roosevelt has been asked to use his influence in having a contract between representatives of Denver University and the Carlisle Indian school for a football game between the elevens of the two schools lived up to.…they at once asked the president through former United States Senator  Patterson, to request that the Indians be given the leave necessary. A portion of Senator Patterson’s message reads: ‘The Denver boys want a square deal and turn to you to get It for them.’ Governor Buchtel, who is chancellor of Denver University, also wired Congressman Bonynge and Senator Teller to secure, if possible, the Intervention of Commissioner of Indian Affairs Leupp.”

I don’t know what happened next but do know that the Indians won three and lost one on the road trip. The loss was to Minnesota. The wins were over St. Louis, Nebraska and Denver.


Carlisle Quarterback Mike Balenti

Carlisle Quarterback Mike Balenti

Old Sioux Chiefs Didn’t March In 1905 Inauguration

April 17, 2009

Previously, I wrote about the Carlisle Indian School contingent that marched in the 1905 Inauguration Parade to celebrate Theodore Roosevelt’s election as President. Six great chiefs, led by Geronimo, rode on horseback in front of the Carlisle Indian School Band. I didn’t write about the others who wanted to participate in the festivities.

Over a dozen old Sioux chiefs paid their own way to travel to Washington from the Rosebud and Standing Rock Reservations “…to march in their eagle feathers and war bonnets and paint down the avenue after the great Father who once lived out in their country.” Indian Commissioner Leupp would have none of it. He would not let the inauguration be a Wild West Show, that there was no place for these red men. He said, “The Indians will be represented by the chiefs of six famous nations at one time hostile to this country. …Directly behind these old chieftains, each of whom represents a nation once at war with this country and subdued only at great loss of life, will be 350 students of the Carlisle Indian School. My object is to contrast the old Indians of the warpath and the educated, manly Indians of today.”

Leupp would not budge and the old chiefs returned to Dakota without marching in the parade. They were not greeted by President Roosevelt who clapped his hands with delight and, like the others in his box, rose to his feet when the six chiefs passed.