Posts Tagged ‘Haskell Institute’

Me No Mexican

March 6, 2017

Carolyn Smith shares the photo of a previously unknown Lone Star Dietz painting with us, saying:

“I believe it is entitled “Me no Mexican” to show the problems of some Indians who were mistakenly identified as Mexicans and deported back to Mexico, despite their vehemence that they were not Mexican.

“My father was a Protestant missionary and head of religious activities at Haskell Institute for awhile after 15 years with the Indians in Nevada.

“I’ve always been fond of this painting because of the emotion in the Indian’s face.  My granddaughter was always scared of the painting!”

Lone Star Dietz began coaching the Haskell Institute football team in 1929 and continued living there several years after he was no longer coaching them, likely into the mid-1930s. It was there, in Lawrence, Kansas, that Rev. Smith met Dietz. It was likely during this period that Dietz traveled to the southwestern states to paint local sites and people during his vacations.

The following is inscribed on the back of the painting, probably in Smith’s hand:

“When a Hopi was accused by his people of giving away Kiva secrets to white men, he left his reservation to find work with Mexican laborers.  Later, finding himself rounded up with a group of Mexican wetbacks, in custody of the United States Immigration Service, he was in danger of being deported.  It was then he broke his silence, crying out in broken English, ‘Me no Mexican.’

“This painting by Lone Star Dietz is an interpretation of the Hopi’s wounded spirit at the prospect of deportation.”

 

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Time Out for Photos

August 8, 2012

Tex Noel just sent me a link to a Library of Congress website that contains digital images, some of which are of Indian football teams. The link he sent was http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/AMALL:@field%28NUMBER+@band%28awal+2164%29%29

Tex suggested that I click on football, which I did. The problem is that I’m easily distracted. Before I could see anything related to Indian football teams, the term “Early films” jumped out at me. The first one, listed just below the sheet music for On Wisconsin!, is moving picture footage (silent of course) from the 1903 Chicago-Michigan game shot by the Edison studio. I doubt seriously if Thomas Edison himself was directly involved in making these films; employees of his probably shot them but were likely among the best in the industry, such as it was, at the time.

Four items down the list is footage of the 1903 Princeton-Yale game, also shot by Edison. A. C. Abadie is credited as being the cameraman. The footage of these old games featuring prominent teams gives one an idea what the state-of-the-art was in football uniforms and equipment at the time. The action is hard to make out at times but some things can be gleaned from replaying the clips.

Eventually, I looked at still photos. The first one I noticed, the one at the bottom of the page, is of an Alaskan Indian football team. It was also taken in 1903. Unfortunately, little in the way of detail is supplied. It would be interesting to know which team this is. Someone knowledgeable about reservations, agencies and schools around the turn of the last century might be able to shed a little light on this.

My person favorite, found on page 6 of the list, is of the 1903 University of Chicago-Haskell Institute game titled “players arguing.” From what I can tell, it looks like they’re doing a bit more than arguing. A higher resolution version might even reveal some players who later transferred to Carlisle.

Chicago & Haskell Players “arguing”

Carlisle to Play Utah on Christmas

April 26, 2011

The next day’s issue of Deseret News out of Salt Lake City announced the upcoming Carlisle-Utah game with more vigor but no new facts; “The University football players had better get their scalps in pretty good shape between now and Christmas, otherwise they may lose them. Word has reached the city that the Carlisle Indians are due to swoop down on the Varsity bunch that day, and if possible ‘lift their scalps.’ …Nothing definite has been decided upon but the probabilities are that a sufficient sum of money will soon be forthcoming to induce the Indians to come here. The [Christmas Day] game would be the biggest gridiron event of the season and would undoubtedly pay well.”

The November 27 issue of The Red Man & Helper included game scores for the entire regular season, including the victory the previous day, Thanksgiving Day, over Northwestern but made no mention of post season games, either possible or scheduled. The next day’s “Notes of the Gridiron” column, probably circulated via a wire service gossiped about possible post season games: “Notre Dame and Indians are talking of a post season game. Carlisle and Haskell may play Dec. 5 for the Indian championship.”

That Sunday’s Salt Lake Herald blared “Big Game for Christmas Day” and “Varsity Signs Contracts to Play Indians Here.” In part, the article stated, “This game will be none other than one in which the famous Carlisle Indians will play the principal part and the other team will be made up from the present eleven representing the state university, with the pick of the players on several of the other teams to fill in the weak spots on the varsity. The date of the game is Christmas and it will be played on Cummings field. The contracts for the game were signed several days ago by the members of the varsity athletic committee, but the facts were not given out until yesterday, The signing of the contracts by Coach Warner, for the Carlisle Indians, would indicate that there can be no hitch now and that the game will be a sure go.”

To be continued….

1903 Carlisle-Utah Game

April 16, 2011

Not too long ago, I was asked why Carlisle chose to play Utah on its post-season trip to California. After all, the teams had no history of playing each other and the University of Utah didn’t have the reputation of being a big-time football power. So, why did Pop Warner arrange to play its only game ever with Utah on December 19, 1903?

The first hint that Carlisle was planning post-season play that year was a piece in the November 13 edition of The Red Man and Helper ironically titled “Haskell’s Well Wishes” in which Haskell Superintendent H. B. Peairs was quoted as saying, “We hope now to see Northwestern [Carlisle’s last regular season opponent] beat Carlisle, as Carlisle has refused for three years to give us a game, saying that we were not in their class. If Northwestern beats them, they may come down a peg or two.”

Carlisle’s unattributed response probably came from Warner: “Haskell has never asked Carlisle for a game of football until after our schedule has been completed. We have never asserted that Haskell was not in Carlisle’s class. A comparison of the records of the two teams makes that unnecessary. We congratulate Haskell upon her good showing in the game against Chicago.” This response implies that, if Carlisle was considering post-season games, the schedule had been set already and Haskell had asked too late to get on the schedule. These words could be interpreted two different ways:

1) The comments were meant to be complimentary to Haskell as their win-loss records were comparable to Carlisle’s at that time.

2) It was a bit of a shot because, even though Haskell had a good record, its competition wasn’t at the same level as Carlisle’s. Also, Haskell had just lost to Chicago 17-11 where Carlisle had a winning record against contenders for being the Champions of the West.

Carlisle and Haskell would finally meet the next year, in 1904, but that is another story.

To be continued…

Warner Didn’t Do It

November 18, 2010

I was recently sent an article on a particular topic on the history of football—it doesn’t matter which article because this is a common error—that attributed or blamed, depending on one’s perspective on Pop Warner that he did not do. That Warner had a split tenure at Carlisle Indian School is either not widely known or is forgotten by many when they write about Carlisle football. In this instance, the matter has to do with the 1904 Carlisle-Haskell game and the mass transfer of football talent from Haskell to Carlisle that happened after that game.

For a little background, President Theodore Roosevelt was to spend a few days around Thanksgiving at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Promoters saw an opportunity to attract greater attendance by staging a football game for Teddy to attend. Their first choice was to host the Army-Navy game that year. That idea was turned down immediately. The next thing that came to mind was to have the two prominent government Indian boarding school teams play each other as both were running roughshod over the competition in their respective parts of the country. Carlisle was already scheduled to play Ohio State on Thanksgiving, so the game with Haskell Institute of Lawrence, Kansas, was set for the Saturday following the holiday.

Why did Warner have nothing to do with this game, one asks? Well, Pop Warner left Carlisle after the 1903 season to return to coaching his alma mater, Cornell. The reason for that move, according to his critics, was that he was paid more money. They are probably correct. Warner coached Cornell through the 1904, 1905 and 1906 seasons and, other than teaching his new formations to Carlisle’s Indian coaches in 1906, probably had little to do with the operation of that program. He had no reason to recruit Haskell players for Carlisle. He might have tried to entice the best ones to enroll at Cornell, but that seems improbable.

Superintendent Richard Henry Pratt had been relieved of command of Carlisle Indian School in the summer of 1904 and replaced by then Captain William A. Mercer. With no athletic director in place and the coaches hired just for the season, Mercer filled the void left by Warner’s departure and became involved with the football program. The next year, he arranged the first Carlisle-Army game but that is a separate story.

Winneshiek and More on Hidden Ball Play

September 6, 2010

Before we get to the recent newspaper article in which I am mentioned, let’s talk a little bit more about the hidden ball play. The Harvard Crimson is now on-line and searchable, to some extent at least. The November 10, 1924 edition recalled the famous hidden ball play run in 1903 by the Carlisle Indians against Harvard. Apparently, the Haskell Fightin’ Indians being in town to play Boston College brought that old chestnut to at least one person’s mind. The writer opined, “The trick should never have worked on the University, for Alfred Moo of the Lampoon had worked a similar stunt against The Crimson in the annual game between the two literary rivals two years before and everybody in Cambridge knew about it.” Everyone in the literary world, perhaps. Certainly, the varsity was caught flatfooted.

Saturday’s Lebanon Daily News included a piece by Chris Sholly about William Winneshiek being selected by Richard Byrd for his Second Antarctic Expedition. Her article includes some of the information about Winneshiek that has been presented in this blog recently and credits me for that. She also mentions that Wisconsin’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals, in which there is a chapter about Winneshiek, was released on the first of the month.

I can’t say if any photos accompany the article because I haven’t seen the print version yet. The on-line version has none. The article can be found at: http://www.ldnews.com/ci_15984969?IADID=Search-www.ldnews.com-www.ldnews.com.

Some details about Winneshiek, such as his date and place of death, aren’t known with any precision. Sholly’s article might just prompt someone who has information to respond.

Indians Will Work

August 20, 2009

While looking for information concerning Chauncey Archiquette’s time at Haskell, I came across a newspaper article unrelated to him (I think) that seemed curious. The fact that this reporter seemed to have no qualms about making statements that Indians were lazy, implies that it was a common belief and was not a controversial position at that time. If it is accurate that the 40 Haskell students were football and baseball players, it is likely that several of them also attended Carlisle Indian School at some time. If they were good players, they probably made it a point to go east.

Indians Who Actually Work

It has always been a theory among westerners that, an Indian—a fullblood—would not work. But all this summer 40 Indians from Haskell institute have been at work for the Santa Fe [Railroad], near Emporia. Side by side with them a gang of Greeks has been employed, and the railroad bosses say the Indians excel the Greeks in every way. Indeed, it is acknowledged that the Indians made the best workmen of any engaged on the road, and there are gangs of several nationalities employed near Emporia. All summer these Indians, many of whom belong to the football and baseball teams at Haskell, have kept up their practice in these games. They never seem too tired to play a game of ball, and they have beaten all the teams in the neighborhood.—Kansas City Journal

Guyon’s Groupie

August 17, 2009

Groupies are not a new phenomenon. Today I came across a 1903 article in the Lincoln Daily News with a Denver dateline with a sensational headline. FLED HER HAPPY HOME FOR INDIAN HALFBACK was followed by Beautiful Young Pueblo Girl Shows Her Infatuation for Guyan[sic], the Chippewa on Haskell Team. The article began, “In love with handsome Charles Guyan[sic], the full-blooded Chippewa halfback on the Haskell Indian football team, pretty Bertha Hodkinson of Pueblo, ran away from home and the team and Guyan were shadowed by relatives, with the result that the girl was caught today.”

The football hero in question is Charles Guyon (aka Wahoo) who enrolled at Carlisle in 1905. A detective was assigned to him the entire time he was in The Mile-High City for the game with Denver University. The reporter thought that the girl, “who is but 17 years old…had evidently been warned, for she did not join him then, nor attempted to do so until noon today.”

Guyon told Detective Emrich that he hadn’t seen Bertha since August when she wrote him to ask for his autograph. “He became acquainted with her in a casual way while travelling with the team last year, and her sixteen years were greatly impressed with his manly charms. ‘But I don’t want to be mixed up in any trouble,’ said Guyan. ‘I know these young girls, and if she comes here I’ll point her out to you. I don’t want trouble.’” When she appeared at the Metropole Hotel and asked for him, Guyon telephoned the detective who rushed to the hotel and arrested her.

Bertha told a different story, “No, I wasn’t stuck on the Indian. I only came to Denver to see the game and visit my friend, Mrs. Eisenhart of 1011 Thirteenth Street.” She claimed that it was always her intention to return home after the game. Mrs. Eisenhart said that she had no previous acquaintance with Miss Hodkinson, that the girl merely rented a room in her house while she was in town. The girl said that she was 18 years old and free to travel if she wishes. She had also bought a round-trip ticket.

Indians Dissed by Halls of Fame

May 4, 2009

Last week was a bad week for Indian athletes. Both players and coaches continue to be overlooked for honors they deserve. Lone Star Dietz was passed over again for Induction into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach. He was inducted into the prestigious Helms Foundation years ago but the College Football Hall of Fame didn’t even think he was eligible until a few years ago. It wasn’t until Washington State super-alum Greg Witter and I did some research and got Dietz’s win-loss record corrected that they put his name on the ballot. By then he had been dead for almost 40 years and very few people are still alive that remember him. But he’s not the only Indian the College Football Hall of Fame has dissed or the only Hall of Fame to diss an Indian athlete.

Last week the West Shore Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame inducted its new class. Frank Mt. Pleasant, who I nominated last year, wasn’t picked. It’s hard to imagine how the chapter local to his greatest achievements could overlook one of the greatest of the Carlisle Indians, but they did. Fortunately, the West Shore Chapter isn’t the only option. He was already inducted into the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Hall of Fame for his work there as a coach after his playing days were over. Maybe their chapter will induct him.

Recently, questions have come in about the Haskell Institute star John Levi. He was considered to be as good as Jim Thorpe in every aspect of the game but kicking. Thorpe himself considered Levi to be the best athlete he had ever seen. Unfortunately for John, Carlisle Indian School did not exist when he came of age. The mantle of Indian sports leadership passed to Haskell Institute in Lawrence, KS after Carlisle closed. Although Levi and his Haskell teammates had great records under Coach Richard Hanley, they seldom played in front of the eastern media. That kept John Levi from being named to the major All America teams. He was named to minor ones but that wasn’t enough to get him elected to the Hall of Fame. J

im Thorpe wasn’t the only Indian to lead the nation in scoring (198 points in 1912); John Levi outscored everyone in both 1923 and 1924 (149 and 112 points, respectively). His teammate, Mayes McLain outdid him and everyone else in 1926 with 259 points. Barry Sanders holds the all-time single-season scoring record with 234 points. By my math, he scored 25 fewer points than Mayes McLain. Why doesn’t McLain hold the record?

Legendary coach Charles Moran isn’t in either although he had a great record, including the legendary 1921 defeat of Harvard by his Centre College Praying Colonels. Maybe it’s because he coached Mike Balenti and Victor “Choc” Kelley in his first year at Texas A & M.

Carlisle Players Play Each Other

January 19, 2009

While researching the lives of Henry Roberts and Mike Balenti, I became aware that they, and some other Carlislians played against each other when enrolled in other schools. In response to criticism that Carlisle Indian School had been playing some of the same people for too many years, Pop Warner instituted a policy that limited players to four years on the varsity squad. Mike Balenti had used up his eligibility at Carlisle and Victor Kelley had one year of eligibility remaining at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. While there were no national eligibility standards, many colleges limited students to four years of eligibility, one for each of their four years of college – assuming that they finished on time. However, colleges often conveniently ignored the time former Carlisle players now at their institutions had played at the Indian school because it wasn’t a college academically. In fact, it wasn’t even a prep school. Putting these vaguaries of eligibility aside, Mike Balenti and Victor Kelley enrolled at A&M (reenrolled in Kelley’s case) to play under new head coach Charlie Moran. Moran, coincidentally, had assisted Pop Warner at Carlisle the previous year before embarking on a career as football coach. Previously, he had been a star player and a baseball coach, but hadn’t coached football. The Aggies, with Kelley at quarterback and Balenti at left halfback, had a powerhouse team. One of the obstacles in their path to the unofficial Southwestern Championship was Haskell Institute. The teams met on October 23 at College Station. Captain and left end of the Haskell squad was Henry Roberts who would later star of Carlisle’s great 1911 team. Not on the field that day for Haskell, but on the squad, were center Nikifer Schouchuk and quarterback Louis Island. It was like old home week at the game which the Aggies won 15-0. Aggie students celebrated wildly after the game because beating the team that had beaten the University of Texas meant a lot to them. At the end of the season Charlie Moran, as coach of the Southwestern Championship team, was given the honor of selecting an All Southwest team. He named Kelley for quarterback, Balenti for left halfback, and Roberts for punter. Carlisle was well represented on that team by alums both past and future.