Posts Tagged ‘Pawnee Reservation school’

Rush Roberts May Have Been White

February 23, 2010

As I sat down to write today’s blog on an entirely different topic, a comment came in from a relative of Henry Roberts. Henry played football for Carlisle for just one year, in 1911. Prior to coming to Carlisle, he had attended Haskell Institute. The commenter, who wants others related to, or knowledgeable about, Rush Roberts to get in touch with him. In his comment, he mentioned that Henry Roberts wrote a story when in fourth grade that can be found on the web. With a little googling, I found what I think is that article: An annotation by Henry’s brother, George, that was later attached to the story, gives some background information about Rush Roberts that even he may not have known. George wrote that Rush Roberts was not born a Pawnee, that he was a white, perhaps German or of German descent, whose parents had been killed by Sioux. Later, some Skidi happened along to find the orphaned boy. Sitting Eagle and Roaming Princess took him in and raised him as their own.

George opined that the reason Rush’s adopted Skidi mother sent him to the new Pawnee Reservation School was because orphans were often sent there. Hampton Institute records indicate that Rush attended that school for a time as well. This is the first time I have read someone acknowledge that Indian orphans were often sent to government schools. In my research of Carlisle Indian School football players, I have observed that many, probably the majority, had lost at least one parent before coming to the school.

The commenter also mentioned that a photo can be found on the Internet of Rush Roberts with seven other surviving Pawnee scouts. In his opinion, Rush had Caucasian features. Here is a link to a site that has a number of photos including one that may be the one the commenter referred to: I’ll leave to the reader to determine if Rush had Caucasian features.