Posts Tagged ‘red hair’

Jim Thorpe Disliked Redheads

February 10, 2022
Black Hawk

An August 1914 newspaper article said Jim Thorpe didn’t care for redheads. The column was headed “Sport Snap Shots” and didn’t include a byline so we don’t know who wrote it. In the column, the author wrote that Big Jim was always courteous to Giants’ teammates John Joseph “Red” Murray and Leon Ames but he couldn’t be chummy with either of them. The reason was that both had red hair. It appears that Jim’s dislike came from a long-standing feud. The Sac and Fox, Jim’s tribe, were relocated from their homes at the end of a bloody 1832 war commonly called the Black Hawk War. An August 1914 newspaper article said Jim Thorpe didn’t care for redheads. The column was headed “Sport Snap Shots” and didn’t include a byline so we don’t know who wrote it. In the column, the author wrote that Big Jim was always courteous to Giants’ teammates John Joseph “Red” Murray and Leon Ames but he couldn’t be chummy with either of them. The reason was that both had red hair. It appears that Jim’s dislike came from a long-standing feud. The Sac and Fox, Jim’s tribe, were relocated from their homes at the end of a bloody 1832 war commonly called the Black Hawk War.

The U. S. Government was pushing the Sac and Fox leaders to relocate their tribe from Illinois and Wisconsin to Iowa. Women of the tribe urged Black Hawk to fight this removal. It was the women who were the farmers and their hoes weren’t sharp and strong enough to break the tough Iowa sod.

Andrew Jackson was President at this time and strongly supported the removal of Indians from their historic locations to across the Mississippi River. That he had red hair was his defining feature to the Sac and Fox. From that day forward Sac and Fox children, including Jim Thorpe, were taught to dislike redheads.