Posts Tagged ‘Second Antarctic Expedition’

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:

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.

American Indian on Antarctic Expedition

August 17, 2010

Yesterday, I received a letter from Laura Kissel, Polar Curator at The Ohio State University Archives. She found a letter dated September 1, 1932 from William Winneshiek to Richard Byrd in which Winneshiek requests to be considered for inclusion in Byrd’s Second Antarctic Expedition. That was a year and four days before the newspaper articles were published that said he had been selected. So, Byrd had ample time to select him for the trip. Although no documentation exists that he had been selected, the newspaper accounts may have been correct. But why was he selected?

Winneshiek points out [accurately], “The Boy Scouts of America and various other nations have been represented on your previous expeditions. Thus far, I have failed to see the American Indian represented on your expeditions, hence this letter.” He went on to describe his heritage (full-blood Winnebago) and his education (Carlisle Indian School, Lebanon Valley College, Penn State). For his qualifications, he included, “…my vocations as chemist and musician, I am capable of performing the duties of a ‘chef,’ having worked my way through school as an assistant ‘chef.’”

It’s doubtful that Byrd needed musicians or chefs, possibly a chemist, but he most definitely cooks. I say plural because his force was split for significant lengths of time and all would need to have been fed. It seems quite plausible that Byrd would have chosen him as a crew member because it would have made good press and would have created interest due to his being an Indian. He closed with, “…I feel positive that you will give my application your earnest consideration and give the Red-Man an even break.”