Posts Tagged ‘Tuscarora’

Lt. Frank Mt. Pleasant

December 22, 2009

 I just came across a photo of Frank Mt. Pleasant in his WWI army uniform. Unfortunately, there are a few errors in the associated text. He competed in the 1908 Olympics, placing 6th in both the broad jump and triple jump although injured at the time. In Paris, after healing, he beat the Olympic broad jump champ in a big meet. His name is misspelled in the caption under the dog. He was the first Carlisle Indian to get a degree, a Ph. B., from Dickinson College. However, some others previously got LL B. degrees from Dickinson School of Law.

He has been inducted into the Dickson College and Indiana University of Pennsylvania halls of fame as an athlete and a coach, respectively. He was earlier inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame. It is astounding that the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame has not inducted him when you consider that the vast majority of his playing and coaching career was in Pennsylvania and he was a premiere athlete in two sports first at Carlisle Indian School and then at Dockinson College during his playing days.

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Frank Mt. Pleasant

August 18, 2008

Perhaps because this is the 100th anniversary of the 1908 Olympics, Ed Farnham, grandnephew of Frank Mt. Pleasant, has been deluged by the media for interviews. Numerous newspaper and television reporters in the Buffalo, NY area, where Ed lived and the Olympic athlete lived, have been calling Ed constantly. Some of the newspaper articles are available on-line. Links to them are provided at the bottom of this piece. So far, none of the TV video has been posted on-line, but if it is in the future, I will provide a link to it.

 

Although this media attention comes at a cost to Mr. Farnham, he probably views it as a good thing because Frank Mt. Pleasant, viewed at the time as the best all-around athlete of his day, has been largely forgotten. These interviews give Ed the opportunity to better educate the public regarding the Tuscarora people and their contributions. One of the ways he does that is to direct them to the Native American Museum of Art (NAMA) which is located inside Smokin’ Joe’s Trading Post where he is general manager. Frank Mt. Pleasant’s medals are on display amongst the other Native American art and artifacts. The recent publicity should encourage more people to visit the museum and learn more about both the track star and his people.

 

In my small way I’m trying to correct the slight to Frank Mt. Pleasant a bit. In addition to devoting a chapter in Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs to him, I have nominated him for induction into the local chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the first step in getting him inducted into the statewide HoF. Dickinson College and Indiana University of Pennsylvania have already inducted him into their halls of fame.

 

Native American Museum at Smokin’ Joe’s: http://www.nativeamericanmuseumart.com/

Buffalo News article: http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/niagaracounty/story/411478.html

More about the museum: http://buffalo.yourhub.com/NiagaraFalls/Stories/Sports/Professional/Story~503924.aspx