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College Football Historical SocietyThe history of the infamous Carlisle Indian School has received more literary attention in the past several years than at any time since its demise approximately 90 years ago. Much of the credit for this upsurge of interest goes to Dr. Tom Benjey - now the leading authority on the athletic history of the pre-World War I Pennsylvania school for Native Americans - who has written a number of articles about Carlisle topics, and this, his second book on the subject, is the most exhaustively researched and valuable of all his works.
Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs is a collection of biographical essays that deal with the lives and athletic careers of about 50 Native Americans who played impressive roles in Carlisle football history before moving on with their lives - often to play sports for other colleges along the way. The amount of research and work that went into compiling their stories - impressively outlined in the Preface - is staggering. Many of these men went on to professional careers well outside the athletic world - some examples including James Phillips, who was an attorney and served as mayor of Aberdeen, Washington; Edward Rogers, who served as a distinguished county attorney in the state of Minnesota; and Benjamin Caswell, who became a school superintendent and a government agent. There were some men who experienced troubled lives after leaving Carlisle, and of course many went on to become football coaches and/or notable professional athletes. Their stories are all included in this work.
The book is liberally illustrated with many rare photos and artwork from old newspapers, yet the most interesting aspects of the book for this reviewer are the manydescriptions of the post-Carlisle college football days compiled by a substantial number of the players - often at large universities.
For anyone with an interest in the history of Carlisle Indian School football and Native American athletes, Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs is an indispensable reference work and is highly recommended.