MOSES FRIEDMAN and LONE STAR DIETZ - both checked "Indian" on their draft registrations....

M.Bentley@uea.ac.uk wrote:
I found this on the ancestry.com website. It's Moses Friedman draft card for the First World War dated 1917. For some reason, he ticks his race as White and Indian! It also looks like he has purposefully written Carlisle as his address before crossing it out. A desire to be remembered perhaps?

Matt Bentley


Wonder why he is using Carlisle as his permanent address.
Also, the race thing is very curious. I don't see a date on this thing.
Where is the date?
He obviously filled this out while in Taos. Also, is there any connection between this "Indian" identity wierdness and Lone Star Dietz' passing himself off as Indian?
My mistake! The date is on the card, next to the o'Reilly signature, but it is Sept 1918. You have to scrunch up your eyes to see it. Even if he was drafted, I doubt he would have made it to Europe by the armistice in November 1918. My initial thoughts were of Lone Star Dietz, but why would he attempt to pass himself off as Indian with such a German sounding name?

He could pass off the Moses as a given name perhaps, but not Friedman, especially considering that students kept an anglicized version of their Native name.

My second thought was that he was perhaps attempting to be exempt from the draft by claiming to be Indian. Records of births on the reservations were far from perfect and it is doubtful that someone from New Mexico would travel all the way to Cincinatti to find his birth certificate (As an aside, even though I have his date of birth I cannot find any Moses Friedman born in America, let alone Cincinatti, on that date or even in 1874!) However, Native-Americans were not exempt from the draft, so that idea quickly disappears.

My third thought was that it was symbolic. Maybe he is trying to show he is an Indian sympathiser by declaring it on a form where it would make little difference. Maybe it was a tactic used by 'Friends of the Indians' to show their support? This idea needs a little more research before it can be proved. However, I suspect this might be the most likely of the three.

The address thing is very puzzling. Could be argued that it was a slip of the mind. But this combined with Friedman declaring he was Indian makes it seem as if it is done on purpose. Perhaps he is trying to show off by connecting himself with the institution. I'll have to give this bit some more thought.



Tom Benjey said...

Matt is understandably confused by some of the entries on Friedman’s draft card but those inconsistencies aren’t the worst problems. The misconceptions I consider more serious are discussed in the paragraphs that follow.
1. He could pass off the Moses as a given name perhaps, but not Friedman, especially considering that students kept an anglicized version of their Native name.
While it is true that some students were assigned anglicized versions of their original names, my experience researching Carlisle Indian School football players has been that the Anglicized names were generally assigned to an elder in the family, often at the agency in which the family was recorded. By the time Carlisle started fielding a football team in the 1890s, there had been so much intermarriage between Indians and whites that the majority of players I researched carried the family name of a white ancestor. For a small example, I seriously doubt if any of the six Carlisle Indians who were inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame carried Anglicized names, bastardized perhaps, as in the case of Guyon. Those names are:
a. Albert Exendine (may have originally been Oxendine)
b. Joe Guyon (probably Guion originally)
c. James Johnson
d. Ed Rogers
e. Jim Thorpe
f. Gus Welch
Had Friedman’s father married an Indian woman, he could easily been named Moses Friedman, although I am unaware of any evidence that indicates that he has Indian heritage. The point is that his name said nothing, one way or the other, about whether he had Indian heritage or not. Another point is that the Anglicized versions that are known for these men, Bright Path (Jim Thorpe) for one, are nothing like the names they were known by at Carlisle.
2. My initial thoughts were of Lone Star Dietz, but why would he attempt to pass himself off as Indian with such a German sounding name?
As shown by the sample of European names above, by the 1890s a mixed-blood Indian could carry almost any European surname. Germans may have intermarried less than the French, English and Irish, but surely some did. Having the last name of Dietz (or Deitz as his father spelled it), is probably the weakest argument against him.
3. However, Native-Americans were not exempt from the draft, ...
Non-citizen Indians were exempt from the draft, but citizens weren’t. Indians as a group weren’t granted citizenship until after WWI, so most were not required to serve. However, the fact that so many volunteered and served with distinction speaks well for their bravery and patriotism. A significant number even went to Canada to enlist before the U. S. entered the war.
4. As an aside, even though I have his date of birth I cannot find any Moses Friedman born in America, let alone Cincinatti [sic], on that date or even in 1874!
It was not unusual at all for births not to be recorded at that time. My own paternal grandmother had no birth certificate and she was born over a decade later.
Friedman’s draft registration is surely confusing, most likely because he was confused. As to why he would check the white box for race and also check the citizen box for Indian: my guess is that, knowing people of any race could be citizens or non-citizens, he ignored or didn't notice the Indian heading when he checked the citizen box. I am unaware of any attempt by Friedman to claim Indian heritage.
A look at his then current employment might shed some light as to why he put Carlisle as his permanent address. He was then doing “special work as stockman for NY Supreme Court” in Taos, NM. After resigning from his position as Superintendent of Carlisle Indian School and being acquitted in Federal Court, Friedman was probably taking any work he could get. His work in Taos sounds like it was temporary and Friedman may have had as yet established a permanent location after leaving Carlisle.

Matt Bentley said...

Hello Tom.

Can I firstly say that I thoroughly enjoyed your book on Lone Star Dietz, it being one of the first books I read when starting on my research project and sits proudly on my book shelf. It is great to enter into conversation with you.
Secondly, although it does not explain the inconsistencies in my e-mail to Barbara, it was crafted in a matter of minutes. It was obviously originally written without the idea it would appear on the internet one day. It was merely intended to be a muse on the confusing nature of Friedman's draft card, not a outright explanation of the reasoning behind Friedman's actions.

Concerning my writing on the anglicized names you are absolutly correct. Whilst some students did have anglicized names, many did not. My line of thought here was that Friedman does not sound particularly Indian. Someone who attempts to pass themselves off as Indian would sometimes assumes a stereotypical sounding Indian name. One just has to think of Iron Eyes Cody, of Italian descent. Whilst it is also definitely true that a Native person could be called Moses Friedman in this case it is false.

You mention my referring to Lone Star Dietz's German sounding name as the weakest argument against him. In my original sentence I was referring to the idea that Friedman, not Dietz, possessed a German sounding name. Sorry for any confusion concerning this. As for it being German-sounding, your previous point about intermarriage is still applicable in this case - it does not prove he is 100% not Indian, as you point out.

In the section concerning the draft my point was that if he was trying to avoid the draft there would be no point in ticking Indian citizen box as you would still be drafted. I was fully aware that non-citizen Indians were exempt from the draft - again, I try to explain this by the speed at which I wrote the original e-mail. Apologies all around once again! However, you are correct in stating that some Natives fought for the United States during the First World War - the example of Carlisle alumni Gus Welch readily springs to mind. Friedman himself, as shown in the Congressional Hearings, was portrayed as a cowardly man who was not able to stand up to students and assert his authority. If he did attempt to skip the draft it would not surprise me at all.

My mentioning of Friedman's lack of birth certificate was an exclamation of frustration at the lack of evidence surrounding his life! There is no record of him in the census before 1900 or after 1910. As you correctly point out, record-keeping was far from perfect during this period. It's just so frustrating when trying to get into someone's mindset to have so little information on their childhood and upbringing. However, on my next trip to America (I live in England and am a poor penniless student, hence the rare and extremely valuable trips to America) I intend to take this avenue of investigation further.
Whilst it is possible that Friedman misunderstood the concept of ticking the citizen box it could also be argued that he fully understood what he was doing and that it was a sign of support on a document where it would make little difference. However, both arguments are valid and we might never know what was in Friedman's mind when he filled in the form. I wasn't declaring this as the absolute truth, merely suggesting it as a possibility.

Friedman's work in New Mexico was Superintendent of the Anchor Ranch School for Defective Boys.(!) Whilst it might have been only a temporary position he had been in the position since 1915 and would continue to do so until 1921 when he moved to Pocono Pines, PA. I am unaware of whether he kept a property in Carlisle after his dismissal but the evidence seems to suggest he did not. I have been in contact with the local historical society and they have little evidence concerning the school and a Moses Friedman living in Taos at that time. Anchor Ranch is now part of the Los Alamos military base.

As of interest to you, my research project is focusing on masculinity at the Carlisle school, of which the football team is a significant aspect. I would love to contact you further, maybe somewhere slightly less public (e-mail?), and pick your brains over the Carlisle team.

Matt Bentley

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have a realtive born in 1883 who is possibly Native American as rumors go, this ancestor also listed his self a "White" and "Native" on his WWI Registration Card. For me this is just confirming that he is of Native Decent. But I have no idea at this time which area he was from. He is listed in a Colorado Industrial School in 1900 and it list him as being born in Kansas and his parents being American. So I am still in search as to why someone would check both white and Native. I wonder what the rules where. Tina bcastle@ptialaska.net

Anonymous said...

I was interested to come across this site today because I am trying to make sense of my daughter's great grandfather's Registration Card for WW1. His name was Ilus Erfurt Provence (named I am told for a hymn in a Lutheran hymn book). For race he checked both "white" and "indian" "citizen", and like the above I cannot yet tell if it is a mistake or his self identification. He was registering in Sherman Texas and according to the 1910 census was born in Missouri, mother in Tennessee and father in Kentucky. I womder how many more did this and why? Val

Anonymous said...

Holy Cow. Am I amazed. I've noticed this with a few of my relatives, one putting little qualifiers on the White Race listing, the Natural Born U.S. Citizen listing, and the Indian Citizen listing. This was on the final draft card of 9/12/1918, as I understand it. The war was over by November. He definitely was making the claim of being mixed race. Also he's a legend in the family. Also in a variation of the second form from June 1918, Indian Citizen and Indian non-Citizen was more in the nationality category, along with four other listings. And then Indian, along with White, Negro, and Oriental, was one of the racial categories. Folks checked off everything they were not. The final form did seem to be more tolerant of making more than one choice or folks just took a stand, take your pick.

And, oddly enough, one of my Czech relatives by marriage listed himself as Bohemian via nationality even though he was native to Central Texas. And in the first two forms, folks of African descent had to rip off the corners. Why? I've no idea. Segregation pre-Harry Truman?

Very likely.

I think in this very post-sixties, seventies, eighties world of various kinds of ethnic politics, we've lost sight of what things were like just under one hundred years ago for folks whose Whiteness was less than stellar.

I've been intrigued by these forms for months now and this is the first serious discussion of them I've seen. I think it's fair to say, from my viewing, and I look at them every chance because they are amazing, that most folks listed one race. One could argue that the dual race folks were decades ahead of their time, as the 2010 Census will attest.