Charles Montezuma

There always have existed among the North American Indians, and still exist, many examples of intellectual ability, of genius, of high moral feeling and as noble and pure patriotism as was ever found in any nation of people and as proof of this fact I relate the following: Some twenty-five years ago a photographer of Chicago, being in Arizona on a vacation trip, found and rescued from an Apache camp an abandoned Indian male infant of full blood. The photographer became possessed with a desire to take the boy home with him and adopt him. In spite of warnings that the child would prove a viper in his bosom, he carried out his intentions, and reared the boy, to whom the name of Charles Montezuma was given, as a member of his family. The young Apache grew up to being face and physique the very type of his tribe; but he was at the same time an excellent scholar and a perfect gentleman. He graduated at the Chicago High School with credit, and was very popular in his class, being gentle, polite, and industrious. A recent inquiry as to Montezuma’s career since the completion of his high school education developed the facts that he has selected surgery for a profession, and will graduate from the Chicago Medical College far above the average of his class; that he is liked by his classmates and has never manifested any desire to resume the barbarous habits of his relatives, or shown any savage traits what ever; that he supports himself, during his studies at the medical college, by filling prescriptions at a Chicago drug store where he is looked upon as an expert pharmacist, and that every circumstance indicates that he will make a successful professional man.

But long since has it been proven and established beyond contradiction that they possessed capacities as susceptible of the highest refinement as that of the White Race, which, wrapped in the garb of self-importance impervious to truth and reason, regarded the Indians as inferior beings, unworthy its consideration, except as objects to be plundered and destroyed; and in justification of which, called them savages, but with as little justice and reason as the Indians had to call them Christians. What unlettered nations, utterly without books, colleges and schools, have ever produced such men, worthily renowned as orator and statesmen in council, and brave in the field of battle as patriots, as the true Native Americans of the North Western Continent, in their Massasoits, Phillips, Pontiacs, Red Jackets, Black Hawks, Tecumsehs, Humming Birds, Red Shoes, Apushamatahahs, Weatherfords, Osceolas, Ridges, Rosses, Colberts, and hundreds of others of equal renown? They are not to be found in tradition on in ancient or modern history.


Cushman, Horatio Bardwell. History Of The Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez Indians. Greenville, Texas: Headlight Printing House. 1899

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