Title: Untitled [Red Shirt is being lionised]

Periodical: Leeds Mercury

Date: May 7, 1887

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Red Shirt, the Sioux Chief, is being lionised in a manner that might turn the heads of untutored savages less grave and serious-minded, but he accepts the honour of visits from the distinguished with imperturbable self-possession. He has had the satisfaction of an interview with Mr. Gladstone, and now the Prince of Wales has chatted with him and drawn him into a lively vein of conversation. This will inevitably lead to Red Shirt being courted extensively by London fashion, and perhaps he may figure at parties and receptions as a sensational personage in society, putting a few scalps in his belt to show how fierce and brave he was in tomahawking days. These violent glimpses of modern civilisation are not generally happy in results on the temperament of aboriginal types. They tend to overpower the reasoning faculties of the untutored. Even where progress is made in the ways of the civilised man, the improvement may not prove permanent. There is the famous case of Jemmy Button, [1] the Terra del Fuegan, who relapsed into his former abyss of abject savagery, and forgot the few words of the English language he had picked up. It is important to note that Red Shirt has a very clear idea of the future of his race. The Indian must conform to the white man's agricultural and industrial habits, or disappear. As time advances his lands are appropriated, his game is killed off, and Uncle Sam will expect him to make his own living eventually, as so many tribes, such as the Choctaw nation, already do in Indian Territory.

Note 1: Jemmy Button (-1864), Orundellico, one of the four native Fuegians of the Yahgan people (also called Yagán or Yahgan) of Tierra del Fuego (southernmost Chile and Argentina) who were taken to England in 1830 by Captain Robert FitzRoy (1805-1865) to be "civilized." [back]

Title: Untitled [Red Shirt is being lionised]

Periodical: Leeds Mercury

Date: May 7, 1887

Topic: European Tours

Keywords: Acculturation Aristocracy (Social class) Assimilation (Sociology) Choctaw Nation Fashion Indians Sioux Yahgan Indians

People: Button, Jemmy, -1864 Edward VII, King of Great Britain, 1841-1910 Fitzroy, Robert, 1805-1865 Gladstone, W. E. (William Ewart), 1809-1898 Red Shirt, 1845?-1925

Places: London (England) Tierra del Fuego (Argentina and Chile)

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine W. & Robert J. Dellenback Foundation.

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