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Ely Parker: Native American Person and Euro-American Persona

J. Schatzel works in healthcare administration in rural upstate New York and has a master's degree in history.

Race versus Class in the perception of the American Public, 1867

The wedding of Ely Samuel Parker to Minnie Sackett has been the object of anthropological and historical interpretations since news of the 1867 wedding first spread from Washington DC across the nation. Over the past one hundred and fifty three years, perceptions of the wedding have encapsulated American perceptions of race and ethnicity to grasp an understanding of why amidst such strict social racial hierarchies of the nineteenth century, the Parker-Sackett wedding took place without the public outcry other interracial marriages of the nineteenth century evoked. Parker’s racial status as a Native American held contrast to both his political position as Grant’s aide de camp during the Civil War and social position amidst middle class America. Parker’s veteran status and participation in social and political groups esteemed by white Americans helped increase Parker’s level of perceived acceptability as a husband to a white woman.

Whereas accounts of marriages between white women and Native American men during the nineteenth century have regarded such marriages as a racial “spectacle” in which a white woman married beneath her social standing, the Parker-Sackett wedding did not acknowledge Parker’s race to the same extent as in the case of other Native American husbands because of Parker’s high social and political standing. Through an analysis of interpretations of the wedding spanning contemporary newspapers and more recent interpretations of the Parker-Sackett wedding, it is clear that Parker’s acceptability as a husband to a white woman was due in large part to his social standing as a political figure credited with writing the Articles of Secession at the conclusion of the Civil War, and his participation in social groups such as the Masonic Lodge. Parker’s political position as a Union veteran held in high regard by Ulysses S. Grant and other such influential figures as anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan, outweighed the racial contentions many Americans held during the mid nineteenth century. While many regarded Parker as a “Red Man” racially inferior to his white bride, Parker’s Civil War service to Grant, social connections, and post-war political position outweighed his perceived racial inferiority.[1]

Ely Samuel Parker was born a member of the Seneca Indian tribe in 1828; with the tribal name Hasanowanda, meaning “well read.” His family had originally adopted the Parker name for use when dealing with the white settlers in the area, taking the surname of a white family adopted into the tribe. His father was a Tonawanda Seneca chief and a veteran of the War of 1812; his mother was descended from a Haudenosaunee prophet. After receiving his early education from Baptist missionaries on the Seneca reservation; Parker later enrolled at Rochester High School until age 18, when he devoted his time to furthering Indian affairs in Washington, D.C.. During this period, he came to know such figures as anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan, aiding Morgan in researching for Morgan’s book League of the Iroquois, one of the first anthropological and sociological studies of a Native American tribe. In 1847, Parker became a member of the Batavia Lodge Number 88, and remained a Mason until his death. Aligning himself politically and socially with influential whites, Parker began asserting himself as an American male, not as a Native American male devoid of white American standards of respectability and middle class status in nineteenth century America. [2]

In 1852, Parker was elected as the sachem (one of the fifty representatives of the Haudenosaunee, appointed by elders of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy) of his tribe and adopted the tribal name Donehogawa, or "Keeper of the Western Door of the Long House of the Haudenosaunee." Embracing his high tribal status without letting it interfere with his assertion of perceived white American qualities, in the early to mid-1850s Parker studied law at Yates and Cayuga Academies in western New York, before continuing on to study law in Ellicottville, NY. Although Parker passed the bar exam, he was denied the opportunity to practice law because of his Seneca heritage. In the late 1850s, Parker studied civil engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and began working for the United States government, as a supervisor of public works projects. During one such project to build a hospital, he befriended a local clerk, Ulysses S. Grant. Parker attempted to join the Union army at the outbreak of the Civil War, but could not be released from his construction duties until 1862; at which time he was unable to obtain an army commission due to his Native American ethnicity, and resulting lack of United States citizenship. Having already held a public position through the Department of Public Works while paying taxes in three states in which he traveled back and forth between for work, Parker argued that he would be of value as an American citizen. The House of Representatives responded that they did not have the authority to confer citizenship on an individual, only to establish guidelines through which an individual becomes a naturalized citizen of the United States. He was finally commissioned as a captain of engineers in 1863, and later that year he became a staff officer under Ulysses Grant. Grant appointed Parker as his military secretary the subsequent year, which was followed by a series of promotions for Parker through the ranks. At the conclusion of the war, Ely Parker was present at Lee's surrender at the Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, where he transcribed Grant's dictation concerning the surrender orders, and helped revise the orders.[3]

On December 23rd 1867, the DC Evening Star proclaimed that for Parker and Sackett, “the knot will undoubtedly be firmly tied on to–morrow noon.” It added, “the wedding affair creates great interest among the elite.”[4] Two days later, the Tribune reported that “the female portion of the community were exceedingly interested in the event, and . . . that not less than 5,000 of the fair sex visited the church.”[5] The New York Herald described the scene as “a very promiscuous and very silly assemblage, [including] misses in their teens and youths with downy moustaches, to petrified old maidenhood and grave and reverend masculinity.” When the doors of the church finally opened, the “ladies, all rosy, and smiling with nervous expectation, jostled the gentlemen in the vestibule [while] . . . [g]reat big whiskered swells of the foreign legations and dapper looking dandies of the Treasury Department were sandwiched between the fair expectants in the best seats.”[6] The National Republican estimated that “the church was pretty well filled, the majority being ladies. There was a great desire to get front seats,” the reporter proclaimed.[7] Word quickly spread through the crowd, though, that the wedding had been conducted privately the night before. “The disappointment to the ladies cannot be described in words,” reported the Herald, a “repetition of the grand matrimonial and spectacular drama of ‘Pocahontas,’ with the sexes reversed Eli Parker, with his warrior’s sash, plume and tribal trappings, leading his fair Caucasian bride to the altar, was a picture so seldom presented in these prosaic days that no wonder if sentimental fair ones in Washington flocked to witness the romantic event.” [8] The wedding was highly anticipated in among Washington D.C.’s elite, and Parker was perceived by the public as an acceptable husband for his white bride despite his racial makeup.

Historians such as Scott Michaelsen, Floyd B. Largent, and C. J. Pilawa contend that by the 1867 Parker-Sackett wedding, Ely Parker had “constructed a hybrid public identity that both utilized and transcended notions of race,” even in the face of the objections of some of Ely Parker’s Haudenosaunee friends and relatives that had supported his endeavors in American politics and society; until Parker had metamorphosed into a white man in all aspects except skin color. Historian C.J. Pilawa recognize that interracial marriages between white women and men of apparent racial inferiority were perceived by American society as disruptive to patriarchal order, and racialized societal hierarchies, however asserts his thesis that such an outcry did not occur surrounding the Parker marriage, due to Parker’s societal standing. As a civil engineer and a Civil War veteran with such high rank among the political and societal leaders of Washington D.C., Parker distinguished himself in American societal hierarchies regardless of race, thus ultimately seeming tolerable to white Americans to become the husband of a white wife, and as Pilawa contends, “perhaps a forerunner of the late assimilationist trend.” Parker's “intellectual precocity” and Western-style education allowed him to embrace white standards of middle class values, and enabled him to achieve the career status he had attained by 1867; thus preventing his racial differences from his wife from averting his marriage.[9]

The Washington D.C. public was fixated on the marriage of Ely Parker and Minnie Sackett. Even though this was a very public interracial marriage at a particularly tense historic moment that could have motivated outrage and even racial violence in the nation’s capital as had occurred elsewhere surrounding inter-racial marriages of the nineteenth century, Pilawa contends that it was Parker’s public presentation as a war hero who personified standards of middle–class Victorian manhood that made him a socially acceptable husband for a white woman. Furthermore, Pilawa asserts that through interwoven and competing public perceptions, Parker represented the quintessence of a “racialized, primitive masculinity, and yet through visible markers of class and gender, he was a nonthreatening object of public fascination for a sentimentalized, feminized, middle–class audience.” Pilawa asserts that although the newspaper reporters sensationalized and romanticized the union, they also demonstrated a quiet acceptance of the Parker-Sackett marriage.[10]

Historian Floyd Largent’s analysis of Ely Parker’s social and political status places great emphasis on Parker’s social connections to whites, such as his involvement with the Masonic Lodge. Largent contends that Parker's “star continued to rise in the white man's world” as he assumed the mantle of Knights Templar in the Royal Arch of the Masonic Order, became a captain of engineers in the 54th Regiment of the New York state militia, and rose rapidly through the state's engineering ranks. Parker was highly regarded for his capabilities in the construction of levees, buildings, and canals, and favored for his Masonic status; and in 1857 he was appointed superintendent of lighthouse construction on the upper Great Lakes, following a series of promotions leading to his eventual meeting of Hiram Ulysses Grant through his job in Galena Illinois. Following the confederate attack of Fort Sumter in April 1861, he attempted to join the Union Army. Parker traveled to Albany to offer to raise a volunteer regiment of Haudenosaunee men to fight for the Federal Government, however was emphatically refused; New York State Governor Edwin Morgan made it clear that Native Americans were not wanted in the New York Volunteers. Parker then offered his services to the Union as an engineer, and again he was rejected for his ethnicity. Secretary of State William Seward put it to him brusquely, stating "the fight must be settled by the white men alone. Go home, cultivate your farm, and we will settle our troubles without any Indian aid." Discouraged, Parker returned home, where for two years he busied himself with Masonic activities, and worked behind the scenes pressuring Grant, to obtain a commission in the Union Army. In 1863, Grant fulfilled Parker's wish, and Parker was enlisted as a captain of engineers in the U.S. Army. Although according to Haudenosaunee custom no Grand Sachem could go to war and retain his tribal title, a special dispensation was made for Parker, as this was not a war against another tribe, but between white men. While Seneca by birth, Parker had established himself as a valuable negotiator with the federal government for the Seneca people, but was viewed by his people as having become white. According to Largent, Parker was recognized to be fiercely strong, fitting the conceptions of white masculinity of the nineteenth century, and was extraordinarily intelligent. Parker was "two hundred pounds of encyclopedia," as one of his Army friends called him. Soft-spoken and polite as a middle class gentleman was expected to be, he was a positive contribution to Grant's white inner circle. During his service in the war, Parker gained numerous friendships with such major figures as Abraham Lincoln and Mathew Brady, the famous photographer.[11]

Parker’s position as a high ranking officer in the Civil War helped him establish a status of equality to his white fiancé. The wedding was attended by politicians and other famous individuals, and Ulysses S. Grant even walked the bride down the aisle in place of her late stepfather. After earning the trust and admiration of Ulysses S. Grant during his service in the Union army of the Civil War, Parker was selected for his writing skills and penmanship to help draft and later transcribe the articles of surrender of the Confederacy. At the drafting of the Articles of Surrender, Parker was addressed by Robert E. Lee as a “real American,” as Lee shook hands with Parker as if he were one of the white commanders present. According to historian Cathleen Cahill, inter-racial marriages during the 1860s were unusual, and the extensive press coverage of the wedding reflected the American public’s fascination with the rarity of the occasion. Whereas Cahill contends that a marriage between a white woman and a Native American man would elicit a public outcry due to the degradation of white womanhood by the savage male instincts of a prospective Native American husband, Ely Parker’s social standing and political position exempted him from such ridicule. Parker had attained middle class status, and in the ethnicity-based social hierarchies of the 1860s had established himself among whites as an American male; not a Native American “savage.” While Cahill states that Native American males engages to white females had their masculinity questioned by the American public as a means of illegitimating their relationship status due to racial differences, Parker has established his masculinity through Civil War service, and was not questioned as Cahill’s thesis would suggest. Parker did not threaten white womanhood, because his status as an American male was secured through his ties to ending the Civil War and was validated by his financial stability as a self-made middle class American. Having transcribed the official terms of surrender of the Confederacy and serving as a Brigadier General during the Civil War despite his meager beginnings on the Tonawanda New York Seneca Reservation, Parker demonstrated his ability to compete and succeed amidst a Euro-American middle class. Parker’s position as a negotiator between Native Americans and the Federal Government between 1864 and his 1867 wedding established him as a representative of the Federal Government, reaching agreements with Native American groups and thus reasserting his embodiment of whiteness.[12]

Parker's selection to draft the surrender papers at Appomattox was in recognition of his exquisite penmanship and skill with the English language; products of his extensive education. After joining the ranks of Grant's staff, he took care of most of General Grant’s personal papers. Once Grant had drafted each day's orders and correspondence, he would sort them all and give them to Parker, who would then make copies as necessary. Parker characteristically signed Grant’s orders "By Command of Lieut. Gen. Grant, E.S. Parker, Asst. Adj't Gen'l," in a hand much beloved by his white superiors for its legibility and elegance; farm from what was expected of a Native American in pre-Indian Boarding School Movement America. The drafting of the articles of surrender, Parker's last act in the war under Grant’s direction, was the highlight of his military career, that Largent contends “certainly provided [Parker] with much currency, social and otherwise, later in life.” [13] While the transcription of the articles of surrender were not written solely by Parker, much credit has been given to Parker for their eloquence. As noted in Ulysses S. Grant’s memoirs, the articles were stated to have held “many interlineations and erasures” added at the suggestion of Grant in Parker’s own hand.[14]

While Parker never explained his failure to show for his first scheduled wedding date, it is comprehensible that there were intensive societal pressures against miscegenation in the 1860s. With the existence of colonial racial taxonomies persistent within American society even in 1867, a Native American man marrying a white American woman was perceived as unacceptable. Historian C.J. Pilawa contends that through Ely’s refusal to attend his first scheduled wedding ceremony, historians may grasp the “significance of community and public pressures, motivated by notions of race, when individuals chose to marry across racial boundaries” as Parker did. While there were no legal prohibitions against miscegenation, social pressures often hindered such occasions in the nineteenth century. However, due to Parker’s position as a government official, war-hero status, and personification of Victorian Era middle class standards of manhood made him an acceptable husband for a white woman. His career choices adhered to nineteenth century conceptions of American manhood, through a combination of his professional accomplishments, public behaviors, and embodiment of the ideals of the self-made man that juxtaposed the ethno-chauvinism of the nineteenth century; including the predominantly white readership of the newspapers which publicized the Parker-Sackett nuptials. Despite his Seneca heritage, Parker was by the standards of the time, an acceptable match for Minnie Sackett. Inter-racial marriages between white women and Native American men were not common in the 1860s, and were not increasingly widespread until the 1880s following the implementation of the Indian Boarding School Movement; at which time such marriages were seen as an assimilationist means of incorporating Native American males into the fabric of white American society and aid in the dissolution of Native American communities. Thus, the Parker-Sackett wedding was widely publicized through extensive newspaper coverage and followed by the American public.[15]

Minnie Orton Sackett was a Washington D.C. socialite, the white stepdaughter of Lt. Col. William Sackett, a New York Volunteer killed at Trevilian Station in June 1864. Sackett married Parker on Christmas Eve, 1867, with Ulysses Grant serving as the best man and giving the bride away in place of her absent father. During his postwar service preceding the wedding, Parker toured military facilities in the occupied South, making recommendations as to where the army could safely cut costs, close facilities, and muster out its troops. His advice was well respected and his services held in high regard by his superiors. Parker also served as an emissary to Indian tribes in the West. He traveled throughout Oklahoma and the Plains, settling differences resulting both from the turbulence of the war, American westward expansion, and the nations infamous Indian policy corruption. He was popular among other Native Americans, who were gratified that the politicians in Washington would send another Native American to negotiate. Parker's experiences touring the western frontier compelled him to submit a four-point plan to the government, to establish a permanent peace with the Native Americans; one in which all dealings would be fair and aboveboard contrary to former American-Indian negotiations. His plan was well received by his superiors, and much of it consequently was adopted as national policy. Many of those same Washington superiors were among the D.C. elite invited to attend the wedding.[16]

Whereas much of historians’ focus on the wedding has emphasized white American reactions to the Parker-Sackett marriage, anthropologist William Armstrong’s analysis focused primarily on Haudenosaunee reactions. While the wedding was unusual for its ethnic complexities, it was largely accepted by white Americans who recognized Parker as economically, politically, and socially white despite his Seneca heritage. Haudenosaunee observers however were not as accepting of the marriage, and wished to dissuade Parker from marrying Sackett. Feeling that Parker was being lost to a white world and no longer fitting within the beliefs and traditions of Haudenosaunee culture, Haudenosaunee friends of Parker went to the lengths of offering to find him a Seneca wife, and drugging him in an attempt to make him absent from his wedding ceremony to prevent his marriage to a white woman. Whereas more than five thousand Washington D.C. elites arrived at the elegantly decorated Church of the Epiphany in support of the wedding, one of Parker’s Seneca friends arrived in early December to drug Parker in the hopes of making him too ill to marry Sackett and prevent Parker from violating Haudenosaunee prophet Handsome Lake’s assertion that intermarriage between a Haudenosaunee and a non-Haudenosaunee was sinful for intermingling “the blood of two races.” While not openly stating that Ely Parker’s perceived whiteness made his ethnicity more acceptable to the American public, Armstrong’s analysis validates the assertion that the white majority was accepting of the marriage despite the few Haudenosaunee attempts to discourage the inter-racial nuptials.[17]

In historical and anthropological accounts of Ely Parker’s life, Parker’s Civil War service is often credited with bolstering Parker’s rank among white Americans and establishing his perceived likeness to whites in American society in the years following the war. The accounts of Arthur Parker (1919), William Armstrong (1978), Floyd Largent (1996), Edward Campbell (2000), Cathleen Cahill (2008), and C.J. Pilawa (2008) all focus heavily on the influence of Parker’s Civil War service and its resulting social connections that enabled his marital acceptance amidst his white middle-class neighbors. As Parker himself stated in his address at a meeting of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion in 1889, his service in the Civil War arose from a deep sense of patriotism and a wish to maintain the honor and integrity of the American flag like his white neighbors. Embracing American patriotism as if he were a citizen, Parker served in the Union army among whites and rose through the ranks of the military and society by embodying the characteristics ascribed to white American males. The social connections Parker had made through his government service as the Public Works Commissioner and later as a Brigadier General in the Civil War earned him trust and respect of his colleagues regardless of is race, and aided in his future wedding’s acceptability among his former supporters. At the request of Union Colonel John Fisk, Parker did assist in recruiting Native Americans into the Union Army and soon other units were growing throughout Haudenosaunee areas of New York as well as amidst other Native American communities across northern United States. In 1863, Ely S. Parker finally received his commission as a Captain in the United States Volunteers. John E. Smith, a mutual friend of Grant and Parker from Galena, who was now a Brigadier General and asked Congress to appoint Parker to his staff. The commission was granted because the general neglected to mention that Ely Parker was a Native American. Grant, a General by this time, interceded and advocated for Parker.[18]

With the conclusion of the hostilities of the Civil War with Parker’s involvement in the surrender of the confederacy at Appomattox, Grant and Parker boarded a steamer and headed for Washington D.C. to report to President Lincoln with the news. On April 12, 1865, Parker was once more a guest of the White House as he had been at age 18 when he so impressed President Wilson with his negotiation and translation skills among the Haudenosaunee. Now amidst the political atmosphere of the Civil War’s conclusion, Parker met with Abraham Lincoln and talked of both his people and of his love of the Union. According to William Armstrong, Lincoln was impressed, and the two men developed an all too brief friendship that was “cut tragically short two days later when the President was shot by an assassin at Ford’s Theater.” It was Parker’s ability to make such political and social connections with high ranking political and social figures, that Armstrong, Largent, Campbell, Cahill, and Pilawa contend enabled Parker to embody the persona of a white American and thus enable his wedding to be accepted within American middle –class ideals.[19]

The location of this marriage amidst a community of influential people predisposed to supporting Parker may also have played a role in Parker’s acceptance as a viable husband to Minnie Sackett. In her study of post–Civil War Washington D.C. society, historian Kathryn Jacob contends that perhaps more than in any other city, capital–dwellers had a “democratized conception of social class in which one could rise to an elite level quite fluidly.” Powerful forces shaped this situation, she asserted, including the loss of the Southern aristocratic presence, which provided opportunities for a newer “official elite.” This structure was “based on specific elected and appointed offices, regardless of the pedigree or affluence of their occupants.” While it would be impossible to prove decisively, this development could have aided in Parker’s acceptance into elite society and the public perception of his marriage.[20]

The wedding of Ely S. Parker to Minnie Sackett has been the object of anthropological and historical interpretations since 1867. Throughout the past one hundred and fifty three years, discernment of the wedding have encapsulated American perceptions of race and ethnicity to grasp an understanding of why even amidst the strict social racial hierarchies of the nineteenth century, the Parker-Sackett wedding took place without the public outcry other interracial marriages of the nineteenth century induced. Parker’s racial status as a Native American held contrast to both his political position as Grant’s aide de camp during the Civil War and social position amidst middle-class Americans and the elite of Washington D.C.. Parker’s veteran status and participation in social and political groups esteemed by white Americans helped increase Parker’s level of perceived acceptability as a husband to a white woman.

Parker’s cross-cultural existence failed to interfere with his marriage to a white woman due to Parker’s embracement of the characteristics ascribed to the white majority, despite his ethnic links to the Native American minority. As his political power increased in the nation's capital, so did criticism from the Haudenosaunee. They accused him of neglecting his culture, and his 1867 marriage to white socialite Sackett did little to bridge the widening cultural chasm created by Parker’s dual identity. Ely Parker rejected Haudenosaunee tradition and aligned himself with white America. Accustomed to living among whites and emulating middle-class euro-American values, Ely Parker was perceived by his fellow Americans as an acceptable husband to a white woman despite nineteenth century cultural taboos and a lack of support of the Haudenosaunee which held the potential to otherwise prevent such nuptials without Parker’s societal position.

[1] C. J. Pilawa, “All Intent on Seeing the White Woman Married to the Red Man: The Parker Sackett Affair and the Public Spectacle of Intermarriage.” Journal of Women’s History, Vol.20, No.2, (Summer 2008) 58.

[2] Floyd B. Largent Jr., “Iroquois Chief and Union Officer Ely Parker” America's Civil War, Vol. 9, Issue 4 (September 1996), 2-8.

[3] Ibid., 4-6.

[4] “To Be Married To–Morrow,” Washington DC Evening Star, 23 December 1867. Reprinted in Pilawa, 77.

[5] New York Daily Tribune, 25 December 1867. Reprinted in Pilawa, 77.

[6] “The Parker–Sackett Nuptials,” New York Herald, 25 December 1867. Reprinted in Pilawa, 59.

[7] “Married at Last,” Washington DC National Republican, 25 December 1867. Reprinted in Pilawa, 59.

[8] “The Parker–Sackett Nuptials,” New York Herald, 25 December 1867. Reprinted in Pilawa, 59.

[9] For analysis of duality of Parker’s identity, see Pilawa 57-58. For analysis of reactions to the Parker-Sackett wedding, see Pilawa, 58-60. For views of miscegenation contemporary to the Parker-Sackett wedding, see Pilawa, 63. For an overview of the occupations of Parker and assimilationist ideologies of 1867, see Pilawa, 63-67. For an analysis of Parker’s education and career status, see Scott Michaelsen, “Ely S. Parker and Amerindian Voices in Ethnography” American Literary History, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Winter, 1996) 617.

[10] Pilawa, 61.

[11] Largent, 2-4.

[12] For wedding participants, see Pilawa, p.58. For an overview of the education and military career of Parker, and an overview of Parker’s relationship with Grant, see Lloyd J. Linford, 'We Are All Americans' The Washington Post, (Jun 10, 1973) H4. For an analysis of public responses to miscegenation in the 19th century, see Cathleen D. Cahill, “You Think It Strange That I Can Love an Indian" Frontiers Vol.29, No.3, (2008) 119-123. For an analysis of 19th century perceptions of Native American males as inferior “savage” beings, see Cahill, 131. For an analysis of native American masculinity and legitimacy of relationships between “savage” males and white women, see Cahill, 132. For a detailed list of the military accomplishments and political ties of Parker during and following the Civil War, and an overview of Parker’s childhood and education, see Edward D.C. Campbell, “Caught Between Two Worlds.” American History, (April 2000) 18.

[13] Largent, 5.

[14] Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant (New York, 1885) 436.

[15] For an overview of public perceptions of miscegenation in 1867, see Pilawa, 60. For an analysis of Parker’s career, accomplishments, and pursuit of the American dream, see Pilawa, 67-70. For an analysis of nineteenth century ethno-chauvenism and an overview of Parker’s white audience, see Linford, 632. For an overview of miscegenation in the 1860s-1880s, and an analysis of the increasing rates of interracial marriages following the Indian Boarding School Movement, see Cahill, 118.

[16] For a biography of Minnie Sackett Parker, see Largent, 5. For an overview of the wedding and an overview of elite witness of the wedding, see Arthur Parker, The Life of General Ely S. Parker: Last Grand Sachem of the Iroquois and General Grant’s Military Secretary. (N.Y., Buffalo Historical Society: 1919) 144-145.

[17] William H. Armstrong, Warrior in Two Camps: Ely S. Parker, Union General and Seneca Chief, (N.Y., Syracuse University Press: 1978). 133-135.

[18] James Grant Wilson, ed. Personal Recollections of the War of the Rebellion: Addresses Delivered Before the New York Commandery of the Loyal Legion of the United States, 1883-1891 (U.S.A., University of Michigan Press: 1891) 338-348.

[19] For an overview of Parker’s interactions with Lincoln and Wilson, see Armstrong, 134.

[20] Kathryn A. Jacobs, Capital Elites: High Society in Washington, D.C., after the Civil War (Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995) 3.

Special Thanks

Special Thanks to Hartwick College, Oneonta NY, for the use of their library in my research!

Special Thanks to Hartwick College, Oneonta NY, for the use of their library in my research!

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