Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mystery Man

Several years ago I found this photo in a Coxsackie, New York, antique store and bought it because the man looked so much like my relatives.  Indeed, he also resembles someone in another photo I bought because of family resemblance:

This is what happens when your grandfather in a depressed state of mind burns all the known family photos.  You start collecting photos from antique stores that look like your family.  This is a large portrait I bought in a Slingerlands, New York, store because she looked so much like my paternal grandfather Earl Winchell:

I remember my boss let me take a long lunch to go back and buy the portrait, and even to use the company camera to take a photo of it.  

My Winchell family lived in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. When I bought the portrait I didn't know that the Rev. William Henry Winchell, my great-grandfather's nephew, moved to New York State and most of his family lived in the state.  I didn't know that Guy Warner, my great-grandfather's cousin, and his wife Cora Griswold moved to Orange County, New York, by 1910.

Earl Winchell and daughter-in-law Catherine Collier Winchell
 I think the resemblance is uncanny, myself, I don't think I'm too off the mark to think that the woman in the portrait is someone from my family, and she could very well be Winifred Olivia Ashley, Earl's grandmother.

The girl in the photo I could trace back to Great Barrington around 1878.  She could be Ada Winchell, Earl's aunt who died unmarried of consumption at age 23.  

The man in the first photo?  I have no idea.  There are too many possibilities.  He is too young to be my great-uncle Paul Herbert Winchell of Chatham, NY.  He could be a descendant of the Rev. William Henry Winchell, or Guy Warner.  Maybe someone will be able to tell me someday.

There is a moral to this post:  please, people, always identify the people in your photos.  Someday someone will want to know.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Native American Professional Associations Show Participation in Modern Society

Part 24 of the series Are Native Americans Relevant?

  • American Indian Chamber of Commerce
  • American Indian Library Association
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society
  • Association of Native American Medical Students
  • Association of Native American Physicians
  • Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT)
  • Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)
  • Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
  • Intertribal Agriculture Council
  • National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development
  • National Coalition of American Athletes
  • National Indian Education Association
  • National Native American Bar Association
  • National Native American Human Resources Association
  • National Native American Law Enforcement Association (NNALEA)
  • National Tribal Environmental Council
  • Native American Art Studies Association
  • Native American Business Alliance
  • Native American Fish and Wildlife Society
  • Native American Intellectual Property Enterprise Council
  • Native American Journalists Association
  • Native American Lawyers Association
  • Native American Manufacturer’s Network
  • Native American/Corporate America Business
  • Native Finance Officers Association
  • Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science
  • Society of American Indian Dentists

Native American Engineer Essential to Web Technology

Part 23 of the series Are Native Americans Relevant?

T. David Petite is a member of the Fund du Lac Chippewa Tribe and the founder of the Native American Intellectual Property Enterprise Council.  He is the key inventor of wireless ad hoc networks, and the creator of smart cloud technology and the Essential Wireless Mesh™ (EWM™) Patent Portfolio.  We could not have the access to the web the way we do without thi technology.  Petite is a highly recognized inventor in the worldwide energy and communications community with over 40 U.S. issued patents to his name.  Mr. Petite’s technology is also being currently used in soil management, home appliances (such as washers and dryers), industrial plant monitoring, building automation, and medical asset management.

Native Technology Old and New

Part 22 of the series Are Native Americans Relevant?

  • Native Americans were the first people to realize the global climate was changing.
  • Native Americans were the first to tap rubber trees for latex and treat it to create the first rubber raincoats, ponchos, shoes, rubber balls, bottles and ropes.  The Europeans learned about rubber in 1735.  Its discovery helped initiate the industrial age.  Outdoor exploration and the modern age were not possible without tires, machine parts and electrical insulation.
  • In Pennsylvania Native Americans used asphalt from open pits and early oil wells to waterproof baskets and cloth.  These sources led to development of the oil industry and the myriad products and by-products of crude oil that dominate the world today.
  • Native Americans knew how to construct buildings that have survived earthquakes for hundreds of years.
  • Native American architecture inspired prominent American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Almost all early North American cities were built on Native village sites, taking advantage of land that had already been cleared and prepared for planting.  The sod houses on the Plains were inspired by Native American houses.
  • Originally Europeans used Native American trails to travel from place to place.
  • Native Americans developed a complex technology for producing superior dyes that Europeans adopted.  At the time of contact Peruvians had 109 distinct hues in seven color categories.
  • Cochineal was the most important Indian dye in North American.  After the conquest of Mexico, Spaniards seized the cochineal plantations and built more.  The new dye was marketed all over Europe.  It became a staple of British textile industry.  It provided the dye for British army uniforms.  The dye is still used in food products and cosmetics.
  • Achiote is a shrub from Central America with fruit that produces the bright yellow or reddish yellow annatto dye and is usually widely as a food colorant.
  • Dyewoods provided purple, brown and black dyes for textiles, food, glass, wood, leather processing ink and printing, and widely used until the 19th century when coal tar started to replace them.
  • Sisal cord and rope come from the agave plant,  indigenous to tropical regions of the Americas. 
  • The largest mound of the Cahokia pyramids, Monk’s Mound, was the largest structure in the U.S. until airplane hangars, the Pentagon and skyscrapers were built.  16 acres, base 1037’ long, 790’ wide, volume of 21,690,000 cubic feet.  Below is an artistic recreation.

North American a Mixed Heritage Land

Part 21 of the series Are Native Americans Relevant?

People of different races have mixed on North America ever since the first Europeans came.  

Since De Soto first arrived in Florida, Africans found refuge in Native American communities.  Throughout Desoto’s rampage from South Carolina to the Mississippi River, African slaves continually escaped and became first Old World settlers.  Native groups remained sanctuaries for escaped slaves. They found their way to the more distant areas of the continent.  
 Some tribes did enslave the runaways, most notably the Creek and Cherokee. When enslaved together, Native Americans and Africans often intermarried.  The first patriot to die in the American struggle for independence was the Native American and African man Crispus Attucks, who was shot in the Boston Massacre 5 March 1770.
According to Spanish observers, 50 percent of the English men in Jamestown had relationships with Native women.  This information was kept out of American histories.
 White settlers frequently left communities to live with the Native Americans.  White captives often refused to leave.  Women in particular were treated much better in Native communities.  This created great theological and cultural problems for the colonial governments.  Several colonies passed laws forbidding this.  In an attempt to stop it, a new American genre of literature was born, accounts written by captives with horrifying details to induce fear of Natives.
The British government encouraged the immigration of Scottish men and their participation in the fur trade in the colonies.  At this period of time, Scottish highlanders were considered almost as savage and uncivilized as the Native Americans.  These traders usually were more successful if they married Native American women. It was a law with the Southeastern tribes. The children often held positions of respect because they knew both worlds. 
In Canada the mixed families created their own society along the Red River in Manitoba, Canada.  Wealthy Scottish traders sent their children back to the home country to be educated.  Sometimes they retired there, taking their Native wives and their mixed-blood children home to Scotland.
Intermarriage was frequent between Spanish soldiers and Native women in Mexico, Florida, and Caribbean.  The Spanish government ignored the need for Spanish women.  Prejudice against Native blood in Spanish America was still common.  People tried to hide their Native background.  Native Americans who could speak Spanish and wore Mexican clothing were called mestizos.  In the 18th century the Spanish colonial government gave the mestizos a way to become white by selling them certificates of whiteness.
In Alaska Russian male fur traders consorted with Native women.  Their children were given equal rights and Russian citizenship and made subjects of the czar.  After obtaining Alaska, the United States tried to deny their rights. 
Mixed French and Indian people in French Canada are called Métis.  Intermarriage was encouraged early on by the French government and continued after British took control.  Native American women legally became French upon their marriage.  In the western and northern provinces Native females were regularly sold for wives.
A large Métis population developed in western Canada.  It combined Woodland and Plains culture with European.  In the Victorian era, as a result of the Age of Reason and Charles Darwin’s writings on the survival of the fittest species, the people of mixed heritage were looked down upon.  It was thought interracial coupling led to poor morals and behavior and could bring down the European race and the British Empire. 
The educated Métis knew they were not intellectually inferior and wanted equal status and their own land in Canada.  In 1869 Louis Riel first led the Métis to seize Fort Garry in Manitoba.  They established a government in Winnipeg and petitioned for admission to Canada as a new province.  They were not successful.
In 1885 the Métis tried again.  They needed to defend their farms in Saskatchewan after they were driven away from the Red River in Manitoba.  Riel tried to establish a Métis nation again.  He worked through diplomatic and political channels with no success.  Canadian government forces put down the revolt, captured Riel and hanged him 16 November 1885 in Regina.
After the second failure to create their own place in Canadian society, most Métis had to decide whether to be white or Native.  Those choosing to be Native joined Native relatives in the Great Lakes area and the central plains of North American.  Many French speaking families worked for white farmers.  Others moved into Quebec, New England and New York to participate in communities there.