Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Ken Burns on PBS
The Civil War. A Film by Ken Burns
Images of the Civil War
The Film, Past and Present
The War
Biographies of Key Figures
Historical Documents
Related Links
Fact Page
The Filmmakers
In the Classroom

Ely Parker

New York
Head of the Federal Commission

A Seneca Indian with legal training, admitted to the military only after Ulysses Grant intervened, Ely Parker made history by writing out the terms of the final Confederate surrender. Later, under Grant's presidency, Parker made history again as head of the federal commission on Indian affairs. Robert E. Lee once mistook Parker for a black man, but corrected himself at Appomattox: "I am glad to see one real American here."

Copyright 2002 WETA. All rights reserved.