Ely S. Parker -- A Warrior In Two Worlds

Ely S. Parker
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Ely Parker was a Seneca chief, a legal scholar, an engineer, a Civil War hero, and a Cabinet-level commissioner -- all by the age of 40. At first glance, his story appears to be one of success and triumph.

Yet Parker died in poverty far from the land of his birth. In later life he was estranged from his people and dismissed by political leaders he once considered friends. Today, American history remembers him as a mere footnote, and inside the Seneca community, he is a controversial figure -- considered a hero by some, branded a traitor by others.

This web site offers insight into Ely Parker -- the human being -- and his accomplishments, which reach an almost mythical level. In the timeline below (starting with "A Time of Crisis") you can explore Parker's thoughts, his youthful dreams, his front-line battle experiences with General Grant during the Civil War, and the reflections and regrets of his final years.

The PBS documentary Warrior in Two Worlds was produced by WXXI Public Broadcasting Council in Rochester, New York, in collaboration with the Rochester Museum & Science Center. The program is also a co-presentation with Native American Public Telecommunications. Major funding for this site was provided by the Lennox Foundation of Dallas, Texas.