Friday, May 27, 2016

Native American Biographies: Carlos Montezuma; Yavapai MD

Carlos Montezuma was born into conflicted times.  He was born in central Arizona in 1867.  Americans were mining and settling on territorial land.  There was also conflict with the Pimas.  He was abducted by the Pimas and sold into slavery in Mexico.  He would never see his parents.  A photographer named Carlos Gentile took pity on the boy and purchased him and took him to Chicago.  He had the finest schools.  For a tome he was the Ward of a Baptist minister.  He received his M.D. in 1889 from Chicago Medical School.  He worked at the Carlisle Indian School, Western Nevada Shoshone Agency and Colville Agency in Washington.  He clashed with the assimilation practices and eventually went into private practice.  He took an active roll in advocacy for Native Peoples, that they should control their destiny rather than government agents.  He founded the Society of Native American in 1911.  He published a newspaper, Wassaja, which gave him a platform to talk about his views of Native Americans and government.  He contracted tuberculosis and died too young. His ideas were ahead of their time. He was frustrated but his ideas would take hold 50 years later in the 60s and 70s.  He was also frustrated in another sense.  He courted the Sioux maiden, author Gertrude Simmons Bonnin but she rejected him.

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