Long Lance: The True Story of an Impostor.

Record Number: 

Smith, Donald B.  Long Lance: The True Story of an Impostor.  Toronto: Macmillan, 1982; Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1983.


Biography of Sylvester Clark Long, born in Winston, North Carolina, who claimed to be a Blackfoot warrior named Long Lance.  His mother was White and Croatan; his father, probably White and Robeson County Cherokee.  Sympathetic, engagingly written, and copiously researched, the book shows the wide range of Long’s achievements: Canadian military service; New York society; magazine, newspaper, and book writing; a starring role in The Silent Enemy; presidential appointment to West Point; boxing; stunt flying; running shoe spokesperson; and the lecture circuit.  Smith traces and dissects Long’s lies and deceptions but balances these with an understanding of the racial situation, during Long’s lifetime, in North Carolina and in the country as a whole.  Long’s deceptions enabled him to be a spokesperson for Indians and to realize his own ambitions but brought about his suicide at age 42.  An award-winning 55-minute color documentary, Long Lance, directed by Bernie Dicheck, based on this book was released by the National Film Board of Canada in January, 1987.

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Access to Full Text: 

Mary Livermore Library,UNC-Pembroke, Pembroke, NC.

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