Schmitz, Neil. “The other man. Buffalo Child Long Lance became famous as Blackfoot Chief, even though he wasn't one.” Buffalo News (New York) 8 October 1995: M12 (Sunday).
Schmitz encountered Long Lance at age thirteen as an exciting summer read. He explored it again in a graduate seminar. Upon checking further, he found that Long Lance was actually Sylvester Long, a Croatan (an earlier tribal name for the Lumbee) born in Winston-Salem who had assumed the identity of a Cherokee and then (in Canada) a Blackfoot. Besides writing Long Lance, Long was an active lecturer; starred in a silent film, The Silent Enemy; became a pilot; and endorsed a running shoe. He committed suicide in 1931. Schmitz discovered the research of Donald B. Smith, whose sympathetic biography of Long, Long Lance: the true story of an impostor (The Lumbee Indians: an annotated bibliography, item 356) was published in 1982. A new edition of Long's 1928 book, Long Lance: the autobiography of a Blackfoot Chief (see The Lumbee Indians: an annotated bibliography, item 290) was published by the University of Mississippi Press in 1995 and edited by Donald B. Smith. Upon rereading it, Schmitz was able to recognize the clues of Long's assumed identity and noticed the distancing from his material. He understood the meaning behind Long's statement that he was telling “the experiences of our old warriors who are still living, but who cannot tell their own stories because they do not speak the white man's tongue.”
Knight-Ridder Newslibrary (www.newslibrary.com), $1.90