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Mel Brooks Had It Right:

Here's the story of "America's only known Jewish Indian chief". Thanks to Eric Muller (Is That Legal?) for the pointer.

Steven Lubet (mail):
According to the linked article, "Chief" Don Solomono is buried in the Jewish cemetary in Colma, California. That would probably be Hills of Eternity, which is not a Jewish cemetary, but has a Jewish section. Interestingly, that is also where Wyatt Earp was buried, at the instance of his third wife, Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp.
1.19.2008 5:28pm
ChrisIowa (mail):
http://www.colma.ca.gov/briefhis.html

I wanted to know where colma, ca was and found the above link interesting.
1.19.2008 5:39pm
MDJD2B (mail):
Why are you posting this in a libertarian legal blog? :--)
1.19.2008 6:56pm
TRE:
It is good to be the King?
1.19.2008 7:14pm
Dave N (mail):
Why are you posting this in a libertarian legal blog? :--)
I suspect because it demonstrates that lawyers can be people too and actually appreciate interesting trivia when they see it.
1.19.2008 7:21pm
Freddy Hill:

Why are you posting this in a libertarian legal blog? :--)


Because being libertarian they are free to do whatever pleases them.
1.19.2008 7:29pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
I don't think it's so remarkable that Solomon, who won the respect of an indian tribe, was jewish. I'm sure the indians were weary of Christians, avoided them, did not trust them, and recognized them as the worst, most oppressive sect of the white man. So, the fact that this guy earns their respect and was not wearing a cross around his neck, and was not trying to force Jesus and the Bible upon this native american tribe makes perfect sense to me. I'd say a jew (or, at least a non-christian) is the most likely white man, aside from Kevin Costner, to earn the respect of and be invited to join an a tribe of native americans back in the ninteenth century.
1.19.2008 8:25pm
Fub:
Very interesting bit of history. Wikipedia is a bit more specific about Don Solomono's burial site: cemetery of Temple Emanu-El in Colma, California.

Side note: IIRC the Jewish Indian device appeared in Cat Ballou about a decade before Mel Brooks used it more extensively in Blazing Saddles.
1.19.2008 8:27pm
sbron:
Interesting this was in New Mexico, which also has a large presence of "crypto-Jews" -- descendants of those expelled from Spain in the inquisition. I read somewhere that 10 to 15% of New Mexico residents are of significant Jewish descent. There are a surprising number of Hispanic Catholics who have converted to Judaism in the Southwest over the years after discovering their family history.

There was also a Jewish conquistador, Alonso de Avila
see
http://tinyurl.com/3a4uhj

And of course, there was Jeff Chandler (Ira Grossel) who
although not a real Indian, played the Apache chief
Cochise in several films.
1.19.2008 9:16pm
pgepps (www):
Hey, BruceM, is that chip heavy?



I am glad to enjoy an interesting tidbit of knowledge free from insistent political overtones, for once. Thanks!
1.19.2008 11:51pm
DG:
It seems strange that so many commenters on a "libertarian law blog" feel that they have the right to dictate what a blogger posts. Irony is wonderful.
1.20.2008 12:38am
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
Freddy Hill-

Because being libertarian they are free to do whatever pleases them.

Well, as long as it doesn't injure anyone's person or property or violate their rights.
1.20.2008 7:24am
MDJD2B (mail):

It seems strange that so many commenters on a "libertarian law blog" feel that they have the right to dictate what a blogger posts. Irony is wonderful.

My post was ironic, wherefor the :--) emoticon.

I found the post fascinating, and did a Google search on the guy, which was interesting as well. I had known about Jewish tinkers, tailors (a stereotypical Jewish occupation), soldiers (Sharon, Dayan), sailors (Uriah Levy), rich men, poor men (yes, Gary Anderson, there are poor Joooz), beggermen, thieves, doctors and lawyers (soon I'll be both of the latter two).

This, however, completes the picture.
1.20.2008 9:51am
neurodoc:
I am surprised that in the course of this thread about a Jewish Indian "chief" no one has raised the subject of the Lost Tribes of Israel. Consider the possibility that Solonomo was warmly welcomed by his mishpocha.

A friend of original Indian origins (i.e., Cochin, India) spend a considerable amount of time providing medical care to American Indians. They made him feel very much at home among them. When he told them he could not eat food with pork in it, they understood immediately, saying he must be a member of the pig clan, and thus his dietary proscription.
1.20.2008 3:35pm
Fub:
neurodoc wrote at 1.20.2008 3:35pm:
I am surprised that in the course of this thread about a Jewish Indian "chief" no one has raised the subject of the Lost Tribes of Israel. Consider the possibility that Solonomo was warmly welcomed by his mishpocha.
Being the lost 13th tribe of Israel was the "Jewish Indian" gag in Cat Ballou.
1.20.2008 4:44pm
ChrisIowa (mail):
And to think I thought it was amazing that they Moved Cemeteries.
1.20.2008 5:04pm
DG:
MDJD2B:

Uriah Levy is a fascinating individual. He was despised by the Navy leadership for both being a Jew and for daring to ban flogging of sailors. More the latter, than the former, I suspect.
1.20.2008 6:57pm
neurodoc:
Being the lost 13th tribe of Israel was the "Jewish Indian" gag in Cat Ballou.
I enjoyed that movie immensely. (It was before Jane Fonda went off to Hanoi and there was no reason for a young lad such as myself to feel conflicted about her.) But 42 years is a long way back and I don't recall the "Jewish Indian" gag in that movie. (It was only a decade later, but I remember very clearly Indian Chief Brooks riding up to the wagon train and reacting with surprise when he saw there were shvartsers among them.)
1.20.2008 11:11pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
There are/were two Jewish Indian chiefs.
The other was Iron Eyes Cody.
1.21.2008 9:10am
Fub:
neurodoc wrote at 1.20.2008 11:11pm:
I enjoyed that movie immensely. (It was before Jane Fonda went off to Hanoi and there was no reason for a young lad such as myself to feel conflicted about her.) But 42 years is a long way back and I don't recall the "Jewish Indian" gag in that movie. (It was only a decade later, but I remember very clearly Indian Chief Brooks riding up to the wagon train and reacting with surprise when he saw there were shvartsers among them.)
It's been that long here too, and my recollections are less than precise. IIRC there was a young Harvard educated Indian man who acted as Cat's father's lawyer or advisor in his early battle against the land grabbers. At one point Cat's father kept addressing him in Yiddish, apparently trying to trick him into revealing he was Jewish. The two got into a brief debate about whether he was Jewish, and whether Indians were the lost 13th tribe of Israel.
1.21.2008 1:01pm
neurodoc:
Fub,

For some time, I've been meaning to sign up for Netflix. Maybe now I'll go and do it, requesting Cat Ballou as one of the first titles. Then, I will watch it again, hopefully with the same joyful innocence I viewed it with so long ago, and the same regard I had for Jane Fonda back then. (And I won't have any Jimmy Carter type hangups about what was in my heart where young, pre-Vietnam Jane was concerned.) The particular scene that you describe certainly sounds as though it has great comedic potential, even if Mel Brooks didn't write it.

Thanks.
1.21.2008 2:31pm
Fub:
Just to note that Brooks &Silverstein's comedic devices parodied reasonably recognizable silly beliefs, here is a brief overview of (a)historical "Jewish Indian" theories.
1.21.2008 2:45pm
Shawn Levasseur (mail) (www):
Shouldn't that headline be "F-Troop got it right"?

If memory serves, the Indian tribe in that sitcom was portrayed by Jewish comedians.
1.22.2008 1:27pm