Photo: Celebrating Civil War Veteran Ely S. Parker

Photo: Celebrating Civil War Veteran Ely S. Parker



This week’s featured image celebrates the life and work of Ely Samuel Parker, a Native American who lived during the time of the Civil War.

He was an attorney, an engineer, and a tribal diplomat, he even wrote the final draft of the Confederate surrender terms at the end of the Civil War. He later served as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the first Native American to hold the post.

Parker was a Seneca Indian, born born Ha-sa-no-an-da (Leading Name) in 1828 in Genesee County, New York. During his youth, he was a representative and advocate for the Tonawonda Senecas. When the Senecas lost their land in 1842, it was Parker who was sent to Washington, D.C. to fight the fraudulent treaties. It took him five years, but according to “General Ely Parker: We Are All Americans,” he’s credited with saving three-fifths of the land. He became chief of the Wolf Clan in 1851.

This image was featured in this week’s Indian Country Today Media Network newsletter.

RELATED: 5 Pictures and Sources to Celebrate Ely S. Parker

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