Click to Subscribe
▶  More from Histories Plantation America
Tom Longboat and King Con
What Grifting Might Indicate about a Native Race
King Con: Man successfully impersonates Indigenous leaders his whole life, acquiring riches and fame
Jun 3, 2020, 1:17 PM (22 hours ago)
This is a really brief overview, doesn't come close to reporting the scope of how many cities he scammed. But anyway, look, he scammed them countesses out of 58.9 milion bucks in just a couple months? Goddamn artist.
-Yeti Waters

This conman, Edgar Laplante, managed to pass himself off as numerous Indians such as White Elk and Tom Longboat, a Canadian Olympian. It is shocking to see an obvious "white man" who could accomplish this without makeup, and often not Indian outfits. It makes one wonder at the physiognomy of Eastern Woodland Indians.
A Jesuit in the 1630s described them as looking like "French peasants."
In the 1740s a German writer described them as being born as white as Germans.
In the 1800s the study of the Sylvan races—occupying the woodlands of Europe and North America, was regarded as unremarkable.
It is reasonable to assume a common genetic relationship through intermarriage and adoption when one finds that an obvious white man can be believed to be a "full-blooded" member of the Six Nations from the Onondaga tribe. The prudent question to ask is what did the real Tom Longboat look like.
There is a picture of him on the left in the article linked above. This man is described as "full-blooded" Indian, meaning that both his parents were Indians, and he appears Amerindian, without notable European characteristics. His descendent, shown among the Bing photos holding his gold medal, seems to be mixed race. Looking at Tom Longboat, I could not imagine him being mistaken for a European by many people. The man seems to be distinctly non-European, but does not have a strong resemblance to darker Indians of the West. Perhaps it was a function of forest living that rendered eastern Woodlands Indians less alien-looking and appealing for intermarriage to Europeans than their western cousins.
Below is a quote from Stephan E. Ambrose writing in Undaunted Courage, about Thomas Jefferson's view of race: "In 1785 he wrote, 'I believe the Indian then to be in body and mind equal to the whiteman.' He thought the only difference between Indians and white men was religion and the savage behavior of the Indians, which was caused by the environment in which the Indians lived."
Ambrose goes on to object to Jefferson, who knew more Negroes and Indians than Ambrose, being interested in Indian studies and not African studies. Jefferson even had African mistresses and half-African children, and the author accuses the old Planter of knowing nothing about them. The worship of everything African in modern academics is a constant shroud of obscurity. Like the other signatories of the founding documents of this nation, a prime motivation of Jefferson was to be able to treat with Indian tribes, in peace and in war, as equals rather than as the military auxiliaries of the European Powers. Neither the British, Americans, French, Spanish or Indians wished to be social peers to Africans. Rather each and every race enslaved most of them and only permitted about 10% [usually mixed race] to live as free members of society. Also, the men who wished to abolish slavery were as often as not, motivated primarily by the realization that slavery guarantees a large number of criminal Africans at large and at night. Abolition was, very often a profoundly anti-African sentiment. [1]
Indians, on the other hand, as indicated by the images of Tom Longboat, have for hundreds of years been the subject of European and American admiration.
Notes
-1. Hinton Rowan Helper, The Impending Crisis of the South, see also Baltimore ordinances banning traffic in Africans in the late 1700s, available in Cracker-Boy and taken from the Maryland Historical Archives
prev:  ‘The Vigilante Army’     ‹  plantation america  ›     next:  ‘The Slaves of Chinatown’
eBook
the greatest lie ever sold
eBook
all-power-fighting
eBook
broken dance
eBook
cracker-boy
eBook
yusef of the dusk
eBook
soter's way
eBook
riding the nightmare
Add Comment