OCTOBER 7, 1874


Isaac, born on the Cattaraugus Reservation in New York State, initially entered Carlisle Indian School in 1892. Seneca was a star running back for the Carlisle football team from 1896-99. In 1896, Carlisle nearly defeated powerhouse Yale on a run by Seneca. He was ruled as “down” when slowed by Yale defenders, nullifying an apparent touchdown. In 1899, Carlisle’s team had an 8-2 record and ranked 4th in the nation. Isaac was also named a 1st team All-American—the 1st Carlisle player and 1st Native American to be so honored. Leaving Carlisle in 1900, he played professional football for the Greensburg Athletic Association in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, but returned to Carlisle and graduated in 1901. After graduating, Seneca became a blacksmith in Darlington, Oklahoma (OK). In 1910, he became head of the blacksmithing department at Chilocco Indian Agricultural School near Ponca City, OK. Seneca returned to New York between 1937 and 1940. He died in 1945 at the Cattaraugus Reservation.

 C. Richard King, Native Americans in Sports, Routledge (2015).  Retrieved 9/6/2022, Native Americans in Sports - C. Richard King - Google Books
M. Friedman, “Carlisle Indian Stars are Respected Citizens,” Pittsburgh Press, 12/25/1910.  Retrieved 9/6/2022, 25 Dec 1910, Page 17 - The Pittsburgh Press at Newspapers.com
Sketch:  Author unknown, 1899. Public Domain.  Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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