Ely Parker was a Seneca chief, a legal scholar, an engineer, a Civil War hero, and a Cabinet-level commissioner — all by the age of 40. At first glance, his story appears to be one of success and triumph.
Yet Parker died in poverty far from the land of his birth. In later life he was estranged from his people and dismissed by political leaders he once considered friends. Today, American history remembers him as a mere footnote, and inside the Seneca community, he is a controversial figure — considered a hero by some, branded a traitor by others.
The PBS documentary Warrior in Two Worlds was produced by WXXI Public Broadcasting Council in Rochester, New York, in collaboration with the Rochester Museum & Science Center in 2004 . The film is narrated by Native American actor Wes Studi, who is set to become the first Native American to win an Oscar February 2020. The program is also a co-presentation with Native American Public Telecommunications. Major funding for this site was provided by the Lennox Foundation of Dallas, Texas.