On December 17, 1914, a solitary Native American Indian on horseback arrived at the White House after a journey of some 3,000 miles. His name was Red Fox James believed to be from the Blackfoot Tribe.
The journey began on March 30. Red Fox James was riding a white pony named Montana that was said to be “the last of a strain of real American Indian ponies from a noted outlaw horse known as Tombstone.” Along the way, Red Fox James stopped to give speeches about his people, and to demonstrate his culture and equestrian skill on horseback.
Red Fox James slowly made his way across the United States by riding the Lincoln Highway and often walking all day to conserve his horse’s strength. Newspapers reported his whereabouts every few weeks. He made friends with the Boy Scouts along the way, prompting eight Washington, D.C. Troop 36 scouts to escort him to the White House where Senator Thomas J. Walsh of Montana introduced him to President Woodrow Wilson on December 17.
Red Fox James presented a petition to the president, endorsed by state governors and city mayors he had met along the way, to proclaim October 12 ‘Native American Indian Day’ in honor of Native American Indians (current States who highlight & observe this specific day: AK, CA, MN, NM, SD, VT, WA) . “The American Indian deserves the national consideration of the people of the United States,” Red Fox James said.
The picture shows Red Fox James and his pony Montana during a return visit to Washington, D.C. in February 1915.