1899 Carlisle Indians football team

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1899 Carlisle Indians football
1899 record9–2
Head coachPop Warner (1st season)
CaptainMartin Wheelock
← 1898
1900 →

The 1899 Carlisle Indians football team represented the Carlisle Indians football team of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School during the 1899 college football season. The Indians were coached by Pop Warner in his 1st year as head coach. The team compiled a record of 9–2 and outscored opponents 383 to 46.

Frank Hudson was the quarterback and drop-kicker for the 1899 Carlisle Indian team. In a 22–10 loss to Harvard, Hudson's kicking was again a featured attraction. The New York Times reported: "And now came the feature of the game, for which everybody had been waiting. The Indians advanced the ball to Harvard's thirty-five-yard line, when Hudson dropped back for a goal from the field. A second later and the pigskin went straight through the goal posts, and everybody was digging his neighbors' ribs and saying, 'I told you so.'"[1] For the first time, Carlisle defeated one of the "Big Four" of college football, defeating Penn by a score of 16 to 5.

The 1899 Carlisle team drew further acclaim after defeating Columbia, 45–0, in a Thanksgiving Day game played at Manhattan Field near the Polo Grounds in New York. Hudson drop-kicked four goals from touchdown and one field goal in the victory over Columbia. The New York Times cited Hudson's use of the drop kick technique as one of the features of the game:

"The other novelty was the way in which Hudson kicked goals. Instead of making a kick from a placed ball held by one of his eleven he chose to make all his tries for a goal by a drop kick, and he succeeded in most of his efforts. It was a new feature for a match game, though frequently tried in practice."[2]

With 10,000 fans in attendance,[3][4] Isaac Seneca was the star of the game, having two runs of 30 yards and another of 40 yards.[5] A press account of the game said: "The Indians were in prime physical condition and bore through the Columbia line and skirted the ends at will. At least eight times the Carlisle backs got around the ends for runs of thirty to sixty yards. Most of these runs were made by Seneca and Miller."[5]

At the end of the 1899 season, Seneca was elected as captain of the 1900 team (though he would opt to play professional football rather than return in 1900).[6][7] Seneca was also honored by being named a first team All-American—the first Carlisle player and the first American Indian to be so honored.[8]

With its only two losses having come to Harvard and Princeton (ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the country), the 1899 Carlisle team was ranked No. 4 in the country by Walter Camp.[9]


Date Opponent Site Result
September 23 at Gettysburg Gettysburg, PA W 21–0  
September 30 Susquehanna Indian Field • Carlisle, PA W 56–0  
October 14 at Penn Franklin FieldPhiladelphia, PA W 16–5  
October 21 vs. Dickinson Carlisle, PA W 16–7  
October 28 at Harvard Cambridge, MA L 10–22  
November 4 Hamilton Indian Field • Carlisle, PA W 32–0  
November 11 at Princeton Osborne FieldPrinceton, NJ L 0–12  
November 25 at Oberlin W 81–0  
November 30 at Columbia New York, NY W 45–0  
December 25 at California San Francisco, CA W 2–0  
December 27 at Phoenix Indians W 104–0  


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Harvard 22; Carlisle, 10" (PDF). The New York Times. October 29, 1899.
  2. ^ "Indians Routed Columbia: Football Game on Manhattan Field Ended with the Score 45 to 0" (PDF). The New York Times. December 1, 1899.
  3. ^ Sally Jenkins (2007-04-19). "The Team That Invented Football: Just two decades after Wounded Knee, the Carlisle Indian School transformed a plodding, brutal college sport into the fast, intricate game we know today". Sports Illustrated.
  4. ^ Sally Jenkins (2008). The Real All Americans: The Team That Changed a Game, a People, a Nation, p. 175. Random House, Inc. ISBN 0-7679-2624-2.
  5. ^ a b "Beaten by Indians: Columbia Given the Severest Whipping of the Season". The Salt Lake Tribune. 1899-12-01.
  6. ^ "Seneca Captains the Indians". The Sun. 1899-12-08.
  7. ^ "Seneca to Direct the Indians". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 1899-12-07.
  8. ^ "Our changing football heroes". The Saturday Evening Post Article. 1989-01-01.
  9. ^ Sally Jenkins (April 19, 2007). "The Team That Invented Football: Just two decades after Wounded Knee, the Carlisle Indian School transformed a plodding, brutal college sport into the fast, intricate game we know today". Sports Illustrated.
  10. ^ "1899 Carlisle Indian Schedule and Results".