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.
Airs 1/30 at 2 a.m.