American Football Database
American Football Database
1899 Carlisle Indians football
1899 record9–2
Head coachPop Warner (1st season)
CaptainMartin Wheelock
← 1898
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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]

For just the second time in history, an eastern team traveled to the Pacific coast. Carlisle defeated the University of California by a score of 2–0.[6][7] The news reported the contest as the first matchup of East and West, but was pre-dated by the 1894 Chicago vs. Stanford football game. Like the Chicago vs. Stanford game before it, the Carlisle vs. California game foreshadows the first bowl game, the 1902 Rose Bowl.

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).[8][9] 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.[10]

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.[11]


September 23at GettysburgGettysburg, PAW 21–0
September 30[[{{{school}}}|Susquehanna]]
W 56–0
October 14at PennW 16–5
October 21vs. DickinsonCarlisle, PAW 16–7
October 28at HarvardCambridge, MAL 10–22
November 4[[{{{school}}}|Hamilton]]
  • Indian Field
  • Carlisle, PA
W 32–0
November 11at Princeton
L 0–12
November 25at OberlinW 81–0
November 30at ColumbiaNew York, NYW 45–0
December 25at CaliforniaSan Francisco, CAW 2–0
December 27at Phoenix IndiansW 104–0


See also


  1. "Harvard 22; Carlisle, 10". The New York Times. October 29, 1899.
  2. "Indians Routed Columbia: Football Game on Manhattan Field Ended with the Score 45 to 0". 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. 5.0 5.1 "Beaten by Indians: Columbia Given the Severest Whipping of the Season". The Salt Lake Tribune. 1899-12-01.
  6. [citation needed]
  7. [citation needed]
  8. "Seneca Captains the Indians". The Sun. 1899-12-08.
  9. "Seneca to Direct the Indians". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 1899-12-07.
  10. "Our changing football heroes". The Saturday Evening Post Article. 1989-01-01.
  11. 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.
  12. "1899 Carlisle Indian Schedule and Results".