The Long Riders' Guild

A quick overview of Frank Hopkins' fantasies.

Hopkins claimed: Experts disagree:
He was born at Fort Laramie in 1865. Louise Samson, Curator of the Fort Laramie National Historic Site:  "There is not only no documentation, written or oral, to substantiate Hopkins’ claims, the overwhelming evidence leaves no doubt that he was not born at, lived anywhere near, or ever returned to Fort Laramie."
His mother was a Sioux Indian.

Dr. Vine Deloria, Jr., leading Native American scholar, historian and author:  "Hopkins' claims are so outrageously false that one wonders why the Disney people were attracted to this material at all...  Hopkins should have been awarded the World's Greatest Liar award.  The problem is that these distortions of the Indian history, the slandering of famous chiefs and leaders, and the presentation of these lies as history cannot be easily erased once they are promulgated as fact....  What kind of authenticity Hopkins' writings had were derived from other books or just plain speculation and fantasy.  But Hollywood in all its fictional ventures of the past has never treated history with just such a dismissive attitude."

He won a race from Galveston, Texas to Rutland, Vermont in 1886. Casey Greene, Head of Special Collections, Rosenberg Library, Galveston, Texas:  "We've referenced every newspaper between 1880 and 1890 but there is absolutely no mention of Frank Hopkins or a race from Galveston to Vermont.”
James Davidson, Vermont Historical Society:  "There is nothing in the local newspapers around that time about a race ending here in Rutland.  At that time everything was reported on, even somebody going to New York for the weekend, so it is inconceivable that such an interesting event would have gone unnoticed.  The only endurance Hopkins ever did was with his pencil."
He was "star and ringmaster" of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show for 32 years.  Dr. Juti Winchester, Curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center: "We are unable to find any Frank T. Hopkins in our database of known cast members, acquaintances, employees, or friends of Colonel Cody.   We find that after Cody's death, some people made pretty spectacular claims about their relationship with him, what they did in the Wild West show, and so on."   
He won a 3,000 mile, 1,000 year old race in Arabia.

Dr. Awad Al-Badi, Director of Research, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies: "There is absolutely no record or reference to Hopkins with or without his mustangs ever having set foot on Arabian soil. The idea of a historic long distance Arab horse race is pure nonsense and flies against all reason. Such an event in Arabiaany time in the past is impossible simply from a technical, logistical, cultural and geopolitical point of view. This race has never been part of our rich traditions and equestrian heritage."
Dr. Mohammed Talal Al-Rasheed, scholar in Arabic and English literature and history: “The idea of such a race in Arabia is a non-starter and can be debunked simply from an intellectual point of view without even getting into the ludicrous logistics of it. It is a shabby fantasy.”

He witnessed the massacre at Wounded Knee. Gregory Michno, Author of many books including Encyclopedia of Indian Wars : Western battles and Skirmishes, 1850-1890:  “Black Elk told his story to John Neihardt in the 1930s and it was in the book ‘Black Elk Speaks.’  Some of this [Hopkins' version of the Massacre] is taken right from Black Elk’s book, but it was Red Crow who was with Black Elk, not Hopkins.  It is so obvious that Hopkins is a fraud – I cannot see how he could have fooled people for so many years.”
He was a close personal friend of Teddy Roosevelt. John A. Gable, Ph.D., Executive Director, Theodore Roosevelt Association: "There is no listing of a Frank T. Hopkins in the Rough Rider roster in Virgil Carrington Jones's Rough Riders.  There is no listing of a F. T. Hopkins in the index of the Theodore RooseveltPapers in the Library of Congress - Roosevelt's correspondence files - and virtually everyone who knew Rooseveltis represented by letters in this collection.  Did this man Hopkins say anything true?"

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