Reverend Morgan

Morgan (Red) scheming with Blucher

In The Vanishing American, Reverend Morgan is shown as the leader of the "Black Hats'; the bad guys.  In real life, the individual we believe inspired Grey's characterization of Morgan was a Presbyterian minister named John Butler.  

The Vanishing American:

"I have been missionary here for over fifteen years. The Nopahs are harsh. They are slow to appreciate my work."

"No, Mr. Morgan," retorted Nophaie, "you have it wrong. My tribe has been swift to appreciate your work. Don't try any of your religious talk on me. It is all bunk. You are not a true missionary."

"A missionary is a man sent out by church to propagate religion in the faith that an alien race will be saved," continued Nophaie. "It is not altogether a mistaken sincerity. The churches are sincere, and most of the missionaries are noble men. No, Mr. Morgan, you are not a builder. You are a destroyer, and not only of the Indians' faith, but of the toil and sacrifice of true missionaries of God." (Chapter IX)


Research Tying Morgan to Butler:

The BIA files contain references to many more details in the ZG’s story. One striking example is how the real-life missionary, Rev. John Butler, actually used the term “steamroller” as his method of getting rid of people he did not want on the Reservation, just as fictional Rev. Morgan said several times in the ZG story. In 1923, the Governor of New Mexico and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs both requested that the real life missionary, Rev. Butler, be removed from the Reservation. Eventually Butler was transferred.