Superintendent Blucher

Morgan scheming with Blucher (blue)

Blucher was the superintendent of the regional Bureau of Indian Affairs Office in Mesa (Tuba City).  In this capacity, he also ran the Indian boarding school in that community.  He was technically perhaps the most powerful man on the Navajo Reservation.  As such, he also was responsible for sending his men to rough up or kill Do etin.  However, he was controlled by Reverend Morgan as we will learn in the following passages from The Vanishing American:


The Vanishing American:

(Marian Warner) "Blucher is German. He is deeply concerned over the war in Europe. He hates England and he hates America. I know how to serve him to my own interest. But Morgan is suspicious of every one. He really is in control here. He boasts of having put the "steam roller" under former superintendents of this reservation. When any new government employee or missionary comes here Morgan loses no time in his peculiar politics. By his lies and persuasions he influences the newcomer to his side, and if he is successful, which he usually is, he proceeds at once to lay some kind of a trap for that person. A frame-up you know. He really has something he can use against Blucher." (Chapter VIII)


(Later Morgan and Blucher argue)

" I know you and others credit me with the block-headedness supposedly common to Germans," continued Blucher. "But I'm not so thick that I miss everything....

Morgan, your converts are illusions of your fertile brain," said the German, contemptuously. "You show a paper to an Indian. You pretend to read what is not there. You say to this Indian: 'Have you not learned from my sermons? Have you not accepted my God?...' And the Indian replies, 'Yes.'... What he means is, 'Yes, I have not!'... And you get his thumbprint on your paper and send it to your mission, your church."

"Blucher, what you think of me and what I think of you are not the issues at present," said Morgan, deliberately. "By and by we are going to clash. But just now we've serious business that necessitates unity."

"Yes, I know," grunted Blucher, "and I hate to get down to it." (Chapter XII)

(Blucher then sends his thugs to rough up, and kill, Do etin)

Walter Runke (light suit) and man with guns at Tuba City Indian boarding school.

The investigation into the murder of Taddy Tim [Do etin] as it related to Walter Runke, superintendent of the Western Navajo Indian Agency from 1901-1920, leaves little doubt that he is the inspiration for Blucher in The Vanishing American.


Thomas A. Flynn Investigation:

"I am forced to the conclusion that there was no grave necessity for the arrest of the Indian, and certainly not for the Superintendent’s determination to have Taddy Tim brought in through use of the most extreme resort to violence.  The immediate cause of the Superintendent’s displeasure against the Indian was the latter’s former refusal to permit his daughter to attend the school at Tuba; but this object had been accomplished, and the girl had been taken from him and put in school some weeks from this occurrence…. It is my firm belief that the three white men understood from their instructions that they were to kill Taddy Tin at the slightest, if any, provocation.

Thomas A. Flynn, United States Attorney"

[Dated March 1, 1916]

Attorney Flynn's full report to the United States Attorney General is compelling reading.