Lieutenant Flipper Controversy: A Fallen Hero?

Lt Henry O. Flipper

Lt Henry O. Flipper

Who was Lieutenant Flipper?  Was he Martyr or Myth?

  • 19th Century:  Lt Flipper was dismissed from the U.S. Army.
  • 20th Century:  Flipper was pardoned by President Clinton.
  • 21st Century:  Flipper’s “poor treatment” is called a myth.

Henry O. Flipper was not the first African American admitted to the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY.  However, in 1877, Flipper became the first African American to graduate from West Point.  Flipper was commissioned as a second lieutenant and assigned to the Tenth Regiment of United States Cavalry at Fort Sill, Indian Territory.

In 1880, Lieutenant Flipper again distinguished himself in the war against Warm Springs Apache Chief Victorio.  A year later, twenty-five year old Flipper was tried for embezzlement of government funds.  He was dismissed from the army 30 June 1882.

A new one-act play, “Lieutenant Flipper’s Trial” by Bob Rogers, dramatizes the fateful 1881 trial of Lieutenant Flipper.  Was Flipper persecuted before he was prosecuted?  Did Flipper destroy his career?  Was he sabotaged?  Was there a conspiracy?  Was he dealt with fairly?  You decide.

On the reverse side of this flyer, see the bibliography and learn how to:

  • Book the play and added attractions for your stage, including:
    • Bob Rogers’ live and lively 19th Century American History “Jeopardy” style quiz show where winners receive literary prizes (novels, novellas, short stories).
    • Scenes (South Carolina, Mississippi, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico) from Bob’s highly acclaimed novel, First Dark: A Buffalo Soldier’s Story.

Book the play for your group or venue!