Remembering ‘Injun Summer’ – But Not in a Good Way

Injun Summer

Image: Detail of “Injun Summer” (d. 1992), by John T. McCutcheon, once an annual fall tradition of the Chicago Tribune.

The old man tells the boy: “Don’t be skeered — hain’t none around here now, leastways no live ones.’”

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My Times colleague Jerry Hirsch profiles Buddy Pepp, executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Stephan Benzkofer of the Chicago Tribune revisits the Trib’s annual fall rite of publishing John T. McCutcheon’s “Injun Summer,”   a picture of an old man and a young boy surveying a field full of dried cornstalks under the harvest moon. “Yep, sonny,” the old man says,  “this is sure enough Injun summer. Don’t know what that is, I reckon, do you?”

The drawing, first published in 1907, was once quite popular. But as the years passed, more people were offended by lines like: “Don’t be skeered — hain’t none around here now, leastways no live ones. They been gone this many a year. They all went away and died, so they ain’t no more left.” It was last published in the Tribune in 1992.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Architecture, Art & Artists, Chicago, Medicine, Museums, Native Americans, Preservation, Transportation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Remembering ‘Injun Summer’ – But Not in a Good Way

  1. Having lived in Chicago the first sixteen years of my life, I remember the annual issuance of the ‘quaint’ cartoon above. It wasn’t until my teen years that I realized the proud racist message it held. Such was the not-so-hidden right-wing voice of the Chicago Tribune in those happily gone-bye days.


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