Re: The Grey Hair

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Posted by Elaine on January 19, 1999 at 19:44:52:

In Reply to: Re: The Grey Hair posted by Champ on January 19, 1999 at 18:18:13:

: : There has been some discussion on the board about
: : the identity of the person called "The Grey Hair,"
: : and it has been remarked upon that the Col. Monro
: : of the film didn’t seem to fit the bill. We know
: : that Michael Mann used cinematic license
: : to collapse time by placing Joseph Brant at an older
: : age than he actually would have been during the time
: : the film was set. Given this I have often wondered if,
: : when her refers to the Grey Hair, if he wasn’t
: : making a composite figure out of Monro. Monro was a
: : heretofore unnoticeable Scottish Colonel relegated to
: : commanding a wilderness fort who could not have afforded
: : an address any where near Portman Square. Nor was
: : he capable of painting the war post red, stirring up the
: : fearsome Mohawk bringing them to fall upon
: : Magua’s village.

: : TBC,
: : Victoria

: O'siyo Victoria & All,

: I was just checking out this discussion, & found it quite interesting. The idea that Munro was a "composite" & quite possibly representive of Sir William Johnson is intriguing.
: Having studied the F&I and Revolutionary Wars, in paticular the Rangers & the Indian Dept's, my take is this, Magua's vendetta was with thee Col. Munro depicted in the film.
: I understand what you said about his character not being able to stir up the Mohawks to raid a Huron village, but it was not unusual for some British officers to be assigned to either the Indian Dept. or Rangers for a time, in which case he could have led a raid or been attached to raiding force.
: The more likely scenerio though is that he led a contingent of British Regulars augmented by a party of Rangers & a sizeable party of Mohawks. This was indeed very common in both the F&I War and the Revolution.
: He was probably the ranking officer of this composite force, and as such was the "Father" of the raid upon Magua's village.

: Great discussion :-)

: "Champ"
: [the Cherokee Ranger]


"Lieutenant Colonel George Monro appeared suddenly from the
shadow of obscurity to have his name recorded in history's register, then just as swiftly
disappeared into oblivion. An accidental footnote to a voluminous period of conflict, the
aging officer had nothing to commend himself to our recollections other than his brief, yet
fateful assignment as commanding officer of the doomed garrison at Fort William Henry."

Having arrived in the American colonies in 1756, it is doubtful that Munro/Monro really had the opportunity to arouse such vengeance from the Huron or to have led a contingent of British, Rangers, and Mohawks against an enemy village. It was certainly not Munro (historically speaking) who could have attacked Magua's village. What had happened to Magua's village had occurred quite some time before Col. Munro's arrival. He had spent time as a Mohawk slave and then eventually became "blood-brother" to the Mohawk.

As for Johnson ... Victoria's composite character can be supported or strengthened (not confirmed) by several inclusions that Mann chose. The use of Hendrick's quote by Ongewascone, Magua's long simmering hatred of 'Munro', Munro's obscurity & recent arrival, the changed spelling (courtesy of Cooper) of Munro's name, and Mann's insistence on referring to Chief Joseph Brant's holdings. This last thing has never made sense to me. The quote & Magua's vengeance can be as simple as cinematic effect. Perhaps MM liked the effect of Hendrick's words. But Brant? Why?

Yes, Victoria has raised an intriguing possibility.


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