Edwin Carewe, Director of Ramona

QUESTION:  Edwin Carewe was born Jay John Fox and changed his name to Edwin Carewe for professional reasons.  Carewe came from one of the characters he performed as a New York actor. After whom did he name himself Edwin?
A)  Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, second man to walk on the moon
B)  Edwin Booth, brother of Abraham Lincoln's assassin
C)  Edwin Cox, an important oilman from Texas
D)  Edwin Hubble, a famous astronomer
ANSWER BELOW

Last week, the American Treasure Tour blog discussed a book called Ramona about a mixed-breed Mexican-Native American woman with blue eyes. Racism and blind hatred steered the direction of her life, especially when she fell in love with a full-blooded Native American man and affectively alienated herself from her adopted Southern California family. The man who directed the 1928 interpretation of the film was Edwin Carewe, born Jay John Fox in Gainesville, Texas in 1883.  One could argue that no better man could have taken charge of this film, since Fox/Carewe's father was the product of a mixed marriage - his father having been Caucasian and his mother Chickasaw. Fox/Carewe's mother was full-blooded Chickasaw.  It is notable that Fox/Carewe was able to succeed in an industry heavily dominated by whites at a time when racism against Native Americans was still excessive. In fact, it was not until 1924 before Native Americans as a people were given citizenship in the United States!

Ramona 2.jpg

Fox/Carewe directed well over fifty films during the silent era, and starred in almost as many. He also earned credit as a director and writer, becoming one of the most prolific Native Americans ever employed in the art of film. He did not make a successful transition to taling films, so his name is all but forgotten today, but he deserves a call out for his achievements, including the critically acclaimed Ramona.  He passed away in 1940 at the age of fifty-six.

ANSWER:  B)  Edwin Booth.  The brother of John Wilkes Booth was a famous actor whose career extended after the tragic events of 1865,