In 1990, a dispute over illegal gambling among the Mohawk Indians in northern New York turned violent as the people got increasingly angry with one another. One day, two young men were killed in a gun battle. That night, the New York State Troopers and officers from several Canadian police agencies entered the reservation and put a stop to the violence.
This was very unusual because Indian nations have the right to govern themselves and come up with their own solutions to their internal problems. State governments and their police agencies are very respectful of that right. Here, however, was a situation that the Indian community could not resolve without help.
After the Troopers entered the reservation, it was very important that there be respectful and friendly relations between the Troopers and the Mohawks. The State Police put Captain Alfred Crary of Troop B (also known as "The Black Horse Troop") in charge of the detail on the reservation.
The Captain was the right man for the job. He learned everything he could about the Mohawks and would give all Troopers assigned to the reservation detail a thorough briefing before he'd let them out into the community. In this way, he became a good friend of the Mohawk people and their relations with the State Police went very smoothly.
The Mohawks like to give Mohawk names to their non-Indian friends. Because Captain Crary is a big man who will walk right into any difficult situation and not back down when he is doing his duty, the Mohawks gave him a name in their language that translates "Crazy Horse" -- the name also of a famous Dakota Indian Chief of the 19th Century.
UP IN CRARY'S KINGDOM
I sing of the famed Black Horse Troop of the Border
Up North in the mountains, the land of High Peaks.
Among the "B" Troopers who keep law and order,
There's one of their own who stands out as unique.
He's known through the land as the stoutest and straightest.
An item like him can't be bought through the mail.
It's clear to us all that he's one of the greatest --
The man who commands the St. Regis Detail.
He's big as a bear and strong as an ox.
The kind of a man who'd impress the Mohawks.
A Trooper who's tougher we couldn't have picked.
When there's trouble in town, it ain't him they'll evict.
But tough as he is, in once a week talks
To all of the Troopers about the Mohawks
He reminds 'em we're brothers under the skin.
There's no better friend to our Indian kin.
Known for his spirit and humor unvarying
And for the size of himself and his heart,
The man whom I sing of is Captain Al Crary and --
What can I tell you -- he's some work of art.
Well, now, I've writ down his praises and singed 'em
And taught them to all the good folks in the land.
Whenever we travel to Captain Al's Kingdom
We'll ask for this song, then an encore demand.
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