University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1884

Report of Forest Grove school,   pp. 202-207 PDF (2.7 MB)

Page 202

sent an annual delegation to Berkshire County, Massachusetts, with excellent
As object lessons these schools in the East have been of as much value perhaps
to the 
white race as to the red, for they have done much to break down the old and
ideas of the incapacity and bad disposition of the Indian, and have laid
the founda- 
tion of good work for the entire race. It should never be forgotten how much
is due 
to the energy and self-sacrifice of Capt. R. H. Pratt, United States Army,
who sowed 
the seeds of the present work while in charge of Indian prisoners at Fort
Marion, Flor- 
ida, whom he led up to changed lives, and in some instances, to Christian
by this rare gift of sanctified common sense. 
I am, sir, respectfully yours, 
Forest Grove, Oreg., August 13, 1884. 
In accordance with instructions from your office dated July 1, 1884, I herewith
mit the annual report of this school. Forest Grove Indian training school
is located 
at Forest Grove, Oreg., 2  miles west of Portland, Oreg. It was organized
25, 1880, and 14 boys and 4 girls were brought from Puyallup Agency on Puget
and placed in a small, rough, temporary building situated upon a lot of 4
acres of land 
belonging to the Pacific University. Other buildings have been added and
children brought, until at the present time there are 10 buildings and 190
The present buildings have been erected by the Indian boys, the material
purchased with money saved from the regular appropriation, but it is now
that an appropriation has been made by Congress during its last session for
construction of more commodious and permanent buildings. And in anticipation
this event several very liberal offers have been made by people of different
parts of 
Oregon and Washington Territory to donate land for a building site and farm
ior the 
school. These offers comprise tracts containing from 20 to 800 acres, but
no action 
has yet been taken in the matter by the Government. 
Up to the present time the lot above mentioned (which has recently been donated
to the Government for the use of the school) and 9 acres adjoining is all
the land that 
has been constantly occupied by the school. Other land has been rented from
to time for forming and other purposes, and in this way the need of a farm
has been 
largely supplied. The rent has been paid out of tue crop and the profits
have been 
very encouraging. 
The attendance at the school during the past year has been very encouraging,
average being above the number allowed by the appropriation for the support
of the 
school. The appropriation for the present fiscal year admits of a larger
number than 
for last year, giving us an opportunity to test the present popularity of
the school 
with the Indians. The first agency visited (Puyallup) furnished us 25 children,
of them being girls. Should other agencies contribute in the same proportion
to the- 
number of Indians at each agency, we would get from the agencies in Oregon
Washington Territory alone 500 children. If we should add to this number
who wish to come but cannot get the consent of their parents, it would be
largely in- 
creased. But not all agencies are so fortunate as Puyallup Agency in having
an agent 
who sends from a small agency more children than any other agency and at
the same 
time keeps up three flourishing boarding schools within his own agency. But
gether the interest in the school has largely increased during the past year
Indians, and if all of the children were allowed to come that wish to come,
and are 
encouraged to come by their parents, the school would be entirely inadequate
accommodate them. 
Various circumstances have contributed to this increase of popularity, but
it is 
mainly due to the manifest improvement in the children themselves. Last summer
some children were returned to their parents at Warm Springs Agency after
been at this school for three years. An eye-witiess thus describes the meeting
of the 
parents and children: One old man who had parted with his boy of fifteen
three years 
before, with many lijunctions to work hard and study hard andbe a good boy,
was there 
to meet the lad. He looked all around and asked for his boy, while at the
same time 
the latter was looking around for his father. Neither knew the other. So
well had 
the boy obeyed his father's injunctions that he had risen to the position
of first ser- 
geant among the boys. He was tall and straight and his hair cut short and
parted. His well fitting new suit of clothes altogether quite transformed
him from 
the half-grown lad of three years ago in his dirty blatiket with long uncombed
coming down over his forehead and cut off square just above his eyes. On
the other 

Go up to Top of Page