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 1856
([1856])

[Southern superintendency],   pp. 131-172 PDF (17.5 MB)


Page 169

CHOCTAW ACADEMIES. 
me for conducting a school, and in becoming acquainted, to some ex- 
tent, with the people. 
I found here a very fine stone building, almost large enough itself 
for all the mission family and the school. The outbuildings, too, 
were good for the time in which they were built. I found a small 
farm, a good stock of cattle, and one or two good horses, wagons, 
farm utensils, &c., in tolerable order. 
The school opened under my charge the first of October, and very 
soon the whole number of girls were in attendance. The whole 
number in attendance this session was one hundred and eleven. Of 
these ninety-seven were here previously. The largest number at any 
one time was one hundred and three; the smallest was seventy-nine. 
This was only for about two weeks, when many were absent from 
sickness. 
The general deportment of these scholars was much better than 
I had anticipated. Tue, we had some instances of bad conduct, 
some that caused us grief and sorrow, but much less of such than I 
had feared. In general they behaved well, and a goodly number 
Were such as made it pleasant to instruct them. The health of the 
family, including scholars, was remarkably good until spring. Then, 
for about two weeks, we had typhoid pneumonia. We had some very 
severe cases, and one little girl died. 
This sickness not lasting long, we carried on our duties with but 
little interruption until the twenty-fourth of June. Then, by ap- 
pointment Of the trustees, our examination was held, and the school 
closed for the session. Of the one hundred girls in school fourteen 
have made good progress in grammar, geography, and arithmetic. 
Thirty-two have made progress in geography and arithmetic, but 
have not yet studied grammar. All the others have learned to read, 
including a number who came here this session not knowing a letter. 
Forty-five in all have learned to write. It is a standing order of 
the school that all who are able shall study the Scriptures daily. 
Large portions of Scripture have been committed to memory by most 
of them, and this has also been carefully explained to them. 
Of their success in pursuing these studies I have only to say, that 
the trustees and others who were present at the examination mani- 
fested great satisfaction and commended both scholars and teachers 
for fidelity. We have had six ladies engaged in teaching during the 
term. Three have taught them in school, and three have taught 
them domestic work, including, to some extent, kitchen and garden 
labor. Nor do we regard this department of labor as any less im- 
portant than the study of books. ' Nor is the result of our labor less 
encouraging in this. We cannot be said to have a farm, as we only 
lant a few acres of corn for table use and six or eight acres of oats. 
But we mean to garden. We started early in the spring, with a fine 
prospect, but the grasshoppers destroyed it almost entirely. We hope 
we shall be more fortunate in future. Of our neighbors some are in- 
dustrious and steadily improving; others are indolent and improve 
but little, if any. 
This season the crops were at first nearly cut off by grasshoppers, 
Imbb-              A16-   -  - -,      - 
169 


Go up to Top of Page