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 1883

Report of Hampton school,   pp. 165-179 PDF (8.0 MB)

Page 170

in Sioux to the scholars. Judging from their eager interest and the merry
called forth, he made it anything but a dry theme. 
Seventh division in English, Miss Josephine Richards, teacher.-"Good
"Good evening," "How do you do?" Thus we begin our language
class with the new 
seventh division, the members of which, however little they can say in English,
very speaking faces, remarkably free from the stolidity generally considered
a char- 
acteristic of their race; and their faces we think do not belie them, for
most have 
made steady progress since their arrival. Objects and pictures have of course
a prominent part in their instruction. Perchance some day, if Indians continue
come to Hampton, Academic Hall will boast a recitation room especially fitted
up for 
such language classes, its walls hung with colored prints, and its cabinets
filled with 
objects which, ornamental or not, would be sure to be useful as something
to talk 
about and carefully observe. Suiting the action to the word is very needful,
some of the tall braves go through the exercise of pulling hair or sleeve,
wrists or arms, shaking right hand or left hand with great gusto. They seem
to show 
much interest, too, in writing down the sentences put on the board as the
for the day, and it is surprising how well they will afterwards read these
or rewrite 
them from dictation when erased. 
This year bas been marked by the occupation of Winona Lodge, built for Indian
girls by friends, at a cost of $30,000. It has done more for them in some
ways than 
ten years' school work. The pride they take in the building is an education
in itself. 
They have now a good opportunity for industrial training, and are taught
to cut, sew, 
mend, sweep, scrub, dust, wash, and iron under careful direction. This new
has broadened and strengthened the Indian, work in almost every direction.
assembly room provides a place for the weekly prayer-meeting and for a Saturday
evening singing-school for boys and girls together. The large hall, with
the other 
rooms thrown open, give ample space for social games on holiday occasions.
sunny hospital rooms make the care of the sick easy and increase their chances
recovery. We have been able to organize an Indian Sunday school for the first
dividing the students into classes according to their ability, giving them
more indi- 
vidual religious instruction. No record of the year would be complete without
earnest expression of gratitude, in behalf of the Indian girls, to all those
who have 
opened wide this new door of opportunity to them. We expected much from the
building, but the inspiration it has given the girls has been a continual
The Indian sewing department, Mrs. L. A. Seymour in charge.-The school year
1883 has been one of marked improvement in the Indian sewing department.
removal from the little crowded room in "Virginia Hall," to the
spacious one in 
'" Winona," has added an impetus to work. If the donors of King's
Chapel, Boston, 
who gave the room, and the kind friends who brightened its walls with lovely
ings, could but realize how much they have done to elevate and encourage
I think 
they would be more than paid for their labors of love. We have now 41 girls;
have been added to our number since the last report. Also, two little papooses-
Little Bear and White Corn, who are very busy and show the effect of sanitary
measures, if they do not appreciate them, or their parents' desire for an
they help to enliven the sewing-room, where they are left during their motbers'
sence in the morning, and are kindly treated and waited upon by the girls,
who vie 
with each other in caring for them. Besides making the bedding, wardrobe
and win- 
dow curtains, &c., for Winona, 383 pieces, 452 articles of clothing (169
of them dresses), 
have been made almost entirely by the girls, and many of them cut and fitted
them. Most of this has been done by band, as we have but one machine, and
that is 
nearly worn out by the almost constant use of those who understand its use
and by 
others who are learning. Each school day has classes for sewing and cutting
from 9 
a. m. to 4 p.m. Friday is devoted to mending, and it is gratifying to see
how even 
the youngest will come with her bundle of nicely laundried clothes (done
by herself) 
to repair the wear of time and the rents which will happen "we don't
know how." 
Very little fancy work has been attempted, but a great amount of cutting,
and mending, that will fit the girls for usefulness and make thent self-reliant
and in- 
dependent, has been accomplished. 
The help of our colored graduates in the education of the Indians deserves
acknowledgment. We doubt if it would be possible to find elsewhere and from
race, service so faithful, so intelligent, so conscientious, and so unassuming.
The fol- 
lowing report is from one of these: 
.The girls' housework, Miss Lovey Mayo in charge.-Last year the Indian girls
with the colored girls in Virginia Hall. There were a great many of the former,
As the latter had a better right to the building, the work in it was divided

Go up to Top of Page