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
([1883])

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


Page 172

172                 REPORT OF HAMPTON        SCHOOL. 
think these Indian girls do not appreciate their clothes, and the chance
of keeping 
them nice and clean, but they do; they like to wash and iron very much. Some,
of 
course, do better than others; that is true of all people; but the most of
them like to 
have their clothes look clean and neat. 
Girls' cooking class, Miss M. A. Gillou in charge.-The cooking classes are
now in 
Virginia Hall. Another year we hope to remove them to Winona and improve
the 
girls' chances for instruction. This year four classes have had lessons in
plain cook- 
ing. They have roasted and boiled meats, made and baked bread and cake, and
learned to prepare tea, coffee, and chocolate. They are much interested in
the les- 
sons and frequently talk over the use they will make of them when they go
back. 
.EDUCATION OF YOUNG MARRIED PEOPLE. 
A feature of this year's work has been the taking of young married people
as 
students in the school. Three such couples have been received; two from the
Omaha 
tribe, and one from the Sioux tribe. The Sioux and one of the Omahas each
brought 
with them a little papoose about a year old. The parents attend school half
a day 
and work the other half with the other scholars. We have attempted at Hamptox.
nothing more hopeful than this in training Indians. The husband and wife
advance 
together with common interests. A home will be established on their return
to the 
reservation, and their future will be comparatively secure. 
It is interesting to notice, as side issues in this experiment, the increase
of courtesy 
in the brave for his wife and the growing care of the mother for her child,
and the 
effort she makes to keep her husband's possessions, her room, and her baby,
and last 
of all herself, clean and tidy. It is touching, too, to watch the increasing
expression 
of tenderness of the father to his child. At first the father evidently regarded
tend- 
ing the little bit of humanity with scorn, and the woman carried the heavy
baby, 
while the man walked unburdened beside her. But the father grows to take
great 
pride in his boy, and often relieves the mother now of part of the burden.
He is 
never urged to this course, but is probably aware that it gives great satisfaction.
We have seen some striking developments of Indian character in this direction.
Nothing could be more exquisitely tender than the care of one of these big
braves for 
his sick child a few weeks ago. The mother seemed awkward beside him. * I
The three families are now in Winona. It is intended to build, during the
suimmerl 
two small frame houses, costing $200 apiece, like the better class of houses
at the 
agencies, and to teach two of the families to make them as attractive and
happy 
homes as possible with such materials as can be procured at their homes.
Their place 
in Winona will be filled by other carefully selected young married people
who will, 
in their turn, make the same experiment in housekeeping. Funds for these
two cot- 
tages have been .rocured. 
LITTLE BOYS' HOME. (Miss J. Koch, in charge.) 
We have been able this year to partly carry out a cherished plan of separating
the 
little boys-7 to l years old-from the older ones, to give them something
like home 
training. Until this year the younger Indian boys have been living with the
older 
ones, and had had no care other than that which all the rest received. This
year 
they were removed into division A of the Wigwam, and have had more especial
atten- 
tion paid them. The little fellows sadly needed "mothering." They
needed special 
care in almost every direction. Being small and heedless, as all small boys
are, their 
clothing gave out sooner than that of the older boys, and as they could not
under- 
stand the virtue of mending in season, they were often in a sad plight. On
this point the 
effort was directed not so much toward keeping them neat and clean for the
time being 
as toward teaching them self-respect, and making them so anxious to look
well that 
they would take care of their own clothes. With this object in view it has
often 
seemed necessary to let a boy go ragged for a little while as a punishment
for not 
caring properly for his clothing, and the lesson of neatness has been more
surely 
taught in this way than it could be by precept; for to the Indian pupils
a certain 
amount of clothing comes too easily and they give no thought to where it
comes from, 
being used all their lives to Government support. 
The small boys, as well as the larger ones, are expected to buy their underclothing
as well as their shoes with the money they earn by work, and in order to
controI 
them in the use of this and thus teach them the value of money, it was necessary
for 
me to keep their accounts. They were allowed spending noney only when all
their 
bills were paid, and were advised, when they did get it, both of the amoant
and the 
manner of expending it, which advice was rendered effective by a knowledge
of the 
state of their wardrobes, and they have shown themselves more and more willing
to 
save money for a specified object, and not to spend before earning. As to
spending 
their money an additional hold was gained on them in this way, for when it
had 
been discovered that one of the boys had been buying cigarettes he was allowed
no 


Go up to Top of Page