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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 173

REPORT OF HAMPTON         SCHOOL.                 173 
money for two months, although he had several dollars to his credit. The
punish- 
ment was effective not only with the boy in question, but served as a warning
to 
others. The rule that a boy who had a zero for bad conduct, and was therefore
obliged to work on the Saturday holiday, could draw no spending money, has
also 
worked satisfactorily. There has been a growing interest manifested in looking
over 
their accounts, and they get much excited over the making up of their accounts
every month, and often wish to see the book between whiles to calculate how
much 
will be left if they get certain articles which they might do without. The
responsi- 
bility of choosing their clothing and spending their money, with such restrictions
as 
have been mentioned, has always been thrown upon the boys, and if by good
care of 
their clothes they lay by any money, they are at liberty to spend it as they
choose, 
provided they do not break the rules. The plan seems to have worked well.
When the Indians first come they are apt to go to bed with all their clothing
on, 
cap and boots included. Especially is this true of the small Indian. It takes
regu- 
lar nightly visits and frequently interrupted slumber to get him into the
good 
habit of taking off all-day clothing and wearing proper night dress. Not
even when 
you think they have learned the lesson thoroughly is it safe to stop inspection.
They 
take it very kindly, however, and if visited early enough open their eyes
with a 
sleepy smile and say, with a yawn, II'm all right," if they are all
right. 
One of the best opportunities of getting a good hold of them has been afforded
by the 
"Children's hour." Every night after study hour they come trooping
in for a short 
-visit before bed time. An open fire made a good part of the attraction at
first, before 
we were thoroughly acquainted, and as we became friends we talked of the
day's 
doings, looked at pictures or read some good story, and the best time for
slipping in 
.a word of advice or reproof, or encouragement, seems to come in just then,
and many 
little lessons of politeness and thoughtfulness have been learned at that
time. On 
Sunday evening they are excused from prayer-meeting, and spend their time
in a 
meeting here, where they may ask as many questions as they please about the
" Story 
.of the Bible," which they find very interesting, and after some marvellous
bit of its 
1istory they often ask, "Is it true"? When I found the place in
the Bible which had 
been given to one of the boys, and read about the Holy City which we all
hope to 
,enter, their merry eyes opened wide and their little faces grew thoughtful,
and they 
wondered if the little boy who died last autumn went there, and asked "1
Did the 
angels come to take him"? 
The inspection of their rooms, with little prizes given to the neatest among
them, 
ihas spurred them on to making greater efforts to keep them neat, and much
improve- 
ment in that direction has been made this year. 
The health of the small boys has been uniformly good during the year; even
measles, mumps, and whooping-cough, though prevalent on the place, have not
come 
nigh them. 
Discipline has been maintained among the boys without much difficulty. Prompt
and invariable though not severe punishment has had its usual good effect
and made 
the task of government light. In but one case was corporal punishment resorted
to, 
and in that it had a most excellent effect. My authority has never been questioned
by them, and I am seldom obliged to change a request to an order; and in
but few 
instances has a boy been unwilling to do one of the many small things in
which they 
help me. 
THE HEALTH QUESTION, 
which threatened to be an obstacle, if not a fatal barrier to Indian education
at the 
.east, has been to a degree settled. It is proved, we think, that constant
care, regular 
life, and instructions in the laws of health, improve the physical condition
of the 
Indian in spite of the change of climate and new mode of life to which he
is subjected. 
Two Indian boys (Battice and Cracking-Wing), who, in the early part of the
school 
year seemed on the verge of a fatal decline, have greatly improved, and are
now in 
in a very favorable condition. Another (Medicine Bull) was also in such poor
health 
that his return home was in consideration, but he improved under treatment
and has, 
I think, a fair prospect of completing his school course and doing good work.
No 
Indian boy or girl has been sent home on account of ill health. One Indian
boy 
(Deluska), who was received at the school October, 1881, had, at the time
of his 
arrival from the west, a serious disease of the lungs which was noted at
the time. He 
has made no permanent improvement, and has been unable, during the greater
part 
of the school year, to fulfil his duties in school and industrial work. 
CARE OF THE SICK. (Miss J. Koch, in charge.) 
Among white people we find those who bear pain heroically, and others who
whimper 
over every little hurt and think they are surely going to die if they have
a sore throat 
or stiff neck; and the same individual differences are found among the Indians,
though 
the former class predominate largely. As a rule, the Northern Indians seem
to bear 


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