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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 175

REPORT OF HAMPTON SCHOOL. 
175 
him, and a possibility of such power of manliness and self-control that our
respect 
for him is continually renewed. We have yet to find any one who has worked
intel- 
ligently and unselfishly for Indian education who doubts the possibility
of his civili- 
zation. 
RELIGIOUS WORK. 
By Rev. J. J. GRAVATT, Rector of Saint John'8 Church, Hampton. 
Since my last report I have held services with the Indians as follows: During
the 
summer vacation I met them four times on Sunday and two evenings in the week.
Those from Episcopal agencies attend regularly Sunday-school and church services
in Saint John's Church, Hampton, where, it may be, years ago their forefathers
wor- 
shipped with the settlers. Their behavior is very good. Their attendance
upon the 
service is not only hopeful to them,.but it awakens an interest in their
behalf among 
residents and visitors. In addition to this I conducted service for them
and the other 
students twice on Sunday and twice in the week. During the term they worship
a& 
usual in the old church, and I meet them. Sunday afternoons and Friday evenings
at 
the school. The Sunday-school is well graded, and by the valuable assistance
of the 
teachers who take classes into different rooms we are brought into personal
contact 
with each Indian. At the close of the exercise they come together and are
questioned 
on the lesson. I think this a great improvement on last year. We make the
teach- 
ing objective, as much as possible, by taking prominent characters in the
Bible and 
by clustering events around them. I dare say that the Indians are in better
shape 
now than at any time since their stay here. With many there has been a radical
change of life. Some, under the faithful guidance of the Rev. H. B. Frissell,
school 
chaplain, have joined Bethesda Chapel, and eight have been recently confirmed
by 
the Bishop of Virginia, in Saint John's Church, Hampton. God's blessing is
resting 
on this work. May He give us grace to do it aright, and may the students
become 
messengers of "salvation and peace" to their benighted people.
By Rev. H. B. FRISSELL, Chaplain of the school. 
The religious work of the year has been of unusual interest and attended
with most 
satisfactory results. Much religious interest has been felt among the Indians,
and in 
the school meetings a number of them have arisen to tell of their love for
Christ and 
their determination to follow Him. At first they seemed hardly to understand
the 
meaning of what was going on, but afterwards they took part either in their
own 
tongue or in English, sometimes using an interpreter and sometimes commencing
a 
prayer in English and ending in Dakota. There is a marked difference between
the 
two races in their ways of looking at the Christian life. The Indian takes
God's word 
for it that he can be saved through Jesus Christ. The only evidence of a
changed life 
that he seems to look for in hinself is the power to put down the old temptation.
When he can do that he is quite ready to believe that it is God's help which
makes 
him do it, and he comes and asks admission to Christ's Church. The colored
student, 
on the other hand, finds it hard to take Christ's word alone as sufficient
basis for 
believing. He frequently expects some evidence which will appeal to his senses.
He 
finds it hard to believe that Christ calls him. Many of them wait for years
for an 
experience such as others have had, and will not be satisfied unless they
gain it. 
Religious work among both races is most interesting. They are both naturally
re- 
ligious. They accept the truths of the Gospel, and when they understand what
the 
new life requires they struggle as earnestly as any people I have ever seen
to be con- 
formed to God's law. That their conception of the requirements of that law
is very 
imperfect, that their moral standards have been degraded and their moral
perceptions 
blunted by the dreadful experiences of the past, no one can deny; but after
close 
observation in school and in the field I consider that they offer a most
hopeful field 
for religious work. 
The foregoing reports of teachers complete the account of the year's work
for Indi- 
ans in class-rooms, in home life, in morals and religion, and for the industrial
train- 
ing of the girls. 
The total charity for Indians at Hampton from October, 1878, to June 30,
1883, has 
been $81,459.35; Government has given $52,170.92. Entire expense, $133,630.27.
Char- 
ity has erected and fitted up all buildings and supplied one-third of current
expenses. 
There is room for 20 more girls, but there is no money to help, the appropriation
bill 
providing for only 100 at this place, while under the same bill 400 are waiting
to be 
taken by other schools at $167 apiece per year; which, considering what is
expected, 
is absurdly low. 
Arrangements have been made to send north 15 of our youth who have, in response
to a suggestion, applied to be sent for a year to the farmers of Berkshire
County, Massa- 
chusetts. After one or two years at Hampton, the change has many advantages.
The 
Indian Office can, by the law, help in this case only when children are sent
for three 
years, which is a foolish limitation. It is well for Indians to spend four
or five years in 
the East, dividing the time between regular school and farm life according
to each indi- 


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