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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1856

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

Page 143

that female teachers are as efficient in the schools as males. In some 
instances they are more so. They have less to divide their attention, 
and less to infringe upon the reguLar duties of conducting the school, 
which shows an accurate improvement in proportion to the time 
Until last June, the schools had to labor to great disadvantage on 
account of the want of books. Frequently many of them had but 
one book for a whole class to study in. Some were induced to buy 
books; others were bound to wait till the arrival of the public books. 
Since the books ordered by Mr. Reece arrived, the schools have been 
well supplied, and in this respect are doing finely. The books were 
received in good condition, and are of a suitable kind. The only 
cause of regret is that they were detained on the way so long by low 
water, which made the charges very high. 
I have always thought that the best plan would be to cause the 
patrons of schools to purchase their own books. The only objection 
that can be alleged to this plan would be the want of uniformity in 
books. This objection could be easily obviated, and at the same time 
books could be obtained at what the cost and charges would amount 
to. Say, let b:oks be bought as usual and deposited at Tahlequah, 
and let them be sold to patrons of schools at cost and carriage. This 
would not only cause the people to attach a little more importance to 
books and schools, but it would make them see that books and schools 
were better protected, and would save some expense. It is true the 
saving would not be much, yet it would be some, and every little 
All the twenty-one common schools are taught by natives except 
three. One of these three is taught by the Rev. W. P. Upham, a 
Baptist minister, who, I believe, is connected with the Baptist Board. 
He is an accomplished teacher. Another is taught by the Rev. James 
Essex, of the M. E. church south. The other by Miss Esther Smith, 
a worthy lady, who has long been in the employ of the American 
Board, but has recently dissolved her relation with that establishment, 
and taken a public school of the nation. The branches taught in the 
schools are those usually found in schools of similar grade elsewhere. 
The directors' reports of the last session show that the aggregate num- 
ber of pupils in attendance at the schools is 921; and that of this 
number, there are in the alphabet,  117; orthography, 297; reading 
in different books, 434 ; in geography, 151 ; English grammar, 141 ; 
arithmetic, 298; penmanship, 157. In addition to these, some are 
prosecuting miscellaneous branches: natural philosophy, chemistry, 
physiology, algebra, astronomy, history, &c. , I ought to remark 
here that several of the reports of the directors were imperfectly filled
out, and it is probable that there are more studying the different 
branches than is shown by this report. There are 117 orphans at- 
tending the schools, who are boarded and clothed on the public ac- 
count. The whole amount paid for teachers the past year is $6,.624 96, 
or an average of $815 47A to each school. The amount expended 
for the benefit of orphans, $3,077 19. 
Very respectfully, 
Superintendent of Public Schools. 
F v , 
-   I         . . 

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