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 1892
61st ([1892])

Reports of supervisors of education,   pp. 619-646 PDF (13.1 MB)

Page 643

voted to the work of the Friends Church, of which he is a consistent member.
He received his only literary training at the Quapaw Reservation boarding
I met returned students at Kaw. who are doing well and represent the ad-
vanced element amon their people. On this reservation we have an illustra-
tion of what we may expect of the second generation of educated Indians.
The superintendent of the Government school at Kaw. Uriah Spray, has been
with these Indians for nearly a quarter of a century, and has in school the
dren of parents who attended his school twenty years ago in Kansas, before
the removal of the Kaws to their present reservation. He tells me that the
provement is very marked: that they have no trouble in keeping their children
in school, and that they talk with more freedom and learn with much greater
ease, and in every way indicate what we may reasonably expect from the second
generation of these people whose children are now in training. 
Wichita Reservation school has a former Carlisle student as laundress, and
is acknowledged to be the best that institution has ever had. Cora Pickering,
a Modoc girl, from Hampton, is cook at the Seneca and Wyandotte school, and
Superintendent Hall says that she is an excellent employe. John King, also
Hampton boy, is a successful merchant at Tecumseh, Okla. I have a list of
a hundred returned students from Haskell, Carlisle, Hampton, and White's
stitute, all making excellent records. 
I have found some " who have fallen by the wayside," but the per
cent of those 
who have succeeded is much greater than one would think, judging from the
adverse criticism on this class of students which we are subject to hearing
those who have not7given he mutter e fair ihnvestigation. I find the one
vailing excuse of those who do not succeed to be that they found no work
to do, 
and having no employment, they had no means of support, and "the Indian
was the cheaper way." 
There are two thoughts that, it seems to me, should be kept in view in con-
sidering this feature of Indian education, viz, a plan for directing the
efforts of 
these "returned students," as soon as they reach their homes. I
think the Gov- 
ernment should retain jurisdiction over them, and to this end would suggest
that each student should be required to take a "post-graduate course"
in farm- 
ing or at work at some trade, learned at school, with a course of reading.
This should require not less than three years for the completed course. This
arrangement would be a source of support during the "trial period"
of the.strug- 
gling young Indian. Each reservation should have an authorized superintendent
of post-graduate students. This might be one of the superintendents of the
reservation schools, and he should be required to make detailed reports relative
to these students and should be armed with authority that would'guarantee
control of this class of pupils, and he should be held responsible for their
vancement. Of course their farm training should beon their own farms and
should receive abundant assistance in developing for themselves a farm and
ing a home. If some such course was pursued, instead of " dumping "
them out 
into the reservation, subject to all the discouraging environments that meet
them at the very beginning of their better life, the results would be much
Another important fact is worthy of consideration. I found that the per cent
of those who had succeeded upon their return to their homes was much greater
among those whose literary advancement or mental development was most pro-
nounced. I fear that in the past the matter of a rigid mental development
not been considered with that importance which it demanded. The effort has
largely been in the direction of industrial training. That the latter may
made to serve the student in a practical test, it is very necessary that
it be sup- 
ported by an aroused ambition, such as culture and mental training alone
surely give. 
I have dwelt at considerable length on all these subjects, which seem to
me are 
important and which should be discussed for the benefit of the cause. 
I desire to express my cordial appreciation of the earnest cobperation of
superintendents and agents in the work of the year. It has been a year which
has crowned the cause of Indiah education with great success. If the policy
inaugurated by the present Commissioner of Indian Affairs can be kept in
ation for a reasonable time the solution of the problem will be a matter
of the 
past. There is no doubt that the only successful solution is in the education
the Indian youth. that they may become self-supporters, contributing to the
wealth of the country and enjoying the blessings of a happy civilization.
I am truly grateful to the honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and
fact to the Indian Office--to the gentlemen who have so ably presided over

Go up to Top of Page