White Man's Club
Schools, Race, and the Struggle of Indian Acculturation
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: University of Nebraska Press
Series: Indigenous Education
Title Page, Copyright
This project became a reality during a year spent on an academic exchange at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, but my work on Indian education, and the scholarly and personal debts I have incurred, go back much further. While researching I have benefited from...
This old Shawnee chief, optimistic about the advantages to be gained from white schooling, uses “club” unambiguously. For him it is a weapon, a means to power he would like his people to acquire. Today, the reader of “white man’s club” inevitably perceives it as a racial enclave, with implications of self-definition and...
Prologue: Prisoners Made Pupils
In the late spring of 1875, the ancient seaport town of St Augustine, Florida, witnessed the beginnings of an educational campaign that would have an impact on every Indian nation in the United Sates. Here, in a forbidding, shell-proof fortress, built by the Spanish...
Part 1. The Development of an Indian Educational System
1. White Theories: Can the Indian be Educated?
The government’s new commitment to educating all Indians and assimilating them into the Republic preempted the answer to a question that had been long debated and still haunted the minds of many white Americans. Could white schooling prepare...
2. Native Views: “A New Road for All the Indians”
As he watched the Great Plains of the Southwest being staked out, Kicking Bird, the Kiowa chief, was afraid for his people. He wanted peace and “had given his hand to the white people, and had taken a firm hold of theirs,” but he was fearful...
3. Mission Schools in the West: Precursors of a System
Christian missionaries laid the deep and diverse foundations on which the federal system of Indian schools was built. The campaign to convert and educate the native peoples of America had been fought on multiple fronts over many...
Part 2. Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute
4. Samuel Chapman Armstrong: Educator of Backward Races
At the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in Virginia, General Samuel Chapman Armstrong organized a groundbreaking educational experiment that combined academic schooling with manual...
5. Thomas Wildcat Alford: Shawnee Educated in Two Worlds
Gay-nwaw-piah-si-ka (Thomas Wildcat Alford) was one of Hampton’s first students. Neither an ex-prisoner from Fort Marion nor part of the group Pratt recruited to launch Hampton’s Indian program, he traveled independently with a fellow tribesman to Virginia...
Part 3. Carlisle Indian Industrial School
6. Richard Henry Pratt: National Universalist
Richard Henry Pratt judged any effort to translate the Bible into an Indian language to be seriously misguided. The complex motivations driving Alford’s project were of no consequence to Pratt, who believed white-educated Indians should look forward...
7. Carlisle Campus: Landscape of Race and Erasure
Pratt inherited the disused Carlisle Barracks. Over twenty-five years, he renovated, adapted, and augmented these buildings to meet the goals and purposes he had set for the Carlisle Indian School. From the start, the design and layout of the campus was an important...
8. Man-on-the-Bandstand: Surveillance, Concealment, and Resistance
Winning and holding the support of white Americans was always essential to the survival of Carlisle. Just three months after the school was founded, under a succession of different names, a school newspaper began rolling off the Indian school presses...
9. Indian School Cemetery: Telling Remains
It is still possible to visit the school cemetery and read the names on nearly two hundred identical markers standing in six, neat rows. The small, well-kept, rectangular graveyard faces out onto the main road, beside the back entrance to the U.S. Army War College...
Part 4. Modes of Cultural Survival
10. Kesetta: Memory and Recovery
Kesetta and Jack spent their early days on the Texas-Mexico border. In 1877, their Lipan Apache band was attacked by Colonel Ranald Mackenzie’s Fourth U.S. Cavalry, and almost everyone was massacred. But the two children hid and were afterward...
11. Susan Rayos Marmon: Storytelling and Teaching
Susan Rayos arrived at Carlisle in August 1896, a little over fifteen years after Kesetta. She too was thirteen when she made the long, two thousand-mile journey from Paguate in the Southwest. The personal context in which she would receive her education,...
Epilogue: Cultural Survival as Performance, Powwow 2000
On Memorial Day weekend in 2000, for the first time since the Carlisle Indian School closed its doors in 1918, hundreds of Native Americans from across the United States journeyed to the small Pennsylvania town for...