108. Supplemental Report on Indian Education, December 1, 1889
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176 Indian must be treated as a man, be allowed a man’s rights and privileges, and be held to the performance of a man’s obligations. Each Indian is entitled to his proper share of the inherited wealth of the tribe, and to the protection of the courts in his “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.” He is not entitled to be supported in idleness. Fourth.—The Indians must conform to “the white man’s ways,” peaceably if they will, forcibly if they must. They must adjust themselves to their environment, and conform their mode of living substantially to our civilization. This civilization may not be the best possible, but it is the best the Indians can get. They can not escape it, and must either conform to it or be crushed by it. Fifth.—The paramount duty of the hour is to prepare the rising generation of Indians for the new order of things thus forced upon them. A comprehensive system of education modeled after the American public-school system, but adapted to the special exigencies of the Indian youth, embracing all persons of school age, compulsory in its demands and uniformly administered, should be developed as rapidly as possible. Sixth.—The tribal relations should be broken up, socialism destroyed, and the family and the autonomy of the individual substituted . The allotment of lands in severalty, the establishment of local courts and police, the development of a personal sense of independence , and the universal adoption of the English language are means to this end. Seventh.—In the administration of Indian affairs there is need and opportunity for the exercise of the same qualities demanded in any other great administration—integrity, justice, patience, and good sense. Dishonesty, injustice, favoritism, and incompetency have no place here any more than elsewhere in the Government. Eighth.—The chief thing to be considered in the administration of this office is the character of the men and women employed to carry out the designs of the Government. The best system may be perverted to bad ends by incompetent or dishonest persons employed to carry it into execution, while a very bad system may yield good results if wisely and honestly administered. . . . [House Executive Document no. 1, 51st Cong., 1st sess., serial 2725, pp. 3–4.] 108. Supplemental Report on Indian Education December 1, 1889 In October 1889, Commissioner Thomas J. Morgan presented at the Lake Mohonk Conference a detailed plan for a national system of Indian schools, modeled on the public school system of the states. Having received the support of the reformers at the conference, he submitted the plan to the secretary of the interior as a “Supplemental Report on Indian Education.” After presenting the general principles that are reprinted here, he outlined provisions for high schools, grammar schools, and day schools. A SYSTEM OF EDUCATION FOR INDIANS. general principles. The American Indians, not including the so-called Indians of Alaska, are supposed to number about 250,000, and to have a school population (six to sixteen years) of perhaps 50,000. If we exclude the five civilized tribes which provide for the education of their own children and the New York Indians, who are provided for by that State, the number of Indians of school age to be educated by the Government does not exceed 36,000, of whom 15,000 were enrolled in schools last year, leaving but 21,000 to be provided with school privileges. These people are separated into numerous tribes, and differ very widely in their language, religion, native characteristics, and modes of life. Some are very ignorant and degraded, living an indolent and brutish sort of life, while others have attained to a high degree of civilization, scarcely inferior to that of their white neighbors. Any generalizations regarding these people must, therefore, be considered as applicable to any particular 177 tribe with such modifications as its peculiar place in the scale of civilization warrants. It is certainly true, however, that as a mass the Indians are far below the whites of this country in their general intelligence and mode of living. They enjoy very few of the comforts, and almost none of the luxuries, which are the pride and boast of their more fortunate neighbors. When we speak of the education of the Indians, we mean that comprehensive system of training and instruction which will convert them into American citizens, put within their reach the blessings which the rest of us enjoy, and enable them...


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