Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

STATISTICAL SUMMARY.

From the statistical table we obtain the following summary :
Schools, day and night, (regularly reported).,
Schools, day and night, (not regularly reported).

2,039

638

Total....

2, 677

Teachers in day and nights chools, (regularly reported).....
Teachers in day and night schools, (not regularly reported)

[blocks in formation]

Total....

.

3, 300

Pupils in day and night schools, (regularly reported).
Pupils in day and night schools, (not regularly reported)

Total...

114,516 35,065

149,581

[blocks in formation]

Individuals are often duplicated in our aggregate of pupils in the different kinds of schools; we refer to previous explanations of this fact. The total amount of teaching, however, is accurately represented by the number of pupils we have given.

Schools not regularly reported have been watched and encouraged with all the care possible. The total number of regularly reported schools is not as great as in the corresponding months of last year; but such schools were, in general, much more largely attended, the total attendance being only six pupils less than last July. In our report of that date the opinion was expressed that we had, with the means in hand, obtained the maximum of attendance, and by the result of the present half year we find this prediction verified. The average attendance, however, is larger than ever, being 91,398 to 89,396 last year, or 794 per cent. of the total number enrolled. This average has, during the five years' existence of the Bureau, gradually increased from the first.

The freedmen sustained wholly or in part 1,324 of the above regularly-reported day and night schools, and own 592 of the school buildings. The Bureau has furnished 654 buildings.

There are 58 per cent. of total enrollment always present and 55 per cent. always punctual, showing that pupils are no less persistent in educational efforts than formerly.

The advancing standard of scholarship, from year to year, is seen in the following comparison with the corresponding half year in 1869:

July, 1869. July, 1870. Advanced readers

43, 746 43, 540 Geography

36, 992 39,321 Arithmetic

51, 172 52, 417 Writing....

53, 606

58, 034 Higher branches

7, 627 9, 690 We also report with great satisfaction that the number of high or normal schools, and of industrial schools, have largely increased. Of the former, 74, with an attendance of 8,147 students, and the latter, 61, with an attendanco of 1,750, have boen in active operation.

Our efforts, by normal school instruction and other methods, to obtain colored teachery for their own race are proving successful. They, for the first time, predominate in our present report, white teachers being 1,251 in number, and colored 1,392. The advance of these people to such places of responsibility and reliance upon themselves has been one of our first endeavors; in its realization the future is full of promise.

It will be also seen that the freedmen have, during this half year, paid for their schools $200,000—a larger amount than ever before. One evidence of the same tendency to self-support and independence.

EXPENDITURES.

Whole amount of expenditures by this Bureau for schools from January 1, 1870, to June 30, 1870, inclusive:

From appropriation fund: For repairs and rents for schools and asylums, and salaries of school superintendents and agents.

$433, 218 47 School fund : For teachers, books, &c..

4,287 10 Refugees and freedmen's fund...

5, 390 50

$442, 896 07 By benevolent societies, churches, and individuals, (estimated) ....

360, 000 00 By freedmen, (estimated)

200, 000 00

560, 000 00 Total....

1,002, 896 07

[ocr errors]

We are able to say, before going to press, that since the first of July large sums have been paid for schools and school buildings, all of which would make the above total “by the Bureau” larger than in any previous six months.

GENERAL CONDITION OF EDUCATION AMONG THE INDIANS.

The Indian tribes and bands resident within the United States are directly under eontrol of the General Government. Its authority over these scattered communities, within the limits which the policy so long followed in relation to them has assigned, is complete. The General Government is the protector and guardian of this race. They are regarded as its “wards.At least such is the theory. In the progress of the nation changes are rendered necessary in the application of this theory. Learning our duties more clearly through the terrible events of the past decade, we are realizing the mistakes that have been made, as well as the obligations resting upon us.

Nothing seems more settled, as a question of national policy, than the obliteration of such distinctions as excluded from the privileges of citizenship a large body of the people on account of color. How soon the Indian shall become a citizen is a question for others to consider. But the conclusion is inevitable. Either citizenship or extinction seems to be the Indian's destiny.

What, then, is our duty ? Clearly to prepare them for an intelligent acceptance of the position. We should be incited to a systematic effort for the education of the Indians in our midst, not alone from a realization of the fact that experience has dearly taught that it is cheaper by far to feed and teach than to fight and slay, but from the higher motive of fitly preparing them for the duties of citizenship. Individual ignorance is a curse. That of communities is a degradation to the peoplo who permit its continuance. We have faced that issue so far as the negro is concerned, recognizing that the millions spent under the supervision of the Freedmen’s Bureau bave been well invested in preparing the freed people for the citizenship they now so honorably enjoy. The returns it brings are already recognized in the form of permanent peace and national integrity, as well as in moral progress, social order, and material benefit resulting from the stability intelligence gives to general prosperity.

Another problem is before us in this question of Indian education, more difficult in some respects than that which we have partially solved, which lies partially in the character of the people with whom we must deal, but far more in their isolation, peculiar situation, and the system under which they now live. To properly comprehend theso difficulties it is necessary to ascertain the facts that bear upon them. In this spirit a careful summary of the reports made to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, so far as they relate to the question of education, will aid the formation of intelligent judgment. The report for 1869 is our authority in ascertaining not only the wants of the Indians, but their own desires, in regard to education. Grouping the various superintendencies into geographical divisions for a more convenient presentation of the facts, the first examined will be

THE INDIANS OF THE PACIFIC COAST. In the Territory of Washington the Indians number about 22,000, distributed among more than twenty tribes. Of these only four agencies report schools as in operation. The superintendents uniformly report steady progress by the tribes under the influence of these schools, and the missions attached thereto. In each case there is complaint, however, that their usefulness is impaired through the reduction of appropriations for their maintenance. The character of the Indians at agencies where schools exist is declared to be improving. They are deeply interested in the cause of education. Of the Indians on reservations where no such influences exist, the reports are bad. They are described as lazy and debauched.

The school building on the Chehalis reservation has not been completed for want of funds. Generally it is stated that owing to the inadequate appropriations “some of the schools have suspended, and others have failed to accomplish the good expected of them."

Oregon has an Indian population of about 11,700 souls. Of these all but about 1,200 are located on reservations and under charge of the officers of the Indian Bureau. There are six schools reported. That for the Ůmatilla agency as having “a measurable degree of success.” The Warm Spring agency asks for another school, the children living too far off to attend the only one in existence. At the Grande Ronde agency there are two schools, one being a manual-labor institution. Only one was in operation, however, "for want of means to cari, on both successfully at the same time.” The manual-labor school at the Siletz agency has been converted into a day school, " which has had but indifferent success. At the Alsea sub-agency no school is in existence, while at that of Klarnath one has recently been established. The testimony is generally in favor of the Indians' desire for education and of the rapid improvement of the children where schools are established.

In California the Indians are variously estimated at from 20,000 to 30,000 souls. Their condition appears to be deplorable. There is no attempt at education, except as far as the Catholic mission efforts are maintained. The Spanish policy, which was also that of Mexico, regarded the Indians as possessing no usufructuary or other rights. It was the policy of conquest, and resulted first in the enslavement and then in the merging of the races. Treaties were, however, made with these Indians by United States commissioners, which were rejected by the Senate on the grounds above stated. Reservations have, however, been selected and most of the tribes gathered thereon. The utter neglect of all school facilities is disgraceful.

Nevada reports about 14,000 Indians, who are generally peaceable. Nothing is said as to education among them. Congress has made appropriations for schools and teachers.

ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO INDIANS. Within these Territories the tribes most difficult to civilize or even to keep peaceable are to be found. The Apaches are worse than Ishmaelites; their hand is against every man, but they fail to have the redeeming virtue of hospitality, which is a characteristic of their Bedouin prototype. Yet even the Apaches are not entirely given up by some who have had an opportunity to study them closely. It is estimated that in Arizona there is an Indian population of about 25,000; of these, Colonel Jones, United States Army, considers 16,000 to be peaceable. Hon. Vincent Collyer, Secretary of the Indian Peace Commission, visited this Territory as well as that of New Mexico, and from his report the following facts are gathered ;

The Moquis number about 4,000. They live in villages, cultivate the soil, raise sheep, show evidence of civilization, are supposed to be descended from the Aztec race, and are anxious for the establishment of schools in their midst. They live in towns. The Yumas, Chemehuevis, New River, Cocopas, Mohaves, Pimos, Maricopas, and Papagos, are all peaceable tribes, generally devoted to agriculture and stock raising. Like thé Moquis, the principal tribes, as the Pimos, desire the establishment of schools and also to be taught the mechanical and industrial arts. Some of the Apache bands are desirous of peace, while with others war will continue, in all probability, until they are exterminated. The most valuable fact with regard to Arizona is the existence of the Moquis and Pimo tribes, with several smaller ones of similar character, to whose facility for acquiring a better civilization and general intelligence every one bears ready witness. The shareful neglect as to education which has hitherto characterized our conduct toward their brethren, the Pueblo Indians of the adjacent Territory, should not be repeated here.

The New Mexico Indians are estimated by the superintendent to number 19,000. Of these 7,000 are Pueblos. The remainder are Apaches, Utes, and Navajoes. The educational condition of the Indians is on the same footing as the whites. It is summed up age. The

*

* * *

in a few words—there is not a public school in the Territory; while, according to the census of 1860, over eighty per cent. of the population (excluding Indians, village or tribal) were wholly illiterate. There are some private schools and three or four free schools, under the Sisters of Charity; but not one supported by taxation or organized ünder law. The condition of the Pueblos in this respect is worse than when our Army occupied the Territory, more than twenty years ago.“ Under a system established three centuries since, by the Emperor Charles the Fifth, these Indians were gathered into villages and taught the arts of industry and civilization. They were instructed by the Catholic clergy, and many of the adults at the time of annexation were able to read in Spanish. This is not true of the children and those now growing up. It is eleven years since (1860) any educational appropriation was made for their benefit.

Lieutenant E. Ford, United States Army, till recently acting as their agent, recommends in his last report to the superintendent, that a suitable and commodious building be provided with garden land attached for the purpose of establishing a manual labor school. He proposes to select boys of from ten to twelve years of children so chosen should, in his opinion, be considered wards of the Government, then “ fed, clothed, boarded, and oducated at public expense, for the space of at least three years, when they should be returned to their respective pueblos. Each year a similar number should be selected in like manner from each pueblo, and placed in the school, so that there would each year be two boys returned to every pueblo with a good rudimentary knowledge of English and Spanish.

“In connection with the school there should be established a blacksmith and wheelwright shop, each under the control of a competent workman, under the direction of the agent. One or more boys, about eighteen years of age, should be selected as apprentices in each shop each year, and the term of apprenticeship should last two years. After the boys have served their apprenticeship at the agency shops, they should be established each in his respective pueblo, with the necessary tools and materials with which to commence life on his own account.

It will be seen that in a few years each pueblo would be furnished with a competent blacksmith and wheelwright, each self-supporting, who would do the work of their respective pueblos, and who would instruct apprentices, so that the shops at the agency could then be dispensed with.

“The expense of carrying this design, or one similar, into execution would be but trifling in comparison to the benefit the Indians would derive from it. The cost of feeding the Navajoes alone for one month would be more than ample to erect the buildings and pay the necessary salaries for one year, while the current expenses of the school and workshops would be very small."

Agent Dennison, speaking of the Utes and Apaches over whom he had control, declares it quite practicable to diffuse " among them the knowledge of agricultural and other industrial pursuits.” Agent Labodé states that the Apaches under his charge, when on the reservation, showed a "desire to have schools and missionaries.” Lieutenant Cooper, agent for Pueblo Indians, says that out of 7,000 “not more than one dozen can read or write.” He asks the appropriation of $10,000 for school purposes, and says that the Pueblos “are very anxious for schools.” Lieutenant Ford says that "they absolutely crave education." The Indians of New Mexico demand immediate care in this particular,

INDIANS OF THE MOUNTAIN TERRITORIES. Superintendent Hunt, writes of the Utes in Colorado, that no schools have been estahlished among them. Lieutenant Speer, agent for Uncomparge Utes, says that “many of the chiefs have expressed a willingness for their children to be taught in the schools,” and he (the agent) believes the establishment of a school would be of great service. Governor McCook, reporting a visit to certain bands of the Utes, says that the chiefs all promised to send their children to school.” From the Territory of Wyoming no word comes of schools. The Indians are charged with being disorderly and treacherous. In Idaho, the most advanced tribe is the Nez Percés. Their agent says that the school progressed finely,” “the children improved more rapidly than was expected.” Some came fifty miles to school. Small-pox breaking out, it was closed until April 1869, when it was resumed with more scholars than before. The school superintendent says: “The Indians seemed very much pleased at the prospect of having a school.” Of the Bannacks, Shoshones, and Boise Indians, their agent says: “There is quite a desire among them to cultivate the soil. * * They also manifest a great interest in having their children sent to school and educated. No schools have as yet (1869) been established.”

In Montana, the superintendent, General Sully, whose experience of Indians is almost unequalled, does not give a satisfactory account of those under his charge. The agent of the Flatheads declares, that to the influence of the Catholic missionaries, and the education they have imparted, is to be attributed the peaceful condition of the tribe. The prosperity of the school is chiefly owing to their care. Major Galbraith, United States Army, who was in charge last year, recommends the establishment of an agri

a

[ocr errors]

*

cultural school. He says the one now in operation had “been as fruitful in its success as could be reasonably expected, considering the little assistance it has received from the Government.” Among the Utah Indians, 19,000 in number, it is reported “no schools have ever been established." The tale is brief and sad.

Thus it will be seen that within the four Territories named, having an Indian popu. lation of over 55,000, there are but two schools reported, only one of which is in operation, with about 35 scholars.

INDIANS OF DAKOTA. In this Territory some of the most important results are being worked out. It is the chief home of the warlike Sious bands, the most powerful Indian nation now in existence. There are nearly or quite 35,000 Indians within its borders. Governor Burbank's report gives a fair insight into both educational and general work. The former, under date of October 1, 1869, was thus summed up: “There is not a school in operation.” The Ponca school had been discontinued from bad management and want of

” sufficient appropriations. No school yet started among the Yanctons, nor at the Crow, Cheyenne, Grand River, and Upper agencies. These Indians are anxious to imprové and adopt the habits of the white man; so says the governor. Captain Clifford, at Fort Berthold, says the Arickarees and Mandan Indians “want schools.” Captain Poole, at Whetstone agency, thinks that the erection of a school-house and the establishment of a school "would do much toward elevating the morals of the people, and consequently conduce to peace and quiet.” Agent Daniels says of the Sisseton Sioux, that

“Our hope for permanent improvement among these Indians must come from the rising generation, as they are willing and desirous of learning to work. They should be taught agricultural and mechanical pursuits, as well as to read and write."

Bishop Whipple, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, writes of a visit to the Sioux, of the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands, that they received me with great demonstrations of gratitude, and manifested a sincere desire to be guided by my advice. At my first council a Christian man said to me, 'For seven years I have prayed to the Great Spirit that he would save us from death. The sky seemed as if it was iron, and I was afraid he would not hear. I look in your face and see we are saved.' I explained to all the Indians the absolute necessity of a change in their mode of life; that it was the determination of their Great Father and the council at Washington that all Indians whom they aided must live as white men, by the cultivation of the soil. In nearly every instance the Indians consented to have their hair cut and at once adopt the habits of civilization. A system of labor was introduced which required that all who were able to work should do so, and be paid for the same out of the goods and provisions purchased for them. The results have far exceeded my warmest expectations."

William Welsh, esq., of the Indian Peace Commission, strengthens the testimony of the good bishop as to the teachability of the Sioux, in the very interesting accounts he has published of visits to the Brulé, Yancton, and Santee Sioux, as well as to the Poncas and Winnesa Chippewas. In his visit to the Yanctons he found them anxious for schools. The head chief, in responding to Mr. Welsh's talk, said, “They all agreed most cordially in an earnest desire * to have schools, and also religious instructors." He pertinently added that "it would be wiser to send teachers than to censure men for following the customs of their fathers.” The Brulé, Sioux, and the Poncas plead earnestly for instruction; the latter especially, apparently desiring the establishment of a school more, even, than food, though almost in a starving condition. Mr. Welsh asks the aid of this Bureau in cooperating with Indian agents and their helpers, especially as to the preparation of works of instruction, &c. The same request comes from others. There are no means at this Bureau's disposal for such work.

*

INDIANS IN NEBRASKA AND KANSAS.

The condition of affairs among the Nebraska Indians is better than the average with regard to educational progress. The superintendent and most of the agents within this State are members of the Society of Friends. They have the advantage, in entering upon their work, of settled convictions, distinct purposes, and definite modes of accomplishing them. There are several important experiments now being pushed with zeal and good results. Superintendent Janney argues strongly for systematic effort at education. He is earnest that well-conducted schools should be maintained among the Indians.

Perhaps the most interesting testimony offered on this subject of Indian education and consequent civilization is seen in the progress of the Santee Sioux under the charge of the Rev. S. D. Hinman, a devoted priest of the Protestant Episcopal Church, who is truly leading this band from savage pursuits into peaceful habits and religious lives. Mr. Welsh, in his report of a more recent visit to their mission, gives an animated account of the progress made. Their agent says that they, “as a general thing, are industrious and sober people, easily managed, very sensitive to reproof, and thankful for commendation."

.” The Santee Sioux“occupy the door to the upper country,” and the Santees, if properly encouraged, “may be made the teachers of the whole Dakota nation.”

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »