Friday, February 25, 2011

Native American Men at Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute

Young Men at Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute

Seated left to right: Arihotchkish (Gros Ventre), Frank Pamani (Sioux, Crow Creek), Ahuka (Arikara). Standing, left to right: Tiscaufuh (Arikara), Sayeda (Mandan), Uhahkeumpa (Dakota, Standing Rock), Ecorrupttaha (Mandan), Henry Karunch (Arikara, Sioux) Hampton, Virginia, November 1878

Valentine Richmond History Center, p.73.10.2

Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington's autobiography, Up From Slavery, recalls the "Hampton Experiment" in Indian education. In Chapter 6 entitled, "Black Race Red Race," Booker T. writes: "About this time the experiment was being tried for the first time, by General Armstrong, of educating Indians at Hampton. Few people then had any confidence in the ability of the Indians to receive education and to profit by it. General Armstrong was anxious to try the experiment systematically on a large scale. He secured from the reservations in the Western states over one hundred wild and for the most part perfectly ignorant Indians, the greater proportion of whom were young men. The special work which the General desired me to do was to be a sort of "house father" to the Indian young men—that is, I was to live in the building with them and have the charge of their discipline, clothing, rooms, and so on...."

"The things that they [Indian Students] disliked most, I think, were to have their long hair cut, to give up wearing their blankets, and to cease smoking; but no white American ever thinks that any other race is wholly civilized until he wears the white man's clothes, eats the white man's food, speaks the white man's language, and professes the white man's religion."--Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery

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