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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 15, No. 4
December, 1937
EDUCATION OF THE CHICKASAWS
1856-1907

By Caroline Davis

Page 415

Almost immediately after their separation from the Choctaws, a new constitution was adopted by the Chickasaws and their attitude toward education was shown, in that much of their constitution was devoted to the organization of a national school system. Under the terms of the new constitution, the legislature of the Nation was to make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of public schools, and a superintendent of public instruction was to be elected, for a term of four years, to have his office at the seat of government. The legislature was to encourage, by all suitable means, the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral, and agricultural improvements, and contracts between the boards of trustees and the teachers were to be subject to the approval of the legislature.1

By the term of the constitution, the Chickasaw District was divided into four counties; Panola, Pickens, Pontotoc, and Tishomingo. Over these counties was to be elected one general superintendent of public instruction, who in turn was to appoint the trustees for the various schools within the counties. The duties of the superintendent were definitely outlined and included visiting the schools once every three months, at examination time; and, at any time that the teachers and trustees were unable to handle the situation in any school, he was to be summoned by the sheriff or constable. By an act of the legislature, the clothing of the children in the schools was taken over by the Nation and a yearly appropriation of $2,067.74 was made for this purpose. Twelve hundred dollars of this amount was to go to the Chickasaw Manual Labor Academy, $700 to Colbert Institute, and $392.26 to Bloomfield Academy.2 The superintendent was instructed to keep an





Page 416

itemized statement of this money and see that twelve dollars of it was alloted to each child.

Much of the legislation passed during this period between the separation of the two tribes and the Civil War was concerned with education. In 1859, the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs contained statements from all the schools located within the Chickasaw Nation; according to these reports all the schools had reached their maximum enrollment and were being enlarged for the future. Publication of a newspaper, the Chickasaw and Choctaw Herald, was begun at Tishomingo City in January, 1858. The Chickasaw Nation was rapidly becoming an orderly, prosperous, enlightened community; even the unrest and dissatisfaction occasioned by the close association with the Choctaws had begun to subside and they were rapidly building for a happier future. Then came the Civil War, putting an end, for the time being, to the work they had accomplished.

During the years of the war their country was overrun by the insurgents; schools and churches were closed, and their homes lost and demolished. The Indians, seeing no prospect of aid or protection from the troops of the United States, in 1861, renounced their allegiance to the Federal Government and became a part of the Confederacy; thus losing their right and title to all privileges under the Government of the United States.

With the close of the Civil War the Indians returned to homes where they found only devastation and ruin. The contrast with their former condition was sad. Now a destitute people, they had been far advanced in civilization with their schools and academies, had been rich in real and personal property, much wealth having accumulated in the hands of some of them, their crops had been abundant, and great herds of cattle had been their chief source of wealth. The change was pitiful: the cattle and horses had been scattered; their fields lay uncultivated; their fences destroyed, and many of their houses had been burned or demolished; but, with all this, the Choctaws and Chickasaws had fared far better during the war than the other tribes, as they had been almost unanimously

Page 417

with the Confederacy and thus saved themselves the destruction caused by civil war within the tribe.

On September 8, 1865, a council was called to meet at Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Delegates from the Five Civilized Tribes met here with officials from the United States to formulate new treaties to take the place of those forfeited by their union with the South. The terms of the final treaty as signed by the Chickasaws and Choctaws in Washington in 1866, provided that they would make peace with the United States and among themselves, that they would open their "leased lands" to the settlement of any tribes whom the government of the United States might desire to place there, and to the cession of one-third of their remaining area for the same purpose.3

At the opening of the war the educational work which had been in the hands of the missionary societies of the various churches came to an abrupt halt and was not resumed for some time after the War between the States. Therefore, the schools which had been erected and held jointly by the church and the nation now became the property of the Nation. Almost immediately upon signing the treaty of peace the Nation took up the work of rehabilitating their educational systems. One of the first acts of their legislative body under Governor Winchester Colbert was the reaffirming of the section of their constitution dealing with education. Under the laws of the Nation the council elected a superintendent for four years with a yearly salary of $500. He appointed a trustee with a salary of twenty-five dollars a year for each of the academies and neighborhood schools, and selected teachers whose salaries were regulated at $200 a year.4

The Chickasaws hoped to be able to reestablish their old system of education which would include the opening of the academies and neighborhood schools. This was not an easy task as the school buildings had been badly damaged during the war. Colbert Institute had been entirely burned, and other academies, having been used as military camps, were unfit for school purposes





Page 418

and would necessitate a large expenditure of money in order to be made ready for use. This money the Indians did not possess as their annuities had entirely ceased with the opening of the war. The United States Government had at first refrained from sending these annuities for fear the money would fall into the hands of the Confederates, and later, when the Indians joined the Confederacy, the treaties guaranteeing these funds were broken and the United States was no longer obligated to pay. The Indians petitioned Congress to assist them in the reestablishment of the schools by settling with them what they considered their just claims. If the Government paid these back annuities, the Chickasaws hoped to establish an educational fund which would be sufficient to provide liberally for a comprehensive educational system. However, these claims were never paid; but the Government, in the treaty of 1866, reaffirmed the financial clauses of the old treaties with the Chickasaws and agreed to renew the payment of all annuities and other moneys accruing under treaty stipulations after the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1866.5 The sums thus provided for were the permanent annuity of $3,000 for education as provided for under the act of February 25, 1799, and the treaty of April 28, 1866, and the fund from the sale of lands in Mississippi amounting to $1,185,947.03 2/3; the sum of $1,183,947.03 2/3 being a national fund and $2,000 a fund for "incompetents." The interest on these sums and the item of $3,000 first referred to were paid over to the treasurer of the Nation, and were disbursed by him under the direction of the National Council.6 By the report of the Commissioners of 1868, the total amount of interest paid to the Chickasaws for the year 1867 was $62,735.98, the $3,000 added to this making a total payment of $65.735.98.7 From these amounts the Nation appropriated their educational funds.

Neighborhood schools, being the first logical step in this renewed program of education, were opened in 1867, and the children for the first time in seven years were called to the task of







Page 419

learning. Perhaps the first school was one conducted by Captain Frederick Young in the old Bloomfield Academy. Captain Young had been a soldier in the Confederate Army and upon the close of the war decided to remain in the Chickasaw District and open a school. He was an Englishman who had at one time belonged to the Queen's Body Guard, and now for a period of two years, in the half-ruined building of the old academy, he conducted classes for Chickasaw boys and girls. Among his pupils was Douglas H. Johnston, who was to be the last governor of the Chickasaw Nation.8

The first Superintendent of Public Instruction was G. D. James, who within two years' time was able to report to Captain George T. Olmstead, United States Indian Agent at Boggy Depot, that there were eleven neighborhood schools in successful operation, employing eleven principal teachers and four assistants. The number of pupils varied according to the population of the district, ranging in number from fifteen to sixty, and including all grades from the beginners to those advanced in "English education." A novel plan of paying the teachers was in use, the teachers receiving three dollars for every scholar in actual attendance each month. Out of this salary the teacher furnished all the supplies for the children in the school, including books and stationery. They were paid entirely from the national funds arising out of the annual interest in bonds held in trust by the United States Government. Five of these teachers were native Chickasaws, two men and three women, who had been educated by the Nation in the Chickasaw schools and academies. The other ten teachers were white, seven men and three women. The white teachers were not considered by Mr. James to be of a very high order, although respectable, and he expressed a desire that the intellectual average of these teachers would be raised within a short time.

The location of these schools necessitated many of the children's either going long distances or boarding in the neighborhood of the school. The Nation overcame this handicap by an appro-



Page 420

priation from the national fund of seven dollars a month to pay for boarding these children not living within two and one-half miles of the school house. This plan, as conceived, was only intended for children who were forced to leave home but gradually, and that within a short time it came to include a money payment to every parent for all children within school age, causing the aggregate of the expenses for the schools to be very high, in 1870, amounting to $35,000.

English was the language used in these schools, and as many of the children spoke only their native Chickasaw tongue, they were forced to learn English before anything could be done concerning a formal education from English text-books.

Five of these neighborhood schools were held in the buildings of the old academies; for the others, log houses were built. These log school houses contained few of the facilities which might be considered as necessities,9 the usual amount spent on buildings and equipment being between two and three hundred dollars. Specifications for one building incuded: "The building to be 24' x 16' with seven windows and one door, to be built of pine lumber, with pine shingles and to be furnished with desks to seat thirty pupils, one recitation bench, a teacher's chair, table, and blackboard, also a good heating stove."10 These specifications, especially for equipment, were very poorly carried out in many cases. In the teachers' reports may be found items such as the following one: "The reason that writing has been omitted is that there is no desk or thing that can be used for desks."11 The usual subjects taught in these neighborhood schools were spelling, reading, arithmetic, and speaking (English). In some of the schools where there were children who had been in school prior to the Civil War, more advanced subjects were taught, as grammar, geography, history, and physiology. The subjects taught depended, to a great extent, upon the ability of the teacher in charge.







Page 421

No arrangements had been made, at the time of this first report, to reopen the academies or to install high schools within the Nation. In lieu of these schools of higher education, by an act of the legislature, suitable appropriation was made to send sixty of the most highly advanced scholars to schools in the different states. This number was to be equally divided between the sexes, only the most advanced scholars from the former schools being selected. The states chosen were Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Ohio, and the scholars were selected for their educational rating, scientifically socially, and morally. The act was for a term of three years, the appropriation being $21,000 or $350 yearly for each scholar. This was done in order that the Chickasaws would be able to count on a class of educated youths competent to furnish their people with a full corps of qualified teachers and others able to fill important positions in the Nation.12

Between the opening of the schools in 1867 and 1876, the academy buildings, which were being used for neighborhood schools or primary education, gradually began to assume their old status in the Nation as boarding schools, although in some cases this may have simply meant that many of the children attending were being boarded in the neighborhood of the schools. The buildings, however, must have been repaired enough to have allowed for some living in them, although no records show appropriations for this before 1876. The schools operating this way were Bloomfield, under the direction of Dr. H. F. Murray, with forty-five scholars; Wapanucka, under Professor Alexander Carroll, with sixty scholars; Chickasaw Male Academy, under Joshua Harley, with an enrollment of sixty, and an Orphans Home School at Lebanon with sixty orphans enrolled under the management of Captain Smith.13

Under the intelligent guidance of such men as Governor B. F. Overton, O. Fisher, Eastman Harney, B. C. Burney, National Treasurer, and others of the same type, the year of 1876 was rich in





Page 422

legislation concerning school affairs. The first act passed, perhaps, was "An Act Establishing a Female Seminary at Bloomfield Academy;"14 the pupils selected were to be girls between the ages of nine and eighteen, and not more than one child from a family would be accepted at the same time, and no scholar was to be permitted to remain longer than five years. The entrance qualifications were: ability to read well in McGuffey's Fifth Reader, spell well, and read in the New Testament, and to be of good moral character. The school was to be opened with thirty scholars, eight each from Pontotoc and Panola counties, and seven each from Pickens and Tishomingo counties. There was to be chosen a committee of three competent persons to act in conjunction with the superintendent of schools in making a contract for the operation of the school. Qualifications for this position were highest moral character or Christian standing with practical and successful experience in teaching and managing a first class boarding school. This person "contracting" for the school was to furnish tuition, bedding, washing, mending of clothes, medicine, and medical attention, in addition to all the modern apparatus for conducting a school, including all books and stationery and necessary fixtures. For this he was to receive $194 per scholar for ten scholastic months, to be paid semi-anually. This act also provided for the establishment of a similar high school at the old Chickasaw Manual Labor Academy which was to be operated upon the same plan and basis.15

Wapanucka, which held such a high place in the Nation as a male academy previous to the war, was now changed by an act into a special school for children of the Choctaw Nation whose parents had failed to remove into the Chickasaw District, thus depriving them of all educational opportunities, as they were not permitted to attend the Choctaw schools. With the opening of this school came the first opportunity for education ever offered to these children who chanced to live outside the boundary lines of their district.





Page 423

As a result of the war there were, within the Nation, many orphan children for whom provisions of some sort must be made; so a school or home for them was established at Stonewall, known as Lebanon Institute. This was for both boys and girls and was built for an average enrolment of sixty. After this number was reached the remaining orphan children of the Nation were to be allowed to attend any academy and were entitled to their full pro rata share of funds equal with those attending the Lebanon Institute.16

The duties of the school superintendent were defined by an act passed on October 2, 1876, providing for his tenure of office to be four years unless sooner removed for misdemeanor. He was to have general control of all the schools and school buildings, with the Nation, to examine the qualifications and moral character of the teachers, and to hear complaints against teachers or any other person connected with or having control of the schools. He was to report quarterly to the Governor of the Chickasaw Nation concerning the condition of the different schools and the number of scholars in actual attendance in each school; he was to attend all examinations and note the progress and course of study of each class. In case of disturbances or the scholars' leaving school without permission, he was empowered to call upon any sheriff or constable for assistance. He was to appoint one trustee for each school, and was to suggest to the Governor and through him to the Legislature all plans for improvement, better management, and progress of public education. If complaints were received concerning trustees which he deemed sufficient he was given the power of removal.17

Another act created a school board to work in conjunction with the superintendent in making all contracts for the different schools or letting contracts for repairs on school buildings. The members of this school board were to act as trustees for the counties from which they were selected; they were to be governed by the school laws in force regarding school trustees, and were to receive fifty dollars yearly for their services. The act further pro-





Page 424

vided that the school superintendent and school board were to keep in view the interest and welfare of the Nation in making contracts, and were to start these new schools on the least possible funds, being assured that the contracts were made with responsible parties.18 In order to facilitate the speedy opening of these schools, another act was passed which provided for those operating schools in the various academies which were to be opened under this new plan to surrender immediately their schools so that the new plan could be started without "let or hindrance."19

According to changes made by the Legislature concerning the number of neighborhood schools to be maintained, Pontotoc County was to have eight, while the other three counties, Panola, Pickens, and Tishomingo, were to have five each. The act also provided that, in order to maintain a school, there must be ten scholars in attendance; these were to be between the ages of six and fourteen. The legislature also took cognizance of the "boarding question" and legally provided that all Chickasaw scholars between the ages of six and fourteen, going to neighborhood schools, should be entitled to the sum of eight dollars a scholar each month for board during the actual time of their attendance.20 Thus every family in the Nation with children in school was entited to draw funds from the national treasury; this, in large families, amounted to enough to support the entire family. The Chickasaws were very eager to supply teachers, at least for the neighborhood schools, from the Nation itself; this desire accounts for the act stating that "hereafter all citizens, school teachers who may wish to teach school in this nation, shall not be required to undergo an examination as to his or her qualifications as teacher before being permitted to teach said school." This same act provided for a generalized salary of $450 to be paid each teacher of a neighborhood school; lengthened the term into a ten months' session, and stated that no teacher should be allowed to take charge of more than thirty scholars.21 Some of these acts which were for the purpose of









Page 425

forwarding education within the Nation could but have had a detrimental effect upon the school system, especially the one rescinding all examination for certificates; but a real step forward was taken when the legisature made provision for a uniform system of adopted texts to be used throughout the Nation. This act reads: "That the standard of school books for the several schools shall be of uniform character, and shall be of the Southern series of school books, and no other books shall be used or taught in any of the schools in this Nation."22

Perhaps in evidence that some families were attempting to take financial advantage of the Nation by establishing schools and boarding children without permission of the National Government is this bit of legislation: "No school shall be started or attempted to be carried on, when any family or families are staying in or boarding scholars in the school houses and no school house shall be used for any purpose than that for which they were built."23

The question concerning sending students to schools outside the Nation also received attention by this legislature. While an act was passed allowing parents and guardians who preferred sending their children to school in the states to do so and allowing them their pro rata share equal to those attending the Lebanon school, another was passed diverting the balance of $2,886.75 from the $101,382.55 appropriation of 1867, to the Chickasaw Academy. This sum was sufficient to send to the Academy three students from each county in the Nation and three from the Choctaw Nation (these, of course, being Chickasaw children).24

The feeling of satisfaction over the accomplishment of the Nation in regard to its educational advancement is plainly portrayed by an item in the Atoka Independent of 1877. The article written by W. J. Hemby reads:

Superintendent Hightower is a very active officer, and has illustrated his office and called attention to the difficulties in the way of Indian Education that has attracted the at-






Page 426

tention of educators in all parts of the United States....There were 405 children whose education was provided for by law last year, of these 350 were in regular attendance. The coming school year there are 435 provided for...All honor and success to the Chickasaws for their efforts to educate their children. The good resulting from this liberal and wise system of education will be very manifest in a generation or less from now. Let the Indians alone while they are doing so well, says the Independent.25

Governor William L. Byrd in his message to the legislature in 1891, stated:

Our efficient superintendent of Public Instruction, Hon. Lem Reynolds, reports our schools in a prosperous condition,...18 neighborhood schools with an attendance of 448 pupils, 5 academies including the Chickasaw Orphan Home, attendance of 265 pupils and 48 pupils attending schools in the States, a total of students at expense of Chickasaw Nation 761, which shows an attendance of every Chickasaw child of scholastic age.26

There can be no doubt that the Chickasaw Nation was expending its funds lavishly upon educational projects, but that they received full value for the amounts spent is very doubtful. Robert L. Owen speaks of the contract system for the academies as being a "wretched system and poorly fitted to secure proper results,"27 and he also adds that both they "and the neighborhood schools were dominated to a great extent by personal interests concerning the disbursements of educational funds."28

The school life in the academies continued to be one of the chief sources of interest in the Chickasaw Nation, the girls at Bloomfield receiving their due share of attention. In 1868, when Captain Frederic Young disbanded his school and moved to Texas, Dr. and Mrs. H. F. Murray from Tennessee took over the buildings and immediately reopened the school. Mrs. Murray was a member of a prominent Chickasaw family from Mississippi, having received her education at Salem, North Carolina, and Dr. Murray was a well educated physician, who continued to prac-









Page 427

tice medicine while operating the school. In 1870, the school was conducted by Professor Robert Cole for a period of five years, and he was succeeded in 1875 by Professor J. E. Wharton. During this period the school was conducted without special grant from the Chickasaw Government, but with the passing of the Act of 1876, it was placed under the National contract system. Professor Wharton, who operated the school until 1886, made the first contract with the Government; he was succeeded by Robert Boyd of Tishomingo, a native Chickasaw. Mr. Boyd, after fulfilling only two years of his contract, relinquished it to Douglas H. Johnston, who continued as the superintendent until he was elected Governor of the Chickasaw Nation; he was succeeded by Professor Elihu B. Hinshaw.

While the school was under the supervision of Johnston, modern frame buildings were erected to take the place of the log buildings of the pre-Civil War period. These buildings were both accidentally burned but were immediately replaced by new and better ones.

Hinshaw was still in charge of the school at the time of the appointment of the Dawes Commission, and many new features were developed under his direction, one of the most important being the compilation of a course of study for the schools of the Chickasaw Nation. He developed the summer normal teacher training school, which resulted in much improvement among the teachers; and it was due to him that the arts became so much a part of the curriculum of Bloomfield.29

By the Act of 1876, the Old Chickasaw Manual Labor Academy, the first academy of the Chickasaw Nation, was made into a high school for boys. It was placed under the contract system on the same plan as Bloomfield Seminary. With the establishment of the neighborhood schools, according to population, several were built in Tishomingo County near this academy with the result that a higher grade of scholarship was obtained by the school. Joshua Harley, who had been conducting a school in



Page 428

this building, took the contract for the "High School." In 1868, young Joshua Harley had come to the Chickasaw Nation with his bride and started a school at the old academy; from that time until his death in 1892, with the exception of five years, this was his home. Gradually the school began to be called by his name, and by 1889, the name, "Harley Institute," took the place of Chickasaw Manual Labor Academy in all the official records. Sometime between 1880 and 1885, the buildings were partially burned, and when appropriation was made for a new building, the school was moved to a location one mile north of Tishomingo on the banks of Pennington Creek. Here a large two story brick building was erected at a cost of fifteen thousand dollars which, by law, was supposed to accommodate sixty boys; often, however, as high as eighty-five were in attendance. Ben Carter, father of C. D. Carter, was superintendent of the school in 1882, and it was during his occupancy that the school burned and was rebuilt. In 1888, Professor Harley again took the contract. Toward the close of the period of his contract he died, and the rest of the term was completed by his wife. The next supervisor was Joe Kemp, who was followed, in 1898, by S. M. White, the son-in-law of Governor Cyrus Harris.

The Chickasaws seem to have been lovers of music, and during this period in the life of Harley Institute, much stress was placed upon its study. H. H. Burris, a student at this time, who was later Speaker of the Legislature and National Treasurer, in an account of a serenade by the academy band at the home of Judge Boyd says: "We had a good band, no better band could be found in the whole Nation than that of the Chickasaw Male Academy."30 Mrs. Zula Burris Lucas, who was an instructor between 1885 and 1895, says: "It was a wonderful school. It turned out many good and useful men. The department of music was unexcelled."31 Another feature of the school was a student paper





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which was published within the school, the type being set and the paper printed by the boys of the academy.32

The home or school founded for orphans soon after the war differed from the other academies in that it was not let out by contract but was under the immediate supervision and control of the governor and superintendent of public instruction. In 1876, it was being operated by Captain Nat Smith, his wife, and Professor Lindsay. Robert L. Boyd, in an article given to the Vindicator, tells of the public examination held in July of that year. He says, "When we arrived at the Academy there were many of the citizens of the Nation present....When the examination commenced we were all invited to the school room by Professor Lindsay, where we witnessed a most thorough and rigid examination."33

After the examination, the Honorable O. Fisher was called on to address the school. He made this address in both the English and the Chickasaw languages. Later, Jessie Bell gave a talk admonishing the children that in a few years they would be called upon by their people to serve as governors, senators, representatives, supreme court judges, and "that they would have to protect their tribal rights under treaties with the Federal Government, and to compete with educated, sagacious and unscrupulous white men...that they should remember that the appropriations made by their Legislautre to educate them was interest on purchase money paid to their tribe by Federal Government for old homes in Mississippi."34

In 1879, an act was passed by the National Legislature changing the name from Lebanon Institute to Chickasaw Orphans' Home. The act also provided that monthly examinations should be held, that competent persons should be invited to witness these; and that the children selected for the home might remain the full term of years to which they were entitled, but might visit their friends on leave of absence granted by the Trustee. For the total







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expense of the school the contractor was allowed twelve thousand six hundred dollars each year for the sixty scholars enrolled. The act further provided for religious services to be held at least one Sabbath each month.35

Among the laws passed in 1889, there was an "Act to Establish an Academy of 40 or 60 orphan Girls, Under Care of Presbyterion Church in United States (South)."36

Reverend J. J. Reed, authorized by the Missionary Secretary of the Presbyterian Church (South), was to negotiate a contract for an academy under the Missionary Board; the sum of eight thousand five hundred dollars, or as much as necessary, was to be appropriated out of the funds in the National Treasury. The location of the school was to be within the limits of eight miles of residence of Lewis Keel, Tishomingo County. Also the superintendent was to make suitable arrangements or contracts for good and comfortable clothing for children attending this school. In the selection of children for the school, orphans were to be given preference, none under eight or over twenty years of age to be received; but if there should not be enough orphan children to fill the school, others were then to be accepted. This was to be known as Reed's Seminary.37 There is a lack of available information as to whether this orphans' home was actually put into operation.

The Methodist Church which had done no missionary or educational work among the Chickasaws since the Civil War entered into negotiations with the Nation, and, in 1884, an act was passed by the Chickasaw Legislature "granting the Methodist Episcopal Church South the right to establish a church and school building in the Chickasaw Nation for a term of years."38 This act placed the location of the school at White Bead Hill, in Pickens County, and also provided that, should the buildings and improvements cease to be used by them for that purpose, they should be









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opened to the free use of the citizens of White Bead Hill for a national school and religious services.39

In 1887, the Chickasaw Nation entered into another contract with the Methodist Church for the organization of a school in Pontotoc County. This contract was authorized by an act of the Chickasaw Legislature establishing an "institution of learning for male children to be on the Manual Labor System in Pontotoc County, consisting of a frame building sufficient to contain forty pupils to be known as Collins' Institute."40 This was to be a boarding school, and an appropriation of seven thousand five hundred dollars was made for its erection.41

Controversy and hard feelings appear to have developed concerning Wapanucka Academy after it was made into the special school for Chickasaw children living within the Choctaw Nation. In 1890, an act was passed repealing the act of 1876, and again changing the status of the school. This time the Superintendent of the Chickasaw Nation was to take the girls from Wapanucka Academy and place them at Collins' Institute, and Collins' Institute was to be placed under the same plan as the Chickasaw Male Academy and Bloomfield Seminary, except that the same grade of scholarship would not be required. The boys from Collins' Institute then were to be placed at Wapanucka Academy. Thus, the school was to be no longer a special school for Choctaw children from the Choctaw Nation. The act further provided that the children were to be given permission to attend any of the schools within the Nation upon receiving a certificate from the superintendent, but a provision was added that they were not to be allowed to attend school outside the Nation if they so desired.42

During the post-war period the Catholics entered the Chickasaw Nation; the first school established within the Nation by them was the one for the negroes, built on the bank of the Canadian River. In 1888, Miss Kate Drexel, a wealthy lady of Phila-









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delphia who had become deeply interested in the Indians, gave the money for the establishment of a school under the auspices of the Catholic Order of the Sisters of St. Francis, to be located at Purcell. A description of the buildings and grounds may be found in the Purcell Register:

The building...occupies a beautiful location on the top of a large hill, from which one gets a most charming view of the Canadian Valley with its verdant fields lying directly at the foot of the hill. The house is built around an open court...it is two stories high. The grounds are nicely laid out and occupy eight acres, a fine garden is looked after by a professional gardener, who also keeps the flowers and shrubbery about the yard in nice shape, making it a beautiful place.43

When the school was founded, it was expected that it would be placed under the control of the Chickasaw Government, the money for its operation to be appropriated from the national funds; thus allowing the children to attend without paying individual tuition, but the Order was not successful in gaining this grant from the Government. In its opening year the school employed only one teacher, but by the close of its third year the faculty for the school consisted of The Mother Superior, Sister Patricia, who had charge of the girls, assisted by Sister Mary Chrysolagus, who taught a music class, Sister Ludmillie, who had charge of a boys' day school, operated in connection with the convent, and, in addition to these, there were three Sisters who were employed in various capacities about the buildings.

The school for the scholastic term of 1891, had a total attendance of 110 and at the boys' school, which was taught in the church, there were fifty-seven enrolled. Of the thirty-three girls living in the convent, twenty were Indians. The Reverend Father Vincent Jolly had charge of the business affairs of the school and was very successful in building and developing the institution.44

As the boys and the girls from the Nation completed their work within the Academies, many were desirous of furthering





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their education in the states, and while the direct appropriation for this had been repealed, the Nation still allowed each a sum of fifteen dollars a month for this work. Some of these schools most frequently attended by Chickasaw students were: St. Xavier's Convent, Denison, Texas, St. Joseph's Academy, Sherman, Texas, Arkadelphia College, Arkansas; William Jewell College, Liberty, Missouri; North Texas Female College, Texas; Wentworth Military Academy, Lexington, Missouri, and Fort Worth University, Fort Worth, Texas.45 There were also many others, as the students might choose the college they desired to attend; all that was required in order to receive their pro rata share of the national funds were certificates of attendance issued by the schools. In addition to these students, all mute Chickasaw children, not younger than eight, were allowed two hundred dollars a year to attend schools for mutes in the States.46

A complete picture of the schools directly under the control of the Chickasaw Nation may be seen by the following chart.47

Name of School Sex   Place    Yearly Expenditure
Harley Institute   M Tishomingo    $ 9,444.44
Bloomfield Seminary   F Panola County       10,249.00
Wapanucka Academy               8,860.00
Collins' Institute   Stonewall       5,600.00
Orphans' Home         11,860.00
   


 

19 Neighborhood Schools

4 in Pickens County                           
3 in Panola County  
4 in Tishomingo County  
8 in Pontotoc County $46,900.00

Including Teachers

19 Neighborhood Trustees    ($25.00)               457.00
  4 Academy Trustees          ($50.00) 200.00
  1 Orphans' Home Trustee  ($120.00) 120.00
  Salary Superintendent of Schools 750.00
 


       Total $94,548.44







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One of the stipulations in the Treaty of 1866 was that the tribes must grant to the railroads the right to enter and cross their territory. In the spring of 1887, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway entered the Chickasaw Country, thus making an opening wedge that was soon followed by a great influx of whites into the Nation. Hundreds and even thousands poured in. Valuable land for agricultural purposes could be rented at a very nominal sum and much of the land was rich in minerals. In addition to this the Indians were willing to pay high wages for laborers. Within a short time other railroads also came into the Nation, these were the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe; The Missouri, Kansas and Texas, and the Rock Island. White people entering were termed by the Chickasaws as non-citizens or intruders; they were foreign people and were not amenable to tribal law and, of course, had no share in the tribal moneys. There were no provisions in the Indian law for townsites and occupants of town lots would necessarily be merely tenants temporarily residing upon tribal land. Under such conditions there naturally could be no provisions made for education of the children of these non-citizens, and as the white population increased, this lack became more evident. By 1890, the non-citizens had outnumbered the citizen population ten to one, as there were approximately 64,000 whites to the 6,000 Indians within the Chickasaw Nation. Farm laborers and mechanics, under permit, made up the greater share of this number; the others, holding some sort of legal status within the Nation, were licensed traders, government employees, railroad employees, coal miners, and claimants to Indian citizenship; but there was yet another group made up of sojourners, prospectors, visitors, intruders, cattlemen, and squatters who had no lawful rights whatever within the Nation.48

Mr. Dew M. Wisdom, United States Indian Agent, in his annual report of 1895, says: "Concerning the problem of education for this great group of children no permanent arrangement had been made by which suitable facilities can be furnished to white children to obtain even the ordinary rudiments of an English edu-



Page 435

cation....It is impossible to have them educated unless they are sent out of the Territory to the States and the expense incident thereto is too great to be borne by the average white man in the Territory."49

The United States Government almost immediately began to agitate for the opening of the tribal schools to the white children, suggesting that the white population pay their portion of the expense of the schools, or that certain sections of land be given the non-citizens upon which they could erect schools and hire their own teachers. In some few cases this last was acceded to by the Indians. Slowly, however, the more progressive people began to work out a system of subscription schools within the towns.

These conditions, of course, produced the inevitable results; the Indians must give up their institutions, their government, their schools, and make way for the white man within their land. The reports of the Indian Agents of this period of transition are full of condemnation of the Indians, urging upon the United States the necessity of not allowing the Indian treaties to obstruct the way of progress. Congress, in 1893, yielded to this argument and established a Commission, the main duty of which was to induce the Indians to give up their tribal ownership of land, their tribal government, and their tribal schools.

The Dawes Commission, appointed by the President of the United States in the fall of 1893, immediately, it seems, set to work to carry out the wishes of the white population of the Indian Territory. This Commission, composed of Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts, Chairman; Meredith H. Kidd of Indiana, and Archibald S. McKennon of Arkansas, established its headquarters at Muskogee and at once began negotiations with the Five Civilized Tribes. The object in view was to induce them to give up the tribal ownership of their lands, each member of the tribe taking a homestead, and to relinquish their tribal government, courts, and schools. The Indian's answer to all their proposals was simply that they had no wish to change their institutions.



Page 436

In March, 1894, the Commission moved to South McAlester where it met all the tribes, except the Seminoles, in an international council; resolutions were adopted at this time by the Indians advising all the tribes to resist any change. On March 28, the Choctaw Council passed the following resolutions concerning the repudiation by the United States Government of their treaties:

We cannot bring ourselves to believe that such a great, grand, and Christian Nation as the United States would so stultify itself in the eyes of the civilized world by disregarding treaties heretofore solemnly entered into, with a weak and dependent people, regardless of justice and equity, simply because she is numerically able to do so.50

The tentative plan proposed by the Dawes Commission provided that: all the land except the mineral land and townsites, which would be subject to special agreement, would be allotted among the citizens with the provision that a quarter section of each allotment be inalienable; a territorial government would be established with, the Nation's retaining control over its tribal funds and property; each citizen would be given his allotment without expense to him; all claims against the United States would be settled; all invested funds and the proceeds from the sale of minerals and townsites and money awards by settlement of claims would be divided per capita; the tribal governments should continue until the allotment and distribution of tribal funds should be affected.51 This plan was rejected by both the Choctaws and Chickasaws. Bills were then introduced into Congress attempting to compel the Indians to accept allotments, but President Cleveland refused to use force, and the only action taken was to enlarge the Dawes Commission and begin the work of surveying the territory. Negotiations continued, but mainly because of the refusal of the Chickasaws to ratify, no agreement was reached. After three years' work the Chickasaws appointed to treat in conjunction with the Choctaws a commission which was composed of the fol-





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lowing: R. M. Harris, Governor; R. L. Boyd, Isaac O. Lewis, H. M., Jacoway, Jr., Holmes Colbert, William Perry, and Robert L. Murray.52 The two commissions met at Atoka, and on April 23, 1894, signed what is known as the Atoka Agreement. This agreement provided for allotting of tribal lands and terminating the government with the Five Civilized Tribes. The special agreement with the Choctaws and Chickasaws specified that all coal and asphalt lands within the Nations should be the common property of the members of the tribes (freedmen excepted), that every member should have an equal interest, and that the revenue from the coal and asphalt, or as much as necessary, should be used for education of the children of Indian blood in the two tribes. The mines were to be under the supervision and control of two trustees who must be Chickasaw but who should be appointed by the President of the United States. All the royalties from the mines were to be paid into the Treasury of the United States and were to be drawn therefrom under instruction and regulation from the secretary of the interior.53 This period of struggling was a futile effort on the part of the Chickasaws to save certain of their much cherished institutions, chief of which was tribal control of their schools. It would appear that, in signing the Atoka Agreement, they believed that this had been accomplished, and thus unconsciously signed what definitely undid their work, as the clause specifying that the royalties be paid into the Treasury of the United States to be drawn only by order of the secretary of the interior, legally removed all control of schools from their hands.

Under the Curtis Act and subsequent legislation the Indian Bureau assumed supervisory control of educational affairs among the Creeks and Cherokees and entire control of the Choctaw schools. A United States superintendent of schools was appointed for the territory, and under him a supervisor of schools for each nation, except the Seminoles; both of these were under a United States Indian Inspector who was responsible to the secretary of the interior. John D. Benedict was the first to receive appointment as





Page 438

superintendent, and John M. Simpson was chosen the first supervisor of the schools in the Chickasaw Nation. When the attempt was made to take over the schools of the Chickasaw Nation, the Chickasaws displayed such intense resentment against the Government that the matter was not pushed and they were allowed to retain control.54 This deprived them of their proportionate share of the royalties arising from coal and asphalt, forcing them to maintain their schools as usual out of the tribal funds.

Benedict little understood the Indians and showed slight judgment in dealing with them. Not realizing, or not caring, that the schools were the Indians' greatest achievement, he began a steady diatribe against them. His condemnation, in some few isolated cases, may have been correct, but his assertions seem grossly exaggerated compared with the reports of the preceding decade. Reports, covering a period of years, showing the general opinion concerning the schools just prior to the Dawes Commission, point to no such grave errors as he asserts.

The agent to the Five Civilized Tribes in his report of 1892 says:

The Chickasaws have five academies and nineteen neighborhood schools. Harley Institute and Bloomfield Seminary are high grade schools...empowered to grant diplomas...The academies represent a cost to the Nation of $50,000. The neighborhood schools are kept open ten months each year, and $8 per month per capita paid by the Nation for the board of scholars in attendance. The annual expense is $94,548.44. The average attendance during the year, 228 for academies, 468 for neighborhood schools, a total of 796...the attendance is regular. In addition to the facilities thus provided...an appropriation of $15 per month is made for any child who having completed certain studies desired to attend first class schools in any of the states, and about 50 boys and girls are thus furnished tuition each year.55

Included in the Commissioners' report for 1893 is the report of Richard McLish, superintendent of public instruction for the





Page 439

Chickasaw Nation. He says, "The Chickasaws demand and are entitled to all the school advantages and conveniences of any nation upon the globe." In speaking concerning students just graduated from Harley Institute, he says, "We have six boys who graduated on June 26, 1893, at the close of Harley Institute. They have received their diplomas, as the law directs, and are now fully prepared to enter any college." He adds, "the Chickasaws have in successful operations five academies, and 17 neighborhood primary schools with an average attendance of 796; the expense approaches $100,000."56

After a lapse of four years, C. D. Carter, then superintendent of public instruction, was characterized by Wisdom as "a native-native-born Chickasaw fully alive to the important trust committed to his charge, whose report is worthy of himself and the intelligent race of Indians whom he represents in the educational field." He stated in 1896:

"We must educate, or we must perish" was quoted by a leading Chickasaw citizen at the closing of one of the high schools, and it occurred to me how true this is, and what unmistakable meaning it has to the Chickasaw people individually and nationally. Judging from our liberal school system, the founders of this government must have realized the truth of this assertion in all the volume of its meaning. They looked into the future. They saw that the time was fast approaching when we...must subsist by our labor and intelligence; and if we would hold our own with the pale-faced Anglo-Saxon "we must educate," and if we now disregard these great privileges which we have inherited we will be swept under by the great wave of civilization.57

Again in 1898, Dew M. Wisdom reports that a "healthy condition exists along education lines," and that:

Statistics heretofore furnished by me to the Department show that each of the Five Civilized Tribes has in successful operation a school system that will compare favorably with like systems in the surrounding States. These systems are the growth of years and the result of heavy expenditure of money.




Page 440

The Chickasaw Nation was straining every resource in order to retain control of its schools; tribal annuities were given over to their support, but these sums were not sufficient to cover the costs; school warrants became uncashable, except at exorbitant discounts. Still the authorities of the Nation steadily denied the right of the secretary of the interior to control their schools and the Department firmly refused to permit the use of the royalties unless the schools were placed under the management of the government officials. At last, realization came to the chiefs of the tribe that concessions would have to be made, and after much correspondence a conference was held in Washington, D. C., April 11, 1901, between E. A. Hitchcock, Secretary of the Interior, and the principal chief of the Chickasaw Nation, D. H. Johnston, at which regulations were drawn up and approved. There regulations provided that a board of examiners, one of whom should be designated by the secretary of the interior, should be appointed by the authorities of the Chickasaw Nation. One of their chief duties would be the examining of applicants to teach school, as, after June 30, 1901, no person would be eligible to teach who had not been examined by the board, and had received a certificate good for one year, as to his mental, moral, and other qualifications. No act of this board would be effective unless agreed to by all the members. They were further authorized to take jurisdiction of any complaint in writing against any teachers; the decision of the board would be reported to the board of education of the Chickasaw Nation for appropriate action, advising them as to the character and conduct of school employees, courses of study, methods of teaching, sanitation, and discipline. For this purpose they were to have access to the schools and their records at all times. Cooperation on the part of school officials, teachers, and officers of the Chickasaw Nation for the betterment of their schools was assured by the Nation, and any information desired by the secretary of the interior, or his representatives, as to the condition or conduct of schools was to be furnished. The outstanding school warrants of the Chickasaw Nation, legally issued for services or materials in accordance with the school laws of the Chickasaw Na-

Page 441

tion after the ratification of the Atoka Agreement, were to be paid without unnecessary delay by a disbursing officer designated by the secretary of the interior. These warrants were to be paid out of the Chickasaw coal and asphalt royalty fund, so far as it would apply, and all warrants thereafter legally issued should be paid out of these funds annually, semi-annually, or quarterly, as the secretary of the interior might determine, so long as these regulations should be observed by the Chickasaw Nation.58

Under the provisions of these regulations John D. Benedict was appointed by the secretary of the interior as a memeber of the board of examiners; those appointed by the Chickasaw Nation were E. B. Hinshaw, of Kemp, Indian Territory, and William F. Bourland, of Ardmore. John M. Simpson, who had been so caustic in his dealings with the Chickasaws as their supervisor, resigned, and George Beck of Wisconsin was appointed in his place.59

Practically the only change these regulations made in the actual operation of the schools was in the matter of the qualification of the teachers to be employed; as control of the schools was virtually retained by the Chickasaws through the ability to issue their own warrants, but by accepting these regulations the royalties from the coal and asphalt mines became accessible as the Government later collected the warrants and payment was made from these royalty funds.60

Under instructions from the Department, extensive investigation was made by J. G. Wright, United States Inspector concerning the outstanding school indebtedness of the Nation up to August 31, 1901; he furnished an itemized report of all outstanding warrants; these aggregated about $130,000, and after approval of the report by the Department the United States Indian Agent was directed to pay the warrants.61

The earliest manuscript materials available of the neighborhood schools of the Chickasaw Nation began with the year 1891.









Page 442

From this source a perspective is gained of the place held in the national life by these schools. As the country or village school in the States was the heart of the rural life of the community, so these schools represent the true nature of the Chickasaw Indian; most of these schools were built in the full-blood communities with native teachers and trustees. Much Chickasaw was spoken in the schools although classes were conducted in English. The school houses were erected and equipped by the community, or by some individual within the community, often being built from the lumber at hand; the cost was covered, at least in a number of cases, through appropriations by the National Legislature.

A good description of an average neighborhood school is given in an act appropriating $350 to "build and equip a National Neighborhood School House at Pauls Valley in Pickens County"; the school: "was to be 24' x 16' with 7 windows, 1 door, of pine lumber, ceiled, weather-boarded and covered with pine shingles, furnished with desks, recitation bench, teacher's chair, table, blackboard, also a good heating stove, stove flue and piping."62

In 1898, the Nation took over the expense of providing the books for all the neighborhood schools.63 The Nation was continuing the practice of allowing from eight to ten dollars each month for all children in the Nation attending school; much of the legislation was concerned with appropriations covering this expense. The teachers kept reports of all children and the homes in which they lived, and their school attendance, which were turned over to the trustee and by him were sent to the superintendent; proper appropriation was then made by the Legislature. The report of the Pauls Valley National School from November to January 1898, lists A. L. Barr as Trustee and Bessie Welch as teacher with twenty pupils in attendance, all boarding with their parents except two, who were boarded with the trustees.64

The old buildings at Bloomfield which burned were replaced by a fourteen thousand dollar brick or stone building in 1898,







Page 443

under the superintendency of J. S. Maytubby; the same year, E. B. Hinshaw was given the contract for its operation, and Holmes Colbert was made trustee.65 The second quarterly report lists the following subjects taught: spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, English grammar, United States History, physiology, physical geography, rhetoric, civil government, natural philosophy, bookkeeping, general history, chemistry, algebra, geometry, English and American literature, Latin, Caesar, astronomy, and elocution. The teachers of this year included, beside Hinshaw, the contractor, Alice Hearrell, Dora Matlock, and Kate Biggs.66

During Hinshaw's administration the fine arts were especially stressed and work from the art department was part of the Indian Territory exhibit at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis, in 1904, where it received a high award. Hinshaw retained control of Bloomfield until the end of the tribal government. In March, 1906, one of the closing acts of the National Legislature was the enactment of a statute donating the library of Bloomfield to him.67

After the sale of the old building of the Chickasaw Manual Labor Academy in 1889, the name ceases to appear and "Harley Institute" takes its place in all National and Federal records. Joe Kemp became the contractor for this school in 1892, but was succeeded in 1898, by S. M. White, the son-in-law of Governor Cyrus Harris. White continued to contract for the school until its expiration, prior to statehood.68

The moral tone of Harley Institute was manifestly very high from the following petition:

September 25, 1900. To the Hon. Senators and Representatives, of the Legislature of the Chickasaw Nation:

We, the undersigned members, and students of The Harley Institute, do most respectfully petition your honorable body to pass a law prohibiting the attendance upon this









Page 444

institution of any and all students who use or smoke cigarettes, who shall not quit and abstain from the use of the same, while in school within ten days from the passage, and approval of said law.

Signed by 63 boys.69

The legislature's reply to this was the introduction of an act prohibiting the use of cigarettes at Harley Institute, in case of failure to be enforced by expulsion within ten days. Compulsory reading of the bill before the student body was written into the bill; special provision, however, was made that in no way would this prohibit the smoking of a pipe.70 Special emphasis appears to have been placed upon sanitation at Harley Institute, as the following was written into the contract in 1898:

To furnish pupils each day with three well-cooked meals, arranged on the table, supplied with clean clothes, napkins, neat tableware of white stone and glass....(also) to furnish pupils with clean and comfortable bedding and bathing facilities, towels, soap, and hair and clothes brushes;...the clothes of the pupils to be neatly washed, ironed, and mended. And to do all necessary to maintain neatness in the surrounding and enforce cleanliness of persons in the pupils.71

By an act of the legislature in 1890, signed by William L. Byrd, then Govenor, Wapanucka Academy became a boys' school, and William H. Jackson was given the contract with the school during the years of 1892 to 1897. In 1901, the school buildings were condemned as unsafe, and the Academy was closed for two years. In 1903, it was repaired at a cost of four thousand dollars and the superintendency was let to Dr. J. L. Thomas. The school was closed sometime prior to statehood.72

Collins' Institute, the successor of Colbert Institute, was, in 1896, placed under the contract of Superintendent Wood Smith, who was followed in 1897 by W. H. Jackson. The only report of a general vaccination's being given to any school is found in the









Page 445

documents concerning this one. In 1901, by an Act of the Legislature, an appropriation was made of thirty-five dollars to compensate Dr. George H. Truax for vaccinating thirty-five pupils, at the rate of one dollar per child. In 1902, a contract was made with Amos R. White to maintain Collins' Institute for a period of four years; included with this contract was another empowering him to have the school repaired.73 The last document found concerning the school is an order for the removal of intruders from the reservation of the school.74

Lebanon Institute, which was operated under the direct supervision of the governor and the superintendent of schools, was, in 1900, superintended by W. S. Derrick. The faculty consisted of three teachers, one a music teacher, and in addition, the school employed a matron, cook, laundress and work hand. The Nation at this time was making a yearly appropriation of eight thousand five hundred dollars for maintaining the Home, but, in 1901, feeling that this amount was inadequate, a new law was passed appropriating ten thousand dollars yearly for its equipment and maintenance.75 In 1904, the Legislature changed the system of control of the Home, placing it under the same type of "contract" as that being used in the operation of the academies. Mrs. Vinnie Ream Turman who was then conducting the school was given the first contract. This contract was allowed ten thousand two hundred dollars for the maintenance for each annual term of ten months, with an enrolment of sixty; all children accepted over this number were to be paid for at the rate of seventeen dolars for each pupil with a clothing allowance in addition of five dollars for each child a month.76 In 1904, Mrs. Turman died and the contract was continued by her husband, L. M. Turman.77 The quarterly report of January 19, 1906, shows an enrolment of eighty-two orphans, and seventy-three non-orphans, making a total of 155 children living











Page 446

in the Home.78 The Legislators of the Nation, in 1906, fearing that the Federal Government was failing to make provision for their orphan children and seeing that nearly one hundred orphans were to be left after March 4, without "sustainance as well as without a school for their education," passed an act on March 3, extending and reinstating the provisions of the contract made with L. N. Turman and also appropriated the necessary funds for its continuance.79

During these latter years of tribal existence several denominations had again established schools among the Five Civilized Tribes. Chickasaw students were allowed to attend but the exact numbers are not available. In addition to the denominational schools, there were established within the Chickasaw Nation several semi-denominational schools for both white and Indian children.

As the time began to approach for the close of the tribal government, new legislation was enacted by the United States Government to care for the children within the territory. An act providing for Congressional aid to the rural schools was passed in 1904. This act provided that the superintendent of schools in Indian Territory, upon the recommendation of the supervisor of schools of each nation and the tribal authorities, acting together, were to establish day schools for the co-education of Indian, white, and negro pupils within each nation. The act further provided that the people residing in any neighborhood desiring a day school would, by providing a suitable school house and equipment, be furnished with a teacher, subject to the approval of the secretary of the interior; reports were to be made by the teacher to the supervisor, to be filed with the superintendent of schools; the superintendent was then to report the date to the Indian Office; salaries were to be paid by the United States Indian Agent for the Union Agency under rules and regulations of the secretary of the interior; teachers under these rules and regulations were subject to dismissal at any time by the superintendent for incompetency, im-





Page 447

morality, cruelty, or neglect of duty, subject to approval of the secretary of the interior; and in all matters the supervisor or the schools and the tribal authorities were to act jointly.80 In the same year a bill was enacted in the Chickasaw Legislature appropriating two hundred thirty thousand dollars to defray their proportionate share of the expense of the schools in the rural districts of the Chickasaw Nation, established by Superintendent Benedict under the act of Congress in 1904.81 Under the provision of these acts the tribal schools began to be gradually absorbed by the district schools. In 1906, there were in the Chickasaw Nation 219 schools with an enrolment of 13,274 pupils; out of this number only 375 were Indian children.82 This did not include the academies as they retained their Indian enrolment.

On March 5, 1906, according to the terms of the Curtis Act, all tribal government, tribal courts, and tribal schools terminated and the Chickasaw Nation, as an entity, ceased to exist. Although legally, after this date, there was no Nation, there still remained the Indian population and the question of the education of the children of Indian blood continued to be a problem of the United States Government. In handling this problem the government retained, for a time, the schools of higher learning already in operation, but allowed the neighborhood schools to be amalgamated slowly with the white schools of the Territory and State. The tribal funds, as long as any remained, were used by the government for the payment of tuition of the Indian children in the academies and public schools. In 1932, eighty per cent of the Chickasaw children were attending the public schools of Oklahoma; the other twenty per cent were attending the various Indian schools such as Carter Seminary, formerly Bloomfield Seminary, Chilocco Indian Agricultural School, and Haskell Institute, and also some denominational and state institutions.83 One full-blood Chickasaw Indian community remains in Oklahoma, that is, the Kallihoma district in Pontotoc County. The children in









Page 448

this district were without school facilities until the spring of 1932, when a school was established through the combined efforts of the county superintendent, the government supervisor of Indian education, and the people of the community.84 As time has passed the Chickasaws have become more and more integrated with the white population until distinction has almost ceased between the white and the Indian children in the public schools, and the question of Indian education is simply one with that of the general question of education.



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