Battlefield & Classroom

SKU: 0806136030

Richard Henry Pratt, Robert M. Utley
Grade Levels:
College, University
Multiple Nations
Book Type:
University of Oklahoma Press
Copyright Date:

Sale price$41.90


Battlefield and Classroom: Four Decades with the American Indians, 1867-1904 is a reprint of the 1964 publication of the memoirs of the founder of the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. Richard Henry Pratt founded Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, a boarding school that promoted its policy to "kill the Indian and save the man" through vocational and moral education. From his early military career, Pratt oversaw the Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne, and Arapaho men sent to Fort Marion prison in Florida. Here he established his fundamental understanding of how to civilize the Indian of the Plains into his view of the model American citizen. From this post he went on to the boarding school which he administered for a number of years. The memoirs published here dwell mainly on his military career. Although a part of the book deals with his years at Carlisle, most of his recollections offer anecdotes, a selection of quotes from letters, and his personal views on religion and education. Chapters about the boarding (residential) school experience offer Pratt's opinions about the ôouting systemö that placed Indian students with white farm families as cheap labour, and the school's efforts regarding sports and music. He spends one chapter about his first year as administrator at Carlisle and his ongoing efforts to convince government officials and the general public about the purpose of Native American education. On the whole, this book is a look at one of the most significant players in the development of Native education in the United States. Pratt's views draw on his Baptist values and military experience as they relate to changing Native children into acceptable American citizens. The introduction provided by Robert Utley only serves as an apologist's response for Pratt's career and its devastating effects on generations of Native American communities and families.

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