Fri 30 Nov 2007
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*hey Lizzie I’m a little bit short and I think I know of some places I can expand but if you could help me out with that when you’re looking over it that’d be great! Thanks
The relationship between Dickinson College and Carlisle Indian School existed from the arrival of Pratt’s first Indian students. President McCauley conducted the first Sunday service at Carlisle Indian School and was on the school’s Board of Trustees. Professor Himes frequently gave lectures to the Indian students on scientific curiosities such as static electricity. However these professors’ contact with the students, although frequent, was not regular. The first Dickinson professor known to establish a close relationship not only with Pratt but also with the students was the professor of mathematics and astronomy, Joshua Allen Lippincott. Like many of Dickinson’s professors, Lippincott was an Methodist minister. During the fledgling years of Carlisle Indian School, Lippincott served as the school’s chaplain. This period in Lippincott’s life is an example of Lippincott’s lifelong dedication to education and religion. Lippincott’s position in both these fields created a valuable service to Richard Henry Pratt and his cause for the Indians.
Captain Pratt established Carlisle Indian School with a clear plan in mind. To solve the Inidan problem, the Indians must be educated in the white man’s way at boarding schools away from the influence of the reservations. Donning uniforms and cutting their hari, Pratt sought to transform their image from the savages Indian to civilized American. All learned skills useful to the planes Indians were replaced by vocational skills like carpentry or printing. Students were not permitted to speak their native tongue, but had to speak only in English. In addition Pratt also stressed the need for Christianity to fully integrate the Indians into civilized society.
When Pratt arrived in Carlisle in 1879, he found great support from Dickinson for his endeavors and soon established a friendship with Dickinson professors, most notably with Professor Lippincott. As chaplain for the initial years of the school, Lippincott was one of the first Dickinsonians to help establish a strong Christian influence at the Carlisle Indian School. Every Sunday, the Indian students would attend morning service at a local church they belonged to. Lippincott would then go out to the school and lead the afternoon chapel service. The fact that the Indian School’s Sunday schedule replicated Dickinson’s was no coincidence. The use of Dickinson as a model for religious practices was most likely suggested by Lippincott to Pratt. Lippincott’s regular visits to the Indian School along with his interested with the issues of Indian education created a special relationship. Ellwood Dorian wrote a letter home describing Lippincott as “a very good man; he comes out every Sunday and talks to us about the Bible, and we all like him because he is very kind to us.” Ellwood refers to a sermon which Lippincott explains the significance of the New Year and its relations to the season, showing Lippincott’s interest in the education of the students beyond Christianity. Evidence of Lippincott’s belief in Pratt’s system and care for the welfare of the students was also shown when her traveled to the Midwest in September, 1882 to help recruit students for Carlisle Indian School. In his report to Pratt, reprinted in the Morning Star, Lippincott noted the Indian’s were most unhappy about their lack of title to their land. Lippincott sympathized with them remarking “that the chief employment of the Indian in the initial stages of his civilization must be grazing and agriculture, and no people can be expected to improve land that may be taken from them at any time by a mere caprice of an officer of the government.” The necessity for Pratt’s program of vocational training and education was Lippincott’s point of persuasion resulting in Lippincott’s return to Carlisle with fifty-one Indian children.
Lippincott’s beliefs in the importance of education extend beyond Indian education. As expressed in a letter to Governor Robinson of Kansas that the University of Kansas produces “men and woman whose influence shall be more sturdily wielded, more deftly directed to the accomplishment of the better ends of a nobler citizenship because of the privilege here enjoyed” (Robinson, June 2 1888). Through education is citizenship established. Although the education at Carlisle Indian School was not as advanced as the education at either the University of Kansas or Dickinson College, Lippincott supported education as the method of solving the Indian problem.
In 1883 Lippincott was elected Chancellor of the University of Kansas. Leaving Carlisle, now home to the firmly establish Carlisle Indian School, he moved to Lawrence Kansas where another Indian school was being formed. Whether Lippincott worked with the Haskell Institute or not is no known. Although Haskell followed many of the methods of Carlisle, its location was contrary to a primary philosophy of Pratt’s that to effectively integrate Indians, they must be removed entirely from the vicinity of the reservations. Whether Lippincott continued his involvement in Indian education in the Mid West in uncertain, however Lippincott did continue his relationship with Pratt. The Red Man continued to publish news about Lippincott long after he left Carlisle.
In March 1898, Lippincott gave the commencement speech at Carlisle Indian School. Encouraging the graduates to not return to a life on the reservation, Lippincott urged the students to continue living among white civilization. He articulated, “you are not to be Indians anymore! The Indian is DEAD in you. Someone says that the only good Indian is a Dead Indian! Be men and women, but not Indians! Let all that is INDIAN within you die! Then you will be men and women, freemen, American citizens.” Pratt commented on this speech saying, “I have never fired a bigger shot, and never hit the bull’s eye more centre”. This speech was probably the inspiration for Pratt’s best known phrase, “Kill the Indian to save the man,” (need source) Pratt and Lippincott believed for an Indian to be completely integrated into American society, their Indian culture must be completely erased. Pratt has been criticized by many who read this phrase and see the blatant racial slur instead of looking at the context of the quote. The same can be applied to Lippincott’s speech. Although the eradication of the Indian culture in the Carlisle students is often viewed negatively, they believe that is was the only way for Indians to successfully integrate. Whether Pratt’s solution to the Indian problem was successful or not is debatable. However, it is certain that Pratt and his supporters, like Lippincott, only acted with the best intentions for Indians.
Through his friendship with Pratt, Lippincott established a unique relationship between the two institutes. The atmosphere of Christian missionary on Dickinson campus first took root with Lippincott’s weekly visits to the Indian School. A liberal arts philosophy of education and citizenship can also be applied to Pratt’s goals for the Carlisle Indian School. As the Red Man in March 1889 quoted the NY Daily Sentinel, “The way to civilize the Indian is to begin with the rising generation and work up.” Lippincott and Pratt believe that education was the key to civilizing the rising generation. Two pillars of Dickinson College and Carlisle Indian School, religion and education, were united and strengthened through the dedication of professors like Lippincott.