First Person Accounts
as written by American Indian Students
at Hampton Institute, 1878-1923

Compiled and edited by Jon L. Brudvig, Ph.D. ©1994 and 1996 All rights reserved.

Section Five


Fred, "Rain in the Face", Medicine Crow, was a full blooded Sioux from Crow Creek, South Dakota. Prior to his five years at Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute he had spent eight years in the Government Boarding School at Crow Creek. He returned to South Dakota in April 1902 to work on his own farm. In 1920, he became a UNited States mail carrier between Oacoma and Fort Lookout, but later returned to farming at Crow Creek.

A Plucky and Not Plucky Spider Man

One year, in the fall, there was a famine in the land which this short story will tell you about. They call some men spider men because they are like the clowns which white people have in some shows. These spider men would do things the opposite way.

One day, a spider man, the head of a family, began to make his journey towards the lonely prairies where game was more abundant. It was very late, I might say, because the leaves of the trees turned yellowish and all the song birds began to make their journey towards warmer climates.

The next morning he was going through a low valley with tall grass which have plums on it like the pampas grass of South America. This traveling spider man was carrying a bundle of songs on his back. As he approached near the hollow of the valley, he heard a drumming noise. Looking around he could not see any one, but after looking very closely at the tall grass it seemed that the grass was being moved to and fro by something. So he began to get on his knees and he crawled along towards the moving grasses. When he thought he got near, he made a small space through the grass and saw about fifty partridges moving around in the circle of smoothed-down grass. The partridges or prairie chickens, as they are called, were all moving around one after another with their wings stretched down, and as they all hopped around the circle they would make a drumming noise with their tails that were spread out.

Suddenly the spider man got up and looked at the merry dancers, and they all stopped and stared at him. They asked him what he had in his bundle, because there was a famine all through the land and they wanted to get something to eat. They told him that they were all dancing their last dance and that they would dance until they all died of hunger. When they stopped talking to him he said, "This bundle which I am carrying is a bundle of old songs which I sing to men and make the land become rich as ever."

At these words of richness of land they asked him if he would sing some of his songs and they would dance for him.

The spider man said, "I will sing to you all some of my songs and you all must dance for me."

He first told them that he always had a club to beat time with.

He said, "I am going to sing, but you must all shut your eyes and dance around. The first one that opens his or her eyes will have a red eye."

All the partridges consented to do his command, so they all began to dance around and with their tails they made a drumming sound.

The old spider man began to hum out his songs, and at the same time he said; "Whoever opens his eyes will have a red eye", and at the same time killing the partridges one by one, until one next to the last one said, "Look out, fellows, he is going to kill you if you all don't open your eyes", and he flew away followed by the ones that were wise.

If you were to look at the partridges' eyes in the fall you would notice that they have red eyes unto this day.

The man was very glad when he killed the partridges and picked them up and went to the forest where he was going to make a fire and prepare the game which he had killed with his songs. He found a nice shade under two large trees near the bank and there he built a fire and covered the partridges under the ashes to roast them.

In sitting down under the shades of the trees, the wind was blowing, and these two trees rubbed against each other making a squeaking noise. This made him very angry and he said, "If you boys don't stop fighting each other, I will come up there and fix you!".

The trees were squeaking very loud because the wind was beginning to blow hard. At last, he climbed the two trees and put his hand between the two trees, but when he had done this the wind stop blowing and his hand was caught fast between the two trees. He tried with all his might to get his hand out, but it was caught fast.

A hungry looking red fox was coming towards where he was caught and he asked him for help, but the fox was unable to climb the tall tree.

Instead of telling the fox to watch his partridges which were under the ashes, the spider man told him to dig up some of the partridges and to help himself. The fox went to the fire and dug out all until he got enough to eat. When the fox was about to go away the man asked him if he had left those that were way down in the ashes, and the fox came back and dug the rest out and nothing was left for the man to eat. The wind was blowing when the fox went away and the spider man got his hand out from the trees. He didn't know what to do so he pounded the tree all the next day. This spider man was plucky, but towards the end he was not plucky.


Edward Ukipata came to Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute from Santee, Nebraska at the age of 16. He graduated from the school in 1901, but remained at Hampton post graduate work. In 1904 Edward received a Normal School diploma.

Edward worked as a carpenter in Whiteagle, Oklahoma, and later became a home builder in Nebraska and South Dakota. His step-father, Horse Chief Eagle, was a Ponca chief.


I come here my friends on this occasion to present to you some facts concerning the progress of the Indian race. As I belong to a branch of the great Sioux tribe, it is my intention to speak of them in particular.

About 240 years ago two French explorers, not knowing where they were going, found themselves in a camp of Dakotas while hunting for buffalos in what is now northwestern Wisconsin. The explorers found the Dakotas the most fierce and warlike of all the tribes of the northwest. The Ojibways and the Hurons were then occupying the southern shores of Lake Superior. Having the first chance to trade with white people, they were supplied with firearms and other weapons. Thus having a great advantage over the Sioux, they drove them from their homes.

Not only that but the tide of settlers tossed them like driftwood westward, ever westward. Penned on reservations apart from good influences, hot with the sense of injustice, they were doomed to brood upon their wrongs, having nothing to do and nothing else to think of.

Living as they do, in communities where it is not customary to look forward with concern to the future, they are lacking in motives for exerting themselves. They still cling to many of the old passions and tendencies of past generations that have bound them down in ignorance and poverty to the reservation life. Their minds cannot comprehend the thousand ambitions of the white man, and for want of higher motives they devote much time to trifling occupations.

Dancing is still one of the principal amusements. To many it is even yet their mode of appealing to the great spirit and of paying respect to the medicine man. In the old days the dances were held in broad daylight. Now the old warriors, to please their white visitors, have made them more picturesque affairs by carrying on their amusements under the midnight skies. In this way they make things appear more frightful and savage as white people like it.

I can recall a man who started out in his most fashionable costume of paint and feathers to enjoy one of these occasions. He had a very fine wagon and a pair of milk-white steeds resplendent under an expensive harness. The next day he had no wagon and no harness. The laws of the Indian dances required him to do his duty to the dance by giving at least a part of his possessions.

The medicine man has been a great drawback to the Indians. Once upon a dark midnight, a boy lay ill surrounded by his relatives in a low dugout. The cold and dreary north winds hissed around the corners while all was silent in the house, save the cracking of the fires. The medicine man was called upon. A small space was allowed him to pass into the circle without touching any one. Then all was silent save the tinkling of the rattles upon his dress. He approached the patient in a crouching position with a slow and tilting step. Then he began his performances. In one hand he shook a frightful rattle and in the other he had a spear or magic wand. To the rattling discord he added jumps, snarles and guttural incantations to the good and the bad spirit in behalf of the patient. All this was in vain. Then as if listening to the winds hissing through the cracks and crevices, he stood in silence. "Oh", said he, "the spirit speaks to me, I will heal the sick". Taking out his knife he cut the sick boy across the forehead to draw out the bad spirit with the blood. It was too much for the weak boy and he was no more.

Another great obstacle familiar to all is the fire water. Before Columbus, the Indians had many manual occupations and cultivated land to a certain extent. They always had great pride and self-respect. When Columbus landed on the eastern coast of America two kinds of civilization met, the higher and the lower. The meeting of these two powers resulted in a problem. There were mistakes on both sides and in order to make peace with the Indian, the white man used fire water. Today the use of fire water is a worse curse to the Indian than to any other race. But had it not been for Columbus and his four gallons of fire water, these United States might belong to the American Indians today.

The progress of the Indian seems very slow to many, but considering the poor lands, the climate which can never be depended upon in summer for crops nor in winter for the cattle, it is safe to say that the Indians of today have made a great step out of the pit in which they have been laboring for centuries. Who hears of an Indian leaving his wild home to mingle with the American people and practicing medicine or law? No one. He is only a drop of water in this great ocean of a Republic. If he desires fame, he can get it far more quickly by starting an insurrection or frightening a timid agent who calls on the United States troops and makes a great sensation. There is Dr. Eastman, a Santee Sioux physician who has been a great help to the Indians. There is Mrs. Mercy Bonnin, a Yankton Sioux influencing the Indians to be self-supporting.

Last year the Yankton Sioux came to the conclusion that they ought to have a school of their own. All who were able gave something toward it. In a few weeks a log house was built with a shingle roof and six windows furnished with twelve desks, blackboards, books, etc. They hired no one but did the work themselves. Then they raised enough money to pay for a teacher-for six months. One cold morning the teacher, Mrs. Bonnin, told her pupils they would have to stay home the next day unless their parents brought fire wood. The children told their parents and the next day the parents furnished wood. One old woman went out into the forest, cut and carried the wood five miles on her back to the school house in order that her children might remain in school.

Will the Indians always be in a dependent state? No. All races desire liberty. The star of liberty which shines brightly over these United States is for the Indians. They are starving for freedom and we, their children, are ready to defend the flag when duty calls. We look to the future with patriotic spirits but our hopes are only dreams if time does not bring us liberty.

Emancipation Day January 1st, 1904

Friends and Fellow Students: I bring the New Year's greetings from one race to two others and in name of the Hampton Indian I extend my right hand of fellowship to the Hampton Negro. We have special reason to rejoice and sympathize with you, in that our trials and struggles for the past centuries, though of a different nature from yours, have finally brought us here together for one common training and for one common aim. In truth, it becomes us all, as faithful and dutiful citizens, to meditate over past history in a way that will advance and inspire us to future improvements. Having thus said let us look into the past.

The men who wandered across the Atlantic in search of freedom for themselves, were, strange to say, the very men who introduced slavery with all its sin and misery. Before some of you now listening to me shall received your Hampton diplomas, Tidewater, Virginia will be joyfully celebrating the anniversary of the coming to these shores of a liberty-loving people, three-hundred years before. You know how soon the slave ship followed and you know better than I can tell you of the bondage of these three centuries. Happily we see today that the demon who had drawn the sword had also guided the pen which struck the one vulnerable point in the Achilles of slavery. We join in your praises and honors for the man whose name you think no marble clear and white enough to bear - that railsplitter of the nineteenth century - the immortal Abraham Lincoln. Wholly unlike your history and yet the same in its results is that of my own race.

Several centuries ago we undoubtedly held full control over these fields of land and this vast domain from east to west. Bodily we were free to roam but out freedom of thought lay dormant in our minds as we slumbered heavily by the campfires of prosperity. What did the fertile valleys, the rich plains, the mineral treasures concealed in the hillsides mean to us? Why, they simply told us that here was a good hunting ground and there a temporary habitation. But when the white man came he put everything in a new light. He saw how everything in nature could render him a service. It was not long before we saw his engines making their way across our domains westward. Mountains were in his way but he climbed them. Rivers there were but he crossed them. When he was killed by our arrows, he, as it were, sprang up from his own ashes. He brought with him civilization and freedom. These two constituted his power which made him a most formidable adversary. Our wanderings along his track proved a hindrance to his progress and we were driven away, till finally we found ourselves penned on reservations with nothing to do and nothing to expect. Even, so it was that from us who had not was taken away, even that which we seemed to have. But there came forth in our behalf a man of force and character who, on the eighth of February, 1887 carried a bill through Congress which gave us the right to citizenship in the United States. Thanks to that great and good man, the late Senator Dawes! Since then we have taken unto ourselves a civilization which indeed has been a problem for some of us to handle. This is our history.

Here we gather, the one race suffering from a past of too great restriction and labor, the other race suffering from a past of too little restriction and labor and now we both meet here to receive the same training for a better future. Statesmen have given us the freedom of body, teachers have given us the freedom of minds. From day to day we are exercising our will powers whether in classroom or whether at the workshops. Hampton is the mould that is shaping our characters. Though all have the freedom of body, slavery is still only half abolished in the land. Emancipation will not be complete till the bounds of ignorance shall be unloosed and the minds as well as the body of the emancipated go free. It was Christ who said to his disciples that "whosoever would be the great among you let him be a minister; and whosoever would be chief among you let him be a servant. A decision is demanded of you whether it shall be one of inaction or whether it shall be one of service to mankind. True freedom requires service. Do now, I say unto you, keep straightforward. Look not around. Lose not an inch, for says Shakespeare, "That way madness lies." All honor be to our heroes. May the turf lie gently o'er their graves. We honor them best, not in words, but in deeds by imitating what in them was lofty and noble. We reap the harvest which they have sown and now let us sow for the future. Then, at last, shall the brotherhood of mankind confessed, conquering the heathen prejudices of country, race or color and inspiring noble deeds by which alone we attain to the heights of true freedom. Even such is the ladder of Jacob on which angels are ascending and descending, while the laborer, a freeman, on a hard pillow of stone, it may be, slumbers peacefully at its foot, then awakes comforted and goes on his way strengthened by that heavenly vision.

1881-1884; 1885-1887; 1887-1889

John came to Hampton Agricultural and Normal Institute for the first time in October 1881 from his home at Standing Rock Agency, North Dakota. He returned to Hampton a third time in October 1887 with his new wife, Rosa Pleets Tiaokasin, an alumna of the school. The couple participated in the special American Indian family program offered by Hampton Institute. Their son, Richard, was born at Hampton in March 1888. The entire Tiaokasin returned home to Standing Rock in May 1889. John found work at the agency as a carpenter, Additional Farmer, and stockraiser. He remained active in the Y.M.C.A. and was elected President of the Returned Students Association. John died in 1912.


In 1881 I left my house with all my life and came to Hampton School and stay 7 years there and I learn the carpenter's trade and some other good things. After the 7 years staying at the school I went back to my house, and here I am working on my carpenter trade for 8 years. If an old Indian wants a house to make, he has to cut the logs down and carry them at one place where he wants to build. After the house is put up, then I put the window, doors, and floorings for them. I married to Hampton School girl, and so I built a nice little comfortable house to live in. I have three children one of them at school for three years now and soon I will send him to the Hampton School.


Roland Sundown was a full-blooded Seneca from Tonawanda, New York. His Indian name was, "One without a garden", and his school record states that he owned four acres that were not productive. He came to Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute to learn the machinist's trade. After graduating in 1923, Roland he pursued an even higher education to prepare himself for his life's work. He attended Philip's Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and latr graduated from Dartmouth College in 1932. He later became a teacher and a Seneca chief.

Emancipation Day 1920

I am thankful for having the opportunity of coming before you on this occasion to represent my race. It gives me great pleasure indeed to take part in this celebration.

My race can congratulate yours for its progress in spite of the shortness of time (since Emancipation) and race prejudice. You have prospered through many hardships. You have played a very large part in all of America's past struggles. The most we can say about your part in the last struggle will not be half enough.

A half century ago, one brave Christian man caused the tide of your destiny to change. What countless foes Abraham Lincoln must have made! He now has countless friends and his name will forever live in the memory of this nation. After him came another great Benefactor. General Armstrong, who fought for your cause during the great Civil struggle, who became a student of your race problems and of mine, who blazed a trail that is bound to lead us out of ignorance. As a General, he was gallant. As an educator, he, like Lincoln, proved to be a fearless man. Words cannot tell how much we owe to these two Christlike characters.

Oppression makes us kin. My race, like yours, has suffered many hardships. It is an evident fact that the Indians are vanishing. It is but a matter of a few generations before we shall be all assimilated. I believe this is called the survival of the fittest. But what made the fittest as in our case? The Indians were once numerous until about four or five centuries. Then the continent became the object of the explorers representing different countries of the Old World. The explorers found many friends and few foes among our people. They were given corn and other food and in return for this kindness they gave us poisonous whiskey. This is the first great wrong done us. They called us brothers. We believed in their false friendship and gave them more land. As the years went they not only took our land but deprived us of our rights. These things cause our races to sympathize with each other in oppression.

My tribe, which is the Seneca, belongs to the Iroquois Confederacy. This confederacy is known as the Six Nations of the State of New York. Although many other tribes have citizen's rights our tribe has not as yet. In fact, Japanese and Chinese immigrants have been granted citizenship before native tribes.

We do not know whether we are under the U. S. Government jurisdiction or that of the State of New York. There are schools, I am frank to say, that I do not know whether they are run by the U. S. Government or by the State of New York. There has been confusion among the tribes of New York State. It was doubtful whether the Cayugas owned land or whether they had sold it. The Cayugas finally started to disappear from that State. So up to this day there are some in the western states, but most of them went in the cities to work. Senecas can also be seen in some western states. They moved when they were doubtful about ownership of land in New York. (conclusion of speech is missing from original work)

Independence Day, 1920

Since the passing of the Dawes' Bill, which was exactly thirty-four years ago, my race has always observed the date of its event. This day is commonly spoken of as "Indian Citizenship Day" thought it has a wider significance. My people have always felt thankful on this day as it probably marked a turning point of the Indians from paganism toward citizenship. We Indians here at Hampton have always tried to give you ideas of ancient and modern life of the Indian in the programs that we have given. That, however is not our only method of celebrating. The day would doubtless mean more if we spent it in giving thanks.

For the benefit of those of you who are here for the first time I will tell you what the Dawes' Bill is. The passage of the Dawes' Bill occurred on Feb. 8, 1887. This Bill divided the land of the various reservations equally among the families belonging to these reservations according to the size of the families. The orphans were dealt with very justly. They were given twice as much land as the child who had parents. These orphans received eighty acres. It provided that these allotments were not to be sold or mortgaged for twenty five years. When these twenty five years were over, these Indians were supposed to be ready for full citizenship. It provided further that an Indian not living on a reservation and fully capable of being a citizen was declared one. More bills were adopted later which either interfered with the good Dawes' Bill or helped it. This Bill, however did not effect the Six Nations of New York. My Reservation is a very small one. It is four miles square, and contains a little over 2,500 acres. The population of this Reservation is about 500. So you can imagine how impossible it is to divide this land under such a plan. The Iroquois Indians are not yet citizens and it is quite evident that we do not, know whether we are under the State or Federal Government. There are others also who are ignorant of such facts. You can best understand the evils of depriving us, Indians of Citizenship if you recall what Mr. Watermulder of Nebraska said in our Sunday Evening Service a few weeks ago. The plan of having Indians pastured on reservations was existing before the Passage of The Dawes' Bill. This evening we Indians will not contribute anything to this program, but we do trust that your evening will be just as enjoyable or more enjoyable as if we had a program.

The evening will, nevertheless, give you ideas of modern Indian life. It is through the kindness of Mr. C. J. Blanchard, of Washington, D. C. that this entertainment has been made possible. These pictures will show the Indians of the South Western States. I cannot express in my words how grateful I feel for his presence, but I can only ask you to express his welcome by your attitude toward the pictures.


Arthur Harris was a full-blooded Mohave-Apache from San Carlos, Arizona. His home on the San Carlos reservation was a "regular wigwam with an earth floor". He came to Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in 1910, at the age of 19. Arthur received a Machinist's certificate in 1915. Upon completing six years of study and training he continued his education at the Y.M.C.A. College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Arthur later worked as a machinist.

Indian Day 1914

Faculty, teachers, students, and friends. You are cordially welcome at this celebration.

Not long ago we celebrated the Emancipation of the Negro from slavery, and we can well say that the Negro race has developed tremendously within the short time of freedom. Today we find the Negro in all lines of occupations and professions. We, the Indian race, admire and congratulate you for the wonderful progress you have made since you were set free.

This evening we are gathered here to commemorate the emancipation of the Indian race to citizenship by the passing of the Dawes' Land in Severalty Bill in Congress 28 years ago. Senator Dawes objective was to develop the Indian in civilized ways so as to make him a useful, patriotic citizen of America. Therefore, he made this request to Congress that the Indian might enjoy the rights, privileges and immunities of other citizens.

How can the Indian develop himself in a civilized life? The Negro, in ignorance, was thrown into freedom to struggle with life's problems. As he came in contact with civilized men, he learned their ways and thereby gained knowledge and made himself a useful citizen of today.

Now the Indian will not gain knowledge or be a citizen of America as he is. He is cooped up on a reservation and blindfolded from civilization. Can a baby in a cradle learn to walk if he does not exercise his limbs? So it is with the Indian. If he does not go out and mingle with men of civilized or educated character, he will never be anything. Let him be free and cease to be a burden to the United States Government.

We find in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal. Indians are human beings and why should they be deprived of their liberty and have them as neutralized Americans?

Two years ago the government ceased to appropriate money to pay for each Indian student at Hampton. But some of us decided to stay at Hampton, work on our own and solve our own problems.

We have reached the stage where we can see for ourselves the responsibility of educated men and women in the line of citizenship. Indians who have gone from reservations have gained their knowledge through experience and have grasped the idea of citizenship and are worthy citizens throughout the country.


Let me tell you a little about the Mohave-Apaches of which I am a member.

The Mohave-Apaches originally inhabited the northern part of Arizona in the mountainous section. The northern part of Arizona is covered with forest and in the forest my people found game, wild fruits and berries on which they lived. They lived in wigwams as did the other tribes. The wigwam is constructed by putting poles in a circular form, and covering them with either bark of wood or grassy mats, both being in general use. When completed the structure has a round inside, being pointed at the top like a tepee. The bow and arrows and sometimes slings are used for game and war weapons. The cooking utensils are either wooden or pottery. The chief food of the Mohave-Apaches is meat.

The Indian baby is carried around by the mother in a cradle on her back and it was in one of these that my mother took care of me in my baby days.

During the settling of the West, the Mohave-Apaches were driven westward into California. When they surrendered, the Government sent a baby of soldiers and scouts after them in California. When they were brought from California a number of them left the tribe and they almost all died because of the hardships they encountered,and while my people were journeying from California, I was born.

The Indian child is taught how to use bow and arrows, and he is also trained to be courageous. Hardships were frequent in those early days, and endurance was another thing which I learned as I grew older. In my early boyhood days I used to wander through the woods and mountains in the northern part of Arizona carrying my bow and arrows. In those days I was never afraid of anything, but if I was to go out now I think every little stir would frighten me. The original name of our tribe was Mohave, but when we were brought to San Carlos, Arizona we were called Mohave-Apaches because we were living with the Apaches. There we lived for years under military guard.

The Indians used to go out for wild game and gather berries and fruits at different seasons of the year. Sometimes they planted corn and squash. Upon one occasion I went along with my grandmother, two other women, my two uncles who were not much older then I was, and my brother. Just as the sun was going down behind the hills we stopped and made our camp for the night under a cedar tree. We looked toward the hills and saw a man with a musket on his shoulder coming toward us. He looked like an Indian because he wore clothing made of skins. Sure enough he was an Indian, but he was not a member of our tribe. The Indians are very generous people, and because he stopped just at supper time the women offered him something to eat, but he refused. After supper my two uncles and I went to water the horses, leaving the stranger with the women and my brother. When we came back we found my grandmother lying there dead, and my brother and the women were gone. For a while we wondered about crying for help, but no one was near to hear, and so we started for home. About midnight we stopped to rest and very early in the morning we were awakened by the trot of horses. It seems funny that we were not afraid, and went to see who it was. To our surprise it was my father and a number of soldiers. One of the women had escaped and had sent them to rescue us. We told them just where we thought the man had gone and they followed to capture him, but they were unable to find him because he was so tricky with his way of wandering. We always supposed the man was one of Geronimo's band. We never saw my brother again. We were told that he was sold to the white people, but he took sickness and died. I am glad I was fortunate enough to be away from the camp that day. Some people would be afraid to go out after such a misfortune, but I used to go out with my bow and arrows just as though nothing had happened.

I was the only child with my parents when my brother was gone. I used to get lonesome at times when I went out, but I used to enjoy myself by hunting birds that are edible and sometimes fishing.

The Indians were allotted farms and my mother and I did most of the work for my father was sick. Farm implements were scarce but we did our best with the hand work.

Now I will tell you how I used to earn my breakfast in the morning. My father would wake me early in the morning to go after bread for breakfast and if I did not go I was to go with a single meal on that day. The bakery shop was about three miles away and besides, I had to cross a river. Sometimes the morning would be cold but I used to go. When I got to the bakery shop the cooks would offer me something to eat which was better than what I would have at home. Sometimes my mother and I used to go out in the mountains for cedar wood for fuel. Water is scarce in the mountains, but mother and I used cactus which satisfies thirst, and carry the load of wood home on our backs.

During our stay on the Reservation a school for Indian children was established. The children were forced to go to school, but I was often away from home nights so the police was not able to catch me. I noticed that the children who went to school had better clothing and could talk English. I asked for consent from my parents to go to school, but they refused. One day in September when the school opened for the children, I ran away from home and went to school. After stay for a year I asked the Superintendent to transfer me to Phoenix. He kindly took me to Phoenix where I had the pleasure of being with the band during my last two years of school, and with the band I had the opportunity of seeing some of the cities on the Pacific Coast.

During my last year in school at Phoenix some of the pupils thought about going to different schools to get more knowledge. Hampton School and the training were talked about and at that time the Indians at Hampton were supported by the Government. It was through some of the old Hampton Students... (missing from text)

I had made up my mind to become a machinist. On the 20th of September I left Arizona for the east with two other boys. On the way we saw many things that we never seen before. After traveling for five days we arrived at Hampton Institute. I have been there every school term since I entered the Institute. Last year when the Government ceased to appropriate money for the support of the Indian students, some of us pledged ourselves to return from our summer vacation and assume our studies. We know ourselves that Hampton gives better training to every one who is eager and willing to learn. A company of Indian young men and women have struggled, with perseverance, grit and labor, and with nothing to discourage them are preparing for next school term's work.

A very small percentage of Indians have enjoyed Hampton's teachings, but as years come some of the students from Hampton will encourage others to come.

May 1914 (speech not used)

I suppose most of you people have read stories of the savage Indians and the wild game of the west. The good old prehistoric times have past and the Indians and the white people are no longer enemies but friends trying to help one another.

I am a genuine western Indian from Arizona. Do I show any savagery, or show any sign of ill feeling toward the white people? I think I am really more scared than you. Today, I would like, in a very brief way, to give you a little talk about my people the Mohave-Apache, my experiences, and, lastly, my good Alma mater, and this school which is doing good work for me, for my race, and for our country at large.

During the days when the white people were colonizing America, my people were free and did things as they wanted. Our original homes were in the northern part of Arizona, but we were oftentimes at war with the neighboring tribes so we had no permanent homes. Like the tribes of the eastern states, we Indians lived on wild game and wild berries, or on squash and corn. Our weapons were bows and arrows and sling. In the early days the woman did most of the work because the men were oftentimes on the war path or out hunting. Cooking utensils were scarce, but they had wooden bowls, pottery and bone cutlery if not, clots, and any other things that was convenient.

We observed social dances, war dances and other ceremonial dances. Different kinds of costumes were used in the dances, but the Indians dressed in common skin clothing ordinarily, until calico and overalls and shirts were introduced. The Indians sometimes painted their faces and put a little decoration on the moccasins that were usually plain. Our homes are called wigwams constructed so that they would give shelter.

When the white people were migrating toward the West, they drove my people into California; but finally they were brought back to a reservation in Arizona by the United States soldiers. There we lived for some time under the control of the government with another tribe known as the Apaches. The first name of the tribe was given there. We had to be distinguished from the other Indians so people called us Mohave-Apaches. The Indians were provided with land and other necessary implements for use, but they were discontented with the place and one family at a time left the place until all were gone. The Indians did not wish to be cooped up, so for that reason they left. They wished to be self-supporting people. I am glad to say that some Indians are still in the same manner. One is a citizen which is a step which all the Indians are looking for.

Most of the Indians are widely separated in America, but little by little they are coming closer to each other by education and civilization. We are aware of the fact that we are all brothers and are working toward one common end. If it had not been segregation the Indians would not have been where they are today.

Sometimes during the hardships of my people, I was born and I encountered many hard times as other Indian children did. While I was with my people, my enjoyments were hunting and fishing. I used to wear skin clothes and my hair was about a foot and half long over my back. Such was an Indian's life in olden days.

An Indian school was established on the reservation before my people went away. The government was running the school and had the children with good clothes and the children some to be bright. The children were forced to attend, but I used to run away early in the morning and stayed until night so that the policeman was not able to find me. But after good consideration and upon my own will, I ran away from home and went to school. The school facilities were rare and the average education was limited. I said to myself I must learn the civilized life and compete with the average white boys. So I went to Phoenix, Arizona for more education. I went to school at Phoenix for eight years and my last year there I found that I needed more education before I could enter my life's work in the world. I fortunately heard much talk about Carlisle, Haskell, and Hampton and how these schools had trained the Indian youth for life's problems. I had not made any decision as to which school I would enter, I wisely asked for information from the ex-students from the different schools. The students from the Hampton School showed the knowledge given there - all walks of their daily living seemed to be superior than the others. They also explained the training given there. And it was largely through their influence and coaxing that I came to Hampton Institute. In 1910, I left Arizona with two boys from the same school who came to Hampton for industrial training. At that time, the government appropriated money for the support of Indians at Hampton. So the two boys and I left Arizona for Virginia and after a tiresome ride of six days we reached Hampton, and I have been here ever since, and I'll try and stay until I'm ready for life's work.

Many people often ask, "Does Indian education pay?" The different government schools can answer it in less percentage than Hampton because Hampton is an ideal school with an abundance of influence and examples.

Two years ago through some misunderstanding and those other reasons we do not know the government withdrew the annual appropriation. But some of us, desirous of an ideal education, resolved to stay and support ourselves without the aid of the government.

The thirty-six Indians are working like Trojans for an education which shows that Hampton has and will give the best education for the red man. And that the young Indians of Hampton are grasping the higher modes of life, not for themselves, but to pass it on to other unfortunate friends far and near. The Indian problem will not be solved until we ourselves can enjoy the liberty and enjoy the better means of education. We, who represent the Indians on this occasion, with the cooperation of friends, are trying to redeem the Indian from a selfish life. Now that we are given an opportunity to show our skill and persistence toward education, we will show to the world our needs.

The returned students from Hampton are the leading people on the farms, home and in all walks of life. We,the Indians at Hampton, are encouraged by the returned students, by their examples and from what we hear of them. Among the returned students are ministers, lawyers, doctors, farmers, tradesmen, teachers and many good homemakers. They have decreased the illiteracy of the Indian and there is nothing that we can do but keep their standard up.

Friends, you do not know how much good you are doing for the Negro and the Redman here at Hampton. I am fully persuaded to believe that there is not a school in the country where we can be the best as we are at Hampton.

There is not a student, Indian or Negro who will go out from Hampton to live a selfish life. The spirit is so great that we cannot help but grasp it without hesitation. Therefore, I am fully persuaded to believe that there is no school in the country better for both the Negro and the Indian. I hope in years to come more Indians will enter Hampton and enjoy the atmosphere and spirit. By the help of God and our beloved friends of the school may our leader march on to the goal of civilization.

November 1911

I am very glad that I was the one who was selected to come and tell you people a little about my school, and myself. I am a member of the Mohave-Apache tribe, who used to roam all over Arizona and some parts of California. During the settlement of the white people, these Indians were separated and grouped in small bands. Later they were captured and brought to the fort at San Carlos, Arizona. There the Indian were under the control of the United Stated soldiers. The Mohave-Apache tribe is a small tribe, and we were called Mohave-Apaches because we used to lived in the Apache country, and to distinguish us from them. Our original tribesmen were called Mohaves.

The government provided the Indians with land, and issued some flour, sugar, coffee, salt, and meat every Saturday. Supplies of clothing were issued once a year. Before these supplies were given to them, they lived very poor. I remember the time I wore a deerskin shirt and moccasins and trousers of the same material, but after the calico became common in the west my mother used to make shirts of calico. My home or the house that I lived in was a queer looking one. Tepee was the name of it. My mother made the tepee. Before she made it, she had to plan the site and just how to manage it. The ground was put in shape, and holes for the limbs made in a circular form. The limbs were put in the holes while they were wet so they could be easily bent. The ends were bent until they could be bound together at the top. The tepee is covered with canvass nowadays, but long ago the Indians used to have skins for covering. We had an adobe house in which we had grain and some other things. Adobe is made of dried mud.

Some of the Indian joined the soldiers as scouts and I have heard that they were courageous. Whenever they had any fighting to do, the Indians were the first ones to face the enemy. My father was one of the scouts at that time. The real hostile enemy were the Apaches of whom Geronimo was the chief. My father served as a scout for four years and on account of this sickness he retired. During his absence, my mother had to do the work on the farm and house and the camp work too. I was small at that time and couldn't do much for mother, but I helped her the best I knew how.

The Indians were very fond of acorns and other mountain fruit, in the early days. One day my grandma and my older brother went out for these things. They were attacked by the Apaches and were taken away. My brother was said to have been sold but my grandma was killed. My brother was sold to the white people. He was old enough to talk so they started to educate him in public school. But he caught sickness and died. When my brother was gone, I was the only child with my mother. I used to be lonesome at times but the bow and arrows used to keep me company. When I didn't have much to help my mother on the farm I used to take my bow and arrows and hunt rabbits or birds in the woods.

On the reservation there were some medicine men who could cure the sick. So when the tribe was ignorant they did not believe in using medicine when they were sick; they depended more on a medicine man for they thought he was the only man who could cure them. This is why the medicine men thought they knew more than others. These medicine men sometimes used to start a dance and the others would join and sing until the break of day. The Indians have different kinds of dances.

When I was nine years old I asked my parents to let me go to the government school at San Carlos, but they refused to let me for I was the only child they had. I wanted education so bad that I ran away from home and went to school. During the same year the Indians were improving on the farm work and the irrigation ditches had enough water to supply each farmer. I found that the students could be transferred to larger Indian schools. And so the following term, 1902, I told my Superintendent that I needed more education and would like to go to Phoenix. He didn't want me to go, but he said he would see. The first week in September he said he was going to Phoenix so he told me to be ready and go with him. I was anxious to go so when he told me this, I was very glad and felt the joy that I had long looked for. I entered the Phoenix Indian School in the year 1902. I did not want to get away from my folks, but I felt the need of education in me in order to live by the white people or learn the white's man way of living. There at Phoenix, I spent the happy days of my early school life. I remained there until I had completed my course in 1910. Our class motto was "Step nobly to the front", and I am trying hard to live up to the standard of my motto.

I was a member of the band at Phoenix and we had many pleasant trips in different parts of Arizona. Once we had a trip to Los Angeles and Venice on the Pacific Coast with the Elks of Arizona. And so I have seen the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic. When I complete my course I thought of quitting school, but through the help and encouragement of my teacher, I came to Hampton. I thought I knew enough, but I found that I was just beginning to learn.

In the meanwhile, my tribe at San Carlos was getting away from the reservation and now they are living in different parts of Arizona. But most of them are living 36 miles away from Phoenix, the capital of Arizona. Five or six families of my tribe are now living at San Carlos reservation. The land that was once a fertile and cultivated land is now thick brush and of no use. The majority of them are now provided land by the Government on a Reservation at Camp McDowell. There they are making more progress than they did in San Carlos. Their progress is slow because they lack education. The Indians do not allow their children to go to school because they do not know the value of education.

A little Presbyterian Church was established some years ago on the reservation. Very few Indians go to church because the Indian interpreter does not give the full meaning of the Bible. I am sure the Indian are interested in stories and if they only had someone to explain the words, the Church members on the Reservation would increase.

The other thing is to have someone to be there with them to teach and show by example how to live a Christian life, and the cleanliness of the homes.

And so you see I have the privilege and a great advantage over my ancestors, and it's all up to me to get all the education I can at Hampton, and to go back and teach my people. I speak of Hampton because Hampton stands firm in the development of this kind of work. And Hampton has given of young men and women to help and teach people who needed it.

Indian Day 1916

Friends, teachers, students, and fellow brothers of Carlisle Indian School, on behalf of the Indians of this school I heartily welcome you to our 29th celebration of the Dawes' land in severalty bill which passed in 1887. For the first time in the history of our beloved school we have the pleasure of celebrating this day with the students of Carlisle. It is a great privilege to have you with us on this memorable day.

Like Abraham Lincoln for the emancipation of the Negroes from their bondage, Senator Dawes of Pittsfield, Massachusetts and Senator Platt of Washington, Connecticut worked with other farsighted and sympathetic co-workers for the freedom of the natives, namely the Indians. Their idea was to give to the Indian the civil, social and political freedom and the moral rights that other races were enjoying in this country.

The bill passed in 1887. The provisions of the bill granted varying areas of land to individual Indians and an opportunity for a voice in the welfare of the nation through the ballot. No such avenues had been open to him, and he was totally blinded to the advantages of civilization. Senator Dawes made a wise step when he introduced the bill that gave the Indian the freedom to be self-supporting and the bill began the evolution of self awakening for the Indian. If it had not been for Senator Dawes we Indians would have perished in the confinement of reservation life, and our race would have been short from the cradle to the grave.

The young Indian is beginning to see the need of education in order to become a worthy citizen, and the advantages to be gained by it. Since the time of our freedom from segregation many Indians have done duties as patriotic Americans.


John Tyner, a 1904 graduate of Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, belonged to the Absentee-Shawnee Nation of the Oklahoma Territory. After his graduation John followed in the footsteps of his father and became a farmer in the Skiotook Territory. By 1911, he had acquired a 138 acre farm in Grove, Oklahoma. John died on July 9, 1919.

The Cherokees
January 30, 1904

In the north eastern part of the Indian Territory are the Cherokee Indians. This tribe is included in the so-called Five Civilized Nations of the Territory.

The first account we have of these Indians was when the European colonizers were busily engaged in exploring, and claiming the eastern half of the United States for the countries they represented. The Cherokees at this time held possession of a large tract of land now the states of Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama. Owing to the greatness of their number and the physical condition of the country the tribe was divided into two sections, each having a different chief. One section dwelt in the lowlands while the other was in the highlands. Their chief occupation was herding and along with this farming was quite necessary, and so a number of them raised small fields of corn, and vegetables.

As they came in contact with the Europeans they were greatly helped, for they readily took in lessons of economy and industry. In the disputes that arose among the Europeans, the Cherokees attached themselves to the English. Their friendship with the English led them to recognize the English king in 1730, and soon after gave up a part of their territory for the erection of forts. This friendly relation unfortunately did not remain for the English and the Cherokees were at times bitter enemies until 1761 when peace was brought about, which gave the Indians an opportunity to acquire wealth, and advance in civilization. When the Revolutionary War broke out they took sides with the Royalist party, and this of course led them to be subdued by the new born Republic, and consequently they lost a large share of their domain. From this time on, as the gradual advance of immigration took place, the Cherokees were treated with the most highhanded injustice by the different states. Exodus after exodus took place from one part of the country to another. A small number in the tribe wanted a complete removal to another part of the country where they would be free from the white men whom they thought were very cruel. The majority of them, however, was neither to be bribed nor frightened from what was to them the dearest spot on earth. An appeal was made by them to the United States Government, but it lent a deaf ear to their prayers, and Congress passed a resolution saying that a treaty made with a miserable minority should be regarded as binding upon the whole tribe. General Scott was accordingly sent with a force of two thousand men, and compelled them to immigrate to the Indian Territory. Here they were allowed to have a government of their own and lived peacefully until the Civil War which was a terrible blow to them as well as to the people of the United States. The coming of this war caused a division in the tribe. Some wanted to side with the South; however a strong force of them joined the North in the struggle to preserve the Union. At the close of the war the tribe again united and stood as one and was conformed by Congress in the possession of its territory.

Since then they have gradually advanced in prosperity and civilization. The control of the government was left to them which is much like that of the States having a governor and a legislature elected by popular vote.

The missionaries representing several denominations have been doing some splendid work in bringing about a better Christian life among the Cherokees. Through their earnest efforts many churches have been established, where the people can go and worship the true God and at the same time receive the good influence which should always come in attending church.

Education among them is quite general. In many parts of the territory the schools are supported by the tax collected from the people. Schools conducted and supported by religious denominations are to be found among the Indians. It is in these schools that the development of christian character is quite prominent.

In general the mass of the Cherokees are farmers. Stock raising ranks the most important under this industry. Next comes the raising of corn, wheat and other grains. The need of agricultural schools is not yet strongly felt. I am sure it will not be long before the soil will begin to lose its natural elements necessary for plant growth. Then the need of some knowledge of the soil will of course be felt.

The work of allotting the land to the Cherokees has been pushed forward during the past year. I think this is a very good thing, for the Indians, because they will be able to exercise the instinct of ownership in a greater degree than they have been able to in the past. Then too, the fact that they can each have a piece of land where they can build a nice home will cause them to be industrious, and economical. This work of dividing the land among them will also create in them the love for home.

In closing I will say that the Cherokees have had many hard experiences in the past, and are having them now, and will I hope in the future, for the greatness, and progress made by people or individuals is generally always due to the struggles and hard trials they have had to contend with.

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