Carlisle Indian Industrial School

(1879 - 1918)


Adams, David Wallace. EDUCATION FOR EXTINCTION: AMERICAN INDIANS AND THE BOARDING SCHOOL EXPERIENCE 1875-1928. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. 1995. Recently released in paperback, Adams treats the history thoroughly, with respect and honesty, yet avoids the trap of over-sentimentalizing the assimliation story. Includes very good accounts of the personnel associated with the boarding schools of the period. Lays out the events that led to the final demise of Carlisle. This book is a good basic Indian Education primer with strong emphasis on Carlisle.

Archuleta, Margaret L., Brenda J. Child, and K. Tsianina Lomawaima. AWAY FROM HOME: AMERICAN INDIAN BOARDING SCHOOL EXPERIENCES, 1879-2000. Phoenix, Arizona: Heard Museum,2000.

Ball, Eve. INDEH: AN APACHE ODYSSEY. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1988. This collection includes interviews with Asa Daklugie with his stories of the Chiricahua Apaches who were imprisoned at Ft. Marion after Geronimo's capture, and whose children were sent to the Carlisle Indian School. Among those were the friends and relatives of Daklugie --Frank Mangus, Chapo, Kanseah, Zhunni, and Ramona Chihuahua, who became his wife. Among the 186 Native American children buried in Indian Cemetery at Carlisle, 54 are Apache children. Many of these were the Chiricahua who spent their last days at the Indian School.

Bell, Genevieve. TELLING STORIES OUT OF SCHOOL: REMEMBERING THE CARLISLE INDIAN INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL, 1879-1918. Dissertation Ordering Service, #9908713 Bell's work is unparalleled in interpreting the NARA data from the Carlisle student folders.  Examines  trends, statistics, and ferrets out the stories heretofore undocumented.

Bloom, John. TO SHOW WHAT AN INDIAN CAN DO: SPORTS AT NATIVE AMERICAN BOARDING SCHOOLS.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 2000.

Boyer, Ruth McDonald and Gayton, Narcissus Duffy. APACHE MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1992.Four generations of Apache women ... Dilth-cleyhen, the daughter of Victorio; Beshad-e, who avoided being sent to Carlisle by marrying a fellow Ft. Marion prisoner of war; Christine, who married a Carlisle baseball player; and Narcissus, who went to the Santa Fe Indian School. These Chiricahua women share many of the same stories as the principles in Eve Ball's "INDEH".

Camurat, Diane. THE AMERICAN INDIAN IN THE GREAT WAR: REAL AND IMAGINED. Camurat looks not only at the participation of Native Americans in the "Great War" but in all the major United State conflicts.  She includes the influences of the boarding school movement in the soldiers' stories. Complete text available on the web.

Carvel, Marlene. SWEETGRASS BASKET. Carvel tells a poignant story of two Mohawk sisters sent to the Carlisle school and what happens to them. Informed by the last living Carlisle female student, Maggie Tarbell, this is a must read for pre-teen / teenagers interested in finding an authentic story about Carlisle. Fiction.

Child, Brenda J. BOARDING SCHOOL SEASONS, AMERICAN INDIAN FAMILIES 1900-Child, Brenda J. Boarding School Seasons, American Indian Families 1900-
1940.  Lincoln and London. University of Nebraska Press, 1999.  Highly recommended - the latest and a welcome addition to the body of work coming out of the Indian voice.

Coleman, Michael C. AMERICAN INDIAN CHILDREN AT SCHOOL, 1850- 1930. Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. 1993. A comprehensive look at Indian education with an extensive bibliography including many Native American autobiographies and biographies.

Eastman, Elaine Goodale. PRATT, THE RED MAN'S MOSES. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1935Eastman was the missionary wife of Ohiyesa, aka Charles Eastman (Santee Sioux) who was one of the first Native American physicians, a writer, and the Carlisle Indian School's doctor. The Eastman's ministered to the wounded at the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1890. It was Elaine Eastman who repeated the oft-heard Pratt phrase, "Kill the Indian, Save the Child" in her biography of the founder of the Carlisle Indian School.  Out of print.

Ellis, Clyde. TO CHANGE THEM FOREVER: INDIAN EDUCATION AT THE RAINY MOUNTAIN BOARDING SCHOOL, 1893-1920. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1996.

Embe. STIYA: A CARLISLE INDIAN GIRL AT HOME. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1891. Written by the printing supervisor at Carlisle, Marianna Burgess, aka "Embe", this little book describes the return of a Pueblo girl to her home after her indoctrination at the Carlisle school.  It offers the fictionalized trials of a child longing to reform her tribe's traditional ways to the assimilated, Christianized lifestyle taught at Carlisle. Highly propagandistic, the book was sold by subscription through the Carlisle Indian School newspapers and circulated throughout the Indinan agencies.  For a closer look at the content, see this essay by Leslie Marmon Silko. Out of print.

Fear-Segal, Jaqueline.  Training and Race Theory in the U.S.A.: Hampton Institute and the Carlisle Indian School as Case Studies. Take a good look at Pratt and Armstrong, and how their respective philosophies defined the educational movements we know as Carlisle and Hampton.

Gay, E. Jane.  Mark, Joan T. (Editor), Hoxie, Frederick E. (Editor).  WITH THE NEZ PERCES: ALICE FLETCHER IN THE FIELD, 1889 - 1892. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987Fletcher and LaFlesche in the field, with Gay accompanying them.  Wonderful photos taken by Gay.

Hagenbuch, Mark O. RICHARD HENRY PRATT, THE CARLISLE INDIAN INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL AND U.S. POLICIES RELATED TO AMERICAN INDIAN EDUCATION, 1879 TO 1904. UMI Dissertation Services, 1998. Dissertation Ordering Number: 9836681. This study examines the influence of Richard Henry Pratt's assimilationist philosophies as they were practiced at the Carlisle Indian School, and federal government policies related to American Indian education between the years 1879-1904. This study not only attributes the rise and fall of American Indian education in the East to Pratt, but also researches the importance which the "Outing System" and public relations played in American Indian education.

Hill, Edward E., compiler. THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF THE UNITED STATES PRELIMINARY INVENTORIES NUMBER 163: RECORDS OF THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, VOLUMES I AND II. Washington: NARS, 1965. A guide to the holdings at the National Archives. The student record files contain 8,000+ folders of correspondence, enrollment records, Outing Reports, Physician's Reports, photographs, and follow-up data for the students of the Carlisle Indian School.

Horne, Esther Burnet. ESSIE'S STORY: THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF A SHOSHONE TEACHER. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998.

Hoxie, Frederick E. A FINAL PROMISE: THE CAMPAIGN TO ASSMILATE THE INDIANS. Omaha: University of Nebraska Press, 1984.

Johnston, Basil H. INDIAN SCHOOL DAYS. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998.

Lee, Barbara. THE CAPTAIN OF PLYMOUTH: ACCULTURATION THROUGH DRAMA AT THE CARLISLE INDIAN INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL. Masters Thesis, Lehigh University. 1999. "At a stressful time in the school's history, the school celebrated its commencement with several performances of the comic opera, 'The Captain of Plymouth.'  The drama was based on Longfellow's famous love triangle in the poem 'The Courtship of Miles Standish.'  I argue that this drama served the school administrators in several ways by representing an 'Indian' history and encouraging students to adopt appropriate Anglo virtues." - author. Found in the collections of the Cumberland County Historical Society.

Lomawaima, K. Tsianina. THEY CALLED IT PRAIRIE LIGHT: THE STORY OF CHILOCCO INDIAN SCHOOL. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994. Lomawaima weaves the stories of Chilocco alumni into a tapestry of experience uniquely told out of the native voice. These stories bear resemblence to the Carlisle stories, carrying themes of resistance, affection and pride.

Nabokov, Peter, ed. NATIVE AMERICAN TESTIMONY: A CHRONICLE OF INDIAN - WHITE RELATIONS FROM PROPHECY TO THE PRESENT, 1492- 1992. New York: Penguin Books. 1992.With foreword by Vine Deloria, Jr. This collection of testimony includes many former Carlisle Indian School staff, students and visiting tribal head-men. Charles Eastman (Santee Sioux), George Bent (Cheyenne), Jason Betzinez (Apache), Ely Parker (Seneca), Carl Sweezy (Arapaho), Luther Standing Bear (Sioux), Sun Elk (Taos Pueblo), Ellis Childers (Creek), Carlos Montezuma (Apache), Society of American Indian members, Gertrude Bonnin (Sioux), Angel DeCora Dietz (Winnebago), and Chief Joseph (Nez Perce).

Navarro-Rivera,  Pablo. Acculturation Under Duress: The Puerto Rican Experience at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School 1898-1918 Published by the Centro Journal of the Hunter College Center for Puerto Rican Studies in New York City, New York. For any use of this essay please contact the author, Dr. Pablo Navarro-Rivera, at Lesley University, 29 Everett St., Cambridge, MA 02138. Dr. Navarro's phone number is (617) 349-8158 and his email address is

Newcombe, Jack. THE BEST OF THE ATHLETIC BOYS: THE WHITE MAN'S IMPACT ON JIM THORPE. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1975. It was athletics that made the Carlisle Indian School a magical place of triumph and accomplishment. The football teams' trail of glory was known internationally. Famous names and famous feats are chronicled in this book. Meet Jim Thorpe (Sac & Fox/Potawatomi), Alex Arcasa (Colville), Jimmy Johnson (Stockbridge), Frank Mt. Pleasant (Tuscarora), Albert Exendine (Delaware), Antonio Lubo (Mission), Pete Calac (Mission), Elmer Busch (Mission). . . . and others.  Out of print.

Oxendine, Joseph B. AMERICAN INDIAN SPORTS HERITAGE. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 1988From hand games to football games, Lumbee chancellor of Pembroke State University, Dr. Oxendine presents a full court 1st class book covering all aspects of sport and the American Indian heroes, including Jim Thorpe.

Pratt, Richard Henry. BATTLEFIELD AND CLASSROOM: FOUR DECADES WITH THE AMERICAN INDIAN, 1867-1904. ed. with introduction by Robert M. Utley. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987 (reprinted from 1964 edition).Pratt spends half the book describing his experiences leading up to his founding of the Carlisle School. Utley's notes are invaluable in pointing out the inconsistencies between Pratt's recollection of events and his actual reports to the Indian Commissioners. In a 1991 review of this book for Change magazine, Siobhan Maureen Wescott wrote, "A victim of his time, Pratt understood the plight of Plains Indians, but he never developed an appreciation for their culture. Although these memoirs offer endearing anecdotes and a well-balanced view of the frontier politics between the government and Indians, Pratt's philosophy has fallen with the weight of history." Out of print.

Prucha, Francis Paul. THE GREAT FATHER: THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND THE AMERICAN INDIANS. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984.

Riney, Scott. THE RAPID CITY INDIAN SCHOOL, 1898-1933. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999.

Smith, Andrea.  Soul Wound: The Legacy of Native American Schools. Amnesty International, 2005.
The repercussions of decades of racist policies bravely told by those whose memories are scarred by the Canadian schools, trickling down to the States. After decades of sanitizing the experiment and decades of trying to present a "balanced" view of the boarding school legacy, there's no soft-pedaling the authentic experience told of the voice of the survivors.

Standing Bear, Luther. LAND OF THE SPOTTED EAGLE.  1933. (1978).More background information with detailed accounts of life after Carlisle.  What happened next.

Standing Bear, Luther. MY PEOPLE THE SIOUX. ed. by E. A. Brininstool. Cambridge: The Riverside Press, 1928.Traveling far from home to a new place in a moving house, Ote Kte, (translated from Lakota: "Plenty Kill"), became Luther Standing Bear after pointing to his new name from a list written on the blackboard. Stories of the cutting of his long hair, the drawing of pictographs of life remembered on the Plains and working in John Wanamker's store offer glimpses of the experience of the earliest Carlisle Indian School students.

Steckbeck, John S. FABULOUS REDMEN: THE CARLISLE INDIANS AND THEIR FAMOUS FOOTBALL TEAMS. Harrisburg, Pa., J. Horace McFarland Co., 1951.Steckbeck's book tells the stories of the famous Carlisle football teams from the early years through 1916. Laced with snippets of amusing recollections by players and entertaining quips from the Indian School newspapers, this is a good source for anyone examining sports at Carlisle.  Out of print.

Stockel, Henrietta.  Survival of the Spirit. U. Nevada Press, 1993describes the arrival of the Chiricahua Apaches in the southwest, their use of natural medicines, and their reliance on cultural customs and sacred ceremonies to promote healing.  After the United States imprisoned Geronimo's people in damp, humid regions of the East, contagious diseases devastated these people.  When their children were taken from them and sent to the Carlisle School in Pennsylvania, many became ill from contagious diseases and died at the school.  Numerous books have been written about this band of Apaches, but none have specifically focused on the dramatic effects captivity had on the hearth of these first Americans.  In clear and precise prose, the author addresses the medical maladies suffered by the Chiricahuas while they were prisoners of war for nearly thirty years.

Szasz, Margaret. EDUCATION AND THE AMERICAN INDIAN: THE ROAD TO SELF-DETERMINATION, 1928-1973.  Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1974.

Trennart, Robert A. THE PHOENIX INDIAN SCHOOL: FORCED ASSIMILATION IN ARIZONA, 1891-1935. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988.

Weinberg, Marjorie. THE REAL ROSEBUD: THE TRIUMPH OF A LAKOTA WOMAN. Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press. 2004.  A poignant biography of the daughter of famed Carlisle student, Chauncey Yellow Robe. Wonderful, first-hand accounts of Rosebud's life drawn from the author's childhood visits to Yellow Robe's Indian Village at Jones Beach, her warm relationship with the Yellow Robe family and her continued devotion to keeping alive the memory of this remarkable Lakota woman.  Of special interest for Carlisle Indian School researchers are the accounts of Chauncey Yellow Robe's experiences at the school.  With foreword by Luke Yellow Robe.  Available for purchase from University of Nebraska Press.


Witmer, Linda F. THE INDIAN INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL: CARLISLE, PENNSYLVANIA 1879-1918. Camp Hill, Pa: Plank's Suburban Press. 1993.  A photographic essay surveying the Indian School throughout the period, with special emphasis on the Pratt years. The book features hundreds of photographs, and the 6,000 student name index compiled by Charles Maclay. With foreword by George P. Horse Capture, Sr. and notes on the Indian School Photographs and Photographers by Richard Tritt, Photo Curator of the Cumberland County Historical Society. Reprinted in paperback 1999. Available for purchase by contacting CCHS, PO Box 626, Carlisle PA 17013.  Tel: 717-249-7610.

Yellow Robe, Rosebud. TONEWAYA AND THE EAGLES AND OTHER LAKOTA INDIAN TALES. New York: The Dial Press, 1979.Beautiful stories, beautifully told. Tonewaya was renamed Chauncey Yellow Robe at the Carlisle School. He was a favorite of the school administrators, having come to school with no English-speaking skills and earning the honor of representing the school at the Chicago World's Fair. This book tells of the life of the Lakota child before Carlisle. Out of print.


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-Barbara Landis

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