1879 - Carlisle Indian School founded

Indian school children at the Carlisle Indian School, in 1885

        The first headmaster of this school, a man named Richard Pratt, coined the term, "Kill the Indian and Save the man."  Many of the Indian students arrived as refugees from the wars on the western plains.  The school's main objective was to enforce a policy of assimilation of Indians into white society by removing the characteristics that made them Indian.  The students were dressed like white children, prohibited from speaking their native languages, coerced into strict obedience by means of corporal punishment, and taught to read the King James Bible.

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         Scores of Indian children either died or ran away from the school, but this did not dampen the enthusiasm among Methodists and Congregationalist missionaries for accomplishing the goal of assimilation.  The federal government turned the care of Indians over to the Methodists during this period, and by 1880 more than 7,000 Indian children had been abducted from their families and tribes and imprisoned in Indian schools like Carlisle.