1879 - Carlisle Indian School founded

Indian students 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 Carlisle's first students arrived as refugees from the Indian Wars on the western plains.  The school's main objective was to enforce assimilation of Indians into white society by removing the characteristics that made them Indian.  They 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 Bible. 

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        Many of the children either died or ran away, but this did not dampen the enthusiasm of Methodists and Congregationalist missionaries for accomplishing their goals.  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.        

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