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Carlisle Indian Industrial School


CARLISLE INDIAN INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL, the first off-reservation school for American Indians in the United States, was established in 1879 in Pennsylvania by army officer Capt. Richard H. Pratt. Following Pratt's injunction to "kill the Indian and save the man," the school uprooted students from their traditional cultures and reeducated them in the practices of white society. As presumptive wage workers at the lowest echelon of the industrial economy, boys learned agricultural and vocational skills and girls learned sewing, cooking, and other traditionally domestic occupations. Carlisle became a prototype for scores of other Indian schools. Its football team, led by the great Jim Thorpe, defeated many established college teams between 1907 and 1912. The school closed in 1918.


Coleman, Michael C. American Indian Children at School, 1850–1930. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 1993.

Witmer, Linda F. The Indian Industrial School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 1879–1918. Carlisle, Pa.: Cumberland County Historical Society, 1993.

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See alsoEducation, Indian ; Indian Policy, U.S.: 1830–1900 ; Indian Religious Life .

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