American Defenders of Land, Sea & Sky
An Expanding Nation
  The Struggle for Western Territory (1825-1890)

Carlisle Indian School
We created a school that was a model for its time.

Carlisle Indian School
Carlisle, Pennsylvania

   The Carlisle Indian School was founded in 1879 by Brigadier General Richard H. Pratt. Pratt believed that Indians could become part of mainstream American life through vocational training. He convinced the Army to convert the old Carlisle Barracks into a school for Indian boys and girls. This kind of educational approach would be unlawful today because it separates people by race. But, for the times, Carlisle Indian School was considered a model school. In the school’s later years, officials tried in vain to convince Pratt to modify his system of "separation" because it discouraged tribal and cultural identity. Pratt was placed on the retired list as a brigadier general May 25, 1904.

  Over a thirty-nine year period, about 20,000 Native American children attended classes here. Its athletic program gained national attention. When Glen S. "Pop" Warner was athletic director, two 1912 Olympic track stars rose to fame. Lewis Tewanima won second place in the 5,000 and 10,000 meter races, and the legendary Jim Thorpe won the pentathlon and the decathlon.

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