Indian Education in the American Colonies, 1607-1783


Indian Education in the American Colonies, 1607-1783

Margaret Connell Szasz
With a new introduction by the author

Indigenous Education Series

360 pages
38 photographs, 8 maps, index


July 2007


$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Armed with Bible and primer, missionaries and teachers in colonial America sought, in their words, “to Christianize and civilize the native heathen.” Both the attempts to transform Indians via schooling and the Indians' reaction to such efforts are closely studied for the first time in Indian Education in the American Colonies, 1607–1783.
Margaret Connell Szasz’s remarkable synthesis of archival and published materials is a detailed and engaging story told from both Indian and European perspectives. Szasz argues that the most intriguing dimension of colonial Indian education came with the individuals who tried to work across cultures. We learn of the remarkable accomplishments of two Algonquian students at Harvard, of the Creek woman Mary Musgrove who enabled James Oglethorpe and the Georgians to establish peaceful relations with the Creek Nation, and of Algonquian minister Samson Occom, whose intermediary skills led to the founding of Dartmouth College. The story of these individuals and their compatriots plus the numerous experiments in Indian schooling provide a new way of looking at Indian-white relations and colonial Indian education.

Author Bio

Margaret Connell Szasz is a professor of Native American and Celtic history at the University of New Mexico and the author of Between Indian and White Worlds: The Cultural Broker and Education and the American Indian: The Road to Self-Determination since 1928.


“Szasz rightly understands both the strengths and the weaknesses of the formal, institutionalized, culture-bound colonial education that was offered to Indians. . . . The book is extraordinarily well researched and well written and is highly recommended.”—American Historical Review

“Szasz, after several years of exhaustive archival research, has written a richly detailed overview of colonists' educational assault on Native Americans. . . . This study is a highly significant contribution to our understanding of Indian education in colonial America.”—American Indian Quarterly

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Bison Books Edition
Illustrations and Maps
1. Introduction
2. Education for the Colonists
3. Virginia: Indian Schooling in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
4. Puritans and Indians: New England in the Seventeenth Century
5. The Southeast: Carolina Traders versus SPG Schooling
6. The Southeast: Methodists and Moravians Meet the Yamacraw
7. Schooling for the Southern New England Algonquian, from the 1690s to the 1730s
8. The Great Awakening and Indian Schooling
9. Indian Women between Two Worlds: Moor's School and Coeducation in the 1760s
10. Indian Schoolmasters among the Iroquois, from the 1760s to the 1770s
11. Conclusion

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