Recovering Native American Writings in the Boarding School Press


Recovering Native American Writings in the Boarding School Press

Edited by Jacqueline Emery

366 pages
3 illustrations, index


December 2017


$55.00 Add to Cart

June 2020


$30.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

December 2017


$30.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

December 2017


$30.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

2018 Outstanding Academic Title, selected by Choice 

Recovering Native American Writings in the Boarding School Press
is the first comprehensive collection of writings by students and well-known Native American authors who published in boarding school newspapers during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Students used their acquired literacy in English along with more concrete tools that the boarding schools made available, such as printing technology, to create identities for themselves as editors and writers. In these roles they sought to challenge Native American stereotypes and share issues of importance to their communities. 

Writings by Gertrude Bonnin (Zitkala-Ša), Charles Eastman, and Luther Standing Bear are paired with the works of lesser-known writers to reveal parallels and points of contrast between students and generations. Drawing works primarily from the Carlisle Indian Industrial School (Pennsylvania), the Hampton Institute (Virginia), and the Seneca Indian School (Oklahoma), Jacqueline Emery illustrates how the boarding school presses were used for numerous and competing purposes. While some student writings appear to reflect the assimilationist agenda, others provide more critical perspectives on the schools’ agendas and the dominant culture. This collection of Native-authored letters, editorials, essays, short fiction, and retold tales published in boarding school newspapers illuminates the boarding school legacy and how it has shaped, and continues to shape, Native American literary production. 

Author Bio

Jacqueline Emery is an associate professor of English at State University of New York at Old Westbury. 


"The texts . . . go a long way toward showing the degree to which some embraced assimilationist rhetoric and others saw literacy and publishing as means to adapting, surviving, resisting, "talking back," and ultimately claiming agency over their own futures in a society that, to differing degrees, saw their existence as a problem to be solved."—M. F. McClure, Choice

"Emery's book is timely and important, as it is critical that both Native Americans and allies push for education about this period in history, especially at such a crucial time in our development as a country. Now, more than ever, with the call for a "national identity," we should be looking to our past and what the building of that national identity entails. This means that we should be educating our citizens on how our past governments have attempted to shape the "American." Emery's book provides us with a rich resource of stories gathered from the voices of the students who were part of Carlisle founder Richard Henry Pratt's vision."—Lydia Presley, Great Plains Quarterly

"This edited volume features work of thirty-five Native writers and editors and brings visibility to the boarding school newspapers, which hopefully will spur efforts at preserving and using these works as an untapped resource that give voice to Native Americans and expand the history of Native American literature."—Jerry W. Carlson, Nebraska History

"By carefully doing the time-consuming work of collecting the writings for this book—writings by Indian people themselves that are scattered in difficult-to-access newspaper archives—Emery has provided a valuable service. She has created a resource that can help us restore and recover at least some of our sight, bringing more detail, nuance, complexity, and humanity into view, if only we can take the time to look closely enough."—Steve Amerman, H-AmIndian

"The absorbing nature of these writings and reflections, combined with the insights they provide into an often-ignored chapter in U.S. history, illustrate their value and significance and underscore the importance of publishing additional volumes of Native students' writings."—Samantha M. Williams, Transmotion

"This invaluable collection of Native American writings from the turn of the 20th century amplifies Indian voices and experiences during one of the most transitional periods for Indigenous communities in North America. . . . These writings offer a lens to the humanity, creativity, and intellectualism of boarding school students who navigated many issues, cultures, and settings, while representing their peoples and futures."—Farina King, Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education

"Emery's most valuable addition to boarding school literature is her use of lesser-known writers. While most boarding school presses were run by boys, Emery also has included unique sources like the all-female editorial group—Ida Johnson, Arizona Jackson, and Lula Walker—who launched the Hallaquah newspaper at Seneca Indian School in 1879. Instead of using the newspaper as a promotion of assimilation, these young women showed agency and used their newspaper as a way to preserve their cultures and serve their neighboring communities."—Amanda Johnson, Chronicles of Oklahoma

"The editor's exemplary work, meticulous research, and orchestration of a multi-vocal dialogue between boarding school students and activists across decades paves the way for similar, much-needed work of recovery in the field, both in the boarding school press and beyond. We know that Native students were also skilled poets and performers; this is a study worth undertaking by scholars in the future."—Cristina Stanciu, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Jacqueline Emery offers an important addition to the field of Native American studies and, in particular, boarding school literature. . . . [This study] is a significant contribution to making available early voices of American Indian students.”—Cari M. Carpenter, associate professor of English at West Virginia University and coeditor of The Newspaper Warrior: Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins's Campaign for American Indian Rights, 1864–1891

“This collection offers something not only to specialists but also to general readers, and especially to classes devoted to Native American studies, Native literature, literacy history, and mass communication. This is an important work.”—Hilary E. Wyss, Hargis Professor of American Literature at Auburn University and author of English Letters and Indian Literacies: Reading, Writing, and New England Missionary Schools, 1750–1830 

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations    
Part One: Writings by Boarding School Students
Arizona Jackson (Wyandot)     
Letter to Laura, January 1880    
Letter to the Editors, January 1881    
Letter to Susan Longstreth, February 1881    
Samuel Townsend (Pawnee)     
Letter by an Apprentice    
Luther Standing Bear (Oglala Sioux)     
Letter on Baltimore, February 1881    
Letter to Father, March 1882    
Ida Johnson (Wyandot?), Arizona Jackson (Wyandot), and Lula Walker (Wyandot)     
Hallaquah Editorial, December 1879    
Hallaquah Editorial, January 1880     
Hallaquah Editorial, February 1880     
Hallaquah Editorial, March–April 1880     
Hallaquah Editorial, May 1880     
Lucy Grey (Seneca), Arizona Jackson (Wyandot), and Bertrand N. O. Walker (Wyandot) 
Hallaquah Editorial, January 1881     
Hallaquah Editorial, February 1881     
Hallaquah Editorial, March 1881     
Hallaquah Editorial, April 1881     
Hallaquah Editorial, May 1881     
Hallaquah Editorial, August, September, October, and November 1881     
Samuel Townsend (Pawnee)     
School News Editorial, June 1880    
School News Editorial, July 1880    
School News Editorial, August 1880    
School News Editorial, October 1880    
School News Editorial, December 1880    
School News Editorial, January 1881     
School News Editorial, February 1881     
Annie Lovejoy (Sioux), Addie Stevens (Winnebago), James Enouf (Potawatomi), and Frank Hubbard (Penobscot)     
Our Motto Changed, Talks and Thoughts Editorial, January 1892     
Henry Caruthers Roman Nose (Southern Cheyenne)     
An Indian Boy’s Camp Life, 1880     
Roman Nose Goes to New York, 1880     
Roman Nose Goes to Indian Territory, 1880     
Experiences of H. C. Roman Nose, 1880     
Experiences of H. C. Roman Nose, on Captain Pratt, 1881    
Experiences of H. C. Roman Nose, on Going to Hampton, 1881     
Experiences of H. C. Roman Nose, on Getting an Education,1881     
Mary North (Arapaho)     
A Little Story, 1880     
Joseph Du Bray (Yankton Sioux)     
Indians’ Accustoms, 1891     
How to Walk Straight, 1892     
The Sun Dance, 1893     
Robert Placidus Higheagle (Standing Rock Sioux)     
Tipi-iyokihe, 1895     
Samuel Baskin (Santee Sioux)     
What the White Man Has Gained from the Indian, 1896     
Alonzo Lee (Eastern Band Cherokee)     
The Trail of the Serpent, 1896     
Indian Folk-Lore, 1896     
An Indian Naturalist, 1897     
Transition Scenes, 1899     
Anna Bender (White Earth Chippewa)     
A Glimpse of the Old Indian Religion, 1904     
An Indian Girl in Boston, 1904     
Elizabeth Bender (White Earth Chippewa)     
From Hampton to New York, 1905     
J. William Ettawageshik (Ottawa)     
My Home Locality, 1909     
Caleb Carter (Nez Percé)     
Christmas Among the Nez Percés, 1911     
How the Nez Percés Trained for Long Distance Running, 1911     
Short Stories and Retold Tales    
Joseph Du Bray (Yankton Sioux)     
A Fox and a Wolf: A Fable, 1892     
Harry Hand (Crow Creek Sioux)     
The Brave War-Chief and the Ghost, 1892     
A Buffalo Hunt, 1892     
The Story Teller, 1893     
The Adventures of a Strange Family, 1893     
Chapman Schanandoah (Oneida)     
How the Bear Lost His Tail: An Old Indian Story, 1893     
Robert Placidus Higheagle (Standing Rock Sioux)     
The Brave Deaf and Dumb Boy, 1893     
The Legend of Owl River, 1895     
Samuel Baskin (Santee Sioux)     
Ite Waste, or Fair Face, 1895     
Stella Vanessa Bear (Arikara)     
An Indian Story, 1903     
How My People First Came to the World, 1903     
An Enemy’s Revenge, 1905     
Ghost Bride Pawnee Legend, 1910     
Indian Legend—Creation of the World, 1910     
Anna Bender (White Earth Chippewa)     
Quital’s First Hunt, 1904     
The First Squirrel, 1904     
The Big Dipper, 1904     
William J. Owl (Eastern Band Cherokee)     
The Beautiful Bird, 1910     
The Way the Opossum Derived His Name, 1912     
Emma La Vatta (Fort Hall Shoshoni)     
The Story of the Deerskin, 1910     
Why the Snake’s Head Became Flat, 1911     
J. William Ettawageshik (Ottawa)     
Maple Sugar Sand, 1910     
Caleb Carter (Nez Percé)     
The Coyote and the Wind, 1913     
The Feast of the Animals, 1913     
Part Two: Writings by Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Native American Public Intellectuals
Francis La Flesche (Omaha)     
Address to Carlisle Students, 1886     
The Laughing Bird, the Wren: An Indian Legend, 1900     
The Past Life of the Plains Indians, 1905     
One Touch of Nature, 1913     
Carlos Montezuma (Yavapai)     
An Apache, to the Students of Carlisle Indian School, 1887     
The Indian Problem from the Indian’s Point of View, 1898     
Civilized Arrow Shots from an Apache Indian, 1902     
The Indian Dance, 1902     
Flash Lights on the Indian Question, 1902     
How America Has Betrayed the Indian, 1903     
Charles Alexander Eastman (Santee Sioux)     
An Indian Collegian’s Speech, 1888     
Address at Carlisle Commencement, 1899     
The Making of a Prophet, 1899     
Notes of a Trip to the Southwest, 1900     
An Indian Festival, 1900     
A True Story with Several Morals, 1900     
Indian Traits, 1903     
The Indian’s View of the Indian in Literature, 1903     
Life and Handicrafts of the Northern Ojibwas, 1911     
“My People”: The Indians’ Contribution to the Art of America, 1914     
Angel De Cora (Winnebago)     
My People, 1897     
The Native Indian Art, 1907     
An Autobiography, 1911     
Gertrude Bonnin (Yankton Sioux)     
School Days of an Indian Girl, 1900     
Letter to the Red Man, 1900    
A Protest Against the Abolition of the Indian Dance, 1902     
Laura Cornelius Kellogg (Oneida)    
Indian Public Opinion, 1902    
John Milton Oskison (Cherokee)     
The Outlook for the Indian, 1903     
The Problem of Old Harjo, 1907     
The Indian in the Professions, 1912     
Address by J. M. Oskison, 1912     
An Indian Animal Story, 1914     
Arthur Caswell Parker (Seneca)     
Making New Americans from Old, 1911     
Progress for the Indian, 1912     
Needed Changes in Indian Affairs, 1912    
Henry Roe Cloud (Winnebago)     
Education of the American Indian, 1915     
Elizabeth Bender (White Earth Chippewa)     
Training Indian Girls for Efficient Home Makers, 1916     
A Hampton Graduate’s Experience, 1916     


Ray & Pat Browne Award for Best Edited Collection 
Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Also of Interest