The “Indian Experiment” at Hampton Institute

Did you know that from 1878 to 1923, Native American students were brought to Hampton Institute from Northern Plains tribes to be “re-educated?” The first group to come were prisoners of western Indians wars who were being held in St Augustine, FL. More non-captive students came as time passed. Black and Indian students took classes together. In “Indians at Hampton Institute, 1877-1923,” author Donald Lindsey shows “the complicated way that one black institution, while still under white control, devised to manage the education and socialization of African and Native American students, not for their needs but in the interests of the broader Anglo-American society.”

Hampton Institute - Sioux Indian1

Louis Firetail (Sioux, Crow Creek), wearing tribal clothing, in American history class, Hampton Institute, Hampton, Virginia. Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection (Library of Congress)

A listing of students by name and tribal affiliation as well as some first person accounts written by students can be found online: http://www.twofrog.com/hampton.html.

Read more at “The American Indian at Hampton Institute, Virginia” and “The ‘Indian Experiment’ at Hampton Institute.