History ETDs

Publication Date




The civilization of the American Indian has been slow, difficult and expensive for our government. Different administrations have tried to different policies. Usually some method of force was used down to 1876. Force meant the final extinction of the race. About the only education that filtered in among the savages was the result of the labors of the heroic missionaries who established schools among them from 1819-1876 subsidized by meager sums from the government.

The greatest pioneer missionary among the Indians of the Rocky Mountain area was Sheldon Jackson of the Northern Presbyterian Church from 1838-1909, He has been called the “pathfinder and prospector of the missionary vanguard. By personal appeals to wealthy churches and individuals in the east he supplemented the small sums allowed by the government in educating Indian youths. In 1869 he became superintendent of missions under his church. From this time until 1876 he was actively engaged in establishing mission schools in all the western territories, especially in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana., Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.

In 1876, under President Grant, the new policy of educating Indians under strict government control was much more successful than his "peace policy” (forcing them to live on reservations and securing peace by feeding them).

In 1887, under President Cleveland, the Dawes Act was passed which provided individual ownership of lands and citizenship for such holders. In addition, a liberal provision was made for educating Indian youths on reservations, and the appointment of more agents to protect them against the injustice of the white man. This was a generous and humane policy toward the Indians. It may well be called the Indian Bill of Rights. This policy has been followed by, succeeding administrations and has proved fairly successful.

Hence, the Albuquerque Indian School is greatly indebted to the Presbyterian missionaries, to the liberal policies of the government, and to the public spiritedness of the citizens of Albuquerque for their donation of the present school site.

Level of Degree


Degree Name


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Lansing B. Bloom

Second Committee Member

Lynn Boal Mitchell

Third Committee Member

William Mary Bryant



Document Type


Included in

History Commons