Assimilation's Agent: My Life as a Superintendent in the Indian Boarding School System by Edwin L. ChalcraftAssimilation's Agent: My Life as a Superintendent in the Indian Boarding School System by Edwin L. Chalcraft

Assimilation's Agent: My Life as a Superintendent in the Indian Boarding School System

byEdwin L. ChalcraftEditorCary C. CollinsIntroduction byCary C. Collins

Paperback | September 1, 2007

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Assimilation’s Agent reveals the life and opinions of Edwin L. Chalcraft (1855–1943), a superintendent in the federal Indian boarding schools during the critical period of forced assimilation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Chalcraft was hired by the Office of Indian Affairs (now known as the Bureau of Indian Affairs) in 1883. During his nearly four decades of service, he worked at a number of Indian boarding schools and agencies, including the Chehalis Indian School in Oakville, Washington; Puyallup Indian School in Tacoma, Washington; Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Oregon; Wind River Indian School in Wind River, Wyoming; Jones Male Academy in Hartshorne, Oklahoma; and Siletz Indian Agency in Oregon.

In this memoir Chalcraft discusses the Grant peace policy, the inspection system, allotment, the treatment of tuberculosis, corporal punishment, alcoholism, and patronage. Extensive coverage is also given to the Indian Shaker Church and the government’s response to this perceived threat to assimilation. Assimilation’s Agent illuminates the sometimes treacherous political maneuverings and difficult decisions faced by government officials at Indian boarding schools. It offers a rarely heard and today controversial "top-down" view of government policies to educate and assimilate Indians.

Drawing on a large collection of unpublished letters and documents, Cary C. Collins’s introduction and notes furnish important historical background and context. Assimilation’s Agent illustrates the government's long-term program for dealing with Native peoples and the shortcomings of its approach during one of the most consequential eras in the long and often troubled history of American Indian and white relations.

Cary C. Collins has a PhD in history from Washington State University and is a public school teacher in Ravensdale, Washington.
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Title:Assimilation's Agent: My Life as a Superintendent in the Indian Boarding School SystemFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:September 1, 2007Publisher:UNP - Nebraska PaperbackLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0803222440

ISBN - 13:9780803222441

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Editorial Reviews

“A great strength of this book is Collins’ thorough analysis of BIA philosophy and procedure, and how that played out in the life of one man and the Indian children he sought to ‘educate.’”—Garrit Voggesser, Journal of the West
- Garrit Voggesser - Journal of the West