Teaching Resources

The Carlisle Indian Industrial School (CIS) continues to be a major site of memory for many Native peoples across the U.S. and Canada, as well as a source of research and study for descendants, students and scholars around the globe. Tens of thousands of young people from Indian communities all across America were sent to the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania between 1879-1918. What was the purpose, the strategy, the outcome? What can we learn from the historical record of this educational experiment about the goals of its founders, the students who were sent there, the impact on their families and communities, U.S. military and domestic policy related to Indian tribes, the history of American education, about race and ethnic relations? These teaching modules and lesson plans offer secondary and post-secondary school teachers some ideas of how to explore this history and the significant role it played in American and Native American history.

 

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Displaying 1 - 14 of 14

Tens of thousands of young people from Indian communities all across America were sent to the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania between 1879-1918. What was the purpose, the strategy, the outcome? What can we learn from interrogating this historical, educational experiment about the goals of its founders, the students who were sent there, the impact on their families and communities, U.S.…

The goal of this exercise is to explore the Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center and what it has to offer. Much can be learned by searching through the primary documents, including student files and school publications – and also consulting secondary sources.

This assignment can be adapted for college or high school classes or community workshops.

Under the authority of the US federal government, Carlisle was the first federally funded off-reservation Indian boarding school. Founded in 1879 by Captain Richard Henry Pratt, the school enrolled nearly 7,800 students by the time of its closing in 1918. Pratt believed that American Indians were the equals of European-Americans, and that Native American children immersed in mainstream Euro-…

Captain Richard Henry Pratt, founder to the Carlisle Indian School, wanted to “civilize” and assimilate Indian children into Euro-American culture. Speaking to a convention of Baptist ministers in 1883, Pratt used the image of baptism to explain his philosophy for transforming Native children so they could be made to emulate white men and women.

They came from all over the country, from almost every nation. The Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania was the first federally funded off-reservation Indian boarding school founded in 1879 by Captain Richard Henry Pratt. Until its closing in 1918, over 10,500 children were sent to the school to become “civilized” and learn the white man’s ways and language.

Pratt believed…

This lesson introduces students to close reading of primary and secondary documents. The focus of this close reading module is also to introduce students to aspects of history that are complex, nuanced, and controversial, such that they will be able to understand the difficulties in making concrete or objective assessments about individual experience.

Documents and publications from the Carlisle Indian School offer insight into the involvement of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in other aspects of Indian life. The BIA was tasked with breaking up Indian lands and dividing them among Indian individuals and their families. The Dawes Act (The General Allotment Act) passed by Congress February 8, 1887, set a precedent for the legislation regulating…

This teaching module will utilize primary documents from individuals who attended the Carlisle Indian School to inform a conversation about the role of athletics in the lives of the students and the institution. Using close reading techniques and qualitative approaches, students will inquire into the significance of sports in student/Native identities, the mission of the school, and concepts…

Lesson Essential Question:

How do the views of July 4th compare/contrast between former slaves and Indians in the late 1800’s?

Learning Goals for the Lesson:

Understand that cultural backgrounds and experiences helped to shape the various ways minority groups in America viewed the “white man’s” celebrations.

Students Will…

Questions: How did the U.S. Government try to erase American Indian cultures in the late 19th century? What role did education play in forced assimilation?

Topics: This lesson could be used in middle and high school units relating to American Indian and Native American history, 19th century frontier history, American Indian culture, the history of…

"Piecing Together the Past: Finding Student Stories in the Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center" is designed as part of an 11th-12th grade course tracing American Indian history from the Precontact period until the present. It asks students to grapple with the question of the forms in which we preserve historical memory. In this lesson, each student will investigate the file of a…

Context: These activities will both be part of a longer unit of study around the historical experiences, contributions, and treatment of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest. Preceding and between these activities will be lessons on the pre-European invasion culture and history of the region, PNW treaties, creation of the reservation system, Native American stereotypes…

This lesson plan asks students to explore gender at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School by closely examining ten primary sources, including photographs, newspaper articles, and correspondence.

Learning Outcomes (What will students know & be able to do as a result of this lesson?):

Students will be able to use primary sources to derive information from an image of historical significance, of how the historical image is comparable to a current image of the student.

Key Concepts & Essential Questions:

How does the model…

Browse Teaching Resources

Displaying 1 - 12 of 12

Thanks to a generous 2017-18 grant from the NHPRC, the Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center has developed a teaching kit for use in schools, libraries, and other educational institutions in the United States. The teaching kit is comprised of 35 full color facsimile reproductions of a variety of photographs, newspapers, and…

This handwriting guide will help students read cursive as they explore the site.

This resource is an excerpt from the “Introduction” to Carlisle Indian School: Indigenous Histories, Memories and Reclamations, co-edited by J. Fear-Segal and S. Rose, University of Nebraska Press, 2016.

This resource includes the full text from Captain Richard Henry Pratt's speech in which he used the now well-known phrase to describe his philosophy of assimilation: "Kill the Indian in him, and save the man." The speech was delivered in 1892 during the National Conference of Charities and Correction, held in Denver. Colorado. The full text copy of his speech as printed in the published…

This map shows the locations of off-reservation Indian Boarding Schools throughout the United States, numbered in the order in which each began operations under government auspices. These 27 schools were fully managed and directed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. (There were more than 300 other schools, located both on and off reservations, many of which were managed by the Bureau, but some of…

Map of the Carlisle Indian School showing the school at its foundation in 1879 and closure in 1918 and the remianing buildings at what is now the Army War College in 2000. (This resource is provided courtesy of Dr. Jacqueline Fear-Segal.) 

Dickinson College faculty and students compiled this selective bibliography of primary and secondary sources about the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

The attached documents are Teaching Standards for the Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center.

The Library of Congress and National Archives provide these resources which includes a teacher's guide and worksheet for analyzing photographs and prints. The resource will aid students in interacting with the docments and teaching resources on the Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center. 

This recource includes a teacher's guide for primary source analysis and a primary source analysis tool (from the Library of Congress). It is meant as an aid to the Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center teaching resources. 

The Education Staff of the National Archives and Records Administration developed document analysis worksheets for different types of material, including written documents, photographs, cartoons, posters, maps, artifacts, motion pictures, and sound recordings.

These resources will aid students in interacting with the documents and teaching resources on the Carlisle Indian School Digital…

The Library of Congress provides teacher's guides and analysis tools for a variety of different materials.  These guides will aid students in interacting with the documents and resources on the Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center.  Included are guides for analyzing primary sources, analyzing political cartoons, analyzing books and other printed texts, analyzing newspapers, analyzing…

Lists & Rosters

The Lists and Ledgers section features information drawn from various sources. In some cases, the lists are transcriptions of ledgers that were maintained by the administrative staff of the school. In other cases, they are lists compiled from numerous sources, brought together here for ease of access and ready reference purposes. These lists are all full-text searchable in order to aid discovery of individual names.

Visitors to this site are free to download this information in spreadsheet form for further personal use. If you are interested in seeing the original page images for any list, please contact us. We are still in the process of determining the best way to present the full page images online, given their often unwieldy size.

Search Lists & Ledgers

Please Note: The Search box above only searches List & Ledgers. To search the entire site, use the search box on the top left.

You are searching the title, description, and location fields. File attachments are not searched.

Browse Lists & Ledgers

Displaying 1 - 25 of 108

Date Range: 1879-1886
List Type: Financial

This volume of Statements of Receipts and Disbursements, which is also labeled "Cash Books," covers the period from September 8, 1879 to June 30, 1886. The entries for receipts and for disbursements are on facing pages and are arranged chronologically. Individual entries for receipts…

Date Range: 1881-1887
List Type: Outings

The Registers of Outings include entries with students' name, the date of placement or departing the school, the patron's name and their address, the date a student returned to the school, and occasionally other information. Volume 1 includes the records for boys and girls between 1881 and…

Date Range: Jul. 1884 - Jul. 1887
List Type: Enrollment

This volume of Daily Morning Reports covers enrollment at the school between July 1884 and July 1887. The first section includes monthly enrollment summaries, which are followed by daily reports with information about the number of students present, the number of students…

Date Range: 1885-1890
List Type: Outings

Entries in the Register of Applications For Student Workers include the applicant's name, their address, date of application, the date when work was required, and the type of work (such as farming). Some entries also include the name and address of applicants' references, names of students…

Date Range: 1884-1885
List Type: Employment

An excerpt from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year ending 1885, containing a table of Indian School Employees for the Carlisle Indian Training School. The table includes employee name, sex, race, age, marital status,…

Date Range: Mar. 31, 1886
List Type: Enrollment

Report of the Carlisle Indian School, submitted quarterly to the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the School Superintendent, for the quarter ending March 31, 1886. Quarterly School Reports include lists of all currently enrolled and recently discharged students as well as information…

Date Range: Jun. 30, 1886
List Type: Enrollment

Report of the Carlisle Indian School, submitted quarterly to the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the School Superintendent, for the quarter ending June 30, 1886. Quarterly School Reports include lists of all currently enrolled and recently discharged students as well as information…

Date Range: 1885-1886
List Type: Employment

An excerpt from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year ending 1886, containing a table of Indian School Employees for the Carlisle Indian Training School. The table includes employee name, position, service start and end…

Date Range: 1886-1894
List Type: Financial

This volume of Statements of Receipts and Disbursements, which is also labeled "Cash Books," covers the period from July 1, 1886 to June 30, 1894. The entries for receipts and for disbursements are on facing pages and are arranged chronologically. Individual entries for receipts include…

Date Range: Sep. 30, 1886
List Type: Enrollment

Report of the Carlisle Indian School, submitted quarterly to the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the School Superintendent, for the quarter ending September 30, 1886. Quarterly School Reports include lists of all currently enrolled and recently discharged students as well as…

Date Range: Dec. 31, 1886
List Type: Enrollment

Report of the Carlisle Indian School, submitted quarterly to the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the School Superintendent, for the quarter ending December 31, 1886. Quarterly School Reports include lists of all currently enrolled and recently discharged students as well as information…

Date Range: Mar. 31, 1887
List Type: Enrollment

Report of the Carlisle Indian School, submitted quarterly to the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the School Superintendent, for the quarter ending March 31, 1887. Quarterly School Reports include lists of all currently enrolled and recently discharged students as well as information…

Date Range: Jun. 30, 1887
List Type: Enrollment

Report of the Carlisle Indian School, submitted quarterly to the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the School Superintendent, for the quarter ending June 30, 1887. Quarterly School Reports include lists of all currently enrolled and recently discharged students as well as information…

Date Range: Jul. 1887 - Aug. 1891
List Type: Enrollment

This volume of Daily Morning Reports covers enrollment at the school between July 1887 and July 1891. The daily reports record information about the number of students present, the number of students absent, and the reasons for absences. Some entries include remarks about…

Date Range: 1886-1887
List Type: Employment

An excerpt from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year ending 1887, containing a table of Indian School Employees for the Carlisle Indian Training School. The table includes employee name, position, service start and end…

Date Range: September 30, 1887
List Type: Enrollment

Report of the Carlisle Indian School, submitted quarterly to the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the School Superintendent, for the quarter ending September 30, 1887. Quarterly School Reports include lists of all currently enrolled and recently discharged students as well as…

Date Range: Dec. 31, 1887
List Type: Enrollment

Report of the Carlisle Indian School, submitted quarterly to the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the School Superintendent, for the quarter ending December 31, 1887. Quarterly School Reports include lists of all currently enrolled and recently discharged students as well as information…

Date Range: Mar. 31, 1888
List Type: Enrollment

Report of the Carlisle Indian School, submitted quarterly to the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the School Superintendent, for the quarter ending March 31, 1888. Quarterly School Reports include lists of all currently enrolled and recently discharged students as well as information…

Date Range: 1887-1888
List Type: Employment

An excerpt from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year ending 1888, containing a table of Indian School Employees for the Carlisle Indian Training School. The table includes employee name, position, service start and end…

Date Range: 1889-1894
List Type: Enrollment

The Historical Record section of this Registers of Pupils lists students who attended the school between 1889 and 1894. This list, which appears on pages 193 through 274 of this register, has entries for 568 students. Most entries include the student's name, their Nation, age,…

Date Range: 1888-1889
List Type: Employment

An excerpt from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year ending 1889, containing a table of Indian School Employees for the Carlisle Indian Training School. The table includes employee name, position, service start and end…

Date Range: 1890-1898
List Type: Enrollment

The Admitted section of this Registers of Pupils lists those students who were enrolled at the school between between 1890 and 1898. This list, which appears on pages 1 through 82 of this register, has entries that are numbered beginning with 1391. The entries resume on page 1 in the…

Date Range: 1890-1900
List Type: Death Record

The Death Record section of this Register of Pupils lists those students who died while at the school between the years 1890 and 1900. This list appears on pages 184 and 185 of the register, with just a few entries on the latter page. The list includes the name of the student, the…

Date Range: 1890-1900
List Type: Discharged

The Discharged section of this Registers of Pupils lists those students who were discharged from the school between between 1890 and 1900. This list appears on pages 144 through 181 of this register and includes 2,078 entries of individual student discharges. The list includes the name…

Date Range: 1890-1894
List Type: Financial

This Ledgers for Student Savings Accounts contains accounts of individual male students between 1890 and 1894. The entries, which include information regarding deposits as well as withdrawals, usually indicate the source for each. The accounts are in rough chronological order by the date…

Cemetery Information

Introduction

The Cemetery Information resource is a compilation of data and a variety of primary sources about each person buried in the Carlisle Indian School cemetery. Use the table below to find information on each person interred, including the date of decease, plot location, and primary documents regarding the death and burial. Search through our collection of additional content for more information on the cemetery, including an aerial map, a comparative table, and resources on the history of the cemetery.

This resource was created in response to a number of requests for detailed information about the cemetery of the Carlisle Indian School, using information from various repositories including the National Archives and Records Administration, the Cumberland County Historical Society, and Dickinson College. The information presented here is only as reliable as that recorded in the original documents, and as such may be prone to change as additional information is shared or discovered. See our Research Methodology documentation to learn more about the process of gathering and presenting this information.

Additional Information

Discover more information about the Carlisle Indian School cemetery with the following interactive content:

Explore the Modern Cemetery: Interactive Map

Use this aerial map of the Carlisle Indian School cemetery to find the location of each headstone (between 1927 and July 2017), and information on the person buried in that plot.

Compare Headstones and Records: Tables

These downloadable tables, representing information accurate between 1927 and July 2017, show the information presented on each headstone with the same information as found in the records from the Carlisle Indian School.

Resources for Cemetery History

This section includes maps of the original and modern Carlisle Indian School cemeteries, a brief history of the cemetery, and citations for further reading.

Cemetery Information

Modern Plot Location Name Nation Date of Death
Repatriated Anastasia Achwack Aleut ; Alaskan
D-23 Katie Helen Adams Crow
C-28 Della T. Aitkens Shoshone ; Shoshone (Nevada)
C-10 Albert Seminole
Repatriated Alvan (One That Kills Horse) Sioux
D-39 Edward Angalook Alaskan ; Alaskan (Eskimo)
B-24 Ezra Anigoon (An-i-goon) Apache
C-40 Eva Anosaien Apache ; Apache (Chiricahua)
B-04 Martha Anton Pima
B-13 Wade Ayres Catawba
C-32 Florence Barnett (Co-te-quah) Ottawa
C-30 Guy Basket (Basket) Apache ; Apache (Tonto)
A-10 Boise Bassford Paiute
B-18 Given Bat (Bat) Apache ; Apache (San Carlos)
E-21 George Bears Arm Gros Ventre
E-09 Ida Bennett Klamath
D-18 John Bitzclay (Jack) Navajo
A-22 Frances Bones Comanche
A-03 Lorenzo Bonito Apache ; Apache (Chiricahua)
A-36 Alida Booth (Ta-pe-na-nah-clin-ah) Apache ; Apache (Chiricahua)
Unknown Solomon Brown Assiniboine
D-07 John Bull (The Dwarf) Gros Ventre
Unknown Wilson Carpenter Seneca (Tonawanda) ; Tonawanda Seneca
E-02 Lena Carr Pueblo ; Pueblo (Queres) ; Queres ; Queres (Laguna) ; Pueblo (Laguna)
D-30 Tabitha Carroll Arapaho
A-02 Albert Cassadore Apache
C-33 Fannie Charging Shield Sioux
D-03 Alfred Charko Wichita
A-39 Horace Chato (Cha-to) Apache
A-34 Leonidas Chawa San Luisenos ; Mission
A-04 Belle Cohoe Arapaho
D-35 Seth Contanito (Con tan ito) Apache
A-06 James Cornman Sioux ; Sioux (White Bird)
Repatriated Sophy Coulon Oneida
Unknown Willie Curley Arapaho
D-33 Frank Cushing Pueblo ; Pueblo (Zuni)
C-23 Simon Dakosin (Dak-o-sin) Apache ; Apache (Chiricahua)
E-07 Elsie Davis Cheyenne
C-18 Margaret Davis Chippewa ; Chippewa (Michigan)
C-25 Eva De Zey (Node-con-e-de-zey) Apache ; Apache (Tonto)
A-07 Hannah Dechezin Apache ; Apache (Chiricahua)
E-24 Wilbur Dechezin (De-che-zin) Apache
A-20 Titus Deerhead (Deer with sore head) Apache ; Apache (Tonto)
Repatriated Dennis (Strikes First) Sioux
Repatriated Dickens (Little Chief) Arapaho ; Arapaho (Northern)
A-27 Kate Dionta Apache
Repatriated Dora (Her Pipe) Sioux ; Sioux (Brule)
B-10 Rogers Dudzarda (Dud-zar-da) Apache ; Apache (Chiricahua)
B-23 Margaret Edgar Pueblo ; Pueblo (Acoma)
C-17 Basil Ekarden Apache ; Apache (Chiricahua)

Welcome

The Carlisle Indian Industrial School is a major site of memory for many Native peoples, as well as a source of study for students and scholars around the globe. This website represents an effort to aid the research process by bringing together, in digital format, a variety of resources that are physically preserved in various locations around the country. Through these resources, we seek to increase knowledge and understanding of the school and its complex legacy, while also facilitating efforts to tell the stories of the many thousands of students who were sent there.

Students Guarding the Front Gate, c.1905

Recent News & Updates

Winter Digitization Trip to the National Archives

Several members of the project team recently returned from a week-long digitization trip to the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Project Co-Director Jim Gerencser was joined by Digital Projects Manager Don Sailer and project consultant Blair Williams to…

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Site Update - January 2023

The Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center site will be updating to the latest version of its software platform on Wednesday January 18, 2023 as our current system is no longer supported. 

Please note that search will likely not…

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Reflecting on Eight Years

It's hard to believe it's already been eight years since our first group of interns completed their summer work of scanning documents at the U.S. National Archives and then processing the files and posting the material to our website. It's also been four years since…

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Winter Digitization Trip to the National Archives

Several members of the Dickinson College Archives team recently returned from the latest in a series of digitization trips to the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Library Digital Projects Manager Don Sailer '09 was joined by project consultant Blair…

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Example of a Descriptive Statement Form

The Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center is excited to announce that a new collection of enrollment records are now available online!

The Descriptive Statements of Pupils were created during the 1880s, 1890s, and 1900s to track groups of individuals…

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Summer Digitization Trip to the National Archives

Five members of the Dickinson College Archives team recently started the latest in a series of digitization trips to the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

George Gilbert '19, Julia Bray '19, and Library Digital Projects Manager Don Sailer '09 are joined…

Read More
Carlisle Indian School Teaching Kit

Thanks to a generous grant from the NHPRC, the Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center has developed a teaching kit for use in schools, libraries, and other educational institutions in the United…

Read More
Winter Digitization Trip to the National Archives

Five members of the Dickinson College Archives team recently started the latest in a series of digitization trips to the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

George Gilbert '19, Friends of the Library Intern Rachel Suppok ’16, and Library Digital Projects…

Read More
New Collection Online: John N. Choate Glass Plate Negatives

The Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections recently acquired a collection of 39 glass plate negatives from the studio of John Nicholas Choate, the famed photographer who frequently captured images of Carlisle Indian School students and activities. The…

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Cemetery Information Resource Launched

The Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center team would like to share a new resource, simply titled Cemetery Information. This resource aims to support the research of…

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Reflecting on Eight Years

It's hard to believe it's already been eight years since our first group of interns completed their summer work of scanning documents at the U.S. National Archives and then processing the files and posting the material to our website. It's also been four years since two of our team members spent two months compiling information about the Carlisle students who died while attending Carlisle in order to develop our Cemetery Information resource pages.

Summer Digitization Trip to the National Archives

Five members of the Dickinson College Archives team recently started the latest in a series of digitization trips to the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

George Gilbert '19, Julia Bray '19, and Library Digital Projects Manager Don Sailer '09 are joined by project consultants Blair Williams and Frank Vitale '16 for a two week trip to scan administrative documents related to the operation of the Carlisle Indian School.  The team is looking forward to discovering more about Carlisle through this records series.

Winter Digitization Trip to the National Archives

Five members of the Dickinson College Archives team recently started the latest in a series of digitization trips to the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

George Gilbert '19, Friends of the Library Intern Rachel Suppok ’16, and Library Digital Projects Manager Don Sailer '09 are joined by project consultants Blair Williams and Frank Vitale '16 for a two week trip to scan administrative documents related to the operation of the Carlisle Indian School.  The team is looking forward to discovering more about Carlisle through this records series.

New Collection Online: John N. Choate Glass Plate Negatives

The Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections recently acquired a collection of 39 glass plate negatives from the studio of John Nicholas Choate, the famed photographer who frequently captured images of Carlisle Indian School students and activities. The collection includes individual and group portraits, most of which were not commercially sold. As a result, most of these images are rare and have never been publicly accessible before.

Announcing a Teachers' Institute on the Carlisle Indian School

Thanks to a grant from the NHPRC, Dickinson College will host a Teachers' Institute on the Carlisle Indian School and the continuing impact of Indian boarding schools. The institute will be held July 30-August 4, 2017 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Specialists in American Indian education and 12 secondary school educators will come together to confront and interrogate this important history. Participating teachers will develop lesson plans that use the Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center and other available sources.