The Farm School

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But teaching the trades is but part of the system of industrial education at Tougaloo. Each boy is required to work at least one hour a day on the university farm. For all work over that hour the student receives pay, the highest allowance being 7c. an hour. The farm is not run to make money, but to educate. The idea is to make the operation of the farm an object lesson to the students in the better methods of agriculture and stock raising. Several students, enough to take care of the steady and continuous farm work, are employed all day on the farm and attend the night school, but the bulk of the farm labor comes from the students, who give from one to several hours to it outside of school. Last year the farm was run with but one man outside of the student help. The boys, while getting their book learning, tilled eighty-five acres of corn, fifteen acres of oats, with a second crop of peas, seventeen acres of cotton, eight acres of peas, three acres of sorghum, two acres of garden and five acres of berries and orchard. The stock cared for included 100 head of blooded cattle, forty sheep and forty swine. The farm furnished the boarding department 14,000 pounds of beef and pork, 84,476 pounds of milk, and other products in proportion. The university farm stock has a reputation State-wide, and the exhibits are features of the annual fairs held at Jackson. While every boy in the institution has to do some daily work on the farm, there is set apart for the ninth grade a special course of a year in agricultural instruction designed to make good, practical farmers of those who take it. So much for the boys.

The girls get their full share of industrial training at Tougaloo. They have daily instruction in some branch of household duty, ranging from dish-washing to canning and preserving. Sewing is taught from the plain darning and mending to fitting and dressmaking according to the latest fashion plates. It has come to be well understood that the Mississippi lady of a house who gets one of the trained students from Tougaloo has “a perfect treasure.”

The Ramona Indian School

By District Secretary Jos. E. Roy.
This is a department of the University of New Mexico at Santa Fé, occupying separate buildings and a separate locality, and managed by the American Missionary Association. A recent visit to the school it may be worth while to report. It is for the Apache Indians and the youth who are gathered into it are of the Jicarilla band. Their reservation is about two hundred miles west, and is reached by railroad or by pony transportation. The teachers deem it better to have the school some distance from the people so as to make its impression the more positive, and yet near enough for the parents to visit their children occasionally while at school. This keeps up the interest and prevents the children from being educated away from their elders. Two good sized buildings are used. In one there are the school rooms, the accommodations for the teachers, and the lodgings for the boys. In the other, under a matron, there are lodgings for the girls, work rooms for the same, and the boarding department for all. The Indian girls do the cooking for the establishment. I saw them getting dinner and I saw many loaves of beautiful white bread made by them. In their work shop they make their own clothes. The boys, under the lead of the principal, Prof. Elmore Chase, work at cobbling, making ditches and cultivating the soil, and also do something with carpenter’s tools. The Government pays over a hundred dollars a year for each student toward the expense of board, clothes, etc. The American Missionary Association appoints the teachers and directs the school. The scholars, thirty in all, have made very creditable progress in their studies, considering the short time the school has been in operation, from three to four years. Prof. Whipple, now of Wheaton College, who for a time was principal of the Ramona, testifies: “I never saw on an average such aptness, docility and faithfulness in school and industrial work.” The religious influence of the school has not been interfered with by the Government. I heard the scholars recite with promptness and evident understanding the Twenty third Psalm, the Beatitudes, the Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and portions of a catechism introductory to the Westminster Shorter. Daily worship is maintained among them, the Sunday-school lesson is thoroughly taught, while the Bible is freely used in the school. The Professor thought that several of the youth gave such evidence of an experience of grace as would satisfy us concerning white children. I was permitted to see half a dozen letters written by the scholars to be sent to their parents and brothers and sisters, without the supervision of their teachers, in which were many expressions of love for the Savior and the Bible, and of a desire that their friends at home should be made acquainted with the same, and the purpose, when they should go home, to communicate those good things.

The following are four of those letters:

Ramona Indian School, Santa Fé, New Mexico

June 16, 1889.
My Dear Father:

I am very well and happy all the time. I am very sorry that my step Mother was dead. I want you to come after me in July. And come early. I had such a lovely time on our picnic. I want you to learn about Jesus and His love. So when you die you will go to Him. Where you shall be happy evermore.

From your loving daughter, MARY ARMSTRONG

Ramona School, Santa Fé, New Mexico
June 10, 1889.
My Dear Father:

I was very glad to get your letter, and I am going to answer it right away. I am so anxious to go home this Summer. I love you all very much, and I love my Father in Heaven too. I love my Savior very much. He is your Savior too. Jesus is a Savior of all the people in this world. I am glad that you are all working. I am working too but I am in school now. I am reading in the Third Reader. Give my love to all of my folks and Miss Moore and Miss Clegg1.

From your loving daughter, MARY GRIMES

Santa Fé, New Mexico
June 15, 1889.

My Dear Brother A.G.:

I would like to see you very much. We have a nice time here. The children are all well and happy. How is my little cousin? Is he well and happy? We are all writing a letter this morning. We are all going home in July, so you know I am very happy every day. How are all my brothers. I would like to see them too. How is my father. Is he well and happy? I have not seen my father for a long time. Why don’t he come to see me? I wish you knew about our dear Savior. I wish some one will come and tell all the people about Jesus. God is our Father in Heaven who loves us very much. He loves all the people in the world. He wants them to love Him. I will tell you about him when I go home. I wish you would read the Bible so you would know about Him. Our corn is beginning to grow. Some children are going to speak in the church to-morrow. Please give my love to all my people. I am going to say good-bye.

From your loving sister, IRENE BANCROFT

Ramona School, Santa Fé, New Mexico
April 12, 1889.

Dear Father Monarcha:

I am very glad that you are working; that is just what I want you to do. You must build a house for your children, and you will have a place to stay when the weather gets cold. And every body must build houses for themselves; that is just what the Government wants all of you to do, because that is right and everybody thinks that it is right, and they were very much pleased when you do so. I am very glad that all my folks are well and happy if all of you are happy then I am happy too. Your letter pleases me very much. And you must do just what Mr. Bishop asks you to do. You must not do like other men do that don’t build houses; they just run off from the Reservation and go hunting and sell all the things that the Government gives them. You must not do that because that is wrong, not right. Miss Moore will tell you what I say to you. Write another letter if you have time, if you don’t have time, why just go on and finish all your spring work then you come after me when school is out; if you don’t want to come then you send somebody after me.

Your loving son, JESSE GREENLEAF.
The writer of this letter has attended school two and a half years, spending one-half day in school each day and working half a day. He is now fourteen years old.

1 These were former teachers at the Ramona, who are now doing mission work among the Indians. They read these letters to the parents and in turn write back for them.



MLA Source Citation:

Various. The American Missionary, Vol. 43, No. 8, August, 1889. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 3 September 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/the-farm-school.htm - Last updated on Mar 7th, 2013


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