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As an important aid to the Government in their project in regard to the Indians, I would suggest the expediency of establishing. In some suitable situation, a College, for the education of such Indian youth, as shall have passed through the primary Indian schools with reputation and promise. Here, under competent instructors let them be prepared to teach their brethren of the wilderness, all, even the higher, branches of useful knowledge. Let this College be liberally endowed out of the avails of those public lands, which have been purchased of the Indians. To what better purpose can a portion of them be applied? Of these lands there is enough, and to spare, at the disposal of the Government. Let able and skilful Professors be appointed for this Institution, and whenever any of the educated Indian youth shall become qualified for teachers, let them be rewarded, and encouraged, by promoting them to such offices in the instruction and government of the College, as they are capable of filling with reputation and respectability. Let them thus feel their own strength and importance, and have the full benefit of all the motives to exertion, which we enjoy.
Such an Institution, as has now been recommended, was early established, and nobly endowed, in India, for the benefit of that populous region; and its good fruits have far exceeded the high expectations of its friends.1 We might reasonably expect the like good effects from a similar Institution in our own country.
The Indians, within a very few years, might, and probably will be, extensively taught by their own civilized and educated brethren; numbers of whom are already prepared, as far as existing advantages would permit, and many more are preparing to engage in this work. And if we are, in future, but just to the Indians, and leave to them the means of supporting the necessary literary and religious
Institutions among themselves, and teach them how to use them, they will gradually, and ultimately be taken off our hands, and will e able, without the aid of our money or our labor, to take care of the education of their own children, and to support all the good institutions requisite in a civilized community. Indians will educate Indians, and the whole business of their civilization will be carried on among themselves.
The School at Cornwall,2 in Connecticut, could be very easily raised into such an Institution. The foundations are already laid, and are broad enough to bear such an Institution, and able and experienced instructors are now on the ground. Everything, by a kind Providence, seems there to be prepared to our hand. Let this then be the Indian College of our country; at least so long as to make a fair experiment. Let it be at once liberally endowed by the Government of the United States, and conducted, on liberal principles, by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, who planted it, and have hitherto, by their Board of Agents, superintended and supported it. Let the number of Instruction be increased, and also the number of pupils and liberal provision be made for their support. Let it be open, as it now is, for heathen youth from all parts of the world, who may be thrown on our shores, and a department of instruction suited to these uneducated youth, be established in connection with the College. Let these be here gratuitously educated, on the bounty of the Government, and sent back to the several places of their nativity, to educate their own countrymen in turn. What greater blessings can we send forth from our country into heathen lands, than youth thus liberally educated? In what way can we, with so little expense, raise and extend the reputation of our country, so effectually promote peace and good will among men, and diffuse blessings through the world?
*Among the Institutions in India, for the improvement of its mixed population are the Asiatic Society, by Sir William Jones; a College at Fort William, by the Marquis, Wellesley, in which are Professors of English, Mahometan, and Hindu languages, history, geography, natural history, &c. In 1816, a College was established by the Hindu’s themselves, for the instruction of their sons in the English and Indian languages, and in the literature and sciences of Europe and Asia. Here Indian youth are educated to be preachers to their own countrymen. More recently still, an Episcopal Mission College has been established and handsomely endowed, whose principal object is to prepare the natives and others to be preachers, catechists and schoolmasters. Beside which there it a School Book and Bible Society, and others of less prominence. ↩
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A full account of this School is given in the Appendix, p. 267. ↩