NOVEMBER 1, 1879


Founded by Richard Henry Pratt, Carlisle was the first federally-funded, off-reservation Indian boarding school.  Believing that Native Americans were equal to European-Americans, Pratt wanted the school to immerse students into mainstream Euro-American culture.  Pratt saw the success of the Indian students at Hampton Normal and Agricultural School and created Carlisle as an all-Indian school.  However, where Hampton’s purpose was to return assimilated Indians to their people, Carlisle aimed for Americanization.  The goal: “Kill the Indian: Save the Man.”   Pratt instituted military regimen and corporal punishment for Native behaviors. Carlisle became the model for Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding schools and those boarding schools sponsored by religious denominations.  From 1879 until 1918, over 10,000 Indian children from 140 tribes attended Carlisle.  Tribes with the largest number of students included the Lakota, Ojibwe, Seneca, Oneida, Cherokee, Apache, Cheyenne, and Alaska Native

Source:  Barbara Landis, “Pratt: Ft. Marion Prisoners and Hampton,” Carlisle Indian Industrial School History.  Retrieved 7/18/2019,
Photo:  Author and date unknown.  Public Domain in the US:  Pre-1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.