Redefining Indian Education: Thomas J. Morgan's Program in Disarray

Frederick E. Hoxie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thomas Jefferson Morgan served as commissioner of Indian affairs during 1889-93. He brought reform through a national Indian school system of day, primary, grammar, and high schools to give the young people gateways "from the desolation of the reservation into assimilation with our national life." While assimilation continued to be the goal after Morgan, the content of Indian schooling made a dramatic change from holistic to vocational training. The new reformers called for simple training and manual labor so that the Indians could become self-supporting. They were no longer expected to achieve a "fraternal" relationship with white society. The scientific racism applied to other minorities was imposed on Indians as well. This was a step in the direction of the present cultural pluralism.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-18
Number of pages14
JournalArizona & the West
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982


  • Native Americans
  • American Indian education
  • white people
  • vocational education
  • public schools
  • boarding schools
  • annual reports
  • curricula
  • employment


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