The Choctaw Freedmen and the Story of Oak Hill Industrial Academy, Valiant, McCurtain County, Oklahoma


Now Called the Alice Lee Elliott Memorial. Including the early history of the Five Civilized Tribes of Indian Territory, the Presbytery of Kiamichi, Synod of Canadian, and the Bible in the free schools of the American colonies, but suppressed in France, previous to the American and French revolutions

This is the history of "the work and workers connected with the founding and development of Oak Hill Industrial Academy." The academy was "established for the benefit of the Freedmen of the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, by the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., in 1886." The history continues through the erection of Elliott Hall in 1910 and its dedication in 1912. At that time, the school's name was changed to the Alice Lee Elliott Memorial. The historical coverage ranges widely over such topics as the development of the Indian Nation and the schools within it, the situation of the freedmen, and the rise and importance of religion. The history of the academy covers the development of the school itself as well as biographical sketches and reminiscences of the teachers (including Eliza Hartford, the school's first white teacher), the accomplishments of the superintendents, education of and expectations for the students, and tributes to influential people associated with the academy. (The author, himself, served as superintendent of the academy from 1905 to the end of 1912.) In addition to preserving the school's history, the author also aimed to "place as much as possible of the character building work of the institution, in an attractive form for profitable perusal by the youth, in the homes of the pupils and patrons of the Academy." This is expressed in such chapters as the one covering maxims and suggestions ("nuggets from short talks to the students on Friday evenings") and the one laying out school rules, mottoes, and course of study. This expansive volume provides an interesting look at the social mores and expectations of whites for their non-white students in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Robert Elliott Flickinger

(1914, 2002), 2008, 5½x8½, paper, index, 496 pp.

ISBN: 9780788422225