General Richard Henry Pratt, best known as the founder and longtime superintendent of the influential Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, profoundly shaped Indian education and federal Indian policy at the turn of the twentieth century. Pratt’s long and active military career included eight years of service as an army field officer on the western frontier. During that time he participated in some of the signal conflicts with Indians of the southern plains, including the Washita campaign of 1868-1869 and the Red River War of 1874-1875. He then served as jailor for many of the Indians who surrendered. His experiences led him to dedicate himself to Indian education, and from 1879 to 1904, still on active military duty, he directed the Carlisle school, believing that the only way to save Indians from extinction was to remove Indian youth to nonreservation settings and there inculcate in them what he considered civilized ways.

Pratt’s memoirs, edited by Robert M. Utley and with a new foreword by David Wallace Adams, offer insight into and understanding of what are now highly controversial turn-of-the-century Indian education policies.



About The Author

Richard Henry Pratt (1840-1924) was a long-time army officer and the founder of the Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Robert M. Utley served in the National Park Service for 25 years in various capacities, including Chief Historian from 1964 to 1972. Since his retirement from the federal government in 1980, he has devoted himself full-time to historical research and writing with a specialty in the American West. He is author, among many articles and books he has published, of Cavalier in Buckskin: George Armstrong Custer and the Western Military Frontier, Revised Edition; Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life; Lone Star Lawmen: The Second Century of the Texas Rangers; and The Commanders: Civil War Generals Who Shaped the American West. A founder of the Western History Association, Utley has served on its governing council and as its president.
Book Information
34 b&w illus., 2 maps
420 Pages
Paperback 978-0-8061-3603-5
Published April 2004
Resources