Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Robert C. Kenzer

Second Advisor

Dr. Daniel Roberts

Third Advisor

Dr. Hugh A. West


Female American Indian students who attended Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute defined their level of empowerment, playing pertinent roles within tribal communities during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. While the Institute left an important legacy in the cause for federally-funded American Indian education, student behavior further determined the lasting effects of vocational training and socializing efforts. Organized topically, Chapter One summarizes the Indian Program's philosophy. Chapters Two through Four investigate the academic curriculum and vocational training, while exploring the ways in which the youth experienced and interpreted extracurricular and personal relationships. Chapter Five analyzes activities of Hampton alumnae on their reservations. Chapter Six interprets how ethnicity conceptually shaped the students' unique cultural identities. Hampton archives, personal correspondence, publications, and newspaper articles reveal boarding school life, tribal adaptation, and survival while celebrating the strength and resilience of educated Native American females who faced significant cultural, social, and economic challenges.

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