Carlisle Indian School Floozies

Something that was brought out in the 1914 Joint Congressional Investigation of Carlisle Indian School is that, then as now, a few of the girls were floozies. Bertha D. Canfield, a teacher, raised the issues of morals during her testimony.

Mrs. Canfield. “…He [Superintendent Friedman] failed to assist and cooperate with Miss Gaither in most serious, cases of discipline with the girls. He ordered Miss Gaither to go with the girls to the gymnasium. She protested, saying there was no one on duty at girls’ quarters; that it was unsafe to leave the punished girls there alone. But at his request she was obliged to go; the result was that some boys got into girls’ quarters and spent the evening with the girls. __________ __________ whose immoral character was well known, was one of these girls. After all this was allowed to sing in public entertainments before the pupils and was taken to public places with the band, to Harrisburg to sing before the governor, and other public places, singing “Redwing” and dressing in Indian costume. This was done against the wish of the matron. Miss Gaither had requested before this that __________ _________ be sent home. If the matron’s wish had been complied with in the beginning, it would have been better for __________ __________ and her associates….”

An unnamed female student supported Mrs. Canfield’s testimony.

Miss _____________. You have heard the _____________ _____________ case brought up. She was a girl that was not of a very good character. She had a very good voice, and she was taken out several times with the band, and on one occasion she sang for the governor in Harrisburg and was put as a model for the school. And she was also the star here at commencement time, 1912, I think it was, when she sang. When they put up girls of that character that is only leading weaker girls to evil doings, because they think if a girl of that standing can rise up and be put as a model before the school they also can do those things.

Out of prurient interest and using the clues presented in the testimony, I researched Carlisle Indian School publications to determine who this hussy was. After I thought I had figured out who she was, I searched the document concerning the investigation for her name and found it. Interested readers can duplicate my research to learn for themselves exactly who this floozy was.

Thanks to Matt Bentley, we now know where to find the documentation concerning the 1914 Joint Congressional Investigation into Carlisle Indian School on-line. It can be found at: http://www.archive.org/details/hearingsbeforejo01unit

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