This is an interesting title, to be sure; however, the content of this excerpt will reveal that it is only "futile" to try to make Englishman of the "Indians" who, of course, had their own means of educating their youth. Franklin observed how unsuccessful the English had been in converting Indians to the English culture and ways since Indian ways . . . hunting and fishing, etc. . . . were so carefree and easy compared to the English way of life.
It's certainly something to think about.
August Glen-James, editor
. . . but that it had been observed that for a long time after they returned to their friends, they were absolutely good for nothing—being neither acquainted with the true methods of killing deer, catching beavers, or surprising an enemy.
The little value Indians set on what we prize so highly, under the name of learning, appears from a pleasant passage that happened some years since, at a treaty between some colonies and the Six Nations. When everything had been settled to the satisfaction of both sides, and nothing remained but a mutual exchange of civilities, the English commissioners told the Indians that they had in their country a college for the instruction of youth, who were there taught various languages, arts, and sciences; that there was a particular foundation in favor of the Indians to defray the expense of the education of any of their sons who should desire to take the benefit of it; and said, if the Indians would accept the offer, the English would take half a dozen of their brightest lads and bring them up in the best manner.
The Indians, after consulting on the proposals, replied that it was remembered that some of their youths had formerly been educated at that college, but that it had been observed that for a long time after they returned to their friends, they were absolutely good for nothing—being neither acquainted with the true methods of killing deer, catching beavers, or surprising an enemy. The proposition they looked on, however, as a mark of kindness and goodwill of the English to the Indian nations, which merited a grateful return; and, therefore, if the English gentlemen would send a dozen or two of their children to Onondago, the Great Council would take care of their education, bring them up in what was really the best manner, and make men of them.