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The Missionary Impulse
Digital History ID 683

Author:   Civilization Fund Act

Annotation: To assist reform and missionary societies in their efforts to establish schools for Indians, the federal government established a "Civilization Fund." In 1824, the federal government created a Bureau of Indian Affairs in the War Department to administer the fund.

Document: ...For the purpose of providing against the further decline and final extinction of the Indian tribes, adjoining the frontier settlements of the United States, and for introducing among them the habits and arts of civilization, the President of the United States shall be, and he is hereby authorized, in every case where he shall judge improvement in the habits and condition of such Indians practicable, and that the means of instruction can be introduced with their own consent, to employ capable persons of good moral character, to instruct them in the mode of agriculture suited to their situation; and for teaching their children in reading, writing and arithmetic....

Source: U.S. Statutes at Large, 3:516-17.

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