Woman of the Century/Alice Cunningham Fletcher

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ALICE C. FLETCHER.jpgALICE C. FLETCHER. FLETCHER, Miss Alice Cunningham, ethnologist, born in Boston, Mass., in 1845. She received a thorough and liberal education. After studying the archaeological remains in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys she went, in 18S1, to live among the Omaha Indians, in Nebraska, to make an investigation of their customs and traditions, under the auspices of the Peabody Museum of American Archæology, of Harvard University. She became interested in the affairs of the Omahas and secured the passage of a law allotting lands to them. She was chosen to make the allotment in 1883 and 1884. She caused a number of the children of the Omahas to be sent to the Indian schools in Carlisle, Pa., and Hampton, Va., and she raised large sums of money to defray the expenses of the education of other ambitious Indians. Under the auspices of the Woman's National Indian Association she established a system of loaning money to Indians who wished to buy land and build homes of their own Her scientific researches have been of great value, covering Indian traditions, customs, religions, moneys, music and ceremonies, and many ethnographic and archaeological subjects. In 1884 and 1885 she sent an exhibit of the industries of civilived Indians to the New Orleans Exhibition, prepared on request by the Indian Bureau. Her abors and lectures on that occasion won her a diploma of honor. In answer to a Senate resolution of 23rd February, 1885, she prepared her valuable book, "Indian Civilization and Education" In 18S6 she was sent by the Commissioner of Education to visit Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, where she made a study of the conditions of the natives. In 1888 her reports were published in full. Acting for the government, she has allotted lands in severalty to the Winnebagoes, of Nebraska, and the Nez Perces, of Idaho. Her work in behalf of the Indians has been incessant and varied. She brought out the first Indian woman physician, Susan La Flesche, and induced other Indians to study law and other professions. Her work has been of the highest order, both scientific and philanthropic.