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off the reading abilities of his students to both white and Cherokee dignitaries at national gatherings. A number of future Cherokee statesmen and leaders were among these early classes, including John Ross, Major Ridge, John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot.

Educational facilities soon multiplied on Cherokee lands. By 1826 there were 18 schools. Education, while having religious connotations and taught by missionaries, was non- denominational. Government funding was allotted to Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, and Moravian denominations. Boys were instructed in the three R's and the rudiments of agriculture, carpentry, and the keeping of livestock. Girls were taught "how to cook, spin, weave, sew, mold candles, and sip tea sedately in the mission parlor."16

The education of both boys and girls had an ideological bent. Boys, as caretakers and future leaders of the community, were taught skills in accordance with these future roles. Men, of course, were already caretakers and leaders of the community. Missionary educators, however, felt that the Cherokee's traditional gender roles must be partially reversed in order for the tribe to shrug off its "lazy culture." Men were to learn women's work in the fields; they were to retain their role in political leadership. Men were to assume familial leadership from women. Women were to lose this and most other rights entirely. They were viewed as the mothers of future Cherokee statesmen. They were to be instructed in the fine points of the Bible. Through this education it was felt that Cherokee women would become housewives and instruct their children in Christianity. The program was not without success. One graduate of the missionary school system, Catherine Brown, later established a mission school of her own, after removal.

Missionaries often relied on converted Cherokee to assist them in their teachings, and in short time converted Cherokees became teachers and translators in the schools. "These Cherokees manifested

 


16. Woodward, 141.
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