A PROPER EDUCATION


benFranklin The following is a reply to an offer made by the Government of Virginia, concerning the education of “savage warriors”.  From the Treaty of Lancaster, 1744.

Unamed Chief to Benjamin Franklin: We know that you highly esteem the kind of Learning taught in those Colleges, and that the Maintenance of our young Men while with you, would be very expensive to you. We are convinc’d therefore that you mean to do us Good by your Proposal, and we thank you heartily. But you who are wise must know, that different Nations have different Conceptions of Things, and you will therefore not take it amiss if our Ideas of this kind of Education happen not to be the same with yours. We have had some Experience of it: Several of our young People were formerly brought up at the Colleges of the Northern Provinces; they were instructed in all your Sciences; but when they came back to us they were bad Runners ignorant of every means of living in the Woods, unable to bear either Cold or Hunger, knew neither how to build a Cabin, take a Deer or kill an Enemy, spoke our Language imperfectly, were therefore neither fit for Hunters Warriors, or Counsellors, they were totally good for nothing.

We are however not the less oblig’d by your kind Offer tho’ we decline accepting it; and to show our grateful Sense of it, if the Gentlemen of Virginia will send us a Dozen of their Sons, we will take great Care of their Education, instruct them in all we know, and make Men of them.

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4 Comments

Filed under AMERICANA, History, Humor, Native American

4 responses to “A PROPER EDUCATION

  1. The unnamed chief would be just the kind of leader the countries of the modern world could do with today.

    It’s the most blatantly insulting, wholly polite and cleverly worded letter I’ve read in a long time.

    Savages my bollix!

    Thanks for posting it, brilliant.
    Any more like this?

  2. I’m going to assume this is legit — it’s awesome!

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