Not Just a Hunting Ground: Native Americans in Kentucky- Choctaw Academy

Choctaw Academy

1825- 1845

The Choctaw Academy was established by Colonel Richard Mentor Johnson at his farm Blues Springs, about five miles west of Georgetown, Ky.

“ I have a house with three rooms 
20x30 feet which I shall appropriate
exclusively to their accommodation.  
I have another house with four rooms
20 feet squared which will do for the 
teacher to live in and one room for 
the school”- Richard M. Johnson

The school began with just 21 Choctaw boys. It quickly grew to included boys from the Creek, Potawattami, Uchee, Shawnee, Quapaw, Winnebago, Osage Miamie and Seminole Tribes. In 1831, the school was moved to another of Colonel Johnson’s farms at White Sulphur Creek. In 1841, Peter P. Pitchlynn, a Choctaw, was appointed the superintendent of the school.  As early as 1840,the Choctaw state their wish to close the school and open one on their own lands in Oklahoma. The school officially closed in 1845.

“Tea or coffee, or milk and sugar, with bread
 and butter for breakfast  and supper..
dinner was to be meat and vegetables, salt 
meat at least twice a week, and hominy 
in season”-Description of daily food ration by Secretary
of War James Barbour

The students of the Choctaw school’s day began with the beating of the drum calling them to the classroom. They opened class with singing and a prayer. At nine o’clock they were given a half an hour for breakfast. At 12 o’clock they dismissed for two hours. Later in the afternoon, they were give half an hour for dinner. School ended at sundown.  

Check out the PDF to see the actually exhibit panel!


PDF icon Choctaw academy.pdf1.11 MB