NADP Homepage
Lane to Atkins, 8 February 1888, in United States, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letters Received in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Archives, Record Group 75, NADP Document D145.
[Page 1]

UNITED STATES INDIAN SERVICE,
Siletz Indian Agency,
Febry 8th, 1888.

Hon John D. C. Atkins
Comr Indian Affairs
Washington D.C

Sir
      In reply to yours of 13th ult referring to Miss H. A. Hansell Laundry building &c &c I have to say regarding Miss Hansell that I do not concur in the report that she is not a good Teacher and that she does not take an interest in school matters that she should it is true that she has been stopping at my house at my request. I will endeavor to explain my relation to Miss Hansell in this matter of staying at my house. in the first place I am perfectly satisfied to have all of my official conduct go through a critical test, and will claim the right to make such


[Page 2]

defense and coments as may seem to me necessary for a full explanation and if I am not able to justify my conduct before a fair minded department it will be because I am unable to express myself on paper to begin with I am a bachelor upon my taking charge here I found the only house fit decent ocupancy by white persons was the Agents residence it became necessasary for me to fit this house up in order to find a place to live and also for the accommodation of other employees and attachees as no other person would undertake to board or lodge any one so that I was rather reluctently compelled to turn my house into a boarding and lodging house to the persons above mentioned, and I first employed an Indian woman as cook at $12.00 per month and had one of the school


[Page 3]

Girls make the beds and do the chamber work and paid her for such service $2.00 per month as I could not afford to engross my time with the details of house keeping I asked Miss Hansell to occupy a room in my house and direct the Indian woman especially when I was away from home on business. this matter took no time from her duties as assistant teacher and I paid her by giving her board free and certainly has been a great accommodation to me. under this arangement all had worked well until Inspector Gardner came and insisted that she should occupy a room and board at the school building although their regulations do not say they must. now as regards Miss Hansell's fitness to occupy the position of assistant Teacher I am led to the belief that Inspector Gardner


[Page 4]

has been imposed upon by some person jealous of Miss Hansell's good success here and a personal enemy of myself or of hers this much I do know positively that Inspector Gardner does not base his opinion upon any personal examination of Miss Hansell as to her fitness. and that his exmaination in Miss Hansell's department consisted in a visit of 20 minutes to her room in company with myself the whole of which time was occupied by the Inspector in hearing a class in the first reader and in remarks to the children after asking Miss H if she had ever had any experience in teaching before coming and having been told that she had not we took our departure the Inspector seeming well pleased with the school. Sec 506 of Reg. "The Agent is responsible to the Indian Office for effeciency in the work of education &c &c


[Page 5]

now the question is, is this Teacher an efficient or an inefficient person if the latter it is certainly my duty to discharge her, if the former then it is certainly my duty to defend her. now the further question is whether my observation of this person covering a period of 7 months of close observation be pitted against that of the Inspectors covering an observation of not over 20 minutes or if it is to be a question of veracity. I am not in any fear of being damaged by comparison. I am aware that Major M. C. Connelly while here was a severe critic of the Indian School and the teachers the major coming first from the school room in Illinoise being a practical educator among whites but I believe that I am stating it correctly that the major with all his scholastic attainments would find himself


[Page 6]

at a disadvantage if he was to take charge of this school. it is not the hardest part learning these children reading writing and arithmetic there is clenliness to teach and to contend with the outside presure of their parents with all their ignorance and superstition and secret opposition to education and Christianity very often putting false ideas into the childrens heads it requires great patience and perseverence combined bith honesty and earnestness of purpose personal bearing and good example and plenty of common sense to succeed here. it is my most earnest opinion that in Miss Hansell the Govt has a good and faithful servant who well earns the small salary she receives that in character she is above suspicion she is neat and clean in her habits


[Page 7]

firm and efficient in the discharge of her duties good in her example among the children and well liked by them being able to compel respect and obidience from the most obdurate and I would recommend her retention for another reason Dr. Carter & wife Principal teacher and matron have given notice that they will not stay later than the end of the fiscal year Mr. J. J. Gaither's nomination as Industrial teacher has only been approved temporarily so that if I am to start in on the 1st day of next July with all new school employees it will put the service and myself to a disadvantage in regard to the laundry kitchen range chairs and wind mill. I will submit estimates as soon as I can get the figures.

Respectfully
J B Lane
US Ind Agt