11 March 2010
Caleb & Joel Went to Harvard, 1665 - Final Print
CALEB & JOEL WENT TO HARVARD, 1665
Japanese woodblock (moku hanga)
Paper size: 14.5" x 20.5" (37 x 52 cm)
Image size: 11.5" x 17.75" (29.2 x 45 cm)
5 shina plywood blocks
7 hand-rubbed impressions
It's impossible to know from this vantange point whether Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck and Joel Iacoombs, the first two Native students to attend the Harvard Indian College, felt honored to be there or if they felt resistance, as Native Americans felt in the late 1800s when they were removed from their families and placed in government-run boarding schools. What we do know is that as early as the 1640s Puritan missionaries like John Eliot were establishing Indian "praying towns" in Massachusetts. Indians in praying towns dropped their Indian names and adopted English names (like "Caleb" and "Joel"), cut off their long hair, and wore English clothing.
The story of Caleb and Joel was forgotten once the Harvard Indian School was torn down in the 1690s, but in 1970 the Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP) was established and the story was rediscovered. In a 1997 ceremony in Harvard Yard, sponsored by HUNAP, a plaque was unveiled marking the spot of the ancient Indian College. The plaque reads:
"Near this spot, from 1655 to 1698, stood the Indian College. Here American Indian and English students lived and studied in accordance with the 1650 Charter of Harvard College calling for 'The Education of the English and Indian Youth of this Country."