Carson Long alumni visit Carlisle Indian School grounds for tour and program.
It was my great pleasure to visit with a small group of graduates of the Carson Long Academy last week. Almost all of the alumni were from the greater New York City area, and one Kansan who traveled from Topeka to reunite with his former classmates. Carson Long is the oldest military boarding school in the country - still in existence today. Their devoted alumni gather every year for a long weekend, and they hold meetings and visit local areas of interest. Although Carson Long was not an Indian school, and there is no evidence of Carlisle students having attended, I did learn that one of the graduates of Carlisle taught at the Bloomfield Academy (later named Carson Long after a benefactor alumnus memorialized his son) in the early 1900's. Curiously, Angela Rivera was one of the 52 members of the so-called "Porto Rican" tribe to attend the Carlisle Indian School. After graduating from Carlisle, she was hired by the Bloomfield Academy to teach Spanish.
It's been a little known fact that the Puerto Rican students recruited during the Spanish-American War seemingly came from the more colonized families in the area of Ponce and not from the more traditional Taino communities whose roots are associated with the islands. The children were sent overseas to what was considered an elite boarding school, with the permission of their families. When the parents learned their children had been recruited and sent to an "Indian" school they were disappointed, and most of these students returned to Puerto Rico by departmental order at their parents' request. For the list of "Porto Rican" students who attended the Carlisle school, go to http://www.epix.net/~landis/portorican.html.