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Choctaw Academy, located in Great Crossings, Kentucky, was the first national Indian boarding school in the United States. Open from 1825 to 1848, the school was located on the plantation of prominent politician Richard Mentor Johnson. Although initiated by the Choctaw Nation, the academy became home to a diverse range of Native Americans from the Southeast and Midwest. Through Choctaw Academy, we can see how the territorial growth of the United States forged a multicultural society, but that diversity also gave birth to a thousand anxieties over race, citizenship, and the continent’s destiny.
Christina Snyder is an associate professor of history and American studies at Indiana University. She earned an A.B. in anthropology from the University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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The Filson Historical Society