a digital library of Unitarian Universalist biographies, history, books, and media
the digital library of Unitarian Universalism
Home » » Eliot Appointed to Bureau of Indians

Eliot Appointed to Bureau of Indians

In 1909 President Taft appointed American Unitarian Association President Samuel Atkins Eliot to the Board of Indian Commissioners.  In that capacity Eliot gave addresses such as his speech “From the Scalping Knife to the Can Opener” which argued how only assimilation to white culture would save Native Americans from their own “barbarism.”   Eliot believed that liberal Christianity was an appropriate vehicle for teaching native character: “he must be first trained to strength of will and steadiness of purpose; he must become accustomed to participate in the life of a community which acts under moral ideas.”