From its inception in 1885, the Alaska School Service was chargedwith the assimilation of Alaskan Native children into mainstreamAmerican values and ways of life. Working in the missions and schoolsalong the Yukon River were George E. Boulter and Alice Green, hisfuture wife. Boulter, a Londoner originally drawn to the Klondike, hadbegun teaching in 1905 and by 1910 had been promoted to superintendentof schools for the Upper Yukon District. In 1907, Green left acomfortable family life in New Orleans to answer the “call toserve” in the Episcopal mission boarding schools for Nativechildren at Anvik and Nenana, where she occupied the position ofgovernment teacher. As school superintendent, Boulter wrote frequentlyto his superiors in Seattle and Washington, DC, to discuss numerousadministrative matters and to report on problems and conditionsoverall.
From 1906 to 1918, Green kept a personal journal—hitherto inprivate possession—in which she reflected on her professionalduties and her domestic life in Alaska. Collected in TheTeacher and the Superintendent are Boulter’s lettersand Green’s diary. Together, their vivid, first-hand impressionsbespeak the earnest but paternalistic beliefs of those who lived andworked in immensely isolated regions, seeking to bring Christianity and“civilized” values to the Native children in their care.Beyond shedding private light on the missionary spirit, however,Boulter and Green have also left us an invaluable account of the dailyconflicts that occurred between church and government and of the manyinjustices suffered by the Native population in the face of themisguided efforts of both institutions.
The story of George Boulter and Alice Green is completely engrossing. Sensitively rooted in time and place, it offers a revealing, non-judgmental commentary on indigenous people and their foreign rulers. This is social history at its most compelling.
Map of Alaska, 1927
Preface ~ George E. Boulter II
Introduction ~ Barbara Grigor-Taylor
part one George Edward Boulter(1864–1917)
From England to Dawson
Government and Mission Teacher at Eagle, 1905–8
Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Northern District,1908–10
Superintendent of Schools, Upper Yukon District, 1910–17
part two Alice Agnes Green(1878–1972)
Government and Mission Teacher at Anvik, 1907–10
Government Teacher at Nenana, 1910–11
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