The Heathen School A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic Longlisted for the National Book AwardThe astonishing story of a unique missionary project and the America it embodied from award winning historian John Demos Near the start of the nineteenth cen

  • Title: The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic
  • Author: John Putnam Demos
  • ISBN: 9780679455103
  • Page: 274
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Longlisted for the 2014 National Book AwardThe astonishing story of a unique missionary project and the America it embodied from award winning historian John Demos Near the start of the nineteenth century, as the newly established United States looked outward toward the wider world, a group of eminent Protestant ministers formed a grand scheme for gathering the rest of maLonglisted for the 2014 National Book AwardThe astonishing story of a unique missionary project and the America it embodied from award winning historian John Demos Near the start of the nineteenth century, as the newly established United States looked outward toward the wider world, a group of eminent Protestant ministers formed a grand scheme for gathering the rest of mankind into the redemptive fold of Christianity and civilization Its core element was a special school for heathen youth drawn from all parts of the earth, including the Pacific Islands, China, India, and, increasingly, the native nations of North America If all went well, graduates would return to join similar projects in their respective homelands For some years, the school prospered, indeed became quite famous However, when two Cherokee students courted and married local women, public resolve and fundamental ideals were put to a severe test The Heathen School follows the progress, and the demise, of this first true melting pot through the lives of individual students among them, Henry Obookiah, a young Hawaiian who ran away from home and worked as a seaman in the China Trade before ending up in New England John Ridge, son of a powerful Cherokee chief and subsequently a leader in the process of Indian removal and Elias Boudinot, editor of the first newspaper published by and for Native Americans From its birth as a beacon of hope for universal salvation, the heathen school descends into bitter controversy, as American racial attitudes harden and intensify Instead of encouraging reconciliation, the school exposes the limits of tolerance and sets off a chain of events that will culminate tragically in the Trail of Tears In The Heathen School, John Demos marshals his deep empathy and feel for the textures of history to tell a moving story of families and communities and to probe the very roots of American identity.

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      John Putnam Demos Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic book, this is one of the most wanted John Putnam Demos author readers around the world.



    2 thoughts on “The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic

    1. Where I got the book: review copy provided by publisher. This review first appeared on the Historical Novel Society website.The intersection of the idealism, religious fervor, and experimentation of the early American republic with 19th-century racism provides the context for this account of the Connecticut-based Foreign Mission School, known locally as the Heathen School. Its core population was made up of Hawaiian men brought to America by the China trade and of Native American youths; its pur [...]

    2. Demos is a pleasure to read. This is sort of personal, with the historian visiting he locations he is studying and remarking on that experience. The connection between the school to civilize young "natives" (primarily from the pacific and North American Indians) and the failure of said school to the project of empire and Indian removal all hinges, it appears, on the love affairs between Indian students and young "white" girls who were connected with the school in some way.At least that seems to [...]

    3. The premise of this book was interesting. Back in the early 1800s in Connecticut, a group of people founded a "Heathen school" to both teach people of different nations (including Hawaiians and several Native American tribes, as well as an Indian, a New Zealander, and others from other countries) and more importantly, to convert them to Christianity. The school seemed successful at first and raised a ton of money and had some prominent advocates. However, when the converting didn't seem to stick [...]

    4. This was a fascinating and engaging book about an unusual episode in early American history: the establishment of a missionary school in northwest Connecticut intended to educate "heathen" young men, particularly Pacific Islanders and Native Americans, and prepare them for a life of missionary work. The school ended up foundering, for reasons that are not entirely surprising, but it's a very interesting tale. The book feels almost divided in half: the first half is largely preoccupied with nativ [...]

    5. The Heathen School was centered around its relationship with Hawaiians and Native Americans. school was expressly designed to make Hawaiians and Native Americans white  it’s Christian goal was to invoke Shariah or Islamic law (In its Islamic context, Sharia may be defined as the totality of God’s commands and exhortations, intended to regulate all aspects of human conduct and guide believers on the path of eternal salvation) loc/law/help/sharia-laLet them become farmers instead of hunt [...]

    6. Okay, the fact that it took me four months to read is not a good sign. It's not a badly written book, it's nominated for all kind of literary awards, but it was "just the facts, ma'm." That can be a problem with history books when there are no diaries to search and no living witnesses. So it seemed dry to me. But oh, would it make a good historical fiction. Missionaries brought so-called heathens to the New England school thinking they would become Christians and go home to Hawaii and convert ev [...]

    7. John Demos has attained his level of notoriety for a good reason. If you're looking for an interesting twist on American history, then this subject certainly fits the bill. However, as a scholar of Hawaiian history, I can honestly say that there are a lot of holes in this particular tale. Is it Demos' fault? I leave that for you to decide. Demos had a limited understanding of an indigenous society, which itself has been wildly misinterpreted for nearly two centuries. Therefore, he was working of [...]

    8. I learned quite a bit from this book. It's theme corresponds with other reading I have done. Still, I do not fully recommend this book. The author's style is weird. There is not a good flow from chapter to chapter. The author shifts from the past to present in ways that don't feel natural. In fact, at the end of one chapter, the author suddenly presents a discussion of modern concerns about gay marriage. At that point, I felt betrayed. I also believe the author betrayed his subjects by trying to [...]

    9. I was interested in this book as a child of missionaries and as a person who wrote a book on the missionary community in which I grew up. However, this mission history is about a precursor to the world missions that happened later on. In this history of a small school that was started in Cornwall, CT in 1817 for students from overseas and Native Americans, and lasted only about 10 years, John Demos looks at the impact of the school on the students who attended it, its impact on the town, and its [...]

    10. I first heard of John Demos’ latest book, The Heathen School on an NPR Books podcast. They featured a great teaser for the listeners and it certainly piqued my interest. The premise of this school was to bring in “heathens”— native americans and asians predominantly, educate in the language, religion and culture of a Christ-centic New England and subsequently unleash them as missionaries on their “primitive,” non-Christian homeland and community. A great plan right? The only problem [...]

    11. John Demos finds another little microcosm of early American history--in this case, the American Board of Missions' boarding school in Cornwall, CT, which was founded in 1819 to educate the "heathen" contacted by New England's long sailing reach. At first home to Chinese, Hawaiian and Aleutian male students, the school was an astonishing cosmopolitan center. The arrival, however, of the sons of leading Cherokee and Choctaw families shifted the relationship from one of dependent and humble student [...]

    12. In The Heathen School, John Demos has given us a detailed and objective account of a sad period in United States history. He does a good job of showing that the founders and supporters of the school were a product of their times, and wisely he does not judge them. But anyone who views the evangelical Christianity that produced the Second Great Awakening as a good thing may have second thoughts after reading this book. Some reviewers have complained that they found the book dry and dull. I did sk [...]

    13. The Heathen School was established in Connecticut in order to civilize non-christian nations with Christianity. "Children" from Hawaii, Indian and China came to the school in the hopes that they would return home and disseminate the Word of God. I was interested in the personal lives of the "heathens" but unfortunately it was more from the perspective of the school/church and very little is know about the students. Although well written it was not a "moving story of families and communities".

    14. An interesting piece of history. Anything involving Christian efforts to "civilize" native peoples through missionary work fascinates me. This is the story of maybe the only time natives were brought to the U.S. for "civilizing" as opposed to missionaries going out to foreign countries, as is much more the norm. I generally liked the author's writing style and will check out more of his work. As for this book, it felt somewhat disjointed focusing on both the Hawaiians and Native Americans. I thi [...]

    15. I don't love this the way I love Demos's The Unredeemed Captive, but it is still a well-written and insightful work of history, and filled with great set-pieces. I particularly recommend the sections dealing with the death of Henry Obookiah and with Elias Boudinot's courtship of Harriet Gold. (I would love to read a biography of Elias Boudinot or of John Ridge, whom Demos really brings to life in this book.)

    16. I rarely give up on a book but I just did not like this one. So, I read 23% and gave up. I just did not like reading about how Christian missionaries went out and forced their religion on different people and just took away their heritage in the name their God, all the while considering these people as heathens. Then they patted themselves on the back for training these poor animals and "educating" them.

    17. Wow, hard book to call. A history of a horrid, disgusting, heartbreaking episode in American and Christian history, centered around the missionary school established to civilize and Christianize Native American and Sandwich Island (i.e. Hawaii) natives who were to go back and do the same for their "kind." The problem with the book is that the emotion is missing, and tends to be cold.

    18. An account of the time in US history when it was considered a good idea to educate and Christianize young men and send them back to their home countries. Set in the early 1800's, it didn't work out as the forefathers thought it would, considering the successful Christian rate was only about 25%. Two interracial marriages resulted, which shocked everyone.

    19. Somewhat like the school itself, the book lacked a clear hero or story line, but each angle carried its own interest. New England Puritan sense of mission and optimism, exotic Hawaiian sensibilities, rugged Cherokee experience. Who could have put them together? An oblique Hopkins connection (Lyman Beecher HGS 1791).

    20. What an interesting man John Demos is! Enjoyed meeting him and hearing him tell the tales of researching this book about a school in New England where indigenous boys came to be "civilized" so that they could go back to their own country/people and spread the word.Needless to say: It was an epic failure. Good history. Interesting!

    21. Demos has documented a very interesting period and project in our nation's history. As a graduate of a Christian university and employee of a Christian school, the subject was particularly compelling. But I feel he spoiled it at the beginning by telling his opinion about why the project fell apart. I abandoned the book at the beginning of part II.

    22. If you're ever looking for some unsung or often vilified persons with real personal courage and a heartfelt desire to advance civilization, and their missteps and prejudices and the fallout of trying their best, several can be found here.

    23. In actuality, I didn't really read this. It was a great title that made me grab it from the library shelf. Good idea for a book it's just too bad this man's writing style is as boring as watching hair grow

    24. History of a school established to convert and teach "heathens" in the early 19th century in Connecticut. It was of surprising short duration. Many of the stories of the students are sad -- separation, early death. A view of a society quite different from the present.

    25. A history book that reads like a history book--sometimes dry. But done with considerable passion and on an interesting topic. I learned quite a bit about missionary attitudes and the Trail of Tears. Worth a read!

    26. An interesting history of the education of Hawaiians, Native Americans and other "heathens" in Cornwall, Connecticut.

    27. There was potential for something really interesting here, but it was sooo boring, until the second to last paragraph, which connected things to Indian Removal. Great topic, poor writing.

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