Is this why they call it False Creek?

If you’re a newspaper reporter in post-frontier British Columbia, how do you get around the British-style libel laws of young Canada, so that you can write about what look like questionable dealings by government officials with the native… Continue reading

Tillicum: spose mika engine cockshut…

An advertisement in Chinook Jargon, in a post-frontier BC newspaper. As we often see in this time period, settlers could be expected both to be literate and to comprehend the pidgin. [My clarifications… Continue reading

Tinas Martin

Regular readers will understand that the Chinook Jargon word siwash migrated into Pacific Northwest regional English, with mostly distressing results. Today I’m sharing an 1898 local-colour piece from the Boundary Country of British Columbia,… Continue reading

Hyiu Siwash kopa Chahko Mika

This Chinook Jargon letter from Greenwood, BC, is not only a neat new example of the post-frontier, English-language-influenced, genre of writing in the language– –it also gets us closer to the origins of the… Continue reading

The Siwash Had His Views

Again with the late-frontier era tilt towards English in people’s Chinook Jargon. This time we’re taken to far northwestern British Columbia’s Taku River district. I’ll add clarifications and translations in brackets: The Siwash… Continue reading

Typos & Indian reserves in Chinook Jargon

Today’s lesson: learn how to apologize for a mistake in your writing, and how to say “Indian reserve”.      Ukuk Disiyus nsaika wawa, wik This Decius we were [I (Father Le Jeune)… Continue reading

Impressions of a Tenderfoot: During a Journey in Search of Sport in the Far West

“Impressions of a Tenderfoot: During a Journey in Search of Sport in the Far West” by Mrs. Algernon St. Maur (London: John Murray, 1890).  It’s said that this was quite a popular book… Continue reading

The Trottings of a Tenderfoot

“Trottings of a Tenderfoot: Or, a Visit to the Columbian Fiords” by Clive Phillipps Wolley (London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1884). To read more about Mr Phillipps-Wolley‘s b. (1854, d. 1918) whack-a-mole ubiquity in frontier… Continue reading

The Heroine of ’49, by Mary P. Sawtelle, MD

The Heroine of ’49: A story of the Pacific Coast.  By Mrs. M[ary] P. Sawtelle, MD.  San Francisco, CA: Francis, Valentine & Company, 1891. The author was an emigrant of 1848 to Marion… Continue reading

A Kettle River clutchman?

“You’d better go and cut some wood for your clutchman [squaw]. As I came by I saw her chopping and splitting that old log in front of the house,” replied Maurice. — “Camp-Fires… Continue reading