Happy belated Victoria day, part 2
Yesterday I shared a Secwepemc girl’s tree-bark (!) postcard congratulating Queen Victoria on her 60th anniversary on the British throne.
Today (in shorthand French): how that message was received.
Də d se kart postal õ ete ãvwaie
Two of these postcards were sent
o dyuk d Norfolk pur etr presãte a la ren;
to the Duke of Norfolk to be presented to the queen;
də otr o lord Ryusel; də u
two others to Lord Russell; two or
<4> otr a sir Yuilfred Lorie, prmie
4 others to Sir Wilfrid Laurier, premier
L dyuk d Norfolk a ete ãshãte d lãvwa
The Duke of Norfolk was enchanted with the package
e a kõvwaie yun ptit som darjã pur ede ləvr d
and conveyed a small sum of money to help the work of
lĩstryuksiõ de sovaj a letyud [d] la stenografi.
instructing the Indians in the study of the shorthand.
E tu derniermã yun letr a vnyu dyu guvernər
And quite recently a letter has come from the Governor
jeneral dyu Kanada, kõtãdã* k le kart postal
General of Canada, (telling) how the postcards
ave ete depose* ã presãs d sa majeste
had been placed in the presence of her majesty
la ren Viktoria.
— Kamloops Wawa #158 (November 1897), page 166
(I remind you that reading French in shorthand is quite a bit harder for me than Chinuk Wawa, mainly because it’s so hard to distinguish the nasal vowels without a bunch of practice.)
The 15th Duke of Norfolk, Henry Fitzalan-Howard, was Postmaster General at the time, which by itself might account for his delight at the novelty of exotic Indian (birch?)bark postcards.
Iʹm unclear exactly who “Lord Russell” was, but interestingly, this may have been a close relative of the important philosopher Bertrand Russell.
The Governor-General of Canada at this time was the Earl of Aberdeen (Lord Aberdeen).
Any living Canadian has probably held a picture of Sir Wilfrid Laurier in hand. He’s lived long enough to prosper on the frequently defaced $5 bill.
This week we’ve learned of some pretty cool research leads for materials that are apparently in Chinook Jargon. No scholars have ever written about, or probably even knew about, these bark postcards. Time to go looking for Laurier’s, Russell’s, and the Queen’s little shorthand treasures!
Tomorrow I can post about another item that’s going to be nice to track down…