1847: Ship your ictas to W.H. Davis, Esq. of this place

I was saying the other day how ictas (“things, belongings, paraphernalia”) was among the first Chinook Jargon words to enter regional English.

In terms of there even existing a community of speakers that could have its own local linguistic norms, here’s an extremely early point of evidence:


It’s on a page of an Oregon paper telling pre-statehood Californian settlers’ advice about how to head south to live there.  (Go read — it’s amazing firsthand history.)

The writer — notorious Californian C.E. “The Philosopher” Picket of San Francisco — closes his letter with the advice,

your ictas to W.H. Davis, Esq. of this place,
who will see to their safe landing and stor-

— Oregon City Oregon Spectator, April 29, 1847, page 1, column 1

Local readers understood.