Pigeon English letter (can it be found?)
A report of a letter in Chinese Pidgin English…can it be found in some archive?It’s been claimed that Chinese immigrants in the US West sent each other telegrams in Chinese Pidgin English. Now we have word of more CPE-writing.
From the standpoint of a linguist who studies these languages, this is wonderful news. Pidgin languages are observed to rarely be written. (Which is a big reason why it’s good to have the enormous Kamloops Wawa treasure trove of Chinook Jargon.)
Wants to Return.— Wong Chip was chipped up and chipped into the city lock-up a fortnight ago on a charge of assault to murder at Winnemucca. A requisition from Governor Kinkaid, of Nevada, secured his removal to that State, and took the life out of a writ of habeas corpus sworn out here in his behalf. Wong Chip has had good luck, and writes to City Attorney Anderson, in a letter of very good pigeon English, that he was not the man whom the authorities wanted, and that he has been set at liberty and told to come back to Sacramento. But, like many a paler-faced man and brother, he is flat broke, and writes to the City Attorney to devise ways and means to secure his return to this section.
— from the Sacramento (CA) Daily Record-Union of May 18, 1882, page 3, column 1 (emphasis added)