“The Pioneer Campfire”

We hear more from George W. Kennedy today…

…because this old pioneer published a book with the snappy title “The Pioneer Campfire, in Four Parts: With the Emigrants on the Great Plains. With the Settlers in the Log Cabin Homes. With the Hunters and Miners. With the Preachers on the Trails, at Campmeetings and in the Log Cabins” (Portland, OR: published for the author by Clarke-Kundret Printing Co., 1914).

The illustrations aren’t credited, but of course they’re attention-getting and they seem to be originals; we’ll make sure they get their due today.

pioneer campfire

In there among all the getting-ready stuff (there’s a page or so each for a dedication, salutation, introduction, foreword, and prelude!), the “Salutation” excitingly hints that we’ll be treated to more old Chinook Jargon songs:

pioneer campfire 01

…Then we will have some jargon songs, and round off with the old time “Social Chat around the camp fire.

— page 1

That promise, as far as I’ve found in reading the rest of the book, is sadly not kept! (Although, as I noted in a previous post about GW Kennedy, he does mention his recently-arrived pioneer family having informally translated Christian hymns for Indian neighbors in the Willamette Valley.)

Between pages 46 and 47 is a drawing of a tidy “LOG CABIN HOME — THE SETTLER’S CLAIM: Nesika Klose Illahe(nsáyka łúsh ílihi ‘our good land’):

pioneer campfire 02

That place is nicer than some of my friends’ modern houses! I can understand pioneers’ sentimentality if things were that swell…

And between pages 202 and 203 comes this illustration:

pioneer campfire 03


This shows how Indians disposed of their dead and is a picture of an island known yet as Coffin Rock, though the scaffolds are now all gone that were numerous in 1850. Mimaloose [míməlus ‘dead (people)’] Island, like it, is below The Dalles.

qʰáta máyka tə́mtəm? What do you think?