El Comancho — nationally syndicated?!

Walter Shelley “El Comancho” Phillips was quite the self-promoter…

From nationally circulated Western stories in newspapers and magazines, to the books of fiction he published, to his ambitious Chinook Jargon dictionary, his name and rough-hewn persona as a frontier expert are hard to miss when you’re researching the history of this language.

Here’s a curio of his career:

Comancho syndicated.PNG

“Chinook: The Old Trappers’ Language, by El Comancho” — from the Washington, DC Evening Star of September 2, 1928, page 7, column 2

The above pre-World War 2 logo was used for a short time atop a longer-running column of his in a Washington, DC newspaper. I’m curious how Phillips landed that gig all the way across the country, and whether his Chinuk Wawa column was carried in other papers.

You can imagine why this swastika logo — which may have resulted from somebody telling somebody “this is an Indian symbol” while thinking of Madras, India, not Madras, Oregon — became poison as the Nazis racked up atrocities.

What do you think?

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