Our Indian Kin Folks in the “Eiletz”

Today’s old news clipping is short and to the point.

I’m always on the lookout for Chinuk Wawa songs, so the following jumped off the page when I was scanning through:


— from “Our Indian Kin-Folks” by Hope Elizabeth Haupt in the Salem (OR) Capital Journal of August 11, 1920, page 5, columns 1-4

This is from an article by a visiting Washington, DC non-denominational “friend of the Indians”.

Hope Elizabeth Haupt isn’t well known in the historical record; I idly wonder if she could be the mother of a Southern US artist named Winifred Hope Haupt (1891-1972), born in South Dakota, where H.E.H. also worked.

I found a newspaper mention of Mrs. Haupt by an Oregon pastor claiming she was a fraud and a thief!

There are journalistic reports of her also in South Dakota and Washington, DC papers over a few decades, usually as a lecturer about Indians.

She also seems to have corresponded with Lucullus Virgil “Old Wolf” McWhorter (1860-1944), the settler who befriended Yakama, Nez Perce, and other Indigenous people, and told their perspectives in published books.

I’m not sure if L.V.M. felt he and this young pup from the East were kindred spirits.

Oh, and just to be clear, there’s no indication of what Jargon song Mrs. Haupt sang at her Oregon lecture, nor of how well she performed it.

She was a recent arrival, or even just a visitor, out here.

So all things being equal, I’d expect that she wasn’t a speaker of Chinuk Wawa, and that she was singing some Christian hymn used by Rev. W.C. Chattin‘s congregation at Siletz. (“Eiletz” in the article is a typo, of course.)

Her Settler audience probably knew the song better than she did, and nodded politely, I imagine.

Hope Elizabeth Haupt must have been quite a character, at any rate.

You can follow the link above to read her full article in the Salem paper, with its outrageous purple prose carrying some radical ideas for her time — that is, claiming that Indians are essentially the same as Whites.

The fact that she felt the need to speak for Native people rather than amplify their voices, and to put it all in the lingo of Christianity, will garner her a mixed reception in this day and age.

What do you think?