In trouble

tim pysht

Probably a member of the Pysht Indian community, which was demolished in the 1920s while the members were away working (image credit: ghosttowns.com)

Another frontier-era meditation on whether Chinuk Wawa renders you fit for “civilized” life…

The Indigenous wife of a postmaster (the predecessor of Henry Martin?) is in the spotlight.

in trouble 01

in trouble 02

IN TROUBLE. — The post-office at Pyscht [Pysht], in Clalam [Clallam County], is about to come to grief unless it is better attended to. It was created but a few short months ago, na the appointe postmaster, a curious and antiquated specimen of humanity, received his position of trust with dignity becoming a minister to Germany. For a time it seemed as though a more worthy and efficient incumbent could not be found. But alas for the necessities of fate which bring us up standing occasionally! The arduous duties of the office proving too wearing upon our hero, he appropriated to himself a brief vacation among the adjacent clam beds, leaving his spouse at the post of honor. Through the allurements of her relatives among the resident native tribes, or else because her installing oath of office was not rendered in Chinook jargon, she failed to come up to the requirements of the law, and consequently there was no one last week, who was properly qualified and sworn in, to receive the mail. The result was that Capt. Gilbert, acting under instructions from our worthy P.M., refused to deliver the mail bags. There is danger that the office will be discontinued unless the pro tem officer in charge can be reconstructed or reformed so as to render her service acceptable.

— from the Port Townsend (Washington Territory) Puget Sound Weekly Argus of July 25, 1878, page 5, column 1

The implication being yet again that Chinuk Wawa is a semi-civilized language…

What do you think?

Advertisements