Monthly Archive: November, 2019

1856: Monsignor Demers writes another letter

On January 21, 1856, Modeste Demers undertook one typical minor duty of a frontier archbishop such as himself: he wrote a report to the bosses, in the form of a letter…

1866: White guy’s defense: Indian guy he beat up talks bad Chinook

Some sleazy tactics never get old…

1888: California CPE doggerel: Ah Sing on Ah Ben

Much as African-American English was, Chinese Pidgin English was used a great deal in 19th-century US popular culture, always for comic effect, and usually by someone costumed as a Chinese person.

1914: Some loanwords in “Thlinget”

A pretty good observer of Alaskan Lingít life noticed more about Chinuk Wawa than he realized!

Indigenous & Chinese couple talk Chinuk Wawa & pidgin English

The writer J.H. Grant contributed a good number of Chinook Jargon-related human-interest pieces to British Columbia Magazine…

1858-59: Bushby, Gold Rush eyewitness, and James Douglas’s family

Today’s gold nugget is “The Journal of Arthur Thomas Bushby, 1858-1859“, edited by Dorothy Blakey Smith (reprinted from the British Columbia Historical Quarterly volumes of January-October, 1957-1958).

1891: Schoolboy learns Jargon from mysterious ex-“governor of Vancouver”

If the description of the speaker is accurate, this kid was lucky to learn from such an authority on Chinuk Wawa…

A Yukon pidgin: Slavey Jargon

We’re forced to rely on a strange character for nearly all we know of an 1800s Far North pidgin (some think it may have been 2 pidgins) called “Slavey Jargon / Jargon Loucheux… Continue reading

Animacy that’s in the House that Jack Built that Robert Stuart wrote

Pop quiz: Was Chinuk Wawa author Robert F. Stuart… (A) an Astorian (which would make him old enough to be Mrs. Downey-Bartlett’s grandfather), or (B) the California gold-rushing father of Granville Stuart (which would make… Continue reading

Remembrance of veterans past?

A short excerpt from a short play involving shúlchast (which is Chinuk Wawa for ‘a soldier’).