Monthly Archive: November, 2019

1893: From Sri Lanka to Similkameen with Susan

There sure were a lot more skilled female Chinook Jargon speakers than you usually hear about…

1894: Minnie-Wah-Wah??

Everything about this story rings false…and scholars have cited it.

Who was the Southeast Alaskan John Maclean?

John J. Maclean came to my attention when I found a biographical sketch of him…

1853: “Lettre de monseigneur Demers, eveque de l’Ile de Vancouver”

(Don’t worry, this post is in English!) Writing a letter from the still-new settlement of Victoria (BC), a very important person in early Chinuk Wawa’s history drops in some precious samples of CW… Continue reading

Circa 1894: Polk County vs. Billy Warren of Grand Ronde

[Edited to add an excerpt from the 1971 article.] A reprinted 1971 newspaper article, by Alta Savage Cerny of Dallas, Oregon, in a local paper, recalls a Grand Ronde Indian prisoner and the… Continue reading

1914: “Chinook-English Songs” (review)

The hometown newspaper gave a thumbs-up to Laura Belle Downey-Bartlett‘s collection of popular American songs translated into Chinuk Wawa.

1888 BC CPE: Chinese superstition

Also in the department of “Other Pidgin Languages on the West Coast”…

1889 Oregon CPE: Jesus appears

Again with the cussing, pidgin-speaking, Chinese immigrants — ?!

1853: Source of the idea that saplél is French

A myth is both busted and partly confirmed today. 

1909: City folks had forgotten Chinuk Wawa, Quinaults didn’t know English

A reprint article credited only “Exchange” tells of some white city folks visiting Taholah on the Quinault Indian Reservation a generation after the frontier era.