1884: CW from a Spokane Indian

Cribbing from other sources, the wonderfully titled newspaper “Monroe’s Iron-Clad Age” brings us some quoted Chinuk Wawa from eastern Washington.

medical lake

Medical Lake, a popular spot since time immemorial (image credit: Medical Lake History)

Unfortunately the only copy of this article available to me is a poorly OCR’ed one. I don’t have an image of the original page to use in correcting the mistakes you’re about to see.

But the late-frontier Jargon is pretty clear! (Granted, this is essentially “ad copy”; I won’t vouch for its authenticity.)

An English translation is provided, too.

…In a correspondence to the Mountain Sentindi published at Union, Oregon, the former editor of thtit;J^o,^^^^^ says: “The introduction through the county of Medical Lake Salts and the wonderful cures that are reported from its nra, iot eether with local fame, that Medical Lj^ce is fast establishing among the whites as it has in ,tbe ptó Indians, wàr; rants usin attempting adescripÚ^^oóf this^pôlarj^i^ïi. ical Lake is situated in Spokane county, WashingtonTerWtoty, 8 miles northeasterly from Cheney, County seiit ot ^kltne Co. w on the Northern Pacific railroad. It may be more readily locateu on the map by the fact that it is about siitteen miléè é>uthWèst^f Spokane Falls, and is one of the group known as. thé “four luñs.” The wonderful healing propeitiea of this tèmàrkable modern Bethesda seems to have been known to the Indians of the various tribes that have lived in that vicinity fof joaujr vears. Many old settlers of Walla Walla Valley remember tp have seen the old and decrepid warriors of the Umatilla», Walla Walla and Cayuse tribes go during the summer on a journey northward, accompanied by their squaws, papooses, dogs and herds of ponies, and have noticed that the old irheumatic sick and debilitated in almqst every instance returned much ini-proved or completely restored in health. Medical Lake or Skookum Chuck (Strong Water) so called by £he Indians, seems to have been “Saublee Tyee lllihe,” or sacred ground, as no matter how hostile the tribes may have been tpwiurd each other, invalid Indians from all thé tribes visited the lake and although they camped in separate localities along its gravelly beach and pine shaded banks, they seem to have never molested each other. Many places may yet be seen along the banks of the luke where small round boulders have been (Haced together by the Indiana, and by which they kindled fires to heat the rocks, and then covering the hot rocks with furs, boughs and blankets the rheumatic Indian would plunge into the lake and then wrap up in his blankets and sweat. This would be je peated in many instances for a week at a time, and a permanent cure was invariably the result. The unlimited confidence manifested by the Indians in the curative projierties of the waters of Medical Lake is quite remarkable. While visiting the lake late in November we met an aged and apparently rheumatic Indian of the Spokane tribe who came to thelSke accompanied by his entire household, and who was prèparing, cold as it was, to spend several davs on the banks of the littce tor the purpose of drinking and Whing In its wátera, We found him quite intelligent and communicative, although he could not carry on a conversation in English, butin the classical language of the Chinook we found him completely at home, and us this language, like the noble red sons of the forest is last passing from the memory of the old settlers, who in most’ instances could carry on intelligent conversation with the natives by means of its use, we will report the interview, to the best of our recollection verbatim. After the usual salutation ol “Klahow yam six,” we inquired of the Indian where he lived, what ailed him, why he came to the lakej wid Jrhy-^he tbtfught it would cure him ? After listening to onr.. inWroga-tories with that apparently stoical indifference for wbiçhThéred man is remarkably peculiar, he filled-his pipe, lit it and said. “Cope Coer de Lane Mission, nika chacko. Okoke nika Ille-hee. Nifca tillicum mitlite ankatty.. Nika papoosè’bkoke illihce. Nika hyus cole sick. Nika teyawit hyus sick. Lala nika sick. Nika wake uanicb mowitch. Wake ligaicht cole illihee. Nika wake nanich mowitch. Nika tickey mitlite yockwa icht moon. \ika tickey momock okoke chuck. Okoke ^cookum chuck. Anketty nika tillicum coqua’yaqua momok iimechiu copa okok chuck. Quanisem cbocko close. Quan-isum nika tillicum chaco yawqua ankulta,” For the benefit of those who are not conversant with the Indian s dialect, it might be well to slats that he informed us that he lived at Cieur D Alene Mission, and had lived there )rom boyhood. Tl)at he waá seriously aillicted with rheumatism and had not been able lu hunt deer for almost a year; thai he intended to remain at the lake about a month, and use the water ol the lake which was very strons;; and good for rliKumatism, aad that liis friend.s had been in t!ie habit of coming to i.his lake for many year.s t-) be cured, and that it had always cured theai. ‘.(‘he wonderful virtues claimed for the waters of this lake by the Indians soon aitnictedattention among the whites, but owiug to the hostile altitude of the chiefs, Joseph and Moses, the “Four Lakes” country was only invaded by the adventui-ous stock men, and it was not until active work along the line of the I\’orcheru Pacific was assured that settlers began to pour into that iertile and lonely region. Among the earliest settlers in the vicinity of the lake was Me.ssrs. Lafevere and Moran, who camped on it.s hanks with a diseased band of sheep, which to their great asLo)iishn)e()i were soon cured of scab by using its waters…

— from the Indianapolis (IN) Monroe’s Iron Clad Age of May 31, 1884, page 6

What do you think?