1880s: Snake River CW

As late in the frontier era as they were, eastern Washington pioneer times still involved Chinuk Wawa being spoken between Indians and Whites.


Wild Goose Bill (image credit: The Long Hunt)

I keep finding examples. Today’s involves two very famous CW speakers.

Larrick: “Mr and Mrs Levi Larrick were genuine pioneers, having crossed the plains with a mule team in 1880 to settle temporarily at Walla Walla. Their next move was to Bennewawa [Penawawa, near Benge and Washtucna, where some of my ancestors settled — DDR] on the Snake River. They came to this immediate region in 1887 and bought lieu land—the acreage now being farmed by Ray Johnson. While on the Snake River, Mr Larrick learned to speak the Chinook jargon fluently and became a friend of both Chief Joseph and Chief Moses. His ranch here was on the old Indian trail and the tribesmen often stopped for an exchange of conversation in Chinook with Mr Larrick. [Very early settler] Wild Goose Bill [Condit or Condon; click here for a Jargon-related anecdote of him], too, would occasionally stop to chat there. Mr Larrick acquired a section of land and some Wilbur property. He died several years ago. The only members of his family remaining are his son, Elmer, prominent stockman of near Clark, and his daughter, Mrs Harvey Gent, wife of a Republic farmer.” (Edit: Levi A Larrick was born July 18, 1850 and died Sept 25, 1934. His wife, Jennie E, was born March 2, 1860 and died Sept 22, 1917. Son Elmer E was born in 1884 and died in 1958. These three are buried in the Wilbur Cemetery.)

— from “Wilbur [WA] Golden Jubilee

What do you think?