Reader challenge: Can we find a copy of the 1862 “Guide and History of Salmon River & Cariboo”?
A Chinook Jargon vocabulary previously unknown to us beckons from a faded 1862 newspaper published in a forgotten California gold rush town.That is, if we can track down a copy of “Guide and History of Salmon River & Cariboo”.
Here’s the clue:
TO THOSE VISITING THE MINES. — We have received from the publisher, A. Rosenfield, a neat little book, which should be read by every man who contemplates trying the new mines in the North. It is entitled a “Guide and history of the Salmon River and Caraboo mining Districts,” containing valuable information, with correct tables of modes, and prices of traveling; also giving the distances from point to point, of all the routes. It also contains a complete vocabular of the Chenook jargon.
— from the Red Bluff (CA) Beacon of March 27, 1862, page 2, column 2
In The British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Volume 6 (1942), page 142, I found mention that
An item of Northwest Americana , of interest on both sides of the boundary – line, and apparently hitherto unknown, has just come to light. It is a slim paper-covered pamphlet entitled Guide and History of Salmon River & Cariboo …
From the venerable library info site, Worldcat:
“Wadsworth’s map and guide of Cariboo, Saskatchawan, Nez perces and Salmon river gold fields and the surrounding country.” By S. Wadsworth. Publisher: San Francisco: A. Rosenfield, Agent, 1862. OCLC Number: 15524416 Reproduction Notes: Microfilm. New Haven, Conn. : Research Publications, 1975. 1 reel ; 35 mm. (Western Americana ; Reel 585, no. 6032). Description: folded broadside. Responsibility:
Made and compiled from recent reliable explorations and government surveys.
Do you think you can find a copy of this rarity?
It will be interesting to examine whether its Chinuk Wawa contents were pirated from someone else (which is very likely!) — or if they might be a new discovery for us.
Either way, here we already have additional proof for our files on how Chinuk Wawa was promoted in California as a language to be learned if you were headed to the BC gold rushes.
This is such an interesting wrinkle in the history of this language. The Jargon had never had a terribly robust presence in California, existing mainly as an echo of Hudsons Bay Company activities in the northwest of that state. California Settlers rightly spoke of CW as a language of Oregon and Washington Territory, and by implication of points north.
Yet the reality is that “Chinook” was rather limited to the Victoria (Vancouver Island) and Fort Langley (lower mainland) areas of British Columbia —
— Until the Fraser River and Cariboo gold rushes drew an influx of eager Settler speakers of it!