1904: Senator Ankeny introduces Native people to the President

Here’s the dramatic conclusion to our 3-part sequence about Levi Ankeny (1844-1921, pioneer of 1850).


Image credit: Wikipedia

Here, we add to our files on Chinook Jargon being spoken in the presence of US Presidents!

Maybe Ankeny knew some Ichishkíin Sahaptin, but he was renowned for speaking Chinuk Wawa, so I figure that’s what the following is telling us about:

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OUR Washington correspondent (whose letter is crowded out this week) writes that Senator [Levi] Ankeny used the Yakima dialect, in introducing some Indians to the President. In the East any old thing goes, and klonas yaka wawa delate Chinook copa okoke hyas skookum tyee.

— from the Olympia (WA) Washington Standard of February 19, 1904, page 2, column 6

Klonas yaka wawa delate Chinook copa okoke hyas skookum tyee
t’ɬúnas yaka wáwa dlét chinúk kʰupa úkuk hayas-skúkum táyí
maybe he talked straight Chinook to that powerful leader.

This President was Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, who we have previously shown was a speaker of Chinook Jargon. Maybe folks widely assumed Teddy and Levi would chat in that language.

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
What do you think?