Search Results for: smallpox

Smallpox in Chinuk Wawa

There’s a word for that. Devoted readers may realize that this blog has so far only touched on one of the biggest issues in Pacific Northwest history: smallpox.

1862: Haidas could communicate with us only via Jargon-speaking newcomers

A man who had been part of a gold rush to the Stikine River while Alaska was still Russian territory notes how limited chances for communication in Haida Gwaii were back then.

The Dalles, 1904: Corpse talks to undertaker

We’ve seen a Chinuk Wawa séance with the spirit of an executed Cayuse chief, but here a physical corpse talks Jargon. 

Again, mixed Chinook-English in central BC’s late frontier

A Klondike gold rusher, and later a Pulitzer Prize recipient, today’s author is an attention-getter.

Sheepshanks! “A Bishop in the Rough”

A 1909 biography of John Sheepshanks, Bishop of Norwich, who spent time in early British Columbia. “A Bishop in the Rough“


It’s such an ancient pitch But one that I’d never switch ‘Cause there’s no nicer witch than you — Frank Sinatra, “Witchcraft”


Education and health care…

The Journals of George M. Dawson: British Columbia, 1875-1878 (volume 1)

An excellent document of Chinook Jargon use — especially in the underdocumented northern end of its range — from a fella who put real effort into learning it, at a time when the pidgin… Continue reading

Blackfeet story

  Around the turn of the century, as they used to call 1900, a lot of Indigenous people were recorded as talking a mixture of pidgin English and Chinook Jargon. Here’s an Okanagan… Continue reading

The Old Fur Traders, Established 1670

If you have heard of the Chinook Jargon trade language, a.k.a. Chinuk Wawa, you are doubtless aware of the outsized importance attaching to the Hudsons Bay Company in our Pacific Northwest history. One… Continue reading