John Kirk Townsend Indian vocabularies collection

Mss.497.3.T66

Date: 1834-1836 | Size: 2 Volumes, 2 volumes, 229 p.

Abstract

This collection consists of two manuscripts volumes containing vocabularies from numerous Indigenous languages primarily from what is now Washington, Idaho, Oregon, British Columbia, and Alaska, as well as some from the Great Lakes and central Canada, obtained by dictation from native speakers and traders of the Hudson's Bay Company.

Background note

John Kirk Townsend (1809-1851) was a born into a Quaker family in Philadelphia. He became best-known as a naturalist and collector of animal, bird, and plant specimens, from which several species in the Western United States are named after him. In 1839, he published The Narrative of a Journey across the Rocky Mountains to the Columbia River and a Visit to the Sandwich Islands, describing his travels of 1834-1835, during which time he also recorded the numerous Indigenous language vocabularies that are found in this collection.

Scope and content

This collection consists of two manuscripts volumes.

[Indian vocabularies notebook] (497.3 T66)

A collection of multiple comparative vocabulary lists of languages of modern-day Washington, Idaho, Oregon, British Columbia, and Alaska, obtained by dictation from native speakers, people of mixed ancestry, and traders of the Hudson's Bay Company. Languages included are: "Okanagan" (N̓səl̓xcin), "Attnaha" or "Shoushwap" (Secwepemctsin), "Walla Walla (Sahaptin), "Squalyamish" (Squamish / Sḵwx̱wú7mesh ?), "Nooselalum" (Clallam), "Haeeltzuk" (Heiltsuk), "Billichoola" (Nuxalk), "Nass" (Nisga'a), Haida, "Tongaase" (Tlingit, possibly inland variety), Nez Perce, Chinook [Jargon], "Carrier or Takelhé" (Dakelh), "Kayouse" (Cayuse), and "Kootenai" (Ktunaxa). This is likely the original document from which the second volume in the collection was made, which contains four additional languages.

Vocabularies of the languages of Indians inhabiting N.W. America (497.3.T66.1)

A collection of vocabulary lists of 19 Indigenous languages, primarily of the Pacific Northwest, re-copied from earlier notes in an orderly fashion with an index and additional introductory information on the area where each language is spoken and the source of the vocabulary. 15 of the vocabularies are re-copied out from the first volume in this collection. This volume includes the languages listed for that volume, plus Cree (possibly Plains Cree), "Kalapooyah" (Kalapuya), Klikatat (Sahaptin or Yakama), and "Seauteux" (Western Ojibwa/Ojibwe).

Digital objects note

This collection contains digital materials that are available in the APS Digital Library. Links to these materials are provided with context in the inventory of this finding aid. A general listing of digital objects may also be found here.

Collection Information

Physical description

2 volumes, 229 p.

Provenance

Presented by John Kirk Townsend, 1838, and Peter S. Du Ponceau, 1844. See in-house shelf list for additional accession numbers.

Processing information

This collection was previously cataloged only, "Vocabularies of the Okonagan, Attnaha, and Walla Walla languages, [and] Vocabularies of the languages of Indians inhabiting N.W. America, 1834-1836," the title of the first vocabulary list in the volumes. Collection retitiled as "John Kirk Townsend Indian vocabularies collection" in March 2018, with full inventory of contents added.

Indexing Terms


Genre(s)

  • Native American Materials
  • Vocabularies.

Subject(s)

  • Carrier language
  • Cayuse language
  • Chinook jargon
  • Clallam language
  • Cree language
  • Haida language
  • Heiltsuk language
  • Indians of North America -- Languages
  • Kalapuya language
  • Kutenai language
  • Nez Percé language
  • Niska language
  • Nuxalk language
  • Ojibwa language
  • Okanagan language
  • Puget Sound Salish languages
  • Salishan languages
  • Shahaptian languages
  • Shuswap language
  • Walla Walla language

Collection overview

1834-18361 volume(s)volume 1

A collection of multiple comparative vocabulary lists of languages of modern-day Washington, Idaho, Oregon, British Columbia, and Alaska, obtained by dictation from native speakers, people of mixed ancestry, and traders of the Hudson's Bay Company. Languages included are: "Okanagan" (N̓səl̓xcin), "Attnaha" or "Shoushwap" (Secwepemctsin), "Walla Walla (Sahaptin), "Squalyamish" (Squamish / Sḵwx̱wú7mesh ?), "Nooselalum" (Klallam), "Haeeltzuk" (Heiltsuk), "Billichoola" (Nuxalk), "Nass" (Nisga'a), Haida, "Tongaase" (Tlingit, possibly inland variety), Nez Perce, Chinook [Jargon], "Carrier or Takelhé" (Dakelh), "Kayouse" (Cayuse), and "Kootenai" (Ktunaxa). This is likely the original document from which the second volume in the collection was made, which contains four additional languages.

1834-18361 Volumesvolume 2

A collection of vocabulary lists of 19 Indigenous languages, primarily of the Pacific Northwest, re-copied from earlier notes in an orderly fashion with an index and additional introductory information on the area where each language is spoken and the source of the vocabulary. 15 of the vocabularies are re-copied out from the first volume in this collection. This volume includes the languages listed for that volume, plus Cree (possibly Plains Cree), "Kalapooyah" (Kalapuya), Klikatat (Sahaptin or Yakama), and "Seauteux" (Western Ojibwa/Ojibwe).



Detailed Inventory

497.3 T66.1 Indian vocabularies notebook
1834-18361 volume(s)volume 1

A collection of multiple comparative vocabulary lists of languages of modern-day Washington, Idaho, Oregon, British Columbia, and Alaska, obtained by dictation from native speakers, people of mixed ancestry, and traders of the Hudson's Bay Company. Languages included are: "Okanagan" (N̓səl̓xcin), "Attnaha" or "Shoushwap" (Secwepemctsin), "Walla Walla (Sahaptin), "Squalyamish" (Squamish / Sḵwx̱wú7mesh ?), "Nooselalum" (Klallam), "Haeeltzuk" (Heiltsuk), "Billichoola" (Nuxalk), "Nass" (Nisga'a), Haida, "Tongaase" (Tlingit, possibly inland variety), Nez Perce, Chinook [Jargon], "Carrier or Takelhé" (Dakelh), "Kayouse" (Cayuse), and "Kootenai" (Ktunaxa). This is likely the original document from which the second volume in the collection was made, which contains four additional languages.

Alternate formats available: This appears to be the original of a more complete and perfect copy (497.3:T66).

Townsend, John Kirk, 1809-1851. Black, Samuel. Gardiner, Meredith.
Vocabularies of the Okanagan, Attnaha, & Walla Walla languages
1834-1836 

Abstract: "Vocabularies of the Okanagan, Attnaha, & Walla Walla languages. Received from Samuel Black Eagle, chief trader in the Hon. Hudson's Bay Co." Comparative word list in English, with 173 terms in N̓səl̓xcin ("Okanagan"), 164 terms in Secwepemctsin ("Attnaha" or "Shoushwap"), and 118 terms in Walla Walla (Sahaptin).

Access digital object:
https://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:163673

Townsend, John Kirk, 1809-1851. Tolmie, William Fraser.
Vocabularies of Squalyamish, Nooselalum, Haeeltzuk, Billichoola, Nass, Haida, and Tongaase
1834-1836 

Abstract: "The tribes of Indians who speak the following languages reside upon the sea board of the N. W. Coast of America. Squalyamish [Squamish?], Nooselalum [Clallam], Haeeltzuk [Heiltsuk], Billichoola [Nuxalk], Nass [Nisga'a], Haida, Tongaase [Tlingit]. Received from William Fraser Tolmie, Esq. Surgeon in the Hon. Hudson's Bay Company." Consists of 3 word lists: 1) a 15-page comparative word list containing 17 Squamish terms, 10 Clallam terms, and 354 Heiltsuk terms; 2) a 13-page comparative word list with 344 Nuxalk (Bella Coola) terms, 345 Nisga'a terms, and 168 Haida terms; and a 2-page word list with 72 "Tongaase" Tlingit terms, which may be in the Tongass Tlingit dialect or the Inland Tlingit dialect.

Access digital object:
https://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:163674

Townsend, John Kirk, 1809-1851. Dorion, Babtiste.
Vocabulary of the Nez Percé or Cheaptin language
1834-1836 

Abstract: "Vocabulary of the Nez Perce of Cheaptin language. These indians inhabit the upper waters of the Columbia River." English-Nez Perce vocabulary with 53 Nez Perce terms.

Access digital object:
https://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:163675

Townsend, John Kirk, 1809-1851.
Vocabulary of the Chinook language
1834-1836 

Abstract: "Vocabulary of the Chinook language. Near the mouth of the Columbia. This is the trading languaage of the Columbia river, forms the Communication of ten or twelve different tribes with the white traders residing in that Country." Includes 162 terms in Chinook Wawa or Chinook Jargon.

Access digital object:
https://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:163677

Townsend, John Kirk, 1809-1851. Ogden, Peter.
Language of the Carrier or Takelhé indians
1834-1836 

Abstract: "Language of the Carrier or Takelhé indians, inhabiting New Caledonia." Includes 242 terms in Dakelh ("Carrier.")

Access digital object:
https://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:163676

Townsend, John Kirk, 1809-1851.
Language of the Kayoose Indians
1834-1836 

Abstract: "Language of the Kayoose Indians. Inhabiting the upper waters of the Columbia River on both sides of the Blue Mountain." English-Cayuse vocabulary list.

Access digital object:
https://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:163678

Townsend, John Kirk, 1809-1851.
Language of the Kootenai Indians
1834 

Abstract: "Language of the Kootenai Indians - inhabiting near the sources of the Columbia." English-Kutenai vocabulary 207 Kutenai (or Ktunaxa) terms.

Access digital object:
https://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:163679

Vocabularies of the Languages of the Indians Inhabiting N.W. America
1834-18361 Volumesvolume 2

A collection of vocabulary lists of 19 Indigenous languages, primarily of the Pacific Northwest, re-copied from earlier notes in an orderly fashion with an index and additional introductory information on the area where each language is spoken and the source of the vocabulary. 15 of the vocabularies are re-copied out from the first volume in this collection. This volume includes the languages listed for that volume, plus Cree (possibly Plains Cree), "Kalapooyah" (Kalapuya), Klikatat (Sahaptin or Yakama), and "Seauteux" (Western Ojibwa/Ojibwe).