Nottoway, Lenape, and Algonquian vocabularies


Date: 1840 | Size: 1 volume(s), 1 volume, 11 p.


This one-volune collection, consisting of three manuscripts bound together, was previously named "Names of various trees, shrubs, and plants in the language of the Lennape [sic], 1840" after one of the manuscripts in it. It consists of Nottoway terms, organized according to a variety of categories; a Lenape (Delaware) word list relating to English botanical terms, along with Latin terms; and an English-Algonquian-Lenape comparative vocabulary.

Background note

John Gottlieb Ernestus Heckewelder worked as a Moravian missionary to the Indians of Ohio.

Scope and content

The Nottoway vocabulary lists was recorded from Edie Turner, "an old Indian woman," written down by John Wood and communicated to Heckewelder by "W. Jefferson" together with newsclipping, Petersburg, Virginia, March 17, identifying informant and relating Nottoway, Powhatan and Welsh. The vocabulary is listed by semantic categories "Of the Universe; Of the Human Species; Of Animals; Vegetable Kingdom; Division of Time; Domestic Articles; Adjectives; Numerals; Verbs." Marginal comparisons with Tuscarora, Onondaga, Wyandot, Delaware, etc., probably by Peter S. Du Ponceau. [See also letters of Jefferson to Du Ponceau, July 7, 1820; Du Ponceau to Jefferson, July 12, 1820.] The Lenape word list for plant terms was recorded by John Heckewelder, to which is appended a list of a list of the Latin botanical names for plants by Christian Frederick Kampman. The third item is John Heckewelder's English, Algonkian and Delaware comparative vocabulary (a list of 310 English words, without particular order).

Collection Information

Physical description

1 volume, 34 p.


Gift from Peter Stephen Du Ponceau and accessioned, 1840 (38353).

Early American History Note

This volume contains a vocabulary of Indian words for natural items compiled by John Heckewelder and others.

Indexing Terms


  • Language Material
  • Native American Materials
  • Vocabularies.

Personal Name(s)

  • Heckewelder, John Gottlieb Ernestus, 1743-1823
  • Kampman, Christian Frederick, 1708-1808
  • Wood, John,ca. 1775-1822.


  • Algonquian languages
  • Algonquin language
  • Cheroenhaka Indians
  • Delaware language
  • Indians of North America -- Languages
  • Iroquoian languages
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Native America

Detailed Inventory

 Vocabulary of the language of the Nottoway Tribe of Indians, obtained from an old Indian Woman of the name of Edie Turner, the 4th of March 1820
 Names of various trees, shrubs, and plants in the language of the Lennape [sic]
 English, Algonkin, and Lenape comparative vocabularies