Indian Languages Collection, 1836-1908 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
Much of the material in this collection was written by Charles Lemmon Hall (1847-1940). In 1874, Hall, after attending Union and Andover Theological Seminaries, was sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to the Congregational Mission at the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in Dakota Territory. There, for more than 50 years, he served as a missionary to the Three Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara). Most of this collection documents Hall's efforts to communicate with the Indian community in which he lived. Accordingly, it is primarily of interest to linguistic scholars.
The Library acquired the collection in 1942 from Arthur Pforzheimer, a rare book and manuscript dealer in New York. A larger collection of Hall's papers, including his diaries, is at the State Historical Society of North Dakota, which also holds the papers of Harold W. Case, Hall's successor.
The collection is filed in the order in which it was acquired, in eight folders:
1. A 20-page English-Indian vocabulary.
2. A 49-page English-Indian vocabulary, including sentences in English on five pages which are transcribed in the attached pdf. These sentences, in both English and an Indian language, are written line by line without capitalization or punctuation. They appear to show how Hall instructed his students. They refer to game which the Indians hunted; they warn against whiskey; and they touch on other aspects of Indian life.
3. A 41-page English-Indian dictionary.
4. Miscellany: (1) A sheet including a copy of a page of John Fleming, The Mvskoki imvnaitsv: Muskokee (Creek) assistant (Boston, 1834); "Names of Insects in the language of several [five] tribes of American Indians," and "Muskokee Language--Specimen of"; (2) Wilberforce Eames to Mr. Woodward, Sept. 9, 1888, referring to a hymnbook in a South African native language; (3-6) unidentified items.
5. Hall, "Arickaree War Songs" (four sheets on Berthold Mission stationery, wtih interlinear English translations), Feb. 21, 1884: "Son of the Hawk," "War Song of the Skunk," and "Love Song."
6. English-Indian word lists. Also Hall to John B. Dunbar, Topeka, Kans., June 5, 1878, and Aug. 19, 1879. Both letters mainly contain lists of English-Indian words, but a transcription of the text of the first letter is included in the attached pdf.
7. Two short word lists and a clipping.
8. Writings by John B. Dunbar: The White Man's Foot in Kansas" and "Biography of John Brown Dunbar" (two printings [one, 1908]); "The Presbyterian Mission among the Pawnee Indians of Nebraska"; and "Massacre of the Villazur Expedition by the Pawnees on the Platte, in 1720," all published by the Kansas State Historical Society.