John Peabody Harrington papers: Apache and Kiowa Apache, 1936-1945
Harrington, John Peabody 1884-1961
Young, Robert W. 1912-2007
Bloomfield, Leonard 1887-1949
Hoijer, Harry 1904-1976
Haile, Berard 1874-1961
Kiowa Apache Indians
Harrington's study of Apache and Kiowa Apache spanned almost a decade. It began with an examination of secondary sources in 1936 and culminated in 1945 with the recording of brief vocabularies from native speakers. Speakers of several dialects were interviewed. Asa Deklugie and Raymond Loco provided Chiricahua data while Percy Bigmouth and Victor Dolan gave Mescalero terms. White Mountain Apache words were obtained from Philip Cosen and Kiowa Apache items from Howard Soontay. Related Navajo and Yavapai terms were given by Adolph Dodge Bitanny, Howard Gorman, and Mollie Starr. Deklugie, the son of Geronimo's sister, served as the principal source of primary data on Apache.
In collaboration with Robert W. Young, Harrington evidently planned a linguistic treatment of the life of Geronimo, the famous Chiricahua Apache chief, and, even more ambitiously, hoped to translate Geronimo's published autobiography into Apache. Harrington was in Washington, D.C., for all of 1936 and 1937 and, in fact, was hospitalized for six weeks in January and February 1937. He therefore accumulated his initial facts principally from secondary sources, using particularly S. M. Barrett's Life of Geronimo, identified in the field notes as "Autobiography," and W. Clum, Apache Agent. In most cases he gave page references for the material he copied.
Between June 1936 and June 1937, Harrington carried on a lively correspondence with William R. Hill, Engineer-in-Charge at the Mescalero Indian Reservation. Hill's father worked for the Bureau of American Ethnology and was Harrington's friend. Robert Young also collected data for him in the fall of 1936 through interviews with Asa Deklugie and Eugene Chihuahua. Young and Hill reheard the copied entries from the secondary sources, and Harrington attempted to synthesize the historic and ethnological information into a coherent text. He also tried to establish definitive etymologies and orthography for Apache placenames and personal names.
Harrington was in touch with Father Berard Haile, a linguist and Navajo lexicographer at the Franciscan Mission in St. Michaels, Arizona. A limited number of letters were exchanged with several other scholars involved in Athapascan studies, such as Harry Hoijer and Leonard Bloomfield.
This set of files contains Harrington's Apache and Kiowa Apache research and writings. Most of the materials consist of notes and drafts for his and Robert W. Young's unpublished manuscripts on the life of Geronimo, as well as their project to translate the Chiricahua Apache chief's published autobiography into Apache. Harrington's Apache notes provide a useful block of placenames and names of persons, with random linguistic, ethnographic, biographical, and historical observations. The notes are arranged according to topic, each probably corresponding to a proposed chapter heading in Harrington's write-up. Entries from secondary souces and the related information supplied by rehearings in the field and in Washington were clipped together. Wherever possible these groups of notes are now pasted on a single sheet. Harrington apparently hoped to use the notes for additional monographs under such headings as "The Etymology of Geronimo's Name," "The Etymology of the Word Apache," and a review of Clum's Apache Agent. There are several incomplete typed or handwritten preliminary drafts, but neither Harrington or Young published the proposed papers. The numbered typewritten slips filed with the Apache notes may be responses to a questionnaire (not found in his papers) that Harrington sent to Young and William R. Hill. Also present are Harrington's correspondence with Father Berard Haile and other scholars involved in Athapascan studies, such as Harry Hoijer and Leonard Bloomfield.
While Harrington did not compile an Apache dictionary, his papers do contain vocabulary collected from the historical and ethnographic observations he made on the tribe. There is a rough beginning of a dictionary collected from Howard Soontay in 1944, and from Philip Cosen and Raymond Loco in 1945.
Southwest: Apache and Kiowa Apache, John Peabody Harrington papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution