Indians of North America -- Northwest Coast of North America Search this
Scope and Contents:
This subseries of the Alaska/Northwest Coast series contains Harrington's research on Alsea, Siuslaw, and Coos. The materials consist mostly of vocabulary for the three languages, as well as terms in Lower Umpqua and Chinook jargon. A small section of notes deals mainly with phonetics and includes comments on Frachtenberg and Jacobs' publications, as well as general observations made by Harrington during various stages of his work in the field. A section of written notes are accompanied by "sementographs," visual representations of the sounds present in each language. Vocabulary and nonlinguistic information on plants and animals are also present, along with placename vocabulary. His placename notes also include information on tribal boundaries and linguistic relationships; the location, etymology, English pronunciation, and history of places in the three tribal areas, and anecdotes and biographical data. Abstracts in English of mythological texts are also present, along with descriptions, anecdotes, and reminiscences by Lottie Evanoff, Frank Drew, Spencer Scott, and Clayton Barrett, with references to events of both personal and historical significance. There is also material relating to the 1931 U.S. Court of Claims case "Coos Bay, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indian Tribes vs the United States" with comments by Frank Drew on the tesimony from tribal members. In addition, Harrington's files include notes from a conversation with George Wasson in 1933. Topics include Wasson's life and discussions regarding tribal territories and language boundaries, canoe construction, burial, and the historical figure Jedediah Smith. Harrington's notes also contain scattered quotations from Louie Fuller (LL), Clara Pearson (Clara), and Sammy Jackson, three Tillamook speakers Harrington had interviewed earlier in 1942.
Biographical / Historical:
John P. Harrington's work on these neighboring languages began in Oakville, Washington in early April of 1942. While interviewing Lizzie Johnson (Liz.) and Minnie Case (Min.) regarding Kwalhioqua, he also worked with John Albert (Ja.), the last speaker of Alsea (Als.) He had occasion to recheck the linguistic data with Albert sometime in May (there is a reference to May 23 in the notes), possibly at Siletz, Oregon, his home before moving to Oakville. These notes are labeled "Ja. rhg."
Around June, July, and possibly August of the same year, Harrington recorded Coos--both the Hanis (H., Empire) and Miluk (M., South Slough) varieties--and Siuslaw (Sius.) and Lower Umpqua (L.U., Ump.) from Frank Henry Drew (referred to as Frank) in Florence, Oregon. In Marshfield, Harrington interviewed Lottie Evanoff (Lottie, Lot.), formerly Lottie Jackson, daughter of a prominent Coos chief and cousin of Annie Peterson, who had worked with Melville Jacobs. Additional sources of information for Coos were Martha Johnson, a neighbor of Frank Drew; the Wasson sisters, Lolly, Nellie, and Daisy; and Lottie Evanoff's niece, Nellie Aason.
He also obtained information from Spencer Scott (called Spencer or rarely Spen.), who may have also served as an interpreter for Harrington. He knew John Albert and had formerly spoken Alsea with him when they were boys at Siletz. He could also speak Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw. Lesser amounts of Siuslawan data were provided by Clayton Hudson Barrett and his younger half-brother, Howard Barrett (called Clay. and Howard). Nonlinguistic information came from Alec Evanoff, Lottie's husband; Carl Severy, Frank Drew's son-in-law; the Collson family; John Waters; and Larry Hofer.
John Peabody Harrington papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
The preferred citation for the Harrington Papers will reference the actual location within the collection, i.e. Box 172, Alaska/Northwest Coast, Papers of John Peabody Harrington, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
However, as the NAA understands the need to cite phrases or vocabulary on specific pages, a citation referencing the microfilmed papers is acceptable. Please note that the page numbering of the PDF version of the Harrington microfilm does not directly correlate to the analog microfilm frame numbers. If it is necessary to cite the microfilmed papers, please refer to the specific page number of the PDF version, as in: Papers of John Peabody Harrington, Microfilm: MF 7, R34 page 42.