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Catalog Data

Harrington, John Peabody 1884-1961  Search this
Voegelin, C. F (Charles Frederick) 1906-1986  Search this
Siebert, Frank T (Frank Thomas) 1912-1998  Search this
Physical description:
2 boxes
Delaware Indians  Search this
Munsee Indians  Search this
Indians of North America Northeast  Search this
Field notes
Microfilm and digital surrogates of microfilm are available. See Volume 6, reel 15. Only original documents created by Harrington, his collaborators and field assistants, or notes given to him were microfilmed.
In April 1940, John P. Harrington and C. F. Voegelin were in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, on a joint field trip where they interviewed a number of Delaware-speaking Indians. The exact itinerary is difficult to reconstruct. Field notes and correspondence indicate that they were together in Bartlesville at least between April 8 and 20, and early in May, they were in Greencastle, Indiana, where Voegelin gave Harrington a list of Delaware terms to investigate in Smoothtown, Ontario on Six Nations Reserve. Of the two notes that locate Harrington in that vicinity, only one is dated (May 4, 1940-see "Mohawk Linguistic Notes"). It must have been a brief stop as he was in Seattle en route to Alaska on May 7.
In June 1940 Harrington and Voegelin made another trip to Oklahoma. They visited May Haas at Eufaula and Frank T. Siebert,Jr., at Oklahoma City and Norman. On that occasion they worked with a number of Delawares, Shawnees, Otoes, and others. During the first week of August, after his return to Washington, D.C., Harrington reorganized the notes for which Voegelin had requested clarification.
In Oklahoma, Harrington visited the city of Bartlesville; the towns of Dewey and Copan; and Claremore, the location of the Indian Health Services Hospital. Among the people he interviewed were Mabel Bobb Beaver (Mabel) and Henry Duncan Beaver (Duncan); Sally and John Fallleaf (spelled "Fall-Leaf" by Harrington); Annie (Mrs. Lb.) and Jesse Longbone (Jesse, Jes) and his brothers Roy and William (William Lb.); Jake Parks; and Mr. and Mrs. Joe Washington and their son Fred (Mrs. Wash., Fred Wash.). In Ontario, those he interviewed included Josiah Montour, his seventy-five-year-old sister Jane Pattice, and Jesse Moses.
Electronic inventory available. Consult with archivist. For a comprehensive description of these materials, see "The papers of John Peabody Harrington in the Smithsonian Institution, 1907-1957, Volume 6: A guide to the field notes: Native American history, language, and culture of Northeast/Southeast," edited by Elaine L. Mills and Ann J. Brickfield (1987).
This subseries of the Northeast/Southeast series contains Harrington's research on two Delaware languages, now distinguished by linguists as Unami (in Oklahoma) and Munsee (in Ontario). Harrington, following local usage, referred to both as Delaware.
His Unami linguistic notes consist of a randomly accumulated vocabulary with some phonetic and grammatical structures interspersed. Included also are historical and cultural comments. The largest single group was apparently collected by C. F. Voegelin and is labeled "Voeg." Other smaller groups represent collections by Voegelin from individually named informants, followed by Harrington's notes from the same informants. Harrington's material consists of both new and reheard terms, with a general emphasis on developing the etymology of state names and placenames. Voegelin inserted some Munsee, Shawnee, Kaw, and Ojibwa equivalences. The Munsee terms may have been those of Frank T. Siebert, Jr., as notes indicate that Voegelin was in possession of some of Siebert's vocabulary lists, which had been collected in June 1938 from Nicodemus Peters at Smoothtown. The most substantial placename information concerns the name Wyoming.
A selection of extracts from Brinton and Anthony (1888) and a few from Truman Michelson's "Preliminary Report on the Linguistic Classification of Algonquian Tribes" (1912) contain comments by Voegelin. Scattered Abenaki comparisons were probably inserted at least a decade later. Filed with this 1940 collection are three pages of notes heard from "the old woman west of Anadarko" in June 1939.
There are also four untitled texts (former B.A.E. ms. 6023pt.) collected by Voegelin in April 1940 with partial interlinear translations by Jesse Longbone. Harrington made handwritten copies of fifteen short songs also collected by Voegelin. Although there are wide variations between Voegelin's orthography and Harrington's, these songs were apparently incorporated into Voegelin's "Word Distortions in Delaware Big House and Walam Olum Songs" (1942). There are scattered notes in English but no translations.
The Unami files also contain miscellaneous notes consisting of a few grammatical notes, correspondence, and names of persons. There are also several pages relating to the Swedish author Amandus Johnson.
Harrington also collected a variety of linguistic notes from Delaware speakers of Ontario. Raw field notes obtained from Josiah Montour and Jesse Moses in the area of Smoothtown, Ontario, include general vocabulary, tribenames, names of persons, and a few grammatical constructions. Montour also contributed Munsee origins associated with the name Wyoming. There are also materials from when Voegelin gave Harrington a list of Walam Olum terms to rehear with Josiah Montour, which Harrington presumably did in the first days of that month. Another small section of field notes contains material from Jane Pattice, Josiah Montour's sister. In addition, there are a few undated pages dealing mainly with the location of the Munsee Reserve in Canada and how to get there.
Cite as:
Northeast/Southeast: Delaware (Oklahoma and Ontario), John Peabody Harrington papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Repository Loc.:
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, Maryland
Delaware language  Search this
Shawnee language  Search this
Ojibwa language  Search this
Abenaki language  Search this
Names, Geographical  Search this
Toponymy  Search this
Ethnology  Search this
Phonetics  Search this
Language and languages--Documentation  Search this
Linguistics  Search this
Local number:
Accession #1976-95
Restrictions & Rights:
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John Peabody Harrington papers: Northeast/Southeast, 1907-1957
Data Source:
National Anthropological Archives