Possible CJ passage in 1862 diary

Francisc Czobor fericzobor at YAHOO.COM
Sat Nov 24 22:59:50 UTC 2007

  I think I've got some idea what's about in that passage of Clah's diary.
  I is CJ for sure, but the transcription is very unusual, and some words look very strange, difficult to interpret.
  First, I believe that there are some misspellings or misreadings in the CJ passage.
  Thus, in some words seems to be a "h" where an "a" would be expected: thus, I'd read "Claksta" for "Claksth" and "kah mieka" for "khhmieka". Then, "eolyhean" looks very strange; I suppose that maybe it should be read "eelyhee(n)" and interpreted as illahee/ili'i (earth, land, ground, sometimes also: village). "Ahale-keg" could be the name of a tribe/band. I can't figure out what could mean "jhehh". Also the reply "Ja, co" is very misterious ("co" could be CJ ko/q'u' "arrive").
  Below the CJ dialogue between Capt. McNeill and Clah in my understanding: first line is Clah's rendering with my corrections, second line phonetic CJ, and third: English translation.
  Capt.:  Clah weik mieka Nanege Claksta kah mieka Clethoowa   
             Clah wik mayka nanich Laksta qaX mayka Latuwa   
             Clah didn't you see anybody where you went?   
  Clah: Naka Nansege Mox the Caname   
          nayka nanich makwst kanim   
          I saw two canoes.   
  Capt.: Closs Nanege Mieka Man of War Ahale-keg   
            Lush nanich mayka "Man of War Ahale-keg"   
            Good you see the Ahale-keg warriors (?) or: Look out the Ahale-keg warriors (?)   

  Clah: Ja, Co. (=???)   
  Capt.: Clah Closs mieka jhehh kallepy Coppah Duncan eelyhee(n)   
           Clah Lush mayka ??? k'ilapay kopa Duncan ili'i (?)   
           Clah you better ??? back to Duncan land (= Duncan's village = Metlakatla ?)   
  This is all I was able to figure out. Maybe someone else has a better idea.
  Klush nanich,
Chris Roth <cfroth at EARTHLINK.NET> wrote:
  Hello all,

What follows is an 1862 entry from the diary of A. W. Clah, a Tsimshian trader at Fort Simpson 
(today Port Simpson or Lax Kw'alaams), B.C., a Tsimshian village. My Tsimshian is good, but my CJ 
is rusty, and I feel sure the passage in this entry is in CJ. Can anyone tell me what it means? More 
information on request if people are curious about these diaries, the place of CJ in Tsimshian 
communities, etc.

Monday morning the 28 1862. Nicely weather. I get up about early morning. I taking small pox 
man in my canoe to sent at hom. Clah an Quadlenoh South wind and Clah arrived @ hom about 
half pass 12 o clock an in the same day an it was Duncan sent letter to with Capt McNeill an about 
dinner time an I walk oude side Fort and Kithone coming from Nass River. good many person 
looks me when I walking. Some white people an some Tsimshens an Neshaki spoken to me. Clah I 
want ask to you. an I hath some good news for you she said. an Clah say very good maam. and 
Neshaki saying Clah you must not tell lie you tell truth she said. This was Mr Duncan sent letter to 
Capt Mc Neill you killing 3 whit men. This was letter saying.& I am very near crying and I am 
astonished for blame to me and Capt McNeill look my face. an he said. Clah weik mieka Nanege 
Claksth khhmieka Clethoowa. Clah said Naka Nansege Mox the Caname. an Capt Say Closs Nanege 
Mieka Man of War Ahale-keg. Ja, Co. Capt Say Clah Closs mieka jhehh kallepy Coppah Duncan 
eolyhean? an I gone back at night. Clah Arrived on Tuesday morning @ medlekhadle and I give 
letter with Mr Duncan. 

Clah is the name of the author. Medelkhadle is Metlakatla, B.C.

I hope someone can help. Thank you!

Chris Roth
cfroth at earthlink.net

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