Letter of J. Ross Brown, Nov.17, 1857

David Lewis coyotez at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU
Tue Mar 9 07:50:36 UTC 1999


This is a military report to Congress with some interesting information.


	All those tribes inhabiting the Pacific coast, north of the boundary line
between the possessions of the United States and Great Britain come under
the above general denomination. There are various tribes of them, however,
differing materially in their physical appearance and traits of character.
Those of Nootka Sound and Prince Edward's Island are considered the most
robust and warlike. They are all, as far as known, greatly superior in all
repects to the Indians of Puget's Sound. Up to the time of the late war,
they had been in the habit of visiting the Sound dujring the summer months,
and commiting petty depredations upon the white settlers and the Sound
Indians in consequence of which a territorial law was passed prohibiting
them from entering the waters of the Sound. After this whenever they were
seen, they were ordered away, but unless there was some appearance of force
to compel their departure they generally contented themselves by removing
to some other point. In these excursions, they come from five hundred to a
thousand miles, sometimes hailing as far north as the vicinity of Sitka.
Their canoes are sufficiently capacious to contain from sixty to one
humdred warriors, and are supposed to be the original models of our best
style of clipper ship..."
(HED 38, 35-1, v.9, [955])

This part of a much longer letter seems to point at long-term contact
(raiding)and trade between Puget Sound and the Nootka or even further
north. I would assume that CJ was crystallized in Puget Sound by the time
of large scale white settlement so I think we can safely say that white
traders were not the first to bring Nootka Jargon and Chinook Jargon
speakers together. White traders may have accelerated language borrowing

In Spirit

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