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Correspondence from Charles E. Banks to Fannie Hardy Eckstorm ca. 1915-1930, Part 5 (ms158_b1f005_005.05.pdf)

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�Brewer, Maine, May 5, 1931

Dear Doctor Banks: I do not know just how far ahead of me you are in letter-writing, but several jumps anyway. The middle of April my son and his wife arrived after ten months' absence and wanted to get their house-keeping goods repacked and off to a new place. I was finishing up my manuscript of Lovewell's Fight and a few things more were happening, so that I ceased to write letters. However, I believe nothing of much importance was pending at that time, and if there was, you may repeat the subjects to be considered. I made a big hunt trying to find the copy of Symmes's Memoirs reprinted by Frederick Kidder, but failed entirely to locate it, although I wrote every important public library in the country except the New York Historical, which I forgot, and the New York Public, which never answered my request. I know what all of them have-- but nothing like that Kidder copy. My demonstration of a third edition was not absolute, but it is such good circumstantial evidence that I think any fancier would admit that the Kidder copy is at least unique, if not a real edition. I can explain how it came to be and almost the day upon which it must have been issued. I was working from complete photostats of two 1725 editions and newspaper photostats, so that my work had a good foundation. By the way, if you ever come across a copy of the little Portland edition of 1818, that is really rare[underlined]. It is wholly insignificant, but it is not yet appreciated how rare it is. The 1819 copy is known only by a single specimen. Regarding the word Ossipee I must change one statement as to "pines-his-river", for I find that the inanimate gender probably[underlined] did not take the possessive; it would have been Pine-river if it had meant that. I have lately acquired some new Indian grammars-- Howse's Cree Grammar, a fine book, and Zeisberger's Lenni Lenape, which with Brintonand Anthony's Dictionary and John Smith's Old map of Virginia help out on the southern Algonkin. Thus far I have never been able to get Baraga's Ojibway Grammar and Dictionary. I left a standing order with Goodspeed for the first copies they should get and they made no note of it. When a catalogue of theirs gave the items and I sent check by return mail, they reported the items sold! Since than I have seen the first edition advertized-- at far too high a price-- but I want to get the second. That will pretty well complete the dictionaries and grammars which will be useful for our Maine names. The Maine Historical Society has two, copied in manuscript by Bishop O'Brien, which the Library of Congress ought to have photostats of, as they are better than the original manuscripts would be and being done by an Indian expert may be depended upon. One is Aubery's, the other I don't recall the name of; both Canadian originals and not accessible to students ordinarily, and both by old and very good.

Description: Letters pertaining to Indian place names in Maine, Indian languages, and other matters relating to Wabanaki cultures and history.

Link to document in Digital Maine


Date: ca. 1915-1930

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