Chasing Alexander W. Chase

Great article, begins to make some connections, Patty- perhaps you can help with this too?

Chinook Jargon

A nice thing to experience (and it keeps on happening) is to come across someone for the first time, albeit after their passing — and find that they, too, were making notes on Chinuk Wawa back in the day.

Alexander W Chase

So it is with me and Alexander W. Chase.

It was by dumb luck that my wanderings led me to a very good journal article about this man, “Some Additional Alexander W. Chase Materials” by Thomas Blackburn.  (It’s in the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 25(1):39-54 (2005).)

A.W. Chase (1843-1888), son of an 1861 Ohio emigrant family to California, was among the earliest of the folks who consciously thought of themselves as anything like ethnographers or anthropologists in the greater Pacific Northwest.

He covered a lot of ground, geographically and conceptually, so I’ll focus on his intersection with my interests and expertise — Chinuk Wawa.


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4 thoughts on “Chasing Alexander W. Chase

  1. I added a comment to the original article – looks like ‘alakachik’ was a widely used word in SW OR. I found it in Harrington’s notes in interview with some Siuslaw and Coos speakers. It’s also used in Orville Dodge’s 1899 history of Coos County.

    I’d also love to know where those drawings are Chase made! Or if they still exist. They weren’t reprinted in that article. 😦


      1. Hm. Now I am thinking I ought to get around to writing something about the words for dentalium in the Coos Bay & Siuslaw languages…


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