John Pickering an Wilhelm von Humboldt, 10.08.1831|59r| Sir,
I do myself the honour to send you a copy of a little article on the Indian Languages , prepared by me for the Encyclopedia Americana, a work formed on the basis of the German Conversations-Lexikon. The article was drawn up by me under the pressure of business, and is very far from being so complete as I could have wished. But I hope it contains a satisfactory general view of the subject; it certainly contains quite as much as readers in general would be willing to find in a popular work like the Conversations-Lexikon.
Your own name is so intimately connected with all these discussions, that no writer can avoid mentioning it on such occasions. In the present instance I hope your opinions have been stated correctly, as it was assuredly my intention so to state them.
The greater part of the article is only a collection of materials which have appeared already in print, but lie dispersed through different volumes. You will, however, find somethings |sic|, particularly |59v| in relation to the Cherokee language, which have never been before published. Of the polysynthetic character of this language you will find an extraordinary example in the last page but one (column 2d) of the pamphlet.
It is a long time since I have had the honour of hearing from you; and my own professional engagements debar me from the pleasure which I should always have in writing to you.
I have a bundle of your newspapers, the Cherokee Phenix |sic|, waiting for a conveyance. I have thought you might not choose to continue your subscription any longer, and I shall, therefore, not send any hereafter, unless you should desire it. Be pleased to signify to me your wishes in that particular.I have the honour to be
with great consideration
your very obedient
& humble servant
Boston, U. States,
Aug. 10.th 1831.
Baron William von Humboldt
&.c &.c &.c