John Pickering an Wilhelm von Humboldt, 11.04.1834|63r| Sir,
On the 15.th of October last I did myself the pleasure of addressing a letter to you accompanied with the following books, viz: <1.> Father Rãle’s Dictionary of the Abnaki Language, lately printed, under my direction, by our Boston Academy of Arts and Sciences – 2. A copy of Cotton’s Vocabulary of the ancient Massachusetts Dialect – 3. The Gospel of S.t Luke, in the Seneka Language – 4. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark & John, in the language of Owhyhee, now written by our Missionaries, Hawaii. I hope all these have reached you in safety.
I have now the pleasure to send you two other works relating to the aboriginals of North America – 1. Remarks made on a Tour to Prairie du Chien &.c by Caleb Atwater, a Commissioner of the United States to negotiate with the Indians of the Upper Missisippi &.c This work is valuable only for the specimen of the Dacota or Sioux language (at p. 149) which was furnished to the author by M.r John Marsh, with whom I am personally acquainted. The rest of the book, especially the attempt at philological learning (see p. 75 et seqq.) is quite superficial, and only betrays the writer’s ignorance of well known facts and of philological science.
2. The other work is a great curiosity: the |63v| life of a celebrated Indian Chief, now living, who is called in English, Black Hawk – with his reflections upon the people of the United States and their manners & customs &.c; all dictated by himself to his interpreter. It has a Dedication in his native language, which is of the Lenapé stock. The portrait of the Chief is said to be a tolerable likeness.
If these little works shall possess any value in your collection, it will give me much pleasure.
It is a very long time since I had the pleasure of hearing from you. I hope your health continues good, and that you will soon favour the public with your great work on the American Languages.I am, Sir,
with the highest respect
your obedient servant
Boston, United States
April 11th, 1834.