QUICK REFERENCE ENTRY:

Originally from North Carolina, British Columbia's first note- worthy bookstore owner, Thomas Napier Hibben, started the venerable B.C. tradition of publishers who are credited as authors. Hibben first learned printing and bookselling in San Francisco. According to the memoirs of Edgar Fawcett, Hibben's business in Victoria was opened, as early as 1855, as Hibben & Carswell, in the Fardon Building, next to the Bank of British North America, the pioneer bank in the city. The first Masonic lodge of the Freemasons of Victoria was established above Hibben & Carswell's, on Yates Street, in 1860. Hibben's English-born partner, James Carswell, left for Toronto where Robert Carswell (probably a relation) established the Carswell Company in 1864, still operational as Canada's pioneer law publishing house. (Hibben was not the province's first publisher. Waddington's The Fraser Mines Vindicated was printed in 1858 by Paul de Garro.)

Hibben has been credited as the author of Dictionary of Indian Tongues, Containing Most of the Words and Terms Used in the Tshimpsean, Hydah, & Chinook, With Their Meaning or Equivalent in the English Language (1862) and A Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon (1871). A copy of Hibben's rare Dictionary of Indian Tongues now sells for more than $3,000. Hibben's oft-reprinted A Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon was cribbed from a work published by George Gibbs in 1863. In addition, Hibben printed an uncredited 408-page volume called Guide to the Province of British Columbia for 1877-8 (1877) containing advertisements and a Chinook dictionary.

The Chinook trading language (an amalgam of aboriginal, English and French terms) was used in trials in B.C., such as the prosecution of Chilcotin chiefs following the so-called Chilcotin War in 1864, as well as the prosecution of Tshuanahusset, who was charged with the 1868 murder of black Salt Spring Island pioneer William Robinson. It was officially used as late as 1913-1916 for the McKenna-McBride Commission. By 1962, the Summer Institute of Linguistics estimated that approximately 100 Chinook speakers remained in North America. By 1990, the language was considered nearly extinct.

Decades after Hibben's book, the Oblate missionary Jean-Marie Raphael Le Jeune, namesake for the lakeside resort community of Lac Le Jeune, became one of the foremost progenitors of Chinook jargon. Stationed at Kamloops and Williams Lake, he published Chinook Rudiments (1924) and a remarkable mimeographed Chinook newsletter, the Kamloops Wawa, which described itself as "the queerest newspaper in the world.";

First published on May 2, 1891, the Wawa was "Indian news"; printed in both the English alphabet and a bizarre form of shorthand developed in 1867 by two French clerics, the Duploye brothers. As a result of the Wawa's wide circulation, many Native and non-Natives in the B.C. Interior became literate as Duployan readers. Le Jeune didn't realize Duployan shorthand could be transferable to his followers until a cripple named Charley-Alexis Mayoos, from the Lower Nicola, noticed some of Le Jeune's Duployan notes and immediately grasped its fundamentals. He, in turn, began spreading the "phonography"; to members of the Coldwater Indian band. Le Jeune published his last issue of the Kamloops Wawa in September of 1904.


FULL ENTRY:

Originally from North Carolina, British Columbia's first noteworthy bookstore owner, Thomas Napier Hibben, started the venerable B.C. tradition of publishers who have doubled as authors, having first learned printing and bookselling in San Francisco. According to the memoirs of Edgar Fawcett, Hibben's business in Victoria was opened, as early as 1855, as Hibben & Carswell, in the Fardon Building, next to the Bank of British North America, the pioneer bank in the city. The first Masonic lodge of The Freemasons of Victoria was established above Hibben & Carswell's, on Yates Street, in 1860. His English-born partner, James Carswell, left for Toronto where Robert Carswell (probably a relation) established the Carswell Company in 1864, still operational as Canada's pioneer law publishing house.

Hibben's other early partner was a man named Kammerer.

In 1862, Hibben released Dictionary of Indian Tongues, Containing Most of the Words and Terms Used in the Tshimpsean, Hydah, & Chinook, With Their Meaning or Equivalent in the English Language. It's a rare book that now sells for more than $3,000. [The first independently published book credited to an individual author was Alfred Waddington's The Fraser Mines Vindicated, printed by Paul de Garro, an exiled French count who died when a boiler exploded during his trip to the goldfields. See Waddington entry.]

Around 1871, Hibben had printed A Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon, cribbed from the work of George Gibbs, that was often reprinted. In addition, Hibben printed an uncredited 408-page volume called Guide to the Province of British Columbia for 1877-8 (T.N. Hibben, 1877) containing advertisements and a Chinook dictionary. Under the Hibben and Carswell imprint, Hibben had published one of the first Chinook pamphlets in 1862. Hibben had several partners over the years. The company endured as Diggon-Hibben, publishers of Early Days Among the Gulf Islands of British Columbia by Margaret Shaw Walter and Dorothy Abraham's Romantic Vancouver Island, both in the 1940s.

[Other authors *as of 2010* who produced Chinook guides include Gabriel Franchère (1810), John Dunn (1844), Blanchet (1852), Alexander Caulfield Anderson (1858), William Carew Hazlitt (1858), Theodore Winthrop (1862), Francis Norbert Blanchet (1852), George Gibbs (1863), Duncan George Forbes Macdonald (1863), William F. Sturgis (1864), Granville Stuart (1865), Christopher Knipe (1868), James Constantine Pilling (1868), Modeste Demers (1871), Louis Napoleon St. Onge (1871), M. Stannard (1873), John Kaye Gill (1878), Myron Eells (1878), John Booth Good (1880), Paul Durieu (1886), Jean-Marie Raphael Le Jeune (1886), Thomas Wickham Prosch (1888), Charles Montgomery Tate (1889), Horatio Hale (1890), James Constantine Pilling (1893), Franz Boas (1894), Alexander Alfred Boddy (1896), Alexander Ross (1904), Joel Palmer (1906), Frederick J. Long (1909), George C. Shaw (1909), Walter Shelley "Chinook"; Phillips, a.k.a. El Commancho (1913) and lastly, A Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon, by Beatrice J. Spalding [published by the author], 1947.

For other authors pertaining to the Chinook language, see abcbookworld entries for Glavin, Terry; Howay, F.W.; Jacobs, Melville; Lang, Georg; Lillard, Charles; Thomas, Edward Harper; Verne, Ray; Walker, Alexander; Zimmerman, Heinrich.]


BOOKS:

Dictionary of Indian Tongues, Containing Most of the Words and Terms Used in the Tshimpsean, Hydah, & Chinook, With Their Meaning or Equivalent in the English Language (Victoria: Hibben, 1862).

A Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon (Victoria: T.N. Hibben Co., 1871; 1889).

[BCBW 2010] "Chinook"