Mobilian materials, James M. Crawford Papers
Culture: Atakapa | Biloxi | Catawba | Cherokee | Chickasaw | Chitimacha | Creek | Choctaw | Houma | Koasati | Natchez | Ojibwe | Quapaw | Shawnee | Tunica | Tuscarora | Yuchi
Alternate forms: Ojibwa
Date: circa 1969-1981
Contributor: Crawford, James M. (James Mack), 1925-1989
Extent: 23 folders
Description: These materials relate to James M. Crawford's interest in and research on the Mobilian trade language, particularly research and writing relating to his prize-winning book, The Mobilian Trade Language. The bulk of Mobilian materials in the Crawford papers are located in Series III-D. Works by Crawford—Other. These include 11 folders containing numerous typed drafts of the manuscript, with copious handwritten edits, some edits typed on cards and attached the relevant page, and page proofs. There are also 6 folders of research notes containing Crawford's notes on secondary sources from the fields of history, anthropology and linguistics; notes on primary documentary sources; typed early drafts of sections of the manuscript; linguistic notes and charts; typed and handwritten transcriptions from both primary and secondary sources; timelines; outlines; bibliographic lists; a bibliography of Mary Haas; a copy of Mary Haas' “What is Mobilian?”; and several loose-page pages of handwritten text apparently from the Bible translated into an indigenous language. A significant quantity of the research material is in French, transcribed or copied from French sources. In the same series are also two copies--one with penciled edits and one clean--of Crawford's “Mobile” essay in the "Dictionary of Indian Tribes of the Americas" . In Series IV-D. Research Notes & Notebooks—Other, there is a folder titled "Mobilian Forms Collected August 27, 1970 from Leonard Lavan by J.M. Crawford Near Elton, Louisiana" containing 8 pages of notes and Vocabularies, mostly typed. Other consultants mentioned (page 7) are Daisy Sickey at Elton, Louisiana, and Maggie Poncho (Alabama) and Phoebie Celestine (Koasati) interviewed at the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation in Texas, also in August 1970; and a folder titled “Mobilian Search—Notebook,” containing one of Crawford's field notebooks in which he kept a record of a research trip in August-September, 1976 to Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma in search of Mobilian words. Crawford took 36 pages of detailed notes regarding distances traveled; costs of hotels, camp grounds, meals, and other expenses; conversations with Native people about their own knowledge of languages and possible leads on Mobilian; addresses and phone numbers of other potential consultants; his conversations with people in Oklahoma and elsewhere about Title IV, bilingual language programs, the preparation of education materials for that purpose, grants, etc.; and other events of the trip such as his malfunctioning tape recorder (a serious problem because he needed to play the tape of Arzelie Langley speaking Mobilian) and his Volkswagen camper breaking down. He also included notes on words and linguistics he gathered, reminders to send Xeroxed copies of linguistic and ethnographic information (Swanton's Houma word list, Chitimacha materials in Freeman's APS list, Yuchi materials, etc.) back to people he'd met, sketch maps to help find the homes of potential consultants, what he spent on baskets and from whom he purchased, other ethnographic data he picked up, etc. Native individuals mentioned include Claude Medford, Ernest Sickey, Burley Celestine, Della Celestine, Jim Courteneaux, Edward Sylestine, Rosaline Langley Medford, Levi Fields, Sanville Johnson, Anderson Lewis, Clyde Jackson, Tom Dion, Annie Dion, Marie Dion/Dean, Rose Dean, Lillie Lewis, Jessie Lewis, Alvin and Freda Revere, Bill Crew, Lawrence Billiot, Alvin Cearley, Ken York, Barry Jim, and more. Native groups and languages mentioned include Houma, Natchez, Cherokee, Creek, Koasati, Choctaw, Chitimacha, Tunica, Biloxi, Yuchi, Chickasaw, Shawnee, etc. In other series, there is a file of largely positive reviews of The Mobilian Trade Language in Series II. Subject Files, and one box of card-sized paper slips, Mobilian-English and English-Mobilian, with penciled notes, in Series V. Card Files. Related materials include the folders titled “Columbus Museum” and “Reconnaissance of Southeastern Indian Languages—Notebook,” both of which also document Crawford's search for Mobilian, in Series IV-D. Research Notes & Notebooks—Other; and grant application materials that describe and give background for the project and give a narrative of his 1976 research trip (which greatly clarifies the notebook of the same trip) in “American Council of Learned Societies” in Series II. Subject Files. Finally, in Series I. Correspondence, there is a letter from Crawford to Miles Richardson submitting the manuscript for consideration for the James Mooney Award, which it went on to win (1976) and a marketing letter to the General L. Kemper Williams Prize committee from the University of Tennessee Press.
Collection: James M. Crawford Papers (Mss.Ms.Coll.66)