Newsletter of the J.P. Harrington Conference Number 5

Newsletter of the J.P. Harrington Conference

Number 5: June 1993

At the first working conference on the linguistic and ethnographic papers of John P. Harrington, held in Santa Barbara in June 1992, plans were made for further meetings and projects, as well as for maintaining and expanding the network of Harrington scholars. The Newsletter of the J. P. Harrington Conference serves as the vehicle for communicating information about these and other Harrington-related activities. The Newsletter is published at irregular intervals and is distributed free to anyone interested. To be placed on the mailing list contact the editor: Victor Golla, Dept. of Ethnic Studies, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA 95521. Telephone: (707) 826-4324 or 445-0255. Fax: (707) 826-5555. E-mail: or golla@calstate.bitnet.


The second conference on the papers of John P. Harrington will be held at the Smithsonian Institution, Tuesday and Wednesday, November 16-17, 1993, immediately preceding the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association (also in Washington, DC). The host of the conference will be the National Anthropological Archives, the repository of most of Harrington's papers.

Conference sessions will be held in Room 3111 of the Smithsonian's Ripley Center. On-site registration will begin at noon on November 16; the first session will begin at 1:30 pm and conclude at 4:30 pm, immediately followed by a tour of the National Anthropological Archives and a reception for participants. The conference will resume at 9:00 am, November 17, and continue until 5:00 pm, with a break for lunch. A small registration fee of $10 will be collected.

Papers on any aspect of Harrington's work (and life) are solicited. (A proposal form can be found on the last page of this newsletter.) Particularly welcome are reports on work in progress, and participants should not hesitate to discuss specifics. Audiovisual equipment will be available. Paper proposals should be submitted by September 15.

A detailed map of the Mall area, showing the location of the Ripley Center and the National Anthropological Archives, will be distributed with the Preliminary Program in October. Participants who would like assistance in finding lodging should contact James Glenn, Natl. Anth. Archives, NHB, MRC 152, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560. (Tel: 202/357-1976.)


The special issue of the journal Anthropological Linguistics on "J. P. Harrington and His Legacy" is nearing completion and should be ready for submission by the end of July. We anticipate a speedy review process and publication during the 1993-94 academic year. Edited and introduced by Victor Golla, the issue will contain papers by Alice Anderton ("Kitanemuk: Recon-struction of a Dead Phonology Using Harrington's Transcriptions" and "The Spanish of J. P. Harrington's Kitenemuk Notes"); Catherine A. Callaghan ("Encounter with J. P. Harrington"); James R. Glenn ("The Sound Recordings of John Peabody Harrington: A Report on Their Disposition and State of Preservation"); Anthony P. Grant ("Some Observations on J. P. Harrington's Peoria Vocabulary"); John R. Johnson, Amy Miller, & Linda Agren ("The Papers of John Peabody Harrington at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History"); David Leedom Shaul ("The Last Words of Esselen"); and expected contributions from William H. Jacobsen, Jr., Alexis Manaster Ramer, Douglas Parks & Ray De Mallie, and Laurel Watkins. It will also contain a short biographical sketch of Harrington by the editor, and a language index to the microfilm.


* Dr. Frank T. Siebert, Box 225, Old Town, ME 04468 (2/21/93):

Thanks for your note on Harrington and the J. P. Harrington Conference. I first met Harrington in Oklahoma in May 1940, travelling with Carl Voegelin. We talked all night. Also, I visited him twice at the old Bureau in Washington in the 1940's, and had some correspondence with him on Micmac in 1943 - an "Axis spies" case, and rather comical.

I liked Harrington - always pleasant and generous, never cantankerous, but a little "wacko" or erratic at times, probably because he was a strong individualist and iconoclast. He was a fairly good phonetician, but his language records do not represent a worked-out phonology, just impressionistic phonetics. His most valuable work is his numerous records of now extinct or nearly extinct California languages. Here he did a great service without doubt.

* Arthur Harrington, 560 Mayflower, Claremont, CA 91711 (2/24/93):

Thank you for the February, Number 4, Newsletter of the J. P. Harrington Conference. It's wonderful to see the growing number of scholars interested in J. P. Harrington's work. Symbolically speaking, there must be joy in heaven. But since we don't have any contact, I'll simply say I believe there is rejoicing. My uncle is certainly elated to have so many taking up a scholarly interest in, and caring concern for, the people who preceded us on this continent and whose culture is now beginning to be appreciated.

* Katherine Turner, 1476 Greenwood Terrace, Berkeley, CA 94780 (3/1/93):

I have been comparing your citation suggestions in the latest JPH newsletter with Elaine Mill's suggestions for the microfilmed Harrington. She says (Introduction, Volume 1, page xxi):

"In citing the papers in footnotes and bibliographical references, researchers should refer to the original set of papers and their location and should mention the use of the microfilm edition. A suggested form for the first citation is

			Karok/Shasta/Konomihu (Field Notes name]
			John Peabody Harrington Papers
        			National Anthropological Archives
        			Smithsonian Institution
       		 	(Microfilm edition:  Reel__, Frame 0000)"

A couple of observations: you suggest referring to reels by volume number, and Elaine by name, e.g. "Karok/Shasta/etc. Field Notes" or "Salinan Field Notes." Since the volume number is the same (Volume II) for these separate field notes, I prefer Elaine's way. Elaine wants us to refer to the original set of (Harrington) papers and their location (Smithsonian), and also "mention the use of the microfilm edition." I agree that referring to the reel and frame should be expanded from Elaine's parentheses. But with 30% of the microfilm I've seen for Chimariko being so unreadable as to be useless, a bibliographic reference to the originals in the Smithsonian is nesessary. The microfilm has saved me time spent in Washington, D.C., but not eliminated it: I can't base my work on Chimariko on the microfilm edition as the source for JPH field notes.

I hope other segments of the microfilm are in better shape, if people rely on them as the only source and slowly forget that the originals can still be seen (for a price).

* Gloria Arellanes, 2338 Penn Mar, El Monte, CA 91732 (3/10/93):

Please place me on the mailing list of the J. P. Harrington Newsletter. I represent the Tongva (Gabrielino) Youth Council and have had the good fortune to share some of J. P. Harrington's notes on the Gabrieliño language with our Youth Council.

* Michael Marr, 25411/2 Glen Green, Hollywood, CA 90068 (3/22/93):

As a nephew to Jack Marr and a long time student of Dr. John P. Harrington, I am writing to request that my name be placed on the mailing list to get the J. P. Harrington Newsletter. I have heard the stories about John P. Harrington all my life from my father, Frank Marr and my two uncles Glenn and Jack. Also, I began to consider his life and work seriously when I was a student in Santa Barbara a few years back and visited the Natural History museum where I noticed the full life size picture and the other collection of items regarding John P. Harrington.

* Prof. Osahito Miyaoka, Department of Linguistics, Hokkaido University, Kita 10, Nishi 7, Sapporo 060, JAPAN (4/10/93):

Thank you very much for your letter concerning the J. P. Harrington Conference, together with the Newsletters. I can give you some additional information on the Japanese translation of Carobeth Laird's Encounter With an Angry God [Ikareru Kami no to Deai, Sanseido, Tokyo]. The translator is Mrs. Megumi Ichinose, and I believe her translation is of remarkable quality. She is a Mongolianist linguist and currently works in our department as a full time research assistant/instructor. To the translation I myself added a somewhat lengthy introduction ["Joonetsu no gengogakusha Harinton no shoozoo," lit. 'A portrait of Harrington, an enthusiastic linguist'], viewing Harrington in the context of the history of American anthropology and linguistics.

* Jack Marr, P.O. Box 10026, Fullerton, CA 92635 (4/30/93):

My lovely wife Barbara attended a School Board meeting this week in Santa Ana and ardently submitted to several hundred or more people the name of Dr. John P. Harrington as a name for the new high school to be constructed there. She gave a long and impressive statement why this famous person, who had a residence in Santa Ana and taught at the school, should have a building named for him. Believe it or not, she had a number of the audience stand and support her. (I wonder who they were? They seemed to know about Harrington.) However, the Board decided to name the school after Caesar Chavez. This is the second time in the past five years that we have submitted Harrington's name for a new school in Santa Ana.

* Thomas Doty, Storyteller, P.O. Box 3397, Ashland, OR 97520 (5/13/93):

Please add me to the mailing list to receive the J. P. Harrington Newsletter. For several years, I've used information from JPH's fieldnotes and incorporated them into my performances, and I'm curious to know what other folks are up to.


Bocek, Barbara R. 1984. "Ethnobotany of the Costanoan Indians, California, Based on Collections by John P. Harrington." Economic Botany 38(2), pp. 240-255. [Few scholars besides those who work with Harrington's Ohlone materials seem to know of this excellent study - hidden away in a botanical journal - of the natural history materials collected from Ascención Solórsano and other consultants. It deserves wider attention.] Hinton, Leanne. 1993. "The House is Afire! John Peabody Harrington - Then and Now." News from Native California 7(1), Winter 1992/93, pp. 9-13. [A charming and informative essay on Harrington and his work, written for a wide audience. "One cannot help but be fascinated by Harrington as a person, " Hinton writes. "He was quite possibly the most eccentric man that most of his acquaintances ever knew. But more importantly, he had a sure vision of something that transcended his individual life and quirks, and he devoted his life to that vision." She concludes with Ernestine McGovran's summation of the man: "Crazy like a fox."] Laird, Carobeth. 1993 [1975]. Encounter With an Angry God: Recollections of My Life with John Peabody Harrington. Univ. of New Mexico Press. $11.95. ISBN 0-8263-1414-7. [A new paperback edition.]


Harrington in Pursuit of the Death Valley Indians

A few months ago, while doing some legal and historical research for the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, Fred Marr (Jack Marr's nephew) came across an exchange of letters, dated mid-1946, between Harrington and T. R. Goodwin, the Superintendent of Death Valley National Monument. These letters give us a revealing glimpse of JPH preparing himself for a visit to a "field" location, and indicate the rich store of historical and personal information that is to be found in Harrington's voluminous correspondence (much of which is available in Volume 9 of the JPH microfilm, "Correspondence and Financial Records", 17 reels, $850).

JPH to Goodwin, May 11, 1946:

The writer is Ethnologist in the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, and wants to make a study of the Death Valley Indians. I understand that the Indian Village in Death Valley is 30 miles from your Park Headquarters - in which direction and how reached? Is this village at Death Valley Junction? Any information that you give me will be greatly appreciated. It may be that it is too late in the season to visit this Village for I am told that the Indians of it repair to remote places in the mountains during the summer months. I could come in the fall. There must be some Indian who would be a good interpreter or informant - what is the name of such a one, or better the names of several. They say that only the northern part of the Panamint Mountains belonged to the Death Valley Indians, that is, to the Shoshoni Indians, and that the southern part of the Panamint Mountains belonged to the Chemehuevi Indians. That would make it that there are two languages spoken at the Village. Or has the Chemehuevi language retreated - to where? Where was the line? Or was it the Serrano language of the Tehachapi Mountains instead of the Chemehuevi language? Who were the Panamint Indians - did they talk Chemehuevi? Who were the Pitant Indians? Who were the Keits Indians?

Goodwin to JPH, May 15, 1946:

With reference to your letter of May 1[1], 1946, the Indian Village in Death Valley is at Furnace Creek very near the Furnace Creek Camp, one mile from Furnace Creek Inn and five miles from this Office. Death Valley Junction is 31 miles distant and the Amargosa Hotel at that place is the only hotel open during the summer season.

Most, if not all, the Indians move to the high country in the summer returning after gathering pinon nuts in the early fall. Practically all the males speak good english and one in particular Tom Wilson who is half breed Piute with a Mexican father, is married to the daughter of the former Chief Hungry Bill. Tom is intelligent and speaks excellent english.

I have never heard of any territorial division of the Death Valley Indians. They are supposed to be an off-shoot of the Shoshone tribe. . . . The Death Valley Indians are called Panamint Indians and all live here except for a few around Beatty, Nevada and one family in the Panamint Valley. They are not wards but are under general supervision of the Carson Agency at Stewart, Nevada. All the other Indians I know of surrounding the area are Piutes and said to be tribal enemies of the Panamints.

JPH to Goodwin, May 20, 1946:

Your extraordinarily kind letter, full of information, has arrived and I am surely glad that I wrote you before coming. Several of the matters that you state perplex me.

A Chemehuevi (Piute) Indian told me that the Panamint Indians speak the Piute language; that the northern part of the Panamint Range was held by another kind of Indians, an off-variety of the Shoshones, whom a Panamint Indian can not understand; that way north of these quasi-Shoshones there lives another kind of Piutes known as the Northern Piutes, who speak another non-intelligible language -- that same one that is spoken by the Bannock Indians, in southern Oregon, at Carson City, Nev., at Bishop, Calif., etc.

Thanks a million times over for telling me about Mr. Tom Wilson - is he still at Furnace Creek? How could I write to him? He would perhaps instantly know about this Shoshone-Panamint mix-up. Isn't there any place that one could board at Furnace Creek though the Inn is closed? It may be going to require Indians to straighten this matter out. . . .

I have found Beatty, Nev., on the map; it is in Nye County. I have also found the Panamint Valley. It is my guess, wild perhaps, that the Death Valley Indians may all of them be that variety of Shoshones and may be merely miscalling themselves Panamints, while the real Panamints are their enemies and a division of the Piutes. Mr. Wilson may know.

Goodwin to JPH, May 27, 1946:

Replying to your letter of May 20, 1946, you apparently have certain information that has never been brought out here, although we have had close touch with the Indians in this vicinity over a period of thirteen years. . . .

The Indians have all left Death Valley for the summer and are scattered. Tom Wilson moved toEagle Borax and from there will go to his wife's ranch in Johnson Canyon, inaccessible except by foot or horseback. There is no place open during the summer except Death Valley Junction. Stovepipe Wells Hotel is open but very hot and is about the same distance from Furnace Creek as the Junction.

It would seem to me your best procedure would be to go to Stewart, Nevada and visit the Carson Agency. They have dealt with all these Indians and made a census of them several years ago and should have some definite information on the subject.


Gloria Arellanes - 2338 Penn Mar, El Monte, CA 91732
Marie Baca - 1324 3/4 Carroll Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026
Edward F. Bagley - 73 Gladstone St., East Boston, MA 02128
Ginny Bouvier - 22 Second Street #202, Sausalito, CA 94965
David Burgevin - Photographic Services, MNH Room C-5-054, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560
Loretta Ditlow - 13686 Bayliss Road, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Thomas Doty - P. O. Box 3397, Ashland, OR 97520
Chris Giffen - 110 Monterey Road, Apt. 12A, Pacifica, CA 94044
Mercedes Q. Hinkson - 4832 Queensland Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1G2, CANADA
Nashun Huante - 3546 Donald Ave., Riverside, CA 92503
Jerry Jackman - Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, P.O. Box 388, Santa Barbara, CA 93102-0388
Darrell Johnston - P.O. Box 1421, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693
K**** W***** K***** - 11223 Leatherwood Dr., Reston, VA 22091
Susan Marfield - P.O. Box 1567, Boulder Creek, CA 95006
Frederick J. Marr - 2360 Longview Drive, Bishop, CA 93514
Michael Marr - 2541 1/2 Glen Green, Hollywood, CA 90068
Mike Martin - c/o Indian Health Council, Inc., P.O. Box 406, Pauma Valley, CA 92061
Fran McTamaney - 2719 Hogan Dr., Santa Clara, CA 95054
Douglas Parks - American Indian Studies Research Institute, 422 N. Indiana Ave., Bloomington, IN 47401
Theo Radic - Odengatan 8, 114 24 Stockholm, SWEDEN
Catherine Rudolph - Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, P.O. Box 388, Santa Barbara, CA 93102-0388
Niko Theris - 270 Cliff Dr. #7, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Diane Weiner - 21017 W. Hillside Dr., Topanga, CA 90290
Elizabeth Yamaguchi - 1031 Hughes Lane, Fallbrook, CA 92028

[Anyone who would like the complete, updated mailing list - approximately 160 names - should contact the editor.]


The organizers would like to hear from all of you who intend to participate in the 2nd J. P. Harrington Conference, and would like to have a brief statement from you concerning your plans for a presentation, if any. Please return this form at your earliest convenience, if possible no later than September 15, 1993.

Name: ________________________________________________    	Which days can you be at the Conference? (check)

Mailing Address:   ___________________________________		_____Tuesday, November 16

______________________________________________________		_____ Wednesday, November 17


Telephone(s): ________________________________________		Will you be attending the AAA meeting? ______

Participants will not be required to take a structured part in any session, but those with special interests in particular topics are encouraged to prepare a presentation. Depending on the topic this may be a brief report, an informal talk, or a formal paper. In the space below please give a brief (75-100 word) summary of the presentation you would like to make. If you would like to make more than one presentation, please provide a summary for each. Use the reverse side if necessary.

Return this page to: Victor Golla, Dept. of Ethnic Studies, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA 95521

posted to the web 27jan1997