THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN. TRANSLATED INTO THE CHEROKEE LANGUAGE
by [Cherokee Language]: Worcester, Samuel Austin, and Elias Boudinot, [translators]
Park Hill: Mission Press. John F. Wheeler, printer, 1838. 101pp. 12mo. Original cloth spine and marbled boards. Very minor soiling and wear. Presentation inscription from Elias Boudinot on front flyleaf. Some light foxing but internally clean. Very good plus. Rare first edition of this early Park Hill Mission imprint. Printed entirely in Cherokee except for part of the title, which is in English, this work uses Sequoyah's syllabary (generally called the "Cherokee alphabet"). This is the fourteenth surviving Oklahoma imprint and the third piece to come off the Park Hill Mission press. The first press in the territory was established at Union Mission in 1835, and eleven imprints survive, printed between late 1835 and June of 1837. The press moved to Park Hill in the summer of 1837, and two imprints survive from that year - an almanac and a primer. This is the first imprint from 1838, and it is the first translation of any part of the New Testament into Cherokee. The translators were Samuel Austin Worcester and Elias Boudinot. Dr. Samuel A. Worcester (1798-1859), a missionary among the Cherokee for thirty-four years, had long recognized the potential of printed Cherokee to aid in the dissemination of religious knowledge. In December 1827 the MISSIONARY HERALD printed Worcester's eleven- line Cherokee translation of the first five verses of Genesis (rooted in the linguistic genius of Sequoyah) and contained the news that eighty-six pieces of Cherokee type were being cast in Boston. This type would be used to print the famous CHEROKEE PHOENIX newspaper and numerous other works in the Cherokee language. Elias Boudinot (1802-1839) , known by his Cherokee name of Gallegina Uwati and also known as Buck Watie, was a promising young Cherokee of mixed parentage who had recently returned to Georgia after completing his education at the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut. He assisted Worcester with the present production and also served as editor of the PHOENIX. Boudinot later concluded that the Cherokees would be forced west of the Mississippi no matter what they did, and signed a treaty he felt gave them the best deal in lands in Oklahoma, an act for which he was eventually assassinated. The present copy of this rare little volume contains a presentation inscription from Boudinot to Mrs. Elizabeth Gerlick, written in both Cherokee and English. The English inscription reads, "Presented to Mrs. Elizabeth Gerlick by her friend Elias Boudinot, Cherokee Chief." Boudinot was assassinated in 1839, the year after this was published. Such a presentation inscription is, therefore, incredibly rare and desirable. HARGRETT, OKLAHOMA 20. AYER INDIAN LINGUISTICS (CHEROKEE) 10 (4th ed). PILLING, PROOF SHEETS 4225. PILLING, IROQUOIAN, p.173.
(Inventory #: WRCAM51522)
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