Apr 27, 2017 - Sale 2444

Sale 2444 - Lot 3

Price Realized: $ 4,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,500
OKLAHOMA'S EARLIEST PERIODICAL (AMERICAN INDIANS.) The Cherokee Messenger. Volume I, issues 1-12 (all issued). 192 pages. 8vo, contemporary cloth-backed marbled boards, minor wear, with remnants of paper spine label, blue front wrapper of April 1845 issue bound in; intermittent minor foxing; bookplate on front pastedown, early gift inscription on front free endpaper. Cherokee Baptist Mission, OK, August 1844 to May 1846

Additional Details

Just months after the Trail of Tears brought the Cherokees to the Indian Territory, the Cherokee Baptist Mission was established at Breadtown near present-day Westville in 1839. Its founder Evan Jones was a Welsh missionary and an ardent abolitionist. The American Baptist Missionary Union sent a printing press and printer in July 1843, with a Sequoyan font arriving that December. This magazine was one of the earliest products of the press. The great majority of the content was in Cherokee, with the mastheads and article titles mostly in English. Several articles on Cherokee grammar are presented in English, as well as a few news stories near the end of the first three issues. Other English-language highlights include an obituary of the Rev. Jesse Bushyhead, a Cherokee Baptist leader (page 16), a long message from principal chief John Ross (page 47), and several reports from local temperance societies. The Cherokee-language content includes several long biblical translations. The magazine's two illustrations, on pages 109 and 176, both relate to the "other" variety of Indian. One depicts the famed Juggernaut or Jagannath Temple in India, and the other shows an elephant.
This is a complete run of the first series; at least two issues were also published under this title in 1858 and 1859. Hargrett, Oklahoma Imprints 67n ("Oklahoma's earliest periodical"); Pilling, Iroquoian, page 40; Sabin 12446. We trace only one other complete set at auction since 1913, at the 1999 Siebert sale.
Provenance: Gift of John G. Flugel (American consul at Leipzig from 1838 until his death in 1849) to the German linguist Hans Conon von der Gabelentz (1807-1874), who later published a Cherokee grammar; later Gabelentz family bookplate.