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Father Scollen and His Lost Manuscript

posted Dec 18, 2014, 8:31 AM by Thomas Ivie   [ updated Dec 18, 2014, 8:32 AM ]

Father Constantine Scollen was a missionary to North American tribes. He was a linguist who, in addition to his bi-lingual childhood tongues of Erse (Irish) and English, was fluent in Greek, Latin, French, Italian, German and the First Nation languages/dialects of Cree, Blackfoot, Peigan (North and South) Stoney, Ojibwe, Sarcee and Arapaho. In Wyoming in 1892, he created an Arapaho alphabet and orology. It was possibly the first example of a written form of the language. His original notebook is in the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.

Father Scollen also wrote a 250 page, unpublished autobiography, “Thirty Years Experience Among the Indians of the Northwest.” Lost for 110 years, the individual chapters were recently discovered in The Buffalo Bulletin between March 1893 and April 1894 using the Wyoming State Library’s database, Wyoming Newspapers. 

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