Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Daniel Smith, 6 July 1800

From Daniel Smith

Sumner County July 6th. 1800.


Judge Campbell was at my house a few weeks ago and shewed me a letter of yours to him in which you request him to procure you a vocabulary of the Cherokee language.—Just afterwards a Chickasaw family with whom I am acquainted passed by my house, and supposing that a vocabulary of the Chickasaw language might not be unacceptable to you I made use of this opportunity to take the enclosed. I had not your list of english words—but took down as many as I could think of in the time the indian family was with me one evening.

I am Sir with respect and esteem your obedt. Servt.

Danl Smith

Please to present my respects to Col. Lewis and Mrs. Lewis.

RC (PPAmP); endorsed by TJ as received 10 Aug. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Vocabulary list, undated, giving 158 English words with Chickasaw equivalents for all but 6 of them; with a note on orthography and pronunciation and a note keyed to the English word “you” that reads: “in questioning them for their names of our pronouns they seemed not clearly to understand me” (MS in same; in Smith’s hand; endorsed by TJ: “A Vocabulary of the Chickasaw language taken in 1800. by Genl. D. Smith of Tennissee from a chickasaw family who passed an evening at his house. see his lre July 6. 1800.”); contains some of the same words that appear in the list provided by Benjamin Hawkins (see 12 July), but with different phonetic representation of the Chickasaw terms.

A letter of yours: TJ to David Campbell, 14 Mch. 1800.

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