• Creator
  • Swan, James Gilchrist
  • Created Date
  • 1880-1881
  • Description
  • James Gilchrist Swan, anthropologist, judge, political advisor, artist, schoolteacher, and promoter of Port Townsend, was one of the most colorful personalities of Washington State's territorial period (1853-1889). Swan was born in Massachusetts in 1818. In 1852 Swan departed for Shoalwater Bay (now called Grays Harbor). He learned the Chinook jargon, and this knowledge led Washington Governor Isaac Stevens to pick Swan as one of several trans... more
    James Gilchrist Swan, anthropologist, judge, political advisor, artist, schoolteacher, and promoter of Port Townsend, was one of the most colorful personalities of Washington State's territorial period (1853-1889). Swan was born in Massachusetts in 1818. In 1852 Swan departed for Shoalwater Bay (now called Grays Harbor). He learned the Chinook jargon, and this knowledge led Washington Governor Isaac Stevens to pick Swan as one of several translators for treaty negotiations with the Indians of Western Washington during 1854 and 1855. In 1859 he moved to Port Townsend and spent the next three years shuttling back and forth between Port Townsend and the Makah Indian Reservation at Neah Bay, supporting himself by writing for a variety of newspapers. In 1862 the local U.S. Indian agent appointed Swan the first schoolteacher at the Makah Reservation. Under criticism for failing to teach Christianity to the Makah, Swan resigned in 1866 and moved to Port Townsend. Swan was admitted to the... less
  • Format
  • Text
    Diary