The first book printed in Wisconsin, an Ojibwe almanac
Kikinawadendamoiwewin or Almanac, wa aiongin obiboniman debeniminang Iesos, 1834
The compiler of this Ojibwe almanac, Rev. Samuel Mazzuchelli (1806-1864), was a Catholic priest who came to the Great Lakes in 1828. He served congregations throughout Michigan, the Upper Peninsula, Green Bay, southern Canada, and as far south as the Wisconsin Lead Region. Mazzuchelli wrote what he called, "an Indian Almanac rendered by signs, equally useful to those among the Natives who are unable to read their language" in 1833 or 1834.
The almanac measures about 4 x 6.5 inches and consists of just 14 pages, printed on one side only and sewn into plain paper wrappers. Just 150 copies were printed by Albert Ellis, and the one shown here is the only known copy. The original is in the Library of Congress; this digital version was made from a photocopy in the Wisconsin Historical Society Library. This very rare Wisconsin imprint, the first book printed in Wisconsin, is described in more detail in The Wisconsin Magazine of History, vol. 16, number 1, (September 1932), pages 102-104.
This is one of several works on American Indian languages to be found at Turning Points in Wisconsin History. Readers should note that this is a historical document rather than a modern one, and that it was produced by a white observer rather than a native speaker; students wishing to study the language should rely on materials produced by the tribal language office.