Frank Bridgman's Menominee vocabulary, 1878

Indian vocabularies, 1875-1879

This legal-size ledger bears the note, ┐words learned by Frank Bridgman, age 10, 1879.┐ Frank E. Bridgman (1868-1973) was the son of Menominee Indian agent Joseph Clark Bridgman. The Bridgman family arrived in Keshena in Oct. 1874 and departed in April 1879. Frank Bridgman went on to spend most of his life in Massachusetts, and lived to be 104 years old. The first section contains words copied from Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's "North American Indians." The second section is Menominee words taken down by Frank's older brother, Alfred Bridgman, 1875-79 (a separate manuscript contains another of Alfred's Menominee word lists). Two final pages list words copied from an unidentified book and names in Menominee and English.

The handwriting is often quite faint, but zooming in on individual words usually makes them legible. Pages on which no writing was found have been omitted here. Frank Bridgman consistently mis-spelled the tribal name throughout the volume.

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 Readers should note that this is a historical document rather than a modern one, and that it was produced by a white observer rather than a native speaker; students wishing to study the language should rely on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.

Related Topics: Early Native Peoples
First Peoples
Americanization and the Bennett Law
Indians in the 20th Century
Creator: Bridgman, Frank E.
Pub Data: Unpublished manuscript (call no. US Mss 4F) in the Archives at the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Citation: Bridgman, Frank E. Indian vocabularies, 1875-1879 (U.S. Mss 4F at the Wisconsin Historical Society). Online facsimile at:; Visited on: 1/28/2023