Charles Godfrey Leland an Hugo Schuchardt (05-6372)

von Charles Godfrey Leland

an Hugo Schuchardt


20. 06. 1888

language Englisch

Schlagwörter: language Französischbasierte Kreolsprache (Louisiana) Tille, A. (1888) Barrère, A./Leland, Charles Godfrey (1889) Shook, J. R. (2005) Weeks, John M. (2002)

Zitiervorschlag: Charles Godfrey Leland an Hugo Schuchardt (05-6372). London, 20. 06. 1888. Hrsg. von Kathrin Brandt und Astrid Gabel (2016). In: Bernhard Hurch (Hrsg.): Hugo Schuchardt Archiv. Online unter, abgerufen am 14. 04. 2024. Handle:


June 20. 1888

Lieber Herr Professor,

Ich gratuliere Ihnen dass Sie in Bologna1 waren, ich wäre auch gern hingegangen, wenn es mir möglich gewesen wäre.

On the other hand I am very sorry that you suffered from Neurasthenie I don’t know what the devil it is but it sounds very terrible. Which reminds me of something which actually occurred when I was in Philadelphia few years ago. A friend of mine called on a friend of hers who was suffering from – well call it Meningitis or Dryanda cordifolia or anything Latin for a disorder. There came to |2| the door a ‘coloured’ or black woman. How is your mistress, and what is the matter with her? Asked the visitor “Deed Ma’am I don’ know was the reply “but I’se ‘fraid it’s something very bad, for the Doctor has given it a very long geographical name”.

First of all I must apologize that I did not explain clearly to you what I wanted. My work is to be a Dictionary of Americanisms2 – of slang of course. But I give it a very wide scope. I intend that it shall include some account of Creole and Canadian French, Chinook, Gumbo, Pennsylvania ‘Dutch’ &c. a short account of the character of each, with a brief |3| vocabulary. Also a rather wide and loose range as regards everything American, exem. g. folklore, specimens of negro songs. American Dishes, Proverbs, Sayings & similes. Voodooism, political terms, fauna et flora. Now if you can write anything for me I shall gladly accept it. As regards the honorarium I merely stated what would be the average amount given by London reviewers for a short article, but if you can give more why just do as you like and put your own price only state what it will be, so that I may accord with my publisher, and arrange accordingly. Only be so kind if you can contribute anything let me know at once so that |4| I may announce your name in the list of those who will contribute, as the publisher wishes to be able to announce it at once.

I received the day before yesterday from Dr. Oliver W. Holmes3 a very nice little paper on the Massachusetts dialect, with some interesting notes on local superstitions, and a list of words. Dr. D. G. Brinton4 will give something on Anglo (American) Indian dialects. I have written to Mr. Cable5 to help me in Creole French or Gumbo, which he understands. Gumbo is really an African patois, spoken in Louisiana and so on to Central America. In haste

Yours truly
Charles G. Leland

1 The University of Bologna celebrated the 800th anniversary in June, 1888 (Tille 1888).

2 Barrère/ Leland (1889).

3 It remains unclear if Leland is referring to Oliver W. Holmes Jr. or Sr. The latter (1809-1894) appears more likely, as the father was a scholar and author as well as a physician while the son was a famous judge (Shook 2005).

4 Leland is likely referring to Daniel Garrison Brinton (1837-1899), an American physician, ethnologist, archeologist and linguist who specialized in Native American languages and culture and was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania at the time (Weeks 2002).

5 Refers to George Washington Cable (1844-1925), a contemporary author from Louisiana whose characters use Louisiana Créole. He tried to promote French and creole language and culture in Louisiana (cf. Briefnummer 1483).

Faksimiles: Universitätsbibliothek Graz Abteilung für Sondersammlungen, Creative commons CC BY-NC (Sig. 6372)