Abby Langdon Alger

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Zitiervorschlag: Brandt, Kathrin (2016): Abby Langdon Alger. In Bernhard Hurch (Hrsg.): Hugo Schuchardt Archiv. Online unter, abgerufen am 29. 05. 2023. Handle:


Die Korrespondenz zwischen Abby Alger und Hugo Schuchardt wurde von von Kathrin Brandt bearbeitet, kommentiert und eingeleitet.

Die Webedition wurde unter Mitarbeit von Belma Mahmutovic und Johannes Mücke erstellt.


Abby Langdon Alger was a member of a prominent New England Family whose papers are in part available in the Harvard University Library ( Last accessed: 30. March 2016). She translated several literary texts from and to English, French, Italian and German. Although she was not strictly a linguist, she was a language enthusiast and worked on Passamaquoddy language and folklore with folklorist and folk linguist Charles Godfrey Leland, with whom Schuchardt corresponded regularly (cf. Briefnummer 6368-6374). Her linguistic inclination is evident in the paper on Passamaquoddy vocabulary which she published in 1885 and mentions in her 2nd letter to Schuchardt. Her first letter precedes this publication though. She answers an inquiry by Schuchardt, who most likely asked for materials on creole languages from the Hunt collection in the Boston public library. Schuchardt was referred to Alger by Leland (cf. Briefnummer 6370) and clearly approaches her in order to expand his transatlantic network and receive referrals to relevant (American) publications. They discuss neither creole language data nor linguistic theory.

The first letter (48) includes a list of references. Alger’s recommendations are based on the collection of Mr. Hunt. This refers to Mr. Benjamin P. Hunt, another east coast resident, who left his extensive collection on the West Indies to the Boston library. She additionally refers Schuchardt to the contemporary writings of George Washington Cable from New Orleans, which she claims contain many instances of Louisiana Creole. Since Alger writes on March 1st, 1883, Schuchardt already contacted Cable at this point (cf. Briefnummer 1483). It seems that he has in fact not yet read the recommended novellas though, as he admits in his answering note to Cable. Among others, she recommends Thomas’ grammar from 1869 which Cable suggests as well.


Alger L., Abby. (selected translations):

-------1880. Wilhelm Busch. The Mischief Book. R. Worthington (publ.).

-------1895. Marie Térèse de Solms Blanc. The Condition of Woman in the United States: A

Traveler's Notes. Boston: Roberts Brothers.

-------1898. The little flowers of Saint Francis of Assisi. Tr. from the Italian, with a brief

account of the life of Saint Francis. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

Alger L., Abby 1885. “A Collection of Words and Phrases taken from the Passamaquoddy Tongue”. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 22. 240-255.

-------1897. In Indian Tents. Boston: Roberts.

Baissac, M. C. 1880. Études sûr le Patois Créole Mauricien. Nancy: Imprimerie Berger-Levrault et Cie.

Cable, G.W. 1879. Old Creole Days.

------- 1880. The Grandissimes: A Story of creole Life.

-------1881. Madame Delphine.

Ducoeurjoly, S. J. 1803. Manuel des habitants de Saint Domingue, qui contient le premier vocabulaire Français-Créoles et conversations Français-Créoles en deux volumes. Paris.

Orderson, J. W. 1842. Creoleana; or, Social and Domestic Scenes and Incidents in Barbados in days of yore. London. (reprint MacMillan, 2002).

St. Quentin Alfred de/ St Quentin Auguste de 1872. Introduction à l’histoire de Cayenne survie d’un recueil de cantes, fables & chansons en créole avec traduction en regard. Antiles: G. Marchand.

Thomas, J.J. 1869. The theory and practice of Creole grammar. Trinidad, Port of Spain: The Chronicle Publishing office.

Van Name, A. 1869. Contributions to Creole Grammar. Transactions of the American Philological Association (1869-1896) Vol. 1. 123-167.

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