Old Times on the Upper Mississippi: Recollections of a Steamboat Pilot from 1854-1863

By George Byron Merrick | Go to book overview

Appendix E
Indian Nomenclature and Legends

The name Mississippi is an amelioration of the harsher syllables of the Indian tongue from which it sprang. Dr. Lafayette H. Bunnell, late of Winona, Minnesota, a personal friend and old army comrade, is my authority for the names and spelling given below, as gleaned by him during many years’ residence among the Chippewa of Wisconsin and the Sioux (or Dakota) of Minnesota. Dr. Bunnell spoke both languages fluently, and in addition made a scholarly study of Indian tongues for literary purposes. His evidence is conclusive, that so far as the northern tribes were concerned the Mississippi was in the Chippewa language, from which the name is derived: Mee-zee (great), see-bee (river)—Great River. The Dakota called it Wat-pah-tah’-ka (big river). The Sauk, Foxes, and Potawatomi, related tribes, all called it: Mee-chaw-see’-poo (big river). The Winnebago called it: Ne-scas-hut’-ta-ra (the bluff-walled river). Thus six out of seven tribes peopling its banks united in terming it the “Great River”.

Dr. Bunnell disposes of the romantic fiction that the Indians called it the “Great Father of Waters”, by saying that in Chippewa this would be: Miche-nu-say’-be-gong—a term that he never heard used in speaking of the stream; and old Wah-pa-sha, chief of the Dakota living at Winona, assured the Doctor that he had never heard an Indian use it. The Chippewa did, however, have a superlative form of the name: Miche-gah’-see-bee (great, endless river), descriptive of its (to them) illimitable length.

Dr. Bunnell suggests the derivation of the name Michigan, as applied to the lake and state. The Chippewa term for any great body of water, like Lakes Michigan, Superior, or Huron, is: Miche-gah’-be-gong (great, boundless waters). It was very easy

-300-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Old Times on the Upper Mississippi: Recollections of a Steamboat Pilot from 1854-1863
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 324

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.