American Indian and Alaska Native Newspapers and Periodicals, 1826-1924 - Vol. 1

By Daniel F. Littlefield Jr.; James W. Parins | Go to book overview
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Index Sources: None

Location Sources: Danky and Hady; DSI-BAE; NUC; ULS

Publication History

Title and Title Changes: Sina Sapa Wocekiye Taeyanpaha ( 1892- 1923)

Volume and Issue Data: Sina Sapa Wocekiye Taeyanpaha (Vol. 1, No. 1, February, 1892-Vol. 28, No. 1, September 15, 1922)

Publisher and Place of Publication: Jerome Hunt, O.S.B., Fort Totten, North Dakota ( 1912-1923)

Editor: Jerome Hunt, O.S.B. ( 1892-1923)


The Siwinowe Kesibwi (or Shawnee Sun) was established at the Shawnee Baptist Mission in Kansas in March, 1835. It was apparently edited monthly by Johnston Lykins until 1836, when it was edited by Jotham Meeker. In the spring of 1837, Meeker left the mission and Lykins returned. Lykins, then, edited the paper until it was suspended in 1839.

Meeker was the printer who established the press at Baptist Mission and developed the system of representing the Shawnee language in print. Born in Ohio in 1804, Meeker was trained as a printer before becoming a Baptist missionary to the Indians in 1825. He served among the Potawatomis, Ottawas, and Chippewas before going to Kansas. 1 He was replaced at the Shawnee Mission by John G. Pratt.

The Siwinowe Kesibwi was revived with Lykins as editor in 1841 and apparently was published until 1844. Unfortunately, only part of one copy is known to have survived into the twentieth century, and that was found in a private collection in 1930. The publication apparently consisted of four pages with two columns of print. The printing was in the Shawnee language, and records kept by the men involved in the publication indicate that, besides the editors' contributions, some contributions were made by Indians.

The Siwinowe Kesibwi was the first newspaper published entirely in an Indian language. 2

Douglas C. McMurtrie, "Jotham Meeker," in Dumas Malone (ed.), Dictionary of American Biography ( New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1933), 12: 496.
The authoritative treatment of this periodical, on which the above sketch is based, is Douglas C. McMurtrie, "The Shawnee Sun: The First Indian-Language Periodical Published in the United States," Kansas Historical Quarterly, 2 ( November, 1933), 339- 342. Facing page 339 is a facsimile reprint of the front page of the November, 1841, issue, a copy of which is in the Kansas Historical Society.


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American Indian and Alaska Native Newspapers and Periodicals, 1826-1924 - Vol. 1
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