April 16, 1980
Dear Mrs. Core,
I did enjoy talking to the members of the D.A.R. because they are interested in history.
They may be interested in the fact that the Te Deum was the first Christian hymn ever sung
in Arkansas. This was sung by the Spaniards in a formal procession with the Quapaw Indians,
who marched to venerate the first Christian cross erected in Arkansas in 1541. When preparing
my Girl Scout candidates for the Marian Award, I procured a translation of that hym and
taught them to sing it to the tune of the song which has the lines "through a long and sleepless
night I whispered your name." That song was based on the proper Gregorian Chant to sing the
Te Deum by. The D.A.R. may wish to use it in their ceremonies, as this chapter is more
exclusively entitled to it than others, since it was first sung in the province of Casquin, to
whom Aquixe (Ah-ke-so, or Ah-kan-sa) was a subordinate chief.
If you will get the material to me I will have it translated and return it to you. I have
several translators of both French and Spanish, most of whom have at least a masters degree.
I have found that the old nuns enjoy doing this work at a price I can afford to pay; they
also take greater pains to get it done accurately and are more acquanted with archaic forms.
When we run into trouble I check with the language departments of the several universities
in the midwest. Also, when the material is of exceeding importance, I have two very widely
separated and unacquainted translators work on it. Then, in those cases where the dictation
was done by a Quapaw, I go over the material with them to assure that it conforms both to the
written text and to the Quapaw vernacular.
When I inquired of the Louisisana State Historical Library at Baton Rouge they sent me the
names and addresses of genealogists working in New Orleans. I contacted some of these men
and found out that they were charging as much as $500 per. day Compared to that figure,
the $8.00 you quoted is small, indeed.
At present I am preoccupied with getting my pharmacy reciprocity to Arkansas, because Okla.
has decided to quit reciprocating with other states. So, my time is spend in collecting detailed
data of my professional background, studying Arkansas laws attendant to pharmacy, and finishing
the course for continuing education, required by both Oklahoma and Kansas. I do not know if
I will ever practice here, but I need to get registered in any case.
The Quapaw Business Committee has said that they will not back me in trying to procure a
federal grant to get the language published. They said the reason was that "your
translations" of the Quapaw personal names was upsetting people. The names were translated by
investigators, who were informed by those who bore the names in most cases, and I cannot
change these to fit the desires of their descendants. But, even if I have to go back to work
to earn the money to have the work printed, I intend to get the dictionary into print. If
you have any suggestions or ideas about how to get a grant for this effort I would appreciate
hearing about it.
Very truly yours,
[Hanwritten notes] >Laitaanne is probably one of those terms which
incorporates both French and Quapaw words, from
La, French for "the" and Tani, Quapaw for "tobacco". The placement
of the vowel "i" is a peculiarity of the Quapaw language to separate
terms. The Tobacco Nation was Tionontati of the Iriquois.<