John Peabody Harrington Collection MS.219

Finding aid prepared by Anna Liza Posas
Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
234 Museum Drive
Los Angeles, CA, 90065-5030
323-221-2164
rroom@theautry.org
2013


Title: John Peabody Harrington Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MS.219
Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 1.5 Linear feet (1 box)
Date (inclusive): 1905-1962
Abstract: John Peabody Harrington (1884-1961) was a linguist and ethnologist. His career spanned over forty years, dedicating his research to studying Native American languages and cultures across the western United States. Collection includes notes created by John Peabody Harrington during the early 20th Century that are primarily related to the Gabrielino and Luiseño Indians of Southern California. The collection also includes research notebooks on Gabrielino Indians created by Bernice Johnston for her book California's Gabrielino Indians, published by the Southwest Museum in 1962.
creator: Harrington, John Peabody
creator: Johnston, Bernice
creator: Lummis, Charles Fletcher, 1859-1928.

Scope and contents

This collection contains information created by John Peabody Harrington during the early 20th Century regarding linguistics, ethnography, and geography, especially relating to the Gabrielino and Luiseño Indians of Southern California. This includes over 1,800 paper slips containing Gabrielino and Luiseño vocabulary, place names, tales, recollections, and geographical data gathered by Harrington from Native informants and the first San Gabriel Valley Mission baptism record. The collection also contains correspondence between Harrington and Charles Fletcher Lummis from 1909 to 1928; memorabilia; publications and newspaper clippings; and personal papers regarding Harrington’s education and early work experience.
The collection also includes research notebooks on Gabrielino Indians created by Bernice Johnston for her book California's Gabrielino Indians, published by the Southwest Museum in 1962. Johnston's research was based on Harrington's notes.

Biographical note

John Peabody Harrington (1884-1961) was a linguist and ethnologist. His career spanned over forty years, dedicating his research to studying Native American languages and cultures pertaining to tribes across the western United States.
He was born in Waltham, Massachusetts on 1884 April 29 to Elliott A. Harrington, a lawyer, and Mary L. Peabody, a teacher, and was raised in Santa Barbara, California since the age of two.
Harrington graduated from Standford University in 1905 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical and modern languages. He attended the universities of Leipzig and Berlin for his graduate work focusing on anthropology and linguistics.
Harrington began working for the Museum of New Mexico in 1909. In 1911, he also started working for the then known School of American Archaeology, currently known as the School of American Research, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Here is where he started his study on the languages of the Picuris, Jemez, and Zuni.
In 1915, Harrington was hired by the Smithsonian's Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) and worked for them until his retirement in 1954. While working for the BAE, he conducted extensive fieldwork and became an renowned linguist.
John Peabody Harrington died in San Diego, California, on 1961 October 21.

Historical note

The Handbook of North American Indians states that Gabrielino lands spanned across the Los Angeles basin and portions of the Santa Monica Mountains. This territory also extended along the Pacific coastline from Topanga Creek, in the north, to about Aliso Creek in the south, and most likely included the coastal islands of San Clemente, San Nicolas, and Santa Catalina.
Luiseno lands were just south of the Gabrielino’s and encompassed over 1500 square miles of coastal region from near Aliso Creek south to Agua Hediondo. Inland, their territory extended to Santiago Peak, Elsinor Fault Valley, Palomar Mountain, and near the valley of San Jose.
In the 1800’s, names were applied to many of native tribes according to the name of the Spanish mission that had been established in their territory; the Gabrielino after Mission San Gabriel Arcangel and the Luiseno after Mission San Luis Rey.
Today, Gabrielino Indians are also known as Tongva or Gabrielino/Tongva. The Luiseno groups are also identified as particular bands of Luiseno Indians, six of which are federally recognized and include La Jolla, Rincon, Pauma, Pechanga, Pala, and Soboba Indian bands.
Reference: Heizer, Robert F. Volume 8, California. Handbook of the North American Indians. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978.

Access

Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at rroom@theautry.org.

Use

Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Arrangement

  • Series 1: Correspondence, 1909-1928
  • Series 2: Memorabilia, 1916 and undated
  • Series 3: San Gabriel Valley Mission Place Name Slips, early 20th Century
  • Series 4: Vocabulary and Place Names, early 20th Century
  • Series 5: Original containers and enclosures, undated
  • Series 6: Publications, circa 1905-1944
  • Series 7: Personal Papers, 1900-1910
Documents are arranged chronologically when possible and then arranged either by material type or alphabetically by title as indicated in the series arrangement notes. The paper slips are in the order found except where noted.

Preferred citation

John Peabody Harrington Collection, 1905-1962, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.219; [folder number] [folder title][date].

Related Archival Materials note

The Archival Center for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Mission histories and records.
Huntington Library, San Marina, California. Early California Population Project.
National Anthropologic Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. J.P. Harrington Collection.

Acquisition

Harrington material donated as part of the Charles Fletcher Lummis collection, 1910 February 28. Bernice Johnston notes deposited to the Southwest Museum Institutional Archives, circa 1962.

Processing history

Preliminary finding aid drafted by Leanne Armstrong, 2009. Finding aid updated by Anna Liza Posas, 2013. Final processing of collection and publication of finding aid made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Publication note

Harrington , Mark Raymond. "A new Gabrielino vocabulary." Masterkey, volume 18, number, 1944 November. Article discusses Harrington's place names and vocabulary notes.
Johnston, Bernice. California's Gabrielino Indians. Los Angeles: Southwest Museum, 1962.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Clippings
Correspondence
Gabrielino Indians
Gabrielino language
Indians of North America -- California
Linguistics
Luiseño Indians
Luiseño language
Mission San Gabriel Arcangel (San Gabriel, Calif.)
Notebooks
Religious records

Box 1, Folder 1

Correspondence Series 1 1909-1928

Scope and contents

This series consists of correspondence between Harrington and Charles Fletcher Lummis. The letters discuss subjects such as a project in San Mateo, New Mexico; Pu-yé; School of American Archaeology; the marriage of Harrington to Carobeth Tucker; a poem written by Harrington, later published in The Masterkey, volume 31, number 4, 1957. Other persons mentioned include Miss Fletcher; Honorable Amado Chaves of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Dr. Hewett; Parkhurst; Carobeth Tucker (also known as Carobeth Laird); Hector Alliot; Father Francis J. Conaty; Dr. Scherer; Quimu Lummis; Turbese Lummis; and Bertha Lummis.
Box 1, Folder 2

Memorabilia Series 2 1916 and undated

Scope and contents

This series consists of Harrington’s personal items and memorabilia including Harrington and Carobeth Tucker’s wedding announcement; Harrington’s notes regarding the death of Candelaria Leiva; “Armenian Love Song” handwritten by Harrington; and an American Railway Express Company delivery tag. The wedding announcement is the only dated item.
 

San Gabriel Valley Mission Place Name Slips Series 3 early 20th Century

Scope and contents

This series consists of handwritten paper slips that are separated into three sets. The slips contain the place names Harrington collected from the first baptismal record book of the San Gabriel Valley Mission or Libro Primero de los Bautismos de San Gabriel Arcangel. The baptisms took place between 1771 and 1779. According to the Papers of John Peabody Harrington held at the Smithsonian Institution,Harrington collected the information in 1914. Most slips include the baptism number, place name, page number, and symbols located around the baptismal number. These symbols are not found in the original record and their meanings are unknown. The alphanumeric notation located at the top right corners of the slips correlate with the page numbers of the original record. Harrington copied the place names as they were written in the original record. The records are written in eighteenth-century Spanish script with each priest having their own variations of letter formation.
 

Vocabulary and Place Names Series 4 early 20th Century

Scope and contents

This series contains vocabulary, place names, tales, recollections, and geographical data for Gabrielino, Luiseno, and other Mission Indian groups.
Vocabulary and place name slips are often spelled linguistically and contain English translations. Some modern place names have been provided for historical place names, geographical areas, and landmarks. The initial on the top-right corner of each slip indicates which informant provided the information, Felicitas Serrano Montano (F), Jose “Kewen” de los Santo Juncos (K), or Jose Maria Zalvidea (Z).
Folders MS.219.4.5.6 and MS.219.4.5.7 in this collection, are legal size notepads containing handwritten notes made by Bernice Eastman Johnston during research for her book, California's Gabrielino Indians, and Masterkey articles. MS.219.4.5.6 contains a list of English terms translated into Spanish and Gabrielino as indicated by the writing and notes of Harrington, Hugo Reid, A. L. Kroeber, and others. It also contains some of Harrington’s phrase and sentence translations.
Folder MS.219.4.5.7 contains notes regarding southern California place names found in Harrington’s notes.
 

Original containers and enclosures Series 5 undated

Scope and contents

This series contains the envelopes that held or were located with the collection’s paper slips. Items feature previous call numbers and reference notes.
 

Publications Series 6 circa 1905-1944

Scope and contents

This series consists of four library catalog cards, one scrapbook containing a journal article written by Harrington, and five scrapbooks containing mounted newspaper clippings. Not all scrapbooks are dated. Topics of clippings include biographical information about Harrington; the excavation of Burton Mound in Santa Barbara, California; the Homestake Mine Camp near Reno, Nevada; and research notes on Toro Canyon, California.

Acquisition

Some clippings may have been gifted to the Southwest Museum in 1937 April.
 

Personal Papers Series 7 1900-1910

Scope and contents

his series includes an 11-page curriculum vitae (CV) for Harrington that documents his education and early work experiences from 1900 July through 1910 December. A note regarding Harrington’s Stanford transcripts, recommendations, and references are also included.
The last two pages in this folder are bound together, obscuring the “References” page; a photocopy of the page is on the back for viewing and preservation purposes. It also includes a library catalog card relating to this material.