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J.A. Cuoq letters

Identifier: VAULT box-Ayer-MS-206


Five letters, 1879-1894, from J.A. Cuoq to James Constantine Pilling, an American ethnologist particularly interested in Indian languages, who compiled comprehensive bibliographies on the topic and assembled the renowned library of the Bureau of American Ethnology. In Cuoq's responses to Pilling's apparent requests for copies of his works, he notes in an 1879 letter that all copies of requested volumes were destroyed in an 1877 fire at Lac-des-Deux-Montagnes. Later notes concern the forwarding of copies of Cuoq's Lexique de la langue iroquoise (published 1882) and Anotc keton (published 1893), which was an appendix to his Grammaire de la langue algonquine.


  • Creation: 1879-1894


Biographical / Historical

Priest, missionary, linguist, and philologist, also known as Nuj-Kwenatc-anibic (Algonquian) and Orakwanen-takon (Iroquois). Born in 1821 in France, J.A. Cuoq studied theology and discovered a facility for languages before his ordination as a priest in 1845 and his departure for Canada in 1846. Appointed curate at the Notre Dame church in Montreal, Cuoq also began a ministry at the mission Lac-des-Deux-Montagnes in Oka, Quebec. There, among the Iroquois and Algonquians, Cuoq began writing and publishing religious booklets in the languages of his parishioners. By the 1860s Cuoq had become a recognized authority on Indian languages; he continued to write and publish until his death in 1898.


0.1 Linear Feet (5 items in 1 folder)

Language of Materials


Ownership and Custodial History

Forms part of the Edward E. Ayer Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library)

Bibliographic References

Butler, R.L. Checklist of mss. in the Ayer Coll. ,206.

Processing Information Note

July 1, 1884 letter formerly known as Ayer MS 206a.

Catalog Record Only
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States