Jesuit Missionary Meets a Race of White Living Giants in Northern Alaska per 1907 Washington D.C. Newspaper. As a famous Linguist, he quickly learned their Language


Location of Nome Alaska

Location of Nome Alaska


Northern Alaska where Father Barnum may have met the White Giant Indians

The following about Father Barnum, Missionary to Alaska, is from the Website:

Reverend Francis Barnum, S.J., was a compiler, together with Eben Lewis Barnum, of the Genealogical Record of the Barnum Family. After attending Loyola School in Baltimore and Georgetown College in Washington, D.C., Fr. Barnum joined the Society of Jesus. Circumstances warranted his withdrawal from the novitiate shortly thereafter but, after a period of time spent traveling throughout the world, he rejoined the Society in 1880. Following his ordination, Fr. Barnum was sent to Alaska, where he spent the better part of the 1890s. While there, he accumulated knowledge of Inuit, a native Alaskan language now know as Central Yup’ik. In 1901, he published a grammar of Inuit, titled “Grammatical Fundamentals of the Inuit Language as Spoken by the Eskimo of the Western Coast of Alaska” (Boston: Ginn & Co., Publishers, The Athenaeum Press). Fr. Barnum left Alaska in 1898, served for a time as a chaplain on Ward’s Island in New York Harbor, and finally settled at Georgetown, where he was made archivist. He died there in 1921.

The New York Times, 20 Dec 1883. Sacrificed to his Religion. Throwing Away his Heritage to Become a Priest. Baltimore, Dec. 19.–A year and a half ago, Dr. Zenus Barnum, son of Zenus Barnum, the founder of Barnum’s Hotel, in this city, died., leaving $80,000 worth of property. Dr. Barnum was a bitter opponent of the Catholic religion, and particularly of the vows of celibacy taken by its priesthood. He made a will leaving all his property to his brother, Frank Barnum, on condition that he did not take orders as a priest or deacon in the Catholic Church or join any society of that order. Should he do this, the whole property was to go to the McDonogh Institute to found a Professorship. When Dr. Barnum died Frank was in a Catholic college. A year later he joined the Society of Jesus and is now a member of that order in Boston. A long and bitter three-cornered fight over the will was made. Frank Barnum claimed that the Bill of Rights guaranteed religious liberty, and that the matter of religion could have nothing to do with the inheritance, and the next of kin claimed that if the money did not belong to Frank it should go to them, as there was it slight defect in the name of the McDonogh Institute as used in the will. The McDonogh. Trustees claimed that Frank had broken the terms of the will and that the money should go to them. The Trustees won the case to-day, Judge Fisher deciding in their favor. He said that, while the Bill of Rights gave a man religious liberty, it did not prevent a testator from putting such terms as he wanted in his will and making such disposition of his property as he saw fit. Frank Barnum, therefore, loses $80,000 for the sake of his religion and the McDonogh Institute gains this amount. (N.B., according to the US Department of Labor, $80,000 in 1883 is the approximate equivalent of $1,200,000 in 2003).

The New York Times, December 14, 1890. Mission Work in Alaska. A Purse Raised in Baltimore to Equip Father Barnum.
Baltimore, Dec. 13.—The friends of the Rev. Frank Barnum, S. J., are making up a purse to enable him to thoroughly equip himself for useful work on the Alaska Mission of the Catholic Church. The Rev. Mr. Barnum is now in New York and will remain there a short time before proceeding to the Pacific coast. Four members of the Society of Jesus are already in Alaska, but far apart. They are maintained by voluntary contributions.
Father Barnum is a native of Baltimore and is a son of the late Zenus Barnum, proprietor of the once famous but now demolished Barnum’s Hotel of this city. A brother, when dying, wishing to perpetuate the family name, left him $90,000 upon condition that he get married. This legacy Father Barnum forfeited when he joined the Jesuits. He is well known in the Middle States and throughout New-England. He has been two years on the mission in these States.
Father Barnum is known in his order as a very learned man and famous linguist. The languages of Europe are as familiar to him as his own native tongue, and he also speaks and reads several of the languages of Asia and Africa.

The New York Times, November 6, 1921. Obituary Notes. The Rev. Francis Barnum, S.J., Archivist at Georgetown University for fifteen years, died Thursday at the university. He had been a missionary among the Eskimos and in the Klondike during the gold rush. He was 72 years old.
He died in what is now the Georgetown District of Washington, DC.


~ by zamzummim on September 10, 2013.

One Response to “Jesuit Missionary Meets a Race of White Living Giants in Northern Alaska per 1907 Washington D.C. Newspaper. As a famous Linguist, he quickly learned their Language”

  1. Reblogged this on zamzummim.

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