Nez Perce and English Phrasebook
In September 1838, Henry Spalding, Marcus Whitman and four other missionaries decided to give instruction in native languages. Spalding, in particular, realized that to convert Nez Perce to Christianity, he needed to devise a written language where one had not existed before. Spalding accepted an offer for a small printing press from a missionary living in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii). The press arrived in the spring of 1839. Between 1839 and 1845, Spalding published eight works. The one on display here is a phrasebook that gives English definitions to Nez Perce words and Nez Perce translations of Bible verses. It was the first book published in Idaho.
Nez Perce National Historical Park