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The Hellenic Language in the Native American Culture
Material posted: Publication date: 24-06-2018

Historians and movie makers have written very little about the cultural life of the so called American Indians portraying them as savages. However, there is another side to the culture of these people that has been unknown.

About thirty years ago, I received the following letter from my first cousin Nicholas Karalekas, accompanying a two-page letter, that was handwritten in Greek.  My cousin's letter appears below, followed by the two-page letter to be translated.

When I read the aforementioned two-page letter, I could not believe my eyes. I felt that I was the first person to read it. My translation of the text:

Brothers, we are home, we are all children of the Great spirit. We are on the same road, we drink from the fountain, and we'll burn in one box.

When the first white people stepped on our land, they were starving, they had no place to sleep to build a fire. They were sick and couldn't do. Our fathers suffered from them, although the Great spirit protects his children, whom he blessed.

Brothers, white people as a sneaky snake - when they are cold, they are weak and harmless. When they get warm, they turn on their benefactors.

Many years ago, when the earth was born - the sun was rising and did not go - everything was chaos. The great Spirit created all. He gave white people a land beyond the great waters. On our earth he created the animals and gave this land to his red children, and for the protection granted them strength and courage.

Brethren, my people are brave and numerous, but individually the people are stronger and can beat us. I want you to join us in the war against them. If we agree, we will turn the great water in the river of blood. Brothers, the white people want to tear us apart, as well as harmful wind and the water.

Brothers, the Great Spirit against our enemies. Thunderbolts, and the earth will absorb the city, the devastating wind and the water. Great waters will flood their fields, leaving them the land and the Great Spirit save those who flee to the mountains.

The brothers will enter into a contract between themselves and defeat the enemies to protect yourself and give the Great Spirit love us. It will make all his children happy.

John. Johnston

Bow. College may 5, 1821.

This text was Bob Williams, who at the time lived in San Diego, California, and wanted to know what was written by his great-great-grandfather. As I said to my cousin, the letter was found in their house in the us state of Maine. I showed the above two-page letter to the authorities of Bowdoin College located in Brunswick, Maine and received the following official response:

Dear Dr. kostopoulos,

Thank you for your intriguing email that I sent to Special collections and archives. I appreciate that you sent a scan of the letter J. Johnston together with your transfer. It's exciting!

I would like to uncover the many mysteries associated with the text, but I can offer just a little information - John Johnston was a student Bowdoin, he graduated in 1832. Date of writing - may 5, 1831, not 1821. Johnston was 22 when he entered College in 1828. He continued his career as Professor in Weslyan. A catalogue of the graduates of Bowdoin:

Do we also have the biographical information in his file of alumni, a copy of which can get you or his descendants. To unfortunately, neither one of materials, which we have on Johnston, not reveals the history of letters. I would have suggested, that this is whatisthe attitude to scientific exercise or task. This hypothesis is interesting to me, because what we can learn in that time in Bowdoin studied the history of indigenous Americans.

In that time, as the nature of the letters mysterious, I'm quite confident in his belonging to John Johnston. This is the only George. Johnston, mentioned in the graduation documents of the College until 1950. I also studied his biographical documents and compared the signature on a letter to the College in 1850-ies with what is found in the Greek document.

I'm sorry I can't offer more help in deciphering this document. Let me know if you need a copy of biographical documents Johnston. In addition, I would be very interested to know the location of the original Greek document. Do You know, it's kept from the family Williams? I think this is quite unusual and could be the basis for outstanding research student Bowdoin, so I hope that the family will think that the letter got to us or to other archives.

With all best wishes and our sincere gratitude for the fact that we drew attention to the letter,

Kat Stefko, librarian for discovery, digitization and special collections

Director, George J. Mitchell Department of special collections and archives

Boguinskaya College library 3000 College station Brunswick, Maine


For its part, I offer the above-mentioned scientists of the world to continue research and explore the culture of the indigenous inhabitants of the region that we call the American continent.

George Kostopoulos

Tags: assessment , USA , Europe

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