Silas Tertius Rand

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1880-1887 ca. The Reverend Silas Tertius Rand and two Mi'kmaq boys Amherst, N.S. Photograph: R. S. Pridham

RAND, Silas Tertius, Canadian clergyman, born in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, 17 May, 1810. He was ordained to the Baptist ministry in 1834, and in 1846 became a missionary among the Micmac Indians. Acadia college gave him the degree of D. D. in 1886, and Queen's university that of LL. D. in the same year. Dr. Rand is a fine linguist, and reads with ease thirteen languages. He has rescued the Micmac tongue from oblivion, and has translated the whole of the New Testament, most of the Old, and many tracts and hymns, into that language. He has written a grammar, and a dictionary which contains thirty thousand Micmac words, and has in his study 12,000 pages of foolscap manuscript giving the legends of the tribe. In this way he has preserved eighty-four tales, traditions, and legends of the Canadian aborigines. He died in Hantsport in October 1889. The Dominion government, at the request of several college presidents, recently purchased for preservation the manuscript of his Micmac dictionary for $1,000. The Smithsonian institution at Washington obtained from Dr. Rand a list of all his Indian works for publication in the "North American Linguistics or Bibliography." "Algonquin Legends," by Charles G. Leland (Boston, 1884), contains 120 pages of Dr. Rand's material, which is fully acknowledged by the author.

DID YOU KNOW THAT.......... In the beginning, before 1500 A.D. .... "The history of this land does not necessarily begin in 1500, with the arrival of the Europeans with their alphabet, their pens and their parchment before them. Over the centuries during which the Micmac People roamed sea and land and learned them well, history was encoded in stories and chants, passed down by word of mouth, taught through dance, and song and dreams." Taken from the book, Old Man Told Us, by Ruth Whitehead "When there were no people in this country but Indians, and before any others became known, a young woman had a singular dream... A small island came floating in towards the land, with tall trees on it and living beings. [The Shamans] pondered the girl's dream but could make nothing of it. The next day an event occurred that explained all. What should they see but a singular little island, as they supposed, which had drifted near to the land and became stationary there. There were trees on it and branches to the trees, on which a number of bears... were crawling about...What was their surprise to find that these supposed bears were men." Josiah Jeremy to Silas Rand 1869. In Legends of the Micmac by Silas T. Rand. 1894

Sources:

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright 2001 VirtualologyTM

Nova Scotia Museum, Halifax


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