0 Replies Latest reply on Nov 18, 2019 9:45 AM by Ethan Kent

    Decipherer of 19th-C. German wanted

    Ethan Kent Wayfarer

      Hi to both my fellow Citizen Archivist Transcribers, to National Archives/NARA staffers, and to anyone else who might see this message.

       

      For some months now, I have been working on a National Archives Catalog File Unit -- this one: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/5954410  -- with some other Transcribers (most-recently, one whose username is "Tooker").

       

      The File Unit (which has been a featured document on the Citizen Archivist Missions page for quite a while now) concerns a Civil War Prize Case concerning a Confederate blockade runner (captured in 1864) called the Advance; the NARA title for the File Unit is "United States vs. A. D. Vance" (it seems that during Admiralty proceedings, "A. D. Vance" was also used as a name for the ship in question.)

       

      The overwhelming majority of the documents within this File Unit are in English, but Image 189 contains an envelope and a letter (apparently found on the Advance when captured) which I believe (although I'm not certain) contain text which is overwhelmingly not in 1864 English (although the letter seems to have been sent from Danville, Virginia), but in 1864 German.

       

      Neither "Tooker" nor I are familiar with German, the writing is such that I (myself) cannot make out many of the letters in the text (and in the letter, was able to make out "Gott", "wir" (I think) , "sind" (I believe), and 1 or more German words for "The" -- but not much else)... -- besides this, parts of a few words in the letter seem to be no longer present (these parts of the paper seem to have come apart from the document since 1864), and the Image itself is such that making out the words would be "challenging" even if the text were written in simple 1864 English.

       

      Since just about all of the Images in this File Unit (including this one) have by now been at least partly Transcribed/worked-on, I believe that the File Unit will soon be "pulled" by NARA/National Archives staffers from the Citizen Archivist Missions page, so I am posting in hope that someone either among my fellow Citizen Archivist Transcribers or on the National Archives and/or NARA staff might see this and see if he or she has the skillset to decipher most of the content of Image 189 in the "United States vs. A. D. Vance" File Unit (or at least enough to give some indication to a reader of German what the message in the letter is).

       

      I realize that this is a more difficult Image than most even without the fact that it's written both in a non-English language (which I guess is mid-19th-Century German) and in such a handwriting that deciphering the words may be trickier than deciphering many contemporaneous handwritings in English) -- but I hope that some reader may be able to decipher at least a considerable portion of the letter text (and preferably much of the envelope text as well); otherwise, I hope that this post may alert 1 or more Nstional Archives/NARA staffer (I have posted 1 or more Comment/s, but received no kind of response from any staffer) to the existence of this very-difficult-to-decipher non-English-language text found among mostly English-language materials.

       

      Thanks to all who will read this message.

       

      Sincerely,

       

      Ethan W. Kent/"EthanFromBellmore" in New York City.