Evans, James


Evans, James
(1801-1846)
   Born in Kingston-upon-Hull, England. Emigrated to Canada; opened a school near L'Original, and about 1828 moved to Rice Lake, where he entered the Methodist ministry, and began his life-long Work among the Indians. In 1840 given charge of missionary work in the North-West, with headquarters at Norway House. Had already devoted much time to the study of the native languages, and while at Norway House invented the Cree syllabic characters, a simple, phonetic system, by means of which the Indian was taught to read with surprising facility. At first cast his own type, built his own press, and printed on birchbark. Later obtained more effective materials, and set up catechisms, hymn-books, and portions of the Bible in syllabic.
   Bib.: Young, The Apostle of the North; McLean, James Evans, Inventor of the Syllabic System; Carroll, James Evans in the Methodist Magazine, October, 1882; Pilling, Bibliography of the Algonquian Languages.

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