Monday, June 8, 2015

"Chief Ab Beth Din WyRosh Yeshivo"

Today I ran across the 1792 pamphlet "Minutes of debates in council on the banks of the Ottawa River, November 1791."  The pamphlet (you can download it here) purports to be an account of speeches given by Indians after the defeat of a US force under Arthur St. Clair on 4 November 1791.  This was the worst defeat ever suffered by the United States at the hands of the Indians.
Its authenticity has been questioned (see here), but no one has noticed that the author left signs of his mockery (as well as his knowledge of Hebrew) on page 20:

Yes, either this pamphlet is a joke, or there really was an great Indian peace chief in the early 1790's named Ab Beth Din WyRosh Yeshivo אב בית דין וראש ישיבה -- "Chief of the Court and Head of the Yeshiva."

The speech of Ab Beth Din WyRosh Yeshivo is preceded by one by Gush-Gush-a-gwa, (this joke I don't quite get).  Appended is a letter on gardening (!) dated April 3d 1762, and signed by General H. Bouquet (who was a historical personage, though not for peaceful reasons. ).  
May the flowers of peace bloom for all nations of the earth --MSK