From Missionary to Linguist: An Account of Silas Tertius Rand, 1810-1889
Graham, Bridget C. J.
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Silas Tertius Rand was a nineteenth-century Nova Scotian Baptist linguist and missionary, although he struggled with the latter. The Mi’kmaq had little interest in converting to the Baptist faith; many of them had joined the Roman Catholic church when the French first settled in the region. Rand’s interest in the Mi’kmaw language inspired him to collect legends and to create a dictionary that were fundamental in establishing a written language for the Mi’kmaw people. This thesis examines Rand’s personal diaries written at various points in his career, in order to explore Rand’s roles as both a missionary and a linguist. Due to his spiritual direction and outspoken nature, Rand was unlike most Protestant missionaries of his time. This thesis argues that, between 1810 and 1889, Rand's work developed through three phases. In tracing the changes within Rand's life and work, this thesis offers a narrative framework for reinterpreting his legacy.