The dictionary [ca. 1840’s] was a reference and recording tool created by Joseph Napoleon Bourassa, interpreter for and later Headman of the Potawatomi.
Joseph Napoleon Bourassa was a formidable negotiator for and leader of the Potawatomi. He advocated for the creation and implementation of several compacts between the United States and his kinsmen, two of which were fundamental in the creation of the Citizen Potawatomi and their eventual migration to Indian Territory [Oklahoma]. Bourassa once wrote, “if the Department [Interior], does not move them [Potawatomi] at once, they will all become paupers and ruined forever, and will never be able to get to the Indian Territory, which is the only place for their salvation.”