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Bronson authored first Assamese dictionary & newspaper

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A bust of the Christian missionary scholar Miles Bronson was unveiled recently at the Mission Market in Nagaon and hopefully soon the Assamese city will also get its landmark with a giant statue of Bronson for his immense contribution towards the welfare of Assamese language.

In 1826, after the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam had been annexed to colonial British India, Bronson arrived in Assam as part of the American Baptist Mission in 1836. Bronson compiled the first Assamese dictionary way back in 1867 using Jaduram Baruah’s scripting, and also brought out the first Assamese language newspaper ‘Orunodoi’ in 1845.

Besides writing various books including ‘A Spelling Book and Vocabulary in English, Assamese, Singpho and Naga in 1839, he also wrote two books in the Garo language in 1863. He played the key role in restoring Assamese as official language and medium of instruction in Assam in 1873 after it had been replaced by Bengali in 1836 by the British.

Miles Bronson was born in Newyork, USA in 1812. In India, he started his works in Sadiya, Jaipur and Naamsang. He started interacting with Naga tribes and first compiled ‘East Naga’ Thesaurus.

He established a school for both boys and girls in Nagaon in 1841.

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