Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version



Published in Literary and Linguistic Computing 26:1 (April 2011), pp. 5–16; doi: 10.1093/llc/fqq016 Copyright © 2010 Charles D. Bernholz and Brian L. Pytlik Zillig. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ALLC, ACH and SDH/SEMI. Used by permission.


Vladimir Levenshtein’s edit distance algorithm is used to reveal disparities between delimiter stripped texts of the Senate amended Treaty of Fort Laramie with Sioux, etc., 1851 as corrected in a previous study, and of other federal copies of this transaction. All of the latter deviated markedly from that newly created version, reflecting errors of exclusion, of the absence in some transcripts of the Senate modification, of editorial decisions made by Charles J. Kappler during the preparation of his treaty compilations at the beginning of the twentieth century, and of spelling. These results confirmed that the instrument was until now never published in its complete formal state. This study may serve as a model for future text analyses that might benefit from the employment of Levenshtein’s metric.