Soup Kitchen (1831) & Bread Line
george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Wed Oct 16 16:45:36 UTC 2002
Something I was reading in an 1830s newspaper regarding a society for "ameliorating the condition of the Jews" -- ie, converting them -- aroused a vague and perhaps false memory that the Irish had an expression along the lines of "a soup-kitchen Protestant" to refer to those who (seemingly) converted for the sake of being allowed to eat at the soup-kitchen. Does anyone know it?
Speaking of vague and perhaps false memories. Last summer you folks were kicking about the expression "bread line", and someone cited a late 19th C NYC baker named Fleischmann who gave away day-old bread at midnight to the poor. This set off something that had and still has me in a state of high annoyance, for I distinctly remember a woodcut from Harper's Weekly or Frank Leslie's showing this breadline, but I can't remember where I saw it. I have checked the most likely book thoroughly, and several others. Danged frustrating.
George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998.
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