Stubborn as a Missouri mule (1933)

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Mon Feb 9 03:29:07 UTC 2004

   With the phrase as stubborn as a mule (see sense 1b) cf. French opiniastre comme vne mule (Cotgrave, 1611), têtu comme une mule (1690).

1771 T. SMOLLETT Humphry Clinker II. 169 The captain..becomes stubborn as a mule, and unmanageable as an elephant unbroke. 1812 M. EDGEWORTH Absentee xiii, in Tales Fashionable Life VI. 260 She was as obstinate as a mule on that point. 1853 J. Y. AKERMAN Wiltshire Tales 138 As cam and as obstinate as a mule. 1922 J. JOYCE Ulysses 411 The likes of her! Stag that one is. Stubborn as a mule! 1987 S. BEAUMAN Destiny 268 Jean-Paul can be as stubborn as a mule, and you knew perfectly well that..he would have dug in his heels and insisted

1923 Nation (N.Y.) 17 Oct. 432 Then there is the Missouri mule. He it was who won the war. 1972 Listener 21 Dec. 858/2 Not for nothing did the idiom ‘as stubborn as a Missouri mule’ come into the language.

STUBBORN AS A MULE--4,540 Google hits, 1,300 Google Groups hits
STUBBORN AS A MISSOURI MULE--59 Google hits, 67 Google Groups hits

   The phrase "stubborn as a Missouri mule" doesn't seem to be used much anymore.  "Stubborn as a mule" goes back to the 18th century.  Missouri used mules in the 19th century.  I don't think that "Missouri mule" is any special distinction for the phrase.
   OED's 1972 citation is now improved to 1933.
   See the many interesting OCLC WORLDCAT citations that follow.

1. His refusal to brush teeth has her down in the mouth; [2 STAR Edition]
ANN LANDERS. Houston Chronicle. Houston, Tex.: Jul 5, 2000. p. 2

Ann Landers. Chicago Tribune (pre-1997 Fulltext). Chicago, Ill.: Aug 9, 1988. p. 3

3. Mom says genes count; [2 STAR Edition]
ANN LANDERS. Houston Chronicle (pre-1997 Fulltext). Houston, Tex.: Aug 9, 1988. p. 2

4. Domestic fights are matters for police; [NO STAR Edition]
ANN LANDERS. Houston Chronicle (pre-1997 Fulltext). Houston, Tex.: Feb 2, 1986. p. 2

the natural history of the mule; and its value for the general purposes of agriculture in comparison with horses
Robert Wright. The American Farmer, Containing Original Essays and Selections on Rural Economy and Internal Improvements, with Illustrative Engravings and Prices Current of County Produce (1819-1834). Baltimore: Sep 30, 1825. Vol. 7, Iss. 000028; p. 219 (2 pages):
Pg. 219:  Having thus presented the evidence of the non-creation of the mule, but of its procreation by the intervention of man, I shall proceed to examine its attributes, the very name mule, and the proverb, "as stubborn as a mule," go far to fix their outlines.

The New - York Mirror: a Weekly Gazette of Literature and the Fine Arts (1823-1842). New York: Mar 7, 1829. Vol. 6, Iss. 35; p. 280 (1 page):
Old Nick, who taught the village school,
   Had wed a maid of homespun habit;
He was stubborn as a mule,
   And she was playful as a rabbit.

New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Nov 9, 1879. p. 10 (1 page):
   Man is as stubborn as a mule in the convictions which are grounded on tradition.

   Champ Clark Makes Good.
The Washington Post (1877-1954). Washington, D.C.: Sep 26, 1905. p. 6 (1 page):
   That Champ Clark went through all this effort we have his word, supported by convincing proof in the shape of four ears of as fine corn as ever found place in the internal economy of a Missouri mule of a Kentucky gentleman.

ALMA WHITAKER. Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File). Los Angeles, Calif.: Aug 9, 1933. p. A6 (1 page):
   They tell me she specializes in "sweet logic" and "frustrating grace," while evincing the stubborn tactics of a Missouri mule.

  MOVES TO MODIFY RED CURBS BEGUN; Lehman and Cannon Propose Action on Congress Return After the Election Cannon Drafting New Bill Expects "Objective Review"
By C.P. TRUSSELL Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Sep 26, 1950. p. 26 (1 page):
   The President, he (Republican representative Clare E. Hoffman of Michigan--ed.) contended, had been "as stubborn as a Missouri mule" in calling Congressional findings against alleged subversives "red herrings."

   Foreign Policy Effect of Election Disputed
Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File). Los Angeles, Calif.: Nov 20, 1950. p. 28 (1 page):
   "The President is sometimes as stubborn as a Missouri mule," Brewster (Republican senator from Maine--ed.) said, "but I don't believe his Missouri stubbornness will prevent him from realizing that the American people have spoken."

Lancaster Eagle Gazette - 12/17/1958
...17, 1958 PAGE J True Empire The MISSOURI MULE J wAsjnAugurAted As President in j given two red i pAper bricks for eAch book thAt he reAds And return? to the librAry.....with pride At the time not long Ago these STUBBORN but sturdy hybrids built the.....hAs hAppened to the proverbiAl MISSOURI MULE? Here, in the heArt of the greAtest of..
Lancaster, Ohio   Wednesday, December 17, 1958  557 k

Lancaster Eagle Gazette - 7/17/1958
...17, 1958 PAGE J True Empire The MISSOURI MULE J wAsjnAugurAted As President in j given two red i pAper bricks for eAch book thAt he reAds And return? to the librAry.....with pride At the time not long Ago these STUBBORN but sturdy hybrids built the.....hAs hAppened to the proverbiAl MISSOURI MULE? Here, in the heArt of the greAtest of..
Lancaster, Ohio   Thursday, July 17, 1958  557 k

_Jokes, tales_
_and ballads_
_legacy of the_
_Missouri Mule_
   Although he has learned much, Porter has not discovered a definitive origin of the legend of the stubborn Missouri mule.  The best guess he has heard, he said, came from another farmer, who said he had never owned a stubborn mule, but guessed the legend might have developed because the mule's sire, the jackass, has a reputation for being stubborn.
  "In short, it could be like the sins of the father returning to haunt the children," Porter said.

The Missouri mule :
his origin and times /
Author: Bradley, Melvin.
Publication: Columbia, MO : Extension Division, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1993
Document: English : Book

The mule industry of Missouri remembered :
a key to transcripts from 130 interviews contained in volumes one through eight of Recollections of Missouri mules /
Author: Bradley, Melvin.
Publication: [Columbia, Mo.?] : University of Missouri Press, 1991
Document: English : Book

Title: Capt. Burl Ives' ark
Author(s): Ives, Burl, 1909-  (Performer - prf)
Publication: New York :; Decca,
Year: 1958
Description: 1 sound disc :; analog, 33 1/3 rpm, mono. ;; 12 in.
Language: English
Music Type: Folk music
Standard No: Publisher: DL 8587; Decca
Contents: The squirrel (Angus McFergus MacTavish Dundee) / Schmertz -- Look at the little kitty kat / Lippman -- Bongo and his baboon drum / Mayer-Otto -- Horace the horse (on the merry-go-round) / Green-Coben -- The bear on the ball (with the parasol) / Hague -- The whistling rabbit / Curtis -- The ducks (quack, quack, paddle-oh) / Schmertz -- The tenor doodle-doo / Ives -- The bestiary / Ives, arr. -- The monkey and the elephant / Rogers-Abeson -- Old doctor wango tango / Kapp -- The swap song / Ives, arr. -- Old Moby Dick / Ives -- My old coon dog / Ives -- Missouri mule / Ives, arr. -- The bird courting song (The leather-winged bat) / Ives, arr. -- Ground hog / Ives, arr.

The Missouri mule.
Publication: St. Louis, Mo. : [s.n.], 1910s-1900s
Document: English : Serial Publication : Periodical : Monthly

The American mule
yesterday and today /
Ron Young

English  Visual Material : Videorecording :  VHS tape 2 videocassettes (174 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
Presents speakers discussing the heritage of the American mule and the Missouri mule at a symposium held to celebrate National Mule Day.

Title: The Carrie Minnette Hickerson collection of sheet music.
Marches and two steps.
Author(s): Hickerson, Carrie Minnette.
Year: 1939
Description: 30 scores :; ill. ;; 37 cm.
Language: N/A
Music Type: Marches
Contents: Anniversary march / Rosey -- A-Su-Ma / Van Alystyne -- Bugle call / Dore -- Dixie Call / Wenrich -- Euterpe / Roehr -- Favorite march and two-step / Barth -- Funston's fighting twentieth / Wheeler -- Gardes du corps / Hall -- Gondolier / Powell -- Happy heine / Lampe -- Happy Mose / Kussel -- High school cadets / Sousa -- Honeymoon march / Rosey -- King cotton march / Sousa -- Missouri mule march / Blake -- Rastus on parade / Mills -- Regimental daughters / Powell -- Ripples of Winona / Marshall -- Sailor boy / Marshall -- Siberian dip / Johnson -- Silverheels / Moret -- Soko / Arnold -- Stars and stripes forever / Sousa -- Tannhauser / Wagner -- To war for liberty / Liberati -- Under the double eagle / Wagner -- Washington post / Sousa -- Yankee girl / Lampe -- Ziz / Feltman.

The Missouri mule.
Corp Author: United States., Works Progress Administration in Missouri. Publication: Jefferson City, Mo. : Works Progress Administration, 1936-?
Document: English : Serial Publication : Periodical

Title: Smiling 'round the seven seas
being the day-by-day cognitions of a wandering minstrel under a score of flags, to which is added a scrapbook collection of ditties and sayings, wise and otherwise /
Author(s): Lucy, Thomas Elmore, b. 1872. ; Lucy, Thomas Elmore,; b. 1872. ; When Dad was a boy.
Publication: University City, Mo. : [s.n.] : Distributed by the Tourist Shop,
Year: 1920-1929?
Description: [2], 98, [1] p., [5] leaves of plates : ill., music, port. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Descriptor: Travel -- Poetry.
American wit and humor.
Ballads, English -- United States.
Entertainers -- United States.
Named Person: Lucy, Thomas Elmore, b. 1872.
Note(s): Includes poetry./ "Printed by A.H. Anderson Printing Co. Streator, Ill."--P. before t.p./ Cover title: Smiling round the seven seas: Arkansas traveler globe trotting on a Missouri mule./ In: American poetry, 1900-1950, in the Harris Collection, Brown University Library. Reel no. 1326. Item no. 16./ Reproduced for the Great Collections Microfilming Project, Phase II, Research Libraries Group./ Reproduction: Microfilm./ Providence, RI. :/ Brown University Library,/ 1993./ 1 microfilm reel (in part) ; 35 mm. ... Low reduction.

The Missouri mule.
Author: Coots-Ferrell, Alma.
Publication: [n.p., 1908
Document: English : Book

Missouri mule.
Author: Blake, C. Publication: New York, Shapiro, Remick & Co., 1904
Document: English : Musical Score : Printed music

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