Antedating of "Chain Gang"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Tue Jan 18 21:57:03 UTC 2005

chain gang (OED 1834)

1833 [copyright 1831] Henry St. Clair _The United States Criminal
Calendar_ 350 (Making of Modern Law)  He was then taken out and lodged in
the same room with the chain gang convicts, who are permitted to work
abroad in the city every day.

1833 James Ross _An Essay on Prison Discipline_ (ed. 2) 16 (Making of
Modern Law)  It is a matter of daily observation that the men sentenced to
the chain-gang from the service probably of a settler ... at first fall of
considerably and are much wasted.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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