Dating of "Columbia" = America

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Fri Jul 4 00:50:09 UTC 2008

There might be a dual origin here as Wikipedia gives Francisco de  
Miranda as the person who conceived of using the name to refers to the  

The name "Colombia" comes from the name of Christopher Columbus  
(Cristóbal Colón in Spanish, Cristoforo Colombo in Italian) and was  
conceived by the revolutionary Francisco de Miranda as a reference to  
the New World, especially to all American territories and colonies  
under Spanish and Portuguese rule.
Miranda envisioned an independent empire consisting of all the  
territories that had been under Spanish and Portuguese rule,  
stretching from the Mississippi Riverto Cape Horn. This empire was to  
be under the leadership of a hereditary emperor called the "Inca", in  
honor of the great Indian Empire, and would have a bicameral  
legislature. He conceived the name Colombia for this empire, after the  
explorer Christopher Columbus.

On Jul 3, 2008, at 5:42 PM, Dave Wilton wrote:

> Allen Walker Read's _America--Naming the Country and Its People_,  
> Edwin
> Mellen Press, 2001 has this 1660 citation from Nicholas Fuller, an  
> English
> Clergyman, p. 27:
> " every where called America: but according to Truth, and  
> Desert; men
> should rather call it Columbina, from the magnani mous Heroe  
> Christopher
> Columbus a Genoese, who was manifestly Appointed of GOD to be the  
> Finder out
> of these Lands. But why should a learned Man make all this Dirige for
> Columbus's Name! What matter is it how America be called?"
> (found in Samuel Sewall, _Phaenomena quaedam Apocalyptica ad  
> Adspectum Novi
> Orbis configurata_, Boston, 1697, p. 47.
> Read also says "the form 'Columbia' was developed in England in the  
> 1740s,"
> but provides no citations of use.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On  
> Behalf Of
> Joel S. Berson
> Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2008 3:30 PM
> Subject: Q: Dating of "Columbia" = America
> What is known about the earliest use of "Columbia" to refer to  
> America?
> I presume a Google search would be pointless (unless someone can
> suggest a really refined search condition!), and I don't know where
> else to look.  The OED omits "Columbia", I assume because it's a
> place na

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