1738 Dating of "Columbia" = America

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Jul 4 02:31:54 UTC 2008

At 7/3/2008 08:50 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>    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

Miranda (b. 1750) and "Gran Colombia, I see, are considerably later
than Dave Wilton's
>... 1660 citation from Nicholas Fuller, an English
>Clergyman, p. 27:
>"...is 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....

As for Dave's citation of:
>Read also says "the form 'Columbia' was developed in England in the 1740s,"
>but provides no citations of use.
and discounting, or perhaps in the style of the OED [bracketing],
"Columbina", which clearly did not take hold, I can provide a 1738
instance of Columbia:

"It is observable, that their Conquests and Acquisitions in
_Columbia,_ (which is the _Lilliputian_ name for the Country that
answers our _America,_) have very little contributed to the Power of
those Nations, which have, to obtain them, broke thro' all the Ties
of human Nature."

Of course, this might be discounted too, as it appears in the "State
of Affairs in Lilliput", from _The Gentleman's Magazine_ for 1738,
page 285 (June), column 2.  This is the introduction to the GM['s
series of reports from the Senate of Lilliput, disguised and rather
free reporting of debates in Parliament after Commons made it clear
that proceedings could not be published during recesses as well as
when Parliament was in session.  (While these reports from Lilliput
inevitably acquire an element of satire, they were definitely
intended to inform the public about what was actually being
said.)  It is speculated that this essay was written by Samuel
Johnson, although his generally-accepted contributions date from
later.  Still, someone chose to name America as Columbia.

I am quite confident I can find "Columbian" (OED adj. from 1757) in
the Lilliput reports also.


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