"Self made man" 1828, antedates 1832

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Oct 19 16:58:46 UTC 2008

Republican Star, published as Republican Star and General Advertiser
(Easton, Maryland).
Date: 10-07-1828
p. [3]  [EAN]

"A Self Made Man.  [title]
"Roger Sherman, of Connecticut, ...
"This is the man, too, of whom the late illustrious Jefferson
declared that he never said a foolish thing in his life; and yet this
man was a self made man. [Prof. Newman."  [I take Newman to be the
author of the article.]

"self-made" ppl. a. antedates "self-made man" 1832-.  (The only
earlier quote in OED2 is 1615, but for "[his] self-made Images".)

In her New Yorker article on campaign biographies, "Bound for Glory",
Oct. 20, 2008, Jill Lepore (Prof. of History at Harvard) wrote that
Andrew Jackson's background made Jackson "more qualified for the
White House, since he was, to use a phrase that was coined during his
Presidency, a 'self-made man.'"  The quotation above is of course
before his first presidency, but not long before his election.

Wikipedia tells me that Roger Sherman (1721--1793) of Connecticut was
'the only person to sign all four great state papers of the U.S.: the
Articles of Association, the Declaration of Independence, the
Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson once
said of him: "That is Mr. Sherman of Connecticut, a man who has never
said a foolish thing in his life.'"


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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