President = C. E. O. of a brothel, 1831
Joel S. Berson
Berson at ATT.NET
Fri May 21 23:06:40 UTC 2010
Is this instead a satiric slur on the sitting President of 1831, and
not literally the title of the CEO of a brothel? The President in
1831 was Andrew Jackson. I am only faintly familiar with anything
past 1740, but my little reading about political campaigns of the
early 19th century suggests that much writing was
opprobrious. Jackson certainly was controversial. His supporters
were considered common and low class, and I can imagine him being
compared to the manager of a brothel.
From "A Historical Perspective on Presidential Campaigns", by Dr.
Ken Stevens, first three paragraphs
"Think the mudslinging of the 2000 political campaign has sunk
politics to a new low? Actually, as the dean of presidential
historians-and TCU emeritus professor-Paul F. Boller, has
demonstrated in his best-selling book Presidential Campaigns, things
aren't as bad as they used to be. In the Jacksonian Era-the period
between the election of Andrew Jackson and the election of Abraham
Lincoln-scurrilous and vindictive politics was an art form.
Undoubtedly the most sordid presidential contest in American history
involved Jackson and John Quincy Adams-the son of a former
president-in 1828. Bad feeling between the candidates went back to
the 1824 election, which Adams had won under suspicious
circumstances. Since no candidate had received a majority in the
electoral college, the choice devolved on the House of
Representatives. There, the Jacksonians charged, Speaker of the House
Henry Clay had made a "corrupt bargain" to support the New Englander
in exchange for the office of secretary of state. That very year the
Jacksonians began organizing for the election of 1828.
For sheer meanness the 1828 campaign has never been matched. ..."
It would, of course, help if one found a furniture sale, or something
that could be satirized as one, attended by Jackson or some of his
officials or supporters.
At 5/21/2010 06:37 PM, George Thompson wrote:
> Elegant Furniture. -- Of late, several sales by auction
> have been announced, of splendid furniture of "a family going to
> Europe," and the furniture has been exhibited the day previous to
> the sale for the inspection of the wealthy and fashionable
> inhabitants of the city. It may not be generally known that some
> of the sales thus announced, are at houses of assignation or ill
> fame. Now this is very wrong, to allow our wives and daughters to
> be attracted to such places, under the impression that the sale
> referred to is in a house of respectability. All the Magdalens,
> excepting their President, appeared at a recent sale, mingling with
> ladies of the first respectability, and overbidding for such
> articles as they fancied. *** Imagine young ladies parading
> through the bedrooms, admiring the splendid furniture and rich
> hangings, without being aware of their owners. . . . ***
> Morning Courier & New-York Enquirer, August 5, 1831, p. 2, col. 3
>This is new to me and to the OED.
>Madams were called "abbesses" and their brothels "nunneries". I see
>that OED has president = the head of a religious house, occasionally
>applied to a woman, but not since the 1390s or thereabouts.
>George A. Thompson
>Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre",
>Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
More information about the Ads-l