"pale of settlement", 1840, 1868, and 1919

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Jan 10 20:18:06 UTC 2011

For "pale of settlement", which the OED3, Aug. 2010, defines
*specifically* as the Russian Pale (pale n.1, sense 4.c), the
earliest quotation is 1890:
      The Jews,..as soon as the contract was completed..had to return
within the 'pale' of settlement.

Items (1) and (2) below are, I infer, literal references to
geographical, although not precisely defined, areas -- and are not
references to the Russian Pale.  To me, the interesting question is
how these arose -- From the Russian Pale (which seems possible, since
that was established in 1791)?  Or independently?

Item (3) does refer to the Russian Pale.

But I have not found (GBooks) any "pale of settlement" referring to
the Russian Pale before the OED's 1890, when there are suddenly 6
apparently-different instances alleged for that year, one from the
Nation, another in a novel (WorldCat confirms 1890 for this
novel).  Another interesting question is -- If the Russian Pale was
established in 1791, why are there no instances in English until 100
years later?

(1)  1840.

The finest lakes of Van Diemen's Land are so remote---so far beyond
the pale of settlement and civilization, that few, save bush-rangers,
stock keepers, or flock-masters, have visited their delightful shores.

_Colonial Magazine and Commercial-Maritime Journal ...
September---December, 1840. Vol. III_. London: Fisher, Son, & Co. [no
date].  Page 361.  (Page 353 has at the bottom "Vol. III.---No.
11".)  [GBooks, Full view.]

(2)  1868.

At the present day, the A., [Algo'nquins] as well as the Hurons and
the Iroquois, exist, at least within the pale of settlement, only as
the shadow of a mighty name, being chiefly confined to several
miserable villages, with hardly anything of civilisation but its
individual helplessness.

_Chambers's Encyclopaedia, a Dictionary of Universal Knowledge for
the People_. .. Vol. I_  London: W. and R. Chambers, 1868.  Page
144.  [GBooks, Full view.]

(3)  1919.

Still more recently, as a result of the expulsion of the Jews from
Russia, on account of the enforcement of the pale of settlement, and
of the May laws of 1882, their number was further increased.

_The Jews in Poland: Official Reports of the American and British
Investigating Missions_. Chicago, Ill.: National Polish Committee of
America, [1920].  "The Morganthau Report. American Commission to
Negotiate Peace, Mission to Poland, Paris, October 3, 1919."  Page 4,
col. 2 (Item 4).  [GBooks/Harvard University Library, page images.]

Interdates OED3 (Aug. 2010)  1890 -- 1927.  The 1890 quotation quotes
"pale"; the 1927 quotation is "Pale" only, not the full phrase.


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