adj. 1822 -- Antedating "African-American"

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 25 04:07:36 UTC 2011

Hyphenation is what makes this interesting. Otherwise, it would have been no
contest--I read this as American colony in Africa or a colony of Americans
in Africa, not "Africans" in America. Basically, it's [African [American
colony]] vs. [[African American] colony]. But throw in the hyphen and it
makes the decision more difficult. It's almost like the difference between
African-American and Amero-African, if we use the current meaning of African
American. The problem is, it falls in the middle of the period where almost
everything acquired a hyphen in print, without regard for actual structure.
1822 is at the tail end of that period, so it's a bit of a toss-up


On Sat, Sep 24, 2011 at 11:53 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:

> At 9/24/2011 10:43 PM, Dave Wilton wrote:
> >This looks like a different sense to me, and not even an actual phrase,
> but
> >merely a co-location of the two words. Both instances refer to an American
> >colony in Africa, and do not reference the black people in America or
> their
> >culture.
> I don't understand how Dave (and I see now Fred) can claim the above,
> in particular assert that the articles "do not reference the black
> people in America".
> I am looking at the title of the article, "African-American Colony".
> 1)  Liberia was founded [see Note] by the American Colonization
> Society as a place for *black Americans* to go to, thereby reducing
> the threat of a large population of free blacks in America,
> predestined by race to be a perpetual lower class, amoral and
> criminal.  Liberia certainly was not a colony for *white Americans* in
> Africa.
> That is, the phrase in the article's title does not mean an "African
> [located] American colony" but an "African-American [populated by] colony".
> [Note:  "Colonized" is a better word, since outsiders settled in a
> place where there already were native peoples.]
> 2)  "African-American" is hyphenated.  (It is clearly hyphenated in
> my Sept. 6 article.  Fred does not transcribe a hyphen from his Aug.
> 30 article -- perhaps its absence is the basis of Dave's and Fred's
> opinion.)  The title of the article is not "American Colony for Africans".
> 3)  The article refers to emigration by "free persons of color, and
> one young black man" -- a clear connection to "black people in America".
> 4)  The "colony" was never United States territory; it was purchased
> for the American Colonization Society.  That is, it was not an
> "American colony".  (That in fact is clear in the earliest article I
> found in EAN to refer to Cape Messurado, which says "Lieut. Stockton
> has effected purchase for a most eligible settlement, at Cape
> Messurado, for the American Colonization Society, and had its
> possession secured."  _Enquirer_ [Richmond, VA], 1822 Jan. 29.)
> Joel

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