Quote: your liberty ends just where my nose begins (1894)

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 26 15:07:59 UTC 2011

 Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> 1887 _Atlanta Constitution_ (Nov. 9) 5 [NewspaperArchive]: The only leading
> argument urged by the anti-prohibitionists in this campaign for keeping ope=
> n
> the bar-rooms, is personal liberty. A great man has said, "your personal
> liberty to swing your arm ends where my nose begins, [and a] man's personal
> liberty to drink whisky and support barrooms [sic] ends where the rights of
> the family and community begin.

Great! Thanks, Jon. Here is another cite in 1887, one month after your cite.

Paper: Wheeling Register
Date: December 10, 1887
Location: West Virginia
The Temperance Meeting. At the Fourth Street M. E. Church, Last Evening

"I have no right to throw my arms out in a crowd, for I might hit
somebody on the nose. My right stops where his nose begins. I have no
right to drink if my drinking injures others."

Garson O'Toole wrote:
>>I would appreciate any earlier cites. Also, direct evidence of a
>>interesting/prominent person using the saying would be welcome.

Joel S. Berson wote
> The Rev. (Mr. or Dr.?) A.C. Dixon has had his 15 minutes of fame, but
> we are looking for someone more interesting/prominent.

I apologize to Reverend Dixon and his descendants (if they exist). The
slight was inadvertent. The printed appellation for the lecturer was
"Rev. A. C. Dixon, D.D." This may mean that he had a Doctor of

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

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