"brush fire" [was: Possibly spurious Samuel Adams quotation [RBBernstein]]

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Oct 7 16:52:58 UTC 2013

Having written:
>The earliest quotation for "brush-fire/brushfire" in the OED is 1850.

I now of course find something earlier.  Not 1770s, but 1835:

" The Senator Elect [title]. ... 'For,' says the Whig 'that would
reflect on his [?]ness, and be tantamount to permitting a few Van
Buren partizans to raz[?]e the Senatorial term from six years to one
year, or six months, and throwing the Constitution into the brush
fire of faction.' "

Richmond [Virginia] Enquirer, 1835 July 7, page 3, col. 5.  America's
Historical Newspapers.


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

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