"brush fire"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Oct 7 17:25:01 UTC 2013

Slightly earlier -- Raleigh Register, and North-Carolina Gazette,
March 27, 1827, col. 3.  19th Century U.S. Newspapers.  (Which claims
13 earlier occurrences -- back to 1816 in advertisements! -- but does
not highlight the phrase.  I'm damned if I'm going to read the many
columns of small print.)


At 10/7/2013 12:25 PM, Baker, John wrote:
>Here's my antedating.  It's from a description of slaves' murder of
>their owner in Petersburg, Virginia.  Horrid Murder, Gettysburg
>(Pa.) Adams Sentinel, Apr. 11, 1827, at 3, col. 2 (via Access
>Newspaper Archive):
>"Availing themselves of the absence of the Overseer, the  negroes
>carried into effect their horrid design--first by choaking him to
>death, and then in a brush fire, prepared for burning tobacco plant
>patches, they consumed his body, and to avoid detection, literally
>pulverised his bones, strewed them in the field, and turned them in
>with the plough."

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list