[Ads-l] Antedating of "African-American"

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Fri Mar 13 14:20:08 UTC 2015

Fred has pushed back the various combinations of Afr...-Amer... and Amer...-Afr... by 35--50 years.  For the ambitious, I'll repeat from a posting of 17 Oct. 2011 what I had found:

The following seem the earliest *completely unambiguous* instances of
the five terms:
    African-American -- [now 1782] 1832.

    Africo-American -- 1817.  "Then may the sable Africo-American ..."  GBooks.

    Afro-American -- 1853 (OED).

    American-African -- 1830.  "the American African was hopeless of
assistance".  African Repository, vol. 5, page 369.  GBooks.

    Americo-African -- 1831.  "Americo-African population of Liberia,
2,000. Native Africans, who have abolished their ancient government,
and become citizens of the colony, 10,000."  GBooks

For American-African and Americo-African there are also quotations from 1827 and 1828, but these may mean "the American colony in Africa."


 From: "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2015 9:33 PM
Subject: [ADS-L] Antedating of "African-American"

African-American (OED 1835)

1782 _Pennsylvania Journal_ 15 May 3 (America's Historical Newspapers)  (advertisement) Two SERMONS, written by the African American; one on the Capture of Lord Cornwallis, to be SOLD by _W. Woodhouse, A. Smith, & S. Saviel,_ In Front-street.

Fred Shapiro
YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS (Yale University Press)

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list