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

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon Mar 16 02:56:17 UTC 2015

One of these two sermons is to be found in WorldCat:
A sermon on the capture of Lord Cornwallis.  By an African American.
Philadelphia, 1782.  pp. 16.

It appears that the text is to be found in the database Sabin Americana,
but the connection to that file through my library is dead, this evening.
It appears that this item is not listed by Charles Evans, in his American
Bibliography, checking the on-line version, nor is the other sermon, the
title and subject of which are unknown.  I will try tomorrow to check the
original print version, which is supposed to be in the local college
library, though it being a book -- 14 volumes of books, in fact -- and of
interest only to a few elderly cranks, I fear that it will be locked away
someplace out of reach.

I haven't checked any books or databases on A-A history or literature:
maybe tomorrow.

The note from the Pennsylvania Journal Fred cited read: "written by *the*
African American"; by Worldcat, the title page reads, less
mysteriously, "written
by *an* African American".


On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 9:33 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>

> 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
> Editor
> YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS (Yale University Press)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998..

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

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