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

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Tue Mar 17 19:28:31 UTC 2015


George, 

Thanks for the very helpful information you are unearthing related to this antedating!

Fred Shapiro



________________________________________
From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of George Thompson [george.thompson at nyu.edu]
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2015 6:06 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: Antedating of "African-American"

When I tried to check Sabin for this item Sunday evening, I got a response
that I thought indicated that the title had been found, but the system
wouldn't let me enter further.  When I checked today, the system was
working, and indicated that the Sermon was not in the files.

I checked the print edition of Evans' American Bibliography at the local
college library.  The "Sermon on the Capture of Lord Cornwallis" wasn't
listed, nor was anything in the index "by an African American".

Evans did list A Sermon on the Present Situation of the Affairs of America
and Great Britain.  Written by a Black. . . .  (Evans #17717)  This was
printed in Philadelphia by T. Bradford and P. Hall, in 1782.  Seems likely
to be the other sermon mentioned in the ad, though the ad was placed by the
booksellers Woodhouse, Smith, & Savie, not by Bradford & Hall.  The
WorldCat entry for the "Sermon on the Capture of Lord Cornwallis" did not
list the printer, nor does the Harvard Library catalog.  Fred will inform
us whether the printer of the pamphlet identified himself.

Evans also indicates that the "Sermon on the Present Situation of the
Affairs of America and Great Britain" had been printed by W. and T.
Bradford earlier, in 1772 (Evans #12557).  The Philadelphia William
Bradford was active as a printer from 1742, dying in 1792.  (He was a
grandson of the New York printer William Bradford, who died in 1752.)
 Thomas Bradford was Philadelphia William's son (1745-1838).
Checking WorldCat further, for this title, I find the following, from a
record submitted by the University of Michigan library:
   "The dedication "To the Americans in general, but to the citizens of
South-Carolina in particular" is signed: A Black Whig.  Preface dated:
Philadelphia, Sept. 1781.  Mistakenly dated 1772 by Evans in his entry
12557."

This is getting complicated.  More anon.

GAT

On Sun, Mar 15, 2015 at 10:56 PM, George Thompson <george.thompson at nyu.edu>
wrote:

>
> 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".
>
> GAT
>
> On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 9:33 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>
> wrote:
>
>> 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 - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=sRkhHMQo6W5Ird1lkQFqb23bCfSHAR2XjUSUG53db5M&m=wmoh_Li3nyiPyOUMdJ-ZXe4Iyocedo1fWrczAcIeKTI&s=hQ12y8I-qgM1iLT3YRqN0XjewVdfu99KdFEMVPrUHFk&e=
>>
>
>
>
> --
> 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..
>



--
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..

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