[Ads-l] OT: Re: "slave"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 2 14:14:16 EDT 2016


A final note, accurate I hope.

Though the burning of Washington was not a "battle," there had been one at
Bladensburg on Aug. 24. The Americans were defeated, and some 200 members
of the Corps of Colonial Marines took part in a British force of some
4,500.

According to Rear Admiral Cockburn's report, http://tinyurl.com/h5wqasl* :*

"one colonial marine [was] killed, ...and three...wounded."

JL

On Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 11:20 AM, Joel Berson <berson at att.net> wrote:

> Sorry, I did write that.  Apparently I've changed my mind -- I think that
> in Key's verse "slaves" refers both to 1776 and 1812, literally means
> "enslaved blacks", probably simultaneously has the "cliche[d]" (and that is
> Jon's word) meaning, and is a coincidence only in that "slave" had dual
> meanings at the time ("someone enslaved by British rule" and "someone in
> involuntary servitude for life").
>
>
> Joel
>
>
>       From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
>  To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>  Sent: Friday, September 2, 2016 10:39 AM
>  Subject: Re: [ADS-L] OT: Re: "slave"
>
> > in response to Jon's writing "I don't think that "slaves" in instances
> of "hirelings and slaves"
>
> Gosh, Joel, you wrote those words, not me.
>
> But I admit you had me scared for a minute.
>
> My belief is that the presence of several score former U.S. slaves in the
> British army in 1814, and Key's use of the cliche' "hirelings and slaves"
> in reference to enemies of the United States, is what we linguists call a
> "coincidence."
>
> JL
>
>
>
>
> On Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 10:19 AM, Joel Berson <berson at att.net> wrote:
>
> > I did bring it up,  obliquely and without making any point about it, when
> > I wrote "When did the British first start soliciting American slaves to
> > join their military forces with the promise of freedom, 1777?"  That was
> in
> > response to Jon's writing "I don't think that "slaves" in instances of
> > "hirelings and slaves" from the 1770s has the same meaning as uses in
> 1814
> > (by Key) and during the 19th century generally."  My thought was that the
> > situation was the same -- the British had both Hessians and escaped
> slaves
> > in their armies during both wars.  Key therefore could have been
> referring
> > to both wars, and the Morgan State prof. would be half right.
> >
> > I will write separately about the offer(s).
> >
> > I doubt if freed black slaves from the Revolutionary period were still in
> > the British Army in 1812.  For one thing, they were presumably promised
> > freedom in some British colony.
> >
> >
> > For another, might ordinary soldiers have been discharged at the end of
> > the war, and perhaps even enlisted soldiers released at the ends of their
> > period of enlistment?  In the American revolutionary army, soldiers
> > enlisted for one or two years, and many returned home after serving for
> > that time.  (Washington complained about the lack of a professional
> army.)
> > Both Britain and the American colonies had a long-standing opposition to
> a
> > "standing army", although I don't know whether that persisted in Britain
> > into the 1770s.
> >
> > Wikipedia's article "African Americans in the Revolutionary War"  is
> > reasonable, and discusses those who joined the American side as well as
> > those who joined the British side.  (As the article notes, many blacks on
> > both sides remained slaves after the war.  In particular, Loyalists who
> > evacuated from Savannah, Charleston, and New York took their slaves with
> > them, some to the British West Indian islands, where they surely would
> have
> > better living conditions than even in the North American southern
> colonies
> > [irony emoticon here].)  Unfortunately, the article doesn't say anything
> > separately and specifically about what happened to those blacks who had
> > served in the British Army.
> >
> > Joel
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >      From: Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM>
> >  To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> >  Sent: Friday, September 2, 2016 7:07 AM
> >  Subject: [ADS-L] OT: Re: "slave"
> >
> > Joel,
> >
> > I was expecting that you would bring up that in the Am. Rev. War that
> > the British offered African slaves their freedom if they fought on their
> > side, against the Continentals. I heard a bit on NPR from a Morgan State
> > U prof. that that is what FSK was referencing in that verse. Now,
> > whether that offer was still being used, or whether those soldiers were
> > still in the British Army during The War of 1812, I can't recall.
> >
> > ---Amy West
> >
> > On 9/1/16 12:00 AM, ADS-L automatic digest system wrote:
> > > Date:    Wed, 31 Aug 2016 15:02:17 +0000
> > > From:    Joel Berson<berson at ATT.NET>
> > > Subject: Re: "slave"
> > >
> > > Sali,
> > >
> > > Do you consider 1814, when "The Star-Spangled Banner" was written, as
> > being during the colonial period of the US?  A very Anglo-philic stance,
> > just what the British were still believing then?:-)  I would say there
> were
> > "enslaved African-Americans" in 1814.
> > >
> > > Joel
> > >
> > >
> > >        From: Salikoko S. Mufwene<s-mufwene at UCHICAGO.EDU>
> > >  To:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> > >  Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 9:51 AM
> > >  Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "slave"
> > >
> > > Just a minor correction, JL. From a historical perspective, there were
> > > enslaved Africans, not enslaved African Americans during the colonial
> > > history of the US or of the 13 English colonies. During that time the
> > > class of Americans was very restricted, even some Europeans did not
> > > count as Americans.
> > >
> > > Sali.
> > >
> > > On 8/31/2016 7:06 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > >> >Former tennis star James Blake has explained to CNN that "The
> > Star-Spangled
> > >> >Banner" is "a song that advocates the killing of slaves."
> > >> >
> > >> >The "hireling and slave" in the song, of course, are not enslaved
> > >> >African-Americans but redcoats, Hessian mercenaries, and cringing
> > Tories.
> > >> >
> > >> >Proof? Read the lyrics.
> > >> >
> > >> >Of course, as D----d T---p has demonstrated, words don't mean much
> > anymore.
> > >> >
> > >> >
> > >> >JL
> > >> >
> > > -- ********************************************************** Salikoko
> > > S. Mufwene s-mufwene at uchicago.edu The Frank J. McLoraine Distinguished
> > > Service Professor of Linguistics and the College Professor, Committee
> > > on Evolutionary Biology Professor, Committee on the Conceptual &
> > > Historical Studies of Science University of Chicago
> > > 773-702-8531; FAX 773-834-0924 Department of Linguistics 1115 East
> > > 58th Street Chicago, IL 60637, USA http://mufwene.uchicago.edu/
> > > **********************************************************
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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>
>
>
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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