[Ads-l] Antedating of "Melting Pot"

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 13 19:37:35 EDT 2016


It is not clear that it was used idiomatically yet, but the expression and the imagery were there.

>From a lecture entitled, "The Nation of the World, by Carl Schurz; delivered to a meeting of German citizens at Marini's Hall in Washington DC.  His lecture was given in German; an English translation appeared in the paper four days later:

The New Nation
Here was the beginning of a new nation which was not be be English, not to be Dutch, not to be French, but was to fuse and melt them all in the grand American nation. . . .

Foreign Elements.
Now let us glance at the foreign elements in this country.  The are only two that are important - the Germans and the Irish. . . . On the whole, the Irish are like certain metals which are worthless by themselves, but excellent to alloy with others.  Let us trust that notwithstanding the need of reform in Irish New York, the Irish metal will fuse in our great national melting pot to a harmonious combination with the other ingredients.


> Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2016 16:06:04 +0000
> From: fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
> Subject: Antedating of "Melting Pot"
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> 
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Antedating of "Melting Pot"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> melting pot (OED, 3.b., 1909)
> 
> 1889 _N.Y. Times_ 2 Sept. (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)  In view of the =
> virtual extinction of the French in the Mississippi Valley the French Canad=
> ians had a misgiving that if they too were cast into the American melting p=
> ot they would yield to that mysterious force which blends all foreign eleme=
> nts into one homogeneous mass.
> 
> Fred Shapiro
> 
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