And they call the van "Mariah" (1846)

Jonathon Green slang at ABECEDARY.NET
Tue Sep 30 09:08:44 UTC 2003

> From,  Republican Compiler(Gettysburg, PA), Sept. 14, 1846.
> p.2, col. 1
>      "No longer grace can be allowed these indifferent partizans:  after
> stated hour, the committee must wake them, shake them, and if still
> indifferent, force them into a carriage, like convicts in 'Black Mariah,'
> and drive them to the polls, nolens volens."
> This gives some legitimacy, I would think,  to the first cite being from
> Philadelphia.

The first _use_ however, seems otherwise. Note George Thompson's unearthing

1835 N.Y. Transcript 24 Dec. 2/5: Escape. — A man named Henry Stage [...]
contrived to make his escape on Saturday last while on his way from Bellevue
prison to the city in the carriage generally known as ‘Black Maria’

1836 The Herald (NY) 6 Aug. 1/2: Pray ask Mr. Justice Bloodgood what is done
with the gold watches and jewelry which are taken from the unfortunate girls
who are marched, by him, out to Black Maria?

As for pronunciation I believe that the consensus is that 19th century Maria
(at least in UK) was mar-EYE-a, just as Sophia was soph-EYE-a, etc.

Jonathon Green

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