Antedating of "boot leg" 1885

Sam Clements SClements at NEO.RR.COM
Sun Apr 18 18:59:47 UTC 2004

The standard cites until now for the earliest variant of bootleg/bootleggers were from 1889.

10 December, 1885 Humeston(IA) _New Era_  8/2

<<The latest scheme practiced by the boot leg saloon man is this:  A man goes to him to buy a pint or quart of whiskey.  He will not sell him a quart but will sell him a gallon and then buy the other three quarts back from him.  The(sic) makes both parties guilty of selling liquor contrary to law and the man who wants the quart is in the worst condition as he has no United States license and the man who sells it has.  Thus he has the buyer in such a condition that he does not dare to testify against him if arrested.>>

Sam Clements

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