Is That an Emoticon in 1862? in NYT

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Tue Jan 20 03:14:30 UTC 2009

Due to one thing and another, and so forth, I have on my home computer only the section of my notes covering 1826-1860.  In that block I find the ";)" sequence only once, in a program of a recital of songs and soliloquys by James Hewlett, my ace boon coon, so to speak, the leading actor of "The African Theater", from the years after the failure of that theater company, when Hewlett was touring on his own.

But I do find it.

***  Richard III, in imitation of Mr. Kean; a scene in Othello, in imitation of Mr. Kean; a scene in Brutus, in the fall of Tarquin; in imitation of Mr. Cooper in Bertram, and the speech of Damon (I am here upon the scaffold;) Mr. Conway in Julius Caesar.  ***
New-York National Advocate, March 30, 1826, p. 2, col. 6.  A similar notice appeared in the New-York National Advocate, April 10, 1826, p. 3, col. 1; repeated April 11, 1826, p. 2, col. 6.

Hewlett usually offered his songs or recitations as being done imitation of the style of a noted actor or singer of the day.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

Our national nightmare is ending.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
Date: Monday, January 19, 2009 9:06 pm
Subject: Re: Is That an Emoticon in 1862? in NYT

> At 1/19/2009 09:01 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> >So
> >I take the printing as part error, part 1229th century style.
> That should, of course, have been "19th century style"!
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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