Which Chikun?

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 29 02:15:25 UTC 2010

Joel S. Berson wrote:
> Having had to seriously question my received childhood wisdom, I
> decided to investigate this (via Google Books).  [My results partly
> overlap Garson's; I was either slower, started later, or more
> exhaustive.  I don't think he cites the 1825 no-preview hit; nor the
> 1832 "Discourse" by Convers Francis that his (and my) 1844 Peleg
> Chandler quote apparently plagiarizes.]

Excellent work Joel. I did find the citations that Google Books dates
to 1825 and 1832 but decided that the dates were flawed.

1825 Story of Chicken Little: colored_  T. H. Carter & Co.  16 pp. [No preview.]

When I looked for this book in WorldCat I found that the database
record gave a large date range from 1825 to 1845. I think this means
that the book itself is undated, like many children’s books. I suspect
the proper date falls in the very late part of this range, but it is
difficult to evaluate because no images are visible in “no preview”
mode. I should have mentioned it.

1832 A discourse delivered at Plymouth, Mass. Dec. 22, 1832: in ..._.
Convers Francis. [Metadata confirmed from Harvard catalog.]  Page 29

If you page backward from the page containing the term “Chicken
Little” you discover that the speech was delivered Peleg Chandler in
1844, and it was not delivered by Convers Francis in 1832. Multiple
orations were combined to create the scanned volume in Google Books
and the data of 1832 is incorrect because it only corresponds to the
first oration.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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