"Guinea" etymology

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon May 3 14:56:50 UTC 2010

At 5/3/2010 01:35 AM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>So it is quite clear that the usage stretches at least from the 1820s
>(Cooper) to the early 1900s, and that goes for both "Guinea negro" and
>"New Guinea district". I am not suggesting that there was no such usage
>before the 1820s, but I simply did not search earlier papers or books.

Google News Archive reveals a few in 1824, one in 1816, and the
following from 1786:

"Benjamin Payn's, heirs, ani) Guinea Negro. To be fold for Hard
Moneys Morris's Notes, Lawrence's t Ceitifi- c.ntes. State Money .of^
1780 , Soldieh Notes ..."  [OCR problems?!]
      Proquest says Connecticut Courant and Weekly Intelligencer
(1778-1791) - Hartford, Conn.  Date: Oct 2, 1786.  Start Page:  4.

Early American Newspapers claims 40 hits for "Guinea Negro", starting
in 1764 and running through 1870:

"Ran-away ... a Guinea Negro Man named Tom Well."
      New-York Gazette; Date: 09-17-1764; Issue: 302; Page: [2].

"The Census Taker and Hannah Johnson" [title]
"... he scanned the speaker carefully, and understood that he had to
deal with a type of that species of African designated down south
under the general head of Guinea negro, whether they come from that
part of the globe or not."
      Farmer's Cabinet [Amherst, New Hampshire]; Date: 07-28-1870;
Volume: 69; Issue: 2; Page: [1].

EAI also has "guinea nigger", 4 instances, 1831 through 1859:

"From the Baltimore Minerva.
"Jonahan's Trip on the Rail-road."  [Title]
"But I tell you what Joe, I didn't like the smoke what came out of
the chimney; it made my white trowsers as black as a guinea nigger,
and blacker too ..."
      Republican Star, [Easton, Maryland{; Date: 08-09-1831; Volume:
XXXII; Issue: 50; Page: [2].

"Of all the apologetic, whining, sycophantic, billious, cringing
disgraces to the printing craft is the home representative of our
present Congressman; a Guinea nigger to wait upon that gentleman
would shine in comparison and be a greater honor."
      The Pittsfield [Mass.] Sun.; Date: 02-03-1859; Volume: LIX;
Issue: 3046; Page: [2].

I did not find "he is/was a Guinea" [except with "Negro"] or "...
Guinea lives/lived".


>I also did not bother looking for "Guinea nigger" although this was an
>obvious evolutionary development:

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

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