"[old] salt", 1828 and 1830

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue May 11 02:32:14 UTC 2010

I decided to have a try at "salt" = "experienced sailor" in Google
Books.  Limiting myself to "old salt", full or limited text, and
before 1835 (Hawthorne), and discarding false positives (four dated
by GB as 1801, 1808, 1813, and 1813 -- you don't want to know!), I
came up with just two.

1)  1828.

[On page 68; multiple paginations:]
The Ariel, Philadelphia, August 23, 1828.

[On page 72:]
Cooper's Novels.
 From a Marine's [sic] Sketch published in the Providence Journal.
Landsmen generally have very mistaken notions concerning sailors ...
.  "Tom Coffin" is a _caricature_, and not a very good one of an "old
salt," but terribly strained and stiff.

This text appears also in 1830, in "A Mariner's Sketches, Originally
Published in the Manufacturers and Farmers Journal, [attributed to
Nathaniel Ames], Providen[ce]. Revised, Corrected and [...] the
Author" (Providence: Cory, Marshall and Hammond, 1830), page 239.

The "Manufacturers' & farmers' journal, Providence and Pawtucket
advertiser" is available at the Houghton Library; and also on
microfilm at Widener.  I don't know how complete either of these
files is.  EAN claims to have the paper only for 1820.  The only clue
I can think of to locate the text in this newspaper is that the
reprint in The Ariel is 1828.

2)  1830.

The American Monthly Magazine.  Vol. 2, No. 8. November, 1830.

[On page 534:]
The Triple Marriage.
Thirty years ago there lived in one of the largest seaports of New
England, a gentleman ... . For twenty years he had been a follower of
the sea ...

[On page 535:]
But notwithstanding these holiday graces, which your 'old salt' would
consider the height of effeminacy, he was a consummate seaman, and
the master of a Baltic ship.

In The Rural Repository, or Bower of Literature ... (Hudson: Printed
and published by William B. Stoddard, 1830-31), page 132, this story
is credited to Samuel Hazzard.


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

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