[Ads-l] "slave"

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 1 03:30:12 UTC 2016

Huh, I woulda thought English colonists did not use Creole because they spoke English, not because they disliked a Spanish loan-word.

In any case, not knowing the time-frame in which the term "American" was coined for the uses you propose, I do now know whether the usage in a 1740s travelogue by a Swedish natural scientist is inconsistent with it or not.

Pehr Kalm published accounts of his travels in North America in 1747.  I have only seen a German translation published in 1757 and an English translation published in 1770.  Both are available on HathiTrust.

Kalm visited areas with Germans, Dutch, Swedish and English colonists; and in some cases treated them all together, as a group, separate from Europeans.

Kalm used the expression (as translated into English and German) "New Americans" or "Neue Amerikaner" for Europeans born in North America to European parents; and "old Americans" or "alte Amerikaner" for native Americans.

He also used the expressions (as translated into English and German), "European Americans" or "Europaeische Amerikaner" for Europeans born in North America to European parents; and "Native Americans" or "Wilden [illegible]".  He claimed that they matured more quickly than Europeans, but died younger and bore fewer children.

Without more, it is unclear to me whether these usages reflect usage in the colonies or England, it is unclear.  But it at least suggests that the term, "American" could have been (and was on occasion) used merely as a reflection of the place someone lived and/or was born - and not so much a political stance in favor of English colonists over others.

> Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2016 20:10:58 -0500
> From: s-mufwene at UCHICAGO.EDU
> Subject: Re: "slave"
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Salikoko S. Mufwene" <s-mufwene at UCHICAGO.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "slave"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Originally the term /American/ did not even apply to all White 
> colonists. It was used exclusively for English colonists (from England). 
> Then also, the White colonists lived in segregated communities. The 
> English colonies included several mini national colonies. Remember also 
> that the American Revolution did not secure Independence for all people 
> who resided in the American colonists either. The enslaved Africans were 
> not considered Americans during the colonial period, even if they were 
> locally born. There was of course a distinction between locally born and 
> African born "slaves," which corresponded to "Creole" and "Bozal" slaves 
> in Iberian colonies, but these terms were not used in English American 
> colonies (although creolists have generalized the application of the 
> terms geographically). In fact the term /American/ was invented or 
> claimed by English colonists, because they despised the term "Creole," 
> which was also used for locally-born White colonists in Iberian 
> colonies. I believe they also wanted privileges that they did not want 
> share with immigrants from continental Europe either.
> Sali.
> On 8/31/2016 5:14 PM, Dave Wilton wrote:
> > By 1814, most slaves in the US had been born in the US. The transatlantic slave trade went into decline in 1780 and the importation of slaves to the US was outlawed in 1808 (which, of course, did not mean it ended, but was considerably slowed and smaller).
> >
> > Of course, the fact that a slave might be a third, fourth, or even fifth-generation American did not necessarily mean the slave considered him or herself to be "American." But the majority would not have considered themselves to be "African" either.
> >
> > A different situation obtained for the Caribbean and Brazil, where a majority of slaves were African born well into the nineteenth century.
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Laurence Horn
> > Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 2:49 PM
> > Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "slave"
> >
> > Well, maybe so, but if I were shanghaied (or brusseled) by a colleague of F.K.'s kidnapper and transported overseas to Belgium and were bound and forced to work in a chocolate factory, I wouldn't consider myself Belgian either.
> >
> > LH
> >
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