[Ads-l] Antedating of "President" (U.S. usage)

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Mon Jan 18 16:17:24 UTC 2016

On Mon, 18 Jan 2016 00:35:22 Zone+0000 "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU> wrote:

<begin quote>
The first use in the OED for sense 4. of the word "president" ("The 
(usually elected) head of a republican state, typically functioning as 
both head of state and head of government") is dated 1784.  The 1784 
citation, from the Acts and Laws of the State of Connecticut, must be 
misdated, since it refers to institutions not yet in existence in 1784.  
The second citation is from the Constitution of the United States, dated 
1789.  Here is an earlier citation:

1787 _Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser_ 19 Sept. 2  The 
executive power shall be vested in a president of the United States of 
<end quote>


a letter dated Nov 24, 1775 is signed "The Honourable John Hancock, Efq. Prefident of the Congrefs"

This can be antedated, as Peyton Randolph as was elected "President" of the First Continental Congress in 1774. Now consider the folloowing:


In a letter dated "Virginia, May 8, 1768" from "Peyton Randolph, Speaker [of the Houfe of Burgeffes]"
page 468 second column first paragraph line 14 "Copies were delivered to the Prefident of the Council, now commander in chief..."

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