[Ads-l] Another early "Rosin Heel" (May, 1826)

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 22 23:17:25 UTC 2020

Earlier this month I had mentioned "Rosin Heel," a term I hadn't known
before (and which doesn't appear in the OED or in Merriam-Webster), as a
predecessor to "Tar Heel."


I had included a very early "Rosin Heels" (with application to poorer
residents of the Florida panhandle) that had appeared in a recollection of
travels in the Mississippi Valley. This book was published in March 1826,
though the reprinted letters within seem to have been written in about 1824.

In any event, here's another early "Rosin Heel," this time used with regard
to a Mississippian.

-- Bonnie


[A correspondent writes from Natchez, dating his letter to 5 May 1826.]

"One of the disputants was a short, fat, rich independent looking fellow,
with a large gold watch-key and chain, hanging from his fob, and a gold
headed cane dangling in his right hand, and as I have since understood is a
rich planter in this neighborhood; he most uncivilly told the other he had
no right to an opinion upon the subject of a lighthouse; that he was a
rosin heel, and should not offer an opinion upon a subject of national
concern. The other who was dressed in plain homespun, with a long ox-whip
in his hand, replied by calling the other a gum head, and told him he
reckoned he had seen some people with golden purses with very gummy heads;
that it was not every man who had a long purse that had a long head."

(In the paragraph that follows the above text the writer refers to this
fellow as "Mr. Rosin Heel.")

>From *The Ariel*, Natchez, Mississippi, 23 May 1826, p. 6. (The untitled
piece to which this text belongs begins on page 5.)

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

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