[Ads-l] Image for Major Antedating of "Uncle Sam"
fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Fri May 20 00:45:27 UTC 2022
Here is the link to the image of the 1803 antedating of "Uncle Sam":
uncle-sam - Swann Galleries News<https://www.swanngalleries.com/news/printed-and-manuscript-americana/2022/03/upcoming-highlights-printed-manuscript-americana-april-7-2022/attachment/uncle-sam/>
swanngalleries. Specializing in rare books, fine art and everything in between. President & principal auctioneer: @nicholowry
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, February 8, 2022 6:08 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Major Antedating of "Uncle Sam"
I have a very nice antedating to report. The Winter - Spring 2022 issue (Volume 36, Number 2) of The Trumpet newsletter put out by the Swann Auction Galleries in New York has an item of great historical-lexicographical interest. On April 7 they are auctioning off a letter by Robert Orr dated June 7, 1803. The letter regards an arms inspection for Eli Whitney.
The letter is reproduced on page 7 of the newsletter. At the bottom of the letter there is a postscript that clearly reads "I expect to go to New Haven next week to inspect arms made by Ely Whitney for Unkel Sam 500." I don't know what the "500" means.
The earliest citation in the Oxford English Dictionary for "Uncle Sam" is dated 1810, so this is a significant improvement to the historical record. The image of the letter is not yet on the Swann website, but I will post a link when one is available.
New Yale Book of Quotations (Yale University Press)
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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