[Ads-l] underground railroad antedating

James Eric Lawson jel at NVENTURE.COM
Wed Sep 13 23:59:25 UTC 2023

I don't have access through the paywall at NYT, but a letter from Sam 
Weller dated Aug. 1, 1842 in the "Communications" section of the Aug. 
10, 1842 *Tocsin of Liberty* credits "one of your [sc. Thos. A. Scott] 
city constables" with the phrase:

1842  *The Tocsin of Liberty* (Albany, New York) 10 Aug 2/1 (Digital 
Commonwealth)  I half suspect you describe so much clothing merely to 
give northern people the idea that *you clothed him well*, when *you 
know* that he had to buy for himself, and that it was *your cruelty* to 
him, that made him disappear by that same “under ground rail-road” or 
steam balloon," about which one of your city constables was swearing so 
bitterly a few weeks ago, when complaining that the “d------d rascals” 
got off so, and that *no trace* of them could be found!


On 9/13/23 12:26, Bill Mullins wrote:
> The OED has 1845.
> An article in the Sep 11 2023 New York Times dates it to Aug 10 1842.
> https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/11/opinion/man-who-named-underground-railroad.html
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

James Eric Lawson

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

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