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AN UPLIFTING ORIGIN OF 86

AN UPLIFTING ORIGIN OF 86 American Speech, Vol. 76, No. 4, Winter 2001 Copyright © 2001 by the American Dialect Society Recently, we uncovered an even earlier citation of redneck, used in a political context, buried in the pages of the Pontotoc Democrat. In 1891, Pontotoc, a small up-country town in northern Mississippi (approximately 20 miles west of Tupelo), was the scene of a hotly contested election for state representative. By then, many of the state’s small planters and landholding farmers within the Democratic Party had joined the Southern Farmers’ Alliance, an organization that supported railroad regulation, banking and currency reforms, and other political measures designed to provide relief to beleaguered farmers. Across Mississippi, Alliance members were trying to wrest political control from Bourbon Democrats, mostly wealthy Delta planters and business leaders, who dominated the state’s Democratic Party (Kirwan 1951, 85–102). On 13 August 1891, an unknown writer urged rural residents to vote in the upcoming election for state representative by publishing the following notice in the Pontotoc Democrat. His declaration also served as a warning to Bourbon Democrats that underrepresented farmers in the district would soon make themselves heard: Primary on the 25th. And the “rednecks” will be there. And the “Yaller-heels” http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic Usage Duke University Press

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2001 by American Dialect Society
ISSN
0003-1283
eISSN
1527-2133
DOI
10.1215/00031283-76-4-437
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

American Speech, Vol. 76, No. 4, Winter 2001 Copyright © 2001 by the American Dialect Society Recently, we uncovered an even earlier citation of redneck, used in a political context, buried in the pages of the Pontotoc Democrat. In 1891, Pontotoc, a small up-country town in northern Mississippi (approximately 20 miles west of Tupelo), was the scene of a hotly contested election for state representative. By then, many of the state’s small planters and landholding farmers within the Democratic Party had joined the Southern Farmers’ Alliance, an organization that supported railroad regulation, banking and currency reforms, and other political measures designed to provide relief to beleaguered farmers. Across Mississippi, Alliance members were trying to wrest political control from Bourbon Democrats, mostly wealthy Delta planters and business leaders, who dominated the state’s Democratic Party (Kirwan 1951, 85–102). On 13 August 1891, an unknown writer urged rural residents to vote in the upcoming election for state representative by publishing the following notice in the Pontotoc Democrat. His declaration also served as a warning to Bourbon Democrats that underrepresented farmers in the district would soon make themselves heard: Primary on the 25th. And the “rednecks” will be there. And the “Yaller-heels”

Journal

American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic UsageDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2001

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