Date: Fri, 1 May 1998 02:42:10 EDT
From: Bapopik
Subject: New Yorker

What do you call a person from New York?
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF NEW YORK CITY (1995) has this on page 1242:

_Washington, George_ (...) The earliest known use of the term "New Yorker" in
a published work is contained in a letter that he wrote in 1756.

I always thought that this was odd. Yes, presidents can popularize
words and phrases (like FDR's "United Nations")--but this was a PRIVATE
letter, not intended for mass readership, sent over a generation BEFORE he
became President. I believed he got undue credit for "New Yorker" because he
later became such a famous New Yorker (the first Presidential inauguration,
George Washington Bridge to New Jersey, Washington Square Park at NYU) and
because, well, what other letters does one read from 1756??
The letter can be found in WRITINGS, Vol. 1, "TO JOHN ROBINSON," 5
August 1756. On page 315 is "the Jerseys and New Yorkers."
This comes up now because I've just submitted something to THE NEW
YORKER magazine. I wrote up my February 28th lecture before the Society for
American Baseball Research and sent WHO NAMED THE NEW YORK YANKEES? to them
cold. (I did this many years ago with "the Big Apple" and got no response.)
They have accepted ADS members in the past (Mencken, Read on "O. K.," for
example) and I can't think of stories more relevant to New Yorkers. And if I
solve "New Yorker"--
The PENNSYLVANIA GAZETTE is on CD-ROM from 1728-1783; the newspaper
has been described as "THE NEW YORK TIMES" of early America. I decided to
give it a go with "New Yorker."
There were two early hits from the 1750s.

June 20, 1755--"The Yorker had taken 50 hogsheads of melasses on board..."

July 1, 1756--"New York, June 28...A letter from a New Yorker in the West
Indies, dated May 29, 1756..."

If you ever see anyone from THE NEW YORKER, tell him or her that the
guy who solved New Yorker, Big Apple, Great White Way, New York's Finest, New
York Yankees, Bronx Bombers, Miss Manhattan, and...hel-LO!, would really,
really enjoy the pleasure of rejection slip!