AMERICA IN SO MANY WORDS has "White House" as the word of the year for

1811. Is this too early?

I found this--which never mentions "White House"--in the Public Ledger

(Philadelphia), 13 April 1841, pg. 2, col. 4:

"THE PALACE."--We perceive that the Washington letter writers apply this

term to the President's house. One of them, in writing to the Journal of

Commerce, says that the arrangements for the funeral of General Harrison were

made at the "palace." This letter writer is, probably, an Englishman; and

were this a solitary instance of substitution of foreign for native

phraseology, we should let it pass without notice. But when we daily meet

with similar attempts, we feel disposed to say a word in favor of our own

established usages and terms. One of the New York papers, conducted by a

foreigner, calls the President and his Secretaries, "the Ministry." We are

not disposed to adopt foreign terms, when terms for the same ideas are

established among us by custom, and especially when they are established by

law. _Palace_, a term recognised by the laws of England, is not mentioned in

ours, and the executive residence at Washington is legally named, in acts of

Congress, the _President's House_. Therefore, our laws have settled the

question; and we ought to have _native_ pride _enough_ to observe them, and

_too much_ to reject them for the sake of becoming servile imitators of

European aristocracies. Neither _ministry_ nor _cabinet_, as applied to the

President and heads of departments, are recognized by our laws. But the

latter is recognized by _custom_, and that ought to be a sufficient argument

against the change. But if it be not, we find another in the resemblance

which the charge establishes between us and European monarchies. If we are

really ashamed of our legal or political costume, and must go abroad for

fashions, let us borrow from _Republics_, and not from monarchies. If the

term _Cabinet_ does not suit us, let us borrow something from Holland or

Switzerland. The Dutch, though living under a monarchy, still retain their

republican language and customs.

The Jews very wisely thought that the exclusion of foreign manners and

customs was a good barrier against foreign corruptions. We might profit by

their wisdom, and _hanker_ less after John Bull's cast clothes.

If the Lincoln Bedroom really is for sale, maybe we should go back to