OED has 1859. AMERICA IN SO MANY WORDS has "shindig" as the word-of-the-

year for 1857.

This (POOR ORIGINAL COPY!) is from the New York Daily Express, 10 May

1842, pg. 2, col. 1:


Before Judges Nash and Lynch.

The Court imposed a fine of $5 on each of four petit Jurors for non-


TRIAL FOR ASSAULT AND BATTERY.--William Lambert, Gilbert Lambert, William

Nash, and William McLaughlan, were put upon their trial on an indictment for

an assault and battery on Robert Barnard alleged to have been committed on the

13th of December last whilst attending a dance, or as one of the witnesses

termed it a _shin dig_ held at the grog store of Wim. Maxwell, on the corner

of 9th Avenue and 42d street. It appeared that a party of ladies and

gentlemen had assembled at this place for the purposes of amusing themselves

with dancing, raffling, &c., and that while a party was on the floor dancing

and her mess came in and commenced singing Jim along Josey and Old Zip Coon,

upon which a general fight ensued, in which the ladies participated plying

their broom sticks and fire pokers with the (??). The result was that Barnard

got the worst of it. His head was so badly bruised that for several weeks he

was confined to the house. The testimony altogether was very conflicting, a

part of the witnesses swore that it was a ticket ball, others swore that there

were no tickets used on the occasion. The lady who gave the entertainment did

not pretend to dignify it with any higher title than a raffle.

The Court charged the Jury that if they found that Nash had done any

thing more than what they considered necessary for self defence, they would

find him guilty--against the other three there was no testimony.

The Jury found a verdict of not guilty. (...)