Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 17:02:52 -0500
From: Gregory {Greg} Downing downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]IS2.NYU.EDU
Subject: Re: civil disobedience

At 02:23 PM 2/16/98 -0500, you wrote:
Hi - in the Princeton edition of Thoreau's Reform Papers, Wendell
Glick, the editor, claims that the phrase "civil disobedience" is used for
the first time as the later title of Thoreau's famous essay. (Glick makes
this claim in passing - what he's interested in figuring out is whether the
title is likely to have been Thoreau's own, given that the essay wasn't
published under this title till after Thoreau's death.) Is this true? The
essay was published under this title in 1866....

Best, Larry Rosenwald, Wellesley College

FWIW, OED2 attests nothing earlier, and comments thus (at civil a.):

3c. civil disobedience: the refusal to obey the laws, tax demands, etc., of
a government as part of a political campaign.

Thoreau's essay (see quot. 1866) was entitled `Resistance to Civil
Government' when first published in =C6sthetic Papers, ed. E. Peabody=

1866 Thoreau Yankee in Canada 123 (title) Civil disobedience


That is the earliest of the ten cites in OED2 of "c.d."

Greg Downing/NYU, at greg.downing[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] or downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]