Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 06:09:24 EST
From: Bapopik Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: Bugs & Koons
This citation of "Koons" is one of our earliest illustrating this
derogatory term for African-Americans. "Dandy bugs" (continuing my
entomologies) is also of interest.
It's from the MICROSCOPE (available on American Periodical Series), New
Albany, Indiana, vol. 1, no. 41, 5 February 1825, pg. 3, col. 2:
FOR THE MICROSCOPE.
Dear Tim--Our Jess went to town the other day, & bought a Gawky Cap, and
when he came home the dogs barked at him. Mamma, she run out to see, and
cried out to me, "why Polly, here comes a 'Koon on horse-back." I went in
haste to see the wonder, and behold it was only Jess. A smart argument
commenced between Mamma and Jess, about wearing the _Cap_. Jess said, that
the dandy Bugs wore them in town, & he had a right to wear any thing worn by
them: whilst Mamma declared that none of her children should disguise
themselves, so as to be taken for Koons--she did not care what kind of _bugs_
wore them, even if they were _tumble-bugs_; none should be worn about her
house,--In the midst of the dispute, father came in, and being informed of the
particulars, he put the cap on the head of black Tom, and cooly observed,
"that no one who layed claim to the principle of a white man, would be catched
with such a thing on his head."