The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54140 Message #837291
Posted By: GUEST,Q
29-Nov-02 - 01:56 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Dixie
Subject: RE: Origins: Dixie
This website has links to several articles on Dixie and its origins, including one from the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Dixie Links
One of them refers to the Black Snowden family in Ohio.
Search of the records shows this is dubious, since the Snowden brothers at the time Emmett was there would only have been 5-6 years old. This is mentioned in a couple of websites, but no real evidence is cited one way or the other. The story seems to have been from a family story told much later.
The story about the "Dixy" farm in Manhattan is a late anecdote. There is no evidence that the word came from Dixon of the Mason-Dixon survey and line. The story that circus workers referred to Dixie when they pulled up stakes to move south cannot be dated- was this before or after the song's composition? Someone said it is too bad that we can't ask Emmett. Is there a medium in the house?
An interesting letter, here, written in 1893, by a man who knew Emmett and one of the Bryant brothers. Interesting sidelights on Emmett and his "walk-around" composition for the Bryant Minstrels. This letter would place the date of the composition in 1859. Dixie origin . The lyrics of Dixie given at this website is a revised and abbreviated version of the one with the later New Orleans buckwheat verse.
The best answer is that the origin of the word is "obscure."
Genealogists say that the surname "Dixie" is Saxon. Emmett descended from German immigrants. No connection likely here.