Did You Know? - Dixieland

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 - by Jerry Summers

In the recent civil rights movement “Black Lives Matter” it is often overlooked about where the term “Dixieland” originated.

Some think that it was in reference to the imaginary division of the Mason-Dixon line which separated the free and the slave states prior to the Civil War which had been surveyed by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon between 1763 and 1767 in an effort to resolve a border dispute between the four states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia (which had been a part of Virginia until 1863).

In reality the term arose from the word, “Dixie” which was what Southerners called a French ten-dollar bank note used in New Orleans that was already in existence in 1859 when Daniel Emmet, a northern black man (African American), although others have also claimed its creation, wrote and introduced a song he named “Dixie” which became the South’s nickname and “somehow became a battle song for the Confederacy”.  Ironically, the song was also a favorite of President Abraham Lincoln and he ordered it played upon the announcement of the surrender of General Robert E. Lee to General Ulysses S. Grant in April 1865 at Appomattox.

It is still used today in the figurative line that separates the North and South politically and socially.

(Excerpts from “The Little Book of Answers” – Author – Doug Lennox – (2003) – MJF Books – New York, NY 1001. The book is available on Ebay and other Internet sites.)


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