Posted by GPP on October 12, 2003
In Reply to: Carpet-bagger posted by ESC on October 11, 2003
: : last question for today - this is a great site and you are all very literate
: CARPETBAGGER - "an outlander moving into a new area to seek political power at the expense of the native politicians. The term 'carpetbagger' gained wide currency in the South during the Reconstruction period.English writer George Rose in 1868 described 'what the Southerners call carpetbaggers, men traveling with little luggage and less character, making political capital out of the present state of affairs.'.The carpetbag was a symbol of the man who traveled light, and hence the man on the make. Before the Civil War, a carpetbagger was an itinerant banker with meager assets who operated in sparsely settled areas." From "Safire's New Political Dictionary" by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993).
A carpetbag, was just that--a large traveling bag with a handle, made of thin carpet or some kind of very heavy, usually flowery, material. They were widely used throughout the 19th C.