Mudcat Café message #3998901 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #150708   Message #3998901
Posted By: Lighter
02-Jul-19 - 03:11 PM
Thread Name: rebellion and protest in John Henry
Subject: RE: rebellion and protest in John Henry
"Recollections of a Rebel Girl," by Mrs. J. W. Walworth, "The Christian Union" (May 15, 1884), p.465:

"You know, girls ,... a man ainít nothing but a man, after all, and they're all made in the image of their Maker, so there ain't no good reason why the pants pattern that Iíve ?tted my old man by for nearly twenty years, and these other two that ?ts my smallest and my biggest boys, shouldn't, with occasional enlargings and besmallings of the seams, hit the average of this company."

Though in a different context, that seems to take the saying itself as far back as the Civil War.