I have a case of an 18th century white man referring to his nationality as native American, meaning he was born in America. This is on his census form. Was this usage common?
For clarity: I'm asking because I was able to uncover a lot of material that seems to suggest that the usage became quite common later in the 19th century, although this seems unusual to me for the 18th century. I am interested obviously how a term with a long history of usage by white Americans could be transferred to American Indians, that's not part of this of question.