Origin of the "little white lie?"

So, what is the origin of the phrase “a little white lie?” For the most part, these sorts of lies seem to be big ones (e.g. “You look great in that dress!” or “No, you didn’t make a complete fool of yourself.”) And why are they white - because they are supposed to be nice?

:confused: in PA

Just a WAG, but white has always been a symbol for innocence. I guess that could explain the color choice.