The president of the Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum in Culver City, California has discovered an unusual book in his late mother’s extraordinary collection of African American artifacts.
The small, cloth-bound book, titled Slave Songs of the United States, has a publication date of 1867 and contains a collection of 136 plantation songs.
Could this be the first book of African American spirituals ever published?
History Detectives explores the coded messages and the melodies that laid the foundation of modern blues, gospel and protest songs of future generations.
- Also in Season 6 Atocha Spanish Silver What are these markings on a silver bar discovered in the wreck of a Spanish ship?
- Related Investigation George Washington Miniature Did the artist paint this portrait from life, and what is its surprising connection to the abolitionist White Matlack?
- Related Investigation Army Muster Roll What can a Continental Army muster roll tell us about this remarkable African-American soldier?
- Also with Wes Cowan U.S.S Olympia Glass Could this farmhouse door have sailed into battle in one of the country's greatest naval victories?
- Also with Wes Cowan Doc Holliday's Watch Was this watch a gift from the fearless frontier lawman Wyatt Earp to the gambler Doc Holliday?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Vicksburg Map Could this mysterious map have been at the front lines of one of the most explosive battles of the Civil War?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.