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.
- Related Investigation Slave Banjo Is this the only surviving banjo carried by former slaves following Emancipation?
- Also with Wes Cowan Jigsaw Puzzle Does this puzzle depict a real event - women playing contact sports in the late 19th century?
- Also with Wes Cowan Texas Servant Girl Murders Years before Jack the Ripper, did a serial killer walk the streets of Austin, TX?
- Related Investigation John Brown Pike How did this metal blade spark violent tension between the North and the South?
- Also with Wes Cowan Mussolini's Dagger Did a World War II GI return home with Mussolini's dagger?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Lee Family Doll Did this doll belong to a former slave of General Robert E. Lee?
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.