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 1856 Mormon Tale Is this tattered book a true account of female slavery in the old West?
- Related Investigation Slave Banjo Is this the only surviving banjo carried by former slaves following Emancipation?
- Also in Season 6 John Adams Book Was this book a gift from John Adams to his son?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Civil War Bridge Has a new discovery rewritten Civil War history?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Dueling Pistols Were these pistols used in the last great duel on U.S. soil?
- Also with Wes Cowan Camp David Letter Could a box found in a dumpster hold information about the founding of a top-secret Presidential retreat?
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.