Slavery and the Making of AmericaDrawing of a sermon at the First African Church in Richmond, Virginia
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The Slave Experience: Religion
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Original Documents Religion

"Go Down, Moses (Let my people go!)"
Published 1917
Historic American Sheet Music, 'Go Down, Moses," Music #708, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
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Photo of the music to 'Go Down, Moses (Let my People go!)'
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Document Description
The story of Moses held special meaning for Christian slaves who saw the plight of the Jews in Egypt as a parallel to their own. Spirituals like this one, which made reference to Moses and the freeing of the Pharaoh's slaves, gave singers hope for earthly as well as heavenly salvation.

Israel was in Egypt's lan
Let my people go,
Oppress'd so hard they could not stand,
Let my people go
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