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 Boarding House Flag Did this flag once save a boarding house from being burned down at the height of the Civil War?
- 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?
- Related Investigation Duke Ellington Plates What is the story behind the printing plates for this famous Jazz song?
- Also with Wes Cowan Survivor Camera Did this antique camera save a Polish Jew during the Holocaust?
- Also with Wes Cowan Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa? Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa disappeared without a trace in 1975. Was he murdered? If so, who killed him and why?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Army Muster Roll What can a Continental Army muster roll tell us about this remarkable African-American soldier?
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.