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William Francis Allen, 1830-1889, Charles Pickard Ware, 1840-1921, and Lucy McKim Garrison, 1842-1877
Slave Songs of the United States
New York: A. Simpson & Co., 1867.


In his introduction, William Allen states his purpose for publishing Slave Songs of the United States: " seems time at last that the partial collections in the possession of the editors, and known by them to be in the possession of others, should not be forgotten and lost, but that these relics of a state of society which has passed away should be preserved while it is still possible" (iii).

Allen continues his introduction with a thorough discussion of the songs, including their places of origin, their composition, their phonetic and grammatical properties, and their performative qualities. The editors then provide directions for singing the songs before providing the musical transcriptions of one hundred and thirty-six mostly sacred songs from Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana.

Brent Kinser

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