Extremely rare 1878 First Edition copy of Music And The Highly Musical People ,Remarkable Colored Musicians, by James W, Trotter, [Black author] with illus of him, Boston Lee & Shepherd. 353 pp and 2nd part 152 pp. 12 illus of black singers & Musicians, with other illustrations. There are chapters on musicians from New Orleans, Chicago, Newark, St Louis, Memphis, Nashville, etc. Here are some of the musicians: Eliz Taylor Greenfield [the black swan], Thomas Bowers, [The American Mario], Blind Tom, the Colored American Opera Company, Georgia Minstrels, Jubilee Singers [Fisk University], Frank Johnson and His Favorite Military orchestra, and 30 others -- along with 162 pages of serious music works by Black composers from the authors collection, words and music. Pictorial. Cloth with musical Instruments in gold. Bookplate of William Buckner 1917., Scarce, saw only one other copy available. A great book of Black American musical history.
-- Two deeds to land in Washington, D.C. signed: "Jas. M. Trotter, Recorder" on 3½" by 8½" filing portion of deed 8½ inches by 14 inches. Washington, D.C. December 14, 1887. One of the deeds is to land on Maryland Avenue and 13th Street, S.W., purchased by Erastus Kurtz Johnson, founder with his brother-in-law William Wimsatt of the Johnson and Wimsatt Lumber Company of the District of Columbia. Today, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is at 1330 Maryland Ave., S.W.
-- BIO -- James Monroe Trotter: Born in Grand Gulf, Mississippi on November 8, 1842. His mother, Letitia, was a slave, and his father was Richard S. Trotter, his mother's owner. Letitia, Trotter, and his brother eventually escaped slavery, making their way to Cincinnati, Ohio, where James Trotter enrolled in the Gilmer School. He also attended the Albany Academy in Athens County, Ohio, where he received training as a schoolteacher. Upon graduating from this institution, Trotter taught in Black American schools in Pike, Muskingum, and Ross Counties, Ohio. In June 1863, Trotter enlisted in the 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. By the Civil War's conclusion, Trotter had attained the rank of Second Lieutenant. Upon leaving the military, Trotter returned to Ohio, settling in Chillicothe, where he married Virginia Isaacs in 1868. The Trotters eventually moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where James Trotter became the first Black American to secure employment in the Boston branch of the United States Post Office. Trotter remained in this position for several years, but he eventually quit this job, unhappy that whites with fewer or the same years of experience as him were routinely promoted over him. Undaunted by the racism that he faced, Trotter continued to advance himself. He published a book, Music and Some Highly Musical People, in 1880, still read today. In 1887, President Grover Cleveland appointed Trotter to the position of Recorder of Deeds of the District of Columbia, succeeding Frederick Douglass. Trotter served until 1890; he was succeeded by former U.S. Senator Blanche K. Bruce.
-- Three 1877 hand-written letters. Two of the letters in the collection were handwritten by H. McDowell who was visiting Leipsic, Germany. The recipient was C.N. Cobb who I believe was visiting London. The third item is a letter from a steamship company from London, informing Mr. Cobb that all arrangements are made for his departure from London to New York. Total of 7 pages. One of the letters (November 22, 1877) states, "Didn't go to hear the Jubilee Singers, but I heard they had a good house and the "Tagblatt" (Day Sheet, newspaper) spoke highly of them. They gave a second concert this eve. They were at church yesterday, but did not sing, except with the congregation...".
-- Service of Songs -- Negro Spirituals for the Emancipation of the Slave in the Southern States of America. In 1876 "The Story of the Jubilee Singers and Their Songs was written by J.B.T. Marsh. This is an edition was printed by W. J. Gibbs (Bromley, Kent about 1922) which omits the history published in the original book about the Fisk University Singers, but provides 139 songs sung by them all over Europe.
-- Negro Spirituals and the Underground Railroad -- The Underground Railroad helped slaves to run to freedom. A fugitive could use several ways. First, they had to walk at night, using hand lights and moonlight. When needed, they walked (“waded”) in water, so that dogs could not smell their tracks. Second, they jumped into chariot, where they could hide and ride away. These chariots stopped at some “stations”, but this word could mean any place where slaves had to go for being taken in charge. Negro spirituals like “Wade in the Water”, “The Gospel Train” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” directly refer to the Underground Railroad.