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raredance Abe Lincoln's Musical Campaign (15) RE: Abe Lincoln's Musical Campaign 07 Apr 02


Keith and Rusty McNeil have recorded this on their collection of "Civil War Songs". They use the Luther Orland Emmerson tune and add that it was also sung to "Wearing of the Green".

To follow up on the JS Gibbons tale, the following is taken from "American War Songs" published in1925 by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.

"James Sloan Gibbons moved to New York city, where he became prominent in the anti-slavery movement, bineg a close friend of Wm. Lloyd Garrison, the Grimke sisters and other leasders of those days. He married Abby Hopper, a daughter of Isaac T Hopper, the Quaker philanthropist, and thier home became a meeting place for all who desired to uplift the distressed.

The poem was written in response to President Lincoln's call, in 1862, for three hundred thousand men. It was written at white heat and published anonymously in the New York Evening Post. A full acount of its origin and the accompanying circumstances was published some years ago in Scribner's Magazine. The poem mad an immediate and profound impression, was set to music and was sung all over the country by thousands of men replying to the President's call.

In the draft riots of 1863, when New York was for some days under mob rule, Mr Gibbons's well-known anti-slavery principles made him a marked man for the hatred of the rioters. A smear of tar upon his front door was the warning of what he might expect. A few hours later the mob surged into his house, which they completely sacked, destroying everything which could not be carried away. Mr Gibbons himself, learning what was going on, mingled with the crown, and, unrecognized, witnessed the pillaging and ruin of his cherished home. His wife and eldest daughter were at this time nursing in the army hospitals in the South, but two other daughters had only time to escape by a trap-door across the neighboring roofs to a friendly house around a corner, where they were met by thier friend, Joseph H Choate, who conveyed them to a place of safety."

Irwin Silber in "Songs of the Civil War" (1960, Columbia Univ. Press) has the song with the music to Emmerson's tune. Paul Glass and Louis Singer in "Singing Soldiers, The Spirit of the Sixties" (1968 Grosset & Dunlop) have the song with the Wearing of the Green tune written by Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, the Band Master of the Union Army.

rich r


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