The Ethiopian Glee Book; a collection of popular Negro Melodies, arranged for Quartett Clubs. [With:]… Containing the Songs sung by the Christy Minstrels. No. 2… [and:]… No. 3.

  • Howe, Elias; 'Chaff, Gumbo'
  • Boston: Published by Elias Howe 1848


SKU: 4222 Category: Tag:


Oblong folio, pp. 167, [1]. Three parts with separate title-pages but continuous pagination. Contemporary half blue calf by R. & A. Miller of Montreal, marbled boards, spine divided by gilt rules, marbled endpapers, morocco gilt label to front board. Poor-quality paper rather foxed in places. Rubbed, a little wear to spine ends and edges. Bookbinder’s ticket of R. & A. Miller, Montreal to pastedown, pencilled purchase note of Sir James E. Alexander, Montreal, 1850, to initial blank.


A scarce compilation of songs performed by blackface minstrel groups, given the attribution of Gumbo Chaff, 'first banjo player to the king of Congo', by the white publisher, Elias Howe, Jr (1820-1895). Odd numbers are a little easier to find than the whole group of Howe's publications together as here - a fourth number, not in this volume, was issued in 1850 by a different publisher, containing 'songs sung by the New Orleans serenaders'. The first number is notable for including the second appearance in print, and the first in a compilation, of 'Oh! Susanna', which had been first performed in 1847 and issued on its own in Cincinnati in 1848. Reasonably well-represented in American institutions, the work is rare in the UK in any part - Library Hub locates two of the parts in Birmingham and a non-specific entry in the BL only - and scarce commercially, especially in collected form as here.

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