Folk Song Of The American Negro - Online Book

Background, histories, development & commentary

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB


Previous Contents Next
THE TOUR OF THE ORIGINAL JUBILEE SINGERS.           107
their success. He eulogized the self-denial and patriotism of "these pious young people" for their exertions to exalt their race, and said that the affection and respect of the English people would follow them wherever they went. After a few words addressed to the singers by his lordship, the doxology was sung by the entire assembly, and Lord Shaftesbury, amid the cheers of the audience, shook hands with each of the singers as they quitted the platform."
They spent eight months in Germany with experiences similar to those they had in England. They were welcomed, heard, and enter�tained by royalty, nobility, and peasant. They sang, by special en�gagements, before the leading critics of Germany.
Perhaps the final word of criticism from Germany was this: "They disarm the critic." The visits to Great Britain and to Ger�many were the most notable of their campaigns. Their fame spread rapidly and "gained strength by going," until their songs resounded round the world. After seven years of such campaigning these hum�ble singers returned to Fisk and laid at her feet $150,000 and many rich gifts. Jubilee Hall, a monument to their sacrifice, stands on the identical spot upon which was once a slave pen. There it stands, lifting up its grateful head to God and His Heaven.
The noble altruism of these singers was ever manifest in their work. Through suffering, they sang to the world strange songs from their bruised hearts. In need of comfort, they comforted the sor�rowing. Their courage, their faith, their love for Fisk brought to them the honor of being the first to sing these songs to the world. October 6, 1871, was a great day for Fisk, for it was the day when was made the sacrifice which gave her salvation. But the divinest element of this sacrifice was that not one of that band of singers ever enjoyed the blessing which Fisk has bestowed upon so many. Not one returned to finish his Christian education.
The original company consisted of Ella Sheppard, Jennie Jack�son, Maggie Porter, Minnie Tate, Mary Eliza Walker, Thomas But-ling, Benjamin M. Holmes, Green Evans, and Isaac Dickinson. As time passed, there were changes in the personnel. During this seven years, at one time or another, Hinton Alexander, Fred Louden, Mabel Lewis, Georgia Gordon, and America Bobinson, were members of the Fisk Company.
A Harwick paper of January 9, 1874, makes the following com�ment:








E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III