The Jim Crow Song Book. Minstrelsy.
The Jim Crow Song Book
The Jim Crow Song Book

The Jim Crow Song Book.

Ithica [i.e. Ithaca, NY]: J. E. Barbour, 1838.

First edition. Woodcut title vignette, woodcuts throughout text. 128 pp. 1 vols. 12mo. Linen-backed pictorial boards reproducing title-page (dated 1839) on front and another illustration ("Go it, ni***r!!") on rear not found in text. Spine crudely touched up with brown paint, covers rubbed and water-stained, first two signatures water-stained, some foxing and soiling throughout. Multiple impressions on front endpapers of ownership ink stamp with American eagle of Jacob S. Sharp of Ephrata, his pencil inscription dated 1841 and various other ownership marks and note regarding purchase ("bought in Boston[?] 12") Not at AAS or Blockson. Item #315796

An early depiction of the minstrel-show character, Jim Crow and more generally of the genre of offensive black stereotyped lyrics later termed "coon-songs." The Jim Crow character was popularized in the late 1820s by Thomas Dartmouth "Daddy" Rice, who performed the character in blackface. Rice claimed that Jim Crow was inspired by the lopsided dancing of a lame black stable hand that he observed entertaining his coworkers, though the "Jim Crow" trickster character also has roots in black folk tales. The illustration on the rear cover depicts the Jim Crow dance and the first song printed is Rice's adaptation of "Jump Jim Crow" ("Come listen all you gals and boys, / I's just from Tuckyhoe, / I'm going to sing a little song, / My name's Jim Crow"). Other notable minstrel lyrics included Rice's "Oh! Hush!" featuring his character Gumbo Cuff, and "Zip Coon," a caricature of a free black with cultural pretensions.
Rare, with OCLC locating just two copies.

Price: $5,000.00 Free International Delivery