Hutchinson: “Republican Songster” (1860)

John Hutchinson produced this remarkable collection of Hutchinson Family lyrics in support of Lincoln’s first presidential campaign:

1860-hutchinsonsrepub00hutc-01“Hutchinson’s Republican Songster, for 1860″
(John W. Hutchinson, 1860)

The playlist:

1860-hutchinsonsrepub00hutc-05 1860-hutchinsonsrepub00hutc-06

This collection gives us a sense of how able activist celebrity performers like the Hutchinsons used music to advance their anti-slavery agenda during a tumultuous political season.  Lyrics include the Hutchinson Family’s classic abolitionist rewrites of popular songs from the previous decades, such as:

The official Republican party platform of 1860 also features prominently in the playlist…

Interestingly, George Washington Bungay also published a campaign song collection — although it’s not clear how serious it is as a statement of Republican politics.  Bungay’s Bobolink Minstrel: or, Republican Songster for 1860 adds the intriguing “Bobolink’s Campaign Song” to our election year repertoire:

When I am at the sunny South,
I dare not sing my mellow strains ;
A song of freedom from my mouth
Would drown amid the din of chains ;

So I think-on — think-on — think-on,
Until my visit there is spent.
Now Abe Lincoln — Lincoln — Lincoln
Is to be our President.

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