Harper’s Weekly‘s December 21, 1861 edition features (among many other images) this stunning centerfold of Winslow Homer’s “A Bivouac Fire on the Potomac”: Homer depicts an encounter between diverse American cultures — celtic, North African, West African, Afro-Caribbean — centered on the evening’s entertainments of dance, fiddle, and other camp pastimes.
“William Sidney Mount and the Roots of Blackface Minstrelsy”
Black Folk Music to the Civil War
“Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance”
Lhamon reconstructs the hidden history of public dance, musical fusion, Jim Crow, and racial identity (& transgression) in antebellum U.S. cities, then traces it forward into the 20th century: