SAM DeVINCENT COLLECTION OF ILLUSTRATED
AMERICAN SHEET MUSIC, ca. 1790 - 1987
Series 5: POLITICS AND POLITICAL MOVEMENTS, ca. 1817-1982
by: Karen Linn, 1991
Scope and Content:
The Politics and Political Movements series contains ca. 1,565 pieces of sheet music and song
folios documenting the political history of the United States. The two largest subseries
by far are Patriotic Music (5.1) and Politicians and Political Figures (5.2). Although some
political campaign songs are in 5.3, most of this material is placed in 5.2 under the name of
the individual politician.
Although the several subseries devoted to specific political movements are much smaller than
the first two subseries, there are some impressive sections here as well. The Ku Klux
Klan material evidences that organization's popularity in the midwest and west during the 1920s
and its preoccupation with the dangers of immigrants and new European political ideologies.
There is also a sizable gathering of prohibition and temperance materials. The prohibition songs
offer both pro and con arguments about "voting dry."
The material dates from ca. 1817 to 1982. Most pre-1840 imprints are not dated.
Estimates have been made for the dates of many early imprints by checking publisher and address
of the publisher in the "Index of Publishers, Engravers and Printers" in volume III
of Richard Wolfe's Secular Music in America 1801-1825: A Bibliography and in Harry Dichter and
Elliott Shapirol's Handbook of Early American Sheet Music, 1768-1889.
The Ephemera file, arranged in the same subseries as the sheet music, is described on page
13. The Politics and Political Movements ephemera file is placed in one document box and
numbered with the same series and subseries
numbers as the sheet music.
The seven subseries in the Politics and Political Movements series are arranged with the two
major subseries placed first and the subseries on various political movements following in alphabetical
order. Go to Container List 5.1