American Sheet Music: ca. 1820-1860
Table of Contents
Music Copyrighted in Federal District Courts, ca. 1820-1860:
National Expansion and Reform

Innovations and Celebrations

image: caption following
The Bloomer sett of waltzes
by Charles Vincent.

The emergence of social reform movements was also the subject of musical composition. Temperance, a major issue in the years following the Civil War, inspires here only a moderate amount of music, some of it in jest. There are almost as many drinking songs as there are temperance songs, as well as a very occasional smoking song. Woman suffrage, on the other hand, is a more frequent theme here than in the post-war period, partly because it has in Amelia Bloomer, a figure whose work touches on fashion as well as on social reform.

Songs on the plight of slaves are considered in the section on African Americans and are much more frequent than songs specifically advocating the abolition of slavery. Related to the latter are songs inspired by Uncle Tom's Cabin. A touring family group, the Hutchinson Family, was particularly active in singing songs for causes such as abolition and temperance.

American Sheet Music: ca. 1820-1860