4 pages, 3 3/4 x 5 1/4, in ink, written by a women who identifies herself as Sarah S.P. This original manuscript was written by Miss Sarah on New Year's Day, 1863, the day that President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation became effective. It is noted by Sarah at the top of the sheet, "Air- the Banks of Brandywine." This was a popular folk song of the era, and apparently Sarah fancied herself as a lyricist, and intended for her original words to be put to the music of The Banks of Brandywine. The words she has written on this sheet of paper in 1863 are not those of that song, but are her own.
(Air- The Banks of Brandywine)
Jan. 1st, 1863, New Year
Today the bondsman’s chain is broke; Today the slaves go free; Today he’ll rest the tyrant’s yoke; For ‘tis 1863.
They long have suffered, toiled & died; In hopeless misery; But God has listened when they cryed; And gave them liberty.
He’s warned the nation of her crimes; He’s bid the slaves go free; O! tremble now ye Southern chimes; For ‘tis 1863.
Jeff Davis says he’ll hang our men; And thinks he’ll scare the North; But we will drive him to his den; And there we’ll drag him forth; The Union men will not be beat; By Jackson, Jeff nor Lee; The rebel foe they’ll bravely meet; In 1863.
The contraband will bravely fight; Nor flinch at cannon ball; For they are bound to gain their right; Or make creation fall; The stars & stripes will proudly wave; O’er all the land’s sea; Our army will the Union save; In 1863.
Saw soldiers bleed & die & when the dreadful fight was done; You’ve heard their mournful cy; You’ve visited the lonely fires; Where wives & mothers mourn; The absent husbands, sons or sires; Who cowardice would scorn.
You’ve seen the lover fondly pray; The maid he did not adore; Unto his noble throbbing breast; Then leave her for the war; And you have seen the tender maid; In secret weep & pine; For he who from her love had strayed; And joined the battle line.
You’ve visited the drunkard’s cell; Where famished children cry; Where want & woe together dwell; You’ve saw the drunkard die; You’ve witnessed deeds of sin & woe; So deep and dark that some would tremble if the world should know; That they such deeds had done.
You’ve been a kind & faithful friend; Though sometimes stern and proud & as your life draws to an end; Stern winter weaves your shroud.
Composed by Sarah S.P.
Light age toning, soiling, scattered light staining, and wear. Neatly written. Desirable 1863 manuscript regarding the freeing of the slaves.