Subject of
Irwin, May, Canadian, 1862 - 1938
Composed by
Trevathan, Charles E.
Owned by
McDonald, Vernon Sugg, American, 1906 - 1982
Sugg, Mary Elizabeth, American, 1839 - 1915
Date
1896
Medium
ink on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 12 5/16 × 9 in. (31.3 × 22.9 cm)
Description
Sheet music for the song Bully Song. The front cover of sheet music features a caricatured illustration of an African American man in a blue checkered jacket, blue and white striped pants, and a small white and black hat. The man is depicted holding a razor in his proper right hand. The black ink type on front cover reads: [May Irwin's / Bully Song / AS SUNG WITH / GREAT SUCCESS / IN THE / "WIDOW JONES" / WORDS AND MUSIC / BY /Charles E. Trevathan]. Type referring to the copyright is in the bottom left corner, but it has been torn off. In the top left corner of the cover there is handwriting in blue ink that reads: [This is the only / correct publication / of the "Bully Song" / as sung by me / in "The Widow Jones." / May Irwin]. The back of the cover has the beginning of the “Bully Song” in black print.
Statement
Objects depicting racist and/or stereotypical imagery or language may be offensive and disturbing, but the NMAAHC aims to include them in the Collection to present and preserve the historical context in which they were created and used. Objects of this type provide an important historical record from which to study and evaluate racism.
Place collected
Sugg McDonald House, Sonora, Tuolumne County, California, United States, North and Central America
Classification
Documents and Published Materials-Sheet music
Racist and Stereotypical Objects
Type
sheet music
Topic
Blackface
Caricature and cartoons
Minstrel (Music)
Stereotypes
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Sylvia Alden Roberts
Object number
2014.275.19
Restrictions & Rights
Public Domain
GUID
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd55fc4e126-6019-43e8-9481-fcc3ecd578e8

Cataloging is an ongoing process and we may update this record as we conduct additional research and review. If you have more information about this object, please contact us at NMAAHCDigiTeam@si.edu

Share this page