Abolitionism, Temperance, and Women's Rights in the Mid-Nineteenth Century: The Role of the Hutchinson Family Singers
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This paper will focus on the Hutchinson Family Singers, a group of musicians whom the author believes ought to be known by anyone with an interest in music or the past. Beginning their career in 1840, they were one of the first American groups to make a name for themselves in a period when foreign artists were in vogue. The name they gave themselves characterized them perfectly, the Hutchinson Family Singers; they were just that, a family. The group was comprised of three brothers and a sister whose voices blended together and brought forth a harmony even a trained ear found alluring. With their voices blazing a trail before them, they championed the causes of abolitionism, temperance, and women's suffrage. Because of the author's lack of knowledge in music theory, he will not attempt to analyze the composition of the music sung by the Hutchinsons. What will be dealt with are various questions historians tend to ask themselves in regard to topics such as; how did the Hutchinsons become so well known? Did they have any impact on how people viewed the social conflicts of that time? If they were well known and did have a great impact on the opinions people had towards abolitionism, temperance, and women's suffrage, why are they a virtually unknown name in many historical text books today? It is the intent of the author to answer these questions and more, while also creating a document that will further preserve the history of the Hutchinson Family Singers.