The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126347   Message #2839781
Posted By: John Minear
15-Feb-10 - 08:44 AM
Thread Name: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
After surveying the available written documents for the period prior to about 1860, I have turned my attention to a broader survey of what shanties might have been current at the time of the "Julia Ann's" voyages. You will find an outline of my areas of concern here:


So far I have considered possible shanties sung on board the SLAVE TRADERS, the PIRATE ships of the 19th century, the EAST INDIA TRADERS, and the WHALERS. I now want to turn my attention to a rather large category.   The boundaries are somewhat amorphous and arbitrary. I want to look at shanties that either originate or were influenced by the Black cultures of the South in the first half of the 19th century.

I am making an arbitrary distinction, for now, between "the Black South", and the Caribbean area, even though there was probably a good deal of overlap. Initially, I will not try to separate out four further categories: "slave songs", songs derived from the minstrel shows, and "stevedore songs" used for loading cargo, especially cotton, and actual shanties sung by Black crew members. Obviously there was probably a lot of overlap amongst these categories.

I am especially interested in the geographical locale of the southern Gulf ports which were active during the early cotton trading days.