Good Old Fashioned Singers: Songs and Stories of the Hutchinson Family Singers.
Steve Blunt and Amy Conley, educators from Milford NY, will relate the history of the Hutchinson Family Singers with music and narration at 7 p.m. Friday, October 19 at the First Baptist Church, 27 Broad Street in Hamilton NY. The program offers an account of the Hutchinsons’ early life in Milford, the start of their musical career in New England, and the rise to national and international fame as singing abolitionists. For much of the 19th Century the Hutchinson Family Singers from Milford NH were popular musical entertainers and social reformers, advancing the notions of abolition, temperance, women’s right, and Lincoln’s election. The family musicians sang in the White House for Presidents Tyler and Lincoln, and they also sang throughout the Northeast – including Peterboro. Smithfield Town Historian Donna Burdick has accomplished considerable research on the connections of the Hutchinson family with Peterboro. In John Hutchinson’s autobiography he includes references to performing at the Oneida Community on the 31st of August 1865 and then in Peterboro on the 3rd and 4th of September with Gerrit Smith. Hutchinson wrote, “We always cherish a high regard for him (Smith), and I have letters from the great reformer among my choicest possessions.” Mr. Hutchinson also wrote of the Hutchinson concert at which Mr. Smith wept.
The strongest Hutchinson link to Peterboro was George Washington Putnam. Putnam was a poet, songwriter, inventor, and Charles Dickens’ secretary on Dickens’ first trip to America in 1842. The Hutchinsons performed many of Putnam’s pieces. In 1851, as English abolitionist George Thompson’s secretary, Putnam attended a Peterboro antislavery convention, at which Frederick Douglass and Abby Kelley Foster spoke. Putnam was an agent for the Hutchinsons when the family was founding Hutchinson MN in 1855. Dickens lived in Peterboro from 1858 to 1868.
The public is encouraged to attend the abolition concert which is part of the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum event commemorating the 2011 inductees: Abby Kelley Foster, Jermain Wesley Loguen, and George Gavin Ritchie with programs at Colgate University and Onondaga Historical Association. The First Baptist Church is considered the “Mother Church of Colgate.”
Programs at the NAHOF event are supported by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities, Abolition Agitation in New York State Sparks the War for Liberty and Justice, and with funds from the New York Council on the Arts Decentralization Grant Program, a state agency, and the Cultural Resources Council, a regional arts council. Admission for the concert is five dollars at the door. For more information: email@example.com www.nationalabolitionhalloffameandmuseum.org, 315-684-3262
The Hutchinson Family Singers
The Hutchinson Family Singers were a popular 19th C. musical group which sang songs of reform. An antislavery Hutchinson concert will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday, October 19 at the First Baptist Church in Hamilton.
Amy Conley and Steve Blunt, Milford NH
Steve Blunt and Amy Conley, educators from Milford NY, will relate the history of the Hutchinson Family Singers with music and narration at 7 p.m. Friday, October 19 at the First Baptist Church, 27 Broad Street in Hamilton NY.