Young Clem Brown
Boston Massachusetts United States of America
Published by Martin & Beals, 184 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 1846.
Written by Marshall S. Pike with music by L.V.H. Crosby, “Young Clem Brown” was first published by the Harmoneans in 1846. The Harmoneans were one of the earliest minstrel groups in the United States. Performing in black face, white groups like the Harmoneans perpetuated racist stereotypes about enslaved African Americans for the benefit of largely Northern audiences. In this ballad, two enslaved lovers, Clem and Fanny, escape from “Carolina” to the North. In 1847, the Harmoneans performed this song before President James K. Polk at the White House. During Harmonean performances, the female role of Fanny was played by Marshall S. Pike.
Gift to the Thomas A. Gray Rare Book and Manuscript Collection