Guide to the Hutchinson Family Singers Collection, 1840 - 1988Manuscript MS-1241

History

The Hutchinson Family Singers were a family singing group who became popular American entertainers of the 1840s. The group sang in four-part harmony a repertoire of political, social, comic, sentimental and dramatic works. Formed by brothers Judson, John and Asa in 1840, they began touring New England with their younger sister Abby in 1842. Their repertoire included controversial material promoting abolitionism, workers' rights, temperance, and women's rights. In 1845, they traveled with Frederick Douglas in England and were house guests of Charles Dickens. During succeeding years the demand for their concert appearances was high; they performed in small towns, at large political rallies, for General McClellan's troops, and for presidents. In 1855, John, Asa and Judson Hutchinson set out to establish an ideal community in the West, eventually founding the town in Minnesota that bears their name.

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