top of page

Sheet music, The Contraband Schottische.13 x 10 ¼.  1861. 5 pp complete. written by Septimus Winner. Lithograph cover shows a white overseer, whip in hand, threatening four young male slaves. Dedicated to Major General Benjamin Butler, who at the time was the Commanding Officer of Fort Monroe in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

In early 1861, three slaves, who had been working as laborers building defense-works in nearby Norfolk, snuck across the bay and presented themselves at Fort Monroe. Butler refused to return the slaves in accordance with the federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 maintaining that since Virginia had seceded from the Union there was no legal requirement to do so. With time, other escaped slaves began reporting to Union forces, and by August they were being officially identified as "contraband," an old naval term that referred to smuggled goods.
Slightly trimmed on bottom, from bound volume with accompanying bindery marks along spine, exhibits some light soiling and wear, overall Vg- Fine condition. sm cw 555 145.


SKU: sm cw 555
bottom of page