Ten Little Injuns: Comic Song and Chorus

Ten Little Injuns: Comic Song and Chorus

Philadelphia: Sep. Winner, 1868. Unbound. Complete with six pages including the cover. 10.75” x 14”. First edition (see Dichter & Shapiro, 152). The cover features ten silhouettes of Native Americans. Soiling and heavy edge-wear; neatly mended spine. One four-inch horizontal tear on each of the last two leaves. 1869 gift inscription at upper right corner of the front cover. Good to Very Good. Item #009012

In 1868, Septimus Winner published this song, said to have been based on an earlier minstrel show skit, in which “ten little ‘Injuns’” disappear one-by-one, often the result of violent deaths. It proved popular, became a minstrel staple itself, and was quickly republished by other music companies, e.g. Lee & Walker, Oliver Ditson, etc. A year later, Frank Green rewrote the lyrics as Ten Little Niggers, and the song’s popularity exploded, and both versions became popular and often were published as counting rhymes for children.

The rhyme was, perhaps, more popular in England than in the States, and years later, Agatha Christie used those titles for one of her best murder mysteries which was later turned into both a theatrical play and a motion picture titled And Then There Were None.

The first edition, self-published by Winner himself is much less common than printings by the major sheet music publishers. As of 2018, no other examples are for sale in the trade, and there are no records of auction sales at ABPC or the Rare Book Hub. OCLC locates only two institutional holdings of the true first edition. Some problems, so priced accordingly.

Price: $300.00

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