Files in this item



application/pdfThe Separation-Finalversion.pdf (476kB)
Original music composition.PDF


Title:The Separation
Author(s):Schwartz, Scott W.; Stromberg, Marten
Contributor(s):King Elementary School 5th Grade Classes
Civil War America
Folk Song
Brown, John,1800-1859
Morgan, John Hunt, 1825-1864
Abstract:Words and story developed by Matt Mockbee’s, Sally Thompson’s and Juliana Arazi’s 5th grade classes, King Elementary School, Urbana, Illinois, March 2012. Music, orchestration, and historical story line developed by Marten Stromberg and Scott Schwartz, University of Illinois, March 2012. The song’s story is based on a fictional account of two brothers, Joseph who is a slave with a young family, and the other, Christopher, a slave who has sought his freedom through the aid of the Underground Railroad. The brothers’ parents, Augustus and Caroline Bowman, were brought to America as child slaves in the 1820s and were eventually acquired by Pamelia Bowman who owned a small plantation in Louisville, Kentucky. Augustus and Caroline eventually fell in love, married and raised twelve children as servants of Miss Bowman’s household. Christopher was the oldest, followed by Issac who died at age 14, Elizabeth, Jonah and Harriet who were fraternal twins, Cain and Cyrus who were identical twins, George-Anne who died at age 8, Jacob, David, and Joseph who was the youngest of the family. While Miss Bowman tried to provide for the basic needs and well-being of her slaves, some sought freedom from their bondage and escaped to the North Country while others found some level of security in the care they received from their master. Christopher left his family in 1850 in response to the country’s new fugitive slave act, and traveled down the Ohio River to Cairo, Illinois and then up the Mississippi to Dr. Richard Eells home in Quincy, one stop on the Underground Railroad, before heading west toward Kansas City and new-found freedom. He eventually settles down in Osawatomie, Kansas and marries another runaway slave, Rachel, and begins making a family free from the turmoil of bondage. Unlike his oldest brother, Joseph finds comfort in his life as a slave because he always has food, clothes, and a roof over his head. As the county debates the inflammatory issues of states rights, slavery, and the 1860 presidential election, Joseph marries another young slave, Ruth, and begins building his family as a member of Miss Bowman’s household. With the fall of Fort Sumter to Beauregard’s southern army on April 12, 1861, Christopher joins Colonel James William’s First Kansas Colored Infantry Regiment in August 1862 to fight for the Northern Army and Joseph joins Colonel John Hunt Morgan’s 2nd Kentucky Cavalry Regiment in April 1862 to fight for the Confederate Army. The two brothers wrote often to one another to express their concern for the other, and shared a mutual dread that they may one day be forced to fight until one or both were killed in battle. While Christopher’s regiment took him to battles at Island Mound, Reeder Farm, Cabin Creek, Honey Springs and Poison Springs, he never encountered Morgan’s Raiders; and while Joseph’s battle field encounters at Shiloh, Hartsville, Gettysburg, and Greeneville where he saw Morgan finally killed by the Northern Army, he never had to face his brother in battle.
Issue Date:2012-04-10
Publication Status:unpublished
Sponsor:Office of Public Engagement, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-04-24

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics