Presented as an historical and cultural artifact, this extraordinarily RARE, very scarcely found, cloth book entitled Ten Little Niggers with Music was published in London, circa 1904, by Dean's Rag Book Co. Ltd. This registered issue is the very early No. 82 and was patented in Great Britain, Germany and the United States. The book measures 8.50 inches long x 6.75 inches wide.
The book tells the infamous story of ten little African-American boys who are gradually eliminated in number via one circumstance after another--most utterly horrid-- choking to death, chopping himself in half, being crushed by a bear, being swallowed by a red herring, etc, ending with the last boy sadly living all alone, a circumstance he happily remedies by getting married.
Originally published in 1868 under the Title of “The Ten Little Indians,” this poem was used during minstrel shows, which oftentimes were traveling acts, performed by white actors in blackface following the Civil War. The following year, the poem was adapted to this overtly horrid, racist rendition, replacing the word Indians with “Nigger” in both minstrel shows, printed sheet music, and children’s nursery rhyme books. This version married the stereotypes of violence and ignorance within the African-American population with the intent of "villain-izing" freed, black males while simultaneously allowing violent acts to befall the black characters portrayed in the rhyme.
This 113 year old book remains in all-original, very good condition with no alterations or repairs. Original binding and stitching remain quite tight and intact. Illustrated by R. J. (James) Williams, the interior illustrations remain very brightly colored. Pages present varying degrees of very light soiling, light foxing, and yellowing of linen, commensurate with age. Some pages also show subtle water staining that has not impacted cloth integrity. No tears or rips to fabric.
This book is in truly remarkable condition for its age and in consideration of its all-cloth construction. This title is very RARELY found in today's market and is an absolute cornerstone piece in any serious Black Memorabilia collection!
To view other versions of this book presently available for separate purchase, please type the words "ten little" into the SEARCH box on our home page.