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Catalog Data

Subject of:
May Irwin, Canadian, 1862 - 1938  Search this
Composed by:
Charles E. Trevathan  Search this
Owned by:
Vernon Sugg McDonald, American, 1906 - 1982  Search this
Mary Elizabeth Sugg, American, 1839 - 1915  Search this
ink on paper
H x W: 12 5/16 × 9 in. (31.3 × 22.9 cm)
sheet music
Place collected:
Sugg McDonald House, Sonora, Tuolumne County, California, United States, North and Central America
Sheet music for the song Bully Song. The front cover of sheet music features a caricatured illustration of an African American man in a blue checkered jacket, blue and white striped pants, and a small white and black hat. The man is depicted holding a razor in his proper right hand. The black ink type on front cover reads: [May Irwin's / Bully Song / AS SUNG WITH / GREAT SUCCESS / IN THE / "WIDOW JONES" / WORDS AND MUSIC / BY /Charles E. Trevathan]. Type referring to the copyright is in the bottom left corner, but it has been torn off. In the top left corner of the cover there is handwriting in blue ink that reads: [This is the only / correct publication / of the "Bully Song" / as sung by me / in "The Widow Jones." / May Irwin]. The back of the cover has the beginning of the “Bully Song” in black print.
Objects depicting racist and/or stereotypical imagery or language may be offensive and disturbing, but the NMAAHC aims to include them in the Collection to present and preserve the historical context in which they were created and used. Objects of this type provide an important historical record from which to study and evaluate racism.
African American  Search this
Blackface  Search this
Caricature and cartoons  Search this
Minstrel (Music)  Search this
Stereotypes  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Sylvia Alden Roberts
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Public Domain
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Documents and Published Materials-Sheet music
Racist and Stereotypical Objects
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture