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Colonialism and its legacies including slavery were a part of the lives of several generations of the Stockton family at Morven.
For Black History month, Independent scholar John Burkhalter and pianist Sheldon Eldridge explore the link between Robert Field Stockton (1795-1866) the “Commodore”, and the free black composer Francis “Frank” Johnson. Johnson (1792-1844) now considered one of America’s most prominent musicians during the Federal period, was the first African American to publish sheet music, and to perform an integrated concert, among other firsts. He composed and dedicated a work for Commodore Stockton entitled the “Princeton Gallopade” to be performed on Morven’s 1863 Steinway Grand Piano. The piano at Morven is little heard. Please join us for this rare virtual event featuring an examination of the Commodore and Johnson’s complicated relationship, followed by four selections by, and a tribute to, musician Frank Johnson.