Presentation copy from George Foster Peabody to Leonard Outhwaite with typed, signed, letter. New York: Diploma, 1924 Institute of Musical Art. Press of G. Schirmer, Inc., 1925.
First Edition. Hardcover. Quarto. xx, 93 pages,  page blank. Dark blue cloth hardcover with gilt title and decoration on the front cover. A few small white scuff marks on the back cover. Light edge wear to the cloth extremities. Front hinge is tender. Pages 41 and 42 repaired bottom corner. Armorial bookplate of Leonard Outhwaite on the front paste down. A typed letter from George Foster Peabody on his letterhead (George Foster Peabody Saratoga Springs New York), dated July 18, 1925, is addressed "My dear Mr. Outhwaite." The letter reads: I hear from Dr. Woofter that you have taken special interest in some of the Negro folk songs and Music. I am, therefore, giving myself the pleasure of sending you a copy of the St. Helena Spirituals, which not only has a number of new songs but has foreword that I am sure you will find of interest. I am Very Truly yours, [signed] George Foster Peabody. The address at the bottom reads, Mr. Leonard Outhwaite % The Laura Spellman-Rockefeller Foundation, 61 Broadway, New York City. The letter is gem clipped to the right front flyleaf leaving a faint impression on the title page. George Foster Peabody's name card is pasted down on the right front flyleaf. Very good. Item #17063
From the Rockefeller Archive Center: Leonard Outhwaite, 1892-1979, worked as a consultant, an anthropologist, and an author. Mr. Outhwaite was a staff member of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial from 1923 to 1928 where one of his fields of interest was American race relations.
George Foster Peabody was raised in Columbus, Georgia and moved to New York shortly after the Civil War. George became a banker and philanthropist. He was a social activist and a major benefactor to the University of Georgia. The Peabody award for excellence in Journalism was named after George Foster Peabody. George Foster Peabody also had an association with the author of this book.
The author, Nicholas G.J. Ballanta (1893–1962), was a Sierra Leonean music scholar, composer and educator who conducted field research of the music of West Africa in the early 20th century. His education in European music influenced his musical compositions. The years he spent collecting indigenous African music prompted him to compose musical plays or operas set in African villages; his work combines elements from both African and European music...George Foster Peabody persuaded Ballanta to visit Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina to better understand the music of African Americans. While visiting the Penn School in South Carolina, Ballanta "showed a peculiar facility in quickly and accurately transcribing the Spirituals as he heard them sung by the pupils…." Ballanta's collection of 103 spirituals was published by G. Schirmer in 1925 as Saint Helena Island Spirituals. Peabody funded Ballanta's field research from 1924 to 1926 in the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Gold Coast (Ghana), and Nigeria. In 1926 he returned to the US, reporting "I traveled about 7000 miles of country in West Africa on research work, during which time I collected over 2000 examples of African songs." (wikipedia).