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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Westerville in Franklin County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Darling Nelly Gray

One of Multiple Markers

 
 
Darling Nelly Gray Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, August 15, 2017
1. Darling Nelly Gray Marker
Inscription. In 1856, Benjamin Hanby published his first song, Darling Nellie Gray, a tale of fugitive slave Joe Selby, who was en route to Canada. Selby died in the Hanby’s Rushville house in 1842. Selby had hoped to buy the freedom of his love, Nelly, who had been sold to a plantation “down river.” When attending Otterbein University, Benjamin travelled to Kentucky, where he witnessed a slave auction. This experience inspired him to complete the song telling the story of Joe and Nelly. An anthem of its time, Darling Nelly Gray became a theme of anti-slavery sermons. Abolitionists labeled it :the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of song.” Union soldiers sang the song around campfires. Benjamin was an ordained minister of the United Brethren Church after graduating in the second class of Otterbein University in 1858. In 1864, he left preaching to operate a singing school in New Paris, Ohio, where he wrote the Christmas song Santa Claus- today known as Up on the Housetop. While working for Root and Cady in Chicago, he wrote the hymn Who is He in Yonder Stall? By the time Hanby died of tuberculosis in 1867, he had composed more than 80 songs.

Songs of protest have long been used by temperance groups, labor organizations, Civil Rights advocates, and anti-war demonstrators, to popularize their causes. We Shall Overcome, a song adapted from Charles

Darling Nelly Gray Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, August 15, 2017
2. Darling Nelly Gray Marker
two markers in the back yard; this is the one on the right
Tindley’s early gospel lyrics I’ll Overcome Someday (1900), the 19th century spiritual, No More Auction Block for Me, and Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind became protest songs, calling for an end to racial discrimination and war. Hanby’s own The Reveler’s Chorus was a rallying song for the Temperance Movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
 
Location. 40° 7.585′ N, 82° 56.256′ W. Marker is in Westerville, Ohio, in Franklin County. Marker is on Center Street near West Main Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. marker is in the backyard. Marker is at or near this postal address: 160 West Main, Westerville OH 43081, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hanby House (here, next to this marker); William Hanby, Freedom Crusader (a few steps from this marker); The Home of Benjamin R. Hanby (within shouting distance of this marker); Otterbein College (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); In Memory of Benjamin R. Hanby (approx. 0.2 miles away); Temperance Row Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); Heritage Green Park (approx. 0.3 miles away); Benjamin Russell Hanby (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Westerville.
 
Also see . . .  Darling Nelly Gray - Youtube.com
Darling Nelly Gray Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, August 15, 2017
3. Darling Nelly Gray Marker
looking towards the back of the house; this is the marker in the fore ground
. (Submitted on August 20, 2017, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRArts, Letters, MusicEducation
 
Darling Nelly Gray Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, August 15, 2017
4. Darling Nelly Gray Marker
just for reference; the older marker, out front
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 20, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 18, 2017, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 67 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 18, 2017, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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