Here are our finalized maps that document various aspects of the life and legacy of H.T. Burleigh. To read more about our methodology, sources, and possible next steps in our research, look at the main project page here.
The Life and Legacy of Harry T Burleigh
Where Burleigh Performed
Where Burleigh's Music was Performed
This map highlights where Burleigh performed his music in comparison to other performers. We see from the map that Burleigh mainly performed in the Northeast, and rarely performed in the South. However, this is only what the data we collected tells us. We know that Burleigh traveled and performed overseas, but we would need more documentation on his programs to confidently assert his performance presence in these countries. A bias of this map is the skew of performances in the United States. Finding performances of Burleigh’s work abroad was a difficult task, and while we attempted to show a global representation of his performances, the data is not completely comprehensive. However, the map still provides a visualization and understanding of the strong domestic and global presence of his works.
Burleigh's Most Significant Performers
In addition to mapping performances of Burleigh’s work, we felt it important to expand on three of Burleigh’s most significant performers, Marian Anderson, Roland Hayes, and Paul Robeson. Each of the three artists were closely associated with Burleigh and performed his works at a majority of their recitals. In addition, each of the three were mentored by Burleigh at some point early on in their performing careers and continued to laud his work throughout their lives. The map shows the spread of Burleigh’s work and influence, both national and international, through the lens of these three performers’ lives. We have included not only documented performances of Burleigh’s works, but also times when Burleigh was working directly with beside these performers, and any other instances where the two can be associated with each other. After coming across difficulties in finding confirmed Burleigh performances abroad, but not wanting to leave out any possible international recitals, we also created a layer on the map for performances where Burleigh’s spirituals were likely programmed, but we do not have confirmation.
Since there were over forty total performances of Burleigh’s pieces at Carnegie Hall between Anderson, Hayes and Robeson, we felt it wise to create a timeline of the performances (see timeline here). This not only reduced clutter on our first map, but it allowed us to expand on the performances by including the program for each recital. Marian Anderson only performed Burleigh’s spirituals at Carnegie Hall, and always at the conclusion of her recital. Paul Robeson also sang spirituals, but he sang them throughout the program and occasionally performed entire recitals of concert spirituals. Roland Hayes was the only performer of the three to sing Burleigh’s art songs at Carnegie Hall, in addition to his spirituals.
Burleigh Before New York
This map details performances and major life events of H.T. Burleigh from his birth in 1866 up to his move to New York in 1892. As you can see, the main focus of this map is Erie, Pennsylvania where Burleigh was raised and started his musical career. Outliers include his tours with the New Orleans University Jubilee singers and his audition and acceptance into the National Conservatory in New York. This map provides insight into Burleigh’s life before his rise to fame and success in New York. It can be easy to minimize Burleigh’s life to only his performances in Carnegie Hall, his interactions with Dvorak at the National Conservatory, or his long performing career at Temple Emanu-El. This map shows us the other half of Burleigh’s life: where he took piano lessons, his performances at smaller churches in Erie, and where he worked as a stenographer and bookkeeper, which later helped him find employment in New York City, both at the Conservatory and in music publishing. By examining Burleigh’s early life, we can better understand how he was able to achieve his successes throughout the rest of his career.
Burleigh in New York
Burleigh’s later education and performing career all took place in New York City. It was here that he studied at the National Conservatory of Music of America, where he worked, gave countless concerts in famous churches and performing halls, and interacted with other great black musicians, artists, writers, and political activists. As you can see, this map is data-rich and illustrates a broader scope of Burleigh’s life outside of performing. It includes major life events and locations that involve Burleigh, performances by Burleigh himself, and other significant concerts where his works were performed. To make the best use of this map, we recommend that you utilize the slider to easily view and compare different types of data on the map. The time slider can also be utilized to see how Burleigh’s career in New York took shape. The 137 data points highlighting performances of Burleigh’s works, the 52 locating performances by Burleigh himself, and the 29 mapping important places are just a hint of H.T. Burleigh’s career and musical importance during this time of cultural revival for the black community in America.
Over the course of this month, we have come across archival collections featuring information on Burleigh. Many of the archives in this map were listed in Jean Snyder’s biography, and we felt that putting them in a map allows for more possible leads for those looking for information on Harry T. Burleigh. Many of these archives were used by our class for this project, most notably Hathi Trust, Schlesinger Library, and the UMass Amherst WEB DuBois Collection.
Burleigh Highlights Map
This story map condenses all of the collected information on Burleigh and highlights important aspects of his life and legacy, ranging from his birth in 1866 to the founding of the current Harry T. Burleigh Society in 2017. It gives users a compressed overview on selected life events to follow his journey.
Dvorak in the United States
Burleigh Media Map