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Wrecker's daughter, a quick step

Date: 1840
Dimensions:
Overall: 343 x 264 mm, 0.02 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Sheet music
Object No: 00036390
Place Manufactured:Boston

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    Description
    'The Wrecker's Daughter' is a quick step dance composed in Boston, USA, to be played as a piano solo in G-major. The booklet's cover features a colour lithograph by W and J C Sharpe of a small boat containing a young woman and elderly man rowing out to a shipwreck during a storm. This music was performed by bands in Boston around the 1840s and commemorated Grace Horsley Darling. With her father, she rescued nine passengers from the sinking paddlesteamer SS FORFARSHIRE, wrecked near the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland, England on 7 September 1838.
    Significance'Wrecker's Daughter' illustrates the production of sheet music based on maritime themes and significant events in the 19th century. Sheet music was relatively cheap and widely distributed, helping to spread the celebrity status of British heroine Grace Darling.
    HistorySheet music offers an insight into popular culture and social values at the time of their production. The widely distributed pieces were sold fairly cheaply, making them popular purchases with the general public. Music was an integral part of people's social life in the home and at public events such as balls, recitals, concerts and theatre shows.

    SS FORFARSHIRE was a 1238-ton paddlesteamer built in 1838, which broke in two when it struck rocks near the Farne Islands on 7 September 1838. The ship was commissioned by the Dundee & Hull Shipping line to carry passengers between Dundee and Hull. Only a small number of crew managed to escape the wreckage in a row boat, while nine others were rescued by Grace and her father William Darling.

    Grace Horlsey Darling was born in Northumberland, England in 1815. Grace's father was the lighthouse keeper on the Farne Islands during the FORFARESHIRE shipwreck. During the morning of 7 September 1838 Grace was the first to spot SS FORFARESHIRE near Longstone Lighthouse. It is believed that she encouraged her father to row out during gale conditions and rescue stranded passengers. During the Victorian era Grace's actions were seen as heroic and especially remarkable for a woman. She became a celebrated figure in newspaper articles, paintings, sheet music, stories and poems.
    Related People
    Publisher: George P Reed

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