The Jubilee: A Song for the Anti-Slavery Crusade

Ella Elvira Gibson Hobart, “The Jubilee.  A Parody on Missionary Hymn,” The Soldier’s Gift (Chicago: Tribune Press, 1863): 31-32

Ella Gibson, a medium and trance lecturer, and her husband, spiritualist John Hobart, were early members of the Religio-Philosophical Society, which commissioned some of its members as ministers, including Ella and John.  John served as Chaplain of the 8th Wisconsin Infantry, and, in 1864, Ella was elected by the 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery as its Chaplain, making her the first woman chaplain in the United States Army.

“The Jubilee” is meant to be sung to the tune of “The Missionary Hymn”—“From Greenland’s icy mountains.”

From Scotia’s frozen region,
   To Texas’ burning zone,
Where Afric’s swarthy legion,
   The driver’s lash have known;
From many a cotton plain,
   They call us to deliver
Their land from slavery’s chain.

What though the balmy breezes
    Blow soft o’er Southern soil,
Though every prospect pleases,
   The slave must sweat and toil.
In vain with lavish kindness,
   The gifts of God are strewn,
The master, in his blindness,
   Sells muscle, brain and bone.

Shall we by Freedom lighted;
   With banners floating high,
Shall we to slaves benighted
   A freeman’s rights deny?
O, shout Emancipation,
   Proclaim the Jubilee,
Let earth’s remotest nation
   Behold the bondman free!

Waft, waft, ye winds, the story,
   And you, ye waters, roll,
Till, like a sea of glory,
   It spreads from pole to pole;
Till o’er our ransomed nation
   The Flag of Freedom wave,
And slavery, wrong, oppression,
   Find one eternal grave.


[ Ephemera Home ] [ Civil War ]