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Sat, 06.08.1839

Henry Hart, Musician born

Henry Hart

*Henry Hart was born on this date in 1839.  He was a Black musician (Violinist).   

Born in Frankfort, Kentucky. His father, Frederick Hart, was born in Boone County, Kentucky, and his mother, Judith Brown, in Frankfort.  In 1853 he left Frankfort and went to Cleveland. There he learned to play the violin and was a member of Stanton's band of white musicians. In 1864 he left for New Orleans, playing his way down the river on one of the steamers. In that city, he played for several months as the first violinist in Prescott's Museum.

There he married his wife, a professional pianist, and played with him in various places in that city until 1867, when he moved to Evansville, Indiana.  The 1870-71 Evansville City Directory shows that Henry Hart was a barber with a shop located at 25 Locust Street and a residence on Oak Street between 7th and 8th Streets. The latter property matches a deed dated June 25, 1870, for real estate sold to Henry Hart for $1300.00. The card catalogs for Vanderburgh County Grantee Index of Deeds and Grantor Index of Deeds show that during the years 1870 to 1908, there were several property transactions in which individual grantors were Henry, Sarah, and Angeline.

In 1870, a daughter named Lillian was born to the Harts but did not survive infancy. Lillian was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in a family lot that now includes Henry, Sarah, and several of their daughters, as well as Angeline Selden, who died in New Orleans in 1875. Myrtle Hart was born in May 1878, Moses Selden, who died in 1889, was buried elsewhere in the same cemetery.  Within nineteenth-century minstrelsy, there were white minstrels who used "burnt cork," but there were also Black minstrels such as Henry Hart. As already noted, in 1874, He organized his minstrel troupe and performed in four states.   Henry Hart died in 1915.

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