Friday, February 25, 2022 Nic Butler, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield was born into slavery in Mississippi but gained freedom and education in Philadelphia. Her fine singing voice opened doors to a musical career in the 1850s that led her across the American Northeast, the United Kingdom, and to an audience with Queen Victoria in London. While some racist critics dismissed her talents, others celebrated the mellifluous “Black Swan” as a barrier-busting celebrity of the musical world. Charleston audiences eager to hear her voice packed several inspiring performances when she finally visited the Palmetto City in late 1873.

The Black Swan, as Miss Greenfield was known during most of her professional life, was the first American woman of African descent to earn national and international acclaim as a professional vocalist. More than just a singer, however, she was a pioneering cultural figure. Her career straddled the convulsive Civil War fought over issues of human rights. By simply walking onto a stage and opening her mouth to sing, she became a lightning rod for criticism and debate about the abilities of Americans of African descent. Her visit to Charleston during the winter of 1873–74 was but a minor part of her life story, but it was an important episode that connects this community to a much larger narrative of this nation’s cultural history.


Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield was born sometime between 1817 and 1826 on a plantation near Natchez, Mississippi, although her death certificate recorded her place of birth as Virginia. Her enslaved parents were owned by Mrs. Elizabeth Greenfield, a native of Philadelphia who moved to Mississippi in the late eighteenth century and invested in plantation agriculture with her first husband. After divorcing her second husband in the early 1810s, Mrs. Greenfield moved back to Philadelphia and joined the Society of Friends, more commonly called Quakers. During the 1820s, the elderly slaveowner began divesting her Mississippi property and manumitting the people enslaved thereon. She paid the American Colonization Society in 1831 to transport eighteen formerly-enslaved people, including the parents of the young singer, to Liberia in West Africa. For reasons unknown, Elizabeth, the young child of formerly-enslaved parents, went to Philadelphia to live in the household of old Mrs. Greenfield.

Under the guardianship of a wealthy, elderly Quaker woman, young Elizabeth seems to have enjoyed a rather pleasant childhood. She was probably tutored at home until 1833, when she moved away to attend a school sponsored by the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. Music was not part of the curriculum, but, through friends and allies, she learned to read music, sing, and play several instruments, including the guitar, harp, and piano. In many ways, Elizabeth Greenfield, as she became known, grew into an average upper-class young lady in mid-nineteenth-century Philadelphia. The city’s community of free people of African descent grew significantly during the second quarter of the century, providing Elizabeth with opportunities to socialize with peers. Musical literacy was an important part of the social fabric among young ladies of her class, and there was nothing exceptional about her attention to music or her performance abilities during her youth.

Despite her comfortable upbring, Elizabeth was not ignorant of the racial prejudice that existed outside her social circle and beyond Pennsylvania. There were anti-abolition riots in Philadelphia in the late 1830s, for example, right around the time that she returned to the household of her elderly benefactor, Mrs. Greenfield. She appears to have worked as a paid nursemaid and companion until Mrs. Greenfield’s death in 1845. Elizabeth was to receive a large sum of money from the old woman’s valuable estate, but legal complications kept the money in limbo for many years. In the meantime, Elizabeth, now in her mid-twenties, began teaching music to earn a living as a single woman of African descent in the big city of Philadelphia. On occasion she identified herself with the surname Taylor, which she might have inherited from her enslaved father, but she more frequently used Taylor as a middle name.

In the autumn of 1851, Elizabeth moved to Buffalo, New York, for reasons unknown. There she found a new circle of musical friends who admired the young lady’s talents and especially her voice. A wealthy White woman known for various philanthropic endeavors in Buffalo invited Elizabeth to sing before a private gathering of the community’s elite citizens in early October 1851. The audience was stunned by the beauty and power of the young woman’s voice, and descriptions of Elizabeth’s private performance quickly spread throughout the community. A brief newspaper report published in Buffalo several days later identified the previously-unknown Elizabeth Greenfield as the “Black Swan” of the vocal world, and that improvised stage-name was repeated by legions of other journalists for the rest of her life.

Greenfield’s sobriquet was a riff on the vocabulary used to promote the most popular singers of the 1850s. The Swedish-born singer Jenny Lind was promoted by her manager, P T. Barnum, as the “Swedish Nightingale.” (Lind came to Charleston in December 1850 and erected the city’s first Christmas Tree—see Episode No. 138.) Following that lead, the touring manager of Irish soprano Catherine Hayes billed his client as the “Irish Swan.” An energetic promoter named Colonel Joseph H. Wood approached Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield in October 1851 and offered to arrange a North American tour of singing engagements for the young musician. She accepted, and immediately commenced a busy performing career.[1]

From late 1851 through the spring of 1853, Miss Greenfield, billed as the Black Swan, presented vocal concerts in dozens of cities in the Northeastern states, the Midwest, and eastern Canada. After a spectacular and controversial performance at New York City’s Metropolitan Hall in late March 1853, Elizabeth sailed to England and commenced a year-long tour that also included the major cities of Ireland and Scotland. In London she met American writer Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was on a tour of her own to promote her novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Mrs. Stowe also admired Elizabeth’s voice and introduced her to members of the aristocracy who helped open doors for the African-American singer. On May 10th, 1854, Elizabeth sang before a small select audience gathered around thirty-five-year-old Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace.[2]

The Black Swan returned to the United States in the summer of 1854 and, in the following years, continued a less-hectic schedule of performances. In general, her performances fell into two categories: large commercial events for largely white audiences and smaller benefit concerts attended by African-American or mixed audiences to raise funds for charitable causes. The segregated nature of Greenfield’s larger concerts angered many African-American auditors in the Northeastern states, while some in the White community resented the appearance of a Black performer on traditionally White stages. Her 1853 performance at New York’s Metropolitan Hall, for example, nearly led to a race riot. With a large force of police officers protecting the building, the elegantly-dressed Black Swan bravely took the stage and shattered racial barriers with her musical talents.

Greenfield’s musical repertoire was perhaps the most conventional part of her musical career. Like other popular singers of the mid-nineteenth century, her concerts typically included English-language translations of operatic arias by “classical” composers (Handel, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, etc.), popular Irish and Scottish ballads, and sentimental songs written for the relatively new American mass market in sheet music. Elizabeth’s large frame created a powerful and flexible instrument capable of producing uncommon vocal subtleties. Numerous critics praised the power and breadth of her vocal range, which extend from low G on the bass clef to above high C on the treble clef—approximately three-and-a-half octaves. Vocal training in her youth no doubt helped Elizabeth control this dynamic talent, but audiences during her lifetime heard a different story. To maximize her public appeal, Elizabeth’s promoters emphasized her roots as an enslaved child and edited her biography to give the impression that she was a self-taught musical genius. Her privileged upbringing in the Greenfield household and experience as a professional teacher of music were conveniently omitted from published descriptions of her rise to fame.

By putting herself on stage as a solo artist, even when accompanied by other musicians, Elizabeth Greenfield became the target of withering criticism. Female performers of her day, including actresses, were routinely reviewed by male reporters who either raved about their chaste habits and admirable talents or condemned them with a torrent of misogynistic slander. As an unmarried woman of African descent, the Black Swan was subjected to doubly harsh criticism from American writers. She followed the advice of well-meaning White socialites and dressed in conservative, simple dresses that generally obscured her curvaceous form, but many White male critics refused to see past traditional racial stereotypes. In hundreds of reviews published over two decades of professional activity, one finds the Blacks Swan daubed with countless ugly names like “the African Crow,” “the White Raven,” and even “a biped hippopotamus.”

Much of this negative criticism was triggered by the tacit expectations White audiences had about the voices emanating from Black bodies. White Americans of the mid-nineteenth century—North and South—generally heard Black singing as undesirable noise. The explosive popularity of blackface minstrel shows at that time reinforced such negative perceptions and made it difficult for some White listeners to reconcile the beauty of Elizabeth Greenfield’s voice with their negative racial beliefs.[3] Southern audiences who had never heard the voice of the Black Swan read samples of such mixed criticism through reports from traveling auditors. In the Charleston Courier of October 1854, for example, the newspaper’s own Boston correspondent sent a brief description of a recent concert that he had personally attended:

“The ‘Black Swan’ gave a concert Wednesday evening. I suppose you are aware that she is (to use a familiar expression) as black as the ace of spades. Fancy a thick lipped, greasy looking negress—the facsimile of which you may see any week day in the vegetable or oyster markets in Charleston, and you have her portrait—but she sings divinely. It would be pleasant if one could shut out from his sight the image of the singer, and listen only to her voice—but returning vision is sure to dispel the enchantment, at least so it is with me, for I cannot help associating her face with that of an old cook at home.”[4]

On the other hand, Elizabeth Greenfield’s vocal talent provided ammunition for abolitionists who sought to demonstrate that non-White persons were just as talented, intelligent, and human as their lighter-skinned neighbors. While Elizabeth sang at charity concerts in Philadelphia to promote Black education and abolition, Charleston audiences of the 1850s were unable to hear her message. The laws and traditions of racial segregation in the various Southern states made it impossible for Elizabeth Greenfield to perform publicly in South Carolina during the height of her fame.

That situation changed at the conclusion of the American Civil War and the demise of slavery in 1865, and some music lovers in the Palmetto City were hopeful that the Black Swan might soon visit. The period of post-war Reconstruction in South Carolina was not conducive to artistic endeavors, however. Radical changes to Charleston’s long-standing political, social, and economic traditions stunted the rebirth of the city’s cultural life in the late 1860s. Furthermore, many in the city’s White community clung to conventional racial stereotypes. The New York correspondent of the Charleston Daily News, for example, attended one of Elizabeth Greenfield’s concerts in Manhattan in February 1867 and submitted this brief summary: “The Black Swan is one of the ugliest old ‘maumas’ I have ever seen; not fair, fat and forty, but black, fat, and fifty. She plays the piano most abominably, sings rather well, and her chin is adorned by an embryo beard that enhances the beauty of her ugliness.”[5]

In spite of a variety of cultural obstacles, rumors circulated in Charleston during the final weeks of 1868 that Elizabeth Greenfield would soon pay a visit to the city. One report, published in the Charleston Daily Courier, alleged that the celebrated “musical wonder” known as the Black Swan was coming southward to perform two concerts to raise money for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, while other reports in the Charleston Daily News stated that she would sing to raise money more generally for several of the “colored congregations in our city.”[6]

For reasons unknown, however, Miss Greenfield did not perform in Charleston during the final days of 1868. Perhaps some local agents were simply corresponding with the vocalist to entice her to journey southward, or perhaps there really were firm plans afoot that somehow collapsed during the winter. Perhaps it was simply too soon to secure a sufficiently large performance venue within the war-torn city. One year later, in December 1869, the local press again reported that the Black Swan would soon visit Charleston, this time to perform three concerts for the benefit of St. Mark’s Church. Details of her impending arrival failed to appear, however, and Charlestonians were obliged to wait patiently for several more years.[7]

These repeated references to St. Mark’s Church in the newspaper reports of 1868–69 suggest that some member or members of that organization were behind the efforts to bring Elizabeth Greenfield to Charleston. The African-American congregation of St. Mark’s had organized in 1865 and rented a wooden chapel at the intersection of Elizabeth and Chapel Streets, where there is now a small public park. The congregation raised sufficient funds to purchase a lot at the northeast corner of Warren and Thomas Streets in 1870, and likely sought to capitalize on the fame of the Black Swan to raise the necessary funds to build a new church.[8]

Rumors of a visit resurfaced in early December 1873, when the local press reported that “the colored vocalist, Elizabeth J. [sic] Greenfield, popularly known as the ‘Black Swan,’ is to visit this city soon to give several concerts in aid of the building fund of St. Mark’s Church.”[9] On December 9th, the Charleston News and Courier stated confidently that “the ‘Black Swan,’ will arrive in this city to-day.”[10] Confirmation of the details surrounding Miss Greenfield’s journey are lacking, but she apparently traveled from Philadelphia by steamboat and lodged with a member of Charleston’s Black community, which then formed slightly more than fifty percent of the urban population. The daily newspapers of that area routinely printed the names of White passengers arriving in the city and the names of White guests at local hotels, but African-American visitors like Elizabeth Greenfield were not welcome at such institutions and the local press paid no attention to her arrival.

Nevertheless, the city’s leading newspaper, the News and Courier, confirmed her presence and the purpose of her visit on Saturday, December 27th: “This celebrated colored vocalist, Miss Elizabeth J. [sic] Greenfield, popularly known as the Black Swan, who has quite a reputation, has arrived in this city, and will give a concert on Monday [sic] evening in aid of the building fund of St. Mark’s Church. The cause in which she has enlisted her talents is one worthy of public patronage.”[11]

The program for Miss Greenfield’s Charleston debut on New Year’s Eve was advertised in the newspaper several days before the performance.[12] Described as a “Grand Concert,” the event took place in Hibernian Hall, which was erected in 1840 by the Hibernian Society of Charleston as a meeting space and rental venue. This spacious hall was frequently hired for a wide range of musical performances in the years before and after the Civil War, so there was nothing unusual about the Irish society’s renting it to a largely African-American audience in 1873. The doors opened at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31st, and the concert began at 8 o’clock. Auditors wishing to reserve seats near the stage paid seventy-five cents for the privilege, while those purchasing tickets at the door paid just fifty cents.

The concert program was arranged in two parts with a brief intermission between them. Both halves of the concert commenced with a piano solo performed by an unidentified “professor,” no doubt a native talent from Charleston’s large Black community. After the audience had settled and the large room quieted, the Black Swan took the stage and sang a dramatic cavatina and “Grand Scena” from the opera Lurline by Irish composer William Vincent Wallace. Showers of applause followed Miss Greenfield as she left the stage and was replaced by an unidentified female amateur singer, later described as “a native of this city.” The amateur sang a popular love song of that era, “Going Home with Willie,” which was followed by another selection by the Black Swan. The evening continued in this alternating fashion for over an hour, during which time Miss Greenfield sang four solo pieces and the local amateur sang five. Both joined voices for a duet at the end of the first half, and both returned to the stage to conclude the evening’s performance with second rousing duet:


Part One:

• Piano solo by Verdi (performed by “Professor”)

• “Cavatina Grand Scena,” by William Vincent Wallace (Black Swan)

• “Going Home with Willie,” by Harrison Millard (Lady Amateur)

• “I Know that my Redeemer Liveth,” by George Frideric Handel (Black Swan)

• “Some One to Weep when I am Gone,” by Joseph Eastburn Winner (Lady Amateur)

• “Whispering Hope,” by Alice Hawthorne (Black Swan and Lady Amateur)


Part Two:

• Piano solo by Handel

• “Sweetly O’er my Senses Stealing,” by Nicola Zingarelli, arranged by Henry Bishop (Black Swan)

• “Driven from Home,” by W. S. Hays (Lady Amateur)

• “Sacred Song, Solo and Chorus,” by J. R. Thomas (Lady Amateur)

• “Sound the Trumpet,” by Gardner (Black Swan)

• “I cannot Sing the old Song,” by Claribel (Lady Amateur)

• “Holy Mother Guide his Footsteps,” by William Vincent Wallace (Black Swan and Lady Amateur)


On the morning after this debut performance, January 1st, 1874, the News and Courier printed a brief but positive review of the concert. Despite the presence of an unidentified “professor” who played a brief piano solo at the beginning of each half of the program, Elizabeth Greenfield apparently accompanied herself during some or all of her vocal selections. This fact illustrates the breadth of her musical abilities, and reflects the training she must have received during her youth in Philadelphia. Because the published review of January 1st was the only substantial press notice she received in Charleston, it’s worth hearing the full text:

“The Black Swan.—The concert at Hibernian Hall last night for the benefit of St. Mark’s (colored) Episcopal Church was well attended, almost every seat in the hall being occupied. The audience consisted principally of colored people, but there were many whites present, among whom were the governor [Franklin Moses Jr.] and chief justice of the state [Franklin Moses Sr.]. The singing of the ‘Black Swan,’ a colored woman of about fifty-five years old, was very remarkable. She accompanied herself upon the piano, and sung [sic] several difficult songs in as many different voices. The most remarkable part of the performance was the song from the opera of Lurline, which the ‘Black Swan’ sang in a clear, distinct baritone voice, so nearly resembling that of a man as to deceive the hearers. All in all, it was a wonderful performance, and is well worth hearing. The amateur who assisted the ‘Black Swan’ accomplished her part of the programme with such satisfaction to the audience that she was frequently applauded. The amateur is a native of this city, and a dark woman. The ushers were very attentive, and the whole entertainment was a complete success. Another concert will be given this evening.”[13]

Details of Miss Greenfield’s second concert were not forthcoming, but the performance apparently took place at the same venue on the evening of January 1st, 1874. Charleston has publicly celebrated the first day of the year as Emancipation Day since 1866, and the Black Swan’s concert likely formed the conclusion of a busy day that included a parade to White Point Garden, political speeches, and a grand luncheon at Military Hall in Wentworth Street.[14]

The main purpose of Elizabeth Greenfield’s voyage to Charleston in December 1873 was to help raise money for the building fund of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. After fulfilling that task, however, she did not immediately return to Philadelphia. During the months of January and February 1874, the Black Swan presented five more concerts in Charleston. Each was given for the benefit of a different Black church in the Palmetto City, and tickets of admission for each performance cost just twenty-five cents. All of the churches in question had been organized immediately after the demise of slavery in 1865, and each was struggling to meet the spiritual needs of its congregation during a difficult economic era.

On Monday, January 12th, 1874, the Black Swan sang at the Morris Street Baptist Church, between St. Philip and Coming Streets, but no details of the musical program have survived.[15] Two weeks later, she performed a pair of back-to-back concerts at Mission Presbyterian Church on the evenings January 26th and 27th. The church in question was built in 1869 on the north side of George Street, two doors east of St. Philip Street. It was a large brick structure, for which the congregation had mortgaged the property to cover the building costs. Again, no musical details of her performance survive, but the local press noted that the Black Swan sang “to a large and delighted audience” at Mission Presbyterian.[16]

Two weeks after the George Street concerts, Miss Greenfield presented a concert for the benefit of Plymouth Church on Monday, February 9th, 1874.[17] This Congregationalist church on the west side of Pitt street, near the corner of Bull Street, was founded in 1867 by the Rev. Francis L. Cardozo and a large group of African-Americans who had formerly worshipped at Circular Congregational Church on Meeting Street. After another two-week rest, the Black Swan presented a final event, advertised as a “Grand Concert,” at Salem Baptist Church on Monday, February 23rd. This congregation had also organized in 1867 and worshiped in a series of rented buildings. At the time of Elizabeth Greenfield’s visit, the Salem Baptists were apparently renting the Sunday school building behind the German Lutheran Church at the northwest corner of Hasell and Anson Streets.[18]

The extant Charleston newspapers of early 1874 contain no mention of the departure of the Black Swan. After a residency of at least two months, during which time she must have shared quarters with unknown members of the Black community, her return to Philadelphia must have been noted in one of the African-American newspapers of that era, but no informative issues can now be found. Elizabeth Greenfield was an international celebrity of sorts in her day, and Charleston’s White-owned newspapers covered her initial performance with due attention. In the early weeks of 1874, however, the News and Courier apparently lost interest in her performances and published only paid notices of upcoming events.[19]

Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield returned to Philadelphia at some point in the spring of 1874 and died two years later, on March 31st, 1876. The church that sponsored her visit to Charleston, St. Mark’s, was built in 1877–78 and still stands at the corner of Warren and Thomas Streets. Of the five local venues in which the Black Swan sang during the winter of 1873–74, only one survives in its original form. The commodious room on the second floor of Hibernian Hall looks much the same as it did more than a century ago, except for the addition of electric lights. The Morris Street Baptist Church that hosted the Black Swan was replaced by a new building in 1909, and the current church on that site was dedicated in 1969. The congregation of Mission Presbyterian Church on George Street was ultimately unable to pay its large mortgage; the property was sold in 1877 and demolished in the early twentieth century. The site is now covered by the alley immediately behind the Sottile Theatre.[20] The congregation of Plymouth Church moved west of the Ashley River in the late twentieth century, and their original wooden chapel, a Gothic Revival structure completed in 1872, is now a private residence at 41 Pitt Street. Similarly, the congregation of Salem Missionary Baptist Church moved several times over the years, and now worships on Rutledge Avenue.

The Black Swan was one of many trailblazing African-American artists whose undeniable talents forced White audiences to re-examine their assumptions about the abilities of darker-skinned people. While numerous critics praised the great range, sweetness, and power of her voice, White auditors generally heard Elizabeth Greenfield through a filter of mental preconceptions based on her appearance. Such racial stereotypes persisted well into the twentieth century and were challenged by a succession of popular black singers. The celebrated Marian Anderson (1897–1993), for example, faced many of the same obstacles in the mid-twentieth century as the Black Swan nearly a century earlier. Like Greenfield, Miss Anderson performed solo recitals at Black churches in Charleston in 1927 and 1929, more than a decade before her famous civil-rights performance at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939.[21]

In the twenty-first century, Black female vocalists occupy the highest ranks of the music industry, from popular mass-media to rarified concert halls around the world. No one today questions their ability to produce pleasing sounds, but vestiges of discrimination persist in the language used to criticize them. As we strive to achieve a level playing field for all artists, let us recall the achievements of the celebrated Black Swan, whose mellifluous voice heralded the dawning of a new era.



[1] For an overview of Greenfield’s early life, see Julia J. Chybowski, “Becoming the Black Swan’ in Mid-Nineteenth Century America: Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield’s Early Life and Debut Concert Tour,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 67 (2014): 125–65; William S. Young, The Black Swan at Home and Abroad; or, A Biographical Sketch of Miss Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, the American Vocalist (Philadelphia: W. S. Young, 1855); Arthur R. La Brew, The Black Swan, Elizabeth T. Greenfield, Songstress (Detroit: s.p., 1969).

[2] Julia J. Chybowski, “The ‘Black Swan’ in England,” American Music Research Journal 14 (2006): 8–25; Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands, two volumes (London: Sampson Low, Son, & Co., 1854), 1: 284–85, 319–20; volume 2: 98–102, 131–36.

[3] For discussions of the criticism levelled at Greenfield, see Alex. W. Black, “Abolitionism’s Resonant Bodies: The Realization of African American Performance,” American Quarterly 63 (September 2011): 619–39; Nina Sun Eidsheim, “Marian Anderson and ‘Sonic Blackness’ in American Opera,” American Quarterly 63 (September 2011): 641–71; Sara Lampert, “Black Swan/White Raven: The Racial Politics of Elizabeth Greenfield’s American concert career, 1851–1855,” American Nineteenth Century History 17 (July 2016): 75–102; Julia J. Chybowski, “Blackface Minstrelsy and the Reception of Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield,” Journal for the Society of American Music 15 (August 2021): 305–320.

[4] Charleston Courier, 16 October 1854, page 2, “Boston Correspondence.”

[5] Charleston Daily News, 2 March 1867 (Saturday), page 1, “Our New York Letter.”

[6] See Charleston Daily Courier, 30 November 1868, page 2, “The Black Swan”; Charleston Daily News, 30 November 1868, page 3, “The Black Swan”; Charleston Daily News, 2 December 1868, page 3, “The Black Swan.”

[7] Charleston Daily News, 8 December 1869, page 3, “Crumbs.”

[8] See the Records of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston.

[9] Charleston News and Courier, 4 December 1873, page 4, “Talk about Town.”

[10] Charleston News and Courier, 9 December 1873, page 4, “Talk about Town.”

[11] Charleston News and Courier, 27 December 1873, page 4, “The Black Swan.”

[12] Charleston News and Courier, 29 December 1873 (Monday), page 2, “Grand Concert”; page 4, “Concert by a Colored Vocalist.”

[13] Charleston News and Courier, 1 January 1874, page 4: “The Black Swan,” and “Talk about Town.”

[14] Charleston News and Courier, 2 January 1874, page 4.

[15] Charleston News and Courier, 12 January 1874, page 2, “Special Notices”; Charleston News and Courier, 13 January 1874, page 4: “Talk about Town.”

[16] Charleston News and Courier, 20 January 1874, page 4, “Talk about Town”; Charleston News and Courier, 26 January 1874, page 2, “Special Notices”; Charleston News and Courier, 27 January 1874, page 4, “Talk about Town”; Charleston News and Courier, 28 January 1874, page 4, “Talk about Town.”

[17] Charleston News and Courier, 9 February 1874, page 2, “Special Notices.”

[18] Charleston News and Courier, 21 February 1874, page 2, “Special Notices.”

[19] I searched through every page of the daily issues of the Charleston News and Courier on microfilm through 14 April 1874, but found no further mention of the Black Swan.

[20] Charleston News and Courier, 1 August 1877, page 1, “A Colored Church Sold Out.”

[21] Anderson’s Charleston performances took place at Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church on 24 January 1927 and Morris Street Baptist Church on 1 and 4 February 1929. Coincidentally, both Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield and Marian Anderson are buried in Eden Memorial Cemetery in suburban Philadelphia.


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