Skidmore Saratoga Memory Project
Search using this query type:

Search only these record types:

Advanced Search (Items only)




May 1888

Burleigh joined Fisk University Jubilee Singers of New Orleans, whom he traveled with for eight months. University Jubilee Singers.

December 12, 1866    Macintosh HD:Users:jdym:Desktop:Burleigh:Timeline-1866-chapter02_fig02b.jpg

Harry Thacker Burleigh was born in Erie, PA to Henry and Elizabeth Burleigh


Harry T. Burleigh (l) with grandfather Hamilton Waters and brother Reginald Waters (r), ca. 1868.  From Snyder, Harry T. Burleigh.


Summer 1892

Burleigh spent the summer in Saratoga Springs, NY, working as a waiter at the Grand Union Hotel. He immersed himself in the music culture, including performing at services at the Young Men’s Christian Association.

Broadway at the United States Hotel, Saratoga Springs, ca. 1900, Detroit Publishing Co. Library of Congress, Print and Photographs Division.

December 1891


Burleigh moved to New York City to study at the National Conservatory of Music on a full scholarship.

Facade of the National Conservatory of Music of America, 47-49 West 25th Street, New York City, 1904.  Wikipedia.


Burleigh was chosen as a soloist with the choir at St. George’s Episcopal Church in New York City after competing against 60 others.


Married poet Louise Alston, February 9



Burleigh became the first African-American soloist in Temple Emanu-El’s choir in New York City.

Temple Emanu-El, 65th Street, New York City.  Courtesy of the New York Public Library, Digital Collections.


Alston Waters Burleigh, Harry T. Burleigh and Louise Alston Burleigh's son, was born


Three generations —Rachel Farley, Louise Alston Burleigh's mother; Louise Alston Burleigh, and Alston Waters Burleigh, circa 1900. Photo courtesy of the Burleigh family. Snyder, Harry T. Burleigh. igure 5



Burleigh sang at the African American Council Convention for delegates from 20 states.



Burleigh released the first of a series of arrangements of “Deep River”, one of his most famous works.



Burleigh helped to found the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP)



His original composition, “Little Mother of Mine” was made famous by opera singer Enrico Caruso.



Burleigh made his radio debut on the broadcasting of the celebration of his 30th anniversary as the baritone soloist at St. George’s Church.

St George’s Church, 209 E. 16th Street, New York City, ca. 1905.  Library of Congress, Print and Photographs Division.



George Broome, a friend of Burleigh’s, established the first black recording phonograph recording company, Broome Special Photograph Records. Burleigh sang his own arrangement of “Go Down, Moses” for Broome, which was his only commercial recording.


September 12, 1949

Harry T. Burleigh died of heart failure at age 82, in New York City.


Harry T. Burleigh, 1943

Digital Library, University of Pennsylvania