The Major's Only Son Broadside, Boston

Printed broadside, 7.25 x 9.25 in. Major's Only Son. Anonymous. Ca 1790-1810. The ballad was reprinted many times from 1790 to the middle part of the 19th century. This one appears to have been printed in a periodical. The page with the ballad is currently fused to another sheet. The back has part of a play, among other things. The ballad relates the love of a young gentleman for a girl of lower social standing and the objection of his parents to such a match. When her father throws the young man out, the young lady apparently pines away to her final breath. He then goes insane, although different versions of the ballad seem to handle this development differently. This version simply relates: "Soon after that [her death] distracted run, / And so for ever was undone." Other versions apparently describe him going from house to house in an insane state. [Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballads Project] The ballad was so common that the broadsides do not mention the associated tune for this song. Seemingly everyone knew what the tune was in the first half of the 19th century, although it has been lost to today's readers.


Two sheets fused together. Minor insect damage at top margin. Water damage and wrinkling.

Estimate: $300 - $500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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