Uncle Sam's Farm

DESCRIPTION: "Of all the mighty nations in the east or in the west, Oh this glorious Yankee nation is the greatest and the best... Here's a general invitation to the people of the world." The singer promises them farms, lists the U.S. boundaries, praises its freedom
AUTHOR: The Hutchinson family (credited to Jesse Hutchinson Jr.)
EARLIEST DATE: 1850 (sheet music)
KEYWORDS: political nonballad America technology work
May 20, 1862 - President Lincoln signs the Homestead Act
REFERENCES (5 citations):
BrownIII 399, "Uncle Sam's Farm" (1 text)
Lawrence, p. 408, "Uncle Sam's Farm" (1 text, a copy of an Andrews broadside)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #2394, p. 161, "Uncle Sam's Farm" (7 references)
ADDITIONAL: James Taylor Dunn, _The St. Croix: Midwest Border River_, reprint edition with new introduction published 1979 by the Minnesota Historical Society press, p. 58, [no title] (1 fragment, which he dates to the Civil War and which has an addendum stating that the farm is in Polk County in northwestern Wisconsin, i.e. in the same county as St. Croix Falls and Balsam Lake)

Roud #4556
cf. "Uncle Sam's School" (lyrics)
cf. "Walk in de Parlor and Hear de Banjo Play" (tune, according to broadsides listed on p. 161 of Edwin Wolf 2nd, _American Song Sheets, Slip Ballads, and Political Broadsides 1850-1870_, Library Company of Philadelphia, 1963)
Uncle Sam's School (File: Stou103J)
I'm In Want of a Substitute (File: Pet233B)
A Parody on "Uncle Sam's Farm" ("Of all the reformations, in the east or in the west") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 124)
NOTES [178 words]: The statement, "Uncle Sam's rich enough to give us all a farm" appears to refer to the Homestead Act, allowing anyone to acquire western land for a nominal fee. Obviously it dates from before 1923, when the U. S. effectively closed its doors to immigrants.
It will be noted that the song seems to predate the Homestead Act. It does not, however, predate the idea of a homestead act. J. G. Randall's The Civil War and Reconstruction (second edition by David Donald, Heath, 1961), p. 81, notes that "Southern congressmen repeatedly helped defeat homestead legislation which would have encouraged free-soil settlement of the national territories." Once the South was out of Congress due to the Civil War, the act passed.
Laura Ingalls Wilder quotes a snippet of this in chapter seven of By the Shores of Silver Lake; she does not follow the Hutchinson Family words very closely. I find myself wondering what Laura -- who was quite conservative -- would have thought of the song had she realized that it was by those radical egalitarian liberals the Hutchinsons. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.5
File: Br3399

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.