New York: S.W. Benedict, 1840.
First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. 4.75 x 3 inches, pp. vi, 265, including index of first lines. Publisher's blind-stamped brown cloth with gilt spine lettering. Corners lightly bumped, very slight scattered foxing, nineteenth-century ink stamp of H.J. Jones and penciled signature of Samuel Jones on front free endpaper; very good or better. According to the Preface, this collection was commissioned by the American Anti-Slavery Society for use by "those who have been accustomed to meet to pray for the Emancipation of the Slave." Hatfield, a Presbyterian minister and student of hymns, selected and liberally edited 291 hymns, songs, and poems--including three credited to John Greenlead Whittier--and organized them thematically into sections titled "The Cause of the Slave," "The Slave Comforted," "The Slave Exhorted to Patience and Hope," "The Rights of the Slave," "Appeals in Behalf of the Slave" (subdivided into appeals to masters, freemen, women, and Christian), "Slaveholders Admonished," "The Friends of the Slave Encouraged," "The Friends of the Slave Assembled," and "Emancipation." As scholar Cheryl C. Boots argues, Freedom's Lyre stands out from the hundreds of collections of hymns published in the nineteenth century because the performance of these hymns "helped connect their secular cause with a sacred one" and "functioned within the ranks of the abolitionists as a commonly held language of identity and protest that engaged singers' emotions as it affirmed the humanity of blacks" ( (Singing for Equality, the American Antislavery and Indian Rights Movements, 1640-1855).