BATES, Katherine Lee (1856-1929). Autograph quotation signed ("Katherine Lee Bates"), n.p., n.d.

One page, 140 x215mm (vertical creases, light toning, backing sheet affixed, small tear at upper margin not affecting text). Matted and framed.

"America the Beautiful." Bates pens the song's opening verse of her most famous poem, drafted in 1893 and originally titled "Pike's Peak." Bates had been inspired to write the poem following an arduous journey up the mountain, recalling later: "I was very tired. but when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse." Published two years later in The Congregationalist, the poem became a popular song, sung to a variety of melodies. Although tunes had been written with the poem in mind specifically, a 1882 hymnal, "O Mother Dear, Jerusalem" would become the preferred melody—first published in 1910 under the title, "America the Beautiful."
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