Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The True Story of the White Pilgrim

See the sheet music here!

No, "Turn White Pilgrim" (Benjamin's Song) is not a racist song!  In fact, my personal opinion is that the title is probably meant to have a comma in it, which changes the meaning a little... "Turn, White Pilgrim". 

When Linda Brown gave me Benjamin's Song, we were all a little perplexed about the meaning of the title, being that those three words were never used in the lyrics.  After some research, Linda came up with the true story of the White Pilgrim. 

Basically, Joseph Thomas, the "White Pilgrim" was a traveling revival minister in the Eastern States in the early 1800s.  He rode from town to town on his white horse, wearing all white, instead of the customary black minister frock coat.  You can read all about it here.

Other fascinating Benjamin Brown reads:

His journal can be found online.
A short online biography.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I grew up in Johnsonburgh, and the headstone of the White Pilgrim was always of great fascination to us as children. This is the first I've read of who the man Joseph Thomas actually was, though.