This singing book belonged to my ancestor, Captain Abraham Benson, born in 1780. I read the date on the back cover in Benson's hand as 1797. If that date is correct Benson would have been 17 years old.
Captain Abraham Benson 1779-1849
He owned and ran several steamboats up and down the Hudson from the Battery to Albany. He began life on the sea as merchant seaman shipping out on sailing vessels that made ports up and down the coast, often stopping in Black Rock Harbor, then part of Fairfield.
Why he had this song book is anybody's guess. He was a religious man judging by the various books that have been in this house since he owned it between 1808 and 1849 when he died. It then became his wife's home, and was handed down to her daughter and her daughters daughters, to my mom then to me.
I love the looks of it. It was obviously done by hand and then printed in New Haven