Mercer’s ‘Cluster’

The Cluster of Spiritual Songs, Divine Hymns, and Sacred Poems (‘Mercer’s Cluster’). Compiled by Jesse Mercer* (1769-1841). Mercer’s Cluster, or ‘The Cluster’, as it is often called, is a collection of text-only verse compiled by Jesse Mercer. The collection was especially important as a source of texts for William Walker*’s Southern Harmony* and other collections in the development of Shape-note hymnody* and Baptist hymnody in America (see Baptist hymnody, USA*). The first two editions were published in Augusta, Georgia, before 1810. Possibly these early editions were actually of ‘a book of poems, later converted into hymns’ (Knight, 1914, p. 1045). According to Mallary’s Memoirs of...

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