historic marker Popularizer of the Banjo VA attraction display education historical marker Historical Site information landmark marker Place of Interest sign Tourist Destination Travel Destination Virginia attractive destination educating historic markers historic site info Joel Walker Sweeny signage tourist attraction appealing history no people text tourism travel South attract historic nobody word daytime displays historical markers landmarks markers signs appeal color image educate historical outdoor vertical day destinations historic sites tourist attractions US colour image outside day time USA day-time U.S. words color images daylight outdoors U.S.A. Jason O. Watson / historical-markers.org verticals colour images natural light outsides United States United States of America
POPULARIZER OF THE BANJO
Nearby is buried Joel Walker Sweeny (ca. 1810-1860) the musican who redesigned this African instrument into the modern five-string banjo that is known today. Although slaves apparently added the fifth string to what had been a four-string instrument. Sweeney popularized the new form on the minstrel circuit. He toured with his two brothers, Sam and Dick, in minstrel shows from 1831 until his death in 1860. During the Civil War, Sam Sweeney served as Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's personal banjo picker until Sweeney's death in the winter of 1863-1864.
Department of Historic Resources, 1997