Abram Pushee

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Abram Pushee


 Given name:     Abram
 Middle name:     
 Family name:     Pushee
 Place of birth:     
 Place of death:     Lebanon, New Hampshire
 Year of birth:     1791
 Year of death:     1868
 Profile:     Musician
 Source of information:     

Biographical notes[edit]

There are a few compositions in Boston publisher Elias Howe's volumes attributed to Abram Pushee (1791-1868), a New Hampshire fiddler, band leader and dancing master who lived in Lebanon, New Hampshire, for most of his life. Prof. Michael McKernan has researched him and finds that he was a well-known dance musician and teacher in the central Vermont and New Hampshire area, who influenced several generations of musicians through his instrumental and dance teaching. For many years in the mid-19th century he organized the Musicians' Annual Balls in Lebanon, New Hampshire, that brought together musicians from New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts (see notes for “Headlight Reel (The)," “Old Granite State Reel”). Pushee is also recorded as leading a band in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1849 (McKernon was able to obtain a photocopy of the 1st violin parts of the manuscript repertoire). Obituary notices praised him for his talent and moral character, but McKernan finds that a more personal account recorded that Pushee was rather loud-mouthed and professed to be an atheist, at least in private. "Abram Pushee taught dancing at Darrah's hall in Charlestown [N.H.], the hall of the Eagle Hotel in Newport, and at the Lafayette Hotel in Lebannon, probably on different days of the week. As a Lebanon student recalled, "the rules of politeness" were taught along with the "science of dancing" [Garvin & Garvin, On the Road North of Boston, 2003, p. 98]. There is a photograph of a well-dressed, muttonchopped Pushee seated with his violin in hand on page of Charles Algernon Downs' History of Lebanon, N.H., 1761-1887 (1908, inserted between p. 192-193). Pushee (who died at age 76) is buried in the School Street Cemetery, Lebanon, Grafton County, New Hampshire. A long-time Mason, there is a Masonic seal on his tombstone.