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Ethan Allen Hitchcock Collection

Collection Overview

  • 62 volumes of printed music
  • 8 manuscript volumes of music
  • 200 individual pieces of music


Major-General Ethan Allen Hitchcock (1798-1870), the grandson of the famed Ethan Allen, was a major figure in American military history. He served in the United States Army in the Western frontiers and in the South, and garnered a reputation for great intelligence and particularly strong personal integrity. During the Civil War, according to the Tallahassee Democrat (April 14, 1989), Hitchcock was president Abraham Lincoln’s first choice to lead the Union forces, a post which he was forced to decline on account of poor health. He is perhaps best known in Florida for having negotiated the end to the Seminole War in the mid-nineteenth century.

General Hitchcock was also an amateur musician and an avid collector of flute music. A large trunk containing his personal collection of music was discovered in a plantation in Sparta, GA, by FSU flute professor Charles Delaney, who after a more than twenty-year effort negotiated its transfer to the Warren D. Allen Music Library. The donation of the collection was marked, on April 15, 1989, by a recital given by thirteen FSU graduate flute students. Several descendents of General Hitchcock were present for the occasion, where the family formally presented the collection to the university. The collection contains 70 bound volumes and more than 200 pieces of sheet music. Included are pieces for solo flute, as well as flute duets and trios, with or without piano accompaniment, as well as various miscellaneous pieces.

Among others, the repertoire includes music by Jean Louis Tulou, Raphael Dressler, Anton Diabelli, Eugene Walckiers, William Forde, Louis Drouet, Charles Cottignies, Tranquille Berbiguier, and Anton Bernhard Furstenaü, all of whom were contemporaries of Hitchcock. Of the bound volumes, 8 are composed of manuscript copies of music which are in Hitchcock’s own hand, but for which the source is as yet unascribed.

The music does not appear in the online catalog, but the collection has been cataloged in Nancy A. Schneeloch, “A Catalog of the Ethan Allen Hitchcock Collection on Nineteenth-Century Flute Music” (DMA treatise, Florida State University, 2000). The collection is available for research by appointment in the music library. For information, please contact our Special Collections staff.