history

Blind Tom Wiggins: Early American Composer and Pianist

Blind Tom Wiggins: Early American Composer and Pianist

Born into slavery in 1849, "Blind" Tom Wiggins was a musical prodigy and autistic savant. After starting his musical career before the age of ten, he became the first African American musician to perform at the White House, for President James Buchanan. He was also the most highly-compensated pianist of the 19th century.  Read on to learn about his unusual life and why he was billed as β€œThe Last American Slave.”