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Justin Hitchcock (1752-1822) of Deerfield, Massachusetts, made this bass viol in 1770. An itinerant singing master told Justin Hitchcock to give up trying to learn to sing, but Hitchcock persevered. He eventually became an accomplished musician, leading the church choir and playing this bass viol of his own making. Instruments like this provided accompaniment at a time when most New England meeting houses did not have organs.