Their praise meeting in Elmira, New York, was held at the church presided over by the Rev. T.K. Beecher, brother of famous abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher and novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe. He sent word ahead to his brother, who would be one of their greatest supporters.
The group spent six weeks in New York, supported in their efforts by Henry Ward Beecher. He helped them secure venues and wrote glowingly of their artistry in advance of their trip to Boston: "They will charm any audience, sure; they make their mark by giving the 'spirituals' and plantation hymns as only they can sing them who know how to keep time to a master's whip. Our people have been delighted."
"Climbing the Hills of Zion" might have taken on significance for the singers as they viewed the Adirondack Mountains on their way to New York City and Brooklyn.