According to the Internet source given below, Daniel Decatur "Dan" Emmett was an American songwriter, entertainer, and founder of the first troupe of the black-face minstrel tradition, the Virginia Minstrels.
Dan Emmett was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, where he learned popular tunes from his mother, and taught himself to play the fiddle. He was an apprentice printer at 13 before enlisting in the United States Army and becoming an expert fifer and drummer at Newport Barracks, Newport, Kentucky. He later published his own Fifer's and Drummer's Guide in 1862. On being discharged from the army in 1835, he toured with circuses as a black-face banjoist and singer.
Together with Billy Whitlock, Dick Pelham, and Frank Brower, he formed the Virginia Minstrels making their first paid appearance at the Chatham Theatre, New York City in 1843.Emmett is credited with writing the famous song Dixie
He died in Mount Vernon.
||Biography by wikipedia.org.