Justin Morgan and Isaac Watts

During the colonial period, there was a lot of work to do everywhere, and people worked very long hours every day, though most tried to rest on Sunday. Even on the day of rest, there was still the work of feeding both people and animals. Justin Morgan’s life was no different. He was born in 1747 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Justin Morgan ran a farm, raised and breed Morgan horses, and taught people to sing.

In the colonies, there were few musical instruments and little time for entertainment. But there was one instrument that every person carried all the time: the human voice. Justin Morgan helped people to sing well and on key. He composed a few music pieces that were among the first to be published in the New World, even though they are not well known today. In our quest for American composers, Justin Morgan is one of the first. When he passed away in 1798, he left behind several children, a handful of original compositions, and a truly American Morgan horse breed.

If you’d like to learn more about Justin Morgan, you could read Marguerite Henry’s book, Justin Morgan Had a Horse, or watch the 1972 Disney movie.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Isaac Watts was an English pastor and composer of hymns. He was a religious nonconformist (not a member of either the Catholic or the Anglican church). Many of his hymns made it to the New World with the Separatists, the Puritans, and other nonconformist Protestant groups. Many of these hymns (often with updated language) are still included in today’s hymnals in multiple Protestant denominations.

During the colonial period, hymns were sung weekly in churches and often daily in homes and fields. They were often based on the popular and catchy tunes of the time.

During the colonial period, hymns were sung weekly in churches and often daily in homes and fields. They were often based on the popular and catchy tunes of the time.

I Sing the Almighty Power of God

Homeschool Oklahoma may not provide you with a hymn to learn every month, but the folks at Happy Hymnody do! This next video is their version of this hymn from last June. You can find more about them here.

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