Funeral Hymn (Jacob French)
- Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2018-01-31). Score information: Letter, 1 page, 49 kB Copyright: Public Domain
- Edition notes: Oval note edition, as written in 1789.
- Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2018-01-31). Score information: 7 x 10 inches (landscape), 1 page, 49 kB Copyright: Public Domain
- Edition notes: Note shapes added (4-shape).
First published: 1789 in The New American Melody, p. 55
Description: Words by an anonymous author, in The New-England Primer, starting around 1691. "For one hundred years this Primer was the schoolbook of the dissenters of America, and for another hundred, it was frequently reprinted. In the unfavorable locality (in a sectarian sense) of Philadelphia, the accounts of Benjamin Franklin and David Hall show that between 1749 and 1766, or a period of seventeen years, that firm sold thirty-seven thousand one hundred copies. Livermore stated in 1849 that within the last dozen years '100,000 copies of modern editions . . . have been circulated.' An over conservative claim for it is to estimate an annual average sale of twenty thousand copies during a period of one hundred and fifty years, or total sales of three million copies" (Ford 1897). Jacob French probably learned to read from this book.
- Ford, Paul L. 1897. The New-England Primer: A History of Its Origin and Development. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Co. 354 pp.
Original text and translations
I in the burying place may see
Graves shorter there than I;
From death's arrest no age is free;
Young children too may die.
My God, may such an awful sight,
Awakening be to me!
Oh! that by early grace I might
For death prepared be.
–The New-England Primer, ca. 1785