Hymns of the 1890s
The 1890s are often called the “Gay Nineties“, referring to the fact it was full of merriment and optimism. In the United States, the 1890s were marked by a severe economic depression sparked by the Panic of 1893, as well as several strikes in the industrial workforce.
Some of the more prominent events, concerning the United States in the 1890s, would include:
* Spanish–American War (1898)
* Grover Cleveland served his second term as president (1894).
The monetary policy standard supported by the candidates of the 2 major parties arguably dominated their electoral campaigns; William Jennings Bryan, candidate of the ruling Democratic Party campaigned on a policy of Free Silver while his opponent, William McKinley of the Republican Party, which had lost elections in 1884 and 1892, campaigned on a policy of Sound Money and maintaining the gold standard in effect since the 1870s.
William McKinley became president… and served until his assassination in 1901.
– Economic Turmoil:
* The Panic of 1893 set off a widespread economic depression in the US that lasted until 1896. One of the first signs of trouble was the bankruptcy of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, which had greatly over-extended itself. As concern of the state of the economy worsened, people rushed to withdraw their money from banks and caused bank runs. The credit crunch rippled through the economy.
* The Klondike Gold Rush (1896-99).
– Labor Turmoil:
* The New Orleans general strike taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana; 49 labor unions affiliated through the American Federation of Labor (AFL). The delivery of food and beverages immediately ceased, generating alarm among city residents. Construction, printing, street cleaning, manufacturing and even fire-fighting services ground to a halt (1892).
* Leadville Colorado, Miners’ Strike (1896).
* The Lattimer massacre. The violent deaths of 19 unarmed, striking immigrant anthracite coal miners at the Lattimer mine near Hazleton, Pennsylvania. The miners, mostly of Polish, Slovak, and Lithuanian ethnicity, were shot and killed by the county’s sheriff’s posse. The Lattimer massacre was a turning point in the history of the United Mine Workers (UMW) (1897).
* Newsboys Strike in New York City, New York (1899).
– Technological Advances:
* The Kinetoscope, an early motion picture exhibition device invented by Thomas Edison and developed by William Kennedy Dickson, was introduced to the public. The first film publicly shown on the system was Blacksmith Scene (aka Blacksmiths) (1893).
* 1896 saw the first edition of the modern Olympic Games.
The more prominent secular music was called “ragtime”.
But, there were some hymns written in the 1890s, too. There don’t seem to be as many hymns written in the 1890s as in other decades, though… maybe it’s because everyone was constantly on strike! Is it possible your favorite hymn was written during this decade?
1890 – He Hideth My Soul; Where He Leads Me
1891 – My Faith Has Found a Resting Place
1892 – Lord, I’m Coming Home
1893 – I Must Tell Jesus; When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder
1894 – Saved by Grace; Take the World but Give Me Jesus
1895 – Open My eyes, That I May See; At Calvary; No, Not One
1896 – I Surrender All
1897 – Satisfied with Jesus; Count Your Blessings
1898 – Face to face with Christ, My Savior; When We All Get to Heaven;
1899 – Be Still, My Soul; Heavenly Sunlight