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Collection Home Sweet Home: Life in Nineteenth-Century Ohio

Family Life

Just moved. Original by H. Mosler; chromo-lithographed & published by A. & C. Kaufmann, 1870.

Family life in nineteenth-century Cincinnati was fundamentally different from traditional family life in the eighteenth century. Eighteenth-century families assumed a natural hierarchy and continuity between generations. A typical family would depend on the labor of sons and daughters to contribute sufficiently to the family's economy to provide a beginning stake for each of them. These economic links across generations eroded significantly between 1750 and 1800, as parents were less able to provide their young adult children with economic resources superior to those they could obtain on their own. Increasingly, young adults assumed responsibility for establishing their own economic base and choosing their own marriage partners. Parenting focused on training the children for economic independence and self-sufficiency.

Recordings and Sheet Music

You Never Miss the Water

You Never Miss the Water Till the Well Runs Dry, by Rowland Howard (W. H. Cundy, Boston, 187-)

The protagonist of this song was not only trained in the traditional habits of thrift, but also encouraged to take calculated risks in pursuit of self-advancement. He both practiced "strict economy" and "grasp’d each chance" leading him to financial success, marriage, and a family of his own.

Sheet Music for Where Home Is

Where Home Is, by George Frederick Root (from The Day School Ideal, Cincinnati, 1885)

The strong sentiments attached to home are expressed in this song. Root (1820-1895) wrote more than 200 songs, the most famous being his songs of the Civil War, such as "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys Are Marching."

Sheet Music for The Old Canoe

The Old Canoe, by George Frederick Root; words by S. M. Grannis (from The Day School Ideal, Cincinnati, 1885)

This nostalgic song recalls the simple pleasures of times past. With its rhythmic, rocking refrain, it explores the "recitando" style, familiar today to those who have pondered the mysteries of "English chant" in the back of Episcopal hymnals.

Information on playing the recordings

Learn More About It

Hall, J. H., Biography of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers. New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1914.

"Root, George Frederick." Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1958.

"Root, George Frederick." Grove's New Dictionary of Music and Musicians. London: Oxford, 2001.