John R. Sweney

SWENEY, John Robson. b. West Chester, Pennsylvania, 31 December 1837; d. Chester, 10 April 1899. Sweney was a composer of tunes for many gospel hymns (see ‘Gospel songs and hymns, USA’*), who collaborated with others, notably William J. Kirkpatrick*, in the production of many Gospel hymnbooks.  He showed musical talent as a child, and became celebrated locally as a choir singer and director. By 1859, aged 21, he was a teacher of music at a school in Dover, Delaware. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 he became Director of the band of the Third Delaware Regiment of the Union Army. After the war he returned to Pennsylvania and moved to Chester (Hall, 1914, p.150) as a teacher in the...

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