Born: Au­gust 30, 1820, Shef­field, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Died: Au­gust 6, 1895, Bai­ley Isl­and, Maine.

Buried: North Read­ing, Mas­sa­chu­setts.


  • Wurzel (German for “Root”)
  • G. Friedrich Wurzel

Root’s music­al tal­ents were ev­i­dent at an ear­ly age. By the time he was 13, he was proud that he could play a tune on as ma­ny in­stru­ments as his age. In 1838, Root moved to Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts, where he stu­died under George Webb. In 1845, he moved to New York City, play­ing the or­gan at the Church of the Strang­ers, and teach­ing mu­sic at the Ab­bott In­sti­tute for Young Ladies. In 1850, he toured Eur­ope for a year. Af­ter­ward, he start­ed work­ing with Lowell Mason, at Bos­ton’s Acad­e­my of Mu­sic. In 1851, Root be­gan com­pos­ing. One of his best known songs is “The Bat­tle Cry of Free­dom.” In 1859, Root be­gan work at his bro­ther’s com­pany, Root and Cady, in Chi­ca­go, Ill­i­nois. In 1872, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chi­ca­go award­ed him an hon­o­rary Doc­tor of Mu­sic de­gree. Root’s works in­clude:



  1. Behold the Bridegroom Cometh
  2. Clear as Crystal
  3. Come to the Savior
  4. Heavens Declare the Glory, The
  5. Inasmuch
  6. O the Way Is Long and Weary
  7. She Only Touched the Hem of His Garment
  8. Thou Art My Rock
  9. Why Do You Wait?


  1. Coventry
  2. Ellon
  3. Jerusalem, Thou City Bright
  4. Jewels
  5. Knocking, Knocking, Who Is There?
  6. Lowry
  7. My Father Knows
  8. O Where Are the Reapers?
  9. Rialto
  10. Ring the Bells
  11. Rosedale
  12. Sinclair
  13. Suffer Little Children
  14. Tramp, Tramp, Tramp
  15. Varina
  16. We Are Watching
  17. We Come in Childhood’s Joyfulness