Josephine Pollard

Josephine Pollard (J. P. Pollard) (17 October 1834 – 15 August 1892) was an American hymn writer,[1] author and poet.

Josephine Pollard
Josephine Pollard image.jpg
BornOctober 10, 1834
New York City, New York
DiedAugust 15, 1892 (aged 57)
New York City, New York
Occupation(s)Writer and poet
Known forChristian hymns

Pollard published over a hundred hymns,[2] and wrote numerous popular children's books mostly on religious and historical topics. She worked as an editor for the Sunday School Times and worked for the Methodist Book Concern, where she edited a magazine intended for African Americans.[3][4] Pollard also wrote for other children's magazines such as The Little Corporal.[5] Her poetry was published in a number of magazines including Harper's Magazine[6] and Scribner's Magazine,[7] as well as the New York Ledger.[8] Some of her children's poetry was collected in the book Elfin land published in 1882.[9]

In her children's books she neither talked over the child's head nor down to it in tones of condescension.[10] Her works have seen a recent resurgence as early readers, spurred by the home-school movement.[11]

Pollard was born in New York City one of seven children of architect Calvin Pollard and his wife Electra.[12] She attended the Spingler Institute, an exclusive girls' school.[8][13] Pollard was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church, and attended the North Presbyterian Church on Ninth Avenue.[3] She was a founding member of the professional women's club Sorosis.[14] She never married. Josephine Pollard died in New York City after a long illness on 15 August 1892.[3]

Selected worksEdit

Children's booksEdit

Her children's books included:[3]

  • Christopher Columbus and the Discovery of the New World in Words of One Syllable (1892)
  • Bible Stories for Children (1899)[15]
  • History of The Old Testament in Words of One Syllable (1899)[16]
  • History of The New Testament in Words of One Syllable (1899)[17]
  • The Life of Christ for Young People (Young folks' life of Jesus Christ)
  • The Life of Washington, A Child's History of America: Told in One-Syllable Words
  • The History of the United States Told in One Syllable Words (1884)


Among the most popular of her hymns were:[2]

  • Beyond the sunset's radiant glow, There is a brighter world, I know[10]
  • I have work enough to do, Ere the sun goes down
  • I stood outside the gate[3]
  • Joybells ringing, children singing
  • There are lights by the shore of that country[18]
  • 'Tis the Savior who would claim entrance to your heart also known as Let the Savoir In[19]


Pollard's poems include:


  1. ^ Sanjek, Russell (1988). American Popular Music and Its Business: From 1790 to 1909. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 209. ISBN 978-0-19-504310-5.
  2. ^ a b "Josephine Pollard". The Hymnary. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e Staff (16 August 1892). "Obituary: Josephine Pollard" (PDF). The New York Times. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016.
  4. ^ Brown, John Howard, ed. (1903). Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States, Volume 6, Newton-Sears. Boston, Massachusetts: Federal Book Company. p. 293. OCLC 2379256.
  5. ^ Mott, Frank L. (1938). A History of American Magazines: 1865-1885. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 175, note 57. OCLC 791933312., reprinted in 1970, ISBN 978-0-674-39552-7
  6. ^ "Josephine Pollard: Harper's Magazine". Harper's.
  7. ^ a b Thompson, Slason, ed. (1892). The humbler poets: a collection of newspaper and periodical verse, 1870 to 1885. Chicago: A.C. McClurg. p. 175. OCLC 10737172., reprinted from the 1885 edition OCLC 4164623
  8. ^ a b Willard, Frances Elizabeth; Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice, eds. (1897). American Women: Fifteen Hundred Biographies with Over 1,400 Portraits, Volume 2. New York: Mast, Crowell & Kirkpatrick. p. 578. OCLC 22177971.
  9. ^ Pollard, Josephine (1882). Elfin Land. Satterlee, Walter (designer). New York: George W. Harlan & Co. OCLC 6638304.
  10. ^ a b Hamrick, David Russell (14 February 2011). "Beyond the Sunset's Radiant Glow". Archived from the original on 15 August 2011.
  11. ^ Pfitzer, Gregory M. "'History repeating itself': the republication phenomenon and Josephine Pollard's monosyllabic histories for children." 125th annual meeting of the American Historical Society (Boston, 6-9 Jan 2011). Abstract
  12. ^ 1850 and 1860 United States Census for New York City; note that Electra L. Pollard's name is variously misspelled in the census data as "Elector" and "Electa".
  13. ^ The Spingler Institute was located off Union Square in New York City, run by Gorham Dummer Abbott, and was a continuation of the Abbott Institute formerly of East Houston Street, Greenwich Village.
  14. ^ Croly, Jane Cunningham (1898). The history of the woman's club movement in America, Volume 1. New York: General Federation of Women's Clubs by H. G. Allen & Co. p. 18. OCLC 7178478.
  15. ^ "Bible stories for children (1899)". 1899.
  16. ^ "History of the Old Testament in words of one syllable (1899)". 1899.
  17. ^ "History of The New Testament in Words of One Syllable (1899)". 1899.
  18. ^ Hull, Asa, ed. (1869). The Pilgrim's Harp: A Choice Collection of Sacred Music Adapted to All Occasions of Social and Family Worship and a Convenient Handbook for Church Choirs. Boston, Massachusetts: Oliver Ditson. p. 122.
  19. ^ Pollard, Josephine (1917). "Let the Savoir In". In Rodeheaver, Homer A.; Gabriel, Charles H. (eds.). Awakening Songs for the Church, Sunday School and Evangelistic Services. Chicago: Rodeheaver Co. p. 198. Archived from the original on 14 June 2014.
  20. ^ Pollard, Josephine (2011). The Brave Little Tailor. Applewood Books. ISBN 978-1-4290-8088-0., reprint of McLoughlin Brothers 1883 edition OCLC 191236604
  21. ^ Rice, John R., ed. (1982). 742 Heart Warming Poems. Sword of the Lord Publishers. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-87398-758-5., reprint of 1964 edition OCLC 182763183
  22. ^ Turner, Michael R., ed. (1992). Victorian Parlour Poetry: An Annotated Anthology. New York: Courier Dover Publications. pp. 201–202. ISBN 978-0-486-27044-9., a reprint of Turner, Michael R., ed. (1969). Parlour Poetry: A casquet of gems. New York: Viking Press. OCLC 46498.

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