Biography Henry Clay Work

Henry Clay Work

photo of Henry Clay Work
  • Time Period1832 - 1884
  • Place
  • CountryUnited States

Poet Biography

He grew up in Middletown, Connecticut, the son of an active opponent of slavery, who helped thousands of slaves to escape north he too was also an active abolitionist and Union supporter . Work took employment as a printer in Chicago in 1854.
But in 1853, 1876-77, and 1882-83, Work wrote 75 songs, at first encouraged by the minstrel E. P. Christy, and then under contract to Root and Cady, music publishers. His only equals as composers of songs in the Civil War period were Stephen Foster and George Frederick Root.

Work's most famous lyrics include Come Home, Father, Kingdom Coming (1862), Marching through Georgia, and Grandfather's Clock, which sold nearly one million copies.

Work died on June 8, 1884, and was buried in Spring Grove cemetery, Hartford, beside his wife. A collected edition of 39 of his songs was published by his nephew Bertram G. Work.In The Songs of Henry Clay Work in 1884.