John Speller's Web Pages - Early American Church Music (before 1850)
Jackson, O 'twas a joyful sound
Dr. George Knowil Jackson was born in Oxford on April 15, 1757, the son of James Jackson, organist of All Saints Church (now Lincoln College Library). He became a chorister in the Chapel Royal under Dr. James Nares, and in 1774 he became organist of St. Andrew's Church, Wood Street, in London. He married Jane Rogers, daughter of an eminent physician, and in 1791 obtained the degree of Doctor of Music at St. Andrew's University in Scotland. He emigrated to the United States in 1796 and was for a short time organist of St. Peter's Church in Philadelphia, where he was succeeded by Raynor Taylor, who had been a fellow chorister in the Chapel Royal. He was variously organist of St. George's, New York (a chapel-of-ease of Trinity Wall Street) and of the Brattle Street Church and King's Chapel in Boston. He was exiled to Northampton, Massachusetts as an enemy alien during the War of 1812. He died in Boston on November 18, 1822. Although he is largely forgotten today, he was perhaps the major composer of church music in the USA during the first twenty years of the nineteenth century.