Theodore Frelinghuysen Seward

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Theodore F. Seward)
Jump to: navigation, search
Theodore F. Seward
circa 1889
Born (1835-01-25)January 25, 1835
Florida, Orange County, New York
Died August 30, 1902(1902-08-30) (aged 67)
East Orange home of daughter
Residence East Orange, New Jersey from 1868
Education Institute at Florida, New York, Normal Musical Institutes at North Reading
Occupation Organist
Music educator
Spouse(s) Mary Holden Coggeshall Seward (m. 1860)
Children 3
Relatives William H. Seward, second cousin

Theodore Frelinghuysen Seward (January 25, 1835 – August 30, 1902) the Founder of the Brotherhood of Christian Unity and the Don't Worry Club.[1]

Life and career[edit]

He was born in Florida, Orange County, New York.[2] (William H. Seward was his second cousin.)[3] He left his father's farm at the age of eighteen to study music under Lowell Mason and Thomas Hastings, became organist of a church in New London, Connecticut, in 1857, and in Rochester, New York, in 1859, moved to New York City in 1867, and conducted the "Musical Pioneer," and afterward the New York " Musical Gazette." He first became interested in the tonic sol-fa system during a visit to England in 1869, and on his return worked to introduce the method without adopting the notation. He then took charge of the performances of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, wrote down more than one hundred of their plantation melodies, and, while making the tour of Europe with them, in 1875-1876. became more impressed with the advantages of the new system of musical instruction. After a course of study at the Tonic sol-fa college in London, he returned to the United States in 1877, to establish the system. Besides writing on the subject for many religious and educational journals, and lecturing before gatherings of teachers, he has edited the "Tonic Sol-Fa Advocate" and the "Musical Reform," taught the system in classes and public schools, and prepared a series of textbooks. He was the founder of the American tonic sol-fa Association, and of the American vocal music association. He died in East Orange, New Jersey.[4]


  • "The Pestalozzian Music-Teacher" (New York, 1871) with Lowell Mason
  • "The Sunnyside Glee-Book" (New York, 1866)
  • "Temple Choir" (1867) with Lowell Mason
  • "Coronation" (1872)


  1. ^ "The Don't Worry Movement. Its Father, Theodore Frelinghuysen Seward, Speaks of Its Principles.". New York Times. February 27, 1898. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  2. ^ "AS TO MR. SEWARD HIMSELF". The Review of Reviews. 6: 304. 1893. 
  3. ^ Theodore Frelinghuysen Seward 1835–1902,
  4. ^ "Theodore F. Seward Dead. Musical Composer and Founder of Brotherhood of Christian Unity and Don't Worry Club.". New York Times. September 1, 1902. Retrieved 2008-05-17. Theodore Frelinghuysen Seward, musical composer and President of the Brotherhood of Christian Unity, died on Saturday at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Thomas J. Bolles, 14 New England Terrace, Orange, N.J. He was sixty-seven years old.