Home » Musicians » Composers » Pierpont, James

Pierpont, James

Born: 1822 AD
Died: 1893 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Composers, Songwriter

1822 – Born on April 25th in Maine. American composer and songwriter.

1832 – James was sent to a boarding school in New Hampshire.

1836 – Was a wanderer who ran away to sea at 14 and later went to California during the Gold Rush.

1845-1849 – James married Millicent Cowee, the daughter of Farwell Cowee and Abigail Merriam.

1857 – James Pierpont was the organist at Savannah’s Unitarian Universalist Church when he copyrighted the song "One Horse Open Sleigh," a title later changed to "Jingle Bells".

         – He married Eliza Jane Purse, daughter of Savannah mayor Thomas Purse.

1859 – Reissued the song under a new name: "Jingle Bells." It was a "sleighing song" which was a popular topic of the time and had nothing to do with Christmas, or for that matter, Thanksgiving.

1869 – Pierpont moved to Quitman, Florida. There he was organist in the Presbyterian Church, gave private piano lessons and taught at the Quitman Academy, retiring as the head of the Musical Department.

1985 – After Savannah erected a "Jingle Bells" marker in Troup Square across from the church, then-Mayor John Rousakis declared the tune a Savannah song.

1893 – Died on August 5th in Winter Haven, Florida.