Jeremiah Eames Rankin

Jeremiah Eames Rankin (January 2, 1828 – November 28, 1904) was an abolitionist, champion of the temperance movement, minister of Washington D.C.'s First Congregational Church, and correspondent with Frederick Douglass. In 1890 he was appointed sixth president of Howard University in Washington, D.C. Howard University's Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel was built during Jeremiah Rankin's tenure as president (1890–1903) and named after his brother. Rankin is best known as author of the hymns "God Be with You 'Til we Meet Again" and "Tell It to Jesus." In 1903 Rankin published a fictional journal of Esther Burr (Jonathan Edwards's daughter and mother of the third vice president of the United States, Aaron Burr).

Rankin was born in Thornton, New Hampshire, and graduated from Middlebury College in 1848. After completing his seminary studies at Andover in 1854, he served as pastor of Presbyterian and Congregational churches in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. He was awarded a doctorate from Middlebury College in 1869. From 1870 on he was closely associated with Howard University, as trustee, professor of homiletics and pastoral theology, and president. He served twice as delegate to general conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and once to the Congregational Union of England and Wales.

In 1869 Rankin became pastor of Washington's First Congregational Church. This appointment followed a split in the church over the issue of race. Those who remained with the church felt that he was prepared to lead the church in a properly unbiased direction. While pastor of the First Congregational Church (1869–84), Rankin's sermons were popular with Vice President Woodrow Wilson and numerous members of the United States Congress. Two sermons were published and circulated throughout the country ("The Bible, the Security of American Institutions" and "The Divinity of the Ballot"). Among Rankin's congregation were Frederick Douglass, John Mercer Langston, Blanche Kelso Bruce, James Monroe Gregory, and William T. Mitchell and their families.

He collaborated in the publishing of a number of hymnals, including with E. S. Lorenz's The Gospel Temperance Hymnal (1878) and John W. Bischoff's Gospel Bells (1880). Aside from his hymns, Rankin's best known poem is "The Babie," in the broguish style of Robert Burns, whom Rankin liked for their shared Scottish ancestry.

Birth and Death Data: Born January 2nd, 1828 (Thornton), Died November 28th, 1903 (Cleveland)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1905 - 1934

Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist, songwriter


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-2142 10-in. 1/12/1905 God be with you till we meet again Haydn Quartet Male vocal quartet, with piano lyricist  
Victor B-6522 10-in. 10/9/1908 God be with you till we meet again Haydn Quartet Male vocal quartet lyricist  
Victor B-20674 10-in. 9/17/1917 God be with you till we meet again Alma Gluck Soprano vocal solo, with violin and orchestra lyricist  
Victor B-21688 10-in. 4/23/1918 God be with you till we meet again Orpheus Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra lyricist  
Victor BVE-38067 10-in. 6/1/1927 God be with you Louise Homer Contralto vocal solo, with pipe organ lyricist  
Victor BVE-83648 10-in. 7/27/1934 God be with you Seth Parker Trio Mixed vocal trio, with organ songwriter  
Columbia 4192 10-in. ca. Jan.-Nov. 1909 God be with you Columbia Quartette Male vocal quartet, with orchestra lyricist  
OKeh S-7861 10-in. Apr. 1921 God be with you 'till we meet again Helen Clark ; Joseph A. Phillips Female-male vocal duet, with string trio and organ lyricist  
Brunswick 10804-10805 10-in. 6/5/1923 God be with you until we meet again Marie Tiffany Female vocal solo and mixed vocal trio, with orchestra lyricist  
Brunswick 10936-10939 10-in. 6/26/1923 God be with you till we meet again Collegiate Choir Mixed vocal ensemble, with orchestra lyricist  
Brunswick E4987-E4988 10-in. 5/10/1927 God be with you ‘till we meet again Dixie Sacred Singers Male vocal trio, with instrumental trio lyricist  
Brunswick E20085-E20086 10-in. 9/10/1926 God be with you ‘till we meet again Collegiate Choir Mixed vocal quartet, with orchestra lyricist  
Edison 4793 10-in. 6/15/1916 God be with you till we meet again Metropolitan Quartet Mixed vocal quartet, with organ lyricist  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Rankin, Jeremiah Eames," accessed September 19, 2021,

Rankin, Jeremiah Eames. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 19, 2021, from

"Rankin, Jeremiah Eames." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 19 September 2021.

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