Born: October 15, 1784, Washington, Connecticut.
Died: May 15, 1872, New York City.
Buried: Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.
Son of a doctor, Hastings grew up as a farm boy, walking six miles to school in the winter. He began his career as a music teacher. In 1823, he became editor of the Western Recorder in Utica, New York. From 1832 until his death, Hastings trained choirs and developed religious music. He penned almost 1,000 hymn tunes and 600 texts. His son, who became president of Union Theological Seminary, said of him:
He was a devout and earnest Christian, a hard student, and resolute worker, not laying aside his pen until three days before his death.
Hastings’ works include:
Musica Sacra, 1816
The Musical Taste, 1822
Spiritual Songs for Social Worship (Utica, New York: 1831-32), with Lowell Mason
The Mother’s Hymn-Book, 1834, enlarged 1850
The Christian Psalmist (New York: 1836)
Devotional Hymns and Poems (New York: 1850)
Church Melodies (New York: 1858), assisted by his son
Source: The Cyber Hymnal