Frances Jane Crosby
Born: March 24, 1820, Putnam County, New York.
Died: February 12, 1915, Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Buried: Mountain Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Fanny Crosby was probably the most prolific hymnist in history. Though blinded by an incompetent doctor at six weeks of age, she wrote over 8,000 hymns. About her blindness, she said:
It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.
In her lifetime, Fanny Crosby was one of the best known women in the United States. To this day, the vast majority of American hymnals contain her work. Her secular works include:
The Blind Girl, 1844
Monterey and Other Poems, 1851
A Wreath of Columbia’s Flowers, 1858
Bells at Evening and Other Verses (New York: Biglow & Main, 1897)
On her 85th birthday, American president Grover Cleveland wrote to Fanny:
My dear friend:
It is more than fifty years ago that our acquaintance and friendship began; and ever since that time I have watched your continuous and interested labor in uplifting humanity, and pointing out the way to an appreciation of God’s goodness and mercy.
Though your labors have, I know, brought you abundant rewards in your consciousness of good accomplished, those who have known of your works and sympathized with your noble purposes owe it to themselves that you are apprized of their remembrance of these things. I am, therefore, exceedingly gratified to learn that your eighty-fifth birthday is to be celebrated with a demonstration of this remembrance. As one proud to call you an old friend, I desire to be early in congratulating you on your long life of usefulness, and wishing you in the years yet to be added to you, the peace and comfort born of the love of God.
Yours very sincerely,
Source: The Cyber Hymnal