|Frances Jane (Fanny) Crosby (1820-1915), American hymn writer and poetess who wrote over 8,000 hymns. Once a preacher sympathetically remarked, "I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when He showered so many other gifts upon you." She replied quickly, "Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I should be born blind?" "Why?" asked the surprised minister. "Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior!"|
In 1858, Fanny married a fellow teacher at the New York Institution of the Blind, the blind musician and composer Alexander Van Alstyne. Their only child, a daughter named Frances, died as an infant. Fanny and Van had been married 44 years when he died in 1902.
Fanny J. Crosby: An Autobiography. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2008. Originally published in 1906 as Memoirs of Eighty Years.
Her Heart Can See: The Life and Hymns of Fanny J. Crosby by Edith L. Blumhofer. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, ©2005.