Fanny Crosby


Fanny Crosby : biography

March 24, 1820 – February 12, 1915

Death and legacy

After a six-month illness, Crosby died of arterio sclerosis and a cerebral hemorrhage on February 12, 1915 at Bridgeport. She was buried at the Mountain Grove Cemetery in Bridgeport, near to her mother and other members of her family.Writers of the Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration of the State of Connecticut, Connecticut: A Guide to Its Roads, Lore and People (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1938):124. At Crosby’s request, her family erected a very small tombstone, which carried the words: "Aunt Fanny: She hath done what she could; Fanny J. Crosby".For Fanny Crosby’s tombstone, see Neptune (2001), p. 222; In March 1925, about 3,000 churches throughout the United States observed Fanny Crosby Day to commemorate the 105th anniversary of her birth.The New York Times (March 20, 1925).

Fanny Crosby Memorial Home for the Aged (1925–1996)

Crosby left money in her will for "the sheltering of senior males who had no other place to live, with these men to pay a nominal fee to the home for their living expenses".Connecticut State Senate Finance Committee Hearing Transcript for 03/18/2003 In 1923 the King’s Daughters of the First Methodist Church of Bridgeport, Connecticut honored Crosby’s request to memorialize her by beginning to raise the additional funds needed to establish the Fanny Crosby Memorial Home for the Aged."Familiar Names Appear In Social News of 1877", The Bridgeport Sunday Post (Bridgeport, CT) (January 9, 1977):D-6. The nondenominational home was established in the former Hunter house at 1008 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut, Lewis Carlisle Granniss, Connecticut Composers (Connecticut State Federation of Music Clubs, 1935):23. and opened on November 1, 1925, after a national drive by the Federation of Churches to raise $100,000 to operate it."Fanny Crosby Home To Be Refuge For Old People", The Norwalk Hour (October 20, 1925):5. It operated until 1996 when it was given to the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.Blumhofer (2005), p. 342. On Monday October 8, 1934, the Enoch Crosby chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated an historic roadside marker commemorating the birthplace of Crosby on the western side of Route 22, in Duanesburg, New York., The Putnam County Courier (October 12, 1934):1, 12, Despite her specific instructions not to erect a large marble monument, on May 1, 1955,E.B., "Fanny Crosby Monument Comes 40 Years Too Late", Sunday Herald (April 17, 1955):48. a large memorial stone that "dwarfed the original gravestone" was dedicated by Crosby’s "friends to whom her life was an inspiration".Blumhofer (2005), p. 343. It contained the first stanza of "Blessed Assurance".

Other honors

Crosby was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1975. During 2010 the songwriter George Hamilton IV undertook a tour of Methodist chapels celebrating Fanny’s outstanding contribution to gospel music. His presentation included stories of her productive and charitable life, some of her hymns and a few of his own uplifting songs. Crosby is honoured with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America on February 11.

Selected works

Early writing career (1841–1865)


Crosby’s earliest published poem was on the theme of a dishonest miller, which was sent without her knowledge to P.T. Barnum, who published it in his The Herald of Freedom.Crosby (1906), pp. 31–32. After some temporary opposition by the faculty of the Blind Institution, Crosby’s inclination to versify was encouraged after she was examined by George Combe, a visiting Scottish phrenologist, who pronounced her a "born poetess". The Institution found Hamilton Murray, who admitted his own inability to compose poetry, to teach her poetic composition.Ruffin (1995), p. 41. In 1841 New York Herald published Crosby’s eulogistic poem on the death of President William Henry Harrison, thus beginning her literary career. Crosby’s poems were published frequently in The Saturday Evening Post, the Clinton Signal, and the Fireman’s Journal, and the Saturday Emporium.Smucker (1981), p. 176.