Fanny Jane Crosby was a remarkable blind woman of wide and great accomplishments. She remarked that her blindness had been a blessing and without it she would never have achieved what she did. Her influence was enormous. In 1905, Fanny Crosby Day was celebrated worldwide. She devoted her life to missions, to raising awareness of the needs of the blind, politics, writing, composing and teaching and helping the poor in the slums of Manhattan where she lived, and ministered to them for many years.
She was proud of her Puritan heritage as a descendent of Anna Brigham and Simon Crosby who, with others, founded Harvard College. She could also trace her ancestry to the Mayflower.
Fanny Jane Crosby, (1820-1915), was born in the village of Brewster, 50 miles north of New York. She became the friend of presidents and was the first woman to speak before a joint session of the US Congress in 1846. Because of her disability, when she was 15 she went to The New York Institute for the Blind, where she received a good education and later taught. She married Alex Van Alstyne, a musician, who had also attended the New York Institute for the Blind. Their marriage was unconventional and they often lived apart until his death.
At ten Fanny had memorized the first 4 Old Testament books and 4 from the New Testament. She wrote, rapidly, poems and over 9000 hymns, many of which were and some still are, sung throughout the world. She wrote cantatas, political, secular songs, played the piano, guitar, harp and organ. For many years she was a member of the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Brooklyn, although she also worshipped in a variety of churches in New York.
Over 100 million copies of her hymns were sold but she received very little for them, the publishers retaining the copyright, and using over 200 pseudonyms. Her most famous hymn is: TO GOD BE THE GLORY GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE. Others are SAFE IN THE ARMS OF JESUS (after the birth and early death of their daughter), BLESSED ASSURANCE, PRAISE HIM! PRAISE HIM! RESCUE THE PERISHING, MORE LIKE JESUS WOULD I BE. She was a friend of the Sankeys, and influential wealthy people supported her and her projects. In her will she left money to start the Fanny Crosby Memorial Home for old men who had nowhere to live.
Fanny Jane is a stark reminder of a gifted life well spent and a challenge to all of us, even though we are somewhat less gifted….
See: https://en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Crosby This article varies in detail from other, lesser articles and I found it the best: lengthy and well researched.