Twelve Wonderful Women: Fanny Jane Crosby

After buying a vintage book called Twelve Wonderful Women I have been giving summaries of each of the twelve women (I wasn't alone in being disappointed in how few I knew of!).

I discovered Elizabeth Fry, the lady on the back of our Five Pound note first.

Fanny Jane Crosby

Fanny Jane Crosby was born in 1820 in New York. She had been blind since the age of 6 weeks, and had always been eager to be educated. She went to the Institution for the Blind in New York City, and remained there for 20 years.

She was a keen poet, and published a book called 'The Blind Girl, and Other Poems'.

At the age of 38 she married another student from the institute, and they remained married for 40 years.

After leaving the Institute she began writing hymns, and in total she wrote 8,000 hymns and poems.

At the grand old age of 92 she visited Harvard College and conversed with the professors there. She said it was a joy to associate with such men.

She died, aged 94, in 1915.

Wikipedia also tells me that she was an active lobbyist, arguing for the education of the blind. When she read a poem to Congress, she became the first woman to speak in the US Senate.