Francis Jane Crosby born to John and Mercy Crosby at Southeast, New York, March 24, 1820. Blind from birth she entered the Institute for the Blind in New York City at the age of fifteen. While preparing herself for a successful teaching career she published the first of many books of poetry. Not until 1864, shortly after her marriage to Alexander Van Alstyne, did she write her first hymn and find her vocation. Fanny Crosby (Van Alstyne) is credited with writing over six thousand songs among them “Pass Me Not” and “Blessed Assurance.” On one occasion she thanked God for blindness, because she looked forward to the day when the first face she would behold would be that of her blessed Redeemer. Fanny Crosby Van Alstyne was granted her vision on February 12, 1915 at the age of ninety-five.
Southeast, Putnam County, New York
Institute for the Blind, NYC
“Blessed Assurance,” “Pass Me Not,” and thousands of others (hymnwriter)
Aretha Franklin singing her version of Fanny Crosby’s “Blessed Assurance”