Poor Little Blind Girl -- By: Julia Aim Flora

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 05:2 (Spring 1991)
Article: Poor Little Blind Girl
Author: Julia Aim Flora


Poor Little Blind Girl

Julia Aim Flora

The specialist, after making a thorough examination of the little girl’s eyes, realized there was nothing more her could do. Her parents were so poor that the doctor’s fee had been paid by neighbors and Mends. Now, as she and her mother were leaving his office, she heard the doctor say, ‘Poor little blind girl!’ What he could not know was that the small blind girl would turn her handicap into a great blessing for many people.

Francis Jane (Fanny) Crosby was born in New York on March 24, 1820. She caught a cold at the age of six weeks, and a doctor prescribed a mustard poultice for her inflamed eyes. Instead of healing them It damaged her eyes. By the age of five she was virtually blind, although she could distinguish between day and night.

Cheerful and positive about her blindness, Fanny enjoyed a happy childhood. Three years after that specialist’s diagnosis she wrote:

Oh, what a happy child I am.
Although I cannot see!
I am resolved that in ana world,
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don’t

To weep and sigh became I’m blind, I cannot and I won’t Commenting on her childhood, she wrote, “I could climb a tree like a squirrel and ride a horse bareback.”

While still young she memorized large sections of the Bible including the entire Pentateuch, all four Gospels, many Psalms, all of Proverbs, Ruth and the Sang of Solomon. “The Holy Book,” she said, ‘has nurtured my entire life.”

At fifteen she entered the New York School for the Blind where the teachers gently discouraged her inclination for rhyming. But when a traveling phrenologist proclaimed her a potential poet, she soon became a prodigy of the school. At the end of her training she stayed an, teaching English and history from 1847 to 1858.

One day the school’s superintendent found his male secretary, Grover Cleveland, writing verses while Fanny dictated. Displeased, the superintendent told them not to waste the school’s time. Believing they were not wasting time, they continued their project. Years later, when Grover Cleveland became President of the United States and Fanny was a noted poet, many times Cleveland set aside affairs of stats to take dictation from his always welcome White House guest.

Fanny Crosby appeared frequently on the lecture platform and on several occasions addressed both houses of Congress. There she met many of the literary, political, military, and ecclesiastical notables of the day.

Her fame escalated when several collections of her poetry appeared in print and some popular verses such as ‘Rosalie, the Pra...

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