It is one of the best hymn stories out there. The story behind the writing of the great classic hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul”. You probably know the tragic story of Horatio and Anna Spafford and their four daughters. In 1873, the family was moving from America to France, but Horatio remained behind to handle some last minute details in their affairs. Tragically, the ship Anna and her four daughters were aboard rammed into another ship 1,000 miles from France, sinking in 17 minutes. There were very few survivors, but Anna was found unconsciousness on some floating wreckage. She and the few other survivors were taken to London, from which Anna penned the heart-rending telegram to her husband beginning, “Saved Alone.” The sinking was considered by many to be the worst maritime disaster before the sinking of the Titanic. Horatio Spafford boarded another ship to meet his wife, and as the ship passed the point of the previous sinking, he penned the beautiful and hope-filled hymn, a comfort to so many experiencing suffering.
I have told this story many times in sermons, but I came across an article in which I found this picture of the girls. I never saw their faces, those of these little girls, the loss of which tore their parents hearts. I wanted to share it. Here’s the telegram Anna sent too.
From: “The Shipwreck of the American Colony,” Kate Uttinger. Leben. Vol. 10. Issue 1. pp.3-23.