Crafted to Inspire | The History of "It Is Well With My Soul"

 It Is Well With My Soul Ceramic Coasters, found HERE.
You may be familiar with the popular hymn, It Is Well With My Soul. But do you know the touching story behind these lyrics?
Horatio Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago. However, in 1871, he lost his four-year-old son to scarlet fever. That same year, the Great Chicago Fire took much of his business assets in the city. His business took a further hit following the economic downturn of 1873. 

Believing that a vacation would do his family some good, Horatio planned a trip to England in November 1873. However, due to an unexpected business matter, Horatio stayed back in Chicago while his wife, Anna, and four daughters set sail for England on a French ocean liner on November 21, 1873. He informed his family he would take another ship and join them within several days.
But tragedy struck the French ocean liner. On day four of the journey, the ship collided with a Scottish ship and sank within 12 minutes. Anna managed to survive, but all four of the Spafford daughters lost their lives. Upon arriving in England, Mrs. Spafford sent a telegram to Horatio that began: "Saved alone. What shall I do?"
Horatio and Anna Stafford
 Horatio and Anna Spafford
As Horatio sailed to England to meet his grieving wife, the ship passed over the spot where the shipwreck had occurred. As he thought about his daughters, son, and the events of the last several years, words of comfort and hope filled his heart. He wrote them down, and they have since become the well-known hymn:
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll—
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to know
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Nearly 150 years later, the hymn still serves as a powerful reminder to seek faith in God. There will be storms to face, but we can always trust His divine help and confidently declare, "It is well, it is well with my soul."
Read the full lyrics of the hymn HERE.

3 comments


  • Sally Peters

    One of my favorites. I loved to hear the choir sing this at Dalton United Methodist Church. So very touching and inspiring. Thank you for sharing this as I had never heard the story behind the song.


  • Stefani Morrow

    What a tragic story! Unspeakable losses but yet a message of soul recovery..thank you for sharing this background story


  • Brenda Willoughby

    This was a beautiful story and looking a events in my life in last 5 years this gives me some peace and has made my day easier . Just to say those words gives me a peaceful feeling . Thank you for that.


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