Annie Sherwood Hawks was born in Hoosick, New York on May 28, 1835. She began writing poetry at an early age and by age 14, she was a regular contributor of poetry to various newspapers. She put a great deal of effort into her literary career and education, writing over 400 poems.
In 1859, at the age of 24, she married Charles Hawks and moved with him to Brooklyn, New York. They had three children.
All of her efforts did not amount to much until she became a member for 8 years of the Hanson Baptist Church in Brooklyn, where Rev. Robert Lowry, the great hymn writer was pastor. About 1868, he recognized her talent and gave her a challenge that he kept: “If you write the words, I’ll write the music.”
Her hymns appeared in Bright Jewels, Pure Gold, Royal Diadem, Brightest and Best, Temple Anthems, Tidal Wave, and other Sunday School song books.
For more on her hymn, use the following link:
She died on January 3, 1918, in Bennington, Vermont, at the age of 82.
The Ambassador Book of Great Hymn Stories (Belfast, North Ireland: Ambassador, 1994), pp. 62, 63.
John Julian. A Dictionary of Hymnology (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1892), p. 499.
Edwin M. Long. Illustrated History of Hymns and their Authors (Philadelphia: P.W. Ziegler & Co., 1876, Second Edition), Illustrated History of Sunday School Song, p. 63.
K.W. Osbeck. 101 Hymn Stories (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1982) pp. 26, 27.
Ira Sankey, My Life and the Story of the Gospel Hymns and of Sacred Songs and Solos (Philadelphia: The Sunday School Times Company, 1907), pp. 187-188.