When peace, like a river, attendeth my way
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way. Horatio Gates Spafford* (1828-1888). Written in 1874, or perhaps in 1876, after the tragic death of his four daughters in November 1873. The Spafford family sailed on a visit to Europe on a French ship, the Ville du Havre, which sank on 22 November after colliding with a British vessel. Spafford himself had been detained at the last minute, and was not on board; his wife survived.
According to the account by his daughter Bertha (Vester, 1950, p. 53) Spafford wrote the hymn while crossing the Atlantic to meet his wife, near the place where the Ville du Havre sank; according to Ira D. Sankey* (Sankey, 1906, p. 127) Spafford wrote this hymn in 1876...
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