Born: Oc­to­ber 20, 1828, North Troy, New York.

Died: Oc­to­ber 16, 1888, Je­ru­sa­lem, Is­ra­el, of ma­la­ria.

Buried: Je­ru­sa­lem Pro­test­ant Ce­me­te­ry, Je­ru­sa­lem, Is­ra­el. He lays just a few hun­dred feet from the re­port­ed tomb of King Da­vid.


Spafford and his wife had a con­sist­ent his­to­ry of act­ing on their faith. Af­ter the great Chi­ca­go Fire of 1871, they de­vot­ed count­less hours to help­ing the sur­viv­ors.

In 1881, they moved to Je­ru­sa­lem (tak­ing two daugh­ters born af­ter the ship­wreck tra­ge­dy) and helped found a group called the Am­eri­can Co­lo­ny; its mis­sion was to serve the poor. The Amer­i­can Co­lo­ny Ho­tel in Je­ru­sa­lem takes its name from that group.

The co­lo­ny al­so helped in­spire the no­vel Je­ru­sa­lem, by Swed­ish writ­er Sel­ma La­ger­löf, the first wo­man to win the No­bel Prize for li­ter­a­ture.

  1. It Is Well with My Soul