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Samuel Francis Smith '29.


Rev. Samuel Francis Smith, D. D., of the class of 1829, the author of the hymn "America," died suddenly at the New York and New England railroad station on Saturday afternoon shortly after five o'clock. Dr. Smith at the time was on his way to Redville, where he had accepted an invitation to preach at the Blue Hill Chapel yesterday afternoon. His death is said to have been caused by some heart trouble.

Dr. Smith was born in Boston, Oct. 28, 1808. He was a member of the Eliot School, leaving it at the age of eleven years. He was a Franklin Medal scholar, and won a gold medal for a poem while at the Latin School, from which he graduated in 1825. He graduated from Harvard in 1829, and from here he went to the Andover Theological Seminary, where he remained until 1832.

He was afterwards engaged in editorial work, and in 1834 was ordained to the ministry of the Baptist Church in Waterville, Me., occupying pastorates in Waterville from 1834 to 1842, and at Newton, Mass., from 1842 to 1854. While at Waterville he held a professorship of modern languages at Waterville College, now Colby University. He was editor of the Christion Review in Boston from 1842 until 1848, and editor of the various publications of the Baptist Missionary Union from 1854 to 1869.

In 1875 and again in 1880 he visited the chief missionary stations in Europe and Asia. In 1854 he was given the degree of D. D. by Waterville College.

Numerous hymns written by Dr. Smith may be found in the hymn books of all the Christian churches. One of them "The Morning Light is Breaking," has been translated into many languages.

The most famous of his compositions is the national hymn "America." Its deep and noble patriotism thrilled the hearts of the people, and it has ever since been used as the national anthem on all public occasions. This hymn was composed while he was a theological student, and was first sung at the chil-

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