Why “SavedAlone.com”?

Where did the name “saved alone” come from?

On October 8, 1871, as Horatio G. Spafford and his wife Anna were grieving over the death of their son, the Great Chicago Fire swept through the city. Horatio was a prominent lawyer in Chicago, and had invested heavily in the city’s real estate, and the fire destroyed almost everything he owned.

Two years later, in 1873, Spafford decided his family should take a holiday somewhere in Europe, and chose England knowing that his friend D. L. Moody would be preaching there in the fall. Delayed because of business, he sent ahead of him his family: his wife Anna, and his four remaining children, daughters Tanetta, Maggie, Annie and Bessie.

On November 21, 1873, while crossing the Atlantic on the S.S. Ville Du Havre, their ship was struck by an iron sailing vessel and 226 people lost their lives, including all four of Spafford’s daughters. Somehow his wife, Anna, survived. On arriving in England, she sent a telegram to Spafford beginning “Saved alone”.

Spafford then himself took a ship to England, going past the place where his daughters had died. This inspired him to write the well known hymn “It is Well With My Soul” right there in the mid-Atlantic.

The original manuscript has only four verses, but Spafford’s daughter states how later another verse) was added and the last line of the original was slightly modified. The music, written by Philip Bliss, was named after the ship on which Spafford’s daughters died, Ville Du Havre. The lyrics below include the most often sung three verses.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well (it is well), with my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
even so, it is well with my soul.


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