Smith, Samuel Francis, an eminent Baptist minister and widely known as the author of "My country, 'tis of thee," was born in Boston October 21, 1808; attended the Boston Latin School and entered Harvard College in 1825. After leaving Harvard in 1829 he entered Andover Theological Seminary, and was graduated in 1832. His first pastorate was at Waterville, Me., where he remained eight years (1834-42), serving also as Professor of Modern Languages at Waterville College. In 1842 he became the pastor of the First Baptist Church at Newton, Mass. He resigned this charge in 1854 and became the editor of the publications of the Baptist Missionary Union, but continued to reside in Newton. He and Baron Stow prepared the Baptist collection of hymns titled The Psalmist (1843), which Julian's Dictionary (1908) pronounces "the most creditable and influential of the American Baptist collections to the present day." He published Lyric Gems in 1854 and Rock of Ages in 1870. Prof. F. M. Bird names thirty-two of his original hymns that are in common use in America. Dr. Smith's long and useful life came to a close in Newton, Mass., November 16, 1895.
Lord of our life, God whom we fear 503
My country, 'tis of thee 702
Softly fades the twilight ray 74
The morning light is breaking 653