The story of the world's most beloved children's song, Jesus Loves Me This I Know, is intertwined with Gilbert Stuart's famous painting of George Washington and West Point Military Academy.
This riches-to-rags story follows the lives of the Warner family. American patriots, the Warners owned Constitution Island and the Washington portrait. When the depression stripped Henry Warner of his assets and investments, he relocated with his two young daughters to their one remaining possession—a renovated house on Constitution Island.
Susan and Anna grew up rowing on the Hudson River and picking wildflowers on the wooded island. After their father's death, the sisters took pen in hand and wrote novels, games, books, and sketches to support themselves. Jesus Loves Me This I Know was a poem included in a moving scene in their Victorian narrative titled, Say and Seal. Later, noted hymnist William Bradbury adjusted the words of the poem to make them universally applicable and penned the chorus and melody.
Despite their success as writers, Susan and Anna barely afforded their simple lifestyle. During their long lives, the sisters studied the Bible extensively, exercised gracious hospitality, and taught Bible studies to West Point cadets who traveled weekly to Constitution Island for the privilege. The influence of Susan and Anna was multiplied as generations of cadets ventured around the world equipped spiritually by truths learned during Susan and Anna's Bible studies and prayer times.
Known for their quality gift books, J. Countryman incorporated historic and sentimental photos in this poignant piece. My teenage son was especially interested in the military and historical connection the song had with a United States military academy. What a rare honor both from the Lord and from the military, that two frail Bible study teachers would be the first civilians buried at the prestigious West Point cemetery.
The small volume is generous with descriptions about an earlier time in our nation's history. Written under the watchful eyes of the father of our country, the song Jesus Loves Me This I Know has had a world-wide impact for the kingdom of our Heavenly Father.
I read this book aloud for family devotions. My children, ages seven to 22 agreed, "It was an interesting read." – Peggy Sue Wells, Christian Book Previews.com
You cut your teeth on this beloved hymn. Even before you knew anything about a personal Savior, you knew one thing for sure: Jesus loves me! This little song is backed by a great big story. And now, thanks to Rob Morgan's distinctive writing style, that amazing tale is being told in remarkable depth.
It's the story of two sisters--the Warners--who went from riches to rags, from the hustle and bustle of New York City to the isolation of a small island, and from a quiet ministry to young soldiers into the hearts of children worldwide. Including photos of the Warners' Revolutionary War-era home on Constitution Island, just offshore from West Point, this book explores the birth of this sweet song like never before. It also highlights stories about lives that have been changed by this simple, powerful refrain.
Readers from ages 8-80 will come to appreciate the very first hymn they ever knew in a fresh way in this book that makes a great gift for friends, as well as for church and school libraries.