Samuel Francis Smith was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 21, 1808. After graduating from Harvard College in 1829, he attended Andover Theological School, where he composed the lyrics for "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" ("America"), set to the music for "God Save the Queen." In 1834, Smith became the minister for the First Baptist Church in Waterville, Maine, and he preached in Newton Center, Massachusetts. In 1854, he became editorial secretary for the American Baptist Missionary Union, traveling throughout the world in this capacity. Samuel Francis Smith died on November 16, 1895.
From the guide to the Samuel F. Smith collection, Smith, Samuel F. collection, 1884-1895, (William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan)