His father was a Bishop – William Hanby.
Life & Career
As a teenager Benjamin assisted his father with the Underground Railroad which helped slaves escape to freedom.
The house in which he wrote Darling Nelly Gray in 1856 is now a historical site name ‘Hanby House’. The song tells the story of a slave who has been separated from his love.
That same year at the age of twenty three he graduated and briefly taught before becoming a minister. Then in 1860 he became the head teacher of Seven Mile Academy in Seven Mile, Ohio. Four years later in 1864 he became minster of a church in New Paris Ohio, but this was short-lived as by the end of the year he was in charge of a singing school in the same village.
Sadly Hanby encountered an early death at the age of just thirty three from tuberculosis.