John Wallace Hutchinson.

Story of the Hutchinsons (tribe of Jesse) (Volume 2) online

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swarthy Chinese from the celestial world, the EuropiMu, and the
native American of every hue and color. Lastly, thotigh in the great
future not the least, can now and then be seen a scattered few of the



248 TiiK iirTciiixsox family.

rfiiiiiaiit nicL- of tlic ]'^tliiii])iaii<, ])itieil ami ]ii'ltc(l as ilu-y lonp- liave
bc'eii, and yet tlii' williuu- waiters ami servants ot' their more favored
brethren, the \vliites. All are hi're, .Ii-ws and (ientiles, bond and free.
^\nd to this land (jf Hope and Promise, are the millions of the earth
\et to eome. 1 am ulad England finds a diversion in Australia, for the
crowds iiitlierward are too overwlielminL;-. Half the folks that start
for California onuht never to move from home till better transits are
j)rovided, and Congress, capitalists and cajilains improve tlieir own
consciences and the comfort and condition of tra\ellers — aye, and I
might most justly add, the common ])eople cultivate common-sense,
cleanliness and comfort. Half of our troubles arise from the morbid
and maddened lusli of the multitude on board our steamers, luriMl by
the sordid lu>t fni- gold, which ])erishes with the using ami tlu'v with it.
Friends at home will learn l)ye-and-bye (ayi', thousands iia\e already
learned by the woful lessons of death that have goiu' back Ukv spectre.^
to haunt the haj)py homes all over the land) what is their duty in the
premises.

Here, on the Pacific side, men fare the worst ; the steamers are in-
adequate to bring half the jiassengers that crowd in from the Atlantic. It
is cruel and criminal to load the steamers so at New York. Strange,
indeed, that when the whole tide of humanity is setting this way, and
the whole nation, almost, seems "bound for California," that New-
York does not jxjssess wisdom enough to desjiatch the noble Baltic and
Pacific round the horn, and save more lives and earn more money in a
twelvemonth than they will gather in a half century in their present
obsolete way (California si)cakmg) to the < >ld World. Here is the El-
dora<Io ! Behold, here is the city whose streets are jiaved with gold.
Here is the finest climate under heaven and the mountains and valleys
teem with wealtli — the aninuil, the vegetable and the miner.il. '• < > come
to the glorious West, and buy a Golden Farm '. " This is what I sa\'
and what we sing. And w hat we say here in song, we say in si-rious-
ncss to friends at home, " Come out to California, the mo>t glorious and
glowing ami gla(hlening nation of Earth, but wiu'u you do come, come
wisely." Send thi' noble steamers round first — l)l()w up the rocks in
the Isthmus rivers — (or blow uj) \'anderbilt for not doing it) — and
when all is comfortabU', and sonu' decent liotels and roads are built on
the Isthmus, then take youi- \vives and little ones, ami come out here
by thousand-^ and tens of thousand^, yea, thousands of tiiousands, and
settle on your golden farms, and thus fultil the gi'eat law and tlu'
jirophets, " in.Teasi' and multiply, ;iud replenish the earth." Men!
don't come without your wiv(_'s, ami women, don't let them, for your
lives. Put I digress iuuneasurably. 1 couldn't help it, the subject
o]K'ns so widely. The gi'eat mail soon closes, ami my duties are multi-
farious. Heaven be ]ii'aisedfor tlie printing-iy pes, for what 1 coidd



AX <)LD-TLME YANKEE FAMILY. 249

only say to one, I now gladly say to all. Take good care of my home,
my dear old cottage home among the hills, and Old High Rock. O!
how many thrilling emotiiins liioni up from the soul, as 1 think of the
l)ast, the jiresent, and the great future. God bless you all, dear, dear"
friends, and forget not in ydiir jileasant iiieiiiories the spirit of him
who, tho' a wanderer far, far away, yet clings with undying affection to
those who are near and dear in native land. ^Ve shall mei't again. < In
the wings of Lore 1 send tiiis little messenger. Pardon the errors of
haste. I have set it up from the printer's case, just as the Spirit hath
prompted. Again farewell.

Affectionately and forever, your Ijrother and friend,

Jesse IIttchinson'.

Jesse's last poem was written after an absence of a
year in the land of '•• Gokl and Graves," at San Fran-
cisco. It was as follows :

" Brothers, I hear your voices sweet,
Ee-echoing o'er the i)lain.
And calling nu' in gentle tones
' () brother, come home again.'

" I hear your voices, and ( )h ! I yearn
To see you all once more ;
But Fate says, I may not return
Again to my native shore.

" I have a mission to fulfil,

For thus I'm doom'd to roam ;
When that is done, if lleavi'u's will.
Again I'll hie me iKUne ;

"For thoughts go liack to other days.
The giH.il old days of yore;
Again I am in childhood s plays
Around the old homestead door.

"My father's voice again I hear,
C'onnningled witli my mother's ;
Wliile sisters' voices charm mine ear.
With our own dear band of brothers."

Perhaps nothing will better illustrate the love felt
for Jesse by those wlio came most in contact with liim,



250 THE HL*TCHINS()X FAMILY.

tlian the description of '' Iliu'li Rock " the ])hice our
Itrolher h)vr(l so dearly, piihlislied in the IL'ndd of
FreeiJoii) in 1845. hy X. P. Rogers:

'■ • llijili Pvoek,' tlu' namo of a commanding eminence in the rear of
tlic town of Lynn, Mass. It overlooks the town and ocean and a <;reat
distance up and down the coast — as well as far back in the country.
The vii \v from it is very extensive, varied and striking. I do not re-
meniher such a view, fi-om any ])(iint so easy of ascent. I went to the
top of the rock, the other day, when I was at Lynn, with my beloved
friend, Jesse Hutchinson, Jr., to see the spot he has chosen, and the
beginning he is making, for the site of a cottage. He has obtained the
title to the summit of High Rock, and of the ground at the foot of it,
where, if he succeeds, he will have an unrivalled spot. The rock
ascends nearly perpendicularly some forty or fifty feet. At the foot of
it, on the southeast side, spreads a patch of good ground for a building
and garden — of, I should judge, a quarter or third of an acre. It then
pitches off precipitously in front, some hundreds of feet to the level of
the town Ijelow. On the sides it is accessible by a carriage road, up one
side of which, a road is already constructed. Jesse has dug a well and
found abundance of living water, on a spot pointed out to him by a
clairvoyant friend. This encouraged him to dig, when all the waking
and seeing people told liim it would be vain to hunt for water at such a
height. On the right of his level ])lat, in front, rises a splendid round
rock some ten or a dozen feet, on which to plant a little summer house.
The cottage is intended to be of stone, of which there appears to be an
abundant quarry, and of beautiful quality, on the very spot he wants to
level for its site. Jesse is a poet — but he can build songs, he will find,
easier than he can stone cottages, in this tlinty, hard-money world and
among the cliffs of High Rock. If he succeeds in this design, though,
he will have a home there like a song. It will look otf, over Lynn with
her ten thousand people, on to the main ocean — unobstructed on cither
hand as far as eye can reach. Egg Rock lays in the midst of the sca-
jn-ospect — and the ragged cliffs of Nahant. And it is within roar as
well as sight, of the sea-beaten beach, oiu' of the finest on the ocean's
margin — the beach stretching more than a mile, Level and smooth as a
house floor and solid as a pavement. A tine race-ground for horses and
carriages, which swarm it Jike files, certain times of day, in the hot
season. It would be most magnificent to si'c a storm break upon it,
from the cottage at High Rock. Jesse means to cover tlu- whole preci-
l)ice of the rock behind the cottage, with one mammoth grape vine. It
woiUd be as sunny there, for the grapes, as Italy or any of the vineyard
slopes of France. Off south you can see Bunker Hill Monument— its



AX OLD-TIME YANKEE FAMILY. 251

great solemn shaft of oray towxTiny- in the haze and smoke of Pioston,
antl tlie State Ilousi^' dome hiomiiiji just beyond it and surmcjuntim,'- tiie
city — all in i»hiin siijlit from the eottage window, by and b\e, when
Jesse has one. To the northeast, tlie < )ec'an House and Marbleliead and
Cape Ami — and from the top of the rock, the high momitains of West-
ern ISIassaehusetts. And Jesse means in his heart, to pile a tower of
rude stone on tlie summit of High Kock — some five and twenty or
thirty feet high, \\ itii an observatory in the top, where he will have a
telescope, and the jioetieal creature indulges his fancy so far as to
whisper he will have a cAi'?«e of hells there! I wish to heaven he had
the means. He would make Higii Kock the tallest affair on New Eng-
land's 'rock-bound coast.' And how sweet to sit on the cottage piazza
of a summer night and hear those sweet bells chime in answer to the
moaning sea below upon the bt^aeh. And the wliole eiihaneiMl and sur-
passed, some night, by the song of 'the Huteliinsons' themsehes — his
matchless brother-band (' with a sister in it ') thi^re from their own rocks
of 'the Old Granite State.' .\])roiios — I ])ropose here, tliey give Jesse
a benefit or two, to be laid out in coiniileting and embellishing the cot-
tage on High Rock, in a maniu'r tliat siiall eorresiioiid with his genius,
and be worthy their own jn'crless song. It wouldn't be tlie first time, at
least in fable — that architecture has sprung into existence at the sound
of Music.

"I say this much of High Rock and its contemplated cottage. The
reader will indulge me in it, in tril)ute of respect to our Anti-Slavery
Choir, and to their gifted brother who has given ns the finest songs of
the anti-slavery movement, as well as being one of tlie most devoted
Abolitionists and most eloquent advocates or free speech."

The followinor poem was ])nl)lislie(l ])y Jesse in a
New York paper, under the caption '' Welcome to the
Hutchinsons. hy a native of the Granite State," in the
early 'oO's, just l)efore the advent of the brothers for a
series of concerts :

Welcome, minstrels from the mountains.

To the T'^mpire State again !
Tliousands of olil friends in (Jotliam

Long to hear your warbling strain.

Welcome from your liome in ^lilford.

Skirting old Souhegan's sliore ;
Sing to us of " teaming cattle.

And tlie good old plough " once more.



252 THE lirTClllNSON FAMIJ.V,

CoiiH' ami tell us how you've made it,
Kaisiug pumpkins, wlu'at and corn.

And how many sliee]) and cattle
Graze upon tlie <ild home farm.

Thousands went to hear " I-",.\ei'lsi(n-,"

In our Metropolitan Hall,
And to eateh those thrillinu' echoes

As from Aljiine heights they fall.

O, to hear those sonys of Freedom
Which you sung in days of yoie,

When (uu- thousands shouted " hi'avo "
And prolonged the loud "encore."

Rome then thought you rather hasty,
jVnd of judgment seemed to lack,

When you screamed, despite the hisses,
"Church and statesmen, clear the track."

Even then we loved your holdness,
Though we could not all ajjprove;

Now what change ! instead of coldness,
Liberty songs are what we love.

Come then, with your songs of gladness,
Breathing through melodious strains,

Sing us of the good time coming

When the slave shall Imrst his chains.

Help us cheer earth's stricken ilaughters.
And the i)risoner in his cell ;

Sing, O sing of healing waters,
Bnhhlinu' up from sjjring and \\\\\.

Tell us if tlie fires of freedom

(ileani upiiii your mountain high ?

AA'ill youi- M)ns rnuse w hen we need them,
Wlu'U the storms ai'c gathering nigh 7

lie who pens tliis honu'ly wtdcome
( >nee lived lU'nr ynur father's door,

.\n(l could many things recoimt you
( )f tile •• Good old davs of vore."



AN OLD-TIME YANKEE FAMILY'. ZD6

Cuiild .-inL;(il' the' geiUTatiou

Who lived tliere tTt- you were born ;

WIrii folks li\i'(j on ]ihiiii bean-porridge,
Spun their wool and cracked tlicir corn.

Those are davs we hjve to "read of,"

Even now, in modern times,
Wlien tile folks all wore ])hiin liomespun,

Like your good (dd I'ncle (jrimcs.i

Is the good old church Act standing,

( >ii ^lont ^'ernon's l(d'ty hill?
"We could see it from the schooldiouse,

And from Deacon Wallace's mill.

In the range of that old >teeple

^lany a Yankee buy has grown,
Who has ris'n among the people

To fame and fortune rarely kn(jwn.

Underneath its very shadow

Came forth " (ieorge" of Picai/ttne,
Three miles eastwanl, clear as sunshine,

Uur own " Horace," id' the Tribune.

I might sing id' many others

Whom I kiu-w in bygone days ;
Last, not least, O P.and of Brothers,

You've obtained a world-witle 2)raise.

"Welcome, then, ye Band of Brothers,

Lo, the multitudes a«ait, —
Long to Welcome you with others,

Warblers from the Granite ytate.

In tlie early years of Brother Jesse's occupancy of
the Stone Cottage on Ilig-li IJock. lie ke[)t boarders, tiiid
it is rare indeed that such a company of choice spirits
assemble in one household as ,]vssii and his guests.
One of these was ( 'a[)t. William Henry Merritt, tifter-
Avards a l)rave ollicer in the War of the Rebellion. An-
other was Charles M. Merritt. then an appi-entice in the
Lijiin jW'H's oflice and now one of the county officials.

^ Motlier's uricle, Milford's first settler.



25-4 THE HUTCHINSON FAMILY.

Jo.si;ih F. Kiinl);ill, tlie editor and piopiietor of the
News and llie •" Toiu Hood" of Lynn literature, "svas
also there, with his brother, iiiifus Kimball, then a
jonrneyinan printer, now one of the editors of the Lynn
JJidli/ Ih'in^ and prominent in political life. Still an-
other was Edward Payson Weston, since of world-wide
fame as a pedestrian, who was sometimes prevailed
n[)on to take Jesse's phice as business p.uinager for the
singing brothers. Many were the pranks these mem-
bers of Jesse's family [)la3'ed upon him and each other,
and the survivors still love to recall their experiences.
Rufus Kimball says that on the night before the Minot's
Ledge Lighthouse was washed awaj', he went into Jesse's
observatory on the rock, and by the aid of the powerful
telescope there, saw that the structure was still stand-
ing. Early the next morning he went up and looked
again. The fears of the populace were realized ; it was
gone. He immediately went to the News office, got
out an extra and announced the catastrophe before the
intelligence reached Loston, by way of the harbor.

Jesse married June 8, 1836, Susanna AV. Hartshorn,
of .Vmherst. Their children, all of whom died in in-
fanc}', were James, Garrison, Charles Follen, Andrew
Ed^^■ard, Jesse Herbert, James, Susan Mary Emma.

hi preceding chapters I have related the story of tlie
death and bnrial of Brother Benjamin. He was a mem-
ber of the " home guard,'' bore the burden of caring for
the farm \\\\\\ Sister Rlioda when the remaining brothers
and sister A\ere in the concert field, and held liimself
in readiness to respond to the call whenever his voice
was demanded in family chorus in the village or at the
great conventions. His death at twenty-nine, was the
first break in the ties that ])ound the children who grew
up together. He Avas unmarried.




JUDSOX J. HUTCH IXS( )X —(p. 255)



AX OLD-TIME YANKEE FAMILY. 2oO

Judsoii, *•' the dear, eoiitidiug, generous, loving, hu-
morous, gifted Jud.son," as Joshua called him, was the
eleventh child. Tlie latter relates that while au infant
upon the floor, he was heard to luun distinelly the
melody of old Greenville,

" Gt'iitly, Lord, geatly lead us."

He was in the nursery alone with his mother, greatly
surprising her, for slie heaid the music, l)ut did not
know whence it originated. I have told much of his
musical history, for it was inseparable with my own, up
to the time of his death. His voice was in many re-
spects wonderful. It was high-pitched, expressive,
sympathetic and of great beaut}" in eveiy sense. He
had great ventrilo(pial powers, and made good use of
them in his concert work, especially in such songs as
"Excelsior." He sang maiiv comic scjng-s in our enter-
tainments, for he was a humorist, but as is the case
with many men gifted with a great sense of humor, he
had a very high-strung, sensitive organization tliat
quickly dropped from a spirit of cheerfulness to one of
the deepest gloom. Nothing could have more of
})athos than his rendering of some of the songs he
loved to sing. He was a master of satire, his song
" Jordan " being a good illustration of this quality.
Words are weak indeed when 1 would do justice to my
l)rother, wdio was my closest companion during my l)oy-
hood and manhood. His l^est monument is in the love
that was always so richly lavished upon him by his
family, his friends, and the great public tliat has kept
his memory green all these years. It is useless to go
into the controversies that raged at the time of liis
death. It is a comfoi't to l»e al)le to quote from the
manv tributes to his life and cliaracter. ()f him, Har-



2ob THE HUTCHINSON FAMILY.

liet MeEwL'ii Iviinhall wioli' as follows in a iiietropoli-
laii pa[)ei':

" To say he was a good man, in tlio ordinary acceptation of those
words, is no more than miglit be said of many, and therefore conveys
no acceptable idea of tiiose peculiar cliaracteristics which distinguished
him from all others. He was manly in zeal and integrity, but womanly
in refinement and sensibility. He was too sensitive to endure tlie
rough life wliich must needs fall to the lot of man; and though his liigli
sense of duty, wlien reason lu'ld sway over his faculties, forbade him
to forsake it, his inner nature secretly revolted alike from the battles
and victories of earth. I remember on one occasion, when he came to
our house in advance of his brothers' arrival, to nuike preparations for
a concert to be given by them, one of our household, surprised at see-
ing him unaccompanied, exclaimed: 'What! alone? and in such a
storm?' He smiled a smile, wliicli, like his nature, was feminine in
sweetness and tenderness, and answered playfully, 'Yes! and it is
quite time I /earnec? to brave the elements!' The literal signification
of his reply was a mere skeleton of words ; but we, who knew him
well, could penetrate to the soul of deeper meaning shrined in the
form of speech. The brothers, John and Asa, who made up the de-
lightful trio that for so many years have charmed the public with their
unrivalled mountain melodies, were unwearying in their patient and af-
fectionate care over Judson, whose delicate constitution and proclivity
to nervous disease rendered him an object of their continual solicitude.
I believe the world never produced a more beautiful example of frater-
nal devotedness than existed between the brothers, wliose sympathies
were as harmonious as their voices.

" In temperament, Judson was inclined to pensiveness and melan-
choly ; and even in his gayest and most genial moods 1 never failed to
observe the strong umlercurrent of his thoughtfulness. In heart and
manner he was as simple as a child. His reverence for all things good
and beautiful was a childlike reverence. His love ft)r woman in her
purity and exaltation bordered on adoration ; his symjjathy for
woman in her fetters of wrong and degradation was full of brotherly
pity and distress. As he was naturally firm in liis faith in God, so he
was firm in liis trustfulness of man; and any evidence of nusjilaced
confidence in his fellow-creatures occasioned him (leri)est i)aiii. I do
not believt' any other than a most ' righteous indignation ' was iiossibie
to him. Charity and forgiveness he bestowed unstintingly on all who
ni'eiled it. lie was hojieful of 'the good time coming,' but often de-
nre'ssrd by llie in justici' and df|)rcssion which breed so many sorrows on
tile rartli. \Vhi) that ever hearii him sing, ' < > liail I wings liki' a dove,'
can evt'r forget how tlie tones of his voice seemed to throb with the



AX ULD-TIME YANKEl': FAMILY. 257

spirit of that ilcsirc wliifli oumMciI liim to remler tlu- tlirilliii^r song
with such wciiiiKTtul dtV'L't ! Wlio that cvur kiu'W liim can forget Iiini ?
Not ah)nc liis rare vocal powers, nf whicli I have no time to spealv —
not alone his eccentricities, which were nnassumed and unostentatinus
— not alone his face, which, like his character, was a hlendiiig of
manly and womanly licauty — not alone from his style of dress, which,
though peculiar, was worn from his hoyhood uji, and not assumed he-
cause of its hecomingnes,^ — l)nt his character, of whicli I have given
a truthful though unworthy transci'ipt, will make him dear to the
memory of all w ho read it aright.

" In conclu>io!i, [ would add, tliat the simple doctrines <if Jesus ap-
parently engrossed his deeper thimght and attention, and illumini'd jus
daily life with comfcn't and joy : and it is ou/- comfoi-t and our joy to he-
lieve that that Saviour has already welcomed to tlu' heaven id' the weary
and heavy laden the spirit of him whose was one of the sweetest souls
" ' That ever lookeil from liuinau eyes.' "

A writer in a Milwaukee pa[)er said:

" Wc visited the town of Hutchinson, Minui'sota, a little more than a
year ago, in company with .ludson and his wife, and it was wonderful
as well as beautiful, to seethe affection with which he was received,
especially by the poor, throughout all the reuion. They came to him
with all their troubles and sorrows, as well as joys, and we were
witness of many a little act of charity, whose recipients showered upon
him in return, the most grateful love.

" ( )ne morning we stepjied with him outside the door into tlie wf)ods,
by which his housi- was snrroumled ; all was silent and still in the
dreamy tlush of an Indian suninu'r; not a liird was chirping in the
branches. He said. ' Now we will have a concert,' and In- jxiureil forth
such a Hood of meloilious sound as we never dreamed it in tin' jxtwer of
mortal to produce. Then there was a rush of wings overhead, and an
answering gush of song from the throats of a thousand birds. Frotn
whence tliey came, we could not discern. His birddike, beautiful nature
was in unisitn with theirs, and their little hearts beat responsive to his
gentle heart, and recognizing tiieir Inwr they \yelcomed him with a
flood of rapturous melody, wonderful as divine.

"The Indian summer shall come auain, and the little birds will listen
among the rustling branches, and cry out with a i)ainful twitter, but the
song of their beloved will come not to them in the wail of the murmur-
ing wind ; yet in the gush of the morning gladness there shall descend
upon them from out the auroral silence the sjjirit of his ins])iration, whose
song, mingling with their-, went up iln-ough the liu>h of the Indian sum-
mer to gladden the soul.- of the angels."



258 THE HUTCH IXSOX FAMILY.

Anotlier newspaper correspoiident \\Tote toueliiuglv of
the parting- i)t' tlie band of iH'otlier.s, and then said :

" Tliroc of tlie brothers were iiniler our roof whun tlie noble Lloyd
Mills Wiis wasting with consumption. The genial wit of tin- eccentric
Judson, or the kin<Uing enthusiasm of the impulsive John couiil not
dispel the shadow which rested damply on the soul of Mills. As they
rose to leavi-, the three gathered fraternally around the invalid, and
with hands ujion ills head, sang ' Where shall the soul find rest ! ' The
scene lias never passed from memory. It was joyous to weep under the
influences of such an hour and such a song. The very light of bliss
seemed to rest ui)on the half-sad and half-smiling ccnintenance of Jud-
son, as his eyes were upturned, aiftl the harmonies of their voices seemed
to die out among the angels. IMills and Judson are both over }he river!

" A little over a year since, two of the brothers, Judson and John, were
again under our roof, when the days of the writer seemed nearly
numbered. Wc laughed and cried alternately at the quaint wit and
touching pathos of Judson, as the fulness of his child-like heart gushed
out in chat and song. He spoke of terrible seasons of depression, which
at times came over him, and shivered at the thought of some terrible
fate which he was sure would some day be his. 'It ivill come,' lie said,
and he looked dreamily and sadly into vacancJ^ As the brothers arose
to go, they stood by the door, side by side, faces inclined kindly toward
each other, and sang,

" ' "We live for those who love us,

For those who' re kind and true,
For the lieaveu which glows above us.
And whicli we're hastening to.'

" The liquid eye of Judson was melting with that touching gentleness



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