John Wallace Hutchinson.

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" Tlic (Ifiith of one so widely knuwii tlirougliout the United States
and Great IJritain as tlie sweet-voiced sister of the famous ' Hutcliinsoii
Family ' quartet, uiio created a sensation when she first appeared be-
fore the pulilic fifty years ago, almcjst as great as that of Jenny Lind,
and her successors in tlie world of song afterward, justifies a brief
biography in the Home Joimuil, with wiiose founders, Morris and Wil-
lis, she was a special favorite. Mr. Willis, writing of the Hutchinson
family, with that felicity of expression so characteristic of him,
coined the phrase which accompanied the singers ever afterward, ' A
nest of brothers with a sister in it,' and to General Morris's exquisite
poem ' My Mother's Bible,' they wedded their own music, and this song
became one of the great favorites of their ccuicerts.

"The whole family were singers, but the quartet was composed of
Judson, John, Asa and Abby. The death of Abby leaves John the
sole survivor of the family. This brother last year celebrated his sev-
entieth birthday at High IJock, his home in Lynn, Mass. His voice is
wonderfully pre.-i'rved, retaining all of its original sweetness.

" Abby was a born musician. As soon as she could talk she began to
sing. The first songs siie learned wiav the hymns taught her by her
mother wliile singing at her spinning-wheel. At the early age of four
years she displayed such musical tah'Ut tliat ]ieople would come from
afar to hear her childish songs. A littU^ later >he went to the district
school, witli her sister and young brotliers. lU^r studies were pursued
witli avidity and shi' reailily nieniori/ed jiieces to sjx'ak or sing. \
friend oui'e heard her say that the very proudest moment of her life

ABBY m TCHlNSoN J'ATTkN ISlfJ — (p. 270)


was wlicn she nnil a rival scliooliiiate were allowed to clioose sides in a
'spelling' match,' when Abby triumphantly 'spelled down' the whole

" As the father liad a large farm tliere was mueli outdoor work to do.
While the brothers worked they sang. Rlioila and Al)by would sing-
also with the mother, over their work, and when the fatlier and the
boys would come in to their meals, all voices would join in a song that
would make the house ring. The evenings were usually spent in musi-
cal practice. Abl)y had an alto voice, and could make her own part, no
matter how intricate the melody might be. To test her abilities, her
brother .Tudson would sing the scales, and difficult improvised melodies,
bringing in chronuitic runs and changes. Abby wovild never falter, but
would match him every time v.itli her harmonious notes. Iler ear was
extremely sensitive to sound, and she always sang in ])erfect tune.
Musical by inheritance, her childhood surroundings were all of music,
melody and harmony.

" In 18o9, when only ten years old, .Vbln- made her first public ap-
pearance as a singer. This was at a concert given in the Baptist
cliurch in Milford, which was built b}' her father. On this occasion
the parents and their thirteen children all took part, Abljy singing with
her sister, l?h(jda, the evening song to the Virgin, 'Ave Sanctissima.'

"In 1841, Judson, John and Asa commenced their pid)lic concert
career, with their Sister Aljby as their chief attraction. For two years
they made New England their chosen field, and went fi-oni town to
town and from city to city, w itii varying success. Their habit for sev-
eral years \\as to sing in the autumn and winter. Sj^ring and sununer
were devoted by the brothers to the management of their farms, and
by Abby to her studies at the academy in Hancock, X. II., and at the
Edes Female Seminary, riymouth, Mass.

"Early in May, 1843, the Hutchinson Family made their first visit to
Xew York. They took the public by storm. One enthusiastic editor,
who was a great lover of music, wrote of them : ' The liarmony of this
band was never surpassed by human throats. It moved to tears, it
reached into the solemn depths of the soul, it was (iod-given and
Ileaven-inspired.' The press published extended accounts of tlieir c(m-
certs, which were given in tlie old Broadway Tabernacle.

" The Ilutchinsons were never mercenary ; they aimed to make their
music serve the cause of humanity. They were Abolitionists from
principle, and in singing anti-slavery songs, they would sometimes be
hissed and threatened with jiersonal injury, l)Ut the j)resence of Al)l)y
held the pro-slavery audience of that day in cheek. ^Yith her marvel-
lous voice and cajjtivating nnumers, and a certain midefinable, mag-
netic ])ower, she would look directly into the eyes of the mob leaders,
invariably witii the effect of subduing the unruly spirits. Tiiere was a


charm aliom licr lliat N\as iri-usistibli'. TIk' anti-slavery cDiivcntinns
wiTc (it'tni ilislurlifd liy inohs, liiit wliiMi the 1 lutcliiiisuns bi'^an to sinii',
tlu' iiiirnar was liuslu'il as by iiiauif. Abby's vuicr would ring nut with
'TIk- Slavic's Apjual,' and in the linsh that followed, Garri:<on and \\\\\-
dell I'lullijis would get a hearing. 'l"he songs she loved best were those
which insi)inil tlie iicaris of the great anti-slavery leaders, and other
reformers, with courage and hope. Together with her brotliers her
voice was often heard in the lowly cottages of tlie poor, in the gloom of
the prison, within the joyless ahnshouse, and at the gatherings of the
people when tliiy were called together in behalf of suffering luimanity.

" -lessc Hutchinson was a gifted song writer, and the words of many
of the Hutchinsons' songs wi're \vrittin Iiy this brother. He wrote
'The (iood old Days of Yore,' 'The Slave .Mother,' '(n^t off the
Track,' 'Cottage of my ^lother,' and other songs apfdicable to the
times, which have become famous.

" 111 August, 1845, the Hutchinsons visiteil (Jreat Britain, where a
year was spent with great success in concert and social life. In tiie
genial homes of Charles Dickens and Macread^-, of Harriet .Martineau,
Alexander Ireland, William and ]\Iary Howitt and many others, they
were welcome guests. They found warm friends in Douglas Jerrold,
;\Iark Lemon, editor of London Punch, Hartley Coleridge, Eliza Cook,
;Mrs. Tom Hood, Samuel Hog'ers, Hogarth, the historian of music, Hon.
]\Irs. Norton, and such members of Parliament as George Thompson,
Ivichard Cobden, W. J. Fox and .John Bright. Charles Dickens gave a
' Hutchinson Keception ' at his home just before their opening concert
in London. ]\[r. Hogarth, the father of Mrs. Dickens, and the critic of
the Italian < )pera, after hearing the family sing, took them by the
hand ami said that he never before had heard such harmony. \Vhen
the evening came for the oi)ening concert the Hanover Square Kooms
were crowded by a gathering of pronnnent literary and nmsical jjcojde.
.Vbby, moilestly attired in wdiitc, was radiant with happiness and intelli-
gence. It was something new to behold one so nu)dest, so artless, com-
manding the attention of English audiences. She won the lu'arts of
all. Her voice was full and clear, and her execution faultless. Her
singing of Tennyson's ' May Queen ' had a heavenly charm. The first
]iart was sung with such exid)erance of ^youthful joy and liope as to
win the instant uncontrolled applause of the audience. The si-cond
]iart in sad ami mournful strains carried home the words of this ]iathetic
song to every lu'art. It si'enu'd an angel's voice whispering to the
dying May (^neen peace and ri'signation. It was the passing of a
s]iirit to tiiat heaven where the sun of righteousness forever shines.
She lifted the audience to a state of unjiaralleled exaltation. The next
day tlu' i)ress of London rang with the praises of the American singers.

"Mr. Alexander Ireland, editor of the Manchester Guardian, wrote:


' Abby, the sister, is sixteen years old, with a bright intelligent face,
speaking dark eyes, and ex^nisite eoniplexion. Had Wordsworth known
her, he wonld have innnortalized her. She is totally unspoiled by the
admiration and applause which her singing everywhere calls forth.
Her grace of manner is natural; she is perfectly unconscious and un-
studied. Her m(jral qualities are equally beautiful and winning. No
one can converse with her without feeling himself to be in the presence
of an artless, pure and simple nature, which no applause, or success,
can divest of its original freshness.'

"Throughout Scotland and Ireland the family had uuiuterrujited
success. The inexpressible sweetness of Abby's voice seemed, as one
Dublin editor exjjressed it. 'like the subdued and distant voice of an
angel from the upper diep.' nf 'The Pauper's Drive,' an Edinburgh
editor wrote: 'I feel I wouM like to be the pauper whom nobody
owns, if such a voice woidd sing my requiem.' A great favorite with
the public was Abby's rendering of the popular ballad 'Jamie's on the
St(jrmy Sea,' which always roused the audiences to the highest pitch of
enthusiasm. The Hutchinsons' last concert was given in the great
Free Trade Hall in Manchester. There were present between six and
seven thousand people. It was sublime to see that ocean of human
faces respond to every motion evoked by the thrilling strains of these
simple children of the ' < dd Granite State.' The genius of man's bet-
ter nature seemed to be rejoicing, weeping, or prophesying in tones
that caught their sweetness from the fountain of all harmonies.
There was a magic cadence in each sdvery note, which acted upon the
heart like the refiner's tire, but to purify.

"In August, 18iG, the IIutcliin>()iis returned to the United States.
After a brief rest, they visited tiie jjrincipal northern cities, their
English success adding much to their reputation and popularitj'. Dur-
ing the next two years Abby introduce 1 many new and beautiful
songs. They breathed the spirit of freedom, of love, of hope, of joy
and of sorrow, which find a response in every bosom.

"On February 28, 1840, Abby Hutchinson was married to Mr. Lud-
low Tatton of Xew York, a member of the New Y'ork Stock Exchange,
and a son of the late Dr. AVilliam Patton of Xew York, one of the
founders of the Union Tlieological Seminary, and the founder of the
Evangelical Alliance.

" After her marriage Mrs. Patton sang occasionally with her Ijrothers
on sjjecial occasions. In ISuO she brouglit out ' If I were a Voice.' It
seemed truly an ' immortal voice- " :

'"To speak to iiifu with a g«-iitle might,
And tell thtiii to be true.'

" Her next song was Mrs. Gildersleeve Longstreet's ' Mrs. Lofty and I.'
In rendering this mtisic, composed liy her brotlicr Jmlson, her sympa-


tlietic voice s^ri'iiu'il to reach tlu' very .soul (if Iut listener?^. The song
still lingers in our ears.

"At the outbreak of the War df the IJehcllioii in 1801 Mrs. Patton
again appeared in jiublic, believing' it to lie her duly to do what she
could to rouse the peojile of the Nortli and bring abnut the abolition of
human slavery- She sang for a year, with her lirothers, the songs of
freedom and patriotism.

" In April, 1S7-'1, Mr. Patton retired from business. For the ne.xt ten
years Mr. and Mrs. I'atton travelled for pleasure through Furope, Asia,
Africa, and all jiortions of their own country. While in Pome, Italy, thev
saw much of William and Mary Howitt, who were then residing there. On
their departure they received from ^lary Howitt the folhnving tribute:

"'To Mr. and Mks. Ludlow P.\ttox on their dkp.^^rtirk from Rome
FOR Palestink.

" ' They are, dear friends, Christ's chosen ones who bring

The sweet accords of peace to silence strife ;
■\Yho cast the fragrance and the flowers of spring

Over the dark and desert wastes of life.
Who lift up the down-trodden, or who go

As He did, to the sinful souls in prison ;
Who love the poor and humble, yet who know

Him, not the ever crucified, but risen.
Thus have you sought, dear friends, to serve him truly;

Kow, fare-ye-well, ai;d may His love divine
Send a conunissioned band of angels holy,

To lead you through His land of Palestine.'

"(!)n their return from their Fgyptian and Palestine trip, Mr. and
Mrs. Patton renewed their travels through Europe, visiting every coun-
try therein, e.xcejit I'ortugal and Lapland. In the summer of 1879 they
visited Sitka, Alaska, and then made the tour of Washington, Oregon
and California, visiting all points of interest. They were so much
pleased with San Diego, California, then a small town of two tliousand
people, that they afterward sjient three different winters there, and
watched with interest the growth of the citj- to its present size and im-

" During her travels, Mrs. Patton was a fretiuent contributor to the
American newsjiapers, describing many scenes and persons, and giving
her own views on the questions of the day, more especially affecting
the welfare of women.

"]Mrs. Patton had not sung in ]iublic for many years, but her voice
hist none of its s^weetness, nor diil slii' lose that winning vivacity of
niamier which characterized her in earlier days. Her husband was al-
ways a great lover of music, with a good tenor voici', and together they
often entertained their many friends at their own home, or during their
travels, with liie old songs.

Lri)L< i\V PATTdX — (p. -.'74)


"Amonti Mrs. Pattoii's imisical compositions tli? best known are
'Kind Words can Never Die,' and Tennyson's ' Rin<f ( »ut Wild Bells.'
In 1891 she published a little volunie entitled, 'A Handful of Pebbles,'
consisting of her jjoenis, interspersed with paragraphs and proverbs,
containing tlie essence of her happy philosophy. Many of these ' Peb-
bles,' both in prose and verse, are gems of wise and hai)py expression.

"Mrs. Patton was closely identified with nearly every reformatory
enterprise for benefiting the human race. She was interested in the
education of women, and was an earnest believer in woman suffrage,
Avhich movement she aided by tongue and pen. Her hand was ever
ready to help the needy, and her words to give courage to the wtary
and hopeless. Peligious creeds had no interest for her. She fellow-
shipped all good peojile, whether Protestants, Catholics or Agnostics.

"In her last years ]\Irs. I'atton will be renuMubered as a lovel_\', silver-
haired woman, retaining all the charm of manner, and the attractive-
ness whieli marked her golden youtli. 'i'ime touched her very gently.
Her sweet face lost none of its charms. Iler friendsliips were many,
both with men and women. Alice and Phoebe C'ary, ^^'hittier and
Greeley, Theodore Parker, Beecher and Wendell Phillips, Garrison and
Frederick Douglass, Charles Sumner, Elizabeth Thomjison, Grace
Greenwood and Mrs. Stowe, all loved and honored ^Vbby Hutchinson.

"Her last public appearance was at the funeral of Whittier, on
■\vhich occasion her brother .lolm and herself sang the reiiuiem :

" ' I. TV him low, lay liiin lnw,

Under the e'lcjver or uiidvr the snow.'

The funeral services of Mrs. Patton were held at the residence of Mr.
Lucius B. Hutchinson, 314 West Fifty-seventh Street, Saturday after-
noon, November 25th. Kev. Cornelius Patton, of Westfield, N. J., a
nephew of ]Mr. Patton, nuide a most api)ropriate and touching address.
Mrs. Sarah Barron Anderson, long comiected with the choir of Pev.
Dr. Paxton's church, rendered exquisitely Bonar's hynni, 'Beyond
the Smiling and the Weeping,' and 'Sonu' Sweet Day, By and By,' and
the brother, John W. Hutchinson, in com]ilianie with the desire of
Abby, sang 'There is no niglit there,' and 'The Lord is my Shep-

The above sketcli M'tis -writti'ii l)v tlie ai'tist wlio
painted the portrait of Al)l)y which i.s described in an-
other cha[)ter. It shows phiinly that when he made tlie
picture lie liad the advantage of an intimate friendship
with his snljject. ^lany points of her life histoiy are so
told in Mr. Carpenter's biogntphy. that it is unneces-


s;irv to q'o iiiio iliciii I'lirtlier. The literary iiistiiiet was
(levelo[)e(l in Al)l)y more I'liUy than in any other nieiu-
l)er of the family, as is evidenced by the large number
of lettei's of travel, poems, and other contributions in
the leading publications of the country for many years
past, some of which will liiid a })lace in this volume.
Abb^^'s personality was cliarming, indeed. She had
very decided convictions in regard, not oidy to the
great jiroblems of the day, but as to the way the Hutch-
inson family should meet them. She Avas not one who
tamely acquiesced in the views of others, Avithout at
least expressing her opinion, but in a family composed
without exception of jnembers who also had convic-
tions, and Avere not averse to expressing them, some-
times to the point of })ractical rupture, it AA'as notable
that Abby never aroused animosity. She was loved,
adored, almost Avorshi[)ped by all her brothers and sis-
ters. In the days of the quartet, it Avas the highest
privilege of each of her brothers to see that she was
Avell cared for, comfortable and ha[)py. Whatever hard-
ships thev had to undergo, she must not bear them if it
AA-as possible to prevent it. In return, she soothed them
Avhen in ti-ouble or sick, and in the infrequent cases
AA'here there must be night journeys to meet engage-
ments, or it Avas sini[)ly impossible to provide as com-
fortably for her as Ave felt she deserved, she did not
complain, but made herself the light of the party,
helping us to forget our trials. Her husl)and's business
success made a continuance in the concert field quite
unnecessarv for her, and it Avas only the conviction that
she could do good to causes that she loA^ed, that per-
suaded her to sing during her married life. But she
never forgot her art, and always rejoiced in the success
of her brothers. She possessed the rare faculty of see-


ing just \\'hat was tlie proper manner of celeljrating par-
ticular events, wliicli is only an outgrowth of the gen-
ius of alwavs doinsf the rio-ht thino- ;it the rio-ht time.
This Avas shown in innumerable ways. If she was re-
turning from a transatlantic journey she timed it so
as to get home and have a reunion witli tlie family
on mother's birthday. Anniversaries of this character


were never forgotten in our family, by-tlie-way. At
the celebration of my own seventieth birthday, slie Avas
CA^erywhere present, seeing just avIio ought to })ut in a
word here, and A\liat song should be sung there. She
was the life of the occasion. For one of us to go to
NcAV York Avithout finding time foi' a side trip to
Orange, N. J., to see Abby, Avouhl havt.' been not oidy
a deep grief to her. but a mattt-r tliat \\-ould haAe


tr(»iil)kMl our consciences, caused an irremediable regret,
and spoiled the trip.

Abby, with all my bi'otlieivs and sisters, has passed on
before nie to the better life. She " rests from her
labors and her works do follow her.*' In her earth-life
she placed the emphasis upon deeds of kindness, lives
of mutual helpfulness. Perhaps her view might be
expressed in the words of another :

" Charac'teT makes friendship l)rit,''htest,

After all.
Real worth makes dark hours liglitest,

After all.
Xot the creed our friend's believing,
Or the dognuis he's receiving,
But the noble life lie's living —
Help to human hearts he's giving —
Makes us in his strong love rest,
For the weary soul the best.

After all.

" Most divine are those who love us,

After all.
Like the angel ones above us,

After all.
Said the holy Galilean
When he kept the rite Judean :
' I no longer servants call you.
But my friends, what'er befall you,'
And his followers there found rest —
l\>r tlieir weary souls tlie best —

After all."

Abl)Y exalted friendship, and l)elieved it her high
privilege to make Iter friendsliij) a })ri/.e worth liaviug.
-Vs a result, her memorv will be cherished, aud every
word of her letters to hosts of correspoiulents pre-
served as priceless mementos, until a generation has
passed away.

Abl)v's own literary sense would hardly reckon tlie
foUowiug lines as worthy specimens of her poetry, but


they are of value as showing her warm, generous heart,
and her vivacity of s[)irit. The poem was a letter,
sent us in the earlv "oU"s, and would of course, if in-
tended for publication, have lieen written witli more
care :


"White-Washed Cottage, July 27.

Dear Boys, good morning ;

It has left ot¥ storming

And my heart is beating

To send you a greeting.

So list to the story,

Not of " Old iNIother Cory,"

But of Ludlow and wife.

Who are happy in life.

Yesterday came to hand.

From my brave brother band,

Some lines of good cheer,

To our hearts ever dear ;

How our hearts did bound

At the welcome old sound,

"They're coming again ! They're coming again ! "

Let hill and vale repeat the strain,

" AVe'll see them again ! we'll see them again ! "

How I love you all.

Short brothers and tall,

And my heart will rejoice

To again hear the voice

Of your wild notes ringing.

With your wild mountain singing.

Dear Jesse has gone, and he's happier far

In his home beyond the bright morning star ;

He longed for a world full of life, full of light ;

There he drinks of the sunshine — there's to him no more night.

He has with dear Bennij a love-song begun, —

We'll all sing the chorus, when our work here is done.

Mother says that fatlier is beck'ning us on,

And that soon her eliildren, ull, all will be gone ;


]5ut slie too will yi) with us, ami liini (nir Imml
Will Id - j(uiu'(l lu'ir to ]i:nt in the J li;i vi iily Land;
(»h, \Vf must not slnulilcr to think of old Death,
'J'liougli ho cuts away all with his kcnu, icy bix-ath.
He is but a nu'ssengxT, Goil has givou
To call Ins ]H)ov wanderers all home to Ih'aven.
Chir duty is jjlain — do gooil while wo can,
Help elevate all, child, wouuin and man.

Sing on, my dear brothers, sing songs that endure,
Songs of Freedom, of I'em/ieianre, the good and the;jure
So that God may say, " (hijilren. your work is well done,
Enter in, faithful servants, sit down on My Throne!"

I think while we can we should do a good turn,

So I ran out a minute to help Katy clnirn, —

Yuu see that my thougiits soon leave the sublime

And come dftwn to earth with poor, simple rhyme.

I believe our kitty is more blest with the mews (muse)

Than I am ; the thought almost gives me the blues.

But tliis morning I feel just foolish enough

To 1)otiieryou with my nonsensical stuff, —

I know A'ou boys won't care if I do,

But if you exj)ose me, woe, woe unto you.

And now I want you all to remember

To come on here by the first of September,

For the World's Temperance Meeting is then in the City,

And if you're not there, it will be a great pity.

Then come, stay with u.-<, and cut up your pranks.

Until the great party at tiie N. A. Phalanx.

I want you to come and see our old house,

And we'll tuck you away as snug as a mouse.

If the girls come too, we'll make beds on tiie floor.

Such sleeping as that you'x i' all bad before.

But where tiiere is hedit room, the lionst-rooin is plenty.

And I guess, on a pinch, we'd accomniodati' twenty.

Give regards to all the good friends you meet.

To See tlu'Ui oiu'o more wotdd be a great treat.

I am ha])py now wherever I be,

If 1 only ran feel the dear Lord loveth me.

iS'ow do what you think best for you to do,

And ill love \ cm, dear brothers, and bid vou adieu.



The following tribute to Abbj^'s singing, from Eliz-
iibetii Caily Sliinlon, deserves to be quoted. It was'
published at the time of her death :

"All through our fierce anti-slavery eonflict there were youthful
voices heard tiuit could still the wilde.-t storms. From the White
Mountain tojis of New Uanipshire came the son^s of freedom tliat
have echoed round the lilolje, makiiii;- the Hutchinson Family ami our
Quaker jioet immortal in verse and song. To many of Wluttier's
stirring sentiments these singers gave a new power and signiticance
that the reader never liad felt hefore. He was to them an inspiration,
making a rare coml)ination of harmonious influences, alike i)leasing to all
classes in all latitudes ; to the rough j)ioneer on the far-off prairies, as
well as to the nohility of the Old World in the palaces of kings, for

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