John Wallace Hutchinson.

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Grand Rapids, some forty or fifty miles of stage-riding
from Lansing, followed by a cai'ride. We had a concert
that night, or supposed we had, at J^ansing, ])ut when
we got thci'c found a lecture going on, and the man who
had hired us resting peacefully on tlie supposition that
we could stay over and give our concert on the follow-
ing evening. On the next dav we started on our lono-
jaunt, over the roughest corduroy I'oad I liave seen.
The driver of tlie stage hurried liis team, Init when we
had gone ten miles of our journey it became evident
that we were not going to reacli the train in time by
that mode of conveyance. So we went to a livery stable
and 1)argaincd with a man to drive us to the station. If
he cauglit it we promised to gi\c him eight dollars. If
he failed we agreed to give liim four dollars. Away
we went, over tliat horril)lc cordurov road. l)umping
against one anotlier, bounding from side to side, the
man driving regardless of our comfoit or possil)le dan-
ger, only intent on getting liis eiglit dollars. When we
were within three-(piarteis of a mile of our destination,
we heard the whistle of the train. It was too late. It
was moving out wlien we reached the station. Judson
jiunj)ed out of tlie carriage and shouted, luit it was
useless to attem^it to board it. We Avent no farther,


l»ut liiidiiiL;- it iinp()ssi])U' to give a concert in the })lace,
owing to tlie lateness of the honr, started (»n oni' re-

Some six years later. Dr. lUiss, who then kept a diy-
goods store in (irand Kapids, was rnniniaging abont
his premises, when he came across a big bundle of bills.
They were annonncenients of a concert by the Hutchin-
son Family, Avhich we had given him, but which lie had
not put out owing to our non-arrival. The thought
svtggested itself that here was an opportunity to have
some fun. He called in some lads and said: "Here,
boys, put these bills out.'' They did so, and at the
time stated in the bills a large audience gathered at the
hall and waited patiently for the Hutchinsons to appear.
Finally the indignation reached sitch a heiglit that a
meeting was organized, Dr. Bliss being chosen chairman,
and there were free expressions of opinion concerning
the shabby trick played by the innocent songsters, thou-
sands of miles away, blissfully unconscious of the fact
that their presence was so ardently desired. At ten
o'clock the disoftisted audience retired. The citizens do
not know to this day why the Hutchinsons did not

But this chapter, and this book, should close. Some
years since, a Bay State pa[)er said : '• The Hutchinson
Family, which has been giving concerts since the flood,
and about one hundred of whicli have died, is singing
away as though nothing had hap[)ene(l, up in New
Hampshire." As I thiidv of the few remnants of the
family left to sing, it seems doubtful if there will be a
need of such ill-natured comments longer. For myself,
it is a satisfaction to reflect that T have been spared so
long to sing. If I followed my inclination, I shotild l)e
to-day actively before the j)ublic, for 1 had far rather


die in the harness eairying on the work of reform hy niy
songs tlian meet what the future has in an}- otlier way.
I have only h)ve and good wishes for the great ])ul)Iic
wliich has so Ivindly given me its hearing and its sym-
pathy. I hive all mankind, and with it would be

"Ever liopcftil, never doubting, always workinsj for tlie right,
Loving, waiting, watcliing, longing for the milleiuiial day of light."



Oi- the singing of the family qnartct, Judsoii. John, Asa
and Abby, the Birmingham Journal said, early in 1H4G :

Concert of xni-: IIitchin-son Family. — TIio porfornianccs of tliis
" Nest of brothers, with a sister in it," have eome upon us with a novelty
pleasing from its freshness, and exhilarating^ hecause of its inherent
beauty. After the staccatos and runs of Italianized vocalisni, which are
all very well in tlieir way, it is pleasant to hear music divested of its
extraneous ornament and made subservient to the holy use of ju-omoting
good-will between man and man, and ch)thing the deep sympatiiy of
the poet in the appropriate and winning garb of simple and unadorned
harmony. How often have we longed for the quiet strain in which the
untaught minstrel sung the airs which needed no ornament — "The Braes
of Yarrow," " The Flowers of the Forest," and tlie kindred songs of Ire-
land! We never heard these tliemes atteiiiiited in the concert-room
without dreading the coming embellishment, which drowns all apprecia-
tion of the sentiment of the song or the music, in surprise of the artist's
mechanical skill. ( )n Wednesday, Thursday and again last night, the
real power of music was again displayed by this transatlantic fannly.
Listening to their simple, yet vigorous songs, is like reading a poem of
Herrick's and unconsciously following the eccentric measure with an air
of Sebastian Bach. ( )ur readers may be curious to know sometinng of
this talented family, so we shall gratify their feelings by a few intro-
ductory remarks. They are natives of New Hampshire State. I'ntil
they were prevailed upon to exchange their vocal notes for more
standard currency, they formed a very ha])i)y and very harmonious
family of fovu'tecn. The father is a farmer in the Old (Jranite State,
and he, as well as the mamma, wlio lias been tlie princii)al tutor of the
family, have fine voices, and tlie old lady continues to improve its
power by singing about three JKUirs every day. They were all accus-
tomed to sing as soon as their voices were (•a))al)le of modulation, and
the fame of tlieir abilities being spread, they were recommended to


" run ihrniiuli llie Statrs " on siKT>ihiti(Hi. ( (rjilicuscs in tlicir own vil-
liiiiL's, tlu'V luH'MinL' " urmt ,i;iins " wIktcvct tlioy wiMit ; ami if tliey
faiU'il lo iMsjiire inanimate ohji'cts witli a desire to heat time to tlieir
warblings, tlu-ir nalm-al ami >im]ile xmiis animateil in the minds of
their hearers feelinys that had >luml>ircd lielore. Lrke .((jualhan, how-
ever he may vapor, they had alwaysa lurking; kindness for their niotlier
country, and without much preparation tln-y found themselves in Liver-
pool one day lately, appearing in a eoneert there, and next morning
awoke, and behold, they were famous through the medium of the
tongues of every one who heard them and tlie opinicftis of the local
press. The enthusiasm we can now understand and share in the ad-

The i)ortion of the family wliose performances have attracteil so
inueh attintion consists of three hrotliers and a .^ister. Their appear-
ance and maimers, like their song.s, are characterized by great simplicitj'.
The brothers are dressed with exceeding plainness. In sitting down,
they cross their hands and form right angles with their arms ; and in
Yankee fashion, invariably rest their hands on their sides when they
stand. In singing, their countenances evince little feeling, but their
eyes often sparkle with unusual brightness, when the song is suggestive
of pleasure, or the high imaginings embodied in the chant of " Excel-
sior." The sister is j)assing fair, and modest and retiring, reminding us
of the Rose IJradwardine of vSir Walter Scott. She is dressed with great
neatness, and her unpretending simplicity wins the hearts of the audi-
ence before she sings. Her voice is a superb mezzo-so])rano, full and
clear in tone and faultless in execution. It requires no discrimination
to perceive that her singing is the inspiration of natural genius, un-
curbed and unchecked, save by her own gooil taste. Her singing of a
portion of Tennyson's celebrated poem, " The May Queen," is exijui-
sitely beautiful. Her intonation is ])erfeet and her expression so nnire
and artless as to gain at once the enthusiastic applause of the audience.
( )f the brothers, we should say that the tenor voice is the finest, rich and
sonorous in tone, powerful in volume and of great compass. It may,
])erhaps, be hazardous to compare it with those of the florid Italian
.school, but its (juality and power are not inferior to many of the finest
tenors, and resembles, to a great degree, the rich and powerful organ of
Signor Salvi. We have no English tenors to be compared with it. The
Ijaritone is a voice distinguished by great breadth and fulness of tone.
In concerted ])ieces, such as tiie " Paiqier's Funeral." it rolls along like
the ground-swell of the sca before a storm. The voices are harmoni/ed
with the ])recision of a mechanical musical instrument, and blend, as it
wi're, into one I'icli melody.

The songs selected by them seem to be chosen rather for their moral
than for their poetic beauty. In pathos they exi'el, although the elder


of tlie band lias a fine perception of the humorous. Occasionally tlKn-
play a violin inii)rovenient; but this we consider to be no great iniin-ove-
ment to tlie voealisni. It would swell tiiis notice to an immoderate
length, if we were to attempt to analyze ail the pieces sun^. A liij>h
tone of moral SL^ntinient and a i)ure si)irit of philantiiropy breatlies
through tluni all.

If we might select from amongst the numerous songs they sung any
for special approval, they would be poor Hood's '-Bridge of Sighs," and
Professor Longfelh^w's soul-stirring poem, " Excelsior." In the former the
magnificent burst, " Lave in it, drink of it ! " was tlirilling. " Excelsior "
is a singular poem representing the asjjirations of genius ; the title, ■
signifying " still higher,'' has a singularly dreamy and imaginative
effect. The air, like almost all they sing, is merely a chant, which
would be monotonous but for the varied expression and exquisite har-
mony. " The Snow Storm," " Westward Ho ! " and " Get off the Track,"
are characteristic of the land of progress and were sung with dramatic
power. The attendance on each night, though not so great as might
have been expected, was most respectable, and the treat thus provided
for the public is highly creditable to the managers of the Polytechnic
Institute; we trust it has been productive of substantial benefit also.

The Londoti Mnrnhifj Clironide of February 11, 1846. con-
tained tills flattering review:

A second party of American vocalists made their first appearance in
London last night, at the Hanover Square rooms and was most cordially
received by a numerous audience. English artists have met with such
kindness and hospitality in their visits to the L'nited States, that it
would indeed be ungrateful if there were no reciprocity on our side; but
the talents of the Hutchinsons would secure them a welcome from ad-
mirers of every clime.

There are four singers — a young lady and her three brothers. Miss
Hutchinson is interesting in appearance, and lier modest and unaffected
deportment secured for her immediate sympathy. She reminded us in
many respects of our charming vocalist, Miss Poole. Her brothers
look like German students, with their flowing locks, turned-down collars
and loose, black silk handkerchiefs round the neck. In the vocalization
of this quartet, the attributes of the Teutonic minstrels seen at the
great tables d'hote in Germany, will be recognized — the lady without an
instrument, the men having two violins and a violoncello, and the full
and rich harmonies bi'ar out the resemblance. But the Hutchinsons
have distinctive qualities that give them the claim for tlie merit of
originality — they sing from nature's im]iulses and jirodiice an rnsemhle
of r.'markable charm. What cari- thev for the mustv laws of strict

314 Ari'KNDlX.

liarniony ? Tlicy (U>]ii>e all coiivciitioiialitic'S. Tlic-ir hearts are in
tlioir song, anil like " niiisR' on tin- waters" are their sweet voiees. The
lady fair sonieliiui'S siiiLis a tilth hehnv the key — anon slie will aseend
to the first jiart — now the voices blend in unison, and tlien form a
stri'ain of liarnionic conihination enchanting to the car ami orthodox for
the legitimates. The music of nature, is after all, the great secret; its
elements are the chirpings of the feathered choristers and in things in-
animate as well as animate, and why should not the children of the
Old Granite State — for the llutchinsons are from New Hampshire,
which has given rise to the sobriquet — liave music in their souls?
We tind music in the roar of the waves — in the hum of the multitude
^\ve have heard music hut recently from rocks; but here iwv breath-
ing beings, setting at naught all scii'iitific restrictions, and yet fixing
the attention and exciting the imagination to an extraordinary degree.
Kight welcome is the Ilutcliinson Family.

The quartet ])arty o])iMied with the harmonized melody, "The Cot
where We were Born," every word of which was distinctly heard — a
rare merit, and the singers received a rapturous encore, and then gave a
species of catch called " Good Morning," the speaking inflections of the
voice being ludicrously intermingled with the singing portion. A pretty
cantata, called "The J\Iay Queen," jioetry by Alfred Tennyson and
music by Demjister, was deliciously warbled in sweet contralto tones by
^liss Hutchinson. < >n the demand for the repetition she substituted a
comic i)iece, warning the ladies of the danger of "Little Men," so
quaintly given as to elicit unbounded merriment. The "Lament of the
Ii'isli Emigrant " by the high ti-nor did not create so great a sensation ;
the melody, by the way, was essentially Scotch. It was admirably ac-
C()mi)anied. The " Excelsior" quartet was a mystical exhibition, in
which a curious effect was manifested by a distant voice on the moun-
tain. Poor Hood's "Bridge of Sighs" was also rendered with almost
ajipalling reality. Imleed, the exju-ession of the gifted family is beyond
all i)raise; its intensity is perfectly overwhelming. The American
minstrels have opened a novel source of gratification to all lovers of
sweet sounds.

TiiK '-Home Bkaxch " ix 184G.

Ill the foi-cgoiiio; narrative reference is made to the fact tliat
W'liile the i'aniily (juartet wa.s iu Enghuul, Zepliaiiiah, Joshua,
(alel) and Rlioda organized another, wliicli travelled over the
routes their brothers and sister had been iu the habit of going
ill pi(\i<)us years. They met with good success, for the
I'easou that thi'\- vuiees mucli like the others, and their


symi>;itliic's ami inctlioils were tlic same. The following' notice
of tlieiu ai>peai'e(l in tlic Xnr Vorh Trlhiine, in April of that
year :

SiN-(; Six(;, April 11, \^M\.

Hox. JoHX EnjroNDs, Chairman of the Executive Coininittee of tlie
New York Prison Association.

'S\\ 1)k\i: Sii;: — W'v liad tlic " Imnic branch" of tlie Iliitcliinsnn
Faiiuly with us yrstrrilay. 'V\\vy liail lu-cii invited to sin.ii in tlie ])ri-
sons.ancl came iqi <in Suturday tor tliat iHir])osC'. Were you ac(iuaintc(l
with them I shiiulil not liave t(j tell you tiiat tlie simplicity and genuine-
ness of their characters add as much to the effect of the music as char-
acti'rs less beautiful deri\-e from it. Such is the fact, aiul nowhere, as
you are well aware, \v()uld the jieculiar force of this lie more keenly felt
than among our tmfortunate jiriMinei-s.

They took jjart in tiic Sabbath ser\ ice of both prisons. In the chai)el
of tlie male ju-ison, after a brief jirayi'r, they sang the beauiiful sek'c-
tion entitled " His love can ne'er be toid," and it would have delighted
you to see how the sentinu'Ut lit up the heai'ts of that large congrega-
tion. This was foUoweil l>y the amiouncenient id' three deaths that had
recently occurred in the jui-on. < >ni' of the<e, as you already know ,
was a suicide. The victim wa< a young I-arL;li>hman, about t\vent\-t\\ o.
who had been laboriiiL;- mnUu- depres>i(Ui of mind, lie ]ierj)etrated the
deed by hanging himself with his lowid made fa>t to the hook by which
his bed was susjieinU'd din-ing the ih\y.

The statement of these melaiu'holy occurrences by the chajilain was
followeil by the very beautiful and apju-oiii-iate jiiece "\ ISrother is
Deail,"' sung by Mr. Jo>hua llutchiir^on. The most i)erfeet silence per-
vaded the audience, and as the tender, low-bi\'atlied strains were uttered,
every syllalile, though whispered in the softest tone, was audilile, and
glistening eyes and flushed brows in many jiinMs fif the house testified
that neither crime nor its eonseiiuences had uttirly extinguished sym-
l>athy or sensibilitv.

An eloipu'iit and a]))n-opriate sen i by ;\Ir. TJedfield of Brooklyn,

was followed liy till' singing of tlie follow iiig liynm, written for the oc-
casion by our e.xcellent friend, < )liver Johnson :

Lay of tue Piiisonku.

Tlie sigh of the i>iisoner is lieanl by tlie Lord,

Though man in his piiile tuiiis coldly away;

The Saviour of man with (Compassion is stirred,

AVheii siiuiers in blindness his call disobey.

Pity kind gentlemen, friends of humanity,

Cold is the world to the cries of God's poor.

31(3 Al'l'F.NDlX.

The tear of the prisoner is noted on high,

And (lod, in his mercy, deals kindly with all ;
Then why sho\ild i>roud man leave his brethren to die,

Beneath the dark shade of the prison's cold wall?

The prayer of the prisoner is answered above,

AVhen humbly he pleads for forgiveness and grace ;

The greatest transgressor — oh, wonderful love ! —
Kepentent, may find e'en in Heaven his place.

Yoli can bcttiT conceive tluin I describe the effect of these appropri-
ate lines, sung as tliiy were witli a genuineness of feeling that rendered
it difficult for the singers to suppress their emotions sufficiently to carry
the performance through. "We no longer looked upon glistening eyes
and fluslied faces, but the silent tears coursed down many a rugged and
.sin-stricken clieek, and tlie swelled veins of many a brow told of the
deep and long-slumbering chord which tliese sounds had reawakened in
their bosoms. I wish that those who regard their fallen brethren as
brute animals, worthy only of such treatment as would be offensive to
their Maker when u])lifted even upon them, could have witnessed that
scene and felt its sacred influences. If depraved and hardened crimi-
nals were not i)r(jof against them, surely such persons could not lie.

After tliis the service closed in tlie male prison by singing "The
Millenium " and the " Farewell."

In our prison the piece first mentioned was smig. Then followed the
" Lay of the Prisoner " with an elYect as touching as had been witnc'ssed
in the lower chapel.

Perhaps, after all, the most affecting scene occurred in the hospital
of the male prison, when the unfortunate imnates of that place of sick-
ness and death — some of them in a state of gloom bordering on despair,
and others drawing near the grave — were permitted to listen to the
heavenly strains of the charming minstrels. It was almost enough to
"create a soul under the ribs of Deatli." The eye of tlie stricken inva-
lid, moistened with tears, sparkled with unwonted brightness, and the
pallid face seemed animated by a new hope. Such a scene, to have its
full effect, must be witnessed; it cannot be described. The influence
of this event upon the discipline of the prison can hardly be overesti-
mated. I am confident it will be visible for months to come in the
more cliet rful obedience of the prisoners to the rules of the institution ;
in the (liiiiinution of that dulness and listlessness so observant in all
I)risoners, and a more serious attention to religious instruction.

Not one of our prisoners who was present at the visit of the other
braiu'h of tliis gentle and musical family had fm-gotten any of tlie
jileasant incidents of that occasion, and I can scarcely tell you how
grateful they are for this second blessing — for a blessing, indeed, it is
to tliem. A'ery truly yours, E. W. Faux ham.



T\ ^rarcli. 1S4.'^, tlif Iliitcliinsoiis sang to Henry Clay in
New York City. Tliis, as well as tlic ailulatiou of the piililic
generally, ar(iu><(l the ire of Mr. (Jarrison, ami (Hi ^Marcli 17th
he pul)lishetl iu the Libcratur an article hrailcil '• Sci-vilc
Homage of Ilcury Clay." He tirst spoke of Clay as •• the
slaveliolder and defender of .slavery — the advoi'ate of the
3Iissouri Compromise — the enemy of free speech and fr<'e
discussion— the man covered with pollution and blood." '• If
he had been the deliverer of his country from the most galling
servitude," remarks ]Mr. Garrison, "and the champion of uni-
versal humanity, liis rei-eption could not have l)een more tri-
umphant." He then went on to copy an account of the ban-
quet from a "S^^i^j York paper, which stated that during the
dinner the Ilutchinsons w< re invited ami sang their songs to
his intense delight, as w<'ll as every other listener. Among
these songs was a new one, composed by the ever fruitful
Jesse, which greatly affected IMr. Clay. "The following,"
says Mr. Garrison, " is the fulsome song allude(l to, composed
by Jesse Hutchinson, Jr." " Ih'ave Harry of the West" is
then quoted entire, and Mr. Garrison goes on to say:

"No wonder Mr. Clay was gratifieil at tlie offering of incense of tliis
kind from a reputedly anti-slavery quarter. The 'Lravery ' of ' Harry
of tlie West' is to fight duels, scourge men, pollute women and sell
children, and this the Ilutchinsons well know. They have degraded
themselves in the ^ja?, of all who ])rize moral cnnsistency and real u])-
rightiiess. Great will be the astonisliincnt of tlie friends of tlie slave
across the Atlantic in receiving the intelligence. We are not suri)riscd
that Jesse should have writtt'U such a song — for there is no eiul to his
inconsistencies and follies. His well-known ' Emancipation song ' runs

thus :

" ' Raih-oads to emancipation

Ciinnut rest (jn ("/(/// foundation' :

liut now the strain is 'Brave Ilarrv of the Wot' — and 'garlands,'
'lauri'ls' and 'honors' are recogni/cd as justly sh(,wered ujjon this

31 <S Ari'KNDIX.

' (listiimuislu'il ' pill;ir of tlie slave systcoii. What inakt'S all this still
iiiDif (lisirustiiig is that politically -Icssc is a rabid Loco-Foco, and was
chiisiii at a Loco-FoL'o gathoring in J>yini, at the last State election, as
a vote distributor at tlie jiolls (in which cajjacity we are credibly in-
formed he acted) to secure tlie election of Caleb Cashing, the lick-
spittle of the slave power, and the ambitious adventurer of the Avar
with Mexico, for governor of Massachusetts ! We dee])ly regret that
tln' bi-othcrs and sisters should have been led into such a scrape by
him. "

This attack (iccasioncd a gocxl deal of surprise, and some
])a|)crs took tip tlie cudi^cls in defence of the Ilutcliiiisoiis.
^Ir. (lani.^oii therefore felt constrained to hhize away again.
On Mareli olst, lie said:

The IIuTcniNsoxs. — In the statements of the iN'ew York Eagle re-
spi'Ctiug the laudatory interview of tiie Ilutcliinsons with Henry Clay
we do not find anything to modify tlie view tliat we took of their con-
duct ; but We find a di.-position to trifle with iirincijile in the declaration
"It was an honor (!) to which few humans would have been in-
sensible," etc., and in the ai)ologetic remark " consistency is a rare jewel."
Instead of regariliiig it as an honor to be invited to visit Mr. Clay, the
Ilutcliinsons should have looked upon it in a very dift'erent light. They
knew his character — that he was the inqilacable opjjonent of the anti-
slavery cause — that he was at the head of the American colonization
conspiracy — that hi' was a slaveholder and a slave-breeder — that he
was the chamiiion of the Missouri Compromise, by which every barrier
to the unlimiti'd e.xtension of slavery was overtlu'own, and tliiis liad
done more than any other man to exti'iid sla\ery on this continent.
They kiU'W, moreover, that the jxipular demonstrations in his fa\i)r in
New York and I'lsewliere were made with a view to his election as the
next TresidiMit of tlie I'luti'd States. "What inducement, then, could
tliey have had to siek his presence and sing a fulsome song about
"Brave Harry of the West 1" Were they not axowed ^Vbolitionists and
was it not this belief that secured them so much symjiathy and i)atron-
age on the other side of the Atlantic > IJiit tlie Eagle says that, in ad-
dition to the Clay song they also sang, " Theri''s a Good Time Coming,"

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