John Wallace Hutchinson.

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It is a little siiiLiular that jiapers like the Pioneer and C/ironot//pe
shduld lie so anxious to make out a case of non-n'peutaiiee for the
Iliitehnisdii I-\i;uily. Their sinuiiiLC in hnnur of Henry ('lay, if (uie
may criMlit their funiier ]iro1es>iiiiis. is as much at variance with tin ir
idea of anti-sla\ t ly duty and testimony as Mith that of 'William
Lloyd Garrison, A\'endell I'liillips, oiirself, or any other friend of the
anti-slavery cause. It seems to us that the course of these jiajiers is to
be understood in the light of their stroiiLj dislike of the ^\mericau
Anti-Slavery Society i-ather than in their i-euard for the honor, intet;rity
and fidelity of the lliileliinsdiis.

The only point of diflei-enee hetweeii oufself and ^^'e^dell I'liillips
relates to the manner of receiving the llutchinsdus in our nu'etings.
lie thought it necessary to jiresi'rihe special terms, on wlii(di the
l)resence and songs of the llutehinscin Family were welcomed at our
meetings, whereas we think the constitution of the society si'ttles that
question, and leaves it without the power of any niemhcr of our so-
ciety to say who are welcome and who are not welcome on its ]datforiii,
either to sing, jireach or pray. It leavi>s each iiieiiilier to d(_'cide for him-
self or herself his or her fitness to sing or sjieak in the meetings. A\'e
therefore thought and said at tlu' time to >ome one near us, that «e
regretted the course pursued hy our frieml I'liillips, and thought it
would have been far better to have left each member of the meeting to
ilraw what inference he pleased from the presence and songs of the
Ilutchinsons. ^A'e are free to say, however, that our inference was sub-
stantially the same as Mr. Philliiis". We took the songs as an evidence
of tlu'ir having ceased to do ju-o-shncry e\il, an<l a resolve to devote
their jiowei-s t(j the cause of the slave. Wr may also add, that we
think so still; we i-aimot but belie\(.' it, when two of their number
within the last ten days assured us jiersonally siudi was the case.
How could it be otherwise? The alteiiipt of the f'ionerr and Clirnnotijjip,
to make the reverse appear, cannot but do that family great injury,
and stamp them as ])opularity-seeking knaves, ratiier than high-
minded, honest, and devoted frieiuls of the slavi'. If the view we now
take of the matter be not in accordance with the views of the Hutchin-
son Family, we liojie they w ill do tlieniseh'es and the jiublic the justice
of defining their position, and not lea\e it to Mr. Chqqi or any one else
to do it for them.


This ciidnl tlif mailer. ,V few days later tlie Xatiuiial
AVliii^ Convention, instead of takinu" Clay, iioniinatfd General
Taylor, also a slaveholder and the end)0(linient of the Mexican
war, for President. Mr. Garrison had enough to do to deliver
his anathemas against Taylor and eulogize AVilsou, Adams.
Snmner and other Conseieiice Whigs for their protest, and
soon forgot Clay and the Ilntehinsons. The Frei'-Soil party
soon came into being, and this placed an added responsibility
upon Garrison and Philli|)S to preserve a neutral attitude
while not discouraging a movement so clearly in the direction
of freedom. At this distance the affair may k)ok like a tem-
pest in a teapot ; it was a serious thing for the Ilntehinsons
and their critics. The author of this volume may be credited
with some knowledge of the view of it taken by the mem-
bers of the <piartet, and places his story, as told in the main
jiortion of the book, beside these here quoteil, as the ex])lana-
tion. lie may a<ld, that the Ilntehinsons had no thought of
risking their abolition reputation in singing to Ilenry Clay.
He was the choice of Horace Greeley and other friends of
freedom for the presidency. AVe did not forget that he was a
slaveholder, and much as we admired his ability, di<l not fail
to sing our anti-slavery sentiments to him as we would have to
a hissing mob in Ixiltimore or New York. We also l)ore our
testimony to tem[)er:ince. When we found the light in which
tlie matter was regarded by ^Nlr. Garrison and his friends, we
felt it was far better to meet it by a contiimation of our j)rac-
tici' of attending and singing for anti-slavery gatherings, tlian
by appearing in print. When AVi-ndell Phillips uttered his
remarkable words, we paused, not from hesitancy as to duty,
but from surprise. We sang " Liberate the Ijondman '" as we
would have sung it to Isaiah Rynders and his mob. because we
had learned tliat music would melt where argument would only
harden human hearts. By our song we meant " We are the
friends of the slave, as we always have been." We btdieved
Phillips heard and was convinced, and so called for tlu^ idieers,
which made us ha])pv. Douglass was right ; we were sorry
for the Clav incident, because it made old friends doubt us, and


we hastened to set ourselves right in what wouhl be tlie most
appropriate fashion. It slioiil«l be added that Brotlier Jesse
was, as Garrison sai(h a lifc-loini" Democrat, Init l)rol<t_' from the
Loco-Focos simply for tlie reason that he could not conscien-
tiouslv support slavery. Ciarrison's friendly and glowing
tributes to the famih in later years show that time convinced
liim that they were li'enuiue in their advocacy of abolition.



INIaiiv vcai's ai:o tlic autlidr tirst iiuulc known to frien<ls liis
intention to write a liistory of the llutcliiusuu Family. From
that time on lie was fre{|iieiitly in receii)t of letters of an eii-
conraiiiiig eliaracter. ]\Iany of the writers will never see the
book of which they wrote and for which they waited, but their
letters are none the less interestinii'. It will not be possible to
copv all in full, but copious extracts will l)e made:

,T(»iix (;. wiirrriEK.

Jonx W. IIuTCHixsox; A:MESBrRV, 12 ^lontli, 2, 1874.

j\Iv i>i;.vR Fkiexd: — T liave reail witli pleasure and deep interest tin-
brother Joshua's brief narrative of the Hutehinsou family; and am
glad to learn by a notice at its close tliat thee is to soon publish a ful-
ler and more detailed aeeount of your wonderful family. It will in-
clude, of course, the scenes and adventures of your remarkaljle career,
especially as connected with the great Iieform movements of the age,
Freedom, Temperanoe, Peace, etc. A full history of your service of
love in the anti-slavery cause alone would make a volume in itself of
the deepest interest. You have run the gauntlet of mobs from IMaine
to Missouri. You haA'C cheered the homesick soldiers of the I'nion, and
made glad the heart of the slave. In overcoming evil with u )od and dis-
cord by harmony, you have realized the old fable of Orpheus, who
soothed the mad heart of hell by his melodies. As oiu- of the old i)io-
neers of tlie cause, I am glad to acknowledge your service of song, and
to wish you all tlie happiness wliicli conies of duty <lone in your day and
gi'iU'ration. I am \-ery truly thy frit^nd,

John (i. WiinriKU.


IIeai>qiai!Ii;i;s ^Viniv oi- tmk I'nitkd States,
Wa.miin<;t()N, ]). ('.. July 1. 1S74.
.Ions W. IliK niNsoN, Esq., High Rock, Lynn.

^Iv DEAR Sir : — I have reciivid your note of .Tune 27, ami have
read as much of the ])rinted card as is given in plain English, but the
mii>ical ]iart is beyoml my comiirilieiision.


Rofalling', liowt'ver, tlie pleasant oveiiiny you passed at our house
last spring-, I doubt not the music is in ))ertect liarniony witli the uener-
ous sentiment wiiieh tt'Mclies ]ieaee on earth and yood will to all men.

I was otluTwi>t' cnnan^d ilurim;- the loni;' days and years when war's
dread ha\ ne halheil our land in Mood :iud tears, and eouhl not pause
to liear the mu>ie or words that you uttereil to eheer the atHiete(l, or to
encourage the active; hut I douht not many a noble act n'i daring and
of cliarlty was ins]ured by your teaching.

That you sliould now aim to collect a history of the obser\ ati<ius and
experiences of yonv wondi^rful family during tliat period, ;\s well as
the equally interesting times whi(di preceded and followed the Civil
^Var, is ])ro])er and right.

I am glad yoii enjoyed the single evening with us. I know we did,
and my family, one and all, join in the standing invitation to vi>it us
wherever we may be, on any and all oeea>ions when it may siut your
pleasure. With great respect, vtv.,

W. T. SuEK.MAX, General.


New Youk, January 2:3, 1881.
My DEAR Sn;: — Your most welcome letter was read to me yester-
day. It recalls old and pleasant memcuies. My first acquaintance
with the '■ Hutchinson Family " made a deep and lasting inij)ression,
and all that I saw, heard, or read of them during an ordinary lifetime,
has increased my regard for their personal character and their patri-
otic services, and my admiration of their eminent vocal merits. I was
reminded, half an hour since at (duirch, of your sister, while listening
to Mrs. Wilson, whose voice was touchingly melodious. I have re-
gretted every Sabbath for three or four years that the " Hutchinsons "
were not here to sing the " Mi^ody and .Sankey " hymns.

Trulv vours, Thlrlow W^eed.


Umtei) States Mii.itauy Academv,

West Point, X. Y., January 2.j, 1881.
John W. Hi'T( hinson, Es(,«.

'SVy dear Friend: — Your warm acknowledgments of kindness at
my hands are note(l. Certainly }()U and those with you have more
than paid your way. The very thought of you is the embodiment of
sentiment in song. Loyalty to man, loyalty to country, loyalty to fi(jd.
These were the breathings — the still small voice, or the more enthusi-


astic oiitbur-st \vlii<h your j>r()Ui)iiigs, hotli small and iinat, for these
many years lun c perennially issueil. MfUior\- takes nn' to tiie eoneert-
rooiii, to the home circle, and to your dear eompany on a j)assing
steamer or in a (le])artinji- carriage — in each ])laee the apjjropriate sen-
tiiiuMit was ever rendered impressivt-ly in song. God hless you, ycnu"
brotherliood and sisterliocjd, for tlie uplifting elYeet of your hearty
work. The jDoor and the rieJi, in fact, all ])eople who dwell between,
have been comforted in the hearing and in the rt'nienibrance.

Sincerely yours,
( >. < >. Hi>\\- Alii), Brigadier- General, U. S. Armi/.

Jonx W. HrTCHiNsoN. June :10, 1874.

]\Iv DEAR Fkiexd: — Your letter finds me an old man (77) and in
broken health.

Your forthcoming history of the Hutchinson Family 1 shall read
with great pleasure — for I love all the members of that remarkable
family. I doubt whether any other family in the land has done so
much to kindle brotherly love — and, may 1 add, tlie love of God also.

You have all sung sweetly on the earth. You will all sing sweetly
and forever in Heaven. Cordially 3'ours,

Gerhit Smith.


[This letter should, iierhaps. l)ear with it an explanation.
Mr. Pillslmrv refers to aiK)ther letter written for the book.
Into this letter he copied N. P. Rogers's graphic description of
the singing of the brothers in tlieir apjiearance in Faneuil
Hall in 1)S44 and several otlier notices written by INIr. Rogers.
These had ah'eady found tlieir appropriate places in tlie vol-
ume bct'oi-e the letter of Mr. PillsliiU'v caiuf into the hands of

the compiler.]

CoNcoRi), N. II., .laiiuary 17, 1885.

Mv DEAR OLD FuiEXD : — A newspai)er came to me a day or two
since from Elmwood, 111., with a quite tragic letter from you, giving ac-
count of the bereavements in yoiu' family circle during the past^'ear.

Of the 3-oung woman [Abby Hutchinson AniU'rson] di'i>arted, I had
not before heard. ( 'f the ileath of your nol)le son ami supt'r-excelh'nt


brotlier Asa I was awarf ; Imt to mt tlu'ir names yrouiieil with a iMnl,
ami all in so few months, ajUJcari'il a tram'ily mdeed !

But, ]iai)iii]y, for you ami for those who knew them, we do n(jt mourn
them as u'one far away.

" ThtM-e is no death ; the stars go down
To rise upon some fairer shore ;
And briglit in Heaven's jewelled crown
Tliey sliine foreverniore."

<»r, as Bernard Barton, tlie EiiuHsli (^)uaker poet of a hundred years
ago, puts forth the same tliought :

" The dead are hke the stars ; liy day
Withdrawn from mortal eyes —
But though unseen, they liohl their way
In glory through the skies."

Even good old .lolin Milton, in his " I'aradise Lost," dared deelare :

'• Millions ( f spiritual beings walk the earth,
I loth when we wake and when we sleep."

And, niy dear JoJni, we know who some of these " sj)iritual lieings "
are, and while we know, and know so well, let us ever try to nuike
them more liappy tliau they ari', hy being always glad and joyous in
their continual i>resenre ; mindful continually, that we shall ere long
rejoin them.

I liope you saw the (Henrue Rerjlster of the IStli of I)eeend)iT. In it
I said a few things on the beloveil l)rother .\sa, to whieh the I'ditor,
Mr. Hall, was pleased to adil some words of kindness towards me and
my book, the " Acts of tlie Anti-Slavery Apostles." I have some pleas-
ant correspondence witli another of Asa's western friends. You on(;e
asked ni6 to write a little contri1)ution to a Hutchinson Memorial.
Subsequently 3lrs. I'atton renewed the reasonable re(iuest. At my
first opportunity, I cheerfully resi^onded, and the article is now in her
liands. I read it over to a considerable number of her and your
friends and all appeared highly to ajjprove, and I do devoutly liope that
the two hemispheres will at no distant day be made glad by a " Hutcli-
inson Family ^Memorial " worthy in some degree of that remarkable
eminence which they achieved.

Wondrous, is it not? that oidy two of you remain even now, to
superintend so desirable and so truly important a work ! How little
you dreamed when you first visited Concord what was to come of it !

But I siiall weary you all out w ith my many words. I hope you
entered on the New Year with some gooil hopes and ])leasant anticipa-
tions. Tlie past has been dark and drear to you, I know. But < ), to
how manv, manv more it was darker and more drear\- still ! And vet, all


will oiii' ihiy SCO that licliind ivcrv cldud was the loving liaiul and all-
si-t'in^- i-vt" lit' that (ind \vli(i>c wvy name and natnre is I.ovc.

A i;liiri<ins rcnninn sdcm will \>v (inrs with all imr darlinji' ones, at
li'ast so fViT fonlidantly hclii-\i.'s yonr own and .Mi's. Hutchinson's alti'C-
tionatc elder hroilu r. l'\i;ivi;i: l'ii.i.-nri;v.

C'()N(.>i;i., N. II., .January 21, 1S9.J.

My A'Ein i>i;ai; Fi:ii;m>: — Since paralysis laid its dread hand upon
me last sunnner, writinu. exccjit to limited extent, has been forbidden.

.\nd my own scn-atious and feelings admonish nu' to liecd all sneh
counsels, especially seconded as they are, by more than eighty-five
years of age.

The i)liotograph is cheerfully sent you, since you so kindly j)ropose
t(j honor me with its insiTtion in your forthcoming bo(jk, which Avill
certainly be inqiatiently waitc'd for by tlie admirers of tlie " Hutchin-
son Family " in both the hemisjiheres.

I think the age is glad that you still live to so well represent tliat
wondrous household! It seems to me that all the sterling virtues of the
times, es]ieeially Anti-Slavery, "remjierance, Peace and Woman Suf-
fragt' and Ecpiality, found advocates and champions in you all. 15ut I
can write no more now, only that 1 am, my dear frii'nd.

Faithfully and fondly your own, heri', hereaftir ami forever,


REV. r.iinoKK iii:i;f()i;i).

C'iirn( 11 <>i- Tin; ^Ikssiaii, ('iii(A(;<), April '^j 1876.

]\Iv DicAK Ml!. Ill TciiiNsoN : — E.vcr siiicc the meeting at the "Ref-
uge" the other day, I have been thinking 1 would write to you and
tell you what a great jileasure it was to hear one whose voice had de-
lighted and touched me, many years ago. It must be thirty years
since, that 1 remeniTxT the Hutchinson l'"amily c(uniiig to ManchestiT,
where 1 was then living, and 1 can ne\ er forget the charm of tlu'ir
simi)le music, so beautifully given, and wiih such rare teudenuss of
feeling. The "May Queen," " Excelsior." and — 1 think — that very
sonu, " Ihe iJridge of Sighs," which you gave the otliir e\ening, are
still among the clu'rished memories of many in England, and it was
very delightful to me to hear once more of the ■•Hutchinson Family"
as here in Chicago.

I am suri'you will excuse my trespassing uiion you with this little ex-
])rcssioii of ri'siiect from one who, though not gilUil with any special
musical ])owt'r, feels diejily tlie beauty and wortli of music as one of
till' higluT influences of lifi'. Believe nu', dear sir,

Faithfullv vours, ISkouki; Iliiiti-oKi).


[Of c•ou^^^■. Mv. Ilt'i-ford was correct in tliiiiking he had
heaid us f,'ui<j: tlic '• Bridye of Siyhs " at 3Iaiich(-ster. Ilis
words are a reminder of the letter of Dickens in liis pidili>hrd
corruspoudence with the Countess of Blessiugton : •• I nniNt
have some talk with you about those Anieriraii iS'ii;/''rs, the
Hutchinson Family. They must now go back to their own
country without your having heard them sing Hood's
' Bridge of Sighs.' My God, how sorrowful and pitiful it
was ! "]


Reuford Park, Loxdox, March -3, 1891.

My DEAR .Toiix : — You ask me for some recollections of your visit
to England, with Abby and j-our brothers, in 184(5. I ri'call vividly
your first appearance in ^Manchester, at the ^^theneuin. America and
anti-slavery were for me words to conjure witli, from tlie time tliat
Harriet Martineau had jiroclaimed the abolitionists the martyrs of our
age, and I was still more interested in ttie cause wlieii I became ac-
quainted with Mr. Garrison and other anti-slaverj" leaders.

Naturally, a Herald of Freedom introduction attracted me to your
concert, and soon afterwards I made your personal accjuaintance. On
the Atheneuni platform I first saw the tall, nervous, higldy strung
Judson, who sang with marvellous skill, " Excelsior," in a voice that
seemed to sound from a liiglier si)liere ; John, the dramatic personifica-
tion of the "Maniac " ; Asa and Al)by, sweet-toned twin singers ; and
Jesse, the stalwart nuui of business, who engineered the path to popu-
larity and fame and to ])rogress, if not to immediate fortune.

The simplicity and genuine wortli and truth of cliaracter of these
pioneers of temperance and anti-slavery, — " tlie nest of 1)rotliers with
a sister in it," — was as remarkable and as fascinating as the ])rogranuni'
and tiie performance to tlie more sophisticated English iiul)lic. The
choice of songs was wholly new to the concert-going world. Instead of
the usual romantic and sentimental songs, Italian and Englisli, varied
with glorifications of battle and slaughter, we had poems by Tennyson
and Longfellow and Hood at tlieir best, and, in tlie minor keys, Charles
Mackay, Eliza Cook and Lady Dufferin in words touching and true, all
these set to old and new melodies exquisitely adapted, as tlu' Laureate
himself says, ''Like perfect music unto noble word-." when he de-
scribes the harmony to be produced by the equal imion of tiie sexts — a
part of the " music of tlie future " of wliicli we have not yet heard much.

342 APl'KXDTX.

Other jiicc'cs tliat yn\i ,aa\H', hoiiulv ami siiii])lc in ooiistruftion, witli
apiiropriatc music \\rrc i-i'lislieil inv tlicir aut()l)i()gTa])liical ami liiunaiu-
intiTi'st, wliicii carrii'd tlii' audiciicc alouir witli you. 1 ri'lir to sufli
pieces as "'I'lu' (Ot wlure I was lioni,'" " Werewitli you oiiee again,"
"The Old (iranilf State," ami still luori' eiui)liatieally. Hood's " Son-;
of the Siiirt," and " 'I'lie Hridge of Sighs," the truth and jjathos of
wliicli arc not yil things of tiie past, like tiie "Slave's Ajipeal " and the
spirited ■■(let off tile Track!"

If you wi're to ask nie wliicli were tlie favorites with tlu- puhlic, I
think I sJiould say Abhy's "May Queen," which enclnmted evi'i-y one;
"Excelsior ' and the "Maniac," whicli were always apjilaudtMl : ami
Lady Dnfferin's "Irish Emigrant'' so heautifully given hy .hidson,
touched the audience to the quick.

I tliink you stayed si.\ or eight weeks in Manchester. I had fre-
quently tlie pleasure of social intercourse with you at my own house,
and at your temjierance hotel, as well as at the houses of friends, for
many of your admirers became personal friends. The concert-room of
the Atheneum had soon to be abandoned for the more spacious Free
Trade Hall, where Abby in her pretty white dress and neatly braided
hair, was a universal favorite. Your visits extended to Liverpool,
Rochdale, Bury and other Lancashire towns, before you went to Bir-
mingham. Meanwhile, the local press echoed and re-echoed your
praises. I can only allude to some of their verdicts.

The Lirerpool Mercuri/ spoke of the " never-tiring sweetness " of all
that ,\()u sang, and declared that " the audience retired, unsated, ever
more and more delighted with the repertory of the ])erformance.'' Bir-
mingham rejoiced in " the novelty, the frt'slmess and the inherent
beauty " of the concerts and awarded to the •'young Americans the
highest meed of praise."

But the most important opinions came from the Lomlon press : the
T/mes reported, "The Hanover Square rooms were C()mj)letely tili(.Ml and
every piece was followed by an encore. The performance was a i)erfect
success, and when the quartet expressed the hope that there might be
no war between their country and the old Fatherland there was a
hearty burst of enthusiasm from the audit nee." The Dail// Neivs spoke
of your music as " an adjtmct and inter])reter of poetry, eniiancing its
beauty and dee])ening its e.\]>ression, and giving it the nameless charm
which tlie sweett'st tones and the ])tn-est Jiai-nMiiiy iuijiart," and again.
'■ The effect of the voices, in coii junction, wliieh was m) very beautiful
and hainionious. was a distinct fea turi\ anil with the novelty and oc-
casional oddity of tile jiieces ensured tlu' popularity of tlii' entertain-

^Vbby's "tine contralto with the tt'uor anil the two bass voices made
the intonation perfect, " said the Spectator. The criticism of the


A'liPtfHm was ratliiT picUiresque. It ran tluis : " Tlu' Ilutcliiiisons'
song>i art' airs, or scraps of airs, truiii uvcry country — Old World uud
New World — so put together, however, and harnionized as to iiavc an
individual character. Nor do their serious part-songs fall less pleas-
antly on their ears, for the toucli <d' psalniery, distinguishable in most
of them, which cari'ii's the fancy far away to the riule meeting-house
on tile edgi' of sonu' clearing or the camp-meeting in the open air.
There is, in sliort, a color of nationality over the perfornnmce, wliieli is
gone through with a steady modesty, and withal conscious enjoyment,
that enhanced tlie hearer's pleasure." To this I may add the final dic-
tum of that sage journal, the Nonconformist : "Rarely have we seen
audiences so conii)letely fascinated hy the power of music — never
have we witnessed a more striking exhibition of its influence when
made the vehicle of impai'ting moral sentiment and poetic feeling."
This last i)oint, the moral and ])iiilanthrojiic tone and teaching of your
concerts, gave tlu-m a missionary character that i)laced them higher
than nu're entertainments to charm the ear ; and won for them sympa-
thetic ap])roval, that. I have no doubt, was your most heartfelt reward.
With kindest regards and remend)rances, yours,

R. Moore.


'1\)wnsi:n-i., Mass., May 10, 1888.
John W. Hutchinson, Es<,).

Dear Sin : — I feel i)rompted from a sense of the good you and
yours have done me in otJier days to indite a word of condolence to
you in vii-w of your late unspeakable loss. In the days of my youth I
heard you and your brothers sing several times in Hiirlington, \"t., and
the memory of those concerts, and I'specially id' your singing at that
time one Sabbath in the Methodist cluu-ch of tliat jilace, of "Tell me,
ye winged winds," etc., has l)ein an inspiration to nw ever since.

Some twenty-five years ago 1 lieard Asa, I think it was, and fannly
sing in Johnson, Tt. .Some ten years ago I heard 3'ou at a teinjierance
convention at Hamilton Camp, and about the same timi^ your brother in

Online LibraryJohn Wallace HutchinsonStory of the Hutchinsons (tribe of Jesse) (Volume 2) → online text (page 28 of 36)