John Wallace Hutchinson.

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]\0.\i!ii!V, January 3, 1801.

Dkau Brother John: — Thoiigli I cannot jiut in an appearance at
High Hock, I sliall yvt be one of the goodly company who will con-
gratulate you and give thanks to the Good Power for the coming of
such a gracious anniversary. I am glad you were born ; glad you
drew breath in "The good old State, tlie brave old State"; glad you
were one <>f the Hutchinsons ; glad you liave lived in such a rich,
liistoric jjcriod; glad your heart lias inclined ever toward the strug-
gling cause of justice and humanity; glad j'ou have helped so gi'eatly
to sweeten tlii' air of this continent and to make right things seem fair ;
glad, too, for all tin- domestic life of love and the wider circle of
friendship ami unod-will which have been so large a part of your own
varied experience.

Do you know it is over thirty-five years since we made that winter
trip together — " Judson, John and Asa," with myself for supernumer-
ary — across the thinly-settled new land from Minneapolis to Duljuque.
We had never met till that year : we have met seldom since, but those
few days spent together did the business. We have been friends and
brothers as if we lived in one liousc ; and I never meet with your
name, nor catch a glimpse of your face without a warming of the
cockles of my heart.

When James Freeman Clarke received the congratulations of his
friends on just such an occasion, he said : "I never before knew how
good it is to be seventy years old, and I advise j'ou all to tiy it."
Dear brother Jcdin, I trust you, too, find it good to be seventy. I
know you have had many reasons for thinking well of this world, and
for being grateful to the wise, all-including Providence. And ni}- lieart
unites with the hearts of thousands in the earnest wish that your after-
noon may be bright and useful, that your sunset may be serene and
clear, and that when the shadow of twilight comes, the wider, deeper
glory of the stars may break upon you like the Vision, the Infinite
Love and tlie Endless Life. With alTectionate res])ect,

Charles G. Ames.

sisTEii ai'.hy's letters. 36.'


Sister Abby was an iudefatigalilc (■(irrcspondent. She
found great jileasure in \\ ritiiig her friends. To no person was
she more devotcil in this jtartieulur than her lirotlicr .lohii and
her nephew Henry. Her h'tters, however, are so full of allu-
sions to business and family matters of no possible interest
to the average reader that a consecutive compilation of them
seems hardly feasible. During her later years there wei'e weeks
when hardly a day would pass that did not bring a letter from
her. It has been deemed advisable to quote from some of
these as illustrative of her friendly and sisterly solicitude and
affection, her cheerfulness even under suffering, and her mental


IlrTCHixso.v, October Ki, f870.

Mv DEAR IIevry : — Your very excellent and welconio letter sent
from Now London, Conn., reached nie in Hutchinson, Minn., two (hiys
after my arrival, (hie from L'ncle Liullow canie at the sann' time.
This morninjr I have- l)een to walk witli Asa's two ihitis. Found a tew
brigl^t leaves which I will enclose to you, from your own woods. I am
enjoying this great ocean of land, though it scares nie wiicn I look
around, for I feel as tliougli I was at the end of the world, and should
never get back again. There is so nnieh room that I fetd as though I
needed wings to get over the great country fa>t enough. I am glad
you and your father are singing and doing well for yourselves and good
for others. Just while I write Fred is playing the cornet, Abby piano-
forte, and Asa bass viol. Music seems to belong to the Hutchinson
family, wherever they may congregate. The sun is about setting, the
autumn wind blowing, and I thank (Jod for all his goodness. We have
the very liest of food here: cracked wheat, chickens, wild duck and
goose, home-made bread, sweet butter and good cheese. j\sa and
Lizzy have done well here to get so much ilone ; all the}- buy is sugar,
tea and salt. I miuht be iniluced to go to tarmnig out here, if your
strong right arm was here to lend a little aid now anil then. I am


clcariiiLr (Hit tin' lirusli t'lcmi tin- woods lu'iir the liousi>, and iiiakiiiL,'
jialiis tliriiuuli tlii'iii. llciiry, T kimw w liat dark liours ari', and

briulit OIKS ai'c alxi, and I unly linpc to li\c and do somebody i; 1 as

long as 1 stay, (iivc- my !nvc to your latluT ami mother and dnddic.

I liojH' you will sIul;- every v: 1 si'ntiment you can, and help every sad

and moui-nful soul to the light, eitlier man or woman. God you.
I n;ay be in New York in two weeks. Call and .-ee me when you come
to town. I bcdieve 1 love music best of t'verything. It covers all my
t'riiiKN. and ojxns the way to Heaven. Try and save your money,
Ileniy, and some day come and have a home near tne somewhere ; per-
haps in Heaven. Yours truly, AfXT Annv.

New Youk, March 7, 1871.

Mr DK.VR Henry: — If you are my brother, nephew and son, and I
your sister, aunty and mothei', why, tliere is a large family of us to
start witli. 1 bless you for your words of comfort and cheer which
came when I most needed them. I am better in body and mind than
w hen I last saw you, though not all well. I suppose when the mortal
puts on immortality, I may look for perfect health, but I don't know
whether it will ever come to be my lot here; and yet, I have so much

more tlian many jieojile evi-r have kindness and friends in every

direction, and hardly a day passes but some one comes to give me a
word of good cheer. I like to be well enough to give encouragement
and bel]> where it is most needed to liel]i those who are ready to perish,
and to give strength to the wi^ak and rest to the weary. I want to be a
mother in Israel, anil do good, and yet I cannot get to pi'rfection. I
can try for it thongii, ami trust in God to help me. Wtdl, life is not all
of it to lie s])iMit lu'i-e, yet it is good to begin to live right here to-day.
I sliall have times that I shall look for you through the eternities, and
we will try to helj) lach othi'r forward forever. I am more glad you
are devoting yourself to reading and books than I can tell you. I
usimI to read a good dial with Asa. Our tastt's in book knowledge
were (juite alike, and we were happy in one another's thought and com-
])any. I have always missed him in this respect. I wish you to read
Huxley's Lay Si'iauous when you have time. It is a book which you
ought to own. ,\11 I'rescotfs histories are good, I believe, and you
will be glad to read scientific works also. As for nu", I can oidy take
uji a littli' lierL' and there as a bird jiiidvs nj) its cianubs, and though I
may not make public use of what I learn, I hope to make use of it in
my lainily circde. 1 )ear Henry, ])ray for me as 1 do for you, and help
me as I hoiie e'\er to lud]) you, and most of all we nnist lo\ e one another
as long as wt' stay. 1 'lude Ludlow is aslei'jt, or he would send regards to
\()U. Lovt' to all. Your bonnie lassie, A. II. P.

sisTEi: ap.ry's lf:tters. 367

[Abbv and Henry were very fond of singiniif Scotch songs

in character. xV hirge photograpli of them in their Highland

jjlaids. wlien Henry was abont eighteen, is still in existence.

" Bonnie laddie '" and " Bonnie lassie " were terms of affection

they often nsed towards one another as long as Henry lived,

the package of letters from which tliese selections are made

being indorsed in Henry's hand. ••From my dear bonnie

lassie." ]

New York, October 24, 1872.

Mv DKARLY liELovKD Henry : — I read your letter to your fatlier in
which you speak of forminu' a new mate quartet, and then you adil that
you would like to have " .Vunt ^\l)1>y " as "prima donna." Bless your
heart, my dear nephew, Aunt Al)l)y is old and at present too weak for
public life. I made a vam attempt to siiiy with your father in Con-
necticut. I thought I should lose my voice altogether, I was so hoarse,
and in fact I have just struggled against a fever, I think, for one whole
month ; one day up, the next day down, and so for a while it seemed as
though my earthly existence was iianging on rather a slender thread.
I would have been glad Iiad Ciod seen fit to clip the thread; as He did
not, and as I wished to make myself strong against all work to come, I
at once repaired to Dr. Taylor's fllovement Cure, where at present I am
stopping for treatment. How ir.any times I have wished to sing, and
all the time I feel that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, and sf)
I may have to wait for a new body, and to be clothed upon by the
Father. If I was to make a. suggestion, and it was a possible thing to
carry it out, I would say — take Uncle Ludlow, your father, myself and
you, for a quartet, and yet some younger people might do the work
better. I tliink they would.

I am ever vours, <lear Henry, Aunt Abby.

CoNORESs Hall, Saratoga Si-rings,
August 17, 187o.
I want to be mad and say I will never write to you again. Ludlow
says, "Not one of my friends think half as much of me as I do of
them " and I shall pretty soon begin to think so. I wish to hear if you
and Doctor Howe arrived alive m New Y((rk after that tremendous
farewell, and all I have lieard from either of you is a tremendous big
horn which if I had now I would take to blow you up with, for your for-
getfulness of your revered and respected though aged aunt. Wliat is
the matter ? I want to tell you what a good visit we liad at Lebanon
Springs and to see tlie Shakers at Mt. Lebanon, but I won't, neither


will I tell you that we san^ t<i tlu'iii, ami that tln-y took us througli the
mtcrc'stiiiij;- jiarts of tlu'ir Iiousl's anil I'aiiiilirs, anil tixatfilus royally;
ami then I am not uoiiiii' to tell you oiu- word about our being here at
the biggest hotel in the I'niteil Statics, wlu're we ride, walk, ilrink,
>lee]i, eat, bcnvl, and ]iraclise s-hooting at tin l)ird>, and " tliat's wliat
we do at the Springs. " This house is full to overtiowing, and it seems
all till' time like \'anity Fair or some other country Fair where tilings
ari' brought to marlvet — I mean men and women. If aou were a good
boy I might tell you tiiat tliere are two or three young millionairesses
liere wdio are gotten up nightly regardless of exjiense, and one of theni
looks as tliough she was bored to deatli with lier cdotlies, and being put
up nightly for display. That is the only redeeming feature in her case.
I wish to know if Frank anil Augusta [Car])enter] are alive, and why
they don't say so, and why in the world does not Frank answer such a
wonderful correspondi'Ut. I cannot throw away such literary eifusions
every day. Are they going to Homer or are they going to Heaven,
which ? We expect to go to Lake George, from here. And now to
prove to you that I have some method in my madness, I will say that
we received a good letter from Viola at I'ut In Bay, inviting us there.
We may go by-and-by, btit not now. I hope you are well and happy,
and you must give my love to " Abby Sage" and say to her that I saw

her friend Miss at Overlook. Tell lier that God lets us live

througli everything, but if we cannot have all our blessings here, we
can have our treasures laid up in Heaven, and as God is merciful He
will open the mystic gate for us some day into the land of the blessed
spirits. Oh, Henry! sometimes I am too impatient to wait any longer.
I want to be all spirit so I can hover around all mi/ hclured ones. But
that may be mental dyspepsia, and so I will go out and get a drink of
Congress water and get over it. This crowd of people depresses one
fearfully. Such aimless lives we lead here. I long for work and my
friends ; to havi' uiy coininiiiiitjj and plenty to do, and 1 am trying to
live. Tell me if Doctor is well. Pinrh him on both ears gently, kiss
Atigusta and shake Frank. Ludlow sends love.

Yours ever, Annv.

^Magnolia, Fi.a., April 7, lf:<74.
Bonnie Laddie :—" Will ye go, will ye go to the banks of Bal-
quither '. " And now I must tell you that j-our letter from Washing-
ton, March 2l)th, was received about one week ago. We ha\ e been away
four wei'ks from ^lagnolia and returned yesterday. Have had a pretty
sick time both of iis, but we are lietti'r, and to-morrow or next day start
on oiir way to New < >ileans, thence up the ^lississippi to St. Louis and
home. As we have engaged passage for England the iniildle of May,


our time is ratlier limited. 1 hope you will be in New York by the first
of May so that we may get the litilit oi your countenance before we go
across tiie great waters. . . . 1 low I wish your business would take you
across the ocean. Tell your fatlier and mother I Jiope to see them be-
fore we go. vShali try to see tlie Milford friends, and wisli we could
have ii familij meeting. I'eoplo at St. Augustine all i-eniember your
and your father's singing with great pleasure. I am glad you can make
people so happy. Go on singing good words forever. A.

Eluclosed in this letter was the following, in Abby's haud-
writing :

Here's to the year that's awa'

We'll drink it in strong and in sma',
And here's to th' bonnie young lassie we lo'ed

While swift tiew tlie year that's awa'.
(Ivejieat last two lines).

Here's to the soger who bled

And the sailor who bravely did fa';
Their fame is alive tlujugh their spirits have fled

< >n the wings of the year that's awa'.

Here's to the friends we can trust

When tlie storms of adversity Idaw ;
May they live in our song and be nearest our hearts —

Nor depart like the year that's awa'.

Edixburgh, June 4, 1874.
My dear boxxie L.\ddie : — I shall write you a wild, hasty scrawl,
as we do not stay long enough anywhere to write sober, sedate letters.
Old Ireland and the Shamrock gave my heart a great shaking, nnd we
saw one of the prettiest green countries of the world while there.
And then to come to Scotland and find its scenery grand and bold,
tliough perhaps not on so gigantic a scale as America, adds more and
more to our delight every day. We have seen (ilasgow, the city sec-
ond in size only in the kingdom. \\\' went to old Sterling Castle, noted
for its ancient history and for its being the home of kings of Scotland
for hundreds of years. You will be delighted with Scottish history,
and if you are ever going to cros:« the ocean I would advise you to be-
come familiar with this history througli the writings of Sir Walter
Scott. We have seen a gof)d many Highlanders in their real Highland
costume since we came into the country, and yesterday a c<uni)any of


them marched past our hotel witli a lialf-dozen bafrpipes playing tlie
same tune together, and tlie tune was " Auld Koljin (iray." Tell your
mother 1 shall always think of her winn I liiar that old music. I
thought of you as we sailed on Luch Katrine ami saw tiic " Braes of
Balquiddher " at our left. The same braes over whicli tiie beautiful
Ellen Douglas usrd to roam. How too bad that you are not lierel
Henry, go right to tlic lilmiry in Frank's study and take down Scott's
poems, and read every word of the " Lady of the Lake." Florence
probably knows it by heart already. That will tell you just where we
have been better than I can. At old Sterling Castle we saw the tower
in which Koderick Dhu died. Saw, also, the room in which Ellen
waited while she was trying to get her friend released. Do read it for
my sake, and think how, when you read

" Hail to the chief who in triumph advances ! "

we have been over the very walk which Roderick Dhu and James
Fitz James took together before they reached Coilantogle Ford. Oh
Henry, life and death, love and hate, trust and jealousy went on then
just as now ; and the great human heart beats just as grandly to-day
as ever. We are all kings and queens — ladies, lords, nobles and
chiefs, now-a-days, instead of having a few men trying to lord it over
us. The true noblemen and noble women arc the poets, the singers,
the artists, who keep alive the soul and the histories of all ages. Here
we are in this beautiful city, Edinburgh. It is full of historical points
of interest, and we cannot see them all in many days. It is a very pic-
turesque city, and with its hills and valleys, noble castles and fine
parks, very charming. We climbed to the top of Arthur's Seat ^-es-
terday. Saw Holyrood Castle and Chapel, Queen Mary's drawing-
room and bedroom. You remem])er she was married to Darnley and
she loved Riggio, an Italian. Darnley, being jealous, iuul hini mur-
dered. He was afterward murdered himself, and Mary Stuart married
Bothwell. Strange, wild histories. Do write me. Uncle Ludlow is
busy and happy and sends love. Tell Viola I wish for another picture
of her and her babies. I think of her and Iter Scotch husband and
boys over here. God bless them all and you, too, my dear bonnie
laddie. Love to J. W. II. Yoin-s ever, BoxxiE Lassie.

125 Annin Ro.xi), Kii.nrRx,

London, July 5, 1874.

By this time, bonnie laddie, you must have received some word from
me. Your letter of June 18th came to 140 Abbey Road last night, and
I cannot tell whether vou are dri'iiniiiig or whether my letter to you

srsTKi; ABi;v"s letters. 371

went astraj'. I am siiri' you must know somutliing of our niovenKMits
by this time. Wo reached Lonihui on WtMhiesilay tin- l>t of Jul}'.
FatluT I'atton anil Emily wiMit t<i thi' station to uu^i-t us: liut as we
Avere late we reached Emily's house and found licr two lioys and her
husbanil's father, Mr. Perkins, to receive us. Soon after, Fatlier I'atton
and Emily came in, and we welcomed them to London. We take all
our meals at their house, and have a bedroom and jtarlor at this house,
which is but a short walk from them. I am now sitting in the little
parlor, or as it is called in England — drawing-room Ludlow is going
with his father and sister to church, while I will try and hold eoniniu-
nion with my transatlantic companions. 1 am glad you have heard
Salvini and that you like him. It made me homesick to get your let-
ter, in spite of all I could do, although I am glad to see the wonders
and beauties of this land of Great Britain. ]\Liny, many times I have
wislied you and your father were with us. We have so far met with
warm receptions from all the old Hutchinson friends and I have re-
ceived notes from ((uite a number of those we were not able to see.
They do not know lue as a rule, for I was only sixt( en v, Ikmi we were
here before, and fcn-ty-four is a long way from sixteen, you know.
Several friends have brought out our old daguerrotypes, and in mine is
hardly the faintest look of the'present countenance. It will t)e rather
a sad affair if when we lay off the mortal coil those who have goiu- l)e-
fore us do not recognize us, will it not ' Guess we will not borrow
trouble, however. I must tell you how we sjient tlu' glorious Foiu'tli.
Loftus and Emily took us up the riviu- Thames a long distance. We
took railway as far as Teddington, and then went on board the launch
"Emily," named for the wife of the inventor of the boat, Emily P.
Perkins. You have heard before of Loftus' inventions. I thought of
3'ou all day, for several reasons. First, the briglit beautiful day, and
next, the perfect little steam launch with its appointments I knew
you would appreciate so much, and though tlie Thames is a narrow
river, the banks are l)eautiful. Fine trees, and lovely lawns aiul hand-
some houses make a variety of scenery all the way up the river.
Ani\ then the little boats of one kind or another keeji you all the tinu'
on tile lookout as they pass very close to your own boat. 1 thought we
passed one hundred and fifty Ixiats of different kinds, but Ludlow says
that is a small number conijiared with what we saw. Parties of young
peojjle, parties of old i)eo])le ; some rowing, some sailing, some in
small steam launches similar to that we were on. Whole crowds of
young men in what I call a decided undress. Nothing on but under-
vests and white flannel ])antaloi)ns, their arms bared to the shoulder, '
their legs bare from the knee to near the ankle. Those were regiUar
boating suits. We saw several of the outside riggers on Shelton boats,
each with a mail in, and in one were eii^ht men, each with an oar.


Tliat is tin- iiuiubrr {lulU'd hy tlii' < ixfonl and Caiiibridgo ro<iatta
crews. \\\\l. 1 uiKss I tlioim-lit of ymi tlu-ii, and we saw alioiit tlic
I)n'ttii'St lit' Kn^lisli ladii-s in lirii^ht hats and dresses, and briuiiter
tiifts. 'riiiTi.' is IK) diiulit liiat tiu'sr lCur()])cans livv more uut of doors
than <lo \vt- Anioricans. Now I innst tell vou of onr lunch. We had
oakis bisc-uit ami li'Mionadc tor liuuh, and later in the day we had cold
roast beef, delicious salad, which mi ]iersiin can make better than Lof-
tus himself, nice rolls, and what is indispensalile on an English diinier-
tablc, cheese. Do not faint at the word. I fear you would have to put
on an extra hardening of the nerves over here, for you never see
much less than half a cheese on the table, at any dinner. Then we
had jiine-apples, cherries, very fine, delicious large strawberries, and
fresh figs — the first figs in this state I ever saw or tasted. They are very
rich and sweet, and one cannot eat many of them. But the day was
charming altogether, and one which you would have enjoyed to the
full. There are many locks on the Thanii's, and when they are filled
with small boats you seem to be sitting in a room with a great niary
people. We hope to hear Sims Reeves this week, and also Adeliii:i
I'atti in opera. We went into St I'aul's Church a few days ago, and it
seems larger than ever, ^^'ent down into the cryjit, and saw the stone
tomb of the Duke of Wellington ; also,' the large funeral car, the iron
of which all came from the cannon he took in various battles. Saw
the tomb of Nelson, and of Landseer, the painter. The latter only
died last year. Ludlow and I went up to the Whispering Gallery and
though we stood one hundred and fifty feet apart, by putting our faces
near the wall we could hear the slightest whisper. The dome is so per-
fect;.- con.-t;-ucted tliat sound is carried nearly around the circle. We
saw the old clock that has not run down for one hundred and sixty-six
year-, so they say. I guess we will run down before we reatdi that age,
I am tired and will walk before 1 finish this note.

Evening — Now that I have really written to yo>i, oUI fellow, you will
not find it necessary to send me a crest of such a terrible nature as His
Satanic Majesty dangling his prisoner ovi'r a coal fire. I never saw
such a design on an envelope, and I sujjjxise 1 never shall be anxious
to see another. I thank you and your father and mother for sending
the photogra])hs and music. They will be ajiiireciated in the warm
lu'arts and home of Tliomas Welib, in Dublin. George Dawson, a
radical clergyman of Birmingham, and an old friend of the Hutchinscm
Family is about to go to .Vmerica to lecture. Ask your father to look
out for him. 1 have given Mr. Dawson a note of introduction to ( 'ol-
nnel Iliggiiison, a> he knows about everybody, and can help him in his
way about r>oston and New York. 1 am reading ( ienrge l^liot's new
book, '■ .Iiiiial, and < »ther I'oems." The legend uf .lubal is very -^wi't't,
but verv sad. There seems to be tragedy in all of George Eliot's

SISTER ahby\s lp:tteus. 373

writings. Slu' knows wlint suricriii^- is. How are yon ]ir(>s])i'rin<4 in
busini'ss ? Yon nuist srml nu' a new pit'ture (•'' yonrself. 1 L;a\i> tiie
one I liad to Thomas Weblj. and I wisli to see yonr laee daily.

Yonrs, Aiuiv.

LiTERNK, SwiTZERi.vNn, Septeml)er 25, 1874.

My de.\I{ IIexkv : — Where sliail I l)et;in '. Yon will say, wliere I
left off. Wlicre I left off 1 liave not the faintest recollection. Yon
know best, if you eontinne to earry abont in your " kdt side jxieket "
s\\c\\ strange coni])ositions as I send you. Your letter reached nie on
our arrival at this hotel. ^Vfter I tell you how glad it made yom- old
auntie's eyes and heart to see once more a word of elu-i'r from home,
jou will know that your letters also are appreciated, tluuigli 1 have no
"left side pocket" in which to carry them.

And so you, dear child, " thank (iod that He has spared me so long
to scatter smiles and speak words of comfort like fountain's spray on
everything around me." How I wish that could be true of me, but if
you lived with me (laiJ)j you would find the swi'et words sometimes very

Online LibraryJohn Wallace HutchinsonStory of the Hutchinsons (tribe of Jesse) (Volume 2) → online text (page 31 of 36)