John Wallace Hutchinson.

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my birthday a very handsome pair of brass andirons, which we have
jjlaceil in mother's fireidace, and for two days we have had a nice open
wood fire. Helen has seen the cradle that rocked si.xteen children, and
she enjoyed sitting in ir, to hear the story about her great-great-grand-
motlier Polly Leavitt Hutchinson. It seems very ])leasant to be with
the honu' friends at the old (■ami)ing ground. Love to you and all the
tribe of John. Yours faithfully, Abby 11. I'atton.

Hr r< iiiN^oN IIoMi;sri; All,

.Mii,i(ii;o, Si'iitember S, 1891.
])i;\i; John: — Thank you for your lelter ; also for the kind invita-
tion to l)e with you ^V^■llnesday e\cning to hear the liand jilay •■ Wild
15.1N." Wc cannot be present, luit hojie you will tell u- just how it


goes. We are liaving good times at tlie Homestead, playing, working,
reading, singing, and tlie jiiauo is going from morn till dewy eve.
Already I call this great house a conservatory of music. It ought to
be, for in no otlier house does music ring out as it docs lure. Ludlow is
well and happy. We drive to tiie village daily for tlic morning paper
and our mail. The country is looking very fresh and green after the
rain, and to-day is very clear and lovely. We are glad, for we have
had much wet weather, hut the open wood fires make our rooms cosy
and comfortable. 'J'his old house is worthy of being i)rescrved for cen-
turies after we are gone. Life is short. We can only make it long by
doing good while we stay. Yours truly, Ahbv.

New York, November o, 180L
Dear Johx : — Your letter of November 2d came safe to hand.
The mind is ever more active than the body If my hand would per-
form as fast as I think 3'ou would get a letter nearly every day. Now
I must tell you, wlien I am out of pain I have a very full life, in
reading and in music, wjien I can hear it. Last Saturday Cousin
Mary Moorhouse sailed on the steamship Gascogne for France. I sent
her your souvenir aiul your love before she sailed. Last Monday af-
ternoon Ludlow and I went to call on Mrs. Sara Baron Anderson
away up in East uOtli Street. She and her three daughters sang to us
solos, trios and quartets. They never ^et tired talking about you and
your singing, and your wonderful ))o\\er of entertaining. I told them
you would be going to great nieetinus and I supposed you would sing
as long as you could do anytliing. 1 have liad numerous re(iuests to
sell my book or to place it wiiere it couM l)e bought; S(j far liave pre-
ferred to give it away. Last niglit Ludlow and I saw the great poet of
England, Sir Edwin Arnold. lie wrote " The Light of Asia," a beauti-
ful Eastern poem, and more recently the " Light of the World," which
brings in the life of Jesus. The great Carneuie ^Nlusic Hall will lujld
four or five thousand people, and it was filled to i;ive Arnold a wel-
come. A host of ])oets ami other literary people, all nun, in full
dress, sat on the large sta_i>e, and Chaunci'V ;\I. Depew introduced Mr.
Arnold to the audience in a most hapjiy speech. Arnold looks some-
what like Dickens. His face is stroni^ ;nid remarkable. He is not
quite used to speaking in jiublic and has only read his jioems once in
public, l»ut he did very well and was listened to with marked attention.
I think he will go to Boston. Hope you will see him. Hisjioems about
women and children are very delicate and beautiful. I have had a
Iteantiful letter from Frederick Douglass. Have read his vindication
in September and October North Ameriinn Bedew, and also his lecture
triven in Washington on Hayti and her i^ood and evil. 1 rannot read


fast onouiz-li, so miu'li is to bo yvm] in these (l;iys. It is a fzroat asiC to
live in, and Vft wi- do not solve tlic mvsiiTV of birth and diath.
P(.'()i)lc' have to believe in a future or lose their minds altogotlier. I sup-
pose you know Fannv uave me tlie bouk ' \\'ho knoweth Life but
(}Uestions Death ' " and the first poem in it is by Edwin .Vrnold, be-


•• lie wlio lUi'il at Azaii scuds
Tliis to comfort faithful frieiiils."

1 think it was recited at AVilliam Lloyd (iarrison's funeral. Will send
you some books in a ilav or two. Yours, Abuy.

Ni;\v YoKK, November 8, 189L
DiCAU John : — I send you l)y Monday's mail five "Handful of
Pebbles " and I have put my auto<.;raj)h and eonipliments in eaeli one,
therefore I will lie anxious to know to whom you will jiive them. I
have sent my books to a number of your and our old friends, and on
that account do not wisli them duplicated. If I siMid them myself I i^et
letters in return, so I know who receives tlieni. I'leasi' let me know tiie
names of j^our friends who receive them, as so far we liave kejit ac-
coimt of every book we liave sent away and we like to know who has
them. The weather is beautiful, and we have had a long walk in Cen-
tral Park this morning and a row around the lake. It seems like Sep-
tend)er in mildness. Hope you keep well. There is so much to live
for yet, when we are out of pain. Do read Edwin Arnold's lovely'
pot'ms. I stud you Rebecca ^loore's last k'tter. Please return it
soon so I can answer it. She is going to ICgyjit, to the wonderland
Ludlow and I visited in 1875. It is the most wondt'rful country we
have visiti'd, but all are wonderful. "Would you not like to live fifty
\ears more to :;ee what grand work will be done in tlii^ worlil ? I wisli
you and I might lie inspired to do a great work before we die. I look
on licbecca as one of my most interesting friends, and she never will
grow old, because her mind is larger than her body. Her life is
blessed b}- lu'r son and grandchildren. Do let uu' hear soon from you,
and do not overdo in worry about tenants as long as 3'ou can ))ay all
your debts and have good food, clothes and an ojien fire. Ludlow
joins me in love and I am tliankful to be prettv' well to-day.

Yours in truth — lovingly, Aiinv.

Ni;\v YoHK, January 4, 18!>2.
■My T)i:ak r>it<>Tiii.u John: — I must not let your birthday pass with-
out a loving Word and many hapjiy returns in this world, and more in
the next. As we ai'e to live forevi^r we need not be troubh'd about our


short lives here. Have just had a call from Mary Sinclair, the daugh-
ter of Horace Greeley's cousin, our old friend .Mrs. Charlotte Sinclair.
The last named was born in Bedford near Horace Greeley's home. I
hope you liave no terrible colds such as are now prevailing in all parts
of the country. I wanted to send you a little book to-day. If I can-
not find it, will send it later. Do keel) "ell. One year ago to-day we
all were at your co.-^y Tower Cottage, celebrating. Wc must live fast
and do oiu- work in liaste, to be ready for the next High School to
which wi' go. (iod bless you, and keep you and your voice .-strong
until you go to join the " ciioir invisible." Ludlow sends love to you
and liopes you feel as young as when threescore years and ten had
passed. Yours until we cross the silent river, and then I hope we will
all sing together once more. Your loving sister, Abby.

New York, February 16, 1892.! .Toiiv • — I had finished and sealed my letter to you [An-
other letter was cncloseil in the envelope] and was about to mail it,
when Ludlow brought me a jiackage from England. On opening it,
my heart bounded, yo\i may \w\\ believe. ^Vhat do you suppose came
before my eyes' The water-color paintnig of the Hutchinson Family
made by ^Margaret Gillies in her studio for our ikar Mary Howitt in
1840. Some time ago I wrote Mary Howitt to know what had become
of the painting, and now she has been so good as to send it to me.
There we are, just as we stood in 1840, for our pictures. Our names
are all written in our own handwriting, directly beneath the figures.
The card is a little torn, but I think can be mended. I .shall have it
mounted at once, and put in coiii])lete order for framing. This will
complete my list of pictures, which I am having prepared for printing.
Cheer up ; we will have a book yet. Lucius goes to San Diego Thurs-
day with his wife. Wisii we all might go- Annv.

[In the letter accompanying this, Al)by .suggests that Jolin
and her.self each have a chapter in the book, containing their
epistles to the Americans, as Paul wrote his to the f^phesians.]

Nkw York, May 27, 1892.
My dear John: — Heaps of things I would say to you, and I think
every day I will tell you that you must come right down to stay a day
or two. The next minute I think I will take my bag and go right to
Lynn to see you — and the next minute the weather changes, I get tired
out, and have to rest ; therefore do not get started to carry out my


plan. We liavc heard the most instructive lecture of the season, called
" From Chaos to Man." Tlu- k'fturer is very intelligent, and speaks
wtli, anil the |iiitui\s -aw siiujily >uiiiil) works of art. How 1 wisli you
coulil coMii- (liiwn tor n day or two. Lucius will be home June 1st, and
lie will liavc gri'at stories aliout tlie West. He is in love witli Califor-
nia — especially witli San Diego. To-ilay has taken place tlic funeral
of yoxmg AV. H. A'anderliiit, son of a many times millionaire, and a
millionaire lumself. He could not be saved any more tlian a poor
man's son. Death equalizes the rich aiul the poor. 1 do not believe
in enibalniing bodies or preserving them after death, but ratlier to let
them go back to nature and the sweet dust. I think cremation far bet-
ter than all, when we have no fartiier use of our mortal bodies. I
hope the mind lives on forevermore. Am glad you could plant trees
on Arbor Day. I wanteil to jilant some in xMilford. I believe my trees
still live there at tlu- Jujmestead. David has gone to Applcton's.
Katy Kims made us a little visit last week. She is a beauty and a
sweet woman. Slie enjoys having visits from you very much. Lud-
low is busy witli down-town matters and at odd times he plays banjo
and gets new songs. " King Out Wild Bells " is meeting with success,
and orchestras are taking it up in several j)laces. The chimes player in
Washington, D. C, says he plays it every Sunday at present. Quite
complimentary, is it not '■ Hope you will come before we go East or
West. Have no plans yet for summer. Saturday noon — Your tele-
gram just received. Can't go to Lynn to-night, so I beg you will
come here on your way West by-and-by. I want to go there or away
down East. Be sure to come, and do not disappoint me, for life is
short, and time is fleeting. We soon will be beyond the river. So
come. Answer me at once. Yours, Abby.

Nkw Youk, June (>, 1892.

Dk.\u Joun : — Your two postals came in this morning to greet us at
our breakfast table. We are very glad that your journey was so happy
and I am glad that you gave tlie red wliite and Idue to Mr. Bryant and
Mr. I'xilainy. \\'e are still for Harrison and 1 am iie.xt for McKinley,
who is a most deserving man. If Mr. Illaine is nominated I th nk he
ran make a good presidi'iit, hut I wnuld ratluT keep Ben Harrison in
the White House. We went to ( )iange yesterday to see our children.
Hot and cold waves visit us, and the human body cannot resist all the
changes. The country is very beautiful.

" oil, what is so rare as a day in June?
Tlieu, if ever, cdiue perfect days ;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softlv lier warm ear lavs."

SISTER abby's letters. 387

God bless the poets, who keep our liearts warm, and the sni<j;ers who
keep us in harmony. Let us hear a<iain from you soon. L. P. sends
love. Ever your sister, Abby.

Si-NDAV, .Tuly 17, 1S<I2.
Dkar John: — I sent you a paper eontaininsj ]\Iiss Johnson's letter.
Slie is an old friend of ours, and begged to '' write me uj)." I said my
life was so connected with my brother's, he would have to C(jme in,
too. So she called us " Two famous singers." The photograplis I
gave her were good, but the wood-cuts as usual were not tlatteriiig. I
wish I could get some work done on the history. Have the notes, but
want some one to put them together in right form. \\'e can't get away
from New York. Sometliing hapjjens all the time to ki'cp us here.
Weather horrible ail last week, but glorious to-day. Tliere are only
three or four things I wish to see accomplished before 1 droj) off the
mortal coil, and then I am ready to o])en my eyes on the " undiscovered
country" We must not forget what we live for. "^'our grandsons,
Cleve and Harry, gave us a call. We gave them a welconu'. The}'
are fine fellows. I am glad you will go to Concord and sing for our old-
time friend, Jolni 1'. Hale. He with so many others we have known
has gone to join the great nuijority. How sliort life seems at tlie long-
est! (iod bless and keep you, and may we meet again some time soon.
Yours ever true, Aiusv.

Glad you raised the Hag on High Kock, 4tli of .July. Keep it ever
before the people.

Ivviii.E Hf)TEi., CoNcoun, N. H.,
August 0, 1801'.
Dear Jons : — We are getting rested after tlie burden and lieat of
the long day's celebration, August od. I In^pe you did not half kill
yourself with your e.xertions on the occasion. I think 30U )>eiieve it is
better to /a6or tlian to «•«/>, at such times. We are getting ac(i)iainted
with Concord and its interesting i)eopk-. Saw .Mr. ;\lar>liall Pierce of
Oakland, tlie day after you left. He was the gentkniaii who gave up
his seat near Hon. Frederick Douglass for me at tlie table. He is a
driving, thriving, intelligent man. Went with him to the State-house to
see the large to])ograi)hical nw]) of New Hampshire, which gives
heights of all the mountains and names of all counties and towns in
large letters. \ most useful and instructive map. Yesterday we met
IMr. I^astman, who kee])S the book-store near the hotel. He gnvi' nie an
old New England ])rimer, like one I hail when 1 was a child. At the
beginning it says, " In Adam's fall, we sinned all." He also gave us a

388 ai'1m:n1)1X.

Fanm'r's Almanac. Mr. J. P.. Walker tolil u.s inucli about tlic forests
of New Ilamj»j;liire, ami Imw lie was tryiiiL; to preserve tlieiii. I am
])rouil of New Hamj).sliiie ami it.s people. I sujipose \-ou have ri'ciMved
all the jiajjers givinjr aceoimt of the ei'lebratioii on .Vuirust -'M, ami eoii-
tainin<;- your, original Sony-. After all, the " < 'Id ( iranite Stati' " is the
one that arouses the j)eople to enthusiaMii. Lots of people have told us
so since the day we were with you. f.veryhody says your voice is a
wonder, and does not sound old at all. llojieyou found all well at
High Rock. Called at the rillslnirys la.-t eveninu. 'I'liey have a cozy
home, and a fine library. AVrite to us here for the next few days.
Weather cooler. Yours ever, Aisuv.

Love is the best thing in tiie world — and a generous heart.

[A slip of paper accoiniiaiiif(l tlii> letter, .sayiiiii", "It
seemed doleful to stay liere after you and the others had gone.
We still sit at the same table wln-re all the notables sat that
morning. How good to have Frederic at the head of the
table. He goes to Chicago for six montlis."]

IIoMESTE.\i), August 30, 1892.
My dkar Bkother : — We are once again in the house where I was
liorn, and it is g(jod to lie with our own folks once more. 1 wished to
write you yesterday', but was so busy 1 could not gx't at it. We called
at Aunt Lucy's and took >\niia to ride in the forenoon, — called on .Vnn
Jane, an<l Myrtle, on Bruce and Xell\\ In the afternoon, Charles took
us to A]ii)leton's and on to Mont Yernon. Beautiful day, and the
views tine. Ann Jane and Myrtic, with Edward and young Ben Woos-
ter took another carriage, and rode with us for a birthday treat. I vis-
ited my mother's and sisters' graves and ])ut a few flowers on them, as
well as on the graves of fatiu-r, brothers ami sisters-in-law. ( inly their
dust remains there ; their spirits have gone to the Creator who madi'
tlum. Do luit know how long we will stay. I miss the old voici's and
the singing broilK^rs, and the sweet sister who t'ould outsing us all, when
about her hou>i'iiold dutii'S. If (iod is good to us, He will li't us all
meet and sing again " beyond the smiling and the weeping." Ludlow
sends liest wishes and hoi)es your cares will not break you down. 1 live
mostly on oat-nieal gruel. It is good for everybody.

Yours faithfully, .\iuiv.

Don't sing in too many great meetings at your age. Too much
strain and care in it, wiliiout sonu-body sings on the chorus.

A. U. I".

SISTER abby's letters. 889

[Soon after this Abhy went to IJoston fur a ft'w days" stay.
She aniiouuced her arrival as follow s : ]

Uxiri:i> SiATKS Hotel,

Boston, UctoluT 11, 1H!I4.

Dear John Wallace II. : — We are inakin<i' a visit in Boston,
Send us a line wlien you will call to see us. I have a cold, but liope
soon to concjuer it. L. P. joins me in best wishes to you.

Yours, Aijuv.

Boston-, October 18, 1802.

Dear John : — I forgot to tell you that the Boston papers of to-day
announce the death of our dear old friend Theodore C. Severance, in
Los Angeles, Cal. So one \\\nvv of our friends and companions on the
.voyage of life has gone to join the ureat, nuijority. " We a little longer
wait, but how little none can know.'' Boston is getting ready for the
Columbian celebration on Friilay, and the decorations will 1h> tine, we
think, from present api)earances. Let us know what time to look for
you on Friday. 1 suppose we will lie somewhere to see the parade if
we are well enough to go out. Try to take tea or dinner with us. If
Mr. Pickard is with us will let you know. I expect Katy Elms to din-
ner to-morrow and on Thursday expect Edith Abell and Fanny P.
Iloyt. I am going to write to Mrs. Severance a few lines ; you will of
course do the same. Lucius went to call upon them at Los Angeles
when he was there, at my request. He also saw Mrs. Fremont. I am
yours, for truth and progress, Aiun II. P.

[A day or two later Ahhy was so severely afflicted by a
cold, as to be coiitined to her room and bed for .several days.
Then she improved, and came to High Rock for a sliort

Boston, Xovemlter 1, 18!t4.

Dear John : — We go to New York Thursday morning. Providence
pernntting. Saw Denman Thompson this morning, at breakfast. Said
all the house in Lynn was sold for last night, so they had a crowd.
Hope if you can you will come in Wednesday, to-morrow, to say good-
bj'e. I must get settled and get w(dl to do any work. Hojie you are
all feeling comfortable, and that Juddie is liolding Ins own.

With love I am vours ever, Abby.


Xkw Yi»i!k, November 1.'3, 1894.

My dear Johx: — AVe have had quite a strujjrgle to find a liuman
place to live in and yet be near Dr. Taylor's " Improved Movement
Cure." I tliiiik I wrote you from this address a few days ago. I have
taken cold again, and have been in bed two days to pay for it. This
reminds me that I l)eg of you to have a liole knocked in the chinniey
of your bedroom at once, so as to have an open fire for yourself in
case of sickness. You must (1(» it at oiici'. We have been trying
steam and furnace heat tiie i)ast few weeks, Ijoth of which roast you
but do not warm you. You know tliis, do you not ! To-morrow, (iod
willing, \\e will have a grate fire, and a cheerful blaze. We have for-
tunately a lovely, sunny room. Wiien the sun sliines we bask in its
rays you nuiy be sure. .Vnother thing I wish to say is that in the
November Century, in an article on "Brook Farm" by George V. Brad-
ford, there is a very pretty and graceful note about the Hutchinsons.
So you see we are remembered even if we forget ourselves. If I get
better I i)romise to do some work, if very little. Hope you are well.
New York seems more like home after all to us than Boston, though
we miss the comfort of our Sixteenth Street home. However, the
people are kind to us here, and we will get along I hope. Write to me
what you are doing. Yours ever, Abby.

[The :i])0\'o letter is priceless, for it was Abby's last. She
died on tliu 24tli.]



A few years since a correspoiideut of the Portland (Me.)
Transcript, printed the following reminiscence of anti-slavery
times :

" I wonder how many reini'inber the foiirnhiys' nieetini,'' of anti-slav-
ery folk, or Abolitionists, as they were then reproachfully calleil, that
was held at Concert Hall on Union Street sometime in the forties ?
Most of the speakers were from Massachusetts, or at hast did nut live
in Maine. The audiences were small in the day-time hut laruer in the
evening. Among tliose wiio took jtart were William Lloyd Garrison,

Henry Clapp, Jr., IJcinond. a tine looking young colored man from

Salem, the Hutchinson famil}' of singers. Friend BufYum of Lynn, and
others whose names are not remembered for the moment. The pro-
ceedings consisted of speeches, debates and discussions, for the speak-
ers were not all of one mind. Not only was negro slavery held up for
execration, but other social wrongs and customs were also bitterly

" Mr. Garrison was chairman, lie was easily first in all that per-
tained to the presentation of the subjects which they had met to con-
sider. His manner was calm, moderate and unimpassioned. The chief
justice of the L'nited States Court could not have stated, as a historical
fact, in his Dred Scott opinion that when the Constitution was framed
and adopted ' black men had no rights which white men were bound to
respect,' with more judicial calnniess than Mr. Garrison would show in
calling the Constitution ' a covenant witli dcatli and an agreement with
hell.' With Mr. Garrison there was no splattering nor frothing at the

" Mr. Clapp, fiery, caustic, satirical, made harangues of l.;illiant elo-
quence, witty, sharp and to the very point.

"Mr. Ke'mond was an orator by grace of nature, and having had a
good education he appeared remarkably well in public speaking. The
Hutchinson family, brothers and sister, the original choir, whose con-
certs were so popular in those days, sang some of their characteristic
songs as interluded between the speeches. They were .Vljolitionists of
the Garrison type, and doubtless gave gratuitous assistance.

" Friend Buffuni, a plain, uni)retending nnin, said he had left his


planiiii;- mill anil come to mi't-t his anti-slavi'iy friends in Portland ; his
lii'art was toiichud with the sorrows of the Soutliern negroes in their
ahiiost hiipc less bondage ; if tiiey souglit tVeeilciiii in fliglit, they could
find 111) sale icfiige neariT than Canaila, for even if tliey found theii
way to I'ennsyh aula, l>loodli<)un(ls from Maryhuid wDuld — ' It's a lie! '
sh(.uti'd a voice from the audience. Iniiiudiately a gentleman arose,
and announi'eil that he was born and livrd in Maryland and that bhind-
liounds were never used tliere for the ]uirsuit of fugitive slaves. Mr.
I'.iift'iini tried to explain, but the ini]ietu()us speaker hardly gav^^' him
the chanct' to say that the bloodhounds he meant were white men pur-
suing the fugitives. After this interruption the ISIarylander resumed
his discourse, inveighing against those Northerners who were slandering
his people, and trying to deprive the South of its rights under the law.
' If you at the Xorth,' the gentleman said, ' really wish to benefit our
slaves, why not come among us, and try to help us correct our faults.
Slaveholders are as humane as other i)eople, and would kindly receive
you, as well as i^rofit by wdiat you might say. if they found your com-
plaints Were reasonal)le.' The speaker went on in this sanu' strain of
remarks for a few minutes nujre, the chairman's gentle 'hear, hear,'
having been occasionally heard meanwhile, and then took his seat.

"After a short pause, Mr. (iarrison arose, and without any ajijjcar-
ance of excitement on his i)art, made a most scathing answer, full of
sarcasm and irony, to the charges and statements that had just l)een
made. He had the advantage of thorough familiarity with the ques-
tion, while his impulsive and impetuous opponent was new to tlie ])osi-
tion, and had evidently spoken in heat of anger, so that he hail laid
himself open to attack at almost all points. ' The gentleman,' said Mr.
Garrison, in the course of his response, 'invites us, if we really have at
heart the welfare of their slaves, to visit the South and labor there to
that end, promising us kind treatment, if we shall deserve it. For one
I shall not accept the invitation, as I have tasted the sweets of South-
ern hos])itality in a Baltimore jail.'

Online LibraryJohn Wallace HutchinsonStory of the Hutchinsons (tribe of Jesse) (Volume 2) → online text (page 33 of 36)