John Wallace Hutchinson.

Story of the Hutchinsons (tribe of Jesse) (Volume 2) online

. (page 5 of 36)
Online LibraryJohn Wallace HutchinsonStory of the Hutchinsons (tribe of Jesse) (Volume 2) → online text (page 5 of 36)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


I secured three connecting parlors in a house on L'nion
S(]uare. These were made our headquarters and iiome.
We formed two temperance organizations, the Manhattan^
Temperance Society, and the American Temperance
Union. One of these met at the parlors on Sunday
afternoon and the other Sunday evening. To make the
rooms pay a little we permitted a man who sold stereo-
sco})ic views to occupy them during week-days. I soon
found that the name " American Temperance Union "
was not new, though it was as far as I was concerned.
Mr. J. N. Stearns of the Temperance Puhlication So-
ciety informed me that it was the name of one of his old
societies which had become obsolete.

We did a little singing of a general nature, Init
largely confined ourselves to temperance work. We
found time to help a little in the ^lorning Star Sunday-
school, for which Ave had sung in concert a few years
before. This school was a mission in charge of an old
friend. Dr. Perr}^ a dentist of the city. At the time we
gave our concerts through New England for the school
Rev. Mr. Davis, a superanuated preacher, volunteered to
go with us and act as business agent. He had been a
Free Baptist clergyman and was my wife's pastor, in
Lowell, before her marriage. He was with us at the
first concert, given in one of the Methodist churches of
Lynn. He was troubled with heart com[)laint, but took
the money at the door all I'iglit, and was addressing the
audience when he Avas seized with a faint. He went
into a pew and laid down. Going to him, he suggested
that we go on, so I linished his speech and the concert.













^ i







CKUSADING FOR TEMPERANCE. 47

The next night were in Mechanics Hall, Salem. He
made liis appeal, and took a collection. . Then he went
to a chair at one side of the platform, and as we were
singing, began to connt his money. It annoyed us, and
Henry looked at him. Instantly putting his money in
another chair, he arose, and stepping up to Henry, re-
marked in an audible tone, "• Wliat do you want ? "
Henry whispered his recpiest tliat lie count his mone}'
later, and the old gentleman retired to his chair. Just
as he seated himself, a leg of the chair gave way, and
as he kicked out in a vain effort to save himself, he hit
the chair in which the money lay, and the contributions
rolled all over the stage. The concert closed and tlie
work of picking up the money went on. As the people
came up to shake hands and congratulate us, they said :
" Mr. Hutchinson, do come to Salem as often as you can,
l)ut l)e sui'e and luring that interesting man, Mr. Davis,
with you I *'

One day while at this house in Xew York, I went
skating in Central Park Avith Judson. Between the
time of getting my skates on and going upon the ice I
lost Juddie. That ended the skating. There were
tliousands of people there. After searching aljout for
some hours, I went home in despair, and found him
there all riofht. He o'ot on a liorse-car, after becominq-
separated from me. Tlie conductor asked where he was
going. " Going home," was his laconic response. He
was turned over to a policeman, Ijut could give the
whereabouts of his home no more definitely than to say
it was near the museum. The officer therefore took him
to Barnum's, and at once lie led him from that point
home. The policeman said he had never met a boy who
interested him so much.

It was wliile at Union Square that we became inter-



48 THE HUTCHINSON FAMILY.

ested in the theories of a certain Mr. Brewster. This
intelligent man came to onr temperance meetings, and
one night seemed loth to leave. I was mending the
fires in the open grates after the company had gone. He
stood near one, apparently lost in contemplation. I
spoke to him kindly, and he responded in a very sweet
tone. He said he had become so entranced with one of
our songs, that he felt that he must stop and speak to me
in reference to his belief. He said he had become con-
vinced that the centre of the earth was inhabited by the
elect. These choice spirits Avere permitted to make a
safe home there. The entrance to this paradise he con-
ceived to be at the poles, and it was lighted not by the
direct rays of the blazing sun, l)ut by reflected light,
which entered also at the poles. He believed the flow
of the Gulf Stream furnished evidence to support his
theory. To his mind it was the most beautiful place
that thought could conceive. There flowers bloomed
perenniall}^ and there was no night there. He asked me
to call at his office, where he had a small hollow globe,
illustrating his views. I went. I found liim to l)e a
manufacturer of very musical tin lifes. He detailed
the matter in a very lucid manner and I becanit' en-
thusiastic. I invited him to give a lecture in my par-
lors. He did so, and so much interested his auditors
that he was asked to go to other places and speak on
the subject. Among those in our parlors to hear liim
were Mrs. Thompson, the philanthropist, and Steele
MacKaye, the dramatist. Mrs. Thompson invited liim
to her rooms, to meet the newspaper men of the city.
He went there and spoke to them. Before he had re-
moved his model from the house after the lecture, he
was seized with the small-pox, and a short time later was
taken to his lono- home.



CllUSADlNG FOli TEMPERANCE. 49

The temj)erance societies formed during tliis stay in
Ne^y York, are, so far as I am informed, in existence
yet. In later years I visited tlie city, attended the
meetings, and ^as introduced as the father of the enter-
prise. The American Temperance Union gaye me a
reception on my sevent3'-fifth birtliday, January, 189(J.

On the 14th of April ^ye Ayent to Philadelphia to at-
tend the one hundredth anniyersary of the " Pennsyha-
nia Society for Promoting the Aljolition of Slayery, tlie
Relief of Free Negroes unhiAvfuUy Held in Bondage,
and for Improving the Condition of the African Race."
This ^yas the first anti-slavery society, and had Fienja-
min Franklin for its first president and Dr. Benjamin
Rush for its first secretary. The meeting was called
not onl}^ as a centennial observance but to see ^yhat it
could do under the last provision of its title. The ses-
sions were held at Concert Hall during the day and at
the Bethel Church in the evening. Vice-President Wil-
son presided at the day meeting and Bishop Campbell
at night. Upon the platform with him were Frederick
Douglass, Ro1)ert Purvis (his rival as an orator), Lu-
cretia Mott, Abby Kelley Foster, Mrs. F. E. W. Har-
per, Charles C.' Burleigh, Bishop D. A. Payne, of the
A. :\I. E. Church, Prof. J. M. Langston, Elizur Wright,
William Still, ex-Governor Curtin, Passmore William-
son and many others identitied with the cause. Henry
Wilson was introduced l)y Mr. Still, and invited Rev.
Dr. Wm. H. Furness to lead in prayer. After Wilson's
0})ening address Ave sang one of our songs. Then Pur-
vis read letters from the great pioneer. Garrison, Presi-
dent Grant, Wendell Phillips, General Butler, Rev.
Samuel ^Nlay, John G. Wliittier and others. The his-
torical oration was delivered by Dr. William Elder.
At the close of this we sang Whittier's '* Furnace



60 THE HUTCHINSON FAMILY.

Blast," it being received willi great applause. Vice-
President Wilson remarked as we closed, '' The words
of the Quaker poet, to which you have just listened,
could not be sung in the early days of 1802 in the
Army of the Potomac without causing military in-
terference. I thank God these words can be sung to-
day on every square mile of the republic." He then
introduced Frederick Douglass, who followed out the
idea of the meeting in presenting in eloquent periods
the misery suffered by the Freedmen even under the
supposably improved conditions secured by emancipa-
tion and the ballot. Lucretia Mott made a few re-
marks, and then we sung :

" 'Tis coming up tlu' steep of time,

And tliis old world is growing brighter."

Charles C. Burleigh and Robert Purvis closed the
speaking of tlie day session and in the evening the
speakei's were practically the same. It was an inter-
esting and notable event. The attendants were lai'gely
Friends, the noticeable garb of tlie Quaker women
being prominent everywhere. Through it all I could
not help a feeling of sorrow and disappointment. I
had resolved when I got to Pldladelphia to have a
good talk with llemy Wilson, and make a suggestion.
I had sung with him under many varying conditions.
Before the war, in Free-Soil and anti-slavery gather-
ings, and since at the meetings of the Congi'essional
Temperance Society. In the anteroom, before going on
the stage, I put my hand on liis slioulder, and said to
him it seemed to me that tlie time was opportune to in-
troduce an issue that would bring about reconciliation
and reconstruction in a reasonable way, and ameliorate
the condition of the South, by uniting the sections in a



CRUSADING FOR TEMPERAXCE. 51

war against alcohol. Tlie negro had the ballot ; wliy
was it not possible to turn this anniversary meeting
into a great temperance gathering? Wilson actually
shook all over. I saw tliat my suggestion was not ac-
cepted. "What does this mean?'' he exclaimed. He
went on the platform aiul opened the meeting without
further comment. I tliouglit, " Henry Wilson, if you
neglect to declare the whole counsel of God, your suc-
cess will be short-lived." Wilson's speech was a disap-
pointment to the audience, whicli had gathered to re-
joice tliat at the close of a centur}- of the life of the
societ}', emancipation liad come and tlie slave had tlie
ballot. The effort to turn the tide into a channel of
complaint that the fi'anchise in tlie hands of a peo[)le
waking- from centuries of enforced ignorance was not a
full success, seemed like a wet blanket. Wilson, tem-
})erance man though he undoubtedly was, was a man of
ambition ; lie was already Vice-President, and the presi-
dency seemed not far away. The plaint of this meet-
ing was but the prelude of tlie campaign that Avas to
come, though Wilson, alas ! bore no part in it. I still
think the great man, so soon to pass away, missed a sig-
nal opportunity to s[)eak a ringing note of tem[)erance
into sympathetic ears, sound the keynote of a new cru-
sade that would have united North and South and even
have added to the almost universal acclaim and lionor
paid him at the time of his swift taking-awa}', but a
few months later.

In addition to the selections named, we sang during
the meeting " Behold the Day of Promise comes," and
" The ]\lillenium,"' P>rother Caleb's song :

" What do I see ? Ah ! look, behold,
That glorious day, by prophets told,
Has dawned, and now is near.



52 THE HUTCHINSON FAMILY.

^Metliiiiks I licar from yonder plain
The slioiits (if ylailiu'ss loud jiroclaiin
'The Millonium is here ! '

"See Freeiloiu's ^^tar that shines so bright!
It sheds its rays of truth and light

O'er mountain, rock and sea,
And, like tiie mighty march of mind,
Has sought and blessed all Imman kind,

Andset the bon(hnan free.

" Salvation to our God proclaim !
This is a glorious peaceful reign ;

The nations now shall know
The kingdoms of this world are given
To Christ, the Lord of earth and heaven,

Predicted long ago."

The next day we sung at a temperance meeting in
Orange, N. J., with J. Gibh.s, who kept a hirge eating-
house on Nassau Street, New York, as the speaker.
Mr. Gibbs's place was quite a home for reformers. He
took charge of the Manhattan temperance society after
we left New York.

Then we went back to Lynn, and spent a week in
putting Daisy Cottage and its environs to rights. Re-
turning to New York, we continued our temperance
work a little longer and also partici[)att'd in the Peace
meeting and other anniversaries. On the hrst of June
Henry and T went to Cliicago as Massachusetts dele-
gates to the National Convention of the Sons of Tem-
perance. Asa and Dennett came down from Hutchin-
son, and Ave sung together in the convention, though
muL'li of our singing consisted of duets, as we had not
practised together for some time. Tlie convention was
a great occasion, and much interest was aroused liy it.
It was held in Farwell Hall. Asa and his son came with
us on our retiiiu home, and sjient part of the sunnncr on



CRUSADING FOR TEMPERANCE. 53

High Rock. Ill August we visited the camp-meetings
at Okl Orchard and ^lartha's Vineyard. Following
this we gave concerts with Asa and his son in manv
New England cities and towns. In September we sang
at the New England Fair at Manchester, N. H., making
our headquarters with W. H. Whitmore, next door, by
the way, to Maud Porter Wilson, who sang with Viola
and myself in our successful tour through the West, a
few years befoie. On the last day of tlie fair, Henry-
Ward Ijeecher spoke, and we sung. In October we
travelled in Maine, where Asa left Dennett at the
academj' in Kent's Hill. Joshua had joined us, and so
we had a male quartet in our concerts Ijack through
Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In De-
cember we made a plan to go to the Pacific slope, Asa,
Henry and myself in the company. Going to Paines-
ville, Ohio, we found E. E. Johnson, our agent when
my brother Judson was Avith us during the 'oO's, and
he agreed to take up tlie work again. Asa's wife had
died a few months before. When we reached Chicago,
he received news of the death of his little o-rand-
daughter, Frederica, and at once hastened to Hutchin-
son. He returned and met us at Faril)ault, and in a
few days we had sung our way to Hutcliinson, where
we gave one very successful concert, and I spent a few
days attending to my affairs. Asa's daughter, Mrs.
Anderson, joined us ; and in January, 187<3, we made
another start, singing at Litchfield, St. Patil, Winona,
Red Wing, Lake City and other points. It was soon
evident that ]Mrs. Anderson was too mtich of an inva-
lid to sing, and this fact had a most depressing effect
on Asa. His wife and granddaughter were dead, and
his daughter Abljy seriously sick. At Faril)ault he
threw up his engagement, and our cherished plan of



54 THE HUTCHINSON FAMILY.

going to California had to he given n[). I Avas sadly
disappointed, hnt had long het'ore adopted •• There's no
such word as fail "' for m}' motto, and so kept at it.

Some of the newspaper notices we received during
this brief trip of a ""Hutchinson Family Quartet" are
of interest. The Faribault Repuhllcan said :

" 'Tis swt'ot to 1)0 r(;'niC'niberi.Ml.

"TwL'iity yi'urs have elajj-sod since these 'sons of song' first came to
this village. During the winter of 1855 a few families from the East had
clustered in this valley, to establish themselves homes. General Shields,
Dr. Jewett and tlie Nuttings liad interested themselves in tlie settlement
and by their notoriety as public men had induced many of their ad-
mirers to follow them to this beautiful spot. At tliat time they num-
bered all told about one hundred and fifty men, women and children.

"The Hutchinson Family — Judson, John and Asa — Tribe of -Jesse,
from the old Granite State, had been induced to visit the Territories
and in their perambulations came to Faribault. They entered tlie place
singing ' I come, I come, ye have called me long.' During tlieir sojourn
witJi Dr. Jewett,arrangements were made for a concert which was given
in the dining-room of the Nutting House, to a thoroughly inteiesti'd
audience. This was the first concert given in the Cannon Valley since
the voice of the red man was huslied for aye. Since that period the
family iiave been more or less interested in the growtii of our State.
Tlie town of Hutcliinson, established by them, though once sacked and
burned by the wild men, now has the advantages of modern civilization.

"They have returned to Faribault to find her educational institutions,
public buildings and private residences surpassed by none in tlie State.
An invitation has been extended to tliem to be jireseiit at the old
settlers' meeting, but prior engagements will prevent their return so
soon."

The St. Paid Pioneer-Press said :

" A quartette of this talented family, including John and Asa, of the
original troupe, and Abby and Henry, two gifted offshoots, gave a con-
cert at the Opera House last evening to an audience of fair proportions.
It is unnecessary to say that the entertainment was peculiar, for its
very charm was its peculiarity. A miscellaneous audience, may, in a
degree, enjoy a concert given by highly educated singers, that perform
the highest class of music, but to truly delight them, give them the
pure, simple harmonies of the Hutchinsons. It is a class of music they
■ •an understand. The melodies are pure and the part singing is given



CEUSADING FOK TEMPERANCE. 55

con amore, with not an attempt at display or rtourisli. There is an origi-
nality about the family which has lasted for over a third of a century,
and it is a fact that the two older members of the family that appeared
last night were as full of life and fun as they could possibly have been
when they made their debut on the concert jdatform, thus showing that
their adhesion to the temi)crance dt)ctrine, which they so ehxjuently
sinu', lias proved a wonderful preservative in their case. The pro-
gramme last evening was made up of an excellent variety of songs,
descriptive, pathetic and humorous, and it afforded a fine entertainment.
Henry, who made his first appearance in this city, is really a cultivated
singer and he rendered an elaljorati- buffo song in Italian in sjdendid
style, showing that he is capalile of maintaining a position of more
than ordinary pretensions among the Ijest singers of the day. At the
request of a large numlier of citizens, it has been decided to give
another entertainment to-night."

We Spent sevenil v.'eeks in Chicago ; a good deal of
the time with Jona.s Iliitehinson, now one of the judges
there, and for a long time corporation counsel of the
city. He was a brother to Jerusha, Judson's wife.
We also visited Hattie Hutchinson Dow, Zephaniah's
daughter. While making this stay in Chicago I com-
menced definite work on the history of tlie family. In
March, Camilla Urso gave concerts in the city, and
Henry made a contract to sing Avitli her as basso. On
the 5th Henry and I gave a concert together in
Chicago and at half-past ten that niglit he left me to
join the com[)any. After tliat my diary contains two
entries, each da}^ one giving my own whereabouts, and
the other his. Madam Urso took a great liking to
Henry, at once made him her contideiitial adviser as to
her professional plans, requesting him to make the an-
nouncements in the conceits, and the time he spent
travelling with Iter he heartily enjoyed.

The com[)any consisted of Madam Camilla Urso-
Leur, Miss Eugenie I)e Roode, Miss Clara J. Poole,
J. C. Bartlett, Auguste Sauret and Henry. Tlic great
violinist astonished and deliofhted all her audiences, and



56 THE HUTCHINSON FAMILY.

the comj^aiiy received fine notices wherever they a|>
peared. The Red Win;/ llepuhlican spoke of Henry as
possessing a " niag-iiilicent bass voice, firm, liearty,
manageable, and of great compass. He sung with
taste and genuine feeling. He had the mental re-
sources to become a truly great artist."

Of Henr}', audther paper said: ''His iine voice
and animated style found ample scope in the spirited
' Mariner's Song " ; and his rendition of the cavitina,
' Femina, Femina,' shows that he is an accomplished
buffo singer. His voice had a large range, and is even
and full throughout, having great sustaining power,
even in the higher tones." A Wild Western sheet in
Sioux City said of Camilla, "She fiddles like an angel,"
Avliich is a reminder of Camilla's remark concerning
the quartet's singing of "• ( ) hush thee, \\\j babie,"
"If you were angels you couldn't have done it better."
The Topeka Commonwealth said: " Mr. Henry Hutch-
inson was Avell received on his own merits, and also
because he was supposed, whether correctly or in-
correctly Ave do not know, to be a member of tlie
' Hutchinson Family,' always favorites in this anti-
slavery country." The Terre Haute Express said lie
" sung gloi'iously."

After Henry left me I made a trip to Hutchinson,
transacting some matters of business, then returning to
Chicago I s})ent several weeks on my book, and finally
went to New York, where I found Henry, he having
sinndtaneously finislied liis tour with Camilla Urso, slie
and Frederick Leur, her husband, sailing for Eni'ope,
Henry at once entered into partnership witli Jesse L.
Hutchinson, his cousin, in a foundry l)usiness in Balti-
more. Meanwhile I began to think of tlie possibility of
our doin<4 some business in Pliiladclpliia, at the Centen-



CRUSADING FOR TEMPERANCE. 57

nial Exposition. I had sent Joshua tliere to spy out
the ground, and ascertain the advantages and privi-
leges that woukl l)e aUowed us. On May 20th I
went down myself. We desired to make ourselves
acquainted with tlie leading spirits of the enterprise,
and signify our willingness to be utilized in any way
most conducive to the interests of the gi'eat exposition.

On my return I went to Lynn for a few days, and
made arrangements to celebrate the Centennial year In-
building a handsome stone wall on the Higldand
Square front of my premises, also terracing up the
slope in front and building wliat is now known as
'• John's Avenue." A man named Bisbee agreed to do
the job for three hundred dollars, with fifty dollais ad-
ditional for contingent expenses. His l)id })roved to l^e
wofuUy out of the way, for eventually 1 liad to take the
job off his hands and superintend it mj-self, at an ex-
pense of aljout one thousand dollai's.

On the 8th of June Sister Al)l)y sailed for home from
Liverpool, after an absence of several years. We all
went to welcome her ; and on June 17th Fanny, Herny,
Viola and I stood on the pier at Xew York to give her
greeting. As the steamer went past us in the chainiel
and came about we could see her with Ludlow on the
deck, b}^ her side, and sent out a song of Avelcome.
Then Ave heard her voice, witli tliat of her luisband, re-
s[)Ouding :

" We come, we coiiie, from a foreign land,
To welcome again our singing band."

Of course they had made many friends during the pas-
sage over, and there was great interest in the greeting.

On the 10th all the party went to Philadelphia. I
secured quarters for myself and family in the Atlas



58 THE HUTCH INSOX FAMILY.

Hotel, but a stone's throw from the Centennial grounds.
It was a suite of rooms, and we took meals durino- our
stay just as we chose. I went out for a walk very
soon, and found a cow feeding not far from the
o-rounds, and ascertained that we could get a quart or
two of her pure, fresh milk a da}'. It was easy to pro-
cure plenty of fruits and other supplies, and so we
li\('d (piite comfortably. Besides Fanny, my daughter
X'iola and her eldest child, "'■ Cleve," w^as with me.
Hai-ry and Kate were left behind.

We made pilgrimages to and from the Centennial
grounds and buildings, day in and day out; would
grow •\veary and fly to our rest : then be up and ready
to make new discoveries, })leased with all the display,
the tine bands of music, the accommodating railroad
trains conveying sight-seers to any |)art of the grounds,
shouting and singing as occasion would offer, congratu-
lating everybody that we were mutually privileged to
celebrate with the great American people the centen-
nial of the birth of the nation ; occasionalh' giving
concerts in the halls and churches of the city ; gather-
ing the people in the rotunda of our hotel almost every
night, and giving them a programme hrsting nearly an
hour. AVe were privileged to invite many speakers of
note to address our audiences on subjects vital to the
welfare of humanity. Friends and acciuaintances from
every quarter of the Union grasped our hands in con-
gratulation, and thus the days passetl merrily, with lit-
tle except the heat and dry weather to mar the festivi-
ties. Here we stayed until the natal day of the
Republic, July Fourth, and witnessed the matchless
pyrotechnic display. Then we began to long for tlie
cool breezes of the sea-coast and once more sought dear
old Ilio'h Ivock.



CRUSADING FOR TEMPERANCK. 59

I found my Centeiiiiial Avail had not progressed as I
had expected. I therefore took the responsibility on my
own shoulders, and in time the snbstantial piece of
masonry was completed. It \\as the work of weeks to
build it; but we were meeting, all the while, the appro-
bation of our best citizens as we proceeded. We had
been successful in quarrying the purple porphery with



Online LibraryJohn Wallace HutchinsonStory of the Hutchinsons (tribe of Jesse) (Volume 2) → online text (page 5 of 36)