John Wallace Hutchinson.

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which it is constructed from the grounds adjacent, and
with it erected a sti'ucture which lias stood as a retain-
ing wall for eighteen 3-ears without the ru[)ture of a
seam or the moving of a stone. No wall in Lynn had
ever been built like it. For the benefit of future gen-
erations I will describe its construction. A trench four
feet wide, sunk to a de})tli of earth beyond the contin-
gency of frost, was first made, and into this was tumbled
the old wall, built a decade before, and other waste
material, until it reached the level of the surrounding-
ground. On this foundation the wall Avas placed. It
Avas three feet Avide at the base, and battened next to
the bank, retreating slightly on the front. The por-
phery Avas so trimmed to a, proper size and shape that
the full benefit of the color Avas retained. This Avas
carried to aljout five feet in lieioht, the Avail beiiip-
eighteen inches Avide at the top. On the bank side, the
surface Avas first covered Avith the best of cement, to a
thickness of about an inch, leaving the exterior perfectly
smooth, to prevent Avater from entering any portion of
the fabric. This cement also coA^ered the top, and made
a bed to receive the cap-stone, it being laid so thick that
no rain could ever penetrate it. The Avail Avas then
pointed on the face, and the Avork Avas complete. Ever
since it Avas built, the city of Lynn has copied it in build-
ing retaining Avails. While the Avork Avas going on, I
had a number of Avorkmen, nearly all from Erin, and


they were a jolly set indeed. For convenience, I called
them each by some marked feature or characteristic, and
they seemed to like it. One had a whi.skey bottle con-
cealed somewhere in the bushes, and would occasionally
disappear, returnino- with a tell-tale odor of alcohol
about him. I callfd him '• IJum,"' and \iv didn't object.
The man wlio was always polishing- his spade was called
"Shovel;" "Long- Neck,'' Avas another: " Stia}).'" was
another; and so on. I had anti(|uity and the cdassies
to vindicate me in this course.

In September of this year, I made nn- annual visit to
the old homestead at Milford. Asa and Deiniett. with
Sister Abby, were there also, and together the family
gave a concert. The Fanner i< Cdhhivt noticed us as
follows :

"TiiK IlrTcmxsoN- Coxcert. — The ill-success of concert troupes in
]\Iiltor(l during the jnist four years was quite suggestive of a failure on
the part of the Ilutchinsons to secure a good audience, when they ad-
vertised one of their unique concerts for Monday evening, — but a well-
filled house greeted them. We have attended all the concerts tliat have
been held in oiu' luiUs for three years, and can unhesitatingly say we
lia\i' never seen a more enthusiastic audience in Rlilford for years than
lliat wluch greett'd the Hutchinson Family. A.s a general thing, Milford
pL-dpK' loolc down on local talent and prcfrr sonietliing unknown and
untried. 'Tlie ])roplK>t is not without liouoi',' etc., ajjiiliis very siuigly
to Milford ]ieo]ik — but even this was forgotten on ^bmday evening,
and for uww, Mill'ord did not go back on lirr own. Tlie Hutchinson
Family, as far as music is cont'iTned, is a marvii, andt'Xery one of them
is running o\t.r with melody. .lolm, Asa, .bislma, (Hivir Dennett,
Aliby IlutchinsdU I'atton, and Ni'Uie 11. Cray wire the nuinliers of the
family that greeted us with song; wlien one wearied at tiie organ,
another was ready to abl}' fill the vacant i)hue, making a charming
varii'ty throughout. Every song was apjilauded, and tlie house rang
again and again with enthusiastic ajjprobation.

"Nellie (iray, the bright, rising star of this fandly, never shone brighter
than on tins occasion, and she received a rapturous encore. Asa, with
master hand made the viul si)iak with almost human tones. Joshua ex-
celled esix'cialiy in his favoi-ite song, 'There's no time like the old
time,' and Oliver Di'miett in the song, 'Mother says 1 nuistn't.' Dennett


appeared several times tluriiijj the evening and reeeiviil most eom])li-
mentary favor from those iirfM'Ut. Joiiu presided throuiiliout the even-
ing, infusing sjiirit and liiimor into tlie eonecrt, and as the I'onqKiny
warmed uji in tlie (dd hut not wornout enianeiiiation song, '(ut o'J the
traek,' jNIrs. Pattons voice rosf clear, sweet and above them all, and to
her was duemuehof tiie aj)plause that foUowi-d. In tlie frrtdniun hymn
was exhibited that wonderful voice harmony for wliieh the fannly are
so noted, and the audience wouhl have heard it again and again and
not wearied."

When the wall was done, we returned to Philadelphia.
Resuming our quarters at the Atlas, we Avere soon hiisy
in singing and sight-seeing once more. Asa and Miss
Ella F. liamsdell, with whom he had been singing, and
his children, Abbv and Dennett, were there, with Joshua
and others who had sung A\itli the family in l)ygone
years. On November 1st there was a great concert in
tlie rotunda of the central building, the Handel and
Haydn Society and other noted nuisical organizations
participating. We were invited to a place on the
programme, and sung '• The ( )ld (iranite State,'' " Uncle
Sam's Farm,*' and '• 'i'he Fatherliood of God, and the
Brotherliood of Man."' The chorus consisted of the
united triljes : Asa and liis new wife, ]\Iiss Eamsdell,
Abby Anderson, Dennett, Joshua, John, Fanny, Henry,
Viola, Walter Kittredge, and Cliarles Sohier. The
same coml)ination gave several concerts in Horticultural

Tlien we sung at different State-buildings, for several
days. On New Hampshire Day the Governor asked me
to sing, and I invited Abby and Ludlow to join me.
We sung the '• Old Granite State,'" of course, and
'• One Hundred Years Hence."' Tlie latter seemed to
be the very thing for the occasion. At its close, the
Governor said, " ]Mr. Hutchinson, you have saved the


On one Sunday, Joshua, Asa, Dennett and I, with
Miss Kanisdell, sauy at liethany Sunday-school, where
John Wananiaker, afterwards Postmaster-General under
Harrison, was superintendent. He never forget us after

^Vs soon as the exposition was over, Asa, Avith his
company, began to give concerts about Pliiladelphia.
He gave lifty l)efore going elsewhere. 1, too, \vuuld
have liked to have given some concerts there, but tlis-
liked to have the tribes clashing in their work, so went
in anollu-r din-etion. At the Centennial I had met two
Welsh boys, or j-oung men, named llnglies. At the
time they were not in excellent linaneial circumstances,
l)Ut they had good voices, and as 1 had temporarily lost
Hcnrv, llii'V consented to an enyaQ-ement.

Mcanwliilc, 1 l)onght a new organ, ^[y melodeon
had done good service, and made itself famous, but the
time seemed ripe for a change. I went to George
Woods, the veteran Cambridge organ manufacturer, and
told hini to make me to order as good an instrument
<is could ])c designed t\)i' concert \\'ork. He \\ent enlhu-
siasiically at il. and designed new registers and reeds,
and in coui'se of lime freighted the instrument to
IvyiHi. ]\lv heart went down A\lien the massive box
containing it'^as carted to tlie door of Daisy Cottage.
It was e\idiMitly far too large for convenient transporta-
tion over our routes. '''Is that to l)e my mehxh'on ? ''
tlionglit I. Procuring the services of two or three
men. it was lifted up the ste[)s, and removed from the
box. I placed }\\y lingers on the kt-\s. The sound
seenu'd wooden. J struck another chord. ]More Mood.
It was evident that Ave could never transport this tliree
hundred and fifty ])ounds in our concert touis. It was
placed in the parlor, and never saw the concert plat-


form, except in a few instances, near iJosloii. llie
old melodeon was re[iaired, and continued t(j do ser-

With the Hughes Ijrothers I A\ent to Baltimore. On
December 17th, \ve, with Henry, sang at four different
cliurclies and temperance meetings. We had an ex-
perience Avhich again demonstrated Henry's courage,
while in Baltimore. We were in a hack. The driver
was drunk, and his horses ran away. Henry crawled
out of the side window, climl)ed on the box, seized the
reins, and stop[>L'd tlie runaways. This Avas but one
sample of his bravery. At one time we were singing
in Gloucester, on Cape Ann. The concert was in the
town liall, and. a large assembly was listening. 'J'liere
was a noise in the rear gallery. Some twelve or more
fishermen roughs were there. I remarked : '-'•li it is
possible to preserve order wa will go on." A clergy-
man of influence in tlie audience arose and said : *• I
propose to have order here."* Just then Henr}' leaped
from the stage, crossed tlie hall and went into the Ijal-
cony. Grasping the ringleader of the party by the
collar, he pulled him across the galleiy and out
through the rear door. I heard tliem rolling down
the stairs together. He put him out of the door and
came back a conqueror. The audience roared A\ith

After o-iviupf several concerts in Baltimore, we went
to Washington. Here we had (|uite a remarkable ex-
perience. We gave some thirty concerts in different
halls and churches. On the night of Decemljer olst,
by invitation of Rev. John P. Xewman, D. D.. now
bishop of the Methodist-Episcopal church, then Presi-
dent Grant's pastor, I attended the watcli-night service
in the Metropolitan Church. At Dr. Newman's request,


I had agreed to sing just l)ef ore midnight, "No Night

" There's no r.iglit tlicre,

But one endless day,
In that beautiful land,

Away, far away.
Just beyond the river

That land I see ;
Loved ones are waiting

To welcome me."

I had agreed with the organist to arrange the stops of
the pi})e organ for pianissimo effects. The church was
packed. The time arrived. I went to tlie organ, in
the dim light, and phiced ni}- hands on the keys. Tlie
only response was a far-off squeak. The organist had
o-one. I sunof the best I couhl, but it seemed as thoui^Ii
I was singing very poorly indeed. I did not stay to join
in the New Year congratulations, and went liome feel-
ing some disappointment. The next day, however, as I
was passing along the street, Dr. Newman crossed,
gra.sped me by the hand, and said : " Mr. Hutchinson,
I cannot thank you enough for your singing. It was
very well received." This rather lifted me up.

We found Washington, as well as the country at
large, completely stirred u[) over the question of who
had been elected, Hayes or Tilden. The reader is fa-
miliar witli the story of those stormy times. The elec-
tion was close. For weeks the residt in South Caro-
lina, Florida and Louisiana was in doubt. General
Hayes wrote to John Sherman his convietion that if
the vote in tlie Southern States was correctly counted
and returned he Avould have forty electoral votes, to
spa re §> but that he jjreferrrd to be counted out rather
than have any suspicion of fraud about the matter.
Committees f)f Congress were sent into each of the


three States to investigate the reports regarding the
intimidation and snppres.sion of the negro vote. Fi-
nally, the governors of tjie three doubtful States re-
turned the vote as for Hayes in each instance. I'liis
gave him 18.") votes to 184 for Tilden. Tlien came
the question of Avlietlier this return should he accepted
l)y the House of Representatives, or whether it should
"go behind the returns." On Deceml)er 18, 18T(),
Representative McC'rary })ut in a resolution for a joint
connnittee to report some measure of relief. After
the usual reference and amendments, this bill was
passed and concurred in l)y tlie Senate, and seven
senators and seven re[)resentatives were ap})ointed on
the committee.

Meanwhile the excitement coniinued, and anarchy
seemed to stare the country in the face. I liad no sym-
pathy with anarchy, l)ut my course seemed to awaken
suspicion of sometliing of that nature, nevertlieless.
Early in January the conviction came to me that it was
my duty as a good citizen to take some action. 1 listened
to the talk in the capital, and was wrouglit up to a high
j)itch of excitement by it. Fears M^ere entertained tliat
a civil war wds inuninent which would lie far more
bloody than tlie Southern revolt. On all the trains
coming towaid the cit}' military oilicers could he seen
huri-yiug thence, which lent color to the idea. Tlie sus-
picion Mas tliat Grant would effect a military rule, seize
the government, and preside l)eyond the time allotted
to him. I sung at a nnisicale in the three large parlors
I had secured, soon after New Year's, and during the
evening addressed the audience, speaking of my sus-
23icions, and the necessity of immediate action to change
existing conditions. I then asked a vote on the suljject
of a convention to discuss the matter. A o-entleman


arose, and said, "''Sir. Ilutcliiiison, ap})oiiit your time."
Then I said I had already secured a large room and
suggested that the meeting be held two days later. This
was Januar}^ loth. On the evening of that day there
assembled at the appointed place a large gathering
of men of every party, drawn by interest or curiosit}'.
I was selected as tem[)orary, and later permanent, chair-
man. I told them what I had thus far done and ex-
pressed my conviction that something must be done to
stay the crisis. Many radical speeches were made.
Some said, ''Let the. country go to the wall. If repul>
licanism is a failure, let us have a new order of things."
I had suggested that we ought to make a proposition to
the disputing factions that one or the other party should
carry out certain demands of the people and go in with
their endorsement. It was a time to make an advance
movement, and gain something for the people at large.
The question Avas, What candidate will consent to
carry out their demands. Kesolutions Avere passed,
and a committee, of wliich I was one, Avas appointed to
draw up a memorial. We sung, "The (lood Time
Coming," and then tlie meeting adjourned. At its close,
a gentleman came to me and said, ''Tliere liaA^e been
two detectives here. They are from tlie Wliite Hotise."
Then I reflected that it Avas a question Avhether tlie
meeting Avas allowable. It was neither Kepublican nor
Democratic, but revolutionary. The "memorial" Avas
never completed, as events that occurred lendered it un-

On the same dav, StMiator Ivhnunds. cliairman of the
committee to Avhich I liaA'e referred, reported the l)ill
for an electoral commission, fiA'e senators, five representa-
tives, and five members of the Supreme Court. This
commission, it will be remembered, bv a A'ote of eight

CllUSADlXCi FOK Ti:.Ml'i:i;ANCI-:. • (37

to seven, refused to g^o Leliiiid the returns in any Stiitc ;
and so Hayes was declared President, Ix'ing- quietly in-
augurated jNIarch 5tli. Through all tlie exeitement, I
had heeu to both liepubliean and Democratic meetings.
The former ^yere much less communicative concerning
their plans than the latter. We judged that Grant
Avould consent to remain as President until his successor
was chosen; that the Democracy Avould claim that
Tilden was elected, and inaugurate him either in Wash-
ington or New York, and that each A\-ould appeal to the
country for vindication. In that case, the demand of
the people, voiced through a memorial, would be con-
ceded by one or the other, and an almost unanimous en-
dorsement would follow. This I believed would be a
distinct gain in the condition of the country at large.
These demands were outlined in my resolutions, which
were submitted at the preliminary meeting, before the
congressional committee reported. AVhen it was all
over, one man said to me, " Jolni, I made up my mind
that if ciyil war came, three Democrats, at least, would
be dead men."

On March 4th, ])y invitation of the new magistrate,
we visited the White ] louse, and sung to President and
Mrs. Haj'es and their friends.




' Ho, brothers, come hither aiul list to my story ;

INIerry and brief will the narrative be :
Here like a monarch i. reign in my glory ;
Master am I, boys, of all that I see.

' Where once frowned a forest a garden is smiling,

The meadow and moorland are marshes no more ;
And there curls the smoke of my cottage, beguiling
The children who cluster like grapes at my door.
Then enter boys, cheerily boys, enter and rest
The land of the heart is the land of the West."

" We have formed our band, and are all well manned,
To journey afar to the promised land.
Where tlie golden ore is rich in store.
On the banlvs of the Sacramento's shore."

At tlie L' of our eiigageineiit in Washington, in
1877, we made a trip to ChieagM, wliere we spent
several weeks. I sent for Fanny, my wife, to come on,
and she joined us in our concerts. My son Judson came
with lier. II. L. Slayton, who r:iu a lecture l)nreau.
made our engagements. Dining May we spent (piite a
time at the liome of Rufus J^lanchaid, in Wlu-alon. 111..
twenty-tive miles from Chicago. He was horn in Lyiuk^-
boro, N. H., and his father refreshed me witli a (piart of
milk on that S;d)halh morning of long-ago when my
hopes had heeii so sadly blighted by the maiden to
Avluim I referred in an early chapter. Lyndeboro was
but a sliort distance from Milford. and as hoys we were
almost neighbors. Mrs. Rhinchard was very hospitable.


and careful of our comfort. During the World's Fair I
was a guest of Blancliard's again, for quite a long period.
Another Mr, Blanchard, well known as an anti-Masonic
lecturer, Avas in 1877 principal of tlie seminary at
Wheaton. He invited us to sing at the institution on
two occasions. I reniemljer we spent an evening dis-
cussing his particular theories, and were (piite agreed,
except that I did not attack the secret-order system
from behind the bulwark of Presbyterianism.

On one occasion, with Slayton, I went to the church
in Chicago in which Lillie C. Phillips Avas singing.
She was a vocalist of considerable note, with culture
and experience, having appeared in concert with Annie
Louise Gary and other celebrated people. I had learned
of her through the Hughes l)rothers, who heard her
sing as a child in her native town. Her voice antl
manner pleased me so nuieh that with Fanny I called
at her home, Millard .V venue. She came after that by
invitation and sang at one of our concerts. I then
beo'an to consider the feasil)ilitv of securing her as a
member of ni}' company, and after our return from
Chicago my wife kept in correspondence Avith her. On
our way home Ave stopped, among other places, at
Wheeling, W. Ya. In the morning, in order to reach
a certain train, avc crossed a railroad bridge over the
river on the ties. Judson, always a frail Ijoy, A\as
taken with a sudden illness Avhen Ave Avere about lialf-
Avay over. He dropped a bag full of A'aluable papei's.
and falling, fortunately Avent across the ties instead of
betAveen them. The l)ag also lodged between the ties,
and so still continues in service in my travels. We
feared the oncoming train, l)ut to our joy he recovered,
and Ave Avere out of danger Ijefore it crossed.

We Avent to Baltimore and spent a day and night


witliHeniN'. Tlieiu-e we miule our wav to High Rock.
Quarters were })rovi(le(l for the two youug men of the
company hi auollier buihUiig, and life went on in
Daisy Cottage nnieh as usual, exee2)t that we nnssed
Heury. A good deal of my attention was engrossed
by articles that appeared in print concerning a sale to
the city of High Kock. For years the title to some six
acres of our property had been in dispute. Jesse bought
it. and the brothers had improved it, in entire good
faith ; but after Jesse's death it had also been claimed
by James N. Buffum and othei's. At this time Buffum
was making negotiations to sell the land to the city for
a public park. There was no dispute regarding the
crest of the rock, and some five acres in front. During
my absence the sul)ject had been under discussion b}'
the city government and in the papers. The public
had begun to see that in making the purchase of Higli
Rock from Buffum it would have " Hamlet " with
Hamlet left out, as we still owned the portion of the
eminence resorted to by the citizens, which we had kept
open to all visitors for nearly forty years. The title to
the property was so cloudy that there was no purchase.

In June I went to Milford for a day or two, visited
David, Joshua and Rlioda, and liad a day's haying with
the former, then seventy-four years old.

In July Abl)y and l^udlow visited me. We spent
one day in Boston during their stay, meeting Asa and
Ids wife. On another day we climbed Bunker Hill
jMonument togethei'. On the 25th of July, Ludlow
and Abl)y accompanied Asa and his family to Ihuigor,
Me. As the boat sailed by Lynn, we saluted them
from High Rock with a sheet, swung in the air.

In August I received a letter from Chicago, signifying
Lillie Phillips's willingness to come on and sing with us.



At once I sent a dispatch for her, and soon went to the
White Monntains to make anangenients to sing.
Auo'ust 2Ulh. President Haves, with Mrs. Hayes and
others, came to Faltyan's, and I began to wish the l)()ys
liad come ^itli me. However, I sang to the distin-
gnishcd gnests, without assistance. The next day I
turned liomeward. Two (hiys hiter Lillie came. On
the 27th we gave our hrst concert with her at Ply-
mouth, N. PI. Concerts followed at the Kearsage,
North Conway, the Crawford House, Fabyan's, at the
Weirs, where John B. Gough spoke, and other points.
It was evident that we had a prize in Lillie ; and we
were much cheered by our Avonderful success, rejoicing
at the prospect of many engagements ahead. But the
Hughes boys were jealous of her. We commenced a
series of engagements around Boston. The Hughes
brothers were by this time well acquainted with our
songs, and feeling independent. They had put their
heads together, and concluded that I desired to sing
all the solos. One night in East Bridgewater, I an-
nounced a song in which they were to sing also. They
sat still in their places, and I scented trouble. Begging
the indulgence of the audience, I changed the song and
went on. We were particular to sing no song after
that which needed their voices. When we reached the
"Old Granite State," Judson, who saw that something
was wrong, came out from the wings and joined us. In
a few days I went to the boys, and suggested that I
would give them one more trial. Soon after they
tried the same thing again. Then I let them go.
They later went to Wales, where they sang my songs
to delighted audiences and made monev. They are
now established in a successful music store in one of
the Southern cities.


Then I sought a bass singer. A Boston man joined
us, named Frank L. Young. The Phihulelphia agent
who had eared for Asa"s interests the season Ijet'ore.
John 11. Pilley, had ^vritten me that there was a great
demand for coneerts by the Tribe of John, and we had
allowed him to make some tifty dates ahead for us.
Mr. Young sung bass for a ■\\hile and also aeted as a
violinist to play Lillie's aeeompaniments, while she
would in return play his. After that I met a good
bass singer, J. P. Hayes, who is now a resident of
Lynn. He sang with us a little. But all this while
there was but one bass singer ^^•ho really met my ideas.
No one could sing with me like my own son. On
'Jliaidcsgiving Day I sent for him to come from Balti-
more and attend our coneert, in Association Hall. He
came, and sang one song. He had never met Lillie
before, but at once recognized his fate. It was com-
paratively easy work after that concert to persuade him
that it was for his advantage to drop his business en-
o-ari'ements and ioin us.

Henr}' began to sing with us again December 10th.
After that everything was easy. We began a series of
successes lasting for years. Lillie was versed in the
more modern methods of concert singing. Henry had
had an experience which gave him command of more
heavy solos, as well as of the sim[)ler songs of liuman-
ilv which he had always sung with Fanny and myself.
We sought to retain the old favorites in our pro-
grammes, while giving a representation also to the
best modern coneert selections. The combination

Online LibraryJohn Wallace HutchinsonStory of the Hutchinsons (tribe of Jesse) (Volume 2) → online text (page 6 of 36)