John Wallace Hutchinson.

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seemed to take our audiences by storm. AVe were re-
ceived with great ^'-hif wherever we appeared. When
we had hlled the engagements for which we had come
to Philadel[)hia, Mr. Pilley gave us many more. Since

Hi;Mtv Fannv

THK TKIIJK OF JOHN, 187S — (.[i.'


the days Avlien tlie l)iotliers witli Abby first won suc-
cess in the hirge cities, we liad seen notliiiin" more
marked in the way of success tlian this. • A\'e a\ ere
singing practically every night. On Sunday we went
to such places as Waiiamaker's Sunday-school. We
also gave a concert in the Bethany Church. We sang
in all the large halls. Musical Fund Hall, where we
sang in the 40's, was no longer closed against us, and
there was no question of the right of any colored man
or woman A\ho chose comiuo- also. Our enoau'ements
were a series of ovations.

I remember one Monday morning we sang at the Bap-
tist ministers' meeting. The question of eternal pun-
ishment in a material abode for the wicked was under
discussion. The gathering seemed to be composed of
both "hard shells" and soft shells, for as the old lin'es
of ])elief were again laid down by the elder element
among the dominies, we observed that from one-half to
two-thirds of the younger meml)ers one by one de-
parted. F(n* myself, I rather leaned toAvard the A'iews
of Beecher, and concluded the younger men were
studying philosophy.

While in Phihulelphia we concluded to make a trip
across the continent to the Pacihc coast. This, as the
reader knows, had been our cherished amljition for
years. When we finished our engagements there,
Fanny and I started for New York. We reached Jer-
sey City, and as we were entering the depot, eacli of
the passengers Inisied himself in pre})aratioiis to leave
the train. I was in the aisle, getting niy baggage
together. Fanny also was in th(^ aisle. I oljserved
that the train, though in the station, did not stop.
Suddenly, crash! went the forward car against the
bumper. The recoil sent e\ery body off their feet,


and there we were, piled in ;i demoralized tangle.
Sadly bewildeied, and bruised and lamed so that we
were unable to tell whether we were really seriously
hurt or not, Ave were led from the ear. A woman who
had been standing in front of the mirror found her i\u-e
plunging tlnough it before she knew anything was u[).
Jt was frightfully eut and bleeding l)adly as she was
taken from the car. We descended simultaneously,
and a re[)orter, recognizing me and seeing lier, in-
stantly assumed her to be one of the Hutchinsons.
At once he sent the news of our assumed injury to his
paper and it was telegraphed to Philadelphia and
everywhere. Henry and Lillie were greatly distressed
by the intelligence, and at once hastened to us. We
were conducted into the depot, so shaken up and be-
wildered that we were glad to accept all courtesies. I
coid'ess 1 was curious to ascertain how badly I was
hurt. A physician examined us, and found us intact,
barring Ijruises. A carriage was placed at our disposal
and we were driven to a boarding-place. I soon con-
cluded that I should have no further use for the tuin-
out, and said to the driver : '' I guess I won't ket'p
you any longer. If anything serious turns up, we will
notify the directors."

We had previously left our son Judson iii good
hands, in T.akeville, Conn. We visited him, and
found him well and happy. We went to Lyiui, found
a tenant who would take our house for a year or two,
and then returned to New York. Then we sang for
six weeks in the towns on the line of the Harlem Rail-
road. Toward the last of June, I left the part}^ and
came home to Lynn, to attend to matters of business.
I found tlie man living in my house had kept everything
in line condition, and that his care of the strawberry


bed made it as handsome as I had ever seen one. Pick-
ing four or five (jTiaits, I took them to New York, and
my company liad a feast. On my ^vay, 1 stop[)ed at
Lakeville for Judson.

Tlien Ave took the New York Central road and went
westward, stopping- at all large towns for concerts. At
Shortsville A\e found \Vm. L. Brown, wlio offered to
take an engagement to go ahead and make dates for
us. He ke[)t on through western New Yoik, Ohio,
Illinois and Micliigan. When we got to ToKmIo, we
left Judson with Viola. We filled many engagements
in Chicago, Avith magnificent audiences. We sang one
night in tlie ]ia[)tist church at Lillie's home. ,

Then we bid good-by to Mr. Brown, and turned our
faces toward sunset, fully aware as we did so that there
was likely to be as nuich money for us if we spent a
3'ear near C-hicago as there would l)e where we were
going. Our scrap-books show that our tour was the
cause of the })ul)lication of a voluminous amoiuit of
literature. Histories of the family, interviews with
us, incidents concerning our experiences, and reviews
of our concerts make quite a volume in themselves.
At Council Bluffs we made the accpiaintance of the
Superintendent of the Union Pacific road, and througli
him we obtained special rates on four round-trip tick-
ets to the Golden Gate, witli all needful stop-over
privileges. At Omalia we sung in temperance meet-
ings and heard John B. Finch s[)eak. We were glad
to meet him. He asked us to come to his reform meet-
ings, and we gladly did so. Rev. Mr. Fisher, the man
who was done up in a carpet at Lawrence, Kan., by his
wife, to save him from the border ruffians, was preaching
in the First Methodist-Episcopal Church at Omalia, and
we gave several concerts in that edifice.


We then gave concerts in T^incoln, Crete, Fremont,
Cheyenne, Denver, Greele}', Laramie, Salt Lake City
(wliere we sung in the Temple and the Theatre, and
made tlie ac(|uaintanL-e of the leading- men among the
Mormons who spoke of tlu'ir system of life unljlusli-
iiigly, claiming it was patriarchal), Ogden, Eureka,
Carson, A'irginia City, (iold Hill (where we Avent
and snng to the miners, hundreds of feet below the
surface, and saw the ore in its primitive condition,
though it is said most of the money made out of the
mine was in selling stock, everybody, even to the
hired girls, having the fever), Sacramento, and so on
to San P^rancisco.

Perhaps I should pause here, and give a Inief re-
view of some of the notices we received on our trip
from ocean to ocean and during this year, 1878, which
closes with our arrival in San Francisco. A notiee of
our thirty-sixth concert in Pinladelphia may Avell lead
the way. The writer says :

" The secret of their attraction is still wliat it always was. Not only
are they good singers, but unrivalled entertainers. Paterfamilias, the
actor of the family, is an able tragedian. He froze our young blood in
the year — never mind — with ' The ^Maniac,' and so scared its owner,
Russell, tliat tliat great vciealist, when Iluteliiuson sang the song in
Enghinil, got (Hit an injunction and sto]i])cd him. lie is also, we be-
lieve, the only man living wlio can sing a comic song witliout losing his
diuiiitv. Henry J. Hutchinson is a fine baritone singer, and Mrs.
Hutchinson recites and rendirs such character songs as ' John Ander-
son ' and lier i)art in ' Tonuny, don't go,' with exci'Ucnt effect. This
soul;', h\' tiie way, was one of the main features of the concert at < >li-
vet Churcli. Tommy, a young faruuT, is entreated by his aged par-
ents not to leave them to join a gay party, and finally yields to their
l)rayi'rs. The little musical vaudeville was admirably acted, but JHss
I'hillips, who ])]ayed the accomi)aninu'nt, took all the merit out of
Tommy's sacrifice by joining in tlie chorus with her fresh young
voice. 'Don't go. Tommy !' sang slu> ; and Tonuny stayed. Who
wouldn't? The young lady gave ToplifTs 'Consider the Lilies' so

AC^o^^s Tin-: contjnent. i *

beautifully that tlie Irast t-iiidtinnal audimce we ever lost ])ati(ncc
with biu'st into ra}itm\'s. Tin- ainlii'iice' was not largi', but Mr. II., in
thanking tlicni, .^aiil lie un^ht tn t\-v\ wry nnirli uncouraguil at Sffin^
such an attemlancc' when ln' rctlectcil tliat at (ine time there wvw not so
many i>eoi)le on tlie nlobt' as lu' tlirn saw bi'fore him. Tills J(il<i.' was
heightened hy licing tal<iMi in perfectly ijooil faitli by many of l\\v au(U-

The AVi'iter iniL;lit have .snid that I added — "dining
the rainy season."'

A Council Bluffs jiajiei' s[)oke of our singing as "soul
stirring." Another said, " Each one tills his part to per-
fection.'' An Omaha publication said, "Their art is as
soul-compelling as their music is ear-compelling."' it
also said, ''This modern 'Tril)e of Jesse' is a living
link l)etween all tliat was sweet and inspiring in the im-
passioned voice of struggling freedom a generation ago,
and all that is high and nohle in this glad era of its
triumph, in the arts and tlie amenities of the intellectual,
social and art-life of a tliinking, earnest and })i'ogre.ssive
people." '■'■ It is rarely tliat a Lincoln audience lias
been more completely carried away by the power of
vocal music," said another paper. A Chayenne paper
called us " Pioneers of Song." while a Fremont, Neb.,
paper, speaking of I^illie, said, " This lady has a very
fine soprano, broad in com^iass, remarkably full, sweet
and pure in tone, highly cidtivated and completely
under control.'' Within a week, another paper had in-
dulged in a I'hapsody over her as " A contralto of re-
markable quality and range,"" the two indicating some-
thing of the compass of her voice. In Fremont, " Tommy,
don't go,"' moved the audience to tears. The Denver
Tribune said: "These concerts are unlike any other
form of musical entertaiinnent, and would seem to be
'the good ' in music. 'I'hcy are plain, and yet all the
modern graces and the accomplishments of the age are

78 TH1-: HUTCH ixsox family.

(liscernil)le. in llie make-up of the programme/' The
Litnniu'i' Sfiith/cl >~aul: '"John and Fannie are g-ettino-
old, but have tlie eonsohition, in their declining years,
tliat the liigh oider of nuisieal ahility manifested by
tliem through life has not suffered in transmission to
their children, and as pure voices as theirs will sing
requiems over their graves, when they have gone to join
the memliers of their tribe now singing new songs in
that beautiful land of the blue."" ^ A \'irginia City paper

1 The expression, "Beautitul Land of the Blue" in the notice abm-e quoted,
impressed the c nipiler of this volume so much when he read it, that -within
a few days he wrote a song which was published and copied freely iu the
press. At the request of Mr. Hutchinson, it is inserted here.

" "l"is a weary world, and a dreary world
We pilgrims are journeying through ;
But a country bright, with no cloud or night
Is the land beyond the blue.

" And souls that are sad shall be evermore glad
With a joy that is perfect and true,
When they reach the strand of that beautiful land ;
The land beyond the blue.

"And there, we are told, is the city of gold,
Bathed in glory eternally new ;
And its streets are trod by the angels of Ciod
In the land beyond the blue.

"To the fever and strife of this hurrying life.
To its sorrows, we'll bid adieu —
When we stretch our wings and each spirit sings
In the land beyond the blue.

"O, brothers that mourn, with hearts that arc torn.
There is solace for me and for you ;
For no sickness and pain shall grieve us again
In the land beyond the blue.

"And the spirits we love in those mansions above
Trepared for the faithful and true,
.\re dwelling for aye, in inimnrtal day,
In the land beyond the blue.

"Oh, sometimes T long, 'mid the evil and wrong
Of this life, though its days are few,
Til be taking my tlight to that city of light
III the land bevond the blue."


said, " The siiig-ing of this family is of the good home
kind that everyl)od\' can understand and feel/' The
Sacramento pa[)ers [)raised us for charging onl}- fifty
cents admission, half tlie sum asked by even amateurs.

^Vt Mrginia C'ily we were met by Charles R. IJacon,
whom we engaged as agent. He Avent ahead, and made
dates for us in San Fianeisco and elsewhere in California.
We gave our opening concert in San Francisco in the
Metropolitan Temple, its pastor being Rev. I. S. Kalloeh,
whom we liad met in Kansas, when he was our leading
op[)onent in the suffrage campaign. In his paper, the
Metropolitan Banner^ lie said of us :

"The Hutchiiisoiis have won tht-ir way into puldic favor in San
Francisco, as we kiiuw tliuy would. We wisli every person on theeoast
coukl hear them. The emotions awakened are simply indescribable.
The liarmony of voices is wonderful ; the rendering of every tone is
faultless. Art contributes to nature in their singing, and does not cliill
it. Thoughts, sentiments, emotions, glowing with life, flow to enchanted
listeners through the poetry of song. Old memories are awakened.
The scenes of our childhood, almost forgotten, are brought so vividly
to mind that we think, and laugh, and cry, and clap our hands, and are
carried, in spite of our struggles to resist, outside of ourselves. AVe
wisli all the ciiildren could liear them. Happy, sunny childhood has a
right to enjoy the benediction of tliese sweet songsters."

On January 15, 1879, J. M. Buffington, an old friend
of Brother Jesse, engaged us to come to his Sunday-
school, in tlie Howard Methodist Episcopal Church,
San Francisco, at a later date. We went on the 24th.
Addressing the children, Mr. Iiuflington told a story of
ids experience in coming to the State in the early days
of the gold excitement. lie came over the Isthmus, and
boarded a shi}) bound for Sau Diego. It Avas crowded
with adventurers in puisuit of fortune. They had been
on board but a short time wlien, owing to tlie crowded
condition of the l)oat, poor food, foul air and fatigue,


disease broke out in the vessel. Men were attacked,
would be siek but a short time, and die. It seemed like
cholera. Then there came to the front a man of spirit,
soul and determination, full of strength and magnetism,
who went from one to another with words of solace and
encouragement. He went to the cook's galley, made
son[)s and porridges and in this way restored hundreds to
health, joy and happiness. He was, like Florence Night-
ingale, an angel of mercy. He was a benefactor, full of
words of healing. When they reached San Diego, the
ship came to anchor. The man was blessed by both
crew and passengers — by everybody on board. "The
man who Avill sing to you,'' concluded he, "brings that
benefactor vividly to ni}- mind. He is his brother." I
was as much surprised by this glowing tribute to my
lirother Jesse as any one there. In response to the
speech we sung " Good Old Days of Yore."

As a prelude to one of our concerts in the Metropoli-
tan Temple, Rev. Mr. Kalloch spoke in part as follows :

"My excolk'iit friend, John Iluti-liinson, wlioni we liave tlie ploasure
of honoring- to-night by this magnitieent assembly — the thirteenth child
of the "Tribe of Jesse" — has presided over more than len thousand
concerts in person. "Who can estimate, much less measure, the moral
imjiressions produced and moral energies stimulated by this protracted
and blessed itiiu^rancy ? Especially when it is renuiuliered that never
in a single song liave they stooped to the utterance of a vulgar or de-
basing word. 'I'lieir music has been jiitclu-d to the tune of liunianity.
They have sung on the side of human rights. They have given a voice
to the wants of weary, wayside hearts. Tliey have ehanteii tlie gospel
of universal emanciiiation.

"TIk' first tinu' I lnaiMl tht'in was tliirty years ago by the side of one
who luis kept l)y my side ever since, but, alas ! not to be movi'd and
melted as we were then by the mountain nudodies of the old (iranite
State! The first time I knew tlu'in was when they were singing and I
was shoutnig the name of Fremont in tlie memorial campaign of which
lie was leader. Whntiveryou nuiy think of the campaign or of tlie man,
there is one thing ytm will not successfully deny, and that is that it in-
sjiired jDine of the grandest music, poetry and eloquence tliat ever


graced a political cainpaiiiii. if tliat camiiai.nn liad left but one memo-
rial, it would have been eiKniuli tu immortalize it. 1 refer to tlie souj;
which Whittier contributed to its jjroyress. It is called " 'I'lie Pathfinder,'
and has a double interest for Californians."

We gave litty concerts in Sau Francisco during three
months. On Ft'l)ruary 'jth we sung at Mills JSeminary,
an institution of high literary taste and culture. On
the following day we sung at the First Universalist
Ohurch, its pastor being Kev. Ada C. Bowles, a lady of
culture and abilit}'. l)orn on Cape Ann, and a friend of
many years standing.

In June, after a series of triumphs in an artistic
sense, Fanny and I \\ ith Henr}' and his wife, went to
the beautiful Yosemiie A'alley. Here we stayed many
weeks, enjoying with all travelling America, the mag-
nificent scenery and making oursclv(,\s happy with hun-
dreds of the tourists there gathered. Wliile there Jack,
Henry's first boy was born. ]\Ir. Leidig, at the liotel,
proposed that he be named " Frederick El Capitan,"
but instead he was named Herny Jolm. A little later
there was a Sunday-school assembly and the first Sun-
day-school in the valley was 0}'ganized, numbering some
one hundred and sixteen pu[)ils and eiglit teachei's, tlie
enrolment representing sixteen States. Kev. Dr. John
H. Vincent, now a bisliop, conducted the exercises.
There were lectures every day by some such eminent
men as Rev. Thomas Guard, Dr. Sheldon Jackson. Dr.
Jolni Muir and Jose[)h Cook. The first church in ihe
valley, a [Methodist, was dedicated during our stay, and
for this service Joseph Cook wrote a doxology, which
we sung :

"The hills of Ood support the skies,
To God let adoration rise ;
Let hills and skies and heavenly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost."


Mr. Cook made the speech of presentation of a BH^le
secured by sul)seri[)ti()iis ainoiig tlie tourists. As ap-
propriate to the incident we sang '' ]\Iy Mother's Bible."'

The papers published the Ijirth of Jack with various
comments. One added to the notice this stanza :

" I was born in the Yo Semite Valley,
1 am healthy and jolly and fat;
They will eall me a Yo Semite haliy,

But I'm a Green Mountain boy for all that."

Late in the spring we made a trip to San Diego and
gave five successful concerts in the vicinity of the Mex-
ican border. People brouglit us beautiful flowers by
the tubful. We visited the border line and saw the
great stone monument between the two countries estab-
lished after the Mexican war. We went to the great
Kimball farm, thousands of acres overlooking the bay,
aiul extending back for a long distance. They gave us
a banquet at which we feasted on the olive in its ripened
state. Mr. Kimball said he would sometimes eat a pint
of olives at one time, taking nothing else for his food.

Just before leaving San Diego we were saddened by
the distressing intelligence from Viola at Toledo that
the physician said Judson could not live twenty-four
hours. AVe thought, with breaking hearts, of our sweet-
souled boy, who had always been gifted with a })eculiar
charm in expressing his affection. On the morning we
left Toledo he placed each arm simultaneously around
the necks of his mother and father and said, "• T^et us
sing ' Our davs are gliding swiftly by ! ' " I immedi-
ately wiled to Toledo, '• Kmbalm and entomb, prepara-
tory for later buriah in Lynn." Happily, however, the
physician was wrong, and in a few days news of Jud-
son's recovery came to gladden our hearts.

On June -<ilh we took tlie boat at San Fi'ancisco for


Portland, Ore. It was the steamer G-eorffe W. Elder,
and the \vife of the captain, whom I met in the city,
gave me an excellent recipe for sea-sickness. She
reconuni'nded that if I felt the malady comino- on, I
should eat a raw onion, which she guaranteed to l)e a
cure. I said, " I'm not going to be sick.'' So when
the vessel steamed away from tlie dock in San Fran-
cisco, I bravely took a })lace on the upper deck and
rapturously gazed on the scenery as we sailed past the
Golden Gate. Then we struck a ground swell and 1
began to feel premonitor}- sym|)toms of something awful.
Slowly and sadly I arose and went below. The table in
the cabin was set for lunch. "■ Look here," said I to
myself, '•'• I must sit down and eat with these who liave
preceded me. I'm not g'^'ing to be sick." I sat down,
and at once suffered another peculiar sensation. Just
then I noticed a tumbler, full of green onions on tlie
table, and recalled the advice of the captain's wife.
Nervously gras[)ing one, I took quite a large bite. As
I swallowed it, tlie fact tliat it was decayed flashed
across my mind. This reflection made me sick. Hasten-
ing to our stateroom, I met Fanny at the door. She
said, •• I feel strangely." '" Getoutof tlie way, Fanny,"
said I, desperately, as I sprang into the upper berth.
Just as I lay down, two tin buckets caught my e3'e,
suspended over the berth. " AVhy do they put tliose
suggestive pails where they will make people sick," said
I, savagely, and swung them dovv-n under the lower
berth. Then I sought a recumbent postui'C. A minute
later I said, in soft but iin[)erative tones, '^ Fanny, reach
me a bticket, qtiick I " She stooped to do so and I
leaned over the edge of the lierth anxiously. Jtist then
I sttffered tlie jjrecise sensations ex[)erienced bv the l)ig
fish when he discovered he had no further use for Jonah.


Faniiv's errand had not been completed and t^lie sin-
cerely regretted the fact. " Help I " '• Murder I " slie
cried, as she rnshed out of the stateroom in a condition
tliat woids need not describe. The stewardess came to
her rescue, but Fanny's nerves had received a serious
shock. Probably this was the rea-^on that she kept lier
berth for live days until we reached the still water in
the Columbia River. I kept her company. Finally we
I'eached Astoria. John W. Cochran had agreed to act
as our advance agent. He was a newspaper coi-re-
spondent and writer, whom I had met at Chicago three
years before. We found that he had thoroughly ad-
vertised us, and we were warndy welcomed.

Our valued friend General O. O. Howard was at that
time in command on the Pacific coast. He came to our
concerts in Portland, and invited us to come to liis
headqtiarters at A^ancouver for a few days. We did
so, and had a happy time. I remember we held a
great tem})erance meeting together, he speaking and
we singing. Going on the boat to Vancouver, I got
my first view of ]Mount Ranier — or Tacoma — thii'ty
miles away, its snow-capped sunnnit loonnng up like
a sentinel watching over the suirounding country. It
was grandeur itself: .

" .Villi tlicre, forever firm anil clear,
His lofty turret upward t^iirings ;
He owns mi i-i\ al summit near,

Xo sovereiiiii hut the King of kings."

General Howard stood l)y my side as I gazed in rapt-
ure at the splendid nioiuitaiu, evidently pleased at my

We found Abby and Ludlow at Portland. Oregon,
preparing to emliai'k on the steamer ('((hfaniKi lor a
month's trip to .Vlaska. Refore we left that region.


they had returned, with most <4l()\\inL;' (U^scriptions of
what they had SL-eii. They had previoush- visited
Europe, Asia iiiid Africa. l)Ut asseNer;ited th;it thev
had seen more re;d l)eauly on this trip than ever hefore.

We gave concerts in Portland, Seattle, Port Chimhle
and Port Townsend, and then crossed the line to Vic-
toria, B. C, where we stayed several days. We at-
tended a Caledonian picnic, among other pleasures.
Then came conceris at ( Jlympia, East Portland, Salem,
Walla Walla, and other points. Then we went down
to the seaside for a few days. Coming back in a car-
riage, we got into trouble crossing the tidewater. Our
horses almost went out of sight, the water rose so fast.
Henry jumped to the rescue, and succeeded in keeping
the carriage at the correct poise. We were drenched
through when we reached dry land. We stopped at a
little store, where a clothes-line was suspended in the
breeze, and asked the privilege of hanging our gar-
ments up to dry. It Avas given, and by the time the
boat to Astoria came along, we had dried most of them.

Online LibraryJohn Wallace HutchinsonStory of the Hutchinsons (tribe of Jesse) (Volume 2) → online text (page 7 of 36)