John Wallace Hutchinson.

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During this tri[) T caught the shingles. This is a
.strange disease. It is said it proves fatal if the erup-
tion surrounds the body, l)ut I have never lieard of a
case where it did. My case was as extreme as it dared
to l)e. When at the Dalls, we were lodgeil in a boai'd-
ing-house, where there was good sei'vice, and fair food,
l)ut coming in through the open \\indow was a stench,
doubtless due to imperfect sewerage. The same trouble
was noticeable at the church where we sung. The
town had been burned the year l)efore, and the difli-
culty probably begun then. We gave two concerts,
and after the second we at once took the boat for
Portland. After retiring, I felt uneasy and uncom-
fortable. Suddenlv something bit me. It was a large


Spider. This was lliu beginning of the shingles,
bi'ouglit on, apparently, by the poison of the sewer
gas eonibined witli the bite of the spider. I took the
ad\ice of every ex})erienced persi)n 1 saw, l)nt nothing
relieved me. It was fnlly two months before 1 got that
poison eradicated from my system. One da}^ we went
to ride in a wagon of the western type. Henry and
the rest were on the two front seats, while I sat on a
chair in the rear, suffering poignantlv from nw disease,
and taking no particular note of where Ave were going.
Sudderih" the carriage gave a lurch. The rear wheel
went into a deep rut some eighteen inches, but those
ahead did not lose their equilibritim. With me it was
different. Engrossed as I was in my suffering, I was
off my guard, and therefore pitched headlong, down
between the wheels. My shoe caught in the seat in
front, as I fell, and was torn, but I was saved a severe
blow, though stunned. Henry tenderly lifted me back
into the carriage, and we went on our way to Portland.

We met many Indians near the Columbia River. The
stream seemed to be simply swarming with salmon.

When we returned to Portland, a little more than a
month had elapsed since we said goodby to Ludlow and
Abby. They returned to us full of enthusiasm, and
we had many happy hours of sweet converse together.
It is one of the pleasant reflections of ni}?- life that
though distance has sometimes prevented our bring to-
gether in hours of monrning, the migrating habits of
the brothers and sisters made the country seem a small
place after all, and wc met in far-aA\ay places almost as
a matter of course. While here we had a reception.
One of the ladies present tttrned out to be ^Irs. Gil-
dersleeve Longstreet, author of " Mrs. Lofty and I,"
the ballad which my l)rother Judson and Abby immor-


talized, one !)}■ setting it to music, and the other by
singing it.

We were entertained at the house of a physician
while in Oregon, Dr. Eaton, who was evitlently a man
of influence and standing in the conununity. We
learned that lie A\as once our fellow-townsman and
neighbor, born in ]Milford in the same district as our-
selves. He was one of a large family who were poor,
and very early in life he M'as put out at farming with
my brother David. He told me that the first money he
earned David gave him. It was twenty-five cents for
his first month's work, and he considered that he did
well to get his board and this money besides. When
we met him here, we found him to be a son-in-law of a
wealthy gold-miner.

We had a notion that Se})tember would be a favor-
able time to make an overland trip to San Francisco.
This we found to be a mistake. It was still disagree-
ably hot, and at least one hundred thousand people who
would naturally have come to our concerts were still at
the seaside watering places. However, we were com-
pelled to learn by experience, and so late in August
started on our trip over the mountains of Oregon and
California. On September 3d we reached Jacksonville
by train, and there chartered a stage with four horses
to go one hundred and eighty miles for one humlred
dollars. Then on we went, creepin.g over hills and
through valleys, the most fatiguing journey we ever
took, cramped, jolted, jostled, day and night for several
days, pausing for concerts at Ashland, Eureka, Etna,
Shasta and Reading, where, very much exhausted, we
rejoiced at our release from that style of travelling. It
was a ride fraught with exigencies and dangers which
its picturesque features did little to relieve. We were


in coiislaiit (UuiL;t'i' •»! l)L'iii_u' '• held up'" and I'oljbed, es-
pecially in ciossinLj- the mountains, and tor two days of
our ride \\e endured an agony of expectation on that

On September 21st we were once more in San Fran-
cisco, and on the next da}" had the privilege of again
taking General Grant b}^ the hand. He was on his le-
turn from liis trip round the world, having just crossed
the Pacific. A grand banqnet was tendered him at the
Palace Hotel. We accepted an invitation to be present,
but only one re})resentative of the family, the writer,
could well make his appearance, the tickets being-
placed at the modest sum of fifteen dollars ])er plate.
1 found a seat by Rev. L. D. Mansfield, who had as-
sisted me in literary work at Chicago a year or two
before, and partook of the entire menu^ even venturing
to begin with raw oysters, a delicacy that sometimes
filled me with regrets. The plates were changed some
twenty times.

Gen. John l)idwell was in San Francisco at the time.
He afterwards ran for President on the Prohibitory
ticket. He was cjuite an effective temperance speaker,
and we sung with him several times. We gave a
number of concerts in San Francisco, Sacramento and
vicinity-, and had good success. At one concert there
was an intermission of thirty-five minutes for ice cream.
On October f(!th I had a call from noless a distinguislied
person than Denis Kearney, tlic Sand Lots orator. I
talked Communism to him. He did not seem to under-
stand the philos()j)liy of l)rotherly love. My nei)he\v,
Hayward Hule]iinson,'of Washington, I). C, was there.
He reminded me that when he war four en- five years
old, I taught him to go up a ladder. He said he had
never been afraid of anvthiner since. The circumstances


were these : David, ni}' oldest brotlier, bad been very
sick, almost at death's door. I was deputized to go and
look after his stock. Noticing- the small children as 1
went through the yard, the thought came to me that if
my brother died we should have to be looking after and
training them. This led me to ask Hayward's assistance.
I requested him to mount tlie ladder to tlie liay-loft of
the barn and throw off the hay for the creatures. He
hesitated, and I encouraged him to go up. Catcliing
hold of the ladder witli determination, he went up, tlii'ew
off the hay, and came down. Ever after he could climl)
a roof or other high [)lace without being affected b}-
di/.ziness. He had come on to California to receive his
dividends on his immense Alaska interests. Plis two
daughters came with him. He took a suite of rooms at
the Palace Hotel, and his travelling expenses, coming
and going, in a special car, were six thousand dollars.
But then, the dividend he received Avas fifty tliousand
dollars. On October 18th we sung in Dasliaway Hall,
San Francisco, for the benefit of Avoman suffrage. Rev.
Ada C. Bowles speaking.

Before we left San Francisco, we sung at the re-
ception to Dr. Kallocli in celebration of ins recover}^
from his wotinds caused bj' Ins shooting by De Young.
The reception Avas in the Metropolitan Temple, and
was an enthusiastic affair. The shooting had occurred
during our trip to Portland. Kallocli, in his campaign
circulars when a candidate for mayor, to which oiYice he
was elected, had uttered disparaging words concerinng
the De Youngs. One day he was sitting in his studv
in the church when DeYoung dr(jve upinacou})e. He
sent a boy to the study door to tell the doctor tliat a
lady parishioner desired to see him at her carriage. Dr.
Kalloch, with characteristic eagerness and politeness.


hastened to the carriage door, bareheaded. DeYoung
immediately tired at him, and he fell, supposably mortally
wonuded. It may well be supposed that the reception
at the time of his recovery was an enthusiastic affair. I
prei)ared a s})ecial song for the occasion. I also sung,
'' Under the Ice,"' words by my friend Clark :

"Under the ice the waters run,

Under the ice our spirits lie ;
The genia' rays of tlie summer sun

Will loosen the fetters by and by.
Moan and groan in your prison cold,

Eiver of life, river of love,
The night grows short, the days grow long,
Weaker and weaker the bands of wrong.

And the sun shines bright above.

"Under the ice, under the snow,

( )ur lives are bound in a crystal ring.
By ifnd by will the south winds blow.
And roses bloom on the bank of spring.

"Under the ice our souls are hid,

Under the ice our good deeds grow ;
Men but credit the wrong we did,

Never the motives that lie below.
Moan and groan in your prison cold.

River of life, river of love.
The winter is growing worn and old.
Frost is leaving the melting mould,

And the sun shines bright above.

" Under the ice we hide our wrong,

Under the ice that has chilled us through ;
Oh, that the friends that have known us long

Dare to doubt we are good and true.
Moan and groan in your prison cold.

River of life, river of love.
The winter is growing worn and old,
Roses stir in the melting mould,

We shall be known above."

This was our last interview willi Kalloch. It was
after our return Ivist that his son, assistant pastor of


the Temple, went to De Young's office and shot him

On Monday, Oetol)er 2Tth, we gave our farewtdl con-
cert in Kev. Dr. A. L. Stone's Congregational Church,
in San Francisco, shaking hands at the close with many
friends we had made. The next night we gave our
farewell in Sacramento. Thence we went to Ogilcn,
giving two concerts, and on to Salt Lake City wliere
again we met Rev. H. D. Fisher, formerly of Lawrence,
Kan. We sung in his cliureh on Suntlay night. We
made a number of stops for return concerts at Chayenne,
Omaha, Council Bluffs and elsewhere, and arrived at
Des Moines Novembei- 15th. Here we left Henry,
Lillie and Jack. Fanny and I went on to Toledo, wliere
Ave had a royal welcome from Viola, Judson, and the
rest. Immediately on arrival, I took cold, and with
fatigue and all the rest, nearly came down with a fever.

We spent Thanksgiving Day at Toledo, and then
with Juddie, proceeded East as far as Shortsville, N. Y.,
where I left both liim and his motlier with our friends,
W. L. Brown and his Avife, and kept on to Lynn alone.
High Rock Avas still there, but there Avas plenty of Avork
for me to do, after an absence of nearly eighteen

I found a good deal to Avorry me at High Rock. In
tlie tirst place, Mr. Gay, avIio had been making a re-
survey of Asa's portion of the property, the easterly
half, had discovered that Alonzo Lewis Avhen he orig-
inally made the plans for the division, for some reason
left a strip of several feet, running through the middle,
Avhich he alloAved to neither brother. That meant
troul)le in adjustment. Then I found the periodical
talk concerning the use of the summit of tlie rock for a
park Avas going on, and moreo\'er, the city goA'ernment


liiul tiikt'ii ;i hand in the matter. So I Ijusied myself in
lindiiiL;' .some way ot" brino-ing about tlie purehase with-
out saeriticing- our rights or the comfort of our tenants,
a dilhcult task.

Fainiy came home during December, and was ready
to start with me on a return trip West, January 1,
1880. A day in New York City, another in Shorts-
viUe, and a few hours in Toledo, A\ere all the stops we
allowed ourselves until we reached Des Moines, January
8th. During our absence Henry liad formed a quartet,
and had l)een giving concerts in and about the city.
He also ap[)eared, as did Lillie, as a soloist iii"Kuththe
Moabitess," a cantata. On the next night we gave a
concert — our first in eight weeks — in Indianola. The
next fcAV weeks we devoted to, concerts in Iowa and
Illinois. On the 2(Jth we were in Red Oak, la., and
visited Mrs. Rose Hasty, a sister of ''Cousin Maud"
Porter. While at Missouri Valley Junction, on the 30th,
I had a conference with a man named Chase, and laid
plans that were never realized for the founding of a
county seat in Nebraska.

On February 5th we rode fifty miles across country
in a sleigh, and were almost frozen to death. On the
11th, at Le Mars, we met the notable Ivobert Morris,
Masonic lecturer. He told us that (leorge Baker had
died from apoplexy. Baker was the basso profundo of
the well-kno\\-n family of nuisicians. I remem1)er he
came to Chicago at one time and wanted to go singing
with me. I took him out to Kaidcakee, and let him sing
one pic'/e. His voice did not harmonize with mine, and
we gave it up. It seemed that he had finished a re-
hearsal with his company at the opera house in a town
where they were to exhibit. The company returned to
the hotel for dinner. He remained. Ilis chair was


turned up at tlie tal)k'. After a Avliile his prolonged
absence ^vas noticed, the party returned to tlic hall,
found it hicked, cra\\'led through the transom over the
door, and discovered him (h-ad.

On March 5th, in ]nde[)endenee, la., Ave met Jesse
Harriman, an ohl anti-shiverv friend, then seventy-five
years of age. I lirst knew him in Danvers, thirty-seven
years before. ()n March (Sth Me received word that
Viohi and all her family were to start immediately for
New Mexico. The next night Asa met me, at Marion,
and we talked until two o'clock in the morning on
High Rock matters. On the 16th, in Iowa City, I met
Roljert Hutchinson. In my boyhood, he sung with me
in the choir at Milford. He pre-empted Iowa City,
wdiich was the capital for a while. Here I also met
Samuel Everett, wIkj preached in my youth in the
Ba})tist church in Milford. He l)aptizi'd me at the age
of ten, after a notable revival in 18-31. We had a fa-
miliar talk on theological matters. In tlie experience
of years, he said he had made up his mind that character
"was everything. He believed (iod A\-as a benevolent,
reasonable being, and that in his econom\-, everybody
worth saving wotild be saved. All the rest he thought
would be annihilated, burned up as cliaff, but not be
the subjects of an unforgiving wrath, to suffer eternal
torture. It was a sweet interview, in which we talked
over old days in ^Milford, and it was our last. He liad
given up preaching, but was a strong l>eliever in liberty.
])rotherly love and patriotism.

On the 27th we were in Elmwood, 111., witli otir o-ood
friends, Edwin R. Brown and family. On the next
niglit we gave a concert at the house of Mr. Brown.
Three generations of the family were represented by the
father, eighty-two, son. fifty-six, and grandson, twenty-


nine yeai.s old. On April 12th we made another visit
with our friends President John Blanchard and Rufns
lUancliard at Wheaton. At West Liberty, on the 19th
I had a very pleasant visit willi tlie poet, Don Piatt.

Dnring- all tliis time I was very mueli Avorrieil con-
cerning home affairs. .Vsa, Avlien he h-ft me in Iowa,
had gone innnediately to Lynn, and I had promised to
follow him in April. 1 arrived on the 22d. ^lean-
AN'hile, he liad ordei'ed a stirveyor to make a plat of his
lialf of the })roperty, and had cnt it np into house-lots
and offered it for sale. This was not at all in aeeordanee
Avith my ideas, for it spoiled the ap[)le orchard which
Jesse set out, besides distiguring the entire estate, and
s[)oiling the original design, which had tints far been
treated as a whole. I considered the sittiation with all the
judgment I possessed, and linally eoncltided to buy the
lots wdien the sale occttrred. The Stone Cottage, and
the pinnacle of High Rock, with contiguous land were
owned b}^ us in common. He insisted, against my de-
sire, in selling the cottage. After mtich reflection, I
eoncltided to sign a bond with him to sell High Kock
Cottage, and started for Poston to do so. At the rail-
Avay station I met Wm. C. S. Keene, a prominent citizen
of Lynn, with a repntalion for ptd>lic spirit. He said,
" John, can't you sell us an approach to High ]vock
from Essex Street, thirty feet wide ? I can get you $^10,-
01)0 within a short time." "• You A\-oidd like thi; lock
too?" I ventured. *• Yes,'' said he. I tohl him the
errand 1 was on. '"You buy Asa out," was his advice,
and he expatiated still further on the opportunity pre-
senti'(l, his idea being to I'aise the money by thousand-
dollar subscriptions from prominent men, and present
tlic ]iro]Hn'ty to the city. I tclegiaphcd the fact of a
possible customer to Asa. He answered that he had


rather sell the whole thing" out in house-lots. Then Keene
again suggested that I Iniy liini out. I knew that Asa
had offered his share in the property not long before for
111,000; he offered it to me in Iowa for -i^lT.OOO. He
now demanded •Y'-IU.OOO. With the prospect of getting
810.000 l)aek tlnough Keene, I tliought it wise to close
the l)argain, and did so. After making tlie purchase,
I went back to Keene. " Youdl want the Rock, won't
you ? " I inquired. '' Oh, yes I '' Avas his answer. I told
him I woidd put the })rice of the Rock and approaches
at 1^15,000. I would eontribute 11.000 toward the
project myself, Henry would give 81.000 more, I would
give 'fl,000 for improvements and #1,000 for streets, so
that all he Avould have to raise would be 811.000. To
this he agreed. He had a plan of the park di-awn, and
secured a large picture of the Rock, which he framed
and Inuig u}) in his office. Meanwhile, negotiations were
pending for tlie purchase of the portion of the Rock
claimed l)y James N. Buffum. These went so far that
the deed was drawn and awaited in a lawyer's oilice the
signature of the supi)osed owner. He went in and
borrowed it, took it home, and destroyed it. Had he
carried out his })art of tlie bargain, Keene coidd have
raised the money, and the city A\'oidd have had a fine
park. The only residt of the agitation was, liowever,
to make me the owner of my l)rother".s half. Half the
Stone Cottage, Bird's Nest Cottage and tlie land, cost me
820,000 cash. The same property cost him in 1855 83,-
350. The failure of the [)ark purchase made it necessary
to sacrifice some valuable railroad and other stocks, and
of course my taxes immediately douljled. It was
several 3-ears before houses enough were erected upon it
to make it ])ro(itable ; but I saved the ap[»le orchard,
which is still as Jesse left it, forming a semi-park, around


Nvhicli are several dwellings, iiieluding my own. With
the exception of a small strip, no land has been sold
from the estate. There are now twelve dwellings upon
it, several of them in flats ; so that some forty families
enjoy the sightliness and airiness of a home on High
Rock. Meanwhile, the best lots are still reserved, form-
ing lawns, outlooks and similar open spaces.

Does my reader believe in ghosts ? When I came
home from the West, I preceded my family a few days.
Arriving in Lynn, I went to the home of my friend
David J. Lord, to get a small trunk of securities. Safe
deposit vaults were not as common then as now; and
Lord, then a bank cashier — he is now president of one
of Boston's biggest banks — had kept my trunk for a
year and a half under his bed. With the trunk, I went
to Daisy Cottage. It was cold and dreary, after hav-
ing been unoccupied so long. It was night, and think-
ing it would be chilly in my chamber, I made a fire in
the kitchen, intending to camp on the lounge there
until morning. Then I drew my chair up to the
kitchen table, and opened my trunk, to look over my
papers. Time passed on ; the hour grew late, and the
chills, despite the fire, crept over me. Suddenly I
heard a sound. I glanced nervously at the forty thou-
sand dollars' Avorth of securities spread out on the table,
thought of burglars, and listened. A dead silence jire-
vailed. Resuming my work, I soon heard it again.
Thoroughly aroused and suspicious, I resolved that if I
heard that sound a third time I w^ould inmiediately in-
vestigate it, and began to pack up ni}^ papers. ■ Again
it came. I arose, and following the direction from
wdiich it seemed to proceed, went to a closet under the
back-stairs. 0[)ening the door, I saw a' clothes-basket,
and spread over it, the old calico apron of Hannah, the


cook, just as she left it many niontlis before. As I
gazed critically at it, it rose in llie air several inches.
''Rats ! " thoug'lit 1, and seizing a broom that stood l)y,
I jammed it into the basket with sufficient force to take
the ambition out of any venturesome rodent Avho might
have concealed himself in the receptacle. After a mo-
meiit or two I raised the broom carefully. The apron
followed. Horrors ! Just as I was about to cry " Mur-
der!"' I saw a string. The key to the situation at
once flashed across my mind. I had gone to the closet,
earlier in the evening, and put on an old pair of slip-
pers. Tliis string was somehow attached to a slipper.
The other end of it was Avound on a bobbin, and the l)ol)-
bin was in the clothes-ljasket. xVs I sat at the table, I
moved my foot, and the result was a noise in the bas-
ket. The string became entangled in the tal )le leg, and
in consequence caused the violent agitation in the bas-
ket when I walked to the closet.. I rested easy for the
remainder of the night after tliat. This illustrates the
ancient axiom, " Prove all things."

We gave a few concerts after our return fiom the
West, and then settled down for the summer. On the
29tli of July the Ilawkes family held a reunion on a
picturesque farm in North Saugus. Some two cen-
turies ago, a meml)er of the tril)e of Hutchinson was
married in this country and moved witli lier husband to
England. Her husband died, and she returned. In
a few years Adam Hawkes, a thrifty and land-loving
farmer, wooed and won her for the second time. They
went to live upon her farm in Lynn, a section now a
part of Saugus. From this marriage sprung the
Hawkes family. While I was in California a lady
who is a descendant of this worthy couple told me the
story while we Avei'c on a visit to hw raneli. Slie also


said there was to be a gathering of the family at tlie
okl farm the next year, and invited me to come. Dur-
ing the summer we met her again in Lynn, and sht'
once more invited ns, cLaiming me as a relative. So
on the da}" appointed I said to Lillie, " Let's go up."
We went b}- train to Saugus, and thence by barge to
the farm. They had just closet! a morning meeting, at
which Hon. Nathan ^lortimer Hawhes of Lynn, had
presided. It had been very interesting. ]Most of the
people — there were one hundred present ^ — -were par-
taking of the collation. AVe entered a tent, which
stood on the site of the home of the aged progenitoi's
of the gathering, and saw an organ. AVe stepped uj^
to it, I touched the keys, and we sung. Some member
of the Committee invited us to the collation. Word
was soon noised about, " The Hutchinsons are here.*'
'' AVliat are they here for?'' " AVho invited them?"
and similar (|uestions were asked. Even the chairman
did not know. Our friend from California came to the
rescue at this point. She told the story, and proved
that I was a descendant of the same ancestry as them-
selves. Then we had an ovation. AVe sung to them,
and had a pleasant day adding to our list of acquaint-
ances, one of whom was Colonel li. F. Hawkes of
AA^ashington, with mIioui I have been on intimate
terms ever since.

At about this time we conceived the plan of })utling
a weather signal on High Kock. Henry was the lirst
to think of it, and I at once went to M'ork to get it put
up. Hon. N. ]\L Lhiwkes, referred to above, Captain
John G. 15. Adams, then postmaster of Lynn, Hon.
John B. Alley and others interested themselves in ilie
project. 1 also Aviote to my friend, (ieneral Slierman,
who as the head of the army, might M'ell be suppost'd


to have influence with its signal-service department.
I'inaH}^ Captain Adams notified me that the material
had arrived, in his care. Then a funny thing hap-
pene(h Henr}', of course, hoped to be made signal-
officer, more for the name than for the salary. Uut Cap-

Online LibraryJohn Wallace HutchinsonStory of the Hutchinsons (tribe of Jesse) (Volume 2) → online text (page 8 of 36)