John Wallace Hutchinson.

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tain Earp, one of our neighbors, thonglit as a veteran
of the war he should be preferred before a youth whose
only service Avas singing in the camp. He set up so
strong a claim for the place that lie carried everytliing
before him. When he learned that the salary was
twenty-five cents a day his ardor suddenly cooled, and
Henry Avas appointed. Captain Earp Avould have to
make quite a trip from his house to tlie top of the
rock. Henry worked the halliards from the window
of the Stone Cottage. The signals were interesting to
Lynn people, l)ut tlie hope that they would l)e of use
to mariners Avas not well-founded. The rock was too
far removed from the track of vessels to be seen in
tliick weather. Henry served two j^ears, setting the
signals night and morning, and telephoning the Aveather
to the Lynn papers daily, to I>oston and elsewhere.
I tried to get the a[)propriation increased, but was un-
successful. The station was finally given up. But
meanwhile, the Government placed a sightly flag-pole
on the rock, which long remained — though another
lias been lately substituted — and put u[) the conven-
ient flight of steps and gallery, Avliich scale the face of
the rock. These were built by Henry, as engineer and

Li July I Adsited ]\Iilford, in company Avith Sister
xVbby. One day, together Avith Aljby and Ivlioda, Lud-
low% Ettie and ]\hirion, Rhode's iLiughter and grand-
daughter, I visited New Boston. On other days T vis-
ited Joshua and Davifl, and Kate Dearborn, Judson's


daughter. On the 2C)th of August there was a picnic
at "Purgatory," in Mont Yernon, N. H. Iluuhin-
son's Grove, at this place, has for j-ears been tlie scene
of an annual picnic, where the people of the surround-
ing country have a good time. It is owned hy 11. Ap-
pleton Hutclnnson, a son of Noali, and as many of tlie
family as can get there usually go. I went on this oc-
casion. After spending tlie night at Brother Noah"s
old home, I drove down to jNIilford the next morning.
As I passed David's, I could not help noting the con-
trast between his thrifty fields, and the dilapidated hop-
houses standing near the road. Driving up into tlie
yard, I met him, and dismounting and shaking hands,
I said: "David, I've come to make you a present."
His face lighted up with a smile of gratification. Sol-
emnly placing my lingers in my pocket, I drew fortli a
match. " Here is the testimonial," said I, "with it yon
will do well to set fire to those old buildings down by
the highway." " Thank you," he remarked, grimly,
making no other connuent. In a few minutes I was
down in the field, mowing, as was my habit when vis-
iting my farmer brothers.

On October 21st the famous McGibeney Family of
performers and vocalists came to High Rock, liefore
McGibeney married he attended my concerts in Bucks
County, Pennsylvania. After that he moved to 'Sl'ni-
neapolis. He was a man of culture, and fine address. He
:'esided in Minneapolis some five years. Subsequently
he went to Winona, and liecame professor of nnisic in
the institution there. All the while he was giving
traiinng to his increasing famil}- of children, nearly as
large as the Tribe of Jesse. Their success in concert
is well known. He now has a home in. western Mas-
sachusetts. On the (lav mentioned, I brought out a


half-l)ushel of pears, and it Avas a si^'lit to look upon
to see those children devoni' them. In a few minutes
every one had disappeared into the pockets or stoniaehs
of the party.

The remainder of 1880 passed (piietl)', Heni'v ])einL;-
busy with his signal-serviee improvements, and I ar-
ranging for occasional concerts. On New Year's I)av.
1881, I went to the banquet of the ^lassachusetts C'lnl)
at YoTuig's Hotel, lioston, dining with Governor ("laf-
lin, Hon. John B. Alley, and other worthies. On the
same day Walter Kittredge came down from Reed's
Ferry to join me in a campaign, he reading and I
singing. He had written a poem-lecture, which he
read. The next day we had a temperance meeting, it
being Snnday. James X. Liuffum was present and
spoke. On the lOtli we sang in North Saugus ; on
the following night at Kockpoi't, with Rev. R. B.
Howard, the great peace agitator, secretary of the
American Peace Society and brother of General O. O.
Howard. On tlie loth of February I composed the
music for a new song, '^ Which way is your musket
a-p'intin' to-day? "

" In a littk' lojr church, in the State of Virginia,

Some negroes had gatliered to worship the Lord ;
And after tlie service they liad a class-meeting,

Tliat each for the blaster might utter a word.
The leader exhorted, and spoke of the warfare

That Ciiristians should wage against error alway,
And finished by asking the following question :
' Wliicli way is your musket a-])'intiir to-day ?
Which way, which way,
Which way is your musket a-]iintin' to-day ? '

" One after another gave their experience :

Some brothers were iiappy, some lukewarm, some cold;
One saw his way clear to the portals of glorj-,

Another had strayed, like a lamb, from the fold.


At last Brother Barcus, a rt'iiciiatk' nu'inber,

And Satau'.s cumpanion for many a da}',
Arose, cleared his throat, though visibly nervous,

He folded his arms and proceeded to say :

'"Dear ))rudik'rs and sisters, I once was a Christian,

I onee was as liappy as any one iiere ;
I fit for de ehurcli, like a battle-scarred soldier,

And stood by lier banners when traitors were near.'
'Hold on dar!' the leader excitcilly shouted,

' Please answer the question I ax you, I say ;
I'se given you credit for all j-ou fit den, sir —

Which way is your musket a-p'intin' to-day ? '

" Some people now boast of the glory of temperance.

And boast of their teetotal record and all —
Of clubs, lodges and unions, their all-active members —

Take big rents from tenants who sell alcohol !
I'd liken their boast to the boast of old Barcus,

And then, with the class-leader, earnestly say :
' Hold on. dar, my brndder, just stick to de question.

Which way is your musket a-p'intin' to-day 1 '

" The question, my friends, is of vital importance.

The nation is waiting in anxious suspense;
Eacli voter can wield a political musket,

Then wield it, I ask, in your country's defence !
The issue before us is plain and unclouded —

Shall our nation be ruled by King Alcohol's sway ?
I candidly ask every qualified voter

' Which way is your musket a-j)'intin' to-day ? ' "

On Marcli 4th I Avent to Washino-ton to view the in-
auguration ceremonies, in company with Al)l)yantl Lud-
low, It was the gossip about Washington society
circles that Abby was the first to predict the nomina-
tion and election of Garfield. During her stay in the
capital early in the previous year tliere was a reception
at which she was present. General Garfield came in,
and as he shook hands with Abby, she remarked, " We
are going to make you our president." Time proved
her to be right.


The fall of lliat year was notable for a short trip
through ]\Iaine as far as Ijangor, with my wife, Henry
and Tvillie, Jenniebelle Neale, reader, and others. The
winter and s[)ring of 1882 passed quietly.

During the summer of 1881 I estal)lished a cafe in
tlie Stone Cottage, which was in Henry's charge. In
INIay, a man was teaming a load of lumber up John's
Avenue, along the Essex Street front of my property.
The land pitches off al)ru})tly at this point, and there-
fore it was very unfortunate that the horse should be-
come balky, and begin to back. The wheels went over
the edge of the avenue, and soon the load of lumber,
wagon and all, was rolling merrily down the terrace,
the horse backing hastily after it, as he could not well
do otherwise. The driver saw the peril his turnout was
in, and yelled like mad. I arrived on the scene just as
the lumber went over my cherished Centennial wall and
scattered promiscuously over Highland Square. Fortu-
nately the front wheel of the wagon caught on the cap-
stone of the wall, which stood the strain finely, and the
ti'ansom bolt, for a wonder, did not break. The result
was that the horse remained on the bank, and was saved
any injury.

On August 29th, David, my eldest brother, died, at
the age of seventy-seven. A short time previous, I
had received a dispatch saying that if I desired to see
him alive I must hasten to Milford. Responding at
once, I arrived late in the evening, and took quarters at
the hotel. In the morning I stood on the piazza, when
I descried a farmer's wagon coming up the street, with
another wagon attached, l)ehind. Sitting erect in the
velncle, driving, was a form that I knew could be
none else than my brother. With some agitation, but
joyfully, I rushed out to intercept him, remarking,

104 THK iirrrHixsox family.

'^D;ivi(l, r came up to l)urv you!" "Get rinlit in
lu'ic."" lit' said, cliecrily, and then diove on to the
hhii-ksmilh's. leaving' his extra wagon for repairs.
Then we drove together to several of the old places,
called at Noah's, at the farm whei-e Caleb used to live,
and to see Sister J\hoda, then on her death-hed. Up to
this time David had never seen his way clear to give up
his claim to his share in the old homestead, where
Rhoda lived. All the others had released their claims
to her years before. Xow he said, " Rhoda. all things
will be well M'hen I go away." When his will was
read it was found to be true. He had released it. I
sang to them with tearful voice :

" Where is now the merry party,

I remember long ago —
Gatliered round the Christmas fire

Brightened hy its ruddy glow ?
Or in summer's bahny evi'uing,

In the fields upon the hay?
They have all dispersed and wainlered,

Far away, far away. '

Then they tried to unite with me in singing our
lamil}' song, the '-'• Old Granite. State." .Vfter this I
bade Rhoda a long adieu, and went home with David.
After a liearty diiuier I went to the home of Kate
Dearborn, Judson's daughter, and after tea to Joshua's,
where I spent the niglit. A few weeks later, and word
came that David \\;is dead. At his funeral .b)shua and
John, with Ludlow and .\bby, sang '• Xo Tear in
Heaven," and •• The Shining Shore." A newspaper
clipping of the time sa\s :

" Pi;A(i;iri,L'i Asi,i;i.i>.— David Hutchinson, the chieftain of tlie
'Tribe of Jesse,' of the well-known Ilutclunson Family, went peace-
fully to sleep on the evening of August 29th, at Milford, N. II., having
readied the ripe age of seventy-seven years. Ih' was the second s<in in


a family of sixteen cliildren, all >iii.uiTs. 'l'lloll^ll In- liml a fine lia>-s
voice, lie rarely saiiij; in i)ul)lie. His litV' was socnt on a Xfw ilamji
shire farm, and Ijy nntiring energy and industry he had aaia;<sed a
handsome property. He leaves eiulit children."

David's .sons. Ilavward and Jesse, came on from
AVasliinL;"lou and I)altini()i'e to the funeral. l) men
tliougli they were, tliey stayed over h)ng enough to go
and see their Aunt Rlnida for the List time. In three
Aveeks siie, too, passed away. Tlie same (juartet sang the
.same songs at her funeraL Tlie F<irt iter's C'(il>/'iict said :

"Death of AXoriiKit of the nncHiNsox Famii.v. — \Ve regret to
chronicle the fact that the Hntchinson Family havi' ]>vvn called to
mourn the loss of two of their nnmher within tlu- short space of three
Meeks. David, who died Angnst 2'.>th, was Imrieil on that beantifid
autumnal day, Septcndicr 1st. lie was the first-born of the family but
one — who died in early youth — being in the seventy-eighth yi-ar of
his age. He was a well-tii-do farmer, of indnmitable will, always hav
ing liveil ujion and tilled the soil of his native town. His sister, Mrs
Ivhoda (iray, wlio had been suffering for a lung time from sjjinal diiti-
culty, soon followi'd him, she dying on Sunday, the iSth instant, in the
sixty-third year of her age. Fmieral serxiees were held at the iiousc on
the following Tuesday, Uev. W. 1'. Lamb s]ieaking words of comf.n-t to
the family and neighbors xxlio had gathered to ])ay the la-t respect
■which ttu' living may ministt'r to the ilead. Kare and fragrant tlowi'rs
adorned the casket of the one lieloved, who in life so well sustained all
d(jmestic relations. The pall-bearers were .Joshua anil .John, Ijrothers of
the deceased, Jvudlow I'atton, brother-in-law, .John, Bruce and Ap])leton
Hutchinson, nephews, with J^evi Curtis as conductor. Ap])roi)riate quar-
tet music was rendered by the Messrs Ilamblett and Rideout. After
the services at the house, the remains were conveyed t<^ the family
burying ground on th.e north side of the .Souhegan IJiver, and laid at
rest beneath the greensward of tlie valley. j\s the family gathered
annmd the gr.ivi\ " < )nr days are gliding swiftly by" was lieautitidly
sung by .Joslimi, .John and Abby, assisted by others of the family.

"Mrs. (iray was the oldest sister o'' the world-i-enowned Hntchinsim
l^amily. She was possessed of a rich, high sojirano voice, and in her
younger days tr.-ivelled with the ' iiome branch' of the family while
the quartet i)ro]ier was in fhigland. She was twice married, and leaves
two children — by lier first husliand Isaac A. Bartlett IVFrs. Marietta,
wife of Henry I>overidge, of Orange, X. J.; by her second, MattlK'W


(Ira.v, ^Irs. Nellk', wife of C'luirlrs AVc-listir, wlio rfsidcs at xhv old
(Iliitcliinson ) lioiiR'stcad, wlicri' Mi's. (Jray has always livcil, and
wluTf slu' i)assi'd her last days. ( M' the iiuiiutous family of sixteen
children hut four now remain, Joshua, John, Asa and Abby."

On April 30, 1882, I attended the funeral of Ralph
Waldo Emerson, at Concord. I felt well acquainted
with the Concord philosopher, for I had often met him
at Avoman suffrage and similar gatheiings. During this
spi'ing I did little but worry. Ho\\-ever, I managed to
get in a few concerts and temperance meetings. On
July 4ili there was a great temperance demonstration at
Lake Walden, Concord. We sung ten times during the
meeting, llcnry Ward Beecher, ]\Iary A. Uvermore,
liev. W. W. Downs, and Miss Minnie F. ^Moslicr were
the speakers. James H. Roberts, of Cambridge, a noted
temperance worker, was in charge of the affair.

A while before this I visited ]\I()unt Auburn Ceme-
tery, at Cambridge, witli my son Judson. Longfellow
had died but a short time before. B}- his will, he had
directed that all ornaments be removed from his burial
lot. The workmen were removing the stonework, and
one of them gave me the ca[)-stone from one of the

In August we made a trip down to ^Martha's Vine-
3''ard, and gave some concerts.

Li September Lucy Stone and Ilenry I>. Blackwell
went campaigning in Nebraska, preaching woman suf-
frage. I planned to go with them, and even went so far
as to secure my ticket, but just as I A\'as about to start,
received word that little Jesse, Henry's second son, A\as
dangerously sick, and returned to High Rock. On
September 13th, dear little Jesse died. The next day
he was buried. One of the most touching- thing's at the
funeral was his brother Jack, three vears old, singing


"The Sweet By and By."' Jack lias ilie musical and
general characteristics of tlie family to a yery marked
degree, coml)ined \yith his mother's loyable and en-
gaging qualities.

Ill Octoher and Noyeml)er we gave concerts in Spring-
field, Fitchhui'g, Attlehoro, Schnectady (N. Y.), Alham',
and other points. The latter part of Decemher I spent
ill New York, haying an eiijoyahle yisit with Sister

The closing hours of the year Ayere spent at the
Academy of IMusic, Brooklyn, in company with my
nephew, Dayid J. Hutchinson, whose guest I was. The
great hall Ayas crowded with an audience of three thou-
sand earnest souls, attending a watch-night seryice. Dr.
Pentecost spoke. I sung, "-No Xiglit There." Mr. and
]Mrs. George C. Steljbins were also preseut, and sung,
"O turn ye, O turn ye, for A\'hy A\'ill ye die."' I re-
mained with Dayid seyeral days. My sixty-second birth-
day, January 4th, I spent at Frank 15. Carpenter's Ayith
Sister Al)l)y. ( )n the (hh I yisited my old tem[)erance
society, the ^Manhattan, conducted by my friend (libbs,
and sung to them. On the 9th T went to Warren, Mass.,
and sung at a concert in tlie Methodist Episcopal Church,
of Ayhich Ilex. .Vlonzo Sanderson Avas pastor. ]My kind
friend, Laura E. Dainty, elocutionist, assisted in giying
the entertainment. Mr. Sanderson Ayas a man Ayho had
often secured my services. lie is one of the nn^st suc-
cessful church-builders in the Bay State. A few years
before this he had built the beatitiful Trinity Church in
Lynn, enlisting the hearty co-operation of people of all
denominations in the enterprise, by his infectious en-
thusiasm. He Ayas AA-ont to quaintly remark that Ayhen
he died, he hoped his epitaph Avould be : " And the
beffo-ar died."


In :\\Y (li;ir\' foi' this pei'ioil, I liiid this original ex-
pression of my condition of thought:

IVIiiny cares besot my mind,

And cause me Avakeful liours ;
Yet I will calm my selfish fears

j^iul u^ather iiauglit but flowers.
So, finding rest ill quiet tliduylit,

I sleep at proper tinu's,
And joyfully on this blank sheet

I improvise mj- rhymes.

The Lynn Asscnihly was very aeti\e at this time. Tt
\yas one of the most successful del)ating societies the
city eyer saw. jNIany men who haye since gained politi-
cal distinction were meml)ers. Henry and I joined, and
spent many ha})py lioui's as listeners to or participators
in the debates. We were in the hal)it of i)utting in
songs at effective places in the discussions.

On January 21st Joshua died at JNIilfoi'd, at the age
of seventy-one years, two months. He had been practi-
cally deprived of his singing-voice for six years. The
funeral occurred in the chapel of the Congregational
Church on the 25tli. The services lasted two hours.
Among the mourners with me, were Sister Abby and
Ludlow, Henry Loveridge, husband of Etta, Rhoda's
daugliter, Fanny and Henr}', John W., 2d, Aiipleton,
and others of the fannl3\ The Milford (piartet sung,
and the family sung three times. A fuller account of
the service appears elsewhere.

During this year the custom of having Sunda}' after-
noon temperance meetings in Tremont Temple, Boston,
\yasin vogue. Tlie assistance of the Hutchinson Family
was often recpiested and freely given. On Thursday,
February 22d, Washington's Birthday was celebrated
by a gi-eat temperance gathering of children in the
]\Ieclianics' Institute, Boston. John B. Cough, Cov-

.lUHN, IIKNKV AM) -IlliSiiN 111 TOIU NSi iN — (p. 109;

Aciioss THE co^;TI^•l•:^■T. 109

ernor St. John, ol Kansas, IJev. Dr. A. A. Miner and
James S. Grinnell were the speakers, ^\'e «ang two

In the spring the perennial ([nestion of tlio ])nrchase
of High Koek came before the city goverinnent, l)Ut
nothing came of it.

On April iStli I Aisited Pine Grove Cemetery in
Lynn with Henry, and in the tomb Ave saw tlie remains
of Wu\. A. J^erow. He Mas a friend of ours who had
been killed by the premature discharge of an explosive
for which he Avas an agent. He A\as a great admirer
of our song " The People's Advent," and at one time I
remember sent me a five-dollar l)ill to secnre a copv of
it, it not then being in print. His funeral occurred in
Cambridge, but the interment Avas in Lynn. Hemy
received a letter from a friend, enclosing a paper covered
with the scribblings of Lerow's little child, with the
request that he put it in the coffin. He did so. One
year from the date of tliat sad visit, Henry died.

On May 12tli I went to Washington to attend the
funeral of Hayward Hutchinson, who had died of
Bright's disease. Among those in attendance were
James G. Blaine, Judge Miller of the Snpreme Court,
Colonel R. G. IngcrsoU, and oilier noted men. The
funeral was on Saturday. 1 had agreed to sing at Trc-
mont Temple in Boston on Sunday afternoon, and so
thought I would not go to the grave with the mourner.'^.
Elias, Hayward's brother, assured me that I would be
back in full season to take the train, so I stayed. The
ceremonies at the tomb were long and the horses slow
in returning, so that I missed tlie train after all. I
went to the W. C. T. U. headquarters and was at once
invited to sing in the temperance meeting on Sunday
afternoon, (ioing to the meeting, I sang until the time

110 Till-: iirTciiiNsox family.

ivnivi'd to t;ike the train north. ML'an\\liile, Henry and
l^illie, w itli in\' w ifc. had proeeeded to IJoston and filled
the eiigayeiiiciii tliere.

On May 10th Fanny uiid I attended the fnneral of
Lvdia I'inkhani, a woman of fine eliaraeter and lovable
disposition, Avhom we had known over lialf a eentury.
Slie was qnitt' an admirer of the Ilntehinsons, and all
these years had invited ns to visit her. Once, on a trip
from the White Moirntains she "with her husband railed
at our house in Milford, renewing her invitation. I
said, "• Yes, Lydia, Ave'll try and come to see 3^ou, though
we visit but little in Lynn.*' Thirty years passed, and
througli her medicines she had become famous, but btill
our promise was unfulfilled. Four weeks before phe
died, I met her near the old family homestead on Esther
Street. She said, "You haven't filled 3^our engagement
yet." I said, " Lydia, I will come." Then a few days
elapsed, and taking up a jjaper, I read that she was
dead. " Kow,'' said I, '• I will surely go.'' It was late
when Fanny and I arrived at the funeral, but two seats
remained vacant, though many people were standing,
one at the head and the other at the foot of the remains.
These we took. I sat so that I could look at the calm,
bright countenaiKH'. She was a Spiritualist. The spirit
discourses at the funeral were beautiful. By invitation
we rode to the cemetery, and at the grave sang " xVlmost
Home," the setting sun streaming over the casket as we
chanted the sad but hopeful refrain.

On July 9th T started on a trip to Santa Fd, N. M.,
where my dangliti'r \"iola was then living. Henry
was out of healtli, and I felt it would l)e much better
for him to go, but he seemed loth to leave home. I ar-
rived at Santa. Fe on the 15th, meeting Le\\"is M'itli Kate
and Ilarr\at tlie depot. The Tertio-Milh'nnial Exposi-


tion Avas in progress al llic liiuc, and duiiiig my stay of
several weeks we iiuule e.vciusious to the caves of tlu.'
cliff-dwellers and other interesting' points. Mudi de-
scriptive matter eoneerning the journey was pHl)lislied
in the papers at the time and some of it I will (piole.
Tlie hrst is from the Lijnii Uidon^ dated 8anta Fe,
July 20, 1888:

Mi;. Editoi;: — I have "situ, fniinht and conqaeriMl," ami Iutc I ain
ill the ancient city uf Santa Fe (Holy l-'aith) ami suhse(juent eivilization.s
and witness to-day the contilonieratiim of tlie retreating!; tril)es, niinglini;'
in our grand Tertio-Millennial Celebration, directed by the indefatigable
aggressors, Anglo-Saxon Yankees, wlio are predominating in this region
and are likely to shajie the destiny of these declining people, and lead,
we trust, a remnant out of the darkness of superstition and bigotry
mto the sunlight of progress. But before I elaborate on the possibilities
of this country, I design fh'st to give you a word of my success on the
route from Lynn, that others may be as fortunate in the imdertaking.

My excursion ticket purchased at a Boston office, took me over the
Fitchburg Kailroad througli Iloosac Tminel. Not being able to secure a
sleeper, I took Ilobson's choice in the regular jiassenger car and luckily
obtained a whole seat by day and two liy night. Being made comfort-
able by a supply of shawls and blankets, I had my usual amount of
sleep. We passed by Troy, Schenectady, Utica, Syracuse and most of the
places on the New York Central Bailroad the first night. ^lorning came,
and Rochester and the (ienesee River, with its Sam Patch Falls in full
view. "We lingered a short time in the grand depot, learning of its rela-
tive situation to the city. "All aboard," and soon the City of Buffalo
was reached. From this point we took the Lake Shore Railroad to
Cleveland, thence to Lidianapolis, Ind. From there to St. Louis, arriv-
ing on the morning of the third day, only forty hours from Boston.
Passing on through Missouri in tlie daytime, we arrived at Kansas City,
where some exchanging of order for coupon tickets made it necessary
to renniin a short time. Here all trains coming from every direction,

Online LibraryJohn Wallace HutchinsonStory of the Hutchinsons (tribe of Jesse) (Volume 2) → online text (page 9 of 36)