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HE DAYS



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x j ... ,



E -BARR



ALL THE DAYS OF MY
LIFE : AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY




MRS. BARR AT 80



ALL THE DAYS OF MY
LIFE: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY

THE RED LEAVES OF A HUMAN
HEART & BY AMELIA E. BARR




ILLUSTRATED



NEW YORK AND LONDON

D.APPLETON AND COMPANY
MCMXIII



COPYRIGHT, 1913, BY
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY



Printed in the United States of America



TO MY FRIENDS

DR. CARLOS H. STONE

AND

MRS. STONE

I INSCRIBE

WITH AFFECTIONATE ESTEEM
THIS STORY OF MY LIFE



CHERRY CROFT
A. D. 1913






CONFIDENCES

THIS is to be a book about myself but, even before I begin
it, I am painfully aware of ihe egotistical atmosphere
which the unavoidable use of the personal pronouns cre
ates. I have hitherto declared that I would not write an auto
biography, but a consideration of circumstances convinces me
than an autobiography is the only form any personal relation
can now take. For the press has so widely and so frequently
exploited certain events of my life impossible to omit that dis
guise is far out of the question. Fiction could not hide me, nor
an assumed name, nor even no name at all.

Why, then, write the book? First, because serious errors
have constantly been published, and these I wish to correct;
second, there has been a long-continued request for it, and third,
there are business considerations not to be neglected. Yet none,
nor all of these three reasons, would have been sufficient to in
duce me to truck my most sacred memories through the market
place for a little money, had I not been conscious of a motive
that would amply justify the book. The book itself must reveal
that reason, or it will never be known. I am sure, however, that
many will find it out, and to these souls I shall speak, and they
will keep my memory green, and listen to my words of strength
and comfort long after the woman called Amelia Huddleston
Barr has disappeared forever.

Again, if I am to write of things so close and intimate as my
feelings and experiences, I must claim a large liberty. Many
topics usually dilated on, I shall pass by silently, or with slight
notice ; and, if I write fully and truly, as I intend to do, I must

vii



CONFIDENCES

show many changes of opinion on a variety of subjects. This is
only the natural growth of the mental and spiritual faculties.
For the woman within, if she be of noble strain, is never content
with what she has attained; she unceasingly presses forward, in
lively hope of some better way, or some more tangible truth. If
any woman at eighty years of age was the same woman, spiritually
and mentally, she was at twenty, or even fifty, she would be little
worthy of our respect.

Also, there are supreme tragedies and calamities in my life
that it would be impossible for me to write down. It would be
treason against both the living and the dead. But such calami
ties always came from the hand of man. I never had a sorrow
from the hand of God that I could not tell to any good man or
woman ; for the end of God-sent sorrow is some spiritual gain or
happiness. We hurt each other terribly in this world, but it is
in ways that only the power which tormented the perfect man
of Uz would incite.

I write mainly for the kindly race of women. I am their sis
ter, and in no way exempt from their sorrowful lot. I have
drank the cup of their limitations to the dregs, and if my ex
perience can help any sad or doubtful woman to outleap her
own shadow, and to stand bravely out in the sunshine to meet
her destiny, whatever it may be, I shall have done well ; I shall
not have written this book in vain. It will be its own excuse,
and justify its appeal.

AMELIA BARR



CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. THE BORDER LAND OF LIFE 1

II. AT SHIPLEY, YORKSHIRE 11

III. WHERE DRUIDS AND GIANTS DWELT .... 25

IV. AT RlPON AND THE ISLE OF MAN 47

V. SORROW AND CHANGE 60

VI. IN NORFOLK 69

VII. OVER THE BORDER 81

VIII. LOVE Is DESTINY 91

IX. THE HOME MADE DESOLATE 106

X. PASSENGERS FOR NEW YORK 126

XI. FROM CHICAGO TO TEXAS 146

XII. A PLEASANT JOURNEY 177

XIII. IN ARCADIA 195

XIV. THE BEGINNING OF STRIFE 214

XV. THE BREAK-UP OF THE CONFEDERACY .... 235

XVI. THE TERROR BY NIGHT AND BY DAY .... 259

XVII. THE NEVER-COMING-BACK CALLED DEATH . . . 278

XVIII. I Go TO NEW YORK 300

XIX. THE BEGINNINGS OF A NEW LIFE 319

XX. THE FAMILY LIFE 335

XXI. THUS RUNS THE WORLD AWAY 354

XXII. THE LATEST GOSPEL: KNOW THY WORK AND Do IT . 374

XXIII. THE GODS SELL Us ALL GOOD THINGS FOR LABOR . 405

XXIV. BUSY, HAPPY DAYS 426

XXV. DREAMING AND WORKING 446

XXVI. THE VERDICT OF LIFE 466

APPENDIX I. HUDDLESTON LORDS OF MILLOM .... 481
APPENDIX II. BOOKS PUBLISHED BY DODD, MEAD AND COM
PANY 488



CONTENTS

PAGE

APPENDIX III. BOOKS PUBLISHED BY OTHER PUBLISHERS . . 490

APPENDIX IV. POEMS 492

APPENDIX V. LETTERS 499

INDEX 513



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

FACING
PAGE

MRS. BABR AT 80 . . Frontispiece

MRS. BARR S BIRTHPLACE 8

REV. WILLIAM HENRY HUDDLESTON 52

MRS. BARR AT 18 .98

MR. ROBERT BARR 204

Miss LILLY BARR 288

MRS. BARR, NOVEMBER, 1880 . .364

Miss MARY BARR 378

"CHERRY CROFT," CORNWALL-ON-HUDSON 428

Miss ALICE BARR 456



ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE

baneful, some alien soul might usurp the tenement, and there-
forse. nev,er\be able effectually to control, or righteously use it.

I was a very fortunate child, for I was possessed by a good
spirit, yea rather being good, my spirit came into a body unde-
filed and perfect * (Wisdom of Solomon, 8:20). Also, my en
vironments were fair and favorable ; for my parents, though not
rich, were in the possession of an income sufficient for the modest
comforts and refinements they desired. My father was the son
of Captain John Henry Huddleston, who was lost on some un
known sea, with all who sailed in his company. His brother,
Captain Thomas Henry Huddleston, had a similar fate. His
ship, The Great Harry, carrying home troops from America, was
dashed to pieces on the Scarlet Rocks, just outside Castletown,
the capital of the Isle of Man. When the storm had subsided the
bodies of the Captain and his son Henry were found clasped in
each other s arms, and they were buried together in Kirk Malew
churchyard. During the years 1843 and 1844 I was living in
Castletown, and frequently visited the large grave with its up
right stone, on which was carved the story of the tragedy. Fif
teen years ago my sister Alethia went purposely to Castletown
to have the lettering on this stone cleared, and made readable;
and I suppose that it stands there today, near the wall of the
inclosure, on the left-hand side, not far from the main entrance.

When my grandmother, Amelia Huddleston, was left a
widow she had two sons, John Henry and William Henry, both
under twelve years of age. But she seems to have had sufficient
money to care well for them, to attend to their education, and to
go with them during the summer months to St. Ann s-by-the-Sea
for a holiday; a luxury then by no means common. She in
spired her sons with a great affection; my father always kept
the anniversary of her death in solitude. Yet, he never spoke
of her to me but once. It was on my eleventh birthday. Then
he took my face between his hands, and said: " Amelia, you
have the name of a good woman, loved of God and man ; see that
you honor it."

After the death of their mother, I believe both boys went to
their uncle, Thomas Henry Huddleston, collector of the port of
Dublin. He had one son, the late Sir John Walter Huddleston,



THE BORDER LAND OF LIFE

Q. C., a celebrated jurist, who died in 1891 at London, England.
I was living then at East Orange, New Jersey. Yet, suddenly,
the sunny room in which I was standing was thrilled through
and through by an indubitable boding token, the presage of his
death a presage unquestionable, and not to be misunderstood by
any of his family.

Sir John Walter was the only Millom Huddleston I ever
knew who had not " Henry " included in his name. This fact
was so fixed in my mind that, when I was introduced to the one
Huddleston in the city of New York, a well-known surgeon and
physician, I was not the least astonished to see on his card "Dr.
John Henry Huddleston. Again, one day not two years ago, I
lifted a newspaper, and my eyes fell on the words * Henry Hud
dleston." I saw that it was the baptismal name of a well-known
New Yorker, and that he was seriously ill. Every morning until
his death I watched anxiously for the report of his condition;
for something in me responded to that singular repetition, and,
though I never heard any tradition concerning it, undoubtedly
there is one.

Millom Castle and lands passed from the Huddleston family
to the Earls of Lonsdale, who hold them with the promise that
they are not to be sold except to some one bearing the name of
Huddleston. Not more than ten years ago, the present Earl
admitted and reiterated the old agreement. One part of the
castle is a ruin covered with ivy, the rest is inhabited by a tenant
of the Earl. My sister stayed with this family a few days about
twelve years ago. Soon afterwards Dr. John Henry Huddle
ston, accompanied by his wife, visited Millom and brought me
back some interesting photos of the church and the Huddleston
monuments.

The Millom Huddlestons have always been great ecclesias
tics. There lies upon my table, as I write, a beautifully pre
served Bible of the date A. D. 1626. It has been used by their
preachers constantly, and bears many annotations on the mar
gins of its pages. It is the most precious relic of the family,
and was given to me by my father on my wedding-day. Their
spiritual influence has been remarkable. One tradition asserts
that an Abbot Huddleston carried the Host before King Edward

3



ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE

the Confessor, and it is an historical fact that Priest Huddleston,
a Benedictine monk, found his way up the back stairs of Wind
sor Castle to King Charles the Second s bedroom, and gave the
dying monarch the last comforting rites of his church.

When they were not priests they were daring seamen and
explorers. In the seventeenth century India was governed by
its native princes, and was a land of romance, a land of obscure
peril and malignant spells. An enchanted veil hung like a mist
over its sacred towns on the upper Ganges, and the whole coun
try, with its barbaric splendors and amazing wealth, had a luring
charm, remote and unsubstantial as an ancient fable. In that
century, there was likely always to be some Captain Huddleston
rounding the Cape, in a big, unwieldy Indiaman. That the voy
age occupied a year or two was no deterrent. Their real home
was the sea, their Millom home only a resting-place. By such
men the empire of England was builded. They gave their lives
cheerfully to make wide her boundaries, and to strengthen her
power.

My father and his brother both chose theology, and they were
suitably educated for the profession. John Henry, on receiving
orders, sailed for Sierra Leone as one of the first, if not the first
missionary of the English Church to the rescued slaves of that
colony. My father finally allied himself with the Methodist
Church, a decision for which I never heard any reason assigned.
But the reason must have been evident to any one who considered
the character and movements of William Henry Huddleston. In
that day the English Church, whatever she may do now, did not
permit her service to be read, in any place not sanctified by a
bishop with the proper ceremonies. My father found in half a
dozen shepherds on the bare fells a congregation and a church
he willingly served. To a few fishers mending their nets on the
shingly seashore, he preached as fine a sermon as he would have
preached in a cathedral. It was his way to stroll down among
the tired sailormen, smoking and resting on the quiet pier in the
gloaming, and, standing among them, to tell again the irresistible
story of Christ and Him Crucified.

He was indeed a born Evangelist, and if he had been a con
temporary of General Booth would certainly have enrolled him-

4



THE BORDER LAND OF LIFE

self among the earliest recruits of his evangelizing army. In the
Methodist Church this tendency was rather encouraged than hin
dered, and that circumstance alone would be reason most suffi
cient and convincing to a man, who believed himself in season
and out of season in charge of souls. In this decision I am sure
there was no financial question; he had money enough then to
give his conscience all the elbow-room it wanted.

Soon after this change my father married Mary Singleton

"A perfect woman, nobly planned,
To trust, to comfort, and command."

Physically she was small and delicately formed, but she pos
sessed a great spirit, a heart tender and loving as a child s, and
the most joyous temper I ever met. Every fret of life was con
quered by her cheerfulness. Song was always in her heart, and
very often on her lips. She brooded over her children like a
bird over its nest, and was exceedingly proud of her clever hus
band, serving and obeying him, with that touching patience and
fidelity which was the distinguishing quality of English wives
of that period.

And it was to this happy couple, living in the little stone
house by the old chapel in Ulverston, I came that blessed morn
ing in March, A. D. 1831. Yes, I will positively let the adjective
stand. It was a " blessed" morning. Though I have drunk the
dregs of every cup of sorrow,

"My days still keep the dew of morn,

And what I have I give;
Being right glad that I was born,
And thankful that I live."

I came to them with hands full of gifts, and among them the
faculty of recollection. To this hour I wear the key of memory,
and can open every door in the house of my life, even to its first
exquisite beginnings. The thrills of joy and wonder, of pleasure
and terror I felt in those earliest years, I can still recapture;
only that dim, mysterious memory of some previous existence,
where the sandy shores were longer and the hills far higher, has
2 5



ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE

become fainter, and less frequent. I do not need it now. Faith
has taken the place of memory, and faith is "the substance of
things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Childhood is fed on dreams dreams waking, and dreams
sleeping. My first sharp, clear, positive recollection is a dream
a sacred, secret dream, which I have never been able to speak of.
When it came to me, I had not the words necessary to translate
the vision into speech, and, as the years went on, I found myself
more and more reluctant to name it. It was a vision dim and
great, that could not be fitted into clumsy words, but it was
clearer and surer to me, than the ground on which I trod. It is
nearly seventy-eight years since I awoke that morning, trembling
and thrilling in every sense with the wonder and majesty of
what I had seen, but the vision is not dim, nor any part of it
forgotten. It is my first recollection. Beyond is the abyss.
That it has eluded speech is no evidence of incompleteness, for
God s communion with man does not require the faculties of
our mortal nature. It rather dispenses with them.

When I was between three and four years old I went with
my mother to visit a friend, who I think was my godmother. I
have forgotten her name, but she gave me a silver cup, and my
first doll a finely gowned wax effigy that I never cared for.
I had no interest at all in dolls. I did not like them; their
speechlessness irritated me, and I could not make-believe they
were real babies. I have often been aware of the same perverse
fretful kind of feeling at the baffling silence of infants. Why do
they not talk ? They have the use of their eyes and ears ; they
can feel and taste and touch, why can they not speak ? Is there
something they must not tell ? Will they not learn to talk, until
they have forgotten it? For I know

"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting

The soul that rises with us, our Life s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting;

And cometh from afar.
Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter darkness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home."
6



THE BORDER LAND OF LIFE

At this house, overlooking the valley of the Duddon, I needed
nothing to play with. Every room in it was full of wonders, so
also was the garden, with its dark walls shaded by yews, and
pines, and glistening holly, the latter cut into all kinds of fan
tastic shapes. The house had a large entrance hall, and, rising
sheer from it, was the steep, spiral stairway leading to the upper
rooms. The stairs were highly polished and slippery, but they
were the Alps of my baby ambition. Having surmounted them,
there was in the corridor to which they led, queer, dark closets
to be passed swiftly and warily, and closed guest rooms obscure,
indistinct, and shrouded in white linen. It gave me a singular
pleasure to brave these unknown terrors, and after such adven
tures I returned to my mother with a proud sense of victory
achieved; though I neither understood the feeling, nor asked
any questions about it. Now I can accurately determine its why
and its wherefore, but I am no happier for the knowledge. The
joy, of having conquered a difficulty, and the elation of victory
because of that conquest had then a tang and a savor beyond
the power of later triumphs to give me. I know too much now.
I calculate probabilities and attempt nothing that lacks strong
likelihoods of success. Deservedly, then, I miss that exulting
sense of accomplishment, which is the reward of those who never
calculate, but who, when an attempt is to be made, dare and do,
and most likely win.

There was also a closed room downstairs, and I spent much
time there when the weather was wet, and I could not get into
the garden. It had once been a handsome room, and the scene
of much gaiety, but the passage of the Reform Bill had com
pelled English farmers to adopt a much more modest style of
living ; and the singing of lovers, and the feet of dancing youths
and maidens was heard no more in its splendid space. But it
was yet full of things strange and mysterious things that minis
tered both to the heaven and hell of my imagination ; beautiful
images of girls carrying flowers and of children playing ; empty
shells of resplendent colors that had voices in them, mournful,
despairing voices, that filled me with fear and pity; dreadful
little heathen gods, monstrous, frightful! with more arms and
hands and feet than they ought to have; a large white marble

7



ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE

clock that was dead, and could neither tick nor strike; butter
flies and birds motionless, silent, and shut up in glass cases ; and
what I believed to be a golden harp, with strings slack or broken,
yet crying out plaintively if I touched them.

One afternoon I went to sleep in this room, and, as my mother
was out, I was not disturbed ; indeed when I opened my eyes it
was nearly dark. Then the occult world, which we all carry
about with us, was suddenly wide awake, also ; the place was full
of whispers ; I heard the passing of unseen feet, and phantom-like
men and women slipped softly about in the mysterious light.
My heart beat wildly to the visions I created, but who can tell
from what eternity of experiences, the mind-stuff necessary for
these visions floated to me? Who can tell?

It was, however, the long, long nights, far more than the
wonderful days, which impregnated my future the dark, still
nights full of hints and fine transitions, shadowy terrors, fleet
ing visions and marvelous dreams. I shall remember as long as
I live, nights that I would not wish to dream through again,
neither would I wish to have been spared the dreams that came
to me in them. The impression they made was perhaps only pos
sible on the plastic nature of a child soul, but, though long years
lay between the dream and the event typified, the dream was un-
forgotten, and the event dominated by its warning. All educa
tion has this provisional quality. In school, as well as in dreams,
we learn in childhood a great deal that finds no immediate use or
expression. For many years we may scarcely remember the les
son, then comes the occasion for it, and the information needed
is suddenly restored.

There is then no wonder that, in the full ripeness of my men
tal growth, I look back with wondering gratitude to these first
apparently uneventful years on the border land of being. In
them I learned much anteceding any reasoning whatever. There
is nothing incredible in this. Heaven yet lies around infancy,
and we are eternally related to heavenly intelligences "a little
lower" that is all. Thus, in an especial manner,

"Our simple childhood sits,
Our simple childhood sits upon a throne,
That hath more power than all the elements."
8




MRS. BARR S BIRTHPLACE
Born in the parsonage next to the chapel



THE BORDER LAND OF LIFE

For it is always the simple that produces the marvelous, and
these fleeting shadowy visions and intimations of our earliest
years, are far from being profitless ; not only because they are
kindred to our purest mind and intellect, but much rather be
cause the soul

"Remembering how she felt, but what she felt
Remembering not; retains an obscure sense
Of possible sublimity."



I have a kind of religious reluctance to inquire too closely
into these almost sacred years. Yet when I consider the material
education of the children of this period, I feel that I have not
said enough. For a boy educated entirely on a material basis,
is not prepared to achieve success, even financial success. The
work of understanding must be enlightened by the emotions, or
he will surely sink to the level of the hewers of wood and drawers
of water. The very best material education will not save a child
who has no imagination. Therefore do not deprive childhood of
fairy tales, of tales of stirring adventure and courage, and of
the wondrous stories of the old Hebrew world. On such food
the imagination produces grand ideals and wide horizons. It is
true we live in a very present and very real world, and many are
only too ready to believe that the spiritual world is far-off and
shadowy. On the contrary, the spiritual world is here and now
and indisputably and preeminently real. It is the material
world that is the realm of shadows.

I doubt if any child is born without some measure of that
vision and faculty divine which apprehends the supernatural.
This is "the light within which lighteth every man that cometh
into the world. If that light be neglected, and left to smoulder
and die out, how great is the darkness it leaves behind ! Precious
beyond price are the shadowy recollections of a God-haunted
childhood,

"Which be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain light of all our day;
Are yet the master light of all our seeing."
9



ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE

A child is a deep mystery. It has a life of its own, which it
reveals to no one unless it meets with sympathy. Snub its first
halting confidences concerning the inner life, or laugh at them,
or be cross or indifferent, and you close the door against yourself
forever. Now there is no faculty given us that the soul can
spare. If we destroy in childhood the faculty of apprehending
the spiritual or supernatural, as detrimental to this life, if there
be left

". . . no Power Divine within us,
How can God s divineness win us?"



CHAPTER II

AT SHIPLEY, YORKSHIRE

"Sweet childish days that were as long
As twenty days are now."

"A child to whom was given
So much of earth, ^o much of heaven."

BEFORE I was three years old my father removed to York
shire, to Shipley, in the West Riding. I never can write
or speak those two last words, West Riding, without a
sensible rise of temperature, and an intense longing to be in Eng
land. For the West Riding is the heart of England, and, what
ever is distinctively English, is also distinctively West Riding.
Its men and women are so full of life, so spontaneously cheerful,
so sure of themselves, so upright and downright in speech and
action, that no one can for a moment misunderstand either their
liking or disliking. Their opinions hold no element of change or
dissent. They are as hearty and sincere in their religion, as their
business, and if they form a friendship with a family, it will
likely be one to the third and fourth generation. I correspond
today with people whom I never saw, but whose friendship for
my family dates back to a mutual rejoicing over the victory of
Waterloo.

Of course I was not able to make any such observations on
West Riding humanity when I first went there, but I felt the



Online LibraryAmelia Edith Huddleston BarrAll the days of my life: an autobiography, the red leaves of a human heart → online text (page 1 of 44)