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CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL
CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL,
SOME NOTICES OF HER FAMILY, AND OF HER
GIFTS TO THE CITY OF KEENE.
^ ^ /J. V
By rev. dr. GEORGE G. INGERSOLL.
JOHN WILSON AND SON.
U5 H<?7? . £l
■ . f ,\ > ». ■■■'■. -
TT seems fitting that some Memorial should accom-
pany the valuable collection of relics given to the
City of Keene by the last surviving member of a
family so long associated with its social history;
and to that endy with the aid and counsel of many
interested friends^ the following Sketch has been
M. B. D.
Memorial . 9
Funeral Services -30
Memorial Address 34
Major George Ingersoll 43
Names of the Contributors for the |*urchase of the
Ladies* Park. . 46
Miss Ingersoll's Will 49
Poem read by Rev. Dr. George G. Ingersoll at the
Centennial Celebration of the Acceptance of the
New Hampshire Charter of the Town of Keene . . 55
/^N the fly leaf of a small note-book, worn and
yellow with age, these records are inscribed
in faded ink: —
" George Ingersoll married to Martha Goldthwait by Doc'
Peter Thacher the 29*^ Sep' 1795. — their son, George Gold-
thwait Ingersoll, born y® 4*^ July 1796 at 40 minutes past 6,
morn^g. Baptised at the Church in Brattle Street by the
rev^ Doc' P. Thacher the 21®* Aug* following. Second child,
call** Caroline Haskell, born tuesday morn*^, Dec. 5*^ 1797
about seven o 'th clock. Baptised by the rev** James Free-
man, 24**^ June 1798 at West Point. Third child, born
5**^ May 1799 between 3 & 4 o'clock in the morning . . . call**
by the name of Maria.
George born on Monday.
Caroline on Tuesday
Mary on Sunday."
Major George Ingersoll, in the course of a chance
visit to Keene, took a fancy to a fine house at " Ash
Swamp," which he afterwards purchased. To this
house, which is mentioned in Madam Ingersolls
lO CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL,
diary as " Whitebrook/^ and which still stands, almost
unchanged, at the junction of the Chesterfield and
Westmoreland roads, he removed with his family in
May, 1805. He was, however, permitted but a brief
enjoyment of his new possessions, for he died, after a
short illness, on July i6th of the same year.
Major Ingersoll is believed to have traced his de-
scent from Richard Ingersoll, who emigrated from
Bedfordshire in England in the year 1629 and settled
in Salem, Massachusetts. The parents of George
Ingersoll were Daniel and Bethia Haskell Ingersoll,
and he was born, probably in Boston, on the 2d of
April, 1754. He enlisted in the Continental army,
and served with honor in the war of the Revolution,
entering as a private in Gridley's Regiment of Mas-
sachusetts Artillery, and passing through different
grades of service until he resigned his commission as
Major in 1804. He was one of the original members
of the distinguished Society of the Cincinnati, the
beautiful medal of which was highly prized by his
granddaughter, and regarded by her as the most
valuable relic in her collection.
Martha Goldthwait, the wife of Major Ingersoll,
was the second daughter of Benjamin and Sally
A MEMORIAL, II
Dawes Goldthwait, and one of a family of eleven
children. Her elder sister Sarah married Dr. Daniel
Adams of Keene, and another, Mrs. Lanman, lived
for many years a widow in the spacious house on
" Marlborough Road," then called by the inviting
name of " Mount Pleasant," and at present known as
the " Lanman Place." Shortly before her death she
married Mr. John Dorr of Boston, whose first wife
was her youngest sister Esther.
'The fine portrait which adorns the wall of the
IngersoU Room is that of Benjamin Goldthwait, a
younger brother of Mrs. IngersoU. He died in 1796,
and in course of time his widow became the wife of
Judge Newcomb of Keene. Mrs. Harriet Newcomb
Holland, a daughter of Judge Newcomb and a life-
long friend and associate of the IngersoU family,
supplies the following details.
" Mrs. Major IngersoU was a very handsome woman,
with the effect of height, though she was not very
tall. She charged me to walk upright in the street,
* as if I knew Mrs. Appleton was looking out of the
window at me.'^ She was a very autocratic, clever
woman, wanting to manage everybody, fussy, par-
1 The first Mrs. Aaron Appleton, who was a person of imposing
presence and remarkable dignity of manner.
12 CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
ticular, but very just and honorable. Like all the
Goldthwaits, she had a good deal of beauty. She
died in 1839 of a lingering and painful malady, which
she never mentioned until she told my mother in
strictest confidence not long before her death. The
two tall white tombstones on the right, near the
entrance of the * Old Burying Ground/ or Cemetery,
on Washington Street, mark the graves of Major
IngersoU and his wife."
Concerning their three children whose births are
recorded with such accuracy, Mrs. Holland con-
tinues : " The IngersoU family at one time lived in
Cambridge, in a house on Mason Street, near the
Washington Elm, adjoining the Fay estate, now
owned by the Harvard Annex, and the Preparatory
School is now in the house which I think I have
been told was their old home, and the birthplace of
some of the family. George Goldthwait IngersoU,
the eldest child and only son, graduated from Har-
vard College in 18 15, and from the Divinity School
in 18 18. He was settled soon after as pastor of the
Unitarian Church in Burlington, Vermont, which posi-
tion he continued to hold, honored and beloved, until,
by reason of delicate health, he was obliged to resign
it in 1849. He was a polished, genial man, with
charming manners and a kindly wit. Though never a
hard student, he was always a good preacher."
After leaving Burlington, Harvard University hav-
ing meanwhile conferred upon him the degree of
Doctor of Divinity, he was settled in East Cam-
bridge. At the end of two or three years, however,
circumstances induced him to remove to Keene,
whither he was drawn by many ties of kindred and
affection, and where, with his wife and children, a
son and a daughter, — two other children having died
in infancy, — he established his permanent residence,
thereby adding ^mother to the long list of names
which had already given to the older Keene the dis-
tinction of being, in the words of Francis Parkman,
" a town noted in rural New England for kindly hos-
pitality, culture without pretence, and good breeding
Caroline Haskell, the elder of his two sisters, died
at the age of fifteen. The younger, Mary, married a
widower of Burlington by the name of Adams. Her
own two children died before her, and on her tomb-
stone were the words, " Lo, here am I and the chil-
dren Thou hast given me."
Dr. IngersoU was married on October 14, 1822, to
^ A Half Century of Conflict, Vol. I. p. 230.
CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
Harriet Parkhurst, whose acquaintance he made
during a visit to his aunt's in Keene, where she was
a pupil at Miss Fiske's school. She was a daughter
of Dr. Phineas Parkhurst, of Lebanon, New Hamp-
shire, a physician of character and reputation, whose
early life partook of the adventures and vicissitudes
of the Revolutionary period. He died in 1844, three
years after Lucy Pierce, his wife, and of his nine
children, Mrs. Ingersoll alone survived him. Mrs.
Holland says of them : " His daughters used to sit
together embroidering, sewing, and painting. They
worked beautifully all the fancy-work of the day, — a
very good-natured, easy family, among whom, how-
ever, the inheritance of consumption was fatally
Dr. Ingersoll never again accepted a pastorate ; but
for several months at a time he supplied the pulpits
of his faith in Charleston, South Carolina, and in
Brattleborough, Vermont, and was frequently called
upon to preach in Keene and elsewhere. The first
break in a singularly united and happy family came
with the death of Allen Parkhurst Ingersoll, on Sep-
tember 8, 1859, at the early age of thirty-six years.
Mrs. Holland says in this connection : " He grad-
uated at the University of Vermont, in Burlington.
He was bright, a good student, tall, dark, fragile-look-
ing, a brilliant talker. He early showed symptoms of
the disease of which he died. His sister adored him.
' My brother Allen,' I can hear her say. Mrs. Inger-
soU was never well after his death. She had always
trouble with her throat, and difficulty in speaking.
She was a very amiable, lovely woman. Everything
she did was pretty, and everybody liked her, but she
was always an invalid."
Dr. IngersoU died, after a lingering illness, on
September i6, 1863, and thirteen years later, in De-
cember, 1876, Mrs. IngersoU followed him.
Caroline Haskell iNGERSOLLwas born on the 31st
day of March, 1827. By the death of her mother,
she was left to mourn in solitude the departure of
all who were nearest and dearest to her, and sup-
ported the burden thus laid by Providence upon her
with courage and resignation. A tender and devoted
daughter and sister, she loved to surround herself
with the silent memorials of a cherished past, each
one of which was consecrated to her by some special
association, and in her extensive correspondence and
her large and constantly widening circle of friends
she found consolation for her loneliness. She was
I6 CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL,
gifted with remarkable executive ability, and many
social and philanthropic enterprises — notably the
beautiful Centennial Reception at Keene in 1876 —
owed their success in a great measure to her energy
and intelligence. She was an accomplished musician
and an ardent lover of nature, and it is due to her
earnest efforts and solicitations that the pretty piece
of woodland known as the Ladies' Park has been pre-
served to the citizens of Keene as a perpetual pleasure
ground. With active interest she planned the walks
and drives which were laid out so far as the means at
her command permitted, and by her own generosity
the graceful rustic arches which mark the entrances
were erected. She spent the year 1887-88 in Europe,
and the fine collection of photographs given to the
City, arranged with such painstaking care, abundantly
testifies to her taste and powers of observation.
Not long after her return from abroad, her health
failed perceptibly, and in the course of the next two
years the gravest symptoms manifested themselves.
With characteristic fortitude she faced the inevitable,
and through the months of protracted suffering which
followed she bore herself with faith and patience, and
a mind alert and active to the end. She died in
Keene on Thursday, the 26th of January, 1893.
On the following Sunday the funeral services, like
those of her father and mother, were held at the
Unitarian Church, whence her mortal remains were
borne, as she herself would have chosen, under gray
skies and through the soft falling rain, to their last
resting-place by the side of her beloved kindred in
the "Old Burying Ground " on Washington Street.
FROM REV. W. O. WHITE,
Former Pastor of the Unitarian Church at Keene.
MY DEAR Friend, — You were speaking to me a few
days since about Miss Ingersoll. To me her memory
is indeed like a ray of sunshine. How eminently social was
her nature ! How ready she was in repartee, and how un-
dimmed was her youthful sportiveness, even when she had
passed the bounds of threescore, and when shadows of
infirmity began to thicken about her !
She rejoiced in the flowers of the field, and in all the
melodies of nature. She was as happy as a child on once
discovering that a pair of wrens had consented to set up
housekeeping in a box with which she had sought to tempt
them. Her eagerness to see the " Ladies' Park " established
was a natural result of this enthusiastic love of nature.
You well remember how she delighted in choice music, and
how fine a musician she was herself. She was at the front at
one time in forming an amateur choir in our Keene church.
I recall her as a glad and discriminating reader, who con-
versed most agreeably about books which had interested her.
She had at one time a class of young women in the Sunday
20 CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
school, with which she would have been more continuously
connected had her health and the exigencies of her family
permitted. Her sympathies, however, were far from being
narrowed by ecclesiastical lines ; three of her very closest
friends I remember to have been identified with other house-
holds of faith. Nor were her charities at all limited to those
of her own way of thinking. But why need I add more to
one privileged with her early and her constant friendship?
It is now fifteen years since I forsook that sweet valley of the
Ashuelot, which first greeted my eyes under your auspices
fifty years ago next summer. It was then that I first saw,
upon a sofa in your father's parlor, that genial, radiant,
benignant man. Rev. George G. IngersolL Little did I
think that seven years later I was to meet him as my pa-
rishioner in that selfsame Keene, and with him that great-
hearted, yet long-suffering "mother in Israel,*' his devoted
wife ; and also the son and the daughter so endeared to them
and to each other.
Of her brother, Allen P. Ingersoll, his sister Caroline
writes me, October 3d, 1859, ^ ^^^ weeks after his death :
** Dear Allen ! how sad the world seems without him, and yet
I would not call him back to earthly suffering." You have
been witness to the patience and trust with which our friend,
Miss Ingersoll, met the agonizing trial of her faith during
these latter solitary years of pain. Yet, as we go back thirty
years, are we not confronted with a spectacle even more
striking, as we see that cheery, buoyant nature of hers resolv-
ing itself completely into a pillar of calmness and steadfast-
ness in an hour when she felt that she was going from the
dying bed of her father to that of her mother ?
A MEMORIAL, 21
This mother was spared to her thirteen years longer ; but
at the moment her prostration seemed almost as complete as
that of her husband.
Recalling all the homes of sickness and sorrow which I
have entered, and they are many, I scarcely find the parallel
of this daughter's energy and self-control at such a fearful
conjuncture of threatening bereavements.
I am glad to learn that the gift of the antique relics to
the city which Miss Ingersoll loved so well is so warmly
I remain truly and affectionately yours,
William O. White.
Hon. George S. Hale.
Brookline, Mass., October 27, 1893.
FROM MRS. M. E. W. SHERWOOD.
You ask me to write a few words of my recollections
of my dear friend of a lifetime, Carrie Ingersoll. I can
only say that I think she was unique; from her girlhood
to the end, Carrie was like no other.
She was formed, mentally, on broad and noble foundations,
and brought up in perhaps the most agreeable home circle,
with her brilliant father, her hospitable, genial mother, and
her brother Allen, — a "light too early quenched." Indeed,
spending an evening at the Ingersolls' was my early ideal of
good society, and I have not, in a large experience of the
22 CAROUNE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
world, found anything better. With such a surrounding,
the only daughter could not fail to imbibe the most elegant
traditions of a society which had been the best always ; and
no mean or ignoble thought, no cowardly smallness, no un-
worthy sentiment ever fell about her childish ears. Perhaps,
for this and other reasons, she was always dear to her own
sex, whom she delighted to see succeed. There was no envy,
jealousy, or uncharitableness in this fine nature ; it was all
She had the very grand element of constancy ; when she
once loved and trusted, she always trusted. I remember her
somewhat infrequent visits to New York, where, as she said,
**a child had had time to grow up since we parted." She
and I met as if we had only seen each other the day before
at Keene, and she would come to dine, the life of the party.
Her face, with no regular beauty, had the illumination of
a pair of eyes which should have belonged to a genius, so
beautiful, lambent, and sparkling they were. I always told
her a great poem or a fine novel lay behind those eyes if
she would only write it out.
She lived her poem in her strong, resolute way, her serious
and yet gentle manner ; suffering always with ill health, yet
keeping up with society, loving her friends, being very dear
and precious to them, this clear, crystalline, strong soul went
on alone, yet full of sympathy for us all. I can never forget,
on my visit to England in 1884, the letters she wrote for me
to her dear friends, Mr. and Mrs. Phelps, who gave me a
golden greeting; and when later she came herself, and we
enjoyed London together, how entirely she was "Carrie
IngersoU " of the old times ; and how we interchanged old
A MEMORIAL. 23
Keene jokes, as we wandered about Lambeth Palace to-
gether, or met at the last evening banquet with which Irving
wound up his season in London !
Her fine, serious face, her calmness, her distinguished
manners, her dignity, made her appreciable in these London
crowds. She was unique and admirable.
She lived much alone, and had had great sorrows, but her
love of humor never deserted her ; she was always a cheerful
and delightful companion, with a perfect sympathy. I think
she had all her life to contend with a certain self-conscious-
ness which may have been bashfulness, but she could com-
mand her own nature better than most of us. No stronger
tribute to character was ever paid to any woman than that
paid to her when on her deathbed. Keene became the Mecca
of her friends. A constant procession of those who loved her
from far and near journeyed' to that room which her patience
made rich and beautiful. We took that pale hand in ours,
and reluctantly let it go ; we would have gone farther with
her if we could.
The lone woman, dying, the last of her race, was more
sought for, loved, cherished, and comforted than many whose
deathbeds are surrounded by kindred.
I cannot repeat the confidences of our last sad yet precious
interview. How the idea of her father floated through every-
thing ! She knew how I had loved him and valued him, —
the great wit and saint of our little circle, and of many a larger
one. I found her soul " possessed itself in peace."
She died, as she had lived, strong, sympathetic, pure, and
generous. Peace to her dear soul !
M. E. W. Sherwood.
New York, January^ 1894.
CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
FROM MRS. MARY C. WHEELER.
My dear Sir, — Yours of the 27th inst. reached me
yesterday, and I hasten to comply with your request.
I cannot call myself one of Miss Ingersoll's early friends.
Dr. IngersoU and his family left Burlington some years before
I came to reside there. In her visits to her old home I be-
came acquainted with Miss IngersoU, and, in common with
all who met her in society, recognized her abounding, spar-
kling wit, her rare intelligence, and conversational power. I
have sometimes listened to conversation between her and
gentlemen able to appreciate and respond to her quick,
pungent wit and ready repartee, when it suggested the
coruscations of the Aurora Borealis. Her wit was never
unkindly exercised. I never heard her utter an ungenerous
sentiment or uncharitable remark. Hers was
" The social wit, which, never kindling strife.
Blazed in the small sweet courtesies of life ;
These little sapphires round the diamond shone.
Lending soft radiance to the richer stone."
Between fourteen and fifteen years ago Miss IngersoU
was my guest, when a sudden bereavement occurred in my
family, under peculiarly distressing circumstances; and then
I came to know how rich her nature was in sympathy, self-
forgetfulness, and tender helpfulness. From that time until
her death we were intimate friends. The intervening years
were periods of great physical suffering, borne with exem-
plary fortitude, and with countless proofs of the wise head.
A MEMORIAL, 25
benevolent heart, and beneficent hand of this highly en-
dowed woman. I deem it a privilege to have known her,
and shall ever tenderly cherish the remembrance of our
Please use or withhold this, at your discretion. There
are life-long friends of Miss IngersoU who could better
testify to the rare mental and moral gifts and graces she
Yours very sincerely,
Mary C. Wheeler.
Burlington, Vt., January 29, 1894.
FROM HON. E. J. PHELPS.
.... It is difficult for those who have enjoyed, as I have,
a life-long friendship with our dear and valued friend. Miss
IngersoU, to speak of her without partiality; but I do not
think the warmest partiality is in danger of overstating her
admirable qualities. Hers has certainly been a very rare
life. Left at a comparatively early age in the unusual posi-
tion of having almost no living relatives, and those she had
very remote in kinship, it has been given to few women to
have so many warm friends among the best people of her
time, to be so uniformly acceptable in many circles of society,
and to do in the most quiet and unobtrusive way, and in so
many ways, so much good. A less genial and sunny nature
might well have been forgiven for turning away in some
degree from the life by which she was surrounded, and be-
coming isolated in a measure from her kind, and uncon-
26 CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
genial, if not morbid, in her character ; but of such results
there was in Miss IngersoU's nature not a trace. Full of
generous interest in all good things, cultivated in all fine
tastes, with charming powers of conversation, which never
became in the least aggressive or unfeminine, she was the
delight of all the circles into which she entered, and was
surely one of the best and truest friends that any man or
woman could be blessed with. Her great interest in so many
good works and public benefits, to which she devoted so
much time and so large a share of her modest income while
living, and all of which she remembered in her final bequests,
I need not refer to. In no place are they better known than
in the beautiful city in which she and the kindred from whom
she has been so long separated now repose.
Surely, over the retrospect of such a life may well be
uttered the Master's words: "Well done, good and faithful
Clarendon Hotel, New York,
February i6, 1893.
FROM DR. JOSIAH WHITNEY BARSTOW.
.... Forty years' enjoyment of the intimate friendship
of any cherished acquaintance is a rare privilege and boon,
but when that friend was a gifted and accomplished woman
whose resources of mind and heart were exceptional, whose
accomplishments were as varied as they were abundant, whose
loyalty to those she loved was ever constant and enduring.
A MEMORIAL. a/
then surely forty years of such association become a priceless
treasure in one's experience and memory.
And such was my knowledge of dear Carrie, and such was
the history of our long friendship.
She was indeed a rare woman, — and how could it be
otherwise ? The daughter of a gifted scholar and genial
wit, the sister of a well trained and cultured student, the
pupil and companion of men whose genius and versatility are
so well remembered, she grew up in an atmosphere which
fostered the best powers of her mind and the highest in-
stincts of her warm and generous heart.
All things in nature she knew by heart. Her quick eye
caught every detail of natural beauty, and her fluent tongue
expressed and dispensed her own exquisite appreciation and
Music and art, and all things lovely, were her daily food
and delight, and to share with others her own abundant gifts
was always her readiest impulse.
Her personality was extraordinary, her friends were legion,
and her sympathies reached every one and bound them to
her as "with hooks of steel."
O how we shall miss her now from our narrowing circle
of friends ! How lovingly does memory linger over the joyous
years of our long and unbroken friendship, forgetting the last
days of sickness and decay, which slowly quenched a life
so full of charm, so marked in its characteristics, so valued
and so dear I
The vacant place in the coterie of "those old familiar
faces " can never be filled, but the fragrant memory of the
departed we can never lose. It will stay with us to the end.
28 CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
Mrs. Barbauld's farewell to her own fading life comes back
to us as we take leave of our dear friend who has gone from
our sight : —
" Life ! we Ve been long together
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather ;
'T is hard to part when friends are dear. —
Perhaps 't will cost a sigh, a tear;
Then steal away, give little warning,
Choose thine own time,
Say not * Good-night,' but in some brighter clime
Bid me * Good-morning.' "
Flushing, L. I., December ii, 1893.
FROM "THE CHRISTIAN REGISTER."
February 9, 1893.
The departure of this gifted and beloved lady, after a long
illness, at Keene, N. H., recalls to the memory of a large
circle of friends the attractions of a family which had its
home in some of the most delightful spots of New England.
Burlington, Vt., Northampton, Keene, — all are full of remi-
niscences of the father, mother, son, and daughter who car-
ried good cheer and hospitality wherever they went.
Dr. George G. IngersoU was the Sydney Smith of our
pulpit, sparkling with wit at the fireside, and yet grave, de-
vout, and impressive in the sacred place. The mother was
a model of the genial housewife, and the son, too early lost,
had the gifts and culture to grace any position in life. Caro-
A MEMORIAL, 29
line came to Keene a sprightly young girl, with a rich con-
tralto voice, who served the church for many years by singing
in its choir. She was also an accomplished musician on the
piano. Her wit was inexhaustible ; and her social gifts soon
began to adorn many circles, not only in Keene, but all over
the country. This did not destroy her capacity for friend-
ships, which she retained faithfully all her life. She went
abroad, saw many people of note, and enriched her mind with
the treasures of art and nature.
She was a great lover of old spots, and, wishing to preserve
some of the woodland drives from destruction, she in company
with others gave a fine tract of land to the city of Keene, to
be called the " Ladies* Park," and remain ever untouched by
the spoiler's hand.
When she found herself afflicted by a mortal disease, she
selected some pleasant rooms where she could look out upon
the lovely meadows and hills, and there waited death with
cheerful patience, jesting playfully with her friends in the
intervals of severe pain, laying out her little treasures for
each one, leaving mementoes for the city library, and arranged
for her departure as simply and naturally as if she were going
on a pleasant journey. And so she passed away into the
M. P. L.
January 29, 1893.
nPHE funeral services of Miss IngersoU, obeying
her own instructions, were of a quiet and sim-
ple character. They began with a brief prayer by
her pastor, Rev. Charles Brown Elder, at the In-
valid's Home, where she had passed her last days.
At this service many of her dearest friends and
relatives were gathered together, who came to take
a last look at the familiar face. The body was then
taken to the Unitarian Church, where a large number
of friends and acquaintances were assembled, despite
the very stormy weather which prevailed. As the
coffin was borne up the aisle of the church by the
bearers, Mr. J. R. Beal, General S. G. Griffin, Messrs.
Horatio Colony, George H. Tilden, R. H. Porter,
and Dr. B. T. Olcutt, the organist, Mrs. H. M.
Doolittle, played a sweet and tender voluntary.
When the music had ceased, the pastor read the
following Scripture selections.
A MEMORIAL. 3 1
We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that
we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave and the Lord hath
taken away ; blessed be the name of the Lord.
All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower
of grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth ; but the
word of our God endureth forever.
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth
them that fear him ; for he knoweth our frame, he remem-
bereth that we are dust.
The Lord is my shepherd ; I shall not want. He maketh
me to lie down in green pastures ; he leadeth me beside the
still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the
paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I
walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff* they
comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the pres-
ence of mine enemies ; thou anointest my head with oil ; my
cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow
me all the days of my life ; and I will dwell in the house of
the Lord forever.
Let not your heart be troubled ; ye believe in God, believe
also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions ; if it
were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place
for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come
again and receive you unto myself; that where I am there
ye may be also.
Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh
for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
32 CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL,
while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the
things which are not seen; for the things which are seen
are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle
were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made
with hands, eternal in the heavens.
" Why need I seek some burden small to bear
Before I go ?
Will not a host of noble souls be here,
God*s will to do, —
Men of strong hands, unfailing, unafraid ?
O anxious soul ! what matters my small aid
Before I go ?
" I would be satisfied if I might tell,
Before I go.
That one warm word, — how I have loved them well,
Ah, loved them so !
And would have done for them some little good ;
Have sought it long, — still seek if but I could
Before I go.
" 'T is a child's longing on the beach at play.
* Before I go,'
He begs the beckoning mother, * let me stay
One shell to throw ! '
* Nay ! night comes on, the great sea climbs the shore.'
* O let me toss one little pebble more
Before I go.' "
We know in part and we prophesy in part ; but when that
which is perfect shall come, then that which is in part shall
be done away.
Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face ;
now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I
" Here may thy storra-beat vessel safely ride ;
This is the port of rest from troublous toil,
The world's sweet inn from pain and wearisome turmoil."
Mr. Elder then spoke as follows : —
By rev. CHARLES BROWN ELDER.
AT last, after many weeks and months of weary struggle
with hopeless disease and pain, the wish of our friend's
heart has been gratified, and she has fallen asleep. ** O that
I might fall asleep ! " she said to me not long ago, when her
sufferings were most severe ; but the wish was born not of
fear or of distrust, but of a perfect resignation to God's will,
and a belief that no harm could come to her " on ocean or
As we contemplate our friend's life, so rounded out and
complete, and as we think especially of her recent suffering,
shall we not say that is no time for tears or regrets, but
rather for rejoicing that after the storm has come the calm,
and that, having fought the good fight, she has at last finished
her course and is at rest? And yet how easily the tears
start as we think that we have said farewell, — not the fare-
well which we speak in the ears of some summer voyager
who puts out upon the oceans of this little world, only to re-
turn again after no long time, but that other farewell, the
saddest we ever speak, which we whisper to those who trim
the white sails of their little vessels and launch out upon the
great ocean of eternity, whose surface is dotted with sails
which are permitted to go out but never to return. Yes,
A MEMORIAL 35
the tears come easily even while we say, "It is well that
God's will is done."
It is not for me, as the poet reminds us, " to wound the
memory of a faithful woman with words of idle praise."
Such praise would be as unnecessary in your ears, who have
known her far longer and better than I, as it would be dis-
tasteful to her. And yet, as we linger for a moment in this
church so dear to her, and which was filled for her with many
blessed memories of the departed, and which will be touched
for us in the future with a sense of her presence, may we not
think upon her, and consider what manner of woman she was,
and try to interpret some of the thoughts which always sug-
gest themselves when we stand in the presence of death.
If I understand the meaning of this gathering on this
stormy day, when the elements are at war outside, it is a sign
of the love you feel for our friend, and an evidence that you
believe she filled a large place in this community, and touched
the common life in many ways. I wonder if you are not
thinking of that which always deeply impressed those who
were privileged to know her, namely, her brilliant mind, and
keen wit, and the oftentimes very happy judgments she passed
on people and events. In the few years of my acquaintance
with her, I have been charmed and delighted with the quick
intelligence and strength of mind she displayed. She came
naturally by this mental power and lively wit. Good blood
coursed in her veins. She was the daughter of George
Goldthwait Ingersoll and his wife Harriet Parkhurst. Dr.
Ingersoll was the honored minister of the Unitarian Church
in Burlington, Vermont, for many years, and upon his retire-
ment resided in Keene, where he was most highly esteemed
36 CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
for his fine mind, humorous spirit, and genial temperament.
Our friend was therefore born into a home of refinement,
and from her earliest days was touched by an atmosphere
filled with fine and inspiring influences. What she thus
received by parental endowment was heightened and im-
proved by study and by travel abroad, and by acquaintance
with many cultivated people in public and private life. She
possessed a fine taste for music, was well versed in literature,
delighted in a good book, and was fascinated by beauty,
whether manifested in art or nature, believing that beauty
is one of the ways in which the Infinite God manifests
himself to the eyes of his children. Besides this she pos-
sessed a buoyant and elastic temperament, which undoubt-
edly came by inheritance, and so was seldom disposed to
look on the dark side of life. This world was to her no
" vale of tears," from which she must depart as soon as pos-
sible ; it was rather a beautiful world, filled with countless
evidences of God's love, touched here and there with his
spirit, and so it was a world to be enjoyed, and she was ever
grateful to God for giving her a glimpse of it.
Her fine qualities of mind were not selfishly employed.
What God gave her of influence or power was often used for
the common good. She was public-spirited. I think she
always watched with careful eye the progress and welfare of
her native city, Burlington, Vermont, and she was jealous for
the good name and prosperity of Keene, her adopted city.
It is within the recollection of many who listen to me how
interested she was in the beautifying of our streets, and how
devotedly she labored to secure the woodland now known as
the Ladies' Wildwood Park, in West Keene, which she finally
A MEMORIAL, ^y
presented to the City, thus preserving for all time a lovely
region of shaded walks and drives where the public are free
to spend a happy hour. This fine park will be, I think, one
of her most enduring and beautiful memorials.
But, better and more important than anything else, Miss
Ingersoll was a woman of strong, pure, noble character. She
was herself more worthy than her deeds and accomplish-
ments. I do not say that she was perfect, — this world is not
the place where perfect people are found, — but she possessed
some qualities of character that were specially noteworthy.
I may mention her courage, which was of the finest quality*
and like that of the great Teacher in Gethsemane. It has
always seemed to me that some women are braver than the
bravest men. Men need more often the stir and excitement
and enthusiasm of action to make them heroic, while they
shrink from quiet sacrifice and calm devotion ; but many
women will endure prolonged suffering, and the world will
seldom know of their patient and lonely struggle. Miss
Ingersoll would rebuke me for the suggestion that she was
brave. Indeed, she once remarked, ** My friends speak of
my courage, but I have none whatever." And yet I must
say that she was notably brave all through the last years of
her life, and it was the wonder of many how she could always
remain so calm while pain and death were close by her. As
serenely as if going on a brief journey she " set her house
in order." I do not know how to account for this fine trait,
unless I trace it back to her abiding faith and trust in God.
We speak of character and morality as if they were things
having no religious relations. Sometimes we speak of "mere
morality." But there can be no high and true character, or
38 CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
any morality worth the name, which does not find its source
and ground in God. She could be brave while others were
fearful, because she had faith in God, and could say with
" I know not where His islands lift their fronded palms in air,
. But this I know, — I cannot drift beyond His love and care."
Oh ! very beautiful was this strong courage rooted in faith,
which filled this woman's heart !
But I must mention one other fine thing about her. She
was deeply, fondly affectionate, was full of love for her friends,
and ever loyal to them. How very large was the circle of
her friends, and how tenderly she held them in memory!
She was conscious of this outreach of her heart for friend-
ship, and rejoiced in it. In a note written to me shortly
before her death, which betrays her trembling hand, and
which, as I now read it, seems as it were to convey to me
a voice and a message from the other world, — in that note
she said, " My only characteristic worth mentioning is my
love for my friends and my gratitude to them for their small-
est acts of love, — sensitive to slights, yet forgiving, — but
dependent on their love to the end." No doubt she demanded
much at times from her friends, — I mean much loyalty and
confidence, — but O how much she gave in return ! Out of
the good treasure of her fine mind and heart she brought
forth many rare and beautiful gifts, which she laid on the
altar of friendship. Happy were they who were privileged
to call her a friend, and who felt the touch of her loving and
loyal spirit upon their lives !
Such, as I have imperfectly portrayed her, seems to me our
friend. She has left us, and our farewells are upon our lips.
But must we say, as we stand here by her quiet form, that
this is the end of all things, that this is the last act in the
drama of existence, that the curtain is down and the lights all
out? I cannot indeed follow her course with the outward
eye, or trace it with this reason of mine, but resting upon the
faith that has inspired the good and true, the seers of all ages,
and leaning upon those instincts of my soul which must be
reliable, for God has put them there and ** it is impossible for
God to lie," I dare say, " No, this is not the end of her life."
Where is that fine mind, that brave soul, that loving heart }
Where is that which was really our friend, which looked
through the eye, and spoke by the lips, and gave the warm
hand of friendship } What became of that real self, when the
angel of death passed by a few days ago, and said, '* Peace, be
still " } Was all this instantly destroyed } Believe it who
will, I cannot. Something still survives which we do not
bury in the grave with the poor body. And as for death,
the dreadful things we have thought about it cannot be true.
We have described it as a shadow ; we have called it a pun-
ishment sent by God upon the race, because of sin in far-o£E
days. But death is just as natural as life, and in its season
is no more to be dreaded than falling asleep at night. It is
not a shadow, it is not a second thought of God. Together
with life it is an evidence of God's goodness. The poet may
have been nearer the truth than we commonly think, when
he said :
" There is no death ! What seems so is transition ;
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call Death."
CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
The life clysian ! We know not now indeed where it is,
but if we are only true and faithful to each day's duties, and
patiently bide the time, may it not be that some day we shall
see the gates of that life elysian swing open, and beyond the
portals find again the dear friends we have loved and lost,
and hear once more their sweet voices giving us a glad
"Welcome home ! " Our friend held this trust all her days.
It was the hope of the great English poet : —
" Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me !
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
<* But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
" Twilight and evening bell.
And after that the dark 1
And may there be no sadness or farewell
When I embark;
" For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar."
After the memorial address a beautiful selection of
music entitled " Rest, Weary One," was rendered by
the Clio Quartette of male voices. A prayer was
then made by the pastor.
After the prayer Miss L. M. Maynard sung the
• A MEMORIAL. 41
following hymn, " Nearer Home," composed by
Phoebe Carey: —
" One sweetly solemn thought
Comes to me o*er and o'er ;
I 'm nearer my home to-day
Than I ever have been before.
" Nearer my Father's house,
Where the many mansions be ;
Nearer the great white throne ;
Nearer the crystal sea ;
" Nearer the bound of life,
Where we lay our burdens down ;
Nearer leaving the cross ;
Nearer gaining the crown.
" But lying darkly between.
Winding down through the night.
Is the silent, unknown stream
That leads at last to the light.
" Closer and closer my steps
Come to the dread abysm ;
Closer death to my lips
Presses the awful chrism.
** Oh, if my mortal feet
Have almost gained the brink.
If it be I am nearer home
Even to-day than I think,
42 CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL,
" Father, perfect my trust ;
Let my spirit feel in death
That my feet are firmly set
On the rocks of a living faith."
The service at the church closed with the benedic-
tion. The body was then taken to the Old Cemetery
on Washington Street, and placed by the side of
father and mother and brother, who had died many
years previously. The last words consisted of the
service of committal, the familiar " Earth to earth,
ashes to ashes, dust to dust." With these words the
body was given to the grave, where it will peacefully
rest while the seasons change from the green of
summer days to the white snows' of winter, and the
great world goes on forever.
MAJOR GEORGE INGERSOLL.
FROM THE HISTORICAL REGISTER OF THE OFFICERS
OF THE CONTINENTAL ARMY DURING THE WAR OF
April, 1775, to December, 1783.
Ingersoll, George (Mass.). Private and Sergeant in
Gridley's Regiment Massachusetts Artillery, June to De-
Sergeant in Knox's Regiment, Continental Artillery,
December, 1775, to November, 1776.
2nd Lieutenant of Steven's Battalion of Artillery 9th
Nov., 1776, which became part of the 3d Continental
1st Lieutenant loth June, 1779 and served to June, 1783.
Lieutenant Artillery, Battalion United States Army, the
4th March, 1791.
Captain 2nd of April, 1792, of the Artillerists and En-
gineers, 9th of May, 1794, Regiment of Artillerists, ist of
Major, 8th of July, 1802. Resigned the ist of December
1804. (Died the nth of July, 1805.)
1 Page 237.
CAROUNE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
Epitaph of Major George IngersoU in the Old
Cemetery at Keene, New Hampshire: —
MAJOR GEORGE INGERSOLL
LATE OF THE U. S. ARMY
BORN AT BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS
APRIL 2d. 1754
DIED AT KEENE JULY 16 1805
AET. 51 YEARS.
THUS SLEEPS A BRAVE AND HONEST SOLDIER
HIS VIRTUES LIVE ADMIRED
ANON HE RISES TO ETERNAL LIFE.
FROM "THE LIST OF MEMBERS OF THE MASSACHU-
SETTS SOCIETY OF THE CINCINNATI."
By Francis S. Drake, 1872.^
Ingersoll, George. Died Keene, N. H., July, 1805, a. 51.
Entering Gridley's Regiment of Massachusetts Artillery
(afterwards Knox's and finally Crane's) he served from
Bunker Hill to Yorktown, having been commissioned ist
Lieutenant 10 June, 1779, appointed Lieutenant of U. S.
Artillery, 4th of March, 1791, Captain, April, 1793, Major,
8th of July, 1802, to 1st of December, 1804.
1 Pages 31, 32.
A MEMORIAL. 45
IngersoII, George Goldthwait, D. D. (Harvard University
1845). Only son of George, adm. 1818. Born, 4th of July,
1796. Died Keene, N. H., i6th of Sept 1863. Harvard
University, 1815. Pastor of Unitarian Church, Burlington,
Vt., 30th of May, 1822, to 31st of March, 1844, and of the
Unitarian Society in East Cambridge, 5 th December, 1847,
to 14th of October, 1849.
CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
NAMES OF THE CONTRIBUTORS TO THE FUND OF
THIRTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR THE PUR-
CHASE OF THE "LADIES' WILDWOOD PARK," OF
KEENE, NEW HAMPSHIRE.^
Miss C. H. Ingersoll.
Mrs. W. P. Wheeler.
Mrs. E. C. Thayer.
Miss J. E. Ball.
Mrs. W. H. Elliot.
Mrs. M. L. Griffin.
Mrs. Edward Joslin.
Mrs. Horatio Colony.
Mrs. G. D. Harris.
Mrs. O. G. Dort.
Mrs. Samuel Dinsmoor.
Mrs. Lemuel Hayward.
Miss Bertha Hayward.
Mrs. R. S. Perkins.
Miss Eliza Adams.
Mrs. C. J. Woodward.
Mrs. Sumner Wheeler.
Mrs. F. Petts.
Mrs. Wm. P. Chamberlain.
Mrs. A. S. Carpenter.
Mrs. R. H. Porter.
Mrs. George Buffum.
Mrs. C. N. Chandler.
Mrs. C. H. Faulkner.
Mrs. Francis C. Faulkner.
Mrs. Frederic A. Faulkner.
Mrs. E. E. Lyman.
Mrs. D. C. Howard.
Mrs. George H. Richards.
Miss E. Woodward.
Mrs. C. H. Hersey.
Mrs. G. E. Dole.
Mrs. T. Colony.
Mrs. Edward Farrar.
Mrs. Samuel Wadsworth.
Mrs. J. F. Whitcomb.
Mrs. F. H. Whitcomb.
The Misses Colony.
Mrs. E. J. C. Gilbert.
Mrs. Lanman Nims.
Mrs. C. W. Morse.
Mrs. George B. Twitchell.
Mrs. Ira Daniels.
Mrs. E. W. Morison.
Mrs. G. E. Whitney.
Mrs. A. H. Grimes.
Mrs. Laton Martin.
Mrs. C. H. Stone.
Mrs. John Symonds.
Mrs. M. E. Loveland.
Mrs. George Hayward.
1 All of Keene, unless otherwise stated.
A MEMORIAL, 47
Miss E. J. Faulkner. Mrs. C. L. Kingsbury.
Mrs. L. P. Alden. Mrs. A. E. Bennet.
Mrs. E. A. Renouf. Mrs. P. B. Hayward.
Mrs. W. S. Hale. Mrs. J. W. Prentiss.
Mrs. T. M. Edwards. Mrs. F. A. Barker.
Miss S. L. Edwards. Mrs. A. B. Heywood.
Mrs. J. B. Dow, Boston, Mass.
Mrs. Elizabeth Wilson Hunter, Boston, Mass.
Mrs. Sarah Wilson Lee, Boston, Mass.
Mrs. L. J. Tilton, Chicago, Illinois.
Mrs. Mary Carpenter Wallace, Hoosac Falls, N. Y.
Mrs. John Sherwood, New York, N. Y.
Mrs. E. B. Loynaz, Utica, N. Y.
Mr. George Cook. Mr. W. H. Prentiss.
Mr. George A. Wheelock. Mr. George W. Ball.
Mr. Oscar G. Nims. Mr. Lemuel Hayward.
Mr. E. M. White. Mr. Flavel Beal.
Mr. James H. Wilson. Mr. Hiram Blake.
Mr. George A. Litchfield. Mr. E. W. Holden.
Mr. Walter R. Porter. Mr. Silas Hardy.
Mr. E. M. Bullard. Mr. I. N. Spencer.
Mr. G. C. Shedd. Rev. Dr. E. A. Renouf.
Mr. M. J. Sherman. Dr. B. C. Russell.
Dr. J. W. Bars tow, Flushing, L. I.
Hon. George S. Hale, Boston, Mass.
Mr. Robert S. Hale, Boston, Mass..
Mr. Richard W. Hale, Boston, Mass.
Mr. John Hurd, Boston, Mass.
Mr. W. G. Wheeler, New York, N. Y.
Rev. J. L. Seward, Lowell, Mass.
TV TISS Ingersoll's Will, dated October 3, 1890,
and proved February 3, 1893, gave in all eighty
legacies, a large number of which were to individuals.
The following deserve notice as gifts for public pur-
poses, reference being made to the will for the con-
ditions of the same.
In carrying out the wishes of her father as declared in his ^S»ooo»
r P Harvard
will, to Harvard University the sum of ;S!s,ooo, for the estab- University,
lishment of a Lectureship, one lecture to be delivered each
year on "The Immortality of Man." The choice of a lecturer
not to be limited to any religious denomination nor to any
profession. Three fourths of the income to be paid to him,
and one fourth to be used for the publication and gratuitous
distribution of the lecture.
In compliance with his wishes, to the First Congregational ^^»ooo* First
Society in Burlington, Vermont, of which he was the pastor tionai Society
for twenty- two years, the sum of jj! 1,000 "for the benefit of Vermont. *
the Parish Library (which he founded and to which he gave
CAROUNE HASKELL INGERSOLL,
|i,ooo, Keene As was also his desire, to the Keene Unitarian Congre-
Congrega- gational Society the sum of %\,QOO for the benefit of the
tionai Society. Sunday School of said Society. He "thus connected his
name," she says, " with the above bequests, * not,' as he said,
* from the poor motive of personal vanity, but in the thought
that after the death of my whole family our name might be
thus connected and remembered in places where as a family
we have lived and been deeply interested/ And on this same
principle he left, as do I give and bequeath, to the * American
Unitarian Association' the sum of ;S!i,ooo."
1 1, GOG, Unita-
To the Unitarian Society in Keene ;S!i,ooo, the interest to
be used for expenses approved by its Trustees.
|i,ooo, Aged To the Fund in Boston for the support of aged and indigent
Unitaria^n^"^ Unitarian clergymen the sum of $\fiOO.
To the City of Keene, " for the care and protection of the
relics (already given) in the Ingersoll Room" in the new
Library building, the sum of $\jOOO,
$200, Relic For the purchase of glass cases to contain the small relics
cases. ^j^^ g^^ ^£ ^200.
To the City of Keene for its Public Library the sum of
;S!i,ooo, the interest to be expended for books, stamped ** From
the Ingersoll Donation, for the reason that my father was
one of the founders of the Library, and that I should like to
have the name of our family remembered in connection with
a library in which we have all felt great interest and from
which we have derived great pleasure."
A MEMORIAL. 5 1
" To the City of Keene, for the care and protection of the $IiGoo,
Woodland now called the Ladies' Park, the sum of jj! 1,000." Keene.
The interest to be paid annually to the committee of ladies
in charge of the Park. " It is strongly my desire that interest
in this Ladies' Park shall not end with, but be increased by,
To the Invalids' Home in Keene the sum of jj! 1,000, "in $1,000, Inva-
the hope that others may do the same, so that in time the Keene.
fund may become large enough to be worthy of all the good
that the Institution has done, and can do, and of the devoted
and efficient labor of all its past and present officers."
To the Ladies' Charitable Society of Keene the sum of $'»o?o».^, .
-' Ladies Chan-
$ 1 ,000. table Society,
Toward the Ware Memorial Building for the Fletcher $i,ooo. Ware
_ ., T» 1. ^r 1 r A 1 Memorial
Library at Burhngton, Vermont, the sum of $1,000, on the Building,
condition " that the sum required by the Trustees shall have
been raised and at the time required. If the said sum shall
not have been raised at the time required," then "for the
erection of a fountain on College Green, Burlington, Ver-
mont, on condition that the City shall lay the necessary pipes
thereto, and supply the water therefor, and that it shall be
called the Allan Ingersoll Fountain, for my brother, a native
of Burlington and a graduate of U. V. M. The selection of a
site and design to be in charge of President M. Buckham of
the University, Hon. E. J. Phelps, and Hon. G. F. Edmunds,
to the first named the sum being paid."
In case the City of Burlington should not desire to meet
the above condition, then "to the City of Keene for the
CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL,
erection of a fountain on its Central Park, on the condition
that the City shall lay the necessary pipes thereto, and supply
the water therefor, and that it shall be called the Allan
IngersoU Fountain, in memory of my brother."
To the Fletcher Library the sum of $ifiOOy the interest to
be used for books stamped From the IngersoU Donation,
** and for the reason already mentioned, that I desire to have
my honored father's name remembered in a place where
for twenty-two years he lived and labored for the cause of
intellectual and spiritual growth."
The sum of tSoo " for a memorial tablet of my family, to
be placed in the Unitarian Church in Keene, its design to be
decided upon by Hon. G. S. Hale and Rev. Mr. Elder."
READ BY THE
REV. DR. GEORGE G. INGERSOLL
THE CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION OF THE ACCEPTANCE
OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE CHARTER
OF THE TOWN OF KEENE,
May 26, 1853.
On the 26th of May, a. d. 1853, the Town of Keene cele-
brated the One Hundredth Anniversary of the acceptance of
the Charter granted, under date of April 11, 1753, by Ben-
ning Wentworth, then Governor of the Province of New
Hampshire, — under which the first town meeting was held
upon the first Wednesday of May in that year. At this cele-
bration the following Toast was offered : —
" The house of Nathan Blake. The first house erected in the
Township, and the meeting-house of 1753, built of slabs with an
In response^ to this, the Rev. Dr. George G. IngersoU
delivered the following Poem.^
^ See the New Hampshire Sentinel of June 3, 1853.
"KEENE AS IT WAS; KEENE AS IT IS."
May 26, 1853.
NONE but real natives should speak here to-day ;
Such the established rule, I heard some say.
Well ! let it be so, — if some demonstrative
Will please define to us what is a native.
Our worthy President — good John the 2nd,
One of the wisest of our rulers reckoned —
Asked a fresh comer from the isle of Erin,
How well he liked this country he was here in.
" So powerful well, your honor," answered he,
" I mean to be a native here." You see,
If birth *s an accident, we can rejoice
Nativity a matter is of choice.
Let not our learned Orator cry. Fudge !
This makes him Native, or he is no Judge.
This difference, too, illustrates what my case is,
Boston my birth, Keene one of my Native places.
I came here in my childhood's early day, —
Came for a visit, which turned out a stay.
56 CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL,
My mode of coming well do I remember :
T was in a winter month, — I think, December.
Our whole and undivided family.
My Father, Mother, with their children three,
Left Boston town — 't was not a city then —
At the nice hour of two o'clock a. m..
Cross, sleepy, shivering, started on our way.
In that old-time conveyance, the stage sleigh.
Who that has known it feels not his flesh creep
At memory of cramped limbs and murdered sleep?
Those flimsy, sieve-like sides, a thin cloth curtain.
Which the chill morning wind kept always flirting ;
Those leathern cushions, meant to be so nice.
More slippery and more cold than cake of ice.
While, as in mockery of each freezing toe.
Straw laid beneath, instead of Buffalo.
And then the hour-hand pace at which we were dragged on !
Those were not runners, sure, that sleigh was set upon.
With four hours' travel, twelve good miles were done ;
Hungry and cold, we came to Lexington, —
That far-famed tavern, kept by old Munroe, —
The breakfast laid, and fire all aglow.
What breakfast for a Boston boy, in utter
Contrast to his choc'late, bread and butter !
Beefsteak and bacon, doughnuts and mince-pie,
Eggs boiled and fried, — splendid variety !
That breakfast, O that breakfast ! can I e'er forget ?
Its savory relish lingers with me yet.
Thus warmed and fed, and with more joyous looks,
We listened to " Stage ready," from our driver. Brooks.
A MEMORIAL, 57
The troubles of the past no longer tho't on,
We packed away, and plodded on to Groton,
Till six hours* travel made us spmewhat thinner.
With glorious appetites for glorious dinner. •
One single word my prowess will relate ;
I ate like schoolboy, all whose years were eight.
We start again ; when night came, cold and damp,
We stopped the other side of Tophet Swamp.
There the plump landlord, with his beaming face.
Welcomed the tired with a landlord's grace.
Tell not of Tremont ! Speak not of Revere !
No tavern to my memory half so dear
As good old Bachelder's, that cosy spot ;
Its suppers and its beds be ne'er forgot.
I did full justice to his tavern-keeping ;
Played well my part in eating and in sleeping.
Too soon an awful voice cried, " Sleep no more ;
I 've brought your candle, — stage is at the door."
We started, sleepy, dizzy with the shock.
The same old scene, the same hour, two o'clock ;
The old stage-sleigh, the dull and wintry night,
Till fire and breakfast greet on JafTrey height.
Then to the road, with toilsome steps and slow,
Down through the Vale, — up Marlboro' Hill we go.
At noon, the second day, our ride complete,
We all were landed safe in broad Keene Street.
This petty scribble may, in some part, show
How people journeyed fifty years ago,
58 CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL,
With shaky stage, and horses but five-milers ;
How poor the speed, compared with cars and boilers !
The easy traveller now asks but four hours
To come from Boston to this town of ours.
He saves some time and strength, still fails to gain
What compensates in part for toil and pain.
For the old stage, spite of its overload.
Had some small share in pleasures of the road.
The noisy car, with all its iron tongues.
Stops the sweet converse of the human lungs.
If hunger pinch, the victim needs must take.
Snatching and bolting, that vile, tough sponge-cake.
*T is said there are two sides to every question,
And cars and stage-coach here form no exception.
But let this pass. I mean, by what I say.
The difference to show 'twixt old time and to-day, —
A difference so vast that it embraces
Not only coach and cars, but also places :
A city made of Boston Town, I wis, —
And Keene that was, has changed to Keene that is.
The Keene that was ! dream of an earlier year.
Its very name was music to my ear.
My boyish fancy deemed it Paradise,
Long ere its actual features met my eyes.
Like some sweet, far-off visionary scene.
My very name for Fairy-land was Keene.
When my young feet within its borders stood,
I found reality was full as good.
A MEMORIAL. 59
The fieldis, the streams, the mountain and the tree,
Were running over with delight to me.
My memory paints it now, — I walk the street,
The panorama of that day complete :
The Ralston Tavern, with its queer piazzas.
And roof still queerer, striking all the gazers ;
The old Masonic Hall, just opposite,
Schoolhouse by day, and mystery-shop by night.
Still farther on, with more imposing name.
The Court House stands, in purpose much the same.
Children with lawyers here divide the use.
One taught to construe, t' other to confuse.
Within the Bar, the scholars learn by heart.
Whilst legal practice does without that part.
And by its side, tho' higher still than all.
The old white meeting-house of Parson Hall.
The stiff old-fashioned pulpit, high stuck up
Upon its stem, like some old drinking cup,
And stretched in dignity beneath its feet.
That straight, old-fashioned box, the Deacons' seat.
Where every Sabbath came, jtheir place to take.
Good Deacon Carter, and good Father Blake.
The old square pews, all balustraded round.
With hanging seats, of awful rattling sound,
Which worshippers all slammed with special care,
A thundering Amen to the Parson's prayer.
I might go on to speak of many a spot
In thought and feeling ne*er to be forgot.
And as my eye o'er all the village ranges,
I can but see — must I not speak — of changes ?
6o CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
Changes which few are left to see or tell,
Some of them capital, some not quite so well.
Masonic Hall, compelled up street to go,
Now boasts its greenhouse and its studio.
The old Court House, silenced its legal thunder.
Makes two good buildings now 't is split asunder.
E*en the old meeting-house has faced about.
Its pulpit, pews, and slamming seats turned out.
The row of horse sheds, that once graced its rear.
Now vanished quite, while in their stead appear
The fine arcades of shops, with fronts of glass.
Where bonnets, broadcloths, shoes, tempt all who pass.
Jail Street refuses its old name to own,
And takes a better alias, Washington.
The sunny road, with mansions new and neat,
Is only known and honored as Court Street.
Poverty Lane a richer title got.
And Baker Lane is called — I know not what ;
While that sweet, shady path, the Silent Way,
Still leads to the old Valley Farm " Statia."
Changes besides, which reach to more than places, —
To those who filled them, — old familiar faces !
The many valued friends we joyed to meet,
At home, abroad, in church and shop and street;
The enterprising men of former years.
Those who, in current phrase, were Pioneers ;
Who found our Valley in its native dress,
And planted here, themselves and us to bless,
A MEMORIAL. 6 1
The arts of life, — home and its happiness ;
Newcomb and Adams, Dunbar, Samson, Blake,
I really cannot tell what names to take ;
Willard and Perry, Edwards and Dinsmore,
Ellises, Wilsons, Wilders, by the score ;
With Bakers, Fishers, Cooks, and good old Parson Hall,
Whose wide- extended Parish took in all.
Where are they now? the welcome voices still.
Their forms are seen no more on vale or hill.
Their souls, we humbly hope, are with the blest.
Beneath the soil they trod their bodies rest.
Their memory we thus venerate, and say
We hope their spirits hover round to-day.
" Keene as it was," in this brief, meagre lay,
I Ve tried but to refer to, not to portray.
How many thoughts we strive in vain to speak !
Feelings for which the strongest words are weak.
Those hearts which feel the purpose of this day
Will know, from what I *ve said, what I would say.
The Keene that is, — pride of Ashuelot Vale !
With heart and tongue, again I bid thee hail !
Not as in childhood, led by parent's hand,
I come to view my pictured Fairy-land,
But after years of absence, care, and toil,
To rest my weary spirit for a while.
My father came, worn with the soldier's strife ;
And filled with pleasant dream of farmer's life.
62 CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
For two short months the welcome task he tried,
Then, smitten with unlooked for sickness, died.
That same fond dream his son has also nursed ;
Alas ! how soon some painted bubbles burst !
Perhaps in justice I ought here to say.
Spirit is willing, but the flesh cries nay.
To carry on the farmer's daily tussle,
If one has little cash he should have muscle.
Far more than this, — repose I sought to gain,
For fainting spirit, and an aching brain.
Where better seek } where better hope to find
Rest for the frame, yet not to starve the mind }
In this sweet spot, where Nature does her part
To meet the earnest cravings of the heart,
With friends and books and blessed memories.
One might, with Heaven's blessing, look for peace
Beneath our hills, which rise on either side.
By sparkling streams which through our Valley glide.
*T is true, our winters here are rather cold,
And autumn joys are o'er our meadows rolled;
We have not got — when all is said and done — .
The North and South so tempered into one.
That winter will not freeze, not scorch the summer's sun.
Keene, like the rest of earth, has some sore trials,
And folks who live here must have self-denials.
It still will rain at other times than Sundays,
And weekly washings still do come on Mondays.
We gardeners find it, sometimes to our cost.
There are such things as late and early frost.
A MEMORIAL. 63
Our disappointment even further reaches,
For, do the best we can, we can't grow peaches.
Fish all our streams, — I know *t is very bad, —
We cannot catch a salmon or a shad.
If such great luxuries we wish to get.
Friend Wilder's cart is better than a net.
And if we long for game, 't is just as clear,
We *d better walk the street than hunt the woods — for deer.
Spite of such drawbacks on our village glory,
Enough is left to make out a fair story.
I do not mean to get up some false thunder.
To make our Town of Keene a nine-days wonder ;
I mean to say that which is just and civil.
To tell the truth, and thus to shame — all evil ;
To point to evidence, and thus impress
Upon each mind the proof of our success ;
To say, without reserve, or any shill-I shall-I,
Ours is a prosperous town, and ours a beauteous valley.
And when I speak these words, prosperity and beauty,
I mean to add a third of solemn import, — duty ;
Duty — to those whose minds and hands and voices
Secured the good in which this day rejoices ;
To ourselves duty, — that we strive to merit
The gifts and privileges we inherit ;
Duty to those who, in the years to come.
Shall make this place we occupy their home.
Who, when with rolling years comes their centennial day,
Shall, for our duty done, their grateful reverence pay ;
64 CAROLINE HASKELL INGERSOLL.
Duty to Him from whose all-bounteous hand
Come all the strength and beauty of our land,
Who bade our streams to flow, our hills to rise,
Sustained our fathers in each sacrifice,
And so, through them, to us has largely given
Treasures of earth, and truths and hopes of Heaven ;
Duty to Him, which shall its presence show.
Not by the words we speak, but acts we do.
Thankful as well as glad for our acknowledged good.
Improvement the sure proof of our deep gratitude.
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