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3 1833 00854 4246 









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1 When thine Eye is single, thy whole Body also is full of Light. 1 


"Bear ye one another's Burdens, and so fulfil the Law of 
Christ." — Galatians vi. 2. 

Pribatclg ^tintcB- 




Edward H. R. L 


Cambridgi : 
Press of John Wilson 6-» Son. 







By S. I. L. 


Of the two portraits of my father, contained in this I k. the earlier one ia a 

photograph from a small water-colored miniature, which must have been taken in 
his youth, before his first marriage, about the year 1788. Very little is known of 
this miniature, but we conclude that it was a good likeness of him in youth, 
because it so strongly resembles some of his grandchildren. The later portrait is 
from a very excellent likeness of him, by Mr. Chester Harding, and was taken 
(I think) about the year 1828. It. is a matter of great regret to us all that no 
portrait exists of our mother. Mrs. Ilillard writes : — 

" Had she an unwillingness to submit to the surgical operation of being photo- 
graphed? And was she too constantly occupied in being', and in doing for others, 
to find time for seeming, and allowing her face to be put on canvas? 

" Her figure was fine and commanding ; her whole appearance and manner were 
dignified and queenly, — like an ideal queen, — not much like many of the queens 
we see depicted. She had a Roman nose, and a very fine profile, beautiful dark 
eyes that could laugh as well as weep, and a mouth expressive of character and 
firmness as well as of sweetness and mirthfulness. She had a fine, clear com- 
plexion, and a rich color ; and I have often been told that, when your father and 
she were married and came home to Northampton, they were the handsomest 
couple in Western Massachusetts, and were followed by all eyes as they drove or 
walked. To those who knew them well, and held frequent intercourse with them, 
their beauty ceased to be so impressive, because the beauty of soul and mind pre- 
dominated. Their manners and conversation, which were quite in keeping with 
their outward appearance, made one for a moment forgetful of that. Her children 
have all certain points of resemblance to both parents, but are not strikingly like 
either of them." 

S. I. L. 
December, 1875. 


From yon blue heavens above us bent, 

The gardener Adam and his wife 

Smile at the claims of long descent. 

Howe'er it l>c, it seems to me, 

Tis only noble to be good ; 

Kind hearts are more than coronets, 

And simple faith than Norman blood. 

• Tennyson. 

ANNE JEAN ROBBINS was born in Milton, Massachusetts, on 
the third day of July, 1789. She was the fourth child of the 
Hon. Edward Hutchinson Robbing, a man of noble character and 
warm heart, who has left to his descendants the richest of all inherit- 
ances, in the fine flavor of humanity that has kept his memory green, 
even to the third and fourth generation. The house where Anne Jean 
first saw the light is still standing on Milton Hill, and is known as 
the Churchill house. The maiden name of Anne's mother was Eliza- 
beth Murray, and Anne was named by her for two Scotch aunts, 
Anne and Jean Bennet. She was a woman of great intelligence and 
force of character, and had passed the greater part of her life in 
Milton, — marrying in youth the son of the former beloved minister 
of Hie town, the Rev. Nathanacl Robbins. 

The history of any life must necessarily include the lives of many 
others. A friend once said to me, "No ofle can be a Christian alone." 
And in fact no human heing leads an isolated life. One is as surely 
all the time acted upon by one's inheritance, surroundings, and com- 
panionship, as one reacts on these. In the condition to which she 

was horn, the scenery amidst which she lived, the persons by whom 
she was surrounded, and the family traditions dear to her childhood, 
Anne Jean was peculiarly blessed ; and I shall tell you all I know of 
them, because her personal individuality, though striking, was not 
more so than her quality of family and social affection. 

My e nisin, Dr. Estes Howe, writes of our grandfather, and the 
father of Anne Jean, the following sketch : — 

"Our grandfather I presume you do not remember, as you weir so 
young when he died, lie was a tall, large man, very erect and digni- 
fied in his look. His face, as his picture shows, was very like his 
son's, our uncle Edward's, in his later years. His countenance had 
that same benign look — a look which I think comes finally to the face 
of every one who leads, as he did, a life full of good will and good 
works. He was born as you know in 1757, and graduated at Harvard 
in 1775, being eighteen years old. He must have taken his degree at 
Concord, to which place the college was removed when the army 
were collected at Cambridge. The last time I saw him at Brush Hill 
was on the 4th of July, when I was a freshman, in 1829. He pointed 
out to me a wooden-bottomed, armed chair as his college chair, and 
told me that be bad only one coat all the time he was in college — 
this notwithstanding he was the son of a lady who was considered 

" He soon became a person of note at home, and was, at the age of 
twenty-three, a member of the convention that formed the constitution 
of the State of Massachusetts. He was married in 1785, and went to 
house-keeping on Milton Hill, where, I believe, all bis children except 
my mother were born. She was born in Boston, in a bouse he inher- 
ited from his mother, near- Brazer's Building, on State Street. In 
1786, he bought a township of land in Maine, and called it Robbins- 
ton. He took several Milton families down, whose descendants — 
Brewers, Yoses, Briggs, &c, &c. — are still there. He built several 


vessels there, and continued in fact to work busily and earnestly over 
the enterprise, till the clay of his death. He always went there at 
least once a year, — a voyage that had to be made in a coasting vessel. 
His last visit was made only a couple of months before his death. 

" The enterprise was not a profitable one ; and what with that and 
the loss of several vessels by French privateers, he lost all his property, 
and about 1804 sold out at Milton Kill, and removed to Brush Hill, 
which place belonged in part to his wife, our grandmother ; the other 
part belonging to her sister, aunt Forbes, was purchased. And so 
the family ark rested there, where your mother and mine,- and all 
the rest, grew up. 

'•Our grandfather was constantly in public life ; and, in 1793, he was 
elected Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. His 
remarkable memory for men and their faces, his knowledge about 
them, and his general popularity caused his re-election annually for 
nine years ; at the end of which time he was chosen Lieutenant-gov- 
ernor, an office he continued to hold for seven years, soon after which 
he was appointed Judge of Probate. In this office he died. 

"This last office gave special scope to his kindly qualities. The wid- 
ows and orphans of the county found in him a sure and sympathizing 
friend and guardian, and his wonderful memory made him in a short 
time acquainted with the genealogy and business and property of the 
whole county. 

" But you want to know what I remember of him. I remember him 
simply as one who always had a kind or thoughtful word for me when 
1 met him; who see nod to be. as he was, most tenderly loved by his 
children, and very full of love for them. He was away from home 
almost every day, either over at Dedham or in Boston, and was very 
apt to be at home rather late for tea. I recollect riding home from 
Boston more than once with him. He had a habit of talking to him- 
self, and I was a little frightened at it, which he seemed to appreciate, 
for every now and then he would stop, whip up the horse, and begin 

talking to me ; then very soon lie would fall off into his own line of 
thought, and talk to himself again. When my father died, he was 
deeply grieved, and his heart seemed to bo oppressed and full of sym- 
pathy for mother. I was at that time at school at North Andover : a 
few weeks after father's death, he drove up there in his chaise on Sat- 
urday night, a journey of twenty-five miles, and brought up Tracy to 
spend Sunday with me. He was then more than seventy, and I think 
few old gentlemen of that age would have made such an exertion for 
a school-boy; but it seemed so natural an act for him to do, that it did 
not impress me then as it has since. But that was the way he passed 
through life; and although never prosperous in business, indeed some- 
times really pinched by poverty, 1 think he had a very happy life, 
because he took so much pleasure in doing kindly acts, and he did so 
many of them. 

The last time I saw him was on his death-bed. He died at Aunt 
Mary Kevere's, where he was ill about a month. A few days before 
his death I went in to see him, and he gave me a most affectionate 
parting benediction, with a few words of advice, which I have not fol- 
lowed so well as would have been for my benefit. This seems a 
meagre statement, and so it is. It is forty-five years since he died, 
and what is left to me of him is the impression of a noble, high- 
minded, affectionate man, whom I revered and loved. If 1 can leave 
as pleasant an impression upon the memories of my grandchildren, I 
shall be happy." 

I will not add much to the simple and beautiful statement of my 
cousin Estes about our grandfather, for I have only one recollection of 
him, as I was but six years old when he died. I recall one of his 
visits to Northampton, and his standing at our front door, where he 
took leave of my father and my uncle, Judge Howe. Although they 
were tall men, he towered above them, and there was something grand 
and majestic in his whole aspect ; although nothing impressed one so 

much aboul him as the wealth of affection in his heart, which gave to 
his whole manner and bearing a warmth, cordiality, and sympathy 
one rarely sees so fully expressed. 

I remember our brother, Stephen Brewer, who knew him well, 

speaking- of him in the highest terms, after 1 was a woman grown. I 
had so little recollection of him myself, that it was delightful to me 
to hear him talk of grandfather, lie told me once, that when he 
was a boy, a clerk in some store in Boston, where grandfather had 
placed him, the old gentleman walked in with a gray stocking in his 
hand, the foot of which was full of Spanish dollars. " Stephen, my 
little man," said he, "take care of this for me; it's a new stocking, 
and my daughter ('assy knit it for me." So Stephen put it away, and 
grandfather forgot it from that hour. But, three months later, he 
came into the store in much affliction. "Stephen, my little man," 
said he, " I've lost a stocking like this," showing the mate ; " and I'm 
so sorry. My daughter Cassy knit them," he said tenderly, "and 1 
would not lose them for any thing." "I produced the stocking, with 
the Spanish dollars tied up in the foot," said Stephen, " and there was 
no affectation about it: he really cared more about finding the stock- 
ing his daughter had knit him, than he did the money." His careless 
habits were proverbial; and my cousin Bennet Forbes relates the 
following : — 

" Your grandfather Robbins was not remarkable for the nicety of his 
dress or equipage. He for a long time drove around the country in an 
old yellow-bodied chaise, with an aged bay mare, that he called 'the 
colt,' for many years. I remember very well his habit of talking to 
himself and to the mare, while driving along, and my amusement at 
this, to me, great novelty. I remember his coming to see us before 
we built the mansion house on Milton Hill, about 1828, in a sleigh. 
The weather was very cold, and he had no mittens or gloves. I 
bought a nice pair of fur-lined gloves, and sent them to him. He 

came again, apparently nearly frozen, and still without gloves. I asked 
him if he had received the pair I sent him. He answered. 'Oh yes, 
my dear, they are in the sleigh ; ' on examination I found them under 
the cushion, and it was elear they had never been worn." But cousin 
Bennet adds, whal every one thought who knew him, that his desire to 
bless and serve others, and his untiring kindness, were the prominent 
traits of his character. 

Of Anne Jean's mother, — there arc many that can still recall her 
stately air and manner, her vigorous mind and high spirit. But she 
must have been a very different person from our grandfather ; and I 
cannot but think that her life had many trials. For she had strong 
family feeling, and stronger proclivities for Old-World customs and 
habits : and the restricted life she had to lead, with many cares and 
small means, must have been hard for one wlio had been sent to Eng- 
land for her education in youth, and who was not permitted by her 
aunt to wear a thimble lest it should injure the shape of her finger. 
The names of her children were Eliza, Edward, Sarah Lydia, Anne 
Jean. Mary, James, and Catherine. They had reason to be grateful 
for strong traits of character inherited from both parents. 

Many interesting facts might be told about Anne Jean's ancestry to 
those who are curious in such lore ; but, as the streams are numerous 
which flow into the river of human character, our arithmetic fails us 
when we come to trace the various lines, all more or less interesting. 
She herself took pleasure in thinking of the homes in the Old World, 
from which her mother's family, the Murrays, had sprung; but the 
interest was purely romantic and historic, and only helped to inspire 
her imagination. It was as far as possible removed from that family 
pride that delights to claim connection with titled or wealthy ancestry. 
In our late war, when all New England suffered from the lack of 
sympathy with our cause, shown by Old England, it was impossible 
for the English to understand our sensitiveness. They had no realiza- 

fcion of the tenderness of our hearts towards the home wo came from, 
nor how all descendants of the Puritans look back, as Anno Joan did, 
to the birthplace of their ancestors, as if they have still a belonging 
there ; — very different from any fooling we can have about any other 
country. I never heard her speak of a crest or a coat-of-arms in her life ; 
but the motto on the crest of the Hutchinson family, " Non sibi, sed toti," 
might well have stood for the watchword of her own unselfish life. 

It is a little odd, that, out of one's eight great-great-grandmothers, 
we should select one as our especial ancestor, and prize the infinitesi- 
mal drop of her blood that has come down to us, more than an equal 
amount from other good sources. But the truth is, it is impossible to 
know much of any one whom history has not recorded ; and so it is 
in human nature to value the known above the unknown. 

The mother of Anne Jean's father, born Elizabeth Hutchinson, was 
a descendant of the famous Anne Hutchinson, in the fourth generation. 
The history of Anne Hutchinson and her tragical career has been ably 
treated by many historians, — Drake, Hildreth, Ellis, and Bancroft; so 
that it is not worth while for me to dwell on it here. In an account 
of the Hutchinson family, written by my cousin Sarah Howe, and in 
possession of my Aunt Revere, she quotes from Bancroft the follow- 
ing sentence: "The principles of Anne Hutchinson were a natural 
consequence of the progress of the Reformation. She asserted that 
the conscious judgment of the mind is the highest authority to itself. 
The true tendency of her principles is best established by examining 
the institutions which were founded by her followers. The spirit of the 
institutions founded by this band of exiles on the soil which they owed 
to the benevolence of the natives (Miantonomoh) was derived from 
natural justice. The colony rested on the principle of intellectual liberty. 
The colony at Rhode Island consisted of William and Anne Hutchin- 
son, William Coddington, and John Clarke. It was ordered in their 
constitution, ' that none be accounted a delinquent for doctrine ; ' and 
the law for liberty of conscience was perpetuated. They were held 


together by the bonds of affection and freedom of opinion ; benevolence 
was their rule; they trusted in the power of love to win the victory, 

and the signet for the Slate was a sheaf of arrows with the motto, 
'■Amor vincit omnia.' " 

A little tract was published in 1676, under the title of " A Glass for 
the People of New England," by S. Gorton; in which he says, '-The 
next piece of wickedness 1 am to mind you of, is your barbarous action 
committed against Mrs. Anne Hutchinson, whom you first imprisoned, 
then banished, and exposed her to such desolate condition, that she fell 
into the hands of the Indians, who murdered her with her family." 

In contemplating the furious and desperate virulence of the colonists 
towards Anne Hutchinson, we discern a striking illustration of the 
destructive influences of bigotry and persecution upon all the finer and 
more amiable sentiments of humanity. Indeed, no excellence of nature 
or of principle, no strength or refinement of character, is proof against 
the debasing power of intolerance. To be bigoted is to be cruel, to 
persecute another is to barbarize one's self. Bancroft says of the 
Antinoniians, that " they sustained witli intense fanaticism the para- 
mount right of private judgment. The founder of this sect was Anne 
Hutchinson, a woman of such admirable understanding and profitable 
and sober carriage, that she won a powerful party in the colonies, ami 
even her enemies could not speak of her without acknowledging her 
eloquence and ability. She received encouragement from Mr. Wheel- 
wright and Governor Vane, and a majority of Boston people sustained 
her against the clergy. Scholars and men of learning, members of the 
magistracy and the general court adopted her opinions." 

I would record here the noticeable fact of which my cousin makes 
mention, that the honored name of Edward Hutchinson was borne by 
the father of Anne Hutchinson's husband, who lived and died in Alford, 
England, not far from Old Boston, in Lincolnshire. It was very prob- 
ably borne before his day. as the family can be traced back to l'J82. 
But he was the first Edward Hutchinson we know, and the name has 

been borne by some descendant in every one of the ten generations 
since, — a period extending over nearly two hundred and fifty years. A 
grandson of Anne Hutchinson, who bad the name of Edward, was one 
whom we should remember with peculiar gratitude. He removed to 
Boston in 1644-45, was chosen deputy from Boston in 1651, and in 
1658, when (be sanguinary laws against Quakers were made, he and 
his friend Thomas Clarke requested that their dissent might be re- 
corded. The daughter of Thomas Clarke had married the son of Ed- 
ward Hutchinson. In Drake's "History of Boston," he mentions that 
" these two eminent merchants, Thomas Clarke and Edward Hutchin- 
son, entered their dissent against the cruel laws in regard to the Qua- 
kers, which seems a more potent expression in regard to the only men 
who appear to have been influenced by motives of humanity towards an 
oppressed class." 

So much for Anne Jean's Hutchinson ancestry. I have heard her 
say, in later years, that the virtues of one's ancestors were as much a 
subject for personal humiliation as for family pride. For if we have 
only taken the virtues handed down to us, without adding to them or 
exalting them, we are like the receiver of talents who has laid them up 
in a napkin. 


*' Assist us, Lord, to act, to be 
What Nature and Thy laws decree : 
Worthy that intellectual flame 
Which from Thy breathing spirit came." 

ANNE JEAN'S early childhood was passed on Milton Hill, and 
through life she retained the happiest associations with that 
beautiful scenery. As any other healthy child would, she lived much in 
the open air, and roved about the hill, rejoicing in the distant view of 
the Blue Hills, in one direction, and Boston Harbor in the other, and 
in the rising and falling tide of the Neponset below the hill, which gives 
such variety to the whole scene, at different hours of the day. She 
was a remarkably vigorous child, and delighted in climbing trees and 
walking on stone walls, and in all other out-of-door sports. She was 
a great favorite with Dr. Holbrook, who was the esteemed and beloved 
physician of that scattered neighborhood. He often took her in his 
chaise when he went to visit his patients ; and in his old age he spoke 
to me of her beautiful childhood, her witty little remarks, and her 
ceaseless activity. He never tired of relating his difficulty in keeping 
her quiet, after she had broken her arm in falling from a stone wall, 
where she had climbed to witness a raising ; and wliat a miracle it was 
that the bone knit so nicely, when she was in such perpetual motion. 

Wlren I was a child, and visited at the Forbes' mansion house on 
Milton Hill, the little old-fashioned school-house was still standing on 
the opposite side of the road, where Anne Jean went to school in her 
childhood. The little belfry, from which the bell sweetly called the 


children to school, seemed to me then a fine structure. At one time 
Miss Ann Bent, a woman of rare and noble character, and a life-long 
friend of the family, kept the school ; and Anne always loved to recall 
the months that she passed under her instruction. 

The recollections of childhood seldom leave, in later life, especially if 
that life be overflowing with activity, any very marked incidents to dwell 
on. And this was the case with Anne Jean's. She once spoke of being 
much pleased that, when the funeral celebration of George Washing- 
ton occurred, she was dressed in white with a broad black ribbon 
around her straw hat, and a black sash around the waist. 

Some years the family were in the habit of going into Boston in the 
winter, and they either took a furnished house for a few months, or 
went to a boarding-house. They were always forced to practise habits 
of close personal economy ; but an open-handed hospitality, united to 
simplicity of living, made them rich in the best sense of the word. 
And so Anne grew up in an atmosphere of cordial giving ; and that 
quality which was hers by nature and inheritance must have become 
a second nature, from the habitual influence of those around her. 
My grandmother was kind to old family friends or dependants, never 
forgetting the humblest servant who had at any time formed a part of 
the household ; and Anne inherited this trait, along with that wider 
humanity which belonged peculiarly to her father, — a humanity that 
took in every one, of any name, or race, or color, that needed 

When Anne was ten years old, and many years after there had ceased 
to be any young children in the family, my grandmother had a little 
daughter, whose birth excited the warmest emotions of affection and 
delight in Anne's heart. Her sister, my aunt Mary Revere, tells me 
that when it was stated in the family a month later, that the baby was 
to be sent to a wet-nurse who lived three miles away, Anne's grief and 
indignation knew no bounds. When the nurse was starting from the 
front door with the baby, she cried and screamed loudly, calling out, 


" I can take care of the baby, I can bring her up by hand : I know 
I can." And when, in spite of her protestations, both nurse and baby 
disappeared, she cried till slie was nearly worn out. In this behavior 
at ten years of age, a prophetic eye might have seen a foreshadowing 
of that grand self-confidence that never in later years shrank from any 

After passing her childhood, alternately at the Milton village-school 
and a few months of nearly every year at some school in Boston, until 
she was between thirteen and fourteen years of age, Anne was sent to 
Dorchester for what was considered a rather superior course of edu- 
cation, at the boarding-school of Miss Beach and Miss Saunders : and 
there she remained two years. I have in my hand the old-fashioned 
blank-book, — the paper yellow with age, — on the fly-leaf of which she 
had printed, in large clear letters, " Ann Jean Robbins's hook, at the 
Ladies' Academy, Dorchester; July 20th, 1803." One half of the 
book is taken up with sections, as they are called, describing the " Use 
of the Globes." And the fine, large, clear handwriting, the exact 
definitions of globes, spheres, properties of spheres, climates, circles, 
declinations, and ascensions, together with the perfect spelling, make 
me believe that the child of thirteen received excellent instruction at 
the Ladies' Academy; although she left school at sixteen, with few 
accomplishments, and no knowledge of languages except a small ac- 
quisition of French and Latin. Even these she valued, through life, 
simply because they had taught her the derivation of English words, 
and thereby enlarged her perfect understanding of her own language. 
But she left school with that acquisition of intellectual taste and 
higher wisdom which two years with a woman of so refined a taste 
and strong an influence as Miss Beach, could not fail to impart. 

Her room-mate at this school was a sweet, attractive, refined little 
girl, two years younger than herself, named Elizabeth Beach. When 
they went to their room the first night of their companionship, the 
little girl looked at her elder acquaintance with a dawning respect, as 




she was so largo and tall, and, to her eyes, almost a woman. " Which 
side of the bed shall I sleep, Miss Robbins?" she said deferentially. 
"Oh! it's perfectly immaterial to me which side you sleep," said 
Anne in her clear, ringing voice, "for/ always ship in the middle." 
The next morning, when seated around the breakfast-table, the other 
girls eating with the pewter spoons which were thought good enough for 
hoarding-school children of that day, — and really were so, — Anne 
cheerfully pulled a bright silver spoon out of her pocket, and began to 
eat her breakfast. " As long as there are silver spoons in the world," 
she said in an under-tone, " I shall eat with one ; and, when there 
cease to be, I will put up with some inferior metal." When Anne 
left the Dorchester Academy, her little room-mate and she were 
parted, and they never met but once again in the whole course of their 
lives. But, sixty years after those school-days ended, an accident, or 
rather the good hand of Providence, led me to occupy the next house 
to the dear old lady, Mrs. Richard Smith, my mother's early friend. 
She came to offer kindness to a stranger, because she was a stranger ; 
and when our conversation revealed to her that I was the daughter of 
her old-time companion at the Dorchester Academy, nothing could 
exceed her joy. She embraced my children with warmth, told them 
the little tales I have repeated above, and ended with saying, " Don't 
think, dear children, that your grandmother did not give me my full 
share of the bed, and more too. That was just her funny way of 
putting things. She was really the most generous girl in the whole 
school." During the two years that we were permitted to enjoy the 
society of this lovely old lady, we experienced untold pleasure in it, 
and have never ceased to mourn for her since death removed her. 

On leaving school, Anne Jean did not return to the home on Milton 
Hill, where she was born. About the year 1805, the family removed 
to the Brush Hill farm, two miles and a half from Milton Hill, a place 
inherited by my grandmother and her sister, Aunt Forbes, and \ en- 
dear to them from long and varied associations. As Brush Hill still 


remains the home of their children, I cannot help wishing to preserve 
some record of its history, so dear to us all. The house at Brush 
Hill was erected in 1734, by Uncle Smith, a sugar-refiner in Brattle 
Square, Boston, who was twice married, but had no children. His 
last wife was the widow Campbell, formerly Miss Betsy Murray, who 
survived him, and afterwards became Mrs. Inman. She was the aunt 
of Elizabeth and Dorothy Murray, and they had passed their youth 
with her at Brush Hill, and were warmly attached to the place. Eliz- 
abeth afterwards married our grandfather Bobbins, and Dorothy be- 
came the wife of a Scotch clergyman, named Forbes, and they were 
the grandparents of our cousins Bennet and John M. Forbes. 

A finer instance of the strength and durability of family attach- 
ments and friendships can hardly be found, than those that were 
formed among the young people who were brought together at Brush 
Hill by the marriages of Uncle Smith, and which have been handed 
down to this present time, from one generation to another. Uncle 
Smith's first wife, whose maiden name was Mary Middleton, had three 
nieces, — Mary, Annie, and Prudence Middleton, — who for years were 
inmates of Brush Hill ; they were very fine girls, of strong and excel- 
lent character ; and when Uncle Smith's second marriage brought to 
Brush Hill the two Misses Murray, an ardent attachment sprang up 
between the five young people, which was destined to exercise an im- 
portant influence over their whole lives. One of the Miss Middletons 
married Mr. Lovell, and became the mother of Mrs. Pickard, who was 
the mother of Mary, afterwards Mrs. Henry Ware. Another was 
always called "Aunt Whipple," by my mother and aunts; and the 
third, Mrs. Bent, was the mother of Miss Ann Bent, a woman whose 
unique character and large benevolence will never be forgotten in the 
Boston circles where it was so widely cherished. 

Such were some of the fine characters who had passed either the 
whole or a portion of their youth under the hospitable roof of Uncle 
Smith at Brush Hill ; and the traditions of that time were still vivid and 


oft repeated when Anne Jean and her brothers and sisters went with 
their parents and Aunt Forbes to restore the liome of their mother's 
youth. Brush Hill had been rented for many years, and though it was 
a magnificent farm of one hundred aud fifty acres, with fine orchard, 
large garden, meadows for grazing, and lawn covered with ancient elms, 
it had sadly run down for want of care, and needed all the industry of 
the whole family to put it in the old condition of thrift and comfort 
it had maintained in Uncle Smith's day. 

To this beautiful home, where Nature had done her best, and where 
the whole scene glowed with associations, came Anne Jean, at the age 
of sixteen, with an eye quick to perceive and a heart to feel all the 
glories of the landscape, and an enthusiasm and energy and health to 
rejoice in aiding in every possible way all the hard-working family on 
the Brush Hill farm. She rose early and sat up late, and no day was 
long enough for the varied occupations that filled the hours. But first 
among her self-imposed duties was the care and education of the little 
sister, over whom she had cried so bitterly that she was not permitted 
to bring her up by hand. My Aunt Revere tells me that she was full 
of theories of education, delighted in teaching; and, as it was very 
much the fashion of that day to follow Miss Edgeworth's views on 
these subjects, she adopted them with much enthusiasm, and was 
never so happy as when she had induced our cousin Emma Forbes and 
Mary Pickard, who were near the age of her little sister, to come and 
pass a few weeks, when she would practise her theories of education 
on all three, with great perseverance and success. 

My Aunt Catherine writes : " I have some strong impressions of my 
childhood, but for the most part they are vague. We came to live at 
Brush Hill in the spring of 1805 ; your mother had then finished her 
schooling, and returned home to live. Our family was a large and 
confused one, with many interests to be cared for ; the children all 
lived at home at that time, except your Uncle Edward who was away 
at school, and afterwards at college, and was only occasionally an 


inmate. When we came to Brush Hill, Aunt Forbes came to live 
with us. She had before lived in Boston, but had become too in- 
firm to live by herself any longer. She was a settled invalid, crippled 
fur thirty years with the gout. She never left her room, except 
occasionally during the warm weather, but was always to be cared 
for in it, food specially provided to suit her, and all the little things 
so helpless a person needs, to be attended to, and no special attendant 
to do it. Your grandmother and your Aunt Howe did it for the most 
part, but the others took their share of it at times. All of us were 
glad to sit with her, and help to entertain her and hear her Old-World 
stories, for she was a very bright and cheerful person who did not 
lose her spirits through all these many years of suffering. Your 
mother was thought to resemble her in temperament and in looks, 
more than any of the family. Except under severe attacks, which 
occurred two or three times a year, she saw all the visitors, and was 
interested in every thing that went on in the family. 

" Our farm arrangements were a great care and occupation. The 
place had been sadly neglected for years, and your grandfather employed 
many men to get it into condition, and all were provided for in the 
house. It was not unusual for us to have eight or ten men in the 
summer, which complicated the house-keeping very much. I assure 
you the providing for numbers, caring for the house, nursing the sick, 
and receiving friends (which went on all the time), with a great many 
changes, and coming and going both in parlor and kitchen, made an 
establishment which required skill and industry and activity to carry 
on with any comfort to the members of it. Your grandmother always 
superintended the kitchen department herself, including the dairy ; but 
all the daily care of the house, the sweeping and dusting, and arrange- 
ment of the table, with a small boy or girl to wait, came to the young 
ladies of the house, with only occasional help from the second woman. 
Then the sewing for so many persons — no seamstress ever called in, 
except a dress-maker for fitting — was no light matter, but a business 


never done, with the utmost efforts of the girls ; for your grandmother 
never sewed. I assure you the younger members of this family were 
in it in need of a ' career,' while they remained in it ; except your Aunt 
Eliza, who hated domestic business, and stayed away at Hiugham and 
other places, a great deal of the time. Your mother also visited a 
great deal, but when she was at home she took a full share in all these 
various works, and was very helpful and efficient. She taught me my 
early lessons, and took more care of me than any one else, and made 
my clothes. Then I think she learned that peculiar style of dress- 
making that you remember, exercising it upon me and certain small 
maids that we had at different times, to whom it was well adapted. I 
tell you these things, not that each one is important, hut to show you 
that your mother's life was by no means vacant or inactive, in conse- 
quence of her isolated position here. Her music, too, was a great 
interest and occupation to her; she had begun to take lessons while at 
school at Dorchester, and continued to do so for some time after leav- 
ing there, and made a regular business of practising while she remained 
at home. 

" Then all the family were readers, the old ladies and the young, and 
among them were all kinds of tastes ; and they did a great deal of 
reading aloud, while the audience were diligently sewing. Our sister 
Eliza would have one kind of reading going on in her room with some 
of the children, and the old ladies another kind in theirs. History, 
philosophy, poetry, novels, and plays, each had their turn. I well 
remember hearing the ' Paradise Lost ' read, when I was between eight 
and nine years old ; and I received it as an authentic record of the 
beginning of the world, and recurred to it as such, in imagination many 
years after. Reading was the constant resource and amusement when 
the more exacting business of the day was over. 

" Your mother was, as you know, very handsome and animated, and 
a favorite with all the family friends. She would often tie invited in 
Boston and other places, and make up her things to wear, often out of 


remains oflier mother's dress-clothes, with the least expense possible ; 
and she looked handsomer and better dressed than many who were 
elaborately adorned. 

" The winters of 1809 and 1810, she spent entirely in town, with an 
old friend of her mother's, and went constantly into society, and was 
much admired and attended to. The next winter she spent in Ww 
York, with the Murray relatives ; she also visited her cousin James 
Forbes' family. 

" With regard to our visitors at Brush Hill, it is difficult for me to 
tell you much. Your grandfather never had dinner company, or formal 
visiting in anyway; he would bring home a stranger from town,. or 
some person with whom he had business, to spend n night, or stay over 
a day, but seldom invited company on his own account. Mr. Fisher 
Ames, of whom Channing's biographer says that 'he held private 
circles and public assemblies spell-bound by the charm of his rich elo- 
quence,' was his most intimate and life-long friend. He was a man of 
great ability, and rare conversational powers. He died in 1808. I do 
not remember ever seeing him except the last time he came to the 
house, when he was far gone in consumption. With Mrs. Ames we 
always kept up a most friendly relation ; and a rare person she was: a 
large, stately woman with fine eyes and a remarkably dignified and 
gracious presence, most friendly to all sorts of people. An immense 
reader and an admirable talker, it was always a privilege to be with 
her. I do not know any one at all like her now. There was about 
her a certain largeness of nature that was full of repose ; perfect self- 
possession ; with great consideration for others, and desire to give 
pleasure and put one at their ease, entirely apart from conventional 

" But the most constant visitors at Brush Hill were Mr. and Mrs. 
Pickard, the parents of Mrs. Ware, and other members of the Lovel 
family, who were often coming out from Boston in the pleasant season, 
and whose houses were always open to us when we went to town. The 


Miss Bents and Mrs. Barnard were cousins to Mrs. Pickard, and inti- 
mately associated with her; and there was a great deal of friendly 
intercourse among us all. Mrs. Pickard was more a woman of the 
world than Mary Ware, and not so spiritually-minded a person; hut she 
was a very admirable woman, very agreeable in conversation, kindly 
in her nature, and fond of young people. She was warmly attached to 
your mother and aunts, and often had them to stay with her. She had 
been in England a great deal, and had seen something of the old world, 
which was a rarity then, when very few women went abroad. She took 
great interest in your mother and in her marriage. She died about six 
months after that event, deeply lamented. 

" Your mother used to visit both the Perkins families. Mr. James 
Perkins, the grandfather of Mrs. Cleveland, was a very cultivated and 
agreeable man, fond of the society of women : and he liked to talk with 
her and make her talk, which she was never slow to do, in her early days, 
as well as later. The Brimmer family were among your grandmoth- 
er's early friends, and when Mrs. Inches came to live in Milton, the 
younger members of the family became intimate with her, which 
intimacy lasted as long as she lived. She was a remarkably disinter- 
ested and conscientious person, always ready to serve others, though 
she was literally worn to death with an immense family, and with 
trying to do more than any mortal could. 

" The Brush Hill family also kept up a great deal of friendly inter- 
course witli the people of the town. They had quite an intimacy with 
the Sumner family, but none of them exercised any special influence 
over your mother's mind, like the other friends I have mentioned. 

" I must not omit to mention the Misses Barker, also hereditary 
friends. They always visited at Brush Hill every year, often passing 
several weeks. Three single ladies of very peculiar and original char- 
acteristics, they lived in Hingham, were quite poor, owning a house 
but having a very small income; they lived in the most frugal but 
independent way. About twice a year your grandmother would go 


down to Hingham, with her chaise laden with all kinds of good things 
in the way of provision, to give them a little help and comfort. They 
were great readers, two of them especially, — readers of history and old 
English literature ; and, when Miss Debby was eighty years old, she 
would repeat her favorite passages of poetry in the quaintest way. 
They were remarkable also for having kept up the idea of loyalty 
to the king all their lives, and would talk about William IV. as their 
liege lord fifty years after the Declaration of Independence. "When 
they came to visit us, the talk was very much about things before the 
war, and the friends who went back to England, with whom they kept 
up correspondence. 

" During the period of your mother's youth, whenever people came 
together, politics was the all-absorbing subject of conversation. Your 
grandfather was a strong federalist, and in common with others of 
those views, through the administration of Jefferson, when the em- 
bargo was made, and other measures carried which culminated in the 
war of 1812, they all felt that the country was ruined, the republican 
experiment had failed ; and these subjects for years kept up as much 
excitement and as constant discussion, as slavery and the prospect of 
war did with us during the last conflict. This made a lasting impres- 
sion on my mind, because I had a vague terror of evil to come, and 
knew not what it might be. 

" I do not remember that the conversation at home was often on 
abstract subjects, or even upon religious topics ; for the Unitarian con- 
troversy had not then begun, and we went to church as a habit and 
matter of course, without the least interest in the preaching. Your 
mother, even in her youth, was fond of fine preaching, and would 
make great efforts to go and hear Dr. Channing or Mr. Buckminster, 
who was a great favorite for a few years. 

" In closing these brief reminiscences, I ought to mention one condi- 
tion which exercised a continued influence upon the lives of all the 
Brush Hill family, restricting them in many ways, and occasioning a 


great deal of worry and anxiety. Your grandfather and grandmother 
had an ample income for many years of their married life, and lived 
much as they pleased ; but he was a person fond of new enterprises and 
large experiments, which by the time they came to Brush Hill began 
to cause embarrassments, and later when the difficulties in business 
came on, and the war disturbed everybody's plans, occasioned him a 
great deal of trouble. In so large a family this was peculiarly trying, 
an.d could not but occasion a good deal of unhappiness. Yet it never 
depressed the spirits of the young people, so as to prevent their enjoy- 
ing life a great deal. But it affected their general condition, and 
allowed them fewer indulgences than the beginning of their lives had 


Ami perfect tlie (lay shall be when it is of all men understood that the beauty of Ho- 
liness must be in labor as well as in rest. Nay! more, if it maybe, in labor; in our 
strength rather than in our weakness; and in the choice of what we shall work for 
through the six days, and may know to be good at their evening time, than in the choice 
of what we pray for on the seventh, of reward or repose. . . . For the few wdio labor as 
their Lord would have them, the mercy needs no seeking, and their wide home no hal- 
lowing. Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow them nil the days of their lite ; and they 
shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. — Luskin. 

ALTHOUGLT my clear Aunt Catherine only wrote the letter that 
closes the last chapter, as a sort of guide to me in this life of 
my mother, and without thought of my printing it, yet I have copied 
it entire ; for what could my imagination do towards piecing out the 
records of a life that went before me, that could be half as valuable as 
these simple outlines. I remember my mother's frequent and warm 
allusions to her early life, the lovely walks up and down the piazza at 
Brush Hill with her beloved father, the shadows of the old elms upon 
the lawn in the splendid moonlight evenings, the view of the distant 
light-houses in Boston Harbor, which they would pause in their loving 
talks to watch. These evening strolls on the wide piazza were brief 
but happy rests after days of activity and healthful toil and hours of 
separation, and they were enjoyed as only hours of rest from toil can 
he. My Aunt Mary, Anne Jean's younger sister, tells me that there 
was no clay in summer, when it was not considered the established 
duty for Sally, Anne, and herself, as soon as their dinner was over, 
to prepare two large trays containing plates of bread and butter, cut 
very thin and doubled ; silver baskets of cake which they had made in 


the morning, and dishes of strawberries, which they had gathered 
and hulled themselves. These trays, covered with white napkins, were 
placed in a .dark, cold closet, ready for their addition of the tea-pot and 
pitchers of rich cream, to be brought out at evening, when the friends 
from Boston would be sure to come out, always a number of uninvited 
but most welcome guests. Cousin Mary Ware once said to me: " (Mi. 
if I could give you a picture of the Brush Hill girls, — how they 
worked, how they read, what a variety of things they accomplished ! 
There was your Aunt Howe, — Sally as they called her then ; why the 
girls of the present day would think themselves rained if a tenth part 
of what she did was expected of them ! All summer she rose at four 
o'clock, that she might weed the strawberry beds, or make her cake, 
or gather the fruit, in the cool of the morning. But I have seen her 
many, a time, when things crowded, obliged to gather the fruit under a 
broiling sun. But never an impatient word fell from her lips. She 
was one of the most self-sacrificing, hard-working, devoted creatures 
the sun ever shone on." 

To this beloved sister Sally, nearest to her in age, and enough older 
for Anne Jean to look upon with a special reverence as well as affection, 
she owed through life a debt of love and gratitude that cannot well be 
computed. It is hard to speak of her as she deserves, or to find 
words that can describe her beautiful character. She was a person of 
very uncommon powers of mind ; yet, the necessities of her life always 
obliging her to be constantly active, reading and intellectual reflec- 
tion were her pastime, and rarely an occupation. She had the same 
ardent temperament as Anne Jean, the same deep and glowing affec- 
tions, the same love of Nature, and the same appreciation for fine 
character. But here the resemblance ceased. For Sally was from her 
youth to old age a wonderfully chastened spirit, her ardor tempered 
by deep religious trust, her vivid imagination held in check by an ex- 
cellent and considerate judgment. So rare a combination of noble 
qualities it is not often our fortune to meet, and Anne Jean justly 


looked upon her as a superior being; and while she valued every 
fine trait her sister possessed, she said in herself, " It is high, I cannot 
attain unto it." I can scarcely think of her, even at this distance of 
time, without a crowd of images forcing themselves upon my mind, 
full of tenderness and unspeakable pathos. In youth, the mainstay 
and dependence of her excellent father, the devoted care-taker of her 
beloved invalid aunt, the confidential friend of every brother and 
sister, 'ready to devote herself body and soul to each member of her 
family, — she became later in life the chosen companion and wife of one 
of the noblest of men, my father's cousin, Judge Howe. Not many 
years permitted to enjoy this rare companionship, she took up her 
solitary burden without a murmur, devoting herself for the remainder 
of her days to the care and education of her large family of children, 
and earning for them by personal labor a large portion of their means 
of support. And this hard-working woman had a thirst for knowl- 
edge, a love of intellectual pursuits, rarely to be met with. How 
often, when a day of toil had ended, she has sat up late at night to 
write a lovely story for some Fair for a charitable object for which she 
had no money to give, or a beautiful poem full of freshness and orig- 
inality, or a volume of charades ! With as bountiful and affluent a 
nature as Anne Jean's, and as fine health, Sally possessed a more 
rarely-cultivated intellect and a more delicate imagination. She was 
less brilliant in conversation than Anne Jean, partly from a sweet ab- 
straction and profound humility very genuine with her. But her 
judgment on all matters of importance was more reliable than her 
younger sister's. 

I never heard any one read heroic, or fine, or pathetic passages of 
poetry or prose in so moving a manner as my dear aunt did. She 
lost herself completely at such times, ceased to be, for the time being, 
and was her character. I walked into her dining-room one day at 
Cambridge, with a paper in my hand containing Mrs. Browning's 
poem, then new, of " My Kate." She had just sent off her army of 


young men from the dinner that had occupied her for hours to super- 
intend, but laid down the dish she was removing, and read the poem. 
1 shall never forget it, and can never read it again without recalling 
her (ones. When she came to the line, "She has made the grass 
green, even here, with her grave," I could not speak, but had to leave 
the room. 

1 cannot help pausing thus over the recollection of my Aunt IIowc, 
for her companionship and sisterly affection were so much to my 
mother through a long life, that they form a striking part of her 
history. Rarely is it permitted to one to enter into life in such pre- 
cious companionship. 

My Aunt Mary tells me that when Anne Jean left the Ladies' Acad- 
emy at Dorchester, though only sixteen, she was and had been for two 
years a very large and fine girl, with the form and figure of a woman ; 
and also, that she was very handsome. Besides the time which she 
now gave to the education of her little sister, her elder sisters Eliza 
and Sally thought it best for her own mind that she should give daily 
some hours to the study of metaphysics, which was considered more 
important then than it now is. Accordingly, the three read together 
wiib great avidity Dugald Stewart's " Philosophy," "Alison on Taste," 
Smith's " Theory of the Moral Sentiment," and other works of the 
same character. They became intensely interested both in meta- 
physics and ethics, and before Anne Jean was twenty years old, she 
had n-ad all the authors on these subjects that were then best known. 
I have beside me her commonplace book of this period, a singular 
medley of poetry and prose, with recipes of various dishes pinned to 
the fly-leaves, and rare quotations from various authors. There are 
newspaper slips pinned to blank leaves, Bryant's earlier hymns and 
poems, and many fine copies of passages from her favorite authors; 
such as Hannah More's " Ccelebs," Dr. Johnson's " Rasselas," "Os- 
sian's Poems," &c. Several pages are devoted to Blair, wherein 
sincerity and truth are recommended; and a wonderfully beautiful 


" Evening Prayer,"' whose author is not named, fills several pages. 
There is a letter from Madame de Roubigne - to her daughter, which 
reads like a translation, and is full of pious advice. Then follows 
what is called "A .Matrimonial Chart," and "An Enigma," by Lord 
Byron; some lines written by Miss Cranston, wife of Professor Du- 
gald Stewart, the four first lines of the last stanza being' added by 
Burns, as he himself says in one of his letters. There is also, "The 
Burial Hymn of Sir John Moore ; " " The Flower Angels," translated 
by Mr. George Bancroft; a poem by Professor Frisbie, and a few val- 
uable extracts. Evidently she thought that a sonnet of her beloved 
sister Sally's, on the death of the old friend whom they both called 
"Aunt Whipple," ought to be saved from destruction by insertion 
here at a later day, and for the same reason I copy it: — 

U 'm n in Jfiittift/ tif Mrs. Whipple. 
" When the free spirit wings its heavenward flight, 
And sears to realms of everlasting light, 
All human praises may superfluous seem ; 
But memory still must dwell upon the theme 
Of one whose patient virtue, kind and wise. 
Humble and cheerful, was above disguise. 
She drank affliction's liitter cup. and uwuel 
The hand that gave it. and her griefs were crowned 
With hopes that reached beyond the grave ; 
She knew her herd, and felt His power to save. 
]S T or yet disowned the social ties that fund 
(While being lasts) each creature to its kind, 
Felt Friendship's power to soothe the wounded heart, 
And knew to take the sympathizing part ; 
Forgave all injury, and is forgiven 
If inward peace marks the sure path to heaven.'' 

Anne Jean also kept a journal, as well as a commonplace book ; 
but. alas ! that has perished, as well as many another record of the 
Brush Hill life, that now never can be recalled. The time of her youth, 
with its varied and incessant occupations, passed swiftly by ; but each 


and all were fitting her for the life of responsibility that was to c< , 

and leaving behind recollections of useful and happy years. Tlie 
winters at Brush XI i 11 were long and cold; the appliances for beat not 
what they are now, the large open chimneys and wood fires being 
cheerful to the eye, but with their ample draughts not warming to the 
body. " We wore our great coats in the house half tbe time, Sally 
and I," said my mother once ; " and even then could not have been 
warm without the active employments that kept us constantly busy." 
Often came from their city friends urgent invitations to pass a lew 
weeks. Anne Jean went oftenest, because Sally could less easily be 
spared from household cares; but now and then they went together. 
In tbe long summer days, with all their multifarious occupations, they 
found time to embroider tbe cambric or muslin dress, which was to be 
their party dress the next winter, — and the only one. Tbey chose 
their patterns with care, and t lie dress made up in the latest style of 
that day seemed to them very elegant. An embroidered cambric 
dress of exquisite fineness, and an India muslin for a change, worn 
wilh various-colored ribbons, were Anne .lean's party dresses, through 
several successive seasons, while going into Boston society. And few 
of her companions of that day were more handsomely dressed. Wben- 
cver she and Sally were in town over Sunday, it was a rare pleasure 
to them to go and listen to Mr. Channing and Mr. Buckminster; and 
at tins time, although the Unitarian controversy had not then begun, 
was laid the foundation of that large, broad, and hearty adoption of 
liberal views that characterized both of their lives. Sunday bad always 
been a dull day to them at borne, listening from habit to general 
platitudes on the " exceeding sinfulness of sin." And to have tbe life 
of Christ preached to them as something to be taken home to their 
own hearts, and lived in every fibre of their being, filled these young- 
minds with an undying enthusiasm, and forced them to surrender 
every unworthy desire, and devote their lives to the highest aims. A 
volume of Buckrninster's sermons, containing his portrait and a short 


memoir, was one of Anne Jean's most treasured books through life. 
She would read us certain sermons, with kindling eyes and a voice of 
emotion, saying, " Oh, if you could have heard him deliver that dis- 
course ; it loses so much in being read by another ! " Buckminster's 
biographer says of him : " I cannot attempt to describe the delight and 
wonder with which his first sermons were listened to by all classes of 
hearers. The most refined and the least cultivated equally hung upon 
his lips. The attention of the thoughtless was fixed ; the gayety of 
youth was composed to seriousness ; the mature, the aged, the most 
vigorous and enlarged minds were at once charmed, instructed, and 


THERE are very few of Anne Jean's letters during the period of 
her youth left, but I shall insert those few in this memoir, not 
because they are of special interest, but because they were hers. And 
even though written, as most of her letters were through life, in the 
careless haste of a person whose thronging occupations made time of 
value, they are still genuine, simple effusions that will show her 
grandchildren how little she was ever occupied with herself, and how 
deep was her interest in others. In the piles of her letters I have read 
over, I am struck with the fact that no trace of ill-will or discontent 
ever appears in them. It seems to have required more words for 
people to express their ideas in the style of that day than now, and 
one sometimes tires of what seems so diffuse. And yet there is some- 
thing of the stateliness and dignity of a former time left in my mother's 
and aunt's letters, which is very interesting. The first note was written 
to her Aunt Forbes, when stopping in Boston on her way to Hingham 
to visit the Misses Barker, not long after leaving school, about 1804 or 
1805, when she was sixteen years old. 

Pearl Street, Boston. 
According to your request, my dear aunt, I will relate what has 
occurred to me in this great town. I came to Mr. Lovell's to break- 
fast ; sat till eleven with Mrs. Pickard ; then waited on Mrs. Perkins: 
she had been down stairs, and was then lying down. I then passed on 
to Mrs. Powell's, and had a chat with her, and engaged to breakfast 


with — who do you think? It is impossible you should make any 
conjecture, and I will relieve your mind, — Judge Powell ! lie arrived 
on Wednesday, passed the evening at Mr. Lovell's, and Mrs. Pickard 
engaged him to meet mamma on Friday. I am hall' in love : he is a 
charming man ; he came at twelve and sat till one o'clock ; but 1 was 
gadding after a shawl, and a very smart one, I have purchased. In 
the afternoon Mrs. Pickard, Mary, and myself walked to see Mrs. I>ix. 
I think her much altered since I last saw her; she is getting a nurse 
for her child. Returned to tea, and Mis. Whipple passed the evening 
with us. This morning, Saturday, kept my appointment, and have 
only to regret its short duration; for I found by Mr. Gay the packet 
was going early ; made a hasty breakfast, and returned to Pearl Street, 
and sat down to perform my promise to you. I had scarcely finished 
three lines when the coach came, and 1 was hurried off. My time was 
so short I could not call at your friend Paine's, hut will when I return. 
I have engaged a proxy, and hope she will be intelligible to you. My 
haste I have transmitted to her, as there is danger of missing Mercury, 
alias Nat Ford. I have forgot the most important news: I have had a 

letter from Eliza; they were still at Mrs. M y's. F.'s heart is at 

home, and I expect her person will be there before long. Mr. Bent of 
S. is dead : and there is a letter from C L., who was well in August. 
Respects and love to mamma. Kiss my dear Kate, and accept the 
love and good wishes of 

Your affectionate niece, 

Anne Jean Robbins. 
By her proxy, Mart Pickard, 
who is, with much respect, the lady's must obedient servant. 

Anne, in after life, often spoke of her visits to Hingham, as among 
the delightful episodes of her youth. She said that Hingham resem- 
bled "Cranford" more than any place she ever saw. and that, there 
was quite as much that was quaint and original and intellectually 


bright in the society there, were there only a historian like Mrs. Gas- 
kell to take it off. And I have no doubt when she returned to Brush 
Hill she did take it off, to the untold amusement of her Aunt Forbes 
and her sisters. I have often heard her say of certain habits of people 
who visited Northampton, or of certain conversation, "Oh, that's so 
Binghamy!" Or, "It is not possible for you to understand that, because 
you never stayed in Hingham." In one of her visits there, she met a 
brother of Mr. Andrews Norton ; and I remember her telling me how 
he came in one day, and found the young ladies in a house he visited 
very busy embroidering mourning pieces, ■ — a fashion of that time, 
in which very tall women with short waists and long black dresses 
were always standing weeping by a monument. The young girls asked 
Mr. Norton to compose a verse for them to have inscribed on their 
mourning-piece. He hastily seized a piece of paper, and wrote these 
lines : — 

" In useless labors all their hours are spent, 
They murder Time, then work his monument.'' 

In these visits to Hingham, Anne Jean often also met Henry and 
William Ware, — boys some years younger than herself. "I was 
often permitted by Mrs. L.," she said, " to wash their faces, or tie up 
their shoes, or help them off to school. And they were such little 
gentlemen, so good and so grateful for any small attention, I thought 
it a great privilege." 

The letter that follows was written from Brush Hill, at a later date, 
to her sister, who was then staying at Hingham : — 

To 3Iiss Eliza Rollins. 

Brush Hii.i,, Wednesday, March 15, 1808. 

My dear Eliza, — Experience has taught you sufficiently the state of 

Brush Hill for me to give you any thing new upon the occurrences which 

it is subject to; they still remain monotonous and uninteresting; we 

are all well and negatively happy. Since my return from Boston, 


three weeks since, I have been out of the house to make a visit but 
once. Our new neighbors, Mr. W.'s family, were then my object; I 
was charmed by the beauty and unaffected diffidence of the girls, to 
which was added the most active industry. I was sorry to hear their 
mother say (who interested me more from the warmth with which she 
spoke of her children than any other circumstance) she had moved to 
Milton entirely for their advantage, hoping to polish their manners by 
refined society, and cultivate their tastes by a familiar intercourse 
with it. I saiil nothing to discourage her, but think time will prove 
to her how mistaken the calculation. Mr. S.'s family are so engrossed 
by their genteel acquaintances, and the very flattering reception they 
met with among their Boston friends, that they have bad very little to 
do with us who are quite in a different style. We tried to give a party 
yesterday, bul could get nobody to come but Mrs. S. ami Mrs. W. The 
only new thing that has or is going to take place in this town is C. 
H.'s marriage, which has not interested me very much. It is a very 
long time since we have heard from Mrs. Willard ; and I wish, when 
you write again, you would say whether Mrs. Gushing went, and what 
you have heard respecting Mrs. Barker, for I apprehended great 
depression of spirits must have been caused by the news of her mother's 
death, which must have been very unexpected to her. If you could 
be made comfortable here, 1 should very earnestly desire your return ; 
but am quite reconciled to the absence of my sisters (much as I love 
them), upon the ground that their happiness is promoted by it. I am 
going into Boston in about ten days, to a ball at .Mrs. Arnold Welles's, 
till which time I shall be assiduous as I have been for the last 
month in the care of the little girls, who I have been (I think) suc- 
cessful in improving very much ; and I should be very well content to 
make that my future employment could I have insured to me such 
pupils as Emma and Kate. Mary docs not begin to think of leaving 
home yet, but I suppose the first visit she makes will be at Hinghara. 
I heard Mrs. Barnard say she expected you would make her a visit 


when you returned from Eingham, but I hope you will come home 
first. Ask the Hiss Barkers if none of them think of making us a 
visit ? Mamma says so long a time never elapsed since she was married 
without her seeing .Miss Sally. 1 wish, too, that you could secure the 
promise of a visit from Mary Thaxter and Peggy dishing, to whom 1 
beg you will remember me affectionately. Nothing tends to warm my 
heart more than the idea of the remembrance and affection of those 
who are away from me ; and 1 beg you will continue to give me proofs 
of yours ; and believe me, affectionately yours, 

Anne Jean. 

During the winters of 1808 and 1809, Anne's elder sisters, Eliza and 
Sally, had visited their relatives in New York, and enjoyed a great deal in 
the society of many superior people. While they were visiting at Mrs. 
Kane's, they went out a great deal, and constantly met Washington 
Irving, Mr. Paulding, and Jeffrey, who was still there, with many 
other of the literary men of that day. It was the period of the " Sal- 
magundi," in which Sally took a lively interest ; and when she returned 
to her isolated, bard-working life at Brush Hill, she set about privately 
editing a little paper for herself and her friends, which she called 
" The New Salmagundi," to which she and her friend, Eliza Cabot, 
were the principal contributors. It afforded them much pleasure, and, 
no doubt, gave them great facility in writing criticisms, essays, and 
poems. But in one of Sally's letters to Miss Cabot, she states that her 
sister Eliza has cast great indignity on " The New Salmagundi," and 
has even gone so far as to call her, the worthy editor, " Sally 
McGundy." Still they seem to have continued the little paper for 
some years. 

In the winters of 1809 and 1810 Anne Jean was invited to visit New 
York, and the following letters were written during those visits : — 


To 31iss Eliza Rollins. 

New York, December 30, 1810. 

My dear Eltza, — It was with much regret I left Boston without 
seeing you again, as it prevented me from soliciting the favor of your 
correspondence during my visit in this place. Much engrossed as you 
must necessarily be in your present pursuit, you are not, perhaps, 
entirely indifferent to the happiness of one who will ever feel her own 
inseparably connected with the interest of those between whom Nature 
has so kindly placed the bond of sisterhood, — a tie, my dear Eliza, 
never so sensibly felt by me as in the present instance. How is it that 
distance, merely the effect of a wider space existing between us, should 
produce so strong a conviction of our dependence on one another ? 
This I certainly feel, but cannot tell why. 

I arrived in New York on Thursday, and received the cordial wel- 
come of sixteen who called me cousin. I found Mrs. M. quite sick 
with a cold, and A. P; acting in character of housekeeper with great 
dignity. She is in every thing the reverse of what she has been repre- 
sented to me. She is not handsome, but, in every sense of the word, 
good-looking, well-behaved, though not polished ; appears to be thor- 
oughly versed in every branch of housekeeping, and very amiable, 
though not very literary. 

On Friday evening J. M. carried us to the theatre ; himself and 
Cousin J. are both pleasant lads, but not very interesting. Yesterday 
we went to Mrs. B.'s coronation and fair, which was for the benefit of 
the poor. I was extremely entertained and pleased with this exhi- 
bition, and am inclined to think better of the whole system than I was 
before I came here ; it is very little approved by the people here 
generally. Mrs. B. delivered an address, which I did not think a very 
extraordinary production, though it drew tears from almost everybody 
but myself. She told them she had no other end in view than their 
improvement ; and, so far from making any thing by her profession, 



this year had brought her in debt fourteen hundred dollars. ... I 
wish you had been with me to have witnessed the various convent ncea 
for conveying instruction ; among which was a magic lantern, by which 
means she displays to them, by the aid of very fine prints, every battle 
which occurs in the course of the history which they are reading. 
The queen recited a piece of Mrs. B.'s own composition, which I shall 
send to you if I can procure it. 

I passed last evening at Cousin J. F.'s with a party, some of whom 
were very agreeable people. Mrs. Pascal Smith, Miss Sands, and 
Mrs. Prime promised to call on me, and were very civil ; as was Mrs. 
Howell, who inquired for you. Mr. Goodhue and Mr. Swett, of Salem, 
were very polite to me upon the strength of my having come from the 
northward, — a combination of which circumstances rendered this 
evening very pleasant. I met with Miss Gibbs at the theatre, and was 
invited to see them. The famous Cooke performed, to the admira- 
tion of every one who saw, except myself, — who had seen Cooper in 
the same character, and dared to think him preferable. As I have a 
number of letters to write besides, and have been in New York but 
three days, hardly time to look about me, I must close, with a request 
that you will believe me most affectionately yours, 

Anne Jean Robbins. 

To Iter Sisters. 

New York, January 0, 1811. 
My dear Sisters, — I feel truly mortified and hurt that a fortnight 
should have elapsed without my receiving any intelligence from you. 
Mr. M. lives directly opposite to the post-office, and I have watched the 
arrival of the mail with no small share of disappointment, when I 
found I was not remembered. As there are few pleasures I can pur- 
chase here (at any rate) equal to that of hearing of the welfare of my 
friends at home, I hope you will not deny me that as often as once a 


Thus far (with the exception of the little misery just mentioned), I 
have been perfectly happy. Nothing can exceed the harmony and good 
order of this family, or the kindness and unremitting attention they 
have shown me, which is a great deal more than 1 can wish, because 
a great deal inure than 1 shall ever have it in my power to repay. They 
both discover the same interest in my amusements that I might expect 
if I were their child, and the same anxiety lest 1 should deny myself 
any thing for their convenience. Mrs. M. will not suffer me to dress 
myself to go out, without a lire in my chamber ; with a great many- 
other indulgences which it would he uninteresting to name. 

Thursday last was to the fashionable part of New York a memora- 
ble day ; and was by me pretty much given up to the vanity of running 
about the streets with J. B. M., for the purpose of learning the way to 
different places, and preparing tor the evening. Mrs. i>. gave me a 
very Uattering invitation to go with her to Mrs. G.'s (the bride), which, 
added to the request of Mr. W., her father, induced me to go. A tire 
took place about eight in the evening (which was the time appointed 
for making this call ), and prevented our going till nine, when we found 
all that call themselves great in this place assembled ; but there was 
nothing at Mr. W.'s half as splendid as 1 have often witnessed in Bos- 
ton. At ten they all left Mr. W.'s for the ball, where I had been 
invited to go witli J. M. in company with the bride's party. 1 had 
only time to dance two cotillons before supper, which was at eleven. 
.1. lv., who is now a married man and a papa, and J. M. were my part- 
ners : though Mr. (i. (a brideman) was my standing beau for the eve- 
ning. As far as variety could lie agreeable, this evening was, which 
wound up with my taking a violent cold; as also did A. P., who went 
to the ball after a great struggle on the part of her uncle G., with Mrs. 
J. W. .Miss Sally Gracie has since called on me, and invited me to a 
ball at her house for to-morrow ; which 1 should have declined on A. 
P.'s account, but Mrs. M., with whom she is not a favorite, would not 
permit me to. A. is a clever girl, but not very fascinating in her ex- 


terior. John warns me not to quarrel with her, which 1 am very sure 
I never shall, though he occasionally amuses himself thai way. Mr. 

D. lias made me frequent calls, but, as he is rather funny, Mrs. M. is 
very well pleased with him. Mr. G. also has her sanction for visiting 
here. Mrs. Pascal Smith and her daughter, Mrs. and Miss Sands, 
with the Misses Gibbs, have also called on me. Mrs. Fanny Forbes has 
made me a wry handsome bonnet, and has been wonderfully kind in 
lending me a pair of bracelets, which were very essential. 1 wish you 
would send to the G.'s those old-fashioned gold earrings with the dia- 
mond in them (for those I have are not considered smart enough by 
J. G. P. and his wife) ; and they will forward them to me by some 
private opportunity. I should like also to have the " Deerfield Collec- 
tion" sent at the same time, which, when I go to J. B.'s, will be a very 
agreeable companion to me. You must not expect many mental 
acquisitions, for this is not a family to promote it; but I have read 
"The Man of the World," Young's "Revenge," Lowthe's "Choice of 
Hercules," Shenstone's " School-Mistress," and Mrs. Barbauld's po- 
ems, all of which 1 am very much delighted with. Now, for all this 
nonsense, I expect a rational, serious letter, such as perhaps I shall 
write after hearing Dr. Romeyn a few times more. 

I am yours, witli a great deal of love to mamma and papa, and all 
the rest of the family.- Tell Edward and James 1 wish they would both 
write to me. 

To Mrs. Uobbins. 

Xew York, Tuesday, January 8. 

My dear Mother, — I received your kind letter just after 1 had 
finished one to the girls, and was preparing to go to Miss Gracie's 
party, from which I could not anticipate much pleasure (at that time), 
so very anxious was 1 to hear from home; and though I regretted very 
much a part of the information which you communicated, yet, upon 
the whole, my mind was relieved of a very great burden. The enter- 
tainment at Mr. A. G.'s was not more extraordinary or expensive than 


I have often met with in Boston, and the ladies (generally speaking) 
neither as handsome nor as well-dressed as the Bostonians ; but the 
splendor of the house, and the taste and elegance of the furniture, sur- 
passed any thing I have ever met with. I was never treated with such 
unreserved and flattering attention in any party where I was myself a 
stranger. The ladies or gentlemen who are next you never wait for 
an introduction before they converse with you, but seem to think their 
being nearest sufficient to sanction a mutual interchange of civilities, 
which entirely excludes that stiffness and ceremony which I think char- 
acterize our Boston parties. Mrs. Derby constituted all the beauty there 
was there, and was kind enough to take me in her train. Mrs. Gracie 
is a very pleasant, agreeable woman, as is her daughter likewise. 

A. P. is now at Green Vale, where I expect to go next week. I 
have not met with any young people in New York, that please me more 
than Mr. J. B. M.'s family, who have shown me every possible attention 
since I came to this place. The weather has been such as to prevent 
my walking about much, so that I have seen very little of the city. I 

have spent one evening and one day at Mr. 's, and never saw so 

completely childish a couple, or children so perfectly Satanic; for 1 
know no other term sufficiently expressive of their ridiculous behavior. 

Mrs. W. is quite well, and desires to be remembered to you and aunt ; 
she appears to be very pleasantly situated, though I am told he has 
failed. I drank tea at Mr. J. McC.'s on Sunday, with Miss N., who 
appears to be perfectly satisfied with presiding over a dozen children 
of all sizes and ages ; as four of Mr. M.'s children live in town. Miss 
MeC. with her sister Mrs. M. desired to be remembered to you. 

For further particulars respecting the manner in which I have passed 
my time, I must refer you to S. and M.'s letter. I shall be disap- 
pointed if I do not receive a letter by the 14th of this month ; and you 
may be sure of receiving one from me before the 20th. 

Mr. Murray requests you will pay Mrs. Pickard six dollars for him, 
which he will either return to me or you when next you meet. 


A letter which I wrote to Aunt, to go by private hand, was acciden- 
tally, through the mistake of the boy who lives here, put into tin' post- 
office ; but I suppose has not reached her. 

I am, with the most sincere affection, yours, 

Anne Jean Rohbins. 

P. S. I am going to-day to look for Mrs. Pickard's bag, which I 
should have done before, had it not been for the badness of the walking. 

To Miss Sully Robbins. 

Saturday, January 2.">th. 

I have this moment received your letter, my dear sister, which I 
think you will readily believe gave me a great deal of pleasure, though 
I am grieved to hear of the approaching death of that interesting youth 
H. ; and also regret the imputation of negligence in writing, which I 
fear has been brought upon me in consequence of your not having 
received earlier intelligence concerning myself and friends. You say 
I have not taken any comparative view of New York with Boston. 
Indeed, if you mean the city itself, I have not had it in my power, for 
there has not been but three pleasant days since I came here, and 
those I could not w r alk out to look at the city in, for want of somebody 
to accompany me ; so that I can only judge of the manners of the 
people, which are very various, as in most other places. I have met 
with a great many agreeable and a great many disagreeable people, and, 
1 am sure, the greatest proportion of ugly women I ever saw in my life. 

Mrs. Derby was very much admired, as you may suppose, for possess- 
ing so rare a quality as beauty. Miss Sally Grade and Miss Rhinelau- 
der, with our cousins Anne Jean and Eliza M., are the only tolerably 
pretty girls I have met with; and at large parties there is never a belle 
in the room, which you know is very essential in exciting a general 
interest, and which we are never deficient of fyou know) in Boston. 
The manners of those that I have become much acquainted with are 
easy and unreserved ; much more so than I think those of the Boston 


ladies generally are to strangers. But I meet (that is to say, I see) a 
great deal more of rudeness and familiarity between those that are 

called fashionable people, than I ever witnessed in Boston. Mr. , 

who is one of the greatest beaux in the city, dues not mind roaring like 
a lion, for the entertainment of a large company, by the half hour; and 
is very much encouraged by the ladies, by whom he is very much 

admired. lie is courting Miss -, who is just like himself. 

On Monday last I passed the day at Mrs. J. Gr. F.'s, who is ex- 
tremely kind and attentive to me, and as amiable as ever. On Tuesday 
1 was at a very splendid party at Mr. Howell's. There I met with 
Colonel Berkeley and his lady, with many others of equal rank. We 
had no other entertainment than music, which I, being tired of, at ten 
o'clock left for tin.' peaceful fireside of Mr. Murray, who continues to lie 
the most invariably attentive kind friend lever met with. On Wednes- 
day I went to a very agreeable party at Mrs. Pascal Smith's: and on 
Thursday A. ami myself went to Mrs. P.'s, where I commenced a very 
intimate acquaintance with a Miss P., who though very plain I found 
very agreeable. She has seen a great deal of the world, and been ex- 
tremely well educated. She called on me the next morning, and gave 
me an invitation to sec her. Friday I went to Mrs. Sands', where Mrs. 
Prime. Mrs. Ward, and Miss Rhinelander formed the whole party. 
Mis. S. entertained us witli music, and Miss F. with a great deal of 
nonsense. 1 am going to Madame Jervais's dancing-school ball this 
evening with Mrs. P., to sec her children perform ; not for my own 
entertainment 1 am sure, for 1 am worn out with visiting, which I trust 
will cease by next week. Put both Mr. and Mis. Murray arc so very 
desirous that 1 should see and hear every thing that is going on, that 
they will not permit me to refuse any invitations which 1 receive. If 
you had been witness to the variety of interruptions that I have been 
subject to since I began this letter, you would not be surprised at the 
mistakes, inaccuracies, and nonsense it contains. Miss A. P. is gen- 
erally most agreeable when I wish to write, which is always in the par- 


lor ; and J. most noisy, though let me tell you a very fine young man, 
divested of some few affectations which I believe arc peculiar to his 
age rather than any real fault in his disposition. 

Yours, Anne Jean. 

I shall write to Mrs. B. and Mrs. W. by the same opportunity. 
Write me if Aunt ever received my letter. 

My dear Sally, — Though I had closed my letter (for I was going 
nut ), upon a second perusal of yours, I determined to open it, to inform 
you that my opinion respecting the earrings perfectly coincided with 
your own. But Mr. J. G. F. undertook to prove that those I had were 
not fit to wear into company, and that I must get another pair, which 
I refused to do ; telling him that I would send for others that he might 
have a choice which I should wear. And he is very much satisfied 
with those you sent me, which are not at all out of place for this city. 

To Miss Eliza Bobbins. 

Sunday, 27th. 

Your letter, my dear Eliza, I received more than a week ago, nor 

was cause for pleasure more opportunely administered. For although 

all which surround me are pleasant and excite my esteem, there are 

none who invite my confidence, none to whom it would be proper to 

make known the daily impressions made by the circumstances which 

take place, or the actions of those who come immediately in contact 

with me. Nor is there any who have the same kind of feelings to 

repose in a sympathetic heart, unless I except , who has been so 

unfortunate in domestic life as never to have met with any one so 

much disposed to be his friend as I am. He has a mind calculated to 

receive pleasure from a continual interchange of social endearments, 

which an absence from his father in early life prevented him from 

receiving, and the misfortune of living with indifferent people was an 


42 * 

equal prevention of. Mrs. is a good step-mother, and any inatten- 
tion towards proceeds entirely from his own unengaging conduct 

towards her, which arises from a thorough contempt he conceived before 
he became acquainted with her, and which lias produced an unwillingness 
in him to look upon or treat her as his mother, — which, I am sure, 
the goodness of his heart would have led him to have done had she been 
a different kind of woman. He conceives of a life wit hunt sympathy 
very much as you and I do; which is to lie as had, or, to say the least 
of it, as cruel a state of existence as a mind of sensibility can be sub- 
jected to. This amiable youth's situation teaches me to appreciate the 
invaluable blessing of brothers and sisters who, though their fate is 
often the cause of anxiety, still affords more than an equivalent in the 
pleasure they give ; from them, my dear Eliza, we are sure of indul- 
gence to our faults, and interest in our happiness. We are very apt 
to require blindness to our imperfections rather than a toleration 
towards them, accompanied by discrimination.. 

Your observation respecting the situations which preclude correct 
views of the prevailing characteristics of such a place as this is, applies 
perfectly well to mine; for, as yet I have not had an opportunity of 
judging of any thing that did not relate to the fashionable world, 
which, you know, is contained in a very contracted sphere. 1 went 
out to large parties, though not with my own consent, I assure 
you, every afternoon last week. There is but one respect in which I 
prefer the New York society to Boston, which is the estimation in 
which they hold a stranger's rights,- — the manners of winch universally 
proclaim that " stranger is a sacred name." I have never met any 
lady or gentleman who have not treated me as their friend. Perhaps 
this is a prevailing hypocrisy, lint it is very flattering, and makes us 
feel satisfied with ourselves. My dear E., I did not intend to have 
sent you any blank paper, but the multitude and noise of the present 
company must prevent my saying more than that 1 am yours. 

Anne Jean Robbins. 


P. S. — Noise having subsided, I will answer some of the inquiries 
contained in your letter. 1 have heard Dr. Romeyn preach ever since 
I came, who is not to lie compared with President Kirkland, Mr. Chan- 
ning, or Mr. Buckminster. As it respects professional men, I have never 

seen any except Mr. , at whose house I have been. He is a very 

agreeable man, and has been very polite to me, but talks nothing but 
politics; and, I should judge from every thing that surrounds him, is 
a man very much embarrassed,- — which is a prevailing opinion here, — 
which could not have had a more striking confirmation than permitting 
a girl of sixteen years of age to marry a man of forty. A. P. is a very 
clever, uninteresting young lady, whose jealousy of the attentions paid 
to me makes me quite miserable. I have seen L. P. and her sister a 
number of times ; she is quite low-spirited. 

To Miss Sally Rollins. 

Gkeen Vale, January IS, 1811. 
I received your letter, my dear sister, last evening, which would 
have produced no other than sensations of pleasure had it not informed 
me that you had never heard from me ; which was truly mortifying, 
as I have written seven letters since I have been in this place. For, 
amidst all the dissipation which lias been offered, there is none from 
which I can derive so much pleasure as that of communing with the 
friends from whom I am separated. It is only a repetition of what 
I have before communicated, to tell you that I have received a great 
deal of attention which was altogether unexpected, and, I am very sure, 
totally unmerited. The meeting so many of my Boston acquaintances, 
who have here really acted in the character of friends, has greatly con- 
tributed to my comfort and happiness. Mrs. D. introduced me to her 
sister, Mrs. C, who is a very charming woman, and I should consider 
her a great acquisition to my acquaintance, had it not been for that 
unfortunate enmity which exists between herself and my relations 
here. Last Saturday, A. P. and myself were at a small party at her 


house, which has been as pleasant as any one I have been at. I there 
met with Mrs. Patterson, whom you may have heard Eliza speak of. 
On Sunday (after a personal invitation from Mrs. Prime, who called on 
me a short time after I arrived), I went to Mr. Prime's, where I spent 
the day ; which would have been very pleasant to me on any other, 
for not going to church was a disappointment which nothing but bad 
weather could have reconciled me to, as that alone would have pre- 
vented my walking out, and she was so polite as to send her carriage. 
I have not been free from a bad cold since I have been here, which 

has led me to decline an invitation from that odious little Mrs. , 

and the last public assembly, wdiich were for last evening and the 
evening before. Mrs. H. called on me, and afterwards sent me an 
invitation for a ball at her house on Monday next, which I should not 
have accepted on account of very rude treatment to A. P. ; but both 
Mr. M. and Mr. F. would not permit me to do otherwise. The atten- 
tion I received, though truly flattering to my vanity, is, upon the whole, 
painful to me, as A. P. seldom shares in it, which keeps her in a kind of 
misery she cannot conceal nor I alleviate. A. possesses a jealousy of 
disposition, which is her greatest fault. But the consequences to herself, 
I am sure, are a sufficient punishment, without the reproof she too often 
receives from the most amiable of men, her uncle ; whose attentions to 
me, with that of both Mrs. M. and J., she is as much displeased with as 
with those of indifferent people. But I expect, by constant kindness and 
attention (which, I am sure, my own feelings towards her will induce 
me to pay), to dispel all those sensations wdiich now cause her so much 
uneasiness. I 'have been extremely happy ever since Monday at Green 
Vale ; both A. J. and E. must have improved astonishingly since you 
saw them. A., without any remarkable natural endowments, has the 
most judgment, and the most firmly-fixed good principles of any young 
person I ever met with. She is a most indefatigable and patient in- 
structress to three children, the two eldest of whom are Emma and 
Catherine's age, who stammer out words of two syllables all the fore- 


noon for my amusement. E. is the industrious manager ami house- 
wife of the family. They both daily regret that they cannot become 
Calyinists, which is all that is wanting to make them perfect in Dr. 
Romeyn's eyes. Owing to my wicked influence they concluded to go 
to a party this evening, instead of going to Dr. Romeyn's lecture ; and 
have promised to go to the next assembly with me, to the astonish- 
ment of all their friends. 

All our cousins desire their love to you and the rest of the family. 
Do remember me particularly to Mrs. Inches, and to all my other 
friends who expressed an interest for me, — Mrs. W. excepted, to 
whom I wish you would give a great deal of love, and say I mean to 
write. The G.'s have got a bundle for you, which I hope you have 
received before this. Do, to oblige me, call on Mrs. P. ; you can't 
conceive how melancholy she made me feel the last time I saw her. 
My best love to mother and father, and all the rest of the family, par- 
ticularly aunt, to whom I have written. To mamma I have written 
twice. I received a letter from school-ma'am, though none from 
master, last w y eek. Tell James I prefer love to respects. 
Yours, my dearest sister, 

Anne Jean. 


Let other Iianls of angels sing 

Bright suns without a spot ; 
But thou art no sueli perfect tiling : 

liejoice that thou art not ! 

Such if thou wert in all men's view, 

A universal show, 
What would my fancy have to do, 

My feelings to bestow ? 


IT was in the spring of 1811 that Anne Jean, after passing some 
months under the hospitable roof of her cousins in New York, 
accompanied them to the early home of Mrs. Murray, at Green Vale, 
Connecticut. From her own letters it is easy to see that her visits in 
New York had been crowded with gayety, and filled with kind atten- 
tions of numerous friends. That she owed these attentions to her own 
personal beauty or talents in conversation, or other attractions, never 
seems to have crossed her mind. She was at all times simple and 
unconscious, which constituted one of her greatest charms. My aunts 
have told me what I never could have learned from herself: that she 
had many admirers, both in Boston and New York society, and that 
she was solicited to remain for life in either city. But it does not 
appear that her heart responded to any of these appeals. 

It was at Green Yale that she met her fate. Among the guests at 
Mr. Branson's came Judge Lyman, of Northampton, with his eldest 
daughter, a beautiful girl of eighteen, to pass a week. He went to see 
his friend on banking business, little expecting to find there his future 


9 A 



partner for life. lie was soon attracted by her beauty and her superior 
conversation : and she, on her part, was inspired with a most ardent 
loye and admiration for the man who was old enough to be her 

I dare not trust myself to speak of him even now, but must use the 
words of another, — our beloved pastor, Mr. Rufus Ellis, — written long 
after his death, to show that the young girl loved one who might well 
have been the ideal of the most enthusiastic youthful fancy : " To 
many, many hearts the words 'Judge Lyman' are charmed winds. 
They call up the image of one, the manly beauty of whose person 
was but the fit expression of a most noble soul; they recall a man 
singularly gifted and singularly faithful, — a thinker, clear-sighted, yet 
reverent, — a lover of religious liberty, yet only for the pure Gospel's 
sake ; a devoted friend, a self-sacrificing philanthropist, an ardent 
patriot, a man diligent in business, yet ready to meet the largest de- 
mands of every hospitable office; a cheerful giver, one who made 
virtue venerable and lovely by the uniform dignity, grace, and courtesy 
of his manners, and by the sweetness of his speech ; a man whose 
moral and social qualities so occupied attention, that we could hardly 
do justice to a very wise, discriminating, and cultivated intellect." 

When the news of Anne's engagement to Judge Lyman, of North- 
ampton, reached Brush Hill a few weeks later, the sisters were thrown 
into a state of much excitement and commotion. But their feelings 
are well described in a letter written by Sally to Eliza, who was then 
absent at Hingham : — 

Miss Sally Robbins to Bliss .Eliza Robbins. 

Brush Hill, July 21, 1811. 
Deab Eliza, — In these hours of more than common agitation, I 
think you will like to know what is going on, and what my opinion 
upon the subject is. Last Saturday evening as I was sitting, watch- 
ing for the return of pa, ma, and Mr. Forbes, some one drove up, 


and I thought it was Mr. P., and addressed him as such, when much 
to my surprise the answer was in Judge Lyman's voice. The family 
collected in the course of the evening, and the Judge, Mr. Forbes and 
son, and our own two boys were here all Sunday. John Knapp break- 
fasted here, and James Lovcll and wife took tea here; so that, amid the 
whole of it, I was not very sorry that Anne was not here. Monday be 
went into town and brought her out. She introduced him to some of 
her friends there, — the thing took air, and is now circulated far and 
wide. Yesterday they spent the afternoon in riding together, and 
called at Mr. James Perkins's, and at Mr. Prince's ; and to-day they 
have gone into Boston together again. As you must have perceived, 
she is very much pleased with it herself. / should like it better if she 
did not express it so openly; and it is mysterious to me how a hand- 
some young woman, who has been caressed by the world as she has, 
should be so nattered and delighted with the love and admiration of a 
man old enough to be her father. Sometimes I feel grieved that she 
should undertake such cares, and such responsibility. Sometimes 1 
feel angry that she should allow this prepossession apparently to occupy 
every feeling of her heart, and so entirely to engross and swallow up 
every other, as never to have named as a privation that she has to 
remove a hundred miles from all she has formerly known and loved. 
Indeed, I do not think that if he was five-and-twenty, unincumbered, 
handsome and rich, good and estimable, that she could have been more 
pleased with it, or decided upon it with less reflection. Sometimes I 
am pleased that she is to be so well provided for, to have so excellent 
a guardian, and so kind a friend. Amid these various sensations I am 
in constant agitation, and really do not know how to set myself about 
anything. Thus much I have to comfort me: in my disinterested 
estimate of the character of the man, I do not think that 1 could desire 
a better one for the dearest friend I have on" earth. Respectable tal- 
ents, chastened sensibility, and pure benevolence beam from his coun- 
tenance, and enliven his conversation. 


But twenty-one years is an awful chasm in human life, and five chil- 
dren a great charge! I will not "forecast the fashion of uncertain 
evil." hut trust all to the mercy of that God whose protection has hith- 
erto hecn abundantly granted to us. With respect to his proposals, 
nothing can be more entirely honorable ; he wishes that a speedy close 
may he put to the matter. We wish to have Anne make a visit at 
home first. Pa's opinion corresponds exactly with mine ; he says 
nothing would have induced him to consent, but a knowledge of how 
good a man he is. 

Surely this summer is the most eventful period of my life; it com- 
menced with sickness, death, and sadness ; it advanced in dulness 
and retirement. My dear James's new establishment prompts some 
hopes and excites some fears, — and now agitation has ensued, and 
matrimony will close the scene. 

Good-by ; I shall write again soon. I do not know how long the 

Judge will stay, but I guess not a great many days longer. 

Yours ever, c, T r> 

S. L. Robbixs. 

Mrs. Whipple sends her love. We long to see you. 

The. allusion in this letter to the sickness and death that had occurred 
in the family at Brush Hill was that of Aunt Forbes, who ended her 
life of suffering in the spring of 1811, and died, deeply lamented by all 
her nieces. I have heard my mother say that it seemed to close one 
of the most interesting chapters of their early life. There had always 
been an atmosphere of romance about her, because in youth she had 
lived in remote parts of the world. Her three children, born in distant 
countries, she had never once seen together. For many years crippled 
with rheumatic gout, she was always full of cheer and sympathy for 
the young, and a bright light seemed to go out from their home when 
she had left it, A full-length portrait of her by Copley, taken when 
she was sixteen years old, still hangs in the dining-room at Brush Hill. 
The face is fall of character, vivacity, and sweetness. 


On the 30th of October, 1811, Anne Jean Robbins became the wife 
of Judge Lyman, of Northampton; and bidding farewell to father and 
mother, brothers and sisters, and troops of friends, she went to her new 
home on the banks of the beautiful Connecticut, "a hundred miles from 
all she had formerly known and loved." It makes us smile now in 
these days of railways and rapid transition, and constant travel, to 
think that this removal seemed so serious a distance, in the minds of 
the sisters. But we should remember that it was then a long, tedious, 
and expensive journey, taken in a stage-coach ; also that a letter sent 
by post cost twenty-five cents, so that the means of communication 
were very infrequent. One continually finds reference in the letters 
of that time to the fact of having found an opportunity to send a letter; 
a rare and delightful circumstance. 

From this time on I shall no longer speak of Anne Jean, but shall 
tell her story as that of my mother ; although I was the youngest but 
one of her children, and therefore must continue my narrative for 
some years mainly from the anecdotes of others, or from her own 

Probably no young girl ever more completely realized the glowing 
dreams of youth than did my mother in her marriage ; and, certainly, 
she " builded better than she knew " when, with her free and untram- 
melled nature, her warm and impulsive temperament, she chose the 
companionship of the country gentleman of already established repu- 
tation, to that of any city-bred man in whose home the formalities of 
wealth and fashion would have been, under the best of circumstances, 
a burden and a trial to her. For although there were people who 
called my mother aristocratic, it was only because they did not know 
her. A certain grandeur of manner, nobility of figure and outline, a 
flow of elegant English in conversation, may have given that impression 
to a casual visitor; but no friend or neighbor in Northampton during 
all her life there but saw and knew that she was essentially a woman 
of the people ; full of sympathy for all classes and degrees, claiming no 

■•£' ? T<T'W<!En^ 

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Sii I 

f •;■ & x-- 


superiority in any department, and having no higher aim than to light 
and warm the neighborhood where God had placed her. I have often 
thought how lost her talents would have been on any other scene of 
action than just the one where she was placed ; how the utter absence 
of care for externals would have been noted as a fault rather than a 
virtue in a different state of society; how those little beneficences, 
which flowed from her as naturally as the air she breathed, would 
never have been desired or appreciated among the denizens of cities or 
of fashionable life. I count her to have been happy also in the period 
in which she lived, as well as the home in which her lot was cast. All 
times are good, but for her peculiar nature and disposition no time 
could have been better. 

Northampton was at that period one of the most beautiful of New 
England villages. My father's house stood in the very centre, — a 
large, old-fashioned square house, with a wing on each side back from 
the main building. Each wing had a little covered porch looking out 
into the main street. A small yard on one side separated the house 
from a brick store, whose upper floor was occupied by a printing office. 
The other side-yard was much larger and more rural. There was 
almost a grove of beautiful acacias there, and in the little front 
enclosure was a tulip-tree and many flowering shrubs ; a row of five 
horse-chestnuts and a large elm shaded and protected the house some- 
what from the glare and dust of a main street. Had it not been for 
the kind thoughtfulness and perseverance of our sister, Mrs. Joseph 
Lyman, we should never have had the picture of that happy home at 
the opening of this chapter. The outlooks from the house were all 
charming. On the opposite side of the street, and separated from it 
by one of the loveliest front yards, stood our neighbor's, Mr. Eben 
Hunt's. That place was always kept in perfect order, and an exquisite 
taste presided over all the hedges and flowering plants and lovely vines. 
Near to it came, a W'w years later, our little church, — a small Grecian 
temple, — with its avenue of trees leading to it, and with Mrs. Hunt's 


garden on one side of it, and on the other my father's garden, — in (lie 
very spot now occupied by the public library. From every window in 
our house there was something pleasant for the eye to rest upon, and 
little vistas of exquisite beauty, even though in the heart of the village. 
As soon as the autumn leaves had fallen, the west end of Mount Tom 
appeared to us through the interval between Mr. Hunt's house and the 
little church, — a grand and noble peak, that well repaid us for the 
loss of foliage and summer beauty; and from our front door, winter 
and summer, we could always see Mount Holyoke in varying lights and 
shadows, — sometimes cloud-capped and dark, sometimes resplendent 
with the sun-tipped mists that were rolling away from it. My mother 
delighted in natural beauty, and no one ever enjoyed more than she 
did the sights and sounds that surrounded her. 

Few young persons ever came to a happier home, or were surrounded 
with an atmosphere giving freer scope to their peculiar faculties. In 
the husband of her choice she found not only warm and constant love 
and appreciation, but a patience with the faults of her impulsive tem- 
perament, randy equalled and never failing. In his eldest daughter, 
who united personal beauty to loveliness of character, earnestness of 
purpose, and much helpfulness in household matters, she realized for 
three years a pleasant companionship, and the greatest assistance in 
the care of the younger children, and of her own first child, — to whom 
this beloved sister was devoted through the whole of his beautiful 
infancy. Doubtless my mother made many a mistake with regard to 
these children ; she made mistakes about her own. l>ut, so tar as I 
know, they never doubted the real friendliness of her designs and pur- 
poses with regard to them, or her unselfish pursuit of their good, — so 
far as her different temperament enabled her to understand theirs. If 
it was otherwise, I can only say that my elder brothers and sisters had 
too much good taste and good feeling, too much love for their father 
and for us, and too much of his own patient and warm-hearted view of 
things, ever to make us aware that they had any but kindly feelings 


towards one whose heart was so large it could never have stopped at 
her own hearth-stone. 

I do not think that my mother or her sisters had ever dreamed of a 
life of ease, or of freedom from care, as any tiling to he desired. On 
the contrary, they gloried in responsibility, believed in activity and 
earnest work, with all the intensity of simple and healthy natures. 

During my father's widowhood, his cousin, called in the family 
" Aunt Dwight," had kept house for him ; and she remained for a time 
after his second marriage, until the young wife became wonted to her 
new position. I have heard my mother speak of her as one of the 
kindest and best of women, and also as having a sunny temper, and 
much of that strong common sense and ready wit so characteristic of 
New England countrywomen of that day. My father's house had always 
been noted for hospitality ; and what with the throng of visitors brought 
there by his various offices of trust, which had made him the friend of 
the whole county, and the large circle of family friends of whom he 
was the centre, and the townspeople who had always considered the 
house as their place of meeting, — the care of providing for such 
numbers was no small matter. But in this particular my mother 
always went heart and hand with my father. Unlike as they were, 
both in temperament and character, they were most perfectly agreed 
in their social ideas and sentiments, and never considered it any effort 
if they could only make large numbers of people happy under their 
roof. Besides our elder brothers and sisters, wc had five cousins to 
whom my mother was quite as strongly attached as my father was. 
They were the daughters of his only brother, and for many years they 
came and went with the freedom of children ; some passing months 
of every year, and two of them spending several years, with us, for the 
purposes of their education. My mother loved them all with great 
devotion ; but few mothers ever feel an intenser affection and sympathy 
for an own child than she felt for Abby, the eldest, who lived with her 
for several years, and was married from the house. There are very 


frequent references to her. in her letters. I greatly regret that so few 
records remain of the first five years of my mother's married life, and 
that 1 know so little of them. But they were busy and happy years, 
crowded with home cares and social duties. 

She had the power of attaching to her the domestics who helped to 
carry on the household, and made very few changes. At that time a 
class of respectable American women did our family work, and the 
relation between mistress and servant had in it more affection and con- 
fidence than are common now ; though these sentiments are never absent 
in the best families in any age. When my brother Joseph was born, an 
excellent woman took possession of the nursery (who abode there fifteen 
years), named Mrs. Burt, — or Burty, as we called her; and she only left 
to marry again late in life a man whose descendants are among the most 
honored citizens of our commonwealth. Burty's name was always a 
household word in our family, many years after she had left us : for she 
had been the trusted and confidential friend of parents and children, 
nieces and cousins, and visitors, — taking hold of every sort of nonde- 
script work that turned up in the large family, with the heartiest inter- 
est, and tending her babies by the way. There could not have been a 
pleasanter nursery than ours was, nor was it possible for children to 
be taken care of in a more entertaining way. There sat our mother 
with her great mending-basket and her book, and there sat Burty 
alternately sewing and attending to her children. Elder brothers and 
sisters and cousins came in and went out, each lending a hand at 
some domestic service, or reading aloud to my mother if the babies 
were quiet or asleep. Our father came in, and would take her often 
out with him in the chaise, if he were going to summon a jury, or do 
any of his various business in neighboring towns. And how quickly 
she found her bonnet, and wrapped up the baby to take with her, so as 
to leave Mrs. Burt more time for other labors ! 

Children who grow up in large families, and are taken care of in that 
way, and always in the society of their elders, are favored beyond meas- 


urc. Handed about from one to another, the care seldom falls heavily 
on any one person; and the being mostly with refined natures has an 
insensible influence on theirs. Then the amount of entertainment to 
young children, coming without any expense of time or means. Iron, 
the mere spectacle of numbers of grown people actively occupied, is 
incalculable. I have heard it objected that the conversation of grown 
persons cannot go on unreservedly in the presence of children. i>ut 
any that cannot, ought not, as a general thing. Children do not under- 
stand what is above or beyond them, though they may be insensibly 
elevated by high-toned conversation which they cannot understand. 
And what is beneath them had better never be discussed. If a little 
child is a restraint on such conversation, then by all means let him be 
" set in the midst of them." My mother seemed to go on with every 
thing with her children all around her. In all large families there 
must be some friction; days when things go wrong and the atmosphere 
is heavy. We had those days. The dear woman had not a perfect 
temper, and had her share of things to ruffle it ; and more than once 
the cook has said to Sally Woodard, our dear second girl, " Mis Ly- 
man's got up wrong-eend foremost this day, sure." And Sally would 
say, " Yes, but she'll come round before night." And so she did. 
There was nothing wicked in her fits of temper ; though violent, they 
were usually only like the summer thunder-gusts in our beautiful valley, 
that cleared the air, and renovated the landscape. 

Yet it would not be quite truthful not to record the fact that her 
strong and breezy movements about the busy house were sometimes a 
trial, either to the sluggard or the invalid ; and that sensitive hearts 
sometimes experienced a hurt she had no intention of leaving. My 
father and all his children were of a highly emotional cast of char- 
acter ; both his elder children and her own inherited this trait, and 
she was sometimes at her wits' ends to account for it. "Oh! those 
Lyman flood-gates," she said once to one of the nieces, " those Lyman 
flood-gates seem to me to be always open. What have I done now ? " 


She was very entertaining to lier own children. .Some of my young 
friends have told me that they were a little afraid of her when children, 
although they became warmly attached to her as they grew up. And 
I think this was very likely, because she had such grand ways and im- 
pressive gestures. But, in us who were familiar with them, they 
inspired no such awe. She never nagged children, or contradicted 
them, or made them naughtier by observing on their little naughti- 
nesses. She had the finest way of diverting them without their know- 
ing it ; calling off the attention from a troublesome habit, by proposing 
some new and interesting occupation. She had a quantity of " nursery 
rhymes" at her command, which she repeated on occasion in such 
mock heroic style, as to fix them forever in the memory. One favorite 
occurs to me now, which she used to say in a sort of breathless under- 
tone, that nearly took away my breath. 

"If every tear that sin- hail slieil 
Had been a needle full of thread ; 
If every sigh of sad despair 
Had been a stitch with proper care, — 
Closed would have been tin.' luckless rent, 
And hi > t. her time have been mis-spent." 

My mother gave appropriate names to every part of the large house. 
There were " the old parlor " and " the best parlor," and " the hall," 
and "the nursery," and "the library," and " the corridor," — a covered 
way that connected " the library " and "the office," — on the first floor. 
The kitchens and their appurtenances were in a basement, where the 
ground fell off at the back of the house. Of the chambers, one was 
always called " Sister Mary's room," through all the long years after 
she had left it; and another " Brother I) wight's room;" and then 
there was Justin's room (the man's), and the two best chambers, east 
and west ; and last, not least, " the turnpike," a lovely chamber through 
which one had to pass to get into the west wing, and where there was 
always the finest view to be caught of the west end of Mount Tom. 


Visitors used to be amused to hear my mother say, " Go call Jane, 
she sleeps now on the 'turnpike;'" or, "Bring me such a box or 
basket from 'the corridor.'" But to us they were all magic designa- 
tions that now call up a hundred precious memories. Our father and 
mother occupied the library as their sleeping-room. It was so called 
because a large and deep recess, corresponding to a closet, on one side 
of the fireplace, had been partitioned off, and the ceiling of a dark 
cupboard below formed the floor of the library, which had -lass doors, 
lined with plaited green silk. This library was the home of mystery 
and romance. The lower shelf was Idled with bound volumes of the 
" American Encyclopaedia," the next with the " Waverley Novels." 
There were volumes of the " North American Review " and the " Chris- 
tian Examiner ; " sermons without number, from Jeremy Taylor and 
Dr. South to Buckminster and Channing; and one shelf quite devoted 
to the children's books of that day, — " Evenings at Home," " Sandford 
and Merton," " Robinson Crusoe," Miss Edgeworth's charming series, 
— the little pocket edition of " Harry and Lucy," and " Frank," being so 
dear to the heart of my brother Joseph, that he was wont to read them 
over once a year as long as he lived. A whole row of little volumes 
of the " Juvenile Miscellany," edited by Mrs. Child, possessed an in- 
finite charm for us. By standing on a chair, the very young children 
could climb into this library, "tote" in a little chair, close the glass 
doors with silk lining, and be perfectly concealed from view. 

The dark cupboard underneath had been inhabited from time im- 
memorial by a family named " Bideful," — perfect figments of the 
imagination, but who, nevertheless, lived through several generations, 
and had the most wonderful histories and experiences. If any child 
were missing too long from parlor, or hall, or nursery, my mother 
would say : " Look in the library, they must be there ; or, stay, possibly 
they are passing the afternoon with 'the Bidcfuls.' " And when we 
returned, she would inquire in the most tender and affectionate manner 
after the well-being of " the Bidefuls ; " and add new interest to their his- 


tories and fate, by her brilliant or witty suggestions. Were there really 
no little people that lived in the little cupboard under the library ? It is 
so hard to believe now that it was all a myth : and that the lovely Lucy, 
the last of that ancient family, had no material existence. 

With all the fine health of my father and mother, we had a great 
deal of sickness in our house. Our elder brothers and sisters had 
inherited delicate constitutions from their mother, and three of my 
mother's children were far from strong. This may have been caused 
by the disparity of years in our parents. But I think the health of all 
was materially affected by our mother's entire ignorance on the subject. 
It was the one great delect of her intelligence that she had no appreci- 
ation of that ounce of prevention which is worth more than a pound of 
cure. With an iron constitution herself, strong nerves, and healthy 
blood, she had no understanding of how the lack of these things may 
be supplied and built up by patient forethought and care. But when 
her warm heart was wrung by the sufferings of those for whom she 
would have cheerfully given her life, we could only regret that she had 
known so little how to avert the calamities she deplored. She was a 
very faithful and devoted nurse in the severe illnesses that occurred, uot 
only in her own family, but in those of her neighbors and friends : 
always ready to lose her sleep, night after night, as long as any one 
needed it. But, the moment all danger was over, the patient was well 
to her mind, and it was high time to set about the real business of life, 
in which sickness was an untold interruption. Usually, if an illness 
was a low nervous fever, not dangerous, but requiring much care, she 
thought it a good time to improve all our minds by a course of reading 
aloud, such as there was never any uninterrupted time for in our ordinary 
life. And 1 remember one such illness, when Ranki's "History of the 
Popes," and Carlyle's " French Revolution " were manfully put through 
under what would have been serious difficulties to am one else. She 
always seemed to consider nerves rather as vicious portions of the 
human character than as constituents of the mortal frame ; and as they 


interfered sadly with duty, with benevolence, and every other virtue, 
they must be discharged without delay. She desired to be thankful thai 
she was born before nerves were the fashion. She believed entirely in 
the power of mind over body. Alas', she forgot that, so long as the 

two are united, there must he constant action and reaction of each upon 
the other; and we, who saw her mistakes in this wise, knew that some 
of the heaviest trials of her life came from this one-sided view of the 
subject. Yet even here her forcible character implanted a grand out- 
look in the heart of an invalid ; and one, at least, of that large family 
has never known whether most to deplore the ignorance and false view 
that wrought such sad consequences, or to thank and bless her for the 
belief so powerfully inculcated, that though the outward man perish the 
inward may lie renewed day by day. 


Let a man, then, say : " My house is here in the county, for tlie culture of the county ; 
an eating-house and sleeping-house for travellers it shall be, but it shall be much more. 
I pray you, excellent wife, not to cumber yourself and me to gel a rich dinner for this 
manor this woman, who has alighted at our irate, nor a bedchamber made ready at too 
great a cost. These things, if they are curious in, they can get for a dollar at any village. 
But let this stranger, if he will, in your looks, in your accent and behavior, read your 
heart and earnestness, your thought and will, — which he cannot buy at any price, in any 
village or city, ami which he may well travel fifty miles, and dine sparely and sleep hard, 
in order to behold. Certainly, let the board be spread, and let the bed he dressed for the 
traveller; but let not the emphasis of hospitality lie in these things. Honor to the house, 
where they are simple to the verge of hardship, so that there the intellect i< awake and reads 
the laws of the universe, the soul worships truth and love, honor and courtesy tlow into 
all deeds." — Emekson. 

MY father was forty-four years old, my mother twenty-two, at the 
time of their marriage. 
It lias been said l>y such numbers of people that they were the 
handsomest couple that ever came into Northampton, that I think it 
must have been true. Beauty is certainly a passport to all hearts, and 
when, as in their ease, the life is " in accordance with the curious make 

ami frame of one's creation," there is an influence about it that cai t 

well he computed. They now became the centres of a social circle, 
not easy to describe in these days, — for sixty years have changed the 
physical aspect of the times, and removed so many old landmarks, and 
created so much hurry and bustle, that events formerly marked and 
distinguished, now chase each other with rapidity ; and we can scarcely 
go back and put ourselves in the rural village where railroads and 
telegraphs had never been heard of, where one church gathered all the 


inhabitants, ami where the life of each family seemed of vital import- 
ance to every other. 

There were no very rich people in Northampton; but many persona 
of elegant culture, refined and aristocratic manners, and possessing a 
moderate competence, lived there in much ease, envying no one, really 
believing themselves highly favored, as they were, and practising a 
generous hospitality at all times. It was a county town, and so 
seemed a large place to the people on the outskirts ; but it really num- 
bered only four thousand inhabitants. If there were no rich people, 
there was certainly an almost utter absence of poverty, and none of those 
sad sights to meet the eye reminding one of a destiny entirely different 
from one's own. Little or no business was done there; but Shop Row 
contained about ten stores, all of them excellent, — dry-goods and hard- 
ware stores, and an apothecary's, — which made a little cheerful bustle 
in the centre of the town, — especially on certain days of the week, when 
the country-people would come in their old-fashioned wagons to do 
their shopping. There were two United States senators residing there 
for life, three judges, many eminent lawyers and scholars, — retired 
people who had no connection with the business world, who lived 
within their moderate incomes, and never dreamed of having more. 
The matchless beauty of the scenery attracted many visitors. The 
more wealthy families in Boston were fond of taking carriage journeys 
of two or three weeks, and would take Northampton in their way as 
they went into Berkshire. Many a family party came in this way to 
our two hotels in the summer and autumn, and would stop two or three 
days to ascend Mount Holyoke or Tom; to drive to Mount Warner or 
Sugar Loaf; to walk over Round Hill, or round and through the rural 
streets of our village, which were so lined with magnificent elms that, 
from the mountain, it always looked as if built in a forest. Every 
morning the stage for Boston — the old-fashioned, yellow stage-coach, 
with a driver who was the personal friend of the whole village — drew 
up in front of Warner's tavern, with a great flourish of whipping up 


the lour horses; and every evening' the singe from Huston was known 
to lie approaching about sunset, by the musical notes of the stage bugle- 
horn in the distance. I think the driver always wound his horn just 
after he crossed the great bridge from ITadley. 

There was a story told very often of one of our dear stage-drivers of 
that period. He had a wonderful memory, and trusted if entirely, and 
so did all the town. For they brought him notes and messages and 
errands of every description, to attend to all the way to Boston ; and 
he never took any memorandum, yet always returned with the long 
list of things properly attended to. Once he took his wife witli him to 
Boston, the plan being that she should come back the next week. After 
he was on the stage-box on his return home, he carefully made his 
mental estimate of all the commissions entrusted to him by the town 
of Northampton, and could not see that he had forgotten any thing. 
Yet nil the way to Worcester he was haunted by the impression thai 
he really had forgotten something, though what he could not tell ; till 
just as he whipped up his horses to leave that town, it suddenly came 
to him, and he exclaimed, " Oh I it's my wife ; I've left my wife ! " < >f 
course it was too late for him to return for her, and of course he never 
heard the last of it in Northampton. 

My father was one of the most industrious of men ; all through 
winter's cold and summer's heat he labored faithfully at his law busi- 
ness, from morning till night, for the maintenance of his large family. 
If ever man fulfilled the injunction, "not slothful in business, fervent 
in spirit, serving the Lord," he did. Social enjoyment was his great, 
in fact his only, recreation ; and the sound of the stage-horn at even- 
tide was like martial music to a war-horse. His face would glow in 
the evening light, his step become alert. He reached his hat from the 
tree in the hall, and hastened out to be at the tavern before the stage 
appeared. With a shining countenance, he would return and tell of 
the line people who had arrived; how he had offered his carriage and 
horses to Mr. A., or Mrs. 15. and her daughters, to go up the mountain 


next day; how he had invited this friend to breakfast with Irim,i ther 

to tea. More often he caine home a tale of some person in ill- 
health or in sorrow, not likely to be made quite comfortable at the 
tavern ; and a " Wouldn't it be well to send Eiram for their trunks, and 
tell them to come right here ? " To which my mother's quiet response, 
■• Why. id' course, that's the only thing to do," made him entirely 
happy, as lie hurried off to summon his guests. 

Once I recall his coming home from Mount Holyoke in great glee, 
because his friend Judge Dawes had made the ascent with him; and 
he told how, as they rounded the last steep of the mountain, and the 
whole glorious view burst upon him, Judge Dawes bad -rasped bis 
hand fervently and said, " Why. Judge Lyman, it's a perfect poem." 

The number of really fine gentlemen of the old school, who assembled 
at our house to see my father, almost every day for, at least, seven or 
eight months of every year, was very great. The judges of the Supreme 
Court were all warmly attached to him, and they delighted in my 
mother's society. Judge Williams once said: " When I go on the cir- 
cuit, I try to find some young person who has never been at North- 
ampton ; and then I take them to Judge Lyman's, because 1 consider 
that a part of a liberal education." As I remember, — and it must 
always have been so, — the conversation of my lather and his friends 
■was, a great deal, upon the events and the history of the times, and 
never on any small or local gossip. 

Three years after my mother's marriage, the Hartford Convention 
came off, and my father, being a member, took her with him there ; 
and they both had a very delightful time, and received a great deal of 
attention. As the objects and purposes of that celebrated body were 
always kept strictly secret, my mother never referred to it in any way, 
except in its collateral enjoyments. 

Although she bad left her old home far behind her, and was now 
absorbed in a round of household cares and social duties that were 
most engrossing, yet the family-life at Brush Bill was still a deep in- 


teresl in her heart ; and she kept up a constant and ardent correspon- 
dence with her parents, brothers, and sisters. The Forbes cousins 
also came in for a large share of her affectionate remembrance; and 
with Cousin Emma, — the frequent companion of her little sister in 
her early efforts at teaching, — she corresponded for more than twenty 
years. Both sisters and cousins began to visit her soon after her mar- 
riage, and these were always occasions of heartfelt pleasure. 

On the 14th of August, 1812, my mother's oldest child was born ; 
and never did the birth of a son awaken deeper emotions of love and 
gratitude than did our dear Joseph's. How carefully she watched . 
over the moral and intellectual influences that surrounded his youth, 
only those knew who lived with her then. From this time forth she 
was constantly occupied with the care of young children, as well as of 
those who were growing up, — at. the same time uniting with my 
father in what our friend Mr. Rufus Ellis has since called "a hospital- 
ity that carries us back to early days in the East." 

In her account of my mother's youth, my Aunt Catherine has spoken 
of her music, as being a great occupation and pleasure to her ; hut 
after her marriage she hail little time for practising, and confined her- 
self to playing for a half hour at twilight or after tea, the short time 
before the children went to lied. The " old parlor," where we lived 
for eight months of the year, was a square room of moderate size, with 
two windows on the street, and one on tin' side-yard towards the print- 
ing office. It was a simple room, hut very pretty. The walls were 
covered with a pale-yellow paper, and varnished; the broad wooden 
pannels lining the room for three feet in height. The floor was covered 
with an English Kidderminster carpet of bright colors. A large Frank- 
lin stove, with brass finishings and fender and andirons shining 
brightly in the firelight, gave warmth and cheerfulness to the room. 
A clock of alabaster, with swinging pendulum, stood on a bracket be- 
tween the two windows. The furniture was cane-seated, but had hair- 
cushions covered with bright chintz. A sofa and two rocking-chairs, 


a centre-table and an upright English piano (the only one in the town 
for many years), constituted the remaining furniture. Over this piano, 
in an old-fashioned gilt frame, hung a picture of Domenichino's St. 
Cecilia, a beautiful engraving, which was the delight of my childhood. 

Before the children were sent to bed, my mother always played the 
"Copenhagen Waltz" and "The Battle of Prague," with variations, 
with much vigor. She was guiltless of ever having heard of " classical 
music;" and I fear the performance would hardly satisfy us now, 
though we thought it charming then. On Sunday nights she played a 
number of psalm tunes, singing also with much feeling and fervor; 
" Dundee," " Federal Street," " Calmar," and "Pleyel's Hymn " were 
always favorites. "When on week-day evenings she played the former 
tunes, we always expected to have a waltz with the dear old father. 
But, though much past sixty years of age, how young he seemed, how 
vigorous! lie called us his "little pigeons;" and, bending down to us, 
would lift us off our feet, and whirl us round the room, till we were 
all satisfied with the dance. Then suddenly he shook us off, as if we 
had been so many flies ; declared he had " a bone in his back" (which 
we supposed to lie a disease peculiar to himself), and seating himself, 
quite spent, in his high-backed leather rocking-chair, he was soon gone 
off in las evening nap, glad if he had been helped thereto by little 
fingers softly stroking his white hair. Oh for a picture of that noble 
face, as it looked then in sleep, when the evening firelight lit up the 
peaceful features that had for sixty years been "the home of all the 
benignities ! " Then came a solemn moment. When we went to say 
" good night" to our mother, she would exclaim, " And now, children, 
where are your monuments?" Then we made haste to bring her any 
little task we had completed, any small work done, and received either 
her commendation or an emphatic urging to do better next time. But 
this was not all ; she would often remark on the friends who had come 
and gone Unit day, and say: "When 1 was out to-day, I heard that 
Mrs. So-and-so called. She is old and poor, and had walked a long 


distance. Did you ask her to stop, and give her a warm seat, and tell 
her to stay to dinner, or wait till I came home ? " Alas ! intent on 
play, we had never thought of it. " Well, -Miss 1). came this afternoon; 
she wanted a book : did you tell her you would find out about it and 
bring it to her?" No! we had not. '-Oh, my dear children," would 
be the answer, given with some emotion, "you've lost your opportu- 
nity" These words made an intense impression on my mind. Surely 
no loss could be so great as that, the loss of an opportunity to do a 
kindness. Ah ! if children in that home grew up selfish and inconsid- 
erate of the claims or rights or needs of others, it was their own fault; 
for they were better taught. 

She loved to give us pleasure ; and on her yearly visits to Boston or 
Brush Hill, would always take one or two of us with her, — never feel- 
ing us a care or an encumbrance, in the long journey of eighteen hours 
by stage-coach, which had to begin at midnight. Yet how much of 
the wear and tear of our present life was escaped in those days, by 
not having to hurry to a railway train. There were no expresses then, 
and so when it was known in the village that Judge and Mrs. Lyman 
were going to Boston (and they always took pains to make it known), 
a throng of neighbors were coming in the whole evening before ; not 
only to take an affectionate leave, but to bring parcels of every imag- 
inable size and shape, and commissions of every variety. One came 
with a dress she wanted to send to a daughter at school ; another with 
a bonnet; one brought patterns of dry goods, with a request that Mrs. 
Lyman would purchase and bring home dresses for a family of five. 
And would she go to the orphan asylum and see if a good child of ten 
could be bound out to another neighbor till she was eighteen ; and if 
so, would Mrs. Lyman bring the child back with her? Another friend 
would come in to say that her one domestic had an invalid sister living 
in Ware ; and another a mother in Sudbury, on the stage route. When 
the stage stopped for breakfast or dinner, or relays of horses, would 
Mrs. Lyman run round and hunt up these friends, carry them messages 


and presents, ami bring back word when she came home how they were, 

— it would make Sally or Amy so much more contented through the 
winter ! 

The neighbors walked into the library where the packing wa 
on ; and, when all the family trunks were filled, my father called out 
heartily, " Here, Hiram, bring down another trunk from the garret, 
the largest you can find, to hold all these parcels ! " And on one occa- 
sion, when all were finally packed, a little boy came timidly in, with a 
bundle nearly as large as himself, from another neighbor, and " would 
this be too big for Mrs. Lyman to carry to grandmother; mother says 
she needs it so much, this time of year? " "No, indeed," my mother 
would say: "tell your mother I'll carry any thing short of a cooking- 
stove." "Another trunk, Hiram," said my father; "and ask the driver 
to wait five minutes." Those were times when people could wait five 
minutes for a family so well known and beloved. If a little behind 
time, our driver had only to whip up his horses a little faster before 
he came to the Belchertown hills ; and when he came to those, the 
elders got out, and lightened the load, to facilitate the journey. What 
journeys they were ! How full of romance and adventure ! The first 
one I recall was when, at five years old, I was taken up out of a sound 
sleep at one o'clock at night, by my cousin Emma Forbes ; dressed by 
her in a very sleepy state, she not failing to encourage me by telling 
me that I was a " good little kitten," who was going to Boston with 
her and my mother ; then dropping asleep in her arms as soon as the 
stage started, and not waking till sunrise. And such a sunrise ! I had 
never seen it before ; and having in a childish way had my vague ideas 
of another world, I started up, and looking beyond the Belchertown 
hills, at the glorious horizon, I asked Cousin Emma if we were goiug 
to heaven. 

My father and Uncle Howe always met with wonderful adventures 
on these journeys. When they stopped at the good breakfast at Bel- 
chertown, they were sure to meet some one they knew, who brought 


them tidings they had been waiting for. At Ware, later in the morn- 
ing, a concourse of stages met from the west and south ; and some of 
the passengers would be transferred to our stage for Boston. Then 
often, what handshakings, what lighting up of countenances, as friends 
parted for many years met in this seemingly providential way, and 
knew they were to pass at least twelve hours in each other's company, 
within the friendly limits of the stage-coach ! Now and then they met 
agreeable strangers, who became friends for life ; for on such a journey 
conversation flowed freely; all were enjoying that delicious freedom 
from business and household care, that is so favorable to the inter- 
change of thought, and the comparatively slow progress of the coach 
over a country rich in beautiful scenery gave a peaceful flow to the 
ideas, not interrupted by the shriek of railroad whistles, or the sudden 
arrival at some crowded station. 

I remember one such journey, when a distinguished politician opened 
a lire upon two worthy Quakers from Philadelphia, which brought out 
from them, though in gentlest terms, their anti-slavery sentiments. My 
father, being an old federalist, — while he believed slavery to he a 
great crime against God and man, — was still of the opinion, held by 
many good men of his time, that it was a question which belonged to 
the South to settle for themselves ; and that, it was both useless and 
dangerous for the North to meddle with it. Yet he was disgusted at 
the manner in which the politician attempted to brow-beat the excellent 
Friends; and stood up so manfully for their right to their own opinions 
and to the expression of them, that, thirty years later, when accident 
brought one of his children to their acquaintance, they expressed a 
most grateful remembrance of his courtesy and support through a day's 
journey that would have been made intolerable by the presence of their 
other companion. This was before the days of the abolitionists, — 
years before Garrison and Phillips had sounded the tocsin. 

Their visits to Boston were enchanting to hear about ; and when 
they returned home after an absence of two or three weeks, again the 


neighbors collected to hear the news. And as they sal around the 
blazing wood-lire, the evening after their home-coming, all the trunks! 
unpacked and put away, and the return-parcels and messages delivered, 
all those children who had not accompanied them on the journey were 

allowed to sit up as long as they pleased. As one friend after another 
dropped in, the talk became most animated. To one they told of their 
dinners at Judge Shaw's, Judge Wilde's, or Judge Putnam's ; or of the 
signs gathering in the political horizon which they had heard discussed. 
To another they descanted on the Sundays they had enjoyed : how the 
eloquence of Dr. Channing had uplifted their minds, and how their 
hearts had burned within them as they talked with dear friends on the 
rise and growth of liberal Christianity in New England. And then 
how many friends of their friends they had contrived to see, and how 
many salutations they brought to those less-favored neighbors, who 
could not go to Boston once a year as they did. Yes, these visits made 
a festival for the whole neighborhood as well as for themselves. 


What wouldst tliou have a good great man obtain ' 

Place, titles, salary, a gilded chain '. 

Or tin-one of corses which his sword hath slain '. 

Greatness ami goodness are not means, hut ends ; 

Hath he not always treasures, always friends, 

The good great man ! — three treasures, love and light, 

And culm tlmiiijlits regular as infant's breath ; 

And three firm friends, more sure than day and night, 

Himself, his Maker, and the angel Death. 


MY father's best-beloved and most intimate friend was liis cousin, 
Samuel Howe, — a man whose pure spirit and high character, 
united to an intellect of unusual vigor, made him the choicest companion 
in the home circle. He lived at Worthington, — one of the beautiful 
hill towns of Hampshire County, so situated as to enable the resident 
lawyer to practise in several counties. He had always been a frequent 
visitor at our house; and, as he had lost his wife a few months before 
my father's second marriage, and was left alone with two young chil- 
dren, it was natural for him to seek the solace of his friend's home, 
alter my mother came there. What his society and friendship were 1 
can only estimate by the life-long allusions to his judgment and his 
heart by both my parents, and to a memory always kept green to their 
latest day. 

During the winter of 1812, my father sent his hired man, with 
a double-sleigh and two horses, to Boston, to bring home his oldest 
daughter, Eliza, who was there on a visit ; and, to my mother's great 


delight, her sister Sally also returned in the sleigh, to make her a long 
visit. One can imagine the long two-days' journey, in mid winter, in 
the open sleigh ; the keen, frosty air, the young girls well wrapped in 
buffalo-robes, and Northampton as their goal, with its hospitable home 
to welcome them, when the cold and weary journey was ended. In 
Sally's letters to Miss Cabot at this time are frequent allusions to Mr. 
Howe's visits at the house ; and she always speaks of him as " the 
mountaineer." Evidently she had not regarded him in the light of a 
lover ; and the entirely unrestrained and natural intercourse that fol- 
lowed was the best possible preparation for that rare union of mind and 
heart that can only subsist between beings of the finest mould. Writing 
to her dearest friend of the result of this intimacy, she speaks of him 
as possessing all those qualities she most desires in a companion ; and 
adds, with characteristic humility, " If I have not the pleasure of ex- 
citing a first attachment, I cannot doubt that I am beloved, for it is 
impossible that any man should choose me from any other motive." 

And so, in little more than two years after her own marriage, my 
mother experienced the purest pleasure in the union of her dear sister 
Sally to this friend of friends. My father's happiness in this event was 
fully equal to her own ; and from this time the most delightful inter- 
course went on between the sisters, and the two homes at Northampton 
and Worthington were gladdened by a constant interchange of warm 
affection. My Aunt Catherine writes: — 

" With regard to your Aunt Howe's life at Worthington, I question 
my power of writing any thing that will be interesting. I have no 
special faculty of making an interesting narrative out of simple things, 
and would on no account ornament, or throw any false hue of senti- 
ment over a life of plain duty, governed by high principle and animated 
by the purest sentiments. 

"Worthington is a mountain town, much higher above the Connecti- 
cut valley than the hills that immediately overlook it. It is approached 

by the ascent of long hills, over rough roads ; and the transit, about 
twenty miles, with their own horses, as the two families usually made 
it, took much longer than a journey of a hundred miles now does. 

" There was no village, or centre of things about it, more than a 
tavern, a store, and half-a-dozen houses, where were gathered together 
such conveniences as belonged to the place. In the midst of this your 
uncle's house was situated ; a large, square house, with an ample yard 
open to the south, with a very pleasant aspect. It was much the best 
house in the place, — built by the lawyer who preceded Mr. Howe in 
(he town. Opposite was the public house, where the Albany sta^e 
stopped each day, going up and returning on alternate days. This 
coach brought the mail, and such travellers as came there, and afforded 
the chief interest that they had, outside of the house. There were two 
or three families with whom they kept up a friendly intercourse, and a 
church a mile distant, which sent forth the hardest and dryest kind of 
doctrine, and was a penance to attend. It was in 1813 that your aunt 
went to live there, — in the middle of the war of that period. Every- 
body was poor, and they furnished their house with plainness and sim- 
plicity, but still comfortably. And here they set up their household 
gods, and began life on a simple plan which afforded many enjoyments, 
at the same time that it brought some important privations. There 
were two children from the beginning. Mr. Howe usually had a stu- 
dent in his office (adjoining the house), who lived with them ; and I 
think it was in the first year that William Cullen Bryant was with 
them in this position. Your aunt also often had some friend with her, 
so that from the commencement of their married life they had a con- 
siderable family, affording some domestic society, but increasing care. 
The great deficiency of their life, in the way of comfort, was the im- 
possibility of procuring domestics. Sometimes they were weeks with- 
out a woman, but always had a man who performed some of the rougher 
services. Though your aunt was capable and industrious, and knew 
all about domestic business, this was hard to her: she had not been 


accustomed to it, and her time was occupied in ways that did noi per- 
mit the exercise of her favorite pursuits. Mr. Howe was the most 
helpful and kindly of domestic companions, and did all that a man could 
to lighten those cares. Still enough remained to make life laborious at 
this period. Mr. Howe was full of occupations, and often absent from 
home. He was away attending courts in all the adjacent counties many 
weeks of every year. The winters were long and cold, the snow deep, 
and the roads made indiscriminately over fences and fields, as well as 
in the paths ; wherever was the most available place. These absences 
were hard times to her during the first years ; later, I think after two 
years, Eleanor Walker went to live with her as a companion and assist- 
ant in all ways, and was the greatest addition to the comfort of the 

" Dr. Bryant, their physician, and Mr. Howe's especial friend (the 
father of William Cullen Bryant), lived four miles distant, at Cumming- 
ton ; he was a wise and learned man, and his society was at times a 
great resource to Mr. Howe, though he was very reserved to most, 

" Visits were exchanged between your mother and aunt, several 
times every year. Mr. Howe always attended the courts at Northamp- 
ton, and your aunt went when she could, but she was often prevented 
by domestic circumstances. These visits were always seasons of great 
social enjoyment ; the sisters had many interests in common, — your 
mother with her more varied experiences had a great deal to tell of 
her numerous and interesting visitors, or her journeys to Boston, and 
sojourn among old friends, which were more frequent than your aunt's. 
It was a period full of excitement about public affairs ; the war and the 
questions which grew out of it, the policy of the government, &c, 
were never-ending subjects of discussion with your father and uncle, 
who sympathised quite remarkably in their views, and prophesied 
about the future, things very unlike the actual unfolding of the book of 
fate, — as wise men still do, and always must. 


" At a later period, when religious views and the subject of religious 
freedom became exciting, it was discussed with the same intercsl and 
general agreement. Mr. Howe had grown up in the acceptance of 
Orthodox theology, then unquestioned in the society surrounding him ; 
but after his marriage, he reviewed the whole subject with careful 
study, heard our best preachers when he had opportunity, and became 
a decided and conscientious Unitarian. This was a great satisfaction 
to your aunt, and a new bond of sympathy between the two families. 

" When at home, if Mr. and Mrs. Howe were ever so much occupied 
during the day, some hours were always spent in reading aloud ; they 
usually had some important work on hand, but were always ready to 
interrupt it for matters of especial interest, or lighter character, if enter- 
taining. Mr. Howe was a great and constant reader ; lie had always a 
book on hand ; five minutes of waiting were never hist in impatience, 
but occupied with book or paper. Scantily as they were supplied with 
luxuries in those days, Mr. Howe seldom returned from a visit to more 
favored regions, without a new book to enliven the home on his return. 
Their tastes and feelings harmonized wonderfully well, but your aunt 
was more fond of imaginative literature, and he of works which exercise 
the reason and add to the store of knowledge. But she enjoyed all 
these things with him. 

" Mr. Howe had an admirable power of conversation, clearness of 
thought, knowledge ready to be fitly used, and a natural gift of lan- 
guage, which made his society a most welcome addition to any circle. 
This facility of using his powers wisely and well was a great advantage 
to him in the practice of his profession, and invaluable to him as a 
teacher, when later he became the head of a law school, a guide and 
leader of thought to young men. 

" Your aunt enjoyed a great deal at times, in her isolated life at 
Worthington, but at other times she felt the evils of it painfully. Mr. 
Howe had always been of an infirm constitution, which he taxed to the 
utmost in the performance of many duties; and she felt that the fatigue 

and exposure of his long winter journeys over the hills and rough 
roads were positively injurious to him, adding a cause of fatigue and 
exposure that might be spared him. Then, as children multiplied and 
grew older, she felt the want of advantages of education for them, 
and of association with other young people who would be suitable com- 
panions for them. The idea of change dwelt constantly upon her 
mind, and more and more the conviction came to her that it was im- 
portant for all of them. Many plans were talked of, and different 
places discussed ; but at length, in 1820, a proposal from Mr. Mills, for 
your uncle to go into partnership with him at Northampton, decided 
them to move to that place; and I think it was always satisfactory to 
both of them that they made the change." 

As my aunt's letters of that period give a better idea of the Worthing- 
ton life than any record we have of it, a few of her letters to her 
dearest friend — Miss Eliza Lee Cabot, afterwards Mrs. Follen — come 
naturally to mind here. 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Cabot. 

Worthington, October 31, 1813. 
My dead Eliza, — Your letter did indeed arrive to welcome me in 
Worthington, and I felt much gratified at the reception of it. I believe 
our correspondence has never been suspended so long since the com- 
mencement of it ; and I hope it never may be again, but from the same 
agreeable reason that we have been able to make a frequent personal 
intercourse a substitute for it: but this is a thing which we can scarcely 
calculate upon. I cannot hope or even desire to leave my family for 
any great length of time, and, though I do depend on seeing you here, 
it cannot be often. One thing you may rest assured, that no change 
in circumstances or situation can alienate my affection ; the last three 
weeks has confirmed my hope that I should find my husband the kind- 

est and best of friends, but I still recollect, with feelings the most lively 
and affectionate, the companions of those early, happy days, which are 
never to return. The sensations winch accompanied my separation 
from them were such as can never be described, and a single comment 
upon them would be useless: suffice it to say, I was not long the victim 
of them. New duties offered themselves to my recollection, and new 
pleasures promised to repay me for every privation. I recovered the 
tone of my mind sooner than I expected, and even the first day of our 
journey was not without hours of social communication ; the weather 
was cold, and we met with bad travelling, but we were aide to pursue 
the route we had marked out, and visited Stafford, Hartford, New 
Haven, and Litchfield. At Litchfield 1 saw the Fosters only in the 
street ; our stay there was short, as we did not find .Mr. and Mrs. 
Gould at home. In New Haven we visited the Cabinet of Minerals, 
with which I was much delighted, but do not think I enjoyed them as 
much as you would have done ; many of the specimens are extremely 
curious, and some of them very beautiful. This is an extraordinary 
exhibition of natural productions^ because most of these things are 
concealed in the bowels of the earth, and do not. like most others, intro- 
duce themselves to our acquaintance and challenge our notice ; should 
you ever go to New York I think you would be gratified by staying in 
New Haven long enough to take a more accurate observation of them 
than we were able to. New Haven is a very pleasant town ; I do not 
believe there is one of its size ecmal to it in New England. The flatness 
of the situation would remind you of Salem; but the streets are more 
regular, and the public buildings better disposed, and there are more 
trees than I ever saw in a place so compact. But you may look in the 
'• Gazetteer" for the remainder of the description, and I will endeavor 
to tell you a little more about myself, or rather about we. Then, after 
stopping one rainy day in the last town in Connecticut, in a very un- 
interesting tavern, we spent two and a half in making the tour of 
Berkshire county, where we visited some interesting friends and 

acquaintance, and were treated with much hospitality and attention, 
particularly by the Sedgwick family: and 1 assure you, .Mi>s Sedgwick 
appears incomparably more engaging in her own house, and at the 
head of her own family, than she does in company in Boston ; ami my 
visit was the more gratifying as it raised her much in my estimation. 
Harry, too, appeared the affectionate brother and the attentive friend, 
by far the finest parts I ever saw him perform. We readied our desti- 
nation on Friday noon, and I was greeted by a letter from Mary, besides 
yours. I must thank you again for writing to me at such a moment, 
as it convinces me you will not suffer other avocations and feelings to 
prevent your communicating yourself to mc. You arc surrounded by 
so many objects in which I have been accustomed to interest myself, 
that you can never want subjects for a letter, independent of the 
resources of your own mind. And now for a description of my new 
home. These blank fields and naked woods, I am told, are verdant and 
beautiful in summer, but now have nothing in particular to recommend 
them, and so I do not look at them often. The house we are to inhabit 
stands on one corner of two roads. which cross each other, but not near 
enough to either road to be incommoded by it, or to look ill ; the other 
three corners are occupied by a tavern, a store, and a dwelling-house, 
and this is the most considerable settlement in Worthington, there 
being a few other houses in the vicinity. I will say nothing of the 
interior of the house, except that it lias a very pleasant parlor with 
southeast and southwest windows in it, which give us a bountiful por- 
tion of sun (when it shines, mark ye, which is not very often) ; and in 
this parlor I expect to pass the ensuing six months almost exclusively 
(except when I am asleep), and in it I calculate to keep (besides tables 
and chairs) a work-box, a writing-desk, and sundry books, so that 1 
may have employment suitable to my taste and genius. I may occa- 
sionally make a peregrination into the kitchen to superintend the con- 
cerns there. But though my corporeal frame is to be thus limited, do 
not think my soaring spirit and brilliant imagination will confine them- 

selves ; on the contrary, I expect to search the records of ages long- 
past, and to fly on the wings of fancy into regions the most remote, 
and perhaps now and then condescend to use the same agency in con- 
veying myself to your side on the sofa, where I picture you now sur- 
rounded by your family. Remember me to them all ; tell Susan I shall 
expect she will now and then write a postscript if she expects any good 
advice from me; a thing which my present matronly character must 
add much to the consequence of. If Sally is still with you, present my 
best wishes for her journey, and hopes that she will return by the way 
of Albany, that I may see her. Mary, I never forget ; and least of all, 
you, my long tried friend. 

Yours, &c., 

S. L. Howe. 

I am not at housekeeping yet, but shall be next month. Mr. Howe 
joins me in affectionate remembrance to you. 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Cabot. 

Worthington, December 31, 1813. 

My drar Eliza, — The bundle containing the " Salmagundi" extract, 
hooks and notes from yourself and Mary, dated in October, readied 
here in December in safety ; and for Mary's kindness in copying t lie 
first 1 feel much indebted. Tender her my thanks, and tell her it shall 
lie preserved with care for her sake as well as its own, and that I am 
sincerely obliged for her kind wishes, and hope I shall prove worthy 
the fulfilment of them. And as for your ladyship, I cannot help be- 
lieving you have practised making sweet faces in the looking-glass your- 
self, the better to image us and to get yourself in readiness in case you 
should find personal necessity for them; but I will not waste my paper, 
for I despair of reforming your sauciness. "What's bred in the bone 
cannot be heat out of the flesh." 


I have received a letter from you, dated Nov. 16th, the very day on 
which I commenced housekeeping; and I do not wish you to follow my 
ill example in suffering this to remain as long unanswered as thai has. 
My opportunities for writing are few, — not that I am much hurried by 
business, but something or other always steps between me and the 
pen, unless I make a previous determination, as I did to-day, that it 
should fie the first object with me. My success in housekeeping, in 
most respects, equals my expectations. I have been too much accus- 
tomed to exertion, to find the little now required " a weariness of the 
flesh;" and as to my success in managing the children, 1 never over- 
rated my own talents in that respect. Although I could always per- 
ceive an abundance of faults in the management of others, I was 
sufficiently aware of the circumspection necessary, to think 1 should lie 
likely to fall into many errors myself ; they have not however yet done 
any thing very wrong, and I have strong hopes that with Mr. Howe's 
assistance I shall be able to make them good and useful. The subject 
of their education is one upon which I do not spare reflection, and hope 
I shall not spare any attention which is in my power. I have specu- 
lated a good deal on this subject when I had no personal interest in it, 
and I feel sure that much may be done by careful parents for their 
children. But after all is done which human foresight and exertion 
can effect, circumstances will occur (sometimes) to influence the char- 
acter of the child, over which the parent can have no control. This 
consideration should make us eagle-eyed when we survey the condition 
of our children, and the knowledge that they enjoy the protection of 
Him that neither " slumbereth nor sleepeth " should prevent undue 
anxiety. We must plant and water, and wait in patience and hope for 
the blessing of God on the increase. I spend the days with Nancy 
Sumner and the children. I sew, and she reads aloud. Mr. Howe 
reads to us in the evening, and we on the whole are rather a bookish 
family — being considerably excluded from " the pomps and vanities of 
this wicked world," by our remote situation. Mrs. Lyman has been 

ii]i to enlighten us by her counsel ; and really, my dear Eliza, if you 
should ever change your condition, I hope you will not neglect to apply 
lor a page or two of advice to that "matron sage," for I assure you 
she understands bringing up a family much better than you or I do. 
Raillery apart — her visit was one of the pleasantest circumstances 
which has occurred in the six weeks we have kept house. Al this 
season, 1 generally review tin.' past year in my letter to yon; but the 
event which is most important to me is one we have often discussed, 
and 1 do not know if any thing remains to be said upon it. I am per- 
fectly satisfied that 1 have increased my means of happiness and use- 
fulness: the employment of those means will be my future care, and 
God grant the successful use of them! My near and dear friends are 
preserved in life and health, and the number of them is added to 
instead of diminished. I consider Mrs. Metcalfs friendship no small 
acquisition ; the rectitude of her principles and ingenuousness of her 
manners and conversation render her very dear to all her friends. 
She promised to call on you whenever she visited Boston, and I dare 
say you will see her soon. 1 am afraid you have found my shoes a 
troublesome commission ; if they are done, you will let my sister Mary 
have them, and I think it probable she will be aide to send them to me 
before the spring. 

Remember me to all friends in your circle. I hope that Mrs. Forbes 
is not too much depressed by the absence of her husband, to enjoy some- 
thing from society. I should delight to spend an evening with you all 
at your house or your sister's. 1 beg yon again to write soon and tell 
me all about everybody. I have not seen the poems you mention in 
your letter, except a review of the " Giaour," which had a i'vw extracts 
that pleased me. Mr. Howe is reading "Tacitus" to me; his ••Annals 
and History" (which only comprise a part of the first century after 
the Christian Era) are elegantly written, but afford a most melancholy 
view of moral corruption, which seems the more mysterious as it was 
a period remarkably enlightened by literature. You arc well acquainted 


with the history of this age, and I do not believe you would derive 
much pleasure from the perusal of " Tacitus." 

The shades of night are coming on, and J can only offer my best 
regards to Susan ; tell her 1 hope she will consider the increased hard- 
ness of the times, and redouble her industry and economy. To you 
and Mary 1 trust no such caution is necessary. I expect, when I next 
see you, that you will have on an English gown, embroidered with 
darns; for myself I shall have on the homespun which Eliza Robbins 
prophesied. When tea,, coffee, and sugar are exhausted, I hope you 
will drink milk or toast and water with dignity ; and as for me, what- 
ever may happen to the quality of my food, I have decided not, to 
diminish the quantity. Mr. Howe sends love, and would give a shilling 
to see you any time, notwithstanding the embargo. 
Yours ever, 

S. L. Howe. 

My little boy wants to get up in my lap, so I must say good-nig 


Mrs. Howe to Miss Cabot. 

Wortiiixgtox, February 28, 1814. 
Dear Eliza, — Having deferred acknowledging yours of the 19th of 
January so long, I have too many things to say to spare time for an 
apology. I felt much gratified by the letter, and by your kind inquiries 
about the society of this place. If there had been much to interest 
you I should not have omitted so important a consideration in my 
former letters, but the few with whom I am acquainted here would not 
figure in description, even if I had better abilities to display their 
characters. We have some kind friends here ; in particular one family 
with whom Mr. Howe boarded during more than two years, and from 
whom he experienced every attention which a brother could have 
expected under the circumstances. Their kindness has been extended 


to rue, and we enjoy a neighborly intercourse, which is (I hope) 
mutually satisfactory and beneficial. Of our minister I cannot tell you 
much, because I have no personal acquaintance with him ; of his 
preaching I cannot say I think it as much " to the use of edifying " 
as some I have formerly heard, by reason that the preacher docs not 
write, hut depends on the present suggestions of his mind, or an indis- 
tinct recollection of former thoughts ; and as his genius is by no means 
of a vivid and brilliant class, his discourses are often extremely dull 
and unsatisfactory. I believe he is, in general, liked very well by his 
parish ; and, perhaps, is very useful among them, as their general < har- 
acteristic is that of a sober-minded and religious people. They are, on 
the whole, rather queer-looking; and, I suspect if you were to see such 
a collection anywhere but in the house of God, your propensity for the 
ridiculous would be amply gratified. There is no physician of any 
eminence residing in this place, but one in a neighboring town about 
four miles from this, who is highly respectable in his profession, and 
is, besides, a man of considerable literature and science. He is a 
friend of Mr. Howe's, and, of course, an occasional visitor here. And 
I believe I have now mentioned all the resources of our immediate 
vicinity, and you will judge that they are not such as to consume much 
of our time. 

The business of the office, my household cares, our children, and 
our books have occupied us all winter, except two excursions from 
home, — one to Albany, where Mr. Howe has a brother residing. Judge 
Lyman, and Anne, and Nancy Sumner accompanied us, and we had a 
very pleasant journey and visit, excepting the trifling inconveniences 
which usually occur on such occasions. Some of the scenery between 
here and Albany is very beautiful, — even clad in its wintry garb, — 
particularly the view from the New Lebanon mountain ; which, I dare 
say, Mary will recollect, as she passed the " same road when she jour- 
neyed in these parts." We have likewise visited our friends at North- 
ampton and Deerfield, and enjoyed ourselves very much with them. 


We had, likewise, the pleasure to meet my brother James al North- 
ampton, who has come to make us a visit, and it is probable will pass 
some time among us. I think he will have the advantage of applying 
himself more to books here than he has had for years, and that he 
may make his visit useful to himself as well as agreeable to us. 1 am 
calculating upon the pleasure of seeing some of my eastern friends here 
in the course of "the summer. I need not say how glad I should be if 
you could he one ; it is not probable that I shall visit Brush Hill and 
its vicinity before the autumn. Nancy Sumner left me a fortnight 
since, and was summoned home hastily on account of sickness in her 
father's family. I now have my sister's two young daughters staying 
with me, — Mary and Jane Lyman ; and I have been entertained ever 
since I began to write, with their hearing each other and my Susan spell, 
— a thing not quite as inspiring as the visits of the Muses, — so I cannot 
be expected to be very interesting. Indeed, I do not find I have improved 
my advantages for writing much by my change of situation, and I am 
seriously afraid that my matronly cares will be fatal to the progression 
of the " Salmagundi," especially as my husband does nothing to assist, 
mc in it. We have been endeavoring to preserve our poetical taste by 
the perusal of Virgil, and procured the " Giaour " at Albany, with which 
I am much pleased. This story is exceedingly obscure, but the poetry 
extremely feeling and beautiful. 

You make some inquiries about that is to be ; I have no personal 

acquaintance with her. Mr. Howe knows her a little, and thinks her 
quite interesting. From all I can learn, her moral advantages have 
been very small, — having been several years without a mother, and 
under the guidance of an unprincipled father ; and, I believe, she is 
not endowed with a very exquisite sense of feeling. So I think it very 
probable she may find the situation and society in which she will lie 
placed a remuneration for the character of her husband ; and, after all, 
he may, as you say, conclude to try a decent life, and find it, on the 
whole, the most comfortable. I am much shocked and surprised with 


Mrs. 's marriage : and, I dare say, the town of Boston was quite in 

a wonderment ; but these things affect me about as much as they did the 
jackdaw on the top of the steeple. The interest and happiness of my 
dear-loved distant friends is ever near my heart, and it will afford me 
the sincerest pleasure to hear of you and yours, and your pursuits, as 
often as you can spare time to write ; and you must not measure the 
length or number of your epistles by mine. You have got all your 
letters to me but two or three ; and, as they are my property, you ought 
to pay interest while they are in your possession. My love to Mary 
and Susan (I will say more to them when I have more time and room) ; 
likewise to any of the rest of your friends who remember me. Have 
you ever heard of my shoes ? And have you seen the " Bride of 
Abydos " '( Other inquiries I leave to a future letter, and tell you, for 
the fiftieth time, that I am 

Your affectionate friend, 

S. L. Howe. 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Cabot. 

WoilTHINGTOIf, April L'l. 1814. 

Mr. Howe has purchased the house in which we reside : it is a pleas- 
ant situation, and ample in its dimensions, though not of the newest 
fashion. However, wdien it is fitted up a little, it will be quite as 
fashionable as its inhabitants; and, with a few alterations, it will be 
convenient for domestic purposes, — the most essential point in a dwell- 
ing. I have a back-parlor, with a painted floor and a whitewashed 
wall, which is to be furnished exactly in the P'eabody style, and in 
which I expect soon to lie domesticated for the summer. Mr. Howe is 
much engaged in setting out fruit-trees, ami some other concerns of 
that description; and we hope in time to have fruit and flowers to re- 
gale our friends with. But these hills are very windy, and it is aol so 


hopeful an attempt here as with you. I want you to be particular 
about your health : when you write let me know if you expect to go 
into the country this summer, and every thing else aboul yourself ami 
friends : for, I assure you, I do not hear half as much about you as I 
want to. 

We have been reading Southey's " Life of Nelson," which I think 
quite an interesting biography ; although he was a great man, and a 
man of an amiable temper, I cannot help thinking him considerably 
deficient in moral principle, ami had rather he would have died implor- 
ing pardon for his defects, than thanking God he had done his duty ; 
( it is humbling to us, poor mortals, that even the heroes of our race are 
tarnished with great faults). The British nation, indeed the civilized 
world, owe much to his exertions in having checked the power of the 
tyrant ; and it would be ingratitude for any individual to deny him the 
fame he so ardently desired and so well deserved. His memory will 
live while Great Britain is a nation ; but the crown of glory, " which 
fadeth not," may he reserved for humbler individuals. 1 have read 
Mrs. Grant's " Sketches on Intellectual Education," which, I think, has 
many good, though not many new, things in it ; and is calculated to 
be of use to those who have not much time or opportunity to refer to 
books of that kind, or much ability to make reflections or draw con- 
clusions for themselves ; and she does not aim at any thing more 
elevated. We are now engaged in Lee's " Memoirs of the War in the 
Southern Department," but have not read enough to form an opinion, 
and I have not room now to give it if I had. 

You must remember me affectionately to the girls, and likewise to 
Eliza and the Misses Magee, when you see them again ; and if you 
should see my sister Eliza, tell her she must write soon, as I really 
long for one of her letters, and should tell her so myself if the claims 
of other correspondents did not forbid my ever writing two letters for 
one. Mr. Howe joins in love, and hopes with me to have the pleasure 
of giving you a welcome to our home whenever your arc able to come ; 


willing I know you arc, but space cannot lie annihilated to please even 
you and me, or I should be talking with you instead of writing. Good 


S. L. Howe. 

Mrs. Howe to Miss ( 'abot. 

Worthington, October 28, 1814. 

My dear Eliza, — 

My visit to you all was so short that it seems little more than a 
dream. I forgot some of my business with you, which was to procure 
your letters to me again, and to see your new piece for the " Salma- 
gundi ; " if you will do them up carefully, and have them deposited at 
Miss Bent's, it is probable I shall lie able to send there for them sunn. 
Mr. Howe regretted it was nut in his power to call on you again as he 
had intended. 

Anne has been here once since our return ; she has been necessarily 
disappointed of her visit to Boston this autumn, but calculates on 
going in the winter. 

I have procured " Patronage," but have not yet had leisure to read 
it; when 1 have I will let you know my opinion of it. We have had 
Madame D'Arblay's new work, " The Wanderer ; " and I must ac- 
knowledge I should hardly have expected any thing so tedious and 
indifferent from the author of" Cecilia." Indeed, I do not believe any 
one would have taxed her with it if she had not published it as hers. 
1 hear Lord Byron has produced another poem, but have not seen it; 
and the nursery and the kitchen have excluded the thought of poetry 
of late, if they have not destroyed the relish for it You must not 
think I mean to complain of my cares ; I only wish to account for my 
long silence and seeming neglect. I have had, and still have, great 
reason to be thankful for my restored health and strength, and that 
my child has so good a constitution and so pleasant a temper. I have 


strength and spirits to meet most of the demands made by my duty, 
and my failures arc owing to those errors in judgment which are so 
apt to await us, and to an occasional inertness which creeps over me 
unawares. A heavy storm has stripped all our foliage, and destroyed 
the last relic of summer, and I begin to leave off looking out of doors 
when I can help it, — you know I always disliked the latter part of 
autumn more than any season ; and yet it has its peculiar comforts, 
when the harvest is gathered, and everybody that has any industry 
has hoarded something for winter's supply. The changes of season 
are much more felt in the country than in cities, particularly by those 
who earn their bread by husbandry. I think you would like to enter 
some of the farmer's dwellings in this town at this season ; a large, 
low kitchen, surrounded by dried apples and pumpkins, and the labors 
of the wheel and the loom, would afford you a novel and not an un- 
interesting scene. 

When I first came home, I suffered some anxiety relative to the 
apprehended attack on Boston; but I think the danger is over, — at 
least for this season. I wish very much to hear from you, and I hope 
you will write very soon, and I will try not to be so long again without 
writing, — as I shall have more leisure when our workmen have com- 
pleted their jobs, and I have arranged things for the winter. 1 have 
not given up the hope of seeing you here ; try to come in the spring, if 
it be possible. Remember me to the girls ; I have no time now to 
answer their additions to your letter, but I shall always be glad to 
hear from them, and will write when I can. Mr. Howe desires to be 
remembered to you, and would add a line if he were not at least as 
busy as I am ; his office of shepherd has made large demands on his 
time of late. Do write soon and tell all the news, and I will do my 
best to prove how much I am 

Your affectionate 

S. L. Howe. 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Cabot. 

Worthington, January 1, 1815. 

My dear Eliza, — I did not write last evening as usual on the last 
night of the year, because I was not very well, and found it necessary 
to bathe my feet and retire early; but am to-day quite restored. As it 
is so unusual for me to be sick, I felt a little apprehension, but I now 
believe it was only a cold. In general, my health lias been as good 
since I saw you, as it ever was. I have much to be thankful for, in the 
restored health of my little ones ; the baby never suffered severely with 
the cough, nor did Susan ; Tracy had it very violently, and (though 
recovering) still coughs considerably. Catherine stayed with me to 
help mo through it, which was a great comfort. I should have been 
glad to have had her through the winter, but felt that, at her time of 
life, it was necessary she should devote herself to the cultivation of her 
intellect, rather than to the offices of the nursery. She is now attend- 
ing a school at Northampton; though a creature of no pretence at all, 
and not in the least calculated for display, she has all the rudiments of 
a solid, useful character, — perfect integrity, a discerning mind, and a 
feeling heart. I am led to make these remarks of her, because I have 
lately seen her talents called forth in a way 1 never did before. 

I had some expectation of seeing Eliza here this winter a short time 
ago, but have since heard she had changed her place of residence and 
was now in your street. I hope she will find time to visit you more 
than she has done in the year past. I do not know when she will come 
to see me ; and, though I estimate a sister to be a great acquisition in 
my family, I do "not urge it because I am afraid her spirits would sink 
entirely under our uniform and retired mode of living. I have not left 
home since September, and scarcely left the house during the last six 
weeks : but the necessity of active industry preserves my usual dieer- 
fulness. The care of children occupies time in a way that produces the 
least apparent effect of any employment I ever engaged in; and when 


I have been as busy as possible a whole week, I cannot at the end of 
it perceive any fruit of my labors. And even upon reviewing, I can 
perceive but little progress in the minds of those I had a year ago. 
My baby indeed seems to have a little more mind than he had at first ; 
he can laugh and play a little, and distinguish the family from stran- 
gers. He is the best blessing of the last year — as little trouble and as 
much comfort as a baby can be. 

The present situation of the country has deprived Mr. Howe of law- 
business almost entirely, so that he is compelled to turn his attention 
to other things ; and his sheep are no longer an amusement but a seri- 
ous occupation, as he has taken them under his more immediate care. 
It may be a very romantic thing to live upon these mountains with a 
shepherd-swain, but as all our fleeces are not golden, your "hints on 
economy" might be of use to us, if we did not understand the subject 
at least as well as you can be supposed to. I can assure you that my 
children are now warmly clad in the fleeces our sheep wore last winter; 
and, though a homespun frock on the baby scandalized his Aunt Cath- 
erine, he wears one every day and finds no fault with it. 

Because three children were not quite a sufficient responsibility, I 
have taken a little girl to bring up for a servant. This is a measure 
which I have been driven to by the extreme difficulty of procuring even 
necessary assistance here, and I hope I shall be enabled by some means 
to discharge a duty which seemed to be forced on me. 

You speak of the shortness of my visit. I assure you, whenever I 
have any leisure for scheming, I employ it contriving plans to make a 
longer one this year; and I do not despair of effecting it, though it is 
not quite clear how I can in conscience say to my cares and duties, 
'■ tarry thou here," and I am sure it would be very burdensome to 
transport them all with me. Anne has been twice to see me since I 
have been there, and is now at Hartford with her husband, who is a 
member of the convention there ; when she will go to Boston I do not 
know, but I hope this winter. 


I have read " Patronage," and think it quite an interesting thing, 
and highly calculated to inculcate the independence and exertion she 
recommends. I have read no other new thing of late, except the "Life 
of Bishop Porteus," which is a short account of one of the best and 
most useful of men, and as such has a claim upon the attention of all 
who meet with it. The end of my paper warns me to conclude, which 
I cannot do without a happy new year to you all — wishing and hoping 
it may afford you an opportunity to visit us, as well as every other 
comfort you may desire. You do not tell me you are sick, so I hope 
you are at least as well as when I saw you. 

Mr. Howe joins in love, with 

Your affectionate 

S. L. Howe. 

Did Manlius Sargeant write " Lara" ? 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Cabot. 

Worthington, March 12, 1815. 

My pear Eliza, — I have at length rallied my dormant powers 
sufficiently to thank you for your " Peace " letter, and endeavor to 
give you some account of myself. We sincerely and cordially joined 
in the general rejoicing, and regretted we could not be with our friends 
in Boston at the time. Your last letter was a peculiar cordial, because 
it arrived in my husband's absence, and seemed to come on purpose to 
cheer a solitary hour. 

Anne tells me you think it probable you may visit us in the course 
of the summer. I sincerely hope you will. I could take so much com- 
fort with you here, and can have so short a time to see you when I go 
■to the eastward, that one good visit (by which I mean long) would be 
worth all I shall ever be able to make you. 

The care of a family such as mine is a thing which cannot be laid 
aside often or long, — indeed, almost the whole of my time is occupied 


in keeping' my human machines in motion. (If you were here, I could 
have several half hours to pass with you every day.) Bui as none of 
them arc as good as the clock, which goes a week without winding, my 
absence produces a suspension of motion in some, and such wayward- 
ness in others, as almost to balance all the pleasure I can enjoy in 
visiting my friends. I have however been several times at Northamp- 
ton, and once to Belchertown and Deerfield this winter. My husband 
is now absent, attending the Common Pleas at Northampton ; he is 
absent six weeks every spring necessarily, and I am much in want of a 
companion at this time. ........ 

I see by the papers that your brothers have formed a new connection 
in business, and one of them is to reside in Philadelphia, which I sup- 
pose will be Joseph. You see that I do not neglect even the adver- 
tisements in the paper; and I assure you it is much more interesting to 
me than it used to be, when I could hear as much as I wished of my 
acquaintance from other sources. 

I have not read or worked much this winter, because my baby has 
consumed my time sadly, and I have no other fruit of my labor than 
his growth and improvement. He is large, and begins to step, and 
discovers sufficient powers of mind to converse, as he is not an idiot. 
He is not a troublesome child, and as yet has discovered very little 
" natural depravity ; " our other children arc healthy, and we enjoy 
our usual measure of earthly comforts; indeed, they are increased 
since I last wrote, because my husband has been in better spirits ever 
since the Peace. The ground is now completely covered with snow, 
but I know it cannot last long, and I delight in the return of spring 
more than ever, because I hope and believe I shall see several of my 
friends here during the warm season. Anne and I expect Mary 
Pickard to make us each a visit. I wish you could contrive some plan 
of coming together. I think it would be a mutual pleasure. Mary is 
a very lovely, interesting girl, and her solitary situation in being with- 
out a mother or sister seems to give her more than common claims on 

the affection of her friends. There seems to be a great deal of ordain- 
ing, marrying, &c, going on in your quarter, besides a new machine 
invented for teaching grammar : the improvements of society are 
really wonderful! If you should hear of any new machine for regu- 
lating the habits and tempers of children, winch will save the old 
expedient of shutting up, scolding, &c, I beg you to procure the patent- 
right for me, as I would willingly save myself the trouble of doing it. 
I have taken a little girl who requires a daily lecture at a great 
expense of my valuable breath, besides my three little ones that I 
must try to lead in the narrow way. My best love to all your sisters, 
and let me hear soon that you have got rid of that rheumatism in 
your head. I suppose you have heard how ill our poor Edward has 
been, and at a distance from his friends, too. My husband would join 
me in love if he was here, but he always remembers you. Farewell. 

8. L. Howe. 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Cabot. 

Worthington, November 9, 1815. 

My dear Eliza, — I think you will expect to hear from me by Mary 
Pickard, and I feel particularly desirous that you should, as we had so 
little opportunity of seeing each other during my late visit at the east- 
ward. ... Mr. Howe stayed but five days, and we found it so scanty a 
portion of time to see our friends in Milton, Dedham, and Boston, that 
it was out of the question for us to go to Brighton. But I am perfectly 
sensible I ought to make no complaint, for 1 was absent from my home 
nearly five weeks, and spent my time in a manner which was peculiarly 
gratifying to me ; and I have the satisfaction of thinking I gave some 
pleasure to my friends, particularly to my father, who really seemed to 
enjoy my visit as highly as I did myself. \Te had a very delightful 
journey home, — the weather was uncommonly fine for the season, and 
we had the happiness to re-unite our family in perfect health and 
safety. We have added to it for the winter Eleanor Walker, one of my 


Milton friends; you will probably recollect having seen her a< our 
house. She is quite a handsome girl, and has besides greal modesty 

united with very good sense ; her manners are agreeable, and her do- 
mestic qualities highly valuable to me in my unfortunate situation 
about help. I get on quite tolerably now in this respect, by a course 
of exertion which my habits ami health prevent me from considering 
hardship, though I am conscious it would seem such to many of my 
friends. I have bad Mary Pickard for about ten days, and would gladly 
have detained her longer ; but the season was so advanced, she thought 
it necessary to put herself in the way of an opportunity home. I need 
not tell how glad I was to have her here, because you can form a cor- 
rect estimate of the pleasure it afforded me. She will tell you all about 
us, if you have any curiosity left which can lie satisfied short of coming 
to see us. I have fixed on next summer as the longest period to which 
I can defer your visit ; and recommend to you to make up your mind 
on the subject, and I have no doubt means can be devised for your 
transportation. When the time comes, we will form a plan to meet you 
half way, or something of the kind, as shall then appear expedient. I 
speak in season, that you may not take lodgings anywhere for the 

We got " Discipline" in Boston, and read it on our journey. I was 
very well pleased with it ; and since I came home we have read " Guy 
Manncring," which I was considerably interested in. I think it has a 
good deal of the fanciful description which characterizes the " Lady of 
the Lake." The poetical genius of Scott seems to have worn itself out 
by too frequent use. I hope he won't write any more very soon ; I 
think his Muse ought to be allowed to rest her weary limbs ami repair 
her tattered robes, or she will soon be quite unfit to appear in polite 
circles. But do not think I mean to glance at the character of Meg 
Merrilies, which I think decidedly the most original one in the whole 
work. But I don't like "Guy Manncring" as well as I do "Disci- 
pline," because when you have finished the narrative you have done 


with it ; no useful lesson is to be drawn from it, no good principle is 
advocated. And the other I think is really a rational and sensible 
hook; the author has not made religion intrusive at all, though it is 
introduced in such a way as to have a decided influence over the char- 
acter of the work. The conversion of the heroine has nothing miracu- 
lous or enthusiastic in it, and is such a one as any denomination of 
Christians might believe in. I think I have read few novels more 
calculated for usefulness than " Discipline," and this certainly is the 
first object when we consider how many there are who never read any 
thing but novels. The end of my paper and the clamor of my bairnies 
remind me that it is time to bid you good-hy. 

Your affectionate 

S. L. Howe. 

I did not see Eliza's children. I hope "the gift of God" is as prom- 
ising as the other. 

31rs. Howe to Miss Cabot. 

Worthixgton, January 1, 1816. 

My beloved Friend, — I feared I should have no letter from you to 
answer at this my annual period of writing, until the last mail, when I 
received one. I was truly rejoiced to hear from you once more, though 
sorry you could not give me a better account of your health. Your 
trials in this way have been long and severe ; God grant they may 
be terminated shortly ! Your health within two or three years has 
appeared so much better than it used to be, that I have had strong 
hopes of an entire restoration for you. Be it so or otherwise, the trial 
comes from Him who " does not willingly afflict," and we have only to 
bow submissive. 

The twenty-eighth year of my life has terminated ; a year crowned 
with the goodness of Almighty God in rich abundance ; a year which 
has robbed me of nothing valuable, and in which I have nothing to 


regret, save that it has not produced a greater accession of moral and 
intellectual worth. I hope another one— if God give me another — 
will witness greater improvement, even if it be marked by greater trial. 
I am perfectly sensible that this is partly in my own power, and that 
the effort must correspond with the wish ; but I know my own weak- 
ness too well to feel confident it will be made. I hope that I shall be 
better, but scarcely dare to hope I shall be happier ; because I know I 
have my full proportion of this world's comforts already in possession. 

My husband has left me this day to attend a court in Berkshire ; he 
is well and good. My children are as promising as most of their age, 
though there is nothing prodigious about them. My baby begins to 
talk, though on the whole rather backward about the matter ; he has 
never said "Mama " till the last week, and I assure you it is a most 
pleasant sound to my ears. I should be most happy to introduce you 
to my flock, though I presume their noise would affect your ears a 
good deal, if not your nerves. 

I am going to Northampton to-morrow, and expect to bring home 
Mary with me ; she has not yet been here, though I depend on her 
passing this month with me. You ask me how I like " Waverley." 
Very well ; I think it is a very interesting novel. I do not know where 
I got the impression that this and "Guy Mannering" were written by 
Scott — whether it was from report, or from their treating on his sub- 
jects. Do you mean, when you say they w r ere written by Erskine, tliat it 
was Thomas Erskine, who was Lord Chancellor, or some other of the 
name ? But whoever it was, I see another novel advertised by the 
same author, which I should like your opinion of when you have read 
it; for I really have no right to read a book that is not recommended, 
because I so seldom read any thing in these days, when hands and eyes 
(and I had almost said ears) find active employment. But I will not 
rob the beasts of their rights : my ears have not yet learned to move, 
though they quicken my fingers and my feet very often. If you could 
see the " garments I have made " since I came home, you would ac- 


knowledge I was another Dorcas. But I will not boast; I only offer 
this as an excuse that my literary intelligence is so very small as to 
afford scarce a single new idea. Mr. Howe lias indeed read a good 
deal to me out of Mather's " Magnalia," from which I have learned a 
new word expressive of an uncommon appetite. I mention it because 
I know it will be very gratifying to Sally and Susan, — " pamphagous." 
Happy New Year to all your family circle. May its cheerfulness 
continue though its numbers diminish : and may the prosperity and 
success of its absent members in some measure atone for the privation 
of their society. 

Your truly affectionate 

S. L. Howe. 

Mrs. Howe to Mis* Cabot. 

Worthington, April 3, 1816. 

My dear Friend, — 

Of myself I have but little to inform you. I am now more than ever 
a domestic animal. 1 have not left my own fireside for several months, 
except now and then for a short ride while the sleighing continued. 
However, it has had many comforts for which I am truly grateful; my 
own health lias been very comfortable, considering my circumstances, 
and our family enlivened for a considerable part of the winter by the 
society of my dear sister Mary. She lias now left us for a visit of a 
few weeks in the city of New York. 

My employments of late have been needle-work and a little reading. 
Mr. Howe has read some history to us this winter, and we have had 
several new poems. We were most pleased with " Roderic the Goth:" 
1 very much prefer it to any former poem of Southey's, and think it 
more calculated to lie generally interesting. Indeed, I doubt if the 
present age has produced any poem as likely to procure lasting fame 
to its author; though I am rather adventurous in this conclusion, as I 
have not heard if it is well or ill received by those who are connois- 


seurs in poetry. I only know that I have seldom read a poem of that 
length which preserved the interest so well. The "Queen's Wake" is 
an interesting thing to me, because I love the Scotch poetry from habit 
as well as from its own merit, it having been a favorite amusement of 
my youth ; and though I do not think the Scotch shepherd has the 
whole mantle of Burns, I think lie has caught a fragment of it to 
clothe his " Witch of Fife " in, and the whole production may be con- 
sidered as having a good portion of variety, ingenuity, and taste, espe- 
cially when we consider it as the production of an unlettered man. 
" Fair " is rather a humorous production, bordering on the ridic- 
ulous in my estimation ; though I cannot say I read the whole of it 
as I might, if I had been with Sally and Susan on the latter part of a 
stormy evening. I think the lengthened nose of the " bonny Charlie 
Melville's " mistress would be a good subject for Susan's pencil. But 
I dare say you have had enough of my literary speculation, and I am 
almost tired with writing. I must just tell you that our little boy 
grows a great talker, and exhibits great signs of "natural depravity." 

S. L. Howe. 

Mrs. Howe lo Miss Cabot. 

Worthixgtox, November 29, 1816. 

I never have an opportunity to write in the day time, without the 
interruption of the children ; and I do not like to break up our little 
circle in the evening with getting out the desk, as that is the time my 
husband appropriates to me. 

We have been engaged lately in reading travels in various countries. 
We have read Simonde's " Travels in England," and Eustace's " Tour 
in Italy;" and are now engaged in Ali Bey's "Travels in Africa, in- 
cluding a Pilgrimage to Mecca." It is more novel in point of fact 
though in other respects inferior to the others. I dare say you have 
read both Simonde and Eustace, as they have been published some 


months. The former I think remarkably interesting ; the latter is a 
very literary and somewhat pedantic work, but lias claims to the atten- 
tion of reading people as an entertaining and instructive book. 

I received your letter after I got home, and was very glad of it, 
although it was not very new. I had not an opportunity to tell yon 
how glad I was to see you look so much better than 1 expected ; and 
although we had not time for much communication, yet 1 have more 
happy impressions of your state and condition than if I had noi ^-cn 
you. Catherine says that you "make a very good appearance in a 
turban," which is high approbation for her to express. 

S. L. Howe. 

Mrs. How,: t<> Miss Cabot. 

WORTHINGTON, January 1, 1817. 

I never had less news for you than I now have; for, though we have 
had charming weather for a month past, the want of sleighing has pre- 
vented my stirring from the fireside farther than to the kitchen or bed- 
room, where I have gained no intelligence worthy of communication. 

I believe I informed you in my last that we had been travelling in 
various countries, and we pursued our course through Africa, Persia, 
and Abyssinia: since which, Mr. Howe has been engaged in Erskine's 
" Speeches." He is very much interested in them, and so are we in 
all those that are on subjects any way connected with our knowledge 
or experience. 

I am reading "Virgil" aloud to the girls for afternoon recreation. 
Perhaps it would be well to inform you that Emma Forbes is one of 
my girls now, as I think she had not arrived when I last wrote ; she 
has a great fund of cheerfulness and vivacity, and adds much to the 
pleasure of our domestic circle. 

I feel a sort of dread of reviewing the past year, lest the memory of 
what I have lost should make me ungrateful for what I possess ; and 
yet avoiding to mention the death of my child does not. exclude the 


thought: it mingles itself with almost every other. I hope I have 
made a right improvement of it; at least it has chastened human hopes 
and brought another and a better world nearer to me than any former 
event of my life. .......... 

January 16. You will observe by the former date of this, that it 
was commenced some time ago. I was interrupted at this stage of the 
business, and, though 1 have thought of it frequently since, the con- 
venient season for finishing it has not arrived until now. Indeed. 1 
have become so much a stranger to the use of my pen, that 1 wonder 
1 make out to write at all. I received your welcome letter the night 
before last, and hasten to thank you for it, and to express the pleasure 
1 feel that you are well enough to go abroad this winter; as I feared 
from not hearing, that you were quite sick. I have been at Northamp- 
ton lor a short visit, and found my sister's family recovered after a series 
of sicknesses which lasted nearly two months, and they are now pre- 
paring for a visit at Milton and Boston; so that I dare say you will see 
her soon. Mary has been in Boston but little since she went from here 
in the summer : she goes to stay, and 1 have no doubt she will call and 
see you. As to E., she goes by momentary impulses, not clock-work; 
you will see her when the spirit moves that way. I have finished 
'• Virgil," and am now engaged in Bisset's " Life of Burke ; " there is 

a g I deal of repetition in it, but some things quite interesting, and 

as it is nothing new I dare say you have read it long since. 

As to my little boy, he improves in knowledge daily ; I do not know 
that he does in conduct, my faculty not being very great, and his tem- 
per rather turbulent ; but 1 hope he may become a good man. It is 
difficult to determine what his character may be ; I hope we shall be 
careful to " plant and water." and wait the increase in patience and 
hope. Remember me affectionately to all the family. Mr. EL joins in 
regard with your friend, 

S. L. Howe. 


Mrs. Howe to Miss Cabot. 

Worthington, January 1. 1818. 

Negligent as I am about writing, I will not give up greeting you on 
the new year, and bidding farewell to the one that is past. I can 
truly say to my Heavenly Father, "Thou crownest the year with 
Thy goodness" to Thy unworthy servant. 1 have now lived thirty 
years in the possession of a thousand undeserved blessings, which it is 
the study of my whole life to enjoy with moderation, and to resign 
with submission. 1 believe I have made some progress, though it 
is less than 1 desire. 

1 have my dear little daughter more than 1 had last year. She is 

very well and very g I, and has now learned to sit on the floor and 

play with keys, &c, a few minutes at a time. 1 hope that her life will 
be spared as a blessing to her family, and a comfort to the old age of 
her parents. My family are all in health. 

January 7. I had written so much, and was obliged to relinquish 
the pen by some indispensable call, and went the next day to Deerfield, 
on a very interesting occasion. The church in this town being strictly 
Calvinistic in its profession, we have never united ourselves with it, 
but sought admission to the sacred table at a distance from home, and 
were received. We passed last Sunday there, and had our infant 
baptized. I believe it to be the duty of every Christian parent to dedi- 
cate their little ones to their Maker; and it was a very pleasing and 
interesting one to us. Our journey was more fatiguing than if we 
could have gone in a sleigh, but the weather was comfortable, and we 
have no reason to regret it. We found our friends there and at North- 
ampton well and happy. Catherine is still at X., but will come here 

I am looking in the newspaper every time it comes, to see S.'s mar- 
riage. I know if will be a trial of feeling to you all, though much less 
so than if she were to remove from you. As it is. you will see and 


hear from her daily; and a new establishment with which you are 
connected will afford you new objects of interest. She will be placed 
in a situation where many will take a strong interest in her fur the 
sake nf their minister, and will depend much on her example. 1 
pi- God she may have added strength and energy, with additional 
responsibility; and that she may be enabled to fulfil all the duties of 
her new situation in such a manner as to make her happy here and 
hereafter ; ami I have no doubt she will. Remcmhcr me to her must 
affectionately, and likewise to all your family. My engagements and 
employments are much what they have been in years past. J take care 
of my children and sew, and Mi-. Howe reads to me in the evening. 
We have lately been reading the article France, in the " Encyclope'die" 
and the periodical publications of the day, of which we see four or five 
of the most distinguished. You will never know exactly how we gel 
on till you come among us, and I hope you will not defer it longer 
than the spring. 

Mrs. Huwe to Miss C<tl><>t. 

Worthington, April 20, 1818. 
Another spring has found us and ours in unusual health ; my hus- 
band has never been as well at this season since I have known him, 
although he has passed a winter of hard study and regular application 
to business, with scarce any remission. As to myself, I go on in the 
old way ; to nurse and tend Mary takes much of my time, and she re- 
pays my labor with progressive intelligence. The others keep their 
course, sometimes rejoicing, and sometimes mourning; at any rate, 
" clamorous, whether pleased or pained," — so that we have no still 
life here, though the mud has been too deep for many weeks for us 
to go abroad or have company. Catherine has been with me for ten 
weeks, but has gone now. I feel her loss a good deal ; she read to me while 
she was here, — some in books I had read before, and some new ones. 


Miss Hamilton's " Popular Essays " — a book I enjoyed much, although 
there is some repetition in it — has sterling merit, and, like the spell- 
ing-books, •■ is adapted to the meanest capacities," although it treats of 
the human heart and mind. We have lately been reading Paley's 
" Moral Philosophy," and I am much satisfied with it as a clear and 
enlightened view of human duty drawn from the principles of re- 
ligion and reason. I am daily expecting to get " Rob Roy," with some 
interest, as the former productions of this author have excited more of 
the pleasure I used to have in fictitious works than any other 1 have 
read these ten years, — not even .Miss Edgeworth's excepted, — which 
may he a want, of judgment in me, but surely not a want of taste. I 
should really like to tell you some news, hut, alas! I must draw on 
my imagination if 1 did. I know of no event of moment since I last 
wrote, except that I have worked a hearth-rug. and we have killed a 
remarkable large ox, — big enough to put in the newspaper if we had 
felt inclined. 

Our local topics, being altogether of the rural and domestic cast, make 
no figure al all on paper. 

1 hope your brothers have arrived ere this, and that you will lie able 
to accomplish your intended journey, and stop here and stay with me 
a long time. You shall have a pleasant, cool chamber, with an orchard 
to look out into, where you can read and write and think when you 
want to, and us to talk to and hear, when that seemeth good to you ; 
and. moreover, you can walk and ride out some, and withal have the 
glorious privilege (that we are all so fond of) of doing as you please. 
These are all the inducements I have to offer, save that cordial and 
affectionate welcome you can never doubt from me in any situation. 
My love to Susan ; tell her the pure air of our hills would do her good, 
ami 1 should much like a visit from Iter. 

Anne Lyman has gone to Brush Hill. I hope you will see Iter, hut 
think it doubtful, if you are in the country ; for she went in the stage, 
and has no independent conveyance from place to place. If you could 


ride over ami see them, they would all be very glad to see you. You 
must write me again as soon as you have leisure, and tell me how you 
are, and how Susan is, and what you do Tor a minister. The loss of 
Mr. Thacher must be great ; he was " weaned from earth " by a course 
of suffering, and, I have no doubt, experiences the joys of a purified 
spirit. Reasoning upon death in a Christian manner, and experiencing 
it so frequently among our immediate acquaintance, brings it home so 
familiarly as to diminish the natural dread of it very much, — at least, 
this is its effect on me. It seems as if every acquaintance who passed 
before me smoothed "the path to immortality," and rendered con- 
tinuance here less desirable ; and yet I have a great deal to love ami 
to live for here, and many that I could not relinquish with that filial 
submission which we should all have to the decrees of our Eeavenly 
Parent, — which is a principle highly capable of cultivation, if we 
keej) the providence of Almighty God constantly in view, and remem- 
ber that in the heavenly heritage "there is no more pain, neither 
sorrow nor crying." 

Our family are all well, Mr. Howe uncommonly so ; and we have a 
great deal to lie thankful for, in the way of domestic comfort and 
accommodation. More money might add to elegance and the pleasures 
of taste, but I do not know that it would much to convenience and real 
enjoyment. I have always felt rather inclined to complain of the cold- 
ness and backwardness of this climate, but the present season is 
unusually luxuriant. I have roses and strawberries in abundance. I 
wish you were here to have some of them ; but the bounty of Nature is 
diffused everywhere, and you are in the midst of it, and in the way of 
your duty likewise. 

Remember me to your family, and believe me ever yours most 


S. L. Howe. 


MY mother's letters to my cousin, Emma Forbes, and to my 
cousin, Abby Lyman, form the only consecutive account I 
have of her life in Northampton, from the year 181.3 to the year 1840. 
In the course of this period, my cousin Abby married Mr. William 
Greene, of Cincinnati, — a relative of General Greene of Revolution- 
ary fame, and a gentleman for whom my mother had a high esteem. 

How little did they dream that any of their letters would be pre- 
served beyond the immediate hour! And yet these careless, unstudied 
missives possess a value for descendants which they could not have for 
a wider public. To both these young persons she always wrote rather 
in the tone of a Mentor; and it is amusing to hear her, long before 
she reached the age of thirty, speaking of "My old heart;"' or. " My 
old age."' But, perhaps, the fact of taking the position of wife to a 
man of my father's age and character, and of guide to so many young 
persons, while still young herself, gave her that constant feeling of care 
ami responsibility that makes one feel old in some ways. 

The two events of her life which gave special cause for gratitude, 
during the years in which these letters were written, were the birth of 
her daughter, Anne Jean, in July, 1815, and of her second son, Ed- 
ward Hutchinson Robbins, February, 1819. Anne Jean was baptized 
with her mother's name ; but as she grew up she preferred to spell her 
name Annie, and all her family and friends in addressing her dropped 
the Jean, except her mother, to whom the whole name was dear from 
association; and who had. through life, the habit of lengthening, 
rather than shortening, names. Edward was baptized with the name 
of his maternal grandfather. 


Mr*. Lyman to Mix* Forbes. 

December 7 [1815]. 

My dear Emma, — Although I know one of my letters resembles one 
of Mr. Williams's sermons in point of interest and ingenuity, and they 
are, of course, very tedious to the person who receives them, still, I, like 
him, continue to write for pay ; that is, that I may earn an answer, 
for I have done with the hope of communicating pleasure. But I know 
that young people like yourself have a great many resources, which 
come to them in the shape of various excitements. Indeed, youth is of 
itself a pleasure ; and I know that but a small part of yours can depend 
on receiving letters; and that makes one of the greatest differences 
bet ween you and me. For almost all the happiness I derive from 
society is through the medium of letters from my friends, both as they 
serve for an unequivocal testimony of their continued regard, and as a 
relation of those facts which constitute their happiness or misery 
awakens in my mind sentiments of sympathy which rekindles and 
renews that affection for them which time is apt to deaden, unless 
occasionally excited by that kind of communion. And nothing is so 
acceptable and heart-satisfying to a feeling mind as the affections of 
others ; to me it is the richest enjoyment. But is it not strange that 
we do so little to procure it ! Did not Nekcyah give too true an ac- 
count of domestic life, when she represented the family compact as 
broken by mutual jealousies and consequent strife, — such as annihilate 
the better affections of the human heart? The great difficulty, 1 
believe, is that, though we want the affections of our natural friends, 
we are not willing to pay the price equivalent to the attainment of 
them: we are not patient with their infirmities, nor self-denying in 
accommodation to their convenience ; and whilst we allow selfishness 
to prevail over every disinterested sentiment, we must ahide by the 

I suppose Catherine has given you an account of all the bustle and 


confusion we have lived in till within the last fortnight, which has 

been spent in a monotonous calm. C went to Springfield with 

Dwight; I believe she enjoyed it, but 1 don't know, not having heard 
her say much about it. She is quite engaged about learning French ; 
she reads with Mary and Jane several chapters every day, and, I think, 
will get quite an insight into the grammar shortly ; and then you and 
she will be able to read together occasionally. 

I wish, when you write to me again, you would tell me a little about 

your neighbor, Mrs. . I have a notion she'squeer : though I have 

always heard she was an accomplished lady. And I wish to know how 
you like your minister, how they do at Inches Hall, <fcc. By-the-way, 

have you heard how much mischief has been making by 

troubling herself to run down that little trifling , and giving rne as 

an authority to confirm all she chose to say ? I shall deny every 
charge ; for I should never think of spending time to scandalize or 
make any remarks, except in a very casual way, of such a light piece 

as she is. Mrs. has got to investigate whether the things 

said came from me ; but he says but little about it, for he knows it 

ain't best, all things considered, and only calls hard names; so 

that I think she lost as much as she gained by coming to X. 

You don't know how delighted I was to see James, and how much I 
was pleased with him; I hope I shall see him again before he goes, 
and I think I shall. I hope he will be able to settle in this country 
before my eyes oecoine too far dimmed by age to behold him. Give 
my love to your father and mother, and the children. 

Yours, with sincere affection, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 


Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

August 17 [1815 or 1816]. 

My dear Emma, — I was sitting at the writing-desk at seven o'clock 
this morning, with all my writing materials about me, though for a very 
different purpose than writing to you, when 1 received your Letter by 
Dr. Channing. So I thought I would continue my employment, and 
make one of my unprofitable communications to you in answer to your 
very interesting one. I was sorry to find that Dr. Channing had altered 
his first determination of spending a day in Northampton, and con- 
cluded to go on as far as Pittsfield ; for it would have given me great 
pleasure to have had them to spend the day with me, and to have done 
all the walking about which Mrs. Channing's health would have ad- 
mitted of. They arrived here in the last evening, and of course I did 
not hear of it until this morning, or should have called ; but Mr. Ly- 
man saw Dr. C. 

I conclude Boston is full by this time, for there has been an incessant 
driving of loaded carriages through the town towards Boston ever since 
I returned, and all the taverns are so uncomfortably full that I have 
had thoughts of putting up a sign myself. But I should not like to 
accommodate any except such agreeable people as Dr. Channing and 
his wife. 

Since my return, I have had two very agreeable tours to Springfield 
and Deerfield, and had a very agreeable visit from a Mr. Bowie and 

If you can communicate any thing favorable in regard to Mr. , 

and by that means do away the unfavorable impression I now entertain 
of him (which to be sure I have received from students), I wish you 
would. I am glad to find you had so much to entertain and please you 
at Brookline. " There's nothing like the feast of reason for entertain- 
ment and seasoning to our enjoyment ; " and that I presume you had 
in abundance. I beg you will give me an account of your Aunt J.'s 


party. I am sure I don't know where they coulil put two hundred 
people, unless it was out of doors ; for I should not think the two rooms 
would hold more than a hundred comfortably of a warm evening. But 
country people entertain very limited notions of crowding and jamming. 

I suppose K. and you have been expecting to hear of the death of 

, and don't know but 1 shall surprise K. by telling her that it lias 

come out, now that she is on her death-bed, that she is engaged to ; 

so you see singing and reading meetings are not entirely fruitless of 
consequences. Everybody is marrying here. D. W. to Miss W., 

Mr. to somebody as insignificant as himself, and several others 

equally uninteresting to you. 

Do not be surprised at the want of sense and connection in this 
letter, for the children have been making as much noise as three could 
possibly; for I have little Sam in addition to my own. and 'tis washing 
day, so I must bear it, for nobody else can have them. E. and S. are 
now on a visit to Springfield and Westfield. 

This day is the commencement of court-week, which brings with it 
so much confusion and work that I do not again expect to take my pen. 

Tell K. I have received my carpet and paper, and am much pleased 
with her prompt attention to my business. 

Yours with much love for all your family ; and excuse all the inac- 
curacies of this hurried epistle. 

A. J. Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Eleanor Walker. 

My dear Eleanor, — Sam and Jane spent an hour with your sisters 
in Brookficld, and found them very well, happy, and handsome. I 
hope, notwithstanding the felicity to be found in Worthington, that 
you and Emma will come in and be here at the next ball, whether I 
am here or not. I will make some provision for you to get in, as it is 
an affair that our young gentlemen have very much at heart ; ami as 


to my going to Boston, I do not allow myself to think much about it. 
Mrs. Burt has very poor health, and has left me for a vacation : and I 
do not see my way clear to do any thing but stay at home and take 
care of my family. But if there should be any turn in my fortunes to 
enable me to leave the children easily, I may go still. Mamma wrote 
me begging that I would bring Joe, which I would do if it were not 
that I hear the whooping-cough prevails, which I think a sufficient 
objection. Anne Jean is well, except her ear, which continues to 

trouble her. 

Yours with much love, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Li/man to Miss Forbes, at Worthington. 

January 22 [1817]. 
My dear Emma, — I should have written the last time the stage 
went out, but thought then to have seen Worthington before this time ; 
but have been disappointed. Indeed, if I were to follow the dictates of 
my feelings, I should go in the stage to-day, but the want of Mrs. Burt 
or her substitute, Loisa, must prevent, for I cannot feel confidence 
enough in Sally to leave Anne Jean entirely to her care ; and now 
Mary and Jane go to the singing-school, they do not get home till she 
goes to bed at night. Besides which, I find that three men in a family 
create some care, if not trouble, which makes my presence absolutely 
necessary. I never felt so tied before. I cannot recollect that I have 
made but two calls and one visit since you left me. I have watched 
one night with Mrs. Snow, who is exceedingly low ; and I find watch- 
ing agrees with me so well that I shall try it again in a night or two 
if she should live to want it, — but I sincerely hope she will not, for 
her bones have come through, which makes it very difficult to do any 
thing for her. I know of nothing more humiliating to human pride 
than to witness this total prostration of the corporeal faculties, which 


the infirmities of our nature render us all equally liable to. Loisa has 
been with her Aunt the last fortnight almost all the time, and appears 
to be much affected by her situation. 

You asked me in one of your letters about French. My only exer- 
cise now is hearing Mary conjugate a verb every day, and assisting her 
in translating a couple of pages in "Mother Goose.'* I spent one week 
in working a breadth of ruffle which washed almost all to pieces as 
soon as it was done ; which I regretted exceedingly, for it proved me a 
fool for working on such poor muslin. 

1 have not been able to send the shirts; it is difficult to get anybody 
to take so large a bundle. But your letters went by a Boston man, and 
the ruffles; but Aunty W.'s stocking I believe must wait till the shirts 
go, which will be in a week, by Mr. T. Swan, who will be a very safe 
person to send them by. I have not heard from below since .lane 
came. I should be glad if you have any intelligence if you would com- 
municate it. I am no nearer going to Boston than I was a month ago, 
that I know of. I do not think Mr. Howe will find it safe to take any 
of his projected journeys very soon, and I hope he and Sally will avail 
themselves of every possible opportunity to come to N., together with 
Eleanor and yourself. Tell E. that I should have sent for you both if 
you had not refused to go to the ball, which is to-night; and Sam and 
Dwight are greatly disappointed. The stage is at the door. 
Yours with love to all. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

June 1, 1817. 
My dear Emma, — We were very sorry that Eliza could not be per- 
mitted to remain longer with us, as it was the first time she was 
ever disposed to make us a visit. She came back from Worthington 
wonderfully pleased with Northampton, and with us and our children ; 
and went so far as to call Joseph a very good boy, and Annie the 


loveliest child that ever was seen, and bestowed great encomiums on 
Mary and Jane; and I think, if she had stayed, we should have suc- 
ceeded in making her tolerably happy during the summer. Oh, Emma, 
I wish you were here now! The country never looked more charming, 
the verdure was never more perfect, and I could not help feeling a 
desire that you, and, indeed, everybody else that sees this place at all, 
should see it in its most beautiful state. But, after all, the beauties of 
Milton Hill far outvie any thing the interior can boast; yet they are 
both perfect of their kind. 

The short visit I had from Mr. and Mrs. Inches and sisters did me 
some good, though I could not help lamenting that it was so short ; 
for it did not give me an opportunity of proving to them how glad I 
was to see them. Owing to the painting inside the house and out, we 
were not quite in our usual order; but we did not mind that, and, I 
dare say, it did not annoy them. I am expecting Mr. and Mrs. Barnard 
with the boys from Greenfield to-morrow ; they will go from here to 
New York, and from there to Providence by water, and, I suppose, 
will reach Boston about the tenth of this month. 

M. D. has been spending some time with me, and is still here. B. C. 
has recovered so that she rides out. Things in general here remain in 
statu quo. Except Sunday reading, I have attended to nothing since 
you left here but Miss Hamilton's " Popular Essays," and the last num- 
ber of the "North American Review," — the latter of which I have 
not taste to admire or to feel improved by. Miss Hamilton's last work 
I do not see a fault in, neither as it regards religion, morality, or 
perspicuity of style. I hope you will read it, though I think it par- 
ticularly designed for mothers ; still, it will be instructive to all. It 
appears to me to be a sequel to her " Essays on Education ; " or, 
rather, an amplification of the same ideas she has advanced there. 
The human mind, with all its original qualities and capabilities, 
together with its necessities, is the field she has chosen to labor in (in 
the abstract). She has analyzed it with the most minute discrimina- 


tion of its different qualities, ami their bearing on one another. I 
think it requires a more philosophical head than mine to enjoy it very 
much, though it is written in such a style that even I could understand 
with perfect ease. 

We have had several parties lately on M. D.'s account, and I have 
felt obliged to go, though you know with how much reluctance I have 
made the sacrifice, — spending my time with people whom I am never 
with, without thinking, as Dean Swift did, — 

'• Those with whom I now converse 
Without a tear could tend my hearse ; " 

and you know that no pleasurable intercourse can exist with such a 
conviction. I wish, if you get it, you would read a printed sermon of 
Dr. Bancroft's on the fourth commandment, which, though it has been 
most severely reviewed in the " Panoplist," 1 think very excellent. 
Perhaps you saw it when you were in Worcester. 

Mary and Jane are getting along very fast on the piano, and Betsy 
Sumner behaves witli great propriety ; is delighted with the notice she 
receives, and admires Northampton, and does not trouble me at all; 
but. 1 think, as she does not have but five scholars, she will have to 
leave us at the end of the quarter. She is really a very excellent in- 
structor, and, I think, can advance a child in one quarter as much as 
one of the celebrated instructors would in six months, because she 
pays a great deal more attention to them than any master that I have 

Yours, with much love to all the family, 

A. J. Lyman. 

My dear Emma, — I wish you would get such a pair of kid gloves as 
you like, on my account, at Miss Bent's, in exchange for a pair that 
you left here, that are of great use to me. 


Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Friday Mousing [1817 or 1818], 
My deab Emma, — I am very much " drove for time" (as country- 
folks say), and, therefore, can give you but a general account of the 
times. Christina dishing alighted at my door last Monday, on her 
way to Deerfield ; but as the northern stage had gone out, she stayed 
with me till this morning, — which I was very glad of, as she had it in 
her power to give me an account of Hingham and a number of my 
other friends ; and she made me a white silk gown, which Mr. Lyman 
bought for me at Hartford. I should judge, from your letter, that you 
had not heard that our dear Inches friends have lost another child. 
Little Maryann died of the whooping-cough last Saturday morning. 
Mary, I dare say, has written the particulars before this time. Sam 
returned with Jane in the last stage ; Jane looks finely, and, I think, is 
much improved in every respect, as well as Sam, — who never appeared 
so interesting and agreeable as lie now does, nor so much improved in 
knowledge and good principles as well as manners. D wight also is 
with us, who makes up by his kind and polite attentions for the want 
of improvement which Sam is possessed of. We have had a New Year's 
ball ; our young gentlemen attended, and Miss dishing. We have got 
a very good singing-school, and the girls go, with great prospects of 
success in learning that art. 

dlrs. Lyman to Miss Abby B. Lyman. 

Noktiiamptox, March 4, ISIS. 
My dear Abby, — After a most fatiguing tour which occupied the 
whole of three days, your Uncle arrived last night ; but he is so happy 
and so grateful for having escaped the various perils he was exposed 
to, that he does not say a word of indisposition. You can hardly con- 
ceive of the ravages made on every little stream by the last sudden 
freshet ; all bridges are swept away in every direction, except our new 


one, and it is not expected that that will be able to withstand the 
mighty torrents of ice that are sailing down the river. Your Uncle 
went more than forty miles out of his way, that he might be able to find 
bridges to cross Ware River and Swift River, and then had to go over 
them in a most hazardous condition. It was very fortunate fur Miss 
Henshaw that she did not attempt to come. I was highly gratified by 
your letter, my dear Abby ; both your observations and reflections on 
what has occurred to you are such as I could wish them to be, and 
prove to me that you arc not one of those " who have eyes and sec not, 
cars and hear not ; " but that you are possessed of all the faculties 
your Heavenly Father endowed you with, and arc disposed to apply 
them to their uses. The end of education is to learn a just appropria- 
tion of our various talents, and their value; the effect of which will be, 
love to God, and consequent good-will to men, — such as will lead us to 
seek our own happiness in that of others, and to feel our great respon- 
sibility to the Author of all good. 

I suppose it is unnecessary, Abby, for me to tell you how you should 
seek your happiness in that of others, for by a very natural deduction 
you will make the practical inference I intended to convey. But as it 
is my habit to give " rule upon rule." and " precept upon precept," I 
shall again go into the detail of particulars. You are now with Mr. 
and Mrs. W. : think then every morning in what way you can lie most 
instrumental in promoting their comfort, and what you can do to make 
yourself most acceptable to them in every particular, for that is the 
only way you have of proving the gratitude I am sure you must feel for 
the real friendship they have shown you. According to my experience, 
there is but little of it in the world, and whenever 1 see it I view it as 
the most exalted quality human nature is susceptible of (I mean of an 
earthly cast) ; and 1 feci that von arc particularly blessed in having 
friends whose precept and example are so much calculated for your 
improvement, and trust that it will not lie lost on you. But lest you 
should think I mean to write you a sermon I will cease to advise you. 


ami toll you what is going on, thai is, in my own family; for 1 have had 
no more to do with the world since you left me, than if 1 had been on 
an insulated rock in the midst of the wide ocean. The first week after 
you went away I was entirely confined to my chamber, and almost to 
my bed, by an inflamed sore throat; after which, as 1 had nothing in 
particular to do, 1 thought 1 would read Eustace's " Classical Tour 
through Italy," and assure you I have felt the want of my reader very 
much, for you know 1 like assistance as well as participation in almost 
every thing 1 do: but as I could have neither your Uncle, Katy, nor 
yourself, I got Miss Bancroft to read evenings, which she was perfectly 
willing to do, though she had read it before. I don't know of any 
thing I have ever read that has delighted me so much. Pie gives an 
accurate description of every place of any consequence at all in Italy ; 
of all its monuments and relics of whatever kind ; but the pleasure of 
reading it is a little diminished by the frequent recurrence of Italian 
quotations, which if I could read them would give a still higher zest to 
the enjoyment I already experienced. 

I hear your father is moving to Westfield, and that they are all well 
at Norwich. 

Your very affectionate aunt, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

P. S. — Anne Jean told me the other day, " I know my Cousin Abby 
loves me, because she's good." I have a great deal of her society now, 
for she does not go to school, in consequence of not being well. 

Mrs. Howe to Jliss Forbes. 

TVorthixgton, January 20, ISIS. 
My dear Emma, — I think it 's time I answered a letter dated August 
last, Milton Hill, 

" Where onee my careless childhood strayed ; " 


but it is not negligence nor forget fulness that has kept me thus in ar- 
rears, but occupation, — occupation of the arms more than of the mind, 
— though there issomething in this tending babies that does not brighten 
the ideas much ; and the spirit and elegance with which I formerly 
composed are somewhat evaporated, 1 am willing to confess. " Never- 
(//,•/< xx." ■ the dregs shall be poured out, rather than my conscience 
shall suffer a letter to go entirely unanswered. A thousand things 
happen to remind us of last winter ; not a day passes, but we repeat 
something you said or did. The scene here is unchanged, except we 
have a baby; which occupies me, and obliges Eleanor to keep her 
shoulder to the wheel rather more constantly than before. Cut Cathe- 
rine has come now to help turn, and we get on much as we used to ; 
only we have W. G. to keep us in motion, for he is a moving character. 
Singing is the fashion here this winter. Even C. is inspired, and now 
sits with a singing-book in hand; and I do not doubt will fie able to fa, 
so, la, if she can do it without being seen or heard. I wish you were 
here, and I do not doubt you would be famous. Susan is digging 
through the Latin verbs, and finds it very heavy work ; but literally 
does some every day, and will parse by spring, I dare say. 

You must commence a series of letters to the mountains, to enliven 
us with the Milton news, and we will drop you a line whenever we 
can. E. is writing to you, I believe, and will give an account of her- 
self. Mr. Howe and I have made our long-contemplated visit at Deer- 
field. We found our friends there well, except Mrs. L\, who is literally 
a moving skeleton. F. A. has a baby, and wears a cap, and looks 
almost as matronly as I do, — which is saying a great deal, for I feel 
as if I had turned a sharp corner, now that 1 am over thirty, and as 
if 1 must take heed to my ways. The farther we ascend the hill of life, 
the more duties are prescribed to us: happy those who accumulate 
proportionate industry ami patience/ May these be yours ; they are 

* Madame de Stael. 


better gifts than fortune, fame, or beauty. May yon be happy in the 
enjoyment of all earthly, but more especially all heavenly, comforts ; 
may you know that peace which passeth all understanding here and 

Remember me to your mother and the children, and write soon to 
your truly affectionate friend and cousin, 

S. L Howe. 

Mrs. Howe to 3Iiss Forbes. 

Wortiiington, June 15, 1818. 

My dear Emma, — A great while ago I had a letter from you, and I 
know it is time I thanked you for it. C. has carried you all the 
intelligence from these parts, and I would not write by her on that 
account ; for I know she can talk to you, though she does not con- 
descend to be very liberal of her descriptive talents. Old General 
Lincoln told Mr. Lovel that he must have a very large stock of dis- 
cretion on hand, for he never knew him to make use of any : on that 
plan C. must have a fund of anecdote and remark which you and I can 
hardly conceive of, who have lived every day from hand to mouth, and 
expended each acquisition as sooh as it was obtained. To return to 
my subject : she undoubtedly told you that we, Worthingtonians, were 
very well and very busy, as is usual with us. Eleanor is making 
butter, &c, and I am tending baby, &c, — though she now has an 
elegant red and green wagon that relieves my weary arms occasion- 
ally ; and I have hopes will walk erect one of these days, though she 
now goes upon all-fours very nimbly, though not very conveniently. ■ 

I have read " Rob Roy." It does not come near " Old Mortality ; " 
and yet I like the strange girl, Die ; but I hope no living heroine will 
attempt to imitate her, for it would not do second-hand at all. 1 have 
read Paley's " Moral Philosophy" this spring ; it is a charming book, 
and I hope you will read it the first opportunity. We have nothing 
new but the periodical publications. The " New York Review " is mere 


patch-work, made up of little shreds and parings of other things ; the 
"Quarterly" is horribly bigoted about everything, and the Scotch 
reviewers use a scythe and sickle all the time. I think 1 like the spirit 
of the "North American" best of all (you see I have a Yankee heart). 
I do not compare its talents with the transatlantic books : I know the 
old trees have deep roots and high branches, but their flowers and fruit 
are not always sweetest. 

I was just as old as you are now, the season I left Milton Hill, — in 
my seventeenth year. 1 can never forget the last summer I passed 
there. 1 was then a great deal with Eliza Cabot : we used to walk very 
frequently up and down on the bank opposite your house (besides 
many other walks) ; and I can almost see the full moon as it used to 
rise out of the ocean. 1 have never been in Milton at this pride of the 
\ T ear for five summers'; but your sun shines on the grave of my ances- 
tors, and gilds the spire where I first learned to worship God. 

" The last ray of feeling and life must depart, 

Ere the bloom of those valley-* em fade from my heart." 

President Kirkland, in his charming character of Mr. Thacher, says: 
"There is a path to immortality from every region." How consoling 
the idea, when time and accident has removed us from the scenes ren- 
dered dear by a thousand interesting associations! I look around me, and 
behold every thing verdant and luxuriant, and own that this is a very 
pleasant place. 1 wish you could come here af this season, and see my 
great snowballs, and how nicely my rhubarb flourishes, and eat some ot 
the pies. A charming specimen of the bathos! I am looking for the 
Misses Cabot to-morrow or next day; tint they will not stay long, 
which disappoints me some, as 1 had hoped E. would make something 
of a visit when she actually arrived after so long a time. 

Now have charily, Emma, and write me a long letter soon, and tell 
me how everybody behaves ; as I really am afraid 1 shall forget how 
myself, if I have not somebody to put me in mind: it's only once a 


year I go anywhere but to N , and I don'1 want to behave as they 

do, that is the generality of them, — because they have no social feel- 
ing, no regard for each other, and no pursuits in common; "among 
uneqnals, what society!" I cannot find so much fault as this even with 
my unlettered neighbors; they have children, and cows, wool, and 
flax, — so have I ; these and the gardens and the weather make harm- 
less subjects of conversation when we meet, and if we part without 
having communicated or received information, we part without envy 
and ill-will. 

My paper warns me, and I bid you farewell. Remember me to your 
parents, and greet friends for me if you should sec any of mine sim.ii. 
I take it for granted I have a great many, you see. 
Yours truly, 

Sarah L. Howe. 

In a letter to Cousin Emma, dated August 10, is an allusion to the 
departure of " Louisa " to the valley of Wyoming. The story of Louisa 
is this: The tavern nearest our house, and afterwards known as War- 
ner's Tavern, was kept for a time by a man anil his wife who had only 
one child, a little girl. About the year 1818, both were attacked with 
fever, and died within a few days of each other. It seemed only a sim- 
ple and natural act for my mother to walk into the deserted house, 
and take home the little Louisa to her own well-filled nursery. How 
long she remained before relatives were found to claim her, I do not 
know; but am under the impression it was more than a year. I never 
should have known any thing about it, but for the following circum- 
stance : When I was more than twenty years old, I sat one day near 
the window (my father and mother being out), when an old-fashioned 
chaise stopped at the door, and a pale and thin lady accompanied by 
her husband, a Presbyterian minister, alighted from it. She intro- 
duced herself as Mrs. F., and asked if Judge and Mrs. Lyman were at 
home. I told her they were out, but invited her to stop, as they would 


return in an hour. So they came into the house. When my mother 
came home, she did not at once recognize her. " Do you not remem- 
ber Louisa? " said the lady. A warm embrace was the only answer. 
And then followed a delightful evening ; Louisa wishing to revisit every 
room in the house, and show them all to her husband, and call up a 
bundled memories of her childhood. She told my mother of all the 
years since they parted ; of her marriage ; of the births and deaths of 
children : and her own failing health. And how, when her husband 
had wished to take her a journey, from far away Pennsylvania, she had 
begged him to bring her to see the graves of her parents, and the home 
of the kind people who had received her. when her young heart was so 
sad, and where she had been so happy. So they had come; and after 
staying two days, they left us, cheered and warmed with the heartfelt 
pleasure both my father and mother felt in this meeting, which was the 
last on earth. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

August 10 [1818?]. 

My dear Emma, — I had the pleasure to hear, by mamma's letter, 
that you had a little sister, and that your mother was nicely. Every 
increase of our earthly ties brings with it new duties, and I dare say 
the circumstance has occupied much of your time and your reflections 
since it occurred. 

It would be difficult to define what has occupied my time for the last 
three months. I have been engrossed by such an endless variety, and 
the succession has been too rapid for me to have retained any distinct 
impression as to what has predominated. I do not know how profita- 
ble it may have been to me, but I am sure I have passed as pleasant a 
summer (thus far) as I ever recollect to have done in my life ; I have 
seen a great many friends and acquaintance that it gives me pleasure 
to see, and none that are disagreeable to me. It is unnecessary for 


me to say that I am surrounded by an uncommon share of domestic 
comforts Mini but few trials ; for you have been here and have seen, 
ami know for yourself all about it. But lliis I can say truly, thai I try 
to lie sensible of the blessings that have been bestowed on me, to be 
grateful for them, and to enjoy them. 

I have read " The Tales of My Landlord," and am much pl< ased 
with it, and can subscribe to all the "North American Review" 
has said of it, except that it is equal to " Guy Mannering :" and that I 
cannot agree to. The Black Dwarf is too much like the other ex- 
traordinary characters of the same author to bear the stamp of original- 
ity, which constitutes one of the greatest charms of Guy ; and the 
case is the same in regard to Balfour, and Old Mortality. Uut 
still I think it delightful, because it gives such an interesting account 
of the sufferings produced by the religious contentions of the high 
revolutionary times of which it treats, which corresponds perfectly to 
the historical accounts we have read; and I think Calvinistical cant is 
exceedingly well burlesqued in it. The French ardor has not subsided 
at all ; the children hardly speak in any other language ; even Joseph 
has caught the spirit, and is to go to Miss Clark next quarter, and 
study "Le Syllabaire Frauc,ais." You would be surprised to hear how 
well he reads and spells English. 

Louisa left us a fortnight ago. I have not heard from her yet, but 
hope soon to learn that she has reached the Valley of Wyoming in 
safety ; though I am sure her enjoyment will not be heightened by any 
of those poetical recollections which might accompany some of the dear 
lovers of Campbell. We had a very affecting parting. L. was entirely 
overcome by the idea of leaving forever the scene of her nativity, and 
appeared to feel all that gratitude could inspire towards us all. 

I wish I could run in and see what you are doing in Milton Hill. 
Dwight had a very agreeable tour to Quebec, and looks a great deal 
better than when he went away. His health, I think, is so far con- 


firmed that there would be no hazard in his going from home to settle, 
if it were considered expedient : but nothing is decided with regard to 
him at present. 

1 am hoping that C. will come up with S. : but am a little afraid 
Sally's going down will stand in the way of it. I should have gone to 

Worthington with to-morrow : but Miss wished to go, and 1 

could not help thinking that it would he more agreeable to to go 

with her (as it is the object of her life to give pleasure to gentlemen), 

than to have gone with me. This said is no great acquisition to 

any society : she is a most frivolous, trifling thing. I do not believe 
that her lover would he willing to marry her, if lie knew with what 
avidity she received attentions from all the young men of her acquaint- 
ance; but this she could not do if she was attached to him. But 
perhaps matrimony will have a salutary effect on her character; it cer- 
tainly has on others of the same stamp. Yet I do not think it can lie 
a very exalted cast of character that requires it ; and yet how common 
it is to see people pre-emiment for their intellectual qualifications pre- 
vious to their married life, who appear extremely insignificant and (to 
use a vulgar phrase) unfuciihinj alter they are married ! 

Yours with much love to your father and mother and the hoys, 

A. J. Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Wednesday, September 17 [ISIS?]. 
My dear Emma, — I was pleased, after so long a time, again to 

behold your hand-writing, which I did ten days ago by Mrs. , who 

stayed with me from Saturday afternoon till Monday. I enjoyed the 

company and lady brought with them, rather better than theirs. 

I think they appeared to be very unaffected good people. But Mrs. 

has faded away into a little insignificant shadow, and has by her desire 


to be pre-eminent in the fashionable world (a quality which she ac- 
quired since 1 first knew her) lost that condescending manner and 
amiability of character, which was peculiar to her at sixteen, and which 
was all she had to make her interesting; together with a tolerably 
pretty face. I cannot help contrasting her character with E.'s, who in 
her youth displayed a thoughtless inattention to every thing thai did 
not contribute in some measure to the gratification of personal vanity, 
but whom the circumstance of having a family has turned into one of 
the most rational domestic animals in the world, without any desire for 
that adulation which was for so long a time her only pleasure. But 

Mrs. does not feel the common interest of a parent for her own 

children, and owns that in her most youthful days she was never more 
gratified by the attentions of young men than she now is; and while 
she was with us, she, to prove the truth of this, kept D. and S. in con- 
stant requisition. 

But I think I ought to stop scandal short, to inform you that E. had 
this morning a very fine daughter, and has been finely through the 
whole of it ; though she was so sick with a severe ague for ten days 
previous to it, that we were afraid it would kill her. I have been with 
her a part of every day and sometimes all day during that time, for the 
doctor expected hourly that the disease would change. Yesterday I 
had the court to dine, with their ladies, making twenty in all, and had 
just such a time as when the governor dined here, except that I had 
not a tipsy cook ; and on that account there was no difficulty. I am 
very much pleased with Mrs. Judge Thacher, and Mrs. Morton, who is 
certainly a very interesting woman. She gave me the private history 
of Lord and Lady Byron, which you may suppose was very interesting 
to me. 

I have written this in such a hurry that I hardly know what I have 
been about, and beg you to overlook all errors, and remember it is 
court-week, and missionary-week. Di\ Morse is staying here, and a 
number of things to ruffle a poor body, and company to dinner every 


day this week, and Hannah must dead with getting dinner for the 
court, and myself too. Love to all friends. 

Yours most affectionately, 

A. J. Lyman. 

Our "Bratikins" are hearty, and Anne Jean grows the greatest 
beauty that ever was seen. 

31rs. Lyman to 3Iiss Fori" s. 

January 23, 1820. 
My dear Emma, — I was highly gratified by your letter, which I 
received by James. 1 am delighted to find you are so happy ; it is a 
proof that your time is profitably occupied: for satiety is the invariable 
result of the reverse, with all its consequent uneasiness. •• Variety is 
the spice of life," which gives it all its flavor, we are told ; and this you 
appear to be enjoying to all intents and purposes; though thai senti- 
ment requires a good deal of qualification to be just or true. But it 
certainly strikes the ear as very plausible ; lor there are but too many 
who can only look back on life as a sad variety of evils, which though 
entirely different have followed one another in rapid succession, and 
have brought increased misery by finding the sufferer unprepared to 
meet them. This view of the subject, then, should teach us to fortify 
ourselves witli certain acquisitions that would have a tendency to repel 
their force — such as patience and the sister virtues : and to keep a 
guard on the avenues which admit their opponents, and render if pos- 
sible our stronghold impregnable. But 1 am afraid you will think 
because it is Sunday that I mean to preach a sermon, or else you will 
laugh and call it sentimental cant : so 1 will leave it, to tell you that I 
am much obliged to you for your list of authors. There was too much 
Everettism in the •■ Memoirs of De Rossi," and in "University Educa- 
tion " lor us to mistake the writer : " Mississippian Scenery " wanted for 
that individuality of style (to use his own language) which is so con- 


spicuous in his other pieces, or perhaps I did not give so much attention 

to it. 

1 was exceedingly pleased with the latter part of "Pulpit Eloquence," 
for the style you will observe was very unequal: but then the subject 
of the latter part had a much more kindling influence, so that it was 
not to be wondered at; but the first eight or ten pages is no credit 
to . 

To return to Mr. E. It certainly was a piece of low wit in him, in 
such a discussion, to speak of II. 's plan as rather " under the table than 
upon it." An unamiable acquaintance of ours, to whose attention I 
directed that piece on his plan lor national education, said he was in 
misery till he came to this glaring defect, for he was afraid that E. 
would write something perfect. But as I have a desire that a man of 
so much influence should be perfect, those feelings could have no 
weight with my opinion. ........ 

I feel great sympathy in all Mr. Everett's plans ; he and I are en- 
gaged in the same cause, though operating in different spheres. We 
are both engaged (I mean our hearts) in all improvements that will 
facilitate education; in other words that will clothe the nakedness of 
the mind most effectually and most profitably, and with such acquisi- 
tions as wear best. 

I believe some of the "North American" reviewers to be under a mis- 
take, in endeavoring to lessen the reputation of those Americans who 
have been considered as our great men, and who have sustained their 
country by the exercise of their moral and physical force. More than 
a year ago, much pains was taken to prove that Dr. Franklin was a very 
small character, who had had a false reputation: and now Mr. P. M., in 
his ardor to add an indifferent review to a very indifferent publication, 
has brought General Greene's character down to the level of a very 
ordinary standard. And I think if they continue this scheme, and the 
work should lie widely diffused in foreign countries, our national char- 
acter will not stand very high abroad, any more than at home. But 


after all, I must say I have been much edified and pleased with the 
last number, and shall send it to Sam with a good deal of reluctance; 
who, by the way, I wish you would pay some attention to, in the writing 
way. He complains sadly that nobody writes to him. 

Give my love to all friends, and believe me sincerely yours. 

This has been written under every namable disadvantage, and, if I 
had time to copy it, I am sure I would not send it as it is; but trusting 
it will never meet other than the eve of friendship, which will draw a 
veil over its defects, I subscribe myself your affectionate friend, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

January 28. — P. 8. I have just heard by mamma that our ever 
dear friend Mrs. Whipple is no more. It is a comfort to me to hear 
that her exit was so tranquil and free from suffering. Mrs. Whipple 
was one of the few of whom 1 believe it may be said she had no ene- 
mies; and I know of no one who had more real friends. But I have 
not time to say what my feelings dictate. 

Early in the spring of 1820, the new barn that my father had built 
with much care was burned. Both house and barn had been full of 
the confusion of building; and it is to this event my mother refers 
in writing to Cousin Emma. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, March 29, 1820. 
My dear Emma, — I suppose you have heard of our calamity till 
you are tired of it : so 1 will iiol attempt to give you any description, 
but merely emit a little of that vagrancy of feeling which results from 
instability of purpose, — the natural effect of too strong an impulse 
upon weak nerves. But 1 will not forget to thank you for your fidelity 
to me in the shape of two \ nv excellent letters, which did me as much 
good as "Ivanhoe" lias the enthusiasts for something new: who, 1 


presume, are abundantly satisfied with this last production of that 
favorite author. 

The interruption of Mr. Lyman's coming in and hurrying' dinner on 
account of Mr. Metcalf 's going out in the stage ( who has been making 
a short stay here) has broken the chain of my thoughts, and I must 
leave " Ivanhoc " for abler critics. I am aware there will be much 
fault found that the interesting Rebecca was not better provided for ; but 
1 always keep steadily in view wdiat I conceive to lie the object of the 
author, which is rather to delineate the manners, customs, and occu- 
pations of the people and time he describes, than to make interesting 
heroes and heroines, — which, if he aimed at, he has certainly at times 

I think your prospect for the summer is very pleasant, as it regards 
society ; but I am mistaken if a friend of yours does not " lay the root 
of a new political existence " in your quarter before long ; though it is 
not right to lay up evils in anticipation, for they are always bad enough 
when they come. I find it so in my present trial. I thought I had 
suffered a great deal from the confusion of building and getting our 
house in order, together with all the outbuildings, and that I should 
never have the same scene to go through again, for I was always in 
fear that the children would get some injury while the barn was going 
up ; but now, though I had never anticipated it, we have got to pass 
another summer in confusion. But I have no complaints to make ; we 
were so much favored in not having our house burned. If I had 
written this before our accident, I should have told you that if you 
came here this summer I would give you a ride to Brattleboro' ; but 
all intentions of moving from home have ceased. I shall, from this 
time forward, endeavor to cultivate a little of your suspicion of the 
future, to which you have devoted a niche of your mind ; and I think 
it would be well if every one did. I hope you will let me have a few 
of your reflections after you get into the country, that I may know 
what effect the transition produces on your mind. I could fill up my 


paper, my dear Emma, but my pen is so bad, that my pride forbids. 
Love to all inquiring friends. 

Yours affectionately, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

P. S. 1 feel much indebted to you for the kind interest yon took in 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, January 8, 1821. 

My dear Emma, — I never have omitted to give you credit for your 
unexampled liberality towards me of the treasures of the mind ; and 
those are of all gifts the most heart-satisfying, if they are what we most 
want. But in circumstances of cold or hunger that would not be the 
case ; such, however are not mine. Tis the heart only which craves the 
aliment bestowed by acts of kindness and friendship; and the most 
unequivocal proof of it is given when we are separated by distance, and 
obtain the treatment I have received at your hands and heart. 

The greatest alloy in my visit was seeing so little of you, and know- 
ing that you were sick ; neither of which was it in my power to remedy. 
Otherwise, my visit to Boston was as pleasant as possible. It is always 
more of an object with me in the visits I make to Boston, to keep old 
friendships in good repair, than to form new ones. Such, however, 
does not appear to be the effect of them ; for much of my time is taken 
up with people I care little about, and who care less for me. But I 
am engaged in every thing that appertains to mankind, and am grati- 
fied to have it in my power to observe the changes which take place in 
society; whether they relate to morals or mere forms. No one. I 
believe, to see me when I visit the metropolis, would doubt that 1 had 
the spirit of a dissipated woman; but without taking credit to myself 
for it, I must say my heart resists the charge. There is nothing but 
what is perfectly evanescent and unsubstantial in the joys to be 


obtained in the way of dissipation. But true and rational enjoyment 
leaves as much for retrospection as was afforded by the reality. To 
find out what that is and pursue it. is true wisdom ; and by so doing 
we may augment our own happiness in a ten-fold degree, inasmuch 
as it is caused by every reflection upon our actions. How careful we 
are. my dear Emma, to supply by artificial aid every defect created by 
time or other circumstance in our persons ! And how just it would be, 
were it a fair indication of the manner in which we treat ourselves in 
other respects; but how often do we lose ground in habits and virtues 
that we have possessed, without taking any pains to reinstate ourselves 
in them, or acquire others that would fill their place ! 

You will think me in a very prosing humor, but excuse it. It is 
the beginning of a new year, and I am growing old fast, and feel that 
I ought to be mending my ways, and helping others to mend theirs, if a 
knowledge of my experience will do it ; and I can say with truth, that 
I never have known any sorrow equal to a sense of having acted wrong, 
or any pleasure so fruitful as the sense of acting right. When you 
have time, write to me what is passing, and what you are thinking. 
Give my love to M. Tell her I should be pleased to be better acquainted 
with her ; and if her aunt will let her come into the country and make 
me a visit, either with you or without you, it will give me pleasure. 
I always have some plan of improvement on a small scale going on 
among the young people, in which she could be included. Remem- 
ber me very kindly to all in whom you know I take an interest. 
Yours very affectionately, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman In Miss Forbes, 

Northampton, February '-'1. 1821. 
My dear Emma, — I have lately gone through a good many domestic 
troubles, such as entirely engross the mind; and disqualify it for any of 
those excursions into the regions of romance or fancy which enable 


people to make agreeable letters out of poor materials. This, how- 
ever, is supposing a case which does not exist, for it implies that mine 
is in the habit of making such excursions; and, perhaps, no person's 
was ever less given to any thing of the kind. The dull realities of life 
have taken an irresistible possession there, and nothing can invade 
their dominion ; the power of habit has made strong their wall of de- 
fence, and necessity is their sentinel. And should it not Vie so, my 
dear Emma ? But I can remember when I was very intolerant (that 
is, when I was about your age) to those professional wives and mothers 
who talked and thought of nothing but their household concerns, such 
as children, servants, and the like. But it must be so ; what most 
concerns us to think about is what we shall and must give our prin- 
cipal attention to. The clergy must talk on theology, the lawyers 
will be engrossed by legal subjects, and the physicians in like manner 
of what relates to their profession ; and women must be borne with, if 
they talk, and even write, about their household affairs: but 1 pity 
those that have no similar interests, who have to hear them. 

1 suppose you have read Mr. Edgworth's life ; that interested me, 
inasmuch as it made me personally acquainted with a man to whom I 
am individually much indebted, as well as mankind in general. Before 
I read his life, 1 had viewed him only at a distance ; and, with all the 
defects of the memoir, it must lie acknowledged that it brings you to a 
very familiar acquaintance with him, and his four wives, and eighteen 
children ; to say nothing of the various aunts that constituted a part of 
his family. But, were ever such various interests so happily united ? 
Were so many people ever before so much engaged in one and the 
same cause, and that without the slightest collision of opinion ? 1 
think the millennium must have commenced in that family. With 
what admirable address Mr. Everett reviewed Mr. Lyman's "Italy"! 
I am sure no one will find fault with the faint praise he has bestowed ; 
.Mr. L.'s friends could not have wished him to have said more, and his 
enemies could not desire that he should say less. 


Do write me what is going on in Boston; we are as dull as death 
here. Iain now reading " Camilla " for entertainment. 1 wish you 

would prevail with , if" she sends from home, to send her to 

Miss Bancroft's ; she is very well situated now to have a house full. — 
that is, a dozen young ladies in the family with her, — and her school 
is improving every day. She teaches every thing that a young lady 
has time to learn, with the exception of music, and it is a very select 

This letter has heen written by fits and starts; or, at least, with 
many interruptions, which must account for its want of connection and 

Yours most affectionately, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 


THE marriage of her sister Mary to Mr. Joseph Warren Revere, of 
Boston (the son of Colonel Paul Revere, of revolutionary mem- 
ory), was, during this year of 1821, a source of unalloyed pleasure to my 
mother; and from this time the home of her sister was like another 
home to her and to her children : and my aunt, like another mother. 
As time wore on, and children gathered in the Boston home, my 
mother and aunt frequently, for a few months, made an exchange of 
children ; the Revere boys coming to our house for country air and 
life, and our girls going to the Revere home for city advantages and 

These children were all very dear to my mother ; and whenever she 
went to make a visit to them, either in Boston or at Canton, both in 
their early or later years, "Aunt Lyman's" coming was hailed as a 
special privilege. They brought all their stockings for her to mend, 
read aloud to her from her favorite books, and cuddled up to her to 
hear her witty stories, or to draw them out. Of Edward and Paul, — 
who afterwards gave their noble lives to their country, — she had 
no end of affectionate prophecies. Edward especially reminded her, 
in the warmth of his affections and in his genial temper, of her 
beloved father, whose name he bore. 

In April of the same year, the marriage of my cousin, Abby Lyman, 
took away from my mother the close companionship and tender 
sympathy of one whom she loved through life with an intensity of 
affection over which time and distance had no power. The frequency 


of her letters, in the midst of so many present cares and engrossing 
duties, and the tender and perfect confidence, which knew no change 
for a period of nearly thirty years, are very striking. It was a relation 
which, from the beginning to the end, had never a flaw or break ; and 
was founded on the highest sentiments and perfect generosity on both 

Mrs. Lyman to 31rs. Greene. 

Northampton, April 30, 1821. 

My dear Abby, — It is scarcely eight hours since you left me, but I 
cannot keep you out of my mind ; and for that reason I write to you, as 
there is a convenient opportunity for me to indulge myself in that 

Immediately after you left me, your uncle desired me to pre- 
pare to call with him on Miss Davis, which, at three o'clock, I did ; 
though I never made a greater sacrifice of inclination to propriety than 
when I went down to Mr. Pomeroy's, — for solitude and not sympathy 
was the object of my pursuit, that I might have the privilege to think 
without interruption. On my return I went into your room to lie 
down, that I might occupy that pillow so lately pressed by the beloved 
child of my warmest affection. I there conceived myself to be in the 
possession of the same consolations that any parent has who has com- 
mitted a dear child to the grave, — that it is still in the care of its 
Heavenly Father, and that all events in this life, whether good or evil, 
are dictated by His love towards His creatures ; and though I am made, 
by this event, less happy, you are or will be made much more so. 

I shall always respect Mr. Greene for the wisdom of his choice ; I 
shall always love him if he makes my dear Abby as happy as she is 
capable of being, from the circumstances within his power to control. 
That you will always be good, and derive all the happiness from that 
source which it is so fruitful in bestowing, I cannot doubt; nor that 
you will ever cease to remember with kindness and affection those who 


have extended the same feelings towards you, inasmuch as they are 
deserving of it. But no virtues are of such spontaneous growth in the 
human heart as not to be impaired by neglect, as to continue to expand 
and flourish without care and culture ; and let this in future, as it has 
been in times past, be the subject of your watchful attention. 

I have just returned from spending an hour with my sister Howe, in 
order to show her a letter I had received from Catherine, after she 
reached New York. She gives me an agreeable account of her journey. 
But she has not as yet discovered many congenial spirits, except Mrs. 
Sedgwick, with whom she will stay part of the time, that she may be 
relieved from ceremonious friends. I have a sort of hope that she will 

see some choice spirits like , who will take pains to direct 

her attention to the objects most worthy of it in the city. 
Yours with much affection, 

Anne Jeax Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to 31rs. Greene. 

Northampton, May 7, 1821. 

My dear Abby, — I was sorry I wrote you when I did after I had 
sent the letter, for I was aware when I came to reflect on it, that it was 
the overflowings of excited feelings; but there was no way in which I 
could relieve my own heart so much. That you are separated from me 
forever, I now have a realizing sense ; and am told by way of consola- 
tion that I am too strenuous an advocate for matrimony, to be allowed 
to say one word of its unpleasant consequences. 

Mamma and Mary, with their last winter's experiences, are very 
entertaining to me ; and their arrival, on the whole, happened very 
opportunely for me. Mary appears charmingly ; she was very much 
grieved to miss you on the road, but is enjoying the anticipation of 
your being here to stay some time before you leave this part of the 


I have just received a letter from Mrs. Revere. She is enjoying her- 
self as much as Sophia Rice did when she wrote to her aunt Mills; and 
I am delighted that it is so. A great deal of my happiness is reflected 
from that of others; and I hope that a letter from you of the same com- 
plexion will add to it in the same way. 

I am hoping that you will have laid your plans to visit Litchfield 
before you come here. Let it be very short. And then go to New York 
by way of the North River. If you go to L. before you come here, you 
will certainly meet Mr. and Mrs. Revere. . . . We had Miss Davis to 
spend one day with us very pleasantly, last week ; I had one monstrous 
dinner party, and a good deal of confusion all the week. 

You have probably heard that Mr. Shepherd has had a lire at the 
manufactory. The amount of property destroyed is supposed to he 
about nine or ten thousand dollars. 

Since the above was written, I have been with mamma out to the 
manufactory, and I perceive that my letter has acquired some few blots 
by my absence. But I trust it will be exposed only to the eye of friend- 
ship. Do you know, my dear Abby,that I can as yet only contemplate 
you as my own dear single child, and have not accustomed myself to 
the thought that another is identified in your existence, and that what- 
ever is addressed to you is likewise addressed to him whose less partial 
and more critical taste may not possibly be as indulgent to the defects 
contained in my letters as those defects require ? But still I would 
contemplate Mr. Greene as a dear friend, though a newly-acquired one. 
One whom I feel a full confidence will confirm by time all the impres- 
sions he has already created in my heart. Give my love to him, and 
tell him, that, if upon trial you do not answer his expectations of a wife, 
I will take you off his hands, and save him the trouble and expense 
of taking such a burden to Cincinnati. 

I hope I shall have a very particular account of how you have spent 
your time ever since you left me. It is so dark that I cannot see. 
Yours very affectionately, 

Anne Jean Ltman. 


Mrs. Lyman to 3Jiss Forbes. 

Northampton, May 8, 1821. 
My dear Emma, — ...... 

Very little of the highest kind of friendship is to be expected in this 
world ; the want of it, grows out of the nature of things. Fur it is 
too exalted and too refined a compact to be entertained by the 
worldly, the selfish, or the weak and ambitious; and a great portion 
of mankind fall under one or other of these heads. Friendship 
supposes a voluntary union of hearts, or mutual regard, unrestrained 
by any of the ties of kindred, and altogether uninfluenced by any 
other circumstance than the simple volition of the parties. But 
the ties of kindred are no hindrance to its exercise. "Friendship" 
(says Lord Clarendon) "hath the skill and observation of the best 
physician, the diligence and vigilance of the best nurse, and the 
tenderness and patience of the best mother." And I believe we 
must admit these ruling traits in her character, and, if so, no ties 
prevent its exercise. But contemplating it in the abstract as a 
most transcendent and heavenly virtue, as one of the greatest orna- 
ments of human life, it must be divested of all those shackles which 
compel, by means of identifying our happiness or reputation with the 
exercise of it towards any individual ; which would be to make self- 
interest its strongest inducement, — and that, you know, would be an 
insupportable incongruity. 

1 am amused with myself for sitting down here, and prosing like a 
sentimental girl of fifteen upon a subject which every one acknowledges 
to be exhausted : and yet, in speaking of it, I do not know that I ever 
heard any one make a sensible or striking remark in my life. The 
best comment, however, is to prove practically our capability of enter- 
taining it. Lord Clarendon thinks it requires a great perfection in 
virtue. And why should it not. when we reflect that the character 
of each is perfectly unveiled to the other ; for there must be perfect con- 
fidence in friendship, — it admits no reserve. And. 1 believe, the worst 


person in the world neither loves nor respects the wicked. And though 
people are bound and leagued together in vice, it is an agreement which 
bears no resemblance to the interchange of virtuous friendship. ( For- 
tunately an imperious domestic call has interrupted this inexhaustible 
subject, and 1 will endeavor to make some reply to your interesting 

I had read your feelings in your silence as it regarded 's 

matrimonial connection. It is not strange that you should be both 
fastidious and romantic in your views of this subject; nor, at your age, 
do I consider it a fault. I never have considered whether she would 
be likely to do better or not, but simply whether she had done well. 
could never grow handsomer, younger, or richer. She was emi- 
nently calculated for the enjoyment of all those enlarged duties and 
affections, as well as increased influence, which flow from the connec- 
tion she has formed ; and having formed it with a good man, distin- 
guished by the ardor of his attachment to those connected with him, 
and remarkable for his performance of domestic duties, as well as for 
kind and benevolent feelings, I think she has laid a good foundation 
for future happiness. Two good people, Emma, if the minutiae of their 
tastes do not exactly correspond, when they are united by one common 
interest may be happy ; that is, if they have that chastened disposition 
and disciplined mind which constitute the essential principle of hap- 
piness. If they have it not, no condition will make them so. When 
I was married, people said, " How can a young woman be happy with a 
husband that has five children ? " I can, after ten years' experience, 
answer, that so far I have been as happy as falls to the lot of mortals 
to be ; that human happiness is imperfect, and mine has been,- — for 
I have lived in a world subject to sickness, and sorrow, and death, from 
which none are exempted, but in the interchange of much love and 
kindness, and in a situation to receive (and, I may add, confer) some 

As to Mrs. , you can tell me nothing new of her ; she always 


had a false estimation among people whom I should have thought had 
more penetration and good sense than to be pleased with her. I have 
no doubt, if she lives to old age, she will die a fool, simply from want 
of exercise of body and mind, — which always keep pace with each 
other. But if she should have a family of children, it may be the 
means of preventing it ; for that is a continual stimulus to exertion. 

My poor, old heart has been terribly shattered lately, and I am not 
sure that the influence has not reached my head. 1 mention this 
by way of apology for this letter, which I can find time neither to 
copy nor alter ; but trust it is consigned exclusively to tbe judgment 
of friendship. You know I have parted lor ever with A.bby. I hope 
you will just see the beautiful creature. Her husband is very intelli- 
gent and good. lie has, in bis selection of a wife, given me an 
infallible proof of his wisdom : and, 1 am sure, the more he knows of 
her the more he will idolize her. I ought to lie glad she is taken from 
me, for I loved her a great deal too well, and became too much attached 
to her society to wish for any other. 

1 hope by this time your Aunt P. has recovered : remember me to 
her, and accept of my best love. I" wish you and Mary Pickard could 
come and spend the summer with me ; we would go to Brattleboro' and 
to Springfield, and have a grand time, I assure you. 

Mrs. Lyman to 3Irs. Greene. 

Northampton, May 15, 1821. 
My dear Abby, — It was a fortnight yesterday since we parted, and 
I never had heard a word from you until last evening, when I was so 
happy as to receive a letter from you by Mrs. Ashmun. I would not 
have you think that I mean to reproach you for neglect, for I am not 
so unreasonable as not to appreciate the various causes which prevent 
writing when people are among strangers, and experiencing a constant 
succession of novelties, and are at the same time shackled by ceremony 
towards those they are with. 


It was my desire that you should stay at my brother's, ami I am 
very bappy that you did; because I know it gave them pleasure, and I 
know you must have felt at your ease with such unceremonious 

I am delighted to find that you spent your time so pleasantly. You 
apologize for being so particular ; bat let me tell you, you were not 
sufficiently so ; for though you gave me the material facts, you have 
left for a verbal account the impressions made by them. 

Last Saturday 1 went with your uncle and my mother to Springfield. 
We passed Sunday delightfully. Mr. Peabody rises in my estimation 
every time I see him. We returned Monday, and found the brides 

here. I had W. L. and wife to tea, and the 's left town before 

tea. W. L 's wife has, combined with her city breeding and love of 
the world and fashion, a strong intellect and cultivated mind. I 
■would add a warm and affectionate heart, but that I think her present 
state of excitement and the softened state of her heart prevent her 
exhibiting those infallible indications which a more tranquil current of 
feeling would render certain. And I doubt if her habits have con- 
tributed to giving her " the full vigor of a mind " prepared for patient, 
long, laborious strife. 

" Its guide experience, and truth its guard." 

But there is no affectation in her, and she takes pains to please those 
about her with good success. 

What do you think of a large Madras handkerchief for a bride's 
head, with plain festoons of hair on her forehead ? I could not help 
contrasting this with the more elegant simplicity of my bride's beauti- 
ful curled locks. But you know, " all my geese are swans." 

You cannot think how impatient I am to have yon return : I hope 
you will save all the time you can possibly spare, or take from other 
people, and give to me. Is not this a generous wish ? 


I have just had a letter from Dwight. He gives me no encourage- 
ment that he is doing any tiling for the good cause; but whilst he has 
such a good heart, and in it preserves so much combustible matter, I 
will not despair of his meeting some one to kindle it. He expresses 
much kindness and affection for you, and regrets that he is not to see 
you again. 

I have just returned from spending the evening at J. H. L.'s, with 
W. L. and his wife, whom I am better pleased with every time I see her. 
I believe I was prepossessed in her favor by the ardor and constancy 
of her attachment to her husband, notwithstanding the opposition made 
to it. It proves such firmness and stability of purpose, together with 
such spirit and resolution, that I consider her as a sort of heroine or 
veteran in love. And you know I delight in every thing of that kind, 
notwithstanding which I am not at all romantic; but it is such a 
common every-day affair to bring about ends, without encountering 
obstacles in their accomplishment, that the contemplation of them is 

devoid of interest. This course of reasoning brings to mind , who 

is to be married I hear in July. This match I believe will afford some 
food for curiosity to many, or at least the result of it will. 

Ho, my dear Abby, write me from Providence, and get Mr. Greene 
to ; and let him tell me whether his friends there like his wife, and 
whether she is affable and pleasant, or if she remains silent and keeps 
blushing, in which case she must be truly interesting. Notwithstand- 
ing which / think conversation a more infallible proof of feeling and 
thinking, and of course much prefer it on the whole. 

One reason of this disconnected letter is, I have written it at short 
intervals, from devotion to Mrs. L. You know she was sent away to 
England, to try if distance ami salt water would not prove a cure for 
love. While she was there, she became intimately acquainted with 
Mr. Roscoe's family, as well as himself. His daughters write poetry, 
and she is going to send me what she has in her possession of theirs ; 


for they have published but a very few pieces. I have rarely derived 
so much pleasant entertainment from any person as from this lady, and 
am sorry she is going to leave us this afternoon. .... 

Anne Jean Lyman. 
P. S. — Give my love to Mr. Greene. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

June 1, 1821. 

My dear Abby, — Last evening I was made happy by the receipt of 
your very agreeable letter. Are you aware that a month has elapsed 
since you sealed your earthly destiny, and gave yourself away, and dis- 
solved partnership with me ? You have, indeed, heen surrounded by 
too much novelty, and too much that was pleasant, to think of the 
lapse of time as I have; or to dwell upon its consequences. lam 
delighted to find you have enjoyed yourself so much, and that every 
thing has conspired to make your visit to your friends so interesting to 
you, and that you have been so fortunate as to make yourself so to 
them. Tell Mr. Greene I am much obliged to him for the account he 
gave me of his wife, as I wished much to know how she acquitted herself 
amongst her newly-acquired relatives. 

Mrs. Revere appears to have experienced nearly the same circum- 
stances you have ; she has been enjoying herself very highly with her 
husband's friends, in Baltimore, whom she finds the most delightful 
people in the world. I must inform you too, that neither Mrs. R. nor 
Catherine have been so negligent in the use of their pen as you have 
been, but have let us hear from them as often as once a week, at least. 
But I don't mean to blame you ; you have been tolerably good, for a 
new-married lady, and I shall make a reasonable allowance for you. 

The only variety, or the only circumstances which have constituted 
variety, in this family since I last wrote have been a visit from my 
mother, and the bride's visit ; added to which, there has been an in- 


noccnt rebel sent from college here, the son of Mr. Tyng, the reporter; 
and as he nearly lives with us, he brings a good deal of animation into 

the family. is as usual the end and object of ridicule and satire 

among the young people, and I am his strong wall of defence. . . . 

Next Monday Mrs. Revere and C. will be here, and spend a week. I 
am disappointed that you could not have met them here, as you will 
probably not sec them for many years, and I am sure they will regret 
it. Catherine I have no doubt will be left here, if it is a possible 
thing for her to be longer absent from home ; which I think doubtful. 

Your father's family arc all well. Sally has been making me a visit 
of ten days, and I mean she shall stay until you have been here. She 
is a nice child, and I like her very much. 

Miss Bancroft is not well enough to return yet, but is better. 

Remember me most affectionately to my new nephew, and tell him 
to remember that I am his aunt, and believe me truly yours. 

Let me hear from you soon. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, August 4, 1821. 

My dear Abby, — 

I have experienced a great variety since you left me, but not enough 
to drive from my thoughts the idea of my beloved child. I console 
myself with some of Byron's extravagant reflections in trouble. " Ex- 
istence maybe borne, and the deep root of life and sufferance makes its 
firm abode in bare and desolate bosoms." 1 did for the fust few days 
feel as if mine was bare and desolated, but the sympathy and kindness 
which surrounded me, which appeared perfectly to appreciate and 
participate my feelings, soon taught me that it was to lie borne, and 
was only one of the minor evils of life ; as every evil is, which does not 
spring from vice or death. 

We were delighted to find by your letter (or rather that of your more 


extended self) that you had only been attended by propitious circum- 
trances since you left us. I trust a letter is now on the way to say that 
you have reached Cincinnati, and are in good health ; and 1 am much 
concerned about it, on account of your indifference to it, and J do nol 
feel as if Mr. Greene could be as good a judge of the defects in your 
constitution as I am. 

I suppose you would like to know what has been going on here since 
you left. Everybody had a pleasant Fourth of July, I believe, with the 
exception of myself. There was a great deal of company from Boston, 
on the occasion. Miss Sarah Dwight from Springfield came up and 
passed a week, and a Mr. Lowell, from Boston, eldest brother of Ed- 
ward, a very fine young man altogether. He spent the most of four 
days with us ; read " Yamoydeu " with great pleasure to mo, and left 
us quite in love with him. We had hardly time to collect our scattered 
wits after Sarah D.'s and L.'s visit, when July the loth Mrs. Brooks, 
her daughters, and the Misses Grays came and made us a short visit 
on their way to Niagara, accompanied by Mr. Ilenshaw. Your Uncle, 
Mary, Jane, and myself, went with them to Albany, and from thence 
we visited Dwight, at Troy, and then took him with us to the Saratoga 
Springs, where we spent four days, on the whole pleasantly. There is 

much there to admire, and to excite disgust ; but if one goes in g 1 

humor with one's self and with the world, pleasure will prevail. At the 
house where we stayed, were more than two hundred. The first effect 
of seeing such a variety of human faces, with the interest you cannot 
fail to take in their various histories, is exceedingly exciting or over- 
stimulating to the imagination, and, till you are familiarized to its 
fatigues. But it is the world in miniature ; none but a dissipated mind 
could enjoy the scene long. We found Mr. Lowell there, and Mr. and 
Mrs. B. and daughter; which served for entertainment for Mary and 
Jane. The great Mr. Wirt, with an interesting family, was there from 
Washington, which was a source of much enjoyment to me. Mrs. 
Wirt was not a lady of great mental attainments ; but of much delicacy 


and refinement, and good judgment, and of many showy accomplish- 
ments. Although the mother of twelve children, she looked young and 
handsome, and played elegantly on the piano; and played battledore 
with the agility of fifteen, for hours together. Her eldest daughter, 
who was with her, resembled her in character, except that she had 
more reserve. I should hardly dare to attempt a description of him, 
except in the most general terms. His appearance is magnificent in an 
unusual degree, and every thing he docs exhibits a moral grandeur, in 
perfect conformity to that appearance. There is something so imposing 
in his look, that you feel it to be a condescension, if he pays you any 

At Ballstown we had the satisfaction of looking at Joseph Bonaparte, 
who calls himself Count Servillier ; his appearance is that of a John 
Bull much more than of a Frenchman, — very fat, and easy, with a 
most benevolent expression of face : his suite requires twelve rooms. 

We left Jane at Troy, at Lewis Lyman's, under the care of Mrs. 
Willard, to take private lessons in music, history, and French. This 
was her own plan, and I am very much pleased with it. 

Your Uncle is absent. I hear the stage coming, and will not wait to 
fill my paper, though I have much more to say to you. 

I had determined not to mention the very affecting death of Mrs. 
Dewey, but you will see it in the Boston newspaper. Her mother and 
Eliza were with her after she had lost her senses, the last three days, 
but Louisa did not reach there until after her death. They are a truly 
afflicted family. 

Yours with much love, 

A. J. Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, September 1, 1821. 
It would be difficult for me to express to you, my dear Abby, how 
much pleasure your very excellent letter gave me ; though when I 


received it, I could not help feeling sorry that it did not take you to 
the end of your journey. But I was soon satisfied on that score, for 
your father was good enough to let me have tlie perusal of his letter, 
which informed us of your safe arrival in Cincinnati, and 1 read yours 
to him. Miss Bancroft has just returned from the Springs. 1 have 
hcen so constantly engaged in sewing, in order to prepare Sam for his 
departure, that I have scarcely had time to think of any thing that did 
not relate to that particular operation, except when I was interrupted 
hy some of those thousands of travellers which traverse the earth in 
the fruitless search after happiness. Some of them I have been pleased 
to see; others have wearied me. I believe I described Mr. Wirt (the 
Attorney-General) to you in my last, and his very interesting family. 
Since I met them at the Springs they have been here, and young John 
Lowell, the brother of Edward. He received his early education under 
Mrs. Grant, in one of the first seminaries for boys in Scotland, and 1 
have rarely met with so fine a young man. James Robbins has just 
left me, after a visit of a fortnight, which was very delightful to me ; 
for I rarely meet with any one who has so uniformly the power to be 
agreeable and rationally entertaining, and, at the same time, has so 
much fun in their composition. . . . 

You are daily our subject of thought and conversation, amid all the 
variety which surrounds us. Mary has read a good deal this summer 
aloud to me. The last number of the " North American " was very 
good, but I do not think you had better have it until the next volume 
commences, which will be in the winter. Mary has just been reading 
to me " The Judgment," — a poem by Hillhouse. It is really very 
good for American poetry. It is a vision ; describing our Saviour 
sitting in judgment on old patriarchs first, and then upon the world 
in general. It certainly is venturing on sacred ground to attempt 
such a thing; and it is deserving of some praise that the author did 
not make himself ridiculous. The same author wrote " Percy's 


Masque," which I never have read. Anne Robbins is now making me 
a visit which, of course, engrosses much of my time. 

Since the above was written, I have received a letter informing me 
that Sam lias gone to New Bedford, and will, in the course of this week, 
erect a sign ; and his prospects of getting a living are very good. Our 
friend, George Tyng, has got a degree ; and, of course, is very light- 
hearted on that subject. I hope you will excuse this unconnected 
scrawl ; it is such as I have time to write. If you would like to be at 
the expense of postage for any paper that we take, it shall be sent to 
you. " The Liberal Recorder " is very good ; " The Christian Reg- 
ister," published in Boston, is still better ; and the " Galaxy," " Re- 
pertory," and " Evening Tost," you are acquainted with. 

Do write to me every thing about the people you live amongst, and 
your house, and every thing that constitutes a part of the happiness or 
misery of your condition. Anne Jean says she knows you live in just 
such a house as Mrs. Aslimun, and a good deal such a street. . . . 

I have just seen a favorable notice of Cullen Bryant's poem in our 
newspaper, with which I am very much delighted. I suppose Mary 

mentioned to you that the 's were with Mrs. , and keep tilings 

up in arms rather more than common, — going'on the mountain, and 
riding on horseback, and so forth. Remember me very affectionately 
to your husband, and believe me with much affection, 


Anne Jean Lyman. 

P. S. Since the above was written, your father has brought in Sally 
to go to school. She desires her love to you. The family are all 

Your affectionate 



Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, November 13, 1821. 

My dear Abbt, — ... 
I am excessively disappointed that Mr. Frank Blake has returned with- 
out letting us know that he was going, for I wished to have sent several 
things which cannot go by mail ; and I took every means in my power 
to prevent his doing so, but in vain. After you left me, and I had 
time to reflect, it came across me that you were not a very practical 
cook ; and, as the culinary art makes a very essential branch of house- 
keeping, I saw fit to get a book, with the determination that I would 
fill it with the best recipes, and send it to you by the first opportunity ; 
likewise, several trifles which you left ; and, with the recipes, a few 
general remarks upon housewifery, — for I believe my theory would do 
you more good than the recollection of my practice. But, my dearest 
child, you have commenced housekeeping, in some respects, under 
much more favorable auspices than I did. You are the founder of 
your own family, and the author of your own rules and regulations ; 
whereas mine were all accommodated to the exigencies of circum- 
stances, over which I had no control ; and it is very important to begin 
right, more particularly if you have a young domestic who, if she is of 
a pliable character, may be made completely the creature of habit. 

Your sister, Sally, is with me ; and Miss Bancroft joins me in think- 
ing her a child susceptible of a high degree of improvement ; indeed, I 
never knew one improve faster than she has for the last three months. 
But, I regret to say, that after the termination of this quarter (which 
is in a few days) we shall no longer be benefited by Miss B.'s instruc- 
tion ; for her parents insist on her giving up teaching, and on her 
returning to live with them. This frustrates all my plans, as well for 
Sally as for Anne Jean. For I had determined, with your father's con- 
sent, that she should have two years of such instruction as would fit 
her to appear respectably in any situation which Providence might 


assign her ; and more particularly, to get her own living, as Miss Ban- 
croft lias done, if her circumstances should, as they possibly may, 
require it. Sally's attainments are now every way superior to what 

was, when she left me; she is remarkably neat and attentive in 

the care of her own clothes, and uncommonly methodical in her habits 
for one of her age. She has grown to be nearly as tall as you are, and 
promises to be a handsomer woman than her mother, which I think is 
saying a good deal. 

I hear from Boston that Mrs. Revere is agreeably fixed at house- 
keeping, and that Catherine will spend the winter with her ; as she will 
be housed until spring, she will need C.'s society as well as aid in 
housekeeping. Eliza Henshaw desired in her letters to be remembered 
to you. Sam is fixed at Lcchmere Point, Cambridge, where there is a 
jail and a court-house, and six hundred inhabitants, without any law- 
yer ; and there is a prospect that he may make a living, though at 
present, nothing more. 

I suppose Mary has told you all the news there is, and that is very 
little. She has read aloud to me the " Life of John Wesley ; or, a His- 
tory of Methodism," since she read Miss Aiken's " Memoir of Queen 
Elizabeth's Court ;" and is now reading Peter's " Letters." 

Hooker has just been in and desired bis love to you and Mr. Greene. 
Present him with my most cordial love, and believe me your very 
affectionate friend and aunt, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Faroes. 

Northampton, November 17, 1821. 
My dear Emma, — This you know is a busy season for heads of 
families, who wish to see their children warmly clad for the approach- 
ing season. You can have, my dear Emma, but a weak impression of 
the subjects which must occupy the minds of such every-day people as 


myself. It is altogether probable that when I am contemplating the 
figure of a garment, and considering its construction as it regards 
warmth and convenience, you arc making some bold flight into the 
regions of imagination, and wondering how people can suffer their 
minds to remain under the thraldom of circumstances, and enslaved by 
such mean realities. But every different stage of existence has its 
appropriate duties and pleasures ; and though it is delightful to witness 
the free and elastic spirit of youth in the full enjoyment of all that 
buoyancy which results from exemption from care and trouble, and 
which leads it to the anticipation of meeting with many flowers in life's 
path, which Providence never designed they should realize,— it is equally 
satisfactory to a contemplative or a reasoning mind, to behold the con- 
trast of the elderly matron (whose enthusiasm has been evaporated by 
the powerful influence of time) giving her exclusive attention to those 
apparently grovelling concerns of life, which do not, however, con- 
tribute less to the general augmentation of human happiness ; and to 
increase that sum ought to make a principal part of our own. 

You do not know how much you made me desire to listen personally 
to the eloquence of Mr. Everett ; but as T could not hear him myself, I 
am much obliged to you for your account of the matter, which was 
highly entertaining. 

I hear some reading every day ; but there is nothing so truly delight- 
ful to me as the accounts I have from my living friends, in the form of 
letters. I am chiefly indebted to my dear Catherine and Abby for the 
pleasure I obtain in this way, as my other correspondents are some- 
what uncertain. 

I have received and read all I could relish (not to say understand) 
of the last "North American Review." I think the same observation will 
apply to it, which was applied in Peter's "Letters" to the " Edinburgh 
Review," " that if there was sense in it, there was no punt, no wit, no 
joke, no spirit, and nothing of the glee of young existence about it ; " 
and Peter, after making use of some very unjustifiable censures, ends 


his comment with adding, " there is no infusion of fresh blood into the 
veins of the ' Review.' " Wise as it is, I must think just so of our 
"North American ;" I did not like the undiscriminating and unquali- 
' tied praise bestowed on my favorite Cullen Bryant. But as it is all out 
of my depth, I feel that I do wrong to entertain any opinion about it. 

Mary, who is my only companion and comfort at this time, has lately 
read me " Percy's Masque," Miss Aikin's " Memoir of Queen Elizabeth's 
Court," and Southey's " Life of Wesley." I have been much engaged 
in the latter; you know 1 have a great zest for such kind of tilings. 
Though much of what is there related of his feelings I am very familiar 
with, as the same cant phrases are now in use among our Orthodox 
acquaintance ; and they have the same unsettled purpose of mind 
which characterizes Methodism, and the same extravagant enthusiasm 
which Wesley carried through life with him. Although this is an 
entertaining book, I must own that it is necessary to wade through a 
great deal of folly to get at the history of Methodism. Southey has 
certainly made it as pleasing as the truth will justify ; he appears to 
be very candid, and proves every thing he says as he goes along, by 
Wesley's own letters or those of his friends. Notwithstanding which I 
am told the Methodists are not satisfied with it, and do not think they 
have had justice done them ; and are determined to have another Life 
of him published which shall do more credit to their system. I never 
knew, till I read this book, how much the Calvinists had borrowed from 
this sect; but I find-bright-lights, and spiritual agues, and revivals, all 
had their origin with the Methodists. It certainly is a system which 
tends to produce more of the appearance than the reality of religion. 
It dealt too much in sensations (as Mr. Southey remai'ks), and in out- 
ward manifestations. It made religion too much a thing of display, 
an effort of sympathy and confederation ; it led people too much 
from their homes and their closets ; it imposed too many forms ; it 
required too many professions ; it exacted too many exposures. And 
the necessary consequence was, that when their enthusiasm abated 


they became mere formalists, and kept up a pharisaical appearance of 
holiness, when the real feeling had evaporated entirely. 

I think you have had enough of John Wesley ; which, however, I know 
you will excuse when you reflect how little there is in this place to ■ 
engage one's interest, — and my motto and my rule is, "out of the abun- 
dance of the heart the mouth speaketh." We are all well and happy, 
except the prospect of losing Miss Bancroft; besides losing a valu- 
able instructor, I lose a very affectionate friend in whom I have taken 
much pleasure for four years, — a pleasure that has never been inter- 
rupted by a single bitter feeling on the part of either of us. It opens 
another wound too, caused by the separation from my beloved child 
Abby. But my paper will not allow me to make reflections on the 
various changes incident to this sublunary state, and believe me very 

affectionately yours, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

P. S. — I cannot help adding a postscript just to say, that when Mrs. 
Cary passed half-a-day in Northampton, which was a week ago to-day, 
I went to see her ; and I never saw her half so charming. She is as 
large as her mother ever was, and her beauty has increased in propor- 
tion to her size — for flesh is very becoming to her; and she has as 
handsome a baby as I ever beheld, and appeared very happy in the 
prospect of living in New York. I am sure I am glad for her, for I 
always thought her situation must be a very uncongenial one to one of 
her habits and way of thinking. 

My mother's letters to Abby are full to overflowing of affeetioinilc 
details of her own family life, and news of Abby's invalid father, and of 
the little sisters, who for so many years formed a part of the household 
in Northampton. Their improvement in knowledge and virtue, and all 
their interesting traits, are constantly recorded for the absent sister's 
perusal ; and all sorts of questions asked about the Cincinnati home, 


which seemed always present to her imagination. In one dated Jan. 
ti, 1822, she writes : — 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

I am delighted with every augmentation of social enjoyment you are 
promised with, as well as what you actually experience ; and I choose to 
believe that you will find both Mrs. , and Miss , a great acqui- 
sition to you. At any rate, it' they have any hearts to feel, there will be 
some points of sympathy between you ami them ; they will, like your- 
self, feel the distance which separates them from every thing endeared 
by early association ; they will, like yourself, feel the want of seeing 
friends that are far distant. And all this similarity of feeling will be 
a strong and sympathetic tie (as the case may be). But if they are 
cold, inanimate worldlings, who never felt the kindling glow of friend- 
ship warm their hearts, they will prove little but an aggravation to 
you. This want of congeniality no one ever felt, I believe, more keenly 
in their daily associates and neighbors, than 1 have done at certain 
periods of my life. But I think domestic union, and affection in the 
small family circle, is a substitute for it in some measure; and perhaps 
wanting those external sources over which to expand the surplus affec- 
tions of the heart may induce us to be more particularly careful to 
preserve and cultivate the love of those with whom we live. If it has 
that effect, it must not be regretted; as nothing is more desirable, of an 
earthly nature, than .to strengthen those ties which Nature has formed, 
and by that means second the plans of the Almighty, who undoubtedly 
had a wise design in planning the tender ties which constitute the vari- 
ous social relations of the human family. 

1 always read your letters, or such parts as I know will interest 
them, to your father and mother, when I see them ; and I have kept 
up a correspondence with Sally since she left me, so that they hear 
from you as often as 1 do. I expect to have Sally in town again to go 
to school when Mr. Tyng begins, as be will take girls next quarter. 


I have been reading two delightful books: "Valerius," a Roman 
story; and " Geraldine; or, Modes of Faith and Practice," in which 
nothing is wanting but originality. I read " Anacharsis " four years 
ago with Catherine, and enjoyed it as much, I think, as you can. Sir 
William Jones's " Life," too, I have read, 1 hope with some improve- 
ment ; for I shall never forget the impression left on my mind by the 
careful attention shown him by his mother, during his early youth, on 
which it appeared to me was founded all his future eminence as a good, 
useful, and literary man. If I recollect right he acquired twenty-eight 
languages ; but that acquisition, together with his poetry, I could dis- 
pense with in my son, if he could dictate such prayers, and propose to 
himself the attainments of knowledge only as a means of doing good 
and becoming extensively useful to his fellow-creatures. Perhaps the 
annals of the world do not furnish an instance of so short a life, in 
which so much real good was accomplished, and so much evil pre- 
vented, by the various plans he formed and executed for enlightening 
the benighted people, amongst whom he went to live. I think he was 
but forty-seven years old when he died. To contemplate such a life 
must be useful to any one. It is calculated to exalt our standard of 
human excellence ; and every thing which has that effect is profitable 
to the heart as well as understanding. 

I hear Sam has a prospect of doing well at Lechmere Point in Cam- 
bridge, where I believe I have before told you he was settled. 

My best love to Mr. Greene. 

Yours very affectionately, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, February 28, 1S22. 
My dear Abby, — I have just returned from Boston, after having 
spent a month there most delightfully ; not in dissipation, but in that 
heart-warming interchange with friends that is so refreshing to the best 



affections of the human heart. It was a great addition to my comfort 
to find my sister Mary so agreeably situated, with a husband who has 
every quality that is essential to the happiness of an amiable and refined 
woman, together with a heart tilled with tenderness for her. 

Mrs. Balestier, the sister of Mr. Revere, informed me, on hearing me 
make inquiry after Miss Baity, that she was well acquainted with her ; 
and offered to go to Charlestown with me and call on her. Miss B.'s 
brother is Mr. Balestier's partner in business, which has given Mrs. 
Balestier an opportunity of being well acquainted with her, as I before 
observed ; and she says she will be a great acquisition to you, and that 
she is an uncommonly intelligent, well-educated woman. I was as 
much pleased with her as I should choose to be with any one on so 
short an interview. I found her expectations were much more san- 
guine in regard to the place of her future residence, than yours ever 
were. But I do not think she will be disappointed, for I have an idea 
that Cincinnati is a much more agreeable place to live in, than Charles- 
town. I am delighted with every addition to your happiness, if it is 
only in prospect; and must flatter myself that it will be promoted in 
proportion as good and agreeable people from New England become the 
inhabitants of the place in which you reside. I say New England peo- 
ple, because the more we are assimilated to those amongst whom we 
live, by habit, the more we enjoy their society. 

I am glad that you have a physician that you think so well of, and 
who is likewise so much your friend. I am not certain that Edward 
will be in Boston at the time Dr. Smith will be there ; but Mrs. Bales- 
tier will see him, and will let me know in season to get the things I 
wish to send, — and I will not forget the Webster's " Oration." I was 
afraid you would not get the " North American Review," as you never 
mentioned the receipt of it; and 1 got Mr. Revere to call and leave a 
five dollar bill, and take a receipt for it from Mr. 0. Everett, which I 
was told was a necessary form, when it went out of the State. 

It may be interesting to Mr. Greene as well as yourself to know who 


the authors of the " Review " in the last number were. The first two 
were by the editor, Mr. Edward Everett; " Encke's Comet," by Mr. 
Bowditeh ; Dr. Webster's " Azores," by Cogswell ; Stuart's •• Dis," by 
Sidney Willard; "Life of Algernon Sidney," by Edward Brooks; 
" Fairfax's Tasso," by John C. Gray ; Madame de Stael's " Works." by 
Alex. Everett; Hale's "Dissertations,'' by Dr. Ware ; Adelung's " Sur- 
vey," by John Pickering ; " Life of Pitt," by Theo. Lyman ; " Weights 
and Measures," by Professor Farrar ; " New York Canals," by Mr. 
Patterson. It is a great while since Professor Everett has written any 
thing so much to my liking as the " Comment on Percival's Poems ; " 
there is some wit in it, as well as good sense. ..... 

Mary is at a party this evening at Harriet Clapp's, or I dare say she 
would have some message for you. Love to Mr. Greene. 
Yours with much affection, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, April 11, 1822. 
My dear Abby, — Since my return from Boston, Mary has been 
reading to me in Hume's " England," — which I have heard so often, 
that it has not a very exciting influence on my mind. We have suf- 
fered an agreeable interruption from the " Pirate " and " Spy." There 
is much said by the reviewers in favor of the " Pirate ; " but, in my 
estimation, it is very inferior to most of the same author's productions. 
It does not inspire one with at all the same kind of interest that " Guy 
Mannering," or " The Antiquary," or "Waverley" did; because you 
find only the same style of character, modified by difference of circum- 
stances, which has only the effect of meeting old acquaintances, dressed 
in' a new garb, but produces none of the excitement of novelty for 
which the earliest works of that author were so peculiar. By the time 
you get through the Yellowleys' journey to the feast, you feel as much 


wearied as if you had taken it yourself. The " Spy " is an American 
production, as I presume you know, by the author of "Precaution;" 
and has no claim to any kind of excellence. It is a very humble 
imitation of some of Scott's novels; and though it makes some pre- 
tentions to truth in the facts related, I believe the reality will not 
justify a reliance on them. 

As the year has nearly expired since the line of separation was drawn 
between you and me, I cannot help making a good many reflections on 
my present resources of happiness, in comparison with what I enjoyed 
previous to that time. And it is a great pleasure to me to believe that 
your pleasures are increased in as great a degree as mine are dimin- 
ished. But I have too many blessings left to justify a word of com- 
plaint. Notwithstanding our blessings, we arc prone to over-estimate 
our troubles ; and I must say 1 have had peculiar trials of feeling, of a 
nature not to admit much alleviation from sympathy. 

Since I wrote you that I wished to have you inquire for Mrs. , I 

have heard the particulars of her case, and that her friends have united 
in a subscription that should enable them to send for her and her 

children to return to Boston. My brother , was here lately, and 

said that he bad written to Mr. Greene on the subject. 

I am sorry that I shall not see Dr. Smith, who, I perceive by the 
paper, is married. I have no doubt his wife will be a great acquisition 
to you, and I am glad I have seen one of the inhabitants of Cincinnati ; 
for I do not think you have been very particular in describing them. 
I felt grieved for Mr. Greene, when I saw by the paper that he had lost 
Ins only brother, — particularly under such aggravated circumstances. 

I have much more to say, but we arc going to have some company 
to dinner, and I must resign the pen. 

With the warmest affection, yours, 

A. J. Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Mat 20, 

My dear Adby, — It is very good in you to write to an old aunt, 
whose letters, I am aware, are but a poor compensation for any effort 
you may be pleased to make in the writing way. And besides, your 
continuing to write indicates to me a healthful state of your affections ; 
and that, much as you are and ought to be engaged in present objects, 
you do not cease to think and feel for distant ones. These matters 
of the heart, my dear Abby, depend much on our care and cultivation. 
If we neglect to cherish kind recollections, and the only interchange 
provided for those separated by distance from us, our affections become 
withered and blasted for want of nutriment ; but if we are principled 
to keep them alive by proper attention to them, they will administer 
much towards cheering our path through this valley of tears. A desire 
for the esteem and love of those around us, or of those with whom we 
are connected, is not an ignoble passion of the human heart, but may 
be founded on the purest and most exalted principles ; and is generally 
accompanied by a great expansion of regard towards those from whom 
we wish it reciprocated ; and is altogether a different sentiment 
from that of wishing for popular favor or admiration, to increase our 
distinction among our fellow-creatures when no corresponding senti- 
ment is entertained. 

This subject reminds me to inform you that Jane has been one of 
the most constant and improved correspondents you can conceive of; 
she will return to us in another month. 

I don't know that I could communicate any news of a very interesting 
kind to you, for there is nothing stirring here more than I mentioned 
in my last. Mrs. Dwight and Betsy have been passing a fortnight 
with me very pleasantly ; we have done a good deal of visiting. Betsy 
still stands on the single list, — a proof of the want of discrimination 
in her male acquaintance ; for, to me she is possessed of every qiiali- 


fication, both external and intrinsic, which is essential to the happiness 
of a man's life, as far as woman has any control over it. I suppose by 
this time yon have received the last "North American Review;" I 
have not yet learned who the authors are. The piece on " Essay 
Writing" was the most interesting' to me, and I thought it probable 
Mr. Everett wrote it. 

Justin Clark, who you recollect as one of our beaux, has just returned 
from Washington, where he has passed the last six months, — being 
employed for one of the newspapers to report the proceedings of Con- 
gress, — and I assure you he is very much improved. There is an 
intelligent young man, by the name of Baker, studying with Mr. Mills, 
who is now about to take Mr. Tyng's school. And now I believe you 
have had a statement of the leaux establishment. The belles are Miss 
Catherine and Miss Emeline Shepherd, and Miss Mills. 

Anne J fan Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, June 10, 1822. 

My dear Emma, — I have so good an opportunity to write, that I will 
not omit it, though I have nothing to communicate that can interest 
you very much. My own feelings have been somewhat interested in 
two very different subjects of late, in sympathy with those of my neigh- 
bors, — the death of Mr. D., and the engagement of Mrs. A. In this 
instance, if not in all, marriage is in its effect something like death, as it 
must produce a total dissolution of interests between Mis. A. and those 
to whom she has been so peculiarly necessary ; of course the deepest 
commiseration is felt for them. And they appear to feel a great deal 

for themselves. Mrs. 's family are blessed with that imperturbable 

serenity, or fortitude, or apathy, that cannot long be disquieted with 
any thing. 

I feel as if your cousin N. P.'s removal to Worcester had brought 
you considerably nearer to me ; for you will undoubtedly visit her, and 


it will be nothing to get from there here, — particularly if you select a 
time when one of Judge Howe's courts sit there, and return with him. 
But I should like to have you and C. come together, as I think you 
would both enjoy yourselves better for each other's company. 

Mr. Theodore Sedgwick has been here for a few days, which has 
made a little variety for us ; and Mr. B. and his two boys. I pre- 
sume you have read Miss S.'s book. There is no danger of such books 
being multiplied to too great a degree, as they are suited to the 
majority of readers, who, if they cannot get good trifles, read trash, 
and are injured by it. I have not heard whether Mr. Inches and family 
have gone out to Milton yet, but I presume they have not. I conclude 
you have E. D. near you. 

In the account of the packet "Albion," I presume you saw the death 
of one of Judge P.'s daughters, of Upper Canada. I should like very 
much to know which of them it was. There was also the death of 

Professor P , of New Haven, in whose death much unhappiness is 

involved. He was engaged to Miss C. B , a young lady possessed 

of a great deal of good sense and genius ; but who had, under very 
interesting circumstances, left her father's house last autumn to find 
another home. She went to see a friend in New Haven, preparatory to 
getting a school ; and while she was there, became acquainted with and 
was engaged to this worthy young man, which brightened her earthly 
prospects very much, — for they were in midnight gloom when she left 
her home. Since then she has been teaching a school in New London, 
with the hope of leaving it in another year to become the happy wife of 
a young man as much distinguished in the region where he is known, 
as Mr. Everett is in Boston and its neighborhood ; distinguished not 
only for science, but for the most exemplary goodness. I have men- 
tioned this to you, not because you could take any interest in the 
parties, but because I wish you to know some of the misery there is in 
the world, from which you are exempt; and I dare say the same cir- 
cumstances would interest you in a fictitious tale. 


1 am sorry I have not time to fill up my paper, but when you hear 
that I have several letters to finish, to send by the same opportunity, 
you will excuse me. Remember me to all your family, and nil inquiring 
friends ; and believe me your very affectionate friend and cousin, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, July 1, 1822. 
My dear Abby, — I shall be called day after to-morrow to keep the 
anniversary of your departure from us. 1 need not say how many 
regrets and how many agonizing thoughts are revived by this reflec- 
tion, though mingled with them is much satisfaction. It is not the 
least pleasing reflection to me that our intercourse was never inter- 
rupted by dissensions, or even temporary heart-burnings, which tend 
so powerfully to weaken the influence of affection ; for where reproof 
was couched in too strong terms on my part, it always found a pro- 
portionate measure of patience on yours, by which the equipoise of good 
feeling was preserved. But all these recollections only tend to aggravate 
the loss I have sustained. However, had you always lived with me, 
perhaps 1 should have become insensible to the comfort I was enjoying, 
and have thought no more of it, than we are prone to of a good night's 
rest, — which you know we do not value until we are deprived of it ; 
which proves to us that misery is essential to happiness, and that 

" The hues of bliss more brightly glow, 
Chastised by sable tints of woe." 

Jane returned to us last Monday ; she appears very well, and very 
happy. As it regards the acquisitions she made in Troy, I think they 
are much more of the nature of " sm'/ than ballast." But she is not 
injured, and has gained some confidence and some independence, which 
may be of essential service to her ; and her experience has, on the 
whole, been favorably extended. 


There have been several very exciting causes which have tended to 

disturb the monotony of a Northampton existence very much. . . . 

[Then follow many village annals ; and she closes with a recipe for 
curing hams, which she is sure Abby must want.] 

Mrs. Lyman to Bliss Forbes. 

Northampton, August 6th, 1822. 

You do not know what a heart-cheering effect your letter had upon 
me, my dear Emma. But the intelligence I heard immediately after- 
wards was a great damper to my spirits ; for I knew that your uncle's 
death would be a great affliction to yourself, to your mother, and to 

perhaps more than to either of you. But so good a man has left 

a delightful retrospect to his friends ; they must console themselves 
with thinking of the good actions which filled up his earthly career, of 
the wounds to which his kindness and assistance were a healing balm, 
of the afflictions to which his warm and accessible sympathies were so 
comforting and so readily yielded. The first effect of all these reflec- 
tions is to widen the breach made ; but when time has mitigated the 
first impulse of sorrow, it must be delightful to associate with the 
memory of a departed friend those virtues which we believe insure 
everlasting happiness. 

We are enjoying a great deal from the society of Eliza Cabot at this 
time ; she is very well, in fine spirits, and of course very agreeable. 
I am going to carry her to Stockbridge to-morrow, to spend a few days 
with Miss Sedgwick. I expect so much from this little excursion, that 
it will be a strange thing if disappointment does not ensue. 

I think you and C. must have some very interesting interviews after 
such a long separation, wherein so much variety has occurred. If C.'s 
health had not been benefited at all, I should never regret her having 
made the excursion she did to the Springs. It has extended her expe- 
rience of mankind, so favorably, and left so much new imagery in her 


mind to reflect on hereafter; and all, too, of a very animating char- 

The last number of the " North American Review " I presume you 
have seen. The prevailing subjects which occupy it are more congenial 
to my taste and feelings than that work usually is. I am told the 
review of the " Spy" was written by your cousin, W. G.; and I think 
he has done it ample justice. I never read " Bracebridge Hall," and 
i think .Mr. Everett's review will be all 1 ever shall read of it. " For- 
tunes of Nigel" afforded a temporary entertainment, which, I think, is 
all it is calculated to do ; it certainly has few of those striking deline- 
ations of character which distinguish this author's other works so 
much, and is equally deficient in glowing descriptions of scenery. But 
he has contrived withal to make it as interesting as any of his other 

Oh, Emma ! I have just had a thought come into my head. If you 
can leave home, I wish you would return with Air. Lyman and visit me 
while the season is fine ; for the dreariness of autumn and the gloom 
of winter arc equally unfavorable to this fine country. 1 am just get- 
ting ready to go to Stockbridge with Eliza Cabot; must close with the 
request that you will soon write to me, if you do not come to see me, 
and tell me all about the state of things among your friends. Give 
my love to your father and mother and the children, and believe me 
your sincere and affectionate friend, ^^ Jean Lyman _ 

In the next letter to Mrs. Greene, dated Aug. 29th, 1S22, she speaks 
of having felt ill for some months, but says : " It has not prevented 
our having company continually, and kept up such an agitation of spir- 
its, that I did not feel willing under them to write to anybody. Mr. 
Edmund D wight and his wife have made us a visit. Miss Eliza ( labot 
lias been here a month on a visit to my sister Howe; and Robert Sedg- 
wick spent a few days here with his new wife, Miss Elizabeth Ellery, 
from Newport. 


I wont three weeks ago to Stockbridge with Miss Cabot ; we passed 
a night at your father's on our way there, had a pleasant ride, and were 
well pleased with a visit of two days after we got there. Charles Sedg- 
• wick's is one of the most crowded houses you can conceive of. Every 
room in the house has several beds in it, except one parlor. Mr. and 
Mrs. Theodore Sedgwick, with Mrs. S.'s aunt and two children, Mrs. 
Watson and two children, and two of Mrs. Dwight's children, added to 
Charles's own family, consisting of seven. Harry's family board in 
the neighborhood. Elizabeth necessarily keeps very much in her nurs- 
ery, taking care of the children ; and Catherine is the mainspring of 
the machinery, by which the family is kept together and provided for. 

I think the Sedgwick family unite as much moral and intellectual 
greatness as I ever have seen combined in one family ; and their society 
is a rare pleasure to me. Mrs. Jane Sedgwick has an uncommonly 
brilliant and discriminating mind, with a good share of imagination. 
Mrs. Theodore Sedgwick has one of those perfectly subdued and disci- 
plined minds, which makes her a truly practical woman ; and if she 
excites less of your love than Mrs. Jane, you cannot help yielding 
her your unqualified admiration and respect. In my estimation, Cathe- 
rine Sedgwick is beyond all praise, and I should not think of describing 
even the outline of her character ; but in no branch is she more strik- 
ingly excellent than in the domestic department, producing comfort by 
every motion she makes. 

I suppose you have received the last " North American Review." I 
like it better than I usually do, inasmuch as it is not entirely out of 
the circle of my narrow information, as those " Reviews " usually are. 
The comment on the " Spy " is very good, and was written by Wm. 
Gardiner of Boston ; that on " Bracebridge Hall" is rather testy, though 
it is not devoid of merit. The " Foreigner's Opinion of England,*' which 
I have read this summer, was by Edward Brooks, and is very just. 
" Europe," a book written by Mr. Alexander Everett, was reviewed by 
one of the Grays. 


Your uncle and the girls send their love to you. Eliza and all 
her children are here, and she desires her love also. 
Your affectionate aunt, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

P. S. The union of and was one of those unaccountable 

matches, that everybody on earth wonders at, and which we must con- 
clude are made in Heaven. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, January 21, 1823. 

My dear Abby, — Immediately after Sally's hurried departure, Mary 
was so much engaged in preparing to go to New York, that I devoted 
my time to rendering her every assistance until she went; and then, 
with the interruption of a good many sick days, prepared myself and 
Sally Woodard to go to Boston. I suppose Mary has made some 
written communication to you of her intention to visit New York, and 

described Miss , the object of it. She went the first of December, 

accompanied by Miss Sarah Dwight, under the protection of Mr. Mills, 
when he went to Washington; and I judge by her letters thus far that 
she would be glad to return even sooner than she proposed. I returned, 
after a delightful visit at Boston, ten days ago; but as soon as we got 
home Sally Woodard was seized with a violent rheumatic fever, which 
has kept her motionless in bed, ever since ; and it has required all the 
energies of Mrs. Burt, Jane, and myself to take care of her, and wield 
the other concerns of our family, without even trying to use the pen. 
But I have learned, my dear Abby, that these dark days in families 
are very necessary to remind us of the ordinary blessings of life ; and, 
like the rainy weather which clears the atmosphere, they dispel the 
doubts and misgivings we all are prone to, and convince us of the daily 
ingratitude we are guilty of. 

I was very much pleased with the letter that I received from Sally, 


and regret that so long a time should have elapsed, and that remain 
unanswered. But, while I was in Boston, I had to preserve a constant 
and energetic correspondence with Joseph and his instructor, who 
stayed with him in my absence ; besides whom there was nobody bul 
Mrs. Burt, Charles, and the little children left. For Jane had to go to 
Westfield to visit her grand-parents, for the first time in four years. 

There is a great awakening in Westfield, and is one of the con- 
verts. How true it is, that, when the excitement of one passion has 
subsided, an excitable mind will avail itself of the first apology for 
kindling some sister flame, and by that means keep up a succession of 
vivid interests! Jane pleased me by behaving with a great deal of judg- 
ment while she was at W. She neither ridiculed the enthusiasm there, 

nor fell in with it ; though Miss took care to urge her sufficiently 

on the subject, as you might know she would. 

When I was in Boston, all my friends with whom you are acquainted 
made many inquiries respecting you, and my sisters desired their love 
to you. Mrs. Revere does not enjoy firm health, but she is surrounded 
with every thing that can mitigate the terms of indisposition. She has 
a lovely boy, but, above all, one of the best husbands that ever was. I 
think him as good as my own ; and how can I say more of him ? Mr. 
Revere is a man of enlarged moral views, which leads him to the active 
performance of all the social duties of life. He has a most affectionate 
heart, as well as discriminating mind ; the latter leads him to a full 
appreciation of Mary's virtues, and the former to an ardent attachment 
to her, which extends itself to all those in whom she is interested. 
And the more I know of him the more I realize the value of him as a 
brother, and as a friend. 

Your uncle has been using all his influence in an energetic manner 
for the promotion of Mr. Greene's wishes, and he feels very sanguine 
that success awaits him ; and, at any rate, that nothing is lost by the 

Joseph has read the " Voice from St. Helena," to me, and I am glad 


I have read it, though it certainly is a book of very moderate value. 

But to a person like myself, who has not taken a very critical survey 

of the politics of the European world for the last thirty years (to use 

a vulgar expression), " every little helps ; '* and 1 consider this as one 

of the mites which contribute to enlighten the ignorant, but will be 

of little use to the learned in such matters. 

Adieu, my dear Abby. Believe mc, with the warmest affection, 


A. J. L. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, March 2, 1823. 

My dear Emma, — When I first received your letter, which is nearly 
a month since, I felt inspired by gratitude to sit immediately down and 
answer it; but I then had some imperious claims in the epistolary way. 
which forbade the indulgence of my inclination ; and since then I have 
experienced considerable variety for me, such as some sickness, a ride 
to Deerfield, and another to Springfield. The latter I should have 
enjoyed exceedingly, but I was sick every moment of the time, and it 
was an effort to keep off the bed. But when I did, I was compensated 
by the society of Mr. Peabody, and your acquaintance, Margaret Emery. 
1 always liked Miss Emery very much, but never so well as now. With- 
out the least affectation of eccentricity, she is a little odd, and situated 
as she is it is a misfortune to her; but it only makes her the more inter- 
esting to mc, and she certainly has an excellent mind. She happened 
tn be spending a week with Mrs. 0., with whom I passed the most of 
my time, and where Mr. Peabody spends much of his. 

I was glad to hear of Mrs. P.'s safety and happiness in having a 
son ; her situation is so retired a one, that the care (irksome as it 
appears) will be a comfort to her, and one that brings its reward daily. 
It is a comfort that no one can form an idea of but those who have 
realized it. I have experienced no source of joy so pure, or so fruitful, 


as that derived from my children ; it has been more than a counter- 
poise for all the labor and care incident to such blessings. Joseph bus 
been rather poorly all winter ; some of the time quite sick. But it 
makes him very tame and interesting. He has now got as well as 
usual, and within the last ten days has read the " Pioneers," and 
" Valerius," a Roman story, to me. I was entertained with the " Pio- 
neers," but it appears to me it is one of those ephemeral productions 
which cannot outlive the present day. The object of this work is in 
itself very small, and the effect produced seems to be exactly in pro- 
portion to it. In reading, nothing is more fatiguing to me than minute 
details of low people, with which I think this book, like the "Spy," is 
very much encumbered. I found " Valerius " a delightful antidote to 
the effect of that old, prosing, tedious "Richard Jones," and was inter- 
ested and delighted with every word of it. In short, I think, my dear 
Emma, that it is one of the pleasures of reading, to carry the imagina- 
tion a little out of the track of the dull realities of life, in which there 
is not enough to exalt our thoughts, and produce a high tone of mind. 
Not that I undervalue that happy pliability of mental temperament that 
enables people without effort to descend to the lowest and most minute 
duties of life. And human life consists of constant transitions, of the 
most varied and complicated series of events, requiring the exercise of 
the highest and lowest efforts of our reason, with every intermediate 
stage or ability of which it is susceptible. 

Ever since I heard it, the departure of our dear friend, Mrs. Inches, 
has been interwoven with almost all my reflections. How few could 
join the world of spirits, witli such spotless purity of soul as she has 
done ! When I compare myself with her, I feel ashamed of the disparity 
between us. I believe she never formed or executed a plan that did not 
involve the comfort of others, in some way or other. She had that 
exuberance of disinterested kindness that led her continually to a for- 
getfulness of her own convenience or pleasure. In future, if I make 
new friends, they cannot be substitutes for my old ones, and I feel that 


a dreadful breach is made in what I have always considered a very 
narrow circle. And you know, Emma, that a great many acquaint- 
ances are not worth one friend. Mrs. Inches' children will probably 
never know what they have lost ; their associations will always be 
blended with her infirmities of mind and body, as they have witnessed 
them for two years past. This is deeply to be regretted ; for the influ- 
ence of strong as well as right impressions upon the minds of young 
people, of the age of the four oldest at least, is very important in giving 
a bias to their future character. I cannot help wishing that I could be 
nearer to the bereaved husband and children of this excellent woman, 
that 1 might contribute my mite towards comforting or consoling them 
in their affliction. 

When you write again, tell me who is to be settled at Summer Street, 
and if any one can approve Mr. Sparks leaving Baltimore. 

In answer to a remark you made in your last letter, I will inform 
you that none of the communications you make to me, if it is a descrip- 
tion of the inmost recesses of your own heart, shall ever in future 
cause you any trouble ; and I do not wish you to write shackled by the 
expectation that any of the W. people are going to hear what you say 
to me, or any other people. 

Give my love to all my friends ; and, believe me, it is a deed of char- 
ity to write to me, and the mail is always an acceptable mode. Your 
very affectionate friend and cousin, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

P. S. The children are all around me, and wishing to send different 
messages to you. I do not trust myself generally to write a word 
about them, for fear of betraying the folly which a too partial mother 
is liable to; if I did, I should probably say they were the handsomest, 
wisest, and best that ever were, and you very properly would not 
believe a word of it. 


Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, March 10, 1823. 
My dear Abbt, — I am surrounded by many all-absorbing interests, 

but they do not exclude the distant objects of my affection from my 
thoughts entirely ; and no day passes that you do not flit across my 
imagination, and with yourself many interesting recollections of the 
time we have passed together, that never can return. 

Since Sally Woodard recovered, Joseph has been sick, and likewise 
Anne Jean with a very swelled face which lias lasted a long time ; but 
she is now much better, and we think will be well in a few days. 
My tiwn health has been insufferably bad since the autumn, but I trust 
will be better before this reaches you. I never can express the disap- 
pointment 1 felt that, Sally was caught away in such a hurry, when 
every thing had been driven from my mind by the confusion of Cattle- 
show week, and with such short notice that we had no opportunity to 
put her in any state of preparation, or to think of any thing we had to 
send. I had a set of Dr. Bancroft's sermons, and the " New England 
Tale," and a great many tracts and papers I thought would be interest- 
ing to you. ... I believe you must have seen by smut.' 
paper the death of Eliza Henshaw, who was sick about a year, and 
died three weeks ago. She is certainly a great loss to her family. 
You know I always thought her very superior, unspotted from the 
world, not selfish and exclusive in her feelings, and more active in 
her charities, and altogether possessed of more liberality and enlarge- 
ment than is common to the rest. Our neighbor, Mrs. Hunt, is much 

afflicted by her death, as she was by Mrs. Dewey's. As to , does 

not this easy pliability of character mark the majority of mankind ? 
I am sorry to say 1 think it does ; for I should be glad to think better 
of my fellow creatures. I should lie glad to see them acting, thinking, 
and feeling upon the immutable ami determined principles of reason, 
as modified by the infallible rules of Scriptural morality. Or, in other 


words, a discriminating sense of right and wrong, which may be made 
applicable to the least and most unimportant acts of our life. 

is still living, but confined to his room ; I believe I told you he 

was one of the certain victims of consumption. The sickness and 
other troubles which this young man had experienced had operated 
powerfully to subdue and discipline his mind aright, and 1 have no 
doubt he would have been a distinguished luminary in our literary 
hemisphere had he been permitted to remain in it. lie is very patient 
and submissive, and expresses no regret at the prospect of death, Sam 
writes us, — and he has lately returned from visiting him at Newbury- 

You often have heard me speak of my friend Mrs. Inches. I have 
recently been called to lament her departure, and a great breach it has 
made in my small circle of real friends; for she was the most uniform, 
most kind, and most affectionate being, where she was enlisted, that 1 
ever knew. And I always felt a certainty that the pleasure I was to 
have in seeing her would be fully reciprocated by her when we met. I 
had experienced from her, for sixteen years. 

" That constant flow of love that knows no fall." 
She had a mind that never was disturbed by 

" Those cataracts and breaks, 
Which humor interposed too often makes." 

All these traits of character made her an interesting acquaintance and 
a most desirable friend. And I rejoice that I Knew her, when her ex- 
ample was likely to sink deep into my heart. Such a prevailing influ- 
ence lias this circumstance had on my mind, that 1 find it difficult to 
dismiss it : though 1 know it has no other interesl for you than as an 
event which affects me. 

Notwithstanding our numerous trials this winter, we have enjoyed 
reading Bradford's " History of Massachusetts," Sismondi's " Switzer- 


land," the " Pioneers," the "Voice from St. Eelena," " Valerius," and 
various periodical publications in the form of Reviews : all of which I 
presume you have seen, unless it is Bradford's " History." 

My dear Abby, why cannot the person who comes for Mrs. 

bring you here to pass the summer? Sally can keep house until autumn 
for Mr. Greene, and then I know some way will appear for you to 

Mrs. has her eleventh child — a daughter. 

Yours with much affection, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Jlt-fi. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, May 15, 1823. 
My dear Abbt, — Your uncle wrote you of the happy termination 
of a sorrowful winter ; but I will not make any complaint, for I never 
saw a finer child than mine, as it regards health, as well as good looks. 
But within one week, my dear Abby, I was called to experience the 
extremes of joy and grief. No one could have more reason to rejoice 
and be gratified for the circumstance which immediately restored me 
to health and usefulness, than I had. But while my heart was dilated 
with the most highly-excited emotions on that account, I was called to 
mourn the departure of that truly interesting and excellent youth, 
George Tyng. As you saw him, you could form but an inadequate idea 
of what he afterwards became. I never saw any one more subdued by 
the circumstances which occurred to him, than he was. Yes ! his spirit 
was fitted by the discipline of life for the more exalted enjoyments of the 
world of spirits, — where we are told of the good, that " God will wipe 
all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more sorrow, nor death, 
neither shall there be any more pain." 

But in the first deprivation caused by the death of a friend, these 
reflections are but a partial antidote; and we do not allow ourselves at 
once to reason on the moral uses of affliction, but involuntarily give 


way to the sensations of sorrow, so naturally produced by the loss of 
our friends. . . . Sorrow is a wholesome regimen for us, and weans 
us from the vanities of the world, and induces us to think of the rela- 
tion we sustain, not only to our fellow-creatures but to our Heavenly 
Father, who gives and who takes away, as he sees fit. How often 
those adverse circumstances which we most deeply deplore prove them- 
selves to be our greatest blessings, by sowing the seeds of virtues in 
our hearts, which we were destitute of before, and by the of 
which we may gain so much self-respect, and benefit those within the 
sphere of our influence so much! How many compassionate disposi- 
tions have filled the place of overbearing pride and selfishness! But 
this is rarely the case, where the chastening hand of Providence has 
not been laid upon us. ......... 

if you receive the "North American Review" now, you will perceive 
by a comment there is in it that there recently has been published a 
valuable historical sketch entitled "Tudor's Life of Otis." The com- 
ment was written by Mr. F. C. Gray. The work is a credit to Ameri- 
can literature, and embraces the same period that Bradford's " History" 
did. Mr. Everett has attempted something like a defence of Lord 
Bacon's character, that pleases me, — in the same number. 

My little baby docs n't allow me to do a great deal of writing, and 1 
believe I must get you to make an apology to Sally for me ; 1 shall 
write to her before long. Charlotte and Anne Jean go to dancing- 
school and Miss Upham's school, and appear to be very happy together. 
Your father's family have not yet left Norwich, nor do I know how 
long their stay may be protracted. I saw him to-day, and be told me 
that they were all at home. We had our little girl christened on Sun- 
day ; her name is Susan Inches, — after my dear friend who died this 

I find a great accumulation of cares growing out of my new acquisi- 
tion, and I do not find proportionate increase of talents for the demand ; 
but 1 shall do all I can. 


" And while the busy means are plied, 
Even if the wished end \s denied, 
They bring their own reward." 

And there is a good deal of pleasure and some dignity in the occupa- 
tion annexed to bringing up a family of children, notwithstanding the 

many interruptions incident to it 

Yours most affectionately, 

A. J. Lyman. 

P. S. — Give a great deal of love to Mr. Greene and Sally. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

August 3, 1820. 

Your letters, my dear Emma, have the same effect on my mind that 
animated conversation has on subjects that are interesting to me, and 
always inspire me with the desire to make an immediate reply ; but, as 
my ability and inclination do not always go hand-in-hand, I am fre- 
quently obliged to deny myself the pleasure I so much covet, until the 
inspiration goes off entirely. 

I think I can imagine C. and yourself comparing your travelling ex- 
periences, and enjoying the retrospect they afford you, much more than 
you could have done the reality; and that I consider the principal 
benefit of journeying. The enjoyment is not present, but past, or future. 
There is much satisfaction in the new imagery with which our mind is 
supplied by making tours such as you ladies have done, and nearly as 
much, perhaps, in anticipating them before they occur. But in the 
actual experience there is always some great drawback to comfort ; it 
is either too warm, or cold, or too dusty, or too rainy, or the public 
houses miserable. And we are all such sensualists, that such things 
diminish present enjoyment very much, though in contemplating them 
they do not weigh so heavily. 

I have, after much urging, been drawn in to consent to go to Leba- 


non for a few days ; but I had much rather stay at home, as there are no 
conveniences for babies in such places, and I cannot go without mine 
very well. 

You know we have a prospect of a new literary institution here : but 
I have not been very sanguine in my expectations in regard to it, and 
therefore shall not be disappointed. I dare say the young gentlemen 
engaged in the enterprise will be very much disappointed. I never 
knew tbc most active and resolute parent succeed entirely to his or her 
own wishes in regard to their own families, when guided by the best 
wishes as well as judgment, that falls t < > the lot of humanity, added to 
that strongest principle in human nature, parental love; and therefore 
I do not expect this will be exempt from defects. I know of no human 
institutions that are. I shall think myself singularly happy, if the 
proposed plan is no more defective than those of a similar kind which 
have been so long in use. 

In regard to my own children. I mean to save myself from the sell- 
reproach of neglecting them. Indeed, I have found ever a most ready 
alacrity in their service ; if I am unsuccessful, it will be from an ina- 
bility over which 1 have no control, and the cause of much sorrow. 
But I will not add the anticipation of misery to the reality. 

Don't you intend to come and see us ? Yon remember Miss F. ; she 
is a pretty, interesting creature, full of energy and activity. But if 

doesn't speak quick, he may forever after hold his peace ; for she 

soon will be picked up here. Don't you admire the sensible choice Mr. 
Peabody of Springfield has made? You probably know that he is 
really going to marry Amelia White. Young Mr. Sturgis has just left 
here : he seems to be a nice young man, but not extraordinary as I 
expected. There is another young man from his class here, who is a 
fair match for him, by the name of L. But it would take half-a-dozen 
such to make up the loss of the good and wise little Bradford, who has 
recently left us. 

You have heard, I dare say, that Mr. Ilarding left his wife here ; she 


seems to be a good little woman, and everybody likes her. Some peo- 
ple are very anxious for her improvement. I am not particularly, for I 
think she stands a very good comparison with the majority of her sex ; 
and any thing that would destroy the simplicity of her character would 
take from her her most interesting possession. And it is too late, and 
her habits, as well as objects of interest, are too strongly opposed to 
any new impulse of mind, to make it reasonable to expect any great 
change in her. 

I suppose you are a reader of the " North American Review," and I 
am habitually, from the avarice of not being willing to pay for a thing 
without deriving some profit ; but the last number is so entirely out of 
the channel of my apprehension that I could have but little enjoymenl 
in it. I was, however, pleased with Dr. Bradford's notions of material- 
ism. He believes as much in craniology as I do. 

1 hope has exhausted the seven vials of his wrath against the 

judges of the Supreme Court. I am astonished that the editors of the 
" North American " should allow that work to be the vehicle for its 
diffusion. But what with the political and the theological controversy, 
which has become very stale and tedious, our periodical works are 
amazingly tasteless and wearisome ; and I cannot but hope they will 
meet with a change. 

With love to all friends, your affectionate friend, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 


It is sounded through the land, from the pulpit and the press, that Unitarianism is an 
easy religion, that says little about sin. and lc.-.s about holiness, and lulls its disciple in a 
dream of carnal security ; while from first to last, in its doctrines, and its precepts, and its 
6pirit, it enjoins the acquisition of a holy character as the one thing needful. 

This is Unitarian Christianity, as I understand it. A faith whose topics are the mercy 
of God, the love of Christ, the duty an 1 immortality of man; a faith which beholds a 
ladder reaching from earth to heaven, as in the patriarch's dream, along which the 
influences of the Divine compassion ami the prayers of human hearts are continually 
ascending and descending ; a faith which links time to eternity by a chain of moral causes 
and effects; a faith which utters its woe against impenitence with a heart-thrilling pity, 
which wins souls to Christ with a melting tenderness ; a faith which sanctifies and blesses 
the relations of daily life, which takes from death its terror and its power, and supports 
the soul en the arms of its hope, till it is borne into the society of the angels. — Ezra 
Stiles Gannett. 

WHEN my mother first came to Northampton, she found hut one 
church there; and the whole village united in their interest, or 
lack of interest, in the spiritual food that was meted out to them from 
Sunday to Sunday. The whole atmosphere of the place was strictly 
Oalvinistic, — and the Calvinism of that day was different from any that 
prevails in our time in New England. She had hcen accustomed from 
her childhood to a similar style of preaching in the old church at 
Milton : hut then her wide culture and reading of liberal books, her 
occasional Sundays in Boston, where she had listened with enthusiasm 
to Buckminster and Channing; and, above all. her association with 
pious and devout persons, to whom " the spirit was more than the 
letter," together with her constant, devoted, and intelligent study of 
the Scriptures, — had inclined her to a liberal interpretation of those 


doctrines, which as she now saw them enforced in Northampton were 
dry as dust to her, hard and repelling ; not what her New Testament 
taught her, and not what she wanted to have taught to her children. 

When she talked with my father on this subject of vital importance, 
both before and after her marriage, she found in him a singular agree- 
ment of thought and feeling and conviction. But neither of them 
dreamed of quitting the Church of their forefathers. Moreover, my 
father explained to her, that in the positions of public trust which he 
held in the county, and the varied relations to a wide circle in which 
he stood, it would be most unwise for them to express dissatisfaction 
with the prevailing belief of their neighborhood : that they must con- 
tent themselves with getting what good they could from the Sunday 
ministrations, and where their convictions differed from their neigh- 
bors', they could at least be patient and silent. 

And besides, every tie of affection and gratitude bound my dear 
father to the old minister of the town, — Parson Williams, as he was 
always familiarly called. When my father was a little boy of eight 
years, he one day climbed to the top of a tall tree to witness a skirmish 
that was going on, towards the close of the Revolutionary War. But 
when he saw blood flowing he became giddy, and fell from his height. 
He was taken up insensible, and it was found that his skull was frac- 
tured. A long and anxious time followed, when he was nursed by his 
good parents with devoted care, and his vigorous constitution finally 
triumphed. But he recovered to great delicacy of health, and sensi- 
tiveness of brain ; and Parson Williams, who had been devoted in his 
attentions to the family during this period of anxiety, told his parents 
that it would never do for Joseph to go to the village-school and be 
mixed with rough boys ; and that, if they would send him to Ins study 
for a lew hours every day. he would teach him all he was strong enough 
to learn. So the little boy became the daily inmate of the good pastor's 
study, and his rapid advancement astonished his teacher. One day, 
Parson Williams astonished the parents also, by appearing before them 


to say that Joseph, though only eleven years of age, was perfectly 
fitted to enter Yale College ; and they must let him go. The parents 
demurred, — they were poor, and it was an expense they could not meet, 
they thought. But the faithful friend, feeling sure that the fine hoy 
would not fail to repay them a thousand-fold for all their sacrifices, 
did not leave them till he had exacted a promise from them that Joseph 
should be entered at Yale College a few weeks later. And so his 
mother set herself to work, and spun and wove the entire suit in which 
he entered college. But she had not time to knit him stockings, and 
so lie went barefoot. Mr. Ellis, in his beautiful portrait of my father's 
life, in the sermon preached the Sunday alter his death, says of him: 
" The little barefooted boy, being found prepared, was despatched 
on horseback, under the charge of an elder brother, to the scene of his 
literary labors. The miniature collegian, whose head as he sat upon 
his horse hardly appeared above the portmanteau, was kindly received, 
and went through the prescribed course under the especial care of one 
of the tutors, — Joel Barlow, it is believed." 

My father was through life one of the firmest believers in an over- 
ruling Providence ; and, in his old age, I recall his laying his hand on 
the scar in his forehead, where the fractured skull had been trepanned, 
and saying : " I owe to that fall, under the providence of God, all the 
success and good fortune of my life. It was that fall that attracted 
the notice of our good Parson Williams; and to his efforts with me, 
and persuasions with my parents, I owe the fact of my education, 
which fitted me for all that followed." 

My mother realized all my father's reasons for personal friendship 
for Parson Williams, anil she shared them. But none the less did she 
feel the cloud of Calvinism that enwrapped the whole valley of the 
Connecticut in spiritual gloom. The phraseology of the pious was 
especially distasteful to her. In revival times, the evidences of con- 
version were discussed, much as the symptoms of a fever would be ; 
and the deep things of God, — the soul's union with Christ, the " ob- 


tainiug a hope," as it was called, — were bandied about without reserve, 
and without joy. In infant, schools, babies wept over their " wicked 
hearts;" and the children in older schools were separated into "sheep 

and goats," and sat on " anxious seats." If they died early, the little 
prigs had their memoirs written, in which they implored good old 
people, who had borne the burden and heat of the day in faith and 
patience, " to come to Christ.'" 

These things have passed by ; the Orthodox of to-day would feel 
about them as the early liberal Christian did then. But looking at my 
mother as she was, and knowing how keenly she felt them all, I can 
only wonder at the patience with which she bore this spiritual regimen 
for fourteen long years. 

Had she lived at this day, her far-seeing mind would have recognized 
the deep debt of gratitude which all New England owes to this old- 
fashioned Calvinism; and how, stern though it was, it was like New 
England's rocky soil, — an excellent region to be born in and to have 
come out from. 

As it was, she really believed — and events have proved her in the 
right — that the doctrines of the Church, as then taught, often made 
infidels, materialists, and scoffers, through reaction. And so she fell 
back on the simple teachings of the New Testament, the words of 
Christ; and her open mind and untrammelled spirit experienced an 
untold joy in that liberty wherewith Christ makes his people free. 
And, though tenacious of her own interpretation of Scripture, she was 
never unjust towards those who differed from her, or slow to do full 
honor to the religious character, wherever she saw it exemplified. 

I suppose she may be forgiven for having smiled during one of Par- 
son Williams's sermons on the increasing luxury of the times, when 
he said in his broken voice, "Some attend to the tylet (toilette) and 
others to the piny forty" and for taking it off afterwards; the fact being 
that our own old English piano, and Madame Henshaw's spinnet, were 
the only musical instruments in the town. 


In the year 1824 commenced the first open dissatisfaction in the old 
church at Northampton. The liberal families, few in number, won- yet 
persons of high character and influence, — my father and Uncle Howe 
being prominent among them. All they asked for was the privilege of 
hearing some ministers of the more liberal school for six Sundays out 
of every year, and this privilege the vote of the town gave them; and, 
at the settlement of the Rev. Mark Tucker as colleague to Parson 
Williams, it was well understood that this would be the case. But Mr. 
Tucker declined to exchange with Mr. Peabody, of Springfield, and 
other liberal preachers, for the allotted six Sundays; and my father and 
Uncle Howe, finding remonstrance of no avail, at last " signed off" 
from the old church, and with a few families who shared their convic- 
tions they worshipped for some months in the town hall, hiring a liberal 
preacher to minister to them. That it cost them something to part 
company with old friends and neighbors on a question of such vital 
importance, who can doubt? Or that the stigma attaching to their 
views was hard to bear? But my father and Uncle Howe knew what 
they had undertaken and why ; and, having put their hands to the 
plough, they did not turn back. I do not suppose that women of the 
ardent temperament of my mother and Aunt Howe were always wise 
and judicious in their course at this time, although I never heard that 
they were not. But their piety was as strong as their convictions, and 
no personal bitterness ever mingled with the sorrows of the change. 
A friend who was at our house during this period recalls the glow of 
my mother's face on those beautiful Sunday mornings, when, having 
finished breakfast with the large family, she called on Hiram to take 
the horses and carriage, and go to the outskirts and gather up a few 
liberals who had no means of getting into town ; then busied herself to 
collect the children's silver cups and her old tankards, which she gath- 
ered into her large apron, and carried to the town ball, to prepare the 
communion table; how she dusted the table, and then tucked her 
apron under the seat, and looked round thankfully on the little audi- 


ence collected to listen to Mr. Hall, and to receive the broken bread 
of life, — a real upper chamber, where "two or three were gathered in 
Christ's name." 

It was during this year that she wrote the following letter to Mrs. 
Murray, which shows that her Unitarian views were not the result of 
fancy, or love of change, but grew out of an earnest study of the 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Murray. 

Northampton, July 1. 

My hear Friend, — I have received your kind letter by my husband, 
and am gratified to find that, notwithstanding the lapse of time since 
we saw each other, your feelings remain unchanged. I have thought 
it probable that as your sons advanced you might think it, best to bring 
them here for education, as the most approved means at this time is 
among us. Mr. Lyman says you have some tears that it is a Unita- 
rian institution. Let me inform you that there is nothing of the nature 
of sectarianism belonging to the school. 

Unitarian parents prefer their children should accompany Mr. Ban- 
croft to the Unitarian church, but nearly half the school go with Mr. 
Cogswell to the Orthodox church. This subject has insensibly led me 
to make some remarks to you on controversial topics. In my opinion, 
Christianity does not belong to one sect more than another; but equally 
to all those who imbibe the spirit of Christ, and adorn their lives with 
the virtues of his religion, whether it be Baptist, Methodist, Unitarian, 
or Calvinist. As it regards myself, I think speculative belief lias but 
little to do with the religion of the heart. We are told that the devils 
believe and tremble. But their belief was never assigned to them as a 
virtue. I always shall concede to my friends what I claim for myself, 
the right of interpreting the Scriptures with my own understanding, 
and seeing with my own eyes, instead of allowing others to see for me 
and interpret for me. It appears to me that Jesus Christ declared 


himself to be a being distinct from God, when lie said, "This is Life 
Eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ 
whom thou hast sent." Again it is asserted that, " Jesus lifted up his 
eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Sun, 
that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power 
over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast 
given him. And this is eternal life, that they should know thee, the 
only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. I have glori- 
fied thee on the earth ; I have finished the work which thou gavest me 
to do : and now, G Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with 
the glory I had with thee before the world was." Now it docs appear 
to me that, beings so represented must be distinct; that the one implor- 
ing a favor must lie inferior to the being who is to grant it. "What does 
our Saviour say when accused by the Jews of blasphemy, — who alleged 
that being a man he made himself God ? In his answer does he claim 
the attributes of Deity ? I think he defends himself from the charge 
of making himself equal with God, when he said, " Say ye of him whom 
the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, 'Thou blasphemest,' 
because I said I am the Son of Cod ? " To my apprehension Christ 
disclaims underived power: he says, "Of myself I can do nothing." 
In his last address to his disciples he says, "All power is given unto 
me, in heaven and on earth." When one asked him, " Good Master, 
what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life ? " Jesus said 
unto him, " Why callest thou me good ? There is none good but One, 
that is God." In this expression, I think he meant to disclaim that per- 
fection which is the peculiar attribute of Deity. I think our Saviour 
disclaimed omniscience likewise, when, directing the minds of his dis- 
ciples to the Day of Judgment, he declares, " Of that day and that 
hour knoweth no man, neither the angels which are in heaven, neither 
the Son ; but the Father." I think he means here to express that he 
was ignorant of the Day of Judgment, and that God only knew the 
precise time when the predicted judgments would be inflicted. Our 


Saviour has said, " My Father is greater than I." He was at the time 
of this declaration showing his disciples the sources of eomfori which 
opened to them from the prospect of his resurrection, and at the same 
time exhibits to them that the moral purposes of his reign would be 
consummated by the assistance of God ; and closes his subject with 
saying, " If ye loved me, ye would rejoice because I said. I go unto the 
Father; for my Father is greater than I." " 1 love the Father, and as 
the Father gave me commandment even so I do." Christ evidently 
here speaks of himself in his most exalted character, and absolutely 
disclaims an equality with the Father. Christ asserts that he is the 
messenger of God, that he preached not his own doctrines, but those 
of his Father who sent him. " I am come in my Father's name. 1 am 
not come of myself, but he that sent me is true. I proceeded forth and 
came from God ; neither came I of myself, but He sent me. My doc- 
trine is not mine, but his that sent me." Again he says, " When ye 
have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I am he, and 
that I can do nothing of myself; but as my Father taught me, I speak 
these things. I have not spoken of myself, but the Father who sent 
me, He gave me a commandment what I should say, and what I should 
speak." In a prayer addressed to his Father, our Saviour makes use 
of these expressions : " I have given unto them the words which thou 
gavest me ; and they have received them, and have known surely that 
I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me." 
Jesus Christ directed his disciples to offer their prayers to God 
through him as the one mediator. He likewise shows himself a sub- 
ordinate being by the manner in which he addresses his God and our 
God. "Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, Father, I thank thee that 
thou hast heard me; and I knew that thou hearest me always: but 
because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe 
that thou hast sent me." When oppressed by personal suffering, he 
says : " my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me : 
nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." " He went away a 


second time, and prayed saying, my Father, if this cup may not pass 
from me except I drink it, thy will be done." When crucified, he said 
of his persecutors : " Father, forgive them, for they know not what 
they do." " And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, 
Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit : ami gave up the ghost." 
These are the expressions, not of Supreme Divinity, but of a being 
dependent and actually suffering. The prayer which our Saviour 
taught the disciples is addressed to God the Father in heaven. 

You will, my dear friend, perceive that in this letter I have aimed 
to prove by quotations from Scripture: first, the very words of our 
Saviour himself, that Jesus declared himself to he a being distinct 
from God ; secondly, that he disclaimed the essential attributes of 
Supreme Divinity, underived power, omniscience, and absolute good- 
ness ; thirdly, that he appeared in our world as the messenger of 
God, and preached to men, not his own doctrines, but the doctrines 
of God, who sent him ; fourthly, that Christ prayed to God as the 
only proper object of worship, and directed his disciples to offer their 
prayers to God through him as the mediator; fifthly, that, having com- 
pleted the business of his mission on earth, Jesus ascended to his God 
in heaven, and there received the reward of his obedience to the Divine 
Will unto death, even the death of the cross. 

You may think I wish to convert you : but my wishes are far other- 
wise. I wish to convince you that a Unitarian derives his belief from 
tlie Scriptures, as you do; and thinks reason and religion are on his 
side, as you do. I have never discovered that Trinitarians were any 
more virtuous for their belief, or that Unitarians were any less so for 
theirs. Hence I draw the inference I commenced with in the beginning 
of my letter, that speculative belief has little to do with real religion. 
Your affectionate friend, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

P. S. Give my love to Mrs. G when you see her, and tell her 


that I should have been pleased to have noticed her son on Round Bill, 
but the gentlemen would not allow me to. 

Mrs. Hoivc to Miss Cabot. 

Northampton, February 23, 1S23. 
My dear Eliza, — ....... 

I am sorry that our friends at the eastward consider us cold and 
dilatory on the subject of our society ; at the same time I know 
they cannot be aware of the peculiar difficulties by which we are sur- 
rounded. We ourselves understood them when we commenced, and 
we think our success has been beyond our most sanguine expectations. 
Our friends from the eastward have always written as if they thought 
there was a large number of Unitarians in this town ; if that had been 
the case, we never should have consented to the arrangement made at 
the time of Mr. Tucker's ordination ; but, in fact, we could not then 
count more than four or five males who were heads of families. When 
•we determined to secede, we were less than twenty ; and when Mr. 
Peabody preached for us in December, it seemed doubtful to us if we 
could procure an audience of fifty persons. It must be very obvious to 
anybody who understands pecuniary affairs, that such a handful of 
persons could not have built a church and settled a minister, unless 
they were very rich, which we are not ; or else very willing to beg, 
which we are not. We procured Mr. Hall ; he has preached for us 
seven Sundays, and three Thursday lectures, to our universal accepta- 
tion and admiration. His preaching has been highly appreciated, and 
his character as a man has secured our respect and regard. In the 
mean while, the Oalvinists have done every thing to plague and thwart 
us that they could. They have not scared us, but they have tried to ; 
and I dare say they have sent word to Boston they have succeeded. 
But m> matter, facts speak. Yesterday we organized our society; 
about fifty persons associated themselves. Of these persons not more 


than six or seven can be said to be in easy circumstances ; the others 
are persons who supply the wants of every day by the toil of every day. 
It will be obvious that the principal burden of expense must rest on 
the six or seven- first mentioned, but they are prepared for the work ; 
and all, even the poorest, have manifested the disposition to do what 
they can. A committee was chosen to build a meeting-house, and the 
money is to be paid for it by seven individuals. Another committee is 
chosen to make arrangements with Mr. Hall to remain with us per- 
manently. Of our success in this we are not certain, because we 
know that his talents and attainments are such as entitle him to a 
better situation ; but we intend to make him the very best offer in our 
power, and it will be such a one as will enable him to live comfortably 
in this place, — and it is a situation- in which he will be able to do a 
great deal of good ; and as he seems devoted to this object, it may be 
a powerful inducement with him to stay among us. I should like to 
have you state these facts to Dr. Channing, whose opinion we greatly 
reverence, and whose approbation we would gladly deserve. We hope 
to have him preach for us whenever we get a meeting-house. Willi 
respect to " all the world," we intend to have a notice put in the paper 
for their information and satisfaction. 

On the subject of the Calvinistic sen! which you advocate, I must say 
I greatly differ from you. I have lived among Calvinists twelve years, 
and I often have had them inmates of my house ; the recollections of 
this period of my life would furnish me well-authenticated anecdotes 
of them, which would fill a volume. I have sometimes thought to 
record them, but I feel that it would be an unworthy office, and that it 
is far better to forgive their injuries, and remember their extravagan- 
ces only to avoid them. I know that their zeal has carried them to 
distant lands and to the isles of the sea to make converts, and that it 
has enabled them to endow their theological institutions munificently ; 
but I know, too, that it has in most instances failed to teach them the 
more difficult duty of subduing their own hearts, and eradicating their 


own bad passions. And I know, too, that much of the money bestowed 
on their favorite objects is procured by foolish and nefarious means. 
They do not hesitate to beg first in the parlor, and then in the kitchen, 
— first of the parent and then of the child; not only from the wealthy, 
but they will urge the pittance from the " hard hand of poverty." They 
will do what is worse than all ; they will go to the bed of death, and 
seize in God's name the trifle which affection would bestow on needy 
relatives. This is nothing figurative, — facts bear me out in every 
assertion. This, and more also, the Calvinists have done for the 
Amherst Institution. They have hired beggars by the day, and taken 
subscriptions of twelve and a half cents from those who had not the 
change to give. If Cambridge would do this for its institution, they 
could get double the money they want in a few weeks. But would the 
end sanctify the means ? I scorn to see such conduct under the man- 
tle of religion. Our Saviour, when on earth, was indeed poor, but did 
he beg ? 

I have always thought it a great privilege of true religion that it 
united so readily with common duties, and I will not allow that Unita- 
rians are inferior to others in discovering its effects in their lives ; but 
we will treat especially of their zeal. Surely, you have distinguished 
individuals among you, who have lent their whole intellectual existence 
to the cause of true religion ; and I turn with pleasure to my good 
friend and minister, Mr. Willard, who has stood at an out-post for a 
course of years — rejected by his brethren, exposed to slander and 
malignity — and has exhibited a firmness of purpose and a strength of 
principle which convinces me he would not shrink from the faggot and 
the stake in supporting his Christian integrity ; and the young minister 
whom we hope to call our own gives strong indications of the same 
character. He has not yet been tried, but I trust he will be able to 
pass the furnace of Calvinism without blenching. I hope you will not 
think me impetuous on this subject ; but I have dwelt so long exposed 
to these unholy fires, I have seen them so often consuming all gentle 


and sweet affections, all noble and lovely virtues, all holy and heavenly 
principles, that they are the objects of my peculiar aversion: no crime 
named in the Decalogue brings more unpleasant associations to my 
mind, than Cah'inistii' zeal. 1 pray that we may kindle a purer flame, 
that it may burn with a more equal lustre, that it may enlighten many 
understandings and purify many hearts, making them fit inhabitants of 
that heavenly kingdom which is the object of all our aspirations. Do 
not think I mean to lie indiscriminating in my censure of Calvinists. 
I know that there are those among them who fear God and regard 
man ; but' these are not the persons who are continually thrusting 
themselves forward to relate their religious experiences, and publish 
their religious donations. True piety with them, as with sincere and 
devout Unitarians, takes a more quiet but a more useful and honor- 
able course. I do believe that there are some sanctified hearts among 
all persuasions, but the general character of Calvinism seems to me to 
have few touches of the spirit manifested by our Lord and Master. If 
you know any Calvinists who arc distinguished alike for a true zeal and 
;m enlightened Christian morality, I would thank you to let me know 
who they are, for I should be as willing to respect and admire them 
as you are. I feel that 1 ought not to tax your patience with them any 

Mrs. Mills has always manifested some impressions that the Calvin- 
ists here conducted improperly, though she has said but little about it. 
She attended a Thursday lecture here before she went to Boston, and 
I think hearing Dr. Channing and Mr. Gannett did her good. Never- 
theless, she is so shackled here, I think it will be difficult for her to 

come over to us. Mrs. • has for the most part observed silence ; 

the Dwights, too, have been very silent, and have been at our meeting 
at an evening lecture. I think Charles Sedgwick's practical illustra- 
tion of Unitarianism has been very serviceable to them. Betsey Ches- 
ter is at Weathersfield. These are all the Calvinists here that you care 
any thing about. We feel as though our worst trials were over, and 


every one manifests great pleasure that they arc so. If we only can 
get Mr. Hall, we shall be secure of a respectable society as well as a 
good minister. He came this afternoon, after I had half written my 
letter, and made us a social visit, and was very easy and agreeable ; in 
this respect he has improved very much since he first came, — among 
entire strangers he appeared diffident and embarrassed. But that has 
passed away ; though he is a truly modest man, he seems to possess 
the social turn which is so desirable in a minister. You do not know 
how attentive all the law-students have been to the preaching. I think 
it quite an object that young persons just entering life should exhibit 
such a disposition, as I do believe it will have a valuable effect on their 
future conduct. 

As you may receive my letter at a time when you are not at leisure 
to read a volume, I think I had better say farewell. With love to your 
family circle, ever affectionately yours, 

S. L. Howe. 

It will of course naturally be seen that no difference in the 
forms of their religious belief ever affected, in the smallest degree, 
my mother's feelings towards her Orthodox neighbors, or theirs 
to her. One whom she reverenced has said, " A saint should be as 
dear as the apple of an eye." And so they were to her, in all times 
and places. One lovely Christian woman in the old church, who dis- 
tributed tracts every six months through certain districts, was wont 
to call at these regular intervals on my mother, some years after our 
church was formed, with her package. She would make a long call, 
talking delightfully on many topics of common interest, and, just 
as she left, would drop the tracts in my mother's lap ; who thanked 
her, laid them quietly in her mending-basket, and cordially urged her 
to come again. It was somewhat of a surprise to me, as soon as Mrs. 
E. had gone, to see her gather up the tracts in her apron, and drop 
them one by one into the fire ; watching with a peculiarly beaming 


countenance the destruction of such cheerful titles as, " Can these Dry 
Bones Live ? " " Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," <fcc, &c. 

Why my straightforward mother never should have told Mrs. E. she 
did not want the tracts, and would not have them, I could not see ; 
and I told her so. " Why, my dear," she exclaimed, " that woman is 
a saint. If I were to tell her that, she would stop coming to see me, 
and I should lose a visit I enjoy. She thinks she is doing God service 
in bringing me these tracts. Let her think so. I am sure there is 
nothing easier than for me to burn them up, so that they never can 
' pison the fountains ' in this house." 

The establishment of the Round-Hill School in 1823, and of the 
Law School soon after, of which Judge Howe was the head, and its 
most inspiring influence, made an era in the life of my parents, from 
which they dated many of their highest social privileges. The coming 
of my Uncle and Aunt Howe to Northampton in the year 1820 had 
been a source of unmixed satisfaction to both of them. At last, those 
retired and admirable lives that had been gathering strength and 
resource among (he quiet hills of Worthington were to be brought into 
closer intercourse with a more extended circle, and to taste the de- 
lights of wider influence and more appreciative society. Ah ! it is 
the destiny that grows as life wears on, that is the fine one! And yet 
in these latter days of luxury and over refinement, we grudge those 
years in the lives of young people, when comparative retirement and pri- 
vation and exertion are really fitting them for a middle age of highest 
usefulness and enjoyment. We want them to begin with all the gath- 
ered store of appliances with which we end. How grand a mistake ! 

The two schools brought to Northampton a corps of professors and 
teachers, such as few colleges have ever seen. Messrs. Cogswell and 
Bancroft, who were the first teachers in the Round-Hill School, were 
the first iu this country to exemplify the system of the German Gym- 


nasium ; and all their arrangements were made on a scale of magnifi- 
cence for that day, which soon attracted the sons of the wealthy from 
all parts of the country. In the summer-time, families from Virginia 
and the Carolinas would take hoarding-places in the neighborhood, to be 
near their sons who were in the school ; and my father delighted in his 
rare opportunities for intercourse with some of the choicest spirits of the 
South. For the Hamiltons and Middletons and Draytons and Waynes, 
with many others, found themselves soon at home in the hospitable 
house whose front-door always stood open ; and from the Law School 
came daily incursions of professors and scholars, whom Mrs. Burt 
always would designate to my mother (when she asked from the nur- 
sery who had come in) as " only the every-day gentlemen." Among 
these were Hooker Ashman, George S. Hillard, George Tyng, Timothy 
Walker, Wm. Meredith, Russell Sturgis, and others. What a constant 
and pleasurable excitement for the grown-up sisters and cousins this 
society made, and what an entertaining time for my mother's little 
children, who were pets and companions always ! How rarely we ever 
felt that we were put to bed to be got out of the way, although our 
hours were early and regular ! 


Happy will that house he in which the relations are formed from character, after the 
highest and not after the lowest order ; the house in which character marries, and not 
confusion and a miscellany of unavowahle motives. . . . The ornament of a house is the 
friends who frequent it. — Emerson. 

HOW full to overflowing were my mother's days at this period of 
her life ! It was the heyday of her existenee, in which little 
thought of self came to mar her absolute enjoyment of Nature, of her 
family, of society, and of choicest friends. Her perfect health made 
her life of activity a pleasure as well as a duty, and to this health there 
were few interruptions. During the months preceding the births of her 
children she suffered a great deal, and as' her strength and vigor pre- 
vented Iter from claiming any immunity from care or exertion, she 
had not the rest she should have taken. But the births of her children 
were the slightest possible causes of retirement or anxiety in her case. 
She had never a physician at any time, — the faithful Burty carrying 
her through these occasions with excellent care and skill ; and she 
able the very next day to sit up in her large easy-chair, with her 
mending-basket and book beside her, making first one and then the 
other her pastime for some hours of each day. One week was all the 
time that Burty ever could succeed in keeping her in her room : in 
the second week, she had resumed all the duties of the house, and was 
driving all over the country witli my father. But, in all her cares and 
duties, she was seldom without the invaluable aid of my father's 
grown-up daughters and nieces. 


Doubtless a nature so vivacious, and a life so active, experienced 
reaction enough to call up reflective sentiment whenever she wrote 
letters : for these occasions were really among her few periods of com- 
parative rest. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, June 20th, [1823V]. 
I have been expecting you every day for more than a fortnight ; in 
the mean time, Dr. and Mrs. Gorham have passed a day with me, and 
were disappointed that they could not meet you here. I was pleased 
with Mrs. Gorham, but the doctor is superlative ; I liked him amaz- 
ingly. And I was glad to find that the unfortunate occurrences of his 
family did not prevent him from taking bis wife to Niagara, as well as to 
the other curiosities of that part of the country ; though I think there 
was rather a cloud hanging over their prospects after they got to Can- 
andaigua, but it had passed over before they got here, and they were in 
good spirits. I was sorry that the doctor did not let his wife go to 
the mountain, which they ought to have done in the morning before 
they came to visit me, — for you know the afternoon is no time to look 
on a western view. But I took her upon Round Hill, and rode around 
the town with them in the afternoon, and did all I could to prevent 
their losing time while they stayed. Old Mrs. Lee came here a few 
days since, with her granddaughters, from New York ; and I could not 
help hoping, that by some accident you would bear of them and come 
at the same time ; but now I despair of seeing you at all. I was much 
pleased to receive a note from you by Mrs. W., because it gave some 
encouragement to my hopes that you would not return to Boston with- 
out seeing us. I have feasted my eyes on the beautiful Mrs. Eliot, and 
think she is the queen of beauty, — in our hemisphere, at least. I 
never liked her husband as well as I did this time. He was exceed- 
ingly condescending and attentive to those around him. She appeared 
desirous to please, but her countenance indicated the melancholy re- 


flections that had so lately had possession of her mind ; you know she 
was the only daughter of her mother, and the subject of her idolatry. 

I saw John a few days ago, and told him that you would be here 
soon. He is very well, and I always hear is doing well. The gentle- 
men on Round Hill have certainly made very great efforts, and they 
have been accompanied by the most wonderful success ; which is not 
only fortunate for them, but very much so for the town. The in- 
structors, too, all that I have known, have been of the highest order ; 
and 1 think their method is greatly calculated to raise the standard of 
education in our country. I have enclosed an account of it, which I 
think exceedingly clear and intelligible, and which I believe was penned 
by Mr. Bancroft. 

Yours with much affection, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, September 10, 1823. 
My dear Abby, — You know nothing is so unusual in my family as 
solitude, or, in other words, as tranquillity ; and in proportion to the 
rareness of our blessings we prize them. I hail this hour then with 
peculiar gratitude, for it is a temporary exemption from care, from 
bustle, and from company, — such a one as I cannot recollect to have 
experienced for more than three months. But much as present objects 
occupy me, I always find time and occasion to think of my dear Abby. 
Your last kind letter, together with Sally's, gave us much pleasure, — 
as do all your letters, inasmuch as they convince us of your continued 
health and happiness. Happiness in an unusual degree I always knew 
you must be in the enjoyment of, for you were always in the possession 
of a well-spring that cannot fail you altogether, though it may be sub- 
ject to temporary checks. Dteetjilinal tVrh'ni/s:. with the determination 
to benefit others in all we do, must insure a measure of happiness. 


I could get no farther when an interruption stayed my hand, and 
my letter will have to wait another mail before it goes. 

Charlotte left me some weeks ago, and Harriet came in to go to 
dancing-school and writing-school. I was very sorry to part with Char- 
lotte. I believe I told you my baby was named Susan Inches: and 
a lovelier creature I never saw. Did I tell you in my last, that on the 
first of October Mr. Cogswell and Mr. George Bancroft — two pro- 
fessors from Cambridge — were going to open a school on the plan of 
a German Gymnasium ; of course Joseph is to be an alumnus of the 
institution. It proposes to teach all that is taught in any college in 
the United States. I do not feci quite so much enthusiasm as to the 
success of their plan as many others do ; but, at any rate, they will be 
an immense accession to our society, as they are distinguished for their 
learning, piety, and wisdom. If I get an opportunity, I will send you 
their prospectus. 

Emma Forbes is staying with me, and has just observed that she 
wished you made one of our circle. I never can cease to deplore those 
I am separated from by distance and by death, however I may appear 
reconciled to it. Present enjoyment will always depend much on our 
retrospect of the past, as well as our contemplation of the future. In 
the former — 

" The few we liked, the one we loved, 
A sacred band ! come stealing on ; 
And many a form far hence removed, 
And many a pleasure gone," 

must, to the thoughtful, impair the enjoyment of the present. But 
hope — that anchor to the soul — is a partial antidote, and enlightens 
the gloom of melancholy reflections. For "fancy, delusive most where 
warmest wishes are," arrays the future in the colors of the rainbow ; 
and we are deceived by it so gradually, that it is imperceptible to our 
dull senses, except it relates to some particular object, — such as a 
favorite child becoming profligate, or a near friend deceiving us. Per- 


haps the enthusiast enjoys most; for enthusiasm adds an imaginary 
value to every object of our pursuit, and of course brightens our antici- 
pations in regard to it, be it what it may. 

Did M. tell you that '- was engaged to ? I 

don't believe you knew his wife was dead ; but she has been a year, 
and he is going to be married again the coming winter. I have no 
other comment to make in regard to this match, except that I think 

will make her very happy. Mr. Peabody of Springfield is going 

to be married to a Miss Amelia White, a young lady you may have 
heard of. . . . It is thought a very judicious match. 
There is a young lady here, Miss Fiske, who has a flourishing school 
of young ladies. She is very handsome and very interesting. 

Now I believe I have told you all the news. Catherine has been 
here on her way to Niagara this summer. She regretted that you 
did not write to her, but sent her love. I am expecting Mrs. Revere 
will make me a. visit with her youngest child, now two months old. 
The interruption I have from my baby must be my apology for this 
dreadful looking letter. 

With much love to Mr. Greene and Sally, 

Yours very affectionately. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, October 19, 1S23. 
My dear Emma, — Ten days have passed away most rapidly since 
you left me. I am much obliged to you for your letter. I had 
no idea you would have left Worcester as soon as you mention ; if I 
had I should not have sent some letters there which came to you 
here by mail : but I hope they will reach you somewhere. John and 
Joseph dined with me to-day for the first time. They appeared very 
good and happy, perfectly contented with their situation ; still I have 
not yet been induced to believe that the millennium has commenced 


on Round Hill, though I know nothing to the contrary. But you 
know I always have had misgivings in regard to the efficacy of their 
plan, though I have done every thing to cultivate faith that any one 
could. The idea of a number of children being educated without 
rewards or punishments, I can hardly believe possible ; because it 
bears no analogy to any system, human or divine, that I am ac- 
quainted with. The Almighty has seen fit in his providence to keep 
up a system of chastisements from which the best of his creatures 
are not exempt. "We are likewise the recipients of daily blessings 
more than we deserve. But I suspect that part of the plan is only 
for theory, for your brother John has had a very nice cross-bow given 
him for being the best climber ; and Joseph tells me the boy in each 
room, that is the neatest, is to have a print given him at the end 
of the month. I live in regard to the school with a sort of rod 
held over my head. For the gentlemen say whenever a boy does 
wrong he will be expelled from the school, for they shall attempt 
no other punishment. Now I know Joseph will never premeditate 
any evil ; but such a child as he is, is so liable from inadvertency 
or impulse to go astray, that it is always to be calculated upon. 
But, as yet, I find the boys retain their fondness for their instruct- 
ors, and their desire to please them ; and they give the most famous 
account of their living. But I cannot in this case say, " Fancy is 
delusive most, where warmest wishes are ; " for I promise myself 
nothing in particular, and therefore cannot be disappointed. My fears 
certainly prevail over my hopes. 

I have written this much concerning the Gymnasium, because 1 
knew you were interested in its progress, as well as in John. We 
have a clergyman now preaching for us, who has been two years in 
Scotland, studying with Dr. Chalmers ; but I hope he is not the best 
specimen of that kind of education, for it was the whirlwind in com- 
parison with the "sigh of evening gales that breathe and die." 

You know how tired I get Sunday evenings after the labors of the 


day, and must excuse me for treating you with this exhaustion of 
spirit. Jane has just come into my room, to tell that there was a fresh 
recruit of nonsense in the parlor, in the shape of S. B. and Uncle 
Eben. I knew Russell. was there and B., when 1 sat down. 

We had a visit from Mrs. S. C. last week ; she passed a part of 
two days here, or rather stayed over a stage. Miss L. P. would 
have accompanied her to Boston, but we prevailed with her to stay 
till after Cattle Show, as she has seen none of the animation of this 
place. I wish you and C. would call on L. (if you think you can) 
when she gets to Boston. Mr. Hentz has dined with us once since 
you left us ; he made particular inquiries after you ; he is just in 
that state when youth, 

" Adds bloom to health, o'er every virtue sheds 
A gay, humane, a sweet and generous grace, 
And brightens all the ornaments of man," 

and in every respect makes him the most interesting youth that 
ever was. Thinks Northampton a little heaven below, and wishes 
for nothing so much as to make it his future residence, which, if 
all things go well, no doubt he will do. I must leave off writing, 
and go to work preparing for Cattle Show. With love to all friends, 
your ever affectionate 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

P. S. It requires the whole influence of friendship to tolerate 
such a letter as this is ; make any excuse for me that you think the 
reality will justify, to Mary Pickard for my not writing to her, 
which I perceive I shall not be able to do. Your favorite is sit- 
ting by my side dressed in pale blue, and looking like a fallen 

October 30. 

Since the above was written, we have got through Cattle Show with 
much confusion, but with a great deal of pleasure. I was delighted 


to have Mr. Inches anil Elizabeth here. The Springfield ladies are 
still with me, and everybody has appeared to enjoy themselves 

I have received, since the above was written, a letter and note 
from you, together with the ring you were so kind as to send little 
Susan, and Joseph's boots, which I believe answer very well. John 
has been permitted to dine with me once, and Joseph twice ; they 
are both of them perfectly happy. 

Tell Catherine I shall write to her soon, but wish she would come 
along without waiting for Sally and Mr. Howe, who have no thought 
of going to Boston, as I suppose she has heard before now. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, December 14, 1823. 
It is unnecessary, my dear Abby, for me to inform you with what 
unmingled sentiments of pleasure and gratitude I heard of the safe 
arrival of your little daughter, for you must have observed by my last 
letter that I had given up all anticipations of such a gratification. I 
have a realizing sense of the joy and gratitude which reign in your 
heart on this occasion. I think that produced by the birth of a first 
child is something of a more elevated and exciting cast than any thing 
we ever experience afterwards. We feel ourselves called upon in a 
new capacity which we never realized the possession of, and combined 
with it such a new set of affections, sensations, and anticipations, that 
it in fact creates a new mental existence. But beware of the indul- 
gence of these feelings to too great a degree; discipline your heart, and 
fortify your mind for all the inequalities which are incident to human 
enjoyment. And perhaps the enjoyment to be derived from our chil- 
dren is as susceptible of interruption as any we have. But uncertain 
as it maybe, lean attest to this truth after twelve years of ordinary 
experience on the subject, there is no pleasure or satisfaction in human 


life which is equal to that afforded to us by our children. There is a 
constant compensation for all the care and sorrow they bring, either in 
their innocent playfulness, or their intellectual progress. And there 
is a pleasure, too (if a selfish one), in the idea that they, being of so 
exalted a nature, made but little lower than the angels, belong to us ; 
we derive from it a new importance, a new self-estimation which re- 
wards us for the increase of duties and responsibility that it brings. 
We that have families may look around us and say to ourselves : — In the 
existence of all these dear objects we are identified : and in them we 
shall leave a representation of our efforts and, if we 7tave any, of our 

In the case of your parents, my dear Abby, they appear to have but 
one thing left them, and that is or ought to be a rich and fruitful source 
of comfort to them. For I know of no people more blessed in their 
children. I presume Mary mentioned to you in her letter that Harriet 
had gone to Litchfield, where she will have the benefit of Mr. Brare's 
instruction for a year, unless she goes to you in the spring. The school 
there is much better than any we have here ; the situation otherwise 
may not be as good. 

Martha is quite a favorite here ; she has strength of mind with great 
originality, and much more improvement than you could anticipate with 
the disadvantages she has had to encounter. She reads to me every 
day. assists Anne Jean in getting her lessons, and explains them to her 
in a very lucid manner. Charlotte lias a fair mind, and is perfectly 
innocent and pure in all her thoughts ; and, if I were going to choose 
a friend and companion for Anne Jean, I do not know where I could 
find one so near her own age that I should prefer to Charlotte; for, at 
the same time she is without Anne Jean's levity of character, she is 
divested of her vivid fancy. But tiny mingle with great interest and 
harmony in each other's enjoyments. 


Mrs. I/yman to Mis* Forbes. 

Nob i hampton, December 20, 1823. 

John is now with me, and Joseph ; I have had but two days of their 
society, and that is most agreeable. If I know any thing of John, he is 
an excellent boy. I find he is pleased to sit down and entertain him- 
self with his book. Mr. Cogswell, who is his instructor, did not appoint 
him any duties for the vacation, which I hope will be a period of recre- 
ation that will refresh and invigorate him for the increased duties of 
the next term. Mr. Bancroft appointed Joseph sufficient to fill up his 
leisure time during the first fortnight. I have great pleasure in the 
society of children, you know. There is something in their unalloyed 
simplicity, in their exemption from those defects which characterize 
maturity, — such as worldliness, complicated motives' of action, and 
various et ceteras, — that compensates me for all their annoying ways : 
for it cannot be denied that they have many. Amongst other specu- 
lations upon them, I have concluded that children (taken in the aggre- 
gate) are better than grown people. How few do we find, who when 
they have arrived at the zenith of improvement, who have had the best 
opportunities to increase their intellectual stores, with every motive for 
wisdom and virtue, — how few, 1 say, do we find without some grand 
defect of character, which either destroys our sympathy or impairs 
our confidence; and with whom, when we come in contact, we are not 
compelled mentally to determine, " so far shalt thou come, and no far- 
ther" ! But perhaps in the expression of this opinion I may appear to 
you to think less favorabla^ mankind than I do, or than the truth will 
justify ; which I should be sorry for, as by so doing I should in some 
measure discard a numerous and valuable set of accpjaintances. But I 
trust you know me well enough to give a qualifying tone to the thoughts 
I express. 

There seems to be a ureal deal of marrying going on in Boston. I 

am pleased with the engagement of your Cousin S. and Mr. L. ; from 



what I have heard of both, I should think it must be a very fair match. 
and advances the cause of the other members of the family, in the mat- 
rimonial way. I should like to know if your aunt is pleased with it, 
and if it happened before your uncle went away. 

When you see Mrs. Sturgis, sny to her that we feel much indebted to 
her for her great politeness to Jane. 1 think she will find Kusscll much 
improved in the manliness of his character, and I know that he has in 
habits of application to his studies. Judge Howe speaks very highly of 

There are two other very respectable young men in the office, — W. 
and H., — but none of them quite supply the place to us of the amiable 
and intelligent Tom Bradford, to say nothing of one who has ,k winged 
his flight to future worlds," in whose society I had peculiar pleasure, 
from the easy and accessible sympathy which was such a prevailing 
characteristic of his nature. 

Give my love to all my friends, more particularly your aunt and 
Margaret. You cannot think what an improved little creature your 
little favorite is ; she is truly the delight of our house. She is much 
obliged to you for the ring you sent her, but not a tooth has she rubbed 
through yet. 

Your very affectionate cousin, 

Anne Jean. 

P. S. Anne Jean talks much of Cousin Emma, and wishes me to 
say that she is studying French Grammar, preparatory to going to Mr. 
Hentz in the spring, and that she has taken great pains to improve 
herself in that language since you were here ; devotes the evening 
entirely to it. Mr. Lyman sends his love to you. 

" Oh ! what won' Life, 
Even in the warm summer-light of joy, 
Without those hopes which, like ivi'ivslu 
At evening from the sea. cine o'er the soul, 
Breathed from the ocean of Eternity." 


Mrs. Lyman to 31iss Forbes. 

Northampton, February 9, L824. 

My dear Emma, — You know I have no particular objection to 
writing, but when I have so good a proxy as Catherine, I feel exempted 
in some measure from that, knowing that her offerings of that kind are, 
or ought to be, much more acceptable than mine. 

The school on Round Hill has been the most fruitful source of excite- 
ment that we have had. Your mother has probably had a letter to 
inform you that it will soon cease to be such to us ; for Mr. C. has 
purchased a very line seat on the North River, at Red Hook, to which 

they will remove in the spring. J will remain with them during 

the year, as we at first intended. He gets along very well ; but there 
have been " some cataracts and breaks " in their progress thus far, 
that are, I believe, somewhat discouraging to them, inasmuch as they 
were unlooked for, and, owing to their inexperience, assume a magni- 
tude in their minds that they probably would not in Dr. Abbot's, or 
many others of their profession. John continues to be very happy, 
and I have no doubt is in a highly improving state. 

Notwithstanding all that may be said, I feel great regret at having 
them leave, believing that they would secure the esteem of the people 
by a longer stay, wherein the redeeming traits in their characters might 
be exhibited. But it is useless now to speculate on what might be, and 
I must abandon the pleasing dream " that I was to have my son live 
where I could see him every day, if I chose," for I have long since 
given up the idea of a private school in this place. John dined with 
me to-day. I ought to have told you before that he did himself great 
honor by a very dignified course of conduct during the vacation. He 
divided his time between Mrs. Howe's and here. His clothes are in a 
very good state. Mr. Cogswell has his sister with him now, — a good 
lady, whose highest aim is household good. She takes excellent care 
of the boys' things, and is, I think, a great improvement to the estab- 


lishment. S. B. dined with me to-day. I do not think she will go to 
Red Hook, and I am sure I hope she will not. 

I have often heard that disappointments were a good discipline for 
the human mind, and I do not doubt it. And where it neither involves 
loss of friends nor loss of character, we should not complain ; but we 
are so constituted that, whatever occurs to us in the form of discipline, 
or operates as such, is unacceptable. And nothing is more difficult to 
make, in the true spirit of it, than that acknowledgment to Provi- 
dence, " Thy will be dune." 

I would thank you to write to us a letter full of the vanities of life, 
such as how you enjoyed Mrs. Otis's ball ; what substitute is there for 
Mr. Everett's lectures ; who is going to be married : do you ever see 
Mrs. F. C. ; how does M. take to the world ? Little Susan will not 
allow me to say more than that I am your affectionate friend and 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, March 21, 1824. 

" Sae I gat paper in a blink. 
And down gaed stumpie in the ink. 
Quoth I before I sleep a wink. 
I vow I'll close it." 

Now, my dear Emma, nothing short of a resolution equal to that of 
my friend Burns, when he uttered these lines, could tempt me so far 
to absent myself from thoughts of present emergencies (of which there 
are a never-ending succession that claim my unwearied attention) as to 
undertake to write a letter. 1 shall never again wonder at people who 
give up writing. The circumstances which, to the head of a family, 
rise in opposition to it, are sufficiently formidable to justify a con- 
scientious person in abandoning it altogether ; but I am too selfish for 
that. I cannot give up the pleasure I derive from an intercourse with 


my absent friends ; and, as I cannot purchase letters with any other 
coin, I will sometimes tear myself from the imperious duties of my 
family, and get up a scrawl. I should have answered your earnest in- 
quiries about the Round-Hillers, but thought as Mrs. was going 

to Boston she could tell you about them ; and as my account would nut 
be exactly like hers, I thought you had better hear her first. I do not 
wonder that she feels as she does; yet at the same time thai I can 
sympathize in her feelings, I cannot think with her about the gentlemen 
who keep the school. It is obvious to me that they are conscientiously 
bent on bringing their scheme to the highest perfection, and that all their 
efforts and all their time are now occupied to that effect. They say that 
no boy in the school has been more assiduous, or has improved more the 
last quarter, than John has; he attends principally to Latin and French. 
Joseph does the same, with the addition of Greek and English, — the 
latter at my earnest entreaty. Mr. Bancroft told me that as the days 
became longer, and the children got more advanced in the languages, 
they should pay more particular attention to English studies, — which 
is the only objection that ever could be raised against the school. 
From what 1 know of other schools, there is no doubt in my mind it is 
far superior to any in our country. And I believe witli such materials 
they will make John both a good man and a scholar. 

Miss C passed an evening with me a short time since ; she said 

she thought, with the exception of four or five, the boys were uncom- 
monly stupid and ignorant ; and I think her opinion to be relied on as 
unprejudiced. But when I reflect on the aggregate of society, there is 
not a larger proportion of intelligent people, if as many, as four to 
sixteen ! 

Are not you glad that Mary Pickard is going to England ? She will 
be a loss to her friends here, but she will more than compensate them 
on her return for a temporary deprivation. But suppose her friends in 
England should tempt her to remain with them ? I am sure I should 
think they would. 


I feel very glad that Edward and Ann are going ; if he were per- 
fectly well, I see no reason why they shoidd not go : they have seen 
but little of the world, and as they are divested of its cares, it will enlarge 
their minds, and do them a great deal of good. I wish I were going 
myself, but I believe I shall have to content myself with remaining 
stationary. I suppose you have read " Saint Ronan's Well." I think 
it the poorest thing that lias appeared in print for many years, — that 
I have read, I should add. The evil always has been a serious one to 
encounter such people as prevail in that book, but to be called on to 
contemplate them in books is an unnecessary evil, and therefore more 
intolerable than our actual experience of them ; for they do not seem 
designed to contribute to any moral views. In short, the author 
does not appear to have any end in view, but to string together the 
shreds and patches of his imagination that nothing may be lost; and 
there is an avarice in it that I don't like. 1 have lived among the 
Indians lately. I have been reading Heckewelder's account of them. 
He found a great many Yamoydens among them during his forty years' 
resilience in their society. I am now reading what you must get 
and read — Mr. Bancroft's translation. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Grreem . 

April 27, 1824. 
Three years have elapsed since we separated; in that time I have 
had nruch satisfaction from contemplating you in the enjoyment of a 
great many calm and rational pleasures, such as only the well-balanced 
and rational mind can enjoy. And the pain of separation has been 
much mitigated to me by the belief that you have been withdrawn from 
sorrows which would have pierced your heart had you been here, — 
though your presence could not have had the effect to remove them. 

You know is peculiarly susceptible of the influence of those 

around her, and if she could always live with good people she would 


always be good ; and the reverse is equally true. . . . Now, you know 
no one more cordially approves of matrimony than I do. I think it is 
the effect of an interest in domestic duties to strengthen our virtues, to 
enlarge our benevolence, and to concentrate our good affections ; it 
helps to a sound judgment and a right-balancing of things, and assists 
in giving integrity and propriety to the whole character. But this 
cannot be the case unless there is something to engraft upon, and 
unless the union consists of materials calculated to foster the growth 
of such principles. . . . 

My sister C. divided the winter between Mrs. Howe and myself; and 
I am just dow quite afflicted to be obliged to part with her, but it is un- 
avoidable. She diffuses most salutary influences on all those who 
come within her sphere. She is always happy herself to a certain 
degree, because she lives in the cultivation of unfailing resources of a 
purely intellectual character, such as have no dependence on artificial 
excitements or dissipation of time for their basis. 

Our society here is much improved by the new institution which 1 
have mentioned before, over which Messrs. Cogswell, Bancroft, and 
Hentz preside, — the latter, a French gentleman, mingles more in our 
society than the others, and I think we prefer him. 

I ought not to forget to mention that H. is greatly improved since 
she came to me, and in nothing more than her appearance ; she is 
really one of the handsomest girls in the country, and, by the efforts 
she is making, I judge will in time be one of the most improved. She 
says she intends to keep an excellent school ; and I have no doubt she 
will in time be able to. We are delighted with Mr. Greene's account 
of Sally. 


Mrs. Lyman to Mis* Forbes. 

Northampton, June 17, 1824. 

I mean to inform you that I don't expect you to write me a letter, 
and then keep it until you hear of some one going to Northampton, as 
you did the last time ; for it cost me as much as three shillings' worth 
of patience to wait for it, and 1 am not sure but a dollar's worth. And 
as that is a commodity I have not to spare, 1 wish you would not tax 
it in the same way again while the mail goes. You know I am aware 
of every person who is lining between this place and Boston, and it 
would he strange if 1 could no! find bearers enough for my trumpery. 
John has dined with me several times since he returned from home, 
but I cannot get a great deal of news out of him. I suppose he has 
written you that Joseph and himself and .lames Perkins have one room 
devoted to them, and they are very much pleased with the combina- 
tion. 1 believe things arc going on nicely on the Hill; I do not bear 
of any interruption. French progresses finely. Mr. llcntz presides at 
one table three times a day, and there is no conversation at it except 
in that language. John and Joseph are among the privileged number, 
and Mr. Efentz gives great accounts of the improvement. 

Mrs. D., with her daughters, are about issuing proposals for taking a 
school upon very elevated principles ; and, as many that are her in- 
feriors have succeeded. 1 suppose she will. Indeed, most any thing will 
succeed which embraces the interests of children, — for there are such 
hosts in the world, they must lie taken care of somewhere besides their 
own homes, where parents have the means of indulging themselves 
with their absence. Mrs. D.'s price for board and tuition is two 
hundred dollars a year. She lias requested me to mention this to my 
friends. Agreeably to the promise 1 gave her. 1 have. I was glad to 
find by your last letter you were making a French scholar. You and 
C. can read plays together, and you can teach the little girls, and make 
it an essential benefit to yourself and them. 


I have been reading lately such trash as " Adam Blair," " Reginald 
Dal.ton," and " The Spae Wife," and got a little entertainment, if not 
instruction, from them ; and, for better aliment, Mr. Sparks's Tracts 
and '• The Christian Examiner." Adieu! 

Yours affectionately. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, July ■_'.">, 1824. 

I always feel, too,. that it is obtrusive to say — as many like to — a 
great deal about the aids of religion or philosophy to avert trouble, be- 
cause it always supposes the adviser is much better acquainted with 
those supports or antidotes to woe than the person advised, — which is 
an assumption I don't feel justified in. But 1 can say from experience, 
my dear Emma, that when the mind's balance is disturbed (which dis- 
orders our whole frame of thought, and discolors our enjoyments) it is 
best to use those diversions that will reinstate it soonest. Now,, it 
seems to me that it would be well for you to come and make me a 
visit. If you derive no pleasure from it yourself, you will have the 
satisfaction of conferring a great deal. I dare say your mother will be 
willing to have you, though it will be a sacrifice for her. But mothers 
and heads of families ajways have cares that operate as antidotes to 
melancholy reflections. You must have enjoyed Josephine's visit and 
her brother's. I think he appeared in rather delicate health, and I 
thought J. was rather melancholy ; but then I am not used to her, and 
perhaps it was only her usual frame of mind. I hope her journey and 
the novelty of her experiences had an animating effect upon her. There 
are so many cares and sorrows for old age and middle life, that I can- 
not bear to see the season of youth embittered unnecessarily. 

I saw John a few days ago, and intend to go up there this evening, 
or rather this afternoon. Mrs. and Miss 'A., and Mrs. and Miss O. 
spent the day here yesterday ; and Cousin Tom Robbins appeared to 


us, just as we were sitting down to dinner. To-day I am expecting 
Judge Williams and wife and children. So you see how one day after 
another I am taken up, — most agreeably oftentimes, but still occupied. 
I have felt a good deal anxious about Mary's and Catherine's health. 
I am rejoiced to hear to-day that Mary has another son. . . . 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, September 26, 1824. 

I was in hopes you would so arrange it as to come here, and let John 
pass the vacation with you at my house. But he tells me you are ex- 
pecting Bennet, which, were there no other reason, would prevent you. 
I regretted very much not being at the Exhibition last evening, for I 
knew John was to have the best part but one, and would be a great 
credit to his friends, and that no one could feel more strongly interested 
in him than I do, except his mother. Mr. Lyman and Mary went, and 
were more pleased with John than any one else. I was seized with 
one of my terrible sore throats and violent head-aches, and had to take 
to my bed ; and it is with difficulty I write this to-day, though I feel 
much relieved. 

When T. was here, he told me that it had been a favorite wish of 
his that John should lie educated for a professional man. I think there 
never were better materials to answer that expectation. I rest with 
the most perfect confidence on his talents for any occupation which he 
is fated to apply himself to, and hope that a year from this time he 
will be entered at Cambridge College as a junior, and take his degree 
with my son. 

I have much more that I should like to say to your mother on this 
subject, but it is impossible for me to write another word. 
Yours, with love to all friends, 

A. J. Lyman. 


Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, October 23, 1824. 

My own indisposition and the children's, though trifling iu its 
nature, has occupied some of the time ; and the requisitions of 
society in various forms, to say nothing of preparations for winter, 
have demanded the rest. 

I felt, when I was with you, that your father's existence was near 
a close ; and I was not surprised to hear that, when the period of it 
arrived, it should find you all shocked with the stroke. I am aware 
that no preparatory circumstances, such as long sickness and infirmity, 
can to the minds of near friends diminish the appalling horror incident to 
the approach of that King of Terrors. But you had witnessed its effect 
too frequently to be a stranger to its influence on the mind, though 
you were not fortified to resist it altogether. Who would wish to, if 
they could ? One of the great designs of Providence would be baffled, 
and we never should realize the insecure tenor of our earthly bless- 
ings, if this exercise of God's power were not known and felt by us. 
O Emma ! how much there is in human life, if we would avail our- 
selves of a right use of it, to extract vanity from our hearts, and draw 
us near to Him who can enjoy only our purified, intellectual nature, — 
that ray of His own Spirit He has so kindly bestowed upon us, but 
which we so neglect, and often render so useless by a higher con- 
sideration of the grosser part ! I have been called from myself and 
my own sorrowful sensations, very much of late, by contemplating 
those of my brother Edward, who seems by the state of his mind and 
body to have little susceptibility of enjoyment left. I hope soon, how- 
ever, to hear of his improved state. I have just received your note by 
J., and seen him long enough for him to tell me what that did not 
about your mother, and the children and their plans. 

I called on Mrs. Hentz the day after her arrival, and engaged her to 
pass the succeeding day with me, together with the Round-Hill folks. 

21 '2 

L am perfectly astonished that Mr. II. should have made so wise a 
choice. Mrs. H. certainly appears like an uncommonly rational wo- 
man, is very interesting in her manners, and I should judge would 
prove everything such a thriftless man would want in regard to econ- 
omy. She dresses herself with great neatness and g 1 taste, contrary 

to my expectations ; and all who have seen her are much pleased 
with her. 

I have had a short hut delightful visit from Miss Sedgwick. She is 
indeed a most excellent character, and has all the requisites tor mak- 
ing herself agreeable to every class of society, and seems to lie equally 
beloved by all the different ranks with whom she mingles. I am sure 
I wish there were more like her in the world ; but they are so rare 
that she may be said almost to be a unique. It is really wonderful 
that two such women as herself and Mrs. Theodore Sedgwick should 
have fallen to the lot of one family. If Mr. Minot had not lost his 
house by fire, Miss Sedgwick would have made a long visit in Boston 
this autumn. I am sure I am very sorry she did not. I think she 
would be a more operative leaven in that society, than in New York. 

I am now looking forward to a little peace and tranquillity, as the 
Court weeks have gone by, ami our dreadful Cattle Show is over ; and 
1 wish you would come and pass the winter with me. You could 
return with Sam Lyman, or. it' you chose, go to Worcester a day or 
two before him, and let him take you from there. Now do consider 
this subject. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

November 24, 1824. 
I have neglected to describe my New Bedford friend, Miss Rotch, to 
you; though I intended to do it at length, when I commenced, hoping to 
communicate to you some of the pleasure she afforded me by her soci- 
ety. But now I could nut do her justice, and will not attempt it. mure 
than in say she was born and educated in England as an enlightened 


Quaker ; is a speaker of great and distinguished eloquence among 
her adherents, and is rendered peculiarly interesting by great personal 

Mrs. Lyman to 3Jiss Forbes. 

Northampton, January 11, 1825. 
1 still have a heart warm with affection towards my friends, amongst 
whom you hold no insignificant place. The New Year always inspires 
me with peculiar reflections, both as it respects the past and the fu- 
ture. I 

'• Look on the mournful record of the past, 
And mark how much one little year can do ; 
How much of friendship that seemed made to last, 
Unwearied love, affection firmly true, 
Are known no more except in fond review ; " 

together with the many interesting ties that are indissolubly formed, 
and from which much happiness will flow hereafter, — for you know 
there are two sides to this picture of human fate. I have just been 
reading a beautiful New Year's Address, which, I think, must have 
been written by a Peabody. You will find it in the " Christian Regis- 
ter " of January 8 ; at any rate, it has some of his peculiar expres- 
sions as well as turns of thought in it. 

Mr. Lyman has just left me, with Mr. Hall, for Springfield ; but I 
am to have James's company in their absence. I regretted, as it was 
a holiday, that Mr. Bancroft would not permit John to visit us on 
Christmas day, for he appears to have peculiar enjoyment in Joseph's 
society, and J. does in his ; and 1 have a great deal of pleasure in see- 
ing him. Tell your mother that I hope she will permit John to pass 
the next vacation with us. J. has got his bundle and ruffle iron, and 
has had his mittens a long time. 


January 12th. 
You recollect my old favorite among the young men, . He set- 
tled in Springfield on purpose to court , whom he fell in love 

with at first sight, at a Fourth of July party in this town. The sequel 
is, that, after being engaged to him a year, she has gone to New York, 

seen somebody she likes better, and turned poor adrift. So much 

for being a butterfly instead of a woman. What do you think of such 
pliable affections, as well as morality ? At any rate, such tilings have 
the sanction of fashion to authorize them. I presume it will not injure 
the lady in anybody's estimation but mine and two or three such 
antiquated lovers of constancy. 

The foregoing letter was discovered by my father on the afternoon 
of the next day, the 12th : and he hastened to announce with pious grat- 
itude the birth of his eleventh and last child, Catherine Bobbins. 

January 12th. I found the foregoing letter in its present state this 
afternoon. I now have the pleasure to announce to you the birth of a 
beautiful daughter. Rejoice with me, my dear Emma, and render 
praise to the Author of every good and perfect gift. And let all our 
friends unite with us. 

In haste, I am truly your friend, 

Joseph Lyman. 

How sure were all the family friends to write to Cousin Emma of 
every event that occurred, whether of joy or sorrow, certain that she 
would feel them all in her heart of hearts. Madame Recamier's biog- 
rapher says of her that she had " the genius of sympathy." And so 
had this dear friend, in an almost unequalled degree. Can we ever 
forget the glow of her expression, the glistening of her eye, the pres- 
sure of her hand ? Will any one, who was a little child then, ever 
forget the tone in which she said " My love?" Our dear Lizzie Ware 
used to say of her, that she was equally at home in a palace or a hovel. 


And so she was, for the depth and warmth of her sympathy led her for 
the moment to put herself wholly in the place of each. 

In February of 1825, Cousin Emma decided to go to Europe, — a trip 
far less frequently taken than now ; and the cousins joyfully gave her 
a God-speed over the wide waters. 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Forbes. 
[The reading of this may be deferred until you are at sea, if you are now busy.] 
Northampton, February 25, 1825. 

My dear Emma, — As I hear you are going over the great water, I 
must write a few words to bid you God-speed. A thousand interesting 
objects present themselves to my mind when I think of such a voyage; 
if I were young and without care, it were the thing of all others that I 
should delight in ; as it is, I have neither the wish nor the hope of ever 
undertaking it. But when you are in the far, foreign land, I wish you 
would now and then look at things with my eyes, so as to bring me 
home pictures of them. I mean the eyes of my understanding. Many 
things would delight me, but of all God's works there is nothing I love 
like his human creatures. You will see Walter Scott — -the person 
who has given me more pleasure than any one living whom I never 
have seen. Leave not a hair of his head unscanned, and if you can 
get his barber to save a hair that he combs out, for me, I will put it up 
with the single one I have of General Washington. 

I hope you will see Mrs. Grant ; I should like to know if she retains 
the warm affections of her youth, now that she is in the vale of years. 
If you go to Dumfries, you will see Burns's monument, and that living 
monument of him, his Jean. You will see other people, I dare say, 
whom the literary annals of the last twenty or thirty years have made 
familiar; and I would set down in my journal the impressions they 
make, as you go along, lest hurrying from place to place should drive 
valuable ideas from your mind. It requires great industry and effort 


to keep a journal when travelling ; but you will do it, because it will 
be a treasure when the cares of the world have blotted some interesting 
recollections from your memory. What a store you will lay up for 
future entertainment for your friends, and how much you will enlarge 
the compass of your own thoughts ! Next to celebrated human beings, 
beautiful natural scenery is the most interesting thing to see in foreign 
lands ; you will feel this beauty in a high degree. Milton Hill is a fair 
school for the cultivation of taste in that department. Our own favored 
land is rich in natural beauty, but we have not the wonders of art, the 
beautiful buildings, the rich paintings, the curious machinery, which 
you will visit. Pray be all eye and all ear, for there will be hungry 
expectants on this side of the water for the treasures your senses are to 
collect for you. 

You will see Mary Pickard ; how welcome you will lie to her ! But, 
perhaps, unlucky chances may prevent this meeting. You will carry 
friends with you, so that you cannol lie desolate : and may your voyage 
cheer drooping spirits, and give all the satisfaction which you hope for 
from it! I give the warning Mary Revere gave to Mary Pickard: do 
not let any foreign knight-errant detain you from your country and 
your friends; this is the laud of liberty and of plenty; it gave you 
birth, and I hope it may crown your gray hairs with countless bless- 

Susan joins me in affectionate wishes. 1 never see John. Round 
Hill is a monastery, and the inhabitants never mingle with others. I 
dare say he has written to you, to bless your path over the waves. 

We are all pleased and happy that our new society is formed, and 
that we are to have a new meeting-house : this is the only news I have 
for you. 

Fare you well ! If the prayer of friendship will guide you in safety, 
it shall be yours. 

S. L. Howe. 


Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, February 23, 1825. 

My dear Emma, — How truly in the spirit of a heroine il is for you 
to go to England ; and yet I never heard of your imagining such a thing 
in your most romantic visions of the future. I am glad it is so, and 
half envy you the privilege. It will furnish your mind with a great 
deal of new imagery, and yon will ever after find your views enlarged 
both of people and things, as well as your imagination enriched. To a 
well-balanced mind every thing turns to account, because all the vari- 
ety of circumstances which occur to it receives a right .direction, and 
teaches us to draw from them a moral influence. Then you arc favored, 
my dear Emma, in this means of doing yourself and friends good. 

I know in the past year you have had much to give you a melancholy 
view of life ; but it is these dark shadows that overcast our fate, that 
fit us for the full and true enjoyment of those brighter hues from which 
no life is entirely exempt. 

'• The hues of bliss more brightly glow, 
Chastised by sable tints of woe." 

All who can reflect at all, I believe, will acknowledge the truth of the 
poet's assertion ; I am sure I can, for one. 

I have had nothing peculiarly pleasurable in the events of the past 
winter. But now that the time is consumed, I have much to con- 
template which excites gratitude and affords satisfaction, and the result 
of which I believe would compensate for a great deal more trouble 
than I have had. Do n't you wish you could see little Catherine, whom 
everybody acknowledges to be the prettiest creature that ever was seen, 
for six weeks old ? Susan, too, is a good little kitten, and moreover 
looks well ; Mrs. Burt is spoiling her as fast as she possibly can. I 
shall try one of these days to rescue her ; but at present let her entirely 
alone, not thinking it worth while to spend my strength governing a 

2 1 8 

child of her age, — though I dare say Mr. Everett's and Mr. Norton's 
children (of the same age) are little philosophers at this time. 

Mr. Bancroft is a very frequent visitor here : but Mr. Cogswell I 
never see. I believe he thinks 1 had some hand in a lampoon which 
Mrs. Howe wrote, and which I think has been of vast service to him, 
or rather to the school. 

There are hut two or three children equal to •'. in the school. Mr. 
G. says he never saw so many ordinary children collected in one insti- 
tution, and he should not have thought it possible. 

1 do not allow myself to be much excited by our religious affairs. 
The town meeting is over, and a division has taken place, and a meet- 
ing-house is to be built. 

[The remainder of this letter is lost]. 

Mrs. Hoive to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, November 16, 1825. 
My dear Emma, — With heartfelt pleasure 1 welcome you to your 
native land, and sympathize in the pleasure and gratitude you must 
feel in once more finding yourself safe on terra firma. 1 heard of your 
arrival by a gentleman from New York, before you reached Boston, 
and it was a real relief to me; for 1 had begun to he a little fidgety 
about you, having heard that you sailed the last of September. I con- 
jectured you must have blown off to the West Indies, in a south gale 
we had the last of October, or some such unexpected and undesired 
cause of detention ; but here you are once more among us, and with a 
mind and imagination stored with a. thousand delightful things that will 
remain with you as long as you live, while the inconveniences you have 
suffered will soon be forgotten, or remembered only for their moral 
uses. I thank you for your letter : it is a treasure to me. It reached 
me in one of those unhappy limns, when I was trembling for the life of 
ray dear Catherine. I will not dwell on the scenes past at Milton ; the 


recollection is yet so fresh and so painful, that I would gladly find a 
more cheerful subject. But I know they should be remembered with 
gratitude, that those dear to us were spared and restored after all their 
sufferings and danger. Your mother was the greatest assistance and 
comfort to us, — indeed, 1 believe she was, under God, the means of 
preserving Catherine's life, when in the greatest peril. 

1 have a great deal of pleasure in Mrs. Hentz : she is more like some 
of my "Id Friends than any new acquaintance 1 have made since 1 came 
to the Connecticul River. She has always lived near me, until to-day 
they have removed into a house Mr. Hentz has lately purchased in 
King Street. It is very snug and in good repair, and 1 think they will 
enjoy a house of their own very much. Mrs. Hentz has met with quite 
a trial, in being obliged to put her baby out to nurse. He was too 
feeble to remain with her. and she could not accommodate him with a 
healthy nurse nearer than the top of Chesterfield Hill, which seems, at 
least, as formidable to her as you found any of the Welsh mountains. 
You have enough baby-enthusiasm to realize this privation. 

Mrs. Lyman's children have been ill all summer, but are now- well. 
C. is just the beautiful creature you saw S. two years ago; and S. is 
beautiful as an angel, and goes to school and learns her letters. 

I long to see you and " hear your cracks ; " but it must be here, I 
believe, for I am stationary for the winter, at least. When can you 
come ? I saw John on Sunday, and told him of your arrival. Mr. 
Howe is away holding court, or lie would send his love to you. Susan 
is well, and sends her love. My young folks are till fat and saucy. 1 
go to my new house in a fortnight, and am busy making preparation. 
Remember me affectionately to your mother and the little girls. 
Yours ever, with true affection, 

S. L. Howe. 


Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, Decembers. 1825. 
My dear Emma, — Ever since your return, 1 have had it in my 
heart to congratulate you on having crossed and recrossed the Atlantic, 
but I have had no kind of control of my time. My baby has occupied 
me day and night since Sally Woodard left me, and Mrs. Burt fell into 
her place : added to that, I have been a greal sufferer with the teeth- 
ache. I am sure nothing could give me a more lively sensation of 
pleasure than beholding you. At the same time that 1 should see my 
dear Emma, with the same heart and feelings she used to have, 1 should 
find her head arrayed in a great deal of new furniture, ami her con- 
versation adorned with a great ileal of new imagery, which would he 
very delightful to me. 1 would not allow you to say one word of pres- 
ent subjects, except as comparing them with your past experience. I 
am happy to say that I have not one unpleasanl sensation in hearing 
people say. " When I was in Europe." Eaving my friends go there, 
and communicate to me what they have seen, is the only compensation 
I have for the absolute certainty that I shall never see it myself. 
Your letter, written in Scotland, I can never sufficiently thank you for. 
It came at a time when I most needed something to withdraw my 
attention from present suffering. 

The last year has been the most trying one of my life, as it respects 
sickness, care, and anxiety. Until within a month. I never have 
known a single night of unbroken rest for a year, — a circumstance 
which tends very much to shatter both the nerves and the understand- 
ing. For more than two months. I was in the daily anticipation of the 
death of one of our family at, a distance, besides contemplating sick 
children at home; and I think it lias all combined to make me about 
sixty years old. Now, I don't know of any thing that can make me 
younger but having Catherine and you jump into the stage, and come 
up here and make me a visit : ami perhaps you can set your mother to 


come, too. As it regards the children's coming at some future time, 
the prospect has brightened very much. 

Mrs. Gherardi will open a school in the spring, and a Miss Clark 
likewise, — both of them excellent instructors. Miss 0. has brought 
with her a great deal of apparatus, such as they use in Philadelphia, 
for instruction in history, chronology, mathematics, drawing, &c. 
Miss F. is really going to be married to W. R. D. 

Only think of my having such a saint in the bouse ten days, as 
Henry Ware ! Should you not have thought it would have converted 
us. and thai we should now be as good as he is himself? 1 most 
devoutly wish it were so. 

An interruption warns me to bid you adieu. 

With much affection, 

A. .J. Lyman. 


The souls of 

the i 


ire in 

the In 

them. In the 



the in 

they s 

misery, and tli 


Us t( 

i be m 

though they be 



in the 


of men 

memorial of vir 

t in- is 




iiuse it 

present, men take examp 

le Ml 

1 : ai 

id when 

and triumpheth 

for e 



g got 

ten tlie 

il of God, and there shall no torment touch 
■nied to die, and their departure is taken for 
■r destruction : but they are in peace. Fur 
yet is their hope full of immortality. For the 
known with God and with men. When it is 
ii i- none, they desire it : it weareth a crown, 
ictory. — Wisdom <.,r Solomon. 

IN the summer of 1825, a severe form of typhoid-fever appeared in 
the family ai Brush Iltll. and several members of the family were 
stricken with it. It was a very sad summer. My uncle, Edward II. 
Robbins, was very ill with it in Boston, and recovered; but his de- 
voted friend, Mr. Marshall Spring, who was much with him during bis 
illness, took tbc disease from him, and died, — a life lung grief to my 
uncle. My Aunt Howe, on hearing of her brother's illness, went 
directly to assist in the care of him, although her heart and hands 
were full always with her own home cares. Alter three weeks, of greal 

anxiety, she returned to Northampton, but had 1 n at home only a 

few days when the news came thai her sisters Mary- and Catherine 
were taken ill. directly after she left them, with the same disease. 
With characteristic solicitude and disinterestedness, my Aunt Howe 
immediately made arrangements to quit her family again and return 
to Brush Hill, to nurse her sick sisters; and her husband did every 
thing to aid her to get off. In a private memoir of my Uncle Howe, 
which my Cousin Mary has kindly permitted me to use. my aunt 
writes: "I received the Inter announcing that mv sisters were more 


ill, on Friday evening. 1 did not feel willing to wail until the next 
week, and told my husband I wished to take the morning stage. He 
said he would carry me to Belchertown that night, that I might not have 
tlic fatigue of going through in a day. 1 felt that this necessity to part 
with me .so soon again was a great sacrifice to him, and I highly ap- 
preciated the generosity with which he made it." 

My two aunts recovered, although they seemed long to hover between 
life and death ; and when she had seen them so far restored that they 
could do without her unwearied devotion, my Aunt Howe returned to 
Northampton. Only a few days alter her return, she received news of 
the death of a faithful and attached domestic at Brush Hill, whom she 
had left, as she supposed, also convalescent. 

Mrs. Lyman to her Mother. 

Northampton, August 24, 1825. 
Dear Mother, — I little thought to have experienced so sudden a 
check upon the joy and gratitude that filled my heart last week, as the 
sickness of Catherine has produced. I was contemplating a tour to 
see you, with the little baby and Edward, who is a confirmed dys- 
peptic. He has got pretty well ; but nothing seems to agree with his 
stomach, and he looks very feeble, though he is uncomplaining. I 
do n't know that I ever had so much cause for anxiety about any of my 
children. I should be so much occupied with my children that I should 
only be in your way if you have sickness, without having any oppor- 
tunity to relieve you ; and I shall, of course, give it up. We have 
enjoyed Ahby's visit highly ; though her person is extremely thin 
and changed, the excellent qualities of her heart remain untarnished : 
she is the same interesting, good creature that she was when she left 
us ; and her husband seems to have a just sense of her worth, which 
he proves by a most devoted kindness and attention to her. She lias a 
very delicate child, but it appears healthy. 


1 dare say you have heard of our disappointment in relation to Mr. 
Hall, who is too unwell to determine when he can be ordained. Give 
my love to Catherine. I am sure 1 wish ] could be with her ; but the 
claims of little children are not to he resisted, and she is aware that 
the most important station for me is in the midst of them. Whal with 
the conflicting claims of society and of children, I cannot compare 
my life this summer to any thing hut living on the top of a high tree, 
in a great gale of wind, in which all one's efforts are bent to holding 
on. Sully has got home without sustaining any ill effect from her 
journey, or the children from her absence. I don't know that Judge 
Howe regrets it, hut we think it a great pity that he has got his house 
so small : there are a sufficient number of rooms, but they are all too 
small. The parlors that open together are the size of our library, and 
those are the Largest rooms in the house. But 1 believe I have an un- 
reasonable dislike of small rooms for a large family. We have parted 
with Abby, who has gone to Providence : she was afraid she should not 
go to Boston, but I think Mr. G. will. 

(Jive my love to M. 1\. : tell her 1 am sorry she has got to give up her 
journey, but perhaps she will not. Give my love to Edward. I am 
sure 1 congratulate him and his wife most sincerely on the prospect of 
his recovery ; and hope this night's mail will bring accounts of Cath- 
erine's improved health. 

Yours with much love, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mix. Revere. 

Northampton, August 29. 
My dear Mary, — I was truly glad to receive a letter from you, 
though it had not so much encouragement in it relating to Catherine as 
1 hail hoped for. You don't, know how much I wish I could be with 
you : but my cares seem to be of a character that would increase by 
removing them from home, and they could not be left. The baby is a 


delicate creature, and feels the warm weather and teething verj much, so 
that 1 don't go out so much as to make a call on anybody. Mr. Lyman 
thought a ride would benefit Edward, and took him to Hartford with 
him, and left me at Westfield with the baby, who was so sick all the 
time I'was there as to lay like a log in my lap. But she seems better 
to-day, and 1 hope she may soon be well again ; but sometimes I think 
she can't live, for she looks like an angel. Now, you know my idola- 
trous admiration of a baby, so that you will be able to make suitable 
deductions from my account of her, when I tell you she is a perfect 
model of baby-perfection. When you see E. H., tell her there is no 
prospect of her grandmother's ever leaving her bed again : for the last 
fortnight she has been entirely confined to it, and is the most perfect 
skeleton I ever saw. 

I spent the time I was in Westfield at James Fowler's. He and his 
wife had just returned from a long journey, and found their youngest 
child dead, and were very melancholy ; but that did not make them 
the less interesting to me ; for they are good people and sensible peo- 
ple, and lead pious lives, and envy nobody. 

My brother Edward's restoration seems almost miraculous. I am 
sure I feel as if he were raised from the dead, so perfectly have I real- 
ized that he was no more, from the accounts we had of him. You 
must give my love to him, and tell him that I have taken such a near 
view of a separation from him as to make my heart thrill with the idea 
of such a chasm in its interests and affections. No ! it is hardly worth 
while to tell him this; you can realize it from your own sensations. I 
am sure, if he could communicate his own feelings, he would say that, 
at the same time that he felt nearer the presence of his Maker, he felt 
his affections stronger to his friends. 

Do take care of your own health, and remember you have no accu- 
mulation of that article to be prodigal of. Tell father that young Mr. 
Ridgway, whom he sent up to Mr. Shepherd's to live, is engaged to 


marry the colonel's eldest daughter, and has the colonel's consent, I am 
told. You have heard of Jane Bancroft's match. 

With much love to all friends, your affectionate sister, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

p. S. ■ — Tell Catherine, as s as she gets well enough, I shall have 

her transported up here. 1 thought 1 would send her a copy of Mrs. 
Hentz's hymn, written for our ordination. Sally's little James is 
rather sick, but I hope not seriously. 

In the year lK"2d came off a famous dramatic entertainment at our 
house, in which the most beautiful girls in our village (so famed for 
beauty) took part, and the finest young men in the law-school were 
also actors. The " Lady of the Lake" was dramatized with wonderful 
effect : my lather and Uncle Howe declaring that they never had seen 
any such acting on any stage in Boston or New York. The beautiful 
Martha Strong, the pride of our village, dressed in a suit of Lincoln 
green, took the part of James Fitz-James ; and for many years after 
the tears would come to my mother's eyes as she described the scene 
where he was found alone, mourning over the loss of his steed. My 
mother allowed the house to be turned inside-out, and upside-down, to 
arrange for this eleganl theatrical display : and she was rewarded by 
the enthusiastic pleasure of the young actors and of the neighborhood, 
— who were wont to tell of it for years. For a scene of this kind was 
of rare occurrence in those days. The children were moved up-stairs, 
and the nursery converted into a green-room ; a stage was erected at the 
end of the long hall, and one of the corridor windows was removed. 
So that when the lovely Ellen pushed " her light shallop from the 
shore," the boat glided off the stage by invisible ways and pulleys, past 
a wooded shore of evergreens, directly into the corridor, which was 
dark. The beautiful Anne Jean took the part of old Allan Lane ; 


and, with her white wig and bending figure, touched her harp with 
most mournful and effective strains. My Cousin Martha was Lord 
Douglas; and other parts were equally well chosen and sustained. 
Whaf acting is so fine as the private acting of a band of enthusiastic 
young persons of culture and refinement '.' 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greem . 

Northampton, March 22, 1826. 

My dear Abby, — Mr. Eben Hunt's illness has east a gloom over 
our neighborhood, together with the illness and death of a young man 
by the uame of Wilder, whom, I daresay, Mr. Greene will remember 
to have seen at the Cambridge Commencement, where he had the first 
part, lie was altogether the first young man of his age that I ever 
knew, and his being removed from this world was one of the most 
inscrutable and mysterious Providences that I ever have experienced. 
He had aged and respectable parents depending on his efforts. He 
was the professor of mathematics on Round Hill, though a member ol 
Judge Howe's law-school. He was one of those delightful characters 
that ensure the unqualified regard and admiration of all who know 
them, and I can hardly contemplate his death with composure. He 
had those warm, social feelings, which gave him peculiar power to 
diffuse pleasure wherever he visited, which he did here frequently. 

Our neighbor, Mrs. Pomeroy. died this winter with a lung fever. 
Our clergyman, Mr. Hall, was so unwell as to go to Baltimore imme- 
diately after the dedication, and pass the winter. So that you see we 
have hail abundant cause for gloom. ...... 

I was sorry to find that you were going to be disappointed about Mr. 
Willis's residence, but hope there will be some compensating circum- 
stance annexed - to it, such as will reconcile you in some measure to 
the evil. 

My sister Catherine has passed the last few weeks with me, and we 


have bad so kw interruptions from society that we have become quite 
literary, and begin to think ourselves quite of the " blue-stocking 
order." We have read, amongsl other things, Scott's " Lives of the 
Novelists," — a must delightful book, particularly to one who lias read 
the old-fashioned novels, as you and 1 have, — such as " Clarissa Ilar- 
lowe," " Sir Charles Grandison," and others of the same stamp and 
age. We have read also Moure's " Life of Sheridan," and Prior's 
" Life of Burke," which books afford one a most lively contemplation 
of the great men and the state of the different parties which existed 
before and at the period of the American and French revolutions. As 
I am in my old age increasing my interest in political affairs, and have 
a satisfaction in tracing to their causes the most recenl events in the 
history of the world, as having a more immediate bearing on the pres- 
ent state of things, all this is very agreeable to me. 
Give my love to the drls. 

Your very affectionate aunt. 

A. J. Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss C. Bobbins. 

Northampton, August 25, 1826. 

My dear Catherine, — I consider myself much obliged to you for 
repeated favors. I should have written to mamma and you long ago, 
as well as to my other friends, but have been obliged to give up the pen 
entirely for the last month. 

The ordination was a dreadful cloud impending over my fate, which 
has at length exploded ; ami 1 have in some measure recovered from 
the shock, and should have great satisfaction in the result, if I had 
time to contemplate it in all its bearings on our future welfare. But 
the constant indisposition of little Catherine, ami the hurried prepara- 
tions for Joseph's departure, with all the feelings incident to these 
things, arc an indescribable weight on my mind. Mr. Lyman never 
determined to let Joseph remain at Cambridge, after his examination. 


till Dr. Ware came here : ami he is in greal opposition to a boy's spend- 
ing the first year anywhere else, and has engaged to keep Joseph in his 
family, and keep a particular watch over him. Still, I do not know- 
that it lessens upy anxiety much ; but I do not know what to recom- 
mend, and feel that it is a very difficult thing to decide what isKrst for 
boys, though it may appear very easy to those who have not it to do. 

You have heard, I suppose, that Mrs. G has a daughter three 

weeks old ? She appears now to me like a person far gone in a con- 
sumption, — has a dreadful cough, and, to my apprehension, various 
other unfavorable symptoms: bui the doctor says she will recover, 
and that she is not consumptive. 

L. keeps the school ; but the various instructors announced in the 
prospectus seem to have fallen to the ground. Mr. G. gives lessons in 

Mr. and Mrs. Pierpont came here to the ordination, and met Mrs. 
Lord, who stayed a week with us. The Springfield people turned out in 
a most formidable body. Mr. and Mrs. Potneroy came from Northfield : 
and all who had any sympathy in the occasion seemed to enjoy it 
highly. Dr. Ware's sermon, and Mr. Lincoln's right-hand of fellow- 
ship, were the only part of tin- services which were particularly inter- 
esting to me. Mr. Brazer and Mr. Pierpont. who dined here a day or 
two afterwards, agreed that Mrs. Hentz's hymn was the highest effort 
of genius used in the services of that day. She added one verse to 
what you have already seen ; and, for the benefit of you and Emma, 1 
shall send it, for it has been extolled beyond measure. Dr. Ware does 
not know of so fine a hymn for such an occasion, in the language. By 
the way, Mrs. Hentz will be in Milton next week, and I hope Emma 
will he at home and see her. She depends very much on seeing you. 
Mr. Bryant was here at the ordination, ami has improved astonishingly 
in sociability. I was delighted with him. 

Anne Jean wrote Mary Howe a clever letter about a month ago, but 
1 lost it somehow. I hoped to find it laid in some hook before now. 


Will you be so good as to request James to attend to getting Joseph 
the college uniform, with any article of clothing he may require. I 
wish him to have the best of cloth. .Joseph has had a particular invi- 
tation to stay at Mr. Inches', and I hope he will not trouble any one 
else until he takes up his permanent residence. 

With love to all friends, yours, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

P. S. — You must have had great enjoyment from Maiy Pickard's 
society; but 1 suppose her friends are demolishing her. You and 
Emma must write me a Mary-Pickard letter. Tell Emma I have 
received hers with much gratitude. 

Mrs. Lyman t,> Mrs. G-reene. 

November 2, 1826. 

My dear Abby, fudge VV. has returned to Savannah. Mrs. W. 

is a. very beautiful and accomplished woman, but not of natural fine 
abilities. I think less and less of line accomplishments every day. If 
they are the ornaments of a very t\no. character, it is very well ; but if 
the} decorate a coarse material, they only illustrate more powerfully the 
defect of the original fabric, and, instead of being a cover, they render 
it more conspicuous to any but a superficial observer. 

Mrs. Lyman t<> Mrs. Caroline Lee Hut:. 

Decembei: 25, 1826. 
My DEAR Mrs. Hentz, — I have read your letters with so much 
pleasure, and so warmly reciprocate the feelings expressed in them, 
that I cannot withhold my pen. We thought of you with a good deal of 
anxiety. 1 assure you, until we heard from your own pen that you had 
reached your journey's end. without any other disasters than might 
have been reasonably expected. Our temporal journeys are very apt 
to be like the journey of Life, — made up of pleasures and pains, of hopes 


and fears, and promises of sunny days which are soon overcast by the 
clouds of disappointment. But that true philosophy which supplies an 
invariable antidote to all the troubles we arc subjed to, short of sick- 
ness and death or vice, is a just estimate of the realities of life, con- 
nected with the never-failing trust which is awakened by correct views 
of religion, or confidence in an overruling Providence, which has for 
its end the " good of mankind." There is much to cheer us in this 
belief. If we value our own deserts only as we should, we shall not 
form too bright anticipations for our fate. If we appreciate poor hu- 
man nature to lie the imperfect thing if is, we shall not be surprised in 
our intercourse with our fellow mortals at the imperfect pleasures 
wliich result from such interchange, but shall be fortified by these just 
conceptions to meet all the casualties of which life is made up. 

But you do not want to hear me prosing to you about what you know 
as well as I do : you want to know how much the people of Northamp- 
ton had their happiness lessened by your absence, and whether their 
love was worth having. Then let me tell you mine was. For if I 
did not see you often, I had a pleasure in contemplating my vicinity 
to you. I think of all good people in my neighborhood as the beings 
who contribute to purifying the moral atmosphere. My pride, too, is 
gratified in the belief that they are improving the credit of our kind, 
and helping it to a better name : and, in short, that they give a char- 
acter to our society. I am truly glad to find that you are favorably 
impressed with your new situation, and that you are convinced that 
happiness is not local, but everywhere. The well-balanced mind and 
truly-disciplined heart will find it in places much less pleasant than 
our beautiful valley, and, I am sure, will often realize the absence of it 
here in those deficient of flic above-mentioned qualities. 

Mr. Bancroft and Mr. Beck will not be married for six or eight 
weeks. Mr. Hall and his wife are pleasantly situated at our son Sam's; 
they have half the house, and Mr. Ware's two children live with 
them. They are a perfectly congenial couple, and I think have laid 


their foundation deep for happiness : she is every tiling a good woman 
and a minister's wife should be, and lie is constantly increasing the 
love of his people towards him. 

Mrs. Howe sent your letter to the Miss Seegers for their gratification, 
and they have read it with delight. Mary is going there this evening 
to a dance. Jane is passing the winter in Boston. 

Mr. Mills went away, accompanied by Mrs. Mills, in quite an inva- 
lid state. 1 very much doubt if he ever recovers. Helen is i 
to Charles Huntington, and Sally remains as when you were here. 
Mr-. Howe has the pleasure of having my sister Catherine with her, 
and they both desire their love. With much love to Mr. Hentz. believe 

me. your sincere friend, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. I \frs. Greene. 

January 9, 1827. 

My dear Abby, — 1 continue to use my old recipe for opening my 
heart : you will recollect that L ml Bacon said there was nothing like 
a true friend for that purpose. " to whom we may impart griefs, joys, 
fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels, and whatever lieth on the heart to 
t." He likewise says, " It is a mere and miserable solitude 
to want true friends, without which the world is but a wilderness : and 
whoever is in his nature and affections unfit for friendship, he taketh 
it of the beast, and not from humanity."' After dilating the subject to 
its true extent without magnifying its influence, he closes with observ- 
ing, •• Friendship indeed maketh a fair day in the affections from storms 
and tempests : it likewise maketh daylight in the understanding out 
of darkness and confusion of thoughts." I am a believer in its power, 
for I always have indulged myself in all its privileges, though it has 
been my fortune to live widely separated from some of those I love 
best, and feel most confidence in, as the repository of my feelings. 


Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Gfrei tie. 

Junk 15 [1827]. 
I have been reading Wordsworth's " Excursion " of late ; I could 
read it again and again with renewed pleasure. It is not a popular book 
at all. but I am not astonished at that. The light-minded and frivo- 
lous part of the community could not understand it, and those who 
read poetry merely for amusement would not. But I do wonder that 
it is nol more read and admired by thinking people ! There is little in 
it to -ratify the appetite for narrative and adventure : it is sometimes 
dull, even to tediousness : notwithstanding which, I consider it the 
most splendid monument of thought, of deep reflection, and beautiful 
sentiment that has been reared in many generations. It has to do 
with the mind altogether, its capacities, its pleasures, its abuses, and its 
diseases ; and to understand it you must read it with all your faculties 
as much concentrated as to read Locke. It contains the truest philos- 
ophy, the soundest views of life, the purest devotion, and the most 
eloquent poetry; and if these arc not more than enough to compensate 
for its defects, then indeed it deserves the neglect it has met with. To 
my apprehension, Wordsworth has excelled in the highest order of 
poetry. — in the moral sublime. 1 wish you would read it. I believe in 
some of my letters I have described our minister, and the state of our 
parochial affairs. I am glad you saw Edward Lowell ; he is called the 
finest young man of his age that there is in Boston. Quite a prodigy 
of learning, premature in every thing. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

July 12 [1827]. 

Have you read " Woodstock ? " I think it altogether the besl of 

Scott's late productions ; it may be considered a fine historical sketch 

calculated to strengthen and confirm the impressions of Cromwell's 

character and times. The works of Mrs. Barbauld have lately been 



published, and should make a part of every lady's library. Her life and 
writings have done much to elevate the standard of female character, 
and I feel a pride in them that I am sure is not sinful; though I am 
humbled to think such people are so rare, and that there is only such 
a constellation as Mrs. Barbanld and Miss Edge worth and Miss More 
and Mrs. Hemans about once in a century, though there are some I 
have not mentioned, who certainly arc not inferior to them, — Mrs. 
Hamilton and Mrs. Ratcliff for instance. I am drawing near the 
end of my paper without having said much ; I wish to know every 
tiling about little C. I pray and hope you will get her through the 
summer without sickness. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 


1 long to look in upon you, and see the dear children. I hope you 
will be so fortunate as to raise them, for 1 consider children a greal 
blessing; although they are a. blessing accompanied by great care. But 
'tis care that, like ballast in a ship, helps to preserve the mind's balance 
by checking its buoyancy: and. as that is good for us and necessary for 
us. we ought not to consider it an evil. 

I hope you have seen Miss Sedgwick's " Hope Leslie." It is a most 
exquisitely beautiful thing. 

In the autumn of 1827, our minister. Mr. Edward B. Hall, being in 
ill health, the pulpit was supplied by ministers from Boston and the 
neighborhood : most of the preachers being young men. My mother 
was warmly attached to Mrs, Hall, ami felt the anxieties and cares that 
this excellent and high-minded woman was subject to, very sensibly. 
All the more that Mrs. Hall was one of those cheerful, sustained Chris- 
tians, who never looked on her cares as hardships, but who bore all 
burdens in the happiest frame of mind. During this autumn, my 
mother heard that Mrs. Hall was expecting one of the preachers to 


stay at her house for a fortnight. She did nol even know the name of 
the expected guest ; but she knew Mrs. Hall was not well: so she sent 
her word that, when the preacher came, she would like to have him 
transferred to her house. It was Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson, then a 
young man, who took up his abode for a fortnight under her friendly 
roof. I have no power to convey in words the impression she used to 
give me of this visit, or its effect upon her appreciative mind. To her 
sister she mirthfully quoted an expression sometimes used by her 
Orthodox neighbors, about certain students at Amherst, and wrote: 
" Sally ! I thought to entertain ' a pious indigent,' but lo ! an angel 
unawares ! " Not long after this visit, my brother Joseph became inti- 
mate with Charles Emerson, at Cambridge ; a friendship which my 
mother hailed as one of the highest and holiest influences in the life of 
her beloved son. She rarely saw Mr. Emerson in her later life ; a few 
letters passed between them. Once (in 1849), he spent a few days at 
her house, while lecturing in Northampton ; and, after her removal to 
Cambridge, he called to see her. The personal feeling towards him 
thus engendered burned henceforth with a flame that threw light upon 
every passage of his writings, gilded the gloom of many a weary day, 
and made her fine face shine with responsive sympathy for the author, 
as she read aloud. She was wont to feel a sort of property in liim 
and his works ; and I have seen her ready to shed tears, when she 
could not see any appreciation of his thought in her listener. To 
one I have heard her say, "Well! you call that transcendental, and 
that's all you have to say about it. / call it the profoundest common 
sense." To another, " You think it very arrogant of me to pretend to 
understand Mr. Emerson. Well, I tell you I have the key to him: and 
I am not going to pretend I have not, whatever any one thinks." 

And so as the years went by, and volume after volume appeared of 
the " Essays," she hailed them with delight, and read them till they 
became a part of herself. 

In December of 1827, fell the heaviest shadow on the social life of 

236 , 

my dear father and mother that they had yet known. My Uncle and 
Aunt Howe (who had moved into the new house they had just built at 
the foot of Round Hill) were full of delight in their home, and enjoyed 
it all the more from having been subjected to many changes and in- 
conveniences, which, however, they had always borne with their accus- 
tomed patience and cheerfulness. My Uncle Howe had been very 
successful in building up the law-school, and his hopes of the future 
were high and sound. His health, never firm, was seldom a serious 
drawback to his efforts. But in this year it sensibly declined. Mr. 
Rufus Ellis, in his admirable little memoir of him, writes: — 

'•Through life he had been afflicted with most exhausting headaches; 
indeed, almosl every effori at the liar was followed by suffering of this 
sort, — and this year began with violent attacks, from which he did not 
recover so thoroughly as at former times. During this year, a slight 
difficulty of breathing first showed itself, originating in a cartilaginous 
formation in the windpipe, which from the first was beyond the reach 
of human skill. These last days in his earthly home were not without 
their premonitions to Judge Howe, and he seems to have been per- 
suaded that his end was at hand. The current of many of his thoughts 
is apparent from a dream, which made a very deep impression upon 

"He seemed to stand upon the piazza of his dwelling, his new home 
but lately erected, as he had hoped, for a pleasant and permanent 
abiding place : where the hearth-lire might lie kept burning, and into 
which his children might lie gathered about him, for many happy years. 
This beautiful resilience, a monument to his elegant taste, quietly re- 
poses at the foot of the shapely eminence which crowns the village. 
He looked out upon the glories which from that spot meet the eye at 
every turn. The sun shone out resplendent, and poured his beams 
aslant upon mountain and meadow and the modest village, almost 
buried iimler its gigantic elms. The shadows stretched out in huge 


lengths before him, for the day was far spent. Presently, as often 
happens in that valley, there rose a heavy mist which obscured the 
whole landscape, and sent a chill to his heart. But the darkness and 

the cold wer ily for a moment. Soon the misl disappeared, and the 

sun sank to rest in that wondrous glory, which, like the bow in the 
clouds, the kind Father seems to have appointed to cheer and reassure 
our hearts in this world where so many must be afflicted, and where all 
must die. He awoke, and behold ! it was a dream ; but his inmost 
prophetic soul said to him, ' So shall it be with thee ! ' And so it was. 
" In the month of December, Judge Howe left his home, in company 
with his wife and their infant child, to hold a court in Worcester. This 
proved to be his last labor. An unusual pressure of business detained 
the court until Thursday of the third week. During the following 
night, Judge Howe was completely prostrated by a profuse hemorrhage, 
but rallied sufficiently to travel a part of the distance to Boston, on 
Wednesday of the succeeding week ; and, after his arrival in Boston, 
remained tolerably comfortable during the remainder of the week. On 
Monday lie was much more ill, and continued in a condition of great 
suffering for twelve days, almost without power for continuous thought 
or attention: and ii was soon but loo evident that his case was hope- 
less, though affection clung to hope, almost to the last." 

My Uncle Howe died in Boston, at the house of his brother-in-law, 
Dr. Edward II. Robbins, on the twentieth day of January, 1828. of 
the closing scene. Mr. Ellis goes on to write: — 

" About nine o'clock, of Saturday evening, he was aroused from a 
state of partial stupor by the arrival of Judge Lyman. Then the mist 
cleared away, and the light of his soul shone out most gloriously during 
the closing hours. ... We are rather inclined to dwell on 
the hour of his death, because the spirit which adorned and ennobled 
it animated the whole life, because it did not stand out as an excep- 
tion, but entirely corresponded with all the rest of his days. 


" He began with prayer to God that lie might have strength to meet 
the duties and trials of the hour ; and then, taking the hand of Judge 
Lyman, whom he called ' the best friend any man ever had,' his soul 
seemed to overflow with gratitude, and he numbered up his mercies 
with thankful acknowledgment. ' There seems,' he said, * to he a most 
happy combination of circumstances at tins hour, — the coming of my 
friend, Mr. Lyman, the sight of my dear son, the best medical advice, 
and the comforts of a devoted brother's home all lavished upon me ; 
these last especially move my heart to gratitude. God's blessing 
rest upon him who has been more than a brother to me in my fee- 
bleness ! ' And thru he passed to some sober words of religious trust, 
and to some thoughtful and kind suggestions with reference to his 
worldly affairs. ' My confidence,' he said. ' is in the mercy of God, 
as revealed in the Gospel. Oh, my confidence in God at this hour 
is worth more to me than riches, or honor, or any thing else that 
this world has ! ' lie said that he had not been without a deep sense 
of the responsibilities which pressed upon him; and that he had been 
surprised at his success, at the clearness of his decisions, and the 
absence of mental wavering. This power he regarded as an answer 
to prayer. He trusted that he had been conscientious in the dis- 
charge of his public duties; but he added, 'Thou God, knowest ! ' 
Heaven, he said, had ever been regarded by him as the abode of those 
who cultivated their moral and intellectual powers to the greatest 
advantage : and to do this had been his aim. ' I consider human hap- 
piness as exactly measured by the amount of happiness which we are 
able to confer upon others." With the greatest collectedness of manner, 
and the method which ever had characterized him, he gave a few sim- 
ple directions about bis worldly affairs, ami commended his household 
to the God of the fatherless ami the widow. He hoped to have made 
full provision for them in pecuniary matters, but God had otherwise 
ordered it. To each <>f his friends who were present, he addressed 
words of affection or of disinterested counsel, pouring out, for the 


last time on earth, the tide of his full, warm heart. And then pray- 
ing again, partly in the words which our Lord has taught us, and 
expressing again his faith in the religion of Jesus, he passed away. 

" We have given many of the last thoughts, and some few of the 
last words of this good man; but it was the spirit that pervaded all, 
and even beamed out from his calm face, that made the chamber of 
death holy and blessed and peaceful. His friends felt, as for more 
than an hour he thus uttered himself to them, that the heart spake, — 
spake because it could not be silent. The throbbings of anguish ceased 
as the sweet, eloquent words fell from his lips, and tears ceased to flow. 
Those who were gathered about the bed of death seemed to be trans- 
lated for the moment with one whose soul, just ready to take its flight, 
brought heaven and earth together. It was a spontaneous outpouring 
from the heart, and it could heal the wounds of the heart. Thankful- 
ness and hope for the moment prevailed over deep grief, and, in dying 
as in living, the departing spirit blessed and strengthened his friends. 

" Judge Howe was buried where he died, in the city of Boston, with 
every fitting honor : the members of the Suffolk Bar, to whom Chief 
Justice Parker addressed a very eloquent discourse upon the services 
and character of the departed, following him to the grave. And so, 
after an all too brief sojourn of forty-three years, the wise and faithful 
man passed from our sight." 

Directly after the funeral services were over, my father accompanied 
my Aunt Howe to her now desolated home. The grief of my mother 
for her sister's loss, and her mourning for one who had been a real 
brother to her and my father for many years, made a profound impres- 
sion on me, young as I was. I recall the sad expression of their bowed 
heads every Sunday in church for many months, and the almost con- 
stant weeping of my mother, whenever an interval from her active 
duties left her time to weep. As for my dear aunt, who was the one 
most deeply afflicted, she was left with the care of six young children ; 


but also with that high sense of duty, and that consoling exaltation of 
spirit, that is the portion of those who have enjoyed the highest com- 
panionship, and to whom the will of God is conclusive and satisfying. 
During the winter succeeding to her husband's death, she wrote out in 
her solitary hours all her must precious reminiscences of his life. In 
it, she speaks with thankful emotion of the seven quiet years she had 
passed with her husband in Worthington. There, comparative isola- 
tion had drawn their hearts closer together in those first years of mar- 
ried life, and had given them time for that intellectual sympathy which 
the cares of a more extended social circle would have prevented. A 
home where her sisters and Eliza Cabot and Catherine Sedgwick were 
occasional guests, which the good and learned Dr. Bryant loved to 
frequent, and where his poet-son had a, temporary home : where, when 
alone, the husband and wife regaled themselves with evening readings 
of '-Tacitus" and "Virgil" and Mather's " Magnalia," — such a 
home, even on the bleak hills of Worthington. was one to remember 
with peaceful gratitude. In one of my Uncle Howe's letters to my 
aunt before their marriage, 1 find a passage which 1 insert here ; for the 
anticipation it contains was fully realized: — 

•• 1 aidieipate great pleasure in reading to you, and hearing you 
read. In this way, we can in some measure supply the want of society, 
which you must necessarily led as a great privation. While we im- 
prove our minds individually, we shall also increase the similarity in 
our feelings, opinions, and tastes: and this will certainly increase the 
pleasure of our intercourse with each other. The desire of being use- 
ful to each other will stimulate our exertions for the improvement of 
our minds; and the habit of reading and conversing together on liter- 
ary subjects will prove highly useful to our children. I hope we shall 
not be inclined to complain of solitude, while we can enjoy together the 
society of Shakspeare and Milton, Johnson and Burke." 


My aunt's memoir of Judge Howe is an exquisitely simple and 
touching record of a wholly faithful career. My own limits will only 
allow me to make a few extracts from it : but they will serve to show 
yon, my dear girls, what this life and death were to your grandparents, 
and how noble must have been the friendship that subsisted between 
these four noble souls. 

Extracts from Mrs. Howe's Memoir of her Husband. 

" With tin' perfect sincerity of his conversation, and the entire sim- 
plicity of his manners, I was impressed when I first saw him. He was 
then nearly eight-and-twenty, and, although lie never in any degree losi 
his natural frankness, I think he afterwards greatly improved in his 
power ami ease in conversation; his mind became more enlarged, and 
his range of thought more varied. This was the effect of a life indus- 
triously devoted to the cultivation of his intellectual powers, the wel- 
fare of his fellow-creatures, and the happiness of his family. The 
mind which is unceasing in research, the affections which are daily 
supplied, must increase in strength continually. 

" It was my privilege, from the very beginning of our acquaintance, to 
become the companion to his mind. I remember he told me that his 
friend Hayden said to him, ' You are going to marry again : speak not 
of your former wife ; it will be an unwelcome subject.' His reply 
was. • I shall have no interdicted subject with my wife.' 

" It was my happiness to inspire a confidence never for a moment 
withdrawn, manifested in death as well as in life. This is a lasting 
enjoyment, not merely in recollection, but in possession. ... He who 
knew me best knew that I was above poor and selfish motives of con- 
duct ; and the feeling that he did so strengthened my self-respect. 

" The time he spent with us at Brush Hill, previous to our marriage, 
was employed in cultivating an acquaintance with me and with all my 
friends. With my father he was immediately intimate. He had for 

24 2 

him the respect of a son, with the companionship of a brother. They 
never met without renewed pleasure in each other's society. To every 
member of my family he made himself interesting," and likewise to the 
whole circle of our friends. This interest was never in any measure 
withdrawn : for it had no false pretence, no showy attraction for its 
foundation. No human creature could lie more superior to every thing 
like address or subterfuge. He had no vanity to gratify, and he never 
did any thing, great or small, for display. This makes the vain parade 
which some persons make of accomplishments and intellectual attain- 
ments seem contemptible to me ; but 1 try to overlook it, because he 
always forgave it. The extravagant claims of others never seemed to 
interfere with him : he never flattered others, and never expected 
praise. He was. indeed, too good and wise and kind to make il neces- 
sary to convince others of his excellence, or conceal from them his 
motives : they might lie read in his countenance, heard in every word 
he uttered; and no one had need to say, ' Why do you so'.'' The 
activity of his mind was very uncommon. I do not think he had what 
men call genius: he was never imaginative, but his powers were 
always in use. To reason and compare, to think, to read, and con- 
verse, were his constant occupations. 

" When conversation ceased, he had always a book at hand, and read- 
ing with him was not a sellish enjoyment. 1 believe that 1 may safely 
say that lie lias read hundreds of volumes aloud to me. He discon- 
tinued, in some measure, after he began delivering lectures, because he 
had then so much use for his voice, but never entirely. He read to me 
everything that was interesting in the newspapers and reviews, and 
some other things, as long as he lived : and always told me about what 
he read, when he could do no more. His peculiar preference in books 
was for those which contained facts, — history, biography, and travels, 
lie read all the ' Waverley Novels' with much delight, and Miss 
Sedgwick's with a heartfelt and affectionate interest ; but not many 
others, while I knew him. He was fond of Shakspeare and Milton, 


but was indifferent to most modern poetry, ami to metaphysics. Be 
had so much professional reading to do, that he preferred things that 
taxed the mind less. 

" 1 think he had ambition, — the ambition that aspires to true excel- 
lence, and proposes to itself honorable rewards. It was not grasping 
in its nature, however, nor did it interfere with his other habits. 1 
remember that Judge Jackson told him, when he was about two-and- 
thirty, thai hi' might come to Boston and live without any risk, and he 
would lie sure of the best kind of business : but he loved the tran- 
quillity of the country, and did not court a city life." 

My aunt, in another portion of her memoir, relates the fact of her 
husband's close intimacy with the Sedgwick family, and the deep 
enjoyment they both had in it through life. She thus describes the 
change in her husband's religious views : — 

"Previous to my marriage, I never had conversed with my husband 
on religious opinions, although I knew that he was sincerely religious, 
both in principle and feeling. The controversial questions since agi- 
tated were not then much talked of. I had been often to hear Dr. 
Chanuing, Mr. Buckminster, Mr. Thacher, and others preach. Their 
faith seemed to me that which was delivered to the saints ; and I never 
liked the Calvinist preaching, which I heard enough of at Milton. 

" One Sunday evening, not long after my marriage, I expressed my 
views of religion very fully. Your father seemed to think me in great 
error, and reprehended me with a good deal of decision. I was rather 
hurt, perhaps more so than the occasion warranted. I made an inter- 
nal resolution not to introduce the subject again. I knew I could agree 
to differ about mere opinion. About two years after, your father met 
Henry D. Sedgwick at the Berkshire Court. Sedgwick was fund of 
argument, and a, zealous Unitarian. They talked together on the sub- 
ject. Sedgwick lent your father -Yates's Answer to Wardlaw.' 


This book and the New Testament he read with care, after his return 
home, comparing it with Scripture; and was entirely convinced of the 
truth and reasonableness of the Unitarian faith, which he afterwards 
held through life. He was much interested, and read a great deal 
upon the subject. It was a most sincere delight to me that the only 
difference of opinion of any importance between us was removed. I 
told him how glad 1 was, and glad likewise that it was effected without 
my influence. He had the kindness to say, ' You do not know how 
much your conduct has influenced me.' It' I had controverted with 
him in my imperfect manner, he might have refuted me, and never, or 
not for a long period, have investigated the subject : for we lived away 
from what I considered religious privileges. But I had the happiness 
to prove to him that I feared God and regarded man ; and he was 
interested in the foundation of my faith, and felt that it would be a 
privilege to think with me on a subject of so much importance. I 
bless God for the result: our religious sympathy was a new bond 
between us." 

In another portion of this memoir, my aunt makes a long quota- 
tion from a letter of .Miss Sedgwick's : one of the sentences seems to 
have been left incomplete in the original ; it is printed just as it 
stands : — 

Miss C. M. Sedgwick In Mr*. How,-. 

" He always seemed to me more highly gifted in his social powers 
than almost any one I ever have known. He set a high value on the 
social relations, affections, and enjoyments. He made them a distinct 
object of attention. They were not to him incidental and subordinate, 
as to most professional, active, and busy men. They were not means, 
but ends; he gave his time and talents to them. His character was 
fitted for friendship and the tenderesl relations. His sound judgment, 
his rational views, the equanimity and forbearance of his temper, and 


his pleasant vein of humor, which, if it seldom rose to wit, was as 
superior to it for domestic purposes as the ready and benignant smile 
is in the loud and boisterous laugh. He had a decided love and pref- 
erence for female society, and that indulgence for us which lias marked 
all the men of noble spirit that 1 have known." 

To Miss Sedgwick's testimony, my aunt adds : •• This love of female 
society I have often heard him dwell upon. He said he did not like to 
hear women claim equality of talent ; they had no need of it. Women 
were more disinterested, more single-hearted than men (that was his 
experience among his associates) ; and they ought to be satisfied with 
being better, without contesting the question of intellectual equality." 

It is hard to take' pussin/es only from a biography so perfect ; but I 
close them, as my dear aunt did her memoir, with these lines, — 

" And is he dead, whose glorious mind 
Lifts thine on high ? 
To live in hearts we leave behind 
Is not tn die." 


Let us be patient! these severe afflictions 

Not from the ground arise, 
But oftentimes celestial hem-dictions 

Assume tliis dark disguise. 

We see but dimly tlirough the mists and vapors ; 

Amid these- earthly damps, 
What seem to us but dim, funereal tapers, 

May be Heaven's distant lamps. 

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. 

We will be patient ! and assuage the feeling 

We cannot wholly stay ; 
By silence sanctifying, not concealing 

The grief that must have way. 


A FTER my Uncle Howe's death, my mother received many letters 
■^ *• from friends who had loved and appreciated him. She kept one 
from Mr. Emerson, with peculiar care. 

To Abby she wrote a long letter, pouring all her sorrow into this 
faithful and sympathizing heart. But I will only extract one passage. 
After speaking of the loss to those nearest, and to the community, she 
says : " For our own family I can say that death has taken such a 
friend and counsellor as the world cannot furnish us with, and left in 
its place a deep-rooted sorrow, which I hope may lay the foundation of 
many virtues, limit is a hard exchange. It is sorrow which marks 


with strongest impression our experience in this life, much more than 
any of the joyful occurrences in it. Some author I lately have read ob- 
serves. 'It is sorrow which teaches us to feel properly for ourselves and 
for others.' We must feel deeply before we can think rightly. It is 
not in the tempest and storm of passions that we can reflect, but 
afterwards, when the waters have gone over the soul ; and like the 
precious gems and the rich merchandise which the wild wave casts upon 
the shore out of the wreck it has made, — such are the thoughts left 
by retiring passions. Reflection is the result of feeling. It is from an 
all-absorbing, heart-rending compassion for one's self, that springs a 
deeper sympathy for others ; and from the sense of our own weakness, 
and our own self-upbraiding, arises a disposition to be indulgent, to for- 
bear and to forgive. At least, such I believe to be the intention of 
Providence in permitting sorrow to exist in the world." 

Mr. li. W. Emerson to Mrs. Lyman. 

Divinity Hail. Camhridge, February 11, 1828. 

My dear Madam, — It was very kind of you to think of me again. 
I have thought of little else lately than the irreparable loss which your- 
self and your friends and your town have sustained. It will not be the 
least of the many alleviations of this grievous affliction that it is felt 
as it should be throughout the community. The world is not so selfish 
but that such a bereavement as this, is felt as their own by society at 
large. I do not surely allude to this sympathy as if it yielded a gratifi- 
cation to vanity in the general attention our own calamities excite ; 
but from a far higher reason, (hat it is grateful to us as justifying our 
own grief in giving us the testimony of mankind, that our partial affec- 
tions have not misled our judgments, but that the object on which we 
have spent our affections, was worthy of them. This makes the value 
of the unanimous tribute of respect and sorrow that has been paid to 
the memory of your friend. 

To me, if it is not idle to speak of myself, his death was a most an- 


expected disappointment. I had rejoiced in my good fortune in making 
his acquaintance, and looked forward with earnestness to its continu- 
ance. His acquaintance was a privilege, which I think no young man 
of correct feelings could enjoy without being excited to an ambition 
that he might deserve his friendship. But it has pleased God to re- 
move him. 

I cannot but think there is the highest consolation in the occasion of 
his sickness, and the manner of his death, which have filled up the 
beauty of his life, and have left nothing to be amended, if they have 
left much to be desired. In such a deatli of such a man, if there must 
be to his family and friends the deepest grief, there must be also to 
them a feeling of deep and holy joy. There is something in his char- 
acter which seems to make excessive sorrow unseasonable and unjust 
to his memory; and all who have heard of his death have derived 
from it new force to virtue and new confidence to faith. 

You will have the goodness to offer my respectful condolence to Mrs. 
Howe ; 1 was denied, by accidents, even the melancholy satisfaction of 
attending the funeral of Judge Howe. The following day 1 was in town. 
and learned at Mrs. Revere's that Judge Lyman and Mrs. Howe had 
returned home. 

I am very sorry to hear that your children have been so sick. I 
trust they are wholly well. 1 have the greatest regard for my little 
friends, though it is probable they have forgotten their ancient admirer 
before this time. I want- to become acquainted with Joseph, but Charles 
thinks the air of Divinity Hall altogether too musty to suit his youthful 
friend. I read to my brother your kind remembrances. He is very 
fond of your son. and very happy to second his own ambition, in giving 
him his just place in college. 

Please to make my respects to Judge Lyman, whom I hope to see 
when he is in town again. 

With great regard, madam, your faithful friend and servant, 

R. Waldo Emerson. 


Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, March 11. 1828. 

My dear Emma, — I have fallen on you of late as the fittest subject 
for neglect. But in doing so I deserve great credit, let mo tell you. 
For in no instance could I make a greater sacrifice amongst my corre- 
spondents than in giving up your letters. I should have a great deal to 
say about my disappointment in not seeing yourself and Bennet this 
winter, but you know that a bitterer feeling has filled the place of all 
minor considerations ; and all disappointments appear insignificant to 
me when I think of the chasm made in our social circle, which can 
never be contemplated by me except with a feeling of the most poig- 
nant regret. It is true, our religion furnishes us with the delightful 
hope of a reunion with those we love, and with a perfect confidence in 
the goodness of an all-wise Judge, who has ordered these things for our 
good. But there is an earthly feeling which will accompany us through 
this terrene abode, and the wants of our gross nature, whether of a 
corporeal or of an intellectual kind, will be listened to. We shall as 
naturally seek for sympathy in the confiding bosom we have made the 
repository of our kindest and best affections and inmost thoughts, 
when we have realized a reciprocation of the same, as we shall seek 
food when oppressed with hunger. And we shall as naturally deplore 
our inability to indulge the one as the other, notwithstanding our re- 
ligion and our reason instruct us to be patient, and go on with the 
duties of life with renewed vigor, and, if possible, make up to the world 
by our efforts for the excellence it has lost. I feel how necessary the 
chastisements of Providence are to extract vanity and folly from our 
hearts, and convince us of the real blessings of life. When we see the 
main pillars, the strongest props of virtue laid low, we must feel that 
earth has been a loser unless it strengthens the virtues of those who 

I have just been called to listen to the complaints of the widow and 


the orphan, who close with saying, "It would not bo so, if Judge Howe 
was living." There are a kind of people who are kept straight by fear 
of the inspection of the wise and good of their neighborhood, and the 
want of that restraint we shall feel more and more every day. 

Sally has been wonderfully carried along thus far, but. I think she 
has only begun a new existence in (to her) a new world, the difficul- 
ties of which will be every day developing themselves ; and I trust they 
will find her endowed with new power to meet them. She is fortunate 
in being able to have Catherine with her, for her spirits would not 
admit, of her giving much direction to the children, and C. is of the 
greatest importance to the comfort of the family. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, October G, 1828. 

My dear Emma, — I suppose you received by John a. very ungrate. 
ful message from me, which was, that 1 did not write to you because 1 
had written to everybody else. Now, the compliment you must ex- 
tract from this apparent unkindness, after all you have done and suffered 
for me and mine, is, that I expected more patient forbearance, from you 
than any one else. 

Miss Sedgwick got here Saturday evening, and I was greatly dis- 
appointed that she did not, as she had promised to, come directly here ; 
but she explained it to my satisfaction, — though I could not help feel- 
ing very much grieved to see so little of her. But according to the 
admirable system of compensation which marks the kind Hand that 
administers our portion, there was still a great indulgence in store for 
me, though it was to endure but for a short time. Miss S. had in her 
company a lady who joined her and spent much of the day with me. 
Mrs. Griffith I will not pretend to describe to you, for she is of that 
nonpareil cast that baffles my skill altogether; but I can refer you to a 
characteristic of her mind in a production of hers, to be found in the 


last "North American," "On Bees." Last evening, B. sat deeply 
engaged in your favorite occupation, — biting his nails, — which il seems 
she had admonished him for before. She took her pencil, and wrote 
on the blank leaf of a small volume of poems with which she had pre- 
sented him, and which lay near her, the following impromptu : — 

" In France, where the grape luxuriant grows, 
A Frenchman feeds on snails ; 
But here, where a feast of reason flows, 
No need of a feast of nails." 

You will not wonder at my introducing you to a person of suclu 
striking quickness and aptness of thought and expression. Her occu- 
pation has been for many years the cultivation of the most remarkable 
nursery of trees in this country; and the object of her visit to Boston 
was to see agricultural gentlemen, with whom she wishes to hold cor- 
respondence. She was left a widow many years since, with seven 
children, and no other property than an estate in New Jersey, on the 
Raritan, called Charley's Hope. It was then unproductive ; but, by her 
great energy and management, she has for many years obtained an 
income of six thousand dollars from it, and maintained her family in 
splendor, as well as great comfort. 

We felt very sorry to have the ladies leave us this morning, and H. 
is quite dejected about it ; but he has consoled himself as well as he 
could with going to the mountain this morning, — and a brighter and 
more beautiful day never shone in October. It rained all last evening, 
which prevented my taking my heroine up to see Mrs. Howe, but 
which has improved all external appearances indescribably. The ver- 
dure is everywhere as perfect as it was in June, and the trees have not 
yet assumed their autumnal garb. Miss Sedgwick spent the evening 
with Sally, and gave her the particulars of the Cabot experiences. 

I wish you would make application to Dr. Harris for the best account 
of the natural history of the aphis, or aphidea ; and either copy it for 
me, or point me to the place where I can find it. You know he is a 


distinguished entomologist, and lias made communications on this sub- 
ject to the public by means of the " New England Farmer." Give my 
love to your mother and Mary, and tell the former that we shall long 
remember and be grateful fir her kind attentions to Anne Jean, who 
is continually talking of and enjoying her past experiences. 

Your affectionate 

A. J. Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman t" Miss C. Robbins. 

Northampton, February 1, 1829. 

My dear Catherine, — We were very glad of your letter which I 
received ;i week ago : ever since. 1 have been very much engaged in con- 
sequence of Catherine's sickness. She is now getting better, lint I think 
has (owing to a violent cold) had a regular lung fever, and I do not 
intend she shall go out of the house again until warm weather, for 1 
never hail any success in hardening young children. .She now has the 
must dreadful cough 1 ever heard, and has shrunk into a little 

I should like to hear soon, what Mr. Emerson is going to do about 
taking Anne Jean. Mr. Walker and Mrs. Howe have discovered to 
their satisfaction, that mine of Mrs. G.'s scholars know any thing at 
all. And though I should not wish to have Mr. Emerson think very 
highly of Anne Jean's attainments, or of her capacity, I would not lie 
so hypocritical as to pretend to acquiesce in Mr. Walker's judgment. 
The end I shall have always in view, with regard to children, is to pro- 
duce a state of mind, rather than a historian, a philosopher, or a poet. 
In producing a desirable state, in my view, Mrs. Gherardi has been 
particularly successful. I can see it most perfectly illustrated in 
Martha, who never spends a moment unprofitably. As it regards 
Anne Jean, she wants nothing but wise direction, and always appears 
ready to follow it. And I am not disposed to believe that the hun- 
dreds and thousands of pages of French and Latin exercises that have 


been written, together with historical abstracts, have been ineffectual 
in producing that discipline of character and that patient industry thai 
are operating now so favorably on our household. It is unnecessary for 
me to describe to you what I wish for Anne .lean. There are bul aboul 
two years more that she can attend to lier education in the given form 
of a school. I am perfectly aware of the mediocrity of her abilities, 
and should like to have her attend to those things that are most profit- 
able and necessary for women to know, and that furnish the besl 
mental discipline. She has capacity enough to be wise in its truest 
sense, if her faculties are used to the best advantage; but if we do 
not do a great deal towards producing a balance of character, her 
heart will always be running away with her head. .... 

Do you remember, two years ago, in that eventful period of Mary 
Pickard's and Mr. Ware's life, how engrossed we were about them, 
and thought earthly happiness was insured to them ? What different 
destinies are assigned to the children of earth ! I saw Martin Brim- 
mer and his happy bride get into the sleigh the other day, and recol- 
lected that he had lived to be thirty years old and more, and had hardly 
had his path shadowed by a sorrow. I hope Mr. E.'s health will enable 
him to bear up against all that must happen to him. But I am 
greatly afraid it will kill him. He has shown that he has purity and 
principle enough to serve as an antidote to the ills of life, but he may 
not be able to resist the frailty of his physical nature. 

Give my love to Mary and Mr. Revere and the boys, and tell me 
how the twins grow, when you write ; and all you can hear about Mr. 
Emerson's affairs, for you know I am subject to the Emerson fever just 
now, in this eventful state of things. 

Your affectionate 

A. J. Lyman. 


Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, February 28, 1829. 

My dear Emma, — It is impossible for me to deal much in abstract 
subjects. The past and the future 1 am equally divested of in contem- 
plation, for I am absolutely and entirely involved in the present, — 
which Dr. Johnson thinks is the very lowest state of human existence. 
But I shall require at least as good a teacher as he is to instruct me 
how to avoid it. If he had been ever a woman, and felt himself re- 
sponsible for the well-being and happiness of numbers of all ages, with 
all their different wants to attend to, with a due proportion of sickness 
and health, I think he would have been of a different opinion. Ever 
since I returned from Boston, something has been the matter with my 
children ; more particularly little Catherine, who was sick some weeks ; 
and after she appeared to be perfectly well, had a relapse. Anne Jean 
had a similar difficulty at her age. Notwithstanding all the care 
accompanying all these little folks, I have an enjoyment in young 
children that I am afraid I never shall have in them after they are 
grown-up ; and 1 can't help wishing to keep them where they are for 
a while. 

I feel truly sorry for Edward and Ann, that their child could not 
live; it was a disappointment that 1 never for a moment had antici- 
pated. I am very glad that Mary is in town ; Anne Jean wants very 
much to know what she is studying, and how she likes her school. If 
it would have done for Anne Jean to have gone till September to Mr. 
Bayle, I should have liked it very well, considering that she cannot go 
to Mr. Emerson till June; and I suppose it would not have put him 
out to defer it till September. But my patience has been kept in pretty 
constant exercise during my pilgrimage through this vale of tears, and 
I dare say I shall be able to bear with having her the sport of accident 
another three months. But the influences upon her character at pres- 


ent are very unpropitious, all things considered. Mary and Susan 
Howe accompanied Mr. Asliinun and Lucy to Chicopee yesterday, and 
returned to-day. Mr. Aslnuun is really too sick to go anywhere, but 
he will keep doing something lie should not all the time ; and, on the 
whole, we think he cannot live long : he has been shut up a good deal, 
and has a dreadful cough. We have had Mr. Jones shut up here by 
the storm a week, and have got a good deal acquainted with him. It 
is quite amusing to hear Mary talk of withdrawing herself from young 
society because she is going to marry a man forty years old. I have 
endeavored to convince her that good feeling and sympathy level all 
distinctions of age ; for I am sure, as it regards myself, that I never 
had more pleasure in my life in the society of young people than I have 
since they were the companions of my children ; and I am sure it does 
not lessen the pleasure I feel in the society of the aged. But father- 
and mother are almost the only old people I am acquainted with, — I 
mean older than myself. Mr. Lyman and myself are the old people of 

I have written thus far, my dear Emma, not with the expectation of 
giving you much pleasure, but that I might enforce my claim to a letter 
from you. I want to hear about Mr. Ware and Mary, and all then- 
plans, as well as their state ; and the history of people and things in 

Yours, , T r 

A. J. L. 

In 1829, my sister Mary was married to Mr. Thomas Jones, of En- 
field. She was of a most lovely and affectionate nature ; and her 
departure was a serious loss to the family circle. She always had 
been specially devoted to our father's comfort ; and once, in a moment 
of confidence, told my Cousin Martha that she had never in her life 
wanted to do any thing that he did not wish. Though I was but six 
years old at the time of her marriage, I recall vividly the bitterness "I' 
the parting from her, and the home-sick longing for her I experienced 


for many months. For I had slept with her from the time of my in- 
fancy, and her care and love had been boundless. A vision of her 
always rises to my memory, as she sat at her window in the room 
above the office, bending over a neat little board covered with flannel, 
on which she laid the linen cambric ruffles of our father's shirts in the 
most exquisitely fine plaits. She had large and beautiful eyes, and a 
most tender and loving heart. 

My Uncle Howe's death had been the beginning of a series of 
changes which deeply affected both my parents. In 1829, my Grand- 
father Bobbins died : and in 1830, the sudden death of little Annie 
dean Greene, my Cousin Abby's beautiful little daughter (to whom she 
hail given my mother's name), called out all the deepest sympathies of 
my mother's heart . 

Mr. II. W. Knurs,, n /,, J/rs. Lyman. 

Boston. August 25, 1829. 

My dear Madam, — My friend, Mr. George P. Bradford, has 
promised to give Mr. Hall a " labor of love " next Sunday, on his return 
through Northampton from New York, whither he has gone with his 
sisters, — a victim of the travelling passion. And as Mr. Bradford is 
a man of mark among his friends, 1 want him to have the happiness — 
which I shall grudge him, too — of spending half an hour at your house. 
But, who is Mr. Bradford? lie is Mrs. Ripley's brother, and a fine 
classical and biblical scholar, and a botanist, and a lover of truth, and 
"an Israelite, in whom is no guile," and a kind of Cowper, and a 
great admirer of all admirable things ; and so I want him to go to 
your house, -where his eyes and his ears shall be enriched with what he 

I went yesterday to Cambridge, mid saw your friend, Professor Ash- 
mun, inaugurated. . . . As far as 1 can guess, the appointment of him 
is a very judicious one. It was a line assembly, free of all crowd and 
fatigue, and contained some of the finest people in America. 1 sat (as 


it is always expedient to do on public occasions) next to Mr. CJpham, of 
Salem, and got him to point mc out the lions, — for he is a man having 
the organ of society in very large development, and knows all men in 
the I'liitt'il States ; and one could not desire a more eloquent ex- 
pounder of their various merits. 

I hope yourself and Judge Lyman are well. I am truly sorry that 
the distresses of the times should have come so near your friends. God 
seems to make some of his children for prosperity, they bear it so 
gracefully, and with such good will of society : and it is always painful 
when such suffer. But I suppose it is always dangerous, and especially 
(o the very young. In college, I used to echo a frequent ejaculation 
of my wise Aunt's: "Oh, blessed, blessed poverty!" when I saw 
young men of fine capabilities, whose only and fatal disadvantage was 
wealth. It is sad to see it taken from those who know how to use ii ; 
but children whose prospects are changed may hereafter rejoice at the 

We 'jot no good news from Mr. Ware, except that he is no worse ; 
but he now writes that he is really no better than when he left home. 
We had so many flattering rumors, that this sounds worse. It is really 
good ground to hope that he has no seated consumption, I think, if 
after so long an interval he remains as well ; and a winter in Italy 
may do much. 

Charles has just been in to see me, much rejoicing in having turned 
the key for the last time in his school-house, and in the prospect of 
living again with Joseph Lyman, at Cambridge. . . . 

I am, with respectful remembrances to Judge Lyman, and to the 

Dear madam, yours affectionately, 

R. Waldo Emerson. 

In the autumn of 1S20, my mother decided to send our dear Annie 
to Boston, to Mr. George B. Emerson's school. When I recall how 


close and tender the tie was that bound her to her children, and what 
a delight to her their perpetual presence, I realize fully the sacrifice she 
so often made in the long separations from them, which she cheerfully 
endured. It was a part of that large, generous, and broad outlook she 
took of life, that she could never feel she had done her whole duty to 
children, if she had only given them herself. I often have heard her say. 
that she did not think young people who had lived always in the bosom 
of their families were as well fitted to cope with the after-trials of life, 
or to understand the various characti rs they would be sure to come in 
contact with, as those who had a wider experience. She thought that 
family peculiarities were rubbed off or lessened by attrition with other 
families; and that young people became more liberal and enlarged by 
finding out that there were a great many roads to the same place. 
My mother had the greatest satisfaction in Mr. Emerson's school. 

Mrs. Lyman to her Daughter, Anne Jean Ly 

a*. ni. 

Northampton, November 1">, 1829. 
My dear Anne Jean, — I was sorry -the cloak did not suit you any 
better, but it was made like one from New York which we supposed 
to be the height of the fashion, as was the size of the cord. 1 have 
sent you some money to pay for the dyeing of the gown. If there 
should be an opportunity to send it by Maria Hunt's bundle for me to 
make, von had better. Your cloak was made, with my assistance, for 
forty cents, which could not have been done in Boston under live 
dollars. It is the multiplication of such little expenses that in the 
aggregate makes large sums. Now, the dyeing and fixing of your me- 
rino will be all the expense of a. new dress, if you carry it to a mantua- 
maker in Boston : but if you will describe how you wish it to differ 
from your oilier gowns, 1 will attend strictly to your orders. You said 
nothing about the worked collar, but 1 hope you have got it. and that 
it suited you better than your cloak did. 1 moreover hope you will 


live to see what I probably shall not, — a millennial existence, one in 
which there will be no sorrow about clothes; where the only anxiety 
people will have will be how they can do the most good with their 
time and talents. I do not rare how much anxiety you expend on 
these objects. Clothe your mind, for thai will never wear out, if you 
take care of it : and it is an inexhaustible fund of usefulness to others, 
as well as one's self. The ability to instruct those who want for intel- 
lectual light is vastly better than the ability to give money : and it is 
an independent resource that we can control without the interference 
of third persons. Give my love to your grandmother; and, whenever 
you have any time, take your work and go and sit with her. I am very. 
sorry to hear of your grandfather's lameness; when you write, you 
must mention how he is. . . . 

The fringe will do very well. Give my love to your Aunt Revere ; 
I want to hear how she gets along weaning the babies. I hope the 
crowd has passed by, so that she will have a little time left to herself; 
for it appears to me her life is a good deal like mine. — broken up by 
innumerable casualties, leaving us but little control of our time or 
thoughts. John is a good boy. but I cannot get him to write very 
eleganl epistles; but 1 hope his mother won't think the fault is in me. 
The fact is, he does n't love to write. — nor does any little boy of his 
age, — and he will not take the pains to do nearly as well as he 
Tell Joseph the man has gone away that engaged to do his chair. 
Your affectionate 


Now. there was not the smallest occasion for desiring " a millennial 
existence." as far as the dress of the dear Anne was concerned. She 
was a pattern of the most exquisite neatness and the .strictest economy. 
Oil. I can imagine that cloak that was "in the height of the fashion," 
made up for forty cents, after " a pattern from New York : " and 1 
know well why it caused sorrow ! What would my dear mother say 


now, if she could come hack and see the overskirts and trimmings of 

the present day ? Surely, not that the millennium of dress is nearer at 
hand ! 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Barnard. 

Northampton, December 30, 1829. 

My dear Mrs. Barnard, — I received your last letter yesterday 
evening. 1 feel much obliged to you for writing, for it must be a trial 
to Mr. Lyman to have to write the same tiling so many times as lie 
has. My father's illness, considering its cause, has been wonderfully 
protracted. It must have been many weeks since he could have de- 
rived any nutriment from any thing he lias taken. But we must rec- 
ollect that, his disease attacked him in the lull vigor of an unimpaired 
constitution. It is not therefore strange that there should lie a power- 
ful resistance at the close. 

It seems, perhaps, to you, as if it would he difficult for me to realize 
(without being on the spot and witnessing the whole scene) the de- 
parture of my lather, whom I have had so few interviews with for 
eighteen years. But imagination is" a powerful agent in presenting 
the images of our friends, and enforcing by irresistible associations 
upon our minds their presence, their thoughts, their views on all 
subjects, as similar ones occur. And. perhaps, no one was ever led 
more frequently to recur to and quote the opinions of another, than I 
have been, as to those of my father, — believing his mind (as children are 
prone to) to he a fountain of wisdom and inflexible virtue, founded in 
genuine mid sincere religious feeling. If 1 did not think so, 1 should 
have been forced to the belief that he was a hypocrite, for no one ever 
had more constantly on their lips the sense of dependence on God, and 
more frequently expressed their confidence in the provisions of his 
providence and grace. His conduct in relation to the divisions in the 
town of Milton have been peculiarly illustrative of his love of peace. 
1 speak of this as an incontrovertible proof of his true love of prac- 


tical religion. Mr. Bigelow, a clergyman now staying with me, who 
knew my father in the eastern country, thinks then- are. few men in 
our country, if any, who have done so much for religious institutions 
as he has, and that the imperishable monuments of his influence will 
be felt in that country to remotest generations. Here I will stop : lor 
no one douhts he was an active supporter of the principle and practice of 
virtue in all its forms, and that he has been in the hands of Providence 
an instrument of much good in his day and generation. 

I feel grateful that my father should have come to the close of life, 
without having experienced the torpor and uselessness of old age ; and 
that his mind, with all its sensibility and sympathy, should have 
remained till the close. It is ever to he regretted, when friends sur- 
vive their usefulness long enough to consider themselves cumberers 
of the ground, or to have their friends consider them in that light. 
And still our regret must always he deeper, ami the less of our friends 
more to he deplored, when they are taken from a sphere of eminent 
usefulness, as is the case with my beloved father. At the period he 
was taken ill, his connection with the world was as strong as it had 
been at any period of his life, and the duties he was engaged in as 
important to its interests. But the Disposer of all events lias ordered 
this in wisdom, and it is not for us to say that we can imagine a better 
way, or a better time. It would have been an unspeakable satisfaction 
to me to have seen my father again : but if I had been there, Mr. Ly- 
man could not have been away at this time, and 1 view his presence of 
so much more importance than mine could have been, that I have rec-. 
onciled my mind to the deprivation. 1 take much pleasure in contem- 
plating the revelations concerning the future to the good. " Behold I 
make all things new." May we not expect a renovation of the moral as 
well as the vital principle, and at the same time that there is an end 
to pain, sickness, and death ? 

2 6 '2 

Mrs. Lyman to her Mother. 

Northampton, January 1, 1830. 
My dear Mother, — I can think only of the sadness that mingles 
itself with the reflections of our New Year's congratulations; and still 
I am sensible that there is much mercy mingled in our cup of bitter- 
ness. The great trials and changes of life are continually drawing us 
near to each other, as well as near to a merciful God who has bound 
our interests by such endearing lies, and made us to feel that the sor- 
rows of owe are equally the sorrows of all belonging to the same family. 
Though I have not been with you personally, my thoughts are ever 
there; we are prone, you know, to fix them on the spot where the scene 
lies which is most eventful to our interests and our happiness. Perhaps 1 
have encountered as few of those changes which appertain to human des- 
tiny, as any one of my age. But still 1 realize most fully that change is 
the universal law inscribed on all God's works ; and that, when we are 
enjoying the spring-tide and summer of our existence, we must not 
forget there is an autumn and a winter of life, preparatory to its close. 
My father has realized as little of the sickly tints of autumn, or of the 
wastes of the winter of life, as any one I ever knew ; and this we must 
consider a merciful exemption. But one great change, if we are spared 
the lesser ones, must happen to all : for death must close the scene. 
But while the plant is dying, the seed is ripening : and if it fall into the 
ground, it will spring forth anew. — perhaps in a form widely different, 
but inconceivably improved. " Ir doth not yet appear what we shall 
be." But this we know : that, if we are planted in the likeness of the 
death of our blessed Lord, we shall be also in the likeness of his resur- 
rection. "If we have liorne the image of the earthly, we shall also 
hear the image of the heavenly." "What was sown in corruption shall 
he raised in incorrupt ion, and what was sown in dishonor shall he raised 
in glory," — ami flourish in immortal youth and beauty beyond the 
reach of time, and tin' influence of chanuine seasons. 


It is an unspeakable comfort to us, that so much has been revealed 
relating to our future destiny, ami that we arc enabled to view death as 
one of the changes incident to humanity, and necessary to the com- 
pletion of our journey to that country where there shall be no more 
pain, nor sickness, nor death. 1 have felt the strongest inclination to 
be with you all. But I have had a complete compensation for the 
deprivation of that indulgence, in the satisfaction of having Mr. Lyman 
there ; as I know his presence must have been of the greatest use to 
father, as well as comfort, and a support to the spirits of surrounding 
friends, and to yourself more particularly. 

1 have hail the clergyman, Mr. Bigelow, staying with me; he is not 
a very pleasing man, but seems like a very good one. lie knew father 
in the eastern country, and seems to understand and value the excel- 
lence of his character ; and has been truly sympathetic in his inter- 
course, and consolatory in his daily prayers for us. 

We have had a great deal of disagreeable weather, and the travelling 
is like the breaking up of spring. Give my love to all friends, ami 
believe me 

Your very affectionate daughter, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mr. E. W. Emerson to Mrs. Lyman. 

Boston, January 6, 1830. 
My dear Madam, — I cannot help offering you my condolence on 
the new loss you have been called to bear, which, with all its allevia- 
tions, cannot but be a painful one. 1 never have had the happiness of 
any acquaintance with your father, but he appears to have enjoyed in an 
eminent degree, what is much more rare than public applause, the con- 
fidence of the community. He has lived long and usefully, beloved and 
honored, lie has not been taken from you till every office of parent 
and friend had been discharged, and till he had reached that period of 


life, when you could not reasonably expect for any long' time the con- 
tinuance of his powers of action and enjoyment. Still, I know very 
well that these circumstances, whilst they qualify, do not yet remove 

the grief which the loss of a g I parent awakens; and I doubt not 

you find your best relief in those consolations which never grow old, 
which spring from the hopes which our Saviour has imparted to us. 
Take away those hopes, ami death is more ghastly to the soul than the 
corpse to the eye. Receive them, and the riddle of the universe is ex- 
plained ; an account given of events perfectly consistent with what we 
feel in ourselves, when we are best. 

My wile unites with me in expressions of particular regard to your- 
self and .Judge Lyman, and to your family. Give me leave to say a 
word to him for a friend on the other page. 

Respectfully, dear madam, your friend and servant, 

I!. Waldo Emerson. 

Boston, January 21, 1830. 
My dear Madam, — I had mislaid the enclosed letter, till it was so 
old that I hesitated at sending it at all, until I met Mr. Palfrey who 
told me lie was going presently to Northampton. I should lie unwill- 
ing to let the event pass, to which it refers, without offering you any 
expression of condolence. Since writing it, I have seen your sister, 
and heard at large such :i character of your father, and such accounts 
of his life and death, that I feel acquainted with him ; and could almost 
oiler a solemn congratulation, rather than condolence, at a life so well 
conducted and ended. — or, as our faith has taught us to say, begun. 
Yours affectionately and respectfully, 

R. Waldo Emerson. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. (,',■■ 

Northampton, January V, 1830. 
My dear Abbt, — 1 only heard last evening, when we had a great 
many people about us, that 1 was to have a direct opportunity to send 


to Cincinnati by John Stoddard, — a very nice young man, whom, as 
coming from Northampton, yon will be glad to see. 

Harriet and your mother have made out to get up some letters for 
the girls, and I should have acknowledged the receipt of their letters 
had time been allowed me. Harriet sends a couple of belt-ribbons to 
her sisters, and much love to you. Please to accept for a New Year's 
gift the ring I have inclosed, and value it not for its own but the 
giver's sake, who holds you in the most affectionate remembrance, 

and is always delighted with the accounts given by Mr. -, and 


I have a great deal to say to you which I shall be obliged to omit; 
for the stage is already in which is to take this ; and I have robbed you 
of the time, to give it to Martha, by the same opportunity, as she wanted 
some things, and opportunities are rare at this season. 

I have, for the last fortnight, been under a state of painful excite- 
ment on account of the sickness ami death of my father, a statement 
of which you will see in a paper I put round Charlotte's things. 

Love to the dear little folks, Mr. Greene, and the girls. 
Your affectionate aunt, in the greatest haste, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

P. S. — Your uncle desires love to all of you. 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, March 2, 1S30. 

My dear Emma. — In what words shall I tell what I feel for you 
and yours in your overwhelming calamity ! It is, indeed, bitter. 
Those who know the tender ties of affection, which have set time and 
distance at defiance, and have only made the absent more dear and 
interesting to you, will feel as I do for your loss. 

When I think how kindly you have sympathized with me, I do long- 


to (Mine and mingle my tears with yours ; but my duty prevents, and 
I know you have friends who will do for you all that human friendship 
can do. Catherine is, alas! but too well-schooled to sorrow and sym- 
pathy. Your mother, — tell her for consolation that she must remember 
the purity of his character, his virtuous resolution, his tender affection 
to you all ; and that they are immortal qualities, — not dependent on 
the poor crust that surrounds them, — expanding now in a happier 
state el' existence. 

These thoughts will not always check the tide of grief, I know; hut 
they will calm its waves, and. when time has stilled the tempest, shed 
a cheering influence over your recollections. Ton will have blessed 
thoughts of him. and peace will return to your dwelling. 1 speak from 
experience. I know that sorrow can lie borne ; that, when the arm of 
flesh is taken from is often supplied by that, sustaining Providence 
which is freely given to those who seek it. 1 know that divine conso- 
lations and tender sympathy with each other will be yours ; how do 
our hearts draw nigh to remaining friends in such periods of trial! 

When I think of its influence on the younger members of your fam- 
ily, it seems as though it might lie made of use in strengthening their 
characters, especially John's. 11a may fie made now sooner to depend 
on himself, and exert his own powers. 1 have no doubt that my hus- 
band's death had a very favorable effect, both on Susan and Tracy, in 
this way. And 1 will hope for you all, that a stroke of Providence so 
direct will bring you nearer to the eternal world in vision, and show 
the relative value of things here and there in a more just position than 
you ever have witnessed them before. But while 1 say this, I do not 
the less feel the lesson to he a hard one. I have shed too many 
'•heart-wrung tears" ever to underrate a trial like this. 

Bonnet. — how strong is the connection in my mind between him 
and his brother! May his health he restored, ami his increased duties 
as the eldest male member of flu/ family lie all fulfilled ! His ardent 
and generous feelings have been given to virtue from early youth. 


How few have such a sou and brother as the support of their weakness 
and affliction ! Thank God for the blessings left : and remember, my 
dear Emma, how short the time we have to stay here, amid sorrow and 
sin : and how glorious the Christian's hope for that period " when this 
mortal shall put on immortality." 

Whenever you feel able to write, lei me hear from you. You can 
have no feeling on the subject which my heart will not answer. May 
you have divine consolation, and the holy influence of — 

- Thai blest nature, which unites above 
An angel's pity ami a brother's love." 

You will not be away from my thoughts. Their current is to the house 
of mourning, though I still feel that there is blessing mingled with sor- 
row, lie it yours and that of all your family, to whom I wish to lie 
individually remembered. 

Ever affectionately vours, 

S. L. Howe. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbi s. 

Northampton, May 21, 1830. 

My dear Emma. Judge Wilde has just come along, and furnished 

me with an opportunity of writing to you, which I did not anticipate : 
and, though I have time to say but little, and have but little to saj . 
I will not neglect so good a chance, as I cannot bear to send one of my 
letters by mail. 

I cannot express how much I was gratified by the few hours' inter- 
view I had with yourself and Bennet. I like to realize my friends as 
they are, even if it is in the depths of sorrow. And I cannot but hope 
the ride may do you some good, and strengthen your physical system, 
so as to enable you to make a more successful effort in fortifying your 
mind against that weight of depression which must tend to impair both 
your health and your power of usefulness in a great degree. It does 


seem to ino, after Bennet goes away, it would be well for you to leave 
those scenes, where every thing lends to awaken " the cherished sad- 
ness of your heart," and that you ami your mother might come up 
here and stay a few weeks, and ride about. I do not prescribe this to 
divert your minds, hut for your health ; for I know that the more sen- 
sibility there is to the beauties of Nature, and the more we realize the 
fair world by which we are surrounded, the more deeply we regret the 
absence of those who enjoyed it, loo, in its truesl sense : — 

" Their voices in the soft wind sigh, 
Their smile is in the evening sky." 

But your plan of eo-operating with the hand of Providence is (lie 
best of all antidotes to woe. Ministering consolation to the afflicted, 
and instructing the young and ignorant, will brine light and comfort to 
the soul, in the midst of darkness and depression ; for it is then you 
may feel assured you are about your heavenly Father's business; that 
you are, indeed, assisting him in the greal cause of virtue, and sowing 
seed which will bear fruit in heaven. 

I shall enclose the poetry you asked for. With best love to your 
mother, and the twirls, and Bennet, 

Your very affectionate 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

P. S. — I cannot bear to semi any blank paper, but am obliged to. 
I want to tell you all about ordination ; but shall soon write to Cathe- 
rine, and must lay up something for her, and Mrs. Barnard, too. 

Mr. Greorge /!. Emerson to ■Jin},/,' human. 

Boston, June, 1830. 
Dear Sir, — Your daughter never has been doing better than 
she is doing at present. She had not made a perfectly good begin- 
ning in the languages, and therefore found it more difficult to 


learn accurately than she otherwise would have done. She has 
succeeded, and is succeeding, in conquering the difficulty, and daily 
becomes more accurate and discriminating in her language and, I have 
every reason to believe, in her perceptions and thoughts. This 1 con- 
sider the must important part of her work. She is inquisitive, — 
acquires and retains well. Eer taste is beyond her power of execution, 
and she is much oftener dissatisfied with herself than I am with her. 
Her feelings are nice and delicate, and her deportment, without a single 
exception, has been always exemplary. Perhaps there is a slight ten- 
dency to undue severity in her judgments. Nol more, however, than 
seems to be incident to a quick perception of what is ridiculous : and 
the forgiving spirit of our religion will probably eradicate it in its 
application to others, especially as she applies it first to herself. On 
tin; whole, she is such as I should wish my daughter to be at her age. 
And it has been a subject of regret to me and to Mrs. Emerson, that 
we could not have so pleasant a pupil a member of our own family. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant and friend, 

George B. Emerson. 

Mrs. Lyman t" Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, June 16, 1830. 
My hear Emma, — I received your letter on Friday evening, and 
would have answered it immediately, but determined to weigh the 
subject well. Mrs. Howe thinks there could not be a better place 
for a child than Dr. Willard's. I have heard from a gentleman who 
preached for us to-day, and who is well acquainted with Dr. Willard's 
partner, that Mr. Lincoln is a very methodical and excellent teacher. 

I do not think, if you wished it, you could place in the Convent. 

for I have heard it was quite full, and Madame St. George's laws are 
immutable. My preference for that institution is grounded upon the 
idea of its being founded on all the improvements of a strictly English 


system, which is allowed by all intelligent, people who have visited Eng- 
lish schools greatly to exceed those of this country. And then, in 
addition to that, the great economy of it. You know all our superior 
schools are exceedingly extravagant, and not at all within the means 
of common circumstances. Every thing a child has time to learn is 
taught for three dollars a week, including washing and the care of 
clothes, in the convent. 1 believe the expense is much the same at 
Dr.Willard's school, but probably doesn't combine quite so many things. 
Mr. and Mrs. Hall arc thinking of a. plan for opening a school in Med- 
ford, of a similar character with that of Dr. Willard's. Mr. Hall got 
home the same day that his child was buried, in time to attend its fune- 
ral : it was a sad reception for him. Mrs. Hall has been deeply affected 
by this dispensation, but behaved, as she always does, with patient sub- 
mission. She has such an humble view of her own deserts, that she 
thinks any thing is good enough for her. But, at the same time that 
her child lay dead in the house, she had to encounter a great trial in 
the sickness of a servant woman, who only came to stay while .Mr. 
William Ware's family were with her. Mrs. Ware and her children 
went home a week since. 

] was amused by hearing of a remark of Mr. James Savage, upon 
the birth of Mr. Henry Ware's Roman daughter. " Well." said he. 
on hearing of the event, " when people are in Rome, they must do as 
Romans do " 

Now, you must know I have been very dissipated of late ; for three 
days of last week were passed in getting up to Northfield and back again, 
to an ordination. My motive in going was the pleasure of the journey, 
which was delightful beyond any thing you can imagine. V>\\\ besides 
that, I had a great deal of pleasure in the occasion. Mr. Walker was 
there with his wife, — a very agreeable lady, — Mr. Ripley with his wife, 
and Mr. Goodwin and his wife. — all quite interesting, well-educated 
women, notwithstanding bright-red hair. — Dr. Kendall and his daugh- 
ter, who went to sec how she should like Northfield. as she is to marry 


Mr. Hosmer, the gentleman who was ordained ; and a greal many 
agreeable people that I have not mentioned. All the parts were ex- 
tremely well performed, and it was, on the whole, a very interesting 
ceremony. Mr. Lyman feels quite provoked that we have uol got 
either Mr. Hosmer or Mr. Goodwin for our clergyman. I have no 
idea we shall do as well as to have either of them : and one thing 1 
am sure of, we never shall have another Mrs. Hall for our minister's 
wife, though 1 was exceedingly pleased with the specimens of minister's 
wives that I have mentioned above. They appeared to be the right 
sort, as near as one can judge from seeing them a few hours. 

Your very affectionate 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman I" Miss Forbes.' 

June 26, L830. 

My dear Emma, — I shall be able soon to ascertain who wrote the 
poetry I scut you. Poor Mr. Peabody has been very much tried of 
late. Mrs. Peabody has been confined with a son, and has since been 
very ill, but is now quite out of danger. There is nothing happening 
among us of any interest. Jane is at home, and 1 think comfortable ; 
she rides every day, and I think gains strength fast ; lives on milk and 
rye bread, gruel, &c, taking quinine twice a day. When she first 
returned, she thought it would be impossible for her to see any one or 
hear any reading, or be amused or employed in any way. But we 
allowed it to happen accidentally that she should see people, and found 
it did her good. I have read aloud to her to try her, and found she 
could bear it very well, and was interested in " Cloudesley " and 
'• Clarence." ........... 

1 have been afflicted for a few days with sore throat, but that never 
stays by me long, you know. I have just been up to see Mrs. Hall, 
but she is not well enough to see any one yet. Mary Hall thinks she 
will be, in a few" days. She has had the most complicated trials you can 
imagine, as Ann Allen will tell you when you come to see her, and 


they have preyed upon her till they have produced a slow fever. She 
tried a short journey, hoping that might cure her. and went as far as 
Northfield ; but came home the same evening Ann Allen left here, rather 
worse than when she left. 

It was my intention, when J last wrote, to have spoken to you of the 
interest I take in Dr. Jennison ; but, in the confusion that surrounded 
me, my letter was closed without. 1 think Bennet will find him a rare 
treasure, full of good feeling and sympathy, with the best of principles, 
and uncommon experience in surgery ami medicine fur one who has 
practised but a few years. He delivered the best Lyceum lecture we 
ever had in Northampton, and has been always a student as well as good 
writer. And to me lie is an agreeable companion, notwithstanding 
I think him rather stiff, owing probably to early disadvantages ; and if 
you and your mother knew him as well as 1 do, you would take greal 
comfort in knowing that Bennet and John had such a companion for 
their lou- voyage, as well as such a talented medical adviser. 

As I have not entirely got over the dizziness in my head, 1 shall not 
he able to write any more this time ; and you must give that as a 
reason to Mary and Catherine. For I felt it my duty to write Anne 
Jean and Joseph : — you know how much they want " line upon line, 
and precept upon precept." 

1 like what 1 have seen of the Smiths very well, but have not had 
them here yet ; except that they have called several times, as I have on 
them. And when Russell Sturgis comes with his wife, I shall have 
them to make me a visit; and I hear that will lie soon. Miss Rose 
has interested herself in the Botanical lectures given to a class of 
ladies by Mr. Bryant : and .Mrs. Howe and I go, being very young and 
teachable. Miss Sally Drayton is nearly sixty years old. and she always 
keeps learning something new ; and this is my encouragement that, 
perhaps, I may too. At any rate, it gives an impetus to her mind, 
which, as it is rational, tends to promote happiness. If Margaret were 
here 1 should carry her. 


I am pleased to find Mr. George B. Emerson is interesting Anne 
Jean in subjects of Natural Science, and walking out to botanize with 
his scholars. 

Yours, in haste, with love to all friends, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to 3Irs. Greene. 

Northampton, September 26, 1830. 

My dear Abby, — We were rejoiced to hear from you by Mr. Har- 
rington, though he passed through town so rapidly that I did not have 
aii opportunity of seeing him. We were glad you liked Mr. Walker. 
as he went to your place determined to stay, if possible. He is such 
an efficient, hard-working man, that I think he will be an acquisition 
any where. Mr. Hall is undoubtedly with you before this time, with 
his excellent wife. After you have penetrated the reserve of her char- 
acter, and become familiar with her, which I am aware takes some 
time, you will be amazingly pleased with the simplicity, entire single- 
mindedness, and good sense by which she is distinguished. But I 
think, on the whole, that Mr. and Mrs. Hall speak better for them- 
selves, than I can for them. ...... 

Mrs. Colonel Dwight and her two daughters, the Mrs. Howards, are 
staying with me now ; and the Supreme Court is sitting here, so that 
I am very much occupied just at this time. 

You see Boston papers enough to know who dies and who is married. 
You will recollect a very fine youth who was with Dr. Willard, at Mr. 
Peabody's ordination — Edward Lowell; he matured into almost unpar- 
alleled excellence and fine talent, and had completely redeemed the 
pledge given by the striking characteristics of his early youth, when lie 
was called to join the world of spirits. One can form no calculations 
upon the loss the world sustains by such an event. The diffusion of the 
influence of a correct and highly-gifted mind through society cannot 


be appreciated by any data our experience furnishes us with. But if 
we cannot estimate its value, we can sincerely deplore its loss. Every 
thing and everybody who assists to elevate the standard of human per- 
fection, and exemplify the power of virtue, gives incalculable strength 
and efficacy to it. 

Your very affectionate aunt, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

During the year 1830, my mother was delighted to hear news of her 
old friend, Miss Debby Barker, at Hingham, whom my Uncle and 
Aunt Revere visited. In the course of the visit, my Uncle Revere said 
to her, " We have met with a sad loss, Miss Barker, in the death of 
Chief Justice Parker." Miss Debby applied her handkerchief to her 
eyes and remarked, " We, too, have met with a heavy loss, Mr. Revere, 
in the death of George the Fourth." And on looking at her again, my 
Uncle observed that she was dressed in purple, — which was then the 
mourning of the Court. These old ladies always spoke of themselves 
as " eating the King's bread," because they received a small pension 
from the British Government, on account of their father having been 
an officer. His sword always hung over their fireplace in Hingham as 
long as they lived. 


IN the first letter in this chapter, written by my mother to my Aunt 
Catherine, is an allusion to a young law student who was then 
leaving' the town. Of her own devoted kindness to him she said never 
a word, — I doubt if she remembered it. Every young man was " some- 
body's son " to her ; and when she found that this youth was some 
one's natural son, — she knew not whose till long after his death, — all 
the more was she under the necessity to make her house a home to him ; 
and to soothe, so far as might be, that craving for kindred ties that is 
apt to become morbid in young persons so circumstanced. 

I never have found it easy to speak of my mother's beneficences. 
They were a part of her nature ; she could not help them ; they were 
the great luxuries of her life. She had no set plan of doing good, she 
belonged to no organization, was president of no society. Not that 
she did not honor all good organizations, but they were not needed 
in Northampton, and scarcely existed there. And it accorded far 
better with her temperament and habits to do exactly as she did. She 
simply kept her eyes, ears, and heart open all the time ; and they 
were always finding enough to do. It was the occasional strong word 
spoken in season, the always-helping hand. And It was the feeling 
that every one must have had in that village, that it gave her heartfelt 
pleasure to share their joys and sorrows, and aid them where she could, 
that gave her such constant opportunity. In her daily rounds through 
the lovely village, how many things met her eye that escaped common 
observation. One day, a few years later than this period, she came in 


from a walk, greatly afflicted because she had seen a small boy tor- 
menting a chicken. lie was an orphan, and, though tenderly cared 
for by the excellent women who had him in charge, she felt he needed 
a man's hand to direct his future course. She lay awake at night, 
unable to get him out of her mind : then rose at four o'clock to write 
in secret a letter that brought, a few weeks later, a distant male relative 
to the village, who took away the boy, and educated him for a good 
and useful man. I recall her air of apparent grave abstraction as one 
neighbor after another spoke of the boy's disappearance as - k a special 
Providence." " Susanna," said she, looking over her spectacles, when 
they had all gone out, " I have observed that the Lord works through 
human instruments somcti/nes ; but this is none the less a special 
Providence." " Do I see the human instrument before me?" said I. 
A nod, with her finger on her lip, was the only answer. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss C. JtMins. 

Northampton, January (3, 1S30. 

My dear Catherine, — 1 was very thankful to get your letter by 
Mr. Lyman, for his letters never had been particular at all, — merely 
stating from day to day that father was living, until the close. And 
since he returned, every body has been after him, and I have found it 
difficult to hear much from him. You know after he has been absent 
some time, what a pressure of business there must be ; and there was 
a failure, just before he returned, to increase it. 

Though I ever must regret that I did not again behold my dear 
father, I cannot feel self-reproach. I was all ready with my trunk 
packed, after having a great conflict between my desire to go, and my 
fears for the situation in which 1 must leave the children, when cir- 
cumstances developed themselves which convinced me (besides my 
being quite unwell ) that it would not do ; in addition to a letter from 
Mr. L., stating that, in all human probability, father would not lie 


living when the letter readied me. But it is idle for me to say any thing 
on this subject, for it will not be a very great effort of a reasonable 
mind to perceive why the head of a family cannot leave her household, 
with her best domestic given to intemperance, and no other guard 
against it than her presence and watchful care ; and a minister stay- 
ing in the house, requiring various accommodations which no one else 
could perceive. 

I dare say you remember my anti-prophetic spirit, which led me to 
determine that father would live till he was ninety years old. I cannot 
help thinking of all these false calculations. . . . 

I had a letter from Eliza a few days since, in answer to several I 
had written her. She introduced me to one of her favorites, whom she 
said had been in Northampton for the last two months, — -Rush Bryant ; 
he is keeping the town-school here, and appears excellently well. Our 
minister, Mr. Bigelow, is aot a very interesting preacher. I believe 1 
told you how he impressed me when I heard him deliver the Thursday 
lecture (when I was in Boston last). My impression in regard to his 
preaching is not changed ; but he is exceedingly instructive in his style 
of conversation, — not only from his abstract speculations, but from 
the most wonderful historical information and memory that I ever 
knew combined. It is always a treat to hear him talk ; it is peculiarly 
so to me, for he was well acquainted with father some years ago, and 
seemed to realize the grounds of his enthusiasm for the eastern 
country, — where he was once settled himself. 

Mr. is about leaving this place. I cannot help feeling sorrow 

to have him go away. He seems so friendless ; and here he has warm 
friends, which he really deserves. He has behaved in an upright 
and dignified manner towards every one, the two years he has been 
here. The want of any kindred ties on eai'th seems to lessen the 
motives to goodness very much in quite young people. And I have no 
doubt it had its effect on him. But he seems now to feel the value of 
a good character on its own account, and I hope he will prove it. We 


that are the interested parents of children, and that have reposed our- 
selves in confidence (against the storms of the world) under the pro- 
tection of parental influence ourselves, ought not to he unmindful of 
the great disadvantages of such a person, and should exercise peculiar 
charity, 1 think, towards their defects. 

I am most glad that my children, Joseph and Anne Jean, were where 
they could so fully realize the death of their grandfather ; and I am 
.sure Joseph must have been deeply impressed with his grandfather's 
notice of him, and I trust it may have a good effect and a permanent 
one on his heart and life. I have written to James Howe, — tell his 
mother. With my love to all friends. 


A. J. L. 

P. S. Tell Sally that Susan has the accession of two to her family, 
— Frances Fowler and Harriet Sheldon, General Sheldon's daughter. 
I should have invited them to stay here a week, if I had not had t lie 
minister, — who is a profound student, and requires to lie very still 
and quiet. 

Mrs. Lyman to her Daughter^ Ami,' Jean. 

Northampton, June 1, 1830. 

I have been hoping, my dear children, to have time to write to you 
for some days; but one thing and another has occurred continually; 
and, besides, I have had a constant expectation of letters from you 
both, but have been disappointed. 

By this time you, A. J., have got settled down in your new abode, 
and 1 dare say have determined to do every thing that is wise and 
rational; and. at the same time that you are trying to do what you know 
will best please your parents, you are laying up a store of self-satis- 
faction. Be very particular, my dear Anne Jean, never to appear 
dissatisfied with the people you live with, nor with their living. The 
mere matter of cn/iu;/ and ilrinkimj is of too small consideration for a 


rational, intelligent being to make any ado about. Our desires in reaped 
tn it ought to begin and end as expressed in that excellent prayer, 
" Give me food convenient for me;" that is. such as will sustain life. 
The coveting of luxuries betrays ill-breeding and habits of self-indul- 
gence. Never fail in politeness to the people you live with, and their 
friends. I think, with your Uncle Revere, a little more dancing-school 
grace would be no disadvantage to you. A want of ease and grace 
indicates vulgarity, and is a reproach to those who have educated you. 
Few young people have had such watchful care from their birth as you 
and Joseph have had, that you might not be surrounded by immoral 
and deleterious influences. You were neither of you separated from 
your home and your parents till you were old enough to have some 
established principles, and to discriminate between right ami wrong 
accurately. Now, in proportion to these advantages much will be 
required of you. May you never find occasion to say, as Lord Byron 
did, — 

" The thorns that I have reaped are of the tree 
I planted. They have torn ine and I bleed. 
I might have known what fruit would spring from such a seed." 

Fix in your own mind a standard of real goodness, and what kind 
of manners are the truest indication of such a character. Nothing 
appears more ill-bred than a rude familiarity towards those who are 
older and wiser than we are. It looks as if we thought ourselves their 
equals, and in that there is a great want of humility and modesty. 
All those qualities which we most value in others, we should of course 
endeavor to possess. It is a source of some satisfaction to know we 
have the esteem of others. But that is nothing to the comfort of hav- 
ing our own. I have thought innumerable times how happy I should 
be if I could satisfy myself. 

I have but little news that will interest you. Miss Davis has opened 
her school, and has eight scholars. I believe she is disappointed not 


to have more, as that is not sufficient to maintain her. Susan and 
Sally have fourteen scholars, which furnishes them with an interesting 
and improving occupation which they would not have without it. 

Have you and Joseph ever called to see Miss ? 

Mr. Bancroft read for us on Sunday ; but we had but a small collec- 
tion of people. I hope we shall hear soon of some one who will be able 
to come and preach for us. 

Your lather and I talk of going to Northfield to the ordination, in the 
hope of finding some stray clergyman to preach for us, or of hearing of 
one. I was at Enfield a few days week before last. Mary has a line 
healthy child, but she is poorly herself, though Miss Patterson thinks 
she is better now than she was when 1 saw her. Eliza has been passing 
a week with her, and returned to-day. 

Your father was at Chicopee last Saturday, and found Jane improv- 
ing slowly. 

You need not be particular about sending this to Joseph ; I will try 

and write to him, though I intended when I sat down it should answer 

for both. When your Uncle James comes up, 1 wish you would send 

" Charles Fifth ; " those volumes you have done with ; and if you have 

made any pencil-marks, rub them out with your india-rubber. I should 

like to return them without injury, for they are wanted. 

Your affectionate 


P. S. Give my love to all friends. I wish you would let me have 
an exact account how your time is occupied, what you are studying, 
what proficiency you have made in drawing ; and let me have some of 
the abstracts of the sermons you hear, which your father says would 
give him peculiar pleasure. 

Since the above lias been waiting for a private opportunity, I have 

received a letter from yourself and Mrs. (June 5th), and Aunt C. 

Your affectionate 



Not long before my Aunt Howe left Northampton, she wrote this 

letter to Cousin Emma : — 

3frs. Hoive to Miss Forbes, 

Northampton, June 25, 1830. 

My dear Emma, — I fear you think me negligent before this ; but 1 
often think of writing and then delay it, because I have so little to 
communicate.* Mother and I have spent most of the time together in 
my little library since you left us. There has been so much rain that 
we have been rarely tempted abroad. Mamma's health and spirits are 
greatly improved ; she looks quite like herself again. She reads a 
great deal ; we have just had " Clarence." Mother and I were de- 
lighted with it; we sat up one night till after midnight, reading it . 
Now, this girlish interest in me is not so remarkable, because I know 
and love Catherine, but to mother she is a stranger ; and, in the last 
three generations, mother has witnessed more romance in real life 
than any person, except Sir Walter Scott, our noble cousin, could 

I know you feel interested for Mrs. Hall. She is now quite sick ; 
has been confined to her bed most of the time for the last five days. 
She made a great exertion to get through the death of the child, and 
some other domestic trials, with fortitude ; but she went on neglecting 
herself, although she had been some time getting out of order, till she 
was forced to give up, and have a physician and, go to bed. . . . Mary 
Hall arrived last night, and I have no doubt will be a great comfort and 
assistance in breaking up ; for they think of leaving as soon as Mrs. 
Hall is well enough. The death of the sweet boy seemed a great 
hardship, under all the circumstances of trial his parents have endured 
the last year. 

I intend to send this by Dr. Jennison. I think it will be a great 
comfort to your mother and you to have him go with Bennet. He is 
rather stiff in his manners ; so I shall not be surprised if you do not 


like him much at first. But he is a worthy, sensible man, and has had 
very good advantages in Ins profession, and is quite trustworthy. 

I have not seen a great deal of your friends, the Smiths. We have 
exchanged several calls, but have not been very fortunate in meeting. 
I believe Susan is to meet them this evening at Mrs. Mills's. I do not 
know how they like Northampton, but think they must have depended 
principally upon their own powers for entertainment. We have had 
no gayety among us, and less fine weather than is usual at this season. 

Mother talks of expecting your mother here by-and-by to make us a 
visit, and go with her to Hartford to sec your Aunt Fanny. I hope 
she will be able to execute the plan, and should think she would be 
benefited by the journey and change of scene ; but of course she is 
the best judge. 

Jane Lyman has got home. She is quite nicely, — able to ride every 
day. 1 speak comparatively: she is not near well, only a great deal 
better than we expected. 

To Bonnet and John you must remember me most affectionately. 
Sail as such a separation is, you will all sustain yourselves under it, 
with the thought that they wander not from the guidance of the same 
protecting Power which watches over the pathless ocean as certainly as 
over the happy home. No circumstance can stagger this thought in 
the reflecting mind. 

Mary Hall was stating to me this morning the death of her little 

niece, who found not even the nursery a security from fatal accident. 

What creatures we are ! How mysterious our destiny ! But the tissue 

is wrought in love. The sad accidents, the touching sorrows, the 

" lightning happiness," the daily blessings all manifest it. We need 

our chastenings to teach the value of our blessings ; we need our 

blessings to enable us to support our sorrows. Do write to me after 

they are gone, and assure me that you are not too much grieved 

with it. 

Mother joins me in affectionate remembrance. 

Sarah L. Howe. 


Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, L830. 

My dear Abby, — One month since I received a letter from yon, 
accompanied by a collar, which will have great value in my eyes, from 
the circumstance of its having been wrought by " her I dearly love." 
Immediately after receiving it, I went to Boston at the earnest solicita- 
tion of Joseph, who took the most honorable part at an exhibition al 
Cambridge. At this you may be sure I was highly gratified, as one of 
the testimonies that my labors have not been in vain ; not but what 
many parents have had higher gratifications without taking any pains 
at all. Still, I shall always think it is safe for parents to do all they 
can ; besides it is an honorable and appropriate employment for moth- 
ers to aid in instructing their children, as well as in devoting them- 
selves to their animal wants, — which, to say the least, are not greater 
or more important than their mental wants. 

I found Anne Jean, too, high in the favor of her instructor, Mr. 
George B. Emerson, who is an elegant scholar, and one of the most 
gifted teachers in this country. She has been with him eight months, 
and is to stay with him until her school education is completed, which 
will probably be in about two years. Anne Jean, you know, is not re- 
markably bright, — but good, with a mind sufficiently accessible to 
receive instruction, and of a character that is perfectly safe. The little 
ones are still more the delight of my heart than the older children. 
Though there is the most inward satisfaction in contemplating the 
characters of those who are grown up, because there we realise the 
fruition of our labors. Enough about children. 

When I returned from Boston a fortnight ago to-day, I found in my 
absence Aunt Lord had made me a visit, and I felt truly sorry to have 
missed seeing her. I believe I have told you in former letters, that 
Martha went to Litchfield six months ago, with a view to pursue her 
studies, and enlarge her experience a little, as she has been in this one 


spot, without changing her position at all, for nearly five years. Since 
my return, Mrs. Cary (a daughter of Colonel Perkins) has sent for 
her to come to New York and take charge of the instruction of her 
children. . . . 

I have found Martha and Harriet two excellent girls ; remarkably 
free from any moral defect. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, July "20. 1830. 

My dear Abby, — Mr. Walker, a gentleman of talents, who lived in 
N. three years, has been in to say that he is on his way to Cincinnati, 
and would like to take letters from us to yourself, which I am most 
happy to furnish him with. He has been the last year with Mr. Ash- 
mun, at the law school, in Cambridge, and is now taking a tour of 
observation to the West to find a chasm in the law department, which 
he may fill. He is a man worthy of confidence and respect; and, 
wherever he is, will make himself a valuable inhabitant, by delivering 
lectures at lyceums, or answering any incidental call for learning. He 
is about eight-and-twenty years old, and has a good deal of experience 
in the ways of the world. And now I think I have said enough about 
Mr. Timothy Walker. 

Jane has been sick at Chicopee nearly six months, but was well 
enough to return to us six weeks ago, and I think it probable will live 
a good deal of an invalid for many years. She is more patient than I 
should think she could be, considering her constant ill-health. 

I am very much interested in the progress of your infant society. I 
know all the stages of its growth, and the many trials to be encountered 
in bringing it to maturity. But they will be amply compensated by 
the satisfaction that must inevitably result to those who have borne the 
burden and heat of the day. 

Our clergyman was taken ill in the autumn, and passed the winter 


at the South, after dissolving his connection with us. We are now 
listening to candidates again. I wish Mr. Hall would go to Cincinnati 
and preach. He has a peculiar talent at making proselytes. And Mrs. 
Hall, who is a daughter of Dr. Ware, is one of the most talented, and 
at the same time, one of the most humble and excellent women I ever 
have known. We have seen her in joy and in sorrow, and no one could 
have borne blighted prospects, and in the midst of it the loss of a fine 
child, better than she has ; though the effort to be patient and sub- 
missive has cost her a great deal, — that is, a month's illness, — and 
when she left us, she hardly had recovered from a slow fever. 

Sam and his wife are very well. He is now absent in the eastern 
country, and Joseph has accompanied him. Joseph, you know, takes 
his degree in August. He will have a conference, I believe, for his 
part, which is as much as we could expect ; for he has no kind of am- 
bition to distinguish himself, and he is much the youngest member of 
his class. He thinks it distinction enough to be chosen into the Phi 
Beta, and that he has attained. He has been very good and very indus- 
trious since he has been in college ; not so much so as he might have 
been in what are called college studies, as he has been in pursuit of 
general literature and modern languages. He always has been a pro- 
ficient in Spanish, French, and Italian, since he went to Cambridge, 
and is fond of various branches of natural philosophy. I am disap- 
pointed that he does not take to theology for a profession. 

Anne Jean will return in the course of this week from Boston, where 
she has been for a year without returning ; she will go back again and 
stay another year. For she is at one of the best schools in this country 
for a thorough classical education, though there is very little that is 
ornamental attended to in it. 


Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

November 20, 1831. 

My dear Emma, — One thing I do, I always answer letters the first 
moment I can get after receiving them. But. I have lived under un- 
usually high pressure for the last two months. It would he idle for 
me to attempt to give you any account in detail. But such coming 
and going you can scarcely conceive of, and the train of thought 
under such circumstances is altogether indescribable. A friend, a 
short time since, asked me what 1 had been reading, and 1 could not 
help answering that I did not know, for it was a great while since I 
had done any thinking. And reading is not of much value, unless 
one has some opportunity for reflection. There is no doubt but in the 
midst of this whorl of matter my mind has had great rest, and it is 
not certain but 1 may come out quite brilliant after all the refreshing 
is over. 

After writing the above, Mrs. Mills sent for me to go up to her ; aud, 
alter passing all the day, except while eating dinner, in such a high 
state of excitement, it seems hardly right for me, in my exhausted 
state of feeling, to try to afford you any pleasure by my pen. Oh, 
Emma! how hard it is to be reconciled to these dark dispensations ! And 
yet we need not go farther than Salem and New Bedford to discover 
that there are much greater trials and sorrows than can be produced 
by the death of good and dear children. You and your mother know, 
without my telling you, how intense the sufferings of poor Mrs. Mills 
are, as well as her family. Elijah, had he lived, might have discovered 
great frailties. But I only knew him as pre-eminently gifted in grace 
of maimers, rare wit and genius, which made him highly interesting 
as a companion, and gave fair promise of usefulness and distinction. 
He was the only youth who has grown up in this place, within the last 
twenty years, at all distinguished for genius or talent ; though Mrs. J. 
H. Lyman's sons are very fine young men ! I must say, I consider him 


as a loss to our town, and to me in particular, as he often risited us. 
If there was any thing new in the papers, he would come down into my 
parlor to read it to me, and make his comments, while I minded my 
work. And having Mr. Ashmun removed and Elijah taken away, in 
addition to the removal of Mrs. Howe's family, is rather more than 1 
know how to bear. 

In relation to Anne Jean, your mother and yourself have been very 
kind in proposing to have her accommodated ; but I think, if her health 
is indifferent, we had better get her home, particularly as 1 am very 
much in want of her for society and assistance. I would, however, 
forego all personal gratification for her good, if I could have her in 
every respect situated to my mind. I should like very much to have 
Mary Forbes return with her, and I would contrive some mode of 
improvement that should be useful to them. I wish you would 
suggest this to your mother. 

I am inexpressibly sorry to hear of Mary Ware's being so much of 
an invalid. I trust she is not going to follow in the steps of her 
mother, who was prevented by ill health from any enjoyment nearly 
twenty years. We have a young clergyman from Cambridge, who 
thinks Mr. Ware is doing an immeasurable quantity of good in the 
Divinity School. 

My love to all friends, for I am not able to write another word. 
My next letter, according to rotation, will be to Catherine. 

Yours, with much love, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to 3Iiss Forbes. 

Northampton, December 28, 1831. 

My dear Emma, — 

Anne Jean has just informed me that, if your mother had known 
that she was to be at home, and if I had not had my house so encum- 
bered, she would have let Fanny come here this winter. As it regards 


all this, I am quite provoked. I never had a more unencumbered family, 
and the time never can be when it would be a greater favor to me to 
have one or both of the girls than this very winter. Joseph has 
been a great comfort and entertainment to us Ihe last two weeks ; but 
when he leaves us we shall be solitary, and Anne Jean in particular in 
need of an animated companion. As to her health, I should be glad 
never to speak of it, for 1 know not what to say. She has lived 
entirely on tea and dry cracker, or gruel, ever since she returned from 
Boston, and otherwise adhered to the doctor's written prescriptions. 
She would not be called by strangers very cheerful : but with us is 
uniformly pleasant, and very much interested in reading and attending 
to the children, and making herself as useful to me as possible. But 
she never has been out of the house since she returned from Boston. 

I dare say you have seen the account of Miss Cogswell's death in the 
paper. She said she had had all the difficulties Anne Jean complains 
of, more than forty years, and was finally carried off by the influenza. 
There were two Portuguese boys who shed tears and expressed sorrow 
for Miss Cogswell's death, but that was all : tor she — poor woman! — 
was placed in a singularly inappropriate situation for one of her habits 
and feelings. 

Yesterday, I had a voluminous epistle from Dr. Jennison, and was 
sorry it could not have been accompanied by one from John, whom he 
speaks of in the highest terms, and likewise with warm affection of 
Cousin Bennet. He does not say a word about leaving Canton, but 
Joseph says he has left : if so, I wish you would mention it when you 
write to me. 

Since I have been writing this letter, I have heard of the death of 
little Robert Ware. I feel as if this blow would penetrate the inmost 
recesses of Mary's heart. He was the first object who had awakened 
in her the feelings of a parent, and witli that feeling made this earthly 
sphere a new world to her. — one of new interest and new hopes, 
unlike any she could have felt before, and such as no one knows who 


has not experienced thevn. To have all these cut off and crushed will 

tax the whole panoply with which Mary is armed. But it is not in 
human nature to resist unharmed the stroke which severs these tender 
ties. I feel much for her, and hope she will be sustained, as I have no 
doubt she will be. 

Mary mentions that you heard Dr. Channing's discourse on the 
death of Miss Adams and Mrs. Codman. It must have been a highly 
profitable one. Mrs. Codman's was a remarkably useful life, as well 
as Miss Adams's, though in a very different way. 

I dare say you have heard of the death of Henry Sedgwick. . . . 
Few of my acquaintance, if any, have had their virtues so tested as 
Jane Sedgwick, and I never knew any one who had given such a prac- 
tical exemplification of their power. If the riding continues as good 
as it has been, I mean to try to ride up and pass Sunday with her ; but 
may be I shall not accomplish it. 

Dr. Flint has just returned from Stockbridge. He was sent for to 
make an examination ; . . . and he wonders how H. has lived for 

Give my love to your mother and all friends. Write me a history of 
your life the past year. Tell Margaret it would have been a good idea 
for you and her to have returned this way from New York. 
Your affectionate 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

3Irs. Lyman to Mr. John M. Forbes. 

Northampton, January 1, 1832. 
My dear John, — ... I had not much belief when 
I wrote, that you would attach much value to the letters of such an 
antiquated lady as your cousin. But since they find favor in your sight, 
and lest you should forget the many social ties which bind you to your 
race (in spite of your expatriated condition), I will occasionally emit a 


little of my habitual dulness I was pleased to get your letter of the 
29th, and am sorry to find that the want of all those privileges which 
are peculiar to Christian countries makes you unhappy ; and yet 1 am 
glad to find that you realize the want of such rational and salutary 
means of enjoyment, as are common to all who inhabit this favored 
land. There is none that would be a greater deprivation to me, than 
not being able to go to church, and feel that myself and household had 
one day in seven for rest as well as worship. We require ( particularly 
men of business) the relaxation as well as mental refreshing, which 
this exercise furnishes. The analogy between the mind and body is 
very striking. They both require to lie nourished and stimulated by 
food adapted to them ; and if we don't have much time for reading 
and reflection, owing to the occupations we arc engaged in during the 
week, — if we go to church on Sunday and renew our good resolu- 
tions, and feel our moral and religious views strengthened and invig- 
orated by the arguments contained in the discourse, our gratitude 
and devotional feeling stimulated, — we are made happier and bet- 
ter I'm- it. 'Tis a favorable exercise for the mind, to abstract it 
occasionally from the harassing pursuits of business, and allow it to 
take an upward flight into the regions of intellectual space, and to the 
abode of Deity, of angels, and the spirits of the just: — 

" Mind, mind alone, without whose quick'ning ray, 
Tin' world 's a wilderness, and man but clay ; 
Mind, mind alone, in barren, still repose, 
Nor blooms, nor rises, nor expands, nor flows.'' 

Then, my dear John, do not forget to take care of the mind, as well 
as the body. Become an intellectual being, and it will prevent your 
being a sensual being, and ] ire vent you from feeling the little incon- 
veniences which affect the senses only, — by constant attention to 
which, we bring a blight over all disinterested and generous purposes. 
You will begin to think that I mean to give you a sermon instead of a 


letter, and that my New Year's reflections are to supersede the con- 
gratulations of the season, and the history of the times, which will 
be, I am sure, much the most interesting to you. It is now more than 
a year since Joseph left college and entered the Law School. I have 
just parted with him after a few weeks' visit. He is thinking of going 
to live with the Rev. Mr. Emerson, and study law in Mr. Charles G. 
Loring's office, in Boston. 

Charles Mills is fast acquiring the confidence of his 
employers, and I believe he has a good prospect before him. Anne Jean 
sits by me and sends her love to you, and hopes you do not forget her. 
When you see Cousin Bennet, give my love to him ; I hope he will 

soon be on his way here 

I feel much obliged to Dr. Jennison for an excellent letter, and shall 
soon write to him. Mr. Lyman and Joseph send you much love. I wish 
you to economize all you can, and lay by a little money, and then get 
yourself translated to a pretty cottage in Northampton, and sit down 
and lead a calm and pastoral life, with some nice, agreeable young 

Your very affectionate friend and cousin, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

P. S. Your old friend, Miss has taken her flight to future 

worlds ; she was sick only one week. She took it into her head, it 
was so cold, that she would sit up nights ; — it has been uncommonly 
cold ; we had a month of very severe weather before Christmas ; — and 
the consequence was, she took a violent cold, which settled on her 
lungs, and withdrew her from this sublunary abode. The next morn- 
ing, I looked out of the window and saw a double sleigh passing, with 
a long trunk in it, covered over with a bed-quilt ; and was told it was 
" sister," going to Ipswich to be buried. 


Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, January 21, 1832. 

My dear Abby, — 

Anne Jean, instead of coining home well, and being what she is 
when in health, a cheerful companion, came home a most confirmed 
invalid ; and this circumstance would operate as a perpetual weight on 
my spirits, if it did not bring with it incessant occupation." Since Harriet 
left me, I have had the children at home most of the time, and have 
given what time I could to them. You must tell the little girls that 
my children talk a great deal about them, as they do about the dear 
child that is in heaven enjoying its kindred spirits. 

I have enjoyed reading, a good deal, this winter ; and find it is an 
independent resource, and one that always confers some pleasure. 
Mackintosh's " History of England," and Von Miiller's " Universal 
History," together with Lockhart's " Life of Burns," have thus far 
kept us busy. Anne Jean enjoys being read to, and, though she has 
read them before, occasionally reads a " Waverley Novel " herself. I 
am not afraid of her cultivating her imagination too much ; but be- 
lieve in Dugald Stewart's views on that subject, " that our occasional 
excursions into the regions of imagination increase our interest in 
those familiar realities from which the stores of imagination are bor- 
rowed." We sublimate the organical beauties of the material world by 
blending with them the inexhaustible delights of the heart and fancy, 
by combining with them the associations of a refined and cultivated 

My Edward petitions that he may accompany Joseph to Cincinnati. 
When Joseph was with us, this was a frequent theme of conversation. 
But 1 suspect it will remain an unrealized vision of his fancy. Harriet 
has received a letter from Sally ; but she does not say whether you 
have ordained your clergyman ; I wish very much to know. 

Your father has been out a good deal this cold winter, but seems to 


licar it better than could have been calculated. We have tried to 
induce him to remain by his fireside, but he likes the variety of going 


A. J. Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, February 28, 1832. 
My dear Abby, — 

My employments are always of a very engrossing nature when the chil- 
dren are at home. In the morning and evening I instruct them, with 
the assistance of Anne Jean, — who returned sooner than I intended 
she should from Boston, owing to indisposition. She has improved 
her time well since she has been at Mr. Emerson's school (the last 
year and a half) ; and, though she is still attending to her studies 
under Mr. IViree, — one of the teachers on Round Hill, — she has fur- 
nished me with a great deal of entertainment (being very good com- 
pany) this winter. She now has a friend making her a visit, — Miss 
Wilson, of Keene, New Hampshire, who is a remarkable young person 
for fifteen. She is as much engaged as Anne Jean in the study of 
algebra, Latin, and history ; and we have had Mr. Rush Bryant giving 
lectures in chemistry all winter ; he is a brother of the poet. I dare 
say you wonder that I should retain an enthusiastic zeal in regard 
to education, when I tell you that those brought up under my care 
have exhibited striking marks of imperfection. But, so far from its 
being a reason for lessening my care and my zeal, it only increases it. 
If, with all the pains my children have had, they are no better, what 
would they have been without it ? Possibly, the weeds of error might 
have overgrown and rooted out the few virtues they now possess ; at 
least might have so far overshadowed them, as to have checked their 
growth. There are a few immutable principles in education that will 
never be controverted openly in any theory, and that furnish a fair 
groundwork for a cultivated understanding. Let example and sur- 


rounding influences, as much as they can be controlled, tend to cherish 
a love of truth and perfect sincerity. Let all those petty interests and 
vanities be excluded which take such strong hold of the minds of young 
people, which tend so little to making them happy or tranquil, and 
which so entirely pre-occupy the mind as to prevent any thing good 
from entering into it permanently. How can children love knowledge 
when their daily experience teaches them that their most attractive 
grace and best distinction is the beauty of their clothes, or something 
exclusively external and adventitious ? They must perceive that what 
creates the highest happiness is the acquisition of something intellec- 
tual, or the power to contribute to the good of their fellow-creatures; 
and early be taught the superior worth of the soul, with its various 
capacities, over the body, — which is a mere tenement of clay for an 
inhabitant destined to remain in it but a short time, and then return to 
its Maker, unspeakably enlarged and qualified for eternal, as well as 
celestial, occupations and joys, such as never entered into the heart of 
man to conceive. It is rare to find well-educated women who have 
grown up in great prosperity. If their minds are tolerably cultivated, 
their hearts are perverted, their objects of pursuit are shadows. 

Martha is very fortunate in living with people who educate their 
children exclusively with the purpose " to produce a certain state of 
mind," rather than to accumulate a great catalogue of accomplish- 
ments. Martha has, I presume, told you that Mr. Cary's children are 
the finest that ever lived. They were never in a school. They never 
viewed themselves in competition with any other children in their lives, 
— to think who had the prettiest clothes, or who was the head of a class 
most frequently. But their minds, being divested of all such vain com- 
petitions are like a sheet of white paper, on which you may write what 
you please ; and there are, she says, no impurities there to mar the 
impression. I have seen children so educated, and, I must say, that 
the best people 1 have known have had a private education. People 
can study mankind to better advantage alter they come to maturity 


than while they are children. I believe yon are tired of so much 
prosing, and I should think you might he. Mr. Hall will want to know 
who we have had preaching for us; Mr. Julian Abbot, the first of the 
winter, and Mr. Pierre Irving the last six weeks; that is, he has read 
to us, and gives us a very fine selection of sermons and prayers. .Mrs. 
Henry Ware is still a very great invalid, and many think will never 
recover. Tell your sister Sally I was much obliged to her for her letter, 
and shall answer it. Your mother is a good deal of an invalid, but 
your lather enjoys comfortable health. Harriet has a small school, 
and I think it very improving to her, and hope something better will 
offer for her. 

Give my love to your husband and children, and other friends. 
Your affectionate friend and 


Mrs. Lyman to Jliss Forbes. 

Northampton, March 5, 1832. 

My dear Emma, — 

I am in hopes Anne Jean's invalid state will not be entirely unprofit- 
able to her. Solitude and habits of reflection generally produce good 
fruits upon a good mind ; and I think they have upon hers, and I 
don't know that they have not done her as much good as Mr. Emer- 
son's school, — though I was very much disappointed that .she could 
not have had the advantage of his instructions another year. A 
gentleman who has spent fifteen or twenty years of his life in classical 
studies, and in the acquisition of various learning, gains great ascend- 
ancy over the mind of a girl of sixteen ; and, if he aims at a good 
influence over it, can generally obtain it. I value such an influence 
highly from having felt the want of it. 

You can't imagine how much I was pleased with John's letter. The 
manner in which he spoke of the want of our Sabbaths, and other 
humanizing not to say Christianizing institutions, was truly touchiug. 


I am glad he carried away with him such a true sense of what makes 
people good and happy. But think of the numbers who go to such 
situations unprovided with his principles and his information to feed 
upon ! — who arc unacquainted with the antidotes that furnish halm to 
all the sorrows and perplexities that life is made up of, and equally 
unacquainted with all the refined moral sentiment which adds so 
much to the enjoyment of prosperity ! 

I am glad you have been able to get so well acquainted with your 
Forbes cousins, and to hear they are such good and agreeable people. 
The interest you take in each other would have been pleasing to both 
of your parents were they living. 1 suppose you have not seen much 
of Mary Ware this winter : 1 am glad to hear of her approaching con- 
solation. It was her mother's destiny to lose a fine boy and bring up 
an only daughter. I am happy to hear Mary's lot is like to be differ- 
ent. Mother's and Catherine's Cambridge experiment seems to have 
been thus far unfruitful of comfort : but I hope they will not be dis- 
couraged. Let us be where we will, there must lie cloudy seasons ; if 
there were not, what would be the use of patience, resignation, and 
submission ? They would be like the gift of sight without the light of 

I am very glad Mrs. Cary has moved to Boston ; there is a very cold 
social atmosphere in New York. Mrs. Chancellor Kent told me once, 
that it was so cold it had chilled all her social feelings to extinction. 
I do not wonder Mrs. Cary could not make herself contented there. I 
wish if you hear any thing about Martha you would let me know. 

If you observe any discrepancies in this letter, all I can say is, it has 

been written in haste, with Mr. Lyman reading Clay's speech as loud 

as he well could. Give my love to your mother, Margaret, and the 

younger ladies; and remember me to Miss Martha Stearns, whom I 

was much pleased with. Tell her her brother is well, and preaches 


Your affectionate , T T ,.„ 

A. J. LA MAN. 


Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, March 22, 1832. 
My dear Abbt, — I ought not to write to any but those who find 
"sermons in stones, and good in every thing," for the poor detail of 
my unvaried experience is really worth nothing, and, if not invested 
with value from the imagination of the recipient, 1 don't know what 
would become of them. This winter has been the coldest that ever 
was, but we have known none of the disasters that have been common 
to your part of the country. I was truly sorry to hear that Mr. Rog- 
ers's mill was carried off by the flood. I hope his property, or that of 
Mr. Godim. was insured, and that it will not be so great a disappoint- 
ment as his friends in this part of the world apprehend. Poor young 
man ! He has experienced a great deal to prepare him for this sublu- 
nary abode. He must be wonderfully fortified by religious trust and 
moral courage, or his spirits would sink entirely. Fortunately our 
destiny is not at our own disposal, but is ordered by infinite wisdom 
and unspeakable love. This consideration is a reconciling balm to all 
wounds, and stills the murmurs that spontaneously proclaim that we 
are of flesh, and full of imperfections. We, who have families growing 
up around us, cannot help contemplating the course of young advent- 
urers with a good deal of interest, always having reference to what is 
to become of our own sons and daughters. A view of the agitated con- 
dition of nearly the whole civilized world at this moment cannot but 
fill the mind of a young man with the most serious interest and appre- 
hension, both as an individual and as a member of the human family. 
But it is a principle with me to lay up no trouble in anticipation : 
realities are as much as we can sustain ourselves under, and it is 
enough that we fortify ourselves to meet them when they do come. 

You never have seen our friend, Mrs. Hentz. I hope, when the 
weather becomes pkasant, you will be able to. Though Sally men- 
tioned that she was not on the same side of the river that you arc, I 


hope she will go to your church and become acquainted with your 
clergyman. She is as much distinguished for her humility and amiable 
traits of character as for her genius. 

Tell your sister Sally that I was very much surprised to look in the 
paper and sec the marriage of Bernard Whitman. 

I wish, when any of you write, you would mention how Mrs. Hentz 
and her husband succeed in their experiment at C. 

Mr. seemed to think Mr. M. was getting along very poorly. I 

am sorry if it is true, for he manifested a most amiable and excellent 
disposition while he stayed here, and made many friends. Miss Drayton 
and Mrs. Wilson are very anxious to hear good accounts of him. I 
believe he writes to them, but of course says nothing of his troubles, if 
he has any. We were very much obliged to Isabella for adding a few 
lines to us. Tell her I should like it if she would help Sally and 
Charlotte keep that journal which is to tell us all that happens, — where 
you all go a-visiting, who visits you, what she does about preaching, 
and whether she is reconciled to Mr. Peabody and his views, what 
books you read ; in short all that interests you, whether it be people, 
or books, or things. 

Anne Jean and I have had a good opportunity to read this winter, 
and to improve the children in various ways. Indeed, I think winter 
is the season of mental improvement, and summer the time to study in 
the great book of Nature, and apply our knowledge. If we make 
friends with Nature, she will never fail us ; but wherever we go, the 
intimacy, like the Masonic tie, will be acknowledged, and we shall find 
her good company. Not so with artificial tastes ; you may look in 
vain abroad for the forms of society and means of amusement to which 
you have been used in the world ; but if you have loved the grass and 
clouds, go where you will, they are indigenous in every climate, and 
arc always to be enjoyed. 

I was very glad to get your last letter, but have seen accounts in the 
paper of still greater distress than you said any thing about. 


Our clergyman, Mr. Stearns, begs me to communicate to Mr. Pea- 
body, through you, that when he comes to the eastward lie should like 
to see him in Northampton. To which I beg leave to add, I shall like 
to see him at my house. I feel very desirous to know what you arc 
doing about your ordination. I should not think any body could take 
such a journey as even from Baltimore to Cincinnati, while the travel- 
ling is as it is now. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss C. Robbing. 

Northampton, April 8, 1832. 
My dear Catherine, — I don't wonder you have considered yourself 
neglected ; I am sure I have thought so. But Anne Jean and I think we 
are too prone to commit ourselves in the palpable form of black and 
white. Now, if I were like dear Miss Debby Barker, it would do ; for if 
she read, it caused her to think wisely, and operated like food to her 
mind ; but not so with me. I can read a good deal, and one of the 
effects of it is to entertain me during the time I am so occupied, and 
prevent me from being ignorant on the subjects when they are called 
up, and talked of by other people. But I have no time or ability to 
scan, and write critiques when I have done, as she could. And my ex- 
periences are of such a limited character, that I never feel that I have 
any thing very interesting to communicate to anybody. I feel dread- 
fully about the poor s, though I do n't know what has happened to 

them. . . . But I have no doubt Mrs. has acted to the best of 

her judgment about her son ; yet it was a case about which she had no 
judgment. Now let me tell you, that there are no people I pity more 
and blame less for their mistakes than I do widows. They don't see 
enough out-of-door life to know what is best for young men, and they 
have to judge without any means of knowing what is best for them. 
Mrs. A. could relate a volume of sorrow on that subject. I am grate- 
ful every day of my life, that my sons have got a father to direct their 


1 wish you could come up and see what comfort we have in our 
Sundays. Mr. Stearns hardly ever exchanges, and always preaches 
well. And I have a charming set of scholars at the Sunday-school, 
which gives me a sort of foretaste of the millennium. If you are ever 
well enough, and go to one meeting long enough at a time, I recom- 
mend to you to take a class in a Sunday-school, that are old enough 
to study Palcy's " Evidences," and Miss Adams's " History of the 
Jews," and " Josephus," and such kind of works, as well as the Script- 
ures ; and if they are intelligent, there is real pleasure in it. 

The Irvings are soon to leave ; we shall be sorry to lose Mr. Irving, 
and I don't know that any fault can be found with the ladies. They 
are amiable people. 

1 hear that Mr. Ware is coming to Northfield, and hope he will 
return this way. It would do me so much good to see him once more. 
Our minister is to be married soon, if lie can get any one to board him 
and his wife. 

Do write by the first mail, if Mr. Brewster don't come along soon. 

31rs. Lyman to 31rs. Crreene. 

Northampton, July 23, 1832. 
My dear Abby, — Amid the many cares and occupations of life, I 
do not feel under any temptation to forget you or yours. I have felt 
quite anxious on hearing that your little Catherine was unwell, but 
hope she has quite recovered before this time. Through the warm 
weather you will find it advantageous to withdraw her from study as 
much as possible, and give her the air of the country. She is too 
delicate a child to bear constant confinement ; and I know by sad 
experience that it is often necessary to make a sacrifice of one's plans 
to the unavoidable occurrences incident to the youth of a child, and it 
is indispensably uecessarj where health is concerned. 


My little Catherine lias been in Cambridge, with her grandmother 
and Aunt C, for the last six weeks. I have just heard that my sister 
Catherine has sailed for Eastport, with my brother James, on account 
of her health, and this makes me more than usually anxious for 

When Joseph got well enough to go to Boston, I went down with 
him ; but I stayed little more than a week, as it was not a good time 
for me to leave home. Mr. Parkman reached home hut a few days 
after I left, which I was very sorry for, as I wished much to see the 
eyes that had seen all my dear Cincinnati children. 

We have received the various despatches by Mr. Walker, and were 
much indebted to those who wrote and sent various remembrances. 

We all felt much sympathy in the various cares which have recently 
fallen to you ; but it must be a pleasure to you to have Sally married 
to a young man, who, if not rich, has your confidence and respect. 

No one can be more contented and happy than Martha, or more suc- 
cessful in making herself beloved by a most excellent family. H.'s 
increased efforts and habits of industry are very creditable to her. 
Whenever she can get sewing, she does it promptly and very well. 

I hear Mr. Timothy Walker and his wife are very well, and that 
people are pleased with her. I suppose they will be here before many 
weeks. I should invite them to stay with me, but my domestics are 
too indifferent for me to try to do any thing, except for known and tried 

I have one of Mrs. Revere's children passing the summer here, and a 
friend of Anne Jean's, — Mary Forbes, a younger sister of my Cousin 
Emma, and a very good girl. After a long winter's confinement, Anne 
Jean came out bright, and I do n't know but she has extracted as much 
good from that misfortune as could be calculated on. She never can 
be striking or wonderful ; but she is, in its truest sense, wise and good ; 
looks well and behaves well ; gains confidence in herself, and is more 
affable than she w-as a year ago. She and Jane and Mary Forbes have 


been passing some time with Mary Jones, at Enfield, and have had a 
very amusing time ; and since then have been at Chicopee. 

Eliza has a very healthy, fine child. Mary came in and had her 
baby christened, — another Joseph Lyman. 

I feel glad you are to have your sister with you, and wish she would 
write to me, and tell me all that is going on. 

I suppose the girls have told you about the splendid wedding we 
have had here, Miss and Mr. V 

Mr. Stearns is a real first-rate preacher, as every one says your Mr. 
Peabody is. It is, I think, a very important means of improvement 
and happiness, and I hope wc arc both sensible of it, and grateful 
for it. 

Your affectionate Aunt. 

P. S. Give a great deal of love to Mr. Greene and your sisters, not 
forgetting dear little Catherine. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss C. Bobbins. 

Northampton, October 10, 18:32. 
My dear Catherine, — . . . I write so many trumpery 
letters, and in such haste, that in a few days I forget to whom 1 wrote 
last, as like as not. An opportunity always brings with it a strong 
impetus, for I could not bear the idea of my letters costing anybody 
any thing. I feel very much delighted to think Sally has got such a 
good family, and hope it will be a permanent thing, — it is so unpleas- 
ant to be always changing. I have not heard very particularly, but 
hope I shall by Miss Davis, how Mary and the baby get along. I hope 
you have not lost any of the Spurzheim lectures. If it were possible, 
1 would go all the way to Boston to hear them, 1 have such a curiosity 
to know all that can lie said on the subject ; and Anne Jean says, if any 


thing could induce her to leave home, it would be that, — after hearing 
Mr. Hayward"s description of him and his style. Bui 1 wonder 
people don't get tired of one subject, after talking and writing of it for 
a number of years, as Spurzheim has. 1 should think, by this time, 
he must have got through with his enthusiasm about it, and lie dull 
and uninteresting. I suppose you have had the entertainment of hear- 
ing the Hermanns sing — which would be a great pleasure to me. Mr. 
Lyman has gone to Worcester, and I am wondering if Joseph will not 
meet him there. 

Mr. P. I. has lost his wife. I do n't know of a family so much 
changed in a few short monlhs. He seemed to have the greatest 
pleasure in the society of the three ladies of his household. Death 
has bereft him of one, and marriage has deprived him of the society 
of his two interesting sisters, who idolized him ; and he seemed to 
reciprocate their kindness. Mr. Whitmarsh has just returned from 
New York, and says he does not know which way to turn ; that he can 
only think of distress and sorrow. He is without any home ; was at 
board with his wife in the city when she died. 

I do n't know as you have heard that poor H. W. is near her end. 
I am in hourly expectation of the sad intelligence of her death. She 
has had a most devoted husband, and every prospect to make life desir- 
able and happy. But for reasons inscrutable to us, it has been other- 
wise ordered. It is an unspeakable comfort to believe that such things 
are ordered in perfect and unerring wisdom. But it is very hard to 
see such people cut off in the commencement of such a career. The 
last kind thing she did, when too unwell to make any effort at all, was 
to have the whole Harding family at her house before they left Spring- 
field, a week. 

I suppose Anne Jean wrote you she went to dancing-school, and 
kept school for the children in the vacation, and is very much engaged 
about the anticipated Fair. I can't say that I am, but I am very glad 
to have her. 


Mrs. Henshaw, with her children, will come up here (probahly to 

the Mansion House) for the winter, in about ten days. Give my love 

to all (he friends. 

Your affectionate Sister. 

P. S. 1 suppose you wonder what we read. I have just tried to 
get through the " North American Review," and have completed the 
" Life of Howard." If you hear of any agreeable book you must 
mention it. The little girls send their love, and say they shall write 
when they do n't have so much dancing to do. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss C. Robbins. 

Northampton, November 6, 1832. 

My dear Catherine. — I got home last night. We were gone just 
a week : bad pleasant weather every moment of the time, soft and 
warm. Found all well, and Mr. Lyman and my substitute had enter- 
tained parties in my absence. 

Anne Jean was exceedingly reluctant to go, but was animated 
and pleased beyond expression : and they (the Stockbridge ladies) 
were pleased with her, and insisted on her remaining, which I don't 
know but she would have been inclined to do for a week or two, had 
she been prepared. Both Mrs. Watson ami Catherine Sedgwick were 
staying at Jane's. Jane and Mrs. Susan never appeared more inter- 
esting or agreeable to me, as did Mrs. Watson and Catherine. I am 
uncertain whether our visit has done us most good or harm. It cer- 
tainly has helped to illustrate the indifference of our state of society 
in a most striking manner, lint it is something of an offset that we 
have the best of preaching, while they have the most dreadful nonsense 
that ever was uttered. 

I dare say you have seen Mary Speakman and little Jane, who is to 
go Ibis winter to Mrs. McCloud's school. The other children are 
uncommonly lovely. We carried little Harry over to Lenox, where he 


is to stay this winter. I pitied Elizabeth ; she is literally like the old 
woman that lived in her shoe, that had so many children she did not 
know what to do 

They have for their instructor this winter .Sam Parker, son of John 
R., I suppose. He esteems it an advantage to live in a pleasant family, 
where he can pursue his studies. He is quite an experienced teacher, 
and they are delighted with him. 

When we got to Hartford, we heard John M. Forbes and his family 
had left Litchfield, and from what we heard thought it probable Aunt 
Lord had too, and determined to go straight to Stockbridge, and leave 
L. for another time. Bennet took the boat for New York. He 
amused us very much on our ride to Hartford, and notwithstanding 
the lateness of the season we had a most delightful ride, often wishing 
we could have had Emma or yourself to occupy the vacant seat in 
our carriage. Stockbridge had lost neither all its verdure, nor all 
its foliage, and we were able to go out, or rather the children did, and 
gathered a pretty bouquet in Miss Speakman's garden after we got 
there. And the place looked almost as beautiful as I ever saw it 
in summer. But perhaps it was the smiles of the people that reflected 
such a hue on the face of Nature ; and besides, when we are pleased, 
you know, we are subject to a kind of optical delusion. 

To-day we are having a hard rain, and I feel glad I have reached 
home without any interruption from wind or weather. I have felt 
some self-reproach lest I have prevented Mr. Revere from availing 
himself of this beautiful weather to come up here ; but I could not 
bear to have him come when I was gone. 

M. Sedgwick is going to Boston, in January. She is a very interest- 
ing girl, after you have penetrated the first reserve. . . . But, 
like your eldest niece, this is to be encountered before you get to the 
pure gold. 

I suppose Sally feels worried, as I do, with hearing dreadful accounts 
from Cincinnati. If I get an opportunity, I will send you a letter I 


have had from C, that I think Sally would like to see. But in the 

mean time tell her they are all pleased with Tracy. Whenever I hear 

of a private opportunity I shall write to him, for once in a while I do ; 

and you know postage is very severe. 

Give my love to mother, and Sally's family, and all my other friends. 

We had a charming visit from Mrs. Hall : enjoyed every moment of it, 

and wish, if you see her in Cambridge, you would tell her that we 

made three hundred and seventeen dollars by our Fair; net gain, 

two hundred and seventy-seven dollars. Which altogether exceeded 

our expectations. 

Yours affectionately, 

A. J. Lyman. 

P. S. Little Edward is well. Ask his mother if she should like 
to have me get him some woollen socks, or if she has got all she wants 
for him in Boston. 

Nothing new occurred while we were gone, except Mrs. Charles Dewey 
had a pair of twins. When I was in Pittsfield I inquired for those at 
the public house, and they were brought out for me to see ; they are 
exactly alike, and very pretty. Judge Wilde sent me in a present, — 
Mrs. Cushing's Journal while in Europe, which you may have met 
with. We read it on our journey, and are much pleased with it. If 
it is not probable that you and Sally will light on it, I will send it. I 
am now in haste, for I am going to have Mrs. Dr. Blood and the 
Stearnses here this afternoon ; likewise Mrs. Apthorp and Mrs. Sage. 

How perfectly I recall my mother's delight in my Aunt Mary's twin 
babies ! It was during this year, I think, that General Moseley, our only 
military hero, was thrown from his horse during a review, and broke 
his leg. He was carried into Warner's tavern, and spent many weeks 
in a room on the upper floor. I recall my mother's insisting, as soon 
as she heard the limb was set, that she must go and see him, and take 
the twins with her. She had them dressed in pink, and seated on the 


foot of his bed. " The sight of these twins can't mend his broken leg, 
but would mend a broken heart any time," she said. 

My mother suffered severely from the ill health of both Joseph and 
Anne Jean. All her plans of life were formed for health, and the 
sight of severe suffering always distressed her immeasurably. Then, 
as she was apt at times to exaggerate symptoms, through her intensity 
of sympathy, and was rarely judicious in the use of remedies, her chil- 
dren avoided the mention of disease, whenever it was possible to 
do so. 

In a letter to Cousin Abby, dated December 3, 1832, she pours out 
her sorrow for the sufferings of these two beautiful and noble young 
people. Speaking of Joseph, she says : — 

" The idea of so young a person being under the necessity of acting 
the part of an invalid, and carrying about him a local infirmity which 
may last him through life, I sometimes feel to be almost insup- 

Speaking in the same letter of the cholera, which had prevailed dur- 
ing the previous season, she adds : — 

" We have had a great deal of anxiety on your account, ever since 
the cholera was known to be in your city. I am rejoiced to hear it has 
abated. It is a new form of trouble to me. In the summer season, 
there were a great number of people here from the cities, and all won- 
dered that we did not conform our mode of living to the prospect of 
cholera, as they did in New York and other places. But your uncle 
and I both thought that we had better continue to do exactly what we 
had done, as that had preserved us in health so far ; and we never 
made the slightest difference about eating or drinking, and you know 
we never were very luxurious livers. But a kind Providence has pre- 
served us." 


Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, March 22, 1833. 
I have the impression that I have written since I received any letter 
from C, except one that Tracy was so good as to write, and which I 
got at Boston. His mother and myself are both very much gratified 
that he lias found favor in the eyes of our friends at Cincinnati ; I 
feel very certain he never will prove himself unworthy of it. Anne 
Jean has probably written all about Jane's connection. She is going 
to be married in May, — perhaps not till the first of June. Mr. Brewer 
is a truly worthy young man, and we know he will make Jane happy ; 
so we are happy. . . . Now, believing that you will not let my loud 
thoughts take air, even in your own family, I cannot help making the 
further remark relating to matrimony, that my opinion concerning 

Mr. 's connection with is unsatisfactory. I know ■ is 

handsome and amiable, . . . but I did not perceive in her any of that 
intellectual acumen or moral dignity which I should think necessary 

to the happiness of such a man as Mr. . She may have formed 

habits of reflection, and acquired mental graces which were not con- 
spicuous when she was young, and I hope she has ; but if she has not, 

I think must live without much sympathy. . . . Now, in the case 

of Mr. , his wife has already been a fortune to him, besides being 

good-tempered and amiable. But such cases are very rare. I mourned 

over 's connection with , but I hear she makes him perfectly 

happy; and Anne Jean says, " don't be croaking over people's fates, 
reasoning as you do merely from abstract principles." . . . 

Anne Jean is much improved since you knew her ; I think I would 
not alter her in any respect, except to give her a sound constitution. 
She has, no doubt, extracted much good from her invalid state, and 
lives in the calm enjoyment of all rational and disinterested occu- 
pations, — such as teaching the children, working for the poor, keeping 
Sunday-school, reading, &c. ; spends no time on dress, looks exactly 


like a nun, with quite as pale a face. She has not many congenial 
young friends here. I sometimes think it would be best to build up 
the waste places in her heart by a little more youthful sympathy ; but 
then she would be at a much greater distance from me ; and, as it is, 
we are just of an age, and I am her most congenial associate. Nor is 
it obvious that there are any waste places. But, you know, I think 
much of the education of the affections. " Keep thy heart with all 
diligence, for out of it are the issues of life," is a command indicating 
of how much importance it was considered by the inspired psalmist ; 
and it is a sufficient authority for the most watchful care, showing that 
the affections are a most essential element in the human character. 

A. J. got a letter from Catherine to-day. I am sorry I never got 
the newspaper you were so kind as to send ; but it did not reach me. 
Give my love to Mrs. Hentz and to all friends. We are sorry we are 
not to see Mr. Dana. When you write, tell me about the Walkers, 
Hentzs, &c, every tiling that interests you, and about the children, 
to whom give my love. My children have just gone through a four 
days' examination at their school. They all send their love, — Jane 
in particular. 

Your very affectionate 

A. J. Lyman. 

P. S. I think your father has been remarkably well and happy this 
winter. They have in every respect appeared comfortable. I see your 
father every day. He talks of his happiness as something that he 
realizes; and says, "Don't you see how much better off I am than 
Major Taylor ? " I enjoyed seeing a great deal of M. when I was in 
Boston. She is the most improved young person I know of, and has 
secured herself the best of friends in Mr. and Mrs. Cary, — who say 
they never shall be willing to do without her till their children arc all 
grown up. Mary Jones is, going to Boston for a visit soon, and Jane, 
after she is married. 


Mrs. Lyman to Miss C. Bobbins. 

Northampton, March 28, 1833. 

My dear Catherine, — When 1 first got home I was, of course, very 

much occupied, — I need not say how. And soon Mr. 'a folks got 

aground, and came after me to pay them some attention, but they are 
now getting along nicely. They have not much resolution to meet 
difficulties in the onset, but they have patience and perseverance, and 
that always carries people along. I hope mamma got a letter I wrote 
rather more than a week ago. The badness of the travelling has pre- 
vented Joseph from going back as soon as he intended. He has been 
a constant source of entertainment to all of us, and produced the 
exercise of a great deal of laughing. I have sent you Mrs. Cushing's 
" Travels," and wish mother and you may derive as much entertain- 
ment from them as 1 did. 1 believe 1 have not read any thing since 
my return but Mr. Ware's book, — which I am delighted with, as another 
specimen of his beautiful mind, — and "Lord Collingwood's Letters," 
and " Cousin Marshall." 1 hope Miss Martineau will continue to 
write ; I don't know of any kind of writing calculated to do so much 
good to common readers. I wonder if you have read the last " Chris- 
tian Examiner;" if you have not, you must see what malignity and 
ill-will can suggest against that faultless work of Mr. Ware's, " The 
Formation of the Christian Character." I am glad you are able to 
hear Dr. Follen. I am sure he must be an interesting lecturer, though 
I do not care so much about the German literature as many people do. 
1 think, if I were young and able to, I should not learn the language, 
but should devote much more time and attention to the best works in 
the English than is common for the young people of the present day. 

I do not hear how Susan Howe is getting along with her school, but 
1 hope well. I am very glad to hear Mary is enjoying so much at 
Philadelphia. The weather has been very fine here for a week past, 


and of course it is much warmer there. The travelling is still horrid, 
and I dread to have Joseph take this journey ; but he thinks it won't 
do for him to stay any longer from the office. You must tell Emma L 
do not expect to be any thing hut a drudge till after Jane is married, 
though I shall try and answer her kind letter one of these days. And 
tell her, if I had not heard her say she never meant to do any more 
work with her hands, I should beg she would come up and help me till 
next June. Margaret Emery was coming up to make me a visit from 
Springfield : but I shan't let her come till you arc here, or Emma, or 
somebody that has time to enjoy her fine intellect, which, in the pres- 
ent state of my interests, would be lost on me. Give my love to Sally 
and her family. I hope she will get up here this summer. Give my 
love to mother and all friends. 

Your affectionate sister, 

A. J. Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, July 14, 1833. 
My dear Abby, — I was much pleased to receive your letter of the 
4th. Your repeated invitations to Anne Jean have not been unheeded, 
or passed over without much speculation. The chance to go with Mr. 
and Mrs. Peabody I consider a good one ; or with Mrs. Cutter. But 
though we have thought much of it, both in connection with her health 
and likewise in connection with our desire to have her in your society, 
enlarging as well as increasing the fountain of good affections, still it 
requires an effort of resolution that I do not feel equal to at present. 
Her father says she may go if I think best. I cannot help remember- 
ing that it must be a long separation, and that her health is very indif- 
ferent, and that I should have great anxiety on her account, and great 
deprivation. For she is every thing to me in the way of a companion, 
as well as an assistant, and it would come hard to me to do without 
her. I have not the least doubt you would be satisfied with her, and 
find much sympathy and pleasure in her society. She lias a serious 


and reflecting mind, and I know she would be much improved by 
enlarging her experience in such a tour. . . . This proves that I am 
wanting in a heart full of gratitude for the blessings I have ; and I am 
induced to utter this portion of Pope's prayer : — 

" Save me alike from foolish pride, 
Or impious discontent, 
At aught thy wisdom has denied, 
Or aught thy goodness leut." 

We feel very much delighted to hear that Sally is getting along, and 
that her baby was doing well. You did not say who she called her 
baby for ; it is a very pretty name. I told Anne to write and say we 
hoped it would either be called Abby Greene or Anne Jean. But I 
think on such occasions people are right to follow their own judgment. 

I am very glad you are pleased with Dr. Bancroft. There is no 
member of his family who is half as interesting as he is, and, notwith- 
standing his cracked voice and shaking head, there are few who in the 
vigor of youth can write so well. I am glad too that you realize the 
promise of her youth in Miss Beecher : I always thought she must be 
a most intelligent companion. Her "Essay on Education," which was 
published a few years since, was highly creditable to her, and gave me 
a high idea of her mind. 

My sister Catherine is staying with me, and says nothing but the 
entire impossibility of her leaving an aged mother prevents her from 
accepting your kind invitation : for she has a great deal of enterprise 
about moving and journeying, besides, in this case, a great desire to 
sec her friends. She sends her love to you, and says she shall lay up 
her invitation for a more convenient season, and that she is much 
obliged to you for it. 

If Anne Jean gets the resolution to think she can undertake this 
journey, before the opportunity passes by, we shall promote it, with all 
our hearts. 


I went down to Springfield last week. I found Mrs. Colonel Dwiglri 
was dead, and Mrs. Howard quite unwell. She was very sensible <>f 
the importance of H. to her comfort. H. has improved essentially ; 
she is very contented and happy. 

Nobody can be more delightfully situated for her improvement and 
happiness than M. is. She is a very fine character, and the family she 
is in value her highly, and would not part with her for any considera- 
tion. When 1 look around upon your family, and see how good they 
all are, how respectable and how happy, and how capable of taking 
care of themselves, I am encouraged to believe and rely on the same 
sustaining Hand that has carried them along. Your father and mother, 
too, appear remarkably comfortable and happy, and he seems in every 
respect better than when you saw him. 

You need not be surprised if Anne Jean should conclude to visit 
you. Of course I cannot urge it very much, but I never discourage any 
leaning she may have that way. She calls herself quite well now. 
She has lately returned from passing a week at Lebanon, but could not 
be induced to go to Saratoga. I believe an increased sensibility is one 
of the inseparable attendants of an indifferent state of health, the 
effect of which keen susceptibility induces a desire for retirement and 
reflection. It is the great counterbalancing gift which the infirmity 
of the body lias the privilege to confer, that the mind, left free to its 
own contemplations, prefers the high and the intellectual, to the low 
pursuits which too often engross poor human beings. Anne Jean 
shrinks from a crowd, and has no particular fancy for accomplish- 
ments, except drawing, which occupation we discourage because it is 
unfavorable to health. From your account, your Catherine is very 
much in the state my S. has been in all summer. We have not been 
able to send her to school since May, from mere debility. I am very 
sorry to hear this account of C, for there is nothing more embarrass- 
ing to parents than to decide what is best for children in such a state. 
One thing is certain, they must have their liberty, and have very few 


requisitions made of them, and take such strengthening things as they 
can bear. I think port wine and bark have done S. a great deal of 

A. J. Lyman. 

In the spring of 1833, our dear sister Jane was married to Stephen 
Brewer, and this marriage probably added more positive enjoyment to 
our family circle than any that ever occurred in it. For this sister was 
not, like most of the others, to be removed far from our vicinity. The 
village known as " Leeds," in later years, was then simply called the 
" Factory Village," and Mr. Brewer was the agent for the woollen manu- 
factories there. He was a man of the finest feelings, and most reliable 
judgment in his dealings with men. And this made him the personal 
friend and care-taker of the whole little village under his charge. 
During the years that he was there, no justice of the peace was ever 
employed to settle difficulties in that place. His private influence was 
all they needed to keep them in order. His house stood at the top of 
the hill overlooking the village, with a charming grove of pines in 
front and at the side of it, where the winds made constant music. It 
was a most picturesque situation, and only a drive of four and a half 
miles from our door in Northampton. To go with father or mother in 
the chaise or carriage to see " Sister Jane," and have a frolic with 
our kind and genial' brother-in-law, made one of the prime enjoyments 
of our childhood, and we often were left to pass the night, or stay a 
few days, — which was one of the most delicious treats to school children. 
And as we grew older, and had young friends and visitors, our dear 
sister and her husband made them also welcome to the hospitable 
home, and many are the bright recollections of those happy days at 
the Factory. Sister Jane had been a suffering invalid from her birth, 
but her perfect patience and entire disinterestedness prevented her ill- 
health from being any drawback to the spirits of the young people 
about her. She carried through life that blessed unselfishness, inher- 


ited from our dear father, which saved her from the worst crosses of 
life, though she had always to bear the cross of pain and weakness. 

I remember well the months preceding her marriage, — the wedding 
haste of the dear Anne Jean, whose deft fingers made many a garment, 
the drives to the Factory to see the house, and the day before the 
marriage, when my mother took me, a child of ten years, out into the 
grove behind the house, and said, " Here, Susan, you will often conic 
and have happy days. I want you to learn Bryant's ' Thanatopsis ' 
here, for here you will understand it." And I learned it, then and 
there ; and can never now repeat, " The groves were God's first 
temples," without recalling those groves, and all the joys connected 
with them. Who could have dreamed then, in those peaceful days, 
that the beautiful village would become that scene of ruin and disaster, 
which the calamity of 1873 made it ? 

In the autumn of 1833, Anne went to Cincinnati to pass the winter 
with Cousin Abby. It was indeed a heavy sacrifice to part with this 
beloved daughter even temporarily, for, in spite of her ill-health, her 
presence was of the utmost importance to the comfort of the whole 
family circle. But when did they ever fail to make any sacrifice that 
they believed to be for- our good ? Writing to Abby, in relation to 
Anne's going, my mother said, " It is an unspeakable effort for me to 
let her go, and one I could not make for any less beloved objects than 
herself and yourself." 

How plainly I recall my dear father's voice, trembling with emotion, 
and his glistening eyes, as he told years afterwards one characteristic 
story of his parting with Anne for this long winter. He gave her 
fifty dollars, in ten gold pieces, for her pocket-money during the visit. 
That was a great deal in those times, — more than a hundred would be 
now ; and Anne duly appreciated the gift, and thanked him warmly. 
When spring came, and he went to bring her home, she quietly handed 
him a beautiful purse she had knit for him, of silk, with steel beads ; 
and in it he found the ten shining gold pieces he had given her at 


parting. She remarked simply that it had been a great comfort to her 
to have so much money by her all winter, as she had felt herself ready 
for any emergency ; but that she had had no use for the money, and it 
was a happiness to her to return it to him, knowing how many people 
he had to provide for. Such was her tender consideration for him, at 
eighteen years. 

During that winter, we children attended Mr. William Huntington's 
school, and in March our brother Edward left home, to go into a store 
in Boston. His loss was very great to the family circle. Yet all the 
young people were at the time busy in getting up a little drama called 
•• The Queen of the Rose," to be acted in our long hall, as the " Lady 
of the Lake" had been, a few years before. And in the midst of all 
her cares, and her journey to Boston before her, to take her youngesl 
son, my mother allowed the play to go on, and it was entirely suc- 

Throughout this winter of our dear Anne's absence, how devoted 
our mother was to the education of her little children ! It seemed as if 
she wanted to make up to them and console herself for the absence of 
the (laughter who was the sharer of all her cares. I recall the beauti- 
ful winter evenings, when she gathered us after tea around the hall 

table, and read to us from G 1's " Book of Nature,'* and a plentiful 

amount of English history, which she made so dramatic and impres- 
sive that in spite of Fronde, and all the light of modern literature, it 
is difficult for us to think of " that old wretch, Henry the Eighth," as 
she always called him, in any other light than hers. 

Judge Lyman to his son Edward. 

Northampton, March 10, 1831. 
My dear Son, — We arrived safe home at half-past two of the clock 
on Saturday morning. We found the family all well. Susan and 
Catherine looked charmingly ; they had not a moment's illness during 


our absence. Mrs. Carly and Elizabeth Brewer took kind care of them ; 
they were all desirous that you should return with us, but it is neces- 
sary that you should leave us that you may be enabled to take care of 
yourself, and 1 hope and pray to deserve us the more. Mr. Eunting- 
ton closed his school on Saturday, and Susan and Catherine are to 
remain for a while under your mother's instructions. I have been this 
afternoon to see Jane; she is quite well and has a line daughter. Mr. 
Brewer is in ecstasy ; thinks it uncommonly handsome ; the old adage 
is " handsome is that handsome does." I hope they will take good 
care of it and inculcate goodness, that it may prove a blessing to them 
and an ornament to society. 

I hope that you do not find your situation unusually irksome ; that 
you continue to be cheerful, obedient, and virtuous, and that you may 
gain as many true friends as you have in this place. I wish you to 
attend church, usually with your sister Eliza and her family. After it 
becomes good walking, you may occasionally go over to your grand- 

I wish you to write me as often as you can, and tell me all about our 
friends and yourself. Mrs. Carly, Justin, Susan, and Catherine, send 
much love to you. Remember me most affectionately to your sister 
Eliza, her children, and brother Joseph. 

In haste, I am your affectionate father, 

Joseph Lyman. 

Postscript from Mrs. Li/man. 

My dear Son, — When I saw that father was about to despatch a 
quantity of white paper, I thought I would black a little more of it, 
though there are not many interesting details with which to entertain 
you. The bell continues to ring every evening, and people assemble 
every morning without a bell. Mrs. — — has been in to-day to say she 
is very tired of living here and seeing so much pretence of religion ; 


but I told her I had found it convenient to keep a large cloak of indif- 
ference for all the disagreeable things that presented themselves before 
ine, that I could not avoid ; and if she would do the same I thought 
she would get along much better than by indulging a great deal of 
feeling on the subject as she seems disposed to do. 

Elizabeth Brewer has left us, and we felt very sorry to part with her. 
In losing her I have lost E. Cochran too ; they both deplored your loss 
very sincerely. May you always deserve their regard. Our little girls 
regularly set a chair for you at table, and a plate ; this gives me some 
pain, but likewise much pleasure, for I know it to be an unaffected ex- 
pression of their remembrance and affection, — and there is no part of 
the Christian rule I value more than that which prescribes brotherly 
love. " Love ye one another," ■ — "for by this it shall be known that 
ye are my disciples." And though this command was not circum- 
scribed by kindred ties, it may be allowed to begin in families, and ex- 
pand itself over communities. . . . 

Your affectionate 


Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

March 30, 1834. 
My dear Edward, — I have but little to tell you — I have been so 
much shut up — that can interest you. But I know sister Eliza will 
want to know how things are going on at the Factory. Jane has had 
the best of nursing, and when I went to see her yesterday I found, 
preparatory to Mrs. Munroe's leaving, she had got down stairs ; had 
got into the bedroom next the parlor, and was cheerfully seated by the 
parlor fire, with Elizabeth devoted to her, and Mrs. Munroe quilting 
the baby a cradle quilt. The baby has bad another name found to add 
to her value. Hannah is the name of Mr. Brewers mother, and Han- 
nah it must be. I for one have no objection to the name. Distin- 
guished people have borne it, in both sacred and profane history. If 


she is as good as the mother of Samuel, or as wise and exemplary as 
Hannah Adams, it will be of little consequence what name she bears. 
Our little ladies send their love to you. They have gone this afternoon, 
with their father, to see sister Jane. 

Mrs. Moseby Wright, who lived with and was housekeeper to Mrs. 
Napier, is dead, and I must attend the funeral. Give my love to sister 
Eliza and all the children. 

Your affectionate Mother. 

P. S. I shall soon send the remainder of your things and Joseph's. 

I am afraid she did not altogether like the name of " Hannah," 
from the pains she took to prove how excellent it was. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, March 30, 1834. 

My dear Abbt, — 

There are certain states of mind I never should wish to write in ; and 
that state furnished me with an excuse for allowing a number of weeks 
to pass without writing to Anne Jean. 

It was quite a blow to me to find, after I got to Boston, that Edward was 
to be withdrawn from the paternal roof. And while I was there I had to 
prepare him for the change of place, and my own mind for the event. 
I find, as I grow old, an increased reluctance to a separation from my 
children ; and, if it were not that I consider discontent a very great sin, 
I am afraid I should, in this case, have become a victim. A third of 
Joseph's short life has been spent away from me, and it seemed very 
hard that Edward should go (probably never to return), when he was 
but fifteen years old ; and he has always been so remarkably kind 
and good in all his feelings, and so desirous to make those around him 
happy, that it is impossible for us to forget the chasm produced in our 
family circle. I always have aimed to avoid magnifying the evils and 


inconveniences of my lot, and hope I do not attach too much conse- 
quence to these things. Indeed, I have too many admonitions in the 
fate of others to justify myself in complaint. 

You will see in the Boston newspapers the death and character of 
young Dr. James Jackson, the son of the distinguished Dr. of that 
name. I wish you to notice it. It was written without any exaggeration. 
This deatli has shaken the earthly happiness of his family to its founda- 
tion, for he was their idol and pride. He was a friend of Joseph's, and 
through him I have heen made acquainted with his worth. But speak- 
ing of it in relation to myself, I feel that I ought to be grateful that 
my children are alive, even if I cannot have the pleasure of living 
with them. It is a rare case, when parents are the favored instruments 
under Providence of creating and bringing to its highest perfection a 
human soul that is an honor to them, an honor to human nature, and, 
more than all the rest, an honor to his Maker. What an event in 
one's life to reflect upon ! How much it must mitigate, while, at the 
same time, how much it must magnify, the intensity of feeling! You 
(as well as I) can bring it home to your own heart with a l-ealizing 

I am sorry to find I have written so much on subjects that can have 
no interest for you ; but you know my proneness to reflect my own 
thoughts upon paper when I write. " Out of the abundance of the 
heart the mouth speaketh." 

Love to all your household. Yours very affectionately, 

A. J. L. 

P. S. You must make up your mind to come back with A. J. and 
your uncle, taking little Catherine with you, and as many more of 
your family as you choose. Tell A. J. we have discovered her full 
value, ami I don't know but we exaggerate it a little. There is noth- 
ing like absence to produce this effect. Our little ladies send a great 
deal of love to Catherine and her mother, and Anne Jean, and Isabella, 
and Cousin Charlotte. 


Judge Lyman to his son Edward. 

Northampton, April 2, 1834. 

My dear Son, — We received Joseph's letter last evening, and were 
happy to hear that you were both well, and are also much pleased with 
your arrangement of writing every Sabbath. You are aware that we 
have no children with us except Susan and Catherine, and since you 
have left I have no one to aid me in attending to the little out-door 
concerns. Your own good was the only inducement to part with you, 
and it will be a source of great satisfaction to me to know that you are 
acceptable to your employers, and that your behavior is such as is 
peculiarly gratifying to your friends. I have noticed so often your 
diligence in studies and in business, that I think you will continue to 
deserve the reputation which you have acquired. Whenever you have 
any time, I wish you to revise your studies and preserve what you have 

I have concluded to go to Cincinnati on the first week in May, and 
bring home Anne Jean. I have written her to that effect. I hope 
that no disastrous occurrence will prevent me. 

Our County Commissioners are now sitting, and I am writing in the 
Court House amidst much talk about licensing taverners and retailers ; 
those who encourage intemperance or keep disorderly houses will be 
prevented from doing further mischief. With us it is disgraceful to be 
seen at a tavern or retail-shop as drinkers or loungers. I am happy 
that it is so ; the work of reformation goes on prosperously, and I am 
delighted that you are coming to manhood at a time when the vice of 
intemperance will be banished from the land. Be happy, my dear 
son ; to be so — be virtuous. 

We shall expect a letter from you on Monday night, next. 
I am your affectionate father, 

Joseph Lyman. 


Mrs. Lyman to her sun Edward. 

Northampton, April 6, 1834. 

My dear Edward, — There is so little passing that is worth making 
a record of, that if it were not that love and sympathy are ever present 
to a mother's heart, and are inexhaustible fountains from which the 
pen is always supplied with something to say to an absent child, — 
I say if it were not for these you would rarely hear from me. Your 
brother Sam has added to his treasures another daughter. A lovelier 
babe 1 never saw: it is really beautiful, though but two days old, 
weighing ten pounds. Almira appears remarkably well and comfort- 
able. Poor Sister Jane is now having quite a trying time, and 1 have 
sent Mrs. Carly out to stay with her till she gets better. Her child is 
nicely. But she was not ready to part with her nurse; and I dare say 
she will soon be better, now that Mrs. Carly is with her, — who is 
very experienced in baby affairs. 1 dare say you saw Mr. Jones when 
he was down. I hope Mr. Powers got your things safely to you. I 
have not yet heard of your getting the apron and things contained in 
the first bundle. J hope \<>u were careful to take the package for Miss 
Jackson to Dr. Jackson's house. 

I wish some time when you are passing by print-shops you would go 
in and inquire for an engraving of Baron Cuvier : if there are any to be 
sold quite cheap, let me know. 1 have been reading his life, and should 
like to associate him (as I do many others of whom I read) with some 
particular expression and appearance, which I can do only by having 
a picture of him. The Baron Cuvier classes with the most exalted of 
Gild's works, lie was two years younger than your father, and died 
two years ago. Perhaps no man living in the same age in any part of 
the world did as much good. No one could do more, for he passed his 
life in the most untiring industry, commencing under a conflict with 
poverty, which, however, rather brightened than repressed his native 
genius. And his success in the investigation of one science only stimu- 


lated him to the pursuit of another, until, at an early age, he became 
the greatest naturalist in the world ; and was the chosen instrument of 
Napoleon Bonaparte for forming constitutions for the various literary 
institutions throughout his vast dominions, and for reforming and 
giving laws to all common schools. And it truly may be said of him 
that his superior knowledge and love of science were excelled only by 
his philanthropy, which led him sedulously to apply his hard-earned 
treasures of intellect to the various wants of man. The acquisition of 
information is in itself a pleasure, — it is feeding the better part of 
our nature — our minds. But the good does not end here. We must 
look on these intellectual treasures as we should on our property, and 
think, How can I apply them most usefully, and make them most ser- 
viceable to myself and my fellow-creatures ? — " What can I do to reform 
the wicked and enlighten the ignorant ? " is a question every one should 
put to himself, and it indicates a duty none are exempt from. Till we 
have reached maturity we are the daily recipients of favors. And the 
only acceptable mode of proving our gratitude to our Heavenly Father 
for such a provision of His bounty is in some humble manner to imi- 
tate Him, and do what we can to contribute to the good or the happiness 
of those around us. 

Does Mr. Frothingham have a Sunday-school attached to his society ? 
If he does, I wish you would tell me what he does in it, or has done ; 
and whether your sister's children go. 

Give my love to all, and believe me 

Yours most affectionately, 

A. J. Lyman. 

P. S. I had a long letter from Anne Jean last week. I am think- 
ing she will see Mr. Henshaw this week. Your father will commence 
his journey the first week of May. Has your Cousin Harriet left vet ? 
Give my love to her and Martha. 


Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, April 20, 1834. 

My dear Edward, — As letters from me do not depend on the 
variety of incident that occurs, so you will not lessen your expecta- 
tions, because there is no new thing going on amongst us. I expect to 
devote myself this week to getting your father ready to go to Cincin- 
nati. He will set out a week from to-morrow. I wish we were all 
going, it is such a beautiful season for travelling. 

We were disappointed that we had no letters from Joseph or you 
last week. I should have written by your Uncle Edward, but I had 
no idea he was going to return so soon. Jane is very slowly getting 
better, and the baby likewise, who had become uneasy with its mother's 
sickness. Dr. Flint's family are recovering. . . . 

We have had very warm weather, and a fine shower has made the 
country look beautiful. It seems as if one might enjoy every 
moment, the season imparts such cheerfulness to one's spirit ; and 
every new flower that makes its appearance is only a new expression 
of a Heavenly Father's love and kindness, and seems to be calling on 
us for a new expression, or rather a renewed feeling, of love and 
gratitude to the Author of all our blessings, and furnishes us with con- 
tinual lessons which we cannot refuse to extract good from, and 

" Instructs us to be great, like Him. 
Beneficent and active. Thus the men 
Whom Nature's works instruct with God himself 
Hold converse ; grow familiar, day by day, 
With His conceptions ; act upon His plan, 
And form to His the relish of their souls." 

I did not mean to be poetical ; but these beautiful, though simple, 
expressions of Akenside are forced upon my mind spontaneously by 
contemplating the subject of which they treat. I have but a shadow 


of the beauties of Nature near me, but a walk will furnish it at any 
time, and I am called to a good many rides. 

Anne Jean sent me last week a prize tale, for which the author, 
Miss Harriet Beecher, obtained fifty dollars. I like it very mucb, and, 
after I have got Mr. Atwcll to copy it into his paper, will send it to you, 
for I think your sister Eliza, and Joseph, and others, will be pleased with 
it. It was published in the " Cincinnati Magazine," without any of the 
cant that characterizes Orthodox publications, notwithstanding there is 
sickness and death and conversion in it. 

Mr. Stearns gave us excellent sermons this morning and afternoon, 
on the importance of watchfulness of ourselves ; spoke particularly of 
giving importance to trifles, and undue attention to external appearance, 
— thereby fostering personal vanity, which closes the mind to good and 
improving reflections. I dare say you hear a great many good preach- 
ers, besides Mr. Frothingham. Does he have a Sunday-school ? 

Give my love to all sister Eliza's family, and all other friends. 

Your affectionate 



THE spring of 1834 was a sad one in our family annals. My father 
went to Cincinnati to bring home our dear Anne ; and my mother 
occupied herself in gathering together all the children in the neighbor- 
hood, who were deprived of a school by Mr. Huntington's departure, 
and teaching them herself, until some new teacher should appear. 
But very soon she was summoned to Enfield, on account of the illness 
of my sister Mary, who died only ten days after the birth of a son. 
It was a bitter grief to have to communicate to the absent ones: and my 
mother wisely kept it out of the newspapers, hoping they might reach 
home without hearing of it by the way. It was a long and weary 
journey by stages from Cincinnati to Northampton, and she had much 
anxiety for the delicate Anne Jean in taking it. After they had left 
Albany, and were in the stage for Pittsfield, a neighbor from North- 
ampton entered, and expressed condolence with my father on the 
recent death of his daughter. The shock to both of them was severe, 
and, in the shattered condition of Anne's health, the manner of hear- 
ing it affected her sensibly, as well as the loss of the sister to whom 
she was so tenderly attached. 

Not long after their return home came the added sorrow of brother 
Dwight's death, at a moment when they were looking for his return, 
after a two years' absence in China. I will not dwell on this sorrow- 
ful summer. My mother's letters were full of sadness for many 
months, and she felt keenly the heavy trials that had fallen on my 
father. She mentions in one letter, that, though they deeply regretted 


the illness of a young friend who was staying with them, it had con- 
soled Anne and herself to he allowed to take care of her. They 
passed a very quiet summer, reading the same books, weeping together 
over the heavier sorrows of others, and devoted to the most tender and 
affectionate intercourse after their long separation, — the chief trial of 
the present, aside from the family grief, being the fact that Anne's 
health had sensibly declined within the year. 

In August, my father's only brother, our Uncle Lyman, died, and 
again she writes to Abby : — 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, August 22, 1834. 

My dear Abby, — For the past season you have continually heard 
of the increased indisposition of your father. I have now to commu- 
nicate that he has terminated his mortal career, and that we followed 
him yesterday to the silent grave, where he was laid by the side of her 
to whom lie had given his earliest and best affections. Our clergyman, 
Mr. Stearns, officiated with great solemnity : and, when we got to the 
grave, made such remarks on the mortality of all around, and on the 
inevitable destiny of man, which was sooner or later to bring us to the 
same point, that, had there been any want of seriousness or lack of 
tears, he would have caused them to flow. 

The day that Anne Jean wrote you last, my Edward, who was on a 
visit to us then, carried your father to take a ride of several miles, 
and he said riding refreshed him, and made him feel better. Your 
uncle and Justin have carried him, whenever he felt able to go, all sum- 
mer. But ten days before his death, when Justin went to take him to 
ride, it was impossible to get him into the chaise, with the assistance 
of another man, he was so very weak ; and from that time he grew 
weaker daily, and your uncle found a man to go and watch by him. 
day and night, till he died, at twelve o'clock in the evening, on the 20th 
of this month. 


We (your uncle and I) left him at nine in the evening, and thought 
he might continue till morning. He knew us ; spoke quite strong ; 
said he was in no pain, and believed he was better. Just at twelve, he 
asked for a cup of tea, and, while they were getting it, ceased to breathe, 
without a struggle. The Sunday previous, we thought he would not 
continue through the day, and your uncle asked him if he was willing 
to die, when he answered, " I am always ready. I can always say, as 
Watts did,— 

' I go and come ; nor fear to die, 
YVhm Cod on high shall call me home.' " 

His mind, I think, has been much clearer for the last year or two than 
when you were here, and I have felt sorry that you could not witness 
the tranquil happiness he seemed to enjoy ; being able to extend his 
view beyond the " dark valley of the shadow of death," a glorious 
prospect beyond it seemed to lie lighted up. When I said to him, 
" You have done a great many kindnesses and charitable actions in the 
days of your prosperity," he answered me, with his habitual self-for- 
getfulness, " A great many people have been kind and friendly to me," 
— never reverting to the many who had been thoughtless and unkind, 
or, to say the least, forgetful. 

Your mother has been much exhausted by sleepless nights : and, 
when I asked her to return from her solitary dwelling witli us for a 
week or two, she said she must remain alone, while she should be per- 
mitted to stay in the house, and recruit herself. 

As to your sisters, I know that children who are brought up in mod- 
erate circumstances may be better brought up than the children of the 
wealthy, generally speaking ; though this is not infallible. 

I have two young ladies, wards of Dr. Robbins's, who have been stay- 
ing with us for the last three weeks, — Sarah Perkins and Elizabeth 
Spring. An income like Miss Perkins's would seem to preclude a dis- 
interested, self sacrificing zeal for the good of the distressed ; and yet 
she is very disinterested and lovely, and as good as she can be. 


I hear Martha's health is improving. I was very sorry I could not 
induce her to stay with us this summer. 

Anne Jean desires her love to you, Mr. Greene, your children, and 
sisters. She went to your father's and stayed all day, and assisted 
your mother when she would allow her. 

Your affectionate aunt, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, October 26, 1834. 

My dear Abby, — I have just returned from Boston. I have a 
strange and bewildering sensation left on my mind by this visit, in 
which the joys and sorrows I was called to mingle were so rapidly 
alternated that one could hardly dry one's tears before being called 
upon to engage in scenes of mirth and festivity. This is, perhaps, only 
a fair specimen of human life and its vicissitudes ; and those who can 
sustain themselves best, under the various transitions they are called 
to meet with, and are so fortified by strength of principle as to pursue 
their course in the undeviating path of duty, may truly be said to be 
Christians and philosophers. 

When I first got to Boston, I attended the wedding of my brother 
James. This I was most happy to do. In the first place, I liked the 
connection ; but, more than all, because it saved him from a bachelor's 
life, which I most sincerely deprecate. Miss Coffin made an elegant 
supper on the occasion, and, as she lives in a very fine house, it was 
not difficult to collect a goodly company, and we had a very good time, 
and all went off well. But the next day, one of my brother's adopted 
children died. She was the eldest, and had made me a long visit this 
summer. The same house received the same guests at a wedding and 
a funeral within a week. 

After this was over, I went to Cambridge to stay with mother, and, 
if possible, to help Mrs. Howe. Last Thursday we collected a large 


number of the lights of the present age, and Susan and Hillard were 
married. Judge Story, Mr. Sparks, Mr. James Savage, old Dr. Ware, 
his son Henry, the Quincys, Prof. Norton, Prof. Farrar, with their 
families, -and many lesser lights, to the number, I believe, of near a 
hundred, were collected on the occasion, and Mr. Gannett performed 
the ceremony in a most delightful manner. We had a very delightful 
evening for those who had to ride into town, — that is, a bright moon, 
and very mild. 

I am going to hope that you will come to Boston or Providence to 
live, for the benefit of the health of all of you, and leave the trials 
behind. Anne Jean says I must hurry, for there is company in 
the parlor. When you write, tell us what you hear of Mr. and Mrs. 


Yours in haste, witli great affection, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

The marriage of one of her favorites, Sally Lyman, to Mr. Richard 
L. Allen, was the next joyous event to call for her sympathy, after the 
sorrows of the previous spring. In one of her letters at this time, she 
says : " There are few like Richard Allen in the world. He is an 
admirable person." 

Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, January i. 1835. 
My dear Edward, — I should have written to you by Mr. Wright a 
week since, but your father and Anne Jean were both inclined to write, 
and I thought I would defer it until the present time. We have had 
quite an exciting week. Mr. Allen was here a week beforehand, and, 
as the paper has shown you, was married last Tuesday evening. We 
were invited to the ceremony, and left before the evening party arrived, 
which was very large. 1 heard more than a hundred were invited, and 
nearly as many there. Anne Jean did all the crying for all the com- 


pany ; just as your Aunt Howe always does al weddings. 1 beard that 
alter we left there was a great deal of fun and comic acting by Chris- 
.topher Clarke, which Mr. Cogswell said was as good as Matthews in 
Boston. The day of the wedding I had them all here to dine, — I 
mean the gentlemen : Mr. Allen and his father, and Judge Hinckley, 
and a few others. I had the families to take tea here before the wed- 
ding, and now I believe I have done my part ; they know I can't make 
a party for them, and will not expect me to. We have visited with 
them, but no other company, at Mr. Lewis Strong's, and they were 
promised a party at Mr. Theodore's ; but last night's paper brought 
the intelligence of the deatli of Mrs. Strong's brother, and I think she 
will have to defer it, till Mr. and Mrs. Allen make a visit here at some 
future time. Tell Joseph they will be in Boston in about a fortnight, 
and you and lie must call on them if you get time. I wish you would 
let your Aunt Revere know that Mr. Lewis Strong and son are in 
Boston this winter. . . . 

Miss Caroline Phelps is staying. here for a few weeks, so that Anne 
Jean may not be entirely companionless ; and A. J. likes to assist her 
about her studies. Her sister Sarah is staying this winter with Mrs. 

We had a New Year's sermon from Mr. Stearns to-day; the subject 
was the value and importance of time, — that is, a right improvement 
of it. I have come to the conclusion that Mr. Stearns is one of the 
very best preachers of the present day, not even excepting any of the 
Boston gentlemen of his profession. I hope there will not be anybody 
from abroad to hear him, from a vacant parish, for I am sure they 
would think him amongst the most desirable to be found in our land. 
Give my love to Joseph, sister Eliza, and all the children. Tell her, 
notwithstanding the cold weather, Jane was in to attend meeting with 
Mr. Brewer, and seems in very good health ; as is the baby now. And 
they are now well at Sam's. 

Your affectionate 



P. S. Anne Jean wants you to get two large-sized doll's heads, and 
send up by Dr. Austin Flint. You can put them in a little ribbon-bos. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Martha Cochran. 

Northampton, January 12, 1835. 

My dear Martha, — 

Tell dear L. I cannot say how much I am obliged to her for her kind- 
ness and the books which I received two days since; but I have not 
had time yet to read them. 

Anne Jean and Miss Caroline Phelps, who is staying with her, read 
to me the " Last Days of Pompeii." I beg you will read it, for it has 
powerful description in it, partaking of the sublime. But it is alto- 
gether the most sacrilegious thing that ever was penned. The whole 
reminds me of Mr. Frisbie's description of Lord Byron's " Works." 
The effect of Bulwer's writings 1 think very much the same ; but this 
one more strikingly than any of the others. "The desolate misanthropy 
of his mind rises and throws its dark shade over his writings like one 
of his own ruined castles ; we feel it to be sublime, but we forget that 
it is a sublimity it cannot have, till it is abandoned by every thing that 
is kind, and peaceful, and happy, and its halls are ready to become the 
haunts of outlaws and assassins." On the whole, he leaves an impres- 
sion unfavorable to a healthful state of mind, which is to lie deprecated 
and shunned. 

Mrs. Lyman to Jliss 0. Robbins. 

March 30, 1835. 
. . . Oeorge Davis has sent me the " Recollections of a House- 
keeper," which is certainly a most amusing thing, and one that all 
country housekeepers have a feeling sense of. The children have read 
it to me, much to my entertainment. 

I was greatly obliged to you for sending " Silvio Pellico." The his- 


tory of his feelings is an ample illustration of the doctrine of sympa- 
thy, though I think Mr. Roscoe made a great mistake in not giving 

some sketch of his previous life, and (he political state of the country 
that should produce such calamities. Must young readers would be 
eutirely in the dark as to the cause of his imprisonment, from what 
little is said in the preface about it. I have not had a chance to read 
" Philip Van Arteveldt " yet. 

Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, September 13, 1835. 

My dear Edwaud, — I cannot let Mr. Henshaw go without taking 
a few lines, to assure you that you are constantly remembered. My 
attention has been a good deal taken up the last week by Mrs. Watson, 
who came on Monday, and is to leave to-morrow. She has stayed with 
Mrs. Dwight, but has visited me daily, and I have carried her to Am- 
herst, and went so far as to promise to go on the mountain with her ; 
but fortunately the day appointed was so very foggy, that it was impos- 
sible to go. Then there has been a family of Longfellows from Port- 
land, very interesting, agreeable people; they had a daughter with 
them, who married a Mr. Pierce, formerly in the law-school here. 

I went up this evening to see Mrs. Bliss. I never have seen her 
when she was so perfectly beautiful ; she had the color given by a 
slight fever. Her eyes were very bright, and she was excited by seeing 

me, and by having Mrs. by her side, who had just come in 

and had burst out crying, for the sake of a scene : and in the midst 
of it all the doctor, whom she seems much delighted with. Put it was 
the glow of strong emotion which irradiated her whole face, and pre- 
sented her perfectly beautiful. I do really think she may get well 
now ; she has had a temporary interruption, which she is fast recover- 
ing from. Miss Htcarns has been sick a week ; she has now recovered, 
and dined here with Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Friday; and Mrs. Whit- 
marsh and husband joined them in the afternoon. 


We have had Mr. Noyes to preach all day ; he preached finely this 
morning on the justice of God, and this afternoon on cultivating right 
affections towards each other, — showing, what 1 have always said, that 
if we have nothing else to give, we can be rich in good affections, and 
bestow them where they are wanted, and will do good. I have felt 
the value of a smile of cordiality, and could realize all that he had to 
say on that subject. 1 know what a balm it may be to a wounded or 
a too deeply humbled spirit. 

Mr. and Mrs. Whitmarsh are going to sail about the same time that 
I hear Mr. and Mrs. Blake are; I wish they might go together. Allen 
Strong is going with them. I am sure Mrs. Blake would be delighted 
with Mrs. Whitmarsh. She says she should be perfectly happy if Anne 
Jean were going with her, and I believe she would. When you conclude 
what you are going to do for the future, Edward, let me know. . . . 

It is so late I cannot write another word. Mr. Professor Hitchcock 
lias commenced a course of geological lectures, in which there seems 
to be a good degree of interest. 

Your affectionate 


In September of 1835, came off a great celebration at Bloody Brook, 
South Deerfield, on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of the 
fall of "the Flower of Essex," at the hands of the Indians. Mr. Ed- 
ward Everett was to lie the orator of the occasion : and my mother 
and Anne had looked forward to it for weeks and months. The beauti- 
ful and accomplished orphan daughters of a distinguished lawyer in 
Connecticut had, some lime before, taken up their abode in North- 
ampton ; and, to find music-scholars for the elder sister, and make her 
own house a pleasant resting-place to them at all times, was now one of 
my mother's many deep interests. The second sister, after an absence 
of :i year, had now returned to die. 


Mrs. Li/uidn to Miss Cochran. 

September 30, L835. 

My dear Martha, — You will perceive by the date that this is the 
eventful day which has excited so much expectation ; and, after all, 
neither Anne Jean nor myself are enjoying Mr. Everett's address. 
You will probably say, " What a disappointment ! " Indeed, it would 
be, if it were not merged in a much greater. Our friend, Mrs. I!., is 
just dying on our hands, and, if Anne Jean and I were to leave them, 
there would be no one to take our places, and these young sisters arc 
now in a state that they must have some one to support them through 
the trial, for they are entirely prostrated by it. Mrs. H. got here a 
week since, with all the effects of fever and ague upon her. The 
Thursday following, Mrs. B. experienced, after a dreadful paroxysm 
of coughing, a very sudden prostration of strength, and has never felt 
any power in her limbs since, to move them, or any sensation but 
weight. This state of things, of course, is an infallible indication of 
dissolution ; and any account I can give of the effect this produced 
upon the sisters must appear so much like exaggeration, that it is not 
best to use any but general terms, and say they are paralyzed by it. 

N. received your note and the fruit. Every expression of kindness 
is grateful to her feelings, and she was much affected by this proof of 
your continued interest and remembrance. 

Since I have been writing, Anne Jean has informed me that she had 
begun a letter to you, and I shall let her send hers by mail, and let 
mine wait for an opportunity. It cannot be many days before you hear 
of Mrs. B.'s death. She has had great comfort in Mr. Stearns's daily 
prayers ; often requests him to pray that she may be resigned to God's 
will, at the same time assuring him of her wish to live. Last night 
her reason was very clear, after a faint turn which I thought would 
end her existence in a very few moments ; and she spoke beautifully of 
the Providence which had, under every trying circumstance, sustained 


her youth, and raised up friends for her under every calamity. Anne 
Jean has been able to stay by her in the daytime, with the assistance 
of another, and I have been able to watch three times out of live 
nights, and shall continue to devote myself to her while she lives. 
Mrs. Hunt, too, has done all she could, by day and by night. Eliza 
Seeger has watched once. 

October 1. To-day Mrs. 15. has but little reason, and it does not 
make any difference who is with her. Dr. Austin Flint is greatly 
afflicted at the result of his care ; has sat up all night with her, and 
been as unwearied as if she were his own wife ; has carried his father 
to see her several times, and is still of the opinion that she is not con- 
sumptive, as is his father. But it makes no difference what occasions 
disease, if the result must be death. I do not know that I ever have 
had a friend sick, when I felt such an intense desire that they should 
recover, as in this case. Mrs. B. had, after many dark and troubled 
days, arrived at a sunny spot in her existence, the radiance of which 
was strongly reflected upon the destiny of her sisters. I regret that I 
was not earlier acquainted with her, and have not done more for her; 

but you know, when she was with the s, she was out of my way. 

And Anne Jean's health prevented her from doing any thing about 
anybody, unless it were the poor or the sick. She is now inexpressibly 
afflicted by Mrs. P..'s state, and would sacrifice any thing to her 

I suppose C. will go with her sister, Mrs. H., to Buffalo. She 
is a good little lamb, and I hope something will occur to screen her 
from the coldness of a heartless world ; for she has a degree of 
sensibility that will make her peculiarly susceptible to the trials she is 
' likely to be exposed to. Oh, how I wish there were an asylum for all 
the unhappy and unfortunate orphans within my sphere ! and that it 
were my destiny to preside over it and make them comfortable! — 
endowed, at the same time, with that heavenly-mindedness and Chris- 
tian benevolence which would give efficiency t" the desire. As I am, I 


need not ask to take care of any more people's happiness than has 
fallen to me. 

Mr. Everett satisfied the expectation of all who heard him, 1 am told. 

Love to your mother and sisters, 

And believe me, truly yours, 

Anne Jean Ltm \n. 

1'. S. You know the conflicting interests that ever await my 
destiny. After I returned from watching, this morning, I was informed 
that Miss Martineau would he here, and I should have the pleasure of 
her company to dine, together with that of Mr. Everett and Mr. Brooks. 

October 2. Mrs. B. is still living, but I think will not be when this 
reaches you. 

In the late autumn of 1835, our dear Anne was seized with a rheu- 
matic fever, which prostrated her entirely for two months. Her 
heavenly patience under suffering, and her great energy and efficiency 
in the few intervals of comparative health she enjoyed, made her fre- 
quent illnesses a source of the deepest sympathy in the family circle. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, January 24, 1836. 
My dear Abbt, — When Anne Jean was very sick, I did not wish 
to write at all, besides not having time ; for I preferred that your first 
intelligence should be of her recovery. That you have heard from 
herself, through Susan, though she was so long confined it seemed as 
if we never should bring her to a state of convalescence. She thinks, 
if she had returned with you to Cincinnati, she should have escaped 
this fever, and perhaps she might. But I am something of a believer 
in destiny, and cannot feel so sure of that. I ever have experienced 
the alternations of joy and sorrow, and have learned to find solace in 
weighing the sufferings against the consolations of our condition. The 


moral nature, I suppose, bears some analogy to physical nature, and 
its wants to that of the physical world ; and we all know that the 
-alternation of storm and tempest with sunshine and bland zephyrs 
is indispensable to the hitter, and we have equal reason to believe 
that adversity, as much as prosperity, is a necessary discipline of the 
former. To learn to bear whatever Heaven sends, and to feel that it 
is right, is all that is required in the way of submission. 

Anne Jean was confined to her room two months ; the last part of 
the time she took a short ride every day. I endeavor to believe that 
her constitution is to be greatly renovated and improved by this fever ; 
but may be disappointed. She had Estes Howe's friend, Austin Flint, 
for her doctor. Mrs. Howe wrote me that Estes had not got any 
patients as yet, and it is hardly to be expected that he would, the first 
six months. But I am strongly in hopes that he will do well by 

I am very desirous to hear if Miss Harriet Beecher is married, and 
all that occasions any sensation among you. 

I dare say Estes has received a letter from his mother, giving him 
an account of Lucy Ashniun's death, which, as she has lived with her 
many years, was a very affecting circumstance to her. Lucy died on 
the 16th of this month. She had been in the habit of going down- 
stairs every day, until Friday, when she thought she felt too weak to 
rise. Her brother spent the afternoon with her, and, though they 
talked a great deal, she did not advert to dying. But, early on Satur- 
day morning, she passed away in sleep, without a motion or struggle, 
just as her brother Hooker did. She had every thing to make her com- 
fortable. Mrs. Spelman and her daughter made common cause with 
Mrs. Howe in doing every thing for her comfort. These two ladies 
are very charming women ; and I think, if Harriet should ever come 
to live in Cincinnati, you will lie very much delighted with her. 

How is Tracy, your sister Sally, the Feabodys, and Mr. Bartol get- 
ting along ? 


We have just been reading Sparks's second volume of " Washington's 
Life," and are delighted with it. I never before have realized how 
much he must have encountered from his earliest youth, forgetting all 
the convenient and comfortable things an ample fortune and good home 
would furnish him with, while he was living in the most comfortless 
manner, eating for months what the meanest slave would complain of 
as a hardship. How much our children ought to learn from such an 
example in application to the common affairs of life ! and what a beau- 
tiful illustration is his life of the power of self-denial and self-dis- 
cipline ! 

I hear often of Joseph and Edward. The latter has recovered, made 
us a visit, and returned. Eliza has been well this winter, but her chil- 
dren have not. 

Your affectionate aunt. 

P. S. My little ladies and Anne Jean send much love. A great 
deal of love to my nephews and Tracy's wife. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, July 11, 1830. 
My dear Abbt, — Mr. Stone of Dayton called here in passing, and 
was kind enough to say that he would take a letter for us. I should 
have devoted the short space he gave me to writing, but I wanted to 
take him to see Mrs. Rogers, as he would be likely to see her sister 
when he got home ; and that has left me but a few minutes for the 
pen. Mrs. Rogers has been here about three weeks ; her calm loveli- 
ness has an attraction for every one, though none seem to feel the 
power of it as Anne Jean and myself do. In her, beauty seems to be 
the real type by which moral qualities are expressed in the outer man. 
And if it were proved to be a false one, how entirely would it lose its 
power over us ! When I see Mrs. Rogers, I can't help thinking how 
one particle of affectation or artificiality in any of its forms would- mar 


this pure emblem of virtue. And her children seem to be after the 
same pattern. With such treasures, Mr. Rogers cannot know the bit- 
terness of poverty. 

When I was in Boston, in May, I saw your sisters every day. Martha 
was well, and happy in her condition. Mrs. Cary has a son, her sev- 
enth child. 

Mr. Pierpont will be at home in August. Their youngest daughter 
is at the same school where my children are ; with Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln 
of Deerfield. They are accomplished scholars, and we are pleased 
with the situation for our children. Miss Stearns was obliged to leave 
here on account of her health, which left us no school but the Semi- 
nary. Mrs. Cochran and her daughters have bought the cottage Sally 
Woodard lived in when you' were here, and we think them an acquisi- 
tion to our society. I have lost my dear young doctor, which is a very 
serious loss to me ; because, besides his society as a friend, tliere is no 
one in his profession here whom I have had the same confidence in. 
He was the only one who continued to be a student, and who was 
interested in the modern journals ; besides being the best surgeon we 
had. He has gone West, in tbe bope of meeting with some elderly 
physician who would like a partner, and like to establish a small med- 
ical school, such as lie lias taken care of here with his father. If there 
is any such want in your place, I beg you will inform me. I do not 
hear how my nephew succeeds with you. But 1 have been disposed to 
the opinion that he would not remain in C. on account of the young 
lady he is to marry. And I doubt if Tracy will remain tliere always, 
though I have not seen him yet. Give my love to Estes ; tell him, if 
he has any information to give Dr. , he must address him at Buf- 
falo, for the ensuing six weeks. Mrs. Rogers sends a great deal of 
love to yourself, sisters, and Mr. Greene. Says there is no place on 
earth she should like to live in so well as C. I do not feel sure, if an 
opportunity should occur, but Anne Jean might be induced to go to 
you in the autumn, if her father feels as if he could afford it. 

Anne Jean Lyman. 


Mrs. Lyman to Dr. Austin Flint. 

Northampton, July 14, 1836. 

Dear Austin, — Your friends here begin to feel very anxious to 
hear from you, though in ten days' time they could have no reason to 
think they should. When you had been gone a week, there was 

a private opportunity offered us, and your sister, Mr. , and myself 

wrote, being religiously determined that no private opportunity should 
escape us. I believe I did not mention then, though I intended to, 
that you left several letters behind, among others Dr. Gallop's ; and 
that Mr. Lyman enclosed them and sent them by Morris Butler, who 
may not be in B. for some time yet. I dare say when this reaches 
you, that you may not have received the package -by Mr. Stone, 
for I found out after he was gone that he expected to linger on 

the way. Mr. Huntington will be accompanied by Mr. , Miss 

's devoted friend, who has just been to visit her, with what suc- 
cess Mr. H. can best inform you. All I can learn is that he is deter- 
mined to persevere. So much for the power of almighty love. But 
I am afraid he will not. I am afraid that she has an invincible indif- 
ference, and is indisposed to make any sacrifices to the circumstance 
of matrimony ; not believing that to be the infallible means of happi- 
ness, any more than school-keeping. In this view she is right in the 
abstract ; and still it is one of the elements belonging to the plan of 
human destiny, out of which much good or evil may be extracted 
according to its fitness and adaptation, and in that respect is like all 
the other raw material of which human happiness is made. And we 
have really no reason to complain, for a little observation will show us . 
" good counteracting ill, and gladness, woe," continually ; and the 
circumstances we most deplore are often the spring of our greatest 

I feel sensibly the deprivation of the sight of those cheerful faces I 
have seen so often for the last fifteen months, to say nothing of the 


angel-baby. But the pleasures of the mind ought to be as great as the 
pleasures of sight ; and I can say to you as I do to my own sons, If I 
can contemplate them happy and useful, and respectable in their voca- 
tions, an honor and not a disgrace to their friends, I will give up the 
pleasure of seeing them. 

I do not think of any thing in particular to communicate that will 
interest you. Susan and M. Cochran were here last evening, and they 
are all well at your father's. I have written twice to Anne as oppor- 
tunities have offered, but have not yet heard from her; for she knows I 
do not expect she will be particular to answer my scrawls, which have 
been written only to inspire her with a new supply of strength and con- 
tentment with her destiny. 

In haste, yours, 

A. J. Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Dr. Austin Flint. 

Northampton, July 18, 1836. 
My dear Austin, — When there is any kind of excitement amongst 
us, you know it comes like an overwhelming torrent. This has been the 
case last week. On Thursday Mr. Webster came here, I believe with the 
intention of leaving the next day. But Mrs. Webster was taken quite 
ill, and required a physician, and he was obliged to remain until she 
recovered, which was not until the following Monday. Of course, as 
he was well, and his daughter who was with him, there was a chance 
for a great deal of glorification, in which we as usual bore a distin- 
guished part. On Friday, Mr. Bates and myself held a council on 
what was proper to be done by the ladies, and agreed there must be a 
party that would include everybody that ever visits, and who would 
be gratified to see Mr.' Webster and daughter; and he consented that 
it should be at his house in the evening. During the day, Mr. Lyman 
and Mr. Bates were to ride with the man whom the people are 
delighted to honor, and show him whatever was worthy to be seen ; 


and in the evening an assembly at Mr. Bates's. The next morning, the 
young gentlemen and ladies rode on horseback and in carriages to 
Mount Warner, and home under Mount Holyoke and the Ferry, and 
in the evening assembled at my house; while the elder gentlemen took 
a late dinner at the Mansion, given in honor of Mr. Webster, who 
came also in the evening. Mr. Webster listened with absorbed atten- 
tion to your sister's playing, an hour and a half, and said he was 
rarely so much entertained by a lady's music' : and added, " I could 
have loved her had she not been fair," — making, very gallantly, the 
quotation from one of her prettiest songs. 

Only think of supposing that you will get home-sick and dispirited if 
you are not written to! I should like to punish you a little for letting 
Mrs. Huntingdon come away without a line to somebody to say that 
you had a pleasant or unpleasant journey ; tbat tbe first impression 
was joyous or grievous ; that you had borne the separation from the 
loved ones manfully or otherwise. I wish we had kept A. and baby 
here a few weeks, for then we should have been sure of hearing tic mi 
you. But I was delighted with what Mrs. H. told me ; only that I 
wanted it from yourself. 

After lingering five weeks, Mr. Stearns's child died on Tuesday even- 
ing, in a most suffering state. Your father and myself were with it. 
The parents are exhausted and sick, and we hope to get them to take 
a journey. Dr. Bancroft happened to stop here for a visit, and officiated 
at the funeral, and will send Mr. Teabody up from Springfield to preach 
on Sunday. Thus the vicissitudes of this life are ever proving to us 
that " This is not our rest." But there are some joys which nothing 
can deprive us of, — our peace of conscience, and sense of doing 
right ; 

" What nothing earthly gives or can destroy, 

The soul's oalm sunshine and the heartfelt joy : 

'Tis Virtue's prize ; 

Is bless'd in what it takes and what it gives." 


I am told Buffalo furnishes an epitome of the grossest vices of the 
largest cities. If you stay there, you will have often an opportunity of 
acting the part of minister at large, or missionary. And you must 
never forget that every opportunity of doing good is a golden privi- 
lege ; inasmuch as it furnishes us with the chance to imitate Him " who 
came to minister, and not to be ministered unto." Our worldly and 
our spiritual interests are so beautifully harmonized, that every thing 
we do contributing to the latter may likewise be made tributary to 
the former. Your profession, like that of a clergyman, furnishes the 
power for a wide diffusion of every thing that is useful, morally as well 
as physically. To be seen at church every Sunday is an unequivocal 
manifestation of your respect for the institution of the Sabbath ; the 
instructions and reflections of which occasion lie deeply at the founda- 
tion of both morals and religion. I know of no way to nourish spiritual 
life in the soul but to " feed it with food convenient for it." Tis the 
day for balancing our accounts with conscience, and laying in a new 
stock of wise reflections for future use ; which want replenishing as 
often as one day in seven, or Heaven would not have appointed such a 
use for a seventh part of our time. 

July 23. Since the above was written, many things have occurred 
deeply interesting to my feelings. My friend, Mrs. John Howard, of 
Springfield, has died as she has expected to, — under the most aggra- 
vated circumstances that a woman can leave the world. She never gave 
birth to her child ; but died in the effort. In this dreadful manner 
have six of my youthful contemporaries departed this life ; though 
some of them were advanced, as was Mrs. . This morning I re- 
ceived a letter from dear Anne Flint, which was unexpected, I assure 
you ; for I thought, with the baby not very well, she had enough to do 
without writing to any one but her husband ; and I knew she would be 
faithful to that duty. She expresses much pleasure in the idea that 
you are encouraged as it regards your future prospects. I am delighted 


that you realize your anticipations. "We never can Lave unmingled 
pleasure in seeing and being near our friends, unless we can see them 
prosperous to a certain extent, and happy. That you always may be 
so, and deserve to he so, is the anient wish of my heart. 

I passed all day yesterday in your father's society, at Mr. C. P. 
Huntington's, who has another sun. 1 have seen your sister S. (his 
morning. She was just going to take a ride to Bclcliertown to pass the 
day. .She says the terms of existence are much mitigated to her by 
having a good domestic; they are all well at your father's. What 
shall I say in extenuation of the crime of writing such a long and un- 
profitable epistle? But no matter; by an effort of imagination you 
can convince yourself that it is written by an affectionate mother after 
her first separation from an amiable and much-loved son. 

I think, if you remain in Buffalo, you will find no difficulty in getting 

the organ for to play upon. 

Yours affectionately, 

A. J. Lyman. 

In the foregoing letter, my mother tells Dr. Flint that his sister said, 
" the terms of my existence are much mitigated," &c. This young 
girl never could have made use of that expression ; and this her cor- 
respondent knew. My mother and her sister, Eliza Robbins, had both 
of them a wonderful use of language. I never have heard any thing 
at all like it. To repeat the things they said always makes them 
sound pedantic ; but in their mouths this was never the case. As late as 
the summer of 1856, in Cambridge, my mother took her granddaughter, 
Hannah Brewer, to the window, and described in most glowing lan- 
guage the change in the appearance of the Common ; beginning, 
" Formerly, Hannah, this green expanse was only an arid waste ; " and 
going on as if she were making a speech. And the same summer, 
when I was crossing the Common with her, she stopped suddenly, 
looked at the little trees with their growing foliage, and exclaimed, 



"Oh, Susanna! I have crossed this Common under the vertical rays of 
a meridian sun, when I have sighed ' for a lodge in some vast wilder- 
ness, some boundless coutujuitij of shade.' But, thank God, that time 
lias passed." 

It is related of my Aunt Eliza, that once, being on a visit to the poet 
Bryant, she remained alone in his study ; when a cabinet-maker brought 
home a chair that had been altered. When Mr. Bryant returned, he 
said, " Miss Robbins, what did the man say about my chair ?" " That 
the equilibrium is now admirably adjusted," said Aunt Eliza, scarcely 
lifting her eyes from the book she was reading. " What a fine fellow," 
said Mr. Bryant laughing ; " I never heard him talk like that! Now, 
Miss Robbins, what did he say ? "' " Well, lie said ' It joggled just 
right,' " said my aunt. 

In the "Life of Catherine M. Sedgwick," in a letter from Miss 
Sedgwick to Mrs. Minot, on page o"20, occurs this reference to my 
Aunt Eliza : — 

" I called to see Miss Robbins on my way home. She lamented her 
brother's death with the eloquence of an old Hebrew. If your eyes 
were shut, you might have fancied that it was a supplemental chapter 
of Job. It was a holy rhapsody on life and death. I thought I should 
have remembered some of it, but I might as well have caught a pitcher 
of water from the Falls of Niagara. — its force carried it away." 

Mrs. Lijiuiiii tn Iwr s<>n E<ln'ttr<l. 

Northampton, September 25, 1836. 
My dear Edward, — . . . When you spoke of but just coming to 
the conviction of what Sunday was for, it reminded me of what I have 
often said. " that, though precept is good, cr/irrirucf is a better teacher 
still." You always have seen and felt that it was a day to acknowl- 
edge and worship a Heavenly Father, and learn what our duty to him 
is. But now your experience teaches you to realize, that in addition 


to those duties there is another design in it; and on thai day a man 
may rest from his labors and give himself up, while resting the body, to 
holy meditation, and to balancing the accounts of his conscience, seeing 

wherein he can improve upon the past week ; and with the aid of such 
reflections he may extract much good from the circumstances which 
have occurred to him. Many think that books are the only source of 
improvement ; but the affairs of this life, while they enlarge our 
experience, may continually administer to our improvement by proper 
reflections, — and books can be of no use without reflection, though most 
valuable auxiliaries with it. "Keep thy heart with all diligence," was 
a wise admonition from our wisest and best of friends. In those few 
words are contained a great many valuable principles. It may be 
interpreted, Keep your affections pure ; avoid all pleasures that are 
sinful, and hurt the soul : there are endless pleasures which are 
innocent, and improve it. Cultivate a sense of the presence of an All- 
seeing Eye, one whom you would not for the world offend. 

Now I am in too much pain to sit long to write ; it is two months 
since I have known any long interval from pain. I was three days 
divested of it, and wrote all my friends I had got well ; but at the end 
of that time it returned with renewed violence, though not at all as I 
had it last winter, and the year before. I continue to take quinine, 
and use the same remedies I did under Dr. A. Flint's care ; but I dare 
say it will hang on three months as usual. 

A young man from Buffalo says the doctor has magnified himself 
greatly by his success in the case of a very bad fractured skull, and 
reducing a dislocated hip of long standing ; and thinks he has already 
distinguished himself very much for the time he has been there. 

Miss Tyng comes often to see me, and I enjoy her very much. I 
think she will stay some time longer. 

I was sorry to hear Mr. Blake and wife had gone, as a last resort, to 
the Maverick House. Give my love to all friends, and believe me the 
greatest pleasure of my life is the belief that my children are good, 


and an honor to their parents. When I am in the most severe bodily 
pain, I can say with heartfelt satisfaction this is nothing, when I think 
of those whose children are a source of daily tears. 

In this last letter to my brother Edward, my mother mentions being 
in much pain. To those wh<> remember the fearful sciatica that at- 
tacked her in 1834, and lasted for five years, often with intense severity, 
her infrequent and slight allusion to it is marvellous. For months 
together she would sometimes pass whole nights walking the room in 
agony; but at the breakfast-table no mention of all she had endured 
escaped her. She bore the infliction with the heroism of a martyr, inter- 
mitted none of her duties, laid aside none of her hospitalities: simply 
remarking, when we expressed sympathy for her, or wonder that she 
could do so much, that she thanked God for the great physical strength 
that enabled her to go on with her work even in misery. The elder Dr. 
Flint showed her the greatest consideration and sympathy. He once 
told me he had never given powerful sedatives with so little effect. 

In the autumn of l*;'.ii. our dear Anne went to her room for the 
last time. Ten weeks of alternation between hope and fear followed, 
and on the 21st of January, 1837, this saintly young spirit, this ideal 
daughter, sister, and friend, with her exquisite beauty and Madonna- 
like purity passed from earth to the society of angels. 

Mrs. Lyman to her *<ui Edward. 

Northampton, December 11, 1836. 
My dear Edward, — I have nothing new to tell you of Anne ; she 
seems to have reached a stationary point in her disease. She suffers a 
great deal, and by her continuing so long I think it fair to hope that a 
favorable change may yet take place, — though at present there is not 
even a. faint indication of any thing of the sort. You may well sup- 
pose I feel my spirits worn out, when 1 tell you she scarcely ever loses 


herself in sleep, notwithstanding continued draughts of an anodyne 
character. She can't bear any thing on her stomach but such draughts 
and soda water. 

I was surprised to hear of my friend, Mrs. Barnard's death, but I 
hope her friends will see nothing but mercy in this dispensation. I 
had heard she was considered, at Hartford, as incurable ; and, to me, 
death seemed like a friend to her. Mrs. Barnard's uniform kindness 
and sisterly affection, which commenced with my earliest childhood, 
never will be effaced from my memory. I am glad I have noi seen 
her since her reason was impaired, for my impressions of her are 
always agreeable. Anne Jean observed, when I told her of her death, 
" no one ever did so much to make me happy as Mrs. Barnard, except 
my near relatives." Many young people may say the same thing with 
equal truth. Assure her husband and children, and Miss Bent, of my 
warmest sympathy ; for I shall not be able to write to them, as I should 
under other circumstances. 

Your affectionate mother, in haste. 

P. S. Jane has been sitting with A. J. while I have written to you and 
Joseph. Your aunt bore her journey well, and has gone to meeting 
to hear Dr. Willard preach. Give my best love to your sister Eliza, 
and let her see this. 

Judge Lyman to his son Edward. 

Northampton, January 1, 1837. 
Dear Edward, — I have nothing new to say concerning dear Anne 
Jean's situation. She is much as she has been for the last twelve days. 
Within that time we have had some days when we have been much 
encouraged, and had strong hopes of her recovery. This day we have 
been discouraged, — ■ though Dr. Flint says that she is no worse. What 
the event may be is known only to Him with whom are the issues of life 


and death. To His will it is our duty to be submissive and resigned. 
My heart is, perhaps, too much bound up in this dear child, whom I 
have ever expected to soothe my dying moments, — to submit patiently 
to such a dispensation of Providence as would deprive me of her. Dr. 
Flint continues to encourage us, yet we are at times distrustful. 

Wishing you a happy New Year, and that you may increase in knowl- 
edge, virtue, and usefulness, is the earnest prayer of 
Your affectionate father, 

Joseph Lyman. 

Our dear Anne died on Saturday evening, the 21st of January. 
When there occurs one of tbosc marvellous natural phenomena that 
excites universal wonder and delight, we are wont to associate it with 
the event most deeply interesting to us at the time. I recall, at this 
distant day, the sad evening after her funeral, when, after our brother 
Sam and sister Almira had left us. — they also in the deepest afflic- 
tion for the loss of their beautiful little daughter, who had died only 
a few hours later, and was laid in the same grave with our Anne, — 
as we all sat mournfully round the fire in the old parlor, the door 
opened softly, and our kind neighbor, Mrs. Hunt, looked in. " I think 
it would do you all good," she said gently, " to come to the front door 
and look out." We all put on shawls, and went out into the snow. 
Oh, what a glorious scene was that ! The whole heavens were red and 
glowing, from horizon to horizon ; the snow was red, and the effect 
of this wondrous light upon the whole landscape, the leafless trees, 
the buildings, was something magical and indescribable. No tele- 
graphs announced next morning how that wonderful aurora of 1837 
extended over the whole northern hemisphere ; but, in the course of a 
week or ten days, the newspapers had informed us how all the prin- 
cipal cities had received this spectacle ; how fire-engines had been 
pursuing what they supposed to be a great fire, for many miles, in cities 
like New York and Philadelphia. 


Only a few years later, our friend, Mrs. Hunt, was called to pari 
with her daughter Maria. And shortly afterwards occurred another 
scene, — different, it is true, but equally impressed upon the minds of 
those who witnessed it. A gentle rain falling all night had frozen 
about the trees and over every little twig and bush in our village, and 
we- waked to a brilliant sunshine and blue sky, and a fairy-land of 
prisms and wonderful enchantment. The whole village was astir; 
sleigh-hells were jingling everywhere. Every one who could hire beg, 
or borrow a sleigh or horse of any description was out as if for holiday. 
Up to Round Hill first, then down to the Meadows ; neighbors joyously 
hallooing to each other from morning till night. And, oh ! when 
evening came, and the full moon shone down on the beautiful village, 
what words can describe the scene ! I remembered the aurora of 18o7, 
and Mrs. Hunt's calling us to look at it. And I went to her door and 
asked her to come out. Through her tears she said with fervor, " Oh ! 
if this world can be so beautiful, what must be that to which my child 
has gone ! " 

Mrs. Lyman to Br. Austin Flint. 

Northampton, February 1, 1837. 
Your letter, my dear Austin, reached me at the very moment when 
1 was expecting the immediate departure of my beloved child ; but she 
revived, and lived two days afterwards. How can I, if 1 would, de- 
scribe to you all the sorrow of this separation? I have no language 
adequate to the expression of what I have suffered, and what I must 
suffer. The shadows of the past hang like a cloud over my path ; 
they obstruct my view of the future : and I am almost in doubt where 
I am, or what I shall do next. I can say, with Job, " Though he slay 
me. yet will I trust in God." But, think how all my plans, all my 
objects in life, were connected with her that is gone ! Was she not 
my sun-light, my angel of mercy, my pride, my stay, my companion 
and friend ; and withal (unworthy as I am to have that privilege) my 


holy child ? She was, indeed, more a being of heaven than earth ; and 
why should she stay here ? It was my greatest pleasure to make her 
happy. But who could release her while on earth from that dreadful 
burden her Heavenly Father had seen fit to lay upon her? She was, 
indeed, perfected through much suffering. Dear child! I wish I could 
dispossess my mind of the weeks and months of anguish by which she was 
finally brought to resign this life. 1 could have been more resigned to 
commit her to some of the many mansions prepared for those who die 
in the Lord ; but I have found it very difficult to be resigned to her 
sufferings. The long and sleepless days and nights, which continued 
nine weeks, are ever before my imagination, like so many spectres ; 
and I feel thankful when I can lose, but for a short time, this painful 
and all-absorbing consciousness of distress; and I am trying in every 
possible way to divert my thoughts from it. Many people ask me what 
she said and what she did. I can only answer, she suffered all the 
time. If there was an interval long enough, she was willing to lie 
amused in any way ; or to have prayers read, or the Scriptures. Her 
mind was always unclouded and rational; and, when she was aide to 
see him, she enjoyed Mr. Stearns's conversation and prayers. But she 
told him he must not. expect the same degree of religious fervor from 
her, that was common to her in health, for she felt that all her powers 
were under the dominion of disease. She said she had no fear of death. 
She was at peace with her .Maker, and with all mankind. She was 
truly kl a holy child of God," whose excellencies could be discovered 
only in the recesses of her retirement. 

You know with what a relentless grasp disease had fastened itself 
upon her. I shall not attempt it, but I wish your father would give 
you an account of the variety of derangements that had been fixed for 
years upon her constitution. She was convinced herself, ami spoke of 
it, that she must- have been very carefully medicated when under your 
care a year ago, ever to have regained any portion of health, after that 
long and dreadful fever. She often spoke of your saying to her, " You 


must make an effort to get out of your room and take the air, and get 
some exercise." "How little he knows," said she, "that it is an effort 
to live, under any circumstances ; and to draw the vital air, even in 
my easy-chair." How often I have shed tears over such recitals, 
Heaven only knows. To feel that one so young was under a perpetual 
blight was at times unspeakably distressing to me. But why should I 
prolong this gloomy subject ? It is because " out of the fulness of the 
heart, the mouth speaketh ; " and I have no power to think of other 

came to see me yesterday ; she says your father thinks and 

talks of you a great deal, and entertains a tender anxiety for your 

progress. I judge from what Mr. says about your lectures, that 

you are encouraged that they will be an advantage to you. I was much 
obliged to you for sending me the newspaper, and I sent it to your 
father. If I could have given attention to any thing but my sick-room, 
I would have sent it to your grandfather. You must not think I am 
unwilling to be the repository of your troubles, if you will only allow 
me to be the participator of your joys. Anne Jean said, " I am delighted 
that he has found, amidst all the disappointments of this world, what a 
resource religious hope is. May he, in his life, illustrate the '-beauty 
of holiness.' May he spend it in laying up treasures in heaven." Now 
your very profession constitutes you an " angel of mercy," one of 
Heaven's agents for applying antidotes to the physical miseries of the 
human race ; it enables you to mitigate the suffering of your fellow-crea- 
tures. And I know by my own experience, both of yourself and others, 
the magical charm in obliterating mental suffering, such as we often 
find combined with physical pain, that gentlemen of your profession 
have power, by kindness and suavity of manner, so liberally to ad- 

Give my love to dear Anne, and the baby ; tell her to consider this 
as equally addressed to herself. Tell her she must look on all the 
disappointments she meets with in life, as so many ministers of good 



to her soul. She must not allow them to make her impatient, but 
apply them so as to produce "the peaceable fruits of righteousness."' 
If she does not, her religion is of no avail. 

Yours most affectionately, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

P. S. I did not mention that I had the comfort of my son Edward's 
presence the last weeks of Anne Jean's life ; and should have had Jo- 
seph, but I wrote and entreated him not to come. 

Mr. L. thinks if, after you have finished your course of lectures, you 
would offer yourself for an assistant to some physician at Buffalo, who 
would like to keep a medical school, you might advance yourself in that 

Mr. R. W. Emerson t<> Mrs. Lyman. 

Concord, February :J. 1837. 
My hear Madam, — I have not attempted to write to you since I 
heard of the death of Anne Jean, for death makes us all dumb. They 
who have had many losses, gain thereby no wisdom that can be im- 
parted, and each loss makes us more and not less sufferers by all that 
follow. Yet I must write, if only to tell you that the news was very 
painful to me, — to me, quite out of the pleasant circle in which she 
was living, and, on account of my distance, quite uncertain of ever 
seeing her. How gladly I have remembered the glimpses I had of her 
sunny childhood, her winning manners, her persuading speech that 
then made her father, 1 believe, call her his '-lawyer." In the pleasant 
weeks I spent at your house, I rejoiced in the promise of her beauty, 
and have pleased myself with the hope that she was surmounting her 
early trials, and was destined to be one of those rare women who exalt 
society, and who make credible to us a better society than is seen in 
the earth. I still keep by me one of her drawings which she gave me. 
I have scarcely seen her face since. Cut we feel a property in all the 


accomplishments and graces that we know, which neither distance nor 
absence destroys. For my part, I grudge the decays of the young and 
beautiful whom I may never see again. Even in their death, is the 
reflection that we are forever enriched by having beheld them, — that 
we can never be quite poor and low, for they have furnished our heart 
and mind with new elements of beauty and wisdom. 

And, now she is gone out of your sight, I have only to offer to you 
and to Judge Lyman my respectful and affectionate condolence. I am 
sure I need not suggest the deep consolations of the spiritual life, for 
love is the first believer, and all the remembrances of her life will plead 
with you in behalf of the hope of all souls. How do we go, all of us, 
to the world of spirits, marshalled and beckoned unto by noble and 
lovely friends ! That event cannot be fearful which made a part of the 
constitution and career of beings so finely framed and touched, and 
whose influence on us has been so benign. These sad departures open 
to us, as other events do not, that ineradicable faith which the secret 
history of every year strips of its obscurities, — that we can and must 
exist forevermore. 

You will grieve, I know, at the absence of Joseph, at this time. I 
lament his great loss. When you write him, please send him my 
affectionate remembrance. He has kindly forwarded to me lately a 
bundle of Charles's letters to him, which have given great pleasure to 
my mother, Elizabeth Hoar, and myself. My mother feels drawn to you 
by likeness of sorrows, and desires me to express to you her sympathy. 
Your friend, 

R. Waldo Emerson. 


In tliy far-away dwelling, wherever it be, 

I believe thou hast visions of mine; 
And thy love, that made all things as music to me, 

I have not yet learned to resign ; 
In the hush of the night, on the waste of the sea, 

Or alone with the breeze on the hill, 
I have ever a presence that whispers of thee, 

And my spirit lies down and is still. 

And though, like a mourner that sits by a tomb, 
• I am wrapped in a mantle of care, 
Yet the grief of my bosom, — oh ! call it not gloom, — 

Is not the black grief of despair ; 
By sorrow revealed, as the stars are by night, 

Far off a bright vision appears ; 
And Hope, like a rainbow, a creature of light, 
Is born like the rainbow, — in tears. 

T. K. Hekvet. 

ALTHOUGH my dear mother had experienced griefs and dis- 
appointments, snch as come to all the children of earth, no 
sorrow had ever been to her like the loss of our Anne. Anne resem- 
bled her father more in temperament and character than she did her 
mother. Her temperament was always balm to the large and generous, 
but too impulsive, spirit, whom she loved and understood as few others 
did. My mother's grief was life-long ; and we, who knew her best, 
felt that from this time on she lived always in the invisible presence of 
the beloved child who had gone. There was not a trace of selfishness 
in her grief, or of rebellion ; it was the pure and intense sorrow of 
longing for the beautiful presence and companionship that had rounded 


her life. The forms of grief were nothing to her ; she never shut herself 
up for a day ; the house was open to friends and neighbors, as it always 
had been ; and to the casual observer there might seem little change. 
But, what added tenderness and sympathy for all sorrow we saw in 
her, and renewed activity in serving all who came within her reach ! 
And as years wore on, her cheerfulness returned, and that fulness of 
life that gave joy to many, — although, while reason lasted, she was 
subject to occasional days of violent and bitter weeping for Anne Jean, 
which nothing could assuage, — even as late as twenty years, ami 
more, after her departure. 

Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, February 8, 1837. 
My dear Edward, — I thought as soon as you had gone I should 
busy myself in setting my house in order, getting rid of Lucy, and 
attending to all sorts of creature-comforts ; but no such things did I 
do. I found I had come to a golden opportunity for reflection, and I 
would avail myself of it, and let Mrs. Bird and others take care of my 
affairs. How I wish I could set my mind in order with the same ease 
that I can my house ; that that large branch of the mental household 
we call the affections could be revolutionized, — changed in its various 
appropriations, with the same facility we do our furniture ! But it is 
not so. She who has occupied my first thoughts, my most tender in- 
terest, because of her infirmity for so long a time, still keeps possession 
of my heart, and blinds my eyes to other and now more important call- 
ings. But we must direct our thoughts into other channels, and 
appropriate our attention to other objects than have hitherto engaged 
them ; and accustom ourselves to the new duties that have devolved 
upon us, by this change in our hearts ; and, like others in like circum- 
stances, in time we shall. But it can't be done in a minute. 


Mrs. Lyman to her son Eclivard. 

Northampton-, February 14, 1837. 

Since Susan recovered from her indisposition we have had the inter- 
ruption of a good many calls. I cannot say I have received any that 
were not grateful to me, for they seemed to be a sincere expression of 
kindness and sympathy ; and I have had every proof of the respect 
they had for the character of my departed daughter. My neighbors 
have all expressed regret that they could not do any thing for Anne 
Juan, who had, they said, " done so much for others." There is a 
pleasure in feeling that we are remembered in our trouble, and are the 
subjects of the good-will of those around us. And it is particularly 
gratifying to know that one you loved and appreciated was likewise 
valued by your friends and neighbors. 

I have last week read aloud to your father " Yon Raumcr's Eng- 
land," as it was in 1835, < luring the change of the ministry, and the 
passage of the Reform Bill ; likewise, " Ion." — a tragedy, beautifully 
written, with a very poor plot. I am glad you have heard Mr. Emer- 
son's lectures ; whatever censures he may incur from those too gross 
for his refinement, he always will draw from a fountain of purity and 
accurate information. I had an excellent letter from him, and shall 
acknowledge it at my leisure. . . . The children are a constant 
comfort to me : I don't know what I could do without them. 

Your affectionate 


Mrs. Lyman to Airs. Greene. 

Northampton. February 20, 1837. 

My dear Abby, — I got your letter and Mr. Greene's yesterday. 

They are a cordial to our wounded spirits. There is a melancholy 

pleasure in realizing that our friends make common cause with us in 

our affliction. I know that you are among the few who could know 


and appreciate my dear, departed daughter. The world had left no 
stain upon her heart. And 1 feel no doubt that she is enjoying the 
beatitude of "the pure in heart." Dear, holy child ! I wish 1 could 
obliterate the remembrance of the nine weeks of pain and suffering 
which brought her to the relentless grave. But these seem indissolubly 
blended with her now. and add much to my suffering. Much as sor- 
row claims from the remembrance and sympathy of friends, I can 
truly say that mine have more than answered my expectation. All of 
them have expressed their sense of our loss, and remembered our 
sorrow, and understood its magnitude. But, with all that reason, 
religion, and the sympathy of friends can suggest, the heart will bleed 
for a time, and the shadow of the past will hang over our path, obscur- 
ing our views of the future. You have realized how sad it is to think 
that one of our best earthly treasures is gone from us, never more to be 
enjoyed in this world. And this is the impression strongest on our 
minds for a time. Reason and religion assure us that the Almighty 
can arrange our destiny much better for us than we can for ourselves ; 
and that all we call ours is but a loan that, whenever called for, must 
be resigned with submission. May I prove able to learn this hard 
lesson : and at the same time make all those new appropriations of 
thoughts, feelings, interests, and affections, — to say nothing of time 
and companionship, — which have so long been bestowed upon her that 
is gone ! Few can know what Anne Jean was to me. But it ought to 
be, and is, an unspeakable consolation, that the earliest fruits of her 
youth were given to her Heavenly Father. She never was unmindful 
of her religious duties, and tried to make us all better than we are ; 
her life was fraught with much instruction to others. She accustomed 
my children to receive strong religious impressions from many passing 
events that otherwise might have been lost upon them, and had the 
most unlimited influence over them ; so much so, that I never knew 
them on any occasion to fail in attention to her recpiests, or in any 
duty which she had prescribed to them. When she had been sick 


about a fortnight, the children returned from Deerfield. She often 
called them to her, and reminded them of little deficiencies ; telling 
them that life was made up of trifles, the aggregate of which constituted 
duty ; and from time to time reminded them of what they must do to 
be acceptable to their Heavenly Father, as well as what they must do 
to be agreeable to their parents and friends. She said, if there was any 
thing good in her she was indebted to me for it; but I shall always 
think she was more indebted to self-discipline and self-instruction than 
to anybody living. 

She had had and promised herself much pleasure in continued inter- 
course with you, if she had been destined to stay on earth. She was, 
indeed, a holy child, of a most stainless character and life. 1 do n't 
know that I have any thing to regret about her, but the burden her 
Heavenly Father saw fit to lay upon her, all of which, no doubt, tended 
to insure " the peaceable fruits of righteousness." During her long 
sickness, much as she suffered from the weariness of being unable to 
lie down, though she kept her bed nine weeks, and from sleepless- 
ness, — for she rarely slept two hours in the twenty-four, — her mind 
was perfectly unclouded and rational ; and she always had prayers and 
the Scriptures read to her by Susan daily. She enjoyed frequent con- 
versation with Mr. Stearns, and his prayers; was taken into the 
church, and had t lie Rite administered to her in her room, with Susan 
beside her. She told Mr. Steams he must not expect the same degree 
of fervor from her that she felt when she had possession of her full 
strength. She was willing always to be amused by reading or conver- 
sation, when her sufferings were not too great. After she appeared to 
be struck with death, the day before she died, she repeated Mrs. 
Hemans's little poem, " Christ's Agony in the Garden," which will give 
you a good idea of her reflections; and the last verse of the ■• Sun- 
beam," by the same author. I try hard to divert my mind from the 
sad reflections which now fill it. 

I did not tell you that Sam's dear little child was buried at the same 


time that Anne was, from our church, and in the same grave ; that 
Mr. Stearns took the occasion to make an impression on the young 

people by an appropriate address, which S has copied for you, and 

it shall be sent by Mr. Dana, or some private opportunity. We shall 
be disappointed if we do not see Mr. Dana here. 

Give my love to all my nieces and nephews. I am much obliged to 
them for their letters. I shall save them and yourself some of Anne 
Jean's hair ; and, if it were in my power, I would have you all pins or 
rings made. 

Many think to do justice to Anne Jean's character when they say, 
" she was very serious," or " very melancholy." But it was not so. 
The absence of all worldly and unholy desires left her at peace in her 
own mind, and enlarged greatly the means of intellectual enjoyment. 
She had uniform cheerfulness ; and, had it not been for personal suf- 
fering, might be represented as unusually happy. 

With love to all your family, in which your uncle joins, believe me 
Yours very affectionately, 

A. J. Lyman. 

P. S. The children desire their love to yours. Poor Joseph writes 
as if he were inoonsolable under his great affliction. If I go to see 
him in the spring, I shall certainly get as far as Cincinnati. I have 
no school for my children, and feel the importance of devoting much 
time to them. They have an excellent French teacher, and seem to 
he improving very fast in that, as well as in household accomplish- 
ments, which must always be important to a woman in any condition 
of life in this country. Tell Harriet the last work Anne Jean ever did 
was to make three garments for her grandmother, which she sent 


Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, April 21, 1837; 

My dear Edward, — As I am all the society the little girls have, 
and Susan is not very well, I endeavor to be as cheerful as 1 can be. 
It is twelve weeks since I buried one of my best earthly treasures, and 
my daily experience only serves to magnify the weight of my depriva- 
tion. We cannot realize at once the extent of our privileges. I do n't 
know that we ever do until they are withdrawn, and then it takes a 
long time to discern the full extent and influence of our loss. But, in 
the course of time, disappointment will gather to itself the vigor of an 
enduring form ; and it is then that we realize the true state, not only 
of our own nature, but the means of happiness which actually surround 
us. And, having drunk of the cup of bitterness, we are taught to feel 
the full value of all that is good and pleasurable in our destiny, — rid- 
ding ourselves of all unreasonable and imaginary hopes of the future, 
and substituting in their places anticipations which cannot fail. 

Mr. C. P. Huntington got home last night, and brought me a young 
girl of fourteen years of age, that I was very glad to get. Catherine 
seemed so much to want for something to animate her that I have tried 
the experiment of sending her to the high school. 

Mrs. Lyman to Dr. and Mrs. Flint. 

Northampton, April 28, 1837. 
My dear Friends, — I sat down to write, thinking I had a good 
opportunity, but hear the persons going will go West by the way of 
Philadelphia instead of Buffalo, which is a very serious disappointment 
to me, as I have had a bundle for you, sent me by Mr. Kinsley a 
month ago, and have never been able to hear of any one who could 
take it from that time. If, my dear Anne, you should hear of any one 
going, you must write and let me know, or you must submit to the 


delay ; for the bundle is too valuable to subject to any risk. A coat 
cannot be packed in a very compact form, and I expect to be able to put 
in with it a morning dress for you, like one S. F. has, which she says 
washes perfectly well, and that I suppose, to one who tends baby, will 
be a recommendation ; for I do not profess it has any other. S. is 
now in my parlor giving my Susan a lesson on the piano, and calls 
herself pretty well ; though I think she is rather thin, and she occa- 
sionally lias a head-ache, for which I recommend her to drink soda 
water. So you see I have not given up my old habits of quackery. 

You will remember the interest taken in the young Pole, who came 
here less than a year ago — Jakabowski. He has taught my children 
French during the winter in my parlor, and Lizzy F. a part of the time. 
It is not a fortnight since he gave the last lesson ; but so rapid has 
been his decline that yesterday morning he expired. When he was 
told by Dr. Wright, who staid with him during the night he died, that 
he probably would not live through the night, he said, " he could not 
believe it, for he felt perfectly well." 

Of another of the interesting occurrences of our village, perhaps S. 
has written you. Last summer a young married woman, the only 
child, and only tie to earth, of a widow lady in New Bedford, came 
here to stay a few days ; got your father to prescribe for her, not being 
very well, and the effect of his prescriptions doing her good, she per- 
suaded her husband, Mr. Tabor, to leave her at the American Hotel 
with a friend for a couple of months. And when she thought she had 
perfectly recovered, in the autumn, her husband came and took her 
home. But in the course of the past winter her consumptive symp- 
toms returned ; and, in March, her husband brought her here, and 
again put her under the care of Dr. Flint ; but after being here six weeks 
she died, having interested those very much who became acquainted 
with her during the last summer. She had very quiet Quaker hab- 
its, was a cultivated woman of uncommon beauty, and made a good 
deal the same impression that my beloved daughter was prone to, — a 
being to be loved and valued for her intrinsic worth, but never to 


excite admiration or astonishment. If you see the Northampton paper 
of this week, you will see the account of her death. Seeing this pure 
being placed in the relentless grave, I felt as if I had gone through 
all the feelings of burying my Anne over again. So tenacious are we 
of placing ourselves in the front ground of sorrow, and so entirely 
could I make this mother's feelings mine ; almost forgetting the many 
mitigating circumstances accompanying my misfortune, which did not 
attach to her, who lias no husband and children to solace her weary 
pilgrimage through this vale of tears. 

1 shall ask no apology for this intrusion upon your attention, for 
with my letters you probably anticipate receiving the inhabitants of my 
mind and its interests. I do not think there is any thing melancholy 
in Jakabowski's death; it was a consummation devoutly to lie wished 
for. There was nothing in prospect for him but settled infirmity, with 
no means of support but a reluctant charity ; and no one ever made 
the transition from life unto death with less suffering. What he has 
earned here was sufficient for bis support and funeral expenses, want- 
ing but a few dollars. 

Mr. H., M. D., has returned, and made a visit here. A winter in 
Philadelphia has given him a good deal of ease, self-confidence, 
and general improvement, as it relates to the external man. For I 
think he has intrinsic worth of character and goodness enough to 
excite warm friendship and sympathy ; and capacity enough to war- 
rant the belief that in the course of time he will get a good living ; 
and integrity and stability enough to justify perfect confidence. 

As we can penetrate but little way into human destiny, it is hardly 
worth while to trust ourselves in very profound speculations about 
the future. One thing is certain ; we shall all die. I wish it were 
equally certain that we should be prepared for the celestial abodes, 
inhabited by the " spirits of the just made perfect." 

You may see, in the " Northampton Courier," that Mr. Atwell has 
informed the public that Mr. Stearns has asked for dismission. But 
it is untrue. He is unwell, and wants this summer to recruit, and is 


going to have it, and then return to us in the autumn. 1 think it not 
unlikely that you may see him in the course of the summer in Buffalo. 
Mr. Stearns has moved into Harrison Apthorp's house in the meadow, 

and Mr. boards with them. And now, I believe, I have communi- 
cated all that relates to Northampton, in which you could take an 

interest. The Misses are going to Boston to-morrow to pass the 

vacation. It is supposed goes with them, to learn the latest lash- 
ions, and get wedding gear for . But of such affairs I know 


A voice from the spirit-land is ever in my ear, strengthening the 
conviction of what I have lost, and urging me to consider the weight 
and magnitude of the deprivation I have sustained. This, however, 
does not prevent me from estimating the many blessings that remain, 
nor of cultivating all those resources by which I am surrounded. 
Heaven knows the greatest motive which prompted mo to desire the 
life of my daughter was, that she might illustrate by her example the 
beauty of virtue, and show how indissolubly holiness was connected 
with human happiness. 

When you see them, give my love to Mr. Allen and his wife, and do 
not forget kind remembrances to Mr. Huntington and David. 1 have 
been pleased that David has described the uncommon beauty of our 
baby. I thought he was elegant when he left here. And now he is thir- 
teen months old, walking about and talking, I think you must have 
increased your pride in him greatly. I would give a great deal to see 
him, as well as his father and mother. I was glad to hear your mother 
and sister were going to Buffalo ; but I shall not quite believe it until 
I hear they are there. I hope nothing will prevent your going to 
house-keeping, for I think you will find " life's cares comforts." I have 
realized that truth all my days. I consider living at board a painful 
necessity, with which people should be patient if it is necessary, but 

not a moment longer. 

Your very affectionate 

A. J. Lyman. 


Mrs. Lyman to Br. Austin Flint. 

May 14, 1837. 
My dear Austin, — 

The prevailing topics of conversation are the disastrous times. Those 
having professions and (hose in office are now best off; so congratulate 
yourself that you cannot fail. According to an immutable law of Divine 
Wisdom, births, sickness, and death must always occur, ami must 
always require the aid of your profession, and must consequently 
always furnish you with the means of living. If not a splendid liv- 
ing, a humble one ; and whichever way it is, I feel no doubt you will 
have the wisdom to adapt yourself to it. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, June 23, 1s:;t. 

My pear Abby, — Though my eyes have become so dim I can hardly 
see, and though I am inexpressibly heavy and stupid from the effect of 
a cold and sore throat, which I got when returning from Boston ten 
days since, I will no longer do the violence to my own feelings and 
principles to omit writing to you. I went to Cambridge, not thinking 
my mother would live but a short time, and I returned under the im- 
pression that her disease might be protracted for some time. I carried 
my children, and we stayed a month, and their healths were greatly 
benefited by the change ; for they had seen nothing but melancholy 
faces for so long a time, that it had had a very deleterious influence on 
their health, joined with other causes. But I returned to realize more 
fully the desolation of my house. Martha returned with me, and I 
have enjoyed her society very much. It is some time since we have 
been together. She feels the great change in my house. 

Joseph is now with us, and we are often entertained with his expe- 
riences of western life and manners. He seems to have had great 


satisfaction in all lie has seen and heard, and 1 tell him he had better 
resume his profession and go and fill the place made vacant by Tracy. 
"We have been truly grieved to hear of Mr. Greene's disappointment. 
But he has had the magnanimity to bear a greater misfortune \\ ith sub- 
mission, and I have no doubt will be sustained under this. 1 know the 
diversity of his genius; and when the even tenor of his business re- 
turns, I feel his difficulty will disappear. I know, too, your country is 
fruitful in resources for the persevering and industrious, and that he is 
one of them. Therefore I console myself with the idea that his present 
interruption will be only a temporary inconvenience. This is a muta- 
ble world, and those best prepared for its changes are best off. For if 
we live apparently without changes, it is but for a season. With me, 
disappointment has taken an enduring form. I expect my future enjoy- 
ments will consist in unexpected exemptions from anticipated trouble. 
When I lost my dear Anne, I determined never to consider any earthly 
possession as mine again, but all indulgences, that might with justice 
be resumed by the Supreme Disposer at any moment. 

I hope you will be careful not to crowd little Catherine with studies, 
for I think it has been an injury to my S., though it was self-inflicted. 
Last summer she gave the most devoted attention to study and music ; 
and for eight months, with the exception of a French teacher, she has 
not been able to give any attention at all to any thing but reading. I 
do not allow myself to depend upon her life ; if I did, I should antici- 
pate unspeakable happiness from such a resource. For she has nothing 
in her feelings and practice, that would not justify the belief that she 
must be at least eighteen. She is very tall for fourteen, though rather 
thin. . . . 

I wish you and C. could come and pass a couple of months with us. 
Give my love to your sisters ; I want much to see them, and think 
another year I may get to Cincinnati. But I have thought so a great 

Your affectionate aunt, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 


P. S. We are listening to one of the best of preachers, Mr. Bulfinch ; 
if you had not fixed upon a preacher, I should feel very anxious that 
yon might have him at C. Our minister has left for the summer to 
recruit his health. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Anne Flint. 

Northampton, June 25, 1837. 

My dear Anne, — I perceive that I shall not have time to write you 
a real letter, but I can say a few words to congratulate you on getting 
to house-keeping : a desideratum in young people's lives of great im- 
portance in my estimation. It is in that, condition only, that people 
can act themselves, and fully realize their own responsibility, or that 
they can fully enjoy "that only bliss of paradise that has survived the 
fall." Now you will feel your own power, in administering to the hap- 
piness of eaeli member of your household, and not feel yourself to be 
always in the power of other people; as those who are boarders must 
feel. You are happy, too, in having a fountain of experience to draw 
from, while your mother is with you ; and I hope she finds herself con- 
tented and happy in her new condition. Some people are much more 
easily transplanted than others, but she has carried the principal ele- 
ments of happiness with her. Her children must lie the best resource 
she has, in regard to society, and I am sure they will add both grace 
and dignity to your establishment. 

Mr. Stearns has gone away to recruit his health, and we have Mr. 
S. G. Bulfinch in his place. -Mr. Bulfinch stayed a fortnight with us, 
and we were delighted with him. He is an admirable preacher ; quite 
as good as Mr. Steams; which you know is very high praise. I have 
had a charming letter from Hannah Steams, and am glad to find you 
have. There are hw, any where, as good as she is, and I shall be truly 
glad if we ever get her back again. 

I am glad you like Mr. Ilosmer, and hope his family will prove an 
acquisition to you. 

Your affectionate A. J. Lyman. 


Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, October 16, 1837. 
I was a long time engaged away from home, and when I returned, 
four weeks since, I found a great deal to do, to redeem the time I had 
lost; besides the feeling of sickness at heart, which I realize to intense- 
ness, whenever I return after an absence of some weeks to my deso- 
lated home. I wrote to you some weeks since, to go by a private 
opportunity, accompanied by a letter from Catherine to your Katie. 
But I think it doubtful whether you will ever get it, when I consider 
the length of time which had elapsed, when you last wrote, since I sent 
the letter. Every thing I could learn of Mr. Silsbee was highly in 
his favor. How happy is it for us, my dear Abby, that our foresight 
carries us so little way, and that we are saved from the misery of an- 
ticipating the sorrows that await us ! Almighty power and unerring 
wisdom overrule our fate ; let us be humble, and, if we can, " rejoice 

Since this was written, I have heard that Mr. Greene was in these 
parts, and hope I shall see him soon. Joseph found him on board the 
steamboat, at New York, and left him at Newport. I cannot help 
wishing Joseph had found some inducement to remain in the western 
country, though, I suppose, in time he will get settled down here. He 
seemed delighted with the West. 

I have a great deal I could say to Charlotte, and trust in some com- 
posed hour to be inspired to sit down and write to both her and Har- 
riet. Tell H. it would gratify me to have her write me a history 
of the past year, — her experiences and Sally's in general. 

I did not see your Aunt Lord when I was in Cambridge, for I could 
not go into Boston, my mother was so unwell. 

Mr. Pierpont called on me, and said they were all well. 
Since my return, I have been more busy than I can describe. My 
woman has been sick, and is now gone ; and my young girl is so ineffi- 



cient, that, if it, were not for my children being capable and useful, 
I do n't know what would become of us. As it is, we get along com- 
fortably, considering that we have constantly before us what we have 
lost, — our efficient aid in times of need, as well as pleasurable com- 
panion in times of rest. 

As to Miss Martineau, her book is not without its good and pleasant 
things ; but it is full of mistakes, misrepresentations, and radicalism. 
It is an un wieldly task to judge of every thing, and it is a want of 
modesty and good judgment to attempt it ; nor is it strange she 
should fail. But I would have excused her for every thing but her 
slander of the women of our country, and her chapter on the " Rights 
of Women," in no part of which do I sympathize with her. I desire no 
increase of power or responsibility. 1 have more than I can give a 
good account of this moment. 

Give my love to the children and your sisters. I hope you will be 
able to read this hasty scrawl. In my other letter I have said every 
thing you could desire concerning Mr. Peabody and his preaching. 

Mrs. Rogers and family are well. They have bought the house they 
live in, of Mr. Hall, fitted it- up, and seem to enjoy a great deal. They 
have a beautiful baby, called Henry Broomfield. 

Mr. Huntoon was much beloved, both in Milton and Canton. I 
never heard aught but good of him, and hope your people arc disposed 
to feel all they should for him. I presume he would not have left Mil- 
ton had he not thought the western country a better position for the 
advancement of his family. 

November 10. People are not happier or better for being rich. 
They are more composed and tranquil under the circumstances indi- 
cated by Agar's prayer as good for all, " Give me neither poverty nor 
riches," &c. May you always realize the enjoyment which that state 
brings, and reflect with pleasure on the good you were enabled to do to 
others under more prosperous circumstances. I have always lived under 
circumstances requiring close economy, by the exercise of which I have 


found as much satisfaction as I have observed others to gain m squan- 
dering a great deal, because they happened to have the means. Now, 
the practice of economy lays the foundation of much virtue ; for it 
accustoms one to self-sacrificing habits, which leads to disinterestedness 
in every variety of form. And we ought to be grateful for any event in 
our destiny upon which by force we must erect a virtue ; — which virtue 
will prove a satisfaction while on earth, and a certain treasure when 
transferred to our heavenly abode. 

Mr. Theodore Sedgwick died on the 7th. Though a bad politician, 
he was a most amiable domestic character, and a severe loss to his 
wife and daughter, who are now in Europe with Miss Sedgwick and 
Robert's family. They will pass this winter in Rome, unless this 
event determines them to return immediately. My cousin Emma 
Forbes and my sister are making me a visit, and send their love to 

If Joseph is with you when this reaches you, he must read it. I 
hope you will see Mr. Harding's daughter Margaret, who is travelling 
with her father, for, though not beautiful, she is extremely lovely. Mr. 
Harding's family are highly creditable to him, — Ophelia and Margaret 
and William in particular. Caroline I have not so much knowledge of, 
and the others are quite young. 

You and I each have been the means of translating a being of earth 
to an angel in heaven. It ought to be a continual incentive to us to 
make progress in the course which shall take us to the same abode. 

Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

December 3, 1837. 

You must tell us how you enjoyed Thanksgiving, and if you have 

read the " Letters from Palmyra," which, upon a second reading, I 

think one of the most delightful books I have ever seen. There you 

see illustrated the dignity and interest of the female character in its 


true light : a beautiful representation of agreeable intercourse between 
young people ; a great deal of well-sustained conversation, of the most 
intellectual character, and well-calculated, by the refined moral senti- 
ment contained therein, to improve and raise the standard of morals 
and religion. 

I am disgusted with the great commendation given to the " Pickwick 
Papers." I think it might have done to publish one volume of such 
stuff; but four is oppressive, and promotes a waste of time that is 
unpardonable, to say nothing of furnishing an additional quantity of 
vulgarity to contemplate, when there is already a superabundance in 
everybody's experience of every-day life. 

My mother's criticism of novels often surprised and disappointed me ; 
but she came to enjoy heartily, in her later years, many books that she 
had not earlier appreciated. She was slow to change her early and 
accepted standards about many things; and her standard of novel- 
reading had been formed in those early days of Mrs. Ratcliffe and Rich- 
ardson, and later, of Miss Edgeworth. For her, a novel must relate 
either to that high-toned and romantic cast of character and scenery 
and thrilling incident that removes one entirely from her own daily 
atmosphere ; or it must have a distinct moral purpose underlying the 
story, as in Miss Edgeworth, and faithfully carried out to the end. The 
modern novel, with its natural description of common-place people and 
events, its paucity of incident, its artistic delineation of persons and 
scenery and surroundings, its absence of all distinct moral purpose, 
except that which makes itself felt in all truthful portraiture of a 
mixed society, such as exists everywhere on the earth, — all this was 
for along time a sealed book to her ; and it was almost funnier to hear 
her talk about Dickens than to read him ; the solemnity with which she 
wondered how any one could spend hours reading about such low peo- 
ple, when nothing on earth would induce her to pass half an hour in 
their company, was amusing to the last degree. 


She used to be as much moved and excited over the characters in 
novels as though they had been real, living persons, and this gave an 
indescribable charm to one's reading aloud to her. I recall her getting 
very angry with Miss Edgeworth's " Helen," — out of all patience with 
her for not telling the whole truth, — till, just as I had got nearly 
through the second volume, she suddenly calmed down, a broad smile 
spread itself over her face, and she touched my arm and said, as if the 
idea had just come to her, " Well, Susanna, if Helen had not told 
or acted all those trumpery lies to save her lying friend, we never 
should have had these two very entertaining volumes." 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, December 5, l.s:37. 

I should be much pleased to go to Boston at a time when I could 
meet Mr. Dana. Anne Jean always spoke of him with so much pleas- 
ure, that it would be a peculiar gratification to me to know him per- 

I do n't know what your customs are on Thanksgiving Day, or if you 
have such a day. Last Thursday was ours, and a sad anniversary it 
was to me ; for never can memory bring back the recollection of more 
bitterness than was inflicted on me one year ago, — my convictions 
then confirming all which afterwards took place, sowing seeds of sorrow 
and disappointment that will follow me to the grave, and be the com- 
panion of all my solitary meditations, however cheerful I may appear 
to others. I am sure I would not be so selfish as to annoy others by a 
continual demand on their sympathies ; for, indeed, people have no 
right to be always intruding themselves and their peculiar feelings on 
their acquaintance. And I do not doubt the goodness of unfailing Love 
and unerring wisdom in the destiny allotted me. I know that it is 
better than my deserts, and that it is still my duty to " Eejoice in hope, 
and to be patient in tribulation." It is a happy circumstance for me 


that I am under the continual pressure of care. My family is now 
small ; but you know it is a family subject to continual mutations. 
Sometimes one of my women are sick, or the old lady, Mrs. Carly, 
goes away to take care of a sick child, or it is court^week, — and you 
know nothing exempts me from my social duties. 

S. was sent to Boston a month since for the benefit of her health. 
Her cough left her, and she will stay the winter there to go to dancing- 
school and attend to music. I need not say that she is greatly missed 
at home. . . . Catherine is in many respects her opposite, but not 
in conscientiousness ; and, now that Susan is gone, she is devoted to 
the effort to make her place good. I have too much satisfaction in 
these children to believe it will last. But you know by experience how 
much is to be enjoyed from our children. I hope the pleasures from 
that source will be greatly multiplied to you. You must think more 
of the education of moral sentiment than the enumeration of acquisi- 
tions, if you wish to make your daughter a happy and a useful woman, 
— considering accomplishments only as the proper and well-adapted 
ornaments of a consecrated temple. 

You spoke of our coming to Cincinnati for a winter. Nothing 
would suit me better ; but I have little control of my own time or 
movements. The journey would be no bugbear to me. But for your 
satisfaction, I will tell you we have a large stove, with a great deal of 
pipe, that warms the whole back part of our house, and makes it as 
comfortable as could be desired. I have just put down a new carpet 
in the nursery, and I do n't know where there is a warmer or pleas- 
antcr room to work in ; and the stove in the parlor has always warmed 

Mrs. called here yesterday with two of the children. I wish to 

her external loveliness I could superadd the " vital spark of heavenly 
flame," in a pre-eminent degree, for that is somewhat wanting. She 
is a universal favorite here. 

Jane was in on Thanksgiving Day with her family ; but she was not 


fit to be out of her room, she was so unwell. Hannah is a fine, healthy 
child, and destined to lie their only one, and I think they will have 
much comfort in her. 

Give my love to your husband, children, and Bisters. 

Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

December 24, 1S37. 
My dear Edward, — It was just twelve weeks from the time I left 
your grandmother to the time of her death. I could not have believed 
it was possible she should continue so long ; and when I heard of her 
death, it took a weight from my mind, for I could not think of her 
but in a suffering condition, both to herself and her friends. The aged 
we expect will die, and after we have seen them survive all their 
resources of enjoyment, and outlive all their susceptibility, we ought 
not only to be willing, but to be glad there is the provision of another 
and a better country prepared for them ; that there is a rest from the sor- 
rows flesh is heir to. It is when the young who are amply prepared for 
usefulness are taken, that we are led to question, Why is it so ? It is 
now eleven months since we parted from her who was so necessary to 
our happiness. . . . But the children I have left are a great 
resource to me ; if I cannot live with them all the time, I can hear 
from them, and have that pleasure of imagination, which is always 
giving me the satisfaction that they will do well, because they intend 
to do right ; and I do not expect any exemption for them from the 
common vicissitudes of life ; but I think they will have fortitude to 
meet with such trials as Heaven shall send. 

Mrs. Lyman to Br. and Mrs. Austin Flint. 

Northampton, February 8, 1S38. 
My dear Children, — I was truly gratified by finding, on my return 
from Boston, a letter from you awaiting my return. Indeed, I think 


it was nearly a month old. Its contents, though satisfactory in most 
respects, have inspired me with a desire to hear again immediately, for 
now yon must have something important to communicate to my in- 
terested ears, — probably nothing less eventful than an increase of your 
earthly ties, with .a corresponding enlargement of your affections; so 
true is it that every additional child brings with it a fresh fountain of 
love, of hope, of gratitude. 

You speak of the trials inflicted by pecuniary difficulties. In this you 
only share in the common lot of the multitude, with most of whom it is 
accompanied by aggravations that you know nothing of. For you have 
never known the multiplied sorrow of having inadvertently or impru- 
dently occasioned hopeless misfortune to numbers of your friends, to 
large families, who can never expect to retrieve their comfortable cir- 
cumstances. Such trials, though common, may Heaven defend you 
from ! I think you must have found, and must enjoy, some intelligent 
companions in Buffalo. While the good and the wise are in the world, 
it is desirable to participate in their friendship and knowledge. A 
French writer has remarked, that " it is for the interest of every person 
to multiply ideas in the community to which he belongs; to know all 
that is current, and the best use of the information he possesses; to 
enrich his own mind, and at the same time increase his means of assist- 
ing and instructing others." Our acquisitions do not merely enrich 
ourselves, they greatly contribute towards increasing human sympa- 
thies. If we meet a stranger who is exclusively a botanist, and we are 
likewise well-informed on this subject, we can at once make common 
cause of the same pursuit. It is equally true of any other art or 
science, and of every other taste we discover in the persons whom 
accident has thrown in our way. Thus we realize that an increase of 
ideas helps to multiply human sympathies, to harmonize human in- 
terests, and to connect God's children by a most desirable tie. The 
Almighty Maker of heaven and earth, the earth itself, and what is 
contained therein, are interests common to all, and we want nothing but 


intelligence, information, thought, and philanthropy to make us agree- 
able to each other. 

I have been gone so long, that I cannot muster any budget of news 
for you in this place. Henry Shepherd is going to add greatly to the 
value of his character and standing in society, by marrying a Miss 
Strong, of Belchertown. She is accomplished in various languages and 
music; but, more particularly, has the grace and greatness to think 
humbly of herself. She was educated by her parents, with a particular 
reference to making her a first-rate teacher ; and came here a year ago 
to assist in a high-school for girls. Boarded at T. Shepherd's, and 
assisted Henry in his musical taste, until sympathy grew into love. 

I believe 1 told you in my last that would marry , together 

with half-a-dozen other matches, which I will not repeat. Northamp- 
ton is not much like heaven in the respect that there is neither 
marrying nor giving in marriage. 

Miss has just returned from Springfield. She says your father 

told her he had as much as he could do, and that the kind of business 
he had was preferable to that here. S. has probably written to you all 

about her affairs. She is now in Lenox, teaching music for Mrs. , 

in place of , who is going to Europe with her aunt. For the last 

month she has had no use of her eyes from weakness, which her aunt 
thinks a voyage may cure. Your father has made an offer to take 

Dr. into business, and he is now in Springfield, I believe, to help 

him with a medical school, and take care of a hospital which he cal- 
culates to have. 

I often think, my dear Anne, what a comfort it must be to you to 
have your mother and sister with you, and hope they like Buffalo well 
enough to remain there. We have a beautiful child here, which I take 
pleasure in looking at, because it looks so much like little Austin, 
when he left here. It is Mrs. Rogers's, and has all the brilliancy 
of its mother. I hear Mr. Allen is coming here next week for M. 
Lyman to go and stay with Mrs. Allen a year. If I can get them to 


take a small parcel, I think I shall find something to send " mother 
and the babies." My S. has been in Boston this winter, and I hope 
will improve in proportion to the sacrifice it occasions me to part with 
her ; tor she truly is the embryo of the dear child 1 have parted with. 
You would be surprised to see how much Catherine has gained, too, 
in size, maturity of character, and good appearance. I dare say 
you have seen by the paper the marriage of to a poor school- 
master. I was at the wedding; and very glad to have things so 
happily consummated. 

Remember me affectionately to your mother and sister, and believe 
me with much love. 

Yours truly and affectionately, 

A. J. Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, April 1, 1838. 

When I returned from Boston two months ago, I had the pleasure of 
finding a. letter from you. Since that time I have received another 
from Harriet. Neither of these mentioned Charlotte's near approach 
to the land of matrimony. But to-day 1 have received a newspaper 
stating the fact, and beg leave to congratulate you all on the happy 

I feel conscience-smitten that I have not written to Charlotte, for I 
always have had the intention ; but when you consider my numerous 
duties, my old age, and the constant claims upon my pen by absent 
children and sisters, you cannot wonder at my delinquency. My 
mother had been so long a sufferer, that her death was a release from 
trouble. It was anticipated, and we could not be distressed by it. You 
know we look for the death of the aged, and rejoice that they have been 
permitted to remain so long. It is when the young die, those on whom 
we expect to lean, those on whom our hopes are built, and with whom 
we identify our future happiness on earth, that we feel smitten, — our 


strongholds taken from us, and our hearts lacerated to bleeding. This 
has been a source of such constant reflection for a year past, that it 
lessens my sympathies on all other subjects. Every day increases the 
conviction of the magnitude of my loss. All my duties are increased, 
— you will judge how many go unperformed. In the loss of my 
mother, too, I feel there is one barrier less between me and the 

You have heard by my last letter all about Joseph's situation ; he 
says it is the most beautiful climate in the world, and all his expecta- 
tions have been more than answered. ... He speaks of a Mr. 

, who is principal engineer, that lives in the house with him, 

together with his wife, the granddaughter of Rufus King. This gen- 
tleman I thought must be a relative of Mr. Greene's, because his mother 
was a Greene. Joseph likes both him and his wife very much, and his 
partner Mr. Pratt, who is likewise a married man. The society there 
has many intelligent, sensible men, though men actively engaged in 
business. E. belongs to a new firm consisting of two of his old mas- 
ters, and a new one. He is promoted to be first clerk, with a salary 
equivalent to his living, and feels like quite a great character. He is 
as tall as Joseph, and larger. ... I never wanted to see you more 
than I have since our dear Anne's departure. What concerned you and 
your family, was among her dearest interests. 

I suppose Charlotte and her husband have left you. I should like to 
know where a letter would find them ; but I am hoping they are on their 
way to this place, previous to going to Salem, and that I shall have a 
visit from them. I wish you would answer this as soon as you can, 
and let me know that you and Mr. Greene and Catherine are coming 
here this summer. I have tried hard to get my sister C. to go to 
Cincinnati this spring, or to take a short voyage and see Joseph at 
Brunswick. She has been so long shut up, and her eyes are so useless 
to her, that I think she needs an entire change. She has gone now 
to Philadelphia and New York ; will probably be absent a month. Jo- 


sepli thinks the climate he lives in would be a perfect restorative to 
her. . . . 

You have heard what an idol Mr. Peabody was made in Boston, and 
of his call to Dr. Channing's, and of his accepting a call at New Bed- 
ford, where they have gone, I believe, the last week. 

Give my love to all your sisters. When you write, tell me about my 
nephews, and J. H. Perkins and wife, Mrs. Stetson, and all the neigh- 
bors, not forgetting Mr. Tim Walker and Mr. and Mrs. Lawler, too ; what 
are they doing ? You have heard that Mrs. B. has lost her father, who 
left very little property, and that she is trying every way she can to 
get a living. 

My S. is at Mr. Emerson's school in Boston, where she will continue 
until she is done going to school. C. is an improving child, but the 
progress is slow. She is more gifted in good principles, good manners, 
and good sense, than in scholarship of any kind. There are no advan- 
tages here of the right kind for my girls, and I shall have to send them 
away for all they get. This is a great sacrifice on my part ; but we 
learn to do what we think best for our children, let the sacrifice be what 

it may. 

Your affectionate 

A. J. Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Dr. Austin Flint. 

May 6, 1838. 
My dear Austin, — I believe I told you that a year ago, when our 
Mr. Stearns left us, his place was supplied by Mr. S. G. Bulfinch, one 
of the most angelic beings that I ever knew in that profession. He 
stayed, together with his young wife, many weeks with us. She has 
recently died in giving birth to her first child. This is the fourth case 
of a similar kind which has occurred among my acquaintances since 
your little A. was born, and 1 mention it that A. may know how fav- 
ored she has been among women ; for, common as it is for children to 


be born, so it is very common for mothers to lose their lives in this 
perilous enterprise. And I do think the gentlemen of your profession 
cannot give too scrupulous a degree of attention to this subject ; for, 
while the world remains, this must continue to happen, and must 
make a constant demand on the attention of the profession. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, October 23, 183S. 

My dear Emma, — I am ashamed to think that six weeks, if not 
more have passed over my head without my having acknowledged your 
heart-warming favor. I will not pretend to give you all the reasons 
why I have not ; you must, whenever you can, come and see. Instead 
of two persons to perform all the social and domestic duties that belong 
to this household, there is now but one ; and she has been from May 
until the last two months, a poor, infirm old woman, in constitutional 
habit at least eighty years old. But enough of that ; what is, cannot 
be helped, and should not be complained of. My lot has always been 
better, far better, than I deserved ; and if I have had treasures that have 
been withdrawn, it was because the Bestower of all good knew I had 
more than my portion, and far more than my deserts. 

You must have enjoyed a great deal at Exeter, seeing your aunt and 
uncle so much gratified, and participating so fully in it yourself. It is 
delightful to all to behold such a halo thrown over the declining years 
of a good and useful man. The honor shown to such a man as Dr. 
Abbot has a powerful moral influence, and is calculated to make a val- 
uable impression on the present rising generation. TVe must always 
consider that it belongs to our free agency to have a portion of our 
destiny under our own control; and though we cannot resist that por- 
tion which the Almighty keeps in his own hands, such as sickness and 
death, nor change His established laws, yet by studying them and con- 
forming to them, we can procure much good and much happiness for 


ourselves and others. This has been remarkably illustrated in the life 
of Dr. Abbot, who has persevered in an undeviating course of honorable 
labor; and has arrived at all the results of such a course, in his ad- 
vanced life. 

I always urged it upon Joseph to make teaching his profession, if he 
felt unwilling to wait for encouragement in the law. But he thought 
the defects of his constitution, more than disinclination, must oppose an 
obstacle to it. I feel sorry that his occupation lay at such a distance 
from us, but I do not doubt that he is in a position of great usefulness, 
and that he will set a good example in a new place, where example is 
of so much consequence. 

My good niece, Susan Hillard, is with me, as you know; and I think 
the new channel into which her thoughts are likely to be turned by 
things around her here will be favorable to her health and the state of 
her mind. She seems very well, and is enjoying herself as well as 
could be expected under her great loss. 

While Mr. Lyman was absent, I had our good Hannah Stearns to 
stay with me. She is about the best person in the world,- — the most 
unvitiated and stainless; with the most cultivation, high principle, and 
sweet temper. There is no way 1 could obtain so much satisfaction, if 
I could afford it, as to give her a handsome salary, and always have 
her to direct the improvement of my children. She is as good as an 
angel, and her conversation and example furnish a better means of 
instruction than the best of schools. I should have appropriated her 
the coming year ; but she was engaged when she left Baltimore to 
Miss G. and Miss W., who have the sense to understand her value. 
She is to direct their literary improvement for a year to come. Han- 
nah's constitution was so entirely changed by ten months' residence in 
Cuba, and her health so perfectly restored, that I cannot help wishing 
that my sister C. and your M. could do the same thing. I think it 
would set them up for life. Tell M. if she will go out to Brunswick 
with C, I will get J. to hurry and finish his cottage, and they might 


go and keep house for him one year. I would make tliem a visil in 
the meantime, to give them some variety ; and insure them to come 
back well, handsome, and happy. Is it not a good plan ? . . . 
Your affectionate 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, December 5, 1s;;s. 

My dear Edward, — 

I am very glad to find, by the letter I got from you last night, that 
yon had perfect confidence in your own strength and ability to answer 
to all the requisitions that could be made of you in your new capacity. 
And I am glad you have. That is an unbecoming diffidence which leads 
people to distrust the faculties they have cultivated and exercised with 
success, as many years as you have your mercantile capacity. But there 
are no people in the world placed under such strong temptation to do 
wrong in every respect as travellers are, or who set so loose upon the re- 
strictions of society and its institutions, conventional forms, and general 
standards of rectitude. Being removed as they are from the circle of 
observing and interested friends, to whom they feel responsible, it is 
not strange they should more readily yield to every passing impulse, 
knowing they are not critically observed upon, and have no one to 
please but themselves. This, then, calls for the exercise of all your 
power over moral and religious sentiments ; and your real enjoyment 
will be in proportion to the ascendency they have in determining your 
course of conduct, for it is to those sources you must look for aid to 
sustain the true dignity of man. No one can be contented or happy 
without self-respect. Whatever honors or flattery he may receive 
from the world, — in them he will find no substitute for the want of it ; 
and. possessed of it, he will have a fountain of inward satisfaction 


which will make any of them appear mean and worthless in the 

I must feel sorry that this tour did not occur one year later, for you 
know you and I were really to go to Niagara next summer, ami Canada ; 
and then you could have carried in your imagination an idea of the 
greatest natural curiosity in the world, as, surely, that mighty cataract 
may be considered. There is much information about this country, 
that, when you are absent from it,and comparing another country and 
its various institutions and customs with it, you will feel the want of. 
But you must remember life has just begun with you, and that your 
seed time is not over ; and, in proportion as you feel the want of knowl- 
edge, you will be assiduous to learn. I am very sorry I had not De 
Tocqueville to give you, to read on the passage, and Dr. Humphrey's 
" Tour." De Tocqueville is a key with which to unlock a vast deal of 
information relative to America; and Humphrey's " Tour " a key to 
much intelligent observation upon whatever part of Great Britain you 
may be in. 

If you will go and see our Cousin Forbes, in New York, they will 
carry you to Cousin George W. Murray's, with whom I passed nearly 
a year just before 1 was married ; and. if you wished, he would furnish 
you with letters to the Murray family in England, in case you were in 
London, or the neighborhood where they live. .... 

You will have my constant remembrance and prayers during your 
absence, to say nothing of unremitted affection. You must keep some 
small, ruled books in your pocket, that you may fill them with a jour- 
nal during your absence ; not forgetting to mention the history of all 
interesting people, and all interesting conversations and opinions. Be 
friendly and accessible to worthy people, and you will find them so 

to you. 

Your affectionate 



Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Christmas, 1838. 

Mrs. Cochran gave a cotillon party, which was very pleasant, and 
is to be followed once a fortnight, until April, by the other young 
ladies, who have joined it ; so you see there is still some animation left 
amongst us. It is true, I cannot feel much of it myself, but I can 
rejoice to contemplate it in others. I should like to know how and 
where you passed Christmas. I should be glad to recognize the day 
in a manner to bring together all the sacred associations which so 
truly belong to it. But I could not do that alone ; and with me it 
only speaks (in reference to the past) of the bitterest sorrow I ever 
was called to suffer ; and this impression must ever interpose a cloud 
to overshadow the best enjoyments allotted to me on this side the 
grave. Every occurrence now comes to me connected with the idea, — 
" How would this have pleased or displeased my dear Anne ? " And 
when I am necessarily so much separated from the children I have left 
on earth, I can but cling to the idea of how much more importance 
my own life was, while she was living, than it now is. 

Your father keeps himself a good deal shut up this winter, for it has 
been very cold ever since you left ; and since Sunday we have had 
good sleighing, and I presume shall have for the coming ten or twelve 

I was glad you got the letters and books before you left. I think 
they must have been an entertainment on the passage. I had another 
book I have just finished, that 1 wish I had given you, — " Stevens's 
Travels in Egypt and Arabia Petraea and the Holy Land ; " which has 
been very interesting to me, from the fact that it mentions every 
place spoken of in the Old and New Testaments, with quotations of the 
various predictions of their destiny, by the prophets of old. I have 
thought it was a pity you could not have taken (but perhaps you did) 



some letters to the remnants of your grandmother's old Murray family, 
especially Mr. Charles Murray, who has been a distinguished lawyer in 

Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Noktuampton, January 20, 1839. 
. . . S. has gone to where property is of no value, but where the 
great and good of all climes and all ages, the friends, benefactors, de- 
liverers, ornaments of their race, — the patriarch, prophet, apostle, and 
martyr, the true heroes of public and still more of private life, — have 
gone ; illustrating, though unrecorded by man, " the true beauty of 
holiness,"' and all self-sacrificing virtue. How often must I visit in 
imagination that unknown country wdiere I have been called to offer up 
a bright ornament, one whose countenance shed light upon our dwell- 
ing, and peace and strength through our hearts! 

Mr. Brewer has heard of the death of his brother William, which is 
an unspeakably great affliction to his mother, Elizabeth, and more 
particularly his wife and infant child. He was a very good young man. 
and was successfully engaged in business, but has left nothing. When 
we hear of such deaths, we can only say. " there they arc gathered 
together, safe from every storm, triumphant over evil," while we remain 
to do our Father's work on earth ; and let us do it. Such events 
should lie our admonition, to keep our hearts with all diligence, to live 
in a state of preparation for what may take place early in life, and at 
all events must in the course of time. 

I never asked you when here, to take a Bible in your trunk, but I 
hope you did ; for, on board a vessel, there must be comfort in having 

Elizabeth Brewer is engaged, but I cannot say to whom, for Mr. B. 
could not tell me. . . . 

Susan has been in the best of health this winter, and done a great 
deal of visiting, for her. Mr. Barnard is new-furnishing his house, and 


is to be married on the 6th of next month. All things in connection 
with this affair look bright and unclouded. Marriage may be ac- 
counted amongst the softening influences of our destiny, — where no 
principle is outraged and where there is harmony in the characters of 
the individuals concerned. It seems to have been the plan of Divine 
Wisdom to supply aliment to our best impulses by this connection, at 
the same time that it provides for our happiness. How dark would be 
the gloom of this valley of tears, were it not brightened by the sympa- 
thies of kindred feeling, as well as kindred ties ! 

Your affectionate 

Moth eh. 

Mrs. Lijmnii to her son Edward. 

Northampton', February 12, 1839. 

I am thinking this is your birthday, and I would fain have eaten a 
plum pudding with you on the occasion, for it is the day of all others 
in which I may rejoice ; for you have been a continued cause of joy to 
me, and not of sorrow, unless when you were sick, and I was fearful 
your end was near. 

I have now been watching the newspapers for a fortnight that I 
might see the news of your arrival out, but as yet no such intelligence 
was to be found. . . . 

I think I mentioned in my last letter that Marshall Spring was 
almost gone with a fever. He was not living at that moment. Your 
uncle suffered much through his protracted illness, which was nearly 
six weeks ; he is dreadfully disappointed and afflicted in his death. 
But I feel that Marshall is now safe from the storms that await our 
earthly abode ; that he has gone where there is much mercy and care 
for childhood and youth, and where there is every provision for the 
improvement of the young, far better than any we can enjoy here ; and 
at the same time they are removed from all temptation. . . . 

Flattery is an incense to which all are vulnerable, of whatever sex or 


age ; and where there is an excess of it, it operates like a slow poison, 
drying up the fountain of all disinterested affections. . . . 

Your father is now making a visit in Boston, which, as he has little 
or nothing to do at home, is very good for him ; and so is it very good 
for me to stay quietly at home with Catherine, whom I should not like 
to have left alone. 

If. I had seen Mr. Savage, of Montreal, who was through here on his 
way to England, a week since, I should have given him some gold 
pieces I have, for you to lay out for Susan and Catherine. . . . 

I have just been reading Mr. Clay's powerful speech against aboli- 
tion, and hope it will reach and be read in England. It contains a 
great deal of information that they want and are destitute of. 

Mr. Stearns is soon to leave us, and I do not think we shall be likely 
to fill his place. I believe we are to have Dr. Follen. . . . 

Mr. Barnard is married, and is very happy. 

In the last letter, my mother speaks with praise of " Mr. Clay's power- 
ful speech against abolition." She was not an abolitionist. In all mat- 
ters of reform, and especially in that, my Aunt Howe was far ahead of 
her. But she never had any other thought than that slavery was wrong ; 
her only question was about the method of getting rid of it. Her 
association with Southerners had been with that higher class, whose 
characters and manners were after her own heart, — gentle and 
humane people, who were really beloved by their servants. She had 
wept with Hannah Drayton and Mary Wayne over the execution of a 
noble man, one of their favorite servants, who had led an insurrection 
in North Carolina; but, had she lived in the full vigor of her fine 
powers a few years later, she must have seen that the good slaveholder 
whom she so much admired was the worst enemy to the extinction of 
the accursed system. Her heart was large enough to feel for both 
oppressor and oppressed ; and, could she have known that the sorrows 
of both were ended, how deeply would she have rejoiced ! She never 


seemed to know any thing about prejudice towards color. In her 
childhood, Betsey Wallace, the last descendant of a slave family in 
Massachusetts, had been a faithful and attached domestic on Milton 
Hill, and she always spoke with warm emotion, of the delight she hail 
in creeping into Betsey's bed, and being hugged to her faithful bosom. 
Later, when Betsey married John Drew, another character in Milton, 
she delighted to visit them, and talk over the annals of Milton Hill, 
and hear their old stories. 

I recall a time in Northampton, when, after a long, hot summer had 
come and gone, with many visitors and abundant cares,- — the stage- 
coach stopped, and an ancient colored woman, very large and of no 
comely appearance, alighted at our door. " Perhaps," she said, as she 
advanced to the door, " you've heerd tell of Billah ? If not, Judge 
Lyman will know who I am." My father was absent ; but my mother 
had " heerd tell of Billah," and made her heartily welcome. In the 
old slave-days in Massachusetts, Billah, as a little girl, had been given 
to my Grandmother Lyman. But the days of emancipation for all had 
come before she grew up ; and she, being well fitted for a nurse, had 
lived a long and useful life, greatly esteemed and respected in her pro- 
fession. She was now past seventy years ; had thought she should like 
to see what sort of man the Joseph of her childhood had become, and 
so she came. My father came home next day, and they had great 
pleasure in talking over their early days. She remained three days, 
having one of the best chambers for her resting-place, and the seat of 
honor, next my mother, at the table. When she had gone, some one 
remarked, that, though they thought Billah was excellent company, 
they should think it would have done very well to put her in the kitchen 
at meal-time. My mother's answer was, as usual, simple and conclu- 
sive, " If you were a very old woman, and had taken a long journey to 
see the friends of your childhood in whom you felt an interest, how 
would you like it, when meal-time came, to be put into another room 
to eat, with people whom you did not come to see, and in whom you 
felt no interest ? " 


Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, February 27, 1839. 

We have just received your third letter, addressed to your father, 
and truly happy does it make us to hear from you. There is something 
in a perfect state of satisfaction, if it mice takes possession of us (and 
it must be transient), that excludes every thing else, every other feeling 
and every other interest ; indeed, it is as exclusive and as engrossing 
as the most profound grief. And, for the first few days after I heard 
from you, I was given up to this most joyous sentiment, this gladness 
of the heart ; and ] asked for no diversion from it. I felt liberated from 
a hard master, like one who had boon in bondage and is released. My 
oppressors were Fear and Anxiety; for there had been much said of 
the disasters on the English coast, — those which occurred before your 
arrival. And when I think of those which have occurred since, 1 
tremble to think what a narrow escape you have had. Your first letter 
was received by the "Great Western," instead of the unfortunate 
" Pennsylvania," three days subsequent to the second. This is the 
fifth letter I have written you, and I feel sorry that they had not come 
to hand before the " Liverpool " left. But such poor letters never get 
lost. 'Tis only such letters as Charles Sumner writes which get lost. 
By the way, he writes that he has had an interview with you. This I 
was pleased to hear. It must make you proud of your countrymen to 
encounter such men, and feel yourself identified with them in some 
measure. You might have told us who the two Bostonians were. 
Your letters were all directed as you desired, and sent to William C. 
Langley. In future, I shall number my letters so that you will know 
if you lose any. 

I believe my second letter told you of the death of Mrs. S. L. Hinck- 
ley, and my fourth of the death of Marshall Spring, and the birth of 
Mrs. Cleveland's daughter, and Mr. Barnard's marriage. The latter 
seems to have been the means of a great increase of happiness in Air. 
Barnard's house ; and I hear in various ways that there is great cheer- 


fulness and hilarity throughout the household since the coming of the 
Lady Eleanor. 

I had a letter from Joseph yesterday, in which he says he has given 
up having any thing to do with the railroad, and has arranged his 
affairs so that he can come here and pass next summer, which I shall 
enjoy very much ; for I have felt very much cut off from enjoying the 
presence of my children ever since I parted with my constant compan- 
ion, my dear Anne Jean. But when I am entirely solitary, she is the 
constant companion of my imagination ; and it daily moistens my eyes 
with tears when I think what she would say to the various things hap- 
pening around us. 

Susan has written to you before now, I presume, and told you of all 
the dissipation she has been engaged in during the winter. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, July 15, 1839. 

My pear Abbt, — I received your kind letter soon after I returned 
from Niagara, and should have answered it immediately, according to 
the promptings of my warmest wishes for you and yours. Three 
weeks since I was informed, as doubtless you were, of the birth of 
Charlotte's daughter ; within a day or two, Mr. Silsbee wrote to me to 
say that C. and the baby were doing well, and were coming here, and 
wanted me to get them a girl to take care of the baby. 

The reason I could not extend my journey to Cincinnati (which I most 
fervently desired) was, that my good Mrs. Carly was obliged to leave 
me before I could return, in order to accompany her children to a dis- 
tance. And I knew the difficulty the family would be involved in if 1 
did not return to their relief. I left Miss Stearns staying with Mr. 
Lyman and Catherine, and had engaged her to stay the ensuing year and 
direct the literary improvement of my girls. But her sister, at Wor- 


cester, was taken sick and required her assistance ; and my plan, that 
I was enjoying so much, was entirely frustrated ; for, she was exer- 
cising an admirable influence on Catherine's mind, which is a very 
good one, but one of late development. She really requires a new posi- 
tion to give a new impulse to her mind ; hut her father thinks her want 
of vigorous health is an objection to her leaving home, and there is no 
more to be said about it. S. and J. returned to us a month since. 
They were well, though a little delicate in appearance ; and S. is now 

absent with the Misses , and their father, on an excursion of 

pleasure. Mr. Harding's youngest daughter has been staying with us 
since Susan's return, — they were at school together in Boston, — and 
Margaret is a very remarkable girl for the maturity of her character, 
and is particularly congenial to S. They are both bent on self-im- 
provement. Mr. Harding is contemplating moving to Cincinnati, or 
somewhere West, if lie can sell his place in Springfield advantageously. 
He has got a pretty set ol girls. The two youngest are the finest ; 
but Miss C. is altogether the most attractive in company, and to stran- 
gers. I am charmed to hear of Mr. Perkins's success as a preacher ; 
and I am likewise glad you are so much satisfied with your own min- 
ister : and 1 hope you will like his wife as well. 

Mrs. Channing, senior, and her daughter are treasures in society any- 
where, and I hope they may remain in Cincinnati. Remember me to 
them very affectionately. 

. . . Perhaps you would like to know the plan of our tour. When 
we set out we were accompanied by Mr. Fisher, who was one of the 
best travelling companions I ever saw, for he is perfectly well ac- 
quainted with all the localities in the West, together with the history 
of the progress of the country, having lived west more than twenty 
years. We went immediately to Oswego from Albany, stopping how- 
ever in the beautiful town of Utica a day and a half, in order to visit 
Trenton Falls, which well rewarded us for our pains. We passed most 
of three days at Oswego very pleasantly, and then sailed up Lake Onta- 


rio, which took us twenty-four hours, to Lcwiston ; stopping however 
on the way at Rochester a couple of hours to see the falls on the Gen- 
esee River, and the beautiful surrounding country, and found our- 
selves at Niagara with no fatigue or disappointment, the day-week we 
left home, which was Tuesday. We remained there until Saturday 
afternoon, when we took the railroad to Buffalo ; for we wished to pass 
a few days with our friend Mrs. Allen (Sally Lyman that was), and 
our young friends Dr. Flint and his wife, who are pleasantly estab- 
lished in that beautiful town. We left there the day-fortnight that we 
had left home, being determined to linger on the way, as we passed 
Rochester, Canandaigua, Geneva, Auburn, Syracuse, and Salina. 
When we got to Albany (the following Saturday), we thought it right 
to go immediately to Catskill Mountain, and there pass Sunday and 
Monday ; which we did, and were all day Tuesday and Wednesday in 
returning to Northampton, after an absence of three weeks and one 
day. Thus I have given you the outline of our journey without the 
least hint of description ; for I presume you have seen and observed 
all the places for yourself. Nor have I given you the smallest idea of 
the multiplied emotions of joy and sorrow which alternately occupied 
me. For how could it be otherwise while passing over scenes so con- 
stantly connected in my mind with the descriptions given of them by 
my beloved child, now an inhabitant of celestial regions. 

If you have a letter from Anne Jean, giving you any account of her 
journey from Cincinnati five years since, do me the favor to have it 
copied and send it to me. She wrote me a very fine account of Niag- 
ara, and the whole of her journey as far as Utica, where they stopped ; 
but the letter was sent to my mother, and got lost, which I have much 

Give my love to your sisters, husband, and Catherine. 
Your very affectionate aunt, 

A. J. Lyman. 


Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes. 

Northampton, November 24, 1839. 

My dear Emma, — You will readily believe I have been very busy 
since your departure, as our principal domestic left the next day, and 
her substitute was not quite ready to fill her place ; so that S. and I 
have had our talents fully exercised ever since. But while we have 
labored we have employed a very good seamstress to ply the needle for 
us ; and I think I shall not be more indebted to time than usual when 
Thanksgiving Day arrives, — which is the day when all the family assem- 
ble here, and others that like to come in the evening. This is a sad 
anniversary to me, notwithstanding all this pressure of business and 
apparent satisfaction. It brings to mind not only the entire separation 
from one who seemed indispensable to my happiness, but makes me 
melancholy in the conviction that I can rarely expect to be with my 
sons ; and that, if they are not always wanderers, they rarely will be 
with me. 

I often felt the desire to speak of my dear absent child to you, but I 
knew it was wrong to inflict upon you the sensations which overwhelm 
me whenever I indulge myself to any extent in that way ; for I can 
never cease to think that I am under a severe punishment in having 
such a blessing withdrawn. I fully believe in the justice of such a dis- 
cipline, and in the Hand that has administered it. But the suffering is 
not the less acute for that conviction. My lot is a happy one, inasmuch 
as it constantly enforces the imperious claims of those around me for 
care and attention, which necessarily diverts my mind by keeping all 
my faculties in use, and generally under high pressure. And this 
is really all the submission I ever could practise, — the submission of 
inexorable necessity, to whose immutable decree there can be no oppo- 
sition and no antidote. I have every thing to remind me, and that 
constantly, of the existence that has been suspended here ; for every 
thing around me bears marks of that existence, and every thing and 


everybody here was in some way connected with the idea of my loved 
child. Time never can destroy these associations, though it diminishes 
their influence. 

Give my love to John ; tell him I think of making a visit exclusively 
to the twins and their parents, but I shall wait until they can enter- 
tain me with a little more talk than I can get from them at present. 

Dr. Jennison has been here, and made a visit ; he is a nice, sensible 
man, and quite improved in his ten years' absence. He thinks of 
establishing himself; and, I suspect, near Boston. He has been to 
Lenox. 1 hear Miss M. A. is engaged to the son of Sir James Mackin- 

Mrs. Rogers came down to see you the afternoon you left. Her 
children all continue quite sick with the cough, more particularly the 
youngest boy ; but it does not prevent her meeting her friends with her 
usual smile. 

Since you left, Susan has read aloud to me the first volume of 
Sparks's " Life of Washington," " Undine," — what nonsense ! — and 
stories connected with the times of Charles II., which are nearly as 
absurd as " Undine." In the intervals, Mr. Lyman pegs away upon 
Dwight's " Life of Thomas Jefferson," which, however, I am quite 
interested in, as it shows the history and origin of the Democratic 

Susan is now writing to Aunt K., though you would not think we 
were either of us in a very convenient position to collect our thoughts. 
But we do not wait for inspiration, — only for an opportunity, which 
we have just heard would leave early in the morning. 

Give my love to your mother and the girls. 

Yours very affectionately, 

A. J. Lyman. 


Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, February 10, 1840. 
My dear Edward, — How can I help sitting down to converse with 
you upon the recurrence of a day so eventful to my happiness as that 
of your birth ! We can look but a very little way into the destiny of 
man ; and yet there are some immutable truths connected with it 
which never fail, and which 1 have perfect faith in. I am sure that 
rectitude always gives power, and that that power consolidates and 
helps to maintain virtue, and that tin' uniform reward of active virtue 
is happiness, contentment, self-approbation. These are results from 
causes which I do feel sure of; they are within our own control. 
They may not protect us from sickness, misfortune, or death, hut will 
leave us exempted from self-reproach, and preserve within us that 
peace of mind which outward circumstances cannot impair. 

We have had an extremely cold winter, hut it is now mild and com- 
fortable. We have had two feet of snow on a level for the last eight 
weeks. But our house < thai part which we use) has been warm, and 
we have had nothing to complain of. Your father remains undisturbed 
and perfectly tranquil by the lire-side for the most part of the time. 
Susan divides the time between •• hooks and work and healthful play." 
Miss Bangs is now making her a visit, — a young lady whom she went 
to school with at Mr. Emerson's. She lives in Springfield ; and, 
though not at all handsome, is agreeable and intelligent, and we all 
like her much. Catherine is doing very well with Miss Stearns, and 
we have reason to think, from what Miss S. writes, that she is rapidly 
improving. I intend that sin; shall remain with Miss Stearns as long 
as she goes to any school ; for she is fond of Miss S. and her sister, 
and seems very happy with them. 

Before this time, you have received newspapers giving the dreadful 
account of the loss of the steamer " Lexington," with many valuable 


lives; amongst others Dr. Follen. This lias affected the universal 
sympathies of the community. 

Your affectionate 


Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, March 10, 1810. 

My dear Abbt, — 

We have this day had a letter from Edward, written the day follow- 
ing that in which he says his minority is at an end, and hereafter he is 
the only responsible person for his own debts, as well as actions. He 
says his birthday was distinguished as the wedding-day of Queen Vic- 
toria, and the pageantry attending the occasion was very amusing and 
agreeable to all in the neighborhood of it. I do not know what the 
poor youth is to do with himself, now that he is become his own mas- 
ter, for there never could be a worse time to commence business. But 
he does not take desponding views of life, and we ought not to. 

Joseph never got our letters, after he left Cincinnati, until he reached 
New Orleans, where he found a number- waiting his arrival, as well as 
friends glad to greet him. 

The H s and s I was sorry you could not have seen. She 

is decidedly superior to her sisters, though Mrs. is called a very 

fine character, and her influence in her own home was very remarkable. 
She is calculated to set a fine example where she lives, and make a 

charming wife for Mr. . I am always glad when I hear of a good 

young man that has a truly good wife. I should be delighted if J 

would unite himself to so fine a character, in regard to all practical 
qualities, — I mean ''when he has tired his wing/' and become 
stationary, — though I really believe his "locomotive" propensities 
have greatly contributed to confirm his health and make his constitu- 
tion what it is ; for, when he first grew up, he was of a most miserable 
structure, and there was no appearance that he ever would be a vigor- 


ous, manly fellow. He writes in fine spirits, and seems to have enjoyed 
his tour greatly; and, I have no doubt, has laid up a good stock of 
information in relation to the places be lias seen that will be advan- 
tageous to him in future. 

You say in your last that I said nothing about Charlotte's visit. If 
you had been here during the autumn, and seen the confusion that 
characterized every thing around me, you would not have wondered at 
any defects in my letters. We certainly had a very agreeable visit 
from Charlotte and Mr. Silsbee, and found them much improved by a 
year's experience in each other's society. I think Mr. S. improves on 
acquaintance very much. We should have been pleased to have had 
our people give Mr. S. a call to preach for us a year at least ; but 
they made no motion of that sort. We never have listened to any 
better preaching since we parted with Mr. Stearns, who was remark- 
able ; ami his wile, too, had proved herself a person of uncommon 
excellence. ... I forgot to tell yon that Charlotte has a nice little 
Silsbee-looking child : and she is a very devoted mother, and he is a 
most devoted father, as well as husband. I should like much to know 
how they got along while in Savannah, and if they mean to return this 
season. 1 presume you have heard. 

My Catherine is the happiest creature with Miss Stearns that ever 
was. and appears to be improving fast. I felt that change was essen- 
tial to her. She always has lived under such a sameness of circum- 
stances that there did not appear to be enough variety to operate 
on her nature, and develop what powers she possessed ; and I always 
have observed that change of position and change of teachers create 
a new impetus in the minds of young people ; at her age this is 
peculiarly desirable. She never lias paid much attention to music, for 
we have thought it might prove prejudicial to her health, as she has 
never been very vigorous. But she has a decided desire that way, 
and I think will, of her own accord, become a proficient to a limited 


Perhaps you have seen in the Boston papers that we have given Mr. 
J. S. Dwight, of Boston, a call to settle over our religious society. He 
is quite a good preacher, but under the censure of Transcendentalism, 
which, as I cannot find out exactly what it means, does not disturb me 
very much ; and Mr. Stearns said I was a good deal transcendental 
myself. That may account for my adaptation to him, or rather his 
to me. If people make the Scriptures their standard, as I understand 
it, and explain it accordingly, I shall not quarrel about the shades of 
difference that are only perceptible to critics. 

I believe is as much in the suds with his people as ever. 

Give my love to Mr. Greene and Katy and your sisters. 

Very affectionately yours. 

P. S. Your uncle is well. Both himself and S send a great 

deal of love. 


What is so excellent as strict relations of amity, when they spring from this deep root? 
The sufficient reply to the sceptic, who doubts the power ami the furniture of man, is in the 
possibility of that joyful intercourse with persons, which makes the faith and practice of 
all reasonable men. I know nothing which life has to offer so satisfying as the profound 
good understanding which can subsist, after much exchange of good offices, between two 
Tirtuous persons, each of whom is sure of himself and sure of his friend. — EmehsOn's 
Essay on " Ch. tract, i ." 

NOTHING could be more marked in my mother's character than 
the heartiness of her relations to all around her. As she moved 
about her house engaged in domestic avocations, or sat near the win- 
dow or front door with her work-basket, she made many sudden rushes 
to catch the eye or ear of some friend passing. The day did not have 
its fill for her, if she had not had her crack with Judge Huntington, 
her croon with Mrs. Whitmarsh, her hailing of Dr. Flint to inquire 
after some patient, or David Lee Child, to get some light on history or 
politics. Then she would subside into an absent day-dream, like her 
dear father before her ; smiles flitted over her fine face ; half-formed 
words rose to her lips; nods of welcome or recognition, in imagination, 
as she plied her needle busily, unconscious of any but invisible pres- 
ences. I never had known till I received the letter from my cousin, 
Bstes Howe, at the beginning of this volume, that our grandfather had 
this same trick of absent-mindedness, and always wondered where my 
mother and Aunt Howe got it. It was a very marked trait in both of 
them, but as different in its manifestations as their characters were 


My mother had a special delight in the society of Martha Cochran, 
one of those rare souls who impress a whole village with a sense of 
something heroic and unusual, both in the mind and character, — and 


" A creature not too bright or good, 
For human nature's daily food." 

One morning Martha passed the parlor window, and paused as usual 
for the neighborly chat. Great was her surprise and amusement to 
find that it was impossible to attract Mrs. Lyman's attention ; as, 
though she was sweeping as usual at that hour in the morning, her 
mind was far distant, and the illumination of her features and move- 
ment of her lips proved that she was in animated conversation with 
somebody. " It seems to me," said Martha, coming close to the win- 
dow, "that we are having very fine times with some one." " Oh. Mar- 
tha, is that you ? " said my mother, waking with a start from her 
day-dream. " Well, my dear, I went to Springfield yesterday, and 
passed the day with Betsey Howard ; and I do assure you, it is worth a 
guinea a minute to see Betsey." Judging from the recollections, of 
Mrs. Howard's daughters, the conversation of the friends was full of 
the heartiest pleasure ; although, as Sophia writes me, to try and re- 
port it, is like uncorking a second time the bottle of champagne, the 
day after the festival. 

At Deerfield lived old Dr. Willard, the blind clergyman, and his wife ; 
life-time friends of my mother, who had known them in Hingham in 
her youth. The fact that Dr. Willard was one of the few clergymen 
of the liberal faith who lived within twenty miles of Northampton, for 
many years before our Unitarian society was formed, often attracted 
my father and mother to Deerfield in the early days of their married 
life. Dr. Willard was a saintly man, who bore his life of privation and 
blindness with angelic patience, and he was always an honored guest 
at our house as long as he lived. At one time when he came to pass 
a week, my mother thought to add to the circle of his enjoyments by 


going with him to Springfield to attend a Unitarian convention, and 
pass two days with their common friend, Mrs. Howard. The visit was 
a charming one ; all combined to fill the heart of the blind man with 
pleasure. Especially the fresh voices of the little Howards charmed 
his ear, and brought visions of happy, affectionate childhood to his 
mental vision. Dr. Willard was slow in his movements, and when, the 
evening before his departure, he announced that he must start at an 
early hour next morning, in order to officiate al a christening in Deer- 
field, where he had promised to be present, the whole family felt that 
they must aid in speeding the parting guest. When the early break- 
fast was over, and his companion and the stage waiting, Dr. "Willard, 
moving very slowly, expressed in quaint and measured terms his grat- 
itude for the hospitality that had been shown him ; and then said to 
Mrs. Howard, "The tenure of life is short; before I go, I should like 
to kiss every one of your sweet girls." The girls all hung back, and 
looked as if about to take flight. Mrs. Howard was in despair, not 
wishing to check the old man's wishes in any way. But my mother 
was equal to the occasion ; seizing a hand of each reluctant child, she 
placed it in Dr. Willard's, then inserted her own cheek between him 
and the child, bobbing back and forth, ami saying eacli time, " This is 
Lucinda, Dr. Willard : this is Sophia : this is Elizabeth : this is Mary ; 
this is Sarah; and this is little Emily. Now you've kissed all the sweet 
girls, Dr. Willard : good-by." And she hustled him off, and returned 
to the house to find the whole family exploding witli laughter. 

My mother and Mrs. Howard were both second wives; and Sophia 
recalls a conversation between them, that amused her very much on this 
account. Mrs. Howard was relating to my mother the fact that some 
friend was about to marry his third wife, which she considered a great 
enormity. " Why, Betsey," said my mother soothingly, "if a man's 
house burns down, should he not build it up again ? It isn't in the 
nature of things for a man to live without a home." " Well, Mrs. Ly- 
man," said Mrs. Howard, " when a man's house has burned dow 7 n 


twice, I should say it was an indication of Providence that he had 
better give up, and go to board." 

Sophia Howard writes : " It would be impossible for any one to re- 
port the brilliant sparkling of the conversation of those two women. 
Young as we children were, we enjoyed listening to it beyond any 
thing, and could appreciate the wit and humor of it. Few ever felt 
your mother's tenderness and sympathy, as my mother and her chil- 
dren did. 1 well remember when I was but a little child, only nine 
years old, the interest she took in my having my eye operated on for 
strabismus. She told me in confidence, that, if I would have it done, 
I should make a visit to her, in Northampton. I think that first led 
me to be a thorn in my mother's side, till the operation was performed. 
I never shall forget that visit. I never enjoyed any thing so much in 
my life. C. was six or seven years older than I, which at that time 
seemed an immense difference, so that I was almost crazy with delight 
to be treated as a companion to her. I went to a sewing society, and 
I could not possibly have as much pleasure or pride now in being pre- 
sented at the Court of St. James, as I had then. One Sunday, just as 
we were getting ready for church, the fire-bells rang, and C. hinted to 
me privately that we would slip off to the fire, which we did instead of 
attending the sanctuary. Mr. Child was at your house to dinner, and I 
remember how crushed I was, when your mother satirically introduced 
us to him as the ' fire worshippers.' I had no idea that the stigma 
would not cling to me for life. That was the only reproof we received 
for what was then considered a most improper thing. Even in those 
days a good deal of the puritanical observance of Sunday was preserved : 
and, at that time, Mr. Rufus Ellis was preaching as a candidate at N., 
and it was thought even the youngest ought to rejoice in such preach- 

I remember one fine, clear, winter day, when I had been out with 
my mother to make some visits. Many of our neighbors had flitted to 
Boston for a few weeks to enjoy lectures and concerts and other city 


diversions. Among these, Martha Cochran had been absent some 
weeks, and was not expected home for another month, we had been 
told. Returning from our outing, on opening the parlor-door a sin- 
gular sight met our astonished eyes. Every article of furniture had 
been transformed by some new and grotesque combination, and the 
hearth brush, arrayed in Mrs. Lyman's best cap and shawl, was seated 
in a rocking-chair on top of the piano, assiduously darning a stocking. 
One glance round the room was enough for my mother, and then she 
fell all in a heap into a chair, unable to speak for some moments for 
laughing. " Martha Cochran," she gasped at last, swaying to and fro ; 
" do n't tell me she hasn't gut borne from Boston, for I know better. 
This is her card." And. sure enough, this was the case. 

She was a great believer in the sewing circle, which met from house 
to house, to sew for the pour, ami which accomplished a great deal in 
the winter time. Our sewing circle had been gathered and inspired by 
our dear Mrs. Hall, our first minister's wife, whose name and memory 
were especially dear to our church, long after she had left us. Twenty 
years after she had gone, during a period of discouragement there was 
talk of disbanding the sewing society, when my mother rose in the 
meeting, and with a voice full of tenderness, and eyes that shone 
through tears, she said only, " My friends, this sewing society was 
formed by Mrs. Hall ! " It was enough ; nobody thought of giving it 
up after that. 

" Do n't tell me any thing about gossip," she would say, when people 
complained of sewing circles, as the places for it. " Scandal is a 
dreadful thing, but gossip is as necessary as the air we breathe ; the 
world could not get on without it a minute. I went to the sewing 
society the other day. There sat in the corner Mrs. S. and Mrs. C. 
It did not seem to me they said a great deal ; it all amounted to noth- 
ing. But Mrs. S. told Mrs. C. what a dreadful smoky chimney she 
had, and how her eyes were almost out of her head in consequence, 
and she could not work any button-holes. Mrs. W., overhearing the 


conversation, here came in with a recipe for the smoking chimney, and 
also took home the button-holes to finish. Mrs. B. told Mrs. A., that 
she expected friends from Boston next week, and Sally Ann, her niaid- 
of-all-works, too feeble for any thing, and she all tired out herself. 
Mrs. A. crosses the room and repeats it all to Mrs. L. Mrs. L. at once 
proposes that her Betsey should go to Mrs. B.'s for the month she will 
be absent at Saratoga ; and so that difficulty was cleared up. And," 
said my mother, " that is what half the gossip at the sewing circle 
amounts to ; and I think it amounts to bringing about as many good 
results as some other things." When she herself appeared, a bevy of 
young girls were excited to mirthfulness. There was one old lady, of 
very quaint manners and speech, whom the young people liked to have 
drawn out, and nobody could do it but Mrs. Lyman. " Oh, there 
she comes," they would say ; " do let us get her into that corner, 
where Mrs. A. sits, and then won't there be fun? " And fun there was ! 
No one who heard, will ever forget those talks. 

The amount of plain speaking that people will bear from one whose 
good will is perfect is always an amazement to those accustomed to 
circumlocution. I recall the things I have heard my mother say to 
others, which at the time astonished me from their directness, and yet 
I know they rarely gave offence ; for the persons thus addressed refer 
to them now with an amount of pleasure and gratitude, that is unmis- 
takable. " I came to her one day," said a friend, " with a list of 
troubles and grievances, for which I wanted her sympathy. She heard 
me very patiently, but when I was all through, she only said, with in- 
tensity, ' Oh, Mrs. P., gild your lot with contentment ! ' I saw that was 
all she had to say, so I went home ; but you may depend, I did not for- 
get it." " M. can you tell me what is the reason," she said one day to 
a young girl, " that when your family are in a peek of trouble, that 
always appears to be the signal for you to abdicate ? Oh, don't do it, 
child, pray do n't ! The next time the family coach gets into a rut, you 
take right hold, and see if you can't move it, if it's only an inch." 


"Abdication " had a peculiar meaning on her lips, and was one of her 
seven deadly sins, as " nerves " were another. She had little patience 
with people who backed down in emergencies, and considered it her 
bounden duty to bear her testimony, and stiffen them up a little. She 
never had to go far to find an illustration " to point her moral and adorn 
her tale.'' Some good neighbor's example would instantly come to mind. 
" Look over the way at my neighbor Hunt's front yard,'" she would say ; 
" sec that splendid hydrangea, that elegant smoke-bush, that buckthorn 
hedge, all in the most perfect order, and all kept so by her own hands. 
Always she has sickness, sorrow, death : at every turn, something sad 
and unexpected. But who ever dreamed of Mrs. Hunt's abdicating .' 
She could n't do it.'' 

She went to see a young and worrying mother one day, whose 
health was delicate. " Oh, A., now you really think, my dear, that 
you've got to the ' swellings of Jordan ; ' but you are greatly mistaken. 
Mrs. Cephas Clapp got there years ago, but she wouldn't stay. 
Never's had a well day these twenty years and more ; but has just kept 
round and done what she could, and kept her family a-going. Never 
once thought of abdicating, though I can't see why she didn't. Now 
tell me, is there really any way you can spend your youth and middle 
life, that pays half so well as bearing and rearing children 

And yet, though she would sometimes give strength, where sympathy 
was wanted, — it was only where her clear moral insight told her that 
this was best, and not from any lack of sympathy. No need for her to 
sing as she did every Sunday night, 

" Oh. give me tears for other's woes," 
for her eyes were always rivers of tears, when the real sorrow of any 
one was called to her notice: and at the same time that she could 
exhort a young mother not to believe that she had reached " the swell- 
ings of Jordan," she would send her carriage to take her out for an 
afternoon's drive, and bring home the children to entertain while she 
had gone. 


A case of seduction occurred in our village, and though the parties 
were afterwards married, and led an irreproachable life together, yet 
the wife always seemed under a cloud, — a patient, but very sad woman. 
My mother visited her frequently, and often took me, with a basket of 
flowers or fruit, when she went. I used to wonder how any one who 
had such a pretty baby could be so sad. I recall my mother's taking 
the child on her lap, and saying, "Why, Z., what a splendid head this 
child has'." and then she enumerated his phrenological develop- 
ments, and prophesied his future. No smile on the face of baby's 
mother ! " See here. Z." said she, " this child may grow up to be an 
honor and a blessing to the community ; but not unless you do your 
whole duty by him ; and you can't do your whole duty, if you keep in 
this low-spirited frame of mind." The beautiful boy died at four years ; 
and by the coffin, with the poor mother's hand in hers, no one wept 
more bitterly than she did. 

She was called in by a young friend one day, to look at her elegant 
wedding trousseau. When all had been shown, she turned to B. and 
said, " Well, B., whatever else you do, don't turn into a clothes-horse, 
my dear. Don't you know, if it was to purchase your salvation, you 
could not wear more than one of those gowns at a time ? " 

To another, she said, "Oh, I see what you are after. Creature com- 
forts ! those are what engage your attention. Oh, how you do hate to 
eat ' humble pie ; ' but it's good for you, — you'll tell me so some day." 

" C.,you think it does not comport with your dignity, to take such a 
step ! Well, your dignity is n't worth two pins, if you have got to spend 
your life taking care of it, and nursing it up. If it can't take care of 
itself, it may as well die a natural death." 

She was a woman of convictions, and this made her act with a deci- 
sion and certainty that could not be expected always to fall in with 
the equally cherished views of others. One day she had had a little 
breeze with Judge Huntington. She had been warm and unreasona- 
ble, and that had perhaps made him cold and hard. Next day she was 


sitting by the door sewing, while I read aloud to her, — when Judge H.'s 
little boy came up the step and handed her a small basket covered with 
green leaves. On opening it, we found it contained several small green 
melons with rough rinds"; and underneath was an envelope containing 
a beautiful little poem. 1 have looked in vain among her papers for 
the verses, which she kept long and carefully ; but they have disap- 
peared. If 1 remember rightly, in the first verse he described the little 
melon, so hard and green and rough outside, so luscious within. Then 
he begged his old friend to take the trouble to pierce that hard outside, 
and find the imprisoned sweetness. And. in his hist verse, be asked 
her to take tin; same pains to get at a heart that had nothing in if but 
grateful affection for her, however appearances might seem to the eon. 
trary. Her eves filled with tears as she read the verses, but she said 
nothing. She slowly took out the In lie melons and laid them in a dish, 
then went to the closi t and brought fruit-knives and plates for me and 
for herself. "The melon, are g 1."' she said, reflectively, as she fin- 
ished eating them; "but the man's heart who sent these melons is 
good as gold I " 

She had a whole world of pathos and tenderness in her composition, 
which the casual visitor knew nothing of. Usually strong, brave, 
cheerful, and full of life, one could hardly imagine, who did not know 
her well, how gentle and tender became the tones of her voice when 
deeply moved. And. oh. the warmth of those enfolding arms, the cor- 
diality of her welcome to any friend from whom she had been parted ! 
And. if in conversation with others she heard any discussion of char- 
acter that dwelt on externals, and did not enter into the heights and 
depths of the being, she became either indignant or pathetic in her 
defence of the absent one. and sometimes both. I recall a time when 
a knot of young girls were talking of an unfashionable bonnet, worn 
by a woman of genius. My mother had a great love and admiration 
for the friend in question; she knew also that a rigid economy, grow- 
ing out of the highest philanthropy, and no want of taste, was the 


cause of the objectionable bonnet ; and she was sorely tried by the 
playful, but not ill-natured, raillery. Corning near to the group of 
young people, with a book in her hand and with tears filling her eyes, 
she read, with much emotion, a fine passage from " Philothea." Every 
face was turned to hers with sympathetic emotion. " Girls," she said, 
when she had finished, " never again speak of what that woman wears 
on the outside of her head ; think only of what she carries in the 

I think nothing was quite unbearable to her in character but the 
spirit of the cynic. To that she gave no quarter. It seemed to her 
to cover the earth with a pall, and shut out heaven ; it was a real 
pestilence, and must be avoided as such ; and, in selecting homes and 
resting-places and influences for her children, or the young people 
under her charge, she was more careful to avoid that evil than she was 
to guard them against any other mischance. 

She was a genuine optimist in regard to all children. A firm 
believer in the effects of race, blood, and family inheritance, no modern 
reader of Darwin or Wallace had a stronger faith in reproduction of 
types and alternate generation than she had ; and a large charity, grow- 
ing out of her generous philosophy of life, surrounded all the young 
with whom she came in contact, with hopes rather than fears. " I am 
sure those children will grow up good," she said one day of some very 
troublesome little folks, " because their father and mother are the very 
salt of the earth, their grandparents are excellent, and all their uncles 
and aunts were superior." " Well, but, Mrs. Lyman," said her hearer, 

" you were just as sure the children would turn out well, and 

they did not have good parents or good grandparents." " Oh, well, 
my dear, when you've lived as long as, I have, you will see that bad 
parents and grandparents are very apt to serve as a warning to children. 
And, then, who knows but they take after some good ancestor farther 
back ? For, it is simply impossible that any family should be without 
good ancestors as well as bad ones, if they can only go back far 



enough.'" And when it was reported to her that one of these families, 
of whom she 1 ad expected the best things, had actually grown up very 
dull people, she said : " Now, if you had known the folks they came 
from, you would never he discouraged. Those are people of very late 
development. None of them ever come to any thing till they are 
past thirty ; and then they loom up splendidly, and carry all before 

And was there no offset to her life of hospitality, her generous giving, 
her devotion to large and universal interests? Yes, there was; and 
we shall all be apt to judge (if it according to each one's natural tempera- 
ment and proclivity. It is scarcely possible to be both large and small 
at the same time: to give one's mind to details at the same time that 
one compasses principles. In a few well-ordered and harmonious lives, 
nothing seems loo great, nothing seems too small, for doing earnestly 
ami well. And in all family life, a certain attention to detail is impor- 
tant, to insure that perfect working of the whole machinery that makes 
it move with ease and grace. My mother's life seemed made up of 
emergency and opportunity, and her immense physical strength en- 
abled her to meet both, and to be equal to them ; to carry by main force 
what woidd have been better accomplished by system and order. 
But she never considered herself a tine housekeeper, and for the most 
exquisite housekeeping she had no respect, considering that too much 
was sacrificed to it. She had, however, a thorough appreciation for a 
style of housekeeping greatly superior to her own ; but not being able 
to accomplish it, along with the other purposes of her existence, she 
did not allow herself to be made unhappy by it. It would not be well 
for all families to live the life of free and unrestricted hospitality that 
ours did ; but. if there were one such family life in every village, any 
dereliction in the details of that life might well be forgiven, for the 
large-hearted influence it must necessarily exert. 

My mother was frequently behind-hand in her household arrange- 
ments ; and it recalls to me now the simplicity of forty years ago, that 


her mistakes were so frequently rectified by kind neighbors and friends. 
Now, when guests arrive suddenly and unexpectedly, — if they ever do 
such things now-a-days, — the family, larder can easily be replenished 
from provision-stores and restaurants; but in her day that was no1 
possible. If a person had neglected to take a large amount of provision 
from the butcher's cart in his morning rounds, or to make up a large 
oven full of various breads and cakes and pies, there was no way later 
in the day to supply the deficiency. — money could not lo it, but love 
could and did, very often. That state of society brought about a very 
frequent interchange of kindly offices in a neighborhood, such as are no 
longer needed, when a family have only to telegraph to Boston to have 
their evening's material entertainment sent up in four hours. 

One clay, my father brought home Judge Shaw at twelve o'clock, 
with some ladies, to dine ; our dinner hour being one o'clock. My 
mother hastened out of the parlor after cordially receiving her guests, 
to see what addition could be made to her every-day dinner. A half 
hour later, my brother Sam's little boy came bearing a large, covered 
kettle of mock-turtle soup, which his mother had sent, having heard 
accidentally of the unexpected company. Now, our sister Almira 
was one of the most beautiful of housekeepers ; one of those persons 
who bring about wonderful results without the least fuss or noise, who 
was always ready for every occasion, whose recipes always came out 
well, and who, to use my mother's expression, " knew every rope in 
the ship." So that the sight of a kettle of sister A.'s soup raised her 
enthusiasm to the highest pitch on this occasion, when she felt her own 
delinquencies severely. " Don't tell me," said she, as she ladled up 
the thick and steaming liquid, with the golden balls floating in it, into 
a large tureen , " do n't tell me that the Chief Justice ever ate any 
such soup as this in Boston. Because I know better ! There's nobody 
but your sister Almira that can make it ! *' In the same manner, she 
was one day relieved of another dilemma. There were, certainly, the 
kindest people in Northampton, then, that ever lived ! It had been one 


of the hottest of summer days, and a tea-party of distinguished stran- 
gers was expected in the evening, but there was such a succession of 
transient calls of various importance on every member of the family, that 
the evening drew on, and our preparations for the supper were most in- 
complete. The dear woman encouraged us all, that we should see that 
every thing would come out right, if we had only faith as a grain of 
mustard seed ; and she had hardly said the word, when, looking from 
the window, one friend after another walked in. " Did n't I tell you, 
girls ? " called out my mother triumphantly. " Now, see here ; here is 
Mrs. Whitmarsh has sent me an elegant basket of fruit and flowers; 
and Mrs. Dikeman such rusk as nobody can make but she ; and, as 
true as you live, if there is n't Mrs. Hunt bringing over a great basket 
of Seckel pears! Now, don't tell me that they ever have any better 
things at the Boston parties ! " She frequently informed us that she 
did not think the Chief Justice or Judge Wilde ever tasted any such 
dinners or had such suppers at Mr. David Sears's house, or Harrison 
Gray Otis's ; and we were not to tell her they had. This we considered 
a pleasing fiction, — only another way of expressing her pleasure at our 
efforts, and the kindness of neighbors. It was a part of that healthy 
delight she took in every thing. On the occasion in question, she 
called out jovially, " And now, girls, let us all go to i?«7-fordshire 
[that meant we were all to lie down and rest], for we shall sail before 
the wind." And, suiting the action to the word, she disappeared within 
the library door with the motion of a ship with all sails set. 

One clay, a friend came in, who had just come from a visit to Mrs. 

, who was one of the " exquisite housekeepers." She began to 

tell my mother about the perfect condition of that house from garret 
to cellar, and rang the changes on the brightness of the brasses, the 
admirable shine of the glass and silver, the entire absence of dust on 
every carpet. My mother stood it just as long as she could, though 
fidgeting uneasily in her chair. Then she exclaimed, " I think Mrs. 
is the dirtiest person I ever saw in my life ! " " Oh, Mrs. Lyman, 


what can you mean ? ' said the friend. " What I say is true," said 
my mother, bringing down her hand with much force on the table. 
" From the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same, that 
woman's mind is on dirt ! She thinks dirt, sees dirt, is fighting dirt, 
the livelong day. Now I would much rather see more of it on her 
carpet, and less of it on her mind." 

I recall as one of the special social enjoyments of my father and 
mother, the coming of Baron Rceiine" (the Prussian Minister of Foreign 
affairs) to Northampton, who passed the greater part of two years 
there, from 1838 to 1840. He was a person of most genial temper 
and charming conversational powers, and was warmly attached to my 
father. In a letter of his that lies beside me, written three years later 
to my father, he says : " My dear Judge, there will be no more war ! " 
His hope must have given him that certainty, and added to my father's 


Mrs. Lyman to Miss C. Robbing. 

Northampton, July 20, 1840. 

MY dear Catherine, — . . . Only think how dreadful it is ! 
We attended the funeral of Mrs. James Fowler last Saturday ; 
a more touching grief 1 never witnessed than her husband and children 
manifested. She had had two attacks before the last, and seemed to 
be expecting that a third would take her off. Her husband had just 
got for her a beautiful easy carriage and fine pair of horses ; and the 
day before the attack rode forty miles with her ; and she said she felt 
so well that day, that she was encouraged to believe she should recover. 
She was holding a most animated discussion with Samuel in the even- 
ing, just after tea, on a metaphysical subject, which had interested his 
mind deeply ; and her part in it he is able to write down, together with 
many excellent opinions she entertained on various subjects which he 
was in the habit of conversing with her upon. She was speechless 
from the time of the attack ; but when asked if she heard them, and 
realized what was going on, she moved her head in assent, to signify 
that she did ; and lived in that state five days. The two young chil- 
dren are beautiful specimens of a fine education. They are unlike S. 
in being graceful and handsome. A poor little dwarf of Dr. Atwater's, 
whom she had taken great interest in always, and supported entirely, 
she had taken home the last year of her life ; and, whenever she was 
more unwell than common, she commended him to the watchful care 


and tenderness of the different members of the family, though at 
times she never mentioned her own children. She had never 
to reflect that lie was no decoration to their beautiful establishment, 
but was always saying how good he was, and how useful his example 
was to her children. There certainly is something in this character 
which transcends all written accounts of human nature. An nit ire 
subjugation of self, and of all pride and ambition, to the interests of 
the unfortunate. What a triumph over the world, its allurements and 
temptations, was here exhibited ! Hers was a piety acted out, and 
talked but little about. Her husband seemed to consider her as his 
privy counsellor, whose judgment he could not live without, as well as 
the best object of his affections. There certainly is none other on 
earth to fill her place to him. Mr. Lyman says I said the same about 
Mrs. Hall. My life consists of contrasts, you know. 

Yesterday morning, Mr. Lyman informed me that he had invited 
Judge Betts and wife and daughters to pass the evening, together with 
Judge Dewey and family and the necessary appendages, and the Henry 
Rice family, and the Redwood Fisher family ; they made a party of 
over fifty, that were entertained here last evening. All but me ap- 
peared to have a very entertaining and agreeable time ; and I was 
tired to death before they came. Mrs. Watson and her cousins, Judge 
Mellen's daughters, were of the party. Mrs. Watson is very much 
liked here, and likes living here better than in Cambridge, as do her 

I was sorry I could not write to Mrs. Revere by Mr. Lincoln and 
D — — ; but Mrs. E. Williams was making me a visit with Mrs. 
Brinley's niece, — Miss E. Sumner, — and in the morning I had a 
good deal to do to get away and get all my company off. Catherine L. 
is decidedly in a train of improvement, and her father is realizing that 
he has got his money's worth. 


Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, December 12, 1840. 

My dear Edward, — As it is now nearly time for another packet to 
sail, I shall put myself in readiness to answer your requisitions. You 
cannot conceive with what pleasure we received your letter, in five 
weeks from the time you sailed. I shall never cease to think it the 
occasion of the greatest gratitude whenever a dear friend has achieved 
sailing across the Atlantic in safety ; but my last letter told you all 
about that. 

We got through Thanksgiving as usual, — after a great struggle on my 
part, — with fifteen at table, who seemed to enjoy themselves highly, — 
if I did not. I am sure, however, that I have much to rejoice in. My 
children are all good and doing well, and I have an unusual portion of 
health, as well as your father, and an unusual exemption from im- 
mediate sorrow. But the reflections connected with the past must 
always make these annual festivals, to people who are as far advanced 
as I am, to lie days of sad retrospection. They are way-marks in the 
journey of life, and are calculated to make deep impressions, as well 
as to renew old ones. Though the seat of the much-loved be vacant, 
and this world contain them no longer, — when the family-circle are 
gathered, is not the place in our hearts filled? — is not the image 
there, distinct, clear, undimmed by time? — do we not recall the spirit 
in all its purity, with the excellence of their characters, the beauty of 
their example, with all the gladness we had in their presence ? If 
it serve no other end than this, we ought to rejoice ; it connects 
us more closely to the good who are endued with Christian faith and 
Christian hope. And we must not repine that it calls up the shadows 
of the past, if at the same time it speaks to us of other and brighter 
days. If the heart yearns for its departed treasures, let it rejoice that 
it was rich in offerings to a Heavenly Father. 

Since Thanksgiving was over, we have had a large party at Mrs. 


Hunt's, a sewing-society meeting at Mr. Church's, and another party in 
the Meadow, at Mr. Harrison Apthorp's. All of them delightful occa- 
sions, with much merriment and innocent hilarity. . . . 

We have heard of Bonnet's leaving India for home, but he has not 
arrived yet. Your father has been reading the trial of the D'Hauteville 
case all clay to me. The child is awarded to the mother for safe- 
keeping ; and, though I do not deem it just, I cannot but be glad of it : 
it would make the poor mother so unhappy to part with it. But it is, 
on the whole, a miserable commentary on the morals and manners of 
well-educated people in this country. The reason why Mrs. D'Haute- 
ville could not live with her husband was the same reason why she 
ought not to have married him ; which was, that he was a Swiss 
gentleman who had nothing in common with her, not even a common 
vehicle of thought ; for he could speak her language no better than she 
could his. They had no common standard of morality, manners, or 
religion ; which left an impassable gulf between them. This, however, 
does not invalidate the vows pledged at the altar, when, by holy cove- 
nant, she takes him " for better or for worse, for sickness or for health." 
Young people ought to be enough acquainted to know if they can 
harmonize before the knot is tied ; and before it is tied, it is never too 
late to dissolve the connection. But afterwards she should consider 
herself as having taken the veil, and that there is no resisting the 
destiny which follows, — particularly where they have a common prop- 
erty in a child. In separating herself from him this lady consigns 
him to perpetual celibacy ; for, as there cannot be a divorce, he cannot 
marry again, any more than she can. The child, too, is rendered 
fatherless ; the father at the same time being despoiled of the best of 
earthly treasures — a son. 

I suppose Susan has written to you an account of the rejoicing at 
Thanksgiving time they had at Aunt Revere's. Catherine went down 
from Worcester and joined them. Your Aunt Eliza has engaged in 
her usual pursuits in New York, and is in her usual health. 

Your affectionate Mother. 


Mrs. Lyman to 3Jiss C. Robbins. 

Northampton, December 13, 1840. 

My dear Sister, — Soon after you left, I devoted myself to assisting 
Sarah to give the house an autumnal cleaning preparatory to winter, 
and moved into the stove parlor.- That was no sooner done than the 
preparations for Thanksgiving commenced, and there was no more 
peace for me until that was over. I have a fellow-feeling for Mary ; 
not that I think it as much for her to have thirty as it is for me to have 
fifteen, with no one to do a thing except as I move them and teach 
them ; nobody to make a single pie, pudding, custard, or blanc-mange, 
a gravy or cranberry sauce, but myself. Every time I do it I think 
shall be the last, unless I can have somebody that knows something, 
for help. I ought to mention, however, that Sarah has proved an angel 
in the absence of Nancy, — does all her work ten times better than 
she ever did it, and with the greatest cheerfulness. But I do suffer for 
Nancy when there is any company to be waited on. I expect a girl in 
from Cummington, fifteen years old, as soon as her mother recovers 
from a fever which has delayed her the last fortnight. She is a girl of 
very respectable connections, and character, and education. 

Mr. Lyman has interested himself to read the whole of the D'Haute- 
ville trial aloud to me, I cannot say entirely to my amusement. For I 
cannot help feeling a good deal of indignation and sorrow, that such a 
commentary upon the morals and manners of our best-educated people 
in this country should be published to the world, and made known to 
European countries, as well as this. The same reason why Miss S. 
should not live with M. D'H. is the reason why she should not have 
pledged her vows at the altar; and why her parents in her sickly state 
of feeling should not have allowed her to. And it is to their everlast- 
ing disgrace that they did it, under the circumstances disclosed in that 

Mr. Church says the Swiss carry on the affairs of marriage as Menzel 


describes the Germans to have done ; with a sort of religious sentimen- 
tality, " a business with a demure aspect, or even as a religious affair, 
with pious devotion." And according to the custom of his country, it 
was right for him to teach his wife her duty from the Scriptures, as 
the 's complain that he did. If he and his parents were so tyran- 
nical as not to allow her to ride away from home with her mother, the 
first days after marriage, it was because there are forms to be observed 
by the nobility of the country, which cannot be dispensed with ; such 
as the necessity of the bride remaining at home to receive the friends 
of the family during the first few weeks. Mr. Church says that the 
family are amongst the first nobility of the country, and the reason they 
have not a title is that when Switzerland became a republic all the 
nobility laid down their titles, or went into Germany to retain them ; 
that though there are no titles, there are still all the forms of nobility 
left. I consider him good authority, because he lived in the neighbor- 
hood of these people twenty years, and has passed some weeks in the 

chateau , and is personally acquainted with all their affairs ; and he 

represents them as the most stiff and puritanical religionists, — although 
good people of their kind, — such as none of us would care to unite our 

interests with. And the S s were senseless creatures to have any 

thing to do with them ; they deserve all the punishment they will have 
for their folly, without much sympathy. 

Now, instead of talking about this nonsense, I ought to tell you that 
since Thanksgiving we have had a good deal of dissipation. Mr. 
Rogers has not got home, but Mrs. Rogers has been out to several par- 
ties, looking beautiful, and everybody feels sorry to part with such an 
exquisite ornament to our circle. I can truly say I am, for one ; and 
she seems very much saddened by the prospect. There are, she says, 
no schools for the children short of two miles, and they will not be in 
circumstances to have a private teacher. I do not wonder she feels 
these disadvantages. 

Our New York paper informed us as soon as Bennet's vessel hove in 


sight. I felt it to be a great relief after that dreadful storm on our 
coast. C. T. represents that he has made mints of money, and 1 hope 
it is true. The scatterers of money do a great deal of good somewhere ; 
I am sure I should if I had any to scatter. 

In this year Mr. John S. Dwight came to Northampton to preach, 
and he remained there eighteen months. A short ministry, but one 
that sowed good seed that has sprung up in many hearts, and borne 
fruit, even to this day. My mother thought the church was not his 
place, and she was right. She would not have had him settled, but 
she was much distressed at the unsettling of one for whom she had a 
profound regard. We cannot expect the old or the middle-aged to 
enjoy seeing their portrait of Christ in any other frame than the one 
they have always seen it in. The power of association is strong, and 
cannot but hold a sway over us. To the young, Mr. Dwight's ministry 
was of incalculable benefit. He unsealed their eyes to behold and 
realize the beauties of Nature all around them, — a vast possession for 
every soul, of which they now felt they had before been strangely igno- 
rant. He opened to them the whole world of music, a nameless treas- 
ure. He brought us books of a new type, and revealed to us, that not 
Sunday only, but every day, was " a day of the Lord ; " no duty so 
mean, no lot so poor and tame and commonplace, that it might not be 
glorified by obedience and love. 

How my mother enjoyed the books he brought, and what a treat it 
was to read aloud to her", De Wette's "Ethics," " Theodore," Jouffroi 
and Benjamin Constant! I can see her now as she would lean forward 
and say, " Oh, read that again ; " and her delight at certain passages 
in Fichte's " Nature of the Scholar " have impressed them on my mind 


Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, December 29, 1810. 
My dear Edward, — I am afraid you will be tired of hearing from 
us, and that I shall have a letter, saying, " Do not write, except by 
every alternate packet." I was truly glad to get your letter by the 
" Acadia." If I had known that Mr. Nevins was going, I should have 
sent some pictures of American scenery to you by him, as well as let- 
ters ; but it was kept a profound secret from me. It is very grateful 
to me to hear that you are well, and particularly to know that you are 
out of mischief, which, of course, I am very much afraid of. I do not 
feel so badly to hear of you crowded with business as some might ; for 
you know it is my doctrine that occupation is the true secret of human 
happiness. The grand problem of life with every one is " how to be rec- 
onciled to the restlessness of our nature, or how to get rid of it." We 
must not divest ourselves of it, but employ it. " In the sweat of thy 
brow thou shalt eat bread " was the decree which went forth from our 
Heavenly Father at the commencement of the existence of man. It 
is a common idea, I know, that leisure and repose bring pleasure. A 
very little experience shows how untrue is the fact. We all require an 
object, a motive, something to exercise continually the restless activity 
within us ; and I believe those the happiest on earth who are under a 
pressure of business, who have a definite duty to perform. He who 
has nothing to do is under a leaden load of idleness. When was a 
man of leisure ever happy, until he had coined all his leisure into good 
works ? " Rest ! there is no such thing as rest. One may throw away 
care, and fold his arms. But time will not rest ; the earth will not 
rest ; the Almighty will not rest. If all things around us are in mo- 
tion, what boots it for us to keep still ? It were truer rest for us to 
move in harmony with all that surrounds us." The last seven lines 
was what I can remember from a sermon preached by Mr. Dwight this 
morning. I am afraid you are not so privileged with preaching in 


England, and that those golden intervals of time, the Sabbath, so 
precious and so profitable, both for rest and holy meditation, are not so 
well appropriated as with us. 

Your letter said not a word about an heiress to the throne. The 
newspapers, however, are prolific on that subject. 

I suppose my last told you of various parties we have had. Last night 
we had a small one here, for a runaway couple from New Haven, and 
President Allen's family ; and for a new family of Robinsons from New 
Haven, who are related to your father, — and they appear to be good 
and interesting people, from the little I have seen of them. President 
Allen's eldest daughter — a very uncommonly interesting and accom- 
plished and well-looking girl — has her lover, Mr. Smith, visiting her 
from Maine. He was the distinguishing ornament of our party. He 
has just returned from a two years' sojourn in Germany, and is now 
professor at Bowdoin College, Maine, and the acting-president of the 
institution. He reminded me so much of Charles Emerson that I 
wanted to hear him talk all the time, and thought I would have given 
any thing to have had Joseph by to enjoy him as I did. This evening 
we are to have a party at Mr. Charles P. Huntington's ; after that at 
Mr. Clark's and Mrs. Cochran's. Last week we were at Miss Pome- 
roy's. So you see we continue our social habits. 

Mrs. Lyman to 3Iiss C. Bobbins. 

Northampton, February 27, 1841. 
My dear Catherine, — Mr. G. C. has furnished me with an op- 
portunity for writing to Cambridge, which I was not expecting, but am 
very glad to have. 

I have passed a very tranquil winter ; have found sufficient opportu- 
nities for society, as well as sufficient time for reflection and some read- 
ing, and plenty of occupation of a domestic kind. 

Catherine's visit, with Fanny Lyman's, broke in very agreeably upon 


the monotony of existence, and rather hurried me, while she was here, 
in the preparations for her return. I see by her letters that she is 
rather disturbed by an invitation to the 4th of March ball, which she 
will not be permitted to accept, and it is altogether best she should not. 
I have hardly had sight of Mr. Dwight since his return. Last Sun- 
day afternoon he requested the Sunday-school teachers to remain after 
meeting ; and I, being one, stopped with the others, when he took occa- 
sion to speak of the importance of having a class of teachers taught 
by some one, and I proposed that he should teach that class himself. 
He said that he would try to ; but that " he had never paid much atten- 
tion to the study of theology." Now, what do you think of such a 
declaration as that from your minister ? He never preached better (I 
mean more practically) in his life than he had done all day, from the 
text, " If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light ; " 
and no one could better set forth the beauty of perfect simplicity than 
he did, or the deformity of the reverse. But when he said this, I 
wanted to shake him. Now, I believe the shepherd is a religious man, 
but I want the acknowledged sanction of revelation for all religious 
opinions. I can never substitute intuition for the Word of God or the 
teachings of our Saviour ; neither can I substitute feeling for doctrine, 
nor sentiment for worship. Nature-worship is as far below my idea of 
the adoration due to God as man-worship or child-worship, or that of 
any of God's works instead of Himself personally. In me it would 
be idolatry, as much as worshipping the golden calf was, or any of the 
idols of the heathen nations. Their idols represented things in their 
view sacred. Now, I consider all the works of the Almighty as mani- 
festations of His love to man, and that they should be reflected upon 
with pleasure and gratitude, as our children and other privileges are, 
but they should never be considered as objects of worship. Now, you 
perceive the utter impossibility of making a transcendentalist of me. 
Nevertheless, I can enjoy all that is good and practical in their faith, 
and have not a particle of ill-will towards them or their writings. 


All that I could understand in the last " Dial," I took great pleasure 
in, particularly the piece on " Woman," by Mrs. Ripley. I do n't 
know how we are to have an immutable law of right and wrong, 
except by the revealed will of God. We are told that the Gentiles, 
not having the law, were a law unto themselves ; and from this we 
argue that all have a guardian angel within, in the form of conscience. 
But the proof is wanting to the perfection of our decisions, " except 
the Holy Spirit bcareth witness to our spirit," by means of revelation. 

Now, I like Mr. Dwight's morality and spirituality ; but to me his 
faith is a problem not yet solved, and I am tired of trying to discover 
what it is. At the same time, if I knew, it would probably have but 
little weight on mine ; for, if he does not know any thing about 
theology, why, then we are on a level. 

Give my love to all friends, Mrs. H.'s family in particular ; and 
believe me 

Your very affectionate 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, August 16, 1S41. 
My dear Abby, — When I received a letter from you, dated July, 
I thought I should answer it without delay ; but I have been prevented 
in various ways till to-day. I do not feel satisfied with the idea that 
you go to Ibwa, and mean to have faith to believe that something will 
occur to overrule Mr. Greene's design. When young S. Higginson 
returned with his family from Michigan, where they remained two 
years from the time they went, they both agreed that if people would 
restrict their wants, and lay aside their pride here, and make a tenth part 
of the sacrifices which were necessary to be made in those new places, 
they could be much more comfortable here than by any possibility they 
can be there. The coming autumn you are forty years old, and in deli- 


cate health ; Mr. Greene is some three or four years older, and 1 think 
you are too far advanced to make such an experiment. If it were your 
daughter, newly married, I should say it was very well ; with the 
enthusiasm and pliability of youth, people can educate themselves to 
almost any thing from which they have hopes of success ; but it re- 
quires all those advantages. And, another thing, — it would not be for 
the happiness of C, as she now is ; and I hope you will not go. Mrs. 
II. told me how hard life was in a new country. She had been highly 
cultivated, and at the same time bred to accomplishments ; could draw 
exquisitely, and perform well on the piano. She had never been 
used to hardships of any kind, or any species of labor. The domestics 
she carried out with her, soon made other provision for themselves, and 
left her alone ; so that until her return she did all the cooking for six, — 
herself, husband, and four children ; all the sewing, and all the wash- 
ing, ironing, and house-cleaning. At the end of two years, after she 
had improved her character by this severe discipline, her friends sent 
to her to return ; after remaining here some time, she has gone to live 

in Cambridge near Mr. "s friends. I am glad to hear that Sally is 

well. Mr. Silsbce is making an exchange of several weeks. He and 
Charlotte are much liked in Walpole. We are entirely aground about 
preaching. . . . 

They have sent to Mr. Bulfinch, whom all our people like very 
much ; but he cannot leave Washington for such a poor salary as we 
can afford to give, — six hundred a year. We have had a very quiet 
and composed summer ; I wish you could have been with us. 

A. J. Lyman. 

To Abby she writes again : — 

January 4, 1842. 

You asked me concerning Mr. John S. Dwight's separation from 
our society. There never was any good reason for our settling him ; 
it was done by a few arbitrary members assuming all the influence, — 
and done in great haste. In one year those very people took it upon 


themselves, without the shadow of a reason, to drive him out ; which 
they did by making the people who were neutral about the settlement, 

positive in unsettling him. And and were the leaders in 

this unholy work ; 1 always feel ashamed when I am called on to 
tell the truth on this subject. Mr. Dwight announced his views, which 
were transcendental, before he was settled. Now, there were really 
none amongst us entertaining those views. But his preaching was 
always fine, because he always selected those topics on which all Chris- 
tians agree, and never brought up disputed points. I could have lis- 
tened to him forever, without doing violence to my faith ; for his sense 
of right and wrong, and his Christian morals, and mine were the same. 
But his views of Christ were essentially unlike mine. His views of 
man's responsibility were as elevated as Dr. Channing's were. But it 
was very wrong in us to settle him under the circumstances, and wicked 
in us to thrust him out as we did. And S.'s and my name are on the 
records of our church, to prove that we opposed it, among others. 
And now I have told you all that is to be told. Nobody could allege 
any thing against Mr. Dwigbt, with truth, except that he was a tran- 
scendentalism And that they knew when they ordained him. 

In the month of August, 1842, occurred one of those sudden trials, 
for which we were all utterly unprepared, and which affected no one 
more deeply than my mother, outside the little circle of nearest rela- 
tives. Our brother, Stephen Brewer, in the full vigor of manhood, in per- 
fect health, with every prospect of long life and usefulness, was drowned 
in the Connecticut River, on the first afternoon he had taken for plea- 
sure, for many years. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Howe. ' 

Northampton, August 19, 1812. 
My dear Sister, — I know you will wish to hear from us in our 
deep affliction ; it was overwhelming, both from its suddenness and its 


magnitude. Mr. Brewer seemed to be tlie person we could lean upon 
in whatever trouble might assail us; he was our tower of strength, our 
help in time of need. He was, above all oilier considerations, the 
kindest and best of husbands; and poor Jane, helpless as sin- is herself, 
has now three children to take care of, without the care and kindness 
of this best of friends. And then he was in himself a perpetual sun- 
shine to the multitudes around him, as well as a fountain of love and 
mercy to those who wanted it. The moment he appeared at our door 
I could see our girls begin to smile, if they were in sight, and make a 
rush for the first shake of his hand ; and this affectionate, cordial in- 
tercourse had subsisted without interruption for more than nine years. 
Anil when the sound came to us without any premonition that he was 
no more, I had a sense that we were lost, and, for some hours, God- 

Mr. Lyman is miserable ; he is extremely weak and thin ; I found 
him so when I returned. 1 can do nothing while he lives, except what 
seems for his comfort. 

I will trust that all may yet come right, and that Jane may be pro- 
vided for. We are often called to realize that the current of human 
events is too rapid and too strong for us to contend with ; but this 
seemed to be a crisis in calamity so unlooked for, so threatening to the 
peace and happiness of all connected with him, that it looked like 
annihilation, for a time. I can never feel more crushed than I have 
been made to feel by this sad event. 

Mr. Lyman's indisposition and stationary infirmity have made Mr. 
Brewer's kindness very valuable to us, and Mr. L. had a confidence in his 
judgment, which he had in very few. But I will not enlarge upon the 
importance of his existence. Nearly a thousand people, if not quite, 
attended his funeral, and I never saw such manifestations of deep 
grief. Mr. Smith had never attended a funeral before to administer 
the service himself, yet nothing could be better done. Mr. Smith and 


James Coolidge will administer the two services on Sunday. Catherine 
is with Jane for a few days. 

August 20. Jane seems more calm to-day. I cannot tell you the 
thraldom in which sorrow still holds my mind ; it keeps a weight upon 
me, and I feel unable to move. Two days before this dreadful event 
occurred, I felt a heavy cloud lowering over my destiny. With much 

effort and persuasion, I had induced S to go to Nahant. Then the 

trouble took possession of me : for. though it was indefinite, I would 
sometimes embody it in the firm of an injury and sudden death of 

S , and then of C , who had left me the same morning With a 

wedding-party for Springfield. I got up all kinds of visions, until 
James appeared with her, at eight o'clock in the evening, safe. A 
sleepless night ensued, — a premonition of some great calamity still 
bound my spirit. At ten o'clock, Mr. and Mrs. Fowler came to pass 
the day. I rejoiced that I must do something besides think of myself, 
and made a business of entertaining them. After they left and tea was 
over, I began to write a letter to Susan ; but had not written a page 
before I heard confusion in the street, and went fearfully to the win- 
dow ; heard reiterated the sound of Mr. Brewer's name and a mighty 
rushing. 1 went into the street, and found the dreadful truth. Hun- 
dreds of people rushed to the river, and worked in the middle of it 
more than four hours before the body was obtained. I sat up until 
twelve. Imping to receive the material part of the beloved object, 
when a solemn procession passed, and carried it to Sam's house. His 
wife spent the night with Jane. This was the explosion of that dread- 
ful cloud. My letter must go now. James, you know, is at Saratoga 
with the wedding-party. Love to all friends. 

Your afflicted 



Mrs. Lyman to Alius H. Stearns. 

Northampton, August 25, 1842. 
My dear Hannah, — Before I met with an overwhelming affliction, 

I had determined to write to you the first time I took my pen. I was,. 
one week since, arrested in every design I had contemplated, by the 
sudden and awful death of our dear Stephen Brewer, an account of 
which you must have seen in the papers. Hannah, I can never tell 
you the anguish of .our hearts ! It seemed more, in our weakened hold 
upon earth, than we could possibly bear ; but Heaven has permitted it, 
and we must submit. I can truly say, I feel prostrated in the presence 
of my Heavenly Father, and humbled in the sense of my dependence 
on earthly props. But it is so ; and, instead of repining, we ought 
cheerfully to say, " Thy will be done." Instead of having his strong 
arm and strong judgment to repose on in seasons of weakness and 
trouble, we must soon learn to do without earthly support from friends, 
and think only of Heavenly aid. And this is probably the discipline 
we require, or it would not be sent. 

Catherine has been intending to write to your sister, from whom she 
was much gratified to receive a letter ; but she is brokenhearted and 

The day before this dreadful event, Susan went with Dr. Robbins to 
Nahant. The warm weather had the effect to debilitate her extremely, 
and we could see no other way of restoration. 

This, my dear Hannah, is the era of a revolution in my destiny. 
My husband may live some time, — perhaps years, — but we can no 
longer depend on him to make efforts for us. And I always have 
known that Mr. Brewer, who has always aided me in small difficulties, 
would also do the same in great ones. I never connected him with the 
idea of death. His whole life has been a tissue of good deeds. I 
ought not to think of myself or family, when I remember what a help- 
less wife and three young children he has left. But he has left the 


means of a support for them, and for that we should be grateful. 
Still, they are unhomcd, and bowed down with sorrow. He was fol- 
lowed to the grave by hundreds who depended on him and wept for 

Give my love to your sister, and believe me 

Ever your affectionate friend, 

A. J. Lyman. 

P. S. I have sent you a newspaper, and you can send it to your 
brother, if you like. 

Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, August 30, 1S42. 

My dear Son, — We all have a yearning for sympathy, or we 
should not be so eager to communicate sorrow. How I wish I could 
withhold from you the deep, the heartfelt grief that harrows my soul ! 
But before this reaches you, I presume you will have seen in the New 
York papers the sudden and dreadful death of our dear and good 
Brother Brewer. I need not tell you how heart-rending and over- 
whelming this event was ; of that you are certain. No family ever 
felt stronger love and confidence for another than we have felt for this 
excellent man. He was one of the most whole-souled, true-hearted, 
practically wise men I ever knew, — the best husband, father, son, and 
friend; and when we see one of our best friends, one so loved and so 
trusted, in the full vigor of manhood, destroyed by one sudden blow, 
Nature revolts : and, before reflection or discretion can take her place 
in our minds, we feel crushed and overwhelmed. This has literally 
been our case. 

Mr. Brewer I looked upon as my tower of strength, my city of 
refuge, my shield of defence for worldly purposes, knowing as I did 
that I must live separated from my sons ; and I had to feel, that, in 


the probable event of a separation from your father by death, that I 
should need this dear friend to lean upon in time of trouble. He 
loved my children, and they reciprocated that love with all their heart. 
But I need not say that he loved and was kind to us. His heart was 
an inexhaustible fountain of love and mercy. To diffuse it, seemed to 
be bis errand on earth, and most faithfully was it performed, It is, 
indeed, a new era in my destiny, marked by trouble. 

James went, together with Harriet, to Saratoga, with the bride and 
groom, and bad a good time, without hearing of our calamity until 
just before they got home. 

Mr. Brewer was drowned near the Hockanum Ferry, the day after 

they left. 

Your affectionate 


Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, March 7, 1843. 
Catherine returned to us about Christmas, in fine health and a large 
fund of happy spirits. She and Susan devote the whole of the after- 
noon to reading and walking. The mornings are occupied by some 
music and a great deal of domestic employment, sewing, &c. They 
have enjoyed reading Bancroft's " History," Prescott's " Ferdinand 
and Isabella," Degerando on " Self-education," and some poetry ; to- 
gether with Madame de StaeTs " Germany," in French ; with a good 
deal of casual reading, such as Mr. W. Ware's " Julian," Jouffroy's 
" Philosophical Essays," " The History of the Pilgrim Fathers," &c. 
You must know I bave wound up the winter with being sick the last fort- 
night with a sort of lung-fever, which confined me to my room, and much 
of the time to my bed. I am now recovering, and went to meeting 
yesterday, for the first time in three weeks. We have a very amiable, 
good young man preaching for us, and a man of respectable talents ; 
though there is not much poetry in him. I think, however, he will 


wear well. His time with us is almost at an end. This young man — 
Mr. Rufus Ellis — is thinking of making a tour to the western country ; 
and it' he goes to Cincinnati, I shall write to you by him. 

I don't know but Mis. S. thought it strange I did not take more 
pains to see her while I was in Boston ; but the fact was, the last week 
of my being there — which was the only one of my knowing of her 
being in the city — it rained everyday but one; and the week had 
commenced with the most dreadful gale that was ever experienced on 
our coast; and it commenced the very day my Edward sailed, so that 
there was scarcely a hope that the steamer he was in could ride out 
the gale. And the anxiety of my mind was such that I could do 
nothing about making calls, though I made an effort to go out two 
evenings on purpose to meet herself and Mrs. . . . . 

J. was prevented from going to the Dickens dinner by S.'s indis- 
position, together, perhaps, with some indifference to him ; for he was 
invited to several private parties to meet him, and did not go. Dickens 
says he likes Susan Hillard better than any American lady he has met 
with. I think as you do ; there was great want of proper dignity in 
those ladies smuggling themselves into situations which did not legiti- 
mately belong to them, for the sake of seeing Dickens. I have no par- 
ticular feeling for the man, though I think there is a small portion of his 
works which may have a good moral influence on society ; and that they 
contain a well-directed satire on many abuses in England, which in no 
respect touch this country. But I would not again wade through such 
quantities of mud and mire for such small grains of gold-dust as are 
interspersed through them, with the exception of "Oliver Twist" and 
" Humphrey's Clock " and parts of " Nicholas Nickleby." 

I think the enthusiasm tor Dickens here was altogether dispropor- 
tionate to the occasion. But our people are given to hero-worship, and 
there is no help for it. 

I am sure I cannot tell you how much comfort I have had, in having 
my two daughters at home this winter ; and so has your uncle. 


Mrs. Lyman to Mis* II. Stearns. 

Northampton, April 9, 1843. 

My dear Hannah, — Both S. and myself fully intended to have 
written a week since hy Judge Allen ; but the Fates were against us, 
and we yielded to imperious necessity when we gave it up. 

We were much disappointed when we found we must give up your 
intended visit to us in March ; but there never was such bad getting 
about as there has been this spring, and now the roads are all but 

C. went to Boston with her father about three weeks ago. She was 
first to make a visit to her cousin, John Forbes, in Milton, who has 
been urging, as well as Joseph, to have her come, all winter. But I 
felt justified in the selfishness of keeping them with me during that 
season ; and we have been enabled to do a good deal of valuable read- 
ing. You know the winter is the only uninterrupted season for that 
purpose with us. Though I expect to have my girls always distin- 
guished, as I believe I have before told you, Mrs. Judge Shaw distin- 
guishes them now. Her expression is, " I like Mrs. Lyman's children ; 
they do n't know every thing ! " This I consider a great affair, for you 
know the world is full of pretension and glorification. And there is 
a certain measure of ignorance that is becoming, in this age of self- 
conceit and universal information. Catherine was very much elevated 
by having the " Learned Blacksmith " inquire after her and call, when 
he came to town ; and she gave out that he was paying attention to 
her, much to the entertainment of her friends. C. is enjoying herself 
highly at Milton now ; though she often goes into town to attend par- 
ties, and was at the assembly a fortnight since. Where the mind is so 
entirely free from all pre-conceived notions of desert, or from any fan- 
cied claims upon the attention of any human being, as hers is, it is not 
difficult to believe that the smallest favors are a gratuitous kindness, 
for which she must be very grateful. 


What do you and M. think of Miss 's marrying Mr. , and 

going to Europe ? There is a sort of poetical justice in this affair that 
puzzles me ; it is so rare. But so- it is, and I hope no dark cloud will 
arise to obscure their fair prospect. 

Mr. Ellis is to be ordained here about the middle of May, perhaps 
later ; and until that time we shall have Mr. Edward Hale, who has 
been with us the past month. He is an excellent youth, hardly twenty- 
one, but very mature. But our people had regaled themselves with 
hearing a transcendentalist, Mr. Cranch ; and, of course, found Mr. 
Hale tame, — some of them. 

Remember me to your mother and sister, and believe me 
Yours very affectionately, 

A. J. Lyman. 

3Irs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, June 11, 1843. 

My dear Abby, — I believe I wrote you what a pleasant visit I had 
from your Aunt Lord last autumn. You know with what readiness 
and cordiality she accepted the efforts of her friends to give her pleas- 
ure ; which always made it delightful to attend to her. She wrote 
as soon as she got to her own home, to say how much she had enjoyed 
herself during her stay with us ; and sent little presents, which will 
always be looked upon as tokens of her love and kindness. 

Your aunt was as well as usual on the 10th of May, and her trunk 
packed, and was dressed to take the stage and go to New York, when 
she was seized with a fit, which paralyzed her. She lived forty-eight 
hours, but was never restored to consciousness, and died without any 
apparent suffering. This was just the way she wished to depart. She 
seemed to have much more of vitality and recollection than your Uncle 
Lyman has had for the last year and a half, and fewer infirmities, and 
had passed a comfortable winter. Erastus and his family were very 


kind to her, and she was very well satisfied with them, and spoke with 
great interest and affection of them. . . . 

Your Aunt Lord often spoke of you, and always with great affec- 
tion. She was much pleased with her granddaughter M.'s matrimonial 
connection, and thought she had an excellent husband. They had been 
very attentive to her, and made her a number of valuable presents. 

's daughter and son, of the younger set, are well married, too, 

which seemed to give her great pleasure. . . . 

Your sister H. passed six weeks at Joseph's last winter, and did not 
appear in perfectly good health. Since that time her health has been 
gradually declining ; and her physician thinks she will not recover. 
Martha keeps an anxious look-out for her, and will see that all is done 
that is necessary ; and it is possible that her disease may take another 
turn. . . . 

We have at last settled Mr. Rufus Ellis. This occurred last Wednes- 
day, June 7th. Mr. Ellis is not considered equal to his brother, 
Mr. George Ellis ; but I think the difference is in his favor, though 
they are both excellent men. George is several years older, and ap- 
pears better initiated into his ministerial duties, perhaps ; but Mr. 
Rufus is a man with a great deal of feeling, and a high sense of duty, 
and greatly interested in the result of his labors. 

We have been favored in having such men as Mr. Edward B. Hall, 
and Mr. Stearns, and Mr. Dwight ; though I think others may be 
equally good, and do as much good with less talent, if they have the 
gift of earnestness in the cause. 

I have been sorry to learn that Mr. has joined the Fourier school 

of. opinions. I think it will diminish his usefulness greatly. But 
there are a great many new things going on in the world. The 
great problem of life can only be solved by experience, and possibly 
we may never know the decision of unerring Wisdom as to the 
result. That is the best religion which does the most good, and leads 
with most certainty to practical ends. 


We have read the Bremer books as they came out, and have been 
greatly interested in them. I think " Home " is as good as the " Neigh- 
bors." If they arc not great, they are calculated to do much more 
good than that class of Tales usually is, for they are attractive with- 
out the exaggeration and discrepancies which do so much to create 
false tastes and false views of life in the inexperienced,- — the effect of 
which is discontent and disappointment in the ordinary occurrences 
people must meet with in this world. These books, too, are addressed 
to the sympathies of a large class of readers in different stations in life, 
for there is nothing in them which we may not connect either with 
the highest or the most moderate class of the community in which we 
live ; and one would not lie led by them to false inferences or unjust 
conclusions in respect to tilings which really exist, and come under 
our own observation. 

I often esteem myself fortunate that my destiny fell in that walk of 
life which prevented isolation and exclusion. Indeed, it has thrown 
me in continual contact with all the sorts and kinds of beings which 
constitute humanity ; and what most people deprecate I feel that I 
may rejoice in, for I never feel out of place either with the highest, 
more moderate, or the lowest society. In neither case is my dignity 
raised or impaired. 

Your very affectionate 


Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Mil ton- Hill, August 15 [1843]. 
My dear Edward, — I will not allow the steamer of the 10th to 
leave without taking some faint record of my existence, as well as of 
my love. 

Your Aunt Howe and Sarah have been making me a visit ; and, last 
Saturday, August 12, we all came down to Boston together, joined by 
your sister Catherine, who had a singular errand down, which was no 


less than to bid a temporary adieu to a lover, who is to sail in the 
steamer for England. 

After describing Catherine's engagement with Mr. Warren Delano, 
and their satisfaction with it, she goes on to say : — 

Without distinguished greatness, Catherine is very lovely in her 
character and disposition, never out of temper, and always ready to 
oblige to any extent that her friends can claim ; always sympathizing 
in the joys and sorrows of those around ; divested of every thing like 
jealousy, or the shadow of malignity, in any of its forms ; possessed 
of a large humanity in its truest sense ; and having that mercy which 
is twice blessed, — to him who gives and him who takes. 

I suppose you have not much time to read. I hope I shall be able to 
send you another of the Bremer books, " Strife and Peace." 

I left your father very well, though S. was rather run down by the ex- 
tremely warm weather. It did not prevent her taking in a sick person 
to take care of, — Margaret Dawes, whom you may have seen at your 
Cousin Susan Hillard's. She is almost gone in a consumption. Mar- 
garet Harding will stay with her during my absence, to assist in her 
arduous duties. 

Your affectionate mother, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Milton Hill, August 29, 1843. 

Mr dear Edward, — I have written a short letter to Mr. Delano, 
which leaves me but little time to write to you. 

Yesterday I was about setting out for Northampton, as I had been 
here a fortnight and two days, when we received the intelligence of 
II. L.'s death, which determined me to remain until after the funeral. 
She died with but little suffering, after four months of consumptive 


Catherine Greene, of Cincinnati, has been at Joseph's with us the 
past week, but went back to Providence before the funeral. 

You cannot fail to like your future brother-in-law. He is truly one 
of Nature's noblemen, carrying truth and goodness in every motion. 

Your father has been very well for him. The last has been court- 
week, which he has perseveringly attended to the duties of, and 

Your very affectionate 


Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, October 13, 1843. 

My dear Edward, — It caused us the deepest disappointment that, 
through accident, we could not get a letter down to Boston in season 
to go by the steamer of the first of this month. 

I can hardly express to you my joy that you have found in Mr. 
Delano a friend that pleases you so much. We have from the first 
been delighted with him. He lias such a composed and dignified air 
for a man of business, and such a quiet, sensible mode of expressing 
his rational opinions, that his external man has always been extremely 
attractive to me ; and then his warm-hearted promptings of every sort 
of kindness to every one he comes in contact with, where friendship is 
admissible, so necessarily prompts one to a reciprocation of the feeling 
he has expressed, that there can lie nothing but pleasure in his society. 
And, though he is unlike our dear Stephen Brewer, I feel that I can 
most readily appropriate to him that place in my heart which was so 
warmly devoted to our lost son-in-law, whose affectionate attentions 
and many kindnesses will never be forgotten by me. I believe all our 
friends are as much pleased with Mr. Delano as we are, and in addition 
to liking him, it is most pleasant to be able to like all his brothers and 
sisters. . . . 


In October of 1843, my mother parted with her youngest child, 
Catherine Robbins, who accompanied her husband to China, within a 
month after her marriage. 

I cannot help recalling here that, within a few weeks after our 
return to Northampton, after parting with " the lamb of our flock," 
the first sounds reached us of the coming of the railroad to North- 
ampton. Every morning we were wakened at five o'clock with the 
sound of the tramping of horses through the Main Street, that carried 
the parties of workmen on the road. Vaguely we prophesied the 
changes that would come to our village, and talked together when we 
met, of the possibilities of the future. I remember a beautiful, moon- 
light evening, when we walked in the rural street that is now so 
changed, and talked neither wisely nor too well of the future of our 
town. Mr. Ellis and Gertrude and Caroline Clapp were of the number. 
I forget the others. It never seemed to occur to any of us that we, our 
homes, our old trees, our society, — were not eternal fixtures there; 
and we spoke of the probable new-comers as forming a society of their 
own, while we remained as we were, happy and undisturbed in our old 
customs and rural habits. 

The homes and trees have disappeared ; and of all that little group 
none are dwellers by those mountains ; but, though most of them are 
plying " their daily task with busier feet " in the dusty streets of far- 
off cities, is not the bond of good-fellowship between them the stronger, 
and do they not u a holier strain repeat," for having passed their youth 
in sight of those mountains, and in the society of the noble types of char- 
acter that lived in those simple times ? Let us not look back and say that 
those days were better than these. Let us rather rejoice that, where 
hundreds once enjoyed that beautiful valley, it is now a blessing to 
tbousands ; and that, though Nature has often been defaced by Art 
since that happy time, the mountains still, stand firm, and also the 
memories of those high-toned men and women who fixed an early 
impress on all around them. 


Mrs. Lyman to Miss Hannah Stearns. 

Northampton, April 28, 1844. 

My dear Hannah, — I cannot, by any effort I am capable of, ex- 
press to you adequately how much I have felt for you since I have 

heard of your great affliction. I had, when M 's marriage occurred, 

thought much of the promise you had before you of increased enjoy- 
ment. I never dreamed that the interposition of death could oppose 
an obstacle to your anticipations. 1 have heard nothing but the fact, 
and feel very desirous to know all that relates to it. The death of 
your sister is among the deepest mysteries of Divine Providence ; and 
were it not for the faith which instructs us that infinite love and in- 
finite wisdom overrule the events of our destinies here, we might, in 
our short-sightedness, distrust the idea altogether. Let us then rejoice 
that all that is not placed within our control is under Heavenly direc- 
tion. I am continually asking myself, " How is Mrs. S supported 

under this great trial ? "■ And then, " How can my dear Hannah be 
reconciled ? for it must have been unexpected." 

When you can, do let me hear from you ; and likewise how Mr. 

sustains himself. He is the greatest sufferer, with all his newly-formed 
and fervent hopes cut off. And I have heard much of his enthusiastic 
attachment ; and so wisely as it was bestowed, we must all approve 
and admire bis judgment as well as his well-directed sympathies. Let 
us be grateful that we are not wholly of dust, but that there is a spirit 
within us which can never taste of death ; and that, after such a de- 
votedly useful, intellectual, and pure life as was your sister's, we have 
the assurance that she will reap an inheritance of glory, honor, and im- 
mortality. Her friends can have none but the kindest remembrance of 
her. And her good example is a fountain of treasures that will be 
stored in the memory of those who have known and loved her, and felt 
the infusion of her spirit to be a blessing to them. 

Spring has again returned to us, and spread in her way a freshness 


ami a glory which I feel to be a perpetual ministration of Love to my 
heart, — a whispering of joys that never decay, which comes in the song 
of birds, in the sweet perfume of flowers, combined with the must per- 
fect verdure I ever saw at this season. So that the beauty which sur- 
rounds us would be all that we could desire, and all that we could 
enjoj . were it not contrasted with the sadness of this life's experience ; 
the multiplied sorrows and disappointments Heaven has found necessary 
for our discipline. When a mother loses an infant from her arms, we 
are all anxious to know how she will bestow the faculties and the time 
so tenderly engrossed. But I am, from my own experience of sorrow, 
most anxiously engaged in finding a way to appropriate those thoughts 
and affections which, in their exercise, did not require our immediate 
care, but were combined with all our plans and anticipations. This 
void made in my heart by the death of my much-valued child is still 
unfilled, and though I am from habit accustomed to it, I am never 
insensible to it ; and I am sure she is more constantly in my thoughts 
than my living children are who are absent. This is a great source of 
pleasure which you will enjoy, and one which proves the value of an 
intellectual life such as was your sister's. 

Give my love to your mother ; tell her my heart is furnished largely 
with sympathy for those who have lost a good daughter. 

Your very affectionate and sympathizing friend, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, August 30, IS 11. 
My dear Abby, — We were very glad, some ten days ago, to see 
Mary Howe, and with her to get good intelligence of yourself and all 
your household, together with all our other friends in Cincinnati. I 
have likewise to thank you for your kind remembrance of me in a 
purse, which will be of the highest value to me as a proof of love. You 


may remember. Cowper's lines on a similar occasion, and 1 will give 
them here in case you do not: — 

'• Gold pays the worth of all tilings here, 
But not of love, — that gem 's too dear 
For richest rogues to win it. 
I therefore, as a proof of love, 
Esteem your present far above 
The best things kept within it." 

It is pleasant to know that some of the best things in this life cannot 
be purchased with money, and are not diminished by the lack of it. 
My thoughts are often turned to your little circle ; which I have the 
more pleasure in, now that I know Catherine as grown to maturity. 
You have heard of the death of Charlotte's son, who was nine months 
old. They have had a great deal of suffering during the last two 
months of its life. Little Anne is a very pretty and very lovely child ; 
and, as might he expected, is doated upon by her parents. Her father 
will take great pains and have great pleasure in her education, she is 
so very susceptible. Since they went to Cabotville they have not been 
here. 1 have been there once, and mean to go again soon, if some- 
thing imperious dues not prevent. 

A fortnight since, Mr. Lyman, Susan, and myself went up to Lebanon 
Springs for a few days. When we got there we found a large circle of 
our Boston acquaintance. Such places are tiresome to your Uncle, and 
we stayed but a few days, leaving Susan for a longer time with her 
acquaintance. When ] got home, I thought your Uncle was remarkably 
well; but a few days since he was affected as if he had had a slight 
stroke of the palsy. The whole of one side seemed infirm, as if he 
could not move without difficulty either bis arm or leg. He does not 
seem sick, but is low-spirited : and, I think, views it as a premonition 
of more trouble. 1 know not what to look forward to, or what to wish 
for. But we are in God's bands, and whatever He sends will be right. 

8. is very much benefited by her tour to the Lebanon Mountains. 


The air is very bracing, and thai is whal she requires in the course of 
one of our hot summers. On our return from Lebanon we passed a 
day at Stockbridge, and part of one in West field. I have told you 
before, I believe, that Mr. Fowler has a charming wife and a magnifi- 
cent new house, with every thing elegant in it. When at Stockbridge, 
we saw Fanny Fowler (that was) and .Miss Sedgwick, — who isa lovely 
old lady, with her red curly hair, and looking, notwithstanding, as 
aged as your antiquated Aunt (for we arc just of an age). (Jive a 
great deal of love to Katie ; and -tell her we have heard twice from my 
Catherine since her arrival in Macao. She speaks of herself as the 
happiest person living, and thinks she has the best of husbands. They 
were on their voyage one hundred and four days; had no bad storms, 
or threatened disasters, and she likes Macao very much. It is a 
beautiful city, situated like Nahant ; but in the winter, to avoid a 
separation from her husband, she will have to go to Canton. And 
there she can neither ride nor walk out, and consequently isa prisoner. 
But they will contrive to get rid of a couple of years, I hope, comfort- 
ably. . . . Mr. Delano is a person who takes most watchful care of all 
domestic interests, is exceedingly kind and affectionate to his father, 
brothers, and sisters, and all connections: and, I have no doubt, will 
be a good husband. . . 

Give a great deal of love to Mr. Greene, Katie, and your sister 
Dana and family ; Susan joins me in all kind remembrances, and feels 
much obliged to Katie for her beautiful cushion. 

Your affectionate 


Mrs. Lyman to Miss Hannah Stearns. 

September 23, 1844. 

My dear Hannah, — 

I knew you would be glad to know that we had heard from Catherine. 
She wrote in fine spirits ; had been sick but a very few days : and she 


and her husband sent us a journal of all that had happened (he month 
they had been out, indicating the most perfect state of happiness you 
can imagine. Mr. D.had assured C. that Neptune always visited those 
who were never there before, when they crossed the equator. And so 
an old hand at the husiness ( a sailor) was dressed in the most grotesque 
manner, and unexpectedly appeared al her little window, and delivered 
three long epistles, which she had no expectation of receiving. One 
was IV. 1111 me, written ami given to Mr. D. for the purpose; another 
from Susan : and another from a poetical friend, who purported to be 
Neptune himself, who furnished several pages of very funny rhyme on 
the occasion. 

In the dearth of variety belonging to a four months' voyage, we can 
easily imagine how all these trifles are magnified, and with how much 
consequence their minds would invest them. Almost any thing that 
interrupts the monotony of life in such situations becomes important. 
If any happiness or any good can lie extracted from a circumstance 
that looked so dark to me, I shall he most dad. But I confess that 
going so long and perilous a voyage, and then finding one's self at the 
end of il planted down amongst a barbarous people, afforded hut little 
prospect of improvement, in my mind, to my poor child : for I did not 
feel that she had experience or improvement enough to hear the con- 
dition to advantage. At the same time, no one appreciates more than 
I do the value id' new experiences and new situations to open new 
channels of thought and feeling. Si ill. 1 think it requires a considera- 
ble strength of stock to engraft upon, and something like the power 
-which bees have to extract virtue from all that may happen, and turn 
it to account. It is still problematical with me whether this will 
prove a favorable passage in the child's life, and improving as it 
regards Iter progress in self-education.- Hut whichever way it 
was nothing that I could help, and I must look upon it as a sort of 
inevitable destiny. 


Mrs. Lyman to Miss C. Robbing. 

Northampton, January 12, 1845. 

My dear Sister, — 1 have been intending to write to yon ever since 
I received your last letter, but have had a good deal to do, and a good 
many interruptions, as usual. 

Last week the young people were engaged in theatricals, and on 
Thursday the " Rivals," by Sheridan, came off with great eclat. Susan 
took no part in the play, but helped Mary A. Cochran, as manager and 
director, which took up considerable time. Mrs. Tom Whitmarsh lent 
them her parlors for the performance, which was the best place, as the 
house can be heated all over with a furnace. The two Miss Adams 
and their brother, Julia Clarke and Robert and Harrison Apthorp, 
George Dickinson and Luther Washburn, James Lyman and Caroline 
Whitmarsh were the performers. Mr. Ellis gave out or assigned the 
parts before he left, and saw one rehearsal, which he pronounced very 
good. There were seventy spectators, and it was pronounced a very 
fine performance. I think I never saw any so good at the theatre, tak- 
ing out the leading actor. 

The following evening, which was Friday, President Hopkins, from 
Williamstown, delivered a very fine lyceum lecture to a very crowded 
audience. His subject was, " The Voluntary and the Involuntary 
Powers of Man," teaching the practical application or improvement of 
those powers to the best advantage. He exemplified his subject by a 
great many appropriate figures, and the introduction of a great deal of 
fine poetry. In short, the hearers were overflowing with admiration 
and delight for an hour and a half. 

Saturday S. gave to repose, being very much fatigued with the 
week's work and its accompanying excitement. And to-day, which is 
Catherine's birthday, we have listened to excellent preaching- all day 
from Mr. Lippett, who is to supply Mr. Ellis's place during his absence. 
He dined with us. and Jane took tea and passed the evening here, — and 


Mr. Charles Huntington. Jane is much interested in the marriage of 
Mr. North to a sister of Dr. Thompson. And now you have had a 
general sketch of Northampton life, I believe. 

Marriages, births, sickness, and death are everywhere mingled in 
human experience; and, if we can find an interval, occasionally, long 
enough for a little recreation and exhilaration of our spirits, we should 
he grateful for it in this vale of tears. 

I am much pleased with the last number of the " Christian Ex- 
aminer," particularly Mr. Sedge's review of Mr. Emerson's " Essays," 
and Mr. Thompson's of Mr. Putnam. 1 am glad to hear of John 
Parker's bequest to Mr. Putnam. It is very rare that ministers have 
any thing left them, and 1 am glad of such an example. 

I have seen something about some slaughter committed in one of 
R. B. F's vessels ; but nothing that 1 could very well understand, as to 
whether the vessel was coming in or going out. 

Our hist dates from Macao, you know, are July 28. If any one 
has later, I should like to hear. 

I shall write next week to Mrs. R., whose letter I got yesterday. 

Give my love to all friends, and believe me 

Your very affectionate 


Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Howe. 

Northampton, August 31, 1845. 
My deai; SlSTEK, — It gives me great pleasure to learn that you were 
well enough, a week since, to return to your own home. I have not 
yet heard how you bore the removal, nor how you have found yourself 
since you got there ; and hope that Estes, or James, or Mary, or S., 
will write me a lew lines and let me know this week how you get 
along. 1 am glad to learn through S. that C. R. is improving. We 
had an agreeable visit from Eliza Robbins and Mr. Hillard, the past 
week. They did up a great deal of conversation as usual, and Mr. 


Lyman as well as myself were highly entertained with it. Fanny 
Sedgwick and Mrs. Parker stopped here on their way to Erattleboro', 

just before Mr. Hillard came. It is often sad to me to see so g 1 a 

woman as Jane Sedgwick so hard pressed. 

The beginning of last week we had a vague account of Mr. Delano's 
lire at Macao, which furnished me with soiue anxiety ; but that gave 
place to hearing of a real sorrow a few days since, which has absorbed 
my mind almost entirely, and I have been putting off writing on that 
account. You have heard of the sudden death of Mrs. Harding? 
There has always been something about her that I have felt a great 
respect for; a quiet consistency in goodness, a common-sense purpose 
that attained its end, a cultivated perception of moral sentiment as 
well as the beautiful in Nature. And every thing about her so unpre- 
tending and sincere, that one could not know her well and withhold 
their respect. Contemplating her character, strengthens my confidence 
in the goodness of human nature. It gives me faith in virtue, and 
makes me feel that it is a reality ; and .that its infusion into real life 
opens to us the best sources of happiness. When such a savor is 
taken from the circle which it affected, there is much to deplore; and 
I cannot say as many do in such cases, " How soon such things are 
overlooked and forgotten ! " for I have faith to believe that all the good 
seed sown in this world will be guarded and made fruitful by heavenly 
wisdom; that none of it will be lost, but bring forth, some fifty, and 
some an hundred fold. 

Mrs. Harding left six sons, over whom she had a great influence. 
The four youngest can never have that influence made up to them ; 
though Margaret will be, as she always has been, all that a sister can 
be, for she is one of the wisest and the best young persons I ever 
knew ; of C. I know but little, therefore cannot, speak. I have not 
informed Susan of this calamity, hoping she would not hear of it until 
she got to Springfield; and then I thought she would stop for a day or 
two with Margaret, for their mutual satisfaction. 


We have got to hear preach all day in the absence of our be- 
loved Rufus Ellis ; it is a severe dispensation, but he was here and 
applied for the chance. Mr. Ellis is published, and will be married 
this month, — I mean September. 

Give my love to all friends, and believe me 

Yours very affectionately, 

A. J. Lyman. 

P. S. 1 am reading the " Wandering Jew," taking it homceopathi- 
cally, in small doses. 1 do n't know as you are well enough to bear 
it, for it is very exciting ; but works of imagination never take such a 
violent hold of me as they do of some people. It takes reality to dis- 
tress me ; I am such a matter-of-fact person, that I cannot invest my 
fancy as many can. 

Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, Sunday, September 28, lsl.">. 

My dear Edward, — 

" All's well, that ends well ; " and there is much good mingled with the 
sorrows and trials of this life. And our lot is always better than we 
deserve, while we remain in this mutable world, — 

•■ Whore nothing can satisfy, nothing 's secure 

From change and decay, and disorder and strife ; 
No beauty is perfect, no virtue is pure, 

And evil and good are companions for life. 

' ' Where finding no rest, like the patriarch's dove 

Which flew to the ark when the flood was abroad, 
O'erwearied we seek, in the mansions above, 
The rest that remains for the people of God." 

And if we are of that number, we shall finally inherit the rest. And 
we that are some way advanced on the journey of life, so that the end 


seems near at hand, can fully realize the consolations and encourage- 
ments accompanying that hope. . . . 

Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, February 10, 1846. 
There is but little, my dear son, to be gathered, either from my 
experience or from my contemplations, that will profit you or give you 
pleasure; but it is your birthday, and, if I do not consecrate it for a 
holy day, I can mark it for a day of increased and uninterrupted satis- 
faction for the twenty-seventh time. Now you will not let this make 
you vain, but refer what I have said rather to your mother's vanity. 
It is not uncommon for parents, when they have nothing else to take 
pride in, to inflate it with something they are connected with ; imag- 
ining that there is a reflected lustre reaching themselves from these 
surrounding causes. James Howe you have probably seen, and he has 
given you his reasons for engrafting his happiness on a iiew stock, and 
in a new world, — to him, — as it regards both place and circumstances. 
I honor him for the sacrifice he proposes to make ; it is worthy of a 
good cause, such as he is engaged in, — the coining of his time into 
the best good, the highest usefulness ; and all that, consistently with 
getting the most money. The sacrifice, of course, consists in leaving 
an agreeable social position, in every way suited to his taste and pre- 
vious habits. But James has not been long enough a fixture to one 
place, to make that place necessary to his happiness, — so that even 
blank walls may "touch the springs of memory," and help to recall the 
tenderest passages of our existence, which but for them might sleep 
forever. I have been so accustomed to seeing James and making use 
of him, that I feel inexpressibly sorry to have him at a distance from 
us. This is a world of change and progress, sometimes forward, some- 
times on the backward course ; but I love James, and am sorry to 
part with him. I am glad he has got a good wife, for that will " gild 



the gloom" of his solitude. A poor one would harass him very 
much ; as far as she can, Harriet will lighten his burdens. The 
greatest trial will be to Aunt Howe, who is accustomed to having him 
near her. But she will be satisfied to have him do what is for the 
best. That is all that parents have to reconcile them to a separation 
from children, who seem as necessary to their happiness as food is to 
their existence. Of that, no one is more sensible than myself. Did I 
not part with my sons when they were fourteen or fifteen years of 
age, never to live with them again? Heaven only is witness of the 
tears it cost me ! Those farthest off now are the greatest trouble to 
my spirit. If I could only have Katie safely on this side the water 
again, I think I would never weep or croak more ; but one year more 
is marked for fears and anxieties ; and the end! — who knoweth ? Your 
father is very well, and very contented with having me to read to him 
nearly all the time. I have this week been reading Miss Sedgwick's 
stories to him. They are of a kind to move the heart gently, and to 
superinduce a kindly feeling 'for every thing that is good ; they awaken 
a holy interest that makes the heart better, without producing any 
injurious shock, or too great excitement of the tender sensibilities. 
Love to my friends. 

Your very affectionate 


In March, 1846, while recovering from the fearful and dangerous 
disease whose consequences darkened the whole remainder of her life, 
she wrote to her son Edward, after hearing of his engagement. After 
passing lightly over the six weeks of intense suffering, she goes on : — 

" And now let me tell you that I am rejoiced that you have reached 
that pi lint in your destiny which is to insure you a pleasant and valu- 
able companion I'm' life; ami I trust she is all you think she is, — a 
rational and high-principled woman, with warm affections towards 
yourself, and such domestic habits as make life smooth ; one who 


lias been more accustomed to minister than to be ministered unto; 
one who feels that household cares are woman's duty, no less than her 
privilege ; one who is literally a sharer with her husband in his cares, 
instead of leading that useless, empty life that leaves no record bul 
vanity to mark its path. I have often troubled myself with the fear lesl 
my sons should marry idle, fashionable women. If Heaven has spared 
me this sorrow, 1 have much to be grateful for. As a child needs an 
instructor, so do grown people need a higher guidance than men' self- 
will. They need the light of that polar star, an enlightened eon- 
science, — with that holy standard which forever separates right and 
wrong. May you both be guided by it, and amidst your greatest trials 
you will find consolation." 

After a delightful visit from Mrs. Greene, she writes to her after her 
own return from New York. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, September 10, 1846. 

My dear Abby, — I believe, in the feelings which occupied me at 
parting with you and others who left at the same time, I forgot to 
urge it upon you to write whenever you could ; and I have never 
known exactly how to direct to you, which is the reason I have omitted 
to write and say how much (divided as my attention was between a 
multitude of objects) I had enjoyed your visit ; and the same is true 
of your uncle. 

You never told me if you saw Martha or Charlotte, but I hope you 
did. I am sure you will be interested to hear about my week's visit to 
New York. I had given up all idea of going, and written to that 
effect,— when I went out on Saturday, the 22d, and met Mr. Butler, who 
waited on me to New York three years ago, and he asked me if I 
intended to go to Edward's wedding. I told him I had given it up, 
having no one to go with me ; upon which he said he was going that 


evening, and should be very glad to escort me there, and that we 
should arrive early on Sunday morning. Upon the strength of this 
proposition, I put a few things in a bandbox and was ready to depart, 
having first ascertained that I could have Jane to stay witli her father 
during my absence. 

On Sunday I enjoyed hearing Dr. Dewey very much. On Monday 
I made a call at Brooklyn on the Lows, and dined and passed the 
remainder of the day with Mr. and Mrs. Nevins and Edward at the 
Astor House. On Tuesday I remained where I was staying, at my 
Cousin Josephine Forbes's, 703 Broadway. And on Wednesday morn- 
ing, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Nevins, I went to the wedding cere- 
mony. I was much pleased with all Sarah's family ; they seemed to be 
a very happily-united set of brothers and sisters, with excellent parents ; 
and one of their neighbors told me they never had disputes or divisions 
among themselves. They are, without being wealthy, all prosperous 
and apparently unambitious. I could not help being struck with the 
fact, that my two last-married children had been united to families that 
I never knew, or even heard any thing about, until the period of our 
connection. But that is of no consequence you know, if they are good 
people. There was quite a large circle at the wedding, who stayed to 
a very elegant collation, prepared in the house adjoining, and occupied 
by Mrs. Archer, Sarah's eldest sister. Late in the afternoon, Edward 
and Sarah went up the river to West Point, and from thence took their 
journey to the different Falls, and thence to Canada, and returned here 
at the end of a fortnight, pretty tired of the extreme heat and dust. 

The Thursday after the wedding, and I went to Hastings to see 

the Delano sisters. We had a beautiful sail up the Hudson about 
twenty-five or thirty miles to a most beautiful place, and should have 
enjoyed the day much, had it not been for the miserable, dying condi- 
tion of Dora D . She is still living, though it seemed to us then 

that a few days must terminate her existence. Our return late in the 
evening was as pleasant as our morning excursion ; and the following 


day, Friday, we visited the Greenwood Cemetery at Brooklyn, which is 
truly beautiful. It is Mount Auburn magnified and multiplied. Do 
get some of your friends to ride over with you and see it. I can only 
think, while looking at it, of Beattie's description of the beauties of 
Nature ; and realize it all there. 

" The pomp of groves and garniture of fields, 
All that the genial ray of morning gilds, 
And all that echoes to the song of even ; 
All that the mountain's sheltering bosom shields, 
And all the dread magnificence of Heaven." 

Well, the next day my week was out, and I must go home ; so we 
departed, S. and myself, at six in the morning, and arrived at 
four, p.m., where I found myself perfectly satisfied with all that had 
happened ; and particularly to take S. home in much better con- 
dition than she had left it, the five weeks previous. I found your Uncle 
very well ; Jane had taken the best of care of him ; but was despairing 
for fear I should be absent a few days longer, — which I had no thoughts 
of. And now I have said enough about myself. Let me tell you I am 
delighted to hear that you have seen so many friends, and that you 
and dear Katie have enjoyed so much. For the enjoyment of such 
pure pleasures is greatly multiplied in the retrospection, as well as 
in the first reality. I am only sorry that we could not have met in 
New York ; and wish you would write a note to Edward, at 68 Cedar 
Street, his place of business, — " Nevins & Co.," — that he and Sarah 
may see you before you leave, if only for a call. They are staying for 
the present at Brooklyn, at Abbot Low's — Sarah's brother. If you 
have time, write me from N. 

Your very affectionate 



.Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Hoioe and 3Iiss C. Robbing. 

NoitTiiAMrTON, December 6, 1846. 
My dear Sisters, — During the time that Catherine Delano was 
with me, with her baby, — which was only ten days, — I was very 
much absorbed ; but it all seemed to pass like a pleasant vision, for it 
came so suddenly that it hardly seemed like reality ; and since they 
left there has been a dreadful void, which is always the case after un- 
usual excitement. Not that there has been any lack of employment 
for the hands, or of abundance of newspapers, 

" But all the air a solemn stillness holds ; " 

and that sweet baby is missing. The child never cried while it was 
here ; and it grew, and looked much better when it left than when it 
came. Now I am absent from them, I cannot help feeling anxious 
about the child, lest it should not have sufficiently good care and good 
nursing to make it vigorous. So you see how the old grandmother's 
thoughts are employed. When they first left, my attention was en- 
gaged in setting the house in order, and Mrs. Wendell Davis came 
down one morning and passed the day with me. She looks much 
better than she did in the spring ; and we enjoyed her visit very 

Mr. Lyman was really overcome by the excitement of our affairs, 
and was unusually confused by what was going on for several days. 
Joseph and Susan B. appeared unusually well, and J. writes that he 
has continued so since his return. Mr. L. is now as well as usual ; he 
has but little vigor of any kind, and but a small appetite. I read 
" Esther " to him last week, and he seemed a good deal interested in 
it, as he did in Mr. Webster's Philadelphia dinner-speech; which he 
intends to have me read over a second time. Mr. Ellis preached at 
Deerfield, and Mr. Moors for us. We liked him very much ; he is 


staying with us. Sam and his wife, Mr. Baker, and Mr. Hillyer have 
passed this evening with us ; and, after all were gone, I thought it 
would be a good time for getting up a poor letter. 

One fine day, while Catherine and Joseph were staying here, we all 
went up to Greenfield, by invitation, in the ears, and had a beautiful 

Mrs. H.'s family have been in a miserable condition for the last 
three months, — Mrs. A. unfit to be moved to her own home, and 
Martha bound down by the same complaint of which M. died. This is 
a heavy trial for Mrs. EL, and one in which there is no hopeful end to 
look forward to. In contrast with the cases I have mentioned, we 
have good reason to feel ourselves highly favored in an exemption 
from trouble. It would be difficult for me to express the amount of 
gratitude I have felt for the blessings that have overflowed my cup in 
the events of Edward's safe arrival out, and Catherine's safe return 
home, with her family in good condition. I did not dare to believe I 
should ever realize these blessings. 

The day of C.'s return I had a letter from P. D., saying that 
they were probably in the H., and that we must be reconciled to de- 
ferring our hopes or expectations at least thirty days longer. S. and 
I went to Mr. Lewis Strong's in the evening, and there we were asked 
about the time of their return, and we told them one month ; that was 
all I dared to hope. 

I must tell you now what I am about to engage in. Wetherill, our 
sexton, is blessed with a pair of twin boys, and I am going to have an 
extra meeting of the society to clothe them and their mother ; and, at 

the same time, to help the C s and their twins. So you see " there 

is mercy in every place ; and mercy encouraging thought," &c. ; and 
our society is much engaged in the cause. Hannah Chester is passing 
the winter with Mrs. Strong, and Betsey thinks she is gaining from the 
use of Hungarian balsam. 

We were agreeably surprised to find Mr. Delano appearing in much 


better health than we have ever seen him, and looking younger than 
when he left, in consequence. He took great pains to keep up good 
spirits ; and rarely adverted to the death of his sisters, and not at all 
to the death of his child, deeply afflicted as he certainly is, — which I 
was glad of; for, with all that was sad in their destiny, there was much 
to be thankful for. Give my love to your household ; and believe me, 
my dear sisters, 

Very affectionately yours, 

A. J. Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss C. Robbing. 

Northampton, January 28, 1847. 

My dear Catherine, — Last evening I got your letter, and was 
much pleased to receive it. Just a week since I received a note from 
you, and Emerson's poems, for which I feci much indebted. I should 
have acknowledged the receipt before this, but I have had letters to 
write to Edward and wife and to the children in New York ; and I have 
written to Joseph's family in that time; and then I have been to Green- 
field a day and a night ; I got home yesterday afternoon. I had 
heard from Mrs. Davis, Sen., that she wished me to come up before 
she left, and I forthwith departed. But I think it may be another month 
before she leaves ; she finds the increased family duty altogether too 
burdensome, and she cannot help taking hold with the interest of a 
mother, — and thinks in future she will be a visitor among them. But 
she has got so much attached to the four little creatures (the eldest 
four years and the youngest five weeks old), that I think she will be 
drawn back by an attraction she cannot resist. They arc a very pretty 
little set ; the youngest but one is still a baby. They have now two 

I was much interested in reading while I was there a large number 
(if sheets of Mrs. Bancroft's letters, addressed to her sons. Very easy, 
pleasant letters, descriptive of the great places and people that she 


visits. She passed a week al Sheen; Mr. Bates's Madam Van der 
Weyer and the Belgian minister were there; and there were visitors of 
theirs during their stay of the same calibre; so that it was a very mag- 
nificent occasion. Her friends think she was never so truly in her 
element as now. Eer suns are in Greenfield, and seem like two amia- 
ble young men, and are quite domesticated al George's and Thornton's. 
Mrs. Davis seems much interested in all that concerns Judge Davis's 
death, and thinks it was a most desirable ending off: and is much 
pleased with the various notices in the newspapers, particularly Mr. 
Dillard's. We shall seldom see a life under all the circumstances so 
little worldly, and manifesting such integrity of principle, as Judge 

I heard all the particulars of the Pomeroy family from .Mrs. Stone, 
which I was much interested in : and the same of Mr. Barnard's from 
Mrs. Leavitt, whom 1 went to see and found very happy, — the picture 
of contentment, and grateful for life. Seeing her furnishes me with a 
great lesson from which to learn wisdom. — something transcendental, 
but she does not know that. Mrs. George T. Davis had a party 
of young people in the evening, but I remained with Mrs. Davis at 
Thornton's in preference to going. When I got home I found Mr. 
Brinley had been at Northampton, and stayed a part of the day ; and 
gave Mr. Lyman and me an invitation to come down and pass a week 
with him, promising to come and wait on us there, and wait on us 
back. This was very ehivalrie. was not it? 

Your affectionate Sister. 

P. S. You know we have had lectures this winter, and the last was 
in verse, by Park Benjamin; very entertaining indeed, — a satire on 
modern times. 

It was during this winter that I went to New York, to pass some 
weeks with my sister, whose long absence of three years in China bad 

45 H 

made her return to this country a circumstance full of pleasure to the 
whole family circle. While I was there, the novel of " Jane Eyre " 
first appeared ; its author unknown, no fame to herald it. The 
effect it produced upon the whole reading world was electrical. If 
all the anecdotes of the effects of reading "Jane Eyre" could he 
collected, they would fill a volume, and would give added evidence, 
were any needed, of the rare genius that produced this wonderful hook. 
I had just finished it, and was still living in the glow it had caused, 
when a letter from my mother announced, " I have read ' Jane Eyre ; ' 
and, though it is intensely interesting, I advise you not to read it, for I 
think it has a most immoral tendency." I believe the character of 
Rochester, and what she always designated as " his lie at the altar," 
was what had impressed her. Certainly, he hore no resemblance either 
in his character or circumstances to any of her living or dead stand- 
ards. But I was much amazed to receive by the very next post a 
letter from my friend,* Martha Swan, who was staying with her in my 
absence, in which she said, " Your mother has been completely carried 
away with 'Jane Eyre.' She went out yesterday and bought herself a 
pair of new shoes. After she came home she took up ' Jane,' and read 
till tea-time: then she read till bed-time. Then I retired, and she read 
till nearly morning, finding, when she went to bed at last, that the toes 
of her new shoes were fairly burnt through, over the dying embers." 
Whether the loss of her shoes, by means of " a trumpery novel.'" had 
any influence on her opinion of Rochester, 1 would not pretend to say. 
She became very indignant when she came to that part of the story 
where Jane, after leaving Rochester, forgot her little bundle of clothes. 
•• So shiftless of her," she exclaimed, impetuously, "to go off without 
a change of linen ; I've no patience with her." 

In a letter to Abby, dated August 12, 1847, she speaks of her over- 
flowing thankfulness in the return of her daughter Catherine from 
China, and of her little granddaughter Louise, as a nest engaging and 
interesting child. She adds, " Your uncle has shown more pleasure in 


Katie's return", and in having her with us again, than I had dared to 
expect in his present feeble state. He seems to have a vivid sense of 
all Mr. Delano's kindness, and lias been taking an interest in having 
new fences all over our place, on both sides of the road. Edward came 
home six weeks ago, and he with his wife stayed with us a fortnight. 
And Joseph and his wife were here with their adopted child at the 
same time. 80 I have seen all my children together, which is the first 
time since my dear Anne's death ; and I enjoyed it highly." 

Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, January 21, is Is. 

My dear Son, — I received a letter from you yesterday, which dis- 
appointed me ; and another to-day, which fulfilled all my hopes and 
wishes. I sincerely rejoice with you in the happiness accompanying 
the birth of a fine child. It is an event in one's life unlike any other, 
opening a new world of hopes and fears, the alternations of which tend 
to stimulate and quicken all the affections and all the other faculties of 
our nature, and to advance our existence into immeasurable import- 
ance, and to increase our responsibility in the same ratio. I hope 
to hear again soon how the mother and child advance. Give a great 
deal of love to Sarah and her son from grandmother, and tell them 
I long to behold them ; as does Aunt Susan. 

We hold on in the same even tenor, without much change of any 
kind, devoting ourselves to "books and work and healthful play." . . . 
My neighbors are very good about coming in " to gild the gloom." 
Mr. and Mrs. Joy have been down several times to pass the evening, 
and Jane often comes, and Mrs. Allen. Susan has Martha Swan with 
her now, and last week she had Mrs. Briggs a few days. . . . We 
have enjoyed the " Eclectics " very much. 


January 22. Yesterday was a sacred day in my calendar, for a 
reason which you will remember, for it separated us for ever, in this 
world, from our beloved Anne Jean ; but no one lives a half century 
and more, without many such anniversaries, perhaps more than 1 have. 
But I mean my heart shall dwell on the blessings which have been 
showered on my path, and not on the sorrows. The best wish I can 
entertain for you is, that you may be blessed in your sons as I have 
been in mine. 

Tell Catherine, with my love, if we did not drink a dass of wine to 
her health, we did not forget her birthday, and shall not forget our 

Susan has been invited, this line day, to go down to Springfield, and 
stay till four o'clock ; and I am glad to have her go, — it does her so 
much good to take a little excursion, — and she has never left home 
the last six weeks, or been anywhere, of course. . . . 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss C. Robbins. 

Northampton, January 28, 1848. 

My dear Catherine, — It is but a poor consolation to you to know 
that my conscience is perfectly seared as with a hotiron. I have been 
intending to write for the last fortnight : but pride, in endeavoring to 
keep up appearances with those I am under the least obligation to, has 
induced me to write to many m ire distant correspondents fust, so that 
von are last served. 

Tell Mrs. Howe I am much obliged to her for sending the - Christian 
World," and not to do it if she finds the slightesl inconvenience in it. 
Mr. Delano sends me the - Christian Inquirer," which supplies all my 
wants, as I have access to a " Daily Tribune" whenever Iwish to sec 
it. We think the last numher of " Dombey and Son " is far thebesl since 
the death of Paul, and highly interesting. 


We have had two, indeed three, very interesting lectures since you 
left, from Mr. Greeley, Dr. Hopkins, and President Wheeler; which is 
about all the variety we have had. But I have got enough to think of 
and enough to do without any additional exciting causes : and am rery 
contented with the repose accompanying our warm and comfortable 

Susan is enjoying her old resource, — society, friendship, and love, 
— in Springfield, with Margaret and Lucretia ; and I am calculating 
that it will promote a degree of self-forgetfulness favorable to her 
neuralgic affection. She writes that she has been well since she left, 
and I expect her home to-morrow. During her absence, Martha Swan 
and 1 have read a very agreeable book, by the author of " Undine." 
Of course there is no probability in the story, for that is no part of the 
design of a German novelist; still there is much information and 
entertainment. Perhaps you have read it ; " Theodolf, or the Ice- 
lander." is the title. 

Mr. George Ellis came to see me yesterday, and will preach for us 
to-day. We were much pleased to hear Mr. Simmons last Sunday; 
and. as he was here during his leisure that day, we got a good deal 
acquainted with him, and found him a very genial, pleasant man. He 
told me what I did not know, that he had been living in Milton. I 
think he has but a faint idea of what Springfield is ; but he seems to 
like it very much, so imperfectly as it is known to him. 

January 30. I went this morning to hear one of Mr. George Ellis's 
best discourses. His text was from the sixth chapter of Hebrews and 
fifth verse: "The powers of the world to come." His subject was, 
the influence those powers exert on human character, according to 
their different states of mind and education. I think the house will be 
crowded this afternoon : it was very full this morning. Many people 
went expecting to hear a sermon appropriate to the occasion of Mrs. 
H. S.'s death, that I think will come again and bring more. 


It is a great blessing to me to have Martha Swan with me, she being 
fond of the kind of reading I like. 

Remember me to all friends in your house with much love, and like- 
wise to A. P. 

1 was glad to hear J. U.'s wedding went off so pleasantly. 

Your affeetionate 


Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, March 8, 1818. 

. . . My hands and my mind are employed, though there is con- 
siderable monotony in my existence. 

Since I read " Jane Evre," I have read the " Life of John Jay." 
which interested me very much, though I have read it before, some 
twelve years ago ; but I always have thought of him as one of the 
saints of the earth, and, like Washington, that we should never see his 
like again. 

Now, with your leave, I shall use the remainder of the paper for the 
benefit of your wife. 

My dear Sarah, — 1 have had it in my heart a long time to write 
to you, not that I thought I could give you much pleasure, but for my 
own satisfaction. 

Now, of course you don't know how deeply I have sympathized with 
you in this last momentous event in your history. Married people have 
a great many mountains to go over, and each one safely passed is a 
subject of congratulation, where the gain has been greater than the 
cosl and trouble. Now, I hold my only grandson to be a mighty 
treasure. I feel much richer for him myself, and if I am so much 
benefited, what must be your ease ? Why, he is a mine of wealth ! 
an income of daily comfort ! — just what his father has always been to 
me ; and now 1 feel that the treasure is doubled in his having a good 


wife, and, I trust, an excellent child. You arc sure now of having 
something to do that will add greatly to the importance and value of 
life ; and I don't know of any thing more satisfactory than bringing 
up children. They arc nearly all that gives any interest to old age, if 
we are permitted to attain to it. I often wish I was going to live my 
life over again, for my children's sake ; for, with my present experience 
and discipline, 1 should be much better fitted to bring up a family of 
children than I was in time past. But the same is the case with 
others ; and, in observing upon mankind, we see that every thing done 
is an experiment made without any knowledge of the result. Some of 
the experiments turn out well, and some ill. But having the destiny of 
our children in our hands is such a fearful, anxious task, that it inspires 
some profound reflections in those who never had any before ; and there 
are many strengthening influences accompanying all our domestic duties, 
which have a very salutary bearing on the character, and, together with 
love, help us along, and prevent many with but little instruction, from 
making shipwreck of their children and their domestic happiness. I 
am calculating that Edward and yourself will have a pattern family, 
which, if I live to see it, will add much to the pleasures of my advanced 

I am going to send a box to Susan by Mr. Edward Butler. He will 
deliver it to your husband, because he is nearer to where Mr. B. stays 
than Lafayette Place. 

Kiss the baby for me a great many times, and believe me 
Very affectionately yours, 

A. J. Lyman. 

Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Northampton, March 16, 1848. 
My dear Son, — I was glad to learn from your own pen thai your 
wife and my grandson are doing well. I know that Sarah will take 
time for recovery. As Mrs. Butler is going to-morrow, and I can send 


a package as well as not, I will send you the porringer to my little 
grandson, which his father was always led from when a youngster ; and 
I hope and pray he may be as easy to get along with as was his father. 

Mr. Delano must be thanked for John Quincy Adams's picture. 
The last time I ever saw him, to converse with him, lie looked like that 
picture ; but when I saw him in the street, last autumn he was much 
thinner. I am pleased to have it. The time I speak of conversing 
with him, he kissed my hand when we parted. That ceremony was a 
part of his European manners. Your father thought it was prophetic 
that we should never meet again. . . . 

Willi regard to Theodore Parker's eulogy of Mr. Adams, if a man 
acts through life from a high principle of honor, justice, truth, and 
humanity, but sometimes commits errors of judgment and opinion, 
those blemishes should not be made the most prominent when pretend- 
ing to write bis " eulogy." Eben Hunt could lend you this production, 
I dare say. 1 wish you would give Eben one of Mr. Ellis's discourses 
on your father's death, and ask him to take an early opportunity to 
send it to Baron Roenne ; unless you would rather do it yourself. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Northampton, April 25, 1818. 
My DEAR Ar.KY, — In the course of each day a good many people 
call, and you know our practice is always to lie disengaged. This I 
could not do in a city ; but having begun so, the time never came for 
discontinuing the practice. And I am now very well satisfied that a 
great many valuable friendships and strong attachments, and even the 
ties of kindred, have been broken by the self-indulgence by which peo- 
ple turn their friends and acquaintances from the door, from unwilling- 
ness to make a reasonable sacrifice to the intercourse of friendship. 
It is so heart-chilling, that it does much to freeze the affections which 
would readily expand into a kind regard or a generous friendship, to 


be told at the door for a succession of years, t; not at home," or 
"engaged." In my own case it tends directly to a non-intercourse, 
and makes city -life and habits intolerable to me ; combining, as it too 
generally does, heartlessness and senselessness. 

I suppose you would like to know how we have lived this winter. 
In the first place, after your uncle's death, I dismissed my oldest, 
domestic, wishing to teach the youngest habits of responsibility and 
care, such as she could not attain while there was a responsible person 
over her; besides wishing to diminish the expense of two hundred dollars 
a year, which was the least I could estimate her board and wages at. 

My real estate is rated so high that it, with a ministerial tax of sev- 
enty dollars, will not be less than a hundred annually. This, with an 
income not over eight hundred dollars, makes the nicest calculations 
necessary in regard to economy. And I do not think it tends any 
more to narrow the mind to study a rigid economy, than it does to keep 
one's self frivolously used up in contrivances for spending money lav- 
ishly, and studying trifling points of etiquette ; instead of studying the 
higher philosophy of good principle, and seeking in religion and moral 
rectitude how to lead a good life in the sphere God has appointed us 
here. Therefore, I shall not waste feeling and thought on the uneasi- 
ness of not being rich, but think how, under existing circumstances, I 
can widen the sphere of my usefulness without money. This will lie 
harder for S. than for her mother ; but she has good principles, and 
too much strength of character, not to do as well as she can in what- 
ever position she is placed, and that without discontent or murmuring. 
We must all remember that our lot is better than we deserve, and that 
the cultivation of contentment and gratitude are the great antidotes to 
the evils of this life. 

In the beginning of the winter, I had Miss Swan come to pass the 

winter with me, for I knew my Susan must be much of it with in 

New York. 

Your verv affectionate Auxt. 


P. S. I shall enjoy you and yours in your home, were it in the 
greatest possible simplicity, more than 1 can possibly enjoy visiting 
where there is a ureal effort at style and fashion ; for in one I can find 
warmth of the heart, and in the other much of the ice which clings to 
gold, the touch of which freezes the soul. 

I am much pleased with Mr. T. Walker's discourse on Mr. Adams. 
Please to say to him that 1 am greatly obliged to him for sending it 
to me. 

' Mrs. Lyman to William S. Thayer, at Harvard College. 

Northampton, November 26, 1848. 

My dear William, — 1 have been intending to give you a l\'\v 
lines ever since 1 answered your Brother James's letter. I was 
very glad to hear that you had been so fortunate as to gel a school at 
('anion. I hope it may prove all that you desire : and 1 dare say 
your anticipations do no 1 e\a--eraie the ]. leisures of such an employ- 
ment; on the contrary, you are probably expecting a -real deal of 
trouble, much thai is distasteful and difficult to endure. But von must 
learn to consider thai all these things are necessary to exercise, as well 
as test, your judgment ; and I have no doubt that it will prove a valu- 
able discipline of all your faculties, and end in that best of satisfac- 
tions, — the sense of doing good, not only to yourself, hut to your fel- 
low creatures. 

It is the saying of a good man, thai. " for every good deed of ours, 
the world will be the better always." There is a great lesson of wisdom 
to lie gained from teaching others; and that is. the value of reverence. 
I mean reverence in ils highest signification, — first for the Author of 
our being, and then for his works; hut to come down to your own 
particular case, — a just reaped l'><\- those whose superiority has placed 
them over us as instructors and rulers. No youth employed as a 
teacher for the first time, I believe, ever had so true a sense as this 


occupation gives Mm of the necessity of thai most valuable quality, 
so rare in these days of "democracy," " liberty," and " equality, " 
and, 1 may add, " fraternity." Bu< a teacher has constantly before 
him the practical illustration of its necessity and its value ; and the 

want of it is the greatest obstacle to improvement in the young, for it 
brings in its train of evils the lack of humility. 

Now, when you contemplate all the difficulties of college govern- 
ment, as well as the lower institutions, common schools, &c, you al 
once perceive that they are all owing to a want of respect for author- 
ity : in other words, reverence. When the young people in college gel 
together, they do not discuss the various trials and virtues of the pres- 
ident and professors, but always their faults and imagined det'eets. with 
the mosi unmitigated severity. 

I have no doubt that, at the end of your time of school-teaching, you 
will find you take a very different view of the relation between the 
teacher and the taught from what you did before you commenced, and 
thai you have gained much of wisdom by your experience. " Revere 
the wise, and yours will be the state of mind into which wisdom 
Hows most freely,'" is a sentiment which wc cannot apply too often to 
ourselves, or to those we are teaching. 

I am glad to hear that James Lyman and Chauncey Wright are 
coming home to Thanksgiving, and wish you all could do the same. 
Give my love to James, and tell him 1 should like to hear from him 
whenever he can find it in his heart to write ; and I hope, when you 
get fixed in your new position, you will give me some account of 
yourself and your hopes. 

Ami believe me your very interested friend, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 


Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

August 2, 1349. 
S. has two sons. They have talents to he agreeable, but their 
faculties are somewhat paralyzed by knowing that they have a fortune to 
fall back upon, and that there is nothing tor them to do hut enjoy it. 
"The healthful stimulus of prospective want" is highly desirable to 
the young people of our country: and it is astonishing how many 
amongst us are ruined by the want of it. You may have seen the 
death of Mr. Theodore Lyman announced in the Boston newspapers. 
He was a rare exception to the rule 1 have adverted to. lie left no 
widow, but left a. son and a daughter. He provided amply for them, 
and disposed of one hundred thousand dollars to different charities. 
This 1 consider an exemplary act. 

Mrs. Lyman to Mrs. Greene. 

Koi;tiiampton, November 4, 1849. 

I have just returned from church, where I have all day heard our good 
Mr. Ellis. I think he is about tin.' best minister any people ever bail : 
for his good life furnishes a valuable sermon every day. He is all the 
time at work for the good of society, and I think his loss would be 
felt almost as much among the other societies as in ours. He examines 
one school and its teachers once a week, taking the different ones in 
the order ; so that he stimulates both the teachers and the taught to do 
their best. And it has superinduced a degree of vigilance that we 
have never experienced before, with a corresponding degree of ex- 

Mrs. Lyman to her son Edward. 

Tuesday, December 21, \S'j2. 

My dear Edward, — It tilled my heart with joy and gratitude to get 
the intelligence I received yesterday at three o'clock, through . Joseph. 


What I had heard the day before was the cause of a good deal of 
solicitude, and 1 was looking with great anxiety for farther intelligence, 
when Joseph came over. I hope there will be no obstacles to prevent 

Sarah from a speedy recovery. You must begin to feel very rich, as 
well as proud of your possessions, with two boys to look after; and I 
hope you will be as lucky as / have been. I sec you laughing in your 
sleeve at the poor old lady's vain- glory, and I wish you may have as 
much cause for glorification at my age. I must tell you one thing: / 
did something to earn all the satisfaction I shall have ; but it will take 
a number of years to get to the " swellings of Jordan." There will he 
care for the hands a good while before you get to the cares of the heart. 
But parents have every encouragement, and great promise of reward 
in all they do for their children. It yields a great interest for the 
capital. . . . 

Your very affectionate 



With gradual gleam the day was dawning, 
Some lingering stars were een, 

When swung the garden-gate behind us, — 
lie fifty, 1 fifteen. 

The high top] ,.,] < ■ ; i .■ i i - < • and old graj' pony 

Stood waiting in the lane : 
Idly my father swnj i I the whip-lash, 

Lightly he held the rein. 

Tin.' stars went softly hack to heaven, 

The night-fog., r< >L I. • 1 a«.i\ , 
And rims of gold ami crowns of crimson 

Along the hill-tops lay. 

That morn, the fields, they surely never 

So fair an aspeet wore : 
And never from the purple clover 

Such perfume rose before. 

<>"cr hills and low romantic valleys, 
Ami flowery by-roads through, 

1 satm in \ simplest songs, familiar, 
That he might sing them too. 

Our souls lay open to all pleasure, 

No shadow came between ; 
Two children, busj with their leisure, — 

He fifty, J fifteen. 

As on my conch in languor, lonely. 

1 weave beguiling rhyme. 
Comes back with strangely sweet remembrance 

That far-removed time. 

The slow-paced years have brought sad changes 

That morn and this bel ween ; 
And now, on earth, my years are fifty, 

And his, in heaven, fifteen. 

" Atlantic Montiii. 


MEMORY takes me back with grateful thoughts to a period behind 
the letters in the last chapter, — to the years 1839 and 1840, 
when I returned from Mr. Emerson's school in Boston, to find my dear 
father still vigorous and unimpaired, though seventy-three years of age. 
The exquisite little poem that heads this chapter has always brought 
this time so vividly before me, so much more vividly than any words of 
mine can do, that I could not help inserting them; although in our 
case it would have come nearer the truth to say, " He seventy, I 
seventeen," — at least, for all but the last two verses. 

He rose very early, in the summer time, — seldom later than four 
o'clock,- — and it was his custom to take a long walk, rarely returning 
home before six. I often rose and took these walks with him : and 
they have left a sweet remembrance that is like a treasure laid np in 
heaven. He delighted in the natural beauties of our village ; liked to 
take me to Round Hill, and, it' possible, to reach there before the sun- 
rise. The mists in the valleys below, the mountain-tops above, were a 
pure delight to him. His memory was stored with old-fashioned 
poetry, which he often repeated as we walked through the quiet streets, 
when the closed houses still held their sleeping inmates. Sometimes 
he told me old tales of the dwellers in those homes, or of their fore- 
fathers, whom he had known as a child : sometimes he repeated to me 
long passages of Pope's "Essay on Man," or Gray's "Elegy in a 
Country Church-yard." 

In the long summer afternoons, he took me in the chaise all round 
the outskirts of the village. He had a quaint, old-fashioned set of 
terms with which he addressed his horse, which I have never heard 
any one else use. But the horse seemed to understand and like them. 
Sometimes we drove through Hadley and Hatfield; crossed the river by 
the beautiful wire ferry : came home under the mountain in the ravish- 
ing light fit' those valley sunsets. Sometimes we drove to the Factory, 
to see sister Jane, and took tea there, returning home in the full moon- 
light. How glad was every one to see him, wherever we might go ! 


Truly, " when the eye saw him it blessed him, and when the ear heard 
him it took knowledge of him." At home, Ids presence made every 
room he entered " the chamber called Peace." 

And here, my dear girls, let me endeavor to call up from memory 
a picture of one day of my mother's life at this period. One im- 
pression pervades all my thoughts of her at that time ; it is one of 
breeziness, overflowing life and good-cheer for all who came within the 
circle of her influence ; an immense healthfulness of soul and body, 
that somehow made others feel well and cheerful also, as if upborne 
by her own strong spirit. 

It is the gray dawn of a summer's day, and she is already up and 
doing, though the rest of her large family — all but my father — are 
in their deepest sleep. Not for worlds would she rouse them : this is 
her hour, — her opportunity. After the clear, cold bath in which she 
revels (it was always fine to hear her discourse eloquently on the 
magnetic effect of fresh water), she drosses in a short skirt and white 
sacque ; and, with broom and duster, goes to her parlors and dining- 
room, which are in plentiful disorder from last evening's gatherings. 
She opens the windows wide in all the rooms, to let in the sweet morn- 
ing air. Listening, as usual, to the song of the robins that frequent 
the elm trees all around, her fine car catches a new note, long-drawn, 
sweet and various. Instantly, broom and duster arc dropped, and she 
hastens out into the side-yard, ami looks up into the acacia trees to 
discover her new favorite. " I have found him," she cries ; " the 
most beautiful creature in the whole world, and the most exquisite 
singer. I shall write to Mr. Peabody this very day, and find out who 
he is." She returns to her work. The two parlors, dining-room, 
entry, and staircase are all carefully and thoroughly swept before six 
o'clock. She then calls up her two domestics, if they are not already 
up. " How light and airy are all her movements ! how strange that so 
large a woman should have so elastic a tread!" we used to say. She 
now returns to hor room, and puts on the clean calico morning-dress 


and white cap and collar, which is her usual garb until late in the day. 
There arc still some moments before the large family assemble for 
breakfast, and no one ever saw her waste that time. Her large basket 
of darning always stood in a corner of the room, ready to be attacked 
when other work tailed : and she darned the stockings of the whole 
family, — the servants' and the hired man's, as well as those of her 
husband, children, and nieces. " For," she said, " it is the one way to 
save them time, trouble, and expense. I like to do it, and they never 
do it well.'' We had one girl named Maria, who had lived with us 
some years, and was about to leave us to accompany her family to 
another town. On the morning of her departure, she appeared at the 
parlor-door, holding up the foot of an old black-silk stocking, so darned 
that the original fabric was hardly discoverable. "Mrs. Lyman, may 1 
take this with me ? " she said ; " I found it in the rag-bag." " Why, 
certainly, Maria; but what can you want that old stocking for?" 
" Why, I want to show the folks where I go Mrs. Judge Lyman's em- 
broidery" said Maria ; and, choking down a tender emotion, she added, 
"and I'll tell 'em she mended ours just as good as all the ladies'." 

Perhaps she darned stockings till the breakfast-bell rang, or else she 
took the book that always lay in the basket, underneath her stockings, 
— some good history, or book of ethics, or the last " North American." 
Or, if there were time, she wrote to Mr. Peabody and described her bird ; 
and got for answer, by next day's mail, that it was " the rose-breasted 
grossbeak." How its long name delighted her heart ! it was worthy 
the beauty of her singer. 

Breakfast comes. How often in summer-time it assembled fifteen or 
twenty happy souls around that hospitable board ! When my dear father 
came, his presence brought benediction, peace, and love, as much as hers 
gave warmth and cheer. The breakfast was always simple, but abun- 
dant, — tea and coffee, broiled fish or steak, bread, and some kind of 
pudding for the children, to be eaten with milk or cream. After break- 
fast, a chapter in the Bible and prayers were read. Then my mother 


bad water brought, and with many aids among children, grandchil- 
dren, and nieces the dishes were washed, silver cleaned, and tabic 
cleared in an incredibly short space of time. After tins, she was very 
apt to take her seat near the front door, partly because of her social 
spirit, which made her love to greet the passers-by, or send messages 
to her neighbors ; and partly because father liked to sit there, and for 
the same reasons. She had always the basket of darning beside her, 
and the book, and my father bad the newspapers which he read aloud 
to her, or she to him ; and they discussed in a truly amusing way the 
events or the politics of the day, — for he had a rare and sweet humor, 
and she had keen wit, and peals of merry laughter were often heard 
from the stairs, or the two parlors, whose doors into the entry always 
stood open, and where groups of children and visitors collected. At 
this time, my mother always had the peas brought her to shell for din- 
ner, or the beans to string. And I have seen her go on with these 
occupations unmoved and without apology, while Baron Rcenne", or the 
.fudges of (be Supreme Court, or Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, came 
and went, — she conversing all the time with each and all, in the most 
brilliant way. A touch of the bell scarce interrupting the flow of her 
ideas, she would hand her pails and pans of vegetables, nicely pre- 
pared, to the little maid who came at her call, and go on with her 
inevitable darning. — It was seldom that the large family sat down 
to meals without additional guests. Any one that dropped in was in- 
vited to remain ; any one passing the front door who looked weary was 

asked to stop. " Another plate for Mr. or Mrs. ■ ," called my mother 

cheerily to her little maid, without a thought of trouble ; as, indeed, 
there was none. 

Although she darned beautifully, she was not an exquisite seamstress, 
and sometimes tried the patience of her children and young friends by 
want of nicety. So in derision we called her sewing " the Goblin 
Tapestry." But in truth she had too many garments to make and 
mend, to give much thought to any thing but the strength and durabil- 


ity of her work : and in .some particulars she was wanting in taste. 
I recall a young girl sitting near her one day with some exquisite 
embroidery in her hand. " Now, Mrs. Lyman, is not this lovely ? " 
she said. " Well, I dare say it is, my dear," was the quick reply, 
'• but life lias never been long enough for me to embroider a flannel 

And yet with seeming inconsistency she took great pains to have 
one temporary inmate of the family taught to embroider ; and, when 
a friend remarked upon it, and said, - Why, Mrs. Lyman, I always 
thought you believed in having young people cultivate their minds 
before all things?'' she lowered her voice, but said in an emphatic 
whisper, " My dear, that girl wouldn't read, — not if you were to 
set her down in the Bodleian Library for the rest of her life. You 
can't put a quart into a pint cup.'' 

At one o'clock came dinner ; always a large joint, roast or boiled, 
with plenty of vegetables and few condiments, — for she thought 
them unwholesome, — good bread and butter, and a plain pudding 
or pie. I think her idea about food as well as clothing was, that 
there was but one object in it, — - to support and sustain the body in 
the one case, to cover and keep it warm in the other. And so she 
never discussed or encouraged discussion of any thing belonging to 
them. To have interrupted the fine conversation at that dinner-table, 
by any reference to the flavor or quality of the viands set before any 
of lis, would have appeared to both my father and mother as the heighl 
of vulgarity; and I have never been able to get used to it at other 
tables. The same feeling led them always to avoid any conversation 
about their domestic concerns or troubles, and this from the highest 
motives. One whose name is a household word in many lands 
once said, after a two weeks' visit at their house, " Oh, I liked 
to stay with Mrs. Lyman, for she had no kitchen ! *' I remember 
well her sitting in apparent abstraction and silence for a good half- 
hour, while two neighbors discussed the enormities of their servants. 


At last, anxious for her sympathy, they appealed to her. She rose 
from her seat, sighed wearily as she gathered up her work to de- 
part, and said emphatically, " I see no perfection in the parlor, 
1 don't know why 1 should expect it in the kitchen." 

In the afternoon, my dear mother allowed herself a long siesta, 
and came from her room about four, or a half-hour later, with re- 
newed brightness and cheerfulness. Then the windows of the west 
parlor attracted her, and there the young members of the family 
delighted to join her. Her pleasure in the society of the young was 
unbounded, and her entire sympathy with them led her to draw out 
the best in them at all times. Especially, if she found any young 
person with a strung desire for acquiring knowledge, she never lost 
sight of the intellectual stimulus to be applied, and never rested till 
she had found means to supply the want. How many admirable 
books we read aloud to her in those long summer afternoons, she 
often stopping us to impress some deeper application of the author's 
thought upon our minds, or taking the book from our hands to read 
over again, in her own impressive way, something that we had made 
poor and tame by our rendering! And with that large hospitality that 
often made it impossible for her to enjoy any great thought alone, or 
with her own family alone, she would note the passers-by as we 
read: and many a good neighbor, or young, intellectual starveling has 
been beckoned in, "just to hear this rich passage we are reading, 
it won't take long." 

Ah ! can we ever restore the flavor of her evening parties, where 
young and old, high and low, met on the fine footing that her perfect 
disinterestedness and full animal spirits alone made possible? No! 
not alone ; for the saintly spirit that moved beside her, invited this 
large hospitality even more than she : and what her greater impetuosity 
sometimes failed to do, his unfailing gentleness and dignity combined 
made possible, and the result of all the household entertainments was 
as perfect as heart could desire. We had parties two or three evenings 


in the week in summer-time : indeed, the neighbors thought we had 
parties all the time. But, for the most part, they were informal 
gatherings. In the old stage-coach days, my father always saw every 
friend or stranger of distinction that arrived at the taverns ; and, if he 
reported directly to my mother, she scarcely waited till morning to call 
in her friends and neighbors for the next evening, and to make ready 
her parlors for guests the next forenoon. If it was to be a tea-party, 
she had only to order an abundant supply of tea and coffee, with thin 
slices of bread and butter doubled, sponge-cake made by the daughters 
before breakfast, and thin slices of cold tongue or ham; if an evening 
party, the lemonade and cake and wine in summer, and the nuts and 
raisins and fine apples in winter, furnished the simple but sufficient en- 
tertainment. I recall the zest and avidity with which she planned these 
evenings in which one thought rose above all others, — to give pleasure, 
not to get it for herself. How she remembered every one, especially 
the young and the shy and the restricted, whose opportunities for 
society were small, and who would, therefore, be most benefited ! 

" Go tell M. and C. and A.,'" she would say to one of us, 

" that Mr. and Mrs. and Judge , from Boston, will be here 

this evening, and I want them all to come ; they will hear good talk 
ing." And, though she impressed on us all the duty of doing our part 
towards the entertainment of guests, she also taught us that a part of 
the value of society to the young consisted in being good listeners. In 
short, her one idea was to bring together the good and wise, who would 
be sure to enjoy conversation, and then collect a troop of young people 
about them, who must be benefited by contact with superior minds. 

" No one ever declines going to Mrs. Lyman's parties," was the com- 
mon remark ; " indeed, she has always more than she asks, for every- 
body knows they can take their friends there.'''' 

Occasionally, we had a party a little more stately than the rest. Such 
was the annual court-week party, when all the judges of the Supreme 
Court, and their wives and daughters, with the younger lawyers, and 


friends from all parts, filled the house. At such times, all the daugh- 
ters of the house were engaged for two or three days in the prepara- 
tions, and the results seemed to us magnificent. 

My mother so often alludes to " court-week " in her letters, that I 
cannot but recall what a delightful time it was to my sister and myself. 
As little children, we had been allowed to sit up to the seven-o'clock 
tea, which was handed round, and we did not go to bed till eight. 
What a week was that ! How, in the morning, we all ran to the win- 
dow, when the rapid ringing of the court-bell announced the coming of 
the judges ! My father always went to the hotel, to escort them into 
court, and the procession had to pass our house. Father and the chief 
justice came first, my father bearing his high-sheriff's staff of office ; 
then Judge Wilde and Judge Putnam, Judge Metcalf and Judge Wil- 
liams, Mr. Octavius Pickering and a troop of lawyers, two and two, 
with green bags. They always dined with us once or twice during the 
week, and some or all of them took tea every evening; besides our 
having one large party for them, taking in half the town. I always, 
as a child, had a feeling about Chief-Justice Shaw, as if he were the 
Great Mogul, or the Grand Panjandrum, or something of that sort : and 
the tone of absolute reverence with which my father spoke of him 
increased the effect. He was often very silent, and was subject to 
•• hay fever " when he went on the circuit, and was probably tired also 
in the evening, for he sat with his head lowered, which gave him the 
appearance of having his eyes closed. Once I crept up behind my 
father's chair, and whispered: — 

" Father, is the chief justice asleep ? " 

" Oh, no, my little pigeon," was the reply ; " far from it ! Why. he 
is thinking the profoundest th<>u ; /Jt/s that ever pass through the mind of 

This made a deep impression on my mind, and I crept back into my 
corner, longing to know what those " profoundest thoughts " might lie. 

And when we had grown to womanhood, and left the dream-land of 


childhood far behind, court-week still remained invested with the early 
halo; and the coming of the judges, with their excellent and intelli- 
gent families and friends, while it brought us abundant work, gave us 
the constant reward of delightful society. 

I recall those days now, when my mother had worked from early 
morning till late of a hot summer's day, till even her strong frame 
showed signs of exhaustion ; then, retiring to her room for one hour of 
rest, and appearing in the evening, dressed in the " good gown,'' with 
heart-warmth and smiles and brilliant talk for every one. Was any 
young girl shy or ill at case at her parties? — she did not then push her 
forward, or insist on her doing a task for which she was not fitted, and 
so make the evening a penance to her. No ! she kindly placed her 
near some group of elder people, where the conversation was earnest 
and the themes high ; and she knew the dear and unobtrusive soul 
would feel herself in Paradise. Perhaps she would not talk that 
night ; but her mind and heart would be warmed and fed, and that 
would surely make her talk better at some future day. 

A friend, who once passed a few weeks at the house, gives me this 
instance of her entire friendliness and sympathy with the young. She 
was preparing for one of her evening parties, and had got as far as 
arranging her flower-pots, which were fearful to behold, for she had 
never any taste in floral decorations. Chancing to pass the window, 
she espied a young girl whom she loved much, for she had many tal- 
ents and a warm heart ; but, through restricted circumstances and 
somewhat careless habits, was not always ready for enjoyment. 

" Oh, >S." she cried, " I am going to have a party this evening : and 
all the judges are to be here, and all the court-ladies, and I want you 
to come. Do come, my dear ! " 

" Oh, Mrs. Lyman ! " said the poor girl, looking tearfully down at 
her feet, " how I wish I could come ! But I can't, for my shoes are 
all out at the toes, and this is my only pair." 

A pause of a few minutes, when the good lady's face brightened ; — 


" Well, S.," she said, " at least, you'll help rue get ready for my 
party ? " 

" Oh, yes ! " said the young girl, with alacrity; and she came in, 
and in a few hours had effected a wonderful transformation in the 
rooms, willi her tasteful hands and willing feet. Mrs. Lyman accom- 
panied her home when the work was done, beguiling the way with 
cheerful talk. Somehow, she hardly knew how, they were in the best 
shoe-store of the village ; a pair of beautiful bronze shoes was pur- 
chased, and she had parted from her friend, and ran gayly home to 
dress for the party. 

The early restrictions of her comparatively isolated life at Brush 
Hill, during her youth, always gave her a peculiar sympathy for all 
young people she knew, who lived in a similar isolation. And so when 
winter came on, her thoughts would turn naturally to the two families 
of Huntington and Phelps, whose beautiful homes near Hadley were 
her delight in her summer drives, but whose young inmates she felt 
were sadly cut off from social privileges in the long winters. " You can 
never know," said Mrs. Bulfinch to me once, " the thrill of pleasure 
that would conic to us when we saw the double sleigh, with Mrs. Lyman 
in it, drive into our yard, — when snow-drifts were deep, and we had 
scarcely seen any one for weeks. Which of us would she ask to go 
home with her in the sleigh for a long visit, for we were sure she would 
take some of us? Ami when we went, what a welcome we had, and 
what a new life ! Your dear father, and the guests he always collected ; 
the newest books, of which we had not heard, all lying on the table; 
the bright homeish parlor! — it seemed like being transferred to an en- 
chanted land ! " 

Lorn to be leaders in society, the presence of both my father and 
mother in that lovely village was felt to lie a peculiar blessing, because 
their counsels always prevailed to bring about the best sort of demo- 
cratic feeling. They were prominent and active in the support of 
lyceum lectures, in the getting up of Shakspeare clubs, and the forma- 


tion of literary societies. It' the lecturers were to be poorly paid, they 
invited them to stay at their house, ami made up to them in kindness 
and hospitality what they lacked in fees. I recall one of our Shaks- 
peare clubs, where there were four or live admirable readers, but a few 
resident students from neighboring towns whose reading was incredibly 
bad. When my mother took the part of Portia, and Mr. Frederic D. 
Huntington (then a youth, but now Bishop of the Central Diocese of 
New York) that of Bassanio, in the " Merchant of Venice," every one 
that could, came to listen. But it must be confessed that our club was 
sometimes enlivened by bad reading ; and on one occasion, during the 
play of " Hamlet," a young man taking the part of player to the king 
uttered himself in this remarkable way, " What's he to Hee-h u-by 
(Hecuba), or Hee-keu-by to him?" Of course, except for the kind 
and considerate manners of that little community, the whole group of 
listeners would have been convulsed with laughter. My mother was 
as grave and solemn as possible, till all had left the house, and then 
she laughed till she hurt herself. Next day came a discussion in her 
presence as to whether such readers should not be excluded from the 
club. '■ By no means," she exclaimed, emphatically ; " we can all read- 
Shakspeare when and as we please ; we can now and then go to Bos- 
ton or New York, and hear Fanny Kemble or Charles Kean read, but 
to these young people it is their only opportunity. Let them come and 
read badly one winter ; it won't hurt us. Then, next winter, give them 
new parts, and let them hear how the best readers render those they 
have read. That will benefit them without hurting their feelings." 
And she carried the day. 

Indeed, it seemed a curious fact to all who knew her warm temper 
and passionate nature, that she rarely hurt the feelings of any one ; and, 
when she did, her wounds left no sting behind. With a vast power of 
indignation against wrong-doers, a positive hatred of any thing mean 
or small or insincere, and a somewhat undisciplined and impetuous 
mode of expression on occasions where her temper was roused, — she 


was surely as free from every taint of resentment or jealousy or suspi- 
cion, as, any human being I have ever seen. I remember reading aloud 
in one of Mrs. Stowe's stories, where she describes her heroine as not 
being " economical of her wrath, but using it so unsparingly, that it 
was all gone before the time for action came." " That's your moth r" 
said my dear father, with a sly smile ; and though she pretended not 
to hear, we knew she did. She neve]' apologized, that I remember ; 
she was too busy; life was too full for her, to keep taking the back 
track and wiping out old scores. But the rare tenderness of her man- 
ner to those she knew she had wounded, the warm-hearted sympathy, 
so ready to begin a new day in a new way, if they were as willing to 
forget as she was, was better far than a host of excuses. In short, she 
never enjoyed the discussion of inevitable things. She could give a 
person a good "setting down " when excited, in a few strong, terse, 
inimitable words. But then it was done and over, and she never 
wanted it revived. And if others were hesitating about any course of 
action, or quarelling over a decision, she was sure to settle the ques- 
tion in a very positive and often sudden way, though with no disregard 
to the best rights of others. In Miss Bremer's novel of the "Neigh- 
bors," there was much in the character of" Ma Chere Mere" that re- 
minded me of my mother. Especially that little scene where, calling 
in the heaven-chariot to take one of her daughters-in-law to drive, she 
found them both dressed and ready, and bickering' about which should 
have precedence ; and so she whipped up her horse, and went without 

I do not think that you, dear girls, who cannot remember- her tones 
of voice, her impressive manner, and expressive gestures, will ever be 
able to form an adequate idea of her wit, from my poor showing. A 
lady, now in middle life, tells me this tale of her youth ; she was a 
bright and talented girl, and a great favorite with my mother, who was 
always deeply interested in all that concerned her, both her education 
and her pleasures. She frequently spent whole days with my mother; 


read aloud to her, and joined in all the family occupations and diver- 
sions. But she belonged to an Orthodox family : and once, when a 
revival of religion went through the village, S. " came under convic- 
tion," as it is called ; and, being much interested and occupied with it, 
she naturally discontinued her visits to her friend for a time. "One 
day," she said, " when I had not seen Mrs. Lyman for three months, I 
was walking up Shop Row, and saw her coming down on the other side 
of the street. I thought I would not look that way, and perhaps she 
wejuld not see me. But she darted across the street, and taking me by 
both hands said, ' S. my child, you need not be afraid to come and see 
me, because you've " got religion ! " do n't you know you can't be too 
religious ? Get all the religion you can !' I thought she had gone, but 
in another moment she had turned back, looked me full in the face, 
and said, impressively, ' Be a good child, 8., and go home ami brush 
your teeth.'' " 

Walking by the " Edwards Church " one evening, as the bells rang for 
a third service, she remarked solemnly to her companion, — a stranger 
in the place, " Those are the people who are a shade better than we 
are ! " Coming from our own church one day, after the clergyman, a 
stranger, had been preaching a sermon upon a personal devil, our 
neighbor, Mrs. Whitmarsh, met her and said, " Why Mrs. Lyman, you 
do n't believe in a personal devil, do you ? " " Of course I do ! I 
couldn't keep house a day without him ! " was the emphatic answer. 

It was not always what she said, that caused the laugh that so often 
followed her lightest remarks. It was the tone of voice, the inimitable 
gesture, the lifting of her eyebrows, the waving of her hand, the mock 
solemnity, — that carried away her hearers with an irresistible flood of 
merriment. And these tones and gestures were so wholly her own, 
such a simple and unconscious possession, that it is impossible to 
describe them. At a sewing circle one night, before the days of gas, 
the hostess was worrying over the poor light from her astral lamp. 
She tried various expedients, but all to no purpose, and she grew more 


and more worried. A hand was laid on her arm, and the audible 
whisper sent a smile all round the room: "The law of the lamp lias 
been violated," said Mrs. Lyman ; " that's all the matter." 

One morning a gentleman, a stranger, walked into Warner's tavern, 
and accosted "mine host," — at the same time laughing heartily. " I 
was walking past a house just above here," he said, " when an elderly 
lady without any bonnet, and carrying a large feather fan, with which 
she fanned herself vigorously, passed me. I saw that some portions of 
the fence had been broken, and I stooped down and laid the pieces 
carefully together. I felt a hand laid on my shoulder, and a voice 
said, ' Sir, you're a Christian feller cretur ! ' I looked up. and it was 
the same pleasant-looking lady I had seen walking up and down." 
"Oh," said Mr. Warner, "it's easy to tell you who that was! 
Nobody in our village talks that way but Mrs. Judge Lyman." 

Her views on the education of children were strong and character- 
istic. She loved young children with enthusiastic devotion, enjoyed in 
the heartiest way every beauty or attraction they possessed, and fairly 
revelled in the presence of a baby. I never saw but two persons who 
delighted in a baby as she did. (hie was our minister's wife, -Mrs. 
Hall ; and the other, our cousin, Emma Forbes. Whenever a new baby 
appeared at the Halls', my mother would come home in a state of 
rapture. Mrs. Hall would say to her, " Now, you see, Mrs. Lyman, this 
is I'eally the best and sweetest baby I have had yet ; he is so pretty, 1 
really feel as if I ought to give him away ; he is too good for me to 
keep." And this hearty gratitude for the new gift met with the fullest 
response in her good neighbor's heart. 

She noted the peculiar traits of her children, rejoiced in their indi- 
vidualities, delighted in their original remarks ; but she " kept all these 
things in her heart, and pondered them." No one ever heard her call 
attention to them, or repeat any thing they had said, in their presence. 
In fact, she was so fearful that others might be less careful than her- 
self, that she did not often speak of them to her friends, and it has 


been an amazement to ns to find so many references to us in her let- 
ters. A child's simplicity and unconsciousness were more sacred to 
her than to any one I have ever known, and she guarded them with 
a jealous care I have never seen surpassed. Always ready to sympa- 
thize with and approve them, she yet never allowed herself or others 
to express admiration of children in their presence, — either of their 
beauty or their attractive ways, or their efforts to please. 1 can 
remember the indignation she once expressed when some neighbors 
stopped at the front door, and showed undisguised admiration for the 
unconscious little beauty who sat there eating her bread and milk. 
Afterwards, in reading what our Lord said, in Matthew T xviii. , 
'• Whoso shall offend one of these little ones," &c, she exclaimed 
forcibly, " They do it all the time, — the people that flatter simple and 
innocent children, and destroy their natural unconsciousness and 
humility." She had always great faith in keeping children in a 
rather humble and subordinate position ; but entirely on their own 
account, and from strong conviction that it would be a help to them all 
through the journey of life. So she dressed them in the plainest, 
clothes, taught them always to be ready to give up personal ease or 
pleasure for the sake of older people, and wished them to show defer- 
ence at all times to superiors. I think in the matter of dress she 
sometimes erred, — partly from her own lack of taste. But the principle 
with her was a fine one. It arose from her great dislike to give 
prominence to the' external in any thing. It may be questioned, how- 
ever, if a fair amount of time and thought bestowed on dress does not 
confer pleasure of a high order on others ; and almost all children have 
such delight in pretty clothes, that it is possible to produce more 
thought about them in a child's mind who is denied the exercise of 
taste, than would exist where a certain amount of care was bestowed 
on it. But her view was on the whole a noble one, — in her who 
valued the soul so much more highly than the body, and who wanted 


to make a purse, that would have sufficed to dress her own children 
handsomely, help to supply the necessities of life to many others. 

I well remember a certain indigo-blue print, covered with white stars, 
very much worn by children in orphan asylums, and by working people. 
It was our detestation, and so my mother dubbed the material, " morti- 
fication.'" I had never heard any other name for it, and did not suppose 
it had any other. We had our fresh white dresses and blue ribbons for 
Sundays or for company, but on working days, " let all children cat hum- 
ble pie," was my mother's maxim ; and in many respects it was a good 
one. And so, one day when I was eight years old, I was sent to the 
store to buy six yards of the hated fabric to make an every-day dress. 
" 1'lcasc sir," said I, sadly, to the clerk who made his appearance, " have 
you any blue mortification ? " " No ! I never heard of it," was the 
quick reply. My spirits rose, and I was about to leave the store, when 
I almost stumbled over a pile of the very goods. Conscience was too 
strong for me. " This is it," I said timidly. I heard a suppressed 
giggle behind the counter ; and as the clerk measured off six yards of 
" mortification," one of the partners said in an audible whisper, " Of 
course it aint the name, but Mrs. Lyman always gives her own names 
to every thing, and the child do n't know any better." 

I do not think that my mother ever had more than three dresses at 
any one time ; she called them " gowns." Her best dress was always 
a very handsome black silk, worn with simple, but fine, cap and laces. 
A mousseline-de-laine — black or gray — she called her "every-day 
gown ; " and a dark calico for mornings and work-days, she wore in 
summer, and exchanged for a heavier material in winter. The best 
dress she always called her " good gown ;" and a shabbier dress, which 
she kept to save the best, she called her " vessel of dishonor." It took 
one day then to cut, fit, and finish off one of her gowns; she sitting 
with the dressmaker, and sewing the whole day. So that three days 
in the early summer, and three days in winter sufficed to construct her 


modest wardrobe. And, oh ! how handsome she was in every dress, — 
even when she had not on the " good gown,'' that belonged to state 

I thought her manners then, and I think them now, after a lung re- 
view, the finest I have ever seen, exeept my father's, which were even 
finer, having in them the trace of a life filled with the beatitudes. My 
mother had a noble presence, and what would have been called statelj 
manners, had they not been so gracious, so full of friendliness and 
sympathy, and sincere cordiality. And 1 cannot remember that either 
she or my father ever enjoined fine 'manners on the many young people 
they educated ; or ever talked about them. With them it was always 
the principle to work from within outward, and not the reverse. They 
believed that if one could make a child perfectly truthful, disinterested, 
and considerate towards all God's creatures, fine manners would be the 
inevitable and unconscious result. Both of them despised'eonvention- 
alities, and often taught us, both by precept and example, that appear- 
ances were naught, except as types of an interior reality. 

To my mother's large view, the fine perspective of life was always 
kept ; she could not sacrifice the greater to the less at any time. I 
remember once, when a sleighing party of young people, hurrying to 
be in time for the railroad-train, — which then did not come nearer to 
Northampton than Palmer, — drove up to the friendly door for aid, 
because they had broken some part of their harness. Sitting near the 
window, she saw the dilemma, and hastened out. Being told that 
they had not a moment to lose, and that there were reasons of special 
importance why they should make the train, she despatched one child 
in haste to the barn for the man, and another to the house for strong 
cords. But no sooner had they gone to obey her orders, than a quicker 
expedient suggested itself to her fertile fancy. She raised her dress 
quietly, and rapidly whisked off her strong, knit, cotton garters, united 
the broken harness with a firm weaver's knot, and waved off the little 
party with the air of a queen. I recall now their three cheers for " the 


good lady and her garters," as they drove down the hill ; and she, 
standing in the snow, with noble presence and outline, and grave un- 
consciousness of any thing save satisfaction that she could help them. 
My friend, Caroline Clapp, came in on the instant. " Do n't tell me, 
Caroline, any thing about elastics" she said; " a good, strong, generous 
cotton garter is worth the whole of them in an emergency." 

" Oh, Mrs. Lyman can say or do any thing she pleases," was the 
common remark. And so she could, because the motives were always 
simple, and single, and transparent to view. The worst as well as the 
best was all to be seen ; nothing hidden, or complicated, or incompre- 
hensible. .1 have said that her temper was quick and warm, and her 
passions violent. A friend has told me this characteristic story, one 
of many that could be told, to prove how wholly without resentment 
her nature was. When my mother first came to Northampton, a 
handsome ami attractive person, full of animation, she had been 
received with the utmost warmth, both for the sake of her good hus- 
band, so well beloved, and because her own cordiality spoke volumes 
in her favor. " I thought Northampton a little paradise," she said 
afterwards to this same young friend, " and that everybody loved me 
as I loved them." And in the long run this was true, but it was 
impossible for so ardent and impulsive a nature not to offend some- 
times the prepossessions or prejudices of a community where she was 
always the central figure. "And after a time," she said, "one person 
whom I had always loved, would come and repeat to me the ill remarks 
of neighbors and friends. Then I said, 'Get thee behind me, for 
I cannot afford to have my mind and heart poisoned towards those I 
live among.'" One day, when a young girl she loved was reading 
aloud to her, this treacherous friend came in. " Go, my dear,"' said 
Mrs. Lyman, " and sit with your book, by the window, in the next 
room." "I went," said the young girl, "but I could not help overhear- 
ing the conversation, in which Miss repeated an opinion of her held 

by a family she had loved very much, and who, she thought, loved her, 


which was so derogatory and untrue, it could not but have been deeply 
trying to her warm and sensitive heart. I could not help hearing 
the whole," said S., " and I thought how angry Mrs. Lyman must 
be. But, no! She was just as calm, and quiet, and dignified as possi- 
ble, though she looked grieved. She heard Miss B. all through, then 
she said slowly and with subdued emotion, ' I am sorry my neighbors 
think so ill of me, but I can't help it. I shall never feel any differ- 
ently towards them.' Then, her voice rising, but still quite calm, she 
added, ' But you, B., can't be my friend, to want to tell me such 
things, and I don't care if you never enter my doors again.' Miss 

B. took her leave hastily; Mrs. Lyman called to me, 'Come S , 

read right on, and let us forget all about this rubbish, just as fast as 
we can.' Her eyes were tearful, but in five minutes she was making 
cheerful comments on the book, and I never heard her allude to the 
incident again. But an event occurred soon after, which fixed the 
whole scene more forcibly still in my memory. Only a week later, a 
malignant epidemic seized the family in question, and two of the chil- 
dren were sick unto death. I was sent by my mother to inquire how 
they were, but by no means to enter the house, as the disease was so 
contagious. But as I hovered near the open doors and windows, to 
my surprise I saw Mrs. Lyman entirely absorbed in the care of the 
sick children, though she did not see me. Then I thought of the talk 
in her parlor, so short a time before, and I said in my heart, ' What- 
ever her religion is, she is a good and noble woman ! ' " 

Late in her life, she wrote a most tender and loving letter to her 
daughter Catherine, in China, on the subject of her little grand- 
children and their education, and I cannot but copy from it this 
striking sentence : — 

'• I can well remember the first time my Aunt Forbes (who was also 

my godmother) made me repeat after her the sentence, ' I must bear 

no malice or hatred in my heart,' — together with a number of similar 

sentences which are familiar to you ; I say I can well remember 



thinking that it would be impossible for me to entertain either of those 
sentiments ; but I am now sure that the impression she then made has 
been the means of preventing the excess of them, for she led me to 
feel that they were as unworthy of one of God's creatures as either 
lying or theft. And I cannot doubt from practical experience that it is 
more natural for unperverted children to receive good impressions than 
bad ones, and feel no doubt in my own mind that they often imbibe 
when very young the truest and most refined moral sentiments, which 
take root and grow with their growth, and strengthen with their 

As another illustration of her inability to hold on to wrath, my 
friend, Lucretia Hale, recalls to me an instance to which we were both 
witness once, when she was on a visit at our house. My mother always 
had a small servant in the house, who acted in the capacity of runner 
to the whole family. She was usually taken at the age of ten years, 
and kept till fifteen or thereabout ; was not only clothed comfortably 
and treated with much kindness, but was trained carefully for higher 
service, and daily instructed for an hour or two. either by her mistress 
or some of the daughters, in reading, writing, arithmetic, and geogra- 
phy. My mother bad a rare gift for teaching, and enjoyed it thor- 
oughly. What a succession of these little girls she taught to read 
beautifully and understand ingly ; and in spite of an occasional bout 
with obstinacy and stupidity, in which however she always came oft' 
conqueror, what an excellent relation subsisted between them ! It was 
delightful to overhear some of these hours of instruction, — the timid 
child slowly picking her way through an involved sentence in a per- 
fectly dry, jerky, sing-song tone ; my mother correcting with great 
patience, but after a time seizing the book with impetuosity, and read- 
ing so exactly like her young scholar, and yet performing the imitation 
so good-naturedly, that the child, diffident and respectful as she always 
was, could not help laughing heartily. " Now consider," she would 
say, " if you were relating this fact to me you have just been reading, 


would you do it so? " " No! " " Well, read it again to me exactly as 
if you were speaking." In this way, and by never allowing one word 
to he passed over that was not perfectly understood, both as to meaning 
and derivation, she made a large number of excellent readers. It was 
an inestimable service to these poor children, and in after-life they 
duly appreciated it. 

The last child my mother took in this capacity was Letitia, who, 
bearing a striking resemblance to a familiar character in Dickens, 
commonly went by the name of the Marchioness. Now, the Mar- 
chioness was as good as gold and faithful to all requirements, but 
like many another child of ten years, when work was done, she 
liked a little mischief. One afternoon in the late autumn, my mother 
sauntered out to see some of her neighbors, wearing her large calash 
and cape that always hung on the tree in the front entry, to be in 
readiness for such impromptu expeditions. When she had gone, the 
Marchioness, unwisely calculating that the expedition would last some 
hours, decided on a round of visits among her own acquaintance, 
although it was a day on which the cook was absent. Moreover, hav- 
ing a taste for elegance, she went to her mistress's closet, took out her 
best black-silk bonnet and nice Cashmere shawl, and arrayed herself 
in them. Nothing could be more absurd than the grotesque little 
figure, dressed in the elderly lady's best, that my friend and I saw 
hurrying off through the side-yard at twilight, — too late to stop her 
proceedings. So we resolved together to say nothing. The fates 
decreed that my mother should find most of her neighbors absent that 
afternoon, so she returned home very soon after the Marchioness had 
disappeared, and soon became absorbed in a book she was reading. 
Presently my father came in, and desired her to go with him to call on 
some strangers of distinction at the Mansion House. She went to her 
closet to get her best bonnet and shawl ; they were gone. Of course, 
her discomfiture and annoyance were extreme. We could no longer 
conceal from her the facts of the case, and evidently she must give up 


paying her visit. She was in a towering passion, and who could 
wonder? " She would punish that child within an inch of her life, the 
minute she could get hold of her ! The Marchioness would come home 
cold, and there should he no kitchen fire for her," — and she vigorously 
administered three or four pitchers of water, and put out the fire. 
" She would he hungry ; she should go supperless to lied, and shame 
and disgrace should follow her downsitting and uprising ! " So. having 
removed certain goodies that she habitually kept for any member of 
her own family into the parlor closet, she proceeded to lock up the 
kitchen and store closets. 

Late in the evening, the stealthy tread of the culprit, hoping to creep 
in and restore the borrowed lustre to its proper place without detection, 
was heard. My mother pounced upon her vehemently. 

" How did you dare ! " she began, — hut one glance at the shivering, 
trembling child was too much for that warm heart. Possibly, too, the 
whole absurdity of the situation struck her, although she never once 
smiled. " Letitia," she said, gravely, hut in a tone whose depth and gen- 
tleness sounds even now in my cars, through the distant years, " Letitia," 
— no longer " Marchioness." — " I suppose you are very cold ': " 
" Yes, marm." 

" Well, Letitia, the kitchen fire is all out, and it won't do for you to 
go to bed shaking in that way ; so you'd hotter sit down here by my 
fire, and get perfectly warm." 

" Yes, marm ! " in most abject tones from the poor Marchioness. 
A pause, — my mother working away as if her life depended on it; 
then. ■■ Letitia, I suppose you have not had any supper, and must he 
very hungry'.' Well, you won't find any thing in the kitchen : hut 
when you have got your feet warm, you can go there," — pointing to 
the parlor-closet, — " and take what you want." 

When my friend Lucretia and I were fairly in our own room, and 
had closed the door, we could not tell whether to laugh or cry, the 
whole scene had been such a mixture of humor and pathos. Really, 


we had not expected fco see sucli a lizzie as this, after such great prep- 
arations for protracted warfare. 

It is needless to say that the Marchioness never wore her mis- 
tress's best things again, or performed any similar prank, although her 
mischief did not end there. " A great deal of the white horse in that, 
child," my mother would say, — it was a favorite expression of hers, — 
" hut she's a treasure in the long run." 

My dear friend, Martha Swan, who often stayed with her during my 
frequent absences from home, says that one day, when she was prepar- 
ing to receive some friends in the evening, a young lady came in, whose 
purpose evidently was to receive an invitation to meet these guests. 
As soon as she was gone, my mother remarked : — 

" Now, mark my words, Martha ! I will not have that piece of pre- 
tension and affectation here to-night, to spoil all our pleasure." 

Martha thought she was perfectly right, and supposed the matter 
dropped. About dark, what was her amazement to see my mother 
creeping stealthily out the side-door, and, after a time, returning, tow- 
ing along " that piece of pretension and affectation," to take tea and 
pass the evening. She really could not have enjoyed a moment, think- 
ing that any young girl was sitting at home, wanting to come ; although 
there was no reason why she should have asked her, as it was not a 
general party, but only a gathering of three or four persons. But she 
had certainly great impatience with all affectation ; and no wonder, for 
nothing could be more foreign to her own nature. I find in one of her 
letters this sentence : — 

" I went yesterday to see , and, to my great sorrow, found her 

translated into an affected piece of city trumpery. But such people as 
she is, should not engross much space, even in a letter. They arc like 
the short-lived, gaudy butterfly, — entertain us with their fine colors, 
but never soar to any thing higher than this poor earth. 'Tis about as 
foolish to talk about them as it would be to envy them. I could toler- 


ate affectation, if it were not that I see those who fall into it have first 
to part with all their integrity of character, and give themselves up to 
the exhibition of false colors; in other words, they live upon untruth. 
Their whole conduct is a practical lie. But they only have the com- 
mendation of such as themselves ; for others will do themselves the 
justice to bear their testimony against this lie, lest they should be con- 
sidered as involved in the same folly, not to say vice.'" 

I cannot help here recalling how possible it was for her to appear 
like quite a poor, depressed, commonplace woman, when some acci- 
dent would place her in the society of persons whose life was in exter- 
nals. The neighbors in our village, who appreciated her so fully, 
would never have known her for the same person. Silent, abstracted, 
she was either absorbed in some homely work, or her mind had trav- 
elled to some distant space. I remember a young lady of fashion wak- 
ing her suddenly from one of these dreams by saying: — 

" Mrs. Lyman, you were at 's yesterday. Did you hear B. 

express any enthusiasm about Z.'s carpets and curtains ? " 

She looked half-dazed ; but, when the question was fairly understood, 
said, slowly : — 

" Carpets ! curtains ! enthusiasm ! Well, well ! I've heard of en- 
thusiasm for line natural scenery ; for grand music ; for a noble 
poem ; but I never in all my life heard of it for those things ! " 
And she relapsed into her solemn silence. 

Never was there any one, who, both by precept and example, placed 
a lower value on things. I find, in a letter to my sister Catherine, 
written to her during her residence in China, the following description 
of a young friend : — 

" Prom the tone of her letters, I think L. is becoming more reconciled 
to her new home than when she first went there. I should think it 
was a place where she might make herself contented, and where her 
accomplishments would be appreciated. But I suspect discontent is a 


very prominent element in her character, though there is a greal deal 
that is interesting mingled with it. But she has been too much 
indulged, to be happy, and has too exaggerated notions of the requisites 
to happiness ; in short, she has not discovered that the real sources of 
happiness are only to be found in one's own breast. She has affixed 
too deep a significance to chairs and tables, and all external things of 
that kind, and has failed to throw around common things and common 
duties that drapery of fitness, simplicity, and grace, which nothing but 
a well-directed imagination and mental insight into the great ends of 
existence supplies. It is the common and familiar things belonging to 
our existence, which must furnish the materials of our happiness. We 
must invest them with the beauty and the radiance and the loveliness 
of gifts from our Heavenly Father, who knows what is best for us. If 
our lot is not what we prefer, and is what we cannot overrule, we must 
remember it has been assigned to us by Heavenly Wisdom, in love and 
mercy. Will not such reflections secure contentment? " 

How can I pass by the period of my youth without recording the 
high value she placed on the friendships of the young, and the efforts 
she was always making to foster and enlarge them? To her mind 
friendship was a great educator, one of the noblest of stimulants to 
virtue ; and in our bouse was never a barrier or limit placed on the 
intercourse of young people of both sexes, by perpetual harping on pro- 
prieties. How the names of all our friends seemed to have an added 
lustre as she pronounced them, and how her ever fresh sympathy was 
constantly increasing our own enthusiasm ! 

And in the social life of our village, how steadily she ignored any 
differences among her neighbors ! I recall a most characteristic inci- 
dent as happening during my youth. My mother's neighbors were 
mostly like herself, early risers, and half the work and half the errands 
in their busy life were done before breakfast in the summer-time, and in 


the cool of the morning. She so often repeated with glowing counte- 
nance those lines from Gray's " Elegy," 

" The breezy call ••!' iiKvnse-lireatliing mum," 

that I think she had a living experience of the beauty in them. One 
morning, with windows all open, she was vigorously sweeping her 
parlors, when an old friend passed, with a basket of eggs, and stopped 
as usual for a morning chat. " Mrs. Lyman," she called out, "I hear 

you have invited the s and the s to your party to-night ! 

Didn't you know they don't speak; and won't it he a little awk- 
ward '.' " '• I do n't know any thing about people that do n't speak ! " 
was the quick reply, and she went on with her work. A few moments 
passed, and another friend looked in at the window ; " Good morning, 
Mrs. Lyman," she said ; " I heard, yesterday, that you had invited the 

s and the s to your party to-night, and I thought, as I was going 

down town this morning, I would try to see you, and let you know that 
those two families do n't speak to one another, and have n't these six 
months." " The Lord only knows when they will," said my mother, 
sweeping yet more vigorously, " if no one ever gives them a chance ! " 
And the second friend passed on. A few moments later, the sweet, 
cheery voice of a young girl was heard, on her way to catch the 
early mail at the post-office : — 

" Mrs. Lyman ! Mrs. Lyman ! " she called out, as she caught sight 
of the retreating figure with the broom : " are you going to have a 

party to-night '( And is it true that you 've invited the s ami the 

s ? Did you know they do n't speak ? " My mother was now quite 

roused. Leaving every thing, she went to the door, and laid a heavy 
and impressive hand on the young girl's shoulder, — a touch that all 
remember who ever felt it. " See here, l'.." site said, " you are young, 
very young indeed" (if ever youth was made to sound like a crime, it 
did then ) ; " did you ever hear that, when two countries are at war, a 


third country or territory is always selected, which they call neutral 
ground? Now, I am perfectly willing to have my parlors stand for 
neutral ground ; but you need not tell any one that 1 said so." The 
young girl passed on ; hut my mother called her back. " C," she said, 
" I want to tell you, that when you've lived as long as I have, you'll 
find it's a capital thing to go through life deaf, and dumb, and blind!" 

I cannot remember whether the contending families came to our 
party, but I do know that those dear parlors proved neutral ground 
more than once to neighbors long parted, their differences melting 
away in a house where differences were never recognized. 

Indeed, nothing impressed one more than the warmth and glow her 
presence spread wherever she came ; and in her own parlors she was 
surely queen. But, wherever she moved, light followed her. How per- 
fect were her relations to the near neighbors ! How she had secrets with 
the family at Warner's tavern, and lived for years on the best of terms 
with those two excellent women, Mrs. Warner and Mrs. Vinton, and 
would often be seen stealing in at their back-door, through the hole in 
the fence that parted our premises, to borrow a pie, or to give advice 
as to the naming of the children who were born there, or something 
equally important ; then to the apothecary's store between us, to have 
her evening chat with Mr. Isaac Clark, whom she justly regarded as 
" one of the salt of the earth " ! Trifles, light as air they all seem to 
tell of; but the racy words she uttered to all these friends have been 
remembered ever since. 

And yet how can any one, who did not hear her, take in the infinite 
satire she conveyed, when she spoke of one of her children, as fearing 
she had gone over to " those loose enders" meaning the transcendental- 
ists : and of another, that she had " got beyond ordinances," because 
she did not wish to go to church two or three times on Sunday ? 

We shall have to leave many of her best sayings unrecorded, for we 
cannot transfer the tone and manner that made them forcible. 


Ye sigh not, when the sun, his course fulfilled, 
His glorious course, rejoicing earth and sky, 

In the soft evening, when the winds are stilled, 
Sinks where his islands of refreshment lie ; 

And leaves the smile of his departure spread 

O'er the warm-colored heaven and ruddy mountain-head. 

Why weep ye, then, for him who, having won 

The bound of man's appointed years, at last, 
Life's blessings all enjoyed, life's labors done, 

Serenely to his final rest has passed ; 
While the soft memory of his virtues yet 
Lingers like twilight hues, when the bright sun is set. 


IT was during the summer of 1841, that my father experienced his 
first shock of paralysis, followed at intervals with other attacks, 
more or less severe, until his death, on December 11, 1847. During 
these years, he suffered much from the consciousness of the change 
that had passed over him, from failing sight and memory, and all the 
wearisome attendants of paralysis. Nor was the care and alleviation 
of the disease as well understood as now, when modern science has 
taught us the methods of staying its progress and lessening its effects. 
Always patient and long-suffering, his Christian submission did not 
forsake him, and he bore the long years of his downward progress, 
rather, I should say, his upward progress, with that unrepining spirit 
which in health had been a cheerful and peaceful one. But the days 
were full of heaviness to him, though often lighted up by the warmth 
of his affections, and that spirit of courtesy (the last attainment of 


the refined Christian) which never forsook him, even when mind and 
memory were gone. 

And now, if I were to pass over in silence my dear mother's course 
during these trying years, that integrity which formed so striking a 
portion of her character would rise up to reproach me. 

Disparity of years is no disadvantage in the early period of marriage. 
In fact, to a high-toned young woman, the mixture of reverence she 
cannot but feel for her elder companion greatly enhances many of her 
enjoyments. Middle age still retains the noblest characteristics of 
youth ; and if it has lost something of aspiration, it has the added 
grace of long habit, and the steadiness of long performance. But when 
years have passed on, and the wife finds herself in middle life, over- 
whelmed with its cares and duties, and still vigorous to meet them, — 
her husband now feeble, infirm, tottering on the verge of the grave, no 
longer able to be the guide and sustainer of her difficult path, — then is 
felt " that awful chasm of twenty-one years in human life," of which 
my mother's sister Sally had written, at the time of her betrothal, but 
which had never been manifest till now. She omitted no care that 
could add to his comfort ; and the impatient word and sudden gesture, 
which children and friends might regret, did no justice to the devotion 
of weary days and nights, for which she asked no aid and claimed no 
sympathy. Self-control and patient endurance had never been her 
characteristic virtues, although she practised them far oftener than we 
knew ; but at this period many trials came to her, which one must 
experience to understand. With the care of a failing invalid always 
on her mind, passing hours of every day in reading over and over again 
the same newspapers with dimmed eyes, — eyes long dim from weeping 
for the lovely Anne Jean, and for other sorrows ; her nights often 
broken and disturbed, — she had yet the same duties to a large circle that 
she had always had. The habits of the house for half a century could 
not at once be changed, and the old hospitalities still went on, with a 
diminished purse, and added self-sacrifice on her part. The casual 


observer is wont to notice the occasions of the irritable word, the im- 
patient gesture, and they always seem insufficient for the effect. One 
who looks deeper, knows that' the cause lies deeper; that the irritability 
coming inevitably from so many sources of fatigue and anxiety must 
have a vent somewhere ; and unfortunately for our pour human nature, 
the safety-valve will often be the one best loved, most tenderly cher- 
ished, — only alas ! because on that perfect love and understanding we 
can always fall back. 

And indeed, although her vigorous health seemed the same, yet that 
" cloud, no bigger than a man's hand," left upon her brain by the 
malignant erysipelas of two years before, had already begun its work 
of destruction ; although it was not till two years after my father's 
death that she experienced those first moments of unconsciousness, 
which gave evidence of a disordered brain. 

Later in her life, when her own ill-health and failing powers gave 
her a better understanding of weak nerves and exhausted strength, 
she expressed to me a tender regret that she had not been more patient 
witli the infirmities of my father's last years. But it was a regret free 
from remorse, for she was unconscious ot any thing save warm affection 
and pure intention in respect to him. 

Alter my father's death, my mother passed a winter of great quiet- 
ness, and the physical rest she experienced was in some respects a 
benefit to her. She read a great deal, and her reflections were wise 
and thoughtful. It is touching to me to recall how in these days of 
lessened cares, diminished means, and a comparatively empty house, 
she set herself diligently to work to acquire those habits of system and 
order, the want of which bad been a serious drawback to her all her 
life. Her youngesf son. whose devotion to her comfort from his youth 
upward was the frequent theme of her loving observation, now arranged 
all her affairs so as to give her the least trouble and inconvenience 
possible ; and she endeavored to aid him as far as she could, by keeping 
that strict account of expenditure, which her narrow income especially 


demanded. It is hard to alter late in life those habits which have been 
both hereditary and indulged; yet- my dear mother made that good 
progress during this period that must have been crowned with partial 
success, had not that mental malady, caused by the illness four years 
previous, been steadily though silently advancing. During the summer 
after my father's death, she experienced much pleasure in the coming 
of a daughter-in-law to pass some weeks, bringing a little grandson, in 
whom her affectionate heart lived over again the infancy of her own 
children. In the autumn, her last unmarried child became engaged, 
and although this circumstance took from her her only companion and 
cherished daughter, yet her sympathy in the event, and her unselfish 
efforts to promote the best happiness of the young couple, prevented 
her from duelling mournfully on the deprivation. She was always 
ready to see the sunlight shining through the drifts of clouds, and, 
when nothing was cheerful in her own fate, to make the happiness of 
another her own. 

There is a peaceful pleasure to me in recalling this summer of 1848, 
the last that my dear mother and I passed together, when she was in 
full possession of all her powers. I read aloud to her a great deal, 
and, among other things, the " Memoirs of Dr. Channing." How she 
delighted in it, and recalled the years of her acquaintance witli him, 
and the first effect of his preaching on her youthful mind ! 

She had a valued friend and neighbor, Mrs. Thayer, with whom she 
had an uncommon share of sympathy. In some strong points of char- 
acter they greatly resembled each other, and shared the same views of 
an enlarged hospitality and kindness to strangers, because they were 
strangers. Mrs. Thayer had two sons, who were making most self- 
denying efforts for an education. Refined and intellectual tastes were 
hereditary in the family ; and William, the eldest son, had, even as a 
boy, a rare talent for writing poetry. From the moment my mother 
knew about these boys, her heart was deeply engaged in seconding 
their efforts. That she was not in this case without that clear, moral 


insight into the characters of those on whom she fixed her deepest 
interest, Avhich distinguished her beyond most persons I have known, 
may be seen from the following note, written to William in 1849, by 
the poet Whittier, who was an old friend of his family : — 

Amesbuky 24th, 8th month [1849]. 
My dear Friend, — I was very glad to get a line from thee, and the 
poem enclosed pleased me exceedingly. The concluding verse is ad- 
mirable and the whole conception good. I have just sent it to the 
" Era." 

Give my best love to thy mother (and father, if he is at home), and 
to Sarah and James, and believe me 

Very cordially thy friend, 

John G. Whittier. 

P. S. Elizabeth and mother send their love to thee and thine. We 
are right glad thou hast so good a friend as Mrs. Lyman, and still 
more so that Iter kindness is so well deserved on thy part. Prom my 
heart, I cannot but thank that woman for what she has done for thee. 
God bless her ! W. 

When, many years later, I visited, at Alexandria, the grave of Wil- 
liam Thayer, our consul-general in Egypt ; when I heard the mourning 
for his early death, of Lady Duff Gordon and her daughter, Mrs. Ross, 
and their appreciative recollections of his brief career: and when I saw 
the sincere grief of his servants, Hassan and Ali, who were with him 
to the end, — I rejoiced that my dear mother, who always took the death 
of loved ones so hard, was spared this added sorrow. — Tbe other 
brother is now a professor in the Law School of Harvard University. 
and holds the same chair that was formerly held by my mother's friend, 
Hooker Asbmun. 

But to return to the summer of 1848. I recall with gratitude how 
much her deep interest in these boys, and in Chauncey Wright, helped 


to carry her through a period when many persons, similarly situated, 
would only have been able to think of their privations and trials. 
Scarcely ever did Chauncey's father, the deputy-sheriff, drive past her 
door that she did not hail him, to impress on his mind, with all the 
earnestness and pathos of her nature, that Chauncey must have a col- 
legiate education ; and I think, if he did not want her to be a thorn in 
his side until this dear wish of her heart was accomplished, he must 
have made a circuit to avoid her. But he was a kind-hearted man, 
and valued her sympathy and interest ; and she never forgot the day 
when he came to tell her that Chauncey should go to Harvard, nor the 
sweet smile of the shy youth, who timidly thanked her for using her 
influence in his behalf. That day made a high festival for her, and, 
to use her own expressive phrase, " was worth a guinea a minute to 

She was at this time busily engaged in making shirts for the Thayer 
boys, before they should go to college in the autumn. Ah ! I am 
afraid a great deal of " goblin tapestry " went into those shirts. But 
the good and grateful boys never thought of that ; and could they have 
known what a solace this sewing was to her lonely heart, they would 
have rejoiced that she had it. 

How poor she was this summer, and yet how rich ! Though giving 
little thought or time to dress, she had always before kept certain nice 
articles of wearing-apparel, befitting her station, and had worn them 
with care. But now her wardrobe became " beautifully less." 

" Oh, my dear and ancient friend," I said to her one day, " a new 
bonnet you must really have ! " 

" By no means," she remarked ; " mine is a very good bonnet 

I noticed, that, though she had very little money, she always had 
enough to buy materials for " sofa-coverings." That was her name for 
garments for the poor. So, one day when I was going to Springfield, I 
borrowed some money of her, and, instead of returning it, brought her 


back a nice bonnet and shawl. She professed to be indignant at the 
ruse ; but, when I told her that, if she would behave like " Dominie 
Sampson," she must be treated like him, she concluded to take it all 
as a joke, and really enjoyed wearing her new things heartily. 

Late in August, we went to Cambridge to make my Aunt Howe a 
visit, and what a charming visit it was ! The warm-hearted sisters 
planned together how they could adorn and arrange the old room in 
" Massachusetts,'' that William and James Thayer were to occupy ; 
and busy were their fingers and glowing their faces as they daily set 
forth for the college-yard. My Cousin Mary and I one day watched 
them as they walked up the street, — their homely habiliments, their 
fine faces, their unconscious and ardent gesticulation, — and we said, 
" There go the Cheeryblc sisters ! " 

Let me mention here one circumstance of this visit that comes back 
to me with the remembrance of my dear Aunt Howe, like some sweet 
strain of long-forgotten music. 

At that time, there was an old tenement-house still standing next to 
hers, that has long since been removed. A member of the family 
living there had died of ship-fever, and as our windows looked into 
theirs, we were alarmed to see preparations for a " wake " going on, 
and numbers of people collecting to pass the long summer night. 
Each of us had something to say of the danger and the impropriety 
of the occasion ; but only my dear aunt did any thing. We did not 
understand it at the time ; it all came to us afterwards. She dressed 
herself in her best black silk, took her handsomest, deep, cut-glass dish 
from the closet, and fdled it with chloride of lime and surrounded it 
with flowers. Like some sympathizing friend, she walked in among 
the group, who were making their moan, and quietly set her dish upon 
the coffin, where it remained all night. When she silently returned to 
us, she said, with her sweetest smile, " 1 thought as it was a dress occa- 
sion, if I could only make my dish handsome enough, it might save 
some lives." 

After remaining a month with my Aunt Howe, we went to Brush 
Hill for a visit, and my mother returned home alone a few weeks later. 

The death of her beautiful little grandson during this sutumer was 
a heavy trial to my mother, who saw in him all the possibilities of a 
man, a worthy descendant of a worthy race. And this feeling, with 
her deep sympathy for her children, on whom the loss chiefly fell, sad- 
dened her for a long time. 

In February of 1849, her daughter, Susan Inches, was married, and 
left her, to live in Milton, passing some months under the hospitable roof 
of her uncle and aunt at Brush Hill, the early home of her mother and 
grandmother. The day after this marriage, my mother wrote to 
another daughter: " After Susan had left me, 1 was not slow to con- 
clude ' I must finish my journey alone.' " 

She records, in her little diary of this period, that, the week after the 
marriage, Mr. R. W. Emerson came to Northampton to give a lecture ; 
and she mentions, with peculiar pleasure, the two days he spent with 
her, how he had sympathized with her loss of a daughter and acquisi- 
tion of a son, how he had gone with her to visit a poor family in whom 
she was deeply interested, and had left behind him the after-glow of 
kind words and deeds, as well as of aspiring thought. 

And now came a loneliness that is hard to remember. She often 
invited some friend to share it ; but the old objects of interest were 
gone, and every room in the large house, echoing to her solitary 
tread, must have been full of sadness. She never complained ; that 
was contrary to the habits of a life-time. But those nerves she 
had despised rose up, an armed band, and took their revenge on her. 
The sad fate of the excellent Mrs. Freme, of Brattleboro', who went 
up in a chariot of flame, haunted her imagination, and voices in the 
wind prevented her from sleep. " Old parlor " and " Best parlor," 
" Library " and " Office," " Corridor " and " Turnpike," — where were 
all the glad voices that had once resounded through your walls ? 
Was it strange that the warm heart that had guided successive gen- 


erations through all the manifold experiences of joy and grief should 

" Feel like one who treads alone 
Some banquet hall deserted." 

In the autumn of 1840, she decided to leave Northampton, and 
her heart naturally turned towards Milton, the home of her child- 
hood. But first she would visit her beloved Abby, whose frequent 
invitations, in years gone by, she had necessarily been forced to 
decline. In November she went to Cincinnati, and was received with 
all the warmth of a child by this dear niece and friend. Another 
happiness also awaited her in Cincinnati, in becoming acquainted 
with the family of Sally (Mrs. Dana), her other niece, to whom she 
was also tenderly attached. Her letters were full of the enjoyment 
of this visit, and the devoted kindness of her nieces and their chil- 
dren ; and, had it not been clouded by hearing of the death of her 
brother, Dr. Edward H. Robbing, of Boston, during the month of 
January, her happiness would have been complete. 

To how many hearts did the death of this good man bring sor- 
row ! I have heard that some stranger, seeing how many mourned for 
him, asked, " Did Dr. Robbins found a benevolent institution? " " No ! 
he was a benevolent institution," was the reply. 

My mother left Cincinnati in the spring of 1850, and came to Mil- 
ton ; but she did not remain there many weeks. She made visits to 
children and friends, and lingered about Northampton for some 
months ; but after another year returned to Milton and occupied a 
small house that her Lesley children had lived in, until their removal 
to Philadelphia. 

In 1852, she made a long visit at her son Sam*s in Northampton, 
and wrote to me constantly of the pleasure of meeting old friends 
and neighbors. I extract the following sentence from one of them : 

" I am having a delightful time here. Your sister Ahniia and 
the girls are devoted to my comfort ; and your sister has had 


two parties for me, taking in all I most wanted to sec. Your 
brother Sam could not have been more kind and attentive, or more 
considerate of my interests, were he my own son. E. is one of the 
most useful and excellent of daughters, saving her mother from many 
cares ; and M. is one of the most charming creatures to be found 

To Sarah Thayer, with whom, her relations were always most 
affectionate and confidential, she afterwards wrote : " I often feel 
sorry that I ever left Northampton. I was too old for so serious a 
change in my interests and habits." 

In Milton, her kind Forbes cousins contributed greatly to her 
enjoyment ; and the occasional society of her brother and his wife, 
at Brush Hill, and of Mr. and Mrs. Morison, who lived near her, and of 
the Ware family, the children of those early friends she had valued so 
much in youth, was an unspeakable pleasure to her. But the restless- 
ness of disease and of a broken-up life had now asserted its sway 
over her, and it was evident that on earth she had no continuing city. 


I've heard of hearts unkind, kind deeds 
With coldness still returning; 
Alas ! the gratitude of men 
Hath oftener left rue mourning. 


IN the spring of 1853, my mother took a house in Cambridge, to be 
near her sisters. Within a i\;\v weeks after she went there, the 
death of her sister, Eliza Robbins, exeited much emotion in her heart. 
My Aunt Eliza died at my Aunt Howe's in the August of that year. 
In her youth, a certain impatience of limitations, and eccentricity of 
purpose had separated her much from her family, though never from 
their affections. But though this circumstance left much to deplore, 
there was much to remember with deep thankfulness, at the end. 
Thirty years of her life had been devoted to the prisoner, the slave, 
and especially to the higher education of the young, and had crowned 
her memory with blessings. She made for herself and retained through 
life the friendship of the good and wise ; and, after her death, Mr. Bry- 
ant. Miss Sedgwick, Mr. Henry Tuckerman, and William Ware, wrote 
affectionate tributes to her memory. When my mother returned from 
seeing her for the last time, the day before her death, she told me with 
much emotion that when her sisters stood around her bed, she breathed 
a prayer in her wonderfully expressive language, which for depth of 
humility and sublimity of aspiration surpassed any thing she had ever 
listened to. 


■>• ' <* 







Some excellent school-books for the young, remain as evidence of her 
patient toil and discriminating intellect : and letters to many friends, as 
fine as any that were ever penned. 

In the autumn of 1856, my mother moved into a small house next 
to the one she had first occupied, which her sons had bought for her 
and fitted up with every convenience that could add to the comfort of 
her declining years. A faithful and devoted woman named Mary 
Walker, watched over her personal wants ; another good Mary did the 
work of the house. Her youngest sister spent hours of every day with 
her, reading to her and entertaining her. One noble young man, whose 
character and mental attainments would have given him a choice of 
homes at that seat of learning, came daily to the little house for many 
years to take his meals, because his presence there gave steadiness and 
support to the three solitary women. 

Her life in Cambridge, though marked by the steady but slow prog- 
ress of disease, was not without many alleviations and pleasures. Her 
son Joseph, at Jamaica Plain, was constant in his visits ; the tie be- 
tween them had always been most tender. His wife also paid her the 
tender and considerate attentions of a daughter. Her sisters' houses, 
both in Cambridge and Boston, were open to her at all times. Nieces 
and nephews came often to see her. Young men whom she had for- 
merly befriended came, without regarding the sad change in her ; 
children and grandchildren passed long summers with her, and her 
devotion to the little ones was touching to see. Of the great kindness 
of her neighbors, Miss Donnison and Mrs. Hopkinson, she constantly 
wrote to me. 

At first she wrote often, but as years went on, her letters became 
mere repetitions; and, two years before she left Cambridge, they ceased 
altogether. From the later ones I select only a few extracts, showing, 
as dear Mrs. Child said of her at this time, " how the old light and 
warmth still sometimes shone through the rifted clouds." 


" My son Joseph came to see me to-day, and brought Mr. Theodore 
Parker. I had not seen Mr. Parker for many years, not since he passed 
a night at my house in Northampton, and I did not know him, because 
he had become bald. He was very kind and cordial, and said, ' It is 
true, Mrs. Lyman, that I " have no hair on the top of my head, in the 
place where the hair ought to grow ; " but my heart is the same, and it 
lias kept a warm remembrance for you.' This made Mary Walker 
laugh very much, and you know a good laugh does Mary a world of 

" I walked down town yesterday, and I met Mrs. Gary and her good 
daughters; they are always kind, and don't treat me as if I were a poor 
old woman, ' all broke to pieces.' " 

" Lois is just as good to me as if she had known me before ; she 
sends her carriage to take me out driving, and always invites me to all 
the family parties. 1 am so rejoiced that Este