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Full text of "Owls nest, a tribute to Sarah Elliott Perkins"

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OWLS NEST 



OWLS NEST 

A TRIBUTE TO 

SARAH ELLIOTT PERKINS 

BY HER GRANDDAUGHTER 
EDITH PERKINS CUNNINGHAM 




POR PEIVATI DISTRIBUTIOM 
1907 







'•^-^ . £ 



TO 

CHARLES ELLIOTT PERKINS 

AND 

EDWARD CRANCH PERKINS 



PREFACE 

The following letter was written to my father, 
Charles E. Perkins of Burlington, Iowa, when 
I sent him my manuscript, and it is given here 
at his suggestion as an explanation of how the 
book came to be written: — 

MiLTONy Massachusetts, Jaauaxy 26th, 1907. 

My dear Father, — In the spring of 1905 
I re-read the Memoir of Grandpa Perkins, writ- 
ten by Mr. Channing in 1850, and although I 
found it interesting I wished that it had told us 
more about "Owls Nest** and the family there. 
Then it occurred to me that probably the other 
children in our family knew as little as I about 
Grandma's early life and the old days in Cin- 
cinnati. It was doubtless with them as with 
me: I grew up feeling that "Owls Nest** had 
always been a centre of generous hospitality, 
and that many people had loved Grandma, but 
beyond that I knew little. I had vague memo- 
ries of an occasional visit to Cincinnati, but of 
nothing more than digging snails from under the 
sidewalk behind the house and calling on a very 
kind old Mrs. Taylor, who gave me ice cream 
and a pink feather fan; so my " personal reminis- 
vii 



PREFACE 

cences" did not go far. Fortunately for me, I 
recall my visits to Little Boar's Head more dis- 
tinctly, and the memory of them is very tender 
and sweet. But even that is only a child's recol- 
lection of a grandmother who was all gentleness 
and kindness, — it does not give a picture of 
her as she was to others. 

In beginning to gather what material I could 
for a sketch of her, I naturally turned to her 
friends, and first of all to Dr. Soule at Exeter, 
who told me that as all had the same feeling 
about her I should hear but one thing, and that 
there was no ** story" to her simple life. That 
was true in a sense, but after all, to us who loved 
her, the story, however simple, is of interest; 
so I have persevered until this labor of love 
has grown to the proportions which you see. I 
hope you will not be discouraged at its length; 
I have tried not to put in tiresome details, but 
after I got well into the work everything be- 
came of such great interest to me that it was 
hard to judge how my material would strike 
others. In an old trunk in Uncle Ned's attic I 
found some letters from Grandpa to Grandma; 
from them I have made extracts, as they seemed 
to reflect Grandma's character, and as there 
seemed to be almost no letters in the family 
from her. Then finding that my "story" had 
grown to be about Grandpa's life as much as 
about Grandma's, it could not be called a 
viii 



PREFACE 

Memoir of Sarah Elliott Perkins, and I called it 
"Owls Nest," after the little place they loved. 

I want the younger children to know how 
people felt about Grandma and Grandpa, that 
they may understand why all who knew them 
were so greatly pleased when you and Uncle 
Ned gave their old place to the city of Cincinnati 
as a park and playground. 

Grandpa and Grandma, being very human, 
must have had their faults, but perhaps time has 
made their friends forget what they were, for 
they have not told me of them. So, if I have 
given a picture of a man and woman more per- 
fect than Grandpa and Grandma really were, it 
is because those who knew and loved diem gave 
me just that picture. Grandma undoubtedly 
was not a perfect woman, but there are none 
to gainsay that she was a perfect grandmother. 

With much love to you, and hoping that you 
will find something new in these pages, I am 
sending you my book. 

Yours most aflfectionately, 

E. P. C. 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

OWLS NEST Frontispiece 

From a sketch by Charles W. Elliott about 1848 

JAMES HANDASYD PERKINS . . . 16 
From a daguerreotype 

SARAH EIXIOTT PERKINS .... 42 
From a daguerreotype in 1850 

MRS. ANDREW ELLIOTT (Catherine Hill) . 46 

SAMUEL E. FOOTE et 

MRS. SAMUEL E. FOOTE .... 84 
From a painting by Staigg about 1875 

THE SAMUEL E. FOOTE HOUSE . . 132 

Third St., Cincinnati , Ohio 

SAMUEL G. PERKINS .... 160 

From a painting by Cheney 

THE SAMUEL G. PERKINS HOUSE . . 196 
Brookline, Mass. 

THE PERKINS BOYS 238 

From a daguerreotype in 1854 

SARAH ELUOTT PERKINS . . . .248 
From a photograph £v 1 864 

SARAH ELUOTT PERKINS ... 294 
From a painting by Staigg in 1872 

CHARLES W. ELUOTT . . . .304 



OWLS NEST 

CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTION 

WHEN my grandfather Perkins bought a 
little place near Cincinnati in 1845, ^^ 
chose for it the name of Owls Nest. He built for 
his family a small house, and there after his 
death in 1849 ^Y grandmother and the children 
continued to live. The house with but few al- 
terations stood until 1905. Then it was torn 
down and the Owls Nest place of about six acres 
was given by my father and my uncle Edward 
to the city of Gncinnati as a park. At that time 
the Rev. Charles A. L. Richards* of Providence 
wrote to Father: **Let an old friend who knew 
you more than half a century ago congratulate 
you on having it in your power and in your heart 
to give your father's and mother's home to the 
city of your boyhood. It is pleasant to think it 
is always to be open ground, — a breathing- 
place for successive generations." 

* Mr. Richards' fadiei moved from New York to Cin- 
cinnati in 18289 and was for many years the Perkins fam- 
ily physician. 

I 



OWLS NEST 

Many years have passed since Grandpa Per- 
kins died and few of his friends are living, but 
the memory of his good works and of his interest 
in the people of Cincinnati has not been lost. 
After his death, the newspapers spoke of him as 
a man without an enemy, — a self-sacrificing 
friend of the poor, a conscientious citizen, and a 
distinguished writer and divine. ''His life was 
devoted to the service of others. • • • Humbly, 
patiently, and laboriously, amid many hardships 
and many discouragements, through sorrows and 
sufferings of his own that would have daunted 
a less resolute heart, he gave his life day after 
day, season after season, year after year." 

Grandma, in her own way occupied no less a 
place than Grandpa. ''Hers was a superabound- 
ing life that brightened and blessed all about it,'* 
and so those who looked upon her both as "a 
rest and an inspiration" rejoiced when they 
heard that the place which she had loved so weU 
was to be a playground for the children of Cin- 
cinnati. "I am sure it is just such a form of re- 
membrance as would have pleased her," wrote 
one of her friends. "There was something so 
near to nature about Mrs. Perkins, that trees, 
grass, flowers, and sunshine seem much more fit- 
ting as a memorial than brick and mortar, put to 
the best of uses." 

Miss Mary Aubery, writing from Switzerland 
of Grandma's helpfulness to her neighbors in the 

2 



OWLS NEST 

village adjoining Owls Nest, said: ''I suppose it 
was probably the knowledge of this great interest 
in these people and desire to help them that sug- 
gested to Mrs. Perkins' sons the project of giving 
her home for the use and pleasure of those very 
people and their descendants. I am glad of this 
opportunity of telling you of our great pleasure 
and satisfaction in this disposition of the place 
which was our dearly loved home for so many 
years. ^ When we first took the house and began 
to live in it, immediately after your uncle Jim's 
marriage,' every part of it was so full of associa- 
tions with your grandmother that we felt it was 
Still hers and that we were merely visiting her 
and that she might return at any time. ... As 
the years passed, however, the feeling of owner- 
ship of course gradually predominated, and at 
the close of eighteen years our parting from the 
dear old place was almost as painful to us as that 
from our own first home on the Grandin Road. 
We should have felt great distress — almost a 
sort of jealousy — on seeing the house with other 
occupants, so that we were more than pleased 
when your uncle Ned confided to us the project 
of the park. The grounds, too, with the beaudful 

^ Mrs. Aubeiy was an intimate friend of Grandma, and 
lived at Owls Nest until the summer of 1905, when she 
and her dau^ters went to Europe. 

' James H. Perkins married Miss Maiy Longworth 
Stettmius of Cincinnati on May tendi, 1887. 

3 



OWLS NEST 

trees and bits of wood and lawn are peculiarly 
adapted to the purpose." 

With aflFectionate reminiscence and delightful 
appreciation of Grandma, Mr. Richards wrote 
to me the letter which follows: — 

"My remembrance of your grandmother goes 
back to the days when she was still Miss Sarah 
Elliott, a visitor in the home of her brother-in- 
law Mr. Samuel Foote. That was in Cincinnati 
almost seventy years ago. ... I loved her then, 
and increasingly while her life lasted. I wish I 
could so picture her that others might know 
something of one whose memory is very dear to 
me. 

'^ Perhaps the first impression she made upon 
one who met her was of her thorough wholesome- 
ness, of her sound body, sane mind, and right 
spirit. She was always natural, brave, joyous, 
true. Affectation, pretence, morbidness, were 
impossible for her. She did not smile, as one of 
her contemporaries was said to smile, *Only up 
to high-smile mark.' She laughed heartily, as 
one who found it good to live, was not ashamed 
to show immense interest in living, and to hold 
with Stevenson that *The world is so full of a 
number of things, I'm sure we should all be 
as happy as kings.' Her high spirits served to 
temper her lively New England conscience and 
make its honest indignations bearable. She had 
abounding energy, controlled by a strong com* 

4 



OWLS NEST 

mon sense, and a keen insight into men and wo- 
men. She liked to talk people over among her 
intimates, not in any gossiping sort, but as artists 
might compare sketches of familiar faces, enjoy- 
ing each touch that heightened a light, or deep- 
ened a shadow. She had marked independence 
o£ mind and character. Her judgments were her 
own, her conduct was unconventional. She knew 
herself to be honest and kind and pure; what Mrs. 
Grundy might have to say about her was of 
the smallest consequence. There was no defiant 
'Bohemian' element in such disregard. It was 
simple, unworldly character. She was sure her 
friends could not mistake her, — she was too 
frank for that, — and what those who were not 
her friends thought, or said, mattered very little. 
They would know better some day. Nor did 
such simplicity and directness tempt injurious 
comment, or opposition. She was too essentially 
kindly not to disarm criticism. People who very 
much differed from her went on loving her. 
They could not but recognize her generous dis- 
position, her largeness of heart; that she was one 
who did not seek to live by narrow, formal rule, 
who 'scorned the lore of nicely calculated less or 
more,* whose very instincts were pure and noble; 
one who rejoiced to give herself, her help, her 
sympathy, her sunshine; a woman of rich and 
oveiflowing nature, making all around her a 
happy region where the birds sang and the 

5 



OWLS NEST 

flowers bloomed, and the fountains bubbled 
blamelessly. 

" Did the years change her ? Only to ripen the 
freshness of youth into the mellow sweetness of 
age. It seemed almost a premature ripening, for 
she never could have grown old. 

** After the longest interrupdon of intercourse, 
her friends found her v^ere they had left her, 
and she took them up as if she had never laid 
them down. Thoroughly a woman, she was 
more human than woman even. To those of her 
own sex and of the other, she was always a good 
comrade, greatly capable of friendship. She 
knew her friends' weaknesses, and they knew she 
knew, but did not greatly mind her knowing. 
She knew her own, and forgave her neighbors. 
In religion she perhaps would have called her- 
self a Unitarian. People of quite other views 
than hers were content to feel that she was a 
Christian and asked no more, not knowing what 
they could find better. 

'' Her friends were various. She smiled upon a 
good many upon whom the world had not smiled. 
She seemed to have a certain tenderness for fail- 
ures, for men who had not demonstrated them- 
selves in any tangible way, who were sdll but rough 
sketches of the men they were meant to be, and 
perhaps never would be, men of vague ideals, of 
unmade fortunes, whose promises were never quite 
kept and whose futures were sdll behind them. 

6 



OWLS NEST 

''She was not a woman of the world, though 
her presence was distinguished, and there is no 
society which she would not have adorned. She 
was not a woman of wit, scholarship, or genius, 
but wits, scholars, and geniuses met her on equal 
terms and found themselves nowhere more at 
home than under her roof. Hers was a modest 
home, but there are many to whom it will always 
be the type of large hospitality and gracious wel- 
come. She gave you her best, and if that were 
gone, gave you as heartily what might remain, 
and was glad if you would take it. The walls of 
her cottage were elastic. There was always room; 
no palace could ^ve better shelter. 

''As I have said, all sorts of people made up 
her circle. It was not of her, but of a friend of 

hers, that it was said, * O dear Mrs. y you are 

so good-natured I You always have some dis- 
agreeable person staying with you ! * It could not 
have been said with truth of her, for those who 
might have been unpleasant elsewhere, smoothed 
out their wrinkles and prickles beneath her per- 
suasive handling. As it was currently held that 
one of her intimates could take two sticks and a 
straw and make a nosegay of them, so of her; she 
could take tiresomeness and peevishness and self- 
conceit and so weave them into her web that it 
seemed wrought of choice materials. She talked 
enough to set others talking, and they talked bet- 
ter than their wont. A potato roasted in the ashes 

7 



OWLS NEST 

of her fire at the end of an evening was banquet 
enough for the most exacting palates. Her best, 
whatever it was, was good enough. She marked 
no social distinctions. In the ^Owls Nest' birds 
of every feather chirruped merrily. A genial 
millionaire was no more out of place than a brief- 
less lawyer, or struggling artist. 

''Do I mean that all this rich and beautiful 
life was altogether personal and peculiar to Mrs. 
Perkins ? Are we to forget the genius locij the 
atmosphere of time and place, the conditions 
of a young and buoyant community which had 
gathered to itself some of the best life of New 
England ? Far from it; the environment must 
count for much. Yet of that local atmosphere, 
those happy conditions, Mrs. Perkins was herself 
not only a product, but a factor. She had helped 
to form the air she rejoiced to breathe. She more 
than any one was a fortunate type of the old New 
England stock transplanted into what so lately 
had been a frontier society. I am not thinking of 
her apart from the friends she loved, the Long- 
worths, the Stetsons, the Footes, the Greenes, 
the Cranches, the Walkers, — and how many 
others ? I am thinking of her as she was, rejoic- 
ing in congenial association, grown to what she 
was in favoring soil and climate. We cannot dis- 
entangle character from circumstance and decide 
just what part in the one is due to the other. 
What I have tried to indicate was the outcome 

8 



OWLS NEST 

of both. . . . Perhaps there are many such 
homes as hers all over the land. I hope so, but I 
have chanced upon too few of them. It is plea- 
sant to revive the memory of one such hostess 
and friend. It is not her children only who rise 
up and call her blessed." 

In a postscript Mr. Richards adds: "Perhaps I 
ought to account for there being no reference to 
your grandfather in what I wrote. I recall him 
affectionately, but just as I was old enough to be- 
gin to appreciate him, I went, at fifteen, to col- 
lege and for the next four years was out of reach 
of him. It was but a few months after my return, 
and before the old ties were all reknitted, that his 
sad death occurred. I was then old enough to be 
aware how great was the loss to me of such an in- 
fluence as he would have been in my developing 
life." 

The Rev. George A. Strong of Cambridge was 
another who cared deeply for Grandma, and from 
him we have the following: **Mrs. Perkins lives 
in my thought as one whose constant friendli- 
ness brightened my boyhood. She had the happy 
unconscious art of making friends and never los- 
ing them. I have the best of good reason to know 
how true and gentle and winning she was. Her 
house at East Walnut Hills, near Qndnnati, was 
a second home to me for several years. It was 
a modest retreat, — 'Owls Nest' so called: — 
small and furnished most simply, but homes in 

9 



OWLS NEST 

our luxurious days are not often so homelike, so 
inviting and restful. Her good taste was as note- 
worthy in the arrangement and adornment of 
the bright rooms as in the unfailing distinction 
of her dress. 

**Qf those who once knew her well few are 
alive to recall the graces of her character and 
the secret of her personal charm. It means a 
great deal, — to myself at least, — that, after 
half a century of changes, of fading forms and 
hushed voices, I still see the smile and hear the 
kindly greeting as when she met me at the hos- 
pitable door. There are not many who come so 
near to me now out of the distance and stillness 
of old days. 

"Her face had the flush and freshness of per- 
fect health, as of one younger than her years, but 
she suffered much, at times intensely, from a 
depressing pain in the eyes which medical skill 
could do little to relieve and which strangers 
never suspected, a disorder of the optic nerve, 
endured with singular patience and seldom re- 
ferred to. 

"Sorrows came into her life, over-clouding 
and chastening the bright spirit, but not cheating 
her faith of its hopefulness. . . .** 

Living in the village near Owls Nest is an 
elderly woman, who as a young girl sewed for 
Grandma and helped her take care of the boys. 
"Your grandmother," said she, "was one of the 

ID 



OWLS NEST 

most beautiful characters and had the largest 
heart I ever knew, — she was always helping 
people. She had a cheerful word and good ad- 
vice for everybody, no matter who it was. She 
was n't a beauty, but she had a very pretty ap- 
pearance and attractive manners. She did n't 
like display a great deal, though she liked every- 
thing as nice as it could be and was always anx- 
ious to have herself appear just as handsome as 
ever she could. She used to have so many gentle- 
men attracted to her ! Mr. Force and Mr. Mor- 
gan would talk to her as though she were a young 
lady! 

"There may be other people like her in the 
world, but I have never seen any. She often 
talked of her husband, and she always kept up 
her devotion to him. She seemed to be set apart, 
and I have often wondered that other people 
did n't try to imitate her. How well I remember 
those boys ! I can see them now in my mind's 
eye. They were all very pretty and were raised 
in the woods. I'm sure a great blessing will fall 
on your father for he was always so good to 
his mother. She used to say to me, ^Oh, Charlie 
is so good to me, — he gives me everything I 
want.' But was n't your uncle Jim a splendid 
fellow! Everybody loved him. He was just like 
his mother, and you could just creep right up to 
him." 

It was true that all did love Uncle Jim, and 
II 



OWLS NEST 

one of his contemporaries can best tell what he 
stood for in the community. In 1904, at the dedi- 
cation of the clubroom and gymnasium which 
Aunt Mary built for the young people of Walnut 
Hills in memory of Uncle Jim,* Mr. Taylor, an 
intimate friend, made an address from which the 
following is quoted: — 

^'From his father's and mother's side he came 
of pure New England stock, and from both he 
inherited the best qualities of that fine race. 
Their ideality alike with their practical sense, 
their rigid consdendousness and their saving 
grace of humor, their love of liberty and their 
profound respect for law, all these were his by 
right of inheritance. He was tuned therefore to 
the finest chords which vibrate through our com- 
mon life. He was of that stuflF from which the 
ideal American manhood is fashioned. His fa- 
ther in days long antecedent to the institutional 
movement among the churches and to the hu- 
manitarian impulse now so universal, was doing 
here the work of a city missionary among the 
poor of Cincinnati, and was besides an inspiring 
force in the higher education. But the father's 
early death left to the mother the training of his 
boyhood, and her devoted love and sacrifice made 
possible its continuance at Exeter and Harvard. 
And when he returned here to take up his pro- 

* Uncle Jim died in Cincinnati on December second, 
1889. 

12 



OWLS NEST 

fession, it was to the home made for him by his 
mother. To the life of that home how exquisite 
a charm she gave, and how its memory lingers 
with those of us who shared it ! Sacred to us are 
those memories and the very walls, yet stand- 
ing, where that beautiful womanly presence, so 
wholesome, strong, and sweet, once bade us wel- 
come. 

'^ What wonder that such influences developed 
in him that charm of personality which drew men 
to him with a force so irresistible. He did not 
need (in the words of Emerson) to Mescend to 
meet,' because what was best in others instinc- 
tively arose to meet him. He made men reverent 
of his intellectual power, his clear insight, his ab- 
solute sincerity; but their hearts went out to his 
nobility of soul and the surpassing tenderness of 
his nature. He had preeminently the faculty for 
friendship, and there played about his intimate in- 
tercourse the full measure of all his powers. . . . 
It is now more than fourteen years since that 
sad December day when James Perkins saw the 
last of earth. Since and before that time we have 
lost others who were dear to us, but of none that I 
have known can it be said that he seems still so 
living a presence. And the reason is not far to 
seek. No one while he lived was ever more in- 
tensely alive. There was about him an elemental 
force of life in body, soul, and mind. . . . 

''He laid hold of truth with a certain spiritual 

13 



OWLS NEST 

passion. And so those debasing compromises 
which make men slaves to party, or to social am- 
bitions, or to the Izying up of fortune, were im- 
possible for him. He could be only what he was, 
a free man, as the truth had made him. And here 
lay above and beyond all other gifts and facul- 
ties the very heart and fibre of his great character. 

^^Such was, as we knew him, the man, the 
friend, the lover. It was, therefore, with a pro- 
found significance that she who knew him best 
has inscribed upon the walls of this memorial 
and adopted as its device those wonderful words 
of Christ, *The truth shall make you free.' None 
other could she have chosen so fitting to connect 
the memory of him who is gone with the pur- 
poses to which that building is dedicated. . • ." 

Such was the son who after leaving college re- 
turned to Owls Nest and took care of Grandma 
till the end, brightening her life, and loving her 
with all the strength and devotion of his splendid 
nature. 

In Cincinnati, among the old family friends, I 
was impressed with the fact of which Mr. Taylor 
has spoken, — that Uncle Jim seems still a living 
presence; so of Grandma, also; all the time it 
seemed as if they were in the next room, or had 
only left us for a little while, proving that — 

"To live in hearts we leave behind 
Is not to die.*' 



CHAPTER II 

JAMES HANDASYD PERKINS, my grand- 
father, was bom in Boston on July thirty- 
first, 1810. He was the youngest child of Samuel 
G, Perkins, who in 1795 married Barbara Hig- 
ginson, a daughter of Mr. Stephen Higginson. 

Samuel G. Perkins' father was James Per- 
kins of Boston; his mother was Elizabeth Peck, 
a daughter of James Handasyd Peck, a Boston 
merchant dealing in furs and hats. James Per- 
kins died in 1773, a middle-aged man, leaving 
his widow with a large family and small means. 
The problem of providing for and educating 
eight children was enough to discourage the most 
stalwart heart, but Mrs. Perkins was an energetic 
and courageous woman and at once took upon 
herself the management of her husband's grocery 
business, which she in time transformed into one 
of general commerce. After her husband's death, 
however, came the period of "insurrection, war- 
fare, destitution, and gloom." Commerce for a 
time ceased, and hundreds were forced to leave 
Boston rather than starve, and to patriots, the 
town crowded with British troops was almost in- 
tolerable. *' Among those who went, moved, one 
is sure, not by fear but by care for her eight chil- 

15 



OWLS NEST 

dren, was Mr. Peck's strong-minded daughter. 
Her husband, James Perkins, was dead; he had 
been a well-known patriot, and his widow, out- 
spoken and able woman, was not one to hide her 
views. . . . But the old trader, her father, stuck 
to Boston, where he had packed his burrs' so 
many years." It was to the houseof a noted loyal- 
ist, Squire Bacon, that they went. He had writ- 
ten from Cape G)d that he had a house with 
twenty rooms in it, and that she and her children 
could live there till times were better. 

When Boston was evacuated by the enemy, 
many of those who had left returned, and there 
were also newcomers from the country and from 
other New England towns. "There was less 
velvet and lace and, for a time, less wealth and 
prosperity. But there was the same spirit of 
industry and enterprise. . . . Mr. Peck began 
to send forth his furs again; and those who 
now came into the town were no less able and 
energetic. Among them returned his daughter, 
Elizabeth Perkins, with her children, and with a 
young son-in-law from the Cape, . . . Russell 
Sturgis, who now came to Boston for the first 
time." 

Mrs. Perkins was an able woman and showed 
such business ability that when her sons grew to 
suitable age she was able to give them a good 
start in life. She died in 1807 at the age of sev- 
enty-one. Her son Samuel, in writing many 

16 



OWLS NEST 

years later of his mother, said, **Her life had 
been one of great purity; . . . she was cheerful, 
benevolent, pious, and kind-hearted/' 

When the eldest son, James, reached manhood 
he went to the West Indies and established him- 
self in business at Cape Fran^ais on the Island 
of San Domingo. Later he was joined by his 
brother Thomas, and together they formed a suc- 
cessful business house, trading chiefly in coflFee 
and sugar. The climate, however, proved injuri- 
ous to the health of the younger brother who re- 
turned to Boston, while Samuel, my great-grand- 
father, went to San Domingo in 1785, to take his 
place in the firm of Perkins, Burling and Company. 

At that time the island was in a peaceful and 
prosperous condition, but in 1789, soon after the 
outbreak of the French Revolution, mistrust and 
jealousy developed between the government and 
the citizens, and a revolt and massacre ensued 
among the white citizens themselves.^ In 1790 
**the people of color*' showed signs of revolt, but 
they failed to arouse a general insurrection, and 
for a time peace was restored. Later, the publi- 
cation of tracts on emancipation, and imprudence 
on the part of the planters, caused the slaves to 
revolt and a general insurrection began in 1791. 
Samuel G. Perkins had returned to the United 
States on business, but upon hearing of the trou- 

* Sec Reminiscences of the Insurrection in St. Domingo, 
by Samuel G. Perkins. 

17 



OWLS NEST 

ble he at once sailed for San Domingo where Mr. 
and Mrs. James Perkins, as well as the business 
partner, Mr. Burling, had remained. At the out- 
break of the insurrection Mr. and Mrs. Perkins 
were in a perilous situation, having gone on a 
visit to friends whose inland plantation adjoined 
the one first destroyed. They managed to get to 
Cape Fran^ais and to escape the frightful treat- 
ment which was the fate of all who lingered. The 
situation at the Cape grew more serious, and the 
place was finally taken by the insurgents and 
burned, the inhabitants escaping as best they 
could. The Perkins Brothers* store with its valu- 
able contents was destroyed and the establish- 
ment broken up.^ Great loss befell the firm, as 
the planters were largely in debt to it and their 
means of pa}mient were destroyed. Mr. and Mrs. 
James Perkins returned to Boston. Samuel Per- 
kins went to Port au Prince to attempt to cany on 
the business; but as that place was in constant 
danger of meeting the fate which had befallen 
Cape Fran9ais, in the latter part of 1793 he, too, 
sailed for Boston and Miss Barbara Higginson, 
"the attractive power which lay East." 

^ It is said that, widiin two months after the 'breaking out 
of the insurrection^ two thousand whites had been massacred, 
one hundred and eighty sugar and nine hundred coflFee and 
indigo plantations destroyed, and twelve hundred native 
Christian families reduced to beggaiy. Ten thousand inhab- 
itants had perished by famine and the sword, and several 
hundred by the hand of the executioner. 

18 



OWLS NEST 

A few facts about the elder brothers, James 
and Thomas H. Perkins, are of interest. After 
the experience in San Domingo they again 
formed a partnership, making their chief busi- 
ness the trade of their ships with China, and 
eventually establishing in Canton the business 
house of Perkins and Company, which became 
one of great importance and eminent success. 
James Perkins Uved at Pine Bank, Brookline, 
and died in 1822 after an honotable and useful 
life. He left a fortune large for those days, and is 
still remembered for his liberality in responding 
to all appeals for charity or for die pubUc good. 
Among other things he was a great benefactor 
of the Boston Athenseum. Thomas H. Perkins, 
known as "the Colonel," was also distinguished 
for public spirit. When he died in 1854, he was 
referred to as a pattern of mercantile honor. He 
was proverbially liberal and equally just. "His 
munificent endowment of the Asylum for the 
Blind, even if it had stood alone . . . would 
have been enough to have preserved his mem- 
ory. . . ." 

To go back to my great-grandfather: after 
his return from Port au Prince he was for some 
time engaged in trading with Calcutta, and was 
later President of the Suffolk Insurance Com- 
pany of Boston. In the winters he lived in High 
Street, Boston, and in the summers at Brookline, 
where about 1803 he built a house near Jamaica 

19 



OWLS NEST 

Pond.* He made his garden his diversion from 
business cares, and through the happy hours 
passed there became one of the most enthusiastic 
and successful horticulturists of his day. Colonel 
Thomas Wentworth Higginson has been kind 
enough to call my attention to the following men- 
tion of him in HiUard's "Life of Ticknor:" "He 
was one of the prominent merchants in Boston — 
a man of no small intellectual culture, and of very 
generous and noble nature. He had been a great 
deal about the world, and understood its ways. 
His manners were frank, open-hearted, and de- 
cisive, and, to some persons, brusque. All men 
respected, many loved him." 

My great-grandfather's sister, Margaret Per- 
kins, married Ralph Bennet Forbes. Thus their 
son Robert Bennet Forbes (my grandfather) and 
my grandfather Perkins were first cousins. Ralph 
Bennet Forbes died in 1824, leaving his family 
with a small income. My uncle, John M. Forbes, 
his son, gives this picture of Samuel G. Perkins: 
"While well-to-do, he was not nearly so prosper- 
ous as his elder brothers, but I am sure that his 
tender attentions to my mother were more than 
they had time to give. Finally he gave up busi- 
ness and accepted the salaried position of presi- 
dent of one of the Boston Insurance Companies. 
. • . The duties of this, thoroughly and steadily 

^ This house is now owned by Mrs. W. W. Richardson. 
20 



OWLS NEST 

attended to by him, occupied his forenoons, while 
his garden at Brookline was his darling hobby. 

^^ He was full of hospitality and generosity, and 
while his methods of writing and speaking were 
stem and earnest in manner, my mother and 
everybody loved him, and appreciated his liber- 
ality of heart and purse, which made his contri- 
bution towards our household expenses equal to 
those of his two rich brothers, — a very much 
larger load upon his shoulders than it was on 
theirs. His houses at Brookline and Nahant were 
always open to us day and night, and I think the 
great similarity of our circumstances, as we our- 
selves were climbing up, led us into more sym- 
pathy with him than with his elder brothers; 
although I must record that all three were 
eminently kind to us." 

Uncle John has described Barbara Higginson 
Perkins as a belle and a bel esprit; while another 
cousin has written thus: "The mother appears 
in memory, as from secluded distance, a person 
of stately beauty, seated beneath curtains on a 
sofa, in turban and elegant attire, entertaining 
an admiring circle with eloquence and wit; while 
the father, seemingly a giant in figure as he tow- 
ered above us, alternately cheerful and stem, but 
to children invariably considerate and kind, 
comes in only at intervals, when released from 
cares of commerce, or the engrossing pleasures 
of horticulture." 

21 



OWLS NEST 

To quote again from Mr. Ticknor: "Mrs. Per- 
kins was the daughter of Mr. Stephen Higginson, 
Senior, — an important person at one time in the 
political affairs of the town of Boston, and the 
head of the commercial house of which Mr. Per- 
kins was a member. Mrs. Perkins was atonetime 
very beautiful. Talleyrand, when I was in Paris 
in 1818, spoke to me of her as the most beauti- 
ful young person he had ever known, he having 
seen her when in exile in this country. She was 
always striking in her person, and very brilliant 
in conversation. Her house was a most agree- 
able one, and I had become intimate and familiar 
there, dining with them generally every week/* 

Such were the forebears of James Handasyd 
Perkins. The earliest glimpse we have of him is 
in his own account of the nursery where his de- 
voted old nurse, ** Aunt Esther,*' presided. **From 
her I learned to love ^'lasses candy;* from her I 
learned to hate Tom JeflFerson. Many an even- 
ing as I sat by her rush-bottomed and rickety 
chair, threading her needle, or holding, while she 
wound, skeins of silk or yam that I thought must 
be as long as the equator, — many an evening 
has she discoursed of the arch-rebel Napoleon, 
whom she 'would have torn to flinders,* she said, 
* if she could only have got her hands on him,* — 
though the next day she would set free the very 
mouse that had stolen her last pet morsel of 
cheese. 

22 



OWLS NEST 

*' She told me of Napoleon, and her little work- 
table was the battle-field. Here was the ball of 
yam, and there was the half-finished stocking, 
and yonder was the big Bible, supported by her 
spectacle-case. Old Boney himself moved among 
them in the form of a knitting-needle; and to this 
day I cannot think of the Little G>rporal, but as a 
taU bit of cold steel, with ahead made of beeswax. 

** From her, too, came my portrait of Washing- 
ton, whom she had seen during his visit to the 
North. Year after year did those well-beloved 
lips pronounce his eulogy, and often was the 
prayer put up by me for a long life to Aunt Esther 
and General Washington; little did I dream that 
one who to me had just begun to live, had been 
dead these ten years and morel • . • Aunt Esther 
had one fault, — she was always too cleanly in 
her notions. It was probably because of her Fed- 
eral and aristocratic associations, but certain it is 
that she could not even see a dir^ boy without 
wanting to wash her hands. And this her most 
prominent organ was exercised most fully upon 
generation after generation, as each marched 
through her dominions. 'As bad as to be washed 
by Aunt Esther,' was a proverb in the dynasty. 
For many a long year no lines in the language 
were to me so pathetic and soul-harrowing as 
those from the Columbiad : — 

* Still on thy rocks the broad Adantic roan. 
And waAes still unceasingly thy shofes I * 



OWLS NEST 

To be 'washed unceasingly* was my beau-ideal 
of misery. . . . Brought up to bring up others, 
the venerable matron loved nothing so dearly as 
Scotch snuflFand noisy children. When the storm 
waxed loudest in the nursery, she was most in her 
element, and walked undisturbed amid 

*Thei wreck of hones and die crash of €078!"' 

From Grandpa's earliest childhood his favor- 
ite cousin, William Henry Channing, was his 
close friend, and the boys grew up almost as 
brothers. Their first school appears to have been 
Mr. Greeley's in Boston, but when about ten or 
eleven the boys were separated, Wlliam Chan- 
ning going to live in Lancaster, and Grandpa to 
school at Waltham. Through their letters they 
kept up their indmacy; every vacadon found 
them together, and later Grandpa was also sent 
to Lancaster, happy at being once more with his 
beloved cousin. He began to write verses and 
stories when he was quite young, and to his 
cousin h^ turned for 8)mipathy and cridcism. 
Unfopttinately, at times Grandpa had been seri- 
ously misunder^ood and unwisely managed, and 
this had told on the sensitive temperament of the 
growing boy. ^'A slight infusion of sarcasm in 
his narradve and sketches, spicy at first taste, but 
afterwards bitter, marked the sense of half-par- 
doned injustice. Most contagious, however, was 
his fun, as, with almost Indian gravity on his 
24 



DNER. PERKIN 



FOURTH 



2. ABcc Forbes «22iWUl 

1867- 

3. Edith Forbes i!2 Ed VI 

1873- 



4. Margaret Forbes S£ ^ 

1876- 

5. Charles Emotti221 Lea 

1881- 

6. Mary Russell 

1883- 

7. Samuel George 

1889-1890 

^ ChUdren of EDWA 

1 . Thomas Nelson i222 M 

1870- 

2. Elliott I 

1873-1885 



3. James HandasydI22( 
1876- 

222£(2) 



4. John Forbes I^ Mary 
1878- i4 



OWLS NEST 

expressive features, — the chiselled chin, fine- 
cut lips, high, thin nose, and black eyes glancing 
under straight brows, — he overflowed in a 
stream of pithy anecdotes, quaint fancies, and, 
as must be candidly owned, of mostMunchausen- 
like exaggerations. But far more exciting in in- 
terest was his fresh vigor of thought. He had 
read much and remembered vividly; he had ob- 
served the natural world, and was full of facts; 
above all, ever-wakeful imagination threw around 
words and actions the charm of suggestiveness 
and beauty.** 

At Lancaster he had the good fortune to come 
under the wise guardianship of Mr. S. P. Miles, 
a teacher to whom he became warmly attached, 
and to whom he always felt most grateful. 
Grandpa was a great favorite with him, and for a 
time they shared one room. From the first Mr. 
Miles saw the strength of the boy, but probably 
no one thing knitted the bond between master 
and scholar more than an incident which oc- 
curred one day after the former had for a short 
time left the room. On returning he heard a com- 
motion and knew that the boys had taken ad- 
vantage of his absence, but as he entered the 
school-room all were quiet and deep in study. 
He asked that the boys who had been guilty of 
the disturbance should come forward, but no 
boy stirred. He waited for a few moments in 
silence, looking from face to face. ''Has no one 



OWLS NEST 

the strength to be true^* asked he at length. 
Then up from the benches of the little boys rose 
Grandpa and another boy, and together they 
walked to their master who listened to the frank 
confession of their small part in the uproar, and 
then putting his hand on their heads, said a few 
words of forgiveness and of praise for their 
h(Hior. 

Grandpa's next school was the Phillips Acad- 
emy at Exeter, then in charge of his uncle, Dr. 
Abbot;* from there, about 1823, ^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^ 
famous Round Hill School lately established at 
Northampton, Massachusetts, under the direc- 
tion of the Messrs. G>gswell and Bancroft.' 
Uncle John Forbes, who was a fellow-student of 
Grandpa there, writes: ** Round Hill was the first 
school of its kind in this country, and I doubt if 
its excellence has ever again been reached. Mr. 
G>gswell was not only learned, but a man of the 
world, who had seen Europe and who had an 
established reputation as a scholar; and Mr. 
Bancroft had already made his mark in litera- 
ture. Mr. Cogswell had some capital, and infi- 
nite tact and faculty, and to him was largely due 
the breadth and liberality of the Round Hill 
School and its great success. It was for those 
days considered a most extravagant and aristo- 

* Dr. Benjamin Abbot married Maiy Perkins, who was 
always known in the family as ''Aunt Abbot/' 
' George Bancroft, the historiv>« 

26 



OWLS NEST 

cratic institution. The expenses of the school, 
however, I am very sure were only three hun- 
dred dollars a year, including boarding, washing, 
and teaching by the best teachers, many of them 
foreigners, and with no charge for horses, patches 
of garden, for dancing lessons, and a variety of 
useful education which everywhere else comes in 
extra. • . . I have not referred to one important 
feature in the life at Northampton. My two cous- 
ins, Mrs. Judge Howe and Mrs. Judge Lyman, 
were leading members of society in the town, 
and both of them were full of family feeling and 
kindness towards me, so that I was constantly 
at their houses during any gaps in my school- 
days. 

"Judge hymzn was at that time, I think, 
sheriff of the county, and was a leading man in 
every way; while his wife was a miracle of hos- 
pitality and full of social qualities, as her bio- 
graphy * has already shown. No stranger ever 
came to Northampton without knowing the 
Lymans, and many came there for the purpose.*' 

Tracy and Estes Howe, of whom Grandpa 
saw much in later years, were sons of Judge 
Howe and pupils at the school with Grandpa 
and Uncle John. 

To older people, and to those who understood 
his nature. Grandpa was an interesting boy, but 

* Ricdlictions of my Mother^ by Mrs. Peter Lesley. 

27 



OWLS NEST 

during his school-days he did not easily come 
into fellowship with others. He had a keen sense 
of humor, and if he wished could keep the boys 
in gales of laughter over his funny stories and 
curious fancies; but he seldom joined in the ordi- 
nary games. He was thoughtful and liked to be 
alone, reading, roaming through the woods, pick- 
ing flowers on some hillside, or collecting miner- 
als. As a result, he was often laughed at by the 
other boys for his solitary ways, and became 
over-sensitive and inclined to morbid depression. 
He wrote the following about the time he left 
Northampton, when he was seventeen years old: 
"I may seem dull or cold where others would 
not, and not because I do not feel, but because 
it is not natural for me to express my feelings. I 
have always been in appearance a phlegmatic 
sort of animal, but it is only in appearance. I 
have felt what no one at the time knew me to feel, 
"You need not fear that I am about to reveal 
a love story ; I have not reached that degree of 
affection yet. I have only now to say that I 
have loved my masters. I really loved Mr. Miles 
at Lancaster; I have really loved Mr. Cogswell 
here. He liked me, too; and what was the result ? 

I was hated by the boys. This was when 

was under my charge. If I spoke to him of neat- 
ness, he complained to his companions; and this, 
with the favor I had with Mr. Cogswell, finished 
me. I was voted a bully, was driven out of all 
28 



OWLS NEST 

society, and became a sort of solitary/* Later he 
adds, "Unsociability is my nature, my habit, my 
fancy, and I fear I shall never be cured." 

From the Round Hill School, Grandpa went at 
eighteen into his uncle's counting-room. Soon 
after. Uncle John Forbes also entered the office. 
The Boston house at this time occupied two 
large stores near the end of Central Wharf where 
the company's ships discharged and received 
cargoes. Uncle John has given us an account 
of the life in which Grandpa was placed at this 
time: "The partners of the house were G>lonel 
T. H. Perkins, — my uncle James having died, 
— Mr. Samuel Cabot, the active manager, and 
my two cousins, James H. Perkins [Grandpa] 
and T. H. Perkins, Jr.,* who, especially James, 
took very little interest in the business. The 
young Colonel [T. H. P., Jr.], however, always 
turned up when a ship arrived, and busied him- 
self more or less with the out-of-door work, 
which alone was congenial to him. He owned a 
pretty little yacht, had good horses, lived in Win- 
throp Place, and was always hospitable and kind 
to us juniors, taking us occasionally to the theatre 
and home to supper after the play. His father, 
the old Colonel, only appeared on great occa- 
sions, when the larger voyages and operations of 
the house were under discussion, and then occu- 

* This was the fadier of the Cousin Tom we all remember. 

29 



OWLS NEST 

pied a separate office. • . . His was a stately 
figure in my early life; and in later years, thou^ 
stooped by gout, I still see him at the head of 
his bounteous table in Temple Place, where, 
especially at the great family supper on Sunday 
nights, he presided with so mudi dignity and 
kindness. Mr. Cabot bore the brunt of the work 
at Central Wharf; but, my duties being merely to 
copy letters and run errands, I really came very 
little in contact with him, and chiefly recollect 
him as an indefatigable worker. 
» "Mytwo immediate superiors, Hayward^ and 
Jim Perkins [Grandpa], were on the whole kind 
and considerate to die awkward boy they were 
doomed to lead in the ways of Mammon, admit- 
ting me to more of companionship than I had 
any right to expect. 

'^It may be heterodox and a bad example, but 
I cannot refrain from recording one sketch which 
still lingers of the three parties last referred to. 
It was customary when discharging our ships to 
stow in the lofts any wines or liquors which were 
left from their stores; and on very rare occasions 
my seniors used to test the goodness of these rem- 
nants from an East India voyage. One stormy ; 
afternoon, when the blustering snow seemed to ^ 
insure Mr. Cabot's absence, I had been sent up 
for a bottle of whiskey, — the sugar was always 

^ J. T. Hayward, the head bookkeeper. 

30 



OWLS NEST 

saved, — and the tin pot used for testing tea was 
well filled with water and on the office fire, just 
beginning to warm, when a hurried step on the 
stairs and a stamping of snowy feet outside the 
office door announced Mr. Cabot! With pre- 
sence of mind worthy of a better cause, James P. 
seized the blower and adroitly hid the teapot just 
as his superior entered and seated himself at his 
desk to write one of those interminable letters to 
China which we all dreaded. Hayward, on his 
high stool, worked away at his books, while the 
two jimior sinners watched with trembling the 
issue. For minutes, which seemed hours, Mr. 
Cabot worked away at his desk, the fire roaring 
in the chimney and the air getting more and more 
heated, until at last he pushed back his chair, 
exclaiming, *What on earth have you got such 
a fire for; take oflF that blower!' Jim ran to the 
blower, now red hot, and with the tongs managed 
to extract it from its place, and to our great re- 
lief the tin pot, water and all, had disappeared, 
no doubt shriveled up by that fiery blast, and 
the dreaded explanation, or explosion, was no 
longer to be feared/' 

For two years Grandpa "punctually dis- 
charged the drudging duties of clerk . . • and 
was trained by strict routine to climb step by step 
to business efficiency and skill,'' but the work 
proved entirely uncongenial to him, and the tend- 
ency to depression which had shown itself in 

31 



OWLS NEST 

earlier years became more marked.^ His father 
felt that something radical must be done in order 
to break up the morbid state of mind, and accord- 
ingly Grandpa was sent to England and the West 
Indies on a business mission. These are his part- 
ing words: "New York, January 15, 183 1. I am 
thus far on my way to England, and thence to 
the West Indies. . . . Pardon me if I have the 
blues. Melancholy has — much as you believe 
the contrary — ever been one of my passions, but 
it is melancholy of a peculiar kind; it is not doubt 
concerning the future, nor sorrow for the past, 
much as I have reason both to doubt and to sor- 
row; it is constitutional, and I have always been, 
am, and probably shall ever be, really more dis- 
posed to cry than to laugh. I have lived in an 
ideal world of my own creating, knowing at the 
same time that it was ideal; the world, as it is, 
does not suit me. Not that I am disposed to get 
out of the way of all society and become a her- 
mit; but I do not like fashionable society, because 
it scarce appears to me to deserve the name. . • • 
I have an itching for something beyond and bet- 
ter than eating and drinking and money-mak- 
ing. . . ." 

Later he describes a Liverpool packet as "a 
palace or a dungeon, according to the state of 
a man's stomach," — to him it was "the Black- 

^ See Channing Memoir of J. H. P., page 30. 

32 ■ 



OWLS NEST 

Hole of Calcutta, seven times blackened!" 
"Thirty days on one's back is no joke, at least 
to a man whose bones are prominent. My shoul- 
der blades had cut through the sacking before we 
had been out a fortnight. At last we entered the 
Channel; the sea was smooth, and as I stood on 
deck and eat Newton pippins and watched the 
gulls, I felt really in heaven; and when dinner 
came, and roast turkey and cranberry, it was ten- 
fold Elysium. We passed the blue heights of 
Dungarven, the green shores of Wexford, the 
lights of the Mizen-head, and the Wicklow-head; 
in due time doubled the Holyhead Isle, and with 
the Welsh mountains on our right, the heaving 
sea on our left, and a thousand small fry all about 
us, before a snorting breeze we sped on to Liver- 
pool, the American city of Old England." 

" London, March i, 183 1 . Let me instruct you 
in my way and fashion of life. I inhabit a very 
small room, . . • fronting upon Leicester Square. 
... I rise at seven or half-past, and walk till 
nine; breakfast, study French and algebra till 
twelve, read Shakespeare or Milton till two, and 
walk again till three, when I go to my eating- 
house and dine. After dinner I read or write till 
dusk, then walk an hour, going down into the by- 
roads and hidden paths, return, drink tea, and 
read or write again. Occasionally, say twice a 
week, I take tea and spend the evening out, and 
once a week, or perhaps twice, dine out." 

33 



OWLS NEST 

''March 2i. For two weeks I did not go to 
the theatre, but Monday I went to see Miss 
Kemble, and the consequence was, I have been 
every time she has plajred since, and mean to go 
every time she plays again, if I have to pawn my 
last shirt to buy a ticket. I have a ticket for next 
Monday night, when she phys G>nstance in 
'King John/ It is her benefit, and the tickets 
(box tickets, dress circles) are all signed by her. 
I will give you an autograph: but it won't do to 
put it here, for it deserves to be kept as a valua- 
ble legacy. In playing she very much resembles 
Mrs. Siddons,^ as she appears by a print in the 
number *On the Stage,' of Percy Anecdotes; but 
then she is a very beautiful girl, in features; and 
in expression, — soul, mind I essence!! quintes- 
sence!!! centessenceU!! I should wish to be mod- 
erate and reasonable in what I say in praise of 
her, so I will merely remark that I think, if any- 
thing will ever tempt me to cross the Atlantic 
again, it will be the hope of sedng Fanny Kem- 
ble."» 

"April 21. To-morrow I leave London, most 
like forever, and that before I have become fully 

' Mrs. Siddons f^as a sister of Fanny Kemble's father. 

' 'Tanny Kemble" (1809-1893) made her debut in Lon* 
don at Covent Garden in 1829. For three years she played 
leading parts there, and in 1832 came to America with her 
father. In 1834 she married Mr. Pierce Butler, a Southern 
planter. They were divorced in 1848; she resumed her 
maiden name, and was afterwards called Mrs. Kemble. 

34 



OWLS NEST 

convinced I am there. When I look at a map of 
the worid> it requires an eflPort of imagination to 
believe that I am where I am, — in this renowned 
dty of cities. When at home, I used to speculate 
of such things; thought I should go mad with joy 
were I to see England. But so true it is that the 
world we live in is within rather than without us, 
thatJbere I scarce feel I am herey and going hence 
scarce know that it is London ^;^ch I leave." 

From London Grandpa went to the West In- 
dies, stopping at Barbados, and then at Castries. 
There he writes to Mr. Channing in May: " For- 
tunately you are not a merchant, and know not 
mercantile troubles. Void! A gentleman invites 
me to his house, treats me as kindly as possible, 
does all in his power for me, — and what then ? 
Why, I must — musty observe ye — try to bar- 
gain him, coax him, drive him, cheat him, out of 
a dollar or two. I M rather lose a leg; and yet if I 
don't, Fm a fool, a greenhorn, and he^ll take me 
in, because / would n't serve him so. If I ever 
get home again, FU quit trade forever and aye. 
. . . The West Indians are — if I may take the 
ones I see, and they are the first dass — little 
better than beasts. Slavery has done more hurt 
to the whites than the blacks. Honesty is rare 
here; morality is an exotic, and if it is brought in, 
the climate kills it/' 

After several months in the West Indies, 
Grandpa reached home in the summer of 18319 

35 



OWLS NEST 

fully determined to give up all connection with 
mercantile aflFairs. Wishing to go West, he wrote 
to one of his former teachers, Mr. Timothy 
Walker,* who was already settled as a lawyer in 
Cincinnati. 

** Boston, December 5, 1831. 
" Sir, — I have for some time been thinking of 
going to the Westward in search of emplojmient, 
for that which I have here is too sedentary for 
my taste or health; but as I knew no one who 
could give me any information respecting the 
proper mode of starting in your part of the world, 
I have put oflF the coming to the point from time 
to time, for the last twelve months. 

** I nowtakethe liberty of writing to you, hoping 
that, without inconvenience to yourself, you may 
be able to give me the information I want; which 
is simply, whether, if I should reach Gncinnati 
in mid-winter, say January, I could probably find 
immediate employment in some active, outdoor 
business, with a compensation sufficient to give 
me a support until I could form [some permanent 
arrangement. For this purpose it must be a place 
which I can leave at any time, with a short notice. 
My intention is to purchase land somewhere in 
Ohio, and undertake the care of an estate, while 
I am gaining some insightinto the matter of farm- 

* Compare Chapter III, page 62. 

36 



OWLS NEST 

ing, of which at present I know nothing, being 
one of that amphibious species, half merchant, 
half scholar, with a strong inclination to become 
either a cobbler or a blacksmith. 

**1 should suppose that, in a state like yours, a 
person possessing some knowledge of the business, 
and willing to work, might, by taking a small 
farm upon some of the rivers which empty into 
the Ohio, and attending to the raising of grain, 
cattle, getting down lumber, etc., lead a quiet 
life and make some money. Will you be good 
enough to inform me, if without inconvenience 
you can, what the value of cleared land of good 
quality upon the rivers maybe per acre; and what 
is the probable cost of getting such a farm as a 
new settler would want into operation ? However, 
I would not trouble you with any but the simple 
question, whether I can get occupation at once, or 
soon after arrival, in some ar/iw business, which I 
should prefer, or even in an in-door employment; 
and, by the way, perhaps the country would 
be better than the town to serve my appren- 
ticeship in. I am ready to try anything almost, 
which will leave me free to quit when I please. 

<< I beg you will not give yourself the least 
trouble, nor spend any of your time to answer 
me, unless you can well afford it; and hoping 
before long to see your dty and self, I remain, 
your obedient servant, etc. 

James H. Perkins.'* 

37 



OWLS NEST 

Evidently encouraged to go to Gndnnad, he 
arrived there the following February. Mr. Walk- 
er's kind offer that he should spend any spare 
hours in his office was gladly accepted. ^It was 
a matter of course with his habits of vigorous in- 
quiry^ that he should take up the books around 
him, and catch such glimpses as he could of the 
science of the law. He had long since learned to 
husband his time. The result of this accidental 
application was, that, drawn in part by the exhil- 
arating pleasure of the study, and in part by the 
counsels of Mr. Walker and of young firiends 
whom he met at the office, who all admired his 
commanding intellect, he suddenly resolved to 
devote himself to the law.'* 

To his brother Stephen, he wrote in March: 
"I have always looked upon life as a sort of 
Brookline Causeway, a mill-dam, — and so I 
walk on, just looking that I tumble into no holes, 
and for the rest keep my eyes fixed upon the hills 
far away in the distance. I like at present my life, 
place, and employment very well. I am at work 
upon the law most of the time, have exercise in 
abundance, however, and am in excellent health. 
. . . The law I find interesting, quite so. I have 
started under very favorable circumstances. A 
moot-club is just starting among the young law- 
yers, and last week upon a pretty disputed ques- 
tion, as to murder, perjury, poison, and other con- 
diments, in debating which my associate left me 

38 



OWLS NEST 

to fight alone, I gained my cause against a couple 
of men who have been at it two years or so. Our 
judge is General King, the son of Rufus King, 
one of the first men in this State. • . • 

"They are about to start a review here. 
Walker, Chase, ^ and Peabody * to be editors. 
Chase wrote the piece on Brougham in the North 
American of July, and on Machinery in the last 
number. If the thunderbolts of the land don't 
write for it (supposing it to start), as I should not 
like to see such a thing fall through, perhaps I 
may. They pay three dollars per page. Of the 
country this side the Alleghanies, I have not seen 
much. The neighborhood of this place is very 
beautiful. The country has in former times evi- 
dently been all under water; and the ground is 
unbroken by rocks, precipices, and other Brook- 
line-like adjuncts; the hills are long narrow 
mounds, sloping oflF gradually and beautifully 
in every direction, and when the woods are 

^ Salmon P. Chase (1808-1873) was bom in New Hamp- 
shire. In 1830 he setdedy as a lawyer, in Cincinnati, where he 
acted as counsel for the defence of fugitiye slaves. He helped 
form the Liberty party which in 1844 brought about Heniy 
Clay's defeat. He was returned to the U. S. Senate in 1849 
by the Ohio Democrats, but separated from them in 1852 
when they committed themselves to slavery. He was twice 
governor of Ohio (1855-1859), and from 1861 to 1864 was 
Secretary of the Treasury. Lincoln appointed him Chief 
Justice of the United States in 1864, and he presided at the 
trial of President Johnson in 1868. 

' Rev. Ephraim Peabody, a Uniurian minister. 

39 



OWLS NEST 

cleared oflF, the grass comes up and looks as 
smooth and lawny as Pine Bank.^ It goes against 
Yankee notions, but nathless it is true that the 
centre of Kentucky is the most beautiful country 
in the U. S. It is but little if at all inferior I am 
told by Englishmen to England in artificial and 
finished cultivation and beauty. ... I am too 
busy nowadays to write much and business in- 
creases daily. I am not very fat at present, don't 
weigh over two hundred pounds. 
^^ I remain your true and studious brother, 

J. H. P.' 



I ff 



Through Mr. Walker's kindness, Grandpa at 
once found himself in the midst of a little New 
England colony into which newcomers were wel- 
comed with the hospitality characteristic of a 
young and growing community, where all were 
ready to make the most of each other and to 
glean from one another whatever was valuable. 
Owing to the warmth and cordiality about him, 
it was not long before his sensitiveness dimin- 
ished, although he never entirely dispelled what 
he called the mists which enveloped his brain. 

A few months after his arrival in Qncinnati, he 
wrote to Mr. Channing: "I have been much 
altered, and I believe vastly for the better, since 
I came to this place; my old-fashioned mumpish- 

^ Pine Bank, on Jamaica Pond, is now a part of Boston's 
park flystem. 

40 



OWLS NEST 

ness and distance and silence have all past away, 
and I am one of the most social men you ever 
met with; and not only has the without skin been 
cast, but I have put off a monstrous deal of the 
heresy that smothered my inner man. I have 
already told you to whose influence all this is 
ascribable. The fact is that there is a set here, 
a drd^ of married ladies, which I believe could 
scarce be equalled in any dty for intelligence, 
and what is better, excellence beyond compare. 
We have of the intellectualists Mrs. Hentz,* a 
woman of rare powers; Mrs. King, a Virginia 
lady (I study with her husband), who for ac- 
quired knowledge, strong powers of reasoning, 
and just ideas of most things, save her own self, 
is the most wonderful female I ever chanced 
upon; Mrs. R.' and three or four other ladies 
whose characters you can better conceive than I 
describe, — and all within one little round and so 
arranged that scarce an evening passes but we 
meet some of them.** 

Perhaps Grandma, who belonged to a younger 
set, was one of those whose character could be 
better conceived than described, for it was not 
long before Grandpa found himself mistaken in 
his idea that he should " grow gray in singularity." 

^ Mrs. Hentz had a school for young girls, to which 
Grandma probably went. 
' Mrs. John Rogers, who was a Miss Derby of Boston. 



CHAPTER III 

IN the little village of Guilford, Connecticut, 
Grandma Perkins was bom on July fifth, 1814, 
and it was in that small community that she 
learned many of the lessons which made her able 
later and in another circle to fill so well her place. 
She was the fourth daughter and seventh child 
of Andrew Elliott, who in 1796 had married 
Catherine Hill, a daughter of "Squire" Henry 
Hill, of Guilford. Squire Hill, after graduating 
at Yale College in 1772, returned to his early 
Guilford home, and like his father and grand- 
father before him, became one of the leading men 
in the regulation of the town's aflPairs. He repre- 
sented the town in the General Assembly, and 
was for many years Judge of Probate. 

Andrew Elliott (as he spelled his name) was 
descended from John Eliot, commonly known 
as the Apostle to the Indians. John Eliot was 
bom in Hertfordshire, England, in 1604, and 
was graduated at Jesus College, Cambridge. 
After teaching school for some time, he became 
a minister, and in 1631 came to America. He 
was soon ordained as a "teacher'' in the church 
at Roxbury, a few miles from Boston^ and the 
following year he married Hannah Mountford. 
42 



OWLS NEST 

He had not been settled long in Roxbury before 
he conceived the idea of teaching and Christianiz- 
ing the Indians near Boston, and in 1646 he 
preached to some of them for the first time in a 
wigwam in a grove of trees near the mouth of the 
Neponset River. From then until his death in 
1690 he worked industriously for them, preaching 
all through that part of the country where are 
now the towns of Stoughton, Milton, Nadck, and 
Jamaica Plain. 

John and Joseph^ the Apostle's eldest sons, 
were graduated from Harvard College in 1656 
and 1658, just as their father was finishing his 
great transladon of the Bible into the dialect of 
the Indians among whom he was working. His 
sons shared for a rime in his missionary work, 
but in 1662 Joseph went to Northampton, Mas- 
sachusetts, and became associated with the Rev. 
Eleazer Mather in the ministry of the church. 
He was strongly urged to settle there, but after 
two years he left to fill a vacancy at Guilford, 
Connecticut, where he spent the remainder of his 
life. About 1675 Sarah Brenton of Taunton, 
Massachusetts, became his wife, and some time 
after her death he married Mary Wyllys.* 

The town of Guilford had been settled in 1639, 
by a company of some forty Englishmen who 

^ Maiy Wyllys was a daughter of Samuel Wyllys and a 
grand-dau^ter of Governor George Wylljrs, third governor 
of the Connecticut Colony. 

43 



OWLS NEST 

bou^ from die Indians a tract of land known 
as Mennnkatiict, This name th^ changed to 
Guilford, after Guildford, an important town 
in Surrey, En^and, whence most of them had 
come. These setders were unlike their more 
'^mercandle brethren'' who had setded the year 
before at New Haven sixteen miles away, for 
''they had not a merchant among them and 
scarcely a mechanic; and it was at great trouble 
and expense that they procured even a black- 
smith on their Hantadon." The Rev. Henry 
Whitfield, a man of great ability and wealth, was 
die leader of the company. He was a minister of 
the Church of En^and, — rector of the church 
at Ockley, — and some of his parishioners were 
among the company who came with him and 
settled Guilford. They buik for him a stone 
dwelling-house, which was intended to serve also 
as a meedng-house and a fortificadon against the 
Indians. The building, somewhat altered, is now 
owned by the State as an Historical Museum. 

The village was laid out around a central 
square of about twelve acres, and on this '^com- 
mon'' the churches, the town-house, school- 
house, and academy were built, and there for 
many years the dead were buried. All trace of 
the graves, as well as of the churches, has long 
since disappeared, and now the common or '' vil- 
l^g^ green'' is an open square shaded by hand- 
some elms and maples. 
44 



OWLS NEST 

Opposite a comer of the green, Joseph Eliot 
built his house, and there his eight children grew 
up. It was said of him that as a preacher he 
equalled any of the age in which he lived, and 
that his great abilities as a politician and a physi- 
cian were justly admired throughout the colony 
no less than in the little village where he had 
settled. His son, Abial, became a farmer in Guil- 
ford, as did also AbiaFs son Wyllys. Wyllys 
married Abigail Ward, the daughter of Colonel 
Andrew Ward, who had served in the French and 
Indian War, and who died in 1779. Two of 
Wyllys Eliot's sons, Samuel and Andrew, became 
merchants in Guilford and owned several small 
vessels employed in the West Indian trade. Guil- 
ford is on Long Island Sound, and in those days 
in almost all the towns along the New England 
coast there were merchants carrying on inde- 
pendent trade with the West Indies, or South 
America. Provisions, lumber, boots, shoes, 
horses and cattle, and various '^Yankee notions'' 
were shipped south, to be exchanged for rum, 
coffee, molasses, or other southern products. 

Of my great-grandfather, Andrew Elliott, who 
died in 1824, when Grandma was ten years old, 
we have no picture; but the portrait of my great- 
grandmother, which is in the dining-room at The 
Apple Trees, ^ is said to be an excellent likeness. 

^ Buriington, Iowa. 

45 



OWLS NEST 

Grandma's brother, Unde Henry Elliott, had 
the portrait painted by a New York artist and 
left it in his will to his brother, Uncle Charles, 
from whom Father bought it. Mr. Richards once 
went to see Grandma when she was visiting her 
mother, and he recalls the latter as **a short, 
stout, old-fashioned person; shrewd, kindly, 
quiet, a rustic gentlewoman full of the best 
New England character/' He adds, **I have 
no doubt she was humorous in the diy New 
England way, or M^ere- did the abundant hu- 
mor of Mrs. Perkins and Charies Elliott come 
from?" 

In Guilford Miss Annette Fowler told me that 
i^en she was a little girl, she went often with 
other children in the neighborhood to see Grand- 
ma's mother, whom she had heard spoken of as 
'*a brave woman," and whom she herself re- 
members as very sedate and dignified. No mat- 
ter how busy Grandmother Elliott might be, she 
had time to stop and talk with the children. Th^ 
were always much impressed when she took 
them to her mrytle-bed and picked little bunches 
of the flowers idiich she pinned on to their 
dresses. "Other people had flowers, but no- 
body else picked them." Then she would take 
the children into the house and give them cook- 
ies; and Miss Fowler remembers Grandmother 
Elliott's remark that no one should ever look on 
her table and want. ''Mrs. Katie Elliott" was 
46 



OWLS NEST 

apparently quite a character in the village, and 
her tea-parties were especially looked forward to 
and enjoyed by the neighbors. 

Guilford was a typical little New England vil- 
bge where all the people knew one another and 
were on friendly terms. None were really poor, 
nor were any rich. All lived more or less on a 
broad plane of genuine equality, and although in 
such a community kindnesses were welcomed, 
favors were out of the question. It was James 
Freeman Qarke who said that more diplomacy 
than might disentangle the intricate complica- 
tions of states would be required to induce the 
poorest people in a New England village to ac-* 
cept a load of wood, or a barrel of apples. Those 
were days of simple living indeed, — when the 
women made their own clothes, and as a rule did 
all the housework. A few families had colored 
servants, the descendants of slaves who had 
either been brought or s^it by some one who 
had "gone out south/' The white servants were 
called "help,'' the distinction from the colored 
servants being their position in the families 
where they lived, — the former always sitting at 
table and "around the evening lamp" with the 
family. A woman named L^h Norton, who 
lived for a long time in Grandmother Elliott's 
family as "help," and who "sang in the choir 
with the Elliott girls," was a descendant of the 
fine old Thomas Norton, — a warden in Henry 

47 



OWLS NEST 

Whitfield's church in England, and one of the 
original settlers of Guilford. 

Mrs. George Foote, who now lives in New 
Haven, says that society in Guilford in those days 
was much as it has been undl quite recently. 
The young girls visited for the afternoon, taking 
their knitting and staying to tea. There were 
a few parties, the singing-school, picnics, sleigh- 
rides, and the sewing society. The latter met in 
the afternoon as an ^^ industrial gathering'' with 
much "local intelligence-giving;" then after a 
simple tea of bread, or biscuits, and butter, with 
preserves and several kinds of cake, the hus- 
bands and lovers came in for the evening. 

I have not been able to find out absolutely 
where Grandma was bom, as her father seems to 
have had a wonderful talent for trading, buying, 
and building houses, and four have been pointed 
out to me in which at some time the family lived. 
After consulting land records, however, it seems 
probable that her birthplace was the house now 
known as the Chamberlain house, situated at the 
northeast comer of the green. 

Of Grandma's childhood we know very little, — 
doubtless because it was as uneventful as most 
young lives. She went to school, at first to her 
mother's sister, '*Aunt Leah Hill," * and when 
she stopped teaching, to Miss Polly Fowler, who 

^ Later Mrs. Pinneo. 

48 



OWLS NEST 

had a good private school on the village street. 
In an old letter from '* Aunt Leah Hill" written 
to Grandma many years later, she said: **I re- 
member when you were a little girl and went to 
school to me, and sat in your little rocking-chair 
and pieced your bedquilt. Then Grandpa Hill 
and Grandma were on this earth, and you and 
Charlie ^ used to come to Grandpa's a great deal. 
. . . Those were pleasant days." "Aunt Leah 
Hill" is recalled by Mrs. Foote as a rather severe 
teacher of whom she was afraid; "Aunt Sarah 
Hill," for whom Grandma was named, was very 
bright and entertaining,while their sister. Grand- 
mother Elliott, was "easy-going, but rather 
haughty in her bearing." She was so strong in 
her allegiance to the Episcopal Church that she 
was called by her sisters "The Pope" or "The 
Bishop," and it followed of course that Grandma 
was brought up an Episcopalian. In those days 
" little girls were to be taught to move very gently, 
to speak softly and pretdly, to say ^ Yes, ma'am' 
and 'No, ma'am,' never to tear their clothes, to 
sew and to knit at regular hours, to go to church 
on Sunday and make all the responses, and to 
come home and be catechised." 

According to Mrs. Foote the family of Andrew 
Elliott was fine looking. The handsomest of the 
girls was Catherine, "tall and splendid looking." 

^ Uncle Charies Elliott. 
49 



OWLS NEST 

They all had fresh complexions and rosy cheeks, 
but Grandma, who was shorter than the others 
and not handsome, grew up feeling that she was 
the ugly duckling. Her sisters were a good deal 
older than herself, and she would have had a 
lonely childhood had it not been for the kindness 
of an old, unmarried relative who lived near, and 
who made a pet of the child. Grandma spent 
much of her time with this cousin, who helped to 
give her the training in household matters which 
made her in later years so wise and capable a 
manager of her own house. 

A few miles from Guilford was the old Ward 
farm owned by Eli Footers family. This place 
had been closely associated with the life of ear- 
lier generations of Grandma's family and was 
known to them as Nutplains, although cor- 
rectly speaking the name " Nutplains," or *' Nut- 
plain,'' had since 1646 belonged to the little 
settlement a short distance west of the farm. 
Nutplains had formerly been the property of 
Grandma's great-uncle Andrew Ward, a son of 
O>lonel Andrew Ward, and a general under 
Washington in the Revolution. General Ward 
was prominent in the regulation of local affairs, 
and for many years was elected representative 
to the State Legislature. He v^as a great reader, 
and it is said that he used to come home from 
the Legislature with one side of his saddle-bags 
filled with books and the other with nails. After 

50 



OWLS NEST 

doing the necessary mending and patching about 
the house, he spent the evenings reading aloud 
to his family such things as would excite their 
thought and interest. 

General Ward's daughter, Diana, married 
Abram Chittenden of Guilford, and from them 
Mr. Henry Chittenden of Burlington is de- 
scended. 

In 1772 another daughter, Roxana, married 
Eli Foote, a Guilford merchant in trade with the 
West Indies. He was a man of fine presence, 
charming manners, and great cultivation, and of 
him it was said, '^Give him a book and he is as 
happy as if he owned Kensington Palace." After 
his marriage he moved his headquarters to North 
Carolina, where he died of yellow fever in 1792, 
leaving his wife with ten children. Fortunately, 
their grandfather Ward took them to live with 
him at Nutplains, which became to them a real 
home. Although these Foote children were much 
older than Grandma, they, like the Chittendens, 
were her second cousins. 

One of Eli Footers children, Roxana, married 
the Rev. Lyman Beecher in 1799. In Mr. Beech- 
er's autobiography he describes one of his early 
visits to Nutplains where he sometimes went in 
his college vacations with *'Ben Baldwin," who 
was engaged to "Betsy Chittenden," one of 
General Ward^s grand-daughters. He found the 
g^rls out in the old spinning-mill, which was a 

51 



OWLS NEST 

favorite meeting-place for all the young people; 
there the girls had the best of times, reading 
aloud, talking over their love affairs, or receiving 
their visitors while they spun. Mr. Beecher re- 
cognized Roxana's charms the instant he saw her. 
"The whole circle in which she moved was one 
of uncommon intelligence, vivacity, and wit. 
There was her sister, — Harriet, — smart, witty, 
a little too keen. There was Sally Hill,* too, in 
that circle, pretty beyond measure, full of witch- 
ery, — artless, but not weak, lively and sober by 
turns, witty and quick. Betsy Chittenden was 
another, — a black-eyed, bladk-haired girl, full 
of life as could be." All the new publications of 
the day were sure quickly to find their way to 
Nutplains, and when Miss Bumey's "Evelina" 
came out it was "Sally Hill" who took it on 
horseback to Roxana at "Castle Ward," as the 
Nutplains house was called by the young people. 
An old letter from "Sally Hill," who became 
Mrs. Tomlinson, called forth some good stories 
of that day and generation from Miss Lydfa 
Chittenden of Guilford. She well remembers 
that set and especially "Aunt Tomlinson," who 
she says was witty, bright, and genial. Once 
when Mrs. Tomlinson was dining in New Haven 
with some of the Yale Faculty, and was sitting 
next the Rev. Lyman Beecher, as repartee for 

^ Grandma's Aunt. 
52 



OWLS NEST 

some sharp pleasantry from "Aunt Tomlinson," 
Dr. Beecher said, "I'm glad that I married Rox- 
ana instead of you I" Quick was the reply, "And 
I'm most glad that I said 'no' when you asked 
me!" 

It was only natural that Nutplains should be- 
come the gathering place for the younger genera- 
tions too, and probably the Elliott children grew 
up feeling with the Beecher children that the 
hours spent there were the golden hours of their 
life. As Harriet Beecher was only three years 
older than Grandma they played together as chil- 
dren, for the Beechers often came from Litch- 
field to visit their grandmother Foote at the old 
farm. Many years after Harriet Beecher's mar- 
riage to Professor Stowe she wrote thus of the old 
days: — 

"Among my earliest recollections are those of 
a visit to Nutplains immediately after my mo- 
ther's death. ... I can now remember, at the 
close of what seemed to me a long day's ride, 
arriving after dark at a lonely little white farm- 
house, and being brought into a large parlor 
where a cheerful wood fire was crackling, partly 
burned down into great heavy coals. . . . There 
was a little tea-table set out before the fire, and 
Uncle George came in from his farm-work, and 
sat down with Grandma and Aunt Harriet to tea. 

"After supper I remember Grandma's reading 
prayers, as was her custom, from a great prayer- 

53 



OWLS NEST 

book, which was her constant companion. . . . 
Then I remember being put to bed by my aunt 
in a large room, on one side of which stood the 
bed appropriated to her and me, and on the 
other that of my grandmother. The beds were 
curtained with a printed India linen, which had 
been brought home by my seafaring uncle. . . . 
''My aunt Harriet was no common character. 
A more energetic human being never undertook 
the education of a child. Her ideas of education 
were those of a vigorous Englishwoman of the 
old school." This aunt, who was very well read 
in history and the English classics, possessed 
much wit and drollery, and took the lead in the 
family and in the care of her mother with great 
efficiency. "Her stock of family tradition and 
of neighborhood legendary lore was wonderful. 
Her young nieces and nephews who visited her 
would sometimes be kept laughing so constantly 
at table with her wit and stories that they would 
call for a truce, and request Aunt Harriet to be 
silent at least long enough for them to drink their 
tea." Of the dear old grandmother Mrs. Stowe 
wrote: "Her mind was active and clear; her lit- 
erary taste just, her reading extensive. My im- 
age of her in later years is of one always seated at 
a great round table covered with books, among 
which nestled her work-basket. Among these, 
chiefest, her large Bible and prayer-book; 
Lowth's * Isaiah,' which she knew almost by 
54 



OWLS NEST 

heart; Buchanan's * Researches in Asia;* * Bishop 
Heber's Life;' and Dr. Johnson's 'Works,' 
which were great favorites with her. As her 
nephews and nieces grew older and came to Nut- 
plains, it was a pleasure to them to sit at this book- 
table and read to that dear friend, who never 
spoke a harsh word to us. ..." "Aunt Har- 
riet" is described as having precisely the turn of 
mind which made her treasure every scrap of 
a family relic and history. "Even those of the 
family who had passed away forever seemed still 
to be living at Nutplains, so did she cherish every 
memorial, and recall every action and word. 
There was Aunt Catherine's embroidery; there 
were Aunt Mary's paintings and letters; there 
the things which Uncle Samuel had brought 
from foreign shores: frankincense from Spain, 
mats and baskets from Mogadore, and various 
other trophies locked in drawers, which Aunt 
Harriet displayed to us on every visit. 

"At Nutplains our mother, lost to us, seemed 
to live again. We saw her paintings, her needle- 
work, and heard a thousand little sayings and 
doings of her daily life. And so dear v^as every- 
thing that belonged to grandmother and our 
Nutplains home, that the Episcopal service, even 
though not well read, was always chosen during 
our visits there in preference to our own. It 
seemed a part of Nutplains and of the life there. 

"There was also an interesting and well- 

55 



OWLS NEST 

selected library, and a portfolio of fine engrav- 
ings; and, though the place was lonely, yet the 
cheerful hospitality that reigned there left them 
scarcely ever without agreeable visitors; and 
some of the most charming recollections of my 
childhood are of a beautiful young lady, who 
used to play at chess with Unde George * when 
he returned from his work in the wood-lot of a 
winter evening. 

"The earliest poetry that I ever heard were 
the ballads of Walter Scott, which Uncle George 
repeated to Cousin Mary and me the first winter 
that I was there. . . . His mind was so steeped 
in poetical literature that he could at any time 
complete any passage in Bums or Scott from 
memory. As for graver reading there was 
Rees's Cyclopaedia, in which I suppose he had 
read every article, and which was often taken 
down when I became old enou^ to ask ques- 
tions, and passages pointed out in it for my 
reading. 

"All these remembrances may explain why 
the lonely little white farm-house under the hill 
was such a Paradise to us, and the sight of its 
chimneys after a day's ride was like a vision of 

^ Mr. George Foote took charge of the farm and supported 
his mother and sisters. In later years he bought another farm, 
and Nutplains became the property of his sons. It is owned 
"for life" by the widow of Andrew Ward Foote, and is known 
to the present generation as "The Nutplains Foote Farm." 

56 



H GENERATION 



FIFTH GENERATION 



RD HILL WOODWARD 



^Helen L. S. Pcttit 

WARD C. PERKINS 

I2SS Looisa C. Adams 
1871- 



I2S(i) Alice M. Stone 

1879-1902 
122£ (2) Katrine Coolidge 

1883- 
Marjr CooKdge 
1881- 



Child of JOHN B. WOODWARD 



Children of THOMAS N. PERKINS 
. ElHott 

1901- 
, James Handasyd 

1903- 
. Thomas Nelson 
1907- 

Child of JAMES H. PERKINS 
> Eleanor 
1901- 

Child of JOHN F. PERKINS 
. Katharine 
1907- 



OWARD ELLIOTT 



OWLS NEST 

Eden. In later years, returning there, I have 
been surprised to find that the hills around were 
so bleak and the land so barren; that the little 
stream near by had so few charms to uninitiated 
eyes. To us, every juniper-bush, every wild 
sweetbrier, every barren sandy hillside, every 
stony pasture, spoke of bright hours of love, 
when we were welcomed back to Nutplains as 
to our mother's heart." 

The little stream running through the old 
farm, and the bridge with the boat near by, 
furnished to each succeeding generation of chil- 
dren a never-ending source of delight. "The 
boats and the banks of this little river," wrote 
Mr. Beecher, ^^ have witnessed more frolics and 
more frightful disasters to children's wardrobes 
than could be named, all remedied or concealed 
by the tenderest of grandmothers, or duly re- 
buked by more considerate supervisors." 

The "seafaring" uncle to whom Mrs. Stowe 
referred was her mother's brother, Samuel Foote, 
who later married Grandma's sister. He went 
in 1803 when he was sixteen to the Island of 
Jamaica and entered the counting-room of his 
brother-in-law, John J. Hubbard. Two years 
afterwards he returned to Guilford to the trading 
establishment of Andrew and Samuel Elliott. 
After studying with them the theory of naviga- 
tion, young Foote shipped as a foremast-hand 
on one of their vessels; from his second voyage 
57 



OWLS NEST 

he returned first mate, and before he was twenty- 
one was in command of a ship. 

Miss Catharine Beecher wrote that an im- 
portant element of her father's domestic and lit- 
eraiy life was found in the society of Mr. Samuel 
Foote. "I remember a visit of Uncle Samuel 
while we lived at East Hampton^ in which he 
brought with him various literary works, and also 
some of the first numbers of ^Salmagundi/ con- 
ducted by Irving and his literary clique, whose 
career was then just commencing. These papers 
were read aloud in the family with great enjoy- 
ment of their fresh and piquant humor. After 
we moved to Litchfield, Uncle Samuel came 
among us, on his return from each voyage, as a 
sort of brilliant genius of another sphere, bring- 
ing gifts and wonders that seemed to wake new 
faculdes in all. Sometimes he came from the 
shores of Spain, with mementos of the Alham- 
bra and the Ancient Moors; sometimes from 
Africa, bringing Oriental caps or Moorish slip- 
pers; sometimes from South America, with in- 
gots of silver, or strange implements from the 
tombs of the Incas, or hammocks wrought by the 
Southern Indian tribes. With these came excit- 
ing stories of his adventures, and of the inter- 
esting persons of various lands whom he had 
carried as passengers on his ship on such foreign 
shores. 

''He was a man of great practical common 

58 



OWLS NEST 

8ense> united with large ideality, a cultivated 
taste, and very extensive reading. With this was 
combined a humorous combadveness, that led 
him to attack the special theories and prejudices 
of his friends, sometimes jocosely and sometimes 
in good earnest. 

**Of course he and father were in continual 
good-natured skirmishes, in which all New Eng- 
land peculiarities of theology or of character 
were held up both in caricature and in sober 
verity. . . . 

"The new fields of vision presented by my 
uncle, the skill and adroitness of his arguments, 
the array of his facts, combined to tax father's 
powers to their utmost. 

"In the literary circle of Litchfield, especially 
to the female portion, Uncle Samuel appeared 
as a sort of hero of romance. He spoke French 
with ease, and made such proficiency in the Span- 
ish tongue that a Spanish gentleman once, after 
conversing with him, remarked that, were he to 
meet him in any part of the world, he should 
know he was bom in Castile. 

"Whenever he came to Litchfield he brought 
a stock of new books, which he and Aunt Mary 
read aloud. This was the time when Scott, 
Byron, Moore, and that great galaxy of contem- 
porary writers were issuing their works at inter- 
vals of only a few months, all of which were read 
and re-read in the family circle.'' 

59 



OWLS NEST 

Mr. Richards recalls Mr. Foote in later life 
as a man of large features, and large build, with 
a ruddy complexion and beautiful, long, wavy, 
white hair, tinged with yellow. He adds that his 
voice was peculiarly gentle and humorous, and 
that he loved paradox, declaring chess a mere 
matter of memory and the only highly intellectual 
game jack-straws I 

This is a glimpse of the man, v^o, after 
giving up his seafaring life, married Eliza- 
beth Elliott in 1827. "Mrs. Foote," says Mr. 
Richards, ''was tall, reserved yet gracious, an 
invalid always, with great beauty of counte- 
nance and an exceedingly clever brain, both 
of which her daughter, Mrs. Godkin, inher- 
ited." 

Mr. Foote decided, after looking more or less 
about the country, to settle in Cincinnati, where 
his brother, Mr. John Foote, and his family had 
already established themselves. In the spring of 
1828 he and Aunt Elizabeth set forth on their 
long journey. In their old letters to the family at 
Nutplains there are little touches of homesick- 
ness, and it is easy to see that on holidays espe- 
cially they felt dreary and far away. Mrs. Foote 
writes: "'Thanksgiving and Christmas and 'such 
like* holidays which we of New England have 
been accustomed to observe as festive and social 
meetings are here allowed to pass almost unob- 
served. I regret very much that it is so." And 
60 



^ 



OWLS NEST 

Mr. Foote adds: "We are all so homesick to 
spend Christmas with you that we could cry. 
We do not mind being out in the woods here, and 
being scalped every morning and carried away 
captive every afternoon on all common workday 
rimes, — but on Christmas and New Year's it 
is a little too bad, — you may therefore depend 
upon our spending our next holidays with you 
'whether or no/" In the summer of 1829 Mr. 
and Mrs. Foote went to Guilford to make a 
visit, and Mrs. George Foote remembers that 
"Sarah Elliott" returned with them to the West 
that autunm. 

Travelling in those days was a tremendous 
undertaking. The trip to Ohio had to be made 
either across the Alleghany Mountains in un- 
comfortable stage-coaches, over the roughest 
of roads to Wheeling, and then by steamboat 
down the Ohio, or partly by stage-coaches 
and then by equally uncomfortable canal-boats 
on the New York and Erie Canal, to BuflFalo, 
and then again by stage to Wheeling. At best, 
it was a tedious and uncertain journey. Fre- 
quently the water in the Ohio River was so 
low that travellers had to go all the way by 
stage, thereby adding many hours to the already 
long trip. The first steamboat on the Ohio 
had been launched in 181 1, and in 1829 there 
were hundreds on the waters of the Ohio and 
the Mississippi, but steam was not used for 

61 



OWLS NEST 

railroads in this country until early in the 
thirties.* 

When I was in Gndnnati Mrs, Longworth 
very kindly let me read some of her father's ' 
old letters, and I quote from one written to his 
sister in 1830, which shows the condition of travel 
at about the time Grandma went West: — 

''At Wheeling, August 2, 1830. 

On board the Steamboat Emigrant 

bound for Cincinnati. 

" While visiting in Baltimore, I went with Mr. 
Appleton's family on the railroad, where we rode 
at the rate of twelve miles an hour, without the 
least jarring. I think I could have written easily 
during the most rapid motion. When this great 
undertaking is finished, it will extend from Balti- 
more to the Ohio River below Wheeling, a dis- 
tance of three hundred miles, over mountains and 
marshes, an expense of eight or ten millions, and 
it will do more to facilitate communication be- 
tween the East and West than words can express. 

^ Railroads were introduced into this countiy by Thomas 
Handasyd Perkins in 1827, after he had witnessed their suc- 
cessful commencement in England. He obtained a charter 
for the Granite Railway Company, and was then instru- 
mental in the construction of a road two miles in length, 
built for the purpose of transporting granite from the quar- 
ries in Quincy, Massachusetts, to the ocean. This was the 
first railroad in the countiy, although a rough contrivance in 
Pennsylvania for removing coal is said to have preceded it. 

* Judge Timothy Walker. Compare Chapter II, page 36. 
62 



OWLS NEST 

I shall then be able to come from Cincinnati to 
Boston easily in five days> perhaps in four. One 
horse easily draws ten tons. In England there 
have been steam-carriages which moved on rail- 
roads at the rate of thirty miles an hour. What 
limit can be set to human invention! The great- 
est velocity yet attained in steamboats is eighteen 
miles an hour. When this was achieved, it was 
thought that human ingenuity had done its ut- 
most. But railroads and steam-carriages are des- 
tined, I believe, to do immeasurably more for 
locomotion than canals and steamboats. You 
will understand the nature of railroads, if I tell 
you that the wheels of the cars instead of running 
into ruts J run upon iron rails, firmly fastened in 
their places and made as perfectly level as pos- 
sible. Thus you will see that friction is almost 
entirely destroyed, and there is no jolting. You 
may sleep when riding as well as in a boat or in 
bed. Steamboats will never be able to attain such 
a velocity as steam-carriages for a reason which 
I would explain td you if you understood natural 
philosophy enough for me to make it clear to you. 
On Thursday, the 29th, at one A. M., Cook and 
I left Baltimore for Wheeling in the mail stage, 
over the Great Cumberland Road. You will 
easily trace our route through Fredericstown, 
Hagerstown, Brownsville, Washington, etc. We 
travelled night and day, stopping only long 
enough to eat, and reached Wheeling in sevenQr 

63 



OWLS NEST 

hours. We were twenty-five hours crossing the 
Alleghanies. Here the weather was sensibly 
cooler, but the road was the roughest I have ever 
travelled. On the whole, I never was so much 
fatigued as when I reached Wheeling. . • . We 
arrived at eleven, Saturday night. Our fellow- 
passengers were very agreeable, and the time 
passed as cheerfully as we could expect. . . . We 
told stories, talked politics, made our observa- 
tions on the country, and now and then caught a 
short nap. We found the water in the Ohio so 
low that boats could not navigate without great 
difficulty, and it seemed that we should have to 
take the stage for another three days of excessive 
fatigue. ... I have taken my trunks on board 
the Emigrant where I am now writing. We 
shall depart to-morrow at twelve, arriving in 
Cincinnati in two and a half days, that is, on the 
5th of August. Then I shall finish this letter. 
P. S. Cincinnati, August 8. I arrived here three 
days ago. I am delighted with this beautiful 
dty. It seems the work of enchantment.'* 

When travelling was so venturesome an under- 
taking, it is no wonder that people living in Qn- 
dnnati considered themselves '^poor back-wood 
folks." Doubtless there was much that was ex- 
citing and interesting about starting life in a new 
and growing community; but whatever may have 
been the enthusiasm, it was no light matter for 

64 



OWLS NEST 

Aunt Elizabeth and Grandma to leave home» 
friends, and all their early associations, and 
make for themselves new ties and new friends 
in ^a far distant land/' 



CHAPTER IV 

IT was in January of the year 1789 that the 
town first named LosantiyiUe, and after- 
wards Cincinnati, was laid oflF in "in-lots" of 
half an acre, and " out-lots*' of four acres, — 
"thirty of each to be given to settlers, upon pay- 
ing one dollar and a half for the survey and deed 
of each lot.** The courses of the streets were 
marked on the trees, and after certain other steps 
were taken a new town in the wilderness was 
considered as established. The population con- 
sisted of about a dozen families and about thirty 
unmarried men. Thus in 1829 Cincinnati was, 
in situation, scarcely more than a frontier town 
standing where forty years before the Indians 
had hunted bears and buflPalo. The character 
and interests of the settlers, however, had been 
such that the dty had ceased to have many of the 
attributes of a remote and isolated society, and 
yet not until some years later was intercourse 
with the outside world less than difficult. Com- 
mercially the dty was one of growing importance, 
and was considered to oflFer a greater oppor- 
tunity for brains and ambition than any other city 
in the West. In his life of Salmon P. Chase 
Professor Hart writes: "Among the twenty-five 
66 



OWLS NEST 

thousand people of Cincinnati in 1830 were to be 
found four different elements, which were slowly 
and unwillingly combining in a common life: the 
Southerner, the New Englander and Middle 
State man, the foreigner, and the negro. The 
Southern element was on the whole the most 
numerous, for all the lower counties of Ohio, In- 
diana, and Illinois had a large number of South- 
em settlers, and in Cincinnati itself there were 
many people of distinctly Southern habits of 
mind. Indeed, in many respects Gndnnati was 
a Southern dty on free soil: the Southern buyer 
gladdened the heart of the merchant; the South- 
em traveller and his family took the best rooms in 
the hotels; and in times of crisis Southem sym- 
pathy for slavery was visible in the newspapers. 
New Englanders were numerous and contended 
for their familiar standards of education and in- 
tellectual life; but they were not here, as in north- 
em Ohio, the dominant element. Foreigners had 
begun to straggle in; and Cincinnati became an 
early place of settlement for Germans. . . . The 
negro population was only about one fifteenth of 
the whole, but it was a source of some perplexi- 
ties, for besides the influx of negroes from other 
Northem communities, free to shift for them- 
selves, there was an infusion of freed slaves from 
Kentucky, and even of mnaways/* 

Of those days as he had heard of them from 
his elders, Mr. Richards says: ''There were still 

67 



OWLS NEST 

personal encounters on the streets between irate 
physicians^ who were a touchy class to a later 
period. There was a good deal of hard drinking 
among otherwise decent people. There was a 
developing society of leading lawyers, doctors, 
ministers, and merchants, with no traditional 
forms except so far as decent people had else- 
where inherited and brought them with them. 
There were church distinctions, the orthodox 
keeping more or less aloof from the heterodox.** 

There were also slight " social divergencies," — 
a more or less uncultured and fashionable set 
on Broadway and east of it, and a more or less 
intellectual and artistic set along Fourth Street. 
Individuals might perhaps belong to both sets, 
but, on the whole, families recognized an East 
End and a West End circle, and, to quote Mr. 
Richards, ^^like people drew to their kind, but 
roughly the camps kept apart." Once at Mr. 
Richards* instigation a charming young girl from 
the East End was invited to a West End gather- 
ing, and he well remembers her surprise when she 
encountered a society so different from anything 
to which she had been accustomed. It was vastly 
simpler and cleverer and pleasanter, she thought. 
In this circle there was more home music, more 
"extemporized dancing,** and lighter suppers; 
the clothes were simpler and the talk was merrier. 

When theFootes began their life in Gndnnati, 
the authoress Mrs. TroUope and her family 
68 



OWLS NEST 

were living there. Coming to this country in No- 
vember, 1827, ^ft^r meeting with financial losses 
in England, they spent several years in Ohio. 
In Mrs. Trollope's book, "The Domestic Man- 
ners of the Americans," we have an amusing ac- 
count of Cincinnati as she saw it; at times, how- 
ever, she writes with a bitterness accounted for, 
perhaps, by the fact that she was not warmly 
received in the West End circle. Anthony Trol- 
lope admits that his mother's volumes were bit- 
ter, but he says they saved the family from ruin. 
She found the Americans rough, uncouth, and 
vulgar, and she did not hesitate to tell them so. 
Had she not heard so much of Cincinnati's 
beauty, wealth, and unequalled prosperity, she 
might have liked the city better; it had been 
described to her as the "wonder of the West," 
"the prophet's gourd of magic growth" — an 
"infant Hercules;" and so she travelled north 
from Memphis, feeling, as she says, almost the 
delight of Rousseau's novice, — "un voyage a 
faire, et Paris au bout 1 " 

She was doubtless correct in thinking that the 
greatest difficulty in organizing a household was 
the domestic problem, and her account of her 
own trials gives a realistic glimpse into the con- 
ditions of housekeeping. "The whole class of 
young women, whose bread depends upon their 
labour, are taught to believe that the most abject 
poverty is preferable to domestic service. Hun- 

69 



OWLS NEST 

dreds of half-naked girls work in the paper mills, 
or in any other manufactory, for less than half 
the wages they would receive in service; but they 
think their equality is compromised by the latter, 
and nothing but the wish to obtain some particu- 
lar article of finery will ever induce them to sub- 
mit to it. A kind friend, however, exerted her- 
self so eflFectually for me, that a tall stately lass 
soon presented herself, saying, ' I be come to help 
you/ The intelligence was very agreeable, and I 
welcomed her in the most gracious maimer pos- 
sible, and asked what I should pay her by the 
year. 

'"'Oh, ^mmini 1' exclaimed the damsel, with a 
loud laugh, 'you be a downright Inglisher, sure 
enough. I should like to see a young lady engage 
by the year in America I I hope I shall get a hus- 
band before many months, or I expect I shall 4)e 
an outright old maid, for I be most seventeen 
already; besides, mayhap I may want to go to 
school. You must give me a dollar and a half a 
week, and mother's slave, Phillis, must come over 
once a week, I expect, from t'other side the 
water, to help me clean.* 

"I agreed to the bargain, of course, with all 
dutiful submission; and seeing she was preparing 
to set to work in a yellow dress parseme with red 
roses, I gently hinted that I thought it was a pity 
to spoil so fine a gown, and that she had better 
change it. 

70 



OWLS NEST 

"**T is just my best and my worst/ she an- 
swered, * for I Ve got no other/ 

''And in truth I found that this young lady 
had left the paternal mansion with no more 
clothes of any kind than what she had on. I 
immediately gave her money to purchase what 
was necessary for cleanliness and decency, and 
set to work with my daughters to make her a 
gown. She grinned applause when our labour was 
completed, but never uttered the slightest expres- 
sion of gratitude. . . . She was constantly ask- 
ing us to lend her different articles of dress, and 
when we declined it, she said, *Well, I never 
seed such grumpy folks as you be; there is several 
young ladies of my acquaintance what goes to 
live out now and then with the old women about 
the town, and they and their gurls lends them 
what they asks for; I guess you Inglish thinks we 
should poison your things, just as bad as if we 
was Negurs.* " 

Mrs. TroUope further sets forth their difficul- 
ties: "We were soon settled in our new dwelling, 
which looked neat and comfortable enough, but 
we speedily found that it was devoid of neariy 
all the accommodation that Europeans conceive 
necessary to decency and comfort. No pump, no 
cistern, no drain of any kind, no dustman's cart, 
or any other visible means of getting rid of the 
rubbish, which vanishes with such celerity in 
London that otie has no time to think of its 

71 



OWLS NEST 

existence; but which accumulated so rapidly at 
Gndnnady that I sent for my landlord to know 
in what manner refuse of all kinds was to be dis- 
posed of. 

"'Your help will just have to fix them all into 
the middle of the street; but you must mind, old 
woman, that it is the middle. I expect you don't 
know as we have got a law what forbids throwing 
such things at the sides of the streets; they must 
just all be cast right into the middle, and the pigs 
soon takes them oflF.' 

"In truth the pigs are constantly seen doing 
Herculean service in this way through every 
quarter of the city; and thou^ it is not very 
agreeable to live surrounded by herds of these 
unsavoury animals, it is well they are so numer- 
ous, and so active in their capacity of scavengers, 
for without them the streets would soon be 
choked up with all sorts of substances, in every 
stage of decomposition.'' 

The market, however, must have been a com- 
pensating feature, for Mrs. TroUope writes that 
for excellence, abundance, and cheapness it 
could hardly be surpassed in any part of the 
world. "There are no butchers, fishmongers, or 
indeed any shops for eatables, except bakeries^ as 
they are called, in the town; everything must 
be purchased at market; and to accomplish this, 
the busy housewife must be stirring berimes, or, 
'spite of the abundant supply, she will find her 
72 



OWLS NEST 

hopes of breakfast, dinner, and supper for the 
day defeated, the market being pretty well over 
by eight o'clock/' It was the custom for the 
gentlemen to go to market, ** the smartest men in 
the place, and those of the 'highest standing ' do 
not scruple to leave their beds with the sun six 
days in the week, and, prepared with a mighty 
basket, to sally forth in search of meat, butter, 
eggs, and vegetables. I have continually seen 
them returning, with their weighty basket on one 
arm and an enormous ham depending from the 
other." The beef was excellent, the highest 
price at that time four cents a pound. The mut- 
ton was inferior, and so was the veal "to the eye,'* 
but it "ate well." The price for fowls or full- 
sized chickens was twelve cents, or less; for tur- 
keys and geese about fifty cents. 

To Mrs. TroUope, the atmosphere of "the 
triste little town " was depressing. Billiards and 
cards were forbidden by law, and a poorly 
attended theatre was the only public amuse- 
ment; ladies were rarely seen there, as most of 
them considered it "an oflFense against religion " 
to see the presentation of a play. She wrote that 
she had never seen any people who lived so 
entirely without amusement. 

There were, however, quiet pleasures of which 
Mrs. TroUope perhaps knew nothing. A literary 
club called the Semi-Q)lon met once a fortnight 
during the winter at the house of either Mr. 

73 



OWLS NEST 

Foote, Mr. Greene, or Mn Stetson. Aunt Mary 
Elliott, who had heard much about the club from 
Unde Charies and from her brother4ti-law Dr. 
Estes Howe, says she doubts if there could be 
found anywhere to-day a brighter or more inter- 
esting set of people than those who met in its 
simple gatherings. "The members," Mr. Rich- 
ards writes, "were young lawyers, doctors, par- 
sons, and teachers and their families. A sand- 
wich, a bit of cake, a cup of tea and a g^ass of 
wine were the only refreshments. Possibly at a 
last meeting of the season there might be a 
little more. Occasionally the meeting broke up 
in a cotillon, but not often. It was the simplest 
gathering of a few intimate friends, who wrote 
and chatted for their own amusement, and one 
another's pleasure. It was composed almost 
wholly of New England people, young, poor, 
merry, kindly, hopeful; money, position, even 
brains had no authority among them. Only 
pleasantness, geniality, courtesy, counted. It 
was a gentle democracy. If you read that last 
word but one 'genteel,* your grandmother's 
ghost will haunt you! The Semi-Coloners were 
quite above gentility !*' Members sent in con- 
tributions of verse or prose to the person chosen 
as reader, — usually Mr. Greene, who read well 
and with keen enjoyment. The reading lasted 
about an hour: — some of the papers were dull, 
some were bri^t, and those by Mr. Edward 
74 



OWLS NEST 

Cranch were delightfully illustrated with his 
clever pen-and-ink sketches* I have been told 
that in those meetings many of the questions 
which later occupied the public mind were talked 
over with an ability and a fulness of information 
often not possessed by larger and more authorita- 
tive bodies. 

''Life was simple enou^ in those days," con- 
tinues Mr. Richards, "to let a picnic-party come 
together on a street-comer brining bags and 
baskets and a guitar with them, and children and 
grown folks would form a procession and stroll 
a mile or so down Fourth Street, cross the Ohio, 
and climb to a pleasant hill-top and there spend 
the day from ten a. m. to five p. m. on Saturdays, 
out of doors in a gentle Bohemian fashion, your 
grandfather in the van among the youngest of 
the party. This was a West End picnic. I doubt 
if East Enders could frolic so simply." 

The Footes were living in a large, pleasant 
house on Third Street, overlooking the winding 
Ohio River and the Kentucky hills beyond. The 
Greenes lived on one side of Mr. Foote and the 
Stetsons on the other, and in front, along the 
street and known as "Footers Row," was a long 
one-story building containing seven or eight little 
rooms where Mr. Cranch, Grandpa, and others 
had at times their offices. Mr. and Mrs. Foote 
had the power of attracting people, and their 
house quickly became a centre for the most inter* 

75 



OWLS NEST 

esting persons who visited Gncinnad. As Mrs. 
Footers health was delicate, much of the respon- 
sibility fell upon the younger sister, \^^th a 
happy faculty for making friends, Grandma won 
for herself a warm place among old and young, 
and Cincinnati soon became a real home to her. 
Mr. Abram Chittenden of Guilford was settled 
at Oxford, a town about thirty miles from Cin- 
cinnati, and Grandma often went there with her 
friends. In a letter of 1830 from Aunt Elizabeth 
Foote to her mother-in-law, after speaking of 
"Cousin Abram ".as in town, she adds, " Jean- 
nette Cooley * and Sarah are going to Oxford 
with him in a few days. I shall be all alone for a 
while. I wish I could spend the time that Sarah 
will be absent, at Nutplains. Every bird that I 
hear reminds me of you all. I have got a honey- 
suckle planted under my window, that it may 
appear as much like Nutplains as possible.'' 

In the summer of 1831, while Mr. and Mrs. 
Foote went East for a few months. Grandma 
again stayed at Oxford. That year Aunt Eliza- 
beth gave her an "album;** not long ago I found 
the worn little book, filled with verses and with 
all sorts of prose extracts, written in it by 
Grandma from time to time, and containing also 
some pressed flowers, and various little sketches 
done either by Uncle Charles or Mr. Cranch. 

* "Mrs. Jeannette Cooley" was Mr. Chittenden's daugh- 
ter. 

76 



OWLS NEST 

Life in Cincinnati was often a "dull routine," 
but from time to time the monotony was broken 
by the arrival of some newcomer. In 1832 the 
Rev. Lyman Beecher and his agreeable family 
came, Mr. Beecher to take charge of the Lane 
Theological Seminary. A few months earlier 
Mr. Beecher and his elder daughter had made 
a "prospecting** visit, and the latter, Catharine, 
had written home her impressions: "We are 
staying with Uncle Samuel, whose establishment 
I will try and sketch for you. It is on a height in 
the upper part of the city and commands a fine 
view. . . . There is a main building, occupied 
by Uncle Samuel, and two wings, by two inti- 
mate friends, one of whom is an old Litchfield 
acquaintance of mine, and his wife one of my 
early playmates. Uncle John lives two squares 
off, in a pleasant situation. 

" The city does not impress me as being so very 
new. It is true everything looks neat and dean, 
but it is compact, and many of the houses are 
of brick and very handsomely built. The streets 
run at right angles to each other, and are wide 
and well-paved. We reached here in three days 
from Wheeling, and soon felt ourselves at home. 
The next day father and I, with three gentlemen, 
walked out to Walnut Hills. The country around 
the city consists of a constant succession and 
variety of hills of all shapes and sizes, forming an 
extensive amphitheatre. The site of the Semi- 
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OWLS NEST 

nary is very beautiful and picturesque, though I 
was disappointed to find that both river and dty 
are hidden by intervening hills. I never saw a 
place so capable of being rendered a paradise by 
the improvements of taste as the environs of this 
city. Walnut Hills are so elevated and cool that 
people have to leave there to be sick, it is said. • . . 

" It seems to me that everybody I used to know 
is here, or coming here. Besides my two undes, 
there is Ned King, an old Litchfidd beau, and 
mother's own cousin, now General King; Abra- 
ham Chittenden's family, from Guilford . . . and 
divers others, whom I recognize as old acquaint- 
ances. 

" I think a very pleasant sodety can be sdected 
from the variety which is assembled here. ... I 
have bea>me somewhat acquainted with those 
ladies we shall have the most to do with, and find 
them intelligent. New England sort of folks. In- 
deed, this is a New England dty in all its habits, 
and its inhabitants are more than half from New 
England. The Second Church, which is the best 
in the dty, will give father a unanimous call to 
be thdr minister, with the understanding that he 
will give them what time he can spare from the 
Seminary. 

"I know of no place in the world where there 
is so fair a prospect of finding everything that 
makes sodal and domesdc life pleasant. Uncle 
John and Unde Samuel are just the intelligent, 

78 



OWLS NEST 

sociable, free, and hospitable sort of folk that 
everybody likes and everybody feels at home 
with. The folks are very anxious to have a 
school on our plan set on foot here. • . /' 

The two gifted **Beecher girls" were welcome 
additions to the already pleasant little society, 
and soon became valuable contributors to the 
Semi-G)lon Qub. Harriet Beecher was a favor- 
ite niece at Mr. Foote's house, so Grandma saw 
her often. Catharine Grandpa mentions as one 
of the best, most sensible, witty, entertaining 
personages whom Fate ever kept single. She 
tau^t music at the Lane Seminary, and 
Grandma undoubtedly took lessons of her, for 
not long ago I chanced upon a piece of bound 
mu^c, the cover of which was marked, — 

**MISS SARAH H. ELLIOTT, 
First Premium — 
Lane Seminaiy.'* 

Mr. Richards in recalling Grandma's playing 
describes her as a bright, rosy girl who patiently 
taught a small boy to adjust his clumsy fingers 
to the keys of a piano: "Her fingers were tireless 
when she played for us to dance at children's 
parties; indeed, I suspect she rarely played on 
any other occasion, — then she was most inspir- 
ing. She snubbed me sharply once for being too 
busy with my pretty partner to keep track of the 
quadrille. I was mortified, and made up my mind 

79 



OWLS NEST 

that no such diversion from the immediate duty 
should ever befall me again." 

In the spring of 1833 Grandpa and Grandma 
became engaged. To his cousin William Chan- 
ning, Grandpa writes early in May: — 

"... I must allow, with all my love for 
Gndnnati, Mrs. R. and a certain other one, that 
I should prefer to be with you to being here, but 
it matters after all not so much where we are. 
In Boston or Cincinnati man may be happy or 
miserable as he pleases, but yet I like the salt 
water. I have been waiting a long while for you 
to write, and now that you do waste half a sheet 
upon me you do not say one word relative to your 
long silence; the cause of all this I don't compre- 
hend. Perhaps you have been studying beyond 
all account, or thinking deeper than the Red Sea, 
but be it what it may, you should tell me, my 
good sir, or ere long we shall know no more of 
each other than if we had never caught pickerel 
together. Now I, for my part, intend to do 
nothing in this epistle but talk about myself, my 
plans, and prospects, for since I wrote you last, 
as you may have heard from some of the tribe, 
I have made certain arrangements and disposi- 
tions of myself that are likely to make me beyond 
doubt a Western man, and a lawyer; though I 
have never dreamt of dropping the first character. 
In the first place, I have made a contract for ^v- 
ing you a new cousin Sarah, at the usual rate; 
80 



OWLS NEST 

and in the second place, I have formed a sort of 
preliminaiy law partnership with my old friend 
Tracy; * all which things make it necessary for 
me to remain here and put my shoulder strongly 
to the wheel, and so there is as little prospect of 
my going East as of your coming West; so fare- 
well to thee, Dr. Qianning, Jr., for — years. 
With respect to your G)usin Sarah on this side 
of the mountain, I cannot say one word of what 
you say with regard to F. K. or Miss Anon, except 
it be that she*does ride like a hurricane; as to Dr. 
C.'s sermons, she would as soon read Tom 
Paine's Age of Reason; and for Spanish, French, 
etc., etc., she is rather more familiar with the 
*raal Kentuck.' . . . 

"Law and literature will take me to them- 
selves this summer, fall, and winter, I presume, 
and next spring I shall go into business provided 
any one will employ me. The brother-in-law of 
Sarah is a man of a big purse and holds large 
estates; Tracy has a strong monied friend, and 
King and Walker will throw what business they 
can into our hands; so that by the time your tenth 
volume of sermons is printed I shall be earning a 
livelihood as like as not. I hope, too, to make 
three or four hundred by leisure writing; so that 
if you come this way a few years after Pve got 
into my new log hut, I'll insure you some com 

* Mr. Traqr Howe. 

8i 



OWLS NEST 

bread and bacon at any rate. As lawyers, Tracy 
and myself calculate to rank moderate high, at 
least you 'd think so could you hear us find fault 
with the present incumbents <^ the bar; — we 
reckon to stand pretty popidar too, and wear 
shabby coats and hats that there *s no resisting. 
As to genteel drdes, we confessedly stand the 
first here; and for the literaries, I have told you 
what order we are in, a thousand and ninety- 
nine times. By the way, your new cousin-<o-be 
is a relative of the Dr. Beecher under whose min- 
istry I sit weekly,^ and presume I shall for many 
a day. . . . From what I have heard of the 
Doctor I should not suppose him as talented as 
most do; and I never hear a doctrinal argument 
from him but its sophistry clenches my Unita- 
rianism more firmly than ever. But paper wanes; 
I must be brief. Give my love to your mother, 
sister, nieces, nephews, aunts» uncles, and Fanny 
Kemble, and believe me, 

Yours etc., 
J. H. P/ 



n 



Such was the life in that little circle where 
friends, sharing (me another's pleasures and 
pains, and learning often stem lessons, were 
making ties which were to last into another gen- 
eration. Many years later,, afber the Footes had 

' Grandpa went to Dr. Beecher's church because his own 
minister preached a "dreadfiil uosatisfactoiy sermon." 
82 



OWLS NEST 

gone East to live,* Mrs. Foote wrote to Mrs. 
Greene: "I look back through a vista of years 
and in the far distance I can see you — you were 
there at the beginning and at the end. How 
many things happened during those years — 
how many people we became acquainted with — 
how many were bom, how many were married, 
and how many died. How much we all enjoyed 
and suffered^ — and something, I trust, we 
learned by this varied experience — something 
which enlarged otu: hearts — raised our aspira- 
tions — chastened our hopes, and lifted us a 
notch or two in the scale of living." 

* Tb* Footed moved to New Haven in 1850. 



CHAPTER V 

SOON after Grandma's engagement in the 
spring of 1833 she returned to Guilford, 
stopping on the way at Georgetown, D. C, for a 
visit with her sister Mrs. Woodward. Before she 
had been gone twenty-four hours Grandpa began 
a long letter to her. He tells her that after watch- 
ing her coach until it reached the end of the 
street, he followed in its track and went out on 
to the hills and lay down among the beeches. 

''It is a strange feeling of desolateness that 
comes upon one when separated from the object 
toward which all the hopes and wishes have been 
long directed; it is not sorrow alone; there is a 
want, an empdness that seems to choke, to stifle 
you, and you, Sarah, must have suffered more 
in this way than I, for while I lose only one 
(though to me that one is all), you lose not me 
alone, but your sister and those with whom you 
have been for years, and for a little time are 
thrown among almost entire strangers. In the 
evening I had no one to whom I could go and feel 
certain that my presence would be welcome, and 
so, for the first time I believe since December, I 
sat at the office window^ and looked at the moon; * 

' Grandpa was living at his office. 

84 



OWLS NEST 

the clouds were gathering, and eveiything in the 
sky was prophetic of a storm^and though I should 
enjoy trouble and difficulty with you, it made me 
uncomfortable to think of you, Sarah, with no 
one to care for you as you deserve to be cared for, 
as only a brother or a lover can care for you. I 
went over more fully than I had ever done before 
my past life, my present character and prospects, 
what I may hope, and must fear; and I do not 
think it was vanity that made me believe that my 
character has been and is improving, that I am 
better now than I was a year ago, and may hope 
a year hence to be still more worthy of your love. 
After musing an hour or two upon these and kin- 
dred matters I went to walk, and in the course of 
my circuit passing Mrs. R.'s open door, as usual 
stepped in to sympathize and condole with her, 
she having lost her Sarah, and I mine. We ac- 
cordingly talked over the uncertainty of human 
hopes and the high rate of wages, of both which 
she, poor woman, has had far more experience 
than I; and yet I know not why I should call her 
poor; she has a husband that loves her and Is 
ready to do all and sacrifice all for her; she has 
children that might gladden any woman's heart; 
she is respected and beloved by all that know her, 
and while actual want stands aloof I cannot but 
think her happier than nine tenths of those who 
have not a wish that wealth can gratify that is 
not gratified.*' 

85 



OWLS NEST 

Then of one of Grandma's friends Grandpa 
says : ** She has more vanity and more pride than 
yoUy Sally, but not mor€y or so much dignity of 
character, for little as you think you hare of that 
virtue (dignity) you have in fact a great deal of it, 
for what is dignity but self-respect* . . • If I 
understand aright the character of her whom I 
am proud to think of as my own, you have true 
dignity of feeling, and true and sufficient dignity 
of manner; if there be anything in this respect in 
which you need care, it is in disringmshing before 
whom to behave with reserve, — for that is the 
word, not dignity; were all as true and pure and 
simple as you, Sarah, reserve would be useless; 
as the world is, it is necessary, but wh«i to be 
reserved is to be learnt only by acquaintance with 
the world. You told me that since our engage- 
ment you felt older, more like a woman, less dis- 
posed to romp and play; I believe it, I think I 
have seen it in your manners, there has been 
more of this necessary but uncomfortable doak, 
reserve, about you. This is the fault, Sarah, of 
which I have before spoken to you, and oh! how 
slight and venial and unobtrusive is it when com- 
pared with the faults, the vices, of him whom 
you have blessed (for such in truth it is) with 
your love. It was long a principle of mine, a 
principle as fixed as any one I have, never to ask 
any one to love, or wed with me; I left home and 
came here, because there I knew the endeavor 
86 



OWLS NEST 

would be to bind me to some one, and I abhorred 
my own character too much to be willing to ask 
even the lowliest to share my fortunes and link 
herself to what I was; but there has been a 
change, complete and entire as from darkness to 
light, since I came here* To Mrs. R. and your- 
self — for, thou^ unknown to yourself, you have 
been influencing me hag, — I owe this change; 
is it wonderful then that I love and honor you ? 
Is it wonderful that I feel when I speak to you 
of your &ult8 as thou^ it were the kXty of 
one holding up his rushli^ to the sun ? . . • 
Good-bye; God bless you, Sarah; in one year, 
perhaps sooaet, we meet to part never more. 
Love and pray for me, as }roa would that I 
should and as I do for you. . • •" 

Grandma's trip East was a hard one, and after 
receiving a letter from her sent from Wheeling, 
Grandpa writes: *-^ 

"May 7th. • • . I fear you will task your 
strength too much, I fear you will be sick, and I 
not with you. Indeed you were tick, the fatigue 
of the previous week, and the want of food, was 
enough to have broken down a g^ant; oh, Sally, 
take care of that which is moie precious to me 
than all the wealth of India. Never run any risk 
when there is not an absdute necesaty; you and 
all of us will be called upon often enough in the 
course of our pilgrimage to suffer and struggle; 
reserve yourself for what must come. You are 

87 



OWLS NEST 

stronger than common and can bear ipore than 
common, and you are proud of it, Sarah, and feel 
unwilling to think or show that you can be worn 
out, — but when you are convinced that you can 
be, never let this pride govern you; . . . do what 
Reason tells you to be right in despite of our own 
desires, or the desires of others; — if I should 
advise you to what seems to yourself unreason- 
able, and if I cannot convince you that I am 
right, do, Sally, according to your own judgment 
and not mine. But why am I preaching in this 
way to one whose natural instincts of right and 
wrong are worth all my acquired wisdom ? Fol- 
low the promptings of your own heart, for there 
is a goodness, and piety and true wisdom there, 
my own dear girl, that no philosophy, and scarce 
religion itself, can improve. 

''You have been melancholy; you have had a 
real good crying spell, but call you this behaving 
badly? You remember the man in the play I 
told you of, who was wretched because his ladye- 
love was in good spirits when away from him; 
you remember, too, that I said he reminded me 
of myself, and Sally, there was half a frown upon 
my brow when I read Mr. E.'s * epistle from 
Columbus in which he says you were in good 
spirits, though from my own feelings I knew it 
could not be so. Grief is natural and proper; I 
would as soon call the leaf 'bad' for withering 
^ Mr. Edmands. 
88 



OWLS NEST 

in autumn, as you for weeping at leaving your 
home, your friends, your sister, your lover, — 
your own, o^^ affianced husband. There is 
excess in goodness, and we may grieve even to 
excess, but never will that be your fault; there is 
too much of that true genius, common sense, in 
that round, smooth head of yours, — too much 
regard for others, in that warm heart, ever to 
suflFer a selfish sorrow to engross you. To Mr. E. 
I cannot sufficiently express my gradtude; in 
being a brother to you he has been more than 
one to me, and may he be as blest in his partner 
as I feel confident I shall be in mine. It is now 
too late to wish or regret that we had or did not 
go together; but I fear that it would have made 
your sister uneasy, and then you would have been 
so too, and perhaps would have suffered more 
than you now will. Let me but hear that you are 
safe with your sister at Georgetown, and I will 
not regret anything that is past. There could 
have been nothing wrong in my going with you, 
and were I alone to have been affected I should 
never have doubted one hour. The opinion of 
the world I regard and weigh; its prejudices, its 
rules of etiquette, I have very little respect for, 
and as a single man I should always act inde- 
pendent of anything people might think; but I 
am no longer single, Sarah; no longer alone; no 
longer independent; in every act of mine, you 
and your friends are interested, and I trust no- 

89 



OWLS NEST 

thing will ever induce me to do what either you 
or they can disapprove; and when the alterna- 
tive is between certainty of doing right on the one 
handy and uncertainty on the other, I would fbl- 
bw the first even thou^ I — nay, even though 
yoUf my love, should thereby for a time suffer; I 
have acted in this case upon that principle, for 
never did I desire anything more ardendy than 
to go in your company. • . • Your sister I saw 
this morning, she sends you her love, and so do 
Helen ^ and Chadotte.* Looking upon me as a 
sdng^ess monster now, an eyeless basilisk, diese 
friends of yours make free with me beyond 
all belief. They are fine gids and I love them 
not for themselves alo&e^ but as your friends 
and bosom comrades* I spent last evening at 
Mrs. Longworth's ; it was the first rime I had 
been there since diat Saturday ni^t when my 
fate was determined; there was a fund of reccd- 
lecrion and thought connected with die house 
that made me too silent to be a very agreeable 
companion. . . . My book went, I find, but your 
cap was left; I shall keep it rill you retum and 
we ride together again; it is a w^ to-day sinoe 
we last rode; it seems a year; oh, what will the 
year seem I" 
The eictracts which follow are from other let- 

^ I have not been able to find oot who this was. 
* Chailotte Lyman of Northampton, Massachusetts, was 
visiting her couam, Mrs. Greene. 
90 



OWLS NEST 

ters written by Grandpa during the months when 
the young people were separated* 

**May nth. ... I have received your letter 
from Georgetown* You are not well, that I know 
and am certain (^; and Sarah, you must say so. 
But your letter, thou^ it still leaves me amdous, 
does away half of my fear; and I thank you again 
and again for it. But do not strain those weakly 
eyes of yoursi, no, not even to write me; if I can 
but know you are doing well and are happy it is 
enough to make me happy, but if I feel that you 
are suffering pain I never can be free from it, 
mental if not bodily. Why, Sarah, how you and 
Mrs. £. ever reached Bakimore without giving 
up I do not understand; there are not many men 
that would stand such a ride and not be broken 
down by it. I certainly shall write Edmands and 
thank him most cordially for his kindness to you, 
and I will do it by ^ving him sm order for some 
books; that is the kind of thankfulness that he 
likes best, and best deserves. ... I drink tea 
with your sister as often as I can manage to get 
up early enough^ for they are the eariiest people 
in tea-drinking that I am acquainted with; she 
is very well and in good spirits^ As to her lord 
and master, he contradicts and argues and trims 
his rose bushes and waters his what-d'ye-call- 
ems, and runs about town in his slippers as of 
yore. . . • Oh Sally, had I only the means, how 
happy I should be to settle down in some one of 

91 



OWLS NEST 

our quiet New En^and villages, away from dust, 
and all the evils of a city. A small cottage, as neat 
as you could desire, a large farm, with woods and 
brooks and green fields, a circle of friends laige 
enough and polished enough for either you or I; 
books, music, and the other embellishments of 
life, — and then 

'Along the cool, sequestered vale of life. 
We'd keep the noiseless tenor of our way/ 

But I must not indulge in such dreams at pre- 
sent; my first object must be to gain wherewithal 
to buy bread and meat; when that is done then 
we will talk of luxuries. But Sarah, you must 
tell me what you like and want, and care about; 
for it is my business now, and it will be my plea- 
sure to consult your tastes, and your wishes in 
cveiything. ..." 

He ends this letter by counselling Grandma 
to get up early, eat little, and dress ** loose but 
warm. 

"May 24th. ... I received two days ago 
letters from Boston in answer to mine announ- 
cing that I was engaged^ — wonderful word, it 
did, as I told you it would, scare the whole fam- 
ily. However, though somewhat frightened, they 
appear to be more rejoiced, all save the old bach- 
elors of the clan who had looked upon me as a 
certain recruit. My father and sister write that 
in the course of the summer they hope to go on to 
92 



OWLS NEST 

Guilford to eat oysters and make your acquaint- 
ance; I hope they may, and if they do I shall 
instigate them to take you back to Boston for a 
few weeks if your mother will spare you. My 
good father I think you will like. ... He is in- 
telligent though not very intellectual nor literary, 
but he resembles you, Sally, inasmuch as his ex- 
cellencies are rather of heart than head. He is 
kind, generous, noble-spirited, strictly honorable 
and somewhat aristocratic, though in his code of 
aristocracy, as in mine, you and any that ap- 
proached you, Sarah, woidd rank high; my sister^ 
is one of the strongest minded, and most clear, 
determined, disinterested women I ever knew; 
she is not eminently feminine, but in times of 
trouble and danger I would confide anything to 
her judgment, energy, and excellence; — and 
with this family portrait, which I do not think a 
partial one, I will end that subject. . . . ** 

A long letter of June second is headed ** Bache- 
lor's Elysium." **...! have heard from home, 
as I believe I told you . . . and since writing that 
have heard from my sister, . • • who had talked 
with Miss M. D.* respecting your virtues and de- 
fects. I will give you her own words and leave 
you to judge how true the character is which 
Miss D. has given of you; 'she says that Sarah is 
sensible, well educated and pretty; and still fur- 

* Aunt Nancy. 

' Miss Martha Derby, a sister of Mrs. Rogers. 

93 



OWLS NEST 

ther that she is amiable, industrious and neat/ -^ 
now surely^Sally, there is no hjrperbole in all that; 
you axe all that has been represented. . . . One 
thing I am very certain of, — you will suit my 
own immediate relatives as wdl as you can widn 
for they love very much like mjrself, and I doubt 
not my father will pet you as mudi as Judge CJ 
And why do ybu not learn from experience diat 
there is nothing to be in any degree dreaded by 
you in going to Boston ? You think now of Bos^ 
tonians as yoo thought a little while since of 
Judge C, and you will find them much the same^ 
conuncm-sense people; indeed they are far more 
so than the New York and Southern 'folks/ • . . 
I think you must determine to come back in 
the fall; as your brother ' has broken up house* 
keeping you will have no temptadon to stay the 
winter in that place of dissipation. New York, 
and I hope your nK)tfaer will be ccmtent to part 
with you; but if Ait is unwell, or lonely, Sarah, 
we must remain paited yet longer, for it witt 
be your pleasure, as well as your duty, to stay, 
and take care of her; it is the last time you will 
reside with her we know not for how long a 
time, and I w6uld far rather spend my win* 
ter in the same solitude I should necessarily be 
in, than have her regret for an hour that her 

^ Judge William Crandi, of Washington, D. C. (1769- 
1855). 
^ Uncle Heniy Elliott. 

9+ 



OWLS NEST 

daughter was betrothed, and could not be with 
her/' 

: In a postscript he mentions some of his cou- 
sins who were living in New York: "They will 
introduce you, if you should so desire, to some 
other cousins of mine who are in business there, 
— some of my hAet's relatives; and also to 
many of the Uteraries with whom they coi^e- 
gate, Miss Sedgwick and odiers. You need never 
be afraid, Sarah, to go into any company,or meet 
anybody; your manners and all about you will, 
if I am not a partial judge, fully warrant you in 
doing so without the least fear of appearing dis- 
advantageously. . • . 

" My uncle, ^ the one who lately made a dona- 
tion to the Blind A^lum, is a man of originally 
generous and noble diaracter. The possesion erf* 
considerable weakh, in his, as in all cases, has 
tended to narrow and harden his mind, but he is 
still princdy in his feelings, and willing to aid 
any good cause with his ii^uence,hi9 purse, and, 
as far as they go, his talents. . . • He highly ap- 
proves my engaging n^rsdf, I understand, and I 
should like to have him know you; he is a gentle- 
man of the old school, and looks and talks and acts 
like the Duke of some European prindpality^but 
you need not fear him, for his nature is kind and 
sample; his situation has taught him restraint.'* 

> Colonel Thomas H. Peikmt. 
95 



OWLS NEST 

*'June 15th. . . . My cousins are congratu- 
lating me one by one, and wanting to see you; I 
hope they will. Among the rest William Chan- 
ningy the nephew of our great Unitarian gun, and 
who has been brou^t up with me from the cradle 
and is a brother to me, desires his love to you. 
You will love and respect him if you know him. 
Tracy sends his love; good-bye, my dear girl, and 
beware New York dissipation, and New York 
beaux.'' 

To this letter a postscript is added by Mr. 
Edward Cranch, who always called Grandma 
•'Cousin Sarah:" — 

''A thousand thanks for your kind and consid- 
erate postscript in Abby's * letter I have just 

received a letter from Father. I wish I could tell 
you what a compliment he pays you. I believe 
he is a little in love with you, but I would n't 
make anybody jealous by telling him so. I was 
delighted with that picture of home in your letter. 
. . . One thing I must tell you as I have small 
space and time, and that is not to feel apprehen- 
sive of the cholera or believe half the reports you 
will hear on your journey. We have no epidemic 
and Dr. Drake says we shall probably not have 
one this summer. I saw Daniel Webster at Mrs. 
Mansfield's last night and shall see him again to- 
night at Pomero/s. I have somewhere over and 
^ A sister of Mr. Cranch. 

96 



OWLS NEST 

above five million things to say to you, but I 
despise being driven into such a vile corner. I 
leave you to imagine all the wit and fun and gos- 
sip and to scold me for occupying even thus much 
of anybod/s letter. 

Yours truly, 

Edward P. C." 

To Mr. Jewett on June sixteenth, Grandpa 
writes : " The great Daniel, you know, is here, and 
all the small fry are wriggling their tails at him 
like possessed. I debauched with him last even- 
ing on a custard at Mr. Pomeroy's,and to-morrow 
must call and attack him in his den.'' In a post- 
script he adds that he has seen *^ Daniel Magnus" 
again and that the poor man is almost worn to 
the bone. '^ He was poked at all the morning by 
visitors, half a dozen at a charge; then lunched 
at Storer's; went straight to Sam Footers to din- 
ner; thence to G)vington, where he had three 
entertainments; returning, took coffee at Dr. 
Drake's; and supped at Judge Burnet's. To-day 
he has a similar round, and ends his career at the 
Theatre, according to adverdsement. So much 
for greatness; when he can do good it may be a 
recompense, but I do not wonder a public man 
gets sick of the worid; however, compensation 
is the pendulum of the Universe, and we are all 
about the same, from the bootblack to Harry 
Qay." 

97 



OWLS NEST 

To Grandma, a few days later, he says: "Mr. 
Webster, who has been here for the last week, 
expressed a strong desire to see you also, so you 
must have a care or the great Daniel himself 
will be looking in upon you, and I am almost 
afraid he might scare you to death. He was 
dined, and supped, and visited almost to death 
himself. I do not think, Sally, you are ambitious, 
or would wish your husband to be a great man; I 
believe your mind is above such things; for I do 
think ambition a weakness. If you do, however, 
expect to derive any degree of happiness from 
my distinction, I fear you will be disappointed; 
I was once as ambitious as any, and would have 
as soon died to-morrow as lived humble and un- 
known; but this has past, and each day I live I 
rejoice that it has past. . . . 

"Two days since I went out by the Lane Sem- 
inary and through the woods to Mr. Armstrong's, 
for the first time since that long, pleasant ride 
with yourself over that same ground; I wras widi 
Chase; when we got into the woods there came 
up a hard shower, and it rained from that time 
until we reached home; we were wet to the skin; 
but despite rain and cold I was very comfortable, 
for association made me so, — I do not mean my 
association with Mr. Chase, though he was more 
reasonable than sometimes, but the association 
between the ride and you. I thought of the first 
time I went through those woods, — the time 

98 



OWLS NEST 

that the Longworths went^ and Maiy Foote and 
Mr. H. I remembered perfectly my feelings at 
that time; I remembered the joy it gave me to 
hear you call to me to observe the beautiful sun- 
set, — I felt it an honor then to have you notice 
me, Sarah. I have grown impertinent since, and 
receive your attentions as my right, — so changes 
the world, — and the things thereof. 

'^ I was out last evening and took tea with Eliza- 
beth A., whom I consider in some respects equal 
to any one I know; but she is, I fear, too intel- 
lectual for me; I love mind, I love independence 
of thought and action, I would wish my wife to 
know what her duties were, and why they were 
duties, and I would wish her to make up her 
mind on these matters from her own reasonings 
and cogitations on the subject, and not take her 
c^inions from me or any one else; — but I would 
wish her also to be affectionate and confiding, as 
deeply and entirely so as you are, my dear girl. 
I should care far more about her feeling with me 
respecting the whole tissue of life, than her 
thinking with me respecting literary perform- 
ances, or anything else connected with mere 
mental matter.'' Then he characterizes one of 
his acquaintances thus: '^ There is a want of in- 
terest, of enthusiasm, of matter-of-fact, Sarah 
EUiottish conduct in her that would not satisfy 
my wants. But she has a most excellent heart, 
and a very good mind, and when she comes 

99 



OWLS NEST 

to will make an exceUent wife for somebody; — 
at present she is in a swoon/' 

Grandma was already suffering from serious 
trouble with her eyes, — a trouble which lasted 
all her life, and which she traced to reading at 
twilight. At this time Grandpa's eyes also gave 
out for some time, and thinking he would have 
to abandon office work, he began to look about 
the country for a smaU farm. The following is 
from a letter headed **To Sarah the blind from 
her blind lover." 

"July 20th. You must excuse me for using a 
little sheet this time, Sally, for I am busy as well 
as blind. I have been driving round the country, 
enquiring the price of land and the value of crops 
and all that sort of thing, and when I come home 
I have Judge HaU's magazine and Mr. Chase's 
work to attend to, and to prepare matter enough 
to keep the whole printing office busy; so that I 
am somewhat hurried at times. ... I hope, Sally, 
that our change of prospects will not disturb your 
equanimity, and make you sad. For my part, I 
am elated at the idea of getdng out of town, and 
dealing with nature; and though the feeling that 
I am separating you from your friends comes 
over me at rimes with a chill, I yet hope all may 
go well; 'we will hope for the best,' — that, I be- 
lieve is your motto, my dear, confiding girl, and it 
shall be mine too. . . . When you write me you 
must say what you thought of my father and 
100 



OWLS NEST 

Sister ;* they were both very much pleased with 
you. They do not think you pretty, but some- 
thing far, oh, very far better. ..." 

On July twenty-eighth he writes: "I received 
your letter yesterday, my dear Sarah, and never 
was more surprised and shocked than when I 
learned your eyes had become so bad in spite of 
aU your care. I am not in anything like the same 
trouble; I give up law, because I must be careful, 
and I cannot be careful as a lawyer; but I can 
sdll read and write, and I will read to you, my 
dear girl, when you are shut up in your black 
hole, and make rime pass as pleasantly as I can. 
... It has been dreadfully hot here for a week 
past, and there has been a good deal of sickness, 
cholera and bilious fever. ... I, and all your 
friends, keep along pretty well; the heat has pre- 
vented me from doing anything for a week past 
in the way of finding our farm. I shall buy a 
little place three or four miles from town, where 
you will be within reach of your friends; — and 
I have some hope Mr. and Mrs. R. and Mrs. 
Stetson will join our colony; if they do it will 
be very pleasant indeed. Mr. R. has become 
satisfied that he cannot find in town where- 
withal to live, Mrs. S. wishes to go into the 
country and reside, and if we can find a pleasant 
spot of a sufficient size, we will form a town of 

^ Grandpa's father and his sister Nanqr had been to Guil- 
ford for a few dajrs. 

lOI 



OWLS NEST 

ourselves; Dr. Richards shall come out, and 
hordculturalize, as he wishes to, and keep away 
the cholera, and I will preach a sermon every 
Sunday that shall be orthodox enough to suit 
any one. ... To you, Sally, and to your friends, 
I am very much obliged for the readiness with 
which you are willing, and they are willing to 
have you follow me to my potato patch; your 
sister Elizabeth and Mr. F. — from wliom I ex- 
pected some opposition — have shown the same 
willingness to submit to necessity with yourself. 
You, I presumed, — for I know so much of your 
character, — would be willing to sacrifice a great 
deal for my sake; I remember that Mr. Hodges, 
about the time he serenaded you last winter, 
among the arguments which he made use of to 
induce some of us youngsters to fall in love with 
you, said that he knew you would follow your 
husband anywhere, and live with him in any sit- 
uation; when he heard I was engaged, he re- 
minded me of his recommendation, and I have 
no doubt thinks to this day that it was his advice 
that induced me to address you. . . ." 



CHAPTER VI 

NOW came months of doubts and conflict- 
ing plans for Grandpa, owing to the trou- 
ble with lus eyes, which became so serious that 
he was obliged to go East to consult an oculist. 
On his way to Brookline, he spent a few days in 
Guilford. After reaching Boston, he says: — 

''August 23d, 1833. I arrived safe and sound 
at home, and the first enquiry, as I expected, 
was, — 'Where is Sarah?' — I told them your 
mother was alone, and upon the whole, you de- 
termined to remain. This morning I have paid 
Dr. Reynolds a dollar for the information that 
he could not communicate to me, — however, he 
thinks there will be no danger in continuing at 
law. I shall, as soon as possible, see some one or 
two gentlemen who have suffered as I have, and 
have continued in their profession notwithstand- 
ing, and upon their advice I think I shall be 
able to make up my mind definitely, and then I 
will write you again. I asked too about you; he 
says first, give up reading, wridng, sewing, etc., 
second, take exercise, and feed poorly; and 
thirdly, do not cover your eyes from the light, 
bear as much as you can without pain, and accus- 
tom your eyes gradually to more. . . .*' 



OWLS NEST 

"September 4th. . . . For myself I have little 
or no doubt that my best course will be to con- 
tinue in my profession. My sight is not perfect, 
but by exercise and care I think I may overcome 
the difficulty; I shall accordingly remain here 
until the end of the month, and then go on and 
spend my few last days with you, — in your soli- 
tude and blindness. Had you not by nature, 
Sally, a spring of hope and spirit such as few have, 
I am sure you would have been broken down be- 
fore this time; I can form some idea of your suf- 
fering from the little I have myself; — may God 
give you comfort and strength, for at times I feel 
as though you could scarce bear your troubles 
with even your disposition. ... I am becoming 
homesick and shall feel glad to get back again to 
Cincinnati and find employment; here I am idle 
or nearly so, and idleness is not akin to my nature 
any more than it is to yours; we shall be an indus- 
trious couple. • . . Give my love to your mother, 
the F.*s, and your psalm-reading uncle; — your 
relatives here send you their love." 

The autumn of 1833 found Grandpa back in 
Qncinnati, where he writes on October twentieth : 
"At last I am pretty comfortably settled in our 
new ien; I have put up my green curtains; ar- 
ranged my books; hung my map; prepared my 
bed, and now I am to have leisure and ennui in 
plenty. My next move will be into the hands of 
your friend Dr. Richards to be cupped, and if I 
104 



OWLS NEST 

can see the glimmering of a cure, I shall be very 
careful and get well if it be possible to do so. . . . 
Of my journey I promised to give you some ac- 
count, but it would take too much time, room, 
and eyesight to speak at length; so I will only 
mention the nearest to destruction we came, and 
leave our far escapes untold. In ascending the 
mountain you first reach coming from Baltimore, 
at about midnight our leaders got loose from the 
carriage, and the wheel horses, unable or unwill- 
ing to support the whole load, backed us directly 
off a precipitous descent of about fifty feet, down 
which we rolled, coach, horses, passengers, and 
aU. It was so steep that it occupied but a mo- 
ment; and when we stopped, I was next the door, 
and stepped out perfectly sound; I tore open the 
curtains, pulled out my companions, and with 
some difficulty prevailed upon them all — eight 
in number — to acknowledge themselves unin- 
jured. Our coach was torn to pieces, and the 
horses must have been very much hurt; most, 
indeed all but myself, were some little bruised; 
I was no more touched than if it had all been a 
dream. This same stage was upset both of the 
two next nights and the passengers much more 
injured, so that we had the good luck of the 
matter; though it was surely a narrow chance for 
our lives. My experience this time will make me 
feel more anxious than I should have been other- 
wise about you upon your return; I would advise 

IDS 



OWLS NEST 

you to come from Philadelphia^ not Baltimore, 
provided you come when the roads are settled. 
The drivers are better and the route easier. . . . 
My eyes, Sarah, cry for rest, and I dare not deny 
them." 

In December he S2ys: " I received the letter 
which you sent by Mrs. Powers, . . . and am 
very, very glad to hear you were in better spirits, 
for low spirits are so much opposed to the in* 
stinct of your nature that they become you less 
than most people. Before attempting to tell you 
anything new, or rdterating what I have said to 
you time and time again, let me sit down with 
you, Sarah, and talk soberly over a matter of 
much interest to us both. My letter from Oxford 
told you that I had come again to the conclusion 
that it was my duty to go into the country, inas- 
much as I doubted whether I should be able to 
gain a livelihood in town, at least for many years. 
I went up to that town thinking it the pleasantest 
country town in Ohio, and the most easy of ac- 
cess; but circumstances prevented me from buy- 
ing at that time.* Since my return I have been 
offered another place and / have bought it; — it 
is not in Oxford, nor nearer any town than this; 
it is eleven miles from town, upon, or very near, 
the new turnpike to Lebanon. This turnpike 
gives easy access to the dty even in mid-winter, 

* Mr. Chittenden was m<mng to Illinois, and Grandpa had 
considered buying his farm at Oxford. 
I06 



OWLS NEST 

and yet is so far from town that the thousand 
acquaintance who like fruit and care not for us 
will not give us much trouble. . . . Now at all 
this, Elizabeth half laughs and half cries; she 
thinks, I doubt not, that you will be less happy 
thanif you were here, in town; . . . neither she 
nor any one appears to comprehend that it is a 
matter of necessity, not of choice. However, all 
will be reconciled to the matter, I suspect, by and 
by. Such, then, Sarah, is your prospect for the 
future; labor, perhaps as hard and unceasing 
as your mother's; the care of a farmer's house^ 
hold, — the milking of cows, the churning of 
butter, and manufacturing of cheese; and by 
the way, — as I think it probable I may attend 
more to cheese-making than any one at present 
in these parts, I wish you would take a few 
lessons in the art should an opportunity occur. 
Perhaps your cousin, Mrs. G. F.* (to whom 
please remember me in a farmerly manner) may 
g^ve you some hints on this and other household 
matters." 

"December aist. The gay season, as it is de- 
nominated, has commenced; party treads upon 
the heel of party, and nothing is heard except 
music and dancing and reading of bad verses, 
and the spinning of Dr. Drake's long arguments. 
All this was for me last winter very good sport; 

^ Probably Mrs. George Foote who lived at Nutplaioi. 
107 



OWLS NEST 

I danced and played the fool, and felt happy, and 
thought my folly was the cause of my happiness, 
— thereby showing myself in truth foolish. . . . 
It is not difficult to see that the reason why I 
sought company last year was because I there 
met you; and the motive for going having ceased, 
it is folly and a waste of time to go. . . . The 
trouble under which we now suffer came not by 
chance, but by a decree of the Deity; it is not 
luck that obliges me to go into the country, but a 
Father's wiU. It seems strange at first sight, but, 
in aU probability, had not the French revolution 
taken place, I never should have come to the 
West, nor seen you: for had it not been for that I 
should have gone to India, and probably might 
have been there now. Thus are our lives influ- 
enced; events that seem to promise only sorrow, 
or to have no connection with us, may be the 
means of producing our happiness. When the 
tariflF law of 1826 was passed, neither you nor 
I dreamed of its affecting us; yet that law ruined 
Mr. Rogers, his ruin brought him here, the fact 
of his being here made me remain here, and thus 
you see G)ngress by their law influenced our 
fates in no slight degree. I have been led to 
these thoughts by your question whether it 
would be wrong for you to wish to die if I were 
to die; I trust, my dear Sarah, that neither your 
strength nor my own will yet a while be put to 
the test; one day they must be; but in answer to 
108 



OWLS NEST 

your question I say it would be wrong. Grief 
for the loss of one we love is natural and proper, 
but the loss and the grief are doubtless both for 
our good; and our prayer should be, not for 
death, but for strength. . . /* 

"December 30th. ... I have never spoken 
to you very definitely respecting my money mat- 
ters, but as we are to labor and enjoy together, 
and as I shall always, Sarah, wish all my affairs 
spiritual and temporal to be within your know- 
ledge, I feel that I ought to tell you precisely 
how poor I am. When I asked you to marry me, 
I think I told you that I was poor enough, but 
possessed sufficient to support us in a plain way 
until my profession, in all human probability, 
would yield me an income. But the change of 
my circumstances has made me poorer even than 
I was then. That is to say, the property I have, 
though it would have given us a good support in 
town, is barely enough to enable me to buy a 
farm, and go to work. My farm, the repairs 
about the house, the stock, and a year's support 
calculated very iconomically, will absorb nearly 
all my means (I should have included furni- 
ture). . . . You will perceive therefore that the 
strictest economy will be requisite in both of us; 
we can have all the necessaries of life, and I 
trust, all the real comforts, — but for luxuries, 
we must eschew them, — for a time at least. 
The same consideration will make it impossible 
109 



OWLS NEST 

for us to see much company, or entertain many 
friends, though one or two can always be lodged, 
fed, and perhaps clothed, — at any rate during 
the night. When I think of these things, and then 
go to your sister's, amid elegance, and super- 
abundance of everything, my heart dies within 
me. Not that I believe you care much, or that 
your happiness will be much affected by these 

matters, — Mary ^'s mi^t, or Kate 's, 

but my dear Sarah, — you are far more inde- 
pendent than they with all their wealth, — for 
your happiness is the result of a pure and loving 
heart, — and no change of markets, or banks, 
or any other of the many things that wealth de* 
pends on, can affect you. . . ^" 

On January twentieth, 1834, he writes:**. . . I 
came out two years ago with the same prospect 
of labor and solitude before me as now, but 
not with the prospect of having one to keep 
me company in my solitude. I heard of you the 
very day after my arrival; Mr. Hubbard men- 
tioned you. I saw you for the first time at a 
Lyceum lecture; I asked Jewett who that rosy- 
cheeked damsel was, and learned it was *die 
Elliott.' I remember perfecdy saying to Cranch 
one day as we walked through Fifth Street, that 
if Mr. Hubbard did not marry you I should be 
tempted to try my luck. I little dreamt I ever 
should try it, and less that I should succeed. . . . 
I know nothing new in our little world. Mrs. 
no 



OWLS NEST 

Greene is as calm and kind as ever; Charlotte is 
improving fast; Elizabeth, — but you know what 
she is and how she is; . . . Harriet Beecher is 
pla)ring her pranks, and writing her pretty pieces 
and amusing her friends; and Catharine is lay- 
ing a plan, I believe, to convert me to Presbyte- 
rianism. . . • Give my love to your mother, aunt, 
Mrs. Landon, and all Guilford, particularly 
Nutplains/* 

The next letter ends: " Oh, Sarah, were I loved 
as truly and xuiiversaUy as you are, not by men 
only, but by women, whom it is harder to attach 
to a woman, I should be happy beyond the power 
of circumstances. As it is, I am far, far happier 
than I deserve in being loved by you; and my 
only prayer is for your happiness and our speedy 
union. To you I devote myself; satisfied that I 
have not lived in vain, if I can make one so pure 
and good as you are happier. . . .'' 

On the tenth of February, Grandpa asks 
Grandma to thank hermother for her willingness 
to place Uncle Charles under his care: "If he 
would come, and she would really consent to 
part with him, nothing would give me more 
pleasure than to have him live with us, and study 
with me. I might give him all the assistance he 
would need in order to fit himself for law, or for 
entering upon the study of medicine or Divinity 
perhaps; with regard to the first I feel no doubt. 
But I fear your mother would be unwilling to let 
III 



OWLS NEST 

him come when it came to the point, and Henry * 
I suspect would object also; however, all I can 
say is that while I have food and shelter he shall 
have the same; and as far as my knowledge and 
means will go shall be educated and enlightened, 
and not be made a Unitarian, at least by my en- 
deavors." * 

That lively spirits were sometimes as uncon- 
trollable then as now is evident from an ac- 
count of an evening spent at Dr. Shotwell's. 
" It was a muddy, rainy evening, and we had a 
desperate time getting to the Doctor^s, and when 
there we had one yet more desperate; Elizabeth, 
Mrs. Cooley, H. Beecher, and some others of the 
rising generation fairly went crazy, and such a 
pulling of hair and dashing about of water I never 
was witness to before. Last evening they pro- 
fessed to feel ashamed of themselves, all but 
Harriet; she thinks it was aU right." 

Under the date of February fifteenth. Grandpa 
tells of new plans: "Another change, my dear 
Sally, and this shall be a final one, at any rate rill 
you and I are one. I have given up my farm, and 
shall run the gauntlet of my profession. I have 
been induced to this measure by the difficulries 

* Uncle Heniy Elliott. 

^ Instead of going to Cincinnati at this time Uncle Charles 
went to New York. First he was a clerk, and later he studied 
horticulture and landscape gardening at Newburg under Mr. 
A. J. Downing. 

112 



OWLS NEST 

in the money world which I fear would get me 
into difficulty; the probability of my eyes getting 
better, and the probability of land falling so that 
in two years I may buy land, if necessary, as 
cheap as now. I have consulted with Mr. Greene, 
Mr. Foote, Mr. Walker, and as all agree in think- 
ing the remaining wisest, and as many things go 
to make me favorable to it, I have taken the step. 
• . . My object now will be to devote myself to 
law entirely, and to do every thing in my power 
to continue the recoveiy of my eyts. . . ." 

A few days later he says: ''I will suspend my 
legal studies for a time, Sarah, to write a few 
lines to you for whom I study and of whom I 
think. Since I wrote to you that the troubles of 
the money world had broken oflF my plans I have 
been easy (not lazy) and happy; but the com- 
munity are veiy far from being so; failures take 
place daily. • < . I have been thinking, by the 
way, since I wrote last, of Mr. F.'s proposition 
as to spending some time with him, as you have 
done hitherto, after our marriage. There are 
some reasons and strong ones with me against it, 
others equally strong, perhaps, for it; and upon 
the whole after consideration of all the disagree- 
able, I agree with what I said to you before; — 
if you and Elizabeth desire it, it would be selfish 
in me to oppose my pride to your desires, and I 
therefore leave it totally and entirely to your own 
sense of what will forward your happiness, and 
"3 



OWLS NEST 

hers, and Mr. F/s, for as to die perfect propriety 
of your doing it I have no doubt; I think it far 
more rational for married brothers or sisters to 
live together if it can be done with convenience 
and pleasure. Another point, my dear girl, of 
which I have been thinking lately, is your pro- 
posed visit to Boston. Whenever you are ready 
to go sit down and write a few lines to my bro- 
ther . . . telling him that as soon as he or any 
one else can accompany you from New York you 
will be in New York to go with them. . . . But 
you ought in fairness to know something of the 
people among whom you are going; I have said 
some little of them in other letters, but I will now 
speak more parriculariy, and I do it, Sarah, as if 
I were communing with myself; for all that I 
know, and think, and feel, I wish you should. 
My father is by nature a man of strong feelings 
and passions, but they have ever been controlled 
by principle, and an insrincrive nobility of spirit, 
a sense of honor and right. He became wealthy 
while young, and was in the best society of this 
country and among the highest of the European 
circles to which an American is admitted. His 
tastes and habits were consequently those of a 
man of fashion and luxury: in his latter years 
troubles have come upon him; ... he lost his 
property and was obliged to change his habits 
and limit his expenses; his diildren were not as 
prosperous as he bad hoped; and the consequence 



OWLS NEST 

of all this has been to make him subject to fits of 
despondency and suffering. You will find him 
kindy affectionate^ and fuU of good humor in 
general; but must not be troubled if occasional 
gloom comes over him, and he appears unreason- 
able and peevish; he will never be so toward you. 
My mother was when young the most attractive 
and most courted lady perhaps in Boston; she 
was very beautiful, with a remarkable mind, the 
daughter of one of the aristocrats, a man of 
wealth, talent, and influence. . . . Although a 
woman of forty years old, her home was the 
place of resort for the most talented and disrin- 
guished of the young men; Mr. Everett, Mr. 
Webster, Mr. Greenwood, and a host of others 
whom you know nothing of, have been, and some 
of them yet are, her admirers. But age brought 
trouble to her also. . • • You will see but little of 
her, as she does not live with the rest at Brook- 
line; she will receive you very kindly, welcome 
you as her daughter, and feel toward you as a 
mother; you will find her agreeable, sensible, and 
if she is at Nahant, a good deal attended to, for 
no woman ever was more able to attach others to 
her if she please. But be not surprised if toward 
others of our family she seems cold. ... Of me 
she will talk openly and warmly. ... Of my 
brother I will say that he is as pure and excel- 
lent a being as I ever knew; of Nancy, that she is 
the personificadon of principle; of Elizabeth that 

"5 



OWLS NEST 

with an excellent heart she has much frivolity. 
They are all of them simple as you and I, they 
will all love you, and God grant that you may 
them. . • • Nothing new here; I lectured a fort- 
night since, and Mr. Lane tells me he was pleased 
with it; this is next to immortality.'' 

In a letter written early in March Grandpa 
describes a recent wedding: — 

**• . . Since I last wrote you your friends S. P. 
Chase and Kate Gamiss have been joined in 
wedlock, so that subject of speculadon is taken 
from the world. The ceremony was performed 
last Tuesday evening; I was not present myself, 
but from Jewett and others can give you some 
idea of the style of procedure. The folding doors 
were closed, the company took their seats in the 
back room, while in the front one the bride and 
groom, and maids and men, with Dr. Beecher 
as offidator took their places in the manner 
agreed upon; when all was ready the curtain drew 
up, and the play proceeded. The Doctor got on 
pretty well between his own stock of prayers and 
a prayer book which he had with Mm. About 
the time the ceremony was over the company 
began to pour in; I went with Elizabeth and the 
Miss Beechers; the bride looked very well, and 
was troubled with but comparatively little of her 
former spread of manner; she is striving to over- 
come it, and she will succeed. He also looked 
very well, and did not, as I feared he would, throw 
Ii6 



OWLS NEST 

himself upon his dignity. The bridesmaids all 
looked prettily and behaved very well; and the 
evening past gaily and pleasantly. But there was 
trouble brewing among them; Mr. C. from ex- 
citement and taking cold was not very well 
during the evening, though of course he said 
nothing about it; but when the company broke 
up he was so unwell as to need a physidan, the 
next morning was in a considerable fever, and on 
the second was considered in danger. This state 
of things prevented visidng there, and threw a 
shade over the whole fashionable world. He has 
however recovered rapidly, and is now down 
stairs, I believe. . . . Cranch, who went up to 
see him when quite sick, says, and I can well 
believe him, that it was a most wonderful thing 
to see the elegant Miss G. smoothing the pillow, 
supporting the head, and administering the medi- 
cine of Mr. C. . . . Such has been Mr. Chase's 
wedding, and I trust that ours, when it comes, 
may be in every respect different. The bride's 
maids and men I think may be dispensed with 
entirely, at any rate one or two will be ample, 
and I am the more inclined to dispense with them 
because I find the gentlemen think they confer a 
favor in acring as groomsmen, instead of one be- 
ing conferred on them. Then a wedding should 
be very private and without any of the parade 
which has disdnguished my friend Salmon's. 
Fashionable parade and solemnity are incompat- 
117 



OWLS NEST 

I 

ible^ and solemnity I think should certainly be 
preserved. Then the admission of the whole 
town to share in a joy most emphatically private 
and personal, or rather to eat our ice-creams and 
chickensalad9ishorrible;a few picked friends and 
an evening of radonal enjoyment would be more 
proper and pleasant. A^n to receive visits the 
next day and have parties given us through the 
succeeding fortnight is to my mind sacrilege. 
However, all these things I shall leave to your 
good taste, Sally, and trust entirely in yourcharac- 
teristic simplidty. But enough for the present 
of this. I do not think my eyes are quite as well 
since I came back to the law as they were before; 
however, as I never look into a book except those 
of my profession, and do no other writing save 
now and then an epistle to you, I manage to get 
along pretty well. During the first week I made 
my debut as a public debater, I succeeded better 
than I anticipated, and in time may be able to 
make a speech worth listening to; as I am a 
member of two debating clubs I shall have op- 
portunity enough. One of them is called the In- 
quisition, it is composed of the most talented men 
in town, and at present to be a member is consid- 
ered no small honor. I was one of the original 
subscribers or founders, or otherwise should 
never have been in it, for knowing the rule of 
the society, which is to admit only those that 
possess undoubted talent, and knowing too my 
Ii8 



OWLS NEST 

own want of power in many respects, I should 
never have daied propose. This is to me a matter 
of daily surprise; I find myself looked^upon as 
possessing powers and knowledge that I know I 
do not possess. You first made me aware of the 
opinion which some entertained of me; and I 
am sorry to find the opinion more widely spread 
than I had supposed. I am sc^nyy because where 
much is expected of a young man he is almost 
certain to disappoint the world. However I 
will do my best, and as I tell you beforehand, 
Sally, that I shall never be more than a common 
every day lawyer at the best, you must not be 
disappointed, and remember, the less distin- 
guished a man the more likely is he to love his 
wife and think of her and depend upon her.'' 

Another letter begins: " Your letter was far 
from dull, Sarah; to know that you seek to forget 
your own sorrows in assisting others would make 
any letter interesting. Go on, my dear girl, in the 
path which Heaven intended one so pure and 
kind should tread; though my troubles were 
tenfold more numerous, the thought that I am 
loved by you would render me happy under 
them all. May God bless you, and whatever my 
destiny may be, g^ve to you all that mortal can 
desire. We are in His hand. Good-bye." 

While Grandma was in Guilford she saw a 
great deal of her old friend and next-door neigh- 
bor, Mary Griffing, who had lately married Mr. 
119 



OWLS NEST 

Henry W. Chittenden. They took long walks 
together, and Mr. Chittenden used to ^^ scold" 
because «his wife was oflF so much. When one 
day Mrs. Chittenden came home soaking wet 
to the waist, having fallen through the ice out 
in the West woods near "Dunk Rock/* he 
laughed at her and upbraided her for being so 
fond of Sarah Elliott that she would follow her 
over thin ice — and fall in. Mrs. Chittenden's 
mother was anxious to have her daughter learn 
to play on the piano, and said that if she would 
learn "a tune'' she would give her a piano. 
So Grandma, who had one, worked hard teach- 
ing her friend, and so helped her to win the 
reward. As Mrs. Chittenden's piano was after- 
wards the only one in Guilford for some time, 
it is supposed that Grandma's was taken away 
when she left home to be married. 

Writing on March tenth Grandpa says: "It 
is a beautiful spring morning; the sun is bright 
and warm, the birds are singing, ^and all the 
world is May.' The feeling of Spring is for- 
ever connected in my mind with you; last even- 
ing was the anniversary of my first talk with you 
and then the walk upon the hill, and over to Bul- 
lock's Hill on the first of April, and our rides and 
all together, — I never see the hills and trees 
without thinking of those times, and when the 
wild flowers begin to blow, the feeling will be 
much stronger; I almost fear I shall grow send- 

120 



OWLS NEST 

mental. ... I beKeve I told you of the case of 
my cousin who lost, a month or two since, the 
lady to whom he was to have been married in the 
spring. He has borne his loss like a man and a 
Chrisrian, and his state of mind will be the source 
of happiness to him through his whole life. I 
trust neither of us may be called upon to stand 
by the grave of the other for many long years yet, 
but if God wills otherwise, let us be prepared, 
Sarah; let our love be of that kind that can look 
beyond this world, and make us happy in the 
hope of union hereafter, if it is denied us here. 
Good-bye, my dear girl, and may God bless you 
as you deserve. He will.*' 

The extracts which follow are from later let- 
ters: — 

** You mean, then, in spite of Elizabeth's warn- 
ing, to muster courage to face Boston; I am glad 
of it, and only wish I were with you. I could 
then show you where I spent my young hours 
of idleness; the trees I planted; the brooks I 
dammed up. I could sit with you upon the rocks 
at Nahant and be blessed with the assurance I 
was loved, upon the very spot where I once lay 
and meditated upon the impossibility of such an 
event. I would take you over the grounds and 
walks which were familiar to me when eighteen 
years of age. . . . You need feel no embarrass- 
ment in meeting our family; they are, as I have 
told you, as simple as the good folks of Guilford. 

121 



OWLS NEST 

I am of too little not« or importance among my 
kindred to induce them to pay any great atten- 
tions to you, so that you need not fear that any 
parties will be given you, or any troublesome 
invitations extended to you. And then you will 
return in three months. Well, I am very thankful 
it is no longer. You know not how much you are 
wanted here; Tracy wants you back to sing with 
him, Cranch to flirt with him; . . . Mrs. Rogers 
to make her laugh and to ride with; Mrs. Pea- 
body to condole with upon the sacrifices a young 
lady makes in getting married; your sister and 
myself want you to love and look on and talk to. 
So you may be sure of a kind welcome. Eliza- 
beth hopes we shall not, like Mr. and Mrs. y 

settle down into a hum-drum state of uninterest- 
ingness; . . . I am becoming the more attached 
to her every week, but that to strangers there will 
ever be much of the interesting in us I doubt. 
You have not that which Elizabeth has to make 
you interesting to strangers, but you have what 
is worth more than an interesting appearance, 
viz. — true excellence; and for me, as my awk- 
wardness, ruggedness both of dress and manner, 
and general ungainliness have always placed me 
among the uninteresting, so shall I remain 
there. . . . 

''I am glad that I am able, or hope to be able, 
to remain in town; my sight is, I think, still im- 
proving, and may, by and by,^ be quite good 

122 



OWLS NEST 

again. . . . For myself I should like very much 
to have some acre of ground upon which I might 
work three or four hours per day. During the 
last week I have been digging up Mr. Peabody's 
domains (they live where Mr. J. Foote used to 
and have some small garden), and I find myself 
benefited by the labor. I need real hard work, — 
walking does not do; nor riding, and I must con- 
trive some way of finding work. Speaking of 
riding, to-morrow, if the day is fair, Mrs. R., 
Martha, Tracy, and myself propose taking a 
canter. It is earlier than usual, but the season is 
early, though for the last few nights there has 
been frost. . . . Already have I filled Mrs. R.'s 
little vases and Elizabeth's tumblers with the 
hill flowers, which were not in full bloom rill 
some time later last year. Do you remember our 
stroll over the river on the first of April ? and our 
ride upon the fourteenth ? Probably you do not 
remember dates, though I do, having a bump for 
them; the fourteenth was Tuesday, the next one 
after you heard from your mother; I was with 
you in the morning, and afterward we rode out. 
I had that beautiful little horse of Mr. Cloon's 
for the first time. But riding is expensive and I 
should not ride at all this year unless Mrs. R. and 
Elizabeth wished to go. ... I am very glad to 
hear that there is some probability of your 
mother having some one to stay with her; other- 
wise she would be very lonely, and I should 
123 



OWLS NEST 

always feel guilty, for if I had stood aside you 
would probably have married Mr. G. and then 
your mother could have lived with you there in 
Guilford quietly and calmly, and when the old 
gentleman died you would have had enough to 
support you in very good style, etc., etc." 

"April 4th. . . . Tracy lectured last evening; 
do you remember, you little mischief-maker, his 
lecture last winter? What you did, said, and 
more than all, looked, that evening led me to 
think you could love me if you tried, and more 
than anything else gave me courage to address 
you." 

''April i6th-. ... I saw Harriet last evening 
at Elizabeth's where she is taking your place; 
she was in very good spirits, as indeed she always 
is, and we had much wise conversation. Eliza- 
beth was as beautiful and kind as usual; I know 
not whether it is because I see more and more of 
her real nature, or because I am better able to 
appreciate what I see, but it is the case that I 
think her more lovely and excellent every time 
I meet her. How strangely our web of life is 
woven; — I remember very well, just about two 
years since, and upon precisely such a day as 
this, walking up Vine St. and as I looked at Mr. 
Footers house, thinking how wonderfully fortu- 
nate Walker was, who then talked of taking the 
house Mrs. Stetson now has; and how long it 
must be before I should be known and cared for 
124 



OWLS NEST 

by the magnates of the land; and yet a little two 
years has brought me to a point to which I did 
not then dream of attaining; I am not rich as Mr. 
W. is, but I have all the wealth I covet in your 
love, and the esteem of those to whom I must 
ever look up; and though at present my useful- 
ness is but little, yet I look forward to the time 
when it will be something; not in public but in 
private, beyond private life I never wish to place 
my foot. . . y 

"April 22nd. . . . Last evening our Semi- 
G)lons closed at Mrs. Footers for this year; when 
they open again you will have resumed your 
place in the circle, while my friends Mrs. Derby 
and Martha will be across the mountains; they 
go in three weeks. These meetings have been 
kept up this winter with much spirit, and the 
pieces written have been of a higher cast than 
was formerly the case; we have had singing too 
and dancing; Mrs. Bowles, Mrs. Stowe,^ a new 
comer, wife of Professor S. of Walnut Hills, and 
a veiy pretty, accomplished, and pleasant wo- 
man; — Mr. Meline — a young Catholic, pro- 
tege of Miss Greene's, where you may have seen 
him, — these, together with the Misses Wood, 
Anna Walker, and Messrs. E. Greene, Howe, 
and Cranch have made niusic enough to excite 
even my bump, if I had one. Last evening, a 

^ Miss Beecher was Professor Stowe's second wife. 
125 



OWLS NEST 

stranger, a Miss E from Washington, sang 

'Dinna forget/ it was the first time I had heard 
it since you sang it to me, and it recalled olden 
times/' 

Grandpa writes of feeling that almost eveiy 
one dislikes him on first acquaintance and that 
with many the dislike strengthens with time. 
"'Your rule of presuming all like you does very 
well for you, my dear Sally, for it is evident 
enough all do like you; you are one of those uni- 
versal favorites that are not often met with. . . ** 

"I will tell you in one sentence why you are 
generally liked; — you are good-natured, full of 
spirits, and treat aU others as though you liked 
them. All your friends here want to see you back 
. . • because they love you and like your flow of 
spirits and your music and your broad sunny face. 
. . • What you say of your diaracter as com- 
pared to Elizabeth's is hardly just; she is excd- 
lent and lovely and more interesting to a stranger 
than you; but the very shade of character which 
makes her interesting prevents her from being as 
useful as she otherwise would be. She is specu- 
lative, you are practical; she is dreamy and in- 
efficient, — you are energetic and stirring; she 
loves to receive, to be passive, you to act; she is 
more feminine, but then she is too much so; 
she is too shrinking and diffident; you are frank 
without being bold, and ready without being for- 
ward. • • « You say you wish you had beauty; 
ia6 



OWLS NEST 

. . . but I am very glad, Sally, that you were 
not bom beautiful, for unless I am very much 
mistaken, you would long ago have been a 
spoiled child, pert, vain, and disagreeable. Eliza- 
beth was saved by living in the country, and by 
her extreme diffidence; Mrs. K. by never going 
into company until quite old, and by a simplicity 
of character that is very rare; but I fear you 
would not have escaped so well from the trial, 
for your exposure was greater, and your nature 
more easily wrought upon." 

''June 8th. . . , I have this momem, my dear 
Sarah, received your letter of May twenty-seventh, 
and I assure you I never received any letter with 
more anxiety, and nev^ read any with more 
pleasure. I have left it with Elizabeth, who has 
been as anxious as myself. We had not heard 
from you since the middle of April, nor of you 
since your leaving Guilford, and whether you 
had sunk in the Sound, or were enveloped in 
New York dissipation, or were at Boston, Nahant, 
or on your way hitherward no one knew. . . . 
But you are in Brookline at last; writing in that 
dining-room in which I ran about when two feet 
hig^; walking over the ground that I walked over 
from my first capability of walking. Oh, that I 
were, or rather had been, with you; perchance 
one of these days, Sally, we may return to those 
haunts together and as one recount our adven- 
tures among theoL I am glad that you have 
127 



OWLS NEST 

gone toBrookline, because you have enjoyed your 
visit, I suspect, and I know you have pleased 
others. . . . My father is, as I knew he would 
be, pleased, very much pleased with you; and for 
his sake I would give up your company this sum- 
mer and leave you all to him, but it cannot be 
and so I will not think of it. And when will you 
return ? . . . I hope you do not intend to cheat 
us out of the sununer; but no, I know you will 
come as soon as you can. . . • I have separated 
from Tracy, who has joined with Mr. Horton, and 
Cranch and myself have made common cause. 
I hope to bring Cousin Edward to a more reason- 
able state than he has hitherto been in and to 
make him a good, practical lawyer, fit to serve 
the King. My own law business is not as yet 
overpowering, though I have done reasonably 
well. . . ." 

''July 13th. ... As for you I presume you 
will remain in Guilford until Dr. Beecher re- 
turns in September, and then we may perhaps 
catch you; if you do not come then, I shall send 
word to have you shipped via New Orleans. 
What ever made my father think of coming out, 
unless it was your witchery, I know not; I am 
glad he did not come; a journey of such length 
at this season would have been too much for him. 
... I received a letter last evening from Nancy, 
in whose judgment I much confide, and am ^ad, 
very glad to learn how completely you have won 
u8 



OWLS NEST 

the hearts of the Bostonians; were you capable 
of being flattered out of your good sense I should 
tremble for you, but when you are here again I 
will exercise my fault-finding bump, which is 
ample, and see if I can't drive you back again to 
simplicity." 

" July 20th. . . . Yesterday I went again into 
the country; Mr. Greene, Mr. Peabody, and my- 
self paid a visit to Miamitown; and although our 
chicken at supper was somewhat too raw, and 
not quite dead, our coffee somewhat thick, and 
our featherbeds slightly warm, yet we enjoyed 
ourselves very much. Mr. G. pointed out to me 
the spot where you and Charlotte and himself 
upset two years since, so there was one link of 
association with you; and another was form.ed 
by hearing our landlady, with a very fine nasal 
twang, sing 'Jennie and Sandy,' which you sang 
to me at Guilford, though you have not got voice 
enough to give it the pathos she did. By the way, 
Nancy's letter concerning you has made me feel 
more proud of my relation to you than I ever did 
before, much as I have always respected your 
character. . . . Elizabeth is, I hope, improving, 
though I think you are more likely to go on than 
she; H. B. has done her much good I suspect. 
If you come out with them [the Beechers], you 
will have a pleasant time; H. has the finest fe- 
male mind and character, as a whole, that I have 
ever known." 

' 129 



I 



OWLS NEST 

After her visit in Brookline, Grandma went 
back to Guilford to spend a few months more 
with her mother before returning to Gndnnati 
in the autumn. Some one has said that 0>n* 
necticut was like a big hive from which the young 
swarmed out; and so^ indeed, it must have 
seemed to Grandmother Elliott as one after an- 
other her children left their old home to settle in 
other places. 



CHAPTER VII 

'^ A great porrion of the wretchedness which has often 
embittered married life, I am persuaded, has originated in the 
neglect o£ trifles* Connubial happiness is a thing of too fine 
a texture to be handled roughly. It is a plant which will not 
even bear the touch of unkindness; a delicate flower, which 
indifference wilt chill and suspicion blast. It must be watered 
with a shower of tender affecdon, expanded with a glow of 
attention, and guarded with the impregnable barrier of 
unshaken confidence* Thus nurtured, it will bloom with 
fragraaoe in eveijr season of life, and sweeten even d^e loneli- 
ness of decJmipg years/' 

Written by Grandma in her " album *' 
about the time of her marriage. 

ON Deceii>)>er seventeenth, 1834, my grand- 
parents were married in Cincinnati at Mr. 
Foote's house. Yea^s afterward Grandma told 
AuQt Annie Perlpns of Grandpa's telling her 
laughingly that whcm he said, ^'With all my 
worldly goods I th^ endow," the only things of 
which he could thinjlp were his old boots! 

In February, 1835, Gxandpa wiK>te to Mr. 
Channing: "For myself I an^ well, both parts, 
male and feniale; my business^ and prospects are 
upon the dark order^ but I have now in Sarah a 
never-failing spring of joy and comfort. I am 
busy to the brim, my eye$ still remaiiung poor. 
Two newspapers are under my charge, one of 

131 



OWLS NEST 

them a daily paper; and the care of them to- 
gether with what little legal business I have, and 
an occasional lecture or speech, keeps me em- 
ployed my seven hours a day." He closed by 
sending his love to his cousin, — ** And to the 
remainder of the race which instead of Higgin- 
son should have been called Legion, v^e beg to 
be remembered." 

In the spring of that year Grandpa withdrew 
from the profession for which he had studied 
with interest and industry and in which he had 
made remarkable progress. The practice of the 
law had proved greatly unlike its study; he felt 
that the rules of morality by which most of the 
lawyers about him were governed diflFered widely 
from his own, and that he was not sufficiently 
independent of his daily labor to oppose the 
ways of the profession. To use the words of one 
of his friends, ''His moral standard, though not 
higher than all should have, was far higher than 
that of the great majority of his professional as- 
sociates." His decision to renounce the law was 
a great disappointment to those interested in his 
future, for he had shown such unusual ability 
that all were assured of his ultimate success. 
Judge Walker said that there could not have 
been a more devoted student and that his first 
argument, on a quesdon of commercial law, was 
one of the most finished and lawyerlike plead- 
ings he had ever heard. 
132 



OWLS NEST 

Grandpa now devoted himself almost entirely 
to various kinds of literary activity. One of his 
associates in editorial work said of him that it 
was always his habit to do at once whatever he 
planned) for he was a true economist of time, and 
acted while most people were getting ready to 
act. This habit enabled him to continue his 
studies in various directions in spite of the cares 
and responsibilities of editorship, and steadily to 
widen the scope of his learning and advance as 
a scholar. As his eyes were sensitive and as times 
were hard, it is not surprising that he often grew 
discouraged and found it up-hill work to make 
both ends meet. In the summer of 1835 the 
question again arose of giving up dty life, and 
among the propositions considered was one for 
going to Fayal to live. In the Dabney Annals, 
written by Miss Roxana Dabney for her nephews 
and nieces, my grandfather and grandmother 
are pleasantly mentioned by Miss Mary Pome- 
roy. In May, 1835, she wrote to her sister, Mrs. 
Charles Wyllys Dabney* in Fayal, concerning 
the education of the Dabney children: — 

*'I am truly delighted with your plan for the 
boys; I have felt much for you on their account; 
it seems as if this would unite advantages of 
the most important nature. If you are only for- 
tunate in the selection of a Tutor, I am satisfied 

^ Mrs. Charles W. Dabney was the mother of Mrs. George 
Oliver, Miss Rojona Dabn^, and others. 

^33 



OWLS NEST 

you will have no reason to regret recalling them 
[to Fayal]. I was speaking of this to Mr. Perkins 
yesterday, and he said nothing would deUght 
him more than to go out there and pass a few 
years; he could put Sarah in a bundle and take 
her along. We had a charming excursion with 
them to Bullock's Hill, and they returned and 
took tea with us; she is a lovely woman and re- 
minds us very much of Aimee Alsop, so amiable, 
affectionate and disinterested; they visit us most 
unceremoniously and seem almost to belong to 
the family. They talked so much about going out 
to Fayal that we began to think they would go. I 
cannot think he was in earnest, but if it could be 
I never met with a person who appeared to me 
more admirably adapted for forming the mind 
and character of a boy; he has that combination 
of genius, with the common s^nse view of things 
that can rarely be met with; he is as enthusiastic 
a lover of nature as Mr. Nuttall, with a mind dis- 
ciplined to the most rational views of the duties 
of life. He seems to have no desire for accumu- 
lating property, yet he has the proper idea of the 
value of money, and is industrious and econom- 
ical in his habits. 

"His eyes prevent his becoming, what 1 sup- 
pose he would like to be, a hard studenty and he 
has a great dislike for the profession of the law. 
He is now editing a paper in connexion with two 
other gentlemen; you will perceive that he has 
134 



OWLS NEST 

united tltt ^ Gironide* with the * Mirror; ' it is an 
excellent paper. It is perhaps unnecessary for me 
to have mentioned thb subject, but as stranger 
things have happened, and as a plan got up in 
jest sometimes ends in earnest, and as Mr. P. 
really seemed in earnest, I thought it would do no 
harm to mention it. 

^^The incumbrance of a wife I think would be 
no objection in case they could procure a house, 
as her contented, lively disposition and her mu- 
acal talents would make her a valuable acquisi- 
tion to your sodeQr. When I think of the possi- 
bility oif their gCMUg and the pleasant vo)^ge I 
might make with them, besides the happiness of 
seeing you, a feeling almost like regret arises at 
an obstacle which for the present at least must 
preclude the idea of my going. ^ . . . If Mr. and 
Mrs. Perkins ^o go I do not ^ow how I shall be 
able to resist the temptation. The more I think 
of their going the more feaable it seems to me; I 
have mentioned that the state of Mr. P's eyes 
prevents him from studying too closely, but the 
exertion that would be required of diem as a 
Tutor, would be much less than as an editor of a 
paper; his wife had an affection of the eyes sev- 
eral years, something like Frank Oliver's; she 
suffers at times with violent pain in them and 
can use them but very little; the vo3rage and 
change of air might benefit them." 

^ Mist Pomefoy was engaged to Judge Inrin. 

135 



OWLS NEST 

In July Grandpa went East, Grandma remain- 
ing in Gncinnati with Mr. and Mrs. Foote. 
From Brookline Grandpa wrote: "July 9th. All 
well and safe, here I am, my dear little old lady, 
and find people as unwilling to receive me with- 
out you, as to eat a dry crust without a drink of 
cold or rather warm water. Every one here is 
well; our dynasty peculiarly flourishing; Mother 
I have not seen — she is at Nahant. Brookline 
is much improved, things look young compared 
to what they did in my youth; Father is very well 
and as much in love with you, and Stephen Hig- 
ginson more than ever. I have heard much and 
said much in your praise since my arrival. . . . 
I have talked to Stephen of Fayal, and he ssiys 
'keep dark;' so I shall say nothing to Father and 
the rest, but go out and discover. . . . Nancy 
and Elizabeth go on much as of old; we eat large 
suppers, sleep late of mornings, and grow good- 
natured. We have two horses besides the ancient 
colt, and I sport an equipage of my own. . . ." 

''July 30th. . . . To-morrow morning, my 
dear Sarah, I leave for New Bedford to sail in the 
whaling ship 'Herald 'for Fayal. The sooner I 
go the sooner shall I return to you, my dear wife, 
and therefore I hurry my departure, and shall 
take poor accommodation rather than not go at 
once. My health is very good at present, and all 
say I look much better than when I came. . . . 
Mr. Peabody arrived and brought me your letter. 

136 



OWLS NEST 

. . . And now the ocean is to part us; my poor 
child, I am down-hearted for your sake, both be- 
cause your letters show you to be in poor spirits, 
and Mr. P. tells me you were of a truth sad, and 
sadness to you is something too strange to be 
other than frightful. But there, Sarah, when I 
return it will, I trust, be either to take you to 
Fayal to be with me always, or to adopt some 
mode of life at the West which will bring us much 
more together than we have been hitherto; so 

* comfort ye.' Mrs. has been acting in a way 

about her absent lord which has attracted every 
one's attention; eternally talking of him, asking 
about him, and making a to-do that was very un- 
dignified. Now you have too much dignity to do 
this, and for my sake have too much philosophy 
to be troubled in secret; for a time only are we 
parted. Sarah Forbes is husbandless for years 
perhaps, and only that her husband may make 
money and lose his health; she grieves at his and 
her own situation, but makes no complaint, and 
takes an interest in everything about her.* . . . 
Here all are making money; ^ny old companions 
are most of them men in the highway to fortune, 
but none of them have made as much as I did in 
going West, for I gained you. . • ." 

The extract whidi follows is from a letter writ- 
ten at New Bedford a few days later: — 

** August 1st. Here I am, my dear wife, to sail 
* Uncle John Forbes was in China. 

137 



OWLS NEST 

on a whaler on the fourth for Fayal. It is a com- 
mon, small, old-fashioned vessel, with a cabin in 
which I shall have to lie from comer to comer, 
without one breath of fresh air, one soul to com- 
fort me, or one luxury to make me think of home; 
and )ret though sea-sickness with uncommon 
charms is before me, I shall suffer, truly suffer, 
but from one cause, and that is the thought that I 
am leaving you behind me, moumful and sad; 
the thought makes me twenty times a day resolve 
not to go, and when I reflect further that I may 
not retum so soon as I have thought, — that pos- 
sibly I may never retum, — I have little heart 
left to enjoy the kindness of the gentleman with 
whom I am staying, and but little unselfishness 
to feel that he with all his wealth and enjoyments 
is far more to be pitied than myself. It is "William 
Hathaway, the brother of my dear friend Sarah 
Forbes; he was married, and to one of the sweet- 
est beings that ever blessed the earth, who died 
last year. He is quite young, very handsome, and 
just the man for women to love devotedly; but he 
is, despite every thing, a man that suffers much; 
I have seen it thou^ I have not been twenty- 
four hours in his house. . . . Good-bye then, 
my dearest wife, good-bye, and may God be with 
you, to guard and guide you. . . . You have 
been all to me that a wife could be, and much 
more than I ever hoped for. If you have one 
fault, it is that you k)ve me too well; may Heaven 

138 



OWLS NEST 

bless you for it. What land where our future life 
may be I cannot guess. The day before I left, 
Mr. and Mrs. Rogers were at our house. He 
talks of settling at Northampton and raising silk 
worms, and wished me much to join him; could 
I muster capital enough it would suit me, I think, 
very well. ... At Boston I left all well. They 
would all like very much to have you within a 
few hours' ride, as you would be at Northampton, 
and I have dim and blissful visions of a settle- 
ment there yet. But what mere visions are most 
of our hopes in these respects; there is a Power 
which governs and shapes them all, ^ rough hew 
them how we will.* In that hope, my dear wife, I 
stand strong; with that faith I overcome my 
shrinkings and embark without fear, in the cer- 
tainty that wherever We go, whatever we do, 
whether our lives pass in New England, Ohio, or 
Fayal, there is a Father that will guide all things, 
and frustrate or bring to pass all plans as is best 
for us; and moreover that your love is ever about 
me, your prayers ever going up for me. 

** To-morrow, I go with Mr. Hathaway to an 
island (Nashaun)^ imder the charge of his family, 
... to return the next day. After our return I 
will finish this sheet, — the next morning I shall 
sail. . . . 

"P. S. August 3d. I have been to the island, 
have put my life in twenty jeopardies, and have 
1 J. H. P.'s spelKngof "Naushon." 



OWLS NEST 

returned with improved health and strength. To- 
morrow I leave for Boston, not Fayal. The fact 
is that I am certain to lose more dian I shall gain 
by my trip, as follows: Instead of fifteen it will, 
I find, take me thirty days to go out, and from 
thir^ to forty to return; again, these whalers may 
not go to Fayal, — in case of head-winds they 
slant away to some other of the Azores, where 
I should know no one, and might remain in a 
Portuguese country for a month before an oppor- 
tunity would occur for FajraL" 

Added to these rcSasons the opening at North- 
ampton seemed a good one, and Grandpa fek 
that until he had looked into the question of silk- 
worm raising there he ought not to make a defi- 
nite arrangement with Mr. Dabney. 

After telling Grandma of his sudden change 
of plans, he wrote : ^^My day at Nashaun was 
spent in riding, walking, fishing, and boating; 
and last night Hathaway (the wildest fellow that 
ever was) took us in a g^g, with a kicking horse, 
across the island through roads which I should 
dread in daylight. We lost our way, wandered 
over great wildernesses of rocks, and finally, after 
running by twenty upsets, were kicked out of the 
chaise by the old mare, in the midst of a thicket 
into which she backed us, at ten o'clock of nig^. 
We got home safe, however. 

"To my host I have become much attached, 
for he (like yourself) has those strong feelings 
140 



OWLS NEST 

and that enthusiasm which I so want. He is bold, 
reckless, high-blooded, generous, social, and full 
of honor/* 

After returning to Brookline Grandpa went to 
Northampton and seriously considered Mr. 
Rogers' proposition, which, although tempting, 
was not one to be decided oflFhand. As he wrote 
to Grandma, ^^When I see how matters stand in 
Gncinnati, however, I can judge better, and you 
can advise; perhaps we may turn in next door to 
Mrs. Lee yet. ... I am very sorry to hear that 
you have been troubled by your old aches, and I 
fear that by the riverside, near Mrs. Lee's, you 
would suffer yet more.** 

The following was written at this time to a 
friend: "For myself, I am inclining more and 
more to silence and a domestic life. I have been 
editor long enough to be abused, ridiculed, re- 
viled, and eulogized; and the trials of my temper, 
patience, and vanity have not, I trust, been profit- 
less. But the notoriety in which some so much 
delight is to me a most comfortless thing; and 
though I shall continue to write, if I can find 
publishers, I do not wish to remain a professional 
literary man, for I have neither talent nor learn- 
ing to support the character decently. ... I am 
more and more of the opinion, that a man of 
small ability does more good and fulfils his pur- 
pose better by unseen, private influence, — by 
loving others and serving those he loves, and in 
141 



OWLS NEST 

eveiy thing raising his standard and himself, — 
than he does by a solitary, speculative career, 
though much may be done also in the way of 
writing. Hereafter, I wish to publish nothing 
that will not, in my estimation, do good; I 
want to have that object definitely before me in 
all I write, and to have support from other 
sources. My wife is admirably suited to my 
character in this respect.. She lives in receiving 
and doing good; love — not to me alone, but to 
all about her — is the. breath of her life . . . by 
living with her I Ixave had my character ripped 
up, and am now making it over again in a new 
fashion — double-breasted and with a largersldrt." 
Writing to Mrs. Rogers; a few months after his 
return to Cincinnari he said: '^Lcet me tell you 
all that I know of our future destiny. When I 
came back to Uie West I found every thing so 
situated as to render it impossible to leave here 
at present^ and the hope of getting back to New 
England has been pretty much taken from me. 
But still I am determined to go into the country, 
and no place in Ohio offers a$ many advantages 
as the 'Coal-banksc' Mr. Horton and his family, 
Mary Irvin (!) and her lord, Mr. Sam. Pomeroy 
and the Gx)lidge division of the clan, to say no- 
thing of the old folks, Caroline and Anne, — spend 
some part of the year there,, so that we shall have 
society. As to business, we think amongst us of 
going to work to make sqrthes, spades, and hoes; 
142 



OWLS NEST 

— and I, in addition, propose to raise fruit-trees, 
bushes, and seeds, — all for the great valley of the 
Mississippi, — of which you may have heard. 
If we conclude to try the scydie-making, I shall 
be forced, in February or March, to go East- 
ward to in^ct fectoiies of a like kind, and may 
then see you again. But come what wiS, we have 
full faith that aU will be as is best for us. East 
or West, North or Souths tHuIb I am well and 
have my wife with me,, I am not afraid of un^ 
happiness; -^ diough I would rather be in my 
fatherland than here^ and so wotdd Sarah; — but 
everywhere and in all changes we shall have, not 
onty Faith and Hope to uphold us, but also the 
remembrance of you^ and if we had a fortune to 
^ve away, we ^uld feel it to be no ictuni for 
the good we have received from you.*' 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE spring of the year 1836 found Grandpa 
at Pomeroy, where he had joined his 
friends in their nulling and mining business. 
He writes to Grandma in June that he shuts his 
eyes to the uncertain future and strives to con- 
centrate his thoughts upon his present dudes. 
To Mr. Channing he says: "And where, you 
ask, is Pomeroy ? Look at the map, and you mU 
find that it is in Meigs County, Ohio, six miles 
southwest from Chester, upon the river, just 
where it bends to the north. In this embryo town 
of Pomeroy, in the only finished and decent 
house in said town-to-be, I am staying with the 
Romulus of the place, S. W. Pomeroy, once of 
Brighton. In the neighborhood of this dwelling, 
known as Butternut Cottage, are a saw-mill and 
a few houses; half a mile above it is another small 
settlement, and between the two I am about 
building a house, and overseeing the building of 
a mill for a company, of which mill, when built, 
I shall be agent and factotum. Our house will 
stand scarcely a stone's throw from the Ohio, 
upon a knoll at the foot of a high cliff and hill, 
the place being known in the history of Pomeroy 
as the 'Cedar Cliff.' Our plantation will contain 
144 



OWLS NEST 

nearly two acres, reclaimed for the purpose from 
the ori^nal forest. Should you wonder at the 
extent of my farm, know, thou dweller in the 
desert, that, in this civilized part of the world, 
land is worth five hundred dollars per acre, 
though five years since fifty cents would have 
been thought a fair price. The cause of this rise 
in value, and the cause of my coming hither, and 
the cause of the town-to-be, is, that this is a coal 
region, and the steam-mills require coal. Here 
then, after all my changes, am I, I trust, settled 
as a gardener and a miller; and when I look back 
on my past life, I cannot but wonder at the path 
by which I have been led to this long-sought 
point. Had I been placed where I am now origi- 
nally, I should probably soon have regretted that 
I had not been in trade to grow rich, or in a pro- 
fession or a literary life to become known; but it 
has been so arranged that I have learned how to 
value all these things before coming to my goal. 
Now, a quiet life of simple pleasures and hard 
work is to my taste what it is to my reason" 

The following extract is from one of the letters 
written to Grandma: — 

"June aad. Very cold morning, could see 
my breath. After breakfast took up my march 
Chester-wise again to get one Williams to chop, 
dig, and haul; after some searching among the 
natives found and hired him. Bought a hatchet 
and marked those trees on our farm which must 

H5 • 



OWLS NEST 

be cut; measured and marked the boundaries 
and chopped down pawpaw bushes till the sweat 
ran out of the heels of my boots, and ripped the 
starboard arm of my poor old brown coat almost 
oflF; there's work ahead for yoa> Nfrs. P. That 
coat won't last another twelvemonth. . . . Saw 
my stone-mason who tried to dieat me much, and 
did cheat me a little, -^ as Mr. Horton ^ays, 
who sat by all the while and said no word until 
the mischief wais done; howerer, 't is only a few 
dollars more or less to me, but a seared con- 
science to him, — poor man. Tried to write an 
article for Galla^er, but made poor work of it; 
must try again, for he pays. ... I have given 
directions to joiners as to doors, windows, etc«, 
also pattern for mantel^eces as over. [Sketch 
follows.] What do you think of them?" Then a 
plan of the rooms is added and a description of 
the black-walnut bookcases, the shelves of which 
were to be separate boxes.* 

"I wish our cellar were laid, that's the part 
from which I fear trouble; however, all will come 
out right; at any rate, as we all agreed to-day at 
dinner that you would make any situation plea- 
sant into which fortune might cast you, it won't 
do for you to complain, and as you never have 
yet, my very dear and good wife, I know you will 

* Part of diese bookcases are now in die Owls Nest room 
at The Apple Trees^and the rest are at Uncle Ned's house b 
Milton. 

146 



OWLS NEST 

not now, whether all goes as we wish It or no. I 
have written to-day a morsel for Gallagher, and 
one for the Messenger, both poor; my brain is 
dry, and of knowledge I have really none; I am 
surprised at my own ignorance when I think of it, 
and scared too. Well, when we get settled what 
wonders we'll effect!" 

At the end of a letter from Grandpa to Char- 
lotte Lyman, Grandma writes: ^' July 4th. I am 
most happy, my dear Charlotte, to add my mite 
to James' letter; he has sent it to me to seal, add 
to, and mail. You do not know what a dignified 
housekeeper J make and I only wish you were at 
home to join our old-maid concern. Cousin Har- 
riet,' sister Abby, and I are keeping old-maids' 
hall and we have quite a nice time; however, I 
don't believe in having my husband away so 
much of the time and I trust when we get a house 
of our own we shall live together. I join with my 
husband in urging you to spend next summer 
with us, and I hope we can make it so plea- 
sant that you will be happy mth us. . . . We 
all go on much as usual, ride some and keep 
good-natured most of the time. . . . Sister and 
Mr. Foote have gone for the summer and as 
soon as they return I shall go to the Banks. . • . 
To-day being *The Fourth,* as Charley Rich- 
ards talks about it, the children are having rare 
times, and this afternoon we are all going to join 
^ Probably Miss Harriet Fooce. 

147 



OWLS NEST 

with them; to-morrofw being my birthday I shall 
keep it to-day and act out all my antics; how- 
ever, it makes me fed sober to have my husband 

w 

av^ay. 

Quoting again from Grandpa : ''July i6th. I 
thank you, my dear Sarah, for your kindness to 
all about you, for your thou^itfulness, your self- 
command, your undeviating goodness. I thank 
you too for your labors, but do not work too 
much; I grow strong by work and am never tired; 
you are soon done up; this you must keep in 
mind; but here I hope that you will be able, as I 
am, to do twice as much as at Cincinnati. • . . 
My Sauteme, which I have just opened, is better 
than I expected; and for your shrub I thank you 
much, my very thou^tful wife, who thinks of 
me (as old Mrs. P. says) all the time. I am ^d 
that you like my plans for bookcases etc.; plans, 
by the v^ay, which I find it hard to make the car- 
penters approach, for they have a deep despise 
for my ^Western style,' as they call it. For our 
comfort here, when once settled, I have few fears, 
especially if we get Dr. Howe here, of which I 
have serious hopes, for I think we can find him 
employment. . . . What a queer thing it would 
be if we were to lay the basis of a dty here ! Else- 
where this has been done by the enterprising and 
money-makers, and not by students and desert- 
ers from the beamed professions.' Mr. Horton, 
Judge Irvin and I, — bwyers; Dr. Howe; Hor- 

148 



OWLS NEST 

ace, once a Professor In an Academy, and — we 
know not who else. 

** But, my dear Sarah, do not think my labor 
up here troublesome; were you here I could wish 
no happier life. I was born for the open air, not 
the study; for a *worky,' not a writer. But, alas! 
you cannot come, at least yet; Mr. and Mrs. 
S. W. P. Jr., and Charley^ will soon be here, and 
the house full and Mrs. Horton overloaded; in 
August perhaps you can come if you think it right 
to leave, and perhaps I may be able to go down; 
at any rate it will all be right. Mr. and Mrs. H. 
are as ever very kind and wish you here much, 
but it would be inconvenient and trouble the 
old lady, and so they have very frankly told me. 
When there is room you can come with Dr. 
Howe, and we can have a fine time together. • . . 
Not a day passes but all wish for you. . . • 

**I am sorry for your troubles, your jellyless 
jelly, dirty bottles, and dry water-pipes, but am 
also glad in the certainty that you bore them well. 
I have my crosses of a similar tendency, though 
diflferent kind, but I need more of your Christian 
spirit; however I get along pretty well. In house- 
building and house-keeping there is much to 
annoy and try the temper, and of course much 
chance for improvement; God ordains nothing 
from which we may not learn somewhat, and by 
which we may not grow better. On the subject of 
^ Charles Pomeray. 
149 



OWLS NEST 

money feel no trouble, we are as rich as Jews, and 
if I spent as little for my pleasures as you, my 
self-denying wife, for yours, we should soon be 
able to outbuy Mr. Caswell. Your piano well 
have before December, never fear. . . . 

"P. S. I want you to call me, and to friends 
to speak of me, by my Chrisrian name; Mr. Foote 
did n't like it, so I never spoke of it, but I prefer 
it myself and think it much the most sensible, 
where the name is as common, and decent, and 
short as mine." 

"July 2ist. . . . Sunday evening I took old 
Mrs. P. up to our place, and she was very much 
pleased with it; she thought it looked much more 
civilized than Mr. H 's, and so it does, and the 
trees she admired very much. . . . The way, 
too, Mrs. P. was much pleased with; it is 
smoother, and safer, and dryer than most of those 
in these parts. But T have not thanked you for 
my shirts, my dear wife; oh, I would your eyes 
were better; do not use them even to write to me, 
much less to sew. For your socks they are all very 
much obliged to you; and I am for every thing, 
my most excellent helpmate. I shall not want 
more than four shirts, I think. . . ." 

In rime the little Pomeroy house was finished, 
but though Grandma joined Grandpa there, it 
was not desrined that they should live in it long, 
for the business venture proved a failure, and in 
the summer of 1837 Grandpa writes to Mr. 
150 



OWLS NEST 

Chaiming: <*Our worMty walkings and work- 
ings here have produced no fruit but certain 
potatoes and cauliflowers, together with a small 
modicum of wisdom. Some four thousand silver 
dollars have dwindkd> under the united influ- 
ence of bad times and worse management, to 
four hundred, paper currency, ragged and very 
^ea^. Our house — just built here, under the 
shade of sugars-maples and oaks, with the Ohio 
a few hundred fe^ before us, and the mighty 
sand-cliflFs that whisk us back into past eternity, 
behind — we are forced to sell at half cost; audi 
having but just unpacked and settled, as we 
thought, must pack up again and take up our 
mardh for another comer of the "Qardan of 
Eden,' as we think it best to call this earth, in 
order that she may have no cause of quarrel. 
Whither we shall go is somewhat uncertain, but 
most probably on to a small farm often or twenty 
acres, somewhere in the vicinity of Gndnnati, 
there to raise potatoes and fruit-trees, and write 
articles that might as well not be written, 

^'I have always had a standard with respect 
to daily employments, that I have been trying, 
so far without success, to live up to, I want hard 
bodily labor enou^ to keep me in health; enough 
of business to exercise my order, acdvity, and 
percepdve powers, and leisure enough for read- 
ing and wridng to keep me from petrifying into 
a thorough man of business. Having weak eyes 
151 



OWLS NEST 

yet, I am forced to find daylight enough for all 
these thingS) and this, as society is now consti- 
tuted, is no easy matter. In coming here I 
thought I had attained my end, but bad advice 
as to cost of building, bad management on my 
own part, and somewhat unlooked-for mishaps, 
have disappointed me. I now propose to try die 
experiment on a smaller scale, content myself 
with a log-cabin literally, and make a bold push 
for independence on an income of a hundred and 
fifty dollars per annum 1 Such is a chart of my 
proposed course in a worldly way. 

^'Spiritually, I fear I have done scarce as well 
as in business. I have met some hard rubs, and 
my skin was too thin to stand them. However, I 
believe, all things considered, that both my outer 
and inner tumbles of the year past will help me 
in finally gaining the prize I am after, and that 
more speedily and certainly than an easier jour- 
ney would have done." 

A few months later in writing to Uncle Stephen 
from Cincinnati he says: '^Our house at the 
Banks has been sold out to the Pomeroys and 
my debts paid off. • . . Money is harder than 
ever; were the Pomeroys easy I should be a hun- 
dred and sixty to a hundred and seventy dollars 
more cashy. But all goes well with us and I mean 
it shall anyhow; I trust you may be as fortunate." 

The great financial panic of 1837, which was 
felt all over the country and especially in the 
152 



OWLS NEST 

more newly settled parts, made life all the more 
difficult for Grandpa. Failure after failure oc- 
curred, business prospects were dark as possible, 
and even those who had been most prosperous 
hitherto were now sufferers. A letter written 
early in 1838, from Mr. Samuel Foote to his mo- 
ther, tells of his hard times: *^I have intended to 
write you every day these three months and have 
not done it partly because of not having twenty- 
five cents worth of material to work up into a let- 
ter, and I am not much better provided now, only 
I have sold my fine house and thought you might 
perhaps wish to condole with me. All my fine 
fruit — all my beautiful flowers — all my nice 
contrivances and pretty prospects and comfort- 
able arrangements are to be enjoyed by those 
who are wise enough not to endorse notes for 
their neighbors, — and we are going into a little 
twenty-two foot, pinched-up house on Vine 
Street between 5th and 6th. It is enough to make 
one turn Turk. Still, we are in good health and 
not more in the dumps than was to be expected, 
and have not suffered either with cold or hunger 
and probably shall not.** 

The winter of 1837-8 Grandpa spent in visit- 
ing the schools, lecturing, writing articles for va- 
rious magazines and preparing other material 
for publication. He bought a small place at 
Cheviot on the Madison Road and began prepa- 
rations for a simple cottage and a nursery garden. 

153 



OWLS NEST 

He says in a letter of March e^hteenth to Mr. 
Channing: ^For ourselves^ we do propose to 
leave here about the first of Majr, and stay at 
BrookHne till October probably, so that I pre* 
sume we shall meet. ... As we propose to sec 
seriously to work raising fruit-trees next year» we 
thought many years might pass before we could 
have as good an opportunity of visiting our 
friends; and I wish also to take some kssons in 
horticulture. I am also intending, if I can find 
publishers, to public my father's experience in 
St. Domingo, which he has written out; and also 
a volume containing Judge Marshall's opinions 
on Constitutional Law; by which works I hope to 
pay my expenses and lay by a little something 
perhaps, over and above them. It is also my pur- 
pose to collect from Harvard College and else- 
where the materials toward a History of Ohio for 
our Common Schools, upon which I shall eiD- 
ploy myself next winter. You see I have literary 
plans enough, but they are all of the editorial, not 
original, character; should I through them ac* 
quire means and courage enough, I may, if I live 
to be thirty, try something more from myself; 
though the more entirely I know myself and 
others, the more I am assured that I can write 
nothing worthy of publication, except upon the 
principle of repetition, . . . The great want in 
this place and this part of the country is a want 
of union among the educated and thinking men; 
154 



OWLS NEST 

every profession is divided^ and public considera- 
tions are lost sight of in serving private ends. . . . 
I have much the san^ disregard of place that 
you have, and yet, so strong an affection for the 
sea and hills of New En^and is m me that could 
I conscientiously go there to live I would; and al- 
most the onty change that I look forward to (save 
Death) . • . is a change of circumstances which 
shall enable me to have a house one of these days 
whence I can look upon that ocean by whose side 
we used in years gone by to sit and fish, sing- 
ing * Bachelor's Fare/** 

According to their plan. Grandma went to 
Guilford to stay with her mother, and Grandpa 
to Boston. He writes from Brookline: **May 
29th (1838) ... I found all well here, went to 
the garden where father was and had a lecture 
from him on pear trees, and also the present of 
some two hundred young and very valuable 
trees. He looks older, . . . but he is still ^rong, 
hearty and happy, full of passion when anything 
wakes him up and of kindness always. • . . 
John* and Sarah are well, living plainly and 
sensibly; his family have in vain urged him to 
dash, buy furniture, etc., they will not. I shall 
go out there soon. . . . Yesterday I stayed at 
Brookline, walked, talked, and called on Aunt 
Jem' and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Qeveland. Aunt 

* Uncle John and Aunt Sarah Forbes. 
' Mrs. James Perkins of Pine Bank. 

155 



OWLS NEST 

Jem was out of spirits; the Qevelands were plea- 
sant, agreeable and very comfortable; their sit- 
ting-room is elegantly but simply furnished (they 
are at Pine Bank for the year round) with plenty 
of books, and a beautiful paper arranged as near 
as could be like that which was on the rooms in 
Unde Jem's day. Sarah ^ is quite pretty, pleasant, 
smart, simple, sensible; Henry ' unassuming and 
kind; we shall find them quite pleasant neighbors; 
our girls' call now and then and drink tea; we 
must go as friends and relations, just as we 
should to Nutplains; what a di£Ferent place, 
though I Where but in America could we be on 
the same terms with two such extremes; where 
but in America could two so nearly equal as 
Sarah and Elizabeth be found in such opposite 
spheres? . . ." 

"June 2d. Thursday as proposed I went to 
Milton; I found them all well. . . . They all ex- 
pressed a great desire to see you; they all seem to 
have been impressed in these parts with your 
merits: Aunt Forbes^ illustrates Sarah Perkins' 
efficiency by saying, 'She would do this and that 
almost as well as your wife would,' and Aunt Jem 
gives her idea of what ought to do in her pre- 

' Mrs. Heniy Cleveland, a daughter of Mr. James Perkins. 
* Mr. Geveland. 
' Grandpa's sisters. 

' My grandfather Forbes' mother, who lived where Uncle 
Murray Forbes lives now. 

156 



OWLS NEST 

sent situation by saying, ' She should do just what 
your wife would/ • . . Yesterday I walked with 
Ellery* to and from Nahant; we were gone ten 
hours and stayed there three. Mother is much 
better than when I saw her last; inwardly the 
same. She appeared very contented and cheer- 
ful all alone there with an old Irishwoman, un^ 
able to read much or write any . . . Stephen 
moved to Dorchester yesterday — I have not 
been to the place yet. . . ." 

A few days later he says he has received Judge 
Story's answer in regard to the book on Marsh- 
all's Opinions. " He thinks my list of cases * very 
full and perfect/ my general plan 'judicious and 
appropriate/ and my abstracts 'very accurate 
and satisfactory; clear and exactly such as can 
be comprehended by unprofessional as well as 
professional readers.' This was very satisfactory; 
to-morrow I shall offer the compilation to Messrs. 
J. Munro and Company, publishers, and hope to 
find a purchaser in them, for the plan appears to 
strike all with force, as likely to be useful and 
popular. . . /' 

He also writes: "Thank you very much, my 
dearest wife, for your goodness to me and to all 
about you; you have indeed a nature wonder- 
fully adapted to make people love you, and a 
recognition of the duties resulting from it that 
few like you have." 

^ Dr. Waker Channing's son and Grandpa's nephew. 

157 



OWLS NEST 

''I am fully of your mind • • . that few are 
better suited to one another than we are; though 
I suspect you would suit any human being widi- 
out difficulty." 

"'B. Forbes has lost so much property that he 
is going to China again. William Hathaway has 
failed and gone South; John F. holds on like a 
toothache; will be responsible for and concerned 
with no one; he is wise." 

Grandma, after she became engaged, had often 
gone to the little Unitarian Qiurch in Cincinnati, 
and when she returned to Guilford she probably 
had some uncomfortable timqs with the good 
people there, for on June fifteenth Grandpa 
writes: ''I am sorry Unitarians are in such bad 
odor in Guilford; here they are too strong and 
too self-contented: intolerance and indifference 
are probably at equal distances from the truth. 
I thank you for your self-command and control; 
we will try, Sarah, to be Christians, and as the 
first step, to be humUe.'* 

Later he writes: — 

"June 20th. Yesterday, after I had written 
you, the Forbes dynasty came to see us; John, 
Sarah, Emma^ and Mary'. John and Sarah both 
look thin, and Emma said she was quite afraid he 
would be made sick by worry and care; they had 
to leave here in a hurry because he had to write 

^ Aunt Emma Forbes who died in 1848. 
' Aunt Maiy (Mrs. Francis Cunnin^am). 

158 



OWLS NEST . 

letters to go to Canton to-day, and these Sarah 
and the girls have to cofxy, . • /' 

"July 6th. I received with yours a letter from 
Mr. Palfrey which is not much to the point, but 
is intended, beyond doubt, to decline my St. Do- 
mingo articles because of Abolitionism, so there 
we go again. No matter, I shall persevere and 
conquer by and by at some rate or other» but, 
meanwhile I am poor beyond a doubt. . • . 
William Channing is here spending the day with 
me, utterly uncertain as to his future, without 
«ven the dim prospect of a house and potatoes 
which we have. To-morrow he goes twenty-five 
or thirty miles into the interior to preach on trial. 
But none suffer as much as my richer friends, 
Perkinses, Cabots, Forbeses, etc., etc. I am very 
sorry for them. . . . Well, good-bye, my dear 
Sarah; four weeks more and we shall come to- 
gether again. . . . Don't work too hard for 
other people or yourself." 

" July loth. I closed my last letter to you, my 
dearest wife, on Friday last; in that I told you 
that Mr. Palfrey had virtually declined doing 
anything in the Review with my St. Domingo 
documents. . . . Sunday I went to church here 
in the morning, and went to Milton after dinner. 
At evening when we returned I found Father 
hard at work over a work on St. Domingo by one 
Dr. Brown, which neither of us had seen, but 
which completely shuts the market against me; 

'59 



OWLS NEST 

even the old gentleman thinks it would be money 
thrown away to publish his Recollections. So we 
go; however, I shall hold fast to his manuscripts 
and one of these days I can use them I know for 
a tale or something/** 

"Julyi6th. . . . Yesterday morning I walked 
to Roxbury, heard Mr. Putnam preach two ad- 
mirable, practical sermons; dined with Thwing, 
thirteen at table, very pleasant and sensible 
people; took tea with Mr. Putnam and discussed 
all the prominent objects' of the day; and then 
walked to Cambridge, where I heard from Mr. 
Emerson, the Transcendentalist, the most re- 
markable discourse I ever listened to, delivered 
before the graduating Divinity Students, and of 
a character that made all the clergy shake as 
with an earthquake; made acquaintance with 
Dwight, Silsbee's friend, and thence walked with 
him and William Channing to Boston, where I 
passed the night with William. ... I have thus 
heard within twenty-four hours the two most re- 
markable young men of these parts, Putnam and 
Emerson, in twenty-four hours more I may have 
formed some opinion of them, as yet I have no 
full idea of either.** 

"July 26th. . . . My prospectus will be 
printed to-day I suppose, and by the middle of 

* These Recollections were printed many yean later (or 
private distribution. 
' He undoubtedly meant subjects. 
160 



OWLS NEST 

September, not sooner, I shall know what can be 
done with Marshall; and meanwhile I live in 
hope. If it is printed I shall not wait, but get 
some one here to correct the proofs. Meanwhile 
I am at an article for North American and read- 
ing -Carlyle carefully with the intention of writ- 
ing on him for the New York Review if no one 
else does. Sunday we had out here Mr. and Mrs. 
Menefee of Kentucky; true Kentuckians they 
were, and we were plea^d all round. They said 
we were more like Kentuckians than any people 
they had seen; and were quite pleased with their 
visit, which was accidental. I felt more at home 
with them than with any of my relations that I 
have yet met with. Yesterday Mr. Webster was 
here but I escaped him; I have a horror of such 
great people; Father enjoys them; so we go. 
Father has given me a very handsome, but much 
injured head of Scott, engraving; and I mean to 
ask the old gentleman for one other gift, viz. his 
Spanish chair, which I can read in with more 
comfort than any one I have ever used. I read 
now two hours before breakfast, and find it suits 
me well, after walking two or three miles. When 
you come, we 'U rise at five, walk an hour, and 
then PU read aloud to you till breakfast time in 
our room. Scott's life, the Boston edition, can be 
had here seven volumes for 11(3.92, and I must 
have it before we return: — we will read that 



next winter." 



161 



OWLS NEST 

Towards the end of the summer Grandma 
joined Grandpa at Brookline, where they had a 
delig^ful time before returning to Cincinnati. 
One of the e^>ecial pleasures of their eastern 
visits was the opportunity to be with Uncle 
Stephen^ whom Grandpa described as '*a noble 
fellow — pure and hedthy/' adding diat he 
wished he were worthy to tic; his shoe. 



CHAPTER IX 

UPON returning to Cincinnati in Novem- 
ber, 18389 Grandpa fully intended to 
settle at Cheviot^ but his friends were convinced 
that it would be a mistake for him to give up his 
more active and public pursuits. He was accord- 
ingly induced to remain in the city and to be- 
come the ag^nt of an association which had 
lately been established by sonde philanthropic 
Unitarians, ibr ministering to the poor. 

For this work he was especially adapted and 
through it hd became a power in the city. He 
visited among the poor and had an office at 
which those in need could apply for assistance. 
Money, food, and clothing he distributed only in 
cases of immediate need. His great gift was 
work; that he gave to hundreds of people who 
raised themselves thereby from degradation to 
honorable positions. He felt the importance of 
e^ablishing permanent relations with those 
whom he assisted and of becoming so acquainted 
with them as to prevent deception. He also felt 
it to be necessary to continue assisting and advis- 
ing them the year round and to bring them within 
such influences as would prevent dieir depend- 
ence from producing evil results. **The mantle 
163 



OWLS NEST 

of Minister at Large has fallen upon me/' he 
writes to a friend, ''and in this vocadon I hope 
somewhat to realize that usefulness to which you 
allude as the crowning gift of man. The field is 
wide and undug; my spade is dull and weak, but 
by care it may loosen the hard soil, or turn over 
that which the frosts of misfortune have already 
mellowed. Pauperism, Poverty, Infidelity, \^ce. 
Crime, — these are five well-armed and most 
determined demons to war with, — true children 
of the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Against 
these keen and bold warriors I am opening my 
works slowly and with care, and by the time you 
come back may have brought a gun or two to 
bear." 

Looking to the educated men of the country 
to spread abroad intelligence, respect for what is 
good, and reverence for what is venerable, by 
professional labor and through schools, lectures, 
and the press, he exerted his own influence in all 
these ways. "So quietly, however, were his pub- 
lic offices performed, that the amount of his ex- 
ertions might easily have been overlooked except 
by careful observers. He never did anything for 
effect, and therefore, thou^ always busy, at- 
tracted little attention from the busy world. He 
was eminently one of those — the truly great — 
who are felt in a thousand minute and deep rela- 
tions to society, exerting the most invigorating 
influence, without being seen, or wishing to be 
164 



OWLS NEST 

seen/' Further, his labors were remarkable for 
punctuality and completeness. "He never left 
unfinished, or to be done by others, the work 
that properly belonged to himself 

The whole subject of education had for some 
time been of great interest to him, and one of his 
first eflForts after taking charge of The Western 
Monthly Magazine in 1832 had been an en- 
deavor to interest those about him in elevating 
the standard of teaching. He set forth in the 
pages of that review and also in those of the 
Mirror and the Chronicle the ideas of the fore- 
most educators in Europe, and worked earnestly 
to promote the public school system of Ohio. 

As Secretary and a Trustee of the Cincinnati 
College, he came into close contact with Profes- 
sor Mitchel * whose warm friendship he valued 
deeply. The feeling was mutual, for Professor 
Mitchel wrote: "In 1839-40 we were associated 
in forming a Society for the Promotion of Useful 
Knowledge . . . which ended in the erection of 
the Cincinnati Observatory. Mr. Perkins . . . 
always exerted a most powerful influence over 
those with whom he was associated. He was one 
of the very few on whom the most implicit re- 
liance might be placed in the hour of greatest 
difficulty. He was slow to adopt any new idea, 

^ Professor Ormsby McKnight Mitchel, founder of the 
Cincinnati Observatoiy, a brilliant lecturer on astronomy, 
and a capable officer in the Civil War. 

165 



OWLS NEST 

or to receive into hk confidence new enterprises; 
but when, after ddUberation» he once gave his 
hearty approval to any great or noble under- 
taking, it was not merdy an approval. He was 
ever ready to contribute in evay way to pro- 
mote its accomplishment. 

"'From the organization of the Cincinnati 
Astronomical Society, Mr. Perkins was one of 
its officers; and although our pursuits were differ- 
ent, yet in all the efforts which I have been mak- 
ing, in and out of the Observatory, if to others 
I looked for pecuniary aid, it was to Mr. Perkins 
I went for that intellectual sympathy so grateful 
to one who is obliged to struggle in almost abso- 
lute isolation. His mind was eminently clear and 
comprehensive, and although he was nowise de- 
voted to pure science, yet he never failed to show 
so ready and strong an apprehension of whatever 
topic was fairly brought before it, that one was 
sure of a just appreciation of his views, however 
new. 

One of Grandpa's chief interests was the 
Unitarian Church in Cincinnati, organized in 
1830. His warm friend, Mr. Ephraim Peabody, 
was one of the first ministers. When, owing to 
ill health, Mr. Peabody left, the church had 
no settled minister for some time and had to 
content itself with "pulpit supplies." Among 
these were Mr. Aaron Bancroft, father of the 
historian, Mr. Cyrus A. Bartol^ Mr. Christopher 
166 



OWLS NEST 

Cranch, and Mr. James Freeman Clarke, with 
all of whom Grandpa formed wahii friendships. 
In 1839 Mr. William H. Channing became the 
minister of the small congregation. From him we 
have this picture of Grandpa: ''Day by day» as 
I met my friend in society and public meetings, 
observed him in his relations to others, and 
talked with them about him, it became evident 
how high was the position which — quite un- 
awares — he really occupied among his fellow- 
citizens. Nothing could have been more unpre- 
tending than his manner, as in slouched cap, 
carelessly tied heckcloth, loose, rough frock, 
Kentucky pahtaloohs, and stout boots, which 
bore traces of long excursions through mud or 
dust, he exchanged oflF-hand greetings as he 
swept along the street, or, with the slight altera- 
tions in attire demanded by merest neatness, 
entered with gracious demureness the crowded 
circles of society, or the quiet houses of friends. 
Wherever he might be, with a poor man on the 
comer, at committee-meetings for business, or 
in a 'Semi-G>lon' party, he "was always himself, 
and quite unique in his singular blending of 
dignity and diffidence, '^ of firm self-reliance 
and habitually modest estimates, — of essential 
respect for all and utter disregard of conventional 
distinctions, — of decision and reverence. A 
spirit of earnest intelligence, of downright good- 
sense, of interest in great aims and indifference 
167 



OWLS NEST 

to trifles, seemed to spread out from him, and 
clothe him with an air of quiet power. He took 
naturally, and as of right, the attitude of bro- 
therly kindness towards high and low, learned 
and ignorant, men and women, young and old, 
and met all on the broad table-land of manly 
truth. This unaflFected integrity and character- 
istic single-mindedness it plainly was that gave 
him such a hold over others. ... 

''It was a pleasant stimulus, too, to observe 
his versatile ability, and easy promptitude on 
most diverse occasions. Always he seemed 
equally self-possessed and present-minded. 
Whether it was to tell a story to a group of child- 
ren, to bear a part with grave jocularity in some 
play of wit with sprightly girls, to discuss among 
peers the current topics of the day, to consult 
with elders and influential persons on matters of 
moment, to examine or exhort a common school, 
to unfold by conversation some profound prin- 
ciple in religious meetings, or to address a public 
assembly, he seemed perfectly ready. ... He 
took the average tone of those around him, and 
by easy gradations raised them to the level of 
his own thought, neither dizzying his hearers by 
flights of enthusiasm, nor letting attention creep 
in commonplaces; he had a soberness of ideality 
that never dazzled, yet threw a brightened radi- 
ance on every theme; he could be earnest with- 
out extravagance; he used, unconsciously, a rare 
i68 



OWLS NEST 

skill in clear statements; he had a forefeeling of 
changing moods in his auditors, and knew how 
by gentle humor to soften asperities, by lively 
sallies to expose inconsistencies, or by rapid 
digressions to glide past difficult points; and 
finally, in private talk or public speech, he in- 
stinctively regarded limits, and felt where and 
how to stop." 

Duriilg one of Mr. Channing's absences from 
Cincinnati, Grandpa was asked to fill his place. 
In an old letter from Judge Walker occurs this 
comment: "Has any one told you that Perkins 
has preached twice, performing all the services 
in a very acceptable manner ? It was while I was 
at the West; Mr. Lawler was delighted with 
him." In the spring of 1841 Mr. Channing re- 
signed from his pastorate, as many of the con- 
gregation were opposed to his views as an aboli- 
tionist. By the unanimous voice of the society. 
Grandpa was asked to become its minister. His 
political views, as well as his character and quali- 
fications, influenced the congregation in its 
choice, for while an anti-slavery man in syjjfi- 
pathies and strong in his feelings against the 
disgraceful Black Laws of Ohio, he was not 
a declared abolitionist. He accepted the new 
duty, though only "in part" and as a temporary 
relation. "The position of a professional priest 
or pastor was distasteful to him, and he would 
have liked better to be one of a religious brother- 
.169 



OWLS NEST 

hoodi who, each in turn, should minister to their 
society." 

Mr. Channing has told tis that at the time 
when Grandpa began to preach he felt the pres- 
sure of moral infirmity. **The veiy position that 
he assumed in the pulpit, and his whole tone of 
discourse, showed how conscious he was that 
he had not attained to peace or light. He was a 
seeker, intellectually and spiritually, and pro- 
fessed to be nothing more. .Usually, he rather 
lectured than sermonized, and preferred to read 
prayers from a liturgy, rather than to utter the 
confessions and aspirations of his own heart.** 
Here are his own words regarding his position: 
** My feeling of trouble at occupying the pulpit 
has come from the consciousness that I do not 
approximate to the character which a Christian 
teacher should possess. The people have been 
kind and attentive; the church has been filled, 
and I presume no one would dissent from my 
becoming the regular clergyman. But my tem- 
per, my habits, my whole spirit, are such, I am 
entirely aware, as could not Christianixe any 
people. Did I feel myself even decently pure, 
true, just, and kind, I should delight to labor 
as a pastor, while I supported myself as a teacher, 
and let all means go to other purposes. And 
should I live to be forty, and succeed as a teacher, 
— both very questionable points, — it will be 
my hope to assume such a position, stronger, 
170 



OWLS NEST 

wiser, better disciplined, and more able to direct 
some of my fellow-beings heavenward. Mean- 
time, hard work for the body, study for the mind, 
and restraint and whipping for the Old Adam/* 

Of his sermons we have few, if any, for he 
usually preached without notes. But the impres- 
sion produced by his preaching is preserved for 
us in the words of Mr. William Greene, a de- 
voted listener: ''It was the capital feature in Mr. 
Perkins' character, and perhaps the truest mark 
of his acknowledged greatness, that he lived and 
worked for God and humanity, and never, appar- 
ently, for any personal advantage, even that of 
reputation. His superiority consisted, in good 
measure, in not presenting himself in what he 
did. ... He seemed not to have a particle of 
ambition in the ordinary sense of that word, nor 
a particle of the vanity which is almost always 
at the bottom of it. In all my knowledge of men, 
and among all my acquaintance, I think in these 
particulars he was without an equal. . . • 

"It has occurred to me, that his chief power 
as a preacher consisted in the fact that he was a 
practical man, and as such felt a deep and ear- 
nest sympathy with the spiritual wants that per- 
tained to the current life of every dass. . . . 
Every one felt that his word was true and his 
advice considerate and well-matured. • . • And 
again, his preaching was impressive from the 
well-known fact that his ordinary life was, from 
171 



OWLS NEST 

day to day, habitually and systematically de- 
voted in some form or other to doing good, — 
either in teaching the young, counselling the old, 
relieving the wants of the needy, comforting the 
sick and afflicted, or reclaiming the vicious. All 
remembered that he was ready for these works 
at a moment's call, at all seasons of the year, at 
all hours of day and night, and in all weathers; 
and that they were done so quietly that any 
amount of them might have distinguished a 
given period and the world have been no wiser, 
except as accident might disclose what his dis- 
interestedness, diffidence, and modesty would 
have preferred, and even sought, to conceal/* 

Grandpa undeniably had the gift of oratory, 
and it had been his habit during all his life in 
Cincinnati to give a number of lectures every 
winter. Mr. Channing describes him as a 
speaker: "The very movement of Mr. Perkins 
as he entered the desk, so subdued, yet tranquil, 
— the quiet equipoise of his tall figure as he rose 
to speak, — the deliberate intonation and articu- 
lateness of his opening word, — the measured 
volume of his voice, — its mellow music so richly 
various, — the graceful dignity of his gesture, — 
his air of unaffected interest in his theme, — the 
commanding beauty of his smile and eye and 
rounded temples, — and finally, his magnetic 
charm, which was singularly strong, — all con- 
spired to captivate me, and before the hour was 
172 



OWLS NEST 

ended my judgment was clear, that the playmate 
of my boyhood had become in his mature years 
a master of oratory. This conviction was only 
deepened, as I heard him oftener and became 
familiar with his style. I have listened to many 
of our nation's most admired speakers in the 
Pulpit, at the Bar, on the floor of Congress, on 
the platform of Reform Meetings, and before 
Literary Associations; but, after making allow- 
ance for the partiality of affection, I must de- 
liberately say that for variety and harmonious 
combination of faculty I have never heard Mr. 
Perkins' superior, and rarely his peer. Especially 
was he remarkable for a calm, transparent truth- 
fulness, which carried up the hearer, through 
mere outward attractions of dicdon and manner, 
to communion with the very spirit of the speaker. 
This profound sincerity gave to his briefest utter- 
ance the uncdon of a religious appeal. '' 

Though Grandpa bore heavy responsibilities 
from so many outside demands there is another 
side to our picture. To his friend Mr. L A. 
Jewett he writes in 1839: "We are settled in a 
nice little house just in front of John Foote's old 
place, now owned by Vaughan, where we shall 
be happy to see you when you come again, and 
introduce you to a select circle of tailors, cobblers, 
carpenters, and blacksmiths. • • • We are living 
on six hundred per year, and when you come 
will teach you economy." 

173 



OWLS NEST 

One reason why Grandpa was especially 
limited in finances was that his literary ventures 
had not brought the success for which he had 
hoped. In spite of the favorable comment of 
Judge Stoiy and others the book on Marshall's 
Opinions met the same fate which had earlier 
befallen the San Domingo articles. Six hundred 
dollars even in those days was a small income^ 
and in order to increase iu Grandpa opened a 
school for young girls. He had the gift of teach- 
ingy and his scholars loved him deepfy and de- 
votedly. Mrs. Harrison ' told me that when she 
was a little girl she announced one day that she 
wanted to go to this school. Receiving permis- 
sion, she asked how she should get there. ''Just 
go/' answered her mother, and off she started 
for Grandpa's house. ''I've come to go to your 
school," said she to Grandpa. "How old are 
you ?" asked he. When she found that she was 
too young, she burst into tears. This somewhat 
softened the teacher's heart, and he said she 
might stay for the mornings she stayed always, 
and later when the school was larger helped him 
teach. 

From one of the scholars we have this descrip- 
tion of her school-life: "If I could take you with 
me into that pleasant little room, sacred as our 
school-room, and show you that table with the 
youthful band gathered around it,, and their 
^ Mrs. Harrison was Miss Faniij Goodman. 

174 



OWLS NEST 

minds' father at its head, and if you could see 
with what breathless attention and delight they 
listen to his words, you would know that their 
hearts were his. Then, could you hear his ques- 
tions, so varied in tone and manner, and hear in 
turn the fearless answers, you would know that 
he understood each one's character, and was 
ready to do justice to each one's opinion. We 
loved him as a parent and friend, while we re^ 
vered him as a superior being. . • • 

"He would draw a lesson from every thing. 
Often our books were unopened during the three 
or four hours we remakied with him, and yet we 
went away with some great lesson imprinted upon 
our memory, never to be effaced, called forth by 
an apparently slig^ remark from one of us. It 
was principally by conversation that he taught us, 
and I never knew any one who could lead a con- 
versation so well, and draw out others' ideas so 
entirely. He had a vast amount of general know- 
ledge, well-digested, stored away, labelled, and 
lying quietly in its place until wanted; then it 
was all ready for us. We thought he knew every 
thing. ... He relied in his teaching very little 
on books; and his wonderful knowledge enabled 
him to instruct us upon every subject in a much 
more satisfactory manner than any books which 
we might have obtained could have done. I do 
not mean that he made no use of books, but they 
were used rather as suggestive texts to be com- 
175 



OWLS NEST 

mented upon, than as authorities to be trusted. 
. . . *You do not come to school to leam/ he 
would say, *but to acquire the power of learning. 
The knowledge which you acquire at school will 
avail you little, if your mind is not so trained that 
you will have the desire and the power to study 
when you have left it. . . .' A storm was never 
severe enough to keep us from school, for our 
hours spent there were the sweetest in the 
day. ..." 

In November, 1840, Father was bom in the 
little Third Street house. One of Mrs. Har- 
rison's first recollections of Grandma is of her 
appearing in the school-room one morning with 
Father in her arms and a bevy of girls about ten 
years old surrounding her, begging to hold "the 
baby." 

Only a few have been preserved of the letters 
from Grandma and Grandpa written during 
these years, but they tell a little of the experi- 
ences of the daily life. To a letter from Grandpa 
to Mr. Channing dated July, 1841, Grandma 
adds this postscript: "Sister and Mr. Foote leave 
next week for the East, and their children we are 
to take care of while they are gone; they will be 
home some time in September, and we shall go 
to the cottage [Cheviot] when they return; we 
shall be most happy to give you and yours the 
spare-room whenever you will come and see us. 
Charley has quite recovered his strength and is 
176 



OWLS NEST 

so destructive that I sometimes fear for my own 
safety. Do write us as soon as you can and tell 
us your plans; we have a lingering hope that you 
may be here again. We all love you so much. . . . 
James has not been very well since you left, and 
has only preached once on a Sunday. ... I 
hope in his vacation he will recruit, and when 
we go into the country and he will have more 
exercise I do hope he will get more strength. It 
makes me very anxious; he means to have the 
school-room in town and walk in and out every 
day; I am afraid that will be rather severe, but 
he can try it. . . ** 

In another letter written at about this time to 
Mr. Channing, Grandpa refers to various theo- 
logical controversies and says: "We have had 
fights, too, on your hobby of Abolition, bloody 
noses, black eyes, and broken windows. Gal- 
lagher is groaned at for daring to say that some 
of our most respectable citizens are Abolition- 
ists. ... As for you, unless you return, this So- 
ciety will go to pieces. Such I understand to be 
the avowed intention of many of its head men. 
• . . Should you utterly abandon all thought 
of coming back, or take any step which would 
necessarily prevent your doing so, I trust you 
will let me know at once, that I may leave a place 
which I hold only on sufferance and through 
suffering. . . . Dr. Beecher invited me to a con- 
ference a while since to probe my orthodoxy. So 
177 



OWLS NEST 

the next thing you may hear may be my appear- 
ance at Lane Seminajy. The weather is deUg^- 
fult and I must gp upon the hills and catdi to- 
morrow's sermon/' 

The next year (1842) Grandpa writes to the 
same friend: ^^It has been a nx)st sad and trying 
year for me, this last» nor are my trials over. 
• • « My clerical position here is most anoma*- 
k>us, — ordained by theTrustees, never educated 
for the place, no pastor at all, uncertain how long 
I may stay, and all at odds and ends. • • . Dur- 
ing the next six months I suppose some more oer* 
tainty vrill be reached by our Society of their 
wi^s and my connection with them; meanwhile 
I hang, literally, by my ^fe^lashes. . . . 

<< Will you come back here if the people wish 
it? I do not know their views. Some dislike your 
Abolitionism. ... In answering me you need 
fed no difficulty on my account. I was diosen 
for want of any oth^, and remain only because 
no other has appeared. What William Eliot 
told you as to the success of the Society and my 
relations to it was all imaginary; the Sodety was 
never thinner nor poorer, and I have nothing to 
do with it of any consequence, but merely serve 
to keep it from enure dissolution, and cannot 
serve even that purpose much longer. One thing 
has been done latdy to revive it viiiich I hope 
vrill succeed: I attacked the music so cruelly a 
few weeks since as to lead to a Revival; Anna 

178 



OWLS NEST 

and Appoline Guilford have joined the choir; 
Tracy Howe has assumed the lead; Cranch has 
seized his flute; a new style of music, Chants, 
Glorifications^ Operas, and Oratories, has been 
adopted, and we mean to astound all old-fash- 
ioned Puritans out of their swaddling-clothes. 
• . . Since I finished my black epistle, I have 
been up to wash Charley. He is none of your 
cherubs sudi as you describe Frank, but a pure 
unmixed human; conscientious, intelligent, rogu- 
ish, rowdy, and uproarious; he '11 make, if he 
lives, a good kitchen-gardener, to which learned 
profession I mean to devote him. . • • Next 
Monday my school begins again; for a man 
whose heart is bone I have a good winter's work 
before me, school five a. m.'s and four p. m.'s 
per week; four lectures for Mercantile Library 
Association, and an uncertain supply for a dass 
of mechanics, etc., at our vestry; and Sunday 
exercises ad lib., — Item — Visits if I make 
em. 

To Unde Stephen he ssLys: "Ohl that I had 
your Athenaeum and Cambridge libraries. I 
shall move back to Boston the first chance I 
have to get at them. My present hobby is that 
portion of Political Economy which treats of the 
condition of the lower dasses, upon which sub- 
ject I am about to deliver a course of lectures to 
extend, probably, throu^ the year on Sunday 
evenings, for I have adopted the plan of devoting 
179 



OWLS NEST 

Sunday evenings to the discussion of History, 
Economy, and Science considered religiously; 
that is to say, I make my inquiries all stand con- 
nected, as the subjects do, with man's various 
duties. I believe it is a new plan somewhat, but 
cannot doubt that it is more reasonable and bet- 
ter adapted to our age than the old abstract ser- 
monizing. I have been for a year engaged in the 
History of Religious Opinions of all kinds, and 
have found my lectures much more popular than 
any sermons in town." 

Uncle Will was bom in September, 1842, and 
on December thirtieth Grandpa writes to his 
brother, ** We will send the names of our pro- 
geny as desired; indeed, I thought Sarah did it 
in a letter to Father a week since; consequently 
their names are Charles Elliott and William 
Channing, Charles being black and blustering, 
William blue and fidgety." 

Grandma adds: ''James is always at work, 
and I always have enough to do. I do not always 
do it, but I find two chfldren so young as ours 
enough to keep two or three persons busy. 
Willie is a good little boy, and we think he is 
going to be like you. . . . The Footes are well 
nowy though sister has been sick for the last six 
months. The Stetsons too are well, but I think 
hard times have made us stupid in these parts. 
... If your father has any old clothes, I hope 
they will be kept for James. He is expanding 
180 



OWLS NEST 

so that his clothes are all too small, and it will 
ruin us to buy new ones, for he had a new set a 
little while ago." 

Father is described as quite a jabberer for his 
age; a little, thin, black, noisy scrub of a boy; 
obstinate as a bulldog, passionate as a terrier, 
and about as handsome. '^He has one Perkins 
virtue, a most intense love of fruit; peaches and 
'apes are his panacea, and he eats all kinds with 
entire impunity. Sarah is pretty well. . . . 

** Money matters here are terrible; few think 
of doing more than pay for marketing, which is 
so cheap it 's hardly worth pa3ang for: potatoes 
equal to Nova Scotia, sixteen to twenty cents a 
bushel; butter six and a quarter cents per pound, 
com thrown in, tomatoes thrown away; a quarter 
of mutton eighteen and three quarters cents, of 
veal thirty-one cents; bacon of best quality four 
cents per pound, etc.; flour two dollars and 
eighty-seven cents per barrel. . . . We are poor, 
but compared with most of our acquaintance, 
rich, — i. e., we have a prospect of market money 
for some weeks to come, say three, — ten dollars 
in gold being half of it, earned by me in marrying 
foolish young people. 

** By the way, you probably know that I was 
at New York a few weeks since. Don't quarrel 
because I did not go to Boston: I went on to 
carry some ladies, Vaughan's mother and sister, 
and had to return from New York to Washington 
i8i 



OWLS NEST 

post-haste to fulfil my mission; I was in New 
York two and a half hours, and gone from here 
altogether twelve days. I should have been very 
^d to have seen Father and all of you, but was 
at Vs expense and could not disobey orders of 
my employer." 

In 1843 Grandpa was obliged to go East again 
on account of the old trouble with his eyes, 
and in September of that year Judge Walker 
writes to his sister, '^Mr. Perkins has returned 
and renewed his labors, but not with improved 
health. His eyes are worse than ever.'' Grandpa 
brought back with him his sister Elizabeth to 
spend the winter, and Mrs. Harrison, who re- 
members her as extremely handsome and quite 
coquettish, says that she had all the men at her 
feet. 

Uncle Ned was bom on February twenty-fifth, 
1844; soon after. Grandpa says: "The baby 
has one tooth and is crying for more. Willie is 
pretty well and cares for no one; night before last 
he rolled off the mattress (he and Margaret sleep 
on the floor) and got under the bed, where he 
could not stand; Sarah heard some grumbling 
upstairs, went up, and there he sat, his night- 
gown over his head, struggling for relief bvt not 
crying an atom; last ni^ he got from under the 
bar and walked round the room fully fifteen min- 
utes before Margaret woke and took him in; I 
was awake and heard him, but as he did not utter 
182 



OWLS NEST 

a sound concluded Margaret was up with him. 
Chaiiey turns somersets and climbs trees. I am 
about as busy as ever, and shall have to remain 
here all my vacation.** 



CHAPTER X 

THE time had come at last when Grandpa 
could cany out his long-cherished wish 
tg live in the countiy. The litde farm at Chev- 
iot was disposed of, and at East Walnut Hillsi 
a few miles outside of Cincinnati, Grandpa 
bought the Owls Nest place from Uncle Charles 
EUiotty who had established a nurseiy garden 
there a few years before. He built his simple 
house^ which I believe cost a thousand dollars, 
and there the family moved in the autumn 
of 1845 when Uncle Heniy was three months 
old. 

Byway of friendly assistance, one of the neigh- 
bors told Uncle Charles that if the family wanted 
milky all they need do was to go over to his place 
and get it, adding, "Why, Mis' Perkins can just 
have all the skimmed miUc she wants, — we don't 
keep no hogs/' 

Soon after being established at Owls Nest, 
Grandpa writes to Mr. Channing: " You speak 
in one of your letters of my working too hard; 
I regret to say, I am sick with laziness and idle- 
ness; nor have I been able to discover any mode 
of cure except to move three miles out of town, 
and try to fill up my time by walking in and 
184 



OWLS NEST 

out, and gardening, loafing, strolling, and lazing 
generally/' 

A year later he says : " We have a very pretty 
place, with a beautiful forest directly back of 
us, where we take many a pleasant walk, in win- 
ter no less than summer. We have had much 
snow this season, which has added not a little to 
our fun, as well as to the beauty of the woods. 
Could you see us and the four boys sliding on our 
pond, and coasting In a sled of my manufacture, 
— a champagne basket on barrel-staves, — you 
would fancy us all children together. . . . I aip 
teaching, lecturing, writing two or three books, 
visiting the poor, walking about In Immense 
boots through Immense mud, lounging, napping, 
frolicking, and reading at leisure 'L'UnlteUnl- 
verselle,' by Charles Fourier, In four volumes. 
So goes life; — the old hash spiced with crying 
children, and sweetened with laughing ones. 

"We enjoy our life out of town very much 
indeed, . . . and though I have to ^tote' out 
much of our marketing, and wade through mire 
and water, yet I am glad to do all and bear all for 
the pleasure I have in the exercise, the air out of 
town, and the rambles in the woods. And Sarah 
and the boys enjoy It as much as L" 

Grandpa's charitable work and his enthusiasm 
over life at Owls Nest did not interrupt his writ- 
ing, and a year after moving out of town he fin- 
ished his "Aimals of the West.*' In this work, 

185 



OWLS NEST 

which consisted of a concise account of the 
chief events of western histoiy from the did- 
coveij of the Mississippi Valley to 1845, he 
showed his admirable qualifications for an his^ 
torian. 

About this time Mrs. Kebler became a friend 
of my grandparents. ^^ My memories of Cincin- 
nati/' she writes, **gD back to 1846, when I went 
there as a bride, having previously seen but one 
person who lived there. There were then sixty 
miles of staging before reaching it, a large part of 
it over corduroy roads. We were not hospitably 
received, for after trying at several hotels to ob- 
tain a room, we were at last able to secure one on 
condition that it must be given up at three in the 
morning to GovetiiM Corwin, who was expected 
to come in by stage at that h6ur. We were spared 
this, however, for Judge Walker, who dined with 
us, took us to his pdace on the Madison road,Ea9t 
Walnut Hills, to pass the night. I remember sev- 
eral items of conversation during Our drive; on^ 
that he (Judge Walker), Mr. Perkins, and Mr. 
Longworth selected that hill for their countiy 
homes in order to have th^ sun on their backs in 
their daily rides to and from the city. 

<<In the evening Mr. and Mrs. Perkins came, 
partly to announce .th6 engagement of Anna 
Guilford. • . « If I could paint, 1 would make a 
picture of Mr. and Mrsf. Perkins as they were that 
evening: he, in his farmer^s dress, with a face — 
186 



OWLS NEST 

when in repose — of a prophet, but — lighted 
with his rather rare smile — of an English dram- 
atist; she, with the rich color on her cheek 
that she retained for so many years, wearing a 
diess of some soft gray material, cut low, and an 
embroidered cape. This dress was characteristic. 
Long after, I remember her saying that she and I, 
wearing these capes, were the only ones to show 
the young people how our mothers dressed. 
That evening was the beginning of my life-long 
friendship with her, and my devotion to her hus- 
band and his memory. 

^^In the ^ring of 1846 the Unitarian Church 
of Cincinnati had invited Mr. Fenner, a recent 
graduate of the divinity school, to be its pastor, 
he hoping that the milder climate would erad^ 
icate the seeds of the dread disease contracted in 
his colder home in Providence. But it was not to 
be, for he was able to preach but few Sundays 
after the summer vacation, and he died on the 
first Sabbath in the New Year, as the congrega- 
tion was leaving the church to which Mr. Perkins 
ministered during his illness. 

"That congregation that so gladly listened to 
your grandfather was a notable one, even in ap- 
pearance. 'There were giants in those days.* I 
recall the tall figures of Judge Walker, Mr. Guil- 
ford, Mr. Ernst, Mr. Stetson, Mr. Rawson, Paul 
Anderson, Mr. Dexter, and Salmon P. Chase, — 
these last two so fine looking as to be noticeable 

187 



OWLS NEST 

anywhere; — Samuel E. Foote, a picture, with 
his white hair, long almost in curls, who, though 
not usually a member of the congregation, was 
frequently drawn there to listen to his brother-in- 
law, as were also Rufus King, Joseph Longworth, 
and many others. Mr. Greene going up the 
aisle, with his alert step, was always there, as was 
also John W. Hartwell. ... It mattered not 
what noted preacher from the eastern Mecca 
were in the pulpitt there were two at least of the 
congregation who were sony not to hear the stir- 
ring words from him on whom no ordinary hand 
of man had been laid. A greater than an earthly 
power had given the authority and the inspira- 
tion. In the choir were Anna and Appoline 
Guilford, Katie Greene,* and Tracy Howe. Mr. 
Perkins' influence was not confined to those who 
were privileged to be his pupils in the vestiy, or 
his listeners from the pulpit. He was a power in 
the city. The House of Refuge, a reformatory 
for the young, is in part his monument. I wonder 
if many recognize it as such. ^ One's deeds live 
after them,' but not always the memoiy of their 
authors. 

"The social life of those days was very charm- 
ing, but when we spoke of it as such, we were 
met by a smile, — * Ah! but we did not know the 
earlier ones of the Semi-Colon! Those halcyon 
days were passed and would never return.' The 
* Miss Greene married Dr. Roelker.. 

i88 



OWLS NEST 

archives of that society, where are they ? Harriet 
Beecher Stowe, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Gallagher 
William H. Channing, Tracy Howe, and I think 
James Freeman Clarke, were contributors. And 
die illustrations by Edward Cranch! Repos- 
ing they must be in some forgotten desk, dark 
with Cincinnati's soot. I wish they could be 
unearthed, perhaps some day they will be. 

" But if we had not enjoyed the Semi-Colon 
days, we could the present ones. There were the 
Stetsons, who lived in one of the three dwellings 
that fronted on Third Street, reached from it by 
many steps. . . . Here we were sure to meet all 
the pleasant strangers that came to the then small 
city. . . . Mr. S. E. Foote was in a pretty house 
quite far back from the street, where the Grand 
Hotel is now; his brother John and the Jewetts 
back of it on Third Street. At the Nathaniel 
Wrights, on Elm Street, below Fourth, were a 
bright family of sons and daughters, who, with 
their cousins the Perrys, were a part of the plea- 
sant society of those days. Those evenings when 
we met are clear in my memory. Edward 
Cranch, who had the subtle humor of Charles 
Lamb, was always ready with his flute to ac- 
company the rich voice of his wife,^ as she sang 
our favorite songs. The nimble fingers of Mrs. 
Walker and Mrs. Perkins supplied sufficient 
music for the dancers. I do not remember just 
^ Mr. Cranch married Miss Bertha Wood. 
189. 



OWLS NEST 

when Mr. Charles W. EUioct came to make his 
home for a time at Owls Nest, but when there, 
he always added to the brightness of those even- 
ings.^ 

''There were many guests from the East and 
elsewhere, to whom the hospitable doors of the 
Stetsons and others were ^adly opened. Among 
these were Miss Martineau, Miss Bremer, Fanny 
Kemble, Miss Dix, Charlotte Cushman, Dr. 
Dewey, Dr. Bellows, Mr. Bartd, and others. Mr. 
William Fullerwas then living in Cincinnati, and 
his sister Margaret, with her member, passed 
some v^eeks at his house. 

''All these met in a most informal way at our 
homes. • . . We never felt that our guests had 
reall}» visited Cincinnati until they had be^i 
taken to Owls Nest, stopping at the wayside cot- 
tage to exchange greetings with Madam Wood, 
a most gracious gentlewoman, who with her 
daughters lived there. . . . 

"Besides the informal companies of which I 
have written as given to strange guests, there 
were larger ones. I recall one to Macready, at 
Judge Walker's, to Chief Justice Coleridge at 

Mr. ^'s, not forgetting the ball at Pike's Opera 

House to the Prince of Wales.' There was a 
fancy-dress party at the Fishers, to which Mr. 

^ Uncle Charles went to Cincinnati in 1840 to practice 
landscape-gardening. 
' The Prince of Wales was b Cbdnnati in i860. 
190 



OWLS NEST 

Force, as Sir Charles Graadison, escorted the 
pretty Fanny Goodman, as Harriet Byron, and 
to see that I was attired properly as Sir Charles' 
sister, and to powder my hair, came to our house 
the Baroness Soden, wUe of our German Con- 
sul/' 

Those may have been the days when Grandma 
was accustomed to make her party-dresses, for 
Mrs. Harrison remembers that, when she was 
a young girl and stayed at Owls Nest a great 
deal. Grandma used sometimes to make a dress 
for herself in a day, and that it was astonishing 
to see how pretty and nice a dress she could 
make from the simplest muslin. 

Writing further of Grandma, Mrs. Harrison 
says : " I see her at Owls Nest, with your grand- 
father and two or three interesting men sitting 
around the dinner-table talking, while she dain- 
tily washed the silver and glass in a small wooden 
tub with a little mop. A^in I see her sitting in 
her little parlor widb a lot of young giris, who 
were either making love to handsome 'Uncle 
Charles,' or listening with rapt interest to the talk 
between Mr. Perkins and Mr. Isaac Appleton 
Jewett, Judge James, and others. Although very 
young I was often the confidante of your grand- 
mother in her little troubles, helped her settle in 
Owls Nest, took care of the children when she 
went to church, and lived and worshipped at her 
shrine. She had hosts of warm friends, and en- 
191 



OWLS NEST 

tered so into their joys and sorrows that she often 
wore herself out. She was exceedingly in love 
with her husband, and greatly admired his intel- 
lectual gifts, and was very modest about her 
own. She was very energetic, and always wanted 
things carried out the minute she thought of them. 
She used to say of some proposed plan, * Let's do 
it now, before we all die! ' I remember perfectly 
well how nice your grandfather was with the chil- 
dren. Your grandmother used to get awfully dis- 
couraged with the boys, and sometimes at night 
when she was tired he'd say, *I'll take them off;' 
and then he would undress them and put them to 
bed." 

The letter which follows from Grandpa's fa- 
ther explains itself: — 

*'Brooklinb» Jan. 17, 1846. 
"My dear James, — Your letter has given us 
hopes that you will pay us a visit the coming sum- 
mer with your wife and children, which gives me 
the only chance I could expect of seeing you once 
more in this life. I had indeed thought of going 
on to Cincinnati in the Spring, but my friends 
thought it would turn out like Dr. Dexter's ex- 
periment in chemistry, an excellent one indeed 
had it not proved a total failure. The fact is, I am 
constantly liable to inflammation in my eyes, 
which is very painful while it lasts and closes both 
my eyes so that I am obliged to lay by until I 
192 



OWLS NEST 

can get a few leeches or some cooling application 
from Dr. WIgglesworth. Such a state of things 
on the road would be inconvenient at least. 

"" But this is now all gpne-by cares, and I shall 
expect you here as soon as it suits your conven- 
ience; and In the meantime you may draw on me 
for money to pay your expenses for yourself and 
family from Ohio to Boston, and when you are 
here we will raise the means to pay your way 
back again. You had better bring a woman to 
take care of the children, that your wife may have 
a little freedom while here as well as on the road. 
Give my love to her and the little ones. 

Yours, 

S. G. ?r 

This letter from Uncle Stephen to Grandma 
gives us a glimpse of the family life: — 

^^BROOKUNBy Januaiy 30, 1846. 

"My dear Sister, — I feel rather ashamed 
not to have answered your long and kind letter 
before. It has not been for want of thinking of 
you, but because I have had a thousand little 
things on hand all the time. I find that since I 
gave up business I have been rather busier than 
before. School tUl twelve daily, and rides in and 
out of town, with messages about money matters 
and household affairs, together with one or two 
matters of business I am following up, cut up my 

193 



OWLS NEST 

tiine I fear not very profitably in any point of 
view, but at all events very dBFectuallyy and in 
order to add to the hash I have lately begun to 
study Latin over again under the guidance of a 
Mr. Kraitzir, a learned Hungarian, who seems to 
me to know more about Language (if not Lan- 
guages) than any man I have met. I wish James 
could meet him as I think he would be interested 
in his method. . . . 

''I am sorry to say that within a day or two 
Father has suffered a great deal of pain in his eye 
from an affection which the Doctor considers 
gouty. Strange to get the gout in one's eyes at 
eighty! However, the pain has ceased since day 
before yesterday evening, and he is in good spirits 
from the relief. Elizabeth is in tO¥m neaiiy all 
the time, where she has engaged a room at Mrs. 
Marquand's, and busies herself about Advent 
Church matters, with a sprinkling of fashionable 
life. Last night I made a sudden plunge myself 
into this whiripool of the Syrens, after having 
stood aloof for fifteen or twenty jrears. The scene 
was at Mrs. Samuel Gibot's and very brilliant; 
and in the foreground stood the Colonel, — erect 
and dignified as ever. Uncle and I have, by the 
bye, struck up a great friendship since our voyage 
together, and laud each other considerably, not 
without still having an eye open, doubtless, to 
each other's failings. The fact is, the old gentle- 
man was dubbed an 'old Hero' during the paa- 
194 



OWLS NEST 

sage, and I 'an interesting young man!' . . . 
In Brookline all goes as usual, the boys barking 
at night like a pack of hounds, Nancy dozing 
after ten o'clock in her chair, Barbara and the 
Higginsons giving us an occasional day or two 
visit. One new thing, though, has come upon 
us, in the shape of a Reader for Father, — a Mr. 
Carter, James Lowell's friend, and former part- 
ner; who lives hard by, and hardly lives for lack 
of chink, and so was glad to give four hours of 
reading, two in the morning and two at night, 
for one dollar per diem. This is a great affair, 
negotiated by myself, and of more importance 
to us here just now than all the proposed con- 
cessions of Calhouns» Buchanans, and Packen- 
hams. . • • 

" There is an attempt on foot to benefit * Woon- 
socket,' a place I never heard of before and don't 
in fact believe in altogether, by running a rail- 
road slap through Brookline and over towards 
Jamaica Pond, either skirting the latter or bridg- 
ing it, and then through the village of the Plains 
and West Roxbury, . . . and then off to this 
fabulous *Woonsocket.' The people high and 
low of Brookline and the Plains have come out 
against it, 'employed Counsel,' — invited the 
members of the Railroad Committee to dinner, 
with other lobby influence, and hope to save the 
Pond ('our Lake') from desecration, and the 
price of acres from falling. May they succeed! 

195 




>^ 






^^: 



^i 



Cs^ 



^ 



'>^ 



OWLS NEST 

Othenvise I'll take measures to plump the first 
train right down to the bottom of Jamaica, hiss- 
ing and spluttering and shrieking. . . . 

"Well, my dear Sarah, I have run up enough 
of this nonsense, which I fear will not amuse you. 
We have read and admired James' reviews, and 
it seems they find favor in England since they 
wish to republish them at their own risk. They 
deserve it for the style, and still more for the spirit 
they exhibit. Don't be anxious about your chil- 
dren. Keep them out of doors, away from bad 
companions. Set them a good example, and the 
rest will come without much preaching or teach- 
ing. 

"Give my love to James and Charles, and 
God bless you. 

Your loving brother, 

S. H. P. 

"P. S. James' letter has come. Tell him I 
went to England and France as Agent of some 
parties here (R. B. F. and others). 

Good-bye all once more. 
S. H. P." 

Preparing Grandpa and Grandma for their 
Brookline visit. Uncle Stephen writes a few 
months later: "The spring is very early, and 
peas, beans, and country houses are growing up 
in Brookline famously. It's getting so terribly 
fashionable as to be quite a bore. The caval- 
196 



> 



OWLS NEST 

cades of black-hatted beauties and military- 
booted beaux are quite interminable of a sun- 
shiny evening, — open barouches full of fine folks 
circulate in the clouds of dust on all sides. 
Everybody who goes to ride, in short, comes out 
over the Mill Dam, round by the Pond, and in 
over the Tremont Road, — a stereotype edition. 
I don't know how you will relish it. The morn- 
ing, to be sure, is better.** 

In the summer Grandpa and Grandma took 
the boys to Brookline for a short visit, and this 
graphic description of life at Owls Nest, although 
without date, was undoubtedly dictated by Uncle 
Ned to Grandma soon after the family got home: 

"Mine Grandpapa: Me *s got home now to 
Uncle Charles's house,* but me would like to goto 
your house again. Mama says it *s away off and 
I cannot go till I'm a great big man, just like 
mine Papa. My brother has come home now and 
he is a little Baby, his name is Henry. Margaret 
takes care of him and he is such a Baby; he cries 
when she goes away. Me don't cry. Me's a big 
boy. Me can carry flower-pots for Unde Charles, 
and help Mama make dinner ready, carry knives 
and mats and all those sorts of things. Charley 
was sick once and had leeches on him, but he 
ain't sick now — he's well now. Papa isn't 
Grandpapa because he does n't have a blind over 
his eyes. Mine little Uncle Stevie does n't live 
* He meant Owls Nest. 

197 



OWLS NEST 

here. Me wants him to come here, but we have a 
Stephen — he's a Frendiam — he talks all kinds 
of things and I don't know what he says and 
then me laughs so hard. But the Frendiam let 
me saw wood with him. Me fell in the pond 
the other day and Margaret took me out and all 
my things got wet, mine coat and mine panta- 
loons. . . . We all of us go out in the woods 
every day, and we get beech nuts and hickoiy 
nuts; to-day we went with Papa and we took a 
big sheet and spread it under the trees and Papa 
shook the beech nuts into it. Willie was cross 
but me does n't like cross children and I'll just 
throw a beedi nut at him. I wish mine little 
Uncle Stevie was here to play with us. We play 
out of doors all day and we just fight sometimes 
and I beat Charley and Vi^llie hard as I can. I 
went in town last day with Sophy, and Father 
played on the Flute for me to dance. Sophy's 
Father, not mine Father. Mine Papa goes in 
town all the days and stays so long — clear to 
there. 

"Mine Uncle Charles has come home and he 
works and digs all the time; he came home last 
day and some day he and I are going to Guilford 
and we are going to have a Boat and catch fish 
and Mama 's coming to see us. This week some 
day me's going in town to see the Elephants and 
Lions — great big Lions that growl and look 
savage and then me '11 write and tell you about 
198 



OWLS NEST 

them. WeVe got a dog; a nice little dog and her 
name is Qara and we've got three horses and a 
cow, and Allen milks the cow so that we can have 
bread and milk just as the boys had in Brookline 
last day when I was there. Mine Papa and Mama 
talk about Grandpapa and wish diey could see 
him, but they say you are away off so far, clear 
round diere. Me's got a Pocket and me put 
stones into it and make it shake; now me's go- 
ing to work — me has to work you know because 
me's large now. Good-bye and some day I'm 
coming to see you, but I'll send you a kiss now 
and will give you some of my beedi nuts. Good- 
bye mine dear Grandpapa. 

(Signed) Eddy." 
J. H. P. adds: "Eddy's letter, as translated 
by Sarah, is so full and to the point, that I need 
add little to it. We are at present all quite well in 
body, and only slightly troubled in mind by the 
Fall of Adam, the Existence of Slavery, the Prev- 
alence of Injustice, and a few such things. Our 
present talk is of an immediate return to New 
England, that is to say, in twenty years more or 
less, — to live on oysters, lament the decay of 
Puritan principles, and try and begin over again. 
We are at present disputing as to the relative 
merits of Guilford, Cape Cod, Nantasket, Bev- 
erly, and the Coast of Maine. Meanwhile we 
give the hoys Homeopathic pills, and read die 
English Examiner. On week days, I, personally, 
199 



OWLS NEST 

am rather driven during daylighty and being no- 
wise batlike, am blind vAken dayli^ is over; 
Sarah and Charies being of similar sightless 
habits, we spend very pleasant, sleepy evenings, 
occasionally varied by four uneasy-sleeping boys, 
who have been eating hickoiy nuts \diole, or 
other similar delicacies. 

''Your friends of this region, the Goodmans, 
Stetsons, etc., etc., are all veiy well and prosper- 
ous, as the worid goes. How it goes I hardly 
know, being too much engaged to inquire, but I 
believe that money is scarce, and prospects of 
business rather dull in view of the Mexican war. 
Charles is packing trees and planting them, 
though but half recovered from a cold which for 
a while threatened to aflFect his lungs, being aided 
in his eflForts by a semi-craacy Frenchman referred 
to by Eddy in the previous paper. But I too 
must send my love and say Good-bye.'' 

"We are aJl well,'* he writes a few months 
afterwards: ''I am busy lately in a more than 
usual degree about my grounds. I have some six 
acres, every foot of which is capable of being 
made either 'useful or ornamental,' — a classifi- 
cadon taught me fifteen years ago by my excel- 
lent, well-dressed friend with the lame foot, of 
omnibus-riding memory, — and I am busy bring- 
ing them into order and beauty. Had I no other 
cares or thought, — were I fifty miles from a city, 
town, village, or human being, — I should be 

200 



OWLS NEST 

perfectly content to dig» hoe> rake, read, eat, and 
sleep for the rest of my life. But I am, alas! at 
this moment forced to act as leader, nominally, 
of the anti-sectarian spirit of Cincinnati, which 
comes to me under many names and phases; and 
also to give several hours a week, the number in- 
creasing geometrically with the cold, to the presi- 
dential duties of the Relief Union, or Central 
Charity, of this Queen City. 

''In short, were I an active bachelor, I should 
be busy fifteen hours a day in attending on the 
poor and comforting the troubled; or in studying 
subjects for a dozen or two lectures, which I 
ought to deliver this winter on all conceivable 
subjects; or In electioneering for a new society, 
for I have resigned my pastorship in the old one 
on account of my heresies and sins; or in writing 
for the North .^erican Review, Massachusetts 
Quarterly, etc.; or in reading new books, re- 
views, etc., etc. As it is, however, I nurse the 
baby, go to market, see the poor and sick as I caif , 
meditate a sermon, skip through a novel, skim a 
review, dig a flower-bed, eat a dinner, take a nap, 
write a page or two, discipline half a dozen boys, 
and go to bed I" 

In another letter he says: "As to my theology, 
it is of a curious kind just now, if I may judge by 
the fact, that the Catholics think me on the point 
of joining their Holy Communion, while the 
Swedenborgians regard me as about to enter their 

201 



OWLS NEST 

New Church, and some of Dr. Beecher's people 
look on me as sufficiently Orthodox to say that, 
when I preach again, they shall enlist under my 
banner. The amount of the matter is, that my 
Biblical studies, where alone I study theology, 
while they have made me come to look on Jesus 
as having a far more intimate relationship with 
his Father than man has, or can have, have not 
enabled me to form any idea of that relationship. 
He is to me God Manifest, an object of worship, 
a living reality, with whom I may commune, 
and through communion grow more and more 
to resemble. This communion is by meditation, 
prayer, the cidtivation of all right thoughts and 
feelings, and especially by acts which are the 
last embodiments of thoughts and feelings. All 
the mooted questions in divinity I dirow aside. 
A Life that shall make each man more like Jesus, 
.by means of a practical faith in him, and which 
will also most aid the masses, — this I would 
preach and aim at. . • .'' ^ 

On May twenty-fourth, 1847, my great-grand- 
father Perkins died in Brookline. He knew it 
was his birthday, and frequently asked during 
the day, "Is it still the twenty-fourth ?" Shortly 
before midnight he repeated the question for the 
bst time and peacefully went to sleep, "leav- 

^ In the Memoir written by Mn Channing in 1850, he 
further explains Grandpa's religious attitude at this time. 
Page 276. 

202 



OWLS NEST 

ing behind him the goodly record of a well-spent 
Ufe, whose years of trial and adversity, no less 
than those of prosperity and happiness, had 
proved his strength of character, intelligence, 
and never-failing kindness of heart/' 
To Grandpa Mr. Channing writes: — 

«* May 26di, 1847. 

"Dear James, — On reaching Boston, day 
before yesterday, I first heard of the severe ill- 
ness of your father. He took a cold a fortnight 
since, which soon passed into inflammation of the 
lungs. No treatment seemed to give relief. The 
difficulty of breathing gradually increased, and 
on Monday night at eleven, just at the close of 
his eightieth birthday, he died. As I fear they 
might be too busy at Brookline to write at once, 
I thought you would be glad to receive this intel- 
ligence from me. 

"Your father was conscious to the last and 
suffered but little, except from the difficulty of 
respiration. He seemed cheerful, serene, con- 
siderate, kind, to the last. On Saturday, I think 
it was, he wished to rise and be dressed. The 
nurse said to him that she thought it was impru- 
dent. *It shall be as you prefer!* said he. *No! 
Mr. Perkins,* she broke forth with all her Irish 
warmth of heart, 'it shall be just as you prefer. 
If you want your stockings on and to be dressed 
it is not I will prevent it,* — or something of that 
203 



OWLS NEST 

sort. But he shook his head and smiled, saying 
gently, *No! it shall be as you prefer,' and 
quietly lay down. Now, how characteristic this 
was, of his decisive temper, softened, as it had 
been, by age. 

^'On Monday he gave some last tokens and 
presents to the gardener and children. It seemed 
very pleasant too to me that one of the last whom 
he remembered was his faithful assistant in the 
cares which had rendered his last years so health- 
ful to mind as well as body. 

"And what a happy, bright, improving old age 
his was. How his heart opened and his views 
expanded. What softness there was under that 
rough manner; what justice through all strong 
prejudice; what power of fresh growth in a spirit 
so tenacious and firm. 

"It must be a most agreeable remembrance to 
you and Sarah, that you were able to bring your 
children here during the last summer. From 
what he said to me, I know how earnestly he ex- 
pected your coming, and how hearrily gratified 
he was by the visit. The children delighted him. 
And Sarah has always been a great favorite with 
him. But now that you will see him no more on 
earth, perhaps you will not be unwilling to hear 
from me the assurance that he took the deepest, 
most constant interest in you. To me he has 
spoken on this subject, from boyhood up, with a 
frankness which perhaps he may have used to no 
204 



OWLS NEST 

other person. He has admired your talent, and 
has been proud of your character, position, and 
success. Those late articles of yours in the North 
American were his theme of warm admiration. 
And he never saw me, without turning the con- 
versation to you. This may be no news to you, 
although he was so reserved in expressing affec- 
tion. But the confirmation of the fact, that his 
regard for you was so strong and warm, from one 
who knew him as well as I did, will I hope grat- 
ify you. It is one of the richest experiences in life 
to have given happiness to a parent. 

"In the death of your father I feel for one, that 
I have parted from one of the steadiest, kindest 
friends I have ever had. He was truly beautiful 
in his treatment of me fro;n childhood to the time 
when I last saw him, and I have not a single 
personal associadon with him but of kind words 
and acts. May the future open bright and ever 
brighter before him! 

"With my love to Sarah and the children, I 
am, dear James, 

Most affectionately yours, 

W. H. Channing." 



CHAPTER XI 

THOUGH life was uneventful at Owls Nest, 
and there is little to record of the daily 
happenings, Grandma was as busy as poss- 
ible with her family of boys, and Grandpa's 
days were well filled with his regular occupa- 
tions. 

In February, 1848, Uncle Jim was bom, and 
a few months later Grandpa tells Aunt Nancy 
of the family: ^' Sarah is still too busy to write, 
and I must answer your two long and very agree- 
able letters, through which alone we know any- 
thing of the going-on of folks and things beyond 
the Hills. And my reply shall be like your epistles, 
matter-of-fact to the back-bone. Sarah is very 
welly and so is her baby; he is a very large, strong, 
healthy, happy child, sleeping soundly, eating 
judiciously, and crying no more than his lungs 
require. . . . Our other boys are all well; in- 
deed we have had no sickness since a year ago 
last September, after our return from Boston. 
Charley is a long-legged, red-nosed, shy, noisy 
stamper, whom I have destined to be an engi- 
neer, and whom I shall systematically educate 
to that. He has a natural turn for numbers, 
powers of observation, bears fatigue, cold, and 
206 



OWLS NEST 

exposure^ and needs an out-of-door life. As yet 
he knows nothing but what comes by nature, but 
with the coming summer his training will begin. 
Willy is as lazy and good-humored as ever. • . . 
What he will make I don't know, — nothing very 
locomotive, and nothing intellectual ; perhaps he 
may be a builder or mechanician of some kind; 
he likes cities and smoke. . • . Eddy is our 
bright boy, and he is as bright, as full of feeling, 
sympathy, fun, frolic, intelligence, and passion, 
as his little body can hold. He rhymes all day 
long; dreams himself into an agony at night, and 
is forever in a gale of joy or sorrow, smiles or 
tears, enjoyment or anger. He must follow his 
bent, which will probably be in half a dozen dif- 
ferent ways at once. Henry is calm, quiet, plea- 
sant; perhaps the best balanced of any, certainly 
the handsomest. He is, however, big boned, and 
should be a farmer or gardener. Such is our flock 
as seen at present. As for me, I am only half- 
well, am thin as a rasor. . . .'' 

In the spring of the following year, 1849, 
Grandma went East to see her mother. Mrs. 
Harrison, who went with her, writes to me: 
"Your grandmother took me to Guilford where 
your great-grandmother Elliott and your uncle 
Charles were keeping house. It was all very new 
to me; I had never seen any old people. Your 
grandmother kept talking about ^the girls' who 
lived next door. Finally I said, * Where are the 
207 



OWLS NEST 

girls?' * There they go/ she replied. *What! 
those old women! * said I (they were about forty, 
I suppose). Charles said, 'You must not call 
them old, their mothers and grandmothers are 
living.' One morning about eleven o'clock I 
found Mrs. Elliott peeling potatoes; 'What are 
you doing that for, this time of day ? ' said I. 
' Oh I I thought we might as well have dinner and 
be done with it,' was her answer." 

In a letter written to Grandma on May thirty- 
first Grandpa says: **I have (via Kate G)m- 
stock) heard of your dancing the Polka on the 
Suspension Bridge at P^agara, and heard also 
of Fanny's improved and improving health. I 
thank God both for your dancing and her health ; 
— they are both health, — both being what you 
should be. 

" But you '11 want to know about the children. 
Well, none of them are grown up. Several of 
them show signs of boyhood. All are well. The 
baby makes stump speeches in which 'Old Tom ' 
occurs as often as 'Old Harry' or 'Old Tippe- 
canoe ' would in die outbreak of a Qay or Harri- 
son harangue. Henry runs off ten times a day. 
. . . Willy and Mr. Bender's bull are to see 
which is most obsrinate day after to-morrow; I 
will mention the result. Charley is the same 
incipient Don Quixote, the same infantile ig- 
noramus, as ever, and while Bryant Walker is 
(positively) reading as an evening amusement 
208 



OWLS NEST 

Prescott's 'Conquest of Mexico,* Charley is 
spelling out by degrees *H-e-he, w-a-s-was, a 
g-oo-s-e-goose/ Such is the position of the in- 
fants. 

"To-day has been a day of intense rest, Mar- 
garet, Caroline, and the baby went in this morn- 
ing [to Cincinnati], and the boys and I have pic- 
nicked on cold ham, stewed peaches, bread and 
butter, and — what else we could get. We have 
prepared the pond for cleaning and paving; have 
filled up that dreadful stone-basin by the spring 
with good wholesome gravel; have renewed the 
youth of the path to the spring by a bran-new 
bridge; have begun our grape-house bed; have 
cut and combed our hair; — hark! I hear wheels! 
F. D. as I 'm alive, and a letter. P. S. In front of 
me sits Charles James encased in my white over- 
coat, half-frozen. I have advised him to come 
out four times a week, get up at four a. m. and 
VTalk in, for he has to write in the morning and is 
not well. This morning he began the season by 
rising at six-thirty and walking in at eight-thirty. 
It is amusing what fools we are, what slaves of 
habit. I am so used to a wife that I don't know 
what to do in her absence. I dare not scold Mar- 
garet when the pudding is burnt; Caroline scares 
me to pieces if I suggest in the politest way that 
the baby is on the edge of the uncovered cistern; 
and they and all their beaux pick my flowers and 
I don*t feel able — even if I wished — to say 
209 



OWLS NEST 

'hold! ' Come back before winter, so that I may 
have somebody to find fault with, quarrel with, 
make up with, like, love, hate, and love again." 

Quoting from other letters: — 

"June 13th, 4 p. M. I am better, — better, I 
hope, than I have been since you left. So I may 
tell you what I have not mentioned here, save by 
accident to Mr. Goddard, that my cholera-symp- 
toms went so near (last Friday) as to put me into 
cramps for two hours or more^ I did alone all 
that could have been done by calling others, and 
by myself (from three A. M. to seven A. m.) worked 
my way to warmth and toward health. At one 
time my pulse was entirely imperceptible. I 
thought I was in the Rapids, — but, beyond 
them, is what — a Fall ? No. Most of the time 
since Friday I have been horizontal, and have 
absorbed large quantities of sulphur, our new 
cure for cholera, which has (or something else 
has) I think succeeded in removing the poison 
from my system. . . . 

"What do you mean by not being rich enough 
to go to Lenox, etc. ? Whatever you need, use, 
and pay Charles' expenses too. If you are short 
of funds when you reach Boston I will see that 
you are supplied. . . . Do not, therefore, scrimp 
yourself, or forego what you wish to do. . . . 
The Roses and Lilies, etc., do well, especially 
your Canterbury Bells and Snapdragons. We 
have also the Escholtzias (a new flower to me) 
210 



OWLS NEST 

in bloom, — a most exquisite yellow. My market 
pinks turn out more double and better than I ex- 
pected. Our peas are excellent, only by no means 
adequate to the demand. Lettuces are admira- 
able, but no one dares eat them. Tomatoes are 
in fruit. Potatoes nearly ripe enough to be dug, 
but not nearly ripe enough to eat. . . . The Cow 
(you can write Mr. F.) gives milk and does well. 
My chickens (alas!) have had the cholera in the 
shape of Rats and Minks; but I have glassed my 
windows and now defy the varmints. The Duck's 
eggs still remain eggs, and will I fear till your 
return. Our boys have all taken to bare feet, and 
you may be sure however much it may cause 
them to swear ('dog on it!* etc.), you will not 
'dam ' (or Margaret for you) nearly as much. I 
shall give them a trial at any rate. . . . The 
cholera at Walnut Hills has not extended. At Mt. 
Adams it has been terrible; ten or twelve deaths 
in ten or twelve families. In town I suppose from 
thirty to fifty die a day, most of them German 
and paupers. Along the road I hear of no sick- 
ness. But I must stop a while to construct 
a celery-bed, having just bought five hundred 
plants. . . ." 

"June 1 8th. My dear Sarah, — I have this 
time to tell you of Revolutions and Massacres to 
which those of 1848 beyond seas scarce furnish 
a parallel. . . . 

''For the revolutions, first, Mr. Leroy has 
211 



OWLS ISfEST 

rented his house and leaves it shortly; meanwhile^ 
his small family^ the Pomeroy Qarkes> and a 
German family with some very nice children 
occupy its ample dimensions. Their new chicks, 
Frank, Mary, and another little girl, are already 
quite thick with our bears. The second Revolu- 
tion is that we have hired a tall, big, red-cheeked 
Irish girl to wash, scrub, cook, etc* • . . Mar- 
garet is not well, and has a great deal of sewing 
to see to. Caroline has barely time to wake up 
and comb and curl her hair. All hands are 
agreed. We pay a dollar and a half a week. — 
Our massacres are in our chicken-house, where 
we have had not less than twenty-six chickens 
killed! . . . As soon as I feel sure no human foes 
are concerned in this robbing of our hen-roosts, 
I shall buy forty or fifty hens and put them into 
the yard, otherwise you will never (as I proposed) 
make your fortune out of it. If we find humans 
and coons cooperating (and how any brute but 
a two-legged one broke that glass with a stone as 
big as the palm of my hand I know not), I shall 
have the human one shot whatever becomes 
of the quadruped. Tuesday. — More massacres 
and excitements! You don't know what you 
lose by being away this summer. . . . For other 
matters, our Irish girl is singing and scrub- 
bing; Margaret sewing; Caroline putting up her 
hair; Sophy ironing; the old hen with her 
five ducks scratching and sidling; Willy sleep- 
212 



OWLS NEST 

ing; Eddy at Mr. Pomeroy's; the baby asleep; 
Charley waiting to kill coons; the sun shining 
mighty hot, and not a breath of air stirring. In 
the distance looms up the great city cloud; near 
by we have the shade of the locusts, the rose 
bushes, the carnations^ the white lilies, the chirp- 
ing birds; I thank God that I am not in or of the 
City. I would rather be here in a log-cabin, or 
in our old cow-stable, than yonder in Captain 
Strader's house and with his fortune to boot. 

''Among the amusements and excitements of 
the season I must mention the Orrs. On several 
occasions Phil and Dode have attacked and 
beaten our boys without cause or mercy. To 
repel this I have adopted two measures: first, I 
teach the boys to box, and Eddy the last time he 
was attacked astonished the Orrs into full flight 
by a well-planted blow or two; second, I gave 
Phil a private lesson last evening. He came with 
butter. We weighed it and paid for it, and then 
I took him by the nape of the neck over into the 
woods, where the girls have of late swung the 
hammock, and with the rope laid round his neck, 
explained to him his probable fate, — he every 
instant expecting to be swung up. But the best 
thing, after all, was, I found, that he was really 
troubled to think he caused his mother to be 
unhappy: I have hopes of Phil after all. • . . 

"My second point (I weep to record it) is to 
inform you that Eddy will steal fruit of all sorts. 
213 



OWLS NEST 

This morning I caught him knocking oflF the only 
apples that there were on a tree, whidi I wished 
very much to test. I took the big rope, and tied 
him to the tree, a spectacle to all onlookers. But 
my pond-digger with his barrow has come and I 
must go." 

"June 20th. I have to-day a new excitement 
to describe, but to me not a pleasant one. Last 
evening I let Charley go in [to Ondnnad] vnth 
the understanding that he was to come out again 
with Elijah. He did not come, but as he went 
with Tuddy Guilford we conduded he was safe, 
and would come out this morning. When the 
omnibus came, however, I was terrified to learn 
that he had not come, or been seen about the 
stand. I at once started into town, and nearly 
fussed and hurried myself into either a fever or 
cholera, and all to learn that he was safe at Mrs. 
G's, and understood he was at liberty to stay till 
to-night. I thought the trip at noonday (it 's very 
hot) and the anxiety would have made me sick, 
but they did not. A little camphor and brandy 
and water balanced them. Our pond is being, 
hour by hour, dug out. Our greenhouse sashes 
are undergoing resuscitation. The greenhouse 
dstem I am having deaned and finished for a 
drinking-water dstem. Our coons we have not 
caught, though the hunters burnt down an old 
tree in Chase's woods to catch them, for which 
I expect to be sued, though I had no hand in it. 
214 



OWLS NEST 

The chickens, all the old settlers say, will be 
stolen by two-legged if not by quadruped coons. 
If I find this so, I shall buy up all the bulldogs 
in the country^ and send to England for more, to 
stock the )rard with after night. A man in this 
land of plenty who will steal chickens surely de- 
serves to be torn by wild beasts. • . . 

** Willy to-day is well. All the rest well. . • • 
Cholera killing its thirty a day. Many cases in 
Fulton. Several at Walnut Hills. Most of those 
in town still German and Irish. May it not prob- 
ably be that they are unacclimated to the water ? 
(There's a bull worthy of a friend of mine whom 
I dare not name.) ... I have seen and heard 
nothing of the Stetsons, Greenes, Footes, etc. (ex« 
cept Lawlers), for nearly two weeks. I presume 
all are well and right-side-up. . • . P. S. The 
cholera deaths have risen to over sixty a day. 
. . . Stay and come back with Charles in Sep- 
tember as he proposes. The cholera is too bad 
to venture on rashly, though mostly among 
the Germans and Irish, — but are not you 
Irish?'' 

In a journal-letter to her husband Mrs. Stowe 
tells more fully than Grandpa of the awful con- 
ditions which existed, and of the depression which 
hung over the city. She writes on June twenty- 
ninth: ''This week has been unusually fatal. 
The disease in the city has been malignant and 
virulent. Hearse drivers have scarce been al- 
215 



OWLS ISfEST 

lowed to unharness their horses^ whfle furniture 
carts and common vehicles are often employed 
for the removal of the dead. The sable trains 
which pass our windows, the frequent indica- 
tions of crowding haste, and the absence of rev- 
erent decency have, in many cases, been most 
painful. Of course all these things, whether we 
will or no, bring very doleful images to the mind. 
On Tuesday one hundred and sixteen deaths 
from cholera were reported, and that night the 
air was of that peculiarly oppressive, deathly 
kind that seems to lie like lead on the brain and 
soul. • . . 

" July I. Yesterday Mr. Stagg went to the city 
and found all ^oomy and discouraged, while a 
universal panic seemed to be drawing nearer than 
ever before. Large piles of coal were burning on 
the cross walks and in the public squares, while 
those who had talked confidently of the cholera 
being confined to the lower classes, and those 
who were imprudent, began to feel as did the 
magicians of old, 'This is the finger of God.* 
Yesterday, upon the recommendation of all the 
clergymen of the city, the mayor issued a procla- 
mation for a day of general fasting, humiliation, 
and prayer, to be observed on Tuesday next. 

"July 3. We are all in good health, and try to 

maintain a calm and cheerful frame of mind. 

The doctors are nearly used up. Dr. Bowen and 

Dr. Peck are sick in bed. Dr. Potter and Dr. 

216 



OWLS NEST 

Pulte ought, I suppose, to be there also. The 
younger physicians have no rest night or day. 
Mr. Fisher is laid up from his incessant visi- 
tations with the sick and dying. Our own Dr. 
Brown is likewise prostrated, but we are all reso- 
lute to stand byeadi other, and there are so many 
of us that it is not likely we can all be taken sick 
together. 

"July4, All well. The meeting yesterday was 
very solenm and interesting. There is more or 
less sickness about us, but no very dangerous 
cases. One hundred and twenty burials from 
cholera alone yesterday, yet to-day we see parties 
bent on pleasure or senseless carousing, while to- 
morrow and the next day will witness a fresh har- 
vest of death from them. How we can become 
accustomed to anything! Awhile ago ten a day 
dying of cholera struck terror to all hearts; but 
now the tide has surged up gradually until the 
deaths average over a hundred daily, and every- 
body is accustomed to it." 

Owing to the epidemic Grandma shortened her 
visit in Guilford, and by July she was at Owls 
Nest again, doing more than her share to help 
those about her who were ill. She was herself 
fearless of the disease, and felt sure that it was 
not to be dreaded if proper precautions were 
taken about drinking-water and diet. 
' Soon after her return she writes to Mrs. Har- 
rison: "You will say, my dear Fanny, that I 
217 



OWLS NEST 

am quite as bad as all the rest of the world, and 
so I am. I have meant to write every day, but 
there are so many things to do, and most of the 
time it has been so melting, that I have felt half 
dissolved. As to news there is nothing to tell. I 
never knew anything like the depression upon 
everybody. The siduiess now is abating, and I 
trust the worst is past. James is better, but he is 
not well. I wish he had gone on with your fa- 
ther and mother. He has been sick and alone so 
much that he is all run down. I have felt home- 
sick to go back to you all ever since I came home. 
. . . Every one says it has been awful to be here, 
so you ought to be ^ad you are away. No one 
rides, or visits, or does anything diat is plea- 
sant. . • • 

Grandpa had promised to join some friends 
on a trip to Niagara, but he said that he would 
probably break his promise when the rime came, 
for though he would like to go, he was too poor. 
Whatever the outcome of the Niagara plan, he 
went East in September, and spent a short rime 
looking about at different places in New Eng> 
land with the intention of possibly settUng there. 
At Walpole, New Hampshire, he explored the 
whole neighborhood, walking about fifteen miles 
during a five hours' stay. He saw a place which 
suited him, and from his letters it seems as if 
he were determined to move East in the near 
future, but October found him again at Owls 
2i8 



OWLS NEST 

Nest, and early in December Uncle Charles came 
for the winter. 

Owing to the veiy nature of Grandpa's work 
among the needy and suffering through that 
dreadful summer of 1849 the strain on him had 
been more than usually severe. Although he had 
been in wretched health, so that Grandma was 
troubled about him, the seriousness of his con- 
dition was not evident to any one, and his sud- 
den death on December fourteenth was a terrible 
shock. 

His understanding of all classes had not failed 
to vnn for him a strong hold on those with whom 
he came in contact, and scarcely a day had passed 
but some one in trouble had come to him for help 
or advice. People of all ages relied upon him; as 
Mr. Channing says, they obeyed his counsel be- 
cause he never laid down the law, they loved him 
because he was always considerate, and they 
honored him because he was humble. All who 
knew him felt his quiet power; wherever he was 
he led. Direct in his simplicity, tender in his sym- 
pathies, just and wise, he was beloved by all, 
and the profound sorrow felt throughout the 
community at his death showed the force of his 
hold on its affections. 



CHAPTER XII 

Ohy wherefore sigh for what is gone, 

Or deem the (iiture all a night ? 

From darkness through the rosy dawn 

The stars go singmg into light. 

And to the pilgrim lone and gray 

One thought shall come to cheer his breast,— 

The evening sun but fades away 

To find new morning in the west. 

From Grandma* s " album,** 1850. 

OUR picture of Grandma now is that of 
a brave woman who summoned all her 
strength, and determined in spite of her own 
grief to make a happy home for her boys; — 
to prove that, as Grandpa had said years be- 
fore, her warm heart held so much regard for 
others that no selfish sorrow could engross her. 
Broken-hearted herself, her love was of the 
kind that looks beyond this world. She kept 
her face to the sun; and when some one said, 
"Mrs. Perkins, what are you going to do ?** she 
answered very simply, "Live my Ufe.*' 

Uncle Stephen urged her to take the children 
and go East to live; so in the following spring 
she left her beloved Owls Nest, and went with 
the boys to Brookline. On May sixteenth, she 
wrote to Mrs. Harrison: "We have now got 
fairly unpacked, our things restored to some 
220 



OWLS NEST 

order, and are ready to settle down to live, but 
somehow I do not feel as if I were to stay here. 
I do not care for anything. All this seems very 
ungrateful, for Stephen has done, and is doing 
all the time, everything for me, and I know it 
and feel it, and I hope some day to repay him. 
I have seen but few people. . .. As far as all 
external matters are concerned everything is 
pleasant and comfortable, but the longings of 
my soul for you and Anna and all my dear, 
dear friends make a void in my life that nothing 
can satisfy. I have never expected as far as I 
am concerned to /lA^ to live anywhere except in 
Cincinnati, but the children must be considered^ 
and I feel that with Stephen there are and must 
be influences that I can get nowhere else. For 
a few years at least, if all things go well, I shall 
probably remain in this region; but my spirit 
must ever be with you. ... I have dreamt of 
James a good deal, and I ever feel that he is with 
me, — that is a real consolation, and but for that 
I scarcely know what I should do. He breathes 
loving and trusting thoughts into my soul, and 
I hope ere long to be reconciled to my home, 
and to do for others what eveiy one is doing for 
me. . • . Tell Mr. James I shall expect him to 
write; it will make him feel better to follow my 
example and write all his blues out. I hope my 
next letter will not be so forlorn, but I cannot 
help it to-day. . . J* 

221 



OWLS NEST 

Aunt Maiy Elliott saw Grandma first about 
this time, "I feel," she writes, "that my ac- 
quaintance with your grandmother began before 
I ever saw her, for in 1849 1 went to live in Cam- 
bridge with a sister who had married Dr. Estes 
Howe, a warm and intimate friend of both your 
grandmother and grandfather. Dr. Howe con- 
stantly talked of his old friends in Gncinnati, 
and their bright sayings, until I felt as if I must 
have known them, and I remember the shock 
he felt when the news of your grandfather's 
death came. . . . Your grandmother was in en- 
tire sympathy with your grandfather, and went 
hand in hand with him in all his charitable work. 
Never were two people more congenial, and 
their marriage was a most happy one. Your 
grandmother had a wonderful power of attract- 
ing people, and it was considered a privilege to 
go to her house. • . . About a year after your 
grandfather's death I went into our parlor at 
Dr. Howe's house and saw a most interestii^ 
looking woman, who was introduced as Mrs. 
Perkins; — I can never forget the impression 
she made on me. Her dark hair was parted 
smoothly over her brows; her eyes were dark 
and full of feeling, very sad at times; and her 
complexion brilliant. She wore no mourning, 
but had on a white straw bonnet, called at that 
time a cottage bonnet, with white ribbons crossed 
over it and tied under her chin, a gray dress, and 

222 



OWLS NEST 

white shawl. Altogether she was a most pic- 
turesque person. I remember that I looked at 
her with a sort of reverence, having heard of 
the sorrow that had come into her life and how 
nobly she had borne it. • . . Some years after, 
I married her brother, your unde Qiarles, and 
from that time untU her death we were warm 
friends, and some of the pleasantest hours of 
my life were spent with her. She was a remark- 
able woman, and yet one can hardly say what * 
made her so. She was not an intellectual wo- 
man, but she was a fit companion for both men 
and women of the highest culture. She was not 
witty, but she had a keen sense of humor, and 
I remember her merry laugh and how her eyes 
sparkled at a good joke. When she entered 
the room, it was as if the sun had come out of 
a cloud, or a bright fire had been lighted, there 
was so much cheer in her personality. With- 
out great beauty she was lovely to look at, and 
would not fail to attract attention wherever 
she went by her charming, genial manner. The 
secret of her charm was in her warm heart and 
great sympathy. She had a wonderful talent for 
seeing the best in people and getting all that 
was good out of them. She put everybody at 
their ease, and made uninteresting people appear 
interesting. Her courage and cheerfulness were 
wonderful, and she seemed to inspire courage in 
others. . . .'* 

223 



OWLS NEST 

Towards the end of the summer Grandma 
wrote the following to Mrs. Harrison: — 

'^BROOBXINBy August 23d. 

"I trust, my dearest Fanny, that you have 
not felt for a minute that I have not wished tp 
write. Ever since I received your letter Jimmy 
has required my constant care; he has not been 
well for some weeks, gradually grew weaker and 
weaker, lost all his flesh, and I have really felt 
distressed about him, but I am glad to say that 
for the last two days he has been better, and I 
hope with the autumn weather he will endrely 
regain his strength. He is perfectly thin, and can 
scarcely walk at all he is so weak. . . . I do like 
the summer here the best as far as the climate 
goes, but there is a great deal of sickness here 
now, and there has been a good deal all sum- 
mer. My children have been more sick than in 
three years before. 

"I have talked the whole matter over with 
William ^ about my going back, and he agrees 
with me that it is wisest for me to go to my own 
home. I think when I tell you the whys and 
wherefores you will think so too; at least you will 
be glad to see me back, dear Fanny, won't you ? 
• • . Stephen felt very badly about it for a time, 
but he will get reconciled to it, and I feel so decided 
as to being able to do far better there than here 
^ Mr. Channing. 
224 



OWLS NEST 

for the children. Perhaps if this were my home 
there might be advantages, but for a stranger I 
am quite sure there are none. . . . My friends I 
suppose will all think it unwise, and I am sorry 
to have them, but I must live where my energies 
and soul can act, and they both work better in 
my own home, so do all of you keep a little of 
your hearts for me. . . • Nancy has been at Wal- 
pole all summer, so that I have seen scarcely any- 
thing of her. . . . I have enjoyed William's visit 
more than I can tell you. He is in so many ways 
like James that it was next to having him with me; 
his spirit is perfect, and he has given a spring to 
my soul that I felt as if I should never again have. 
It would be a real treasure to be able to live near 
him. . . . The more I hear of the great preach- 
ers, the greater in all ways does James seem to 
me. There is no one that I have heard that in 
their preaching is any where near him, either in 
manner or matter. I feel as if I had not half ap- 
preciated him, but I shall make it the aim of my 
life to do it, by raising my spirit to his. . . . Give 
my kindest love to your mother and aunt, and 
tell your mother people here are no happier and 
no better, so that she had better be contented. 
The world is full of human nature, and there 's 
not much choice. 

" I wish to engage you, my dear Fanny, as one 
of my assistants in putting my house straight 
after I get home, so do not go away or get married. 
225 



..// 



OWLS NEST 

Give my love to everybody, and pray, dearest 
Fanny, that we may meet again. Bdievemeever 
yours with my heart's love. • • • S. £. P/ 



> >> 



Among some old letters I found this from 
Aunt El^beth Footer — 

''New Havbn» October 8, 1850. 
^ My dear Mrs. Greene, — Sarah has gone 
back to her old home. I hope her going back will 
be for the best. I am not surprised at her wishing 
to go. . . . The negroes in these parts are all 
running for their lives, and Mr. Foote is building 
an addition to his bam, which Giarles says is to 
hide them in, and I stand ready to go to prison, 
for I intend to 'harbor and assist' the first one 
that comes in my way. • . . Please make my 
regards to Mr. Greene, and tell him if he will come 
and see us, I will take him over to Guilford and 
g^ve him a supper of oysters and quahaugs, or, if 
he prefers it, 'long clams;' they are just now come 
into season. But in all events, please keep a little 
comer in your heart for 

Very truly your friend, 
E. E. FocxrE." 

When Grandma returned so soon from the 

East, Mr. Richards guessed the reason, but could 

not resist asking the quesrion. To use his words, 

"The answer was simple and sufficient. With 

226 



OWLS NEST 

a humor half indignant at herself, she said, ' I 
could not breathe there/ She pined for the social 
freedom she had known so long." 

Not long after Grandma was settled once more 
at Owls Nest, Dr. Nicholas Emery Soule went 
to Gndnnati from Exeter, New Hampshire, on 
account of his health. He soon became one of 
the set of young men for whom Owls Nest was 
a delightful retreat. He often passed Saturdays 
and Sundays there, sometimes even the sum- 
mer months, and in 1856 he went there to live. 
For some years he taught in a private school in 
Cincinnati, and later, on Grandma's place, he 
had a little school of his own until 1875, when ^^ 
moved to the East. 

Looking back at that time Dr. Soule says: 
** So you want to know about Owls Nest and the 
life there. Of course your father and uncle Ned 
can tell you all about it from the boys' point of 
view, — how it was the meeting-place for the com- 
pany of neighborhood boys, how ready their 
mother was to be interested in all their sports and 
Duck Creek enterprises, how readily she knew 
when it was proper to lay down the law, and how 
to wink a bit at hasty peccadillos. Indeed, it 
could not escape the notice of any of the boys 
how eager she always was to see their side, and to 
make sure they were having as good a time as 
circumstances allowed. 

'' As I make it out, your father must have been 
227 



OWLS NEST 

some twelve years old when I began to go to Owls 
Nest with Force * and Richards, who were then 
welcome visitors. I remember fully your grand- 
mother's most cordial greeting of me a stranger, 
and how happy we young fellows were in our 
calls. At that time there were hardly any houses 
in that immediate region, and it was a walk into 
pure country. 

"As to my life at Owls Nest for so many happy 
years, there is n't much to say beyond a few gen- 
eralizations. The days went by in the simplest 
routine. There were no incidents apart from the 
free social happenings. The house was always 
a most hospitable centre, and often die haven 
of many driving out from the city. 

"Now and then there was an evening of a few 
friends, perhaps to hear some music, — Mr. 
Garlichs on the piano, Mr. Cranch's flute, and 
Mrs. Cranch's singing. It was a most uncon- 
ventional epoch for all the neighborhood. Some- 
times Mr. and Mrs. Longworth would drop in 
for an evening, and sometimes your grandmother 
and I would take our lantern and make our way 
over the uneven and dark road to the Long- 
worths', or elsewhere among the neighbors. The 
great characteristic of the house was its persist- 
ent hospitality. The young men delighted to go 

^ Mr. Manning F. Force was a young Cincinnati hwyer^ 
who became a general in the Civil War. His wife was Miss 
Frances Horton, a granddaughter of Mr. Pomeroy. 
228 



OWLS NEST 

to it. Successive generations of homeless bache- 
lors frequented it. They were always welcome, 
and no one could but feel there was no hostess 
so frankly cordial, no hearthstone so cheery as 
were found in this cheap, small, plainly furnished 
house. I speak only of us fellows, but there were 
young women, too, as devoted in their admiration 
and affection for your grandmother. How many 
told to her their confidences she alone could say, 
but they were sure of the heartiest sympathy and 
wise counsel. 

"What more can I say ? If I could make you 
see years, years ago, her radiant, beaming face 
with the Cranches and Judge James and Force 
and Morgan and me enjoying the soft evening 
air on the piazza and the grass at tea time, when 
jokes and the heartiest laughs came thick and 
fast, she the central figure of the group, as young 
and eager and as responsive as any! 

" I ought to tell you that your grandmother was 
a vnse manager of her little domain. Perhaps you 
knowthat after your grandfather's death she lived 
for a time with her five boys in Brookline with 
their uncle Stephen, and that she was strongly 
urged to stay at the East, but she longed for her 
old home, as she told me, and thought it best to 
bring up the boys there. So the change was made. 
She of course came back to warm-hearted friends, 
who were all ready to serve her in all possible 
ways, but diere came up many problems, worries, 
229 



OWLS NEST 

and anxieties^ as you may well suppose. How to 
meet them all with the restricted means was a 
grave responsibility, but she was brave, independ- 
ent, and full of faith in the future outcome. For* 
tunately she was blessed with a genius for hap- 
piness. She had a keen sense of humor, and a 
hearty laugh was as ready always as a sigh with 
her. I used to wonder at the apparent want of 
friction in the little household. The one servant 
was apt to be raw and untrained, but somehow 
each girl seemed ready to do her best, and her 
mistress seemed always the patient helper in 
return. There was no magnifying of misukes 
and blunders. 

''I cannot forget her kindness to the poor and 
the forlorn. She told me of the days when your 
grandfather was minister at large and manager of 
the Relief Association, how he would bring home 
with him to their little house on Third Street, 
every now and then, some disabled and foriom 
creature, and they would nurse him or her for 
days. She kept the same charitable instincts in 
all the later years. 

'' She was an ardent lover of all natural beauty, 
of flowers and trees and all charms which came 
with the march of the seasons. She rejoiced in 
outdoor life and the freedom that the country 
home gave her. The condition of her eyes pre- 
vented much reading, but she liked to be read 
to, and one of my vivid pictures of her is as 
230 



OWLS NEST 

she sits busy with her knitting or crocheting while 
we enjoy together something bright and enter- 
taining." 

Cousin \^11 Ladd's sister, Mrs. Charles Went- 
worth, lived at one time in Qndnnati, and it 
was doubtless recalling the occasions referred to 
above that prompted her to write: "... It was 
about this time that Charles Leland wrote his 
'Hans Breitmann/ which your grandmother's 
friend, Dr. Soule, often gave us in a style that 
I think would have satisfied the author himself. 
Mrs. Perkins enjoyed each recital apparently as 
heartily as if hearing it for the first time." 

Mr. Richards, too, sometimes read to Grandma, 
and in one of his delightful letters to me he 
says: "I don't know whether you are a lover of 
Browning or not, — I happened to be an eariy 
one before Browning clubs even in Boston were 
dreamed of. I was at the age when I must share 
my delight in a new author with whoever might 
be willing to listen to me, and your grandmother 
was good-natured enough to let me read * Pippa 
Passes' to her. When I got through I said, in 
what seemed to me a sufficiently venturesome 
statement, that nobody had written such drama 
since Shakespeare. Quick was the response, 'I 
like him a great deal better than Shakespeare!' 
and there was a glow in the cheek and a flash in 
the eye that emphasized the utterance. I could 
be sure that I had made one hopeful convert. I 
231 



OWLS NEST 

wonder if Mary Cross, — then Mary Whctten, — 
who was present at the moment, recalls the de- 
lightful comment- . . ." 

**It was a wonder to me always," writes Mr. 
Strong, ''that restricted as your grandmother was 
in her reading by dread of losing all use of the 
tyesy she yet showed such appreciation and dis- 
criminating judgment of books. In the literary 
society of Cincinnati, and at social gatherings, 
she was sure to be welcome. 

"It was the day of lecture courses in literature 
and science and history. Each winter brought to 
us from the East such scholar-speakers as Dr. 
Bellows, George Curtis, Starr King, Henry Giles, 
Whipple, Agassiz, Emerson, — representative 
names which this later generation' recognizes 
more or less faintly, and is content to identify 
on the title-pages of books. Always an inter- 
ested listener to the talk at tables where distin- 
guished guests like these were assembled, she 
was felt to be a congenial spirit, sympathetically 
alert and responsive. Her husband's honored 
memory won for her a ready interest, which her 
refinement of thought and taste deepened and 
warmed.*' 

Mrs. Kebler tells us of these same days: 
"Many a larger city would look vainly among 
its youth for the equals of those who were guests 
at that house [Owls Nest]. There was Emery 
Soule, to whom it was for many years a home. 
232 



OWLS NEST 

He had, in what I think had once been a bam, an 
ideal school, where the Perkins and the neighbor- 
hood boys were fitted for college. 

''There was Manning Force, his classmate, to 
prove by its exception the truth of the proverb 
that 'a prophet is not without honor save in his 
own country,' for in later years when the Repub- 
lican party selected him as its candidate for 
Judge, the Democratic one honored itself by 
bringing forward no opponent. Most modest of 
men, I can see his embarrassed look as entering 
the Supreme Court Room in Washington the 
Judges all rose to greet him. 

"There were Dr. Roelker, George Hoadly, 
Mr. Harrison, Mr. Hooper, the handsome John 
A. Gano, Edmund Kittredge, and others, many 
of whom had gained brides from our circle. 
There were Charles James, Mr. Morgan, the 
Gerrards, Charles Richards, and George Strong, 
the latter the author of the best parody ever writ- 
ten. The last two left soon for the East, and as I 
have seen neither since, they remain youths to me, 
rather than the staid Episcopal Clergymen they 
afterwards became. 

" There was great interest in art, then as now, 
in Cincinnati. Encouraged and aided by Mr. 
Longworth, Powers had already chiselled his 
Greek Slave; early landscapes by Whittridge 
were hanging on the walls at Rookwood, the 
Longworths' home. The Shoenbergers had not 

2^33 



OWLS NEST 

yet gone to their Qifton Castle, and G)le's Voy- 
age of Life was in their galleiy on Broadway. 
Buchanan Read waswriting his poems and paint- 
ing pictures at his sister's on Eighth Street. Mr. 
Eaton had painted many heads, but none so 
beautiful as those of his lovely wife and fair- 
haired children. Mrs. Robert Hosea, with talent 
inherited from her father, had found time, with 
her little ones around her, to paint miniatures; 
one, of the first President Harrison, which his 
family still consider the best likeness ever taken 
of him. . . . Mrs. \^Ison had made excellent 
busts of her husband, of Dr. Beecher, and others. 
Beard was bringbg animals to life on his can- 
vas." 

At that time Grandma made most of the boys' 
clothes and many of her own. She had a ynse 
habit of always having plenty of work prepared 
so that she could have something at hand to take 
up, and in diat wayshe never wasted any minutes. 
If she were waiting for a friend to come to take 
her out to lunch, or to drive, she would pick up 
her work, and despite her poor eye-sight and 
her many household cares, the amount she ac- 
complished was wonderful. 

She always took her silver upstairs over night 
in a little basket, which she kept in her room. She 
never locked the front door, and said bursars 
could come in if they wanted to, but that they 
could not have her silver. True, there was not 
234 



OWLS NEST 

much of it, but every piece was precious, and 
probably most so of all was the old water-pitcher 
which, as many friends remember, was always 
on her table, llie pitcher, inherited by Grandpa, 
was one of two, given as wedding presents to his 
mother by her father, Stephen Higginson. The 
other pitcher went to Aunt Nancy, who left it to 
Uncle Ned- When, years afterward, the Owls 
Nest silver was divided. Father and Uncle Ned 
wanted Uncle Jim to have Grandpa's pitcher, as 
he had more associadons with it than they; so it 
now belongs to "Aunt Mary Jim." The pitcher 
with which we children of TTie Apple Trees have 
associations is a copy of one of the originals. 

Grandma was very fond of Cousin Sylvia 
Emerson, who once passed several months at 
Owls Nest. "She was always the gayest in any 
company,'* writes Cousin Sylvia. "She worked 
eflPecdvely at everything she turned her hand to, 
and could do all quicker and better than any one 
else. . . . She sympathized with every kind of 
person, and I think as she liked every one so 
everyone liked her; but in Cincinnati, where her 
husband was so much loved, and where he had for 
years been a directing and controlling influence, 
she was more at home and loved by every one. 
Almost every afternoon two or three or more 
carriages would drive out from the city, and her 
little parlor and piazza would be full of people 
coming and going, all known to her and to each 



OWLS NEST 

other, and all cordial and sociable. So, living in 
her little home, she never was lonely or apart, 
and although everything was as simple and as 
inexpensive as possible there was a touch of 
taste and grace that made her home charming. 
Her eyes were her torment, and she suffered a 
great deal from them all her life, and I think be- 
cause of that trouble she was fond of soft, quiet 
shades of color, and would have liked Japanese 
tints if she could have had them. She had gray 
curtains in her parlor, and her sofa was gray, and 
her dress was of pearl or gray, but the gray was 
never of a dismal tint, and as I remember her 
little room it was the prettiest and simplest pos- 
sible. She rigidly kept the boys out of it, unless 
when on their best behavior. They were in a 
room directly behind the parlor, where they 
roared and tumbled about and argued and wran- 
gled, until when things reached a climax she would 
arm herself with a broom, enter their room, and 
vigorously sweep them out of doors, and then 
return to the parlor with heightened color, and 
laughing, say, 'When things reach a certain 
point I will not have them in the house.' 

''She was a bountiful provider, and I remember 
well the large round dish heaped up with hard- 
boiled eggs on the breakfast table, . . . the 
huge dishes of macaroni and baked potatoes, and 
the biggest loaf of bread I ever saw, — cut on the 
table. The molasses jug was enormous, and the 
236 



OWLS NEST 

boys spread brown sugar on their bread and 
butter. She always laughed a great deal while 
at the table. The boys all talked at once with 
loud, rumbling voices, and as soon as the meal 
was over they burst out of the house and were 
seen no more for hours. 

"You asked me to tell you things that I remem- 
ber about your grandmother, and these are a few; 
but of the love I felt for her, and the sympathy 
there was between us, it is hard to record, al- 
though very fresh in my memory." 

Cousin Sylvia's picture of the boys corrobo- 
rates the words of another, who described them 
as fine manly lads, who did not absorb the talk 
at meal time, and regarded the house as a con- 
venient perch at bed-time and a shelter in case 
of rain. 

Mr. Strong called to mind Grandma's quiet 
way of influencing the boys by dropping hints of 
what she wished done or not done, and of laugh- 
ing them out of their moods and whims as if the 
process amused her. He says it was not so much 
a rule as a motherly instinct with her to treat the 
boys in this way, and that although it might 
strike a stranger as rather more simple than sure, 
it worked well in this case, and made the little 
Owls Nest household one of the happiest and 
healthiest he had had the good fortune to know. 
"There was mutual understanding," he says; 
"the boys had the same reason for loving their 
2^37 



OWLS NEST 

mother that she had for trusting her boys." He 
recalled, as illustrating this, an incident of Unde 
Jim's childhood. After one of Uncle Charles 
Elliott's visits. Uncle Jim begged permission to 
smoke, pleading Uncle Charles' example. The 
request was refused with the obvious reminder 
that Unde Charles was a man and a very mod- 
erate smoker, and that the habit was a bad one 
for little boys. Something went wrong a day or 
two later, and by way of emphasizing disgust 
at parental authority Unde Jim said, '^Well, 
mother, I shall do as you say; but I tell you thisf 
when I'm a man I shall smoke cigars, and I shall 
not only smoke two or three a day like Unde 
Charlie, but I shall smoke dgars all the time.'* 
The threat gave excuse for the laugh which usu- 
ally greeted such filial explosions, and Mr. Strong 
says it broke out afresh when Grandma told 
him the story. 

As the boys grew older, changes were inevit- 
able in the Owls Nest household. In the autumn 
of 1856 Father went East to pass the vnnter 
with Uncle Stephen and Aunt Ellen Perkins, 
who were dien living on Milton Hill in the house 
afterward occupied for many years by Cousin 
Malcolm Forbes. He went in and out of town 
every day to school, until the following June, 
when he returned to Owls Nest. In the autumn 
he entered a wholesale foreign fruit store in Cin- 
cinnati as a derk, and every day walked back 
238 



OWLS NEST 

and forth from Owls Nest in order to save the 
omnibus fare. 

The following summer (1858) Uncle John 
Forbes passed a few days in Cincinnati. Recall- 
ing this Father writes: **I remember very 
well when your uncle John Forbes brought his 
daughter Ellen and his niece, Jenny Watson,^ 
on a western trip, stopping at Cincinnati for a 
day or two. I was living at home then^ and your 
uncle John was buying this Burlington, Missouri 
River Railroad, which extended from Burlington 
thirty-five miles to Rome, on the Skunk River, 
and which, of course, I had never heard of and 
never expected to see! The party continued on 
from Cincinnati to St. Louis, and then took a 
steamboat up to Burlington^ where they stayed 
a day or two.'* 

Cousin Ellen Forbes writes thus of Owls 
Nest to her sister Alice:' "Imagine a picturesque 
house with vines (roses in bloom and wistaria) 
growing over it, magnificent great trees in front, 
a beautiful little lawn, with roses in full bloom 
on every side, doors and windows wide open^ 
and Cousin Sarah coming out on the piazza to 
meet us. You can have no idea how charming 
it was, the largest trees you ever saw, with slop- 
ing green banks and everything so luxuriant." 

At about this dme Unde Will and Uncle Ned 

> Mrt. Edward C. Perkins. 
' Mn. Edward M. Caiy. 

^39 



OWLS NEST 

both left home, the former going to New Haven 
to study farming with Uncle Charles Elliott, the 
latter to Exeter to prepare for college. Uncle 
Ned's Exeter school life was soon interrupted, 
however, owing to the financial panic which 
swept over the country, and he too went to New 
Haven and spent some time with Uncle Charles. 
He was able to return to Exeter in 1859, and 
entered Harvard as a sophomore in 1863. 

In 1859 Father went to Burlington to work 
on the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad, 
of which Uncle John Forbes was the President. 
Uncle Stephen Perkins, who was fond of Father, 
must have recommended him to Uncle John, 
for in a letter written to Grandma years later 
Uncle Stephen makes this remark: '^I am re- 
joiced to hear such good accounts of Charlie, and 
feel quite proud at having guaranteed him to 
John M. F. to be a lad with the seeds of a true 
man of business in him." 

The years when the younger boys were to 
be educated were years of rigid economy for 
Grandma, and it seemed at times as if she would 
have to give up the dear Owls Nest. Writing to 
Grandma from Burlington shortly after he was 
established there Father says: "I am thinking 
that you, the Doctor, and the boys had better 
emigrate to the Hawkeye State, buy twenty acres 
near Burlington for three thousand dollars, and 
live on Hog and Hominy until better times.'' 
240 



OWLS NEST 

There were» however, kind relations who helped, 
and it was not long before Father was able to do 
his share and make it possible for Grandma to 
keep on in the little house. 

"But hastening on came the dark war time/' 
writes Mrs. Kebler, "those days, which to the 
youth of these are as mythical as any in ancient 
history. Of those most familiar to us who 
obeyed the call *to arms' General Lytle and Will 
Gholson never returned. E. S. Noyes, after- 
wards Governor and Minister to France, came 
back a cripple. Bryant Walker, after ten years 
of untold suBFering, died of a wound received at 
Atlanta. Mr. Force, with scarred face and some- 
what impaired health, lived many useful years. 
Will Perkins came back safely to his mother, 
who had many anxious hours in his absence. 
He had joined G)lonel Anderson's Sixth Ohio, 
which I think was all gathered in Cincinnati. 

"Many incidents of the war are fresh in my 
memory. Those days, when our silver and val- 
uables had been sent to Yellow Springs for 
safety, we were busy night and day to supply the 
tables set in the Market Houses for squirrel- 
hunters, who had come from the northern part 
of the state to protect the city from the enemy. 
Kirby Smith, who with his troops breakfasted at 
Latonia a few miles away, could easily have taken 
it, for there was not an ounce of ammunition 
that fitted the guns supposed to protect the city. 
241 



OWLS NEST 

Those were the cold days of the Sanitary Fair 
held in the two squares of Fifth Street Market 
House, when more than three hundred thousand 
dollars were added to its treasury/' 

Uncle Wmi served faithfully in the army for 
over three years, sad and anxious years for 
Grandma. A woman named Kate Kennedy lived 
at Owls Nest at that time. **I was there when 
Mr. Will joined the regiment,** said she to me, 
" and I remember one morning when your grand- 
mother heard his regiment was coming down 
the river on a boat. She rushed right off without 
her breakfast, but she didn't see her son, because 
he could n't land; she only saw him from the 
bridge. She came back much excited, saying, 
*Pm going to follow the regiment until I see Will, 
I don't care where it goes.' She packed up and 
took the train; she was gone three weeks, and she 
did see her son. Your grandmother was one of 
those ladies who went out of her way to see any- 
body who looked any way poor or destitute, and 
she used to say, * I wish I was rich.' She was al- 
ways for the interest of others, and I don't be- 
lieve there was an enemy toward her living; you 
could n't find any one who did n't like her. She 
was very strong and was going all the time. I did 
all your grandmother's work for five years, and 
it was something fine to wait on Mrs. Perkins, 
because she was so fine herself." 

Grandma was not forgotten by her boys 
242 



OWLS NEST 

through those years when they were all away most 
of the time. In the back of her little book of 
extracts I came upon a page on which were glued 
two bunches of pressed flowers, — over one of 
them were the words, "Wild flowers from Eddie 
at Exeter. Received April 24th, 1862;'' and un- 
der the other, ** Wild flowers from Charlie at Bur- 
lington, Iowa. Received April 24th, 1862;" and 
on a page by itself quite a big spray of flowers 
opposite which Grandma had written, "Flowers 
sent by Mr. Forc^ from the Battlefield at Pitts- 
burgh Landing, received April 24th, 1862." 
What a curious coincidence it was that two of 
her sons and one of her dearest friends should 
have sent her flowers in letters which all reached 
her on the same day. 



CHAPTER XIII 

MY father and mother were married in 
Milton in the autumn of 1864. 

"I cannot remember," Mother writes, **the 
first time I saw your grandmother Perkins, whom 
I called Cousin Sarah. She used to make visits 
in Brookline at Mr. Charles Head's, and some- 
times in the winter she stayed at Dr. Bartol's, 
on Chestnut Street, Boston. 

**Your father and I were married on Septem- 
ber twenty-second, 1864. She came on to the 
wedding, and I think stayed at Mr. Head's. 
Her two brothers were at the wedding, your 
uncle Charles Elliott, Howard Elliott's father, 
and her brother, Henry Elliott. The latter took 
me in to supper, and helped me when I cut the 
bride's cake. Your grandmother on that oc- 
casion wore a soft gray poplin, which was par- 
ticularly becoming to her. It seemed to just 
suit her black hair, for it was really black then^ 
and at that dme she had a great deal of color. 
We left the next day for Burlington, Iowa, and 
shortly after, your grandmother came to stay 
with us for a month. Your uncle Henry Perkins 
brought her out, and I think your father took her 
home. 

244 



OWLS NEST 

^' Your grandmother Rose Forbes sent out one 
of her women, and that woman's sister. They 
stayed only five days, because they were so very 
homesick, and Grandma Rose hacf the pleasure 
of paying their way out and back. After that we 
had but one woman, Mrs. Kelly; she had kept 
house for your father for six years, then and 
before he lived on the Lefler farm, where West 
Burlington now is, in the days when Charles 
Lowell and Mr. Carper were with him. From 
some people's point of view, beginning house- 
keeping with one servant seems to be considered 
one of the cardinal virtues, and I wish I had real- 
ized this at the time, but I did not happen to! and 
I was often so tired I did n't know what to do, — 
tired because I did n't know how to manage, and 
while the daily setting of the table and arrang- 
ing the bedroom and parlor with all my pretty 
wedding presents was 2l pleasure, and the wash- 
ing of the breakfast things was a pleasure, the 
cleaning of the silver and the knives I did not 
enjoy. I don't believe you can realize the situa- 
tion; please try to: an only daughter, brought up 
with every luxury, a gay city life in winter, and an 
absolutely free out-of-door life in summer, — for 
I only came into the house to eat and sleep, — 
left me no time to learn housekeeping. Imagine 
that girl of twenty-one transplanted to the other 
side of the Mississippi, with totally different sur- 
roundings, — no bathroom, or other conven- 

245 



OWLS NEST 

iences, no horse, no trained servants, no conven- 
iences of set tubs, and nothing to make the work 
easy. I think your grandmother must have been 
absolutely discouraged about me, but she came 
and helped me wash the dishes, and taught me 
the right way to do things, and many little things 
which I have never forgotten. I must mention 
one or two: that if you have had a boiled egg 
in a cup or glass, you must not wash the cup 
in hot water, as that makes the egg stick, but 
pour cold water in each cup first. The same as 
regards egg on silver; and that if you have 
milk in a glass tumbler, you must put cold 
water in before you wash the glass in hot water. 
She told me that all candles should be lig^ed 
when they were first put in the candlesticks; if 
they were not, it made a great delay when you 
wanted them lighted. These are trifles, but a 
great help in time of trouble. Your grandmo- 
ther was famous for her delicious coflFee, which 
she made on the table in a drip coflPee-pot. I 
can see her making it now, and no coffee has 
ever tasted like it. 

"That November twenty-fourth was your fa- 
ther's twenty-fourth birthday, and it was also 
Thanksgiving day. Your grandmother and I 
conceived the idea of having a dinner party, and 
we had it, and this is the way we did it. We got a 
young girl of sixteen to come in for two days to 
help; her name was Isabella Smith, and she had 
246 



OWLS NEST 

long, brown curls, a great deal longer than mine. 
Just before dinner the first day» Isabella asked me 
for 'the loan of my comb, and I indignantly de- 
clined. I asked where her bag was. She said she 
did n't bring any. I said, 'Where is your night- 
gown ?' and she said she did n't use any in that 
kind of weather I 

''Your grandmother, with Mrs. Kell/s help (I 
was awfully afraid of Mrs. Kelly), made a big 
plum pudding, and delicious hard sauce. I 
placed Isabella Smith at the table, and waited on 
her to show her how, but I don't think I suc- 
ceeded in teaching her anything. Well, while the 
pudding was being made, — Isabella and I were 
cracking nuts, and I dare say eating them, and 
getting the raisins ready, — we looked out of the 
window and there was my sideboard outside the 
gate. It had just come from Boston. I should 
have said in the beginning that we were living in 
what is known as the Chamberlain house on 
the bluff over the Mississippi River, with a view 
which I have never seen equalled. I said, 'Isa- 
bella, if you will help me get that sideboard in 
without any one seeing us, I will lend you my 
comb ; ' and we did it, ' with my little hatchet.' We 
had to uncrate it and take the gate off its hinges, 
to get it through, and we two stealthily moved 
that sideboard up those front steps, and into the 
dining-room. Please look at it some time and see 
that there is hardly room to take hold of. It's in 
^47 



OWLS NEST 

the kitchen dining-room at The Apple Trees. It 
was a great surprise to your father, when he came 
home at noon to dinner. 

"The next day was Thanksgiving day. Judge 
and Mrs. David Rorer, Virginia and Delia 
Rorer, and Mary Rorer, and George Remey, and 
Willie Irving came to the dinner, which was a 
great success. George Remey has since been an 
admiral, and is now retired. In 1864 he had just 
come home from prison, having served in the 
Civil War. We had the usual Thanksgiving din- 
ner, with some native wine from Judge Rorer's 
vineyard, and in the evening Virginia and Delia 
sang delightfully. 

"That was the beginning of our having a good 
big pumpkin in the middle of the table, a present 
feature of our Thanksgiving dinners. We have 
kept it up ever since. With the diminishing 
family, by marrying, our circle has grown less, 
and I might now say, as Grandma Rose Forbes 
did when some one asked her if she kept Thanks- 
giving, *No, I always give it away.' 

"One evening, while your grandmother was 
with us, we were invited to a neighbor's, and we 
wore white kid gloves, which we soon found were 
endrely out of place, for it was a Presbyterian 
church affair. The guests were sitting round the 
room in a circle, and it was quite an ordeal to be 
taken round and presented to each one, but 
Grandma had a way of putting every one at ease, 
248 



OWLS NEST 

and she fell right in just as though she had always 
been to Presbyterian church socials, and every 
one fell in love with ,her. She always found out 
the best in everybody. It did not take us long to 
get our gloves into our pockets. . Grandma always 
wore soft gray and somedmes brown poplm, 
open in the neck, with pretty ribbons; her shoul- 
ders were sloping, and her figure was very pretty. 
She really enjoyed the evening much more than 
I did. I know Elsie will describe your grand- 
mother's way of dressing much better than I can. 
I only want to remark that she always had on her 
best, — never anything put away. Your grand- 
mother liked pretty things. She liked pretty 
clothes, and, while her style of dress was her own, 
it was always becoming. She liked bright rib- 
bons and pretty laces. My first association with 
aquamarine stones was with her. She said your 
grandfather was fond of them, and intended to 
g^ve her an aquamarine breast-pin, but the time 
never came. Later, remembering this wish of 
hers, I took great pleasure in using the first pre- 
sent of money I had from my mother to give 
your grandmother an aquamarine. I had the 
greatest difficulty in finding one, as they were 
entirely out of fashion, and it took many months. 
I shall never forget her pleasure, and I have the 
note she wrote to me about it. She left the pin to 
Elsie. 
"Mr. Carper was at home on a furlough at this 
249 



OWLS NEST 

time, and a constant visitor, and so were James 
and Frank Peasley, and Willie Irving lived with 

''In March, 1865,^ I made my first visit to 
Owls Nest. Your father and I went there for I 
think a week or ten days, to the dear old house. 
I shall never forget the parlor. Grandma had, in 
fact always had, a bright fire. She used to laugli, 
saying that some people seemed to think a fire a 
great luxury. She kept hers going herself, and if 
the weather warranted it, the fires were always 
there. I remember just how the teeth of the iron 
grate looked. In front of the long French window 
stood the round marble table, which is now in the 
Owls Nest room at The Apple Trees.* On the 
table stood a rose in a flower-pot, a lovely red 
rose, and a pot of mignonette. It remains a pic- 
ture to me. And in January, 1905, when Mary 
and I visited Mrs. Aubery in the old house, she 
told us that the first time I went there after 
Grandma had left it, I brought in just such a rose 
in a pot for her (Mrs. Aubery), that the rose had 
lived and was planted outside, and was called the 
Perkins rose. 

''Cousin Sarah alwa]rs trimmed her own lamps 

* This nx>in was built after the real Owls Nest was closed, 
and whatever pieces of furniture your father had from the 
old house were put there. The knocker ftom the old Owls 
Nest is now on Rob's front door, at the new Owk Nest in 
Framingjbam, Mass. 

250 



OWLS NEST 

in the little nx>in off the back parlor, and I 
learned of her how to do it. 

''One Sunday evening we went to Mrs. 
Walker's near by» and Mrs. Edward Cranch 
sang delightfully, and Mr. Nicholas Longworth 
(not the Nicholas Longworth you know, but his 
father) recited 'Hiawatha' with great dramatic 
effect: — 

'O the famine and the fever I 
O the wasting of the famine I 
O the blasting of die fever ! 
O the wailing of the children ! 
O the anguish of the women I' 

" It quite made you shiver. I could not do any- 
thingy so sat like a dummy enjo3ang it all. I think 
Grandma must have been very much disap- 
pointed in me» my only accomplishment being to 
kick a pin out of the wall higher than my head, 
and no one asked me to do that I Mrs. Louise 
Anderson was my first friend in Cincinnati^ and 
came for me in her carriage to return my calls. 
She wore a lovely bonnet and a long velvet coat, 
and a red camel's-hair scarf over her shoulders, 
and I wondered if I should ever again be able to 
have a velvet coat. I met all the nei^bors, and 
was made to feel at home. 

"The next visit was with Rob in 1867. Your 
father had been made Superintendent of the Bur- 
lington and Missouri River Railroad, and was too 
busy to go with me. Mr. Carper was at home, 
251 



OWLS NEST 

and as he had business in Cincinnati^ he was to 
take Rob and me down. Your father engaged 'a 
team' to take us across the river on the ice at six 
in the morning. Just as we were going to bed a 
man came from the station to say the river was 
not safe for us to cross with a team, and that we 
must start at five and cross on sleds. I had had a 
warm red flannel dress made for Rob, and we 
bundled up and went in an omnibus to the land- 
ing. The fright and the cold and the darkness of 
that awful winter morning I shall never forget. 
The party consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Squires, 
Mr. Squires' niece. Miss Fanny Hancock, Mr. 
Carper, your father, Rob, Carrie Seibert (Rob's 
nurse), and me. The women each had a sled 
and each had a man to push her. I held Rob in 
my lap so that we might perish together. The 
gentlemen walked by us, but the sleds had to 
be far apart. I cried all the way over, and Rob 
would pat my cheek, — he never whimpered. 
The river was half a mile wide (still is), and the 
fatigue of sitting without a back and holding Rob 
was great, and to think of your father and Mr. 
Squires going back terrified me. I have always 
said that Eliza crossing the Ohio River (in 
'Uncle Tom's Cabin') was nothing to it 11! Rob 
and I stayed at Owls Nest two or three weeks, 
and I had a fine time. Each neighbor had what 
in those days was called a Coffee Party; we went 
with our work and passed the afternoon, and 
252 



OWLS NEST 

had coffee and sandwiches. Your grandmother 
always had her knitting, soft, white zephyr on 
large needles. She made pretty, three-cornered 
things for the head; I am sure her friends must 
remember them. She taught me how to make 
them, and said a lady should always have her 
work. 

"The going and coming from town in those 
days was very hard, — only an omnibus, — and 
we had to bring whatever we bought out with us, 
a four-mile drive. One day your grandmother 
brought fancy cakes, grapes, and all sorts of good 
and unusual things. It was a Saturday, and that 
night some friends came to dine, and not one of 
these delicious things appeared on the table. I 
could n't understand it, and when the company 
left, I said,* Why, did n*t you forget those things ? 
There were none of them on the table.' Your 
grandmother said, *I am keeping them for Sun- 
day night, when Jim's friends come from town. 

and boarding-houses. The *s have all they 

want of those things at home.' That taught me 
a lesson I have never forgotten. 

'*I have made many other visits to Cincinnati, 
and always had a delightful dme, and felt per- 
fectly at home, and never went there without 
learning something. I don't know what there 
was about her house and table and housekeeping; 
it was the way she did things, and you always 
remembered her ways : — 

253 



OWLS NEST 

'It was not anything At said. 

It was not anything she did; 
It was the moyement of her head. 
The lifting of her lid, 

* Her little motions when At spoke. 
The presence of an upright soul. 
The living light that from her broke. 
It was die perfect whole.* 

''She made us many visits in Milton and at 
The Apple Trees. She saw and enjoyed the 
Milton house, but never the Boston house, for 
it was our first winter there that she left us. 
Grandma used to come to The Apple Trees 
when Rob and Ebie were little. She had the blue 
room, which is now the west parlor, and she 
would read to Rob, and would let Elsie pull over 
her box of pretty ribbons; and hot summer after- 
noons we would sit on the piazza with your father 
and watch the 'kye come hame,' for the forty 
acres was then a pasture and rented. Rob and 
Elsie would perch on the stile near the pasture 
gate. 

"Once I thought I would give your father a 
surprise, and, without his knowing it, got your 
grandmother to come for Christmas. Mr. W. B. 
Strong, then General Superintendent of the Chi- 
cago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, sent the 
car which is now your father's *01d Hundred,' 
to Cincinnad for her. I have forgotten whether 
Dr. Soule came with her, — I remember his 
^54 



OWLS NEST 

coming once. In spite of the luxury of a private 
car, Grandma kept her boimet on and sat up all 
the way, but arrived spick and span. I had a large 
gilt picture frame, and had her stand in it in the 
doorway, which was then between the dining- 
room and the old kitchen. A curtain was hung 
over it. She was smarter than I, and kept sajring, 
* Charley doesn't like surprises, — I know he 
doesn't like surprises.' But I insisted. When 
your father came home, I said, 'I have a picture 
of your mother, come and see it.' I drew aside 
the curtain, and there she was, her face flushed 
and her eyes full of tears, and your father stood 
and looked, struck dumb. He only said, 'I don't 
like surprises.' She was soon in his arms, and 
everybody was happy, but it was the last surprise 
I ever gave him. 

''Your grandmother was very practical, and 
started me right, when I was on the wrong track. 
For instance, our Peggy (now Margaret Rice) 
when a little girl was very fond of dressing up, 
and she had a particular affection for my best 
bonnet, which was many shades of nasturtium 
color, and was made by Bellenberg in Chicago. 
I was very choice of it, but Peggy recognized its 
merits, and was forever strutting round with it on 
her little head. Your grandmother was staying 
with us and saw how provoked I was because 
Peggy was not contented with the old, half-worn- 
out bonnet I had given her. She said, 'Now lis- 

^55 



OWLS NEST 

ten to me; the sensible thing to do is to give the 
child a decent bonnet of her own. She has got 
good taste and likes pretty things, and it's no use 
to try to make her wear your old bonnet. The 
way to save your best bonnet is to give her some- 
thing decent.' So I got a bonnet for her, and 
mine was never again touched. 

''At one time Elsie, I thought, ought to take 
care of her own room, make her own bed, and 
help with the housework. Your grandmother 
was staying with us, and she said she did not care 
much about theories of that sort, for, in the first 
place, in a day anybody could be taught to make 
a bed, and it was a very stupid person who 
could n't learn to do housework if she had to, and 
to make Elsie do it when it was not necessaiy, 
and when I was not doing it, was a mistake, and 
I remember very well hearing your father and 
Mr. Wirt Dexter discuss this very subject. They 
were both telling what they had been obliged to 
do, and of many hardships they had had, but 
they both agreed it would be very foolish to make 
their boys black their own boots unless it was 
necessary for them to do it. I think your father 
and his mother were very much alike in their sen- 
sible and practical ideas. I can never remember 
going to her for advice that she did n't help me. 

''I used to get quite provoked because our 
butcher's and grocer's bills were so much larger 
than a neighbor's, and was continually compar- 
256 



OWLS NEST 

ing notes. Your grandmother stood it as long as 
she could, and then said she thought it would be a 
good plan not to compare notes, that there were 
many reasons why our bills should be larger than 
the neighbor's, and she thought it was a waste of 
time. She had seen several packages of tea given 
away, and a good deal of food, which I had n't 
taken into account I One Christmas when she 
was with us, I got all the presents ready for the 
people in our employ, and I remember that I 
took a little trouble to get a complete toy laundry 
outfit for the washerwoman's little girl, — tub, 
clothes-line, iron, and everything that was needed 
in the laundry, and I got for the child of the wo- 
man who did the sewing all sorts of sewing things. 
I was showing them to your grandmother, and 
she said, 'I think you have made a mistake; those 
are the things they see all the time. I think if you 
gave them a pretty apron, or a nicely dressed 
doll, — something not connected with the laundry 
or sewing, — it would give a great deal more 
pleasure/ 

**In the days when your grandmother went to 
Little Boar's Head, and you and Peggy were with 
her, your faithful and dearly loved nurse, Lena 
Owens, went with you, and it was the greatest 
pleasure to her to make pretty caps and bright 
bows for Grandma. 

*' Grandma had a little dog called Snux. She 
was devoted to him and he to her. I daresay he 
257 



OWLS NEST 

really belonged to Uncle Jim. She almost always 
took him to drive with her, as in these later days 
she had her own horse and carriage. At that time 
her man was a German named Henry. One day 
when we drove to town, as we were to start back I 
saw that Henry was the worse for wear, and told 
Grandma I was afraid to go home with him. She 
was quite disturbed, but agreed with me, so we 
walked to Uncle Jim's office, told him our sus- 
picions, and he drove out with us. Henry was in 
bed all the next day. Some other man drove us» 
and we stopped at a German bakery, because 
Grandma said Henry was so fond of a certain 
kind of coffee-bread she wanted to get him somel 
She had great sympathy for people who were in 
disgrace. She always would help the old woman 
who sold apples on the street comer in town, 
because she was so disliked. Friends remon- 
strated, but she always kept on being kind to 
her.'' 



CHAPTER XIV 

IN the summer of 1868 Grandma went abroad 
with Miss Scott, a young friend from Phila- 
delphia. The trip lasted a little over a year, and 
although it included nothing in any way remark- 
able or unusual, the number of places to which 
they went is astonishing, considering the fact that 
Miss Scott's companion. Miss DeCharmes, was 
far from well most of the time, and that Grandma 
herself was not altogether strong. 

Aunt Annie and Uncle Will, who were married 
on July first, a few weeks after Grandma left 
Cincinnati, went to Owls Nest to stay during her 
absence, with Uncle Jim and Dr. SouIe,who were 
there off and on« 

Grandma sailed from New York on June 
twenty-ei^ith, after passing a few days with Mr. 
and Mrs. Godkin. The ordy entiy she made in 
her diaiy while crossing gives an idea of their 
voyage: "July id. Our party have thus far es- 
caped much sea-sickness, but a general misery 
prevails. I have been up on deck every day, but 
Sallie and Minnie do not get up before noon. 
Mr. and Mrs. Messer have been very kind and 
agreeable, and the young gentlemen very polite, 
but a ship and the sea are detestable to me.'' 
259 



OWLS NEST 

The party landed at Havre, where Grandma 
writes: ''Had a most perfect little breakfast. I 
realize now the ravings about French restau* 
rants. ... It is a delicious sensation to be once 
more on land.'' Next came Paris for a few days, 
then Geneva and a trip into the Chamonix 
valley. There Grandma writes on July seven- 
teenth: "We started from Martigny in the 
morning (July i6th) to go over the Tete Noir 
pass, our first experience in mule-riding, and it 
was horrid. But the mountains! No words can 
describe the glory and wonder and sublimity of 
the whole ride, and I am thankful I have seen it 
all. . . . The masses of rocks covered with ex- 
quisite mosses, ferns, and flowers must delight 
a botanist. . . . The whole thing was beyond 
description and far superseded all imagination. 
It is about thirty miles from Martigny to the val- 
ley of Chamonix. We were on mules from Mar- 
dgny at six in the morning to eleven. We then 
stopped at a little house to lunch, and I bought a 
pair of agat^ blue buttons. . • . Rested a little, 
and thea walked about four miles over the most 
sublime and magnificent mountains. I never 
enjoyed anything so much as that walk. We 
then mounted again on the mules, and I was 
never so tired as when we neared Chamonix.'' 

The party did a great deal of walking and 
mountain climbing, and after one expedition 
Grandma says: ''There were some magnificent 
260 



OWLS NEST 

views during the walk, but there is enough beauty 
all about, and it does not repay me for the fa- 
tigue. I came home and went to be.d, feeling as 
if I should never rise again, after a walk of six- 
teen miles, — so the people said; — to me it 
seemed fifty." 

At Geneva a few days later to her great delight 
the first faces that she saw were Dr. Soule's and 
Fritz Kebler's. For a week or more they travelled 
with Grandma and her party through the Rhone 
valley, and added much to Grandma's pleasure. 
The entry in her diary on August second reads, 
'' Amsteg: We had a glorious ride, and dined at 
Hospenthal, where, alas! we parted from the 
doctor and Fritz. They rode with us as far as the 
DeviFs Bridge. . . . There on the bridge we 
parted, they to go over the St. Gotthard and we 
to come here on our way to Lucerne. The day has 
been very fine and one of unsurpassed enjoy- 
ment.'* 

After a roundabout trip they visited the 
Italian lakes, and reached Milan about the mid- 
dle of September. There Grandma was sad- 
dened by the news of the death of her brother 
Heniy,^ but in her diary she writes, "For him I 
am glad.*' 

After Milan came Venice, fascinating of 

course; then a glimpse of Padua and Bologna, 

and a long stay in Florence, where Grandma had 

the great joy of seeing Uncle Stephen Perkins 

261 



OWLS NEST 

an4 Aunt EUen^ who lived at Bello Sguardo, a 
few miles outside the dty. After a great deal of 
^seeing and doing'' Grandma writes to Unde 
Ned in CXtober: **I spent the week with Unde 
Stephen and enjoyed it exceeding/. Unde 
Stephen is just as nice as he always was» and 
Aunt Ellen I am very fond of. Lizzie is very at- 
tractive, and I had a lovely time. Then, too, 
I fdt elevated a peg because I find that Unde 
Stephen does not know who painted every pic- 
ture. . • • Miss D. C. is one of those people that 
goes into every detail, and I have had a general 
feeling that I was an idiot She is what I suppose 
you fellows would call *a dig.' Henry ^ says she 
works so hard that it makes him tired. Minnie 
Scott is charming, and I love her dearly, and we 
all go along most pleasantly. . . . From Unde 
Stephen's house the view is most extensive, but 
the roads are not pleasant to drive over, and 
everything looks quite as rough and uncultivated 
as it does in our region. . . . Unde Stephen's 
rooms are pleasant, but I would not exchange 
our poor old nest for it. It is a floor in an old 
villa, a rambling, uncomfortable place, — queer 
and interesting to look at, but we all have to 
wrap up in shawls and sit- with our feet on rugs 
in the evening to keep from freezing. I enjoy 
some of the pictures, but I cannot help feeling 
that there is a great fuss made about art, and there 
' Heniy Footeywhowaitrayellmg in Europe for hif health. 
262 



OWLS NEST 

are such acies of painted walls that it does not 
seem to me any one enjoys. There are no hand- 
some churches here on the whole; some things 
in each that are interesting and to lovers of old 
things very attractive. I belong so entirely to the 
new and the present that they do not enter very 
deep; I enjoy seeing what it is that the world 
thinks fine, and I enjoy, too, seeing what the 
people did, but I cannot think it a better life than 
we have now. If I knew more of the old his- 
tories it would certainly add to the interest, but 
it is not my destiny to know. There are so many 
books that I should gladly read in connection 
with all these things, but my eyes are tired with 
seeing them, and I can do no reading. We are 
wondering if we shall freeze in Rome, it has been 
so cold here. Uncle Stephen says the halls of 
the hotels are like Boston streets in winter. We 
expect to leave here on Thursday of this week and 
go to Naples, stopping a day at various small 
towns, and only stopping in Rome a day or two 
now. We expect to be in Naples three weeks or a 
month, and then return to Rome for six weeks 
or so. I did think I should stay here while the 
young ladies went to Naples, but Uncle Stephen 
advises my going. He said the things we are to 
see would interest me, and the difference in the 
expense would be but little." 

Grandma decided not to go home until the 
spring. "Taking all things together," she says, 
263 



OWLS NEST 

''I think it is best to stay, and since I have seen 
Uncle Stephen and Heniy I don't feel homesick. 
Henry thinks now that he shall go with us to 
Naples. His friends at home advise Algiers, but 
it seems to me that he can have Algiers later, and 
the benefit of being with some young people is 
a good deal. He looks much better now than he 
did when he joined us at Venice, . • • but when 
he is alone he feels but little energy, and the stir 
that comes from outside people around him is a 
gain, I think. He is a nice fellow, and I hope he 
will get well. He was here Saturday evening, and 
we had quite a discussion as to the benefit of for- 
eign travel, he thinking that we ought to learn 
from the old countries, and the rest of us feeling 
that it was difficult to gain even if there was so 
much, and doubtful whether what was to be 
gained could be very useful to our country. He 
is sensitive in his nature and education, but not 
narrow. The discussion began about American 
manners, he thinking English and foreigners 
generally better bred, and I, from my experience 
this summer, thinking the Americans quite equal 
if not superior to most that we had seen. Foreign 
men to me are horrid, and the talk of politeness 
over here is all bosh" 

From Naples expeditions were made to Pom- 
peii, Herculaneum, Capri, Sorrento, and several 
other places, and then on the seventh of De- 
cember the party reached Rome '"homesick 
264 



OWLS NEST 

and blue/* The Heniy Lee family were there, 
and Grandma enjoyed seeing them, as she had 
earlier in Milan and Venice. One of Grandma's 
greatest pleasures in Rome was going about to 
different studios and meeting many interesting 
artists. Various excursions were made with the 
Lees, to Tivoli and elsewhere, and the amount 
Grandma was able to do is amazing, for she often 
writes of not feeling well, and much that she did 
must have required effort. Frequently in her 
diary she mentions the flowers, and it was touch- 
ing to find not long ago among her old letters 
many little packages of flowers or ferns folded 
into pieces of paper, marked on the outside with 
the dates and the places where they were picked. 

On the twenty-first of February she writes 
again from Florence: "Yesterday was Jim's 
birthday, and my mind and heart went back 
twenty-one years. How strange life seems to me 
now!" From Florence the party went to Genoa, 
and drove over the Cornice Road to Mentone, 
where Mrs. Foote and her son were stajring. Of 
the drive from Finale to Oneglia Grandma says: 
"The air was perfect, and I think I have never 
seen in any one view so much beauty and gran- 
deur. It lifted me above this life.'' After a few 
days in Mentone came the Tyrol, Innsbruck, 
Munich, Nuremberg, and Austria. 

In Vienna at the Hotel Archduke Charles she 
writes on March twenty-seventh:** . . . Friday 
265 



OWLS NEST 

we went out and took a look at Vienna, and 
I bought three pipes and some leather things. 
When we came home I found letters from the 
Doctor, and from Charlie and Mr. Force. Dear 
Charlie sent me sudi a beautiful present of' 
money to buy myself clothes before I go home. 
It made me full of gratitude and wonder that I 
should be so blessed, when so many have such 
suffering and such a hard life. ... It is such a 
pleasure to be able to buy things to take home, 
and I shall tell Charlie how he has blessed me.'^ 
Grandma thorou^y enjoyed the pictures and 
the music in Vienna. Here is her description of a 
Strauss Concert : ** At four we went to the Strauss 
Concert in the Blumen Sale. We went into the 
concert room throu^ an auditorium filled with 
small tables, where people were eating and drink* 
ing. The whole biulding is handsome, and the 
hall was large and tasteful, built in the form of a 
cross. In the centre no smoking was allowed, but 
in the side rooms they ate and smoked, aiid in the 
small galleries, too, so that the hall was filled 
with smoke. We had good chairs to sit on, and 
were not crowded. The hall was full, and the 
people walked about, and ices and cake were 
passed about in the hall all the time. The first 
piece was led by the youngest brother, Edward 
Strauss. He was a nice looking fellow, with daiit 
eyes and hair, a simple dress of black, with a 
faultless shirt and a black necktie. The first piece 
266 



OWLS NEST 

played was the 'Overture of Figaro/ It was fine, 
but not received with much endiusiasm. Then a 
polka written and led by Edward. Then the next 
brother, Joseph, led two pieces, and Johann, the 
oldest brother came. He was. received with great 
enthusiasm, and everything he played was en- 
cored at least once, and one piece he played three 
times. The solo on the horn was exquisite. He 
played first, 'Thou art so far and yet so near/ 
was encored, and then, 'The swallow homeward 
flies,' and encored again, and repeated it. Ed- 
ward and Joseph had a beautiful way of leading. 
They all played more or less on the violin, and 
lowered their bow when they were not playing. 
They were very graceful and full of spirit, and 
everything was encored. It was altogether inspir- 
iting, and we were none of us tired, though we 
were there four hours.'' 

From Vienna the party went on to Prague 
and Dresden, where Grandma had the pleasure 
of seeing her friends the Fleischmanns, and at 
Berlin a few days near Mrs. Aubery were much 
enjoyed. In reading the diary of the journey one 
feels short of breath. The party went to so many 
places — very often stopping only for a night or 
a few hours — that Grandma keeps.writing how 
much she likes diis place, or that, and how much 
she wishes she could stay a day or two. No won- 
der she says, "How strange this travelling from 
country to country is!" 
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OWLS NEST 

After a short trip throu^ HoUand and Bd- 
gium, Paris was reached on May fifth, and 
the next day she writes ft-om the Hotel Cas- 
tiglione that she is homesick, and that her eyes 
are so weak she can scarcely read or write. In 
spite of the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Foote again, 
she did not altogether enjoy the six weeks in 
Paris. They "bothered with dressmakers," and 
did a vast amowit of sight-seeing, which she 
says "is interesting for a time, but fatiguing.'* 
She looked forward to London more than to all 
else, save that she was "tired of seeing things." 
The trip was so much longer than Grandma had 
planned that much to her regret she missed 
the wedding of Uncle Ned and Aunt Jennie in 
Milton on June tenth. 

By the end of June the party was in London, 
where Dr. Bell * was very polite to them. He had 
been in America, and had known Miss Scott's 
father in Philadelphia. With Dr. Bell Grandma 
and the others went to Cambridge, Oxford, and 
Seven Oaks. They also went with him to see 
some London Qub Houses, and one evening to 
the theatre, where they had "a charming time." 
Another pleasure was lunching with his mother 
at her house, in London. 

Grandma writes very enthusiastically of a day 
at Windsor, adding: "Altogether it was one of 

^ This is Dr. William A. Bell, who later liyed for some 
time m Colorado. 

268 



OWLS NEST 

the finest days I have had since I left home." 
After a morning spent with Cousin Kate Rock- 
well she says: '^ Monday we went shopping, and 
Kate ft)und a camel's-hair she liked/' Grandma 
had a passion ft)r camel's-hair shawls and loved 
to give them to people. This was evidently one of 
the occasions when she had the pleasure of taking 
a niece and letting her pick out the shawl she 
liked best. 

A trip through Scotland and Wales followed 
the ten days in London. Many places were vis- 
ited and greatly enjoyed. From Ripon they went 
to Fountain's Abbey, which Grandma describes 
as a "wonderful pile," adding, "I like my first 
love, Tintem, better. It is not so grand, but there 
is a completeness about it that Fountain's has 
not. ... I could have lingered for hours, and I 
did wish for those that I love best. The trees in 
the park are glorious, and the avenues are so 
beautifully kept and the water all about is very 
pretty. Altogether I was charmed, and could 
only feel grateful that I had the enjoyment." 
After Edinburgh and Glasgow they spent a few 
days in the Lake region. At Grasmere Grandma 
writes, "We walked to Southey's old home 
called Greta Hall; it stands on the side of a hill 
facing nearly west, I should think, with a range 
of lovely hills before you. . . . The whole thing 
was interesdng to me because James liked 
Southey's writings so much." 
269 



OWLS NEST 



*t^ 



Tenrith* August 3d. . • . We planned to 
come expecting to meet Dr. Bell and go with him 
to Lowther Castle, the Earl of Lonsdale's place, 
hut the Dr. could not come, and so we feel rather 
awkward, especially as a message has been left 
for us to lunch at the castle to-day at half-past 
one. ... P. M. At half-past twelve we started 
in a small carriage for Lowther Castle . • . 
about five miles from Penrith. We went in fear 
amd trembling, and drove up to the castle. The 
coachman rang the bell, and the waiter opened 
the door as if he did not e3q>ect us. We asked for 

Dr. and sent our cards. We were shown 

into the hall, a handsome place, with busts, etc, 
and then into a plain room that looked as if peo- 
ple lived in it. Dr. came, and then Miss 

Lowther and Mr. Lowther. In a few minutes 
we heard a scuffling noise, and Lord Lonsdale 
entered. We were introduced, and then asked to 
go to lunch. Two men came in with 'My Lord,' 
and one was at hmch widi us; his name was 
Robinson. He seemed to be an attendant upon 
the EarL The Earl is eighty-three, and when he 
put his overcoat and hat on to go and walk in the 
stables he looked like one of Punch's people. 
The brother was a queer, dried-up looking crea- 
ture, with a black suit and large red silk cravat, 
altogether like Dickens' people. The sister was a 
pleasant looking person, dressed in a short dress 
of yellow and brown stripes and a short brown 
270 



OWLS NEST 

stuff overdress. She put on an old camelVhair 
and a hat when she showed us about. We saw 
a sitting-room, a breakfast room where was a 
gold shield and a service of gold on the sideboard, 
most gorgeous and beautiful. . . . We then 
went into the drawing-room, library, and billiard 
room. In all the rooms the carpets were laid in 
the centre. They were all made on the place by 
workmen and women that the former Earl im- 
ported (and supported) from France. . . . After 
lunch we went into what I called a hall, but was 
corrected by Mr. Lowther. He said, * We call it a 
gallery.* There are some few good pictures, — 
a great many all about the house of Hogarth's. 
Then we walked into a sort of wing that had 
more or less sculpture in it. ... All the rooms 
looked out on to beautiful lawns, and the flowers 
were beautiful both inside and out. We then 
went to the other side of the house into another 
sculpture gallery, where was the most perfect 
Venus in the world, bought by Mr. So and So for 
so much. * But / bought it,' the Earl said to me, 
' for so much, and could sell it now for three times 
that amount.' The sister and brother both spoke 
of the cost of various things, old china, and so on. 
It only shows that it is not only those that earn 
the money and the estates that are purse proud. 
We then went to see the stables, — nothing very 
wonderful. I had asked to have our carriage 
ordered before, and so we bade the royal party 
271 



OWLS NEST 

good-bye at the stable door, and entered our car- 
riage for Penrith after a very queer and very 
pleasant two hours/' 

A few days later the party were in Liverpool, 
where they were joined by Dr. Bell, who on 
August fourteenth sailed with them for America. 
The last lines in the worn little note-book read, 
" Here we are, not very far from New York, and 
how thankful I feel; but what a dream the whole 
year seems." 



CHAPTER XV 

WITH keenest delight Grandma returned 
to Owls Nest, where, as one who loved 
her said, she was in her best estate. Speaking 
once of some visitor who was "not generally 
attractive," Dr. Soule added, "But you always 
see everybody under the most favorable circum- 
stances at Owls Nest." "That was indeed true," 
writes Mr. Richards; "every cloud turned out its 
silver lining to your grandmother's mild moon- 
light. Dull people became cleverer, and crotch- 
ety people kindlier in her presence. . . . 
Your grandmother rarely flashed, she simply 
beamed. Not what she said or did, but what she 
was delighted you." 

Grandma was usually so bright and so inter- 
ested in everything, that even the family were 
often unconscious of hidden anxiety or illness. 
During the autumn after her trip she was not 
well, and when Father realized this, he wrote 
from Burlington in November, 1870: "Pray 
don't get blue about yourself and think you are 
going to die. In a year or two I hope to be able 
to make life more cheerful to you so far as money 
can do it, — and you must n*t talk of leaving yet. 
I want Rob and Elsie to know and love you as 

273 



OWLS NEST 

they grow up. I am afraid you worry too much. 
The boys are all right now, and you need feel no 
responsibility on that score. . . . Pray don't de- 
spond. I expect you to be hale and hearty twenty- 
five years hence, and your children and grand- 
children will love you so much that it is quke 
worth while to hold on for itl You are sure of 
heaven if any one is, — and you must stay long 
enough to let us show you how grateful we are 
for aU your love and devotion," 

Uncle Jim graduated from Harvard in 1870, 
and happily for Grandma he returned to Gndn- 
nad to study law. ** It was in the year 1863, now 
nearly forty-three years ago, that I first met Jim 
Perkins, about the best all-round man I have ever 
known; ** so writes Uncle Jim's warm friend Mr. 
S. L. Parrish. ''He had a very earnest and even 
intense manner, whether the subject under dis- 
cussion was great or small, but so full of sincerity 
that it was fascinating. He had keen intuidve 
perceptions of character, and was always devctf- 
edly loyal to his friends. He was very sensirive, 
and, as usual with young fellows at school and 
college, his friends would from rime to time amuse 
themselves by exploiting diis trait in his character. 
I remember, however, that on one occasion he 
suddenly and adroitly, at our club table, turned 
the laugh on his tormentors, so that the non-com- 
batants all joined uproariously with him, to the 
great discomfiture of the two or three who had 
^74 



OWLS NEST 

been passing sly remarks, for the benefit of the 
table, upon something he was known to be in- 
terested in. . . . Your grandmother I remem- 
ber very well, as well as Jim's intense love for 
her and devotion to her. It was very interesting 
to see them together, — she a small woman, from 
whom he had so evidently inherited (certainly 
in great part, for I never saw his father) his 
great intelligence and attractive qualities, and 
he a great big man, with her for his evident 
and deserved ideal of all that a mother ought 
to be/' 

Another friend, Mr. D. H. Holmes, of Cincin- 
nati, tells us how he feels about those days: 
^' Jim Perkins was the dearest friend I had; he 
came into my life at a time when my enthusiasm 
was at its keenest and a friend really meant a 
piece of one's self I doubt now if I was as much 
to him as he was to me, but that is not of much 
importance now; I thought so then, and it made 
me very proud of his friendship, very patient 
under his criticism, which, I may as well confess, 
was by no means unfrequent and always deliv- 
ered from the shoulder, and very tender of what 
he used to call his limitations. He had no taste 
or skill in the pretty little things which are sup- 
posed to make up society, and at times rather 
regretted it; they were the 'limitations.' 

''He had the purest soul, the kindest heart, 
the clearest mind, and the frankest tongue it has 
275 



OWLS NEST 

ever been my good fortune to know. I believe 
I have said I loved my dear old Quarter-staflF 
(which was one of his pet names), but that is 
hardly saying enough; I love him still, and feel 
him still with me as something more vital than 
a memory. 

** I met him first at the Cincinnati Law School in 
the autumn of 187 1. Our acquaintance, a chance 
one, due to the fact that our seats were next each 
other, soon grew warmer, till he took me home 
with him one evening and I first met his mother. 
From that time till they died I was a constant, 
though not frequent, visitor and a very sincere 
friend. 

** It is hard to try to give anything like a living 
idea of what Mrs. Perkins was to the younger 
generations who were privileged to know her. 
I remember her very vividly, and yet more as one 
remembers some peaceful and beautiful land- 
scape, — always gentle, and keenly sympathetic 
to younger people, never proflFering advice until 
it was asked for, but when asked for, how gener- 
ously and wisely was it given. But all this you 
know far better than I do. As I recall her, she 
had but one violent dislike, and thatwas of Sham. 
Sham to her was the incarnation of evil, and she 
had a way of disposing of any snob with a jerk 
of the head that was more condemnatory than 
all the thunders of the Church. . . . 

" I have heard some people, who knew her but 
276 



OWLS NEST 

little, speak of her as having a ' manly mind/ No 
greater injustice could be done her; she was a 
true woman, although the bringing up of a family 
of boys, and constant companionship with them, 
had led her to put aside some attributes of woman 
and put on some of man's; this was purely super- 
ficial, I think. I remember how she surprised one 
who was sympathizing with her over the responsi- 
bility of having had five boys to bring up, by say- 
ing, 'Thank heaven they were boys; had they 
been girls, they 'd have killed me long ago/ She 
thought men much easier to get on with than 
women, which proves conclusively how truly a 
woman she was/' 

Miss Eva Keys, also of Uncle Jim's genera- 
tion, was an ever welcome guest at Owls Nest. 
She used to run over nearly every day to see "that 
beloved person,*' and relate to her "the delights 
of last night's ball, or the details of an especially 
enjoyable frolic," or sometimes a foolish trouble 
or grievance. " It mattered not what it was, I was 
sure of a sympathetic hearing, and often she 
would quietly give me a word of wise warning, 
for her sympathy was as broad and deep as the 
ocean, and never failed the best friend or the 
humblest dependent who came to her for help 
or advite. You know that I can only remember 
well the last ten years of your grandmother's 
life, when she had passed into the serene waters 
of a lovely and lovable old age, but always keep- 
277 



OWLS NEST 

ing the heart of a little duld and the undaunted 
spirit of eternal youth. Mis. Perkins created 
such an atmosphere of her own that the mo- 
ment you entered the quaint old house it was 
plainly felt, and all that was selfish, petty, or un- 
true seemed to drop away and leave you natural, 
happy, and always at your best. Such a brave, 
true, unselfish nature she possessed, alwa)rs 
steadfast to the best ideals; and she was never 
frightened at whatever demands duty made upon 
her, but always met them with a high courage 
and unfailing cheerfulness. Her manner had the 
great charm of perfect simplicity, naturalness, and 
frankness combined with great dignity, and I can 
never remember to have heard her say an unkind 
word or repeat unwholesome gossip, or gossip of 
any kind. I can recall distinctly the charming 
picture she made wearing a beautiful black vel- 
vet dress your father had sent her, trimmed with 
handsome white lace about the slightly open neck, 
a cap to match on her lovely wavy, gray hair, her 
cheeks as pink as roses and her eyes shining with 
pride over 'Charlie's present;' a handsome, true 
gentlewoman of the highest type. Some of us 
had quite a joke with her in this connection, for 
one day when she told us we must rise superior 
to our clothes, we retorted merrily that it would 
be easy enough to rise superior in black velvet 
and beautiful lace! Your grandmother's personal 
charm was irresistible, and that 'ncme knew her 
278 



OWLS NEST 

but to love her, and none named her but to 
praise' was literally true. I think she was the 
most perfectly genuine person I ever knew; she 
disliked above all diings ostentation or sham, and 
was always so natural, direct, and sincere herself 
that those with whom she came in contact were 
made most natural and genuine by her mere pre- 
sence. *Owls Nest' was full of the spirit of true 
hospitality, and when Mrs. Perkins rose from 
her favorite chair near the open fire to greet a 
friend or visitor, her smile and welcome were so 
full of cordial cheer, that the very cockles of your 
heart were warmed, and at once you were ready 
to pour out your very soul into her sympathetic 
ear. We young people all thought it a great honor 
to be asked for supper, and how charming and 
delightful we found the alwa3rs simple meals, in 
the little low-ceilinged dinin^room, with the 
quaint comer-cupboard, and the dainty china 
on the table, and your grandmother presiding 
over the pink-flowered tea-cups; such a lovely 
picture always, with her pink cheeks matching 
the ribbon in her cap, and her gown always open 
a little at the neck, with folds of white muslin or 
a bit of lace. Your unde Jim at the other end 
of the table, so much like your grandmother in 
charm of person and character, and beaming 
with good cheer and full of good stories and gen- 
uine humor I One of his favorite stories was of 
a man who came to a wide river and engaged a 
279 



OWLS NEST 

tacitum nadve to row him over. The man re- 
fused to open his lips until halfway across, when 
he slowly remarked, 'Wimmin is bothersome;' 
not another word was vouchsafed until the fur- 
ther shore was reached, when he gravely contin- 
ued the subject by saying, 'But some wimmin 
ain't so bothersome!' Now this was one of the 
secrets of your grandmother's great influence 
over men, — she was never * bothersome,' and all 
men adored her in consequence. After supper we 
would gather about the fire and discuss the top- 
ics of the day with much lively repartee, or tell 
amusing stories, with your grandmother in our 
midst and always one of us. She was never any 
restraint upon our high spirits and fun, and we 
never thought of her as old, only she would, un- 
consciously to us then (we saw it plainly after- 
wards when we were older and wiser ourselves), 
keep the conversation on a high plane, kindly 
and healthy in tone. Your uncle Jim's coterie 
of young men was unusually clever, bright, and 
entertaining, and I often wish I had put down in 
black and white some of the good stories and 
witty sayings, with the jokes and puns, that were 
freely tossed back and forth in our circle round 
the fire. I must not forget your uncle Jim's 
Scotch terrier Snuxy, for he was quite one of the 
family and always joined our group, and sat 
with his head cocked on one side with a most 
knowing expression, as if to say, I appreciate your 
280 



OWLS NEST 

quips and jokes, and could get oflF something 
good myself if I could only speak." 

In a recent letter from Mrs. Bellamy Storer,* 
she says that Grandma, ^^the Perkins boys/' and 
Owls Nest are among her first memories of 
people and places, and continues: ''I go back 
easily in my mind to your uncle Ned in a blue 
checked gingham apron bound with a black 
leather belt. He was past kilts, but not long in 
knickerbockers. Jim was my most intimate 
friend, fourteen months older than I. He was 
five and I four when I first remember playing 
'prisoners' base'on our front lawn at Rookwood.' 
Mrs. Perkins was my mother^s dearest friend, 
and I saw her, during all my early youth, every 
week or so. During the last ten years of her life 
I was with her nearly every day, and took *tea* 
(which meant supper) every Sunday evening at 
Owls Nest. 

"The striking thing about your grandmother 
was her vivid personality, her vitality of mind 
and body. Nobody else was like to her. What 
she said, and did, and wore, was not like any- 
body else's words, or ways, or things. 

''It comes back to me like a flash of light, her 
face, one summer^s day, forty-five years ago! 
There was 'a tea on the grass' at Owls Nest, with 

^ Mrs. Storer W2S a Miss Longworth. 
' Rookwood was the name of Mr. Longworth's place at 
East Walnut Hills. 

281 



OWLS NEST 

more than a dozen people/ Mrs. Perkins had on 
a big hat with a great bunch of poppies on it, 
well in front. Her sparkling eyes, flashing teeth, 
red cheeks, and curly dark hair just streaked with 
white, and the quick shake of her head in speak- 
ing (which made the poppies dance), caused 
somebody to say aloud (and I can hear it, al- 
thou^ I don't remember who, as I was a child 
of ten), 'Nobody but Mrs. Perkins could wear 
that hati' 

''In the scope of a short letter, and on the spur 
of the moment, I must set down only what, to 
me, were the salient pcHnts of her character and 
personality. To begin with, she tau^ me the 
greatest lesson in human liidng, — that mon^ 
by itself is a very poor means of helping others, 
compared to the spending, and being spent, of 
one's own individuality, in the personal mag^ 
netism of sympathy. She was cheerful, and of 
a sunny courage, and it radiated from her. No 
one in trouble of any kind ever left her house 
without feeling better able to take up their bur- 
dens, just from having seen and talked to her. 

"From her own q>ecial friends and social ac- 
quaintances down to the very poor of the village 

(such as Mrs. , with a dozen children and 

a dnmken husband who beat her) everybody 
felt, who came in contact with Mrs. Perkins, 
the warmth and light of her sympathy and her 
bright words of encouragement. 
282 



OWLS NEST 

••In our new country, and in this twentieth 
century, where Dives is carefully guarded from 
sight or smell of Lazarus, where charity too 
often limits itself to organizations, and is dis- 
tributed by business agents, one cannot too much 
profit by, and lay to heart, the lesson of a life like 
hers, and like your grandfather^s. Mr. Perkins, 
my father always told me, was the noblest, finest 
nature that he had ever known. He went among 
the poor as city missionary. He knew them and 
talked to them; and from him your grand- 
mother got her ideas of how to help them. She 
often said to me, 'Mr. Perkins said that if 
every well-to-do family in a community would 
take a personal interest in the poor, would (in a 
certain sense) take charge of one family or more, 
help them to get work, help them through sick- 
ness, advise them about their children, it would 
not require much money outlay, and the prisons 
and pauper establishments would speedily be- 
come depopulated.' 

"Mrs. Perkins lived and worked upon this 
basis of true Chrisdan charity, and a book would 
hardly contain the list of the hundreds of peo- 
ple, rich as well as poor, who, during her life- 
rime, never left the door of that little gray house 
without feeling that they had been given some- 
thing. I used somerimes to tell her that she car- 
ried the whole * Dutch Village' on her shoulders. 

** Another thing I learned at Owls Nest was 
283 



OWLS NEST 

that beauty of household decoration, a sweet 
home atmosphere, and even the very best and 
nicest cooking do not depend upon money either. 
Looking back at them dispassionately and im- 
personally, aside from the prejudice natural to 
the woman of fifty-six looking back to twenty- 
six, with the glamour of youth about everything, 
I can say truly that dear Mrs. Perkins' Sunday 
teas and 'Thanksgiving' dinners were the very 
best meals I ever ate. 

"The dear old house at Owls Nest, with its 
lovely arrangements of color and the old prints 
on the walls, the bits of old furniture just in 
the right place, the chintz and muslin just of 
the right pattern, the bright brass in the open 
fireplace, the wood fires in winter, the old sil- 
ver, the pretty old china, — what palace can 
compare to Owls Nestl And when you imagine 
your grandmother at the head of the table, and 
your uncle Jim opposite carving the turkey 
(both faces so much alike, and so radiant with 
health and overflowing with good spirits), you 
may easily believe that those were real 'Thanks- 
giving' days to me, the like of which will never 
come again. 

" I have tried to give you an idea of your grand- 
mother as she was to me, — upright, fearless, 
loving, and padent, with a spirit that never fal- 
tered, and that endured to the end, not only 
bravely, but joyfully." 

284 



OWLS NEST 

Mrs. Storer's reference to ''the chintz and mus- 
lin just of the right pattern/' reminds me of the 
time when some one went to call on Grandma 
and was shown a sofa which had just been re- 
upholstered. Grandma was on the point of 
asking her whether she liked the chintz, when 
the friend, greatly distressed because the sofa 
was in the sunlight, asked if she did not intend 
to cover it to keep it from fading. "No," said 
Grandma, "I'm going to enjoy it now, and when 
it 's faded Til put a cover on it." 

Mrs. Aubery writes from Switzerland in 1905: 
"... It is now forty-eight years since I first 
met Mrs. Perkins, when I, with my family, moved 
to East Walnut Hills, and I say that our friend- 
ship dates from that time, for she was from the 
beginning of our acquaintance the same kind, 
faithful, and loyal friend as through the many 
following years of intimacy, — years which I 
must ever keep in tender remembrance. 

" I cannot hope to express what she was to me 
individually, but perhaps I can tell you some- 
thing that you do not know, of her relations with 
the poor of her immediate neighborhood. In 
this connection I can never separate your grand- 
mother from your uncle Jim, for they were so 
perfectly in harmony in their views and methods 
that their united charity seemed a perfect work. 
They helped the poor and degraded by teaching 
and encouraging them to help themselves. As 
285 



OWLS NEST 

often as possible they took the boys and the girls 
of the village into their service^ taught them how 
to work in the best manner^ instructed them, and 
watched over them in mind and morals so sue* 
cessfully that I can remember many who were 
benefited for life by their goodness. Among 
others, a highly respected mechanic of the nei^ 
borhood told me with tears in his eyes how, as a 
poor and ignorant boy, having a desire for edu- 
cation, he had been made welcome to the use 
of all books in the Owls Nest library suitable to 
his needs, with help in selecting them for his pur- 
pose. I am thinking now of several poor fami- 
lies in which the father had fallen into the habit 
of drink, and the wife and daughters made the 
home miserable by laziness and neglect. Your 
uncle Jim took the men in hand, gave them work, 
and steadily followed them up, — though some- 
times after back-sliding on their part, — giving 
them help in recovering themselves. Mrs. Per- 
kins did her part in such cases, by teaching die 
wives and daughters how to work and make the 
home more attractive and comfortable. Their 
united work in this direaion has always seemed 
to me the perfection of practical charity. 

''I cannot hope to add anything of conse- 
quence to what odier friends have written you of 
your grandmother, for there was nothing com- 
plex in her character, which was noble, sweety 
and open as the day. Of your dear grand- 
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OWLS NEST 

mother's personal appearance I need say but 
little, as I am sure you must be able to remember 
her lovely complexion and bright and animated 
expression and her style of dress, so distinctly her 
own and so exactly suited to her, which made a 
picture never to be forgotten. 

^^Her perfect and generous hospitality will 
always be remembered by her friends. Owls 
Nest was always in readiness for guests, for Mrs. 
Perkins was a beautiful housekeeper. Bri^ 
fires and a plentiful table and a hearty welcome 
awaited all friends. I know men now past mid* 
die age who say that they can remember what 
a perfect delighi it was to them when they were 
young to visit the Perkins boys in their own 
home. The mother entered so heartily into their 
jokes and sports and was altogether so jolly. 
Indeed, her household was so entirely composed 
of men and boys that I do diink she enjoyed 
them just a little more than her women friends. 
I am sure, however, that none of us, and I and 
mine least of all, can complain that she did not 
take us into her heart of heart at aU times, and 
we especially enjoyed her sympathy when in 
sorrow or trial. Few of the really old friends are 
left now, but when we meet we recall her lovely 
character, her winning ways, and faithful friend* 
ship." 

Mrs. Kennedy's daughter. Maty, who went 
to work for Grandma at twelve, and who stayed 
287 



OWLS NEST 

at Owls Nest until Uncle Jim was married, told 
me many details of Grandma's unfailing kind- 
ness and patience with her. Grandma taught 
her to do everything about the house. ''And she 
tried so hard to teach me to sew/' said Maty. 
''She fixed me a pretty little work basket, and I 
still have it. Your grandmother used to see that 
I mended my clothes, and somedmes she'd come 
to my room and say, 'Mary, have you darned 
your stockings ?' I guess we had about twenty- 
five lamps, and she'd fill them herself every morn- 
ing. She'dnever let me wash the chimneys, and 
used to shine them herself with paper. I was 
allowed to dust the mantel, but if I moved things 
just a little bit out of place she'd know it in a 
minute, and would always fix them herself and 
say, 'This will be all very nice when we get 
things straightened out a little.' 'All very nice' 
was one of your grandmother's specials. 

"Every winter when the cold weather began 
she'd start to think of the poor. She gave to some 
people who were not deserving, and it seemed 
that everybody knew she was good and kind, 
and they'd come and impose on her; but you 
never could convince her of that. When a storm 
came up she'd sit in the library in front of the 
fire and wonder how the people in the village were 
getdng on, and she used to ask me about my 
mother, and if she was comfortable. 

"Whenever your grandma wanted little things 
288 



OWLS NEST 

like thread and needles and gingham she bought 
them in the village, because she said that the 
storekeepers in town did n't need her money, 
and that Mr. did. 

"She called Mr. H one of her beaux, and 

when he used to call in the afternoon, she'd say, 
' It 's a terrible thing to have beaux in the middle 
of the day/ She would invite him to stay to tea, 
and he'd stay a little while after, and when he'd 

gone she'd say, *He's just lovely, Mr. H is, 

but he never knows when to go home.' She had 
a sort of brusque way with her, but she was so 
good. Judge and Mrs. Force often came for 
Sunday night tea, but she used to say that they 
never had any idea of time, and that they would 
come floating in way after time. 'Floating' was 
a great word of hers. 

"Your grandma always used to get dressed 
for dinner early, and wait in the little back par- 
lor for Mr. Jim to come home, and while she 
waited she seemed to be thinking up some kind 
thing to do. At Christmas-time she would fix 
twenty or twenty-five baskets for the poor people, 
and I'd carry them round, one at a time, right 
through the ^lage. I loved to do it. Your grand- 
mother knew just what went into each basket. 
She put turkeys in, and whole bolts of canton 
flannel or gingham, and she even thought of 
needles and thread and buttons, and always sent 
candies for the children." 
289 



OWLS NEST 

♦ 

Mr. Richards well remembers Grandma's 
interest in Christmas. ** There is one little pic- 
ture of Owk Nest life," he writes, "that per- 
haps no one has given you. There was a Ger- 
man merchant, a Mr. Garlichs, who was a fine 
amateur pianist, and there were a number of 
poor German children at East Walnut Hills. 
One Christmas Eve your grandmother gathered 
them in and had a Christmas tree for them laden 
with candles and sugar-plums^ and presents. 
The children waited in one room, and in the 
other was the tree with Mr. Garlichs at the piano. 
The doors were flung open, the music struck up, 
and the children marched straight past the tree 
and gathered about the music, which had to be 
stopped lest the candles should bum out before 
the children saw the pretty eflFect." 

With her usual playiful exaggeration Grandma 
once wrote, "I have not read anything nor 
thought anything. Life seems to take me all up, 
or else I am not made of the stuff that absorbs 
books!" Mr. Richards says that sentence is true 
of her. "She got at the world through the peo- 
ple about her." "Mrs. Perkins is so-so," said 
Dr. Soule in a letter from Owls Nest, "and 
might get well if she didn't wear herself out 
doing for others." Then he described her as 
always running into alarming kindnesses for 
others, which upset her. 

290 



OWLS NEST 

Aunt Annie Perkins told me that on one oc- 
casion when two spinster ladies came from Bos- 
ton to live at Mt. Alban^some one asked Grandma 
to call on them. Each week Grandma said, "We 
must go over and see them.'* But week after 
week went by and Grandma felt conscience- 
stricken. After the call was at length accom- 
plished, she said, ^^Well, that was sympathy 
wasted! I told them I was afraid they had been 
a little homesick, not knowing any one, and they 
answered, *Oh no, we have the Boston Adver- 
tiser!'" 

But Grandma's sympathy with strangers was 
not always wasted, and I quote a few of the many 
tributes to its helpful power. The first was found 
in an old portfolio: — 

" Dear Mrs. Perkins, — I have always heard 
that Unitarians were strong in good works, and 
now I see it even, and feel it too, in the handsome 
and comfortable Hood you have been pleased to 
work for me. Thank you heartily for that kind- 
ness and for the kind words which accompanied 
it! They will warm my heart with my head for 
the dear lady, who, with the giant task to edu- 
cate, alone, five boys, still finds time to save for 
friends and for the stranger in the land. The 
stranger can do nothing in return but send 
her thanks and her love, and be very glad of 



291 



OWLS NEST 

the lady and the Hood, and so she does, and so 
she is, 

Very heartily 

Fredrika Bremer.^ 
QNaNNATi» 13 I>ec.» 1850." 

Another is from Mrs. Daniel A. Dwight, who 
went to live in Cincinnati in 1872: — 

^^ Your grandmother will always be associated 
with my early married life, and she did so much to 
make it pleasant that I wish I could picture her to 
you as she looked and was to me. I arrived one 
evening at Walnut Hills in the middle of winter, 
a girl of twenty, and not knowing a person in 
Cincinnati. Your grandmother had sent me a 
beautiful ivy, which she must have been training 
and caring for for a long while, it was so large, 
and it was in my window to greet me. The next 
day early she appeared and made me feel so at 
home. I can see her bri^t smile as she came in, 
and one of the first things she said was, ^ How 
Boston people must have condoled with you at 
having to come out here.' We often went to Owls 
Nest to tea, and it was most attractive. As soon 
as one came in sight of the house a light shone 
out from every window. She always kept the 
endre house lighted, and it certainly gave one a 
feeling of welcome, before you got into the bri^t 

^ The well-known Swedish novelist, who was trayelling in 
the United States. 

292 



OWLS NEST 

little house with the beautiful great open fires of 
soft coal and wood, which were as big as the fire- 
places would hold. After the most cheery greet- 
ing from both your grandmother and your uncle 
Jim (of whom I was very fond), we, with other 
friends, were all seated round the tea table, — 
as many as the room would hold, and oh, such 
a good tea! 

"I well remember once when Mr. Dwight had 
gone to Boston and I was left alone. Jennie, 
a baby of eight months, was quite sick, and I 
immediately sent to your grandmother to know 
what doctor to get in town, as there was none out 
there. She sent me word, but very soon appeared 
herself, and then in the evening your uncle Jim 
came to know how I was getting on. You see 
how good they were to me. I often took my work 
over and passed the day with your grandmother. 
One day she told me she had found something 
to clean gloves, called rose oil, which proved to 
be a kind of benzine. We cleaned gloves all one 
morning, drying them on our hands in front of 
the fire. I have often thought since what a nar- 
row escape we had from losing our hands and 
burning the house." 

Still another tribute is from Mrs. Wentworth, 
who writes thus of her memories of Grandma 
and Owls Nest: "My first meeting Mrs. Perkins 
remains with me a vivid memory. In '69 1 went 
to Cincinnati a young bride, and found on my 

^93 



OWLS NEST 

arrival a note from her asking us to dine the 
following Sunday. We gladly accepted, and I 
had hardly gotten out of the carriage before she 
came running to meet us, and throwing her arms 
around my neck, gave me a warm kiss of wel- 
come, saying, 'How glad I am to see you, Lizzie 
Ladd/ She then added in her frank, delightful 
way, *I hope you will always feel as heartily 
welcome at Owls Nest as I have tried that your 
husband should be these last two years. I am 
sure we shall be good friends,' as we certainly 
proved to be. The house, though tiny and simple 
to a degree, was absolutely unique, and to me 
most interesting, — it bore so unmistakably in 
every part the stamp of her personality. Through 
the summer every room was filled with flowers, 
— great masses of them in all available spots, — 
and in the winter when flowers were not to be 
had in the profusion we have them now, a big 
crimson shawl was thrown over a chair, or even 
her knitting basket of gay wools seemed to fill 
her with delight. One day I asked her how her 
knitting progressed; with a most amused expres- 
sion she answered, * Are n't the colors gay ?' She 
had such a keen sense of humor, too, that it 
alone would have made the house cheerful. It 
would be useless for me to attempt any descrip- 
tion of the originality and charm of your grand- 
mother's way of putting things. 
"Before I went to Cincinnati my husband's 
294 



OWLS NEST 

father had told me a great deal of Mr. Perkins, 
whom he much admired and remembered as far 
back as '43, — a man of brilliant mind, utterly 
regardless of all conventionalities; preaching his 
never-to-be-forgotten sermons in his usual fash- 
ion, — stirring his hearers not only to religious, 
but intellectual ambitions. What a wonderful 
couple they must have been!'* 

In the summer of 1872, while Grandma was 
staying in Brookline with Mr. and Mrs. Head, 
her portrait was painted by.Mr. Staigg in Boston. 
She told Aunt Annie that she had it done only 
because Father wanted it and that she nearly 
died of heat. It is not astonishing that she felt 
the heat in a black velvet dress in the middle 
of an unusually hot August! Father has always 
liked the portrait ; to us children who have grown 
up familiar with it at The Apple Trees it seems 
a lovely picture of our beloved grandmother; 
but to some of the family it has never been a 
really satisfactory likeness. When Dr. Soule saw 
the portrait, he felt that while in some ways sat- 
isfactory, it failed to have the characteristic look. 
Mr. Richards, forming his judgment from a 
photograph, finds in it Grandma's sweetness 
but not quite her strength. '^It is dreamier and 
less practical than she, and more self-conscious, 
yet in many ways it is very like her.*' Mr. 
Strong says the photograph grows upon him 
more and more, and that in the tyts he sees 
295 



OWLS NEST 

the genialy winning character diat spoke throu^ 
diem. 

In April, 1875, Cousin Fanny Foote Godkin 
died, and in the autumn Grandma went East to 
pass the winter in Cambridge with Mr. Godkin 
and Lawrence. The following summer (1876), 
after a visit in Exeter with Dr. Soule's parents, 
she went back to Owls Nest. With her charac- 
teristic humor, she said, ''There may be more 
cultivation in the Elast, but there b more freedom 
and freshness in the West.'' Peiiiaps it was dur- 
ing this absence that the house was altered. In 
a short, undated note to Fadier Grandma tells 
him that she has been so endianted since she 
came home she could not write. The ''dear old 
house'' looked just the same as she drove up, but 
when she went inside she saw the changes. "I 
had no idea it was to be, but it is most delightful, 
and I only hope I shall live a few years to enjoy 
it. I can open a window without breaking my 
back. I have a bathroom and the nicest little 
dressing-room with an open fire. I can ring bells 
and have back stairs, etc., etc Indeed, dear 
Charley, you and Edie should be happy in mak- 
ing my old days so beautiful and comfortable. 
How you could get so much done I have no idea. 
I am so eager to have you see it all, and only wish 
you would come and surprise us some time." 

Mrs. Anderson has told me how delighted all 
the friends were with every pleasure or comfort 
296 



OWLS NEST 

which came to Grandma, and especially when 
she began to have her own horse and carriage; 
"but it was n*t really necessary that your grand- 
mother should have her own carriage, for all her 
friends were only too glad to lend theirs to her. 
I have never known any one so gracious as she 
was. Every one loved to do things for her and 
wanted to help her in any way they could, and 
she always made it easy for them by accepting 
things in the most charming and gracious man* 
ncr/' 



CHAPTER XVI 

THAT we children loved Grandma needs 
no telling; we were overjoyed when we 
could be with her, but those times were rare 
treats, as we saw her only during her short visits 
with us, or when we had the good fortune to 
stay with her. In reply to my question whether 
our visits tired Grandma, Mary Kennedy an- 
swered, "She loved to have you come, but after 
you left she used to say, 'Well, they stayed just 
long enough/ " 

Elsie justly says, "Grandma had the happy 
faculty of being able to understand the youthful 
point of view, and thus made herself young, so 
that younger people felt at their ease with her, 
and natural. She did n't lay down the law, but 
shed about her some sort of indescribable in- 
fluence by living and thinking and being right." 

Once when Tilly Peasley and Elsie went to 
stay with Grandma at Little Boar's Head, New 
Hampshire, they introduced themselves by tip- 
ping over the bath tub in their room, after which 
they threw the wet rug out of the window on to 
Mr. Bachelder, who happened to be passing; but 
that, like everything else, was taken by Grandma 
with quiet philosophy. Elsie writes: "I never 
298 



OWLS NEST 

saw her ruffled, or troubled, or irritated, and Vm 
sure she often had cause to be. I know that Rob 
and I distressed her by our wild, untamed animal 
spirits. She used to tell me of our young rela- 
tions the Rockwells and Lawrie Godkin, — tell 
me how delightful they were, and what good 
manners they had, and tried in her own subtle 
way to bring me to my senses. She invariably 
sat with me when I dressed for luncheon and 
dinner, and I with her; as I grew older those 
were our best times together, and I hated to have 
her Burlington and Milton visits come to an end, 
for on each one she gave me something to think 
about.*' 

Grandma's dresses were always made alike. 
Elsie says, ''She didn't yield to fashion's dic- 
tum, — a well-fitting little shoulder-cape topped 
her dress, and that turned away at the neck and 
filled in with a wisp of soft maline was most be- 
coming. Into her brooch she looped narrow, 
light-colored ribbons, — yards of blue or green or 
some other shade, and that touch of color always 
made her seem young to me; — that and the fact 
that she could play *The Campbells are comin' ' 
and 'Oh! dear, what can the matter be' made 
her seem any age." 

"The earliest recollection I have of Grandma 

Perkins," writes Rob, "is when she came to 

Burlington for her visits, which were looked 

forward to by us children (Elsie and I were the 

299 



OWLS NEST 

only ones in diose days) with much pleasure, 
and were never half long enough. I remember 
particularly how much I enjoyed being read to, 
and Grandma never seemed to be tired of doing 
that. She read Western stories, — what we 
called the 'Frank and Archie Books/ and many 
a time did she conspire widi me on ways and 
means for outwitting Lena, our nurse, as to the 
time for shutting up shop and going to sleep. I 
think Grandma had the sweetest of dispositions 
and a heart diat took in the whole world. Little 
things did not disturb her, and I felt that if I 
could get behind her skirts Lena's frantic at- 
tempts to carry out orders about food and bed- 
time and many other things need have no terrors 
forme. My most vivid recollections of Grandma 
concern the visits Elsie and I used to make to 
Gncinnati, to the old Owls Nest. These visits 
were full of excitement. First there was the suge 
drive out to Walnut Hills, — I can see now the 
dusty road in front of the old place, the pine 
trees, and the avenue leading up to the com- 
fortable old house, and the welcome we re- 
ceived. 

''Old Gus was a sort of retainer, who had 
various duties about the place, and lived, if I 
remember correctly, in a small, detached house. 
Not far from the main house was a building, the 
lower story of which was devoted to Dr. Soule's 
school^ and in the upper story Uncle Jim and 
300 



OWLS NEST 

Uncle Henry lived. Their rooms opened on to 
an upstairs piazza, and whenever I see the same 
arrangement now I think of those rooms. 

**Our days at Owls Nest were spent in various 
ways: craw-fishing in the creek behind the house 
with the Walker boys, collecting snails, and mak- 
ing raids on Mr. Aubery's cherries. I have never 
seen their like since. I remember that upon one 
occasion when Elsie and I had been at Mr. 
Aubery's for a feast of cherries, a thunder storm 
came up, and we got very wet before we could 
get home. When we came up the avenue the 
gutters were running water and pools had formed 
on -the lawn. Grandma was standing on the pi- 
azza watching our approach, and the rain was 
coming down in sheets. When I asked her if we 
might roll in the pools, she said, 'Certainly, 
jump right in;' and we did, splashing about to 
our hearts' content, actually rolling about. Lena 
was somewhat shocked at this procedure, but 
Grandma said, ' Let them go/ Then we tramped 
through the house into the downstairs kitchen 
where we were quickly stripped and given a warm 
drink. In the evenings we rolled paper lamp- 
lighters, and were read to, and expeditions were 
planned for our pleasure. We particularly en- 
joyed the children's tea-parties which we often 
had. In later years I remember Grandma as the 
sweetest of old ladies, and could appreciate why 
the stories I still hear of her kindliness and hos- 
301 



OWLS NEST 

pitallty were true. They could hardly be exag- 
geratedy and she was beloved by all who knew 
her. 

"Nowadays, as I see children with their grand- 
mothers, it sometimes seems as if the relationship 
were not as it used to be. We certainly considered 
our grandmothers' houses as havens of safety, 
and feared no laws of any kind. There we had 
our greatest liberty, ate everything that hurt us 
at home, — and at all inconvenient hours, — 
and my idea of a grandmother was that if we 
wanted anything or were in trouble she would 
and could fix it, and would take our side against 
the tyranny of mothers and niu-ses." 

It is only in the later years of Grandma's life 
that I myself remember her distinctly, and my 
happiest memories of her are connected with 
Little Boar's Head. In June, 1883, after making 
a long visit in Philadelphia with her friends E>r.^ 
and Mrs. Barthelow, Grandma went with them 
to Little Boar's Head. The Barthelow family 
and she shared one of the four little "Terrace 
Hall Cottages," ' owned by Mr. Bachelder and 
managed by his sister, Mrs. Hill. All the cot- 
tagers took their meals in "Terrace Hall," a few 
)rards away, and Grandma had none of the cares 

^ Dr. Barthelow had at one time lived in Cincinnati and 
bad been Grandma's ph3rsician. 

' Grandma's cottage and Terrace Hall have since burned 
down. 

302 



OWLS NEST 

of housekeeping. However, as Peggy and I were 
soon taken by our dear Lena to make Grandma 
a long visit, I think much of the rest she might 
have gained was counter-balanced by us, as we 
were constantly getting into innocent scrapes. 

Not far away on the point lived Miss Phoebe 
Baker, and with her Mrs. Keys and her family, 
— all neighbors and friends of Grandma in 
Cincinnati. "There is n*t much to tell of your 
grandmother's summers here at Little Boar's 
Head," writes Miss Eva Keys, "for her life was 
quiet and simple ; but every one who knew her 
loved and admired her, that always went without 
saying. She took the greatest delight in having 
you children visit her, and her patient love and 
sweetness with you all was beautiful to behold. 
You were overflowing with health, life, and wild 
spirits, and often went quite beyond her control, 
but all she ever said at one of your maddest 
pranks was, *Oh Peggy,' or *Oh Plummy.' She 
adored you children, and was always gentle, 
although she could be firm, too, if the occasion 
required firmness." 

Looking back on those happy weeks, I feel as 
though Grandma had always been sitting on the 
little front porch, waidng to welcome us from 
our latest expedition, as eager to hear as we to 
tell what we had been doing. We really were not 
with her a great deal, as we spent most of our 
time out of doors on the sandy beach, or in die 

303 



OWLS NEST 

pine woods playing house, yet the happy atmos- 
phere in which we lived seemed to radiate from 
her. Through the week we were never quiet, but 
on Sundays she kept us at home with her, and 
we delighted in the stories she patiently read 
and re-read. Miss Jewctt's "Play-Days" was 
our favorite, and when one afternoon Grandma 
took us to see the author herself, who was vis- 
iting Mrs. Bell, her aunt, our joy was com- 
plete. 

Only one cloud darkened that summer, — the 
news which came on August twenty-fo^rth that 
at Guilford, the night before. Uncle Charles 
Elliott had died, suddenly and peacefully. He 
was extremely fond of all children, so no wonder 
we loved him, and had always looked forward 
to his visits at Burlington, and with many others 
felt when he died that we had lost a good 
friend. 

After leaving Little Boar's Head in September, 
Grandma came to see us in Milton, passed a few 
days with G)usin Kate Rockwell at Manchester- 
by-the-Sea, and then returned to Owls Nest. 
She wrote to a friend that the summer had been 
a very pleasant one, and that she had enjoyed 
the bracing air and the lovely drives, adding, 
"I am a great deal better, but I have very little 
strength, and so am alwajrs getting tired and 
overdoing." 

The following winter Unde Will Perkins died 

304 



OWLS NEST 

on February eighth. He and Aunt Annie had 
lived in Burlington since 1878, Uncle Will having 
been in the employ of the Chicago, Burlington 
and Quincy Railroad since 1873.* Though Uncle 
Will and Aunt Annie had no children, they al- 
ways knew just how to make us feel welcome 
and at home, and we loved going to their house. 
Even now I can almost see dear old "Pompey," 
their huge maltese cat, as he sat in the big 
armchair with his air of owning the entire 
house. 

A few years before Unde Will's death he left 
the railroad to take the position of Secretary 
and Treasurer of the Murray Iron Works. When 
he died, G)lonel H. B. Scott, our Burlington 
friend and neighbor of many years, wrote a 
letter to Grandma, which I found among her 
papers. He says in part: "I cannot tell you 
how very much and how very personally every 
one in this little town seems to feel William's 
death. The kindness of his heart, and the kind- 
liness of his ways, made him warm personal 
friends among all classes. Among the Murray 
Iron Works men, who are apt to look upon 
their employers as men of a different class from 
themselves, and so to consider them rather 
unfriendly, he was very popular; they liked his 
fair, considerate way of treating them, and would 

^ Between the yean 1873 ^^^ ^^7^ Uncle Will lived in 
Council Bluffs and Ottumwa, Iowa. 

305 



OWLS NEST 

have done for him what probably they would n't 
have done for any other manager they have ever 
had. But not only the men of the Murray Works 
had this warm feeling towards him, but Colonel 
Higbee, who has been thrown into the closest 
relations with him, had grown to be a warm 
personal friend of his, and to him the loss is very 
great. I don't know where he can turn for an- 
other such partner, and the men will wait a long 
time before they find so kind, so considerate, 
and so just an employer. The suddenness of 
William's death and the warm sympathy which 
every one seems to feel for his family are what 
every one has been thinking of and talking of to- 
day; and the uniform kindness and affection with 
which he is spoken of, the many pleasant things 
which are remembered of him and recalled, make 
a tribute to his memory, perhaps the best his 
friends can ask. . . ." 

The next summer, 1884, Peggy and I were 
again at Little Boar's Head with Grandma, 
happy to be once more under her loving wing. 
Aunt Mary Elliott and Aunt Annie Perkins, who 
spent most of that summer there with Grandma, 
realized that she was failing, but we children 
were quite unconscious of that, and day after 
day went on our happy, unthinking way. With 
Grandma we renewed our acquaintance with 
Sylvia the Indian basket-maker, who still goes 
306 



OWLS NEST 

to Rye Beach each summer; and when Grandma 
got up an occasional picnic for us, we had a most 
splendid time going off in a big hay-wagon with 
all our friends and their nurses, driving into the 
woods near Rye, while Grandma followed in a 
carriage with our tea. Another pleasure was to 
gather sweet grass on the marshes, and when we 
came home with our aprons filled, Grandma 
seemed as thrilled as we; then she showed us how 
to braid it in long strands to give to people for 
their linen closets. Every day she tried, I think, 
to teach us some little thing we could do for 
others. To make childhood happy seemed her 
first wish, and I well remember how heartily she 
entered into whatever we wanted to do, whether 
to go to Portsmouth for orange cake, or to have 
a fair in order to get a wheel-chair for our friend 
the cripple boy. 

She was interested in helping a young man 
who worked about the cottages, trying to earn 
enough money to go through college, and when 
Lena spoke of the kindness Grandma*s sim« 
pie comment was, "I have boys of my own, 
Lena.** 

We were tremendously proud of Grandma, 
and thinking her very pretty always wanted to 
show her off. One day Peggy was lunching out 
and heard something about Grandma*s being 
"fine-looking.** She pricked up her ears to hear 
the remark, "Yes, Mrs. Perkins is the hand- 

307 



OWLS NEST 

somest woman in Little Boar's Head/* There- 
upon some one expressed the wish to see her. 
Much pleased, Peggy suggested that any one 
who wanted to see Grandma might come down 
to the cottage after lunch. The minute the meal 
was over Peggy flew home and found Grandma 
and Aunt Annie in the parlor. To an abrupt 
request that she should go out on the piazza 
Grandma wonderingly consented. Then Peggy 
insisted that Grandma should put on her big 
hat and tied the ribbons under her chin. In a 
minute the friends came trooping by. As soon 
as they had passed the cottage, Peggy hugged 
Grandma, exclaiming, "They think you're just 
beautiful!'' 

From the time of Aunt Annie's engagement to 
Uncle Will Grandma had been like a real mother 
to her, for her own mother had died when she 
was very young. "She was the best woman I 
Tiave ever known," writes Aunt Annie, " both by 
precept and example." Of this last summer she 
says: "Your grandmother herself knew that 
she was losing strength and often said to me, 
* Learn to grow old.' Her eyes were so weak tha^t 
she could not read much, and she became tired 
of knitting and crocheting. She felt that had 
she learned when she was young to play cards 
it would have been a comfort to her now. There 
were many days when she was too weak to leave 
her bed, but she could not bear to cause anxiety, 
308 



OWLS NEST 

so whenever your father or your uncle Ned came 
down for the night she was up and dressed to 
meet them, and was so bright and animated that 
they could not know her true condition, but often 
after they had gone she almost collapsed. Your 
grandmother hated to be Mosed/ and for a long 
time could not be induced to have a doctor. At 
length she consented just in order to satisfy Aunt 
Mary Elliott and me. He prescribed a medicine 
and said he would return in a few days, which he 
did, only to find your grandmother no better. 
He could not understand why the medicine had 
had no effect, but I had seen it thrown out of the 
window and was not surprised." 

In the autumn (1884) Grandma returned to 
Owls Nest, but after a few months she began 
to grow steadily weaker. Mrs. Harrison, who 
lived near by, was like a devoted daughter and 
passed almost every day with her, leaving only 
when it was time for Uncle Jim to come home. 
As long as Grandma was able, she dressed at 
dusk and went downstairs, where she waited on 
the sofa for Uncle Jim, as had been her habit 
for so many years. Poor little Snux had always 
slept on the foot of Grandma's bed, and now, as 
if feeling that a change was near, he would not 
leave her room at all. 

Grandma could not bear that Uncle Jim should 
see how ill she was, and weeks passed before any 
one dared to tell him. When she became so frail 

309 



OWLS NEST 

that It seemed unsafe for her to be alone at all, 
Mrs. Harrison said to Uncle Jim that she thought 
Grandma should have a nurse, and he of course 
arranged for one at once. After a few days, how- 
ever, Grandma insisted that the nurse should 
be sent away, for she felt that the presence of a 
stranger must be annoying to Uncle Jim. Then 
our dear Mrs. Granger was immediately sent out 
from Boston, and was the greatest possible com- 
fort, for Grandma had known her many years. 
Uncle Jim was all devotion, and the days were 
quiet and peaceful. Near the last. Cousin Lizzie 
Woodward and Uncle Ned arrived, and were 
with Grandma until she died on the fourth of 
February. There was no real illness and no suf- 
fering, — death came as quietly as sleep. 

There were many to feel that a light had gone 
out on Walnut Hills, but **one does not like to 
take the tone of an eulogist in writing about her 
any more than she would have liked it.** Mr. 
Strong writes of Grandma: "It is as hard to 
say less than one feels as it is to forget. Surely 
no one whom I have known ever had more de- 
voted friends through a lifetime, or valued them 
more. It is because she cared for so many that 
so many grieved when she died, and that her 
name is so dear to those who are left. Her place 
is assured in their loving remembrance. The 
assurance would have gladdened her heart, and 
we may rejoice to think that she knows." 
310 



OWLS NEST 

'Her heart was like a generous fire 
Round which a hundred souls could sit, 
And warm them in the unstinted blaze. 
Those who had nearest place to it. 
Had cheer and comfort all their days. 
Those who perforce, were further still. 
Yet felt her radiance meet their chill, 
Their darkness lightened by her rays." 

Susan Cooudob. 



INDEX 



Thioughout this index the initials J. H. P. stand for James 
Handasyd Perkins, the elder, and Mrs. J. H. P. for his wife, 
who was Sarah H. Elliott. 



Abbot, Dr. Benjamin, of Phil 

lips Exeter Academy, a6. 
Abbot, Mrs. Benjamin, 26 

note. 
Abolitionism, 169, 177. 
Adams, Mt., cholera at, an. 
Agassiz, Louis, 33a. 
Anderson, Mrs. Louise, 351, 

396. 
"Annals of the West," by J. 

H. P., 185, 186. 
Apple Trees, the, 45, 335, 347, 

aso, 354, 395. 
Aubery, Mr., 301. 
Aubery, Mrs., 350, 367; letter 

of, to the author, 385-387. 
Aubery, Mary, letter of, to the 

author, 3-4. 
"Aunt Esther," nurse to J. H. 

P., 33, 33, 34. 

Bacon, Squire, 16. 
Baker, Phoebe, 303. 
Baldwin, ** Ben," 51. 
Bancroft, Rev. Aiuon, 166. 
Bancroft, George, 26. 
Barthelow, Dr., 303 and note. 
Barthelow, Mrs., 303. 
Bartol, Rev. Cyrus A., 166, 190, 

844. 
Beecher, Catharine, letters from, 

quoted, 58-59; 77-79; 79, 

III, 116. 
Beecher, Harriet, 5j, 79, in, 

113,116,129. AndseeStowe, 

Mrs. Harriet Beecher. 
Beecher, Rev. Lyman, 51, 53, 



5^» 57> 77> 82 and note; offi- 
ciates at wedding of Salmon 
P. Chase, 116; 138, 177. 

Beecher, Mrs. Lyman (Roxana 
Foote), 51, 52, 53. 

Bell, Dr. William A., 368 and 
note, 370, 373. 

Bellows, Dr. H. W., 190, 333. 

Bremer, Fredrika, 190; letter of, 
to Mrs. J. H. P., 391-393. 

Brenton, Sarah, 43. And see 
Eliot, Mrs. Joseph. 

Burlington and Missouri River 
Railroad, bought by John M. 
Forbes, 339; 340, 351. 

Butler, Mrs. Pierce, 34 note. 
And see Kemble, Frances 
Anne. 

Cabot, Samuel, 39, 30, 31. 
Cabot, Mrs. Samuel, 194. 
Cary, Mrs. Edward M. (Alice 

Forbes), 339. 
Catholics, the, and J. H. P., 

30I. 

"Cedar Cliflf," Pomeroy, Ohio, 
144. 

Chamberlain house, the, prob- 
able birthplace of Mrs. J. H. 

P., 247- 
Channing, Ellery, 157 and note. 
Channing, Rev. William Henry, 

cousin and closest friend of 

{. H. P., 34; his memoir of 
. H. P., cited, 33 note; 55, 
40-41; 80, 96, 131, 159, 160; 
minister of Unitarian Church 



313 



INDEX 



in Cincinnati, 167; position 
and influence of J. H. P., de- 
scribed by, 167-169; resigns 
his pastorate, 169; 170; de- 
scribes J. H. P. as a speaker, 
172-173; 176, 177, 189; his 
memoir of J. H. P., dted, 
2oa note; letter of, to J. H. P. 
on his father's death, 203- 
205; 219, 224. 

Chase, Salmon P., 39 note; 
A. B. Hart's Life of, quoted, 
66-67; 98, 100; his marriage, 
116-117; 187. 

Chase, Mrs. Sahnon P. (Kate 
Garniss), 116-117. 

Cheviot, farm at, 153, 163, 176, 
184. 

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 
R. R., 254. 

Chittenden, Abram, 51, 76, 106 
note. 

Chittenden, Mrs. Abram (Diana 
Ward), 51. 

Chittenden, Betsey, 51, 52. 

Chittenden, Henry W., 51, 119, 
120. 

Chittenden, Mrs. Henry W. 
(Mary Griffing), 119, 12a 

Chittenden, Lydia, 52. 

Cholera, in Ohio, in 1849, 210, 
211, 215, 217. 

Cincinnati, early history of, 
66 ff.; elements in the popula- 
tion of, 67; A. B. Hart on, 67; 
Dr. Richards on, 67-68; so- 
cial life in, 68; Mrs. Trol- 
lope's account of, 69-73; ^^ 
mestic problems in, 69-72; 
markets, 72-73; the "Semi- 
Colon," 73-75; Catharine 
Beecher's account of, 77-79; 
Second Church of, 78; diffi- 
culties of transportation to, in 
the sixties, 253. 

Cincinnati Astronomical So- 
ciety, 166. 

Cincinnati College, 165. 



Cincinnati Observatory, 165. 

Civil War, the, 241-242, 248. 

Clarke, James Freeman, 47, 
167, 189. 

Cleveland, Henry, 155, 156. 

Cleveland, Mrs. Henry (Sarah 
Perkins), 155, 156. 

"Coal-banks," the, 142. 

Cogswell, Mr., of Round Hill 
School, 26, 28. 

Cooley, Mrs. Jeannette, 76, 
112. 

Cranch, Rev. Christopher, 166. 

Cranch, Ekiward, at the "Semi- 
Colon," 75, 76, 96 ; letter of, 
to Mrs. J. H. P., 96-97; no, 
117, 122, 12$; partner of J. 
H. P., 128; 179, 189 and note, 
228, 229. 

Cranch, Mrs. Edward (Bertha 
Wood), 189 note, 228, 229, 

251- 

Cranch, Judge William, 94 and 
note. 

Cross, Mrs. Mary (Mary Whet- 
ten), 232. 

Cunningham, Mrs. Frands, 

158. 
Curtis, George William, 232. 

Dabney, Mrs. Charles Wyllys, 

133 and note. 
Dabney, Rozana, author of the 

"Dabnev Annals," 133. 
"Dabney Annals," quoted, 133- 

135. 
Derby, Martha, 93, 123. 
Dewey, Dr., 190. 
Dix, Dorothea, 190. 
Dwight, Daniel A., 293. 
D wight, Mrs. Daniel A., letter of, 

to the author, 292-293. 

Eliot, Abial, 45. 

Eliot, John, the Apostle to the 

Indians, 42-43. 
Eliot, Mrs. John, 42. 
Eliot, John, 2d, 43. 



314 



INDEX 



Eliot, Joseph, 43» 45- 

Eliot, Mrs. Joseph (Sarah 

Brenton), 43. 
Eliot, Mrs. Joseph (Mary Wyl- 

lys). 43- 
Eliot, Samuel, 45. 



Eliot, WyUys, 4^. 
Wy" 
Ward), 45. 



Eliot, Mrs. WyUys (Abigail 



Elliott, Abigail, sister of Mrs. 

j. H. P., 147. 
Elliott, Andrew, father of Mrs. 

J. H. P., 42, 4S» 57- 
Elliott, Mrs. Andrew (Catherine 

HiU), mother of Mrs. J. H. P., 

4a ; portrait of, 45; 46-47» 49» 

III, 130, 207, 208. 
Elliott, Catherine, sister of Mrs. 

T.H.P.,49. 

Elliott, Charles W., 49, 74, 76, 
III, 112 note, 184, 190 and 
note, 191, 197, 200, 207, 208, 
210, 215, 219, 223, 238, 240, 
244; his death, 304. 

Elliott, Mrs. Charles W., quoted, 
74; letter of, to author, con- 
cerning Mrs. J. H. P., 222- 
223, 306, 309. 

Elliott, Elizabeth, sbter of Mrs. 
J. H. P. See Foote, Mrs. 
Samuel E. 

Elliott, Henry, 46^ 94, 112, 244; 
his death, 261. 

Elliott, Howard, 244. 

Elliott, Samuel, 57, 78. 

Elliott, Sarah H., 4; birth of, 42, 
48; her childhood and school- 
ing, 48-50; 61, 65; in Cincin- 
nati, 76; 79, 80; returns to 
Guilford, 84; extracts from 
letters of J. H. P. to, 84 ff.; 
has trouble with her eyes, 100; 
further extracts from J. H. P.*s 
letters to, 100 fif., 103 ff., 
1 20 ff . ; her characterization of 
herself, 126-127; in Brook- 
line, 127-129; returns to Guil- 
ford, 130; marries J. H. P., 



131. And see Perkins, Mrs. 

James Handasyd. 
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, hb 

Divinity School Address, 160; 

232. 
Emerson, Mrs. W. R., letter of, 

to the author, 235-237. 
Erie Canal, 61. 
Everett, Edward, 115. 

Fenher, Rev. Mr., 187. 

Foote, Eli, 51. 

Foote, Mrs. Eli (Roxana Ward), 

5i» 53» 54» 55» i53- 

Foote, Fanny. See Godkin, 
Mrs. Edwin L. 

Foote, George, 53, 56 and note. 

Foote, Mrs. George, 48, 107 and 
note. 

Foote, Harriet, 52, 53, 54, 55, 
124, 147. 

Foote, Henry, 262 and note, 
264. 

Foote, Mrs. Henry, 268. 

Foote, John, 123, 189. 

Foote, Roxana. See Beecher, 
Mrs. Lyman. 

Foote, Samuel E., 4, 57-61; de- 
scribed by Catharine Beecher, 
58-59, 74, 75, 81, 97, 102, 115, 
i47» 150; letter of, to Mrs. Eli 
Foote, 153; 176, 188, 189. 

Foote, Mrs. Samuel E. (Eliza- 
beth Elliott), 60, 75, 76; letter 
of, to Mrs. Greene, 83; 91, 
102, 107, III, 112, 113, 116, 
122, 123, 124, 126, 127, 129, 
147, 176; letter of, to Mrs. 
Greene, 226. 

"Foote'8 Row," 75. 

Forbes, Alice, 239. And sec 
Cary, Mrs. Edward M. 

Forbes, Ellen, letter of, to Alice 
Forbes, describing Owls Nest, 

239- 
Forbes, Emma, 158. 
Forbes, J. Malcolm, 238. 
Forbes, John Murray, his char- 



31S 



INDEX 



acterization of Samuel G. 
Perkins, 20-21; concerning 
Round Hill School, 26-27; 
his account oi the counting- 
house oi Perkins & Co., 29- 
31; 137 and note, 155, 158, 
239, 240. 

Forbes, Mrs. John M. (Sarah 
Hathawav), 137, 155, 158. 

Forbes, Ralph Bennet, 20. 

Forbes, Mrs. Ralph Bennet 
(Marraret Perkins), aunt of 
J. H. F., 20, 156 and note. 

Forbes, Robert Bennet, 20, 
158. 

Forbes, Mrs. Robert Bennet, 
245, 248. 

Force, Manning F., 191, 228 
and note, 229, 233, 241, 243, 
266, 289. 

Force, Mrs. Manning F. (Fran- 
ces Horton), 228 note, 289. 

Fowler, Annette, on Mrs. An- 
drew Elliott, 46. 

Fowler, Polly, 48. 

French Revolution, e£Fect of, on 
J. H. P.'s career, ro8. 

Fuller, Maii^aret, 190. 

Fuller, William, 190. 

Gallagher, Mr., 146, 147, 177, 

189. 
Gano, John A., 2^3. 
Garlidis, Mr., 225, 290. 
Gamiss, Kate, 11 6-1 17. And 

see Chase, Mrs. Salmon P. 
Godkin, Edwin L., 259, 296. 
Godkin, Mrs. Edwin L. (Fanny 

Foote), 60, 259; her death, 

206. 
Gocuin, Lawrence, 296, 299. 
Goodman, Fanny, 191. And see 

Harrison, Mrs. L. B. 
Granger, Mrs., 310. 
Greelev, Mr., J. H. P.'s first 

teacher, 24. 
Greene, E., 74; 113, 125, 129, 

188, 226. 



Greene, Mrs. E., 83, 90 note, 

III, 226. 
Greene, Katie, 188. And see 

Roeiker, Mrs. 
Greene, William, im^ession 

produced on, t^ J. H. P.'s 

preaching, 1 71-172. 
GreenwoooT Frauds, 115. 
Griffing, Mary. See Chitten- 
den, Mrs. Henry W. 
Guilford, Anna, 178, 186, 

188. 
Guilford, Appoline, 179, 186. 
Guilford, Conn., 42, 43^45» 47» 

48, 120; Unitarians in bad 

odor at, 158; 207. 

Harrison, L. B., 233. 

Harrison, Mrs. L. B. (Fanny 
Goodman), quoted, 174, 170, 
182, 191; letter of, to the 
author, 207-208; 217, 220, 
224,309. 

Hart, A. B., his "Life of S. P. 
Chase," quoted, 68-^9. 

Hathaway, William, 138, 139, 
140, 158. 

Hayward, J. T., 30, 31. 

Head, Charles, 244, 295. 

Head, Mrs. Charles, 295. 

Hentz, Mrs., 41. 

Higbee, Colonel George, 305, 
306. 

Hiffginson, Barbara, 15, 18. 
And see Perkins, Mrs. Sam- 
uel G. 

Higginson, Stephen, 15, 22, 136, 

235- 
Himnson, Colond Thomas 

Wentworth, 20. 
Hill, Catherine. See Elliott, 

Mrs. Andrew. 
Hill, Squire Henry, Mrs. J. H. 

P.'s grandfather, 42, 49. 
Hni, Leah, Mrs. J. H. P.'s aunt 

and teacher, 48, 49. And see 

Pinneo, Mrs. 
Hill, Sarah, Mrs. J. H. P.'s 



316 



INDEX 



aunt, 49, 52. And see Tom- 

linson, Mrs. 
Hillard, Georae S., his "Life of 

George Ticknor," quoted, 20, 

22. 
Holmes, D. H., letter of, to 

the author, concerning James 

Handasyd Perkins, Junior. 
Horton, Mr., 128, 142, 146, 

148, 149. 
Horton, Mrs., 149. 

Horton, Frances, 228 note. And 

see Force, Mrs. Manning F. 
Howe, Dr. Estes, 27, 74, 148, 

149, 222. 
Howe, Judge, 27. 
Howe, Mrs. Judge, 27. 
Howe, Tracy, 27; law partner 

of J. H. P., 81, 82; 122, 123, 
124, 125, 128, 179, 188, 

Hubbard, John J., 57, no. 

Inquisition, the, a debating club, 

118. 
Irvin, Judge, 135 note, 148. 
Irvin, Mrs., 142. 
Irying, William, 248, 250. 

Jamaica Pond, 195, 197. 

James, Judge Charles, 191, 209, 
229, 233. 

Jewett, Isaac Appleton, 97, no, 
116, 173, 189, 191. 

Jewett, Sarah Ome, her "Play- 
Days," 304. 

Elebler, Mrs., letter of, to the 
author concerning her memo- 
ries of Cincinnati and of 
J. H. P. and Mis. J. H. P., 
186-19 1 ; and concerning 
Owls Nest and its guests, 232- 
233; 241-242. 

Kebler, Fritz, 261. 

Kemble, Frances Anne, 34 and 
note, 190. 

Kennedy, Kate, quoted, 242. 



Kennedy, Mary, quoted, 287- 

289; 298. 
Keys, Eva, letter of, to the 

author, 277-281, 303. 
King, General Edward, 39, 78, 

81. 
King, Rufus, 39, 188. 
King, T. Starr, 232. 

Lane Theological Seminary, 77, 
79; 98. 

Lee, Henry, family of, 265. 

Lesley, Mis. Peter, her "Recol- 
lections d my Mother," 27 
and note. 

Little Boar's Head, Mrs. J. H. 
P. at, 298, 302, 303, 306. 

Liverpool packet, a, described 
by James H. Perkins, 32-33. 

Longworth, Joseph, 188. 

longworth, Nicholas, 186^ 228, 

233. 251. 
Longworth, Mis. Nicholas, 69, 

90» 233- 

Longworth, Miss, 281 note. 
And see Storer, Mrs. Bel- 
lamy. 

Lonsdale, Earl of, 270, 271. 

Losantivflle. See Cincinnati. 

Lowell, Charles Russell, 245. 

Lowther, Miss, 270. 

Lowther, Mr., 270, 271. 

Lyman, Charlotte, 90 and DOte» 
III, 129, 147. 

Lyman, Judge, 27. 

Lyman, Mrs. Judge, 27. 

Lytle, General, 241. 

Macieady, William, 190. 

Marshall, John, his opinions on 
Constitutional Law, projected 
publication of, by J. U. P., 
154, 157, 160, 161. 

Martineau, Harriet, 190. 

Mather, Rev. Eleazer, 43. 

Meline, Mr., 125. 

Mexican War, 20a 

Miamitown, 129. 



317 



INDEX 



Mfles, S. P., J. H. P.'s teacher 
at Lancaster, 25-26, 28. 

Mitchel, Prof. Onnsby McK., 
165 and note; quoted, con- 
cerning J. H. P., 165. 

Mountford, Hannah, 43. See 
Eliot, Mrs. John. 

Murray Iron Works, and Wil- 
liam C. Perkins, 305. 

Naushon (* ' Nashaun "), 1 39, 

140. 
"North American Review," J. 

H. P.'s articles in, 205. 
" Nutplains" (Guilford, Conn.), 

50,51-57, III. 

Ohio, History of, projected by 

J. H. P., 154. 
Ohio River, first steamboat on, 

61. 
Owens, Lena, 257, 300, 303, 

307- 
Owls Nest, i; given to Cincin- 
nati for a park, i, 3; 9, 10; 
bought by J. H. P., 184; de- 
scribed by J. H. P., 185; 190; 
191, 197, 200, 206; garden at, 
211; 217, 219, 227; life at, 
described by Dr. Soule, 228- 
230; guests at, 232; 237, 239, 
240, 242; described by Mrs. 
Charles £. Perkins, 250; 252, 
«59» 273, 279, 281; described 
l^ Mrs. Bellamy Storer, 284; 
286, 287; Christmas tree at, 

X; 292, 294, 300, 304. 
Nest, the new, at Framing- 
ham, Mass , 250 note. 
Oxford, Ohio, 106. 

Parrish, S. L., letter of, to the 
author, concerning James 
Handasyd Perkins, Junior, 
274-275. 

Peabody, Rev. Ephraim, 39, 
129, 136, 137, 166. 

Peabody, Mrs. Ephraim, 122. 



Peck, Elizabeth, grandmother 
of J. H. P., 15. And see Per- 
kins, Mrs. James. 

Peck, James Handasyd, great- 
grandfather of J. H. P., 15, 
16. 

Perkins, Alice Forbes (Mrs. 
William Hooper), 249, 254, 
256, 273, 298, 299. 

Pexxins, Charles Elliott, son of 
J. H. P., I, 11; birth of, 176; 
described by his father, 179, 
180, 181, 206, 208; 183, 197, 
209, 213; anecdote of, 214; 
227, 238; letter of, to the au- 
thor, 239; on Burlington and 
Missouri River R. R., 240; 
243; his marriage, 244; 245, 
250, 251, 252, 254, 255, 266; 
letter of, to Mrs. J. H. P., 
273; 278, 295, 296. 

Perkins, Mrs. Charies Elliott 
(Edith Forbes), her marriage, 
244; letter of, to the author, 
concerning Mrs. J. H. P., 
244-258; 296. 

Perkins, Edward Cranch, son of 

J[. H. P., I, 3; birth of, 182; 
etter dictated by, to Ssunuel 
G. Perkins, 197; described by 
J. H. P., 207; 213-214, 227, 
235» 239, 240, 243, 262; his 
marriage, 268; 281, 308, 310. 

Perkins, Mrs. Edward C. (Jane 
Watson), 239, 268. 

Perkins, Elizabeth, sister of 
J. H. P., 115, 121, 136, 156* 
182, 194. 

Perkins, Henry, son of J. H. P., 
184, 197, 207, 208, 244, joo. 

Perkins, James, grandfather of 
J. H. P., 15. 

Perkins, Mrs. James (Elizabeth 
Peck), 15; death of, 16; 17. 

Perkins, James, of "Pine Bank," 
uncle of J. H. P., established 
in business at San Domingo, 
17; in the insurrection oi ne- 



318 



INDEX 



groes there, 1 8 ; business career 
of, 19; his death and character, 
10; 156. 
Pei^ns, Mrs. James, of " Pine 
Bank," in insurrection of ne- 
groes at San Domingo, 18; 

Perkins, James Handasyd, buys 
Owls Nest, i; his good works 
and influence, 2; 9, 12; his 
birth and parentage, 15; in 
the nursery, 32-24; his early 
schooling, in Boston, 24; at 
Lancaster, 25; at PhiUicMS, 
Exeter, 26; at Round Hill 
School, 26; his youthful char- 
acter, 27-28; in the counting- 
house of Perkins & Co., 29- 
31 ; in England and the West 
Indies, extracts from letters, 
32-35; letter of, to Timothy 
Walker, on prospect of going 
West, 36-37; in Cincinnati, 
38; letter of, to Stephen H. 
Perkins, 38-40; law studies, 
38; * ' Western Monthly Maga- 
zine," 39; letter of, to W. H. 
Channing, 40-41; 79; en- 
gagement of, to Miss Elliott, 
80; letter of, to W. H. Chan- 
ning, 80-82; legal prospects, 
81; extracts from letters of, 
to Miss Elliott, on personal 
matters, 84 fif.; letter of, to 
Isaac A. Jewett, 97; extracts 
from letters of, to Miss Elliott 
08 ff., 100 fit; has trouble with 
his eyes, 100-103; extracts 
from letters of, to Miss Elliott, 
103 fif.; buys farm near Cin- 
cinnati, 106; his career influ- 
enced by the French Revolu- 
tion of 1830 and the TariflF 
Law of 1826, 108; his financial 
position in 1833, 109; first ac- 
quaintance with Miss Elliott, 
recalled, no; abandons farm- 
ing for the law, 112; family of. 



described by, 115; views of, 
on weddings in general, 117- 
118; as a debater, 118; ex- 
tracts from letters of, to Miss 
Elliott, 120 ff.; marriage of, 
and Sarah H. Elliott, in 1834, 
131; letter of, to W. H. Chan- 
ning, 131-132; abandons the 
law, 132; engaged in literary 
work, 133; Fayal project 
(1835), 133-140; described by 
Miss Pomeroy, 134-135; ex- 
tracts from letters of, to Mrs. 
P., in 1835, 136 ff.; at New 
Bedford and Naushon, 137- 
139; project of raising sUk 
worms at Northampton, 140- 
141; letter of, to a friend, 
concerning plans for the 
future, 141-142; letter of, to 
Mrs. John Rogers, on same 
subject, 142-143; at Pomeroy, 
Ohio, 144; letter of, to W. H. 
Channing, 144-145; and to 
Mrs. P., 145-147* 148-150; 
Pomeroy venture of, a fail- 
ure, 150; letter of, to W. H. 
Channing, 1 5^-152; and to 
Stephen H. Peiidns, 152 ; 
panic of 1837, 152; literary 
and educational work of, in 
1837-1838, 153 ; buys estate 
at Cheviot, 153; letter of, to 
W. H. Channing, 154-155; 
literary projects of, 154; ex- 
tracts from letters of, to Mrs. 
P., in 1838, 155 ff.; his edi- 
tions of Marshairs Opinions 
on Constitutional Law, 154, 
I57> 160, 161; hears Emer- 
son's Divinity School Address, 
160; philanthropic work of, 
and his interest in education, 
163-16J; testimony of Prof. 
Mitchel concerning his edu- 
cational work, 165-166; a 
member of the Unitarian 
Church in Cincinnati, 166; 



319 



INDEX 



his position and influence 
descnbed by W. H. Channing, 
167-168; invited to succeed 
Mr. Channing as minister, 
169; his position described by 
himself, 1 70-171; his preach- 
ing, 171; his characteristics 
as a speaker described by 
Mr. Channing, 172-173; letter 
of, to Isaac A. Jewett, 173; 
opens school for girls, 174; as 
a teacher, 174-176; letters of, 
to W. H. Channing, 177, 178; 
his clerical position, 178; let- 
ters of, to Stephen H. Perkins, 
179, 180, 181; his lectures 
on the Histoiy oi Religious 
Opinions, 180; on financial 
conditions, 1842, 181 ; renewed 
trouble of, with his eyes, 182; 
sells farm at Cheviot and 
buys Owb Nest (1845), 1^4; 
letters of, to W. H. Channing, 
184, 185; describes Owb Nest 
and his occupations there, 
185; his**Annaisof the West," 
185-186; described by Mrs. 
Kebler, 186, 188; 191, 192, 
196, 197; letters of, to Sam- 
uel G. Perkins, concerning 
his position and occupations, 
109, 200, 201 ; his reli- 
nous views, 202 and note; 
tetter of W. H. Channing to, 
on the death and oiar- 
acter of Samuel G. Perkins, 
203-205; letter of, to Nancjr 
Perkins, describing his chil- 
dren, 206-207; extracts from 
letters of, to Mrs. P., in 1849, 
208 fif.; threatened with chol- 
era, 210; in New England, 
Erospecting, 218; his impaired 
ealth, 219; his death, Dec. 
14, 1849, 219; his character 
and influence, 219; 220, 222, 
225» 229, 230^ 235, 269, 283, 
295- 



Perkins, Mrs. James Handasyd 
(Sarah H. Elliott), character 
of, described by Rev. C. A. L. 
Richards, 4-9; by Rev. G. A. 
Strong, 9-10; by her seam- 
stress, lo-ri; 12, 13, 14, 41, 
131; marriage of, and J. H. 
P., 131, 135; extracts from 
letters of J. H. P. to, 136 ff., 
145 ff.; 148 ff., 155 ff.; let- 
ter of, to Charlotte L3rman, 
147-148; 158, 162, 176; let- 
ter of, to W. H. Channing, 
176; to Stephen H. Perkins, 
180; 181, 182, 185, 186; de- 
scribed by Mrs. Kebler, 187; 
by Mrs. Harrison, 191-192; 
letter of Stephen H. Perkins 
to, 193-196; visits Brookline, 
197; 198, 199, 200, 204, 205, 
206; visits Guilford, 207; let- 
ters of J. H. P. to, 208 ff.; re- 
turns to Owls Nest, 217; let- 
ter of, to Mm. Harrison, 217- 
218; 219; her strength and 
courage after the death oi J. 
H. P., 220; visits Brookline, 
220; letter of, to Mrs. Har- 
rison, concerning her plans, 
220-221; described by Mrs. 
C. W. Elliott, 222-223; letters 
of, to Mrs. Harrison, 224- 
226; returns to Owls Nest, 
226; Dr. Soule's recollections 
of, 228-231 ; letter of Dr. 
Strong, concerning, 232-234; 
letter of Mrs. W. R. Emerson, 
concerning, 235-237; her rela- 
tions with her sons, 236, 237; 
238» 239» 240, 241, 242-243; 
Mrs. Charies E. Perkins* 
reminiscences of, 244-258; her 
trip to Europe in 1868, de- 
scribed in extracts from her 
letters, 259-272; at Owb Nest 
again, 273; 274, 275; described 
by D. H. Holmes, 276-277; 
her hatred of sham, 276; her 



320 



INDEX 



reladons with her sons, 377; 
described by Miss Keys, 277- 
380; by Mrs. Bellamy Storer, 
281-284; by Mrs. Aubery, 
284-287; and by Maijr Ken- 
nedy, 288-289; her interest 
in Christmas, 290; her work 
for others, 290; letter of 
Fredrika Bremer to, 291-292; 
described by Mrs. Daniel A. 
Dwight,292-293; and by Mrs. 
Wentworth, 293-295; por- 
trait of, 295-296; letter of, to 
Charles £. Perkins, concern- 
ing changes at Owls Nest, 
396; Mrs. Anderson, con- 
cerning, 296-297; 298; Robert 
F. Perkins' recollections of, 
299-^02; at Little Boar's 
Head, 302-304, 306; her fafl- 
in^ health, 306; her grand- 
children's pride in, 307, 308; 
last illness and death of, 309- 
310; Rev. Mr. Strong, quoted, 
310. 
Perkins, James Handasyd, Jun- 
ior, son of J. H. P., his mar- 
riage, 3 and note; 11, 12; his 
death, 12, note; address of 
Mr. Taylor, concerning, 12- 
14; birth of, 206; 208, 213, 
224, 235 ; anecdote of, 238; 
253, 258, 259, 265; described 
by S. L. Parrish, 274-275; by 
D. H. Hohnes, 275-277; and 
by Miss Keys, 279-280; 281, 
284, 285, 288, 289, 293, 300, 

309* 310- 
Perkins, Mrs. James Handas)rd, 

Junior (Mary L. Stettinius), 3 

note, 235. 
Perkins, Margaret See Forbes, 

Mrs. Ralph Bennet. 
Perkins, MaiKuet, 255, 302, 

306, 307, 308. And see Rice, 

Mrs. Geoige T. 
Periuns, Mm, 26 note. And 

see Abbot, Mrs. Benjamin. 



Perkins, Mary Russell, 250. 

Perkins, Nancy, sister of J. H. 
Pm 92, 93, loi, 115, 128, 129, 
136, 156, i95» 225. 

Perkins, Robert Forbes, 251, 
252, 254, 273; letter of, to the 
author, concerning Mrs. J. H. 
P., 299-302. 

Perkins, Samuel G., 15; in San 
Domingo, 17; at Port au 
Prince, 18; in Calcutta trade, 
19; George Ticknor quoted 
concerning, 19; John M. 
Forbes conceminR, 20-21 ; 92; 
described by J. H. P., 93; 94, 
100; J. H. P. concerning, 114- 
115; 128, 136; his * 'Reminis- 
cences of the Insurrection in 
St. Domingo," 154, 159, 160 
and note; 161, 183; letter of, 
to J. H. P., 192; has trouble 
with his eyes, 194; 195; his 
death, 202; letter of W. H. 
Channing to J. H. P. con- 
cerning his death and char- 
acter, 203-205. 

Perkins, Mrs. Samuel G. (Bar- 
bara Higginson), 15; 21; 
George Ticknor quoted con- 
cerning, 22; 115, 136. 

Perkins, Stephen H., brother 
of J. H. P., 38, 115, 136, 152; 

J[. H. P. concerning, 157, 162; 
ctter of, to Mrs. J. H. P., 193; 
197, 220, 221, 224, 229, 238, 
240, 361, 362, 263, 264. 

Perkins, Mrs. Stephen H., 338, 
262. 

Perkins, Thomas H., 17; his 
business career, death, and 
character, 19; founder of Per- 
kins Institution for the Blind, 
19; 29-30; railroads intro- 
duced in the United States 
by, in 1827, 62 note; 95, 194. 

Perkins, Thomas H., Jr., 29. 

Perkins, William Channing, son 
of J. H. P., birth of, 180; 182, 



321 



INDEX 



198; described by J. H. P., 
307; 313, 339, 340; in the Civil 
War» 341, 343; hii marriage, 
359; his death, 304; letter of 
H. B. Scott concerning, 305- 
306. 

Perkins, Mrs. Wniiam Chan- 
ning, 359, 391, 395, 304, 305, 
306, 308; letter of, to the 
author, 30&-309. 

Perkins and Company, 19, 39- 

Perkins, Burling & Co., 17. 

Phillips Academy, Exeter, N. H., 
36, 340. 

Pinneo, Mrs. (Leah Hill), 48. 

Pomeroy, Mary, letter of, to 
Mrs. C. W. Dabney, in 
**Dabney Annals," quoted, 
133-135. And see Irvin, Mrs. 

Pomeroy, Samuel W., 96, 97, 
143. 

Pomeroy, Mrs. Samud W., 150. 

Pomeroy, Ohio, 144. 

Putnam', Rev. George, 160. 

Railroads, introduced in U. S., 
in 1837, by Thomas H. Per- 
kins, 63 note. 

Read, T. Buchanan, 334. 

"Recollections of ny Mother," 
by Mrs. Peter Lesley, 37 
note. 

Relief Union, 3oz, 330. 

"Reminiscences of the Insur- 
rection in St. Domingo," by 
S. G. Plerkins, 17 note, 154, 
159. And see Periuns, Sam- 
uel G. 

Rice, Mrs. George T. (" Peggy " 
Perkins), 355. 

Richards, Dr., i note, 103, 104. 

Richards, Rev. Charles A. L., 
letter of, to Charles E. Per- 
kins, 1-3; to the author, 4-9; 
46, 60; on Cincinnati, 67, 68; 
on the "Semi-Colon," 74; 75, 
79, 103, Z47, 336, 338; letter 



of , to the author, 331-333; 

^33f a73» 290, 395. 
Rockwell, Kate, 369, 304. 
R6elker, Dr., 188 note, 333. 
R6elker, Mrs., 188. And see 

Greene, Katie. 
Rogers, John, lor, 139. 
Rogers, Mrs. John, 41, 80, 85, 

87, loi, 133, 133, 137, 139, 

143. 
Rookwood, 381 and note. 
Round Hill School, 36-37. 

San Domingo, conditions in, 
in 1789-90, 17; insurrection 
of negroes in i79r, 17-18; 
"Reminiscences of the Insur- 
rection in," by S. G. Perkins, 
17 note, 154, 159- 

Sanitary Fair, the, at Cincin- 
nati, 343. 

Scott, Col. H. B., letter of, to 
Mrs. J. H. P. concerning 
William C. Perkins, 305-306. 

Scott, *Minnie, 359, 363, 368. 

Second Church in Cincinnati, 
78. 

"Semi-Colon," the, 73-75, 79, 
135, 167, 188, 189. 

Shotwell, Dr., 11 3. 

Siddons, Mrs., 34 and note. 

Soule, Dr. Nicholas Emery,. 337; 
letter of, to the author, 337-' 
331, 333, 340, 354, 359, 361, 
366, 373, 390, 395, 300. 

Staigg, Mr. R. M., paints Mrs. 
J. H. P.'s portrait, 395. 

Stetson, Mr., 189. 

Stetson, Mrs., loi, 189. 

Stettinius, Mary Longworth, 3, 
3 note. And see Perkins, Mrs. 
James H., Junior. 

Storer, Mrs. Bellamy (Miss 
Longworth), letter of, to the 
author, 381-384; 285. 

Story, Judge Joseph, 157. 

Stowe, Harriet Beecher, letter 
of, quoted, 53-57; 189; letter 



322 



INDEX 



of, concerning cholera epi- 
demic of 1849, 215-217. 

Stowe, Mrs., 125. 

Strong, Rev. George A., letter 
of, to the author, 9-10, 232; 
^33* 237, 238, 295. 

Sturgis, Russell, 16. 

Tarifif Law of 1826, effect of, 
on J. H. P.*s career, 108. 

Taylor, Mr. W. W., address of, 
on James H. Perkins, Junior, 
12-14. 

TomUnson, Mrs. (Sarah Hill), 

5a, 53- 
Travelling west in the early 

19th century, difficulties of, 

61-64. 
Trollope, Mrs. Frances, her 

"Domestic Manners of the 

Americans," quoted, 69-73. 

Unitarian Church» Cincinnati, 
178, 187. 

Walker, Anna, 125. 

Walker, Bryant, 208, 241. 

Walker, Timothy, 36, 38; letter 
of, quoted, 62-04; 81, 113, 
124, 169, 182, 186, 187. 

Walker, Mrs. Timothy, 189, 

251- 
Walnut Hills (near Cincinnati), 



77; J. H. P. buvs Owb Nest, 

184; 186; cholera at, 211; 

290, 292; 300, 310. 
Waxd, Abig^ See Eliot, Mrs. 

Wyllys. 
Ward, Gen. Andrew, So-«. 
Ward, Diana, 51. And see 

Chittenden, Mrs. Abram. 
Ward, Rozana. See Foote, Mrs. 

EU. 
Watson, Jane, 239, 268. And 

see Perkins, Mrs. Edwaxd C. 
Webster, Daniel, in Cincinnati, 

96, 97, 08; 115, 161. 
Wentworth, Charles, 204. 
Wentworth, Mrs. Charles (Miss 

Ladd), letter of, to the author, 

231, 293-295. 
** Western Messenger,'' 147. 
Western Monthly Magazine," 

;9» 165. 

lipple, Edwin P., 232. 
White, Mary. See Elliott, Mrs. 

Charles W. 
Whitfield, Rev. Henry, 44. 
Wood, Madam, 190. 
Wood, Miss, 125. 
Woodward, Elizabeth, at Owls 

Nest, 310. 
Woodward, Mrs., 84. 
"Woonsocket," 195. 
Wyllys, Mary, 43 note. And 

see Eliot, Mrs. Joseph. 



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