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Full text of "Solomon Hoxie; a biography by his daughter"

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COPaUGHT DKPOSm 



SOLOMON HOXIE 



A BIOGRAPHY 

BY HIS DAUGHTER 
JANE L. HOXIE 






Copyright 1922 by 
JANEL. HOXIE 



JAN . 



(2.J23 



C1A692058 



V D 



CONTENTS 



Page 
Introduction 1 

PAET I — Beginnings 5 

Chapter I — Childhood 7 

Chapter II — Youth and Early Manhood 16 

PAET II — A. Cattle Interests 29 

Chapter I — The Unadilla Valley Dutch Stock Breeders' 

Association 31 

Chapter II — First Visit To Holland 37 

Chapter III — Another Visit To Holland and The New Herd 

Book 45 

Chapter IV — Third Visit To Holland — International Confer- 
ence of Breeders of Dutch Cattle 57 

Chapter V — In Guernsey 65 

Chapter VI — Home Again — The Advanced Eegistry 72 

Chapter VII — Holstein-Friesian Propaganda 88 

Chapter VIII — Eetirement 92 

PAET II — B. Other Interests and Activities 97 

Chapter I — The Village of Mr. Hoxie 's Adoption 99 

Chapter II — Philosophy of Life 109 

Chapter III — Eecreations and Intellectual Interests 121 

PAET III— Closing Years 133 

Chapter I — The Formation of Native American Breeds of Cat- 
tle 135 

Chapter II — Ideas and Activities of An Octogenarian 143 

Chapter III — A Modern Patriarch 167 



"There is nothing but Life. And the 
Spirit of Life is Love. And Love is 
God." 



INTRODUCTION 

Whenever I think back upon my association with Solomon 
Hoxie, some of the words that Tennyson wrote as he thought 
of his lost friend, Arthur Hallam, come fittingly to mind : 

"How pure at heart and sound in head, 
With what divine affection bold 
Should be the man whose thought would hold 
An hour's communion with the dead." 

With most of us, affection can chiefly be spoken of as 
expressed for certain persons only, or at most for the com- 
paratively small circle that we best know and that we sup- 
pose best know us. Anything beyond this, like the people 
outside ancient Palestine, we are apt to look upon as mere 
Gentiles, with whom we need have only necessary dealing. 

But with Solomon Hoxie the case was different. All dur- 
ing the nearly forty years that I knew him, he was a constant 
inspiration to greater breadth of sympathy and deeper inter- 
est in universal welfare, such as I have felt from scarcely 
any other person. Not alone his family and friends and 
business acquaintance; not alone the church or political party 
with which he might be acting; not alone the country that 
gave him birth and home and opportunity, filled the measure 
of his affection for mankind. The whole world, rich and 
poor alike, fortunate and outcast, honest men and rogues, 
fellow partisans and opponents, righteous men and women 
and wallowers in sin and wreakers of vengeance — all had a 
place not only in his hope that they would eventually fulfill 
their true mission on earth, but in an affectionate regard 
that prompted always to his doing what he could to help 
them to their eternal realization, as well. How long ago, at 
first — how often since — I have heard him read or quote from 
the Gospel and letters of St. John the definition of God as 
love, and the injunctions to love our fellows as the pre- 
requisites to heavenly companionship. How often, too, have 
I heard him mellow his voice as he tried to express the 
softening of his heart toward those who had wronged him- 



2 THE LIFE OP SOLOMON HOXIE 

self, or were wronging others. "God is love," was no mere 
theological definition, one among many others, with him; it 
was a breath from the divine All-Father himself, a living 
force, a compensatory joy, an enticing and invigorating hope, 
a resurrection before death — it was the very Life of Life to 
Solomon Hoxie, to be thought upon, expressed in every 
prayer, taken by the hand at every crisis, leaned upon 
through every trial and radiated everywhere unto the ends 
of the earth. When, during the time that he was trying to 
rid his neighborhood of a pestiferous saloon, someone 
attacked him maliciously to his bodily hurt, he was heard to 
say of his assailant: "He was crazed — he didn't mean to 
hurt me." And it was not very long after, that he might be 
found on the street corner any evening fellowshipping with 
the Salvation Army in loving endeavor to save those who 
were under the sway of intemperance and kindred vices. 



Solomon Hoxie's soul simply could not hate even those 
that hurt him, much less attempt to hurt them in return. 
He could explain away, excuse and forgive everything, even 
while his heart was sinking and tears would appear. In all 
his relations he was a magnificent exemplar of the doctrine 
that "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and 
there is none occasion of stumbling in him." 

Sturdily through all his declining years did Solomon 
Hoxie continue to live in generous answer to the revelation, 
"Whoso hath this world's good at heart and seeth his brother 
have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from 
him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" Whether culti- 
vating vacant lots in Chicago and dispensing their produce 
to whomsoever needed it, or bending his back to weed the 
gardens of helpless neighbors in Edmeston; whether preach- 
ing in the church near his ancestral home or laying the 
foundations of the recently organized one in Yorkville ; 
whether buying or selling, or advising or working or visiting, 
you could always be sure of his right feeling heart, his sound 
judgment, his instructed conscience and his unswerving de- 
votion to the right as he might see it at the time. Neighbor 
might misunderstand and laugh at or revile him, Prohibition- 







<—£s 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 3 

ist or Abolitionist might differ seriously with him as to aim 
or method, orthodox church people might condemn his liberal- 
ism, or familiar friend might criticise or turn from him; he 
would hold on to his aims and course until the moment when 
he could really see clearly and then, if advisable, act accord- 
ingly. Much as he loved his friends and much as he "loved 
approbation," as he once said to me, clear as some altruistic 
course might appear and hopeful as he might be of the 
triumphant outcome of any cause in which he might be inter- 
ested; yet he could never be cribbed within limits that could 
not be extended whenever the "light" should indicate that 
expansion or variation should be entered boldly upon. Politi- 
cally, socially, religiously, he was thus ever growing into the 
universality that is the disgust of narrow partisans and the 
perplexity and confounding of shallow conservatives every- 
where. 

Mr. Hoxie never trusted in his own intuitions alone, or to 
instruction that he had once received as authoritative. He 
always sought further light, read new discoveries and dis- 
cussions, and latterly turned to Royce and James and Berg- 
son, as he had formerly turned to Bushnell and Parker and 
Martineau and Beecher, and read and reflected and prayed 
until whatever of light such expositors had appeared to his 
hospitable soul and helped him on his developmental way. A 
favorite book, one by Henry M. Alden, entitled "God in His 
World," he read to the wearing out of at least three copies, 
every one of which is written all over with his questions and 
comments and acquiescences. Solomon Hoxie did not stop 
growing at some premature stage, as is the case with so many 
of us. His soul and heart were ever responsive to the spirit 
within. With him God was always in his world, in humanity 
not alone, but in the cattle upon a thousand hills, in all the 
operations of nature, in the flowers he loved to cultivate and 
generously give away, in the yearnings of his own soul, in all 
genuine poetry from Bryant to Browning as well as in all the 
strifes and commotions and horrors that so perplexed and 
depressed him. As a child of God he would give his all — to 
friends, to neighbors, to missions of every sort, to sufferers 
over seas, to unfortunates at home, in order that his Father's 
love might be made manifest as fully as possible unto men. 



4 THE LIFE OP SOLOMON HOXIE 

The greatest of all Christian virtues, charity, came at last to 
possess his mind and heart even to its fullest capability. 

And there is no wonder that, as the days of his pilgrim- 
age grew less in number, his soul already had arisen so that 
it lived complacently in touch with the Divine Source of his 
great love for humanity. "God bless you all," and soon 
after, "I love you all," were almost his last words. His only 
abiding sorrow seemed fully expressed in, "I am so tired of 
war," and again in, "Cry out against this war, O my people !" 
And as he seemingly looked over into his land of promise, how 
expressive of his whole life — its ambitions, its endeavors, its 
hopes and now its nearby realizations — was this : "Open the 
window, I want to see Jesus and Lincoln, when they pass by." 
Yes; Jesus, the ideal Son of God, and Abraham Lincoln, the 
ideal son of his own kind, these two constituted the embodi- 
ment of the creed and polity that had commended themselves 
unreservedly to the mind and heart of Solomon Hoxie. And 
as I looked upon his face, reposeful in death, there came to 
mind what I would put on his monument in the gold that 
could never tarnish: Here lies god's good man! 

Smith Baker. 



PART I. 

BEGINNINGS. 



CHAPTER I 
CHILDHOOD 

"To be human; to give, not take; to serve, not rule; to 
nourish, not destroy; to help, not crush, if need be to die, 
not live." This motto of Charles Kingsley, written in many 
of Solomon Hoxie's books, seemed to him to express the ideal 
of useful living, and well did he exemplify it in his life. To 
give, to serve, to nourish, to help, these were the purposes of 
his life, the key to his every thought and act. It was this 
spirit of service that so endeared him to all who knew him 
best and any interest that may attach to the story of his long 
life is due, not to varied or unusual incident, but to this 
actuating motive of unselfish love. 

In Central New York, in the little town of Brookfield, on 
July 29, 1829, was born Solomon Hoxie. He was of English 
descent and his earliest paternal progenitor, Lodowick Hoxie, 
settled in New England about the year 1650. "This first 
known ancestor," says Solomon, "established himself in 
Sandwich, Colony of Plymouth, along the shores of Cape Cod 
Harbor. His motives in coming to this country were un- 
doubtedly the same as those of other settlers of that locality 
at that time, a desire for freedom of religious thought and 
worship. From the form of the birth records of his chil- 
dren, he was thought to have held to the Quaker faith 
and the fact that many of his descendants were Quakers 
strengthens this belief. Such being the case, he must have 
passed through that period of severe trial, the persecution of 
the Quakers which began in the colony in 1655, and which 
resulted in the death of several of those deeply conscientious, 
and harmless religionists." 

The descendants of Lodowick Hoxie and of his wife, Mary 
Presbury, are now to be found in every State in the Union,, 
and engaged in nearly every vocation in life. But, wherever 
they are located or whatever their occupations or professions, 
these descendants seem to have inherited and maintained the 



8 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

honesty, courage, independence and conscientiousness which 
appear to have characterised their first mother and father 
amidst those troublesome times in the early settlements of 
New England. 

Stephen Hoxie, the paternal great-grandfather of the sub- 
ject of this sketch and the forebear whom he is said to have 
most strongly resembled, moved from Rhode Island, about 
1792, by means of ox teams, to a spot in central New York on 
the banks of ithe picturesque Unadilla, now known as Leon- 
ardsville. At that period few settlements had been made in 
the central or western part of the state. The location chosen 
by Stephen was then almost an unbroken wilderness, but he 
was a man of force and ability, well able to cope with the 
exigencies of a pioneer life. 

"Stephen," says Solomon, "never sought office or political 
preferment of any kind but he was chosen a member of the 
state convention that was held in Albany in October, 1801, 
pursuant to an act of the Legislature, to settle the contro- 
versy which had arisen regarding the relative powers of the 
Governor and Council of Appointments respecting nomina- 
tions for office, and to consider the expediency of altering the 
Constitution of the State. The president of that convention 
was Aaron Burr. It was composed of 107 members, among 
whom were DeWitt Clinton and Daniel Tompkins, both of 
whom were afterwards governors of the state. He was also 
chosen a member of the Assembly of New York State for two 
terms, in 1803 and 1804. He was an influential and consist- 
ent adherent of the Society of Friends or Quakers. His home 
was not only a home for himself and his children, but it was 
a home for his friends as well and a refuge for all who were 
worthy and who needed his help. He lived on the spot first 
chosen for that home to celebrate his one hundred and first 
birthday." Solomon Hoxie remembered his great-grandfather, 
Stephen, vividly, and many were his reminiscences of the old 
gentleman. 

Elizabeth Tift, the wife of Stephen, was no less able and 
forceful than her husband. She was conceded to be a woman 
of unusual character and attainments, long known in the 
country districts around about her home, as an earnest ex- 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 9 

pounder of the Quaker faith, a Quaker preacher of no mean 
ability. 

Stephen Hoxie's fourth son, Solomon, in honor of whom 
the subject of this sketch received his name, which had been 
handed down from generation to generation for many years, 
married Lois Brown. Neither he nor his wife was dis- 
tinguished for aggressiveness or force of character, but 
rather for mildness and sweetness of disposition. 

Nathan Brown, the eldest of the nine children of Solomon 
and Lois, and the father of the Solomon of our story, inher- 
ited the qualities of his parents, rather than of his grand- 
parents. A prominent characteristic was his keen sense of 
humor. Apropos of this trait of his father's, Solomon was 
wont to say in later years : "I can remember numerous in- 
stances when it flooded over all barriers and made the poor 
environment of our lives glow with brightness." He was 
liked and respected by all with whom he came in contact and 
was known through life as a kindly neighbor, an unselfish 
friend, a devoted husband and a gentle and unexacting par- 
ent. He was an industrious man, by trade a farmer, but he 
was a versatile man also, much skilled in the handling of tools 
and doing the work of shoemaker and carpenter with the ease 
of a trained craftsman, but he had little worldly wisdom and 
barely succeeded in gaining a meagre competency for the 
maintenance of his family. 

On the maternal side, Solomon Hoxie was scarcely less 
fortunate than he was in the forebears of his father. 
Andrew and Rachel Hubbard Langworthy were the founders 
of his mother's family in America. They, too, possessed the 
sturdy virtues of the successful pioneer. They, too, migrated 
from England about the middle of the seventeenth century 
and they also made their first home in the new world in New 
England. The surname, Langworthy, was originally spelled 
Longworthy in the mother country, where it had been be- 
stowed upon a remote member of the family by some English 
ruler in recognition of his long and faithful service to king 
and country. 

Solomon Hoxie's maternal grandmother, Abigail Lang- 
worthy, loomed large in his memories of childhood. He 



10 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

often referred to her, even in old age, as a potent influence for 
good in his early life and as a character possessed in no small 
degree of the virtues of patience, strength and gentleness. 

Solomon's mother, Eliza Langworthy, was an aspiring, 
temperamental creature, with a highly developed nervous 
organization, not well equipped physically or mentally for 
the rugged life of privation which was the portion of most 
members of large families inhabiting the country districts of 
the newly settled sections of New York State. Her early 
marriage, the birth of her three children and the untimely 
death of the eldest, the responsibilities, hardships and duties 
incident to her husband's poverty and to their endeavor to 
wrest a subsistence from the soil, together with the lack of a 
naturally hopeful and elastic disposition, conspired to under- 
mine her sensitive organization and she gradually sank into 
a state of chronic nervous invalidism from which she never 
recuperated during her long life. 

Brookfield, the earliest home of this pair and the birth- 
place of Solomon, was the typical country village of nearly 
a century ago. It had been largely settled by New England 
colonists and most of its inhabitants preserved the sturdy 
qualities and the intellectual and religious traditions of their 
forefathers. The community was made up largely of self- 
respecting tillers of the soil who lived independently upon 
their own land. The village church and school formed the 
center round which revolved the social life, while the town 
meetings, or company training days, as they were called, 
made the village a political as well as a social center. 

But this desirable and wholesome atmosphere was not 
destined long to be the environment of the little Solomon. 
When he was only four years old, his parents moved and 
established the family upon a small tract of land in a par- 
tially cleared wilderness, in the Unadilla Valley, not far dis- 
tant from the then recently settled town of Edmeston Center. 
Here conditions were primitive in the extreme, and privation 
became the rule and not the exception of everyday living. 
Here the scream of the "panther," or "painter," as this ani- 
mal was locally called, was no novelty to the childish ears of 
Solomon, and he sometimes heard and caught glimpses of 
less formidable wild beasts in the surrounding forests. The 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE ll 

physical features of this section are strikingly picturesque, 
and it is probable that Solomon Hoxie owed his intense love 
and admiration for all that is beautiful in nature and his 
feeling of fellowship with nature to the influence of his early 
life among the hills and dales of the romantic Unadilla. 

Two incidents haunted the boy's early childhood, remained 
vivid memories throughout his life and materially influenced 
his career. One, his earliest memory, was of the tears of his 
mother, as she bent above his crib, when he was only two 
years old, mourning the death of her little daughter. This 
occurrence was probably many times repeated for it made 
such an indelible imprint and stirred such pity in his heart, 
that, from that time to the day of his mother's death, after 
he himself had reached middle life, his chief care was to 
make his mother happy — a task in which he never succeeded 
because of her temperamental disabilities. But to this end 
he bent his energies and sacrificed almost every early per- 
sonal ambition. Thus he gave up, at its very beginning, col- 
lege training, although it had been the goal of his ambition 
and the prize toward which he had striven through all his 
early life of hard work and privation, because his mother 
feared for the effect upon his health, and consequently the 
reaction upon herself, of the double task of earning the 
money and of doing at the same time the intellectual work. 
His early business ambitions were also frustrated by the 
same deep regard for his mother's feelings and desires. He 
wished to make his home in the West but this desire also 
yielded to her opposition. 

The other circumstance which so affected his early life 
and which helped to shape his mature convictions, resulted 
from the death of a little playmate. This is the story in his 
own words, as related to a young grand-nephew, in Solomon's 
eighty-third year: 

"There was one playmate of whom I was very fond, little Andrew 
Abbott, who was a little older than myself. At this time I was about 
five years of age. He was suddenly taken sick. Then I was told that 
he was dead. Really, I doubt if I had ever thought of such a thing as 
dying. My father took me by the hand and led me to the couch upon 
which little Andrew lay. He lifted me up so that I could look into the 
face of my little playmate and said to me, 'He is not here. His body is 



12 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

here but he himself is with God. He is happy now. We must all die, 
but, if we are good, we, too, shall go to the place where little Andrew is 
and there we shall live always. God is our Heavenly Father. He loves 
us and knows all about us.' Then I learned to trust God. Then I 
learned to pray. From that day to this I have been trying to live so 
that I may meet little Andrew Abbott in a better life than this." 

Solomon Hoxie's first ideal was his uncle Cyrus, an ambi- 
tious and studious youth who died at the age of eighteen, 
when the former was only a young boy. In a letter written 
to a cousin in Solomon's eightieth year, he refers to this uncle 
as follows: 

"I was old enough to appreciate his character. He was my ideal 
man. I not only honored him but I loved as a child loves. I wanted to 
grow up to be like him. He talked with me about school — even about 
going to school with him. To do so was my highest ambition before he 
died. From the time of his death forward for years I wanted to be like 
my uncle Cyrus Richmond Hoxie. I did not care to be like any of my 
other uncles, but to be like him seemed to me to be perfect in character." 

When Solomon was three years old, a brother, Samuel, 
was born. To this child he became passionately devoted, 
protecting and caring for him and sacrificing his own prefer- 
ences, comforts and possessions to the other's will and pleas- 
ure. This spirit was stimulated and fostered by his mother 
and it grew and strengthened with his growing years, ceasing 
only with the death of his brother in old age. 

As soon as the younger child was able to walk about, he 
attached himself to his brother and they became inseparable. 
Whatever the elder did the younger must do also. Together 
they ate and slept and worked and played, the elder always 
shielding the younger brother, always bearing the brunt of 
any work or burden that became their portion and making 
his path 'smooth and straight before him. Together they 
performed the duties that were assigned, in those early days, 
even to small members of a household — the collecting of fuel 
for the fire, the weeding and watering of garden vegetables, 
the gathering of those in the field, the herding of the cattle, 
the folding of the sheep and lambs, the husking and shelling 
of corn, the paring and drying of apples, the gathering of 
wild fruits and berries to serve as a relish to the family's 
rude fare, the collecting of herbs and plants for family medi- 
cines and the hundred-and-one tasks which made the child an 
indispensable member of the family of that day. 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 13 

Together they roamed the fields and hillsides to watch 
small furry creatures in their native haunts, to listen to the 
song of birds, the buzz and hum of insects, to note the tracer- 
ies upon rocks and stones and to pluck wild flowers. They 
dabbled and waded and splashed and played at fishing and 
boat-sailing in the tiny brook that babbled at their door. 
They watched the clouds sail overhead by daylight and 
together they wondered at the starry dome at night. Each 
morning they trudged the two-mile footpath leading to their 
rude schoolhouse, the elder sometimes carrying his weary 
small brother pick-a-back. Each evening they perused their 
lesson books by the flickering light of a pine-knot fire, while 
the elder brother untangled the problems of the small one's 
tasks. At night they climbed the unrailed stairway leading 
to the rude unplastered loft where they slept, often with the 
snowflakes drifting or the raindrops falling upon their up- 
turned faces. Solomon occasionally walked in his sleep and, 
sometimes, in those unconscious night wanderings he would 
fall down the unrailed stairway to the kitchen floor below. 
But even in such adventures as these he was not alone. 
Samuel was always a close second and so determinedly did 
he follow his brother's example that, although he himself was 
wide awake at the time, he invariably fell down after his 
brother, replying to his mother's query, "Why did you fall, 
too, Samuel?" with "How could I stop, when I was already 
half way down?" In the winter time, so great were the 
rigors of the climate and so rude their surroundings, that 
they were forced to perform their morning ablutions in 
water upon which the ice had congealed during the night 
time, breaking through its surface for that purpose. 
Together they donned their rough homespun garments and 
ate their primitive breakfast, consisting of johnnycake made 
from corn meal and cold water and baked in the ashes of the 
wood fire. 

The amusements and recreations of the two brothers were 
simple and few indeed. Their chief joy was in their two 
household pets, little Pompey, a dog, belonging to the elder 
and a large, striped, partially tamed wild-cat, the property 
of the younger brother. Solomon was intensely fond of ani- 



14 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

mals and his attachment to Pompey was second only to his love 
for his brother. In after life, he delighted to sound Pompey's 
praises and to relate the small dog's adventures to his chil- 
dren and his grandchildren. Indeed, so fondly was Pompey 
remembered that this pet of Solomon's early childhood days 
haunted even the imaginings of his death bed. 

Once a year the brothers attended a function called Gen- 
eral Training, where they listened to the music of a crude 
band and consumed much gingerbread. For months previous 
to this celebration the boys anticipated its pleasures, magnify- 
ing the joys of previous General Trainings in the exuberance 
of their recollections. This function, together with an occa- 
sional visit to an indulgent grandmother, their rambles about 
the field, their plays in the brook and the companionship of 
their two pets, made up the sum total of their amusements. 

Solomon was but a tiny boy when he first ventured forth 
into the untried world of a district school. Even thus early 
the character of his mentality was beginning to manifest 
itself. He had commenced to think and to grope dimly for 
reasons. He must understand the meaning of a group of 
words before he could memorize them and repeat them to his 
teacher. Parroting a lesson was an impossibility with him. 
In after years he often laughed with relish of the humor of 
the childish tragedy of his first lesson at school, the difficul- 
ties he encountered in trying to commit to memory the first 
assignment of his teacher. This consisted of the rote learn- 
ing of a high sounding, elaborate definition of language. For 
several days he labored untiringly, trying to remember the 
sequence of the long words, but in vain. At length his 
teacher threatened him with physical chastisement unless the 
task was accomplished, but even this did not avail. Finally, 
in desperation, the child confided in his mother and, with her 
co-operation, the desired result was at last attained. 

This tendency to try to understand, to get at the mean- 
ing of things, to think out and reason over his problems, 
grew with his years and became the most prominent charac- 
teristic of his student days. He early excelled in mathemat- 
ics and, after reasoning out a problem and reaching a given 
conclusion, he was very tenacious of his result. He used to 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 15 

relate an experience in connection with an arithmetic lesson, 
when he was still quite a young lad. He had reached a cer- 
tain conclusion in reasoning out a problem. The teacher 
questioned his result. The problem was finally discussed by 
Solomon's family, friends and neighbors, all of whom took 
the same stand that had been taken by the teacher; but, in 
spite of all this opposition, the boy held firmly to his first 
conclusion. At length, his father threatened him with the 
rod because of his stubbornness and put his threat into execu- 
tion, but still Solomon held on with bulldog tenacity to what 
he believed to be correct. Finally, wider publicity was given 
to the discussion; higher learning took a hand, and Solomon 
was vindicated. 

His thirst for learning and the keenness of his ambition 
to secure an education were equaled only by his devotion to 
study and his never flagging pursuit of facts. So earnest was 
he that often in his sleep he prosecuted his studies, dreaming 
out solutions of problems that had eluded him in his waking 
hours. As he grew from childhood to youth he spent every 
spare moment in study. Hours snatched from sleep were 
used for this purpose. Books were perused far into the night 
by the light of only a dying wood fire and the hours of early 
dawn saw the boy again at his self-appointed tasks. 



CHAPTER II 
YOUTH AND EARLY MANHOOD 

Solomon attended district school for several years in 
Edmeston, and later he studied for brief periods in New Ber- 
lin and DeRuyter Academies. Finally he became a special 
student at Madison University, now known as Colgate Uni- 
versity. He was prevented from continuing his studies here 
by the insistent demands of his mother and the feeling of the 
necessity that he contribute to the support of his parents. 

As Solomon grew in years and stature, he early became 
the head of the household, the self-reliant and independent 
leader. This was inevitable. The easy-going character of 
his father and the physical weakness and nervous terrors of 
his mother naturally shifted the family burdens and decisions 
upon his immature shoulders. 

He early learned to put aside his own fears, such, for in- 
stance, as his natural timidity in the face of the sterner 
manifestations of nature. He used to say, apropos of an 
electric storm: "When I was a little boy I had to be brave. 
For instance, I had to overcome my fear of thunder and light- 
ning. My parents were timid in the face of these. My little 
brother was terrified. There was no one left to be brave but 
me, so I just had to put my own fears aside." It is interest- 
ing to note that, later in life, Solomon seemed actually to de- 
light in a thunder shower and appeared never to tire of its 
manifestations. So also with his natural fear of wild beasts. 
Such creatures were not uncommon visitants of the forests 
surrounding his early home and often they came forth at 
night to prowl and to give utterance to their protests against 
man, in the vicinity of the dwelling. At such times it seemed 
to rest upon the boy to calm the apprehensions of the other 
members of the family. 

By nature, Solomon was deeply religious. He was reared 
in the Quaker faith, and early absorbed much of the strength 
and gentleness of that religion. When about eleven years 




SOLOMON HOXIE AT EIGHTEEN 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 17 

old, he became especially sensitive to religious influences and 
particularly concerned in the welfare of his own spiritual 
life. At this time, he took part in a series of "protracted 
meetings," then being held in his neighborhood. When he 
was seventeen years of age he was one day approached by 
his brother on the subject of uniting with a church. The 
brother wished to join the Free-will Baptist Church, this de- 
nomination being the only one owning an edifice or holding 
meetings in their vicinity. To this request of his brother, 
Solomon consented, and together they were immersed and 
received into that church. Solomon, however, held tenac- 
iously to Quaker theology. He new began to feel a calling to 
preach. "But where and to whom," he writes, "I knew not. 
My father's family were Quakers. I must wait to be moved 
by the Divine Spirit. I wanted to go to McGrawville Col- 
lege, N. Y., to study for such a career, but instead I went to 
Madison University for a short time. The impression was 
still upon me that I ought to preach the Gospel in the manner 
of the Friends. Then I was visited by an able layman of 
the Universalist Church, and my religious views became 
somewhat modified." His boyish journals are filled with 
thoughts on religion and the religious character and show 
how truly profound was his tendency toward a life devoted 
wholly to the service of his Master and his fellow men. 

"In the spring of 1846, in my seventeenth year," wrote 
Solomon, "I entered the only kind of dairy school then in 
existence in America. In other words I was engaged to work 
for a dairy farmer for six months for which my father was 
to receive forty-eight dollars. For this magnificent sum I 
was to be cow boy, milker and general utility man on the 
farm, working every day from early morning, often far into 
the night." For several years thereafter Solomon worked 
out upon neighboring farms during the summer season and 
taught district school in the winter time. In this way he 
materially increased the family income, although the wages 
of a farm hand and the salary of a teacher were very meagre 
at that period. But living expenses were comparatively small 
also, and, in the winter, his stipend was eked out by "board- 
ing round" in the homes of his pupils. This gave him an 
opportunity to increase largely his value as a teacher, for his 



18 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

evenings were gladly devoted to helping and tutoring those 
pupils who were either backward or ambitious. 

As a teacher, Solomon was earnest and efficient, endeavor- 
ing with all his might to arouse worthy ambitions in those 
who came under his tutelage and to stir them to greater intel- 
lectual efforts. He was ever ready to sacrifice his own time 
and comfort to their interests. In after years, many men 
and women were eager to testify to the efficiency of his work 
and to give him the credit for arousing their dormant ambi- 
tions and for giving the initial impetus to their subsequent 
careers of success and usefulness. 

After definitely relinquishing his hopes of a college train- 
ing, Solomon began seriously to take stock of his intellectual 
and physical resources and to consider what course he could 
best pursue in order to increase his efficiency and earning 
powers and to be of most value to those with whom he came 
in contact. His lack of a higher education closed to him his 
heart's desire, the ministerial field, as well as deterred him 
from the hope of entering any of the other professions. The 
fact that about this time he began seriously to study stenog- 
raphy leads us to infer that he had thoughts of entering an 
office in the capacity of a clerk. Finally it appears he con- 
cluded that school teaching was the most useful and desirable 
work offered by his limited choice. But he longed for change 
of scene and a new field for the exercise of this vocation. His 
thoughts turned ever toward the West, the goal of his early 
ambitions. He would go West and teach. But how to secure 
the necessary funds for such a journey was a question. 
Finally he hit upon the plan of canvassing for books as a 
means of defraying his expenses. Well fortified with the 
materials for trafficking in this trade, and accompanied by a 
young friend, similarly equipped, he set forth with high 
hopes. 

He made his way slowly through what had appealed to his 
boyish imaginings as the promised land. Although only mod- 
erately succssful in the sale of his wares, he was every- 
where met with friendliness from the settlers of the new 
country, who were all eager to hear about the "folks back 
home." In many instances he was received and treated as 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 19 

an honored guest and he never forgot the kindly encourage- 
ment of the western people. The country, too, appealed to 
him. He liked the wide, bare stretches of the prairies and he 
appreciated the opportunities for material growth and ad- 
vancement which the West oifered ; he longed to take up land 
and to become a settler, but home ties and responsibilities 
weighed too heavily upon his sensitive spirit for him to carry 
this longing into effect. At length, came the favorable open- 
ing for which he had hoped. In Nebraska he found a desir- 
able school without a master. But his young friend and com- 
panion was also seeking a like opportunity, and Solomon, 
true to the ruling motive of his life, surrendered his own 
hopes and desires and retired in favor of his friend. No 
other worthy opening presented itself in the course of his 
travels and, at length, after visiting some western relatives, 
Solomon made his way slowly back home, defraying the ex- 
penses of his return trip by plying his book trade as before. 
About this period the young man indulged in some phreno- 
logical experiments, hoping for light and guidance thereby in 
modeling his character and career. He was told by the 
phrenologist, who took stock of his mental and physical 
equipment, that he especially needed to cultivate the virtues 
of hope and cheerfulness. Solomon took this advice to heart 
and thereafter held doggedly to a certain course of thought 
and action until it had become a fixed habit. He read cheer- 
ful books, sought cheerful society, recounted humorous stories 
and anecdotes, endeavored strenuously and persistently to see 
the happy side of life, the bright lining to the cloud, and so, 
from a naturally hopeless and despondent temperament he 
built a character whose distinguishing feature seemed to all, 
but his nearest and dearest, to be its trustful optimism. They 
alone knew what a fight he put up daily to sustain the atti- 
tude which he ever kept before him as an ideal, never owning, 
even to himself, that he was other than, by nature, joyfully 
sanguine. Not only was his own character enriched thereby 
but he became known among friends and acquaintances as a 
man who inspired all with whom he came in contact with 
this spirit of trust and hope. Many a discouraged and dis- 
illusioned brother sought his help and counsel, never in vain. 
Such always went out from his presence with renewed pur- 



20 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

pose and strength and the determination to fight on cheer- 
fully in the face of all difficulties. 

"Trust in God and ever stand ready to offer up yourself as a 
sacrifice to humanity," Solomon writes in 1852, showing his at- 
titude toward the then unpopular anti-slavery movement. His 
youthful journals bristle with allusions to slavery and his 
detestation of that institution. For years he waged uncom- 
promising war against this great blot upon the fair fame of 
his country. By means of public speeches and debates, by 
contributions to the press and in social intercourse with his 
friends and neighbors, he did all within his power to arouse 
and stimulate public sentiment in favor of anti-slavery. This 
was at a period when even the churches of the North were 
defending slavery and the ministers of the Gospel were re- 
ferring to it, in their sermons, as a "divine institution," 
proved to be such by Scriptural teaching. Solomon stood 
almost alone in his vicinity in his convictions and the fearless 
expression of them turned friend into foe, and neighbor into 
enemy. Even members of his own family, who should have 
loved and admired him more dearly than ever before for his 
fearless championship of the downtrodden and oppressed, 
came to dread and dislike him because of his untiring propa- 
ganda for this cause. But he went steadily on in the face of 
all opposition, battling for what he believed to be righteous- 
ness and justice. 

In 1852 Solomon was old enough to cast his first vote for 
President, which he gave to John P. Hale, Free-soil candi- 
date. He helped to organize the Republican party in Edmes- 
ton, and his second vote was cast for John C. Fremont, the 
first Republican candidate for President. Solomon never 
sought office or prominence in the political field, but, when 
he was called upon to do what he believed to be his duty, he 
never shrank from undertaking any task or assuming any 
responsibility, however great. During early middle life he 
was quite active in political circles and held various minor 
offices, among them that of town supervisor, in which capac- 
ity he acted for five years continuously. 

When at length the Civil War broke out, he was deterred 
from enlisting by the cares and responsibilities of a family, 
but he was active in every other way possible that could con- 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 21 

tribute to the triumph of the cause he loved. As the chief 
figure in his vicinity who had for years vigorously opposed 
and denounced slavery and worked in opposition to all politi- 
cal measures favoring it so, now, at this crisis, people natur- 
ally looked to him for advice and assurance and he soon found 
himself the center of a small whirlpool of hysterical friends 
and neighbors. Men and women went wild with terror. The 
end of the world seemed imminent to them. Fathers and 
mothers pleaded with Solomon to secure immunity from the 
draft for their sons. Wives appealed to him to prevent their 
husbands from being sent into the conflict. Relatives be- 
sought him to act as a substitute for those nearer and dearer 
to their hearts. Amidst all this disquiet and turmoil he 
stood unmoved, a tower of strength, assuring and calming 
the disorganized community. As the conflict between the 
North and South waxed stronger, he became recruiting agent 
for his town, by the appointment of Governor Horatio Sey- 
mour, and spent much time and energy in this capacity. 

Solomon Hoxie was an ardent admirer of Lincoln and 
mourned his untimely end, not only as an irreparable loss to 
the country, but as a personal bereavement as well. His 
second child, born amidst those troublous times of the Civil 
War, although a girl, bore the name of the martyred Presi- 
dent and, throughout his life, Solomon cherished the memory 
of Abraham Lincoln as an ideal character for emulation. 
Even upon his death bed, in the wanderings of his enfeebled 
mind, he coupled the name of this savior of the colored race 
with his highest ideal, the Savior of mankind. 

In the autumn of 1859 Solomon was married to Lucy P. 
Stickney of Edmeston and, after teaching for a year a school 
in which his young wife assisted him, he purchased a farm 
adjoining the old homestead in the Unadilla Valley and, in 
1860, he began to erect a house that should be his future 
home. The lumber for this purpose was cut and drawn 
from a woodland patch upon his own farm. The main part 
of the work of erecting the house, as well as of planning it, 
was accomplished by Solomon, with the assistance of his 
father. Here his three children were born, two boys and a 
girl, and here what was probably the happiest period of his 



22 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

life was passed, for he now entered upon an era of great 
usefulness to his fellows. 

He began to take a somewhat unique position among his 
townspeople, who acknowledged his integrity of character, 
respected his judgment and his superior intellectual endow- 
ments, recognized his sane, vigorous, optimistic point of view 
and his unselfishness. All knew and trusted him, many loved 
him. All referred to him with a somewhat proprietory air 
as "Sol." If any question requiring unusual knowledge and 
research arose among them, it was invariably referred to 
"Sol" for solution, and his conclusions were taken as final and 
quoted as authority. If "Sol" said thus and so, that seemed 
definitely to settle the case in hand. Matters of right and 
honesty in business were likewise referred to him, as were 
also many questions of legality. If it seemed desirable to 
give publicity to neighborhood plans or happenings, "Sol" 
wrote them up. If mathematical calculations were necessary 
in the business affairs of individual or town, "Sol" was ap- 
pealed to to do the figuring. Matters of church and school 
and local politics were his especial care. 

He became the champion of the poverty stricken and 
oppressed. If some shrewd, prosperous and respected citizen 
had driven a sharp bargain with a simple-hearted trusting 
neighbor Solomon always ranged himself on the side of the 
wronged, and many a wrong was righted by his efforts. The 
self-righteous old deacon who beat an impecunious resident 
in a horse-trade was persuaded to make restitution. The 
miserly church member who had secured the services at half 
price of an able but unfortunate laborer was induced to do 
justice to his hireling. The supposedly honorable farmer 
who had taken advantage of the dire needs of a ne'er-do-well 
and purchased his adjoining acreage at greatly reduced 
valuation was incited to make good the loss he had occa- 
sioned. He was the community peacemaker, smoothing dis- 
agreements and misunderstandings, reconciling neighbor with 
neighbor and turning enemies into friends. 

Ambitious but impecunious young men, struggling to get 
a foothold and recognition in the business and social world, 
found in Solomon a helper and counselor. He gathered the 
poor and the forlorn about him, providing or securing em- 



THE LIFE OP SOLOMON HOXIE 23 

ployment for some, helping others to make a start by means 
of loans, inspiring still others to give up undesirable habits 
and companions and to become good citizens. He gathered 
them into the church, the Sunday School, the literary society 
and the temperance lodge. No effort was too strenuous, no 
act too insignificant, no abasement too humble for Solomon 
if, by such means, he could help or reclaim a fallen brother. 
One instance, which occurred in connection with "Good Temp- 
lars Lodge," as an organization of total abstainers from 
spirituous liquors was called in those days, will suffice to illus- 
trate. A weak brother member had succumbed to tempta- 
tion and indulged in a drunken debauch. He must confess 
his downfall in public assembly and pledge himself anew to 
abstinence, if he were to be "re-obligated" or reinstated. 
Knowing the improbability of the deposed member taking 
such a step alone, Solomon offered himself as a candidate for 
"re-obligation" in the company of the other, confessing to 
having imbibed a potion of spirituous liquor in time of sick- 
ness. 

Solomon was extremely democratic both in theory and 
practice. He not only believed that all men are created free 
and equal but he lived this belief. He kept open house not 
only to the prosperous citizen and honored friend, but to the 
colporter, the superannuated minister, the peddler, the book 
agent, the student out of a job, the slightly deranged but 
harmless denizen of the town bereft of all shelter save that 
of the poorhouse. A bed, an easy chair beside his hearth 
and a place at his board were always open even to the most 
humble and the least of these, and he was ever ready to listen 
with a sympathetic ear to tales of misfortune and frustrated 
ambition. 

In those days there were two disqualified aged ministers, 
endeavoring to eke out a livelihood by the sale of Biblical 
literature, who made constant demands upon his hospitality. 
One, known as Elder Rice, was a somewhat ridiculous figure 
in rusty clerical garb who drove about the country in an 
ancient turnout, his old horse accompanied by a clumsy, 
shaggy colt as large as herself. One winter this reverend 
elder occupied an easy chair beside Solomon's living room: 



24 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

fire so persistently that, before taking his final departure, 
he had worn a hole completely through the carpet beneath 
his feet and his old horse and her offspring had grown sleek 
and fat and even frisky with riotous living. The other poor 
creature, Elder Webb, had a mild mania directed against the 
folly and wickedness of those frivolous and misguided 
human beings who insisted upon bedecking themselves with 
wedding rings, time pieces, brooches and similar "trappings 
of the Devil." He also traveled in the capacity of a colpor- 
ter, but having small success with his wares, lingered at the 
homes of long suffering brethren. His sojourns at Solomon's 
fireside were no less lengthy than those of his impecunious 
colleague, although not so tranquil, being attended with many 
incidents of a somewhat disconcerting nature owing to his 
strenuous endeavor to inoculate all whom he met with his 
own ideas. During one of his visits he taxed a carpenter, 
engaged in repairing Solomon's house, with unpardonable 
wickedness. The man wore a ring. The decrepit Elder 
painfully mounted a ladder leading to the top of the house, 
and harangued the offender and barely escaped being thrown 
from the roof by the irate workman, who was blessed with 
a temper but not with much sense of humor. 

Then there was the Second Adventist, the brother who 
came crying in the wilderness : "Repent for the clay of judg- 
ment is at hand," who never failed to seek refreshment at 
Solomon's board. A peddler of tinware and collector of 
paper rags, called Bill Joles, rarely failed, upon his rounds, 
to occupy a bed at "Sol's." He was a rotund, rollicking, loud- 
voiced creature, simple both in heart and mind and overflow- 
ing with droll tales to which the children listened raptur- 
ously. Upon his appearance one season he found that tales 
of "Lilliput" were being read to the children by their father. 
At this time he proved to be an eminently appreciative mem- 
ber of "Sol's" audience. He laughed uproariously till the 
tears ran down his face and he even rolled over and over 
upon the floor in utter abandonment to his enjoyment of the 
predicaments of Gulliver among the dwarfs. 

A dispenser of perfumes and essences, Ed Meeker, 
afflicted with shaking palsy and half blinded by a squinting 
vision, always counted upon a welcome at "Sol's" fireside. 



THE LIFE OP SOLOMON HOXIE 25 

Meyers, the pack-peddler, paused there for patronage and 
succor, and there Betsy Gray, the harmless lunatic, was pro- 
vided with clean raiment, nourishing food and simple occu- 
pation during her periodic flights from the poor-farm. Billy, 
the half-wit, Ralph, the wornout pedagogue, each and all were 
received beneath Solomon's roof with smiling welcome and 
kindly courtesy. 

Solomon Hoxie rendered much valiant and well nigh 
indispensable service throughout his neighborhood in times of 
sickness. The country district where he resided was sparsely 
settled. Physicians were few in number and the demands 
upon their time and attention were very great. Often one 
could not be secured immediately in cases of emergency. 
Trained nurses were unknown. Again and again Solomon 
hastened to the assistance of friends and neighbors in such 
periods of stress. He seemed to have a natural aptitude for 
caring for the sick and, regardless of the season or of the 
hour, he could always be depended upon to respond to any 
call for help. He knew intuitively what to do. His courage 
in the face of danger was indomitable, his judgment sound. 
He gave unstintingly of his time and strength. He not only 
supplemented the efforts of family and physician in times of 
illness but he was often forced to act upon his own initiative 
in emergencies, saving lives as well as inspiring all with 
whom he came in contact with renewed strength and cour<- 
age. When a little child had fallen and cut a frightful gash 
in its forehead and no physician was available, Solomon 
stopped the flow of blood and dexterously sewed up the 
wound. A lad suffering from fever found his family unpre- 
pared in the emergency when the fever "turned." No pulse 
was discoverable and it seemed that the patient must die, as 
no stimulants could be obtained in time to save him. Solomon 
administered a strong brew of tea. The boy rallied and 
eventually recovered. An entire family, dangerously ill from 
scarlet fever and avoided by nearly everyone else, was nursed 
back to health by Solomon's ministrations. He quieted hys- 
terical subjects who were beyond the control of members of 
their own family. At one time he restored order and calm- 
ness to almost the entire community, distraught by the vio- 
lent death of one of its members. And so instances might be 



26 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

multiplied almost indefinitely. Wherever he went anxiety and 
terror fled away and peace and order reigned in their stead. 

One of Solomon's own little sons was very delicate and, 
during the early years of his life, suffered from almost chronic 
invalidism. The father was untiring in his attention to this 
child, repeatedly nursing him through periods of well nigh 
hopeless illness. In fact the preservation of this child's life 
was due almost alone to Solomon's genius for nursing and to 
his ever watchful care and tireless devotion. 

Next in intensity to Solomon's love for humanity was his 
fellowship with nature. The undulations of his meadows, 
the stretches of his timber land, the river which skirted them, 
fields, hills and woods and streams all held for him a name- 
less charm. He used to say that he loved every stick and 
stone upon his acreage. A picturesque little canyon with its 
straggling stream was one feature of his farm. Solomon 
delighted endlessly in this and he expended much time and 
thought in adding to its beauty. Its channel and waterfall 
were cleared of rubbish. Its crags and ledges were planted 
with trees and ferns and wild flowers. Rustic tables and 
seats were erected wherever space afforded. Birds and squir- 
rels were fed and encouraged to haunt its neighborhood and 
it became a veritable pleasure resort to the entire family. 
The children, in particular, delighted in this gorge, tracing 
its stream to the source, damming the flow of its waters to 
turn their crude toy millwheels, angling for minnows and 
cray fish and caddis worms in its depth, wading and splash- 
ing and listening to its bubbling murmurs and its dashing 
falls. 

Solomon entered with zest into all the activities incident 
to life on the farm. He reveled in seed time and harvest, in 
the winter tasks of logging and icing and the early spring 
occupation of sugar making. He had a real attachment for 
the farm animals and the young of his flocks and herds re- 
ceived his most devoted care. Stray lambs were invariably 
sought and brought back to the fold. Baby calves, benumbed 
by inclement weather of the early spring, were revived and 
fed by the kitchen fire. Young chicks and turkeys, drabbled 
by the too early far-afield adventuring of their mothers, were 
rescued and warmed and sheltered by his hands. He was 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 27 

interested in ornamental trees and filled the ample grounds 
around his dwelling with fine specimens of these, while he 
never tired of planting, pruning and tending fruit trees in 
his two large orchards. He loved bee culture and went about 
his apiary at all times unprotected, the bees seeming to recog- 
nize his friendly intent. 

His recreations were few and simple, gathering wild 
flowers, ferns and mosses, watching and listening to the 
birds, in which he took great delight, roaming over the hills, 
stone-hammer in hand, trailing a small son or daughter in his 
wake, in search of fossils in which the native rocks abounded. 
Fishing, in which he delighted, was a rare treat, for he had 
little leisure except during some of the winter months when 
he angled for pickerel through holes cut in the ice of the river. 
Family gatherings and sleigh rides were not infrequent 
amusements incident to the winter season. 

Solomon Hoxie was a devoted parent, though he seemed 
at times to his children to be a stern and exacting one. He 
was untiring in his efforts to develop early in them the vir- 
tues of courage, truth and unselfishness. Their intellectual 
growth was one of his chief cares. When they were very 
young he proved himself to be the most fascinating of story 
tellers, especially during the hours just before bedtime. 
Later, as his children grew older, he read aloud to them from 
the best books at all available times. He was unflagging in 
his efforts to secure the best for them, both in material and 
method. Having himself failed of the most desirable educa- 
tional advantages, he was determined to do all within his 
power to give his children what his early life had lacked. He 
was always vitally interested in school matters and assumed 
the responsibility and work of a near-by school for several 
terms, after two of his children were old enough to attend its 
sessions, hoping there-by not only to help his neighbors but 
also to stimulate and guide his own children in their studies. 

In the late sixties an incident occurred which gave Solo- 
mon Hoxie the opportunity which he had always desired, 
namely, to preach. One day the little church to which he be- 
longed found itself without a pastor. At first Solomon was 
asked to read sermons to the congregation on a Sunday morn- 
ing. Then he began to write and deliver his own sermons. 



28 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

As time wore on his hearers were so impressed with his abil- 
ity and success, for the church flourished and grew apace 
under his leadership, that they urged him to secure a preach- 
er's license. This he finally did and he then became the regu- 
lar pastor of that little Free-will Baptist Church, giving his 
services, without money and without price, for five years, 
believing that a preacher of the good news, as long as he was 
able to support himself otherwise, should do so. During these 
years he still carried on the duties of his farm and dairy as 
well as other activities, preparing his sermons largely during 
the night-time in hours snatched from sleep. At this period 
he helped to establish and build a church at South Edmeston, 
where he frequently preached on Sunday afternoons. Occa- 
sionally he also occupied the pulpit at Unadilla Forks and 
other near-by villages. 

In a few years changed circumstances and new activities 
crowded out this work of his heart's desire and he was forced 
to give up preaching, but he always deeply regretted this 
and, even to the day of his death, he did not quite lose the 
hope that some time he might be given an opportunity to 
renew this activity which, more nearly than anything else, 
satisfied his intense longing and ambition to benefit and uplift. 

All through these years of his early manhood, Solomon 
was an efficient dairy farmer and took an active interest in 
native breeds of cattle. In the early seventies his attention 
was called to the Friesian breed of cattle, known at that time 
in this country as the Holstein. Then that period of his life 
opened and those activities were begun which led to his 
business and professional success and which made the name 
of Solomon Hoxie known throughout this country and the 
dairy sections of Europe. 



PART II. 
A. CATTLE INTERESTS. 




SOLOMON HOXIE AT FORTY-RYE 



CHAPTER I 

THE UNADILLA VALLEY DUTCH STOCK 

BREEDERS' ASSOCIATION 

The story of Mr. Hoxie's life during the thirty-one years, 
from 1874 to 1905, runs parallel with the history of the incep- 
tion and growth of the black-and-white cattle movement in 
this country. Solomon Hoxie's genius and early efforts, and 
his alone, were the means which have brought this movement 
to its present successful issue in the United States. At the 
very beginning of his interest in Dutch cattle, he had a far- 
seeing vision of what it would mean to the farmers and dairy 
interests of America, if this splendid breed could be intro- 
duced and maintained here in its purity, and, during long 
and arduous years, he never for a moment lost sight of this 
vision. He bent every energy to the fulfillment of this dream. 
He cared little for his own interest or his own credit or posi- 
tion in this, his chosen work. His care was for the interest 
of the breed. He fought the spirit and tendency that would 
introduce an inferior grade of animals through greed and 
gain. He fought misrepresentation which came through the 
early misnaming of these cattle, and which he saw would 
inevitably lead to confusion, degeneration and the ruin of 
the best interests of the breed. He fought every form of 
error, injustce, mismanagement and misunderstanding in the 
handling of these cattle, regardless of the fact that he made 
many personal enemies and detractors by the course he was 
pursuing. He inspired others with his own high ideals. He 
allowed others to take the credit for his own work and ideas, 
if only it advanced the cause so dear to his heart. At great 
personal sacrifice, he did the work of ten men, writing, lectur- 
ing, traveling, buying, selling, testing, examining and exhibit- 
ing cattle, all for a mere pittance, in order that his ideals 
might be realized. 



32 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

In 1870, when his attention was first called to this breed 
of cattle, a group of young farmers of Central New York, 
located in the Unadilla Valley, had begun to investigate Dutch 
breeds with a view to the improvement of their own native 
herds. Mr. Hoxie united with this group, and, in 1874, a 
company was formed, known as the Unadilla Valley Dutch 
Stock Breeders' Association. Their first purchase of pure- 
bred stock was made from Thomas E. Whiting, of Massachu- 
setts, one of the earliest importers and breeders of these cat- 
tle in America. More cattle were purchased of Whiting in 
1876: and this association then moved its headquarters from 
the Unadilla Valley to Whitestown, or more correctly speaking 
to Yorkville, a suburb of Utica, N. Y. Mr. Hoxie bought a 
small farm in that village and became the chief agent of this 
company and its intellectual leader and moving spirit. 

What's in a Name? 

At the time when the members of this association made 
their first purchase, they found Whiting engaged in a contro- 
versy with Winthrop M. Chenery on the name, origin and 
characteristics of Dutch cattle. Chenery, the earliest im- 
porter in this country, had at first correctly designated the 
cattle as Dutch; but later, in an article on this breed written 
for the United States Agricultural report of 1864, he referred 
to them as "Holstein" cattle. Holstein being a province of 
Denmark rather than of Holland, this name was grossly in- 
correct and misleading; but it caught the popular fancy. 
Whiting took up the cudgel for the Holland breeders against 
the misrepresentation and injustice, and this disagreement 
led finally to a bitter controversy among American breeders. 

At the present day, looked at in perspective, the question 
of name may seem to have been a small matter to quarrel 
about, but in reality it was not. The designation, Holstein, 
opened the whole of Northern Europe, with its variety of 
breeds, as a source of supply for Dutch cattle. It credited 
the origin of these cattle to Denmark instead of to North 
Holland. It took the honor for their development and per- 
fection away from the Dutch breeders, who had labored un- 
ceasingly for hundreds of years to improve this breed and to 
preserve it in its purity. It tricked unwary American pur- 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 33 

chasers into buying, as pure-bred Dutch or Fresian, the cattle 
of other breeds and other localities and led to endless confu- 
sion. It is of interest to note in this connection that in 1918, 
at a meeting of breeders of Holstein-Friesian cattle in Eng- 
land, it was voted to drop the word Holstein from the title 
of their organization, this body to be known in the future as 
"The British Friesian Cattle Society." A similar action has 
been taken by the breeders of black and white Holland cattle 
in New Zealand and South Africa. Thus are the Dutch cat- 
tle and their breeders coming into their own again. Thus it 
has taken more than fifty years to overcome Chenery's casual 
misnaming of this breed of cattle. 

In December, 1877, Mr. Hoxie's company purchased the 
balance of Mr. Whiting's herd, together with papers and let- 
ters of importance from Mr. Whiting's executors, he having 
died a short time previously. "The correspondence which 
came into their hands at that time," says Mr. Hoxie, "showed 
that Mr. G. J. Hengerveld, of the Royal Veterinary Institute 
of Utrech and head examiner of the Herd Book of the Nether- 
lands, assisted by eminent breeders and judges had selected 
these cattle of Mr. Whiting's from the best pure-bred herds 
of North Holland with great care and at much expense, the 
understanding being that these animals were to become a 
nucleus of an American Herd Book of Dutch or North Hol- 
land cattle." Mr. Hengerveld had already prepared an intro- 
duction for this proposed book and it was hoped that this 
Herd Book would set matters right in America by definitely 
fixing the correct name and locality of the pure-bred Dutch 
cattle imported from North Holland and would counteract 
the misconception originated by Mr. Chenery and promul- 
gated by the Holstein Herd Book already being published in 
America. But Mr. Whiting died before these plans could be 
consummated. 

At this time the Unadilla Valley Dutch Stock Breeders' 
Association was in its infancy. It was inexperienced and 
possessed little wealth. It was concerned mainly with the 
development of its own herds. It believed Mr. Whiting's 
stand as to name and origin of these cattle to be the correct 
cne and, while it did not wish to quarrel with American 



34 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

breeders, it decided, largely at Mr. Hoxie's instigation, to 
stand firmly by the name North Holland or Dutch-Friesian 

cattle. 

A Statement of Policy 

At a meeting of this association, held at about the time 
the last of Mr. Whiting's cattle were taken over by them, Mr. 
Hoxie outlined what he regarded as the best policy for his 
association to pursue. He said in part: 

"In regard to our attitude toward the public, we have placed our- 
selves under the sharp eye of the public gaze. We have by our acts 
challenged public attention. We have made claims, and these claims 
must be submitted to the severest scrutiny. Our business is not con- 
fined to a neighborhood. It is as broad as our country. If we attempt 
to conceal any misfortune or imperfection, we cannot succeed in doing 
it. We shall never be able to stand upon anything but merit. I would 
rather not keep the cattle, as much as it may be for my pleasure and my 
interest, than to attempt to conceal any bad or to magnify any good 
qualities. Another thing we must be careful not to run down the cattle 
of other breeders. Let us simply point out those things that make up a 
pure-bred animal and let the men to whom we are talking draw their 
own conclusions in regard to other men's cattle. The true policy, I 
believe, is not to allow ourselves to be disturbed by what others may say 
against our cattle but, in return, to speak as well of their animals as 
our consciences will allow us to do. There is room for all the breeders 
in this country and there is no need of jealousy or envy. By and by 
the public will find where there is true merit. 

"I see no reason to enter into combination with other breeders. I 
think we ought to cling to the name, Imported North Holland Cattle or 
North Hollanders. Time may lead me to alter some of my views and 
perhaps all of them. I sometimes think that we have entered upon a 
business that we shall not be able to carry through successfully. It is 
a large undertaking requiring more thought and more skill and more 
money and more time than I had ever anticipated. The public is slow 
to admit superiority and then slow to reward it. We must make up our 
minds that cur rewards are not coming immediately and suddenly. If 
we have cherished the hopes of wonderful success and great profits im- 
mediately, we are doomed to disappointment. Our success will be the 
growth of years. We shall make mistakes in the future as in the past. 
Misfortunes will come and we must make up our minds to this. But, if 
we persevere, it seems to me we may be the means of giving our country 
the best family of cattle of the best breed that has ever yet been known. 
If we persevere, I think our generation is not to see the end of this mat- 
ter. Our children may take up the business where we lay it down and 
carry it on to a far greater success and reap a greater reward than we 
pcssibly can. But the honor will rest upon our names, that a company of 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 35 

common farmers had the capacity and the intelligence and the persever- 
ance to originate and carry forward to success an undertaking the 
importance of which the distant future can alone estimate and appre- 
ciate." 

Mr. Hoxie now entered upon a most strenuous period of 
activity. For not only had he the care of a considerable 
number of valuable cattle but prospective buyers were flock- 
ing to his farm and much of his time was perforce spent in 
the exhibition of animals with a view to making sales as his 
company's agent. Then, too, he was beginning to make milk 
and butter records from individual members of the herd. He 
was also engaged in a propaganda for the benefit of his asso- 
ciation, which consisted in the writing of numerous articles 
for the dairy press of the country, setting forth the advant- 
ages and desirabilities of this breed of cattle. Added to this, 
he wrote and delivered papers and addresses before the 
American and State Dairymen's Associations and various 
other cattle organizations in which he was interested or of 
which he had become a member. Numerous letters of inquiry 
were constantly coming to him and considerable time and 
energy were consumed in correspondence. 

As a recompense for all these activities, Mr. Hoxie re- 
ceived the modest stipend of three hundred dollars a year 
from the Unadilla Valley Dutch Stock Breeders' Association. 
But he was not working for money alone, although compara- 
tively a poor man at this time. His main thought in this, as 
in every other enterprise in which he engaged, was the benefit 
that might come to others through his efforts. Here was a 
worthy undertaking which might become far reaching in its 
effects. In some branches of his work he was assisted by his 
eldest son, Charles DeForest, then a versatile and talented 
youth of sixteen. It was this son who, during the late seven- 
ties and early eighties, made many of the original drawings 
for seals, letter-heads, catalogues and herd books used by 
the Unadilla Valley and Dutch-Friesian Breeders' Associa- 
tions. 

In 1877, the Unadilla Valley Dutch Stock Breeders' Asso- 
ciation was incorporated under the laws of New York State. 
It had already begun to exhibit at fairs and its members, 
largely through Mr. Hoxie's efforts, had taken their places 



36 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

among the prominent breeders of black and white cattle in 
the United States. In the following year there appeared the 
first catalogue of Dutch-Friesian cattle owned by this associa- 
tion. Mr. Hoxie had prepared the copy for this and had 
supervised its publication. This catalogue contained the in- 
troduction, originally written by Mr. G. J. Hengerveld for the 
proposed American Herd Book of Dutch Cattle previously 
referred to. It also contained a statement to the effect that 
the association wished to pursue a peaceable policy and to act 
in harmony with other breeders, "in bringing before the pub- 
lic the oldest and best race of cattle in the world." 



CHAPTER II 
FIRST VISIT TO HOLLAND 

The catalogue of the Unadilla Valley Dutch Stock Breed- 
ers' Association recorded forty-nine animals, the importations 
of Mr. Whiting, together with their offspring. These ani- 
mals included representatives from the then famous Hartog, 
Beets, Bleeker, Korndyke, Hengerveld and Twisk families. 
So careful was this association, under Mr. Hoxie's leadership, 
to handle only the finest specimens of North Holland cattle, 
those of whose pure breeding they were fully assured, that 
they soon established an enviable reputation among prospec- 
tive buyers in this country and shortly they were unable to 
supply the demand for these cattle without importation. 
Consequently Mr. Hoxie left for Holland in the fall of 1879 to 
purchase cattle. 

He went alone and brought back fifty pure-bred Dutch 
calves, selected with great care and with the help of native 
experts. His stay in Holland at this time was brief and was 
attended with many difficulties. The climate was trying and 
he suffered severely from malaria. He was unacquainted with 
the language and customs of the people and had everything to 
learn regarding their business methods; but he had himself, 
ere this, become an expert judge of the qualities of pure-bred 
cattle, and this fact was of great assistance to him. 

In a letter written home at this time, he says : 

"I think this journey will result in good to us all. I am not home- 
sick and have not been and do not expect to be. But you know my ten- 
dency to excessive labor and anxiety, when I have anything before me. 
I wish I could ease up a little but it is not in me or of me to do so. I 
cannot let go when my hands are once put to the plow." 

One very valuable asset in Mr. Hoxie's favor was a friend- 
ship which he formed at this time with Mr. K. N. Kuperus of 
Marssum, Friesland, a Dutch breeder of culture and educa- 
tion. This gentleman received Mr. Hoxie into his home and 
family as an honored guest during the greater part of his 



38 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

sojourn in Holland and gave him many suggestions and much 
counsel of value. This friendship was confirmed during Mr. 
Hoxie's return trips to Holland and by means of a corre- 
spondence extending over a long period. It grew and 
strengthened with time and ceased only with the death of 
Mr. Kuperus, nearly forty years after their first meeting. 

The return voyage across the ocean with the cattle he 
had purchased was an anxious and troubled one. The freight 
boat he had chartered proved to be almost unseaworthy and 
the captain not too friendly to his interests. In fact, after 
sailing, he learned positively that a plot was on foot to run 
the steamer ashore for the purpose of securing insurance for 
her owners. This, together with the storms at this season 
attendant upon the northern route by which they were bound, 
and the fact that they spent several days in perilous proxim- 
ity to icebergs, rendered this voyage memorable as one of the 
most exciting and trying, though brief, experiences of Mr. 
Hoxie's life. In after years he was wont to dilate upon the 
incidents of this voyage, the memory of which still seemed 
to hold a fearsome fascination, and when, amidst other per- 
plexities and anxieties of his later career, he was rendered 
sleepless, he lived this experience among the icebergs over 
and over again, during wakeful night hours. The little craft, 
which in spite of all difficulties and hazards finally landed 
him and all his precious cargo safely in New York Harbor, 
was never seen after she sailed again, outward bound. It is 
probable that she went to the bottom with all hands on board 
as neither captain nor crew were ever heard from afterwards. 

Some Impressions of Holland 
Some impressions of this trip to Holland wers set down 
by Mr. Hoxie in a paper read at the New York State Dairy- 
men's Association near the close of the year 1879. In this 
"Glimpse of Dairy Husbandry in West Friesland," he says : 

"In the northern part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in extent 
of territory not much exceeding Herkimer County of this state, is the 
province of West Friesland, for ages the head center of dairy produc- 
tion on the continent of Europe. It is bounded upon nearly three sides 
by the sea, from which the larger portion of it has been won through 
incredible labor, by a system of dykes and canals. The whole country 
was once a series of shallow bogs, lagoons, swamps and islands, formed 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 39 

by the sediment of the river Rhine meeting the sandy deposits washed 
shoreward by the currents of the North Sea. Surrounding all these 
has been built an immense sea-wall, and, by the constant operation of 
pumps, formerly worked by huge windmills which in modern times are 
giving place to steam engines, the country is kept sufficiently drained 
for cultivation. 

"Within so small a district one is surprised to meet with such a 
variety of soils, ranging from light sand up through the mucks and 
loams to the heavy clays. All of these soils are productive of the 
grasses. Lying so low, the larger portion of the country being from 
nine to twenty-nine feet below the level of the sea and covered with a 
complete network of ditches, the moisture of the soil is almost absolutely 
under human control. The only exceptions are the more depressed 
portions during an exceedingly wet season. Hence, its pastures are 
always green and luxuriant, like the pastures of Central New York in 
early June. 

"A person is impressed at first sight with the unity of all the 
agricultural operations. The whole system has but one object; the 
handling of cattle for purposes of beef, butter and cheese production. 
Scarcely any grain is raised, only a few potatoes for home use and 
almost no fruit. It is really pitiable to see the few dwarfed, half-dead 
fruit trees that here and there a more enterprising farmer has gathered 
about his dwelling. But the whole country is a paradise of grass, and 
every farm, including the dwelling and its inmates, is simply a great 
machine for converting this grass into butter and cheese. The farmer, 
his wife, his servants and his cattle, are simply so many wheels and 
levers in this machine. 

"There is but one building of any importance upon the farm. The 
roof of that building covers everything that requires protection. It is 
always a huge structure of brick and tile constructed in a square or 
slightly rectangular form, varying from forty to eighty feet in length 
and breadth according to the requirements of the farm. In every other 
respect, excepting in size, this building upon one farm is the almost 
exact counterpart of that upon every other farm. 

"One distinguishes the farmhouse built during the present season 
from one built two hundred years ago only by the fresher appearance 
of the materials. The outside wall rises about seven feet perpendicu- 
larly from the surface of the ground, then a very steep roof inclines 
upward from thirty to fifty feet to the ridge pole. The walls are 
invariably built of brick, the roof of tiles made of the same material, 
the flooring of the butter and cheese rooms of stone, the flooring of 
the stables of brick, and of the family rooms, wood. 

"The rest of the flooring is usually of firmly pounded clay or 
brick. The center of this building is generally occupied by the hay- 
mow built upward from the floor in a cubic form, upon one or two 
sides are the stables, upon a third side is space for carriages and tools, 
and upon the fourth side are the butter and cheese rooms and the family 
apartments. 



40 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

"A Friesian farm is kept permanently in grass as much as possible. 
Rotation of crops is but little practiced. We saw pastures and meadows 
that had not been broken within the remembrance of man, yet the sod 
was exceedingly dense and luxuriant. Manures are usually applied as 
top dressing. In many cases these are composted with refuse from 
the ditches or earth from some portions of the fields, then rotted and 
disintegrated by being repeatedly shoveled and piled. We think com- 
mercial manures are but very little used. 

Origin of Family Differences 
"At least ninety per cent of the cattle are of the piebald black and 
white race called in Europe 'Dutch' or 'Friesian' cattle, but incorrectly 
known in America as 'Holsteins.' There are numerous local families 
of these cattle which have originated on different varieties of soil and 
from different local uses. At first it is difficult for an American farmer 
to understand how these families have been produced, varying as they 
do so much in size, build, quality and general appearance. The explana- 
tion is not difficult. Every distinct and separate polder (drained lake) 
or series of polders has a soil peculiar to itself. Upon one polder or 
series, the soil will be a heavy clay, upon another it will be a deep 
black muck, upon a third a light or heavy sand or loam, the quality 
of the natural grasses varying with the quality of the soil. Farmers 
residing in different localities and hence upon different soils rarely 
exchange cattle. Dutch self-esteem makes the farmers in a given 
locality believe that their cattle are the best in the world, and Dutch 
persistence keeps father and son for generations breeding in the same 
line and for the same purpose. Indeed, this system prevails in the 
human family. The true Friesian never marries a foreigner. The 
farmer rarely ever sells cattle except on the public markets. These 
markets are held upon some particular day of each week during the 
months of September and October. At this time the farmer looks over 
his herd, selects out his finest cattle, those best adapted to his own 
particular use, drives the balance to the public market place, sells 
them for what he can get, and returns to his farm to repeat the same 
process from year to year and from generation to generation. Two 
principles thus operate to build up distinct families of cattle: First, 
constant selection with view to particular use. If that is butter-making 
exclusively, it results in a butter-making family; if that is cheese- 
making, in a cheese-making family; if that is beef production, in a 
family superior for that purpose; or if his process of farming has the 
three objects in view it results in a family with these three qualities 
quite evenly balanced. Second, the soils upon which they are fed for 
generations produce varieties in size and general development. Upon 
the sands these cattle are of comparatively small size and of close 
build; upon the mucks, loam and lighter clays, of larger size but of 
finer bone; and upon the heavy clay, the richest land perhaps in the 
world, they are of large size, of heavy build, of coarser bone and some- 
times ungainly proportions. 



THE LIFE OP SOLOMON HOXIE 41 

Marketing the Surplus Animals 

"Over the larger portions of West Friesland, butter and cheese- 
making are combined. A few localities make butter only, while other 
localities unite the three objects, beef, butter and cheese production. 
Especially is this the case around the city of Leeuwarden, the central 
and largest city in the province. Here are held the largest cattle 
markets (London excepted) in the world. Frequently fifteen hundred 
to two thousand head of cattle are brought here and disposed of in a 
single day. Some of these cattle go to France, some to Belgium, others 
to England and still others to America. Germany, until quite recently, 
has been a large purchaser, but importations to that country are now 
prohibited on account of the lung plague. Here are found on every 
market day, fresh cows with enormous udders, fat cows, heifers that 
have never been bred, cows lean from excess of milk production and 
calves of all ages. The cattle that the farmers regard as their best 
are invariably kept at home. These are as precious stones in their 
sight. They will almost as quickly part with their wives and children 
as from them. 

"In localities where butter and cheese-making are combined, the 
farmers rely upon the butter for their chief income. The milk is gen- 
erally set from twelve to thirty-six hours in shallow earthen pans, and 
the butter made on what is called the old Friesian system. From two 
and one-half to four pounds of butter are taken from a hundred pounds 
of milk, according to the season and other circumstances. Then the 
skim milk is made into cheese and the whey fed to the calves. The 
butter is not washed in the process of manufacture, the buttermilk being 
worked out. The result of this process is a light colored salvey-textured 
butter. This is packed in firkins holding from twenty to one hundred 
pounds. The style of these packages, even to the number of hoops, is 
prescribed by the government. A government officer weighs the tubs 
before filling and afterward, and determines the grade of quality of 
butter. The butter is also sold on public markets. We were present 
on two of those market days and saw many packages opened and tested. 
The butter appeared much more even in quality than American butter, but 
none of it of so high a grade as the best American. At the time we 
visited the market, the farmers were rejoicing over the fact of the 
Friesland butter, made by this Friesian process, taking the sweepstakes 
prize over all other foreign butter at the recent international dairy fair 
held in London. We wondered if any gilt-edged American was in com- 
petition. We have since learned that large quantities of Friesian butter 
are sent to other portions of Holland, where the water is good, re- 
churned, washed and re-salted before being sent to London and Liver- 
pool markets. The probable reason why the butter is not washed under 
the old Friesian process, is the unfitness of the water for that purpose, 
it being universally impregnated with the soil to such an extent that 
it cannot be used for even ordinary drinking and cooking purposes. 
Rain water is used instead. There is, no doubt, more butter produced 



42 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

in West Friesland than in any other territory of equal extent in the 
world. And what is more, this enormous production has been going 
on for ages. Before America was discovered West Friesland was a 
dairy country, and we judge that the cattle and the soil have been slowly 
but constantly improving from its earliest history to the present time. 
The cattle were originally of a pure white color. This has been changed 
by the process of selection and by the introduction of foreign blood in 
past ages, to the present piebald race. The natural tendency, even now, 
is to breed back to the original white. 

Dairy Husbandry in Holland 

"One element in Friesian dairy husbandry, and one undoubtedly of 
great importance, is the early cutting of their hay. This crop is har- 
vested before the grass heads show to any extent. A second crop and 
sometimes a third is gathered before the winter sets in. In fact their 
hay is similar in quality and appearance to our well-cut rowen. One 
can readily imagine the effect of this forage upon milk, butter and 
cheese production. Very little grain is ever fed to their cows. Limited 
quantities of oil cake are used in the winter, but their cows feast and 
give milk and grow fat during the cold months upon what we Americans 
would call rowen. Soiling is not practiced, except after the time the 
cows are put upon the stables, which is during the latter part of October 
or the earlier part of November, the date depending upon the severity 
of the weather. Then the third crop, if not cut before, is mown and 
fed to the cows uncured. 

"After the cows are put upon the stables they are never removed 
until spring. The stables are usually arranged so that the cows' heads 
are toward and close to the outer wall. The flooring upon which they 
stand is elevated above the other floors from eighteen to thirty inches. 
This platform is just wide enough for the cows to stand upon crosswise 
and feed, without manger or any other contrivance for holding their 
hay. Low partitions usually separate them into divisions of two, a 
chain for each cow, with an attachment to go around the neck resembling 
a common horse-fetter bow but much longer, is brought back and 
fastened to a hook driven into the floor at the end of the partition near 
the flank of the cow. This prevents her from pressing forward upon 
her hay thrown upon the level floor in front of her. The length of 
this chain is easily adapted to the length of the animal to just keep 
her in a position for the droppings to fall to the trench or the lower 
floor. She is thus kept in remarkable neatness. A small rope around 
her horns and fastened at the side of her head to the partition completes 
the arrangement. This manner of fastening gives considerable freedom, 
but there is no chance for the filthiness of American stables. Here the 
cow is watered, fed and milked without being removed from her place 
until she is turned to pasture in the spring. In some of the stables 
the watering is done at a trough immediately in front of the cows, 
through which water is passed at the proper hours for drinking; in 
others, by the much slower process of carrying water to them in pails. 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 43 

All of their water is pumped from wells or cisterns within the barns. 

"The cattle are put upon these elevated stables and removed by 
use of a cleated movable bridge, closely resembling the bridge used in 
this country in moving an animal to and from a common horse-power. 
The tails of the cows are suspended by small cords that permit them 
to nearly touch the floor when the animals are lying down. The 
temperature of these stables must be more comfortable and the air 
much purer than in the average American stable. 

"After the cows are turned to the fields in the spring, there they 
remain under all circumstances of weather until winter comes again. 
The climate of Holland at certain times is exceedingly trying to cattle 
in the fields. The latitude is about as high as Labrador in America. 
Cold, drizzling storms of wind and rain from the North Sea are of 
frequent occurrence. To protect their cows from these storms coarse 
cotton or linen blankets are provided, covering the back from just 
forward of the shoulders to within about four inches of the rump. 
These blankets cover the sides to about the middle of the body. These 
are removed when the storm is over. 

"The Frieslanders are exceedingly slow in adopting new customs, 
opinions and modes of farming. The hay crop is almost universally 
cut and cured by hand. Mowing machines, tedders and horse rakes 
are just beginning to be introduced. Their tools are all heavy, seeming 
to have been made with view to lasting forever. Their farm wagons 
are without neaps, being turned about by the action of the foot of the 
driver upon a beak attached to the forward axle. 

"At their ordinary meals they often sit with their hats on their 
heads, seeming to disdain the graces of modern civilization. They are 
quite hospitable and regard it a mark of disrespect to refuse to enter 
their homes to smoke and drink with them. In fact they smoke and 
drink immensely. They keep everything about their farms in order, 
but the marvelous neatness of their households, of which we had read, 
we did not find. The women of that country are industrious, intelligent 
and fine-looking. They are not addicted to the degrading dissipations 
so universal with their lords. The Friesian farmer thinks much of his 
word and, when he gives it, usually fulfills it to the letter. He meets 
his appointments to the minute. He socially belongs to the third class, 
in which merchants and professional men do not mix. He is generally 
tall and muscular, with a bearing proud and independent, and, if he 
could be instilled with a little Yankee uneasiness and versatility, would 
soon bring about a social revolution that would place him in the foremost 
rank among the people of Europe. 

"The question has often occurred to us, could the American dairy- 
man adopt any of the Friesland system with success and profit? We 
have invariably answered, Yes! In our humble judgment there is much 
that he might adopt with increased comfort to himself and cattle and 
increased accumulations to his income. But we confess to only a glimpse 
of that peculiar country and its husbandry. We looked little into the 
details; a closer inspection might impress us less favorably, and we 



44 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

might come to regard our American system of dairy farming, as we 
regard our government and social system, preferable in all respects." 
As the result of actual contact with the Dutch breeder, 
Mr. Hoxie became more and more assured of the truth and 
honesty of the stand taken by Mr. Whiting, and more and 
more in sympathy with the desire of the North Holland 
breeders to maintain the integrity of their cattle by insist- 
ing upon the correct designation incident to the section 
where they were bred. Consequently, upon Mr. Hoxie's re- 
turn to America, after this first visit to Holland, a meeting 
of the Unadilla Valley Dutch Stock Breeders' Association was 
called on December 8, 1879, to consider the advisability of 
continuing the keeping of the Dutch Herd Book commenced 
by Mr. Whiting. After some discussion, the members agreed 
to form an organization to be called the "Dutch-Friesian 
Association of America," the object of which should be the 
preservation of the purity of Dutch-Friesian cattle in Amer- 
ica and the advancement of the interests of the breeders and 
importers of the same. On motion the following resolution 
was adopted : 

"Resolved, That the Herd Book of Dutch Cattle, kept by Mr. T. E. 
Whiting of Massachusetts (deceased), with the introduction to the same, 
written by Prof. G. J. Hengerveld of the Royal Veterinary Institute of 
Utrecht, Kingdom of the Netherlands, be and is hereby made the 
nucleus of the Dutch-Friesian Herd Book of America." 

Soon after the formation of the Unadilla Valley Dutch 
Stock Breeders' Association another breeders' organization 
sprang into being in the nearby county of Madison, at Hamil- 
ton, N. Y. The members of this company rallied to the 
standard of the Dutch-Friesian Association, as did a few 
other farmers and breeders in various sections of the coun- 
try. The secretary's book shortly showed eighteen life mem- 
bers. But it was not until two years later that the first vol- 
ume of the Herd Book actually appeared in print. 



CHAPTER III 

ANOTHER VISIT TO HOLLAND AND THE 

NEW HERD BOOK 

In the spring of 1880 Mr. Hoxie again visited Holland to 
purchase more cattle, his association having been successful 
beyond all hopes in disposing of its first importation. This 
time he did not go alone; Mr. Irwin Langworthy, a young 
cousin and a member of the Unadilla Valley Dutch Stock 
Breeders' Association, accompanied him. On board the 
steamship Hecla, about four hundred miles out from Queens- 
town, Solomon writes to his wife on April 2, of this year: 

"In two days more we expect to see land. The steamer will first 
stop at Queenstown in Ireland. Then we shall go to Liverpool in the 
northern part of England. From Liverpool we expect to go by rail to 
London and then to Hartwick. From Hartwick we shall take another 
steamship to cross the English Channel to Rotterdam. There is nothing 
to write about. On shipboard every day is alike. The only changes 
are in degrees of roughness or cold. We have had a remarkably 
pleasant voyage for this season of the year. We hope good fortune 
may smile upon us for the rest of the journey. I suspect that you 
know I think of you almost every hour in the day. If love were sent 
by the cargo I would spend my money and send you a ship-load. But 
love goes like the light and I feel that I am in an atmosphere of it 
from you and the children." 

On the seventeenth of April, after about two weeks' 
sojourn in Holland, Solomon writes to his mother: 

"I am pretty well tired out. No one can appreciate the difficulties 
we have met in our business and the weariness and anxiety we often 
feel. But hoping and believing that you are all well at home keeps 
up our spirits. I get along much better than last year. Cattle are 
much higher in price and we are spending much money in looking for 
the best. 

"This is a very strange country. They bore holes in the ground 
about eighteen inches apart with a tool something like an auger. That 
lifts out a plug of dirt, or rather clay, about six inches long and two 
and one-half inches thick. Into these holes they drop their seed potatoes 
and cover them a little with the hand. Then they harrow the ground. 
They hoe their wheat. I have seen men and women together hoeing 



46 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

wheat many times. They always tie the cows' legs when milking 
them and they keep their cows without a speck of dirt on their sides 
or hips. The stable floors are so high that they have to have a bridge 
over which the cows walk when removing them from the barn. Few 
men will remove a cow without being paid for it. Day before yesterday 
we paid a man a dollar just to take a bull from his stable and show 
him to us. A fine horse was shown at another time but the servant 
must have a half-guilder. I think I pay sometimes from ten to twenty 
men a day for doing such things as these. There are no hitching 
posts and nobody ever hitches a horse; so a man holds your horse and 
must be paid, and so it goes from day to day. I do not write this 
because I object to this system but it seems so odd and so different 
than with us at home. If I had ten cents for every time I have shown 
our old bull, Burgomaster, I should have quite a little pile. 

"Then another peculiarity is the wonderful quietness and slowness 
with which everything goes along. One may drive all day upon a paved 
public road and not meet a single team. He will meet men and women 
on foot and carts drawn by dogs and carts pushed by men, but, except 
upon market days which come once a week, it is very rare to meet a 
horse and wagon. The country is so quiet one might think every day 
was Sunday. I think a majority of the people are quite poor. The 
largest share of the wealth is in the hands of the few. Rich men are 
large land holders and rent their land to the farmers, who are a sort 
of middle class, and then they hire the laborers who work very slowly 
but make exceedingly long days." 

Later Mr. Hoxie writes to his children: 

"I think people in fair circumstances are quite happy here, for 
they make a great deal of home and of their friends and relatives. 
The children are healthy and robust and have very red cheeks. They 
dress quite warmly and some of them look like little old men and women. 
You would laugh to see the little wooden shoes. You ought to see how 
pleasant the children seem to be to one another. I hope each day you 
will cultivate forbearance and love for one another. The more of love 
we put into our lives, the richer our lives are. This great truth is 
often learned when much of our time in this world is passed. I hope 
it may not be so with my children." 

The cattle purchased, Mr. Hoxie and his companion were 
forced to tarry some days before their steamer set sail on the 
return voyage. During this time he had leisure for a daily 
letter to his family. Some of these have been preserved and 
extracts from them follow: 

"We expect to start from Antwerp the tenth of May, on the Helvetia 
of the White Cross Line. Her usual passage is fifteen or sixteen days. 
So you may expect our arrival in New York on the twenty-sixth, not 
before. The owners of the boat say we must take hay for twenty days. 
So you need not be alarmed if you do not hear from us before the 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 47 

thirtieth of May. We have bought one hundred head of cattle, twenty- 
four of them being over two years of age, sixty-six yearlings and ten 
calves. We have had to pay very much more than last fall, three, 
four and five times as much, but we have bought cattle that are 
superior; the best that we could possibly find; and on this account 
reasonably expect, if American prices keep where they were last winter, 
we may realize as great a profit per animal as on the others. We have 
bought the first prize cow of this country and many others that are 
regarded as very valuable; and now, if we can only get home safely, 
we shall be thankful. 

"The spring in this country comes on very slowly. Flowers were 
blossoming when we came and they seem but little farther advanced 
now. I never knew what purple violets signified before. The wild 
violet here is purple instead of blue, and often a whole half acre will 
appear as one mass of deep purple. I saw a robin and a catbird in 
a cage at Antwerp. They looked wonderfully home-like and I almost 
wanted to get hold of them and kiss them. The catbird was singing 
his odd song as naturally as though he were dodging among the bushes 
of America. The babies here all coo in English and laugh and cry in 
English; and it is a wonder how they ever learn to talk Dutch. Every 
word in Dutch sounds as if it had its tail bitten off. I have got so I 
can say the 'Yaw, yaw' with short, quick jerks of the lower jaw." 

To his wife he says: 

"I think I have not written you anything about North Holland. 
This country is so curious. It seems so strange that there should be 
different customs and different styles of dress comparatively only a few 
miles apart. In some sections the dames (ladies) wear the gold head 
dress of which I have told you. In North Holland they wear a gold 
band across the forehead and, rising from this on each side of the 
head, will be a little arch from which are hung pendants, usually ear- 
rings. ... I leave you to imagine a Dutch beauty, for I don't think 
I have fairly represented her in this drawing. Her cheeks are as red 
as two roses and she has eyes that, like our ladies in America, are 
wonderfully inquisitive. She loves to peek at the 'Amerikans' (accent 
on the last syllable) and then giggle the tiniest kind of a giggle in 
plain English. The women of North Holland are very fond of high 
colors, red and yellow and blue and green. The houses are painted the 
same variety of colors and the rooms also and then highly polished. 
They scrub everlastingly but do not, after all, keep as neat as American 
women. But for fresh, clear, bright complexions they excel. There 
are. probably no women in the world with such fair complexions. 
They are the picture of health. No doubt one cause of this is so much 
out-of-door life. They know but little of the indoor confinement of 
American women. They walk as much as the men and often we see 
them in the fields at work with the men. If it were not for their style 
of head dress they would be quite beautiful as a class. Why they 
will adhere to a head dress that makes them look perfectly bald I 



48 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

cannot see. Some of the city women, who have discarded the Friesian 
costume, have very beautiful hair. 

"Kindje are one of the national institutions. They marry young 
and, oh, such piles of kindje, kinderen! These kinderen are as neat 
as wax. Though the vaders and moeders are poor the kinderen have 
to be dressed neatly and are indeed pretty. You would laugh to see 
the young vader and mceder walking out together on Sunday drawing 
a little wagon containing two, one a little larger than the other, and 
then perhaps two or three little toddlers, hold of hands, ahead or behind. 
Maybe the oldest being not more than six or seven, but acting as nurse 
and guard over the others. Families of from half a dozen to ten 
kinderen are not uncommon. But the women do not have the house 
work or the demands upon their nervous systems in other respects 
that American women do. Society is more simple, the care of rooms 
not an iota the labor, the meals more simple. The women do not 
pickle and preserve and bake and wash dishes as American women do. 
And then, oh, the everlasting labor of the toilet, to which many of the 
American women are almost slaves! Of this they know but little. But 
they are still beautiful in the eyes of the heeveen (gentlemen). I con- 
fess that I admire the style and independence of the Fi-iesian ladies. 
There is none of that pretension to extreme gentility that is sometimes 
seen in America. I have been so fortunate as to be invited into the 
houses of some of the best families in this country but this same sim- 
plicity I have always found. I have never found that pretension that 
is sometimes seen in America. Nor have I found bashfulness. The 
women' have always appeared unpretentious, innocent and frank. 
. ,. As I wrote you last year, the men smoke and drink im- 
moderately. But I can say that there is far, far less of this among 
the higher than among the middle and lower classes. . . . 

"I will write you now our mode of living. In the morning, whether 
we rise early or late, it is always the same. We go down to the dining 
room where a salver, about twice the size of this sheet of paper, is set 
with a teapot, a sugar bowl, a milk cup and a slop jar, two cups and 
saucers and a chest of tea. Beside the salver will be two small plates 
and knives. At the right hand, on the floor close to your chair, stands 
a teakettle of boiling water. You make your own tea and sit down 
and help yourself to bread, butter, cheese, radishes and a peculiar kind 
of little cracker kept in a little round black box. I have really fallen 
in love with the Friesian style of breakfasting. You have no other 
regular meal until five p. m., the dinner hour. Then we have soup 
and a small slice of bread and about four courses of meats. Let me 
give you one menu as a sample. Friesch soup, cold roast beef and small 
string beans, beef steak and potatoes, roast veal and greens, beef tongue 
and lettuce, brandy pudding. At the side of my plate stands a bottle 
of wine in grave solemnity at each meal. The cork is the glass head 
of a Dutchman, trying to look facetious. Dinner over, then if our 
business is over, we walk out. When we return in about an hour we 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 49 

miss our tea so badly that we usually call for a pot of it. Then the 
morning salver, with its accompaniments, makes its appearance. We 
sit gravely and sup our tea as a Dutchman sups his wine or beer or 
gin. . . . 

"Our cattle are now all purchased and our arrangements for return 
are being rapidly made. We hope Old Ocean will be propitious and 
that, sometime about the twenty-sixth of May, we shall land safely in 
New York. And we hope to come home and to live enough better to 
make up for lost time. A voyage to Europe in a pleasant season of 
the year, upon one of the staunchest of steamships, in the company of 
friends and acquaintances and, especially with the wife of one's heart 
and with plenty of money, would no doubt be a very pleasant thing. 
Then to journey over Europe in the same company, without a care, 
visiting the noted places, would be a rich treat. But to come here on 
business among sharpers of the sharpest sort — Yankee sharpness cannot 
begin with Dutch sharpness. You know there is a homely expression, 
'That beats the Dutch.' I never appreciated its meaning until I had 
experience with them. I think I can solemnly witness to the truth of 
the remainder of the expression, 'and the Dutch beat the Devil' — is 
another thing." 

On May 5, he writes to hs son : 

"We are having a few days of waiting before we can ship our 
cattle, so I improve the time in writing to my loved ones across the 
Atlantic. I have written almost every day to your mother, so now I 
will write to you. In some respects a young man has superior ad- 
vantages in this country, if he is born wealthy; but Heaven help the 
poor! A young man of wealthy parents is immediately put to learning 
the various European languages, English, French and German. I think 
such a young man spends less time than he would in our country in 
mathematics and the sciences. By constant contact with people of ad- 
joining nations he very soon learns to speak their languages with 
tolerable accuracy. It is surprising how many farmers' sons even are 
learning English. After the proper age, say about eighteen, his business 
or profession is chosen and then his education is specialized with a view 
to his future calling. He may go into the army, one-third of the young 
men being drafted for that service every year. I think their army life 
is not irksome. If talented, promotion awaits him and, in that case, it 
may be a life calling. You would be surprised to see the number of 
young men here in the various uniforms of the different branches of 
the army service. These uniforms are blue and gaily trimmed, some 
with red, some with yellow, some have epaulets, and some gold or silver 
stars on their collars. With their highly polished buttons, belts and 
shining scabbards and their white gloves they really make a very fine 
appearance. Other young men enter the civil service, post offices, tele- 
graph offices, dyke offices, etc., where they are also generally uniformed. 
Besides this the railroads take another class of young men, all of them 
in uniform. Even the common porters wear uniforms. 



50 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

"Young ladies are more secluded, I think, than in America, although 
much the greater number of retail shops are kept by them. They also 
learn the different European languages to some extent. They are very 
fine looking and fully as intelligent as the men. They are generally 
tall and quite commanding in appearance. I have seen scarcely any of 
that silly, smirking pretension to extreme childishness and simplicity 
that is sometimes seen in America. They are not bashful, neither are 
they forward. All classes and ages of men, from the youth to the 
grandsire, smoke — I think I have only met with two exceptions — and 
drink. They smoke almost constantly. At the close of dinner cigars 
are always passed at the hotels. Wine always accompanies the meal. 
A bottle sits beside each man's plate. One thing seems very curious 
to me. At not a single dinner at a public house have I seen a lady. I 
think they take their meals separately. The Dutch men as a class are 
not refined in manner, nor do I think in sentiment. I sometimes think 
they pride themselves upon their animal qualities. It is a wonder to 
me that the ladies preserve the purity and delicacy of which they seem 
to be possessed, considering their male associates. 

"There is but little chance for a young person to rise above his 
surroundings in this country. He is born into a certain class and 
always remains there. I think wealth is honored more than in our 
country. To put it emphatically, the poor in this country are the 
slaves of the rich. The people, I think, are quite fond of dress but 
extremely careful of their clothing. Fashions do not change as often as 
in our country, so that a fine suit of attire may last for years. The 
influence of surrounding countries is seen in the dress of the inhabi- 
tants of the large towns. I presume half of the ladies of Leeuwarden 
dress in the French style. But outside the cities nearly all dress in 
the old Friesian way. The people show much self-esteem. They have 
been educated for generations to regard themselves as a superior race. 
Their eyes are beginning to be opened especially among the better edu- 
cated and more intelligent. I have no doubt that fifty years hence 
great changes will be effected. Communications with the rest of the 
world will do away with many prejudices and awaken them to their 
imperfections. One great promise of this is found in the fact that the 
upper classes, who travel to other countries, drink and smoke less and 
show much greater delicacy and refinement. Naturally the Friesians 
are a splendid race. In perseverance and courage they probably have 
no superiors." 

In preparation for the transit of his cattle from Leeuwar- 
den to Antwerp, previous to loading them upon the Helvetia 
for shipment to America, Mr. Hoxie was accidentally sepa- 
rated from his companion and his purchases and was 
stranded alone in Leeuwarden with all the baggage but with- 
out money. His assistant had gone on to Antwerp with the 
cattle and there was not time to get the necessary funds from 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 51 

him for the release of the baggage, the hotel bill and Mr. 
Hoxie's railroad fare, before the vessel sailed. Mr. Hoxie 
was greatly perturbed. Not knowing enough of the Dutch 
language to make the situation clear to a native and being 
absolutely without friends or acquaintances in Leeuwarden, 
what could he do? How extricate himself from the diffi- 
culty? He strode up and down the railroad tracks in front 
of the station, audibly voicing his distress. A stranger, a 
Hollander who understood English and who observed Mr. 
Hoxie's discomposure and listened to his involuntary self- 
communings, approached him and said, "I have heard what 
you were saying. I like your face and I am going to venture 
to loan you the money with which to reach Antwerp." Upon 
Mr. Hoxie's third visit to Holland, the first person he met 
upon leaving the train at Leeuwarden was this same man, 
this friend in need who had helped a foreigner, a perfect 
stranger in a strange land, out of what seemed an insur- 
mountable difficulty because he "liked his face." 

The Dutch-Friesian Herd Book and the Beginnings 
of Advanced Registration 

On landing in America this second importation of cattle 
was taken directly to Mr. Hoxie's farm in Yorkville, as had 
also been the fifty head of calves previously brought over, for 
the necessary period of quarantine. Thus increased duties 
and responsibilities were added to Mr. Hoxie's already multi- 
tudinous burdens. 

All his interrupted activities in America were now re- 
sumed, speaking and writing in the interest of Dutch cattle, 
supervising his farm and dairy and exhibiting and making 
sales of his new purchases. Added to these numerous labors 
a wholly new task was now required of him — the editing and 
publishing of the first volume of the Dutch-Friesian Herd 
Book of America. This book was brought out in the fall of 
1880 by the Dutch-Friesian Association, Mr. Hoxie having 
performed all of the work of compiling and editing it unas- 
sisted. Also, he had personally examined most of the ani- 
mals recorded therein. On account of the meagre numbers 
composing the association and their lack of funds, Mr. Hoxie's 
remuneration for his first year's work as editor of the herd 



52 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

book, examiner of cattle and secretary of the organization 
was the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars. His duties 
were now so manifold that he was forced to resign as chief 
sales agent of the Unadilla Valley Dutch Stock Breeders' 
Association, although many of its cattle were still kept upon 
his farm, under his care, and he still continued to edit and 
publish its annual catalogues and to carry on his propaganda 
for its benefit through correspondence, writing and speaking. 
With this first volume of the Dutch-Friesian Herd Book 
a new era in the breeding of black and white cattle in Amer- 
ica was ushered in. Mr. Hoxie set forth in its pages a sys- 
tem 1 of registry based upon the development of the escutch- 
eon and milk records. Two forms of registry were adopted, 
viz: The Pedigree form, in which all cattle of pure blood 
must first enter, and the Main or Advanced form, to which 
the animal advances by special merit. The idea of this latter 
form was original with Solomon Hoxie and, in this book are 
to be found the small beginnings of that system of Advanced 
Registry around which the significant history of this breed 
in America almost entirely centers. In this volume was pub- 
lished the introduction by G. J. Hengerveld, originally written 
for the proposed Herd Book of Dutch cattle which was to 
have been issued by Thomas Whiting. It also contained this 
statement regarding the name Dutch-Friesian, which had 
been adopted by this association: 

"In the Netherlands Herd Book every animal is described from 
the province in which it was bred, thus: 'Noord Hollandsch veeslag,' 
'Friesche veeslag', literally North Holland kind, Friesian kind. In 
the certificates of breeding required to entitle imported animals to 
registry in America, these two kinds are regarded as identical and are 
described as pure 'North Holland or Friesian black and white piebald 
cattle.' Upon arriving in America, however, they are popularly given 
the name 'Holstein.' This name is a peculiarly unfortunate one, from 
the fact that there is a breed in the province of Holstein (Denmark) 
differing widely from this breed to which the Europeans have very 
properly attached the name Holstein. Hence it is very likely to lead 
to misunderstanding and confusion as intercourse increases between 
American and European breeders; besides it robs the true originators 
of the breed of the honor justly due them. The Dutch-Friesian Asso- 
ciation has discarded this name (Holstein) and adopted one 'that was 

i This system, in the next volume of the Dutch-Friesian Herd Book, was 
materially changed. 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 53 

applied to the breed as early as 1825 by the European author Sturm, 
in a work entitled 'Races, Crossing and Improvement of Indigenous Do- 
mestic Animals.' This name (Dutch-Friesian) is comprehensive, includ- 
ing the black and white dairy cattle of both North Holland and West 
Friesland; it designates the origin of the breed and is in harmony with 
the importer's certificates. We think all disinterested men, lovers of 
exact statements, will approve of this name." 

This volume contains the pedigree of sixty-three bulls and 
two hundred and four cows. Upon its pages there is no 
manifestation of unfriendliness to the Holstein Association. 

At about this time Mr. Hoxie wrote a series of articles 
for the "American Live Stock Journal," the leading cattle jour- 
nal in this country, since named the "Breeders' Gazette." These 
articles gave a comprehensive account of the origin of the 
Dutch breed, its history in Europe, its valuable qualities, its 
products and their markets and the treatment of the breed in 
North Holland and Friesland. These articles called forth the 
following statement from a prominent Holland breeder : 

"I constantly read the 'Live Stock Journal' with great interest, 
especially the articles you are publishing about the Friesian or Dutch- 
Friesian cattle. It astonishes me from whence you get the knowledge 
as to their origin and so many particulars concerning our cattle." 

Mr. Hoxie had intended to use these articles later as a 
basis of a truthful history of these cattle both in Europe and 
America, but they were largely culled from by Mr. F. L. 
Houghton in the construction of his book on Holstein-Friesian 
cattle. 



CHAPTER IV 

THIRD VISIT TO HOLLAND— INTERNATIONAL 

CONFERENCE OF BREEDERS OF 

DUTCH CATTLE 

The Unadilla Valley Dutch Stock Breeders' Association 
soon became so widely known for the quality of its cattle 
that it could not begin to supply the demands made upon it by 
American purchasers, consequently Mr. Hoxie again set sail 
for Holland in the spring of 1882, to buy more cattle. He 
planned that this trip should be a somewhat leisurely one; 
that he should take more time than ever before to study the 
Dutch cattle in their native environment and to get into 
closer touch with North Holland breeders. He also designed 
to visit the Island of Guernsey and to investigate its breed of 
cattle, largely in the interests of his brother, Samuel, who 
wished to own some Guernseys for experimental purposes. 
Upon this, his third journey to foreign shores, he was accom- 
panied by his genial and well beloved friend, Sylvester Bur- 
chard, a prominent breeder of Holland cattle and a member 
of the Chenango Valley Stock Breeders' Association. 

One of the most interesting events during his stay in Hol- 
land at this time was an International Conference of Breeders 
of Dutch cattle which was held at Amsterdam, on the thirtieth 
of May, 1882. Mr. Hoxie writes thus to his wife regard- 
ing it : 

"Last evening I received a formal invitation to the International 
Conference of the Herd Book Associations of Europe and America, 
from the Secretary of the Netherlands Association, and shall, with Mr. 
Burchard, take a seat in this body to represent the Dutch-Friesian. 
Association of America. Mr. P., who is here buying cattle, says he 
would rather be a member of this conference than to be a member of 
Congress in America. I am not particularly proud of the honor but I 
see, from the conference, great results that will grow in importance 
long after I am gone, and perhaps my children and their children may 
regard it as an honor to them." 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 55 

At this conference the Netherlands Association of Hol- 
land was officially represented by Prof. G. J. Hengerveld, 
Vice-President S. J. Huisman, Director C. J. Vd Oudermeulen 
and Secretary P. F. L. Waldeck. The Friesian Association of 
Holland, by President C. Van Eijsinga and Director K. N. 
Kuperus. This was an epoch making conference, the first of 
its kind in the history of the breed, and, although it con- 
vened forty years ago it is worthy of some record here, 
as it helped to lay the foundations for unity of policy in the 
future breeding of Dutch cattle. 

Mr. Hoxie's account of this conference published in the 
second volume of the Dutch-Friesian Herd Book, says in part : 

"An International Conference of Breeders of Dutch or Friesian 
cattle was held at Amsterdam, May thirtieth, 1882. Official delegates 
were present from the Netherlands, the Friesian and the Dutch-Friesian 
Associations. 

"Among the delegates was the venerable Prof. Hengerveld. This 
gentleman has retired from the active duties of his professorship in the 
Royal Veterinary Institute, but still is able to perform the duties of 
inspector of the Netherlands Herd Book. 

"The character of this conference was simply advisory, yet there 
is little doubt of the early adoption of the measures it has recommended. 
Upon the subject of a common and appropriate name for this breed of 
cattle, Prof. Hengerveld said: "Their history can be traced two thou- 
sand years; to the Friesian and Batavian people we owe their origin 
and improvement. It is simply nonsensical to call them Holstein cattle.' 
The conference recommended that the Friesian Association retain the 
name Friesian for their pure-bred black-and-white variegated cattle, 
that the Netherland's Association prefix the word 'Hollandische' or 
Dutch, to this name, to distinguish this class, which are bred in North 
Holland, and that the American Association be at liberty to use the 
names Friesian and Dutch-Friesian interchangeably. 

"The conference recommended the separate registry, numbering 
and breeding of this class of cattle, free from admixture with other 
colors. Mr. Van Eijsinga, President of the Friesian Association, in- 
formed the conference that this measure had already been adopted by 
his association. The Netherlands Association will no doubt adopt it as 
soon as proper action can be taken. 

"The use of family names for cattle bred in a direct line, the use 
of numerals to designate animals of the same family, and that no two 
animals take the same designation was recommended. This is a meas- 
ure of much greater importance than it would at first appear. In the 
volume of the Netherlands Herd Book for 1880 the name Marie is given 
to six different cows, between which there is no discoverable relation- 



56 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

ship. The confusion of such naming will probably be avoided by this 
measure. 

"The type of the breed was briefly discussed. At the present 
time three types are designated in the herd books of this country. 
They are described as 'beef and milk form,' 'milk and beef form,' and 
'milk form.' Under the first only large animals are recorded, which 
take the outline of a parallelogram viewed from the side, being deep 
in the brisket and heavy in the chest and shoulders. Under the second 
type, animals of less size can be registered. Very large cattle, having 
the proper form, are recorded in this type, but they have comparatively 
less weight in the chest and shoulders, being in consequence moderately 
wedged shaped. Under the 'milk form' type, still smaller cattle may 
be registered. Extremely large cattle are also registered under this 
form. All in this class have the wedge shape in great perfection. The 
delegates from the American Association advocated the registry of only 
cattle of the second and third types. It was decided to leave this sub- 
ject to future consultation between the Friesian and the Netherlands 
Associations. The 'milk and flesh form' is the ideal type of this breed. 
In this type it has a position which no other breed can so successfully 
occupy. The breeders in this country claim for their cattle an equal 
rank in the beef type, hence their hesitancy to adopt the suggestions of 
the American delegates. 

"The publishing of milk records in connection with the descriptions 
in the herd books was also referred to. The delegates from both Euro- 
pean associations were unfavorable to such a measure on account of 
their want of confidence in records as they are ordinarily kept. 

"The question of closing the herd books against the admission of 
foundation stock at some future fixed date was discussed briefly. The 
Friesian delegates were favorably inclined toward such a measure, but 
the Netherlands delegates conceived that it would not be for the inter- 
ests of their association. The time is not distant when this measure 
will be adopted. The experience of all other associations points un- 
mistakably to such action. The sooner the pure-bred cattle of this 
country are registered and the herd books closed against foundation 
stock the sooner the breeding will become reliable, the more rapidly will 
improvement be made and the sooner the breeders of superior cattle will 
be rewarded for their labors. 

"This conference closed its work by recommending the calling of 
such conferences at least triennially." 

Progress of Friesian Breeders 
During May and June of the year 1882, Mr. Hoxie wrote 
frequent letters from Holland to the "National Live Stock 
Journal." Some extracts from these letters are of interest in 
showing conditions among breeders in North Holland 
forty years ago and also in showing Mr. Hoxie's ideas re- 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 57 

garding the policy which American breeders would do well 
to follow as a means of future success: 

"Since my visit to this country in 1879 a noticeable improvement 
has been made in its cattle. Fewer animals of the mongrel type are 
seen. Long, heavy limbs, coarse hair and steep rumps are rapidly going 
out of date. Without doubt this improvement is due to the educational 
influence exerted by the Herd Book Associations. 1 

"The Friesian Association held its annual meeting on the twentieth 
of May. Upwards of fifty members were present and much interest 
was manifested. It was held with open doors. Upon the subject of 
raising the standard of requirements for registry there was great 
unanimity favoring a constant advancement. A proposition for a sep- 
arate register for the different families or breeds of Friesian cattle, 
that is, a separate register for the black-and-white variegated, a second 
register for the red-and-white variegated and a third for the other 
colors, was adopted — 38 votes in the affirmative and 13 in the negative. 
If I am correctly informed, the Netherlands Association has adopted 
a similar rule. Henceforth, no one in America can justly criticize the 
European Associations at this point. The standard of requirements for 
registry here, is much higher than the standard generally adopted by 
American importers; and the time is not distant when American breed- 
ers will demand that only registered cattle shall be brought to our 
country. 

"According to the rules of the Friesian Association, a bull must 
be at least fourteen months of age before admission to full registry, 
and a cow two and one-half years of age, even though their sires and 
dams were herd book animals. In the past there has been no compe- 
tent authority to pronounce upon the purity and worthiness of younger 
animals. 2 The burgomaster's signature and seal to the certificate of 
breeding have been simply and only an attestation that the signatures 
of the breeders and sellers were genuine. Aside from this, it has been 
no evidence of purity or excellence, and American purchasers have 
generally had erroneous impressions in regard to its value. The whole 
certificate might be a palpable fraud and the signatures of breeders and 
sellers genuine. An arrangement is now made for the examination of 
young animals by the inspector of the Friesian Association, and the 
giving by him of a certificate of the purity, worthiness and markings 
of each animal, in addition to the certificates bearing the burgomaster's 
signature and seal. These certificates of the inspector amount to 
nearly the same as actual registry in the Friesian Herd Book and are 
the best that can be done until the American associations adopt rules 
refusing to register imported cattle not previously registered in the 
Netherlands or Friesian Herd Book. 

"It would be a work of much difficulty to forecast the future of 
Friesian, or Dutch-Friesian, cattle. I will not attempt it, but I will 

i The oldest of these Associations, the Netherlands, was chartered in 1875. 
2 The writer is speaking here of animals purchased for exportation to 
America. 



58 THE LIFE OP SOLOMON HOXIE 

mention some things that must materially affect that future. 

"My observations in this country lead me to attach much impor- 
tance to the extreme conservatism of Friesian farmers. It is difficult 
for the people of other countries to fully appreciate the strength and 
influence of this conservatism. The Friesian farmer admits of little, 
if any, innovation upon the manners, customs or dress of his ancestors. 
He does not intermarry with the people of other countries or even with 
the inhabitants of his own towns and cities. He still uses the old 
Friesian dialect, although his books and newspapers for many years 
have been mainly printed in Dutch. This extreme conservatism has 
produced the Friesian breed of cattle, by the aid of soil and climate, 
and the uninterrupted following of the dairy pursuits for ages by the 
same families; and this conservatism will continue to guard the purity 
of this breed with a greater degree of vigilance than statute law could 
possibly enforce. 

Prospects for the Breed in America 
"From Friesland as a center, this breed has been disseminated to a 
greater or less extent, over all the lowlands of Northern Europe. It 
has become extensively mixed with the cattle of Belgium and with the 
cattle of large portions of France and Germany. It is everywhere 
gaining ground, and to-day upon the continent of Europe, it is what 
the Short-horn breed is to English-speaking countries — the most noted 
and the most valuable breed. 

"In regard to the future of this breed in America I hope to be able 
to speak plainly at this point, yet without partisan bias. Everyone 
must see that it is unfortunate that a name was not given to this breed 
in America that would harmonize with the names by which it is known 
in Europe and that its territorial bounds, whence pure-bred cattle are 
allowed to be imported, were so widely extended. It is never too late 
to correct manifest errors. As long as these errors are maintained by 
the American breeders, they will be a bar to harmony with the Euro- 
pean associations. Americans may affect to despise the European or- 
ganizations, yet their herd books are the only basis upon which an 
aristocracy of breeding in the future, either in Europe or America, can 
be founded. Neglect these herd books, and importation to America will 
be governed almost entirely by laws of commerce and not of breeding. 
A few extraordinary cattle will give reputation to the breed. Upon 
this reputation thousands of cattle will be imported. These will consist 
mainly of calves and yearlings — animals untested, without registry or 
known pedigree. They will be of the orthodox color and markings; 
but, beyond this, little can positively be said. Some of these cattle will 
be purchased in South Holland, others in Groningen and still others 
from North Holland and Friesland. Some will be pure-bred, others 
will be of impure breeding. There will be some exceptionally good impor- 
tations in cases where breeders make selections for their own personal 
breeding purposes, but the mass of cattle thus imported will be such 
as would naturally be selected under the sole influence of the laws of 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 59 

trade and will not build up the reputation of the breed. The supply 
of such cattle is unlimited. All the lowlands of Northern Europe 
swarm with them ; and, if the demand in America continues to increase, 
as it seems likely to do, for some time to come, the result is not difficult 
to forsee. The reputation of the breed, built upon the few selected 
cattle that would be acceptable to registry in European herd books, will 
be swamped under the great mass that would under no circumstances 
be received. 

"The only remedy against such a result that I can see is to base 
the American herd books upon the European herd books and thus refuse 
to accept of any more cattle that cannot trace their ancestry to, or 
prove their records in, these herd books. There can no longer be any 
objection to such a measure. 

"If this measure could be adopted, it would stimulate the breeders 
of Europe to breed and register a class of cattle that would be up to 
the highest standard of American demand. One such animal brought 
to our country would be worth to our people more than a hundred ani- 
mals of the other class of which I have spoken. The experiences of 
American breeders of other foreign breeds point unmistakably toward 
the adoption of such a measure. There are greater reasons for its adop- 
tion in the case of this breed than could have been found in the case of 
either Jerseys or Guernseys. There was no possible danger of impure 
blood from the Channel Islands, but there is more or less danger of 
getting impure blood in the importation of these cattle. 

"I state these things because I am a great admirer of this breed. 
I have faith in its future. Every person who understands the situation 
will confess, to himself at least, that we have too many ordinary cattle 
already in our herd books. The quality should be raised by every new 
importation. If some such action is not taken in America, I think I 
can see in the future 'a going up like a rocket and a coming down like 
a stick.' After that I shall expect a change in policy that will finally 
result in success. In the natural order of events, if this breed has a 
permanent success in America, there will be great attention paid at 
some future day to purity of blood. To be able to trace a strain of 
blood to the herd books of the Netherlands will add value to it, espe- 
cially if the same family should become noted in Europe. Americans 
ought to build on a sound basis, though the edifice should go up more 
slowly." 

On May 23, Mr. Hoxie writes to his wife from Leeuwarden : 
"Saturday we attended the Friesian Herd Book meeting. We were 
received with much cordiality and respect. The president employed an 
interpreter to receive communications from us. I have had an interview 
with Prof. Hengerveld and Mr. Bultman, president of the Netherlands 
Association, and was received with much cordiality. One of the pleas- 
antest things connected with my trip was the reception by Amersfort. 
He is probably one of the first agriculturists of Europe and kings have 
been honored by his society. He is an aged man, very fine looking and 



60 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

dignified. His wife, one of the finest appearing ladies I ever saw, 
entered into our conversation with great interest. Both speak English 
quite fluently. Amersfort showed me two books of original drawings, 
no doubt made by his wife, illustrative of the escutcheon. These draw- 
ings were of all sorts of animals, except carniverous ones, even birds, 
fishes and insects. They were very true to nature and colored natur- 
ally. 

"Friday there was a Friesian wedding here at Wiedema Hotel. Of 
course we did not go in to see the ceremony. There were about fifty 
guests, and from noon, Friday, to seven o'clock Saturday morning, it 
was a jolly craze. The men were so full of wine that I do not believe 
they could tell one person from another. You would have laughed and 
scolded and scolded and laughed to hear the Dutch songs and the hurrahs 
at the close of the verses. They just went in for a glorious time. I have 
written so many times before of the habits and customs here that you 
will not care to have me dilate further upon this topic. I wish I could 
bring some larks to America and domesticate them around our home. 
I send my love to all, even to R.'s scratching chickens. Oh, you ought 
to see the house cleaning in Holland, but I will wait till I come home 
to tell you about it. 

"Tell G. that he would enjoy a visit to this country wonderfully. 
One can form no conception without seeing them of the tools, carriages, 
the trotting buggies and so on. They are huge, from five to ten times 
as heavy as ours, and yet they are quite elegant. Tell him I have been 
to a bull show and a horse trot combined. The horses are all ridden 
by heavy men, each man riding his own horse on a saddle without stir- 
rups. The race track was about eighty rods long in a straight line. 
The horses were immense, one of them at least seventeen and a half 
hands high. It is jolly to see a big-bellied Dutchman ride such a horse, 
the horse's tail switching with a vengeance at every step and the ground 
jarred for rods around as they pass. Then, would you believe it, we 
were invited to a dinner at the Agricultural Society, and had to click 
a glass of wine and offer a toast to the Dutch cows and their breeders. 
Well, among Romans, I have to do a little as the Romans do." 

The next day Mr. Hoxie writes to his little daughter : 

"You can have no conception of the class system as it affects the 
women of this country. The members of the lowest class are simply 
drudges and beasts of burden. Farmers' wives and daughters belong 
to the third class. I do not think they have a very hard time. They 
always have the drudging class under them. No equality is recognized 
between the two classes. Then come the wives and daughters of the 
second class, of business men in the cities and villages, and lastly the 
wives and daughters of the first class, or of the landlords, barons, 
etc. The members of each class are educated and trained for the 
places and positions they occupy. 

"The women never bake their own bread in this country. The 
baking is all done at the bakeries. You will see old women and young 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 61 

women traveling with baskets of bread to sell, and then you will some- 
times see a man or a woman with a bread cart drawn by dogs, two, 
three or four dogs. Sometimes the peddler will ride and the dogs will 
trot quite lively together. Then, when they stop, the dogs will lie down to 
rest. It is surprising how much such a dog team will draw. Then again you 
will see women peddling milk with a dog cart. Washing is one of the prin- 
cipal things done by women. Traveling through the country one would al- 
most get the impression that they wash and scrub all the time here. But 
they wash in such dirty water and in such a primitive way. Around each 
dwelling is a great ditch, often ten or twenty feet wide and often very 
deep. It is quite a distance down to the surface of the water in these 
ditches. Upon the water there is a thick, green scum. When the wind 
blows this scum is driven about from one part of the ditch to another. 
Upon examining it you will find it is made up of a minute plant with 
little roots that grow in the water just as plants usually do in the soil. 
Underneath this scum the water is quite black. It is very rare that 
you can see the bottom of a ditch. In these ditches the washing is 
done. A little path is usually paved from the door of the house to the 
ditch, then steps are built, leading down to the water, and then a little 
platform is made. The washer kneels on the platform and washes in 
the ditch, wringing her clothes with the hands. How they get such 
clean clothes from washing in such dirty water is a marvel. I presume 
some of the washing is done indoors with rain water. 

"The farmers' wives dress in the old Friesian style; the women in 
the villages and cities, largely in the French style. I think by and by 
the women of farmers will assert their independence and dress like 
their sisters in the villages. But Madam Grundy has much more in- 
fluence here than in America. 

"I am well, yet I am weary and there is a sense of lassitude of 
body and mind that is quite overpowering. I must try to rest some 
to-day. I shall never be able to come here again, and I think there 
will be no need of it. It seemed quite important that I come this time, 
but when my work is over I shall be very, very glad. I know my own 
country is much pleasanter to travel in even for pleasure. There is 
little that is worth seeing in Europe if one's eyes and heart must be 
constantly pained with the degradation of the lower classes. What 
should we care for towers and cathedrals and works of beauty when 
every stone and brick is only a measure of so much wrung from the 
lower classes to their suffering and degradation. Our slaves were sold and 
families separated but in other respects slavery was no worse than the 
European class system. It is terrible, and why it should be is a problem 
that I cannot fathom. May you be kept from having your heart pained 
by such scenes of oppression." 

A letter home, bearing the date of May 29, contains some 
further account of the people and their customs : 

"The children are very pretty, and on a Sunday or a holiday they 
are so clean and sweet that I want to kiss almost every little boy or 



62 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

girl I meet. They have light blue eyes, flaxen hair and the skin on 
their cheeks seems to be so transparent that you would almost feel 
that one more scrubbing would rub it all off. Some of the women are 
quite handsome but, as a rule, I think American women are far ahead in 
beauty. Clothes cost much less here and for this reason almost every- 
body, especially almost every woman that we meet in the city, is finely 
dressed. Of course there are exceptions here as everywhere else. The 
country women all dress in the old style, wearing the gold head-dress 
and cap and full skirts." 

Concerning the customs of the country Mr. Hoxie writes: 

"It is curious to notice how strongly the class system is adhered 
to. A farmer is rated as third class; hence, when he rides out he sits 
upon the left side to drive, but a gentleman or first class man sits on 
the right side to drive. A gentleman or first class man may wear a 
white shirt and collar and cuffs, but a farmer or laborer must not put 
on a white collar, as he would not be able to withstand the laughter of 
his acquaintances so attired. There are separate hotels for farmers 
and third class men and these men, however wealthy or worthy, are 
not expected to step out of the class customs. There are no statutes 
upon the subject. I think it all results from the inexorable laws of 
custom and fashion. 

"One of the serious objections to this country is the ownership of 
the land by a few proprietors. These proprietors have the people under 
their rule almost as absolutely as the slave masters of our country 
used to have the slaves. They exact almost all the profits as rent and 
thus leave the farmers and laborers with comparatively a mere pittance. 
The landlords live in ease, entail their estates to their children and 
grandchildren and thus one class lives in idleness and luxury, another 
class in toil and poverty. I sometimes feel like rebellion against all 
their customs and views and against all their government. I do not 
wonder at the prevalence of Nihilism in Russia when, in a country as 
free as Holland, we find such slavery. 

"Almost every fifth man one meets is a soldier. Five have just 
passed the window of the room where I am writing. What can be the 
object in supporting such an army? A standing army for Holland is 
as useless as the second tail would be to a cat. Then there is so much 
drinking here. Dinner hour here is at five o'clock. Yet five men are 
still sitting at the table at half-past seven, all of them about as full 
of wine as they can hold. Every man and every boy above the age 
of ten years smokes. They smoke until the mouth is dry and then 
they must drink. They actually smoke at their meals, taking a few 
whiffs between sips of tea at their breakfasts. Why can it be neces- 
sary for the men thus to dissipate while the women do not smoke and, 
I think, generally do not drink? 

"To-day laborers are going into the country to mow just as hop- 
pickers in our country go out to pick hops. I have seen several boat 
loads start from the canal in front of this hotel, nearly all were pretty 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 63 

nearly drunk. But, for all their drinking and smoking, I never saw- 
such a sensitive people. One grand thing in their favor, I think; they 
are men who generally adhere to the truth in their statements. You 
can trust their word. This is a very great and redeeming feature of 
their characters." 

Early in July the Dutch cattle that Mr. Hoxie had pur- 
chased during his third stay in Holland, numbering two hun- 
dred and seventeen head, were shipped to America. Mr. 
Burchard accompanied them. They were quarantined upon 
Mr. Hoxie's farm in Yorkville and afterwards sold at auction. 
Mr. Hoxie was left to make his way alone into Guernsey for 
the purpose of investigating and perhaps purchasing some 
Guernsey cattle. From London on July 4, he writes : 

"Yesterday Mr. Burchard left Antwerp with the cattle. We had 
a dreadfully hard week's work previous to his sailing, but he got off 
about half-past one o'clock in pretty good spirits. I started for Lon- 
don at the same time and the boat I was on passed his in the river at 
Antwerp. Mr. Burchard waved his handkerchief as long as it could 
be seen, and, of course, I returned the salutation. I got here about 
half-past seven this morning, and after I ate my breakfast I actually 
fell asleep in my chair. On awaking I lay down and slept until half- 
past eleven. I feel rather sad at being left alone, but as long as I 
have plenty of business I shall keep in good spirits. You need have 
no anxiety about me. I am pretty well considering the burden that 
has been and is still upon my hands. I am trying to recuperate for 
the Guernsey business and have got to rest a few days. 

"London is a world in itself. There are probably as many inhabi- 
tants in what is called the City of London as in New York State. 
There is every grade and kind of people here that the world produces. 
Yet there is not the noise and crash of business that one hears in New 
York City. There is a system of underground railroads under the 
whole city. I have been on them several times. You ride in the dark 
from station to station, excepting the light from the lamp in the car. 
It seems quite gloomy, yet perhaps much less than one would imagine. 
The stations are probably not more than a half-mile apart, and at each 
one there is a large open space which lets the light down. Then you 
go up to the level of the street by a stairway generally broad and easy. 
It keeps the city much quieter and neater than in New York City with 
its elevated railways. The buildings are not as many stories in height 
as in American cities as there is probably plenty of room here on all 
sides to build. The great Thames, the wonderful river Thames that 
has played such an important part in the history of the world, is a 
sluggish, muddy stream of very small dimensions. I should say it is 
not nearly as wide as the Hudson at Albany, not so rapid nor so beauti- 
ful. I have been out from London in two directions, to Hartwick, the 
seaport, and to Windsor. 



64 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

"Windsor Castle is a wonderful work, and from its tower some of 
the most noted places in England are to be seen. The spot where the 
Magna Charta was signed by King John and the place where William 
Penn was born and many others. The park at Windsor contains six 
thousand deer. We did not look for these but went and looked at the 
queen's cattle and dairy. We saw the queen (Victoria) in her carriage, 
thirty or forty rods distant. The carriage was an old one, quite plain 
and not in half the style I have often seen driving past our house. A 
single horseman rode ahead, some five or six rods distant. I think the 
English people are not ordinarily much inclined to show. The country 
is highly cultivated, yet the natural scenery does not compare with the 
scenery along the Mohawk." 

After several days of resting in London Mr. Hoxie crossed 
over to St. Peter's Port in Guernsey. 



CHAPTER V 

IN GUERNSEY 

Unfortunately only three letters have been preserved tell- 
ing of Mr. Hoxie's six weeks' sojourn in Guernsey and of his 
impressions of the island and its people. 

"St. Peter's Port, Guernsey, 

"July 9, 1882. 
"Dear L., 

"The Island of Guernsey is a little larger than the town of Edmes- 
ton. Yet this small territory is dignified by a governor appointed by 
the crown of England with all the attending offices. It seems to me 
more like playing at governing than anything else. Everything else 
is on the same scale. St. Peter's Port, the capital, is a city of about 
fifteen thousand inhabitants. The town is situated upon several steep 
hills separated by gorges, the whole rising abruptly from the water's 
edge. Much of it is terraced. The place where I am staying is at 
least one hundred and fifty feet from the gorge below. Along the sides 
of the hill high walls are built and the earth leveled between, and on 
this elevation a row of houses is built on each side of a narrow street, 
then there are stairways of stone leading up to a still higher terrace 
where there are more houses and so on. The house at which I am stay- 
ing is on the pinacle of one of these abrupt hills. Another peculiarity 
of the island is the height of the hedges and the solid stone fences laid 
in mortar. In the city and out these high stone fences or walls pre- 
vail. One cannot reach to their tops often. On going along the narrow 
road often a person cannot see out on either side. In the country it is 
very thickly settled and the smallness of the farms seem like playing 
at farming. High walls and hedges also prevail in the country. When 
one can get in a position to see out the scenery is very beautiful and 
if in a position to take in the sea it is very grand. 

"While I am writing I am sitting upon an elevated platform resting 
on one side of a high stone wall. The people are gathered at the 
churches. Two places of worship are right below me and I can see 
another place that I think is a meeting of the Salvation Army. I can 
hear the loud singing at the latter place very clearly. There is a great 
deal of ringing of bells at the two churches. Over the hill on the oppo- 
site side of the gorge, I see the flag of Fort George. This work has 
cost the government a million of dollars. I was in this fort yesterday. 
It rises, terrace after terrace, from the high rocky shore and on every 
side are all the grim implements of war and multitudes of soldiers. In 
the harbor, about a quarter of a mile away, is Castle Comet. This is 



66 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

a fort that has been built a long time, probably several hundred years. 
Beyond, probably about two miles distant, are several small islands. 
One of these has been, until quite recently, owned by one man who has 
farmed the whole of it himself. I am told it has recently been pur- 
chased by one of the religious orders of France, who propose to build a 
monastery upon it, a refuge from persecution, as the religious orders, 
Jesuits, Franciscans and others, are now being driven out of that 
country. 

"The climate of Guernsey is peculiar; now, in the middle of sum- 
mer, I am not uncomfortable with heavy underclothing, but in winter 
ice is rarely formed. Very little frost even is known. A great many 
pigs are produced here. The farmers are digging their potatoes and 
sending them to market. The people live very simply. A little bread 
and butter and perhaps milk I think constitutes the living of the well- 
to-do farmers. I do not think there is near the drinking there is in 
Holland. The country people are mainly of French extraction and 
speak a peculiar dialect of the French language and all that I have 
met also speak the English language. They are rather fine looking. 
The women and children are quite pretty. Land is very high. Rent 
is from thirty to forty American dollars per acre and the selling price 
is about two hundred pounds English money, or about one thousand 
dollars American money per acre. 

"I was never made for a traveler. I am a home man and there is 
always lingering about me a sense of homesickness, a sort of hysterical 
faintness at the thought of the vast distance that separates me from 
my family. But reason comes in and says it can only be for a short 
period. But the time lags. The anxiety connected with my business 
makes everything seem like mountains that I grow faint-hearted in 
climbing. But I hope to be able to overcome everything and to come 
home early. I have fairly decided that I will never go away again. 
If a sacrifice must be made for Herd Book or anything else connected 
with the cattle business, someone else must make it. I have done 
enough and a thousand times more than probably will ever be appre- 
ciated. It may be, after I am dead and gone, someone may rise up 
that can understand the work that I have done and may appreciate its 
importance, not only for the members of the Dutch-Friesian Associa- 
tion but for the members of the Holstein Association also. I have laid 
the foundation upon which this breed of cattle can be successfully 
built and upon which the two associations may unite and prosper, but 
if such a union is effected and the way of success is entered upon, 
which I have opened, I have no idea of being recognized or rewarded. 

"But I must stop. The time will rapidly roll away and I hope to 
be at home early in September. I am glad to have the days hasten on 
when I can return. Good-bye and love to all. 

"From your wandering, loving husband, 

"Solomon." 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 67 

"St. Peter's Port, Guernsey, 

"July 26, 1882. 
"Dear L., 

"I regret the delay that keeps me here ten or twelve days longer 
than I anticipated. But I must take the matter as one of the inevitable 
incidents of business. I have had a great deal on my mind since I left 
home and it has been telling on me somewhat. But to-day, at least 
nearly all day, I have been resting. I feel better for it this evening. 
I have really had no Sunday rest. But to-day seems like a Sabbath to 
me. I have taken a short walk into the country and gathered some 
leaves and flowers for J. and tried to feel a release from excitement. 
This evening I feel the better for it. 

"You can scarcely understand the peculiarities of this little island. 
It is so small to be out, as it were, in the great ocean. A piece of land 
in Whitestown, exactly five miles each way, would contain the same 
number of acres as Guernsey. It is very picturesque in its way. The 
farms are so small, the roads are so crooked, the walls and hedges so 
high, the farm houses so strong and the customs and methods of house- 
keeping so ancient. 

"There are three military roads that wind their way around and 
across the island. These military roads are about thirty feet wide 
and are solid and hard as a rock. The roadbed occupies the whole 
space clear to the side walls and hedges. Not a blade of grass is seen 
in them. Frequently the side walls or hedges, what we would call 
road fences, are ten or even more than ten feet high. The walls are 
always laid up in mortar and made of large granite fragments. Over 
these walls and hedges the English ivy creeps and spreads with wonder- 
ful luxuriance. When one is walking on such a road he seems at times 
to be entirely shut in. He cannot see over the walls nor can he see far 
ahead or behind for the crookedness of the roads. There is a great 
variety of height and form to the hedges and walls, and every once in 
a few rods a farm house and its surrounding buildings appear. After 
the military roads, there is a perfect labyrinth of narrow roads and 
lanes, curving and crossing in every direction. All of these are fenced 
in in the same way. Some are so narrow that a man has to back up 
as close as possible to the hedges to let a team pass. 

"The houses are all built from the same rough, irregular fragments 
of granite and laid up in a very hard mortar. They are generally a 
story and a half high and almost always sheltered by some little hill 
or clump of trees from a view of the sea. You enter one and you are 
immediately reminded of old-fashioned ways and styles. Perhaps on 
one side the door will open to a kitchen, at one end a fireplace upon 
which the kettles hang to boil and very likely you will see the woman 
of the house reaching over these kettles with a great spoon in one 
hand, and with the other hand keeping back her skirts from the fire. 
Then in another room, also with its fireplace, in which a modern range 
of small size is set, you will find an old-fashioned long table, and on 
each side of it a long bench upon which they sit when eating. Then in 



68 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

another room the nice fixings of an old-fashioned spare room (parlor). 
I had forgotten the tall clock that is always seen in the dining-room or 
parlor, an exact image of the one that used to go 'tick, tack; tick, tack,' 
in Grandmother Langworthy's spare room. A few books and papers, 
mostly of a religious character, lie in the deep niches in the walls 
occupied by the windows. 

"The farms and fields are so small that it almost seems like play- 
ing at farming. The fields are almost always irregular in shape and 
of almost every fantastic form you can imagine. Every field is sur- 
rounded with high walls or hedges although there seems to be no need 
of them as the cattle and horses are all tethered. A tethering pin 
about twelve or fourteen inches long is driven into the ground. This 
holds a rope or chain ten to fifteen feet long fastened around the 
animal's horns or neck. Once or twice a day the tethering pin is moved 
so that the animal may get fresh grass. 

"The custom of dividing up farms and building houses for the 
children in different parts makes the settlement of the country seem 
very irregular. You stand upon some elevated place and look way 
down upon the fields and see houses fronting in every direction, little 
lanes running to them and then branching off to run in some peculiar 
form to the main road. Little clumps of trees and bushes in the wildest 
tangle of ivy and the slanting windows of a greenhouse or grocery at 
almost any place give a peculiar picturesqueness to the country. 

"I am asked many times and in many places, 'How do you like 
Guernsey?' and finally I have settled down upon a uniform reply. 'I 
wouldn't live here even if I possibly could. It is so delightful I never 
should be willing to die and go to Heaven.' This always brings a cheer- 
ful response from the questioner. 

"Almost everyone here has a large family. Such lots of little boys 
and girls. They look like bees around their nests. The children ques- 
tion is one which has two sides. I well understand the idea of Ameri- 
cans. On the other side, I see the healthiest, freshest and finest looking 
women here with a train of little children that would perfectly craze 
an American woman. The landlady of the house at which I am staying 
is a young, fresh looking woman. I cannot think she is over thirty. She 
is a perfect busy bee in work, in the kitchen, in the dining-room, 'up- 
stairs, downstairs and in the lady's chamber,' yet she has five little 
children the oldest of which is of the ripe age of seven. They are in 
fact all babies. This is only a moderate example. I have found ten 
in one family and the woman hearty, fresh and rosy, a young woman, 
at least in appearance. 

"As in Holland I find the men are not equal to the women, they 
drink too much, they look too much of the animal, too sensual. I speak 
of them as a class. There are many noble and refined men among the 
farmers. As a rule, throughout the portions of Europe I have been in 
the hard part of life seems to rest upon the woman. The man is often 
an exaggerated brute, overbearing and sensual. I do not believe there 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 69 

is any country in the world where the women are honored and respected 
as in America. From my present point of observation it seems to me 
American women must be envied by their sisters in other nations all 
over the earth. I wish they could all combine to live a more happy life. 
If they would only combine to strive less for show and more for sim- 
plicity of life their burdens would be much lighter. Our mode of living 
in America is more complex and therefore more trying to body and 
mind than that of other nations. I am glad you are resolved to take 
life a little easier. If I am blessed with a safe return I hope to live 
a little easier than in the past. I hope D. and J. and R. will be able to 
live more close to nature than we have done and be therefore more 
happy. I grow more tender and therefore sadder in heart every day. 
I cannot bear to see or read of the suffering of my fellow creatures that 
I cannot relieve. One man is such an infinitesimal thing. What can one 
man do to relieve the wants and woes of humanity? Yet I mean to 
continue to try to live bravely not for myself but for my family and 
the world. I am pained everywhere I go at what I see. I try to find 
relief in thinking of what life is and of its future destiny. If it is only 
for the present it is not worth the living. If there is a future then 
the world may groan and travail in pain, but life is a glorious thing. 
I hope a higher and more hopeful philosophy may fill all of our hearts. 
The past cannot be recalled. Its mistakes cannot be corrected by 
mourning over them. But every day we have opportunity for begin- 
ning anew. If I am so happy as to return we will try to begin anew 
together. But, whatever the future may be, I hope to be able to take 
its bitter and its sweet alike without being a burden or a sorrow to my 
family. God bless you all and grant to me a speedy return to you. 

"My love to you all, good-bye, 

"Solomon." 

"Highlands, St. Peter's Port, Guernsey, 

July 30, 1882. 
"Dear L., 

"It seemed quite strange and sad to spend yesterday, my birthday, 
so far away from home and friends. I will tell you how I spent the 
day. The man I have hired to come with the cattle has two children, 
two little boys, one seven and the other nine. He is a widower. A 
few evenings ago I had occasion to go to his house. I found it very 
poorly furnished. The man has a family in it that takes care of his 
children. When I went in the eldest was sobbing as if his heart was 
broken. I asked what was the matter and was told that the house- 
keeper had punished him, she said, for telling a falsehood. He tried 
to speak, to explain, but she stopped him repeatedly. The father said 
nothing except that the boys must be good and mind. I felt so much 
pity for them that I went the next day and asked if the children might 
go out with me on the island in the country. They were not in school, 
as it was Saturday, and I was told that they could go. I accordingly 
took them out. They gave me some trouble. They did not seem to 



70 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

understand how to mind by simple request. I presume they had been 
used to a good many blows. I took them to a little bay, setting in from 
the sea, called Firman's Bay. It is a very beautiful place. The rocks 
around the bay are two hundred and fifty feet high, the shore for sev- 
eral rods is a border of smooth pebbles. It was about all I could do to 
keep the boys from going in swimming. They got to throwing stones 
into the water which made a large dog bark and run up to them. This 
scared them and they ran behind me and raised stones to defend them- 
selves. This only made the dog bark the louder as he expected the 
stones to be thrown that he might run after them. I had all that I 
could do to settle matters, get the boys to put down the stones and quiet 
the dog. 

"You can scarcely realize how anxious I am to come home. I was 
never fit to go away from home. I can do the business all right enough 
but the longing for home is a burning pain constantly in my heart. I 
expect all my family are doing their part with the best aims and pur- 
poses. I do not anticipate much in regard to the future. D. and J. 
have been brought up to good principles and now I expect to have to 
resign the work of very much guiding of them. I can only show my 
continued ever increasing love for them by trusting to their own plans 
and hopes. But sometimes, even here in the Old World, I build castles 
and people them with my loved ones, too bright to ever be realized. 
Then I think of going back to the old home 1 , and spending the remainder 
of my life and so I dream and plan and hope. 

"I have been writing a little poetry in the visitor's album here. 
You can tell G. he may look out for competition in wooing the muses 
when I return. He may have to divide honors with me. Tell R. I shall 
expect him to have things pretty slick in the yard and the garden and 
among the chickens and the kittens when I get home. 

"Love to all and to everything, 

"Solomon." 

Early in August Mr. Hoxie returned to Leeuwarden, pre- 
paratory to taking ship for America. Shortly before setting 
sail he wrote: 

"Leeuwarden, West Friesland, 

"August 13, 1882. 
"Dear Wife and Children, 

"I intend to try to start for home on the nineteenth of August, 
next Sunday. I have written to Rotterdam to see if I can get a pas- 
sage on the S. S. Maas. I shall then be probably about fourteen days 
on the water. I might possibly get passage on a faster steamship 
from Liverpool, but it would cost considerable to get to Liverpool, and, 
on the whole, I think I shall try to come on the Rotterdam and Amer- 
ican Line. So, if you do not hear from me again, you may expect me 

i The place in Edmeston where Mr. Hoxie and his wife started life together 
and for which he always had a deep affection and longing-. 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 71 

on that boat about the third of September. It seems a good while to 
wait, but everything considered, it is for the best. 

"The letters that I got on my arrival here were quite dishearten- 
ing. The death of C. H. seemed so sad. Then Mr. Burchard wrote 
of his hard and long voyage, and finally D.'s rather discouraging letter. 
I am keeping up good spirits, however, as far as possible, and hope to 
get home in good health. 

"I was never made or educated for such business and the long 
stay from home seems like a dismal banishment. I hope you will try 
to 'keep the best foot forward.' Keep cheerful and happy as far as 
possible. Do not take mistakes to heart but simply try to correct them 
when they occur. I long for a more quiet life and less responsibility. 
In the transactions here I hope I have made no serious mistakes. On 
the whole, I have the consciousness of having striven faithfully to per- 
form the duties imposed upon me. I have 'left no stone unturned' that 
would make my mission a success and, if through a long and rough 
voyage anything should go wrong, it is no fault of mine or anything 
I could foresee. In the matter of Herd Book and of our relations to 
the European Associations I do not know how anyone could have done 
better, and I do not think anyone could have done better in selecting 
cattle. The hot weather, the storms and delays no one could foresee. 

"I hope you will all be trying to look upon the bright side of life 
when I return; that you will not be fretted and worried over those 
things that are of little consequence. To be of kind, generous char- 
acter, to have patient, loving hearts and to be cheerful and hopeful 
amidst the pains and trials of life is, after all has been done and said, 
the only thing pertaining to this life worth one's attention. I feel that 
the future is not to be doubted. The same power that has made us 
and kept us can and will provide for us in the future of this life and 
of the life to come. Oh, the bright hereafter! I look to that as the 
healer of all wounds, the curer of all sorrows. There must be such a 
future, though dimly we see it or fail to see it. There must be a 
place for the development, activity and enjoyment of our intellectual 
and moral powers. A place where love will reign supreme. I will 
come as soon as possible. I feel as if I could fly to you but I must be 
patient and so must you. Brave, cheerful, patient and, if I am spared, 
I trust we shall not be separated again. 

"Good-bye, from your ever loving husband and father, 

"Solomon." 



CHAPTER VI 
HOME AGAIN— THE ADVANCED REGISTRY 

Upon Mr. Hoxie's return home, after this third business 
trip to Holland, his first imperative duty was the preparation 
and publication of the second volume of the Dutch-Friesian 
Herd Book. 

As secretary of the Dutch-Friesian Association, his duties, 
which included, not only the compiling and editing of its herd 
books and the testing and examining of many of the animals 
recorded therein, but also a voluminous correspondence, lec- 
turing, traveling and writing for agricultural journals and 
periodicals, rendered it impossible for Mr. Hoxie to carry on 
all the burdens and activities that had previously been his as 
a leading member of the Unadilla Valley Dutch Stock Breed- 
ers' Association. While he had resigned his position as agent 
and general manager of this company he still acted in the 
capacity of adviser, compiler of its catalogues, author of 
numerous articles setting forth the value of its importations 
and exhibitor of many of its animals. 

From the time of the organization of the Dutch-Friesian 
Association up to 1880 the relations between it and the Hol- 
stein Association had been one of mutual friendliness. 
Everything seemed to indicate a revision of principles and 
ultimate union of all breeders of Dutch cattle in America in 
one organization. In that year such a union was attempted 
but failed. In the autumn of 1881 a bitter controversy broke 
out, which originated in a protest against the exhibition at 
fairs of cattle recorded in the Dutch-Friesian Herd Book in 
the same classes with cattle recorded in the Holstein Herd 
Book, but fortunately the effort to shut out the Dutch-Fries- 
ians was defeated. Thereafter a state of chronic warfare 
continued to exist for some time between the two associations. 
It is not the purpose or desire of the writer of this sketch to 
enter into the reasons or the arguments of this controversy. 
The facts in the case are a matter of public record and may 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 73 

be found in a pamphlet, published in 1882 by Mr. Hoxie, 
called "Some Information Concerning North Holland or Fries- 
ian Breed of Black and White Piebald Cattle" ; also in the 
second volume of the Dutch-Friesian Herd Book, published as 
before stated, in the fall of 1882. Besides a report of the 
controversy this second volume of the Dutch-Friesian Herd 
Book contains a review of the origin and history of Dutch- 
Friesian cattle, written by Prof. G. J. Hengerveld, which was 
originally published in the Agricultural Report of Massachu- 
setts for 1873. Also it contains a statement of the positions 
of the two associations in America at the time that the second 
volume of the Herd Book was issued. An account of the In- 
ternational Conference, held at Amsterdam on May 3, 1882, 
may likewise be found in its pages, as well as a statement of 
the situation in Europe at that time regarding Dutch cattle. 

In this volume Mr. Hoxie states that the progress made 
by the Dutch-Friesian Association during the past two years 
has been due to a "Disposition to accept of whatever is true 
of Dutch-Friesian cattle and to reject whatever is false, re- 
gardless of former views or predilections." He continues to 
say: 

"At the same time the association has been governed by a wise 
conservatism. The fundamental principles of its origin, a pure register 
and a correct name, have been firmly maintained. The principle of 
Advanced Registry has also been maintained. The rules for admis- 
sion to registry have been somewhat changed to make them more com- 
prehensive and practical. All animals are now required to enter the 
first form, which has been re-named Pedigree Register. Cows are 
admitted to the advanced form or Main Register only upon actual milk 
records, but such records are now accepted for less periods. A few 
days' or a few weeks' trial establishes the milking capacity of an animal 
and thus avoids the laborious and often questionable practice of milk- 
ing valuable breeding animals the full year. The association prefers 
records that have been produced without forcing. Every record has 
to be established by the appearance of the cow as well as by the sworn 
statement of its owner. The scale of points has also been revised to 
make it conform to more recent observations." 

For some time previous to the publication of the first 
volume of the Dutch-Friesian Herd Book, in 1880, Mr. Hoxie 
had been thinking and working out a plan designed to advance 
the interests of cattle breeding and, in this volume are to be 



74 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

found the first results of his thought in what he there calls 
the Main Registry. 

Early in his business career Mr. Hoxie saw that there 
were two opposite tendencies in the handling of every im- 
proved breed of cattle. "One toward degeneration, the other 
toward further improvement; the former brought about by 
illiberal feeding and unskillful selection and breeding, the 
latter by wiser management and better methods." This sys- 
tem of Main or Advanced Registry, originated by him, "Is 
designed/' he says, "to encourage especially the work of 
improvement by increasing and maintaining public interest 
in the breed." He also believed that the observations made 
and recorded in the carrying out of his method, would provide 
the means upon which a science of cattle culture might be 
built. How great were his wisdom and foresight in this 
respect the results have long testified. 

Like many great ideas this one of Advanced Registration 
is a simple one. It is merely this, that while in pedigree 
registry purity of blood alone is required, in Advanced Reg- 
istry an animal must also show especial individual merit as 
well as pure breeding in order to be promoted and entered In 
the Main or Advanced Registry. In other words animals ad- 
vance to it from a pedigree registry by special excellence and 
by such means only are eligible to enter it. 

Thus began a system which has made possible a science of 
cattle breeding. At first, Mr. Hoxie placed great faith in 
what was known as the escutcheon theory and much attention 
was given to the escutcheon, udder and milk veins, as well as 
to the milk and butter records, in accepting or rejecting ani- 
mals for Advanced Registry. Later, after more study and 
more observation, he modified his system, abandoning to some 
extent the escutcheon theory and substituting descriptions 
and a system of measurements devised by himself. Espe- 
cially made instruments planned by Mr. Hoxie were required 
in securing these measurements. After a time these also 
were given up much to his regret, animals being accepted on 
records alone. 

In a recent work, 1 containing a history of Holstein-Fries- 
ian cattle, we find these words: 



1 Encyclopedia of Agriculture, by Bailey. 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 75 

"The significant history of this breed in America centers almost 
entirely about the establishment and maintenance of a system of Ad- 
vanced Registration. The Advanced Registry was originated by Solo- 
mon Hoxie while secretary of the Dutch-Friesian Association. The 
necessity for it was suggested to him by the fact that many cattle of 
doubtful merit and unknown breeding were being entered in the Hol- 
stein Herd Book. There was need of recognized intrinsic standards of 
merit to serve as guides in breeding and selection. Accordingly he in- 
duced the Dutch-Friesian Association to maintain an Advanced Register 
in which cattle should be entered only in case of special merit, deter- 
mined for bulls by means of an official scale of points, and in the case 
of cows by an additional scale of productiveness. While there was 
much early opposition to the Advanced Register, it has abundantly 
demonstrated its value. Since about 1894 it has been recognized as 
the chief means for the advancement of the interests of the association 
and its members, and its essential principles have been adopted by 
other breeders' organizations, both in Europe and America." 

During recent years there has been a tendency to discount 
the credit due Mr. Hoxie for the invention and establishment 
of this system of registration. Mr. Hoxie was the most 
modest and retiring of men. He was slow to make claims for 
himself. With him it was always first the advancement of 
the cause ' for which he was working, then the unselfish 
thought of other people and their interests. Only last of all 
came the thought of self. The result of this attitude very 
often was that his own efforts -and ideas were kept decidedly 
in the background. He pushed others forward, and again 
and again others rather than himself received the credit for 
his own creative ideas and actual work as well as the pecun- 
iary gains. His claim, however, to the full credit for the 
invention and establishment of this system of registration is 
beyond question, as an, honest and thorough investigation of 
the history of cattle breeding proves beyond the shadow of a 
doubt. 

In the early years of his struggle against overwhelming 
odds to establish and maintain this system he was often heard 
to say in the bosom of his family: "I care nothing for the 
credit of this work for myself, but I do care for the sake of 
my children. Some day, perhaps, they may come to be as 
proud of the fact that their father originated and established 
this system of registration as they would have been had he 
been President." 



76 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

Four volumes of Herd Books containing the advanced as 
well as the pedigree registry were compiled and edited by 
Mr. Hoxie, without assistance, during the six years in which 
he acted as secretary of the Dutch-Friesian Association. 
Throughout this period the rules of the Advanced Registry 
remained, with slight alterations, the same as when they were 
first formulated by him. These were years of increasing 
struggle and tremendous effort. Lack of the necessary funds 
for the carrying forward of this work was only one of the 
many deterrents. His idea met with great opposition. He 
stood practically alone, with little encouragement or sympathy 
and he was obliged to carry on all the details of his system 
unaided and unsustained. He did most of the examining and 
testing of animals which were entered in this register, him- 
self. He spent lavishly of his time and energy, while receiv- 
ing the most meagre of monetary compensation. But he was 
sure that he had a great idea, one that would benefit mankind, 
and his purpose never faltered. He marched breast forward 
in face of all discouragement and opposition. Nearly thirty 
years afterwards Mr. Hoxie says, in a letter to a friend, 
apropos of the early opposition and lack of support and the 
later lack of reward and appreciation which were his portion : 

"Nevertheless, in spite of all this, I do not and will not complain. 
I am happy in the consciousness of my great work for the world. 
Everywhere that dairy cattle breeds are appreciated the principles of 
the system I invented are prevailing." 

Mr. Hoxie's work received more immediate recognition 
abroad than it did in his own country. In May, 1885, he was 
elected an honorary member of the Friesian Herd Book Asso- 
ciation of The Netherlands. From this time to the day of 
his death his name headed the list of Honorary Leaders of 
this "Friesch Rundvee-Stamboek." He was the only Amer- 
ican thus honored. 

A union of the two associations was at last effected in 
1885, under the name Holstein-Friesian Association. The 
former Holstein breeders agreed to adopt Mr. Hoxie's origi- 
nal conception, the Advanced Registry, as a part of their reg- 
istration system, Mr. Hoxie to be superintendent of this 
department of the new organization. 

It might seem that at last a sort of haven had been reached 
and that Mr. Hoxie might now somewhat slacken his labors. 




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THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 77 

Not so, however. Not even a brief respite was his, for the 
battle for Advanced Registry was not yet won. In face of the 
fact that the ten years previous to this union had been years 
of intense struggle and activity, he must now work with 
renewed energy. He must redouble his efforts to establish his 
system upon such a firm basis that it would become a perma- 
nent institution, impossible to annihilate under any circum- 
stances. He felt that he must work and write and lecture 
and argue and demonstrate until every member of this new 
association saw the vision that he himself saw — Holstein- 
Friesian cattle, because of Advanced Registry, making fabu- 
lous milk and butter records ; Holstein-Friesian cattle, because 
of Advanced Registry, brought to the highest degree of per- 
fection and efficiency that was possible with any breed; Hol- 
stein-Friesian cattle of America, as a result of Advanced Reg- 
istry, imported back into North Holland by breeders there 
because of their superiority over those bred in that country; 
Holstein-Friesian cattle, because of Advanced Registry, lead- 
ing the pure breeds of the whole world ! 

Thus he, through his superintendency, carried on a con- 
stant propaganda. His correspondence was large. He lec- 
tured and wrote voluminously, endeavoring to put his vision 
before the Holstein-Friesian public, in the face of much 
active opposition from many of its members and indifference 
on the part of the great majority of them. As early as June, 
1886, an effort was made, at a meeting of the board of officers 
of the Holstein-Friesian Association, to cripple and discour- 
age the development of Advanced Registry by changing its 
name. This proposition, however, was voted down. About 
a year after the union of the two associations, and before the 
second meeting of the new organization, and before the first 
volume of the Advanced Register of the Holstein-Friesian 
Association had been published, a movement was set on foot 
by two prominent members of the old Holstein Association to 
overthrow the Advanced Register, without giving it a trial, 
as the new organization had faithfully promised to do. These 
two members issued a pamphlet and a circular letter attack- 
ing the Advanced Registry system and soliciting proxies for 
its defeat at the second annual meeting of the Holstein- 
Friesian Association. A friend to Mr. Hoxie and his system 



78 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

sent him copies of these documents, about a month previous 
to the annual meeting, which called forth the following circu- 
lar letter from his pen : 

"To Members of the Holstein-Friesian Association of America: 
"Dear Sirs: 

"As I am busily engaged on the closing pages of the first volume 
of this Registry, a friend sends me a copy of a pamphlet recently issued 

by Mr. , and also a circular letter from Mr. , both 

attacking the system of Advanced Registry of this Association, and both 
soliciting proxies for its overthrow at the next annual meeting. 

"Presuming that these documents have been generally sent to mem- 
bers of the Association, it becomes my duty to issue this circular letter, 
briefly reviewing the position taken by these gentlemen, and kindly ask- 
ing, as an act of justice, that you reserve your verdict until you have an 
opportunity of seeing the first volume, which I hope to send you early in 
March. 

"I am astonished that two prominent officers of the Association 
should have attacked the work before they had an opportunity of judg- 
ing of its merits and before the first volume was commenced, after 
agreeing to give it a fair trial. And one of them, at least, was with 
others, instrumental in formulating rules for its government. 

"The principal points attempted to be made by both these gentle- 
men are: 

"1. The Advanced Registry tends to create a monopoly of wealthy 
breeders. 

"This is not only untrue, but the opposite is true. Large breeders, 
having a large amount of money invested in this breed, find it to their 
interest to advertise liberally, and in consequence, have facilities for 
bringing their herds and their records to the notice of the public that 
small breeders do not have. Journals in all parts of the country are 
glad to publish descriptions of their beautiful cattle, their noted milk 
and butter strains, and their wonderful performances. They can afford 
to do so for the liberal advertising patronage they receive from these 
breeders. Thus the herds of large breeders become known through the 
length and breadth of the land and their wonderful production is upon 
every man's tongue. Not so with the small breeders. They have, per- 
haps, just as worthy or superior animals, but, not being patrons of the 
public press, they can expect no favors of this kind. In this respect 
large breeders have a monopoly, as large interests always have in all 
kinds of business. But in this work is present a medium, tending in a 
great measure, to counteract this monopoly and to bring to public notice 
the marvelous performances of this breed, where every breeder's ani- 
mals meet on a common level. Extended pedigree, beauty of form, con- 
dition, aristocracy without merit, have no influence here, but every cow 
rests on her own individual performances, without regard to family 
connections. Here the merits of the small breeder's cattle are as im- 
partially set forth as those of the large breeder's, and he not only has 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 79 

the advantage of the records made by his own animals but all the 
records contained in the work enhance the value of the breed directly, 
and of his own cattle indirectly. The expense of registration is not 
beyond the means of any one who can afford to invest in this breed of 
cattle and, no matter how small his investment, he can well afford to 
register his animals for the enhanced value it gives them. It is worth 
what it costs for his own satisfaction in testing the comparative merits 
of his animals. A fee of three dollars, the extra time and trouble to 
make a seven days' butter test, or two ten days' milk tests, eight 
months apart, the inspector's traveling expenses, surely, who cannot 
afford this who has any interest whatever in the Holstein-Friesian 
breed? 

"2. The next point is that it creates an aristocracy that is preju- 
dicial to the general interests of the breed. 

"This would be the case if it attempted to build up strains or 
families of cattle on a fictitious basis, without actual performance as a 
foundation upon which to rear an aristocracy (if you choose to call it 
so) ; but this is a true aristocracy, not ruled by the power of lineage, 
where all, by actual superiority, constitute an aristocracy that will lift 
the entire breed upon a higher plane of usefulness and popularity. 
Advanced Registry establishes no aristocracy but that based on actual 
merit. 

"I will glance briefly at the secondary points advanced by these 
gentlemen : 

"First, that Advanced Registry is not within the province of our 
Association. 

"Let the Charter answer, it reads: 'For the purpose of improving 
the breed and for ascertaining, preserving and disseminating all useful 
information and facts as to their pedigrees and desirable qualities and 
the distinguishing characteristics of the best specimens.' 

"Second, that it is a mass of undigested facts. 

"These are just the facts wanted ; facts that those seeking informa- 
tion concerning the breed can assimilate and digest, free from any 
extraneous matter to prejudice or influence them. And as this work 
progresses these facts will become so thoroughly digested that all inter- 
ested in dairy cattle will have to acknowledge that, for general dairy 
purposes, combining more perfectly than any others size, form, milk, 
butter, cheese and beef qualities, the Holstein-Friesians are without an 
equal. 

"Third, that it is designed to create a boom. 

"Breeders need never fear the creation of booms on the basis of 
merit. Such booms are permanent and will never injure the interests 
of the breed. Booms on a fictitious basis alone operate disastrously. 

"Fourth, that it disregards physical form and appearance. 

"This statement will have no weight with you after you have seen 
this work. It really brings vigor of constitution into special promi- 
nence; on almost every page the fact will be impressed upon you that 



80 THE LIFE OP SOLOMON HOXIE 

this is the basis of successful breeding. 

"Fifth, that the records are based upon third or fourth handed 
statements. 

"If you will examine the rules which govern this work you will see 
that this is a misrepresentation. 

"Everyone in any way connected with making a record is required 
to make an affidavit to it, including the owner in every case. The evi- 
dence required to authenticate these records is considered competent in 
all business and judicial transactions. Can more be asked to establish 
the authenticity of records made by the intelligent and reputable breed- 
ers of Holstein-Friesian cattle than is required of the world at large in 
the transaction of all kinds of business, involving claims for large 
amounts, as well as affecting the honor and happiness of every citizen? 
Besides this the Examiner must be convinced, from the appearance of 
the animal, that she is capable of making the record, and in case of 
any doubt, the Superintendent is required to order an actual test, under 
the personal charge of the Inspector, for any length of time he may 
deem necessary. The largest records received for the first volume 
have thus been substantiated by one of the Inspectors. 

"Sixth, that Mr. Hoxie has repeatedly said that only one in ten 
were fit for registry in this system. 

"I have no recollection of making such a statement. I have re- 
peatedly said 'that not one in ten of the cattle of the Netherlands was 
fit for registry in any herd book.' This is probably the statement that 

Mr. refers to; and I stand by it, and I think that every candid 

man who has studied the cattle of the country will agree with me. 

"Mr. , [referring to the author of the pamphlet], is a nat- 
ural foe of Advanced Registry, but I am bound to exercise the same 
charity toward him that he bestows upon me. He doubtless has the true 
interests of the breed at heart, as he sees them. 

"Mr. , [referring to the author of the circular letter], was 

one of the committee who signed the compact that resulted in the for- 
mation of the Holstein-Friesian Association, and is doubly bound to 
allow Advanced Registry a fair trial before attempting its overthrow. 

"I quote briefly from his language in private session of the Holstein 
Association when it met to consider the question of union with the 
Dutch-Friesian Association. (See Vol. 9, page 121, H. H. B.). 

"The secretary reads: 'That the new Association establish a 
thorough system of Advanced Registration.' 

"(A member said) : 'If that does not commit us I don't understand 
the English language.' 

"Mr. : 'As to that recommendation of the conference 

committee, I think the position might as well be stated plainly. Unless 
the Association sees fit to adopt the resolution recommended by the joint 
committee to try the Advanced Registry system, we might as well 
adjourn now and have no more words about it. The Dutch-Friesian 
Association will not come in unless we agree to try the Advanced Reg- 
istry.' 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 81 

"How has he and a combination, of which he is one of the leaders, 
fulfilled the terms of the compact that he so plainly acknowledges? 
From the first they have sought to weaken Advanced Registry by 
changing its name and character, and have done all they could to defer 
its publication, and now, before the breeders have a chance to see the 
first volume, are soliciting proxies for its overthrow! Is this keeping 
good faith? 

"Whatever arguments these gentlemen [of the pamphlet and circu- 
lar letter] present, neither of them does or can refute the all important 
fact that the tendency of Advanced Registry will be to encourage care- 
ful and accurate tests, without which the true merits or value of animal 
or breed can never be definitely known or duly appreciated. Without 
these tests, where would the breed have been to-day, and where will it 
be in a few years, if the Holstein-Friesian Association, through its 
officers, persists in discouraging such tests and in throwing discredit on 
them? Every breeder who has a Holstein-Friesian animal has been 
benefited and the value of his stock greatly increased by these records. 
Every attempt made to discourage such records tends to depreciate the 
value of all animals of the breed. The object and tendency of this 
work is to encourage such tests on a systematic, uniform plan, and 
authenticate the same by evidence which would establish the accuracy 
of the same in any court of justice. Had it not been for the records 
(particularly butter records) that have actually been made, and the 
prizes won by Holstein-Friesian butter, in competition with Jersey and 
that of other breeds, what conception would the public have of the pos- 
sibilities of the breed? What else has brought the advocates of all 
other dairy breeds to admit freely that our cattle surpass all other 
breeds for milk production? What but our butter records, carefully 
made and well authenticated, could have opened the eyes of Jersey 
breeders so that they could see in Holstein-Friesian milk something 
besides water with a little casein? 

"Is there a man on this continent who owns Holstein-Friesians 
to-day and wishes to sell animals that are in any way connected with 
those of breeders who have made records, who will not take advantage 
of those records every time he recommends an animal to a purchaser? 
Examine the catalogues of any breeder in America or the catalogues of 
those who have had auction sales, and if you can find an animal in those 
catalogues that has one per cent of the blood of any animal in any 
breeder's herd that has made a record, that record will be given. These 
men are not willing that the Association should encourage the making 
of records by authenticating and preserving them, but they will, upon 
every opportunity, sell their cattle upon these records, thus taking 
advantage of the records made by others, that they, upon all occasions, 
try to depreciate and render valueless. 

"The friends of Advanced Registry have no selfish interests to 
consider, but they are in earnest for they believe that the principle is 
vital to the future interest of the breed, and they will use all honorable 
means to foster and continue it in operation, until it is shown not to 



82 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

be for the best interests of the breed, when they will be the first ones 
to advocate its discontinuance. Until then I ask you to consider the 
matter and weigh all the facts, pro and con, and not be influenced by 
appeals to prejudice and individual self-interest, but place above that 
the interests of all, which are mutual, to further develop this unrivalled 
breed of cattle. 

''By all means try to attend the meeting. I enclose a blank proxy. 
In case you are unable to attend, decide the case upon its actual merits 
and send your proxy to some one who you are sure will carry out your 
views. 

Superintendent of Advanced Registry. 
"S. Hoxie, 
"Whitesboro, N. Y., Feb. 24, 1S87." 

Shortly after this letter, issued by Mr. Hoxie, and just 
previous to the second meeting of the new association, another 
letter was issued by four prominent members of the old Hol- 
stein Association, condemning the attack on Advanced Reg- 
istry. This letter said in part: 

"We, the undersigned, all members of the committee appointed by 
the former Holstein Association of America, to confer with a like com- 
mittee from the former Dutch-Friesian Association, to recommend terms 
and conditions of the union which formed the present Holstein-Friesian 
Association, feel impelled by a sense of honor to appeal to our fellow 
members to fulfill and carry out in good faith and honorably all the 
conditions of that union. 

"The Dutch-Friesian Association was smaller and, in point of 
members, the weaker of the two bodies. In the consolidation it was 
evident to all that the weaker element must throw itself entirely upon 
the honor, fairness and sense of justice, of the stronger. 

"The one condition which the Dutch-Friesian Association insisted 
on, and without which there could be no union, was the establishment of 
an Advanced Registry. 

"This was thoroughly discussed and fully understood and agreed 
to by every member of the committee of both associations. The report 
of the committee was thoroughly and fully discussed, pro and con, by 
the Holstein Association. It was plainly stated and fully understood 
by every member present that a union could be effected only on the 
agreement that an Advanced Registry should be established and given a 
fair trial. Some members opposed the by-law which provided such a 
registry, but after full discussion, the by-laws as a whole, including 
the one which provided for such a registry, were adopted without a dis- 
senting vote. The same by-laws were again unanimously adopted by 
the consolidated Association. 

"It was fully understood by all members present that this system 
was to be given a fair trial— a thorough test. Has this been done? 
Have we in good faith fulfilled this part of our solemn obligation? At 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 83 

the first annual meeting of the united Association, only a few months 
after the adoption of the necessary rules governing those who had this 
work in charge, and when the books had hardly been opened for regis- 
try, a movement was made in the board of officers, intended to cripple 
and destroy the efficiency of this work and thus evade the original 
agreement and understanding. Failing in this first attempt, a second 
was made at a special meeting of the board, called for what — if not for 
the express purpose of destroying this work? 

"A third and more determined effort is now being made to abolish 
this work before the first volume has been published, before anyone 
has had an opportunity to judge of its merits or value, before anyone 
will pretend to say that it has had a fair trial. Circulars and letters 
have been freely distributed, belittling this work, condemning it before 
it has been seen, without knowing the number of animals recorded 
therein, without any consideration of the obligation the Association is 
under to the forty different members, both small and large breeders 
who have paid their money under the rules to have their animals re- 
corded in this work. These circulars actually misrepresent the facts; 
they appeal to the prejudice, the passions and not to the judgment, rea- 
son or honor of the members. They attempt to array one class of 
breeders against another and thus create discord and strife in the 
Association which is detrimental to its best interests, impairs its useful- 
ness, lowers its standard and weakens its influence among kindred 
associations and in the estimate of the public. 

"The interests of all members and of breeders are mutual, the suc- 
cess of each contributes to the prosperity of the whole. Every good 
record made by any cow of the breed adds to the value of every animal 
of the breed. Our interests are mutual and cannot be separated. To 
create a division in our association, to destroy confidence and prevent 
hearty cooperation among its members, is to check the growth and 
prrsperity of the breed, to shake the confidence of the public, to reduce 
the value of our cattle and depreciate in the estimation of the public the 
best breed of cattle the world has produced. 

"Our association, as such, has done but little — very little — to en- 
courage the development of the breed. What has been done to raise 
the standard of excellence, to elevate the breed to its present high stand- 
ard, in public estimation, has been accomplished by individual enterprise. 
But for these individual efforts where would the breed have been to-day? 
What would be the present value of our cows, and where will we look 
for a demand for these cattle in the near future, if every attempt at 
the development of the breed is to be throttled in its incipiency, if dis- 
credit is to be thrown upon the best efforts of those who have made the 
breed what it is, as is the object, effort and design of those who are 
distributing these misleading circulars? 

"The Advanced Registry, although the first volume is not yet given 
to the public has, in our judgment, done more to develop the butter 
qualities of the breed than the parent association has done during the 



84 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

whole period of its existence. Consider that over one hundred and fifty 
cows, nearly half the number recorded therein, have been admitted to 
this first volume on their butter records, the standard being higher 
than that established by any other breed. Shall we, through prejudice, 
abolish or cripple such a work without seeing it — without studying its 
effect upon the future of the breed? 

"We are not surprised — in fact, it is to be expected — that such 
shrewd and designing circulars would naturally put into the hands of 
their authors the proxies of those who have not given this subject full 
and careful consideration in all its bearings, those who did not under- 
stand the pledges made at the time of the union of the two associations 
and the obligation which we were in honor bound to fulfill. We do not 
— we cannot — believe that there is any large number of our association 
who will knowingly, willingly, use their influence, or allow their proxies 
to be used, to enforce a breach of faith on the part of our honored and 
honorable association. 

"As members of the committee who labored faithfully to bring 
about the union of the two associations, having personally assured our 
new friends that they could depend upon the conditions of the union 
being faithfully fulfilled, we feel deeply on this subject. 

"Therefore we feel justified in appealing to each and every mem- 
ber of the Holstein-Friesian Association, in the name of justice, of har- 
mony, of honor, in behalf of the rights of those who in good faith 
placed themselves in our hands, in behalf of the good name and honor 
of our old association, to see to it that our obligations and agreements 
as members of our organization — as men — are faithfully and honorably 
fulfilled." 

It is needless to say that at the annual meeting convened 
soon after the appearance of these two letters, the movement 
to overthrow the system of Advanced Registry was defeated. 

The first volume of the Advanced Registry of the Hol- 
stein-Friesian Association was brought out on January first, 
1887. This book contained entries of three hundred and fifty 
cows and thirty-one bulls, besides the Rules and Regulations, 
the revised Scale of Points, and a chapter entitled Plan of 
This Volume. In its preface, Mr. Hoxie says: 

"What will be its effect upon the general interests of the breed? 
This naturally will be the first question in regard to this work. The 
answer as naturally follows. If the production of milk and butter 
records in fugitive ways, in the past, has given a worthy reputation to 
the breed, how much more should the substantiating and gathering 
together of such records add to that reputation. The records of our 
grand cows are a common heritage, and no friend of the breed can 
doubt the utility of gathering and preserving them in some unquestioned 
form. In this work large and small owners have equal opportunities. 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 85 

In public journals large advertisers take precedence. It would seem 
that on the ground of common justice some work of this kind is needed 
to awaken in all breeders equal incentives to improvement, and espe- 
cially to inspire smaller owners to join in further building up a reputa- 
tion for the breed in which all shall continue to feel a common pride. 
The fine showing made in this volume of the butter capacities of the 
breed must also have a stimulating effect upon all classes. The ex- 
penses of making butter records are within every breeder's means, and 
yet such records are among the most valuable. The information 
gathered in this work in regard to the structure and style of our noted 
cows must be of value to all who are interested in improving the breed. 
The means are here afforded of determining models and of intelligently 
seeking such combinations of breeding as will produce our ideals in 
form and structure. The measurements have been taken with much 
care, and the descriptions have been made as correctly as fallible judg- 
ment and condensed language have permitted. Years will add special 
value to this part of the work. The time is coming when it will be 
regarded quite as important to trace peculiarities of structure and pecu- 
liarities of qualities in the lines of ancestry as to trace pedigrees. 

"This work is also a slight offering to science. There is yet to be 
a science of cattle selection and cattle breeding. But such a science 
can never be established without a multitude of observations such as 
this work affords. Finally, it may be said that it is a step in the 
direction in which all progressive breeders and thinkers upon cattle 
subjects are looking. It destroys no institution to take its place. It is 
simply a step forward into an unoccupied field. The same kind of 
ingenuity will be required to maintain that it injures any Holstein- 
Friesian breeder as it did in 1492 to prove that the setting out of the 
little fleet of Columbus injured his patroness, the Queen of Spain. No 
one can be more conscious of the defects of this volume than the editor 
— defects resulting from inexperience and want of precedents. But he 
believes they are no more inherent in the system than were the early 
defects of the steam engine inherent in the principal of propelling 
machinery by steam." 

In an article on Holstein-Friesian Advanced Registry, 
written by Mr. Hoxie, and published in 1897 in F. L. Hough- 
ton's book entitled "Holstein-Friesian Cattle," is a statement 
of the manner in which this first volume was received. We 
quote Mr. Hoxie's words: 

"The result both in general makeup of this volume and the number 
of entries, was a surprise, even to the friends of the new system. An 
immediate wave of interest was created, not only in this country, but 
in Europe. Breeders in England and Scotland wrote for information in 
regard to it and discussed the subject before their cattle associations; 
and in Germany several publications reviewed the system at great 
length. It was evident that, whatever the fate of this system in Amer- 



86 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

ica, the fundamental idea had taken a firm hold on the minds of breed- 
ers of improved cattle. 

"The permanence of the new registry was not, however, yet assured. 
It continued to some extent to be an object of disapproval, on grounds 
outside of its purposes or its principles. Gradually it won its way as 
it was seen that it was a distinct benefit to every breeder, whether he 
had cattle in it or not, by its service in sustaining and advancing the 
interests of the breed as a whole. Between 1886 and 1891, three other 
volumes were published, bringing the total registration to ninety-six 
bulls and one thousand and fifty-one cows." 

These five years were years of tremendous struggle and 
great discouragement to Mr. Hoxie because of the scant back- 
ing his work received from the great mass of the Holstein- 
Friesian Association, but he never gave up. He held fast to 
his vision and battled on in the face of almost overwhelming 
odds. The labors of his office and his superintendentship 
were enormous, and he performed all these practically alone. 
His salary was very meagre and he was obliged to supplement 
it by much labor in other directions. At length, however, 
backed by a few of the members of the association, Mr. 
Hoxie's system began to gain in favor and soon he was 
inspired to redouble his efforts in its behalf by expressions of 
approval which began to come to him from officers and promi- 
nent fellow members, who declared that his work was the 
leading feature in the progress of the breed, that it was be- 
ginning to be recognized, that full success could only be 
attained through the Advanced Registry and that the associa- 
tion was proud to give him the necessary opportunities and 
basis for his great work. 

But now a period of reaction set in against Holstein- 
Friesians, such a period as "inevitably overtakes every new 
breed introduced in this country." This reaction period 
against Holstein-Friesians, from 1891 to 1895, was a critical 
one for Advanced Registry. We find Mr. Hoxie writing: 

'When the annual meeting of the association assembled in March, 
1894, it was passing through the darkest period of its history, which 
had now reached its climax. The active membership of the organiza- 
tion was at its lowest ebb. Many of its wealthiest members had sold 
out their herds and others were preparing to do so. The treasury of 
the association had only a very small balance to its credit. It had 
been largely depleted a few years before by paying bounties on 
slaughtered bull calves. The reputation of the breed was in a seriously 
depressed condition in consequence of its failure to enter the contest 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 87 

of dairy cattle breeds held at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago the 
previous summer. Public sentiment had not only pronounced its verdict 
against the claims of the breed but also against its Advanced Registry 
that it was said 'had been foisted upon the association by the Dutch- 
Friesian cranks.' And there also was, within its loyal membership, a 
lack of heart, of confidence in the dairy characteristics of at least a 
thousand head of imported cattle and their offspring that had been im- 
ported merely for commercial purposes, which the association had been 
obliged to take over at the time of its origin, notwithstanding one of 
the principal objects at its origin was to wholly prevent further impor- 
tations of this undesirable class. 

"Then suddenly a glimmer of hope appeared. At this meeting, to 
stimulate the making of butter records, a thousand dollars was placed 
in the hands of the board of officers to be offered at their discretion, as 
prizes, for largest officially authenticated records. ... In accordance 
with such action a contest was inaugurated, open to breeders of the 
association, with a list of twenty-seven prizes, to be awarded the best 
seven day tests conducted under the supervision of the superintendent 
or some inspector designated by him or by the officer of some experiment 
station or other state institution. The effect of this competition was 
exceedingly gratifying. The showing of butter production exceeded 
all unquestioned official records of any breed previously made in Amer- 
ica. It reanimated the breeders, stimulated again wide-spread public in- 
terest in the breed and went far toward establishing its pre-eminence 
as butter producers. Apparently all opposition to Advanced Registry 
ceased with this showing." 

Since that time the value of Advanced Registry has be- 
come thoroughly recognized, "not only by Holstein-Friesian 
breeders, but by all breeders of improved cattle." Other 
associations and those handling other breeds of cattle have 
established similar registries and its principles will undoubt- 
edly "continue as long as the breeding of improved dairy 
cattle continues." 



CHAPTER VII 
HOLSTEIN-FRIESIAN PROPAGANDA 

No record was kept of Mr. Hoxie's publications during all 
the long period, covering nearly thirty years, of his active 
connection with cattle interests, but his pen was never idle. 
His powers of application were the wonder and admiration of 
his friends. During certain periods he worked uninterrupt- 
edly at his writing, every day and all day, often far into the 
night, for weeks and months together, without rest or respite. 
When he could no longer endure sitting at his desk he would 
take his work to the top of some article of furniture of con- 
venient height and stand as he wrote. An old organ was 
utilized for this purpose for several years as was also a spe- 
cially constructed shelf placed against the wall in one corner 
of his study. These, both allowing of an upright position, 
gave the much needed rest to a back that was always trouble- 
some. The possession of a great idea, coupled with an iron 
constitution and an iron will, alone made possible this habit 
of unceasing application without utter shipwreck to both 
mind and body. 

As has been said before, he was the most modest and self- 
effacing of men. He had no vanity. He did not preserve 
copies of his articles and speeches in any form. Hence the 
matter in hand is very fragmentary; indeed, consisting only 
of an occasional lecture or essay that, by accident, has escaped 
destruction. Mr. Hoxie never had an eye to his reputation 
with posterity. His eye was always single with a view to the 
cause which he was serving and, after his thoughts were once 
conscientiously and painstakingly put upon paper and placed 
before the public, they were of no further moment to himself. 
Could his writings be collected they would doubtless fill many 
volumes and be a permanently valuable contribution to dairy 
interests. 

It is indeed to be deeply regretted that only a very few of 
his many efforts may be mentioned. Nothing has been pre- 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 89 

served previous to the union of the Dutch-Fresian and Hol- 
stein Associations except the four volumes of the Dutch- 
Friesian Herd Book; a pamphlet, entitled "Some Information 
Concerning the North Holland or Friesian Breed of Black 
and White Piebald Cattle"; the series of articles on Friesian 
or Dutch-Friesian cattle previously mentioned, published by 
the old Live Stock Journal of Chicago, about 1883, and a few 
addresses. In 1888 his article, "Holstein-Friesian Cattle," 
was puhlished in Harper's Magazine — a fact which also indi- 
cates the wide spread general interest in the new breed at 
this time. 

Fifteen volumes of Advanced Registry were edited by Mr. 
Hoxie after the union of the two associations and he prepared 
the bulk of the copy for the sixteenth volume, turning it over 
to his successor in office in 1905. He assisted Mr. F. L. 
Houghton largely in the preparation of material for the "Blue 
Book," from its inception up to the time of his retirement, 
practically all the detailed and valuable matter contained 
therein being prepared by him 1 . In the preface to the second 
volume of the "Blue Book" are found these words: 

"All of these records, [contained in the 'Blue Book,'] are from the 
office of the Superintendent of Advanced Registry, Mr. S. Hoxie, and 
were originally compiled by him. . . . Acknowledgment of the in- 
valuable services of Mr. Hoxie in making such a work as the Year 
Book [Blue Book] possible and for actual compilation of parts of this 
work are most heartily made, and to this gentleman are due the thanks 
and appreciation of all breeders." 

Mr. Hoxie also assisted Mr. Houghton in the preparation 
of his book, called "Holstein-Friesian Cattle," first published 
in 1897. In the preface grateful acknowledgments are made 
"of the very valuable assistance of that profound dairy stu- 
dent and originator of the Advanced Registry system, Mr. 
Solomon Hoxie." 

His "Twelve Years' Butter Tests at American Fairs," is 
an illustration of the immense amount of painstaking labor 
expended by Mr. Hoxie upon much of the original work which 
he put before the public. A prominent member of the Hol- 



i In a letter, bearing the signature of Mr. D. H. Burrell, dated August 24, 
1903, referring to the "Blue Book," this statement is made "All the detailed 
work is prepared by our able Superintendent, Mr. Hoxie." 



90 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

stein-Friesian Association writes to Mr. Hoxie, apropos of 
this article, under date of August 29, 1898 : 

"I am just in receipt of your article on twelve years' butter tests 
at fairs. I wish to compliment you on the successful manner in which 
you have brought out the superiority of the Holstein-Friesians over 
Jerseys as butter producers. If this article can be widely disseminated 
among breeders, it should have a very helpful and healthful influence 
in favor of our breed. Even if the summary, given on the last two 
pages, could be put into the hands of every farmer in America, it would 
have a very salutary effect in my opinion. I am glad that you have 
had the wisdom and foresight to publish this article." 

In 1900, Mr. Hoxie's report at the annual meeting of the 
Holstein-Friesian Association says in part: "The steady 
growth of this system of Advanced Registry in public esteem 
and the absence of criticism seem to show that its principles 
are settled." But, while Mr. Hoxie seems to have felt that 
the battle for the establishment of this system was now fairly 
won, within his own association, he did not feel that he could 
yet slacken his labors for there were many detractors of Hol- 
stein-Friesian cattle among the admirers and breeders of Jer- 
seys, Guernseys, Ayrshires, Devons, Brown Swiss, Dutch 
Belted, Red Polled and Short Horn cattle. The superiority 
of North-Holland cattle over all these various breeds as but- 
ter, milk and beef producers and as cattle best adapted to the 
needs and conditions of the American dairy farmer must be 
fully demonstrated once and for all. Hence, as chairman of 
the Literary Committee, of the Holstein-Friesian Association 
(a position which he held for years), whose function it was 
to write, collect, edit and publish data favorable to this breed ; 
as contributor to nearly all prominent agricultural papers ; as 
lecturer before dairymen's associations and as demonstrator 
of the Advanced Registry system in various colleges and ex- 
periment stations, he carried on a vigorous and vigilant cam- 
paign of public education in the behalf of the "Black and 
Whites." During this year (1900) fortunately, Mr. Hoxie's 
salary was increased in such measure that he was now en- 
abled to employ a clerk regularly and was thus relieved from 
much of the drudgery of office routine. 

In 1901, Mr. Hoxie prepared a pamphlet entitled, "Hol- 
stein-Friesian Breed of Cattle," giving salient points of their 
history and characteristics and of their development and reg- 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 91 

istration. This was published by the Holstein-Friesian Asso- 
ciation. It filled a need, which the association had felt, for a 
brief and accurate account of its breed of cattle for busy 
farmer and dairyman. This pamphlet, which was christened 
the "Yellow Book," met the popular demand, by giving all the 
important facts and characteristics of these animals in small 
compass. It was widely read and circulated over a period of 
several years and it was one of the most valuable and useful 
publications of the association. On the appearance of a re- 
vised edition of the "Yellow Book," in 1904, Mr. E. A. Powell, 
a prominent breeder of Holstein-Friesian cattle, said in a let- 
ter to Mr. Hoxie, bearing date of February seventeenth, 1904 ; 

"I have spent the evening in reading this work and wish to congrat- 
ulate you most heartily on this able and valuable production. It is, 
to my mind, the most complete, able and convincing document yet pub- 
lished in the interests of the breed and must be of great value." 



CHAPTER VIII 
RETIREMENT 

In the spring of 1903 a vital question regarding the policy 
of calculating its records began to agitate the Holstein-Fries- 
ian Association. In 1894 the association had adopted the use 
of 80 per cent of a pound of butter fat for an equivalent of a 
pound of butter in computing its records. This was done "with 
a view to conforming to the usages of the World's Fair at 
Chicago the previous year. The records of heifers there 
tested were all calculated on 80 per cent fat as shown in the 
milk for a pound of butter ; and the records of the cows on 80 
per cent of fat as shown in the churned butter." Previous 
to this date (1894) the per cent required in calculating the 
records of the association had been 83^. The 80 per cent 
standard had recently been shown to be false beyond a doubt, 
all the facts going to prove that 85% P er cent was the 
correct basis for computation. The Association of Agricul- 
tural Colleges and Experiment Stations recommended this 
latter ratio as a common basis for calculation in connection 
with all breeds. The American Jersey Cattle Club had also 
adopted it. 

Mr. Hoxie was most anxious that his association should 
drop the incorrect and misleading basis of computation, 
adopted in 1894, and thus place itself on record as standing 
for truth, honesty and justice and beyond reproach or criti- 
cism. He therefore put forth every effort to induce the asso- 
ciation to abandon the computation of its records by what had 
been discovered to be a dishonest ratio. Many members were 
of an equal mind with Mr. Hoxie in this matter, but others 
were opposed to any change of policy, fearing that it might 
result in monetary loss to themselves. The question came up 
in the form of an amendment, to drop the 80 per cent factor, 
at the annual meeting in June, 1903, and at this time, the 
amendment was adopted by a majority vote. This action of 
the association lead to a bitter controversy among its mem- 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 93 

bers in which eventually Mr. Hoxie and his supporters "went 
down to defeat," and the former act of the association in 
adopting the amendment was repudiated. 1 

It is not the desire or the purpose of the writer of this life 
record to enter into the details of this controversy. In years 
to come, other history will be written and those who stood 
firmly for the right will be fully vindicated. 

This failure of the association to hold by its former action 
to banish the false standard disheartened and discouraged 
Mr. Hoxie, who felt that, first and foremost and above all else, 
the association should try to lead the dairy world in those 
things which are of truth and justice and of good report. He 
felt that the step it had now taken was a backward step and 
a disastrous one. He writes to a fellow member at this 
time: 

"When a man says, 'I have made a mistake,' yet continues to use 
his mistake (because he imagines that to do so is for his financial inter- 
est) he cannot avoid loss of reputation. I fear it will be so with our 
association. I am utterly disheartened. Must I abandon all hopes that 
our association will be true to itself, to its own best interests, to truth 
and right? I am at a loss as to my duty under the circumstances. 
What ought I to do?" 

This friend replied: 

"If we fail in the perfection of our rules this year we will make a 
stronger fight next year." 

Another associate writes : 

"I sympathize with you fully in your desire to do good during the 
closing years of your life and anything that I can do for your peace and 
comfort I wish to do. God bless you, my dear Mr. Hoxie, for all you 
have done to maintain the honor and credit of our association. You 
may rest assured that in the years to come the highest encomiums will 
be paid to you for the position which you have taken." 

Thus encouraged Mr. Hoxie forged bravely ahead in the 
continuance of the duties of his office as Superintendent of 
Advanced Registry and in his efforts to cause the association 
to recognize the mistake it had made in its decision to main- 
tain the 80 per cent standard, although he knew that such 
efforts would not redound to his own advantage and might 
jeopardize his position as superintendent. But he hoped that 
in another year or two the association would see this matter 



1 This action of the association was severely condemned in Friesland where 
the bases of computation were from 88% to 91% lbs. fat for 100 lbs. butter. 



94 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

in its true light and reverse its decision. But this hope was 
doomed to disappointment. 

Its failure to take what Mr. Hoxie regarded as the only- 
just and true measure for it to take so preyed upon his mind 
that it was one of the causes which undermined his health and 
lead to his voluntary retirement from office in June, 1905. 

When it became known that Mr. Hoxie contemplated re- 
tirement scores of letters of protest began to pour in from all 
sections of the country. Prominent members of the associa- 
tion expressed themselves as positively refusing to even con- 
sider his resignation. They would do anything before they 
would give him up. They would hire someone else to do the 
actual work while he supervised it only. He was told that no 
one else could fill his place acceptably to the great mass of the 
association; that not only was he loved and trusted by all its 
members but he was trusted and admired as well by all breed- 
ers of every class and kind outside the association. 

When at length it became apparent that Mr. Hoxie's 
health would not permit him to retain his position, even with 
a competent secretary's help, a movement was set on foot to 
appoint him Superintendent Emeritus. Many letters were 
received by Mr. Hoxie assuring him that the association 
would be glad and proud to place him in such a position. One 
prominent Eastern breeder writes: 

"I view with the greatest satisfaction your willingness to devote 
yourself to our work in an emeritus capacity. I am certain that the 
idea will be heartily commended by everyone, for I have already heard 
the suggestion so discussed in many places. . . . The strong friend- 
ship of those who have been in contact with you will never permit you 
to be separated from them and the association." 

A Western member says: 

"To the best of my knowledge it is the general opinion throughout 
the West that the Holstein-Friesian Association owes a very large debt 
of gratitude to you for the prosperity it has met with and the idea is 
that you should have this position with a year's entire vacation to start 
with, and no obligation thereafter to exert yourself any farther in the 
interests of the association than may be agreeable to you. The thought 
is to make the position truly emeritus." 

And so on through a score or more of similar communica- 
tions. 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 95 

Mr. Hoxie was pleased with the proposal to honor him 
thus, but feared that his acceptance of it might be detrimen- 
tal to his successor and he wrote to an officer of the associa- 
tion saying that if in his opinion the new Superintendent of 
Advanced Registry would in the slightest degree be ham- 
pered by his acceptance of such a position he would not con- 
sider it for a moment. But he was assured that no such 
result would follow. When, however, the motion to thus 
honor him came before the annual meeting it was tabled. 

The following extract is quoted from the address of the 
President of the Holstein-Friesian Association in June, 1905, 
at the time of Mr. Hoxie's retirement. 

"Since the adoption of our Advanced Registry system, Mr. Hoxie 
has served as its most efficient superintendent, giving to this work, to 
this association and to our beautiful breed of cattle, his time, his best 
thought and undivided attention. Though weary at times in both mind 
and body, he has never tired. We have all profited by his good word 
and work, cheerfully given on every occasion. We have all learned to 
honor and respect him, not only because of the great results he has 
been able to accomplish in his line of work, but also because of his wise 
and valuable counsel, his sincerity, his strong personality, and his true 
manly character. . . . 

"Certainly there is not a member of this association who does not 
feel a most profound sense of regret that Mr. Hoxie no longer finds 
his strength adequate to the task of discharging the duties involved in 
the office of Superintendent of Advanced Registry. . . . 

"Mr. Hoxie is a man whose every impulse has been guided by his 
convictions of right and justice and his administration of the affairs of 
his office has been such as justly to merit the standing and confidence 
it now enjoys. 

"His retirement from office is of his own predilection and we can 
assure him that he has with him in his retirement the kindest wishes 
of every member of this association. 

"Being a recognized authority on all that Advanced Registry im- 
plies, we trust we may for many years hear his voice in the councils of 
this association and profit thereby as we have in the past." 



PART II. 
B. OTHER INTERESTS AND ACTIVITIES 



CHAPTER I 
THE VILLAGE OF MR. HOXIE'S ADOPTION 

During all the years, from 1876 to 1905, business alone did 
not absorb Mr. Hoxie's attention. A man of such virility, 
such insight, such broad sympathies, such ambition to benefit 
humanity could not be content to confine his activities within 
the limits, however extensive, of cattle breeding and the de- 
velopment of dairy affairs. His interests were far too wide 
and the motive power of his existence, his ambition to help 
and succor and inspire his fellow beings, was far too insist- 
ant. Other channels for the expression of this desire must 
be found. 

During the first few years of his residence in Yorkville, 
Mr. Hoxie continued to occupy the pulpit of his home church 
at Columbus Quarter, going there for that purpose on alter- 
nate Sundays. This required a sixty-mile drive, which 
eventually proved too great a strain, and the congenial activ- 
ity was therefore regretfully abandoned. 

A fertile field, however, for the fulfillment of Mr. Hoxie's 
heart's desire to benefit his fellow men, lay ready to hand in 
the community of which he had recently become a part. The 
little village of his adoption lay close between the city of Utica 
and the manufacturing town of New York Mills. It was un- 
incorporated, unofficered, unprotected by any league of 
authority. It had no church, no club nor organization of the 
better class. It occupied just the right position to render it 
a resort for the dregs of humanity from both the larger 
places, and such a resort it became. Here saloons were 
opened of a character that would not be tolerated in either 
the Mills or Utica, and here the rough and disreputable ele- 
ment of (both places congregated to carouse and to break all 
rules of decency and law and order. The few respectable 
residents of the village were almost helpless in face of this 
element. It was a great change for Mr. Hoxie, coming as he 
did from the clean, decent, self-respecting atmosphere of the 



100 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

farming community, where he had lived almost from birth, 
into this haunt of the vicious and corrupt. Almost immedi- 
ately he began to work for the betterment of the town, but 
he found himself practically alone in his efforts. Other 
decent citizens were either too indifferent or stood too much 
in fear of possible injury to life and property from the law- 
less class to join with him in a campaign to make the village 
a safe and desirable place of habitation. So for years he 
labored almost single handed, fighting against drunkenness, 
debauchery and lawlessness of every sort. At one time he 
acted as night watchman, helping to police the village against 
marauders who had attempted a series of housebreakings and 
robbery. 

Previous to his residence in Yorkville Mr. Hoxie had been 
a temperance man, but he now became a Prohibitionist. The 
drink evil, showing its results so conspicuously here, could 
not fail to make him one. He now began a long and syste- 
matic fight against the saloon, which brought him the bit- 
terest enmity and endangered both his life and his posses- 
sions. He was once assaulted upon his own premises by a 
drunken brute and barely escaped alive. A thoroughbred 
collie dog, to which he was devotedly attached was lured away 
and poisoned. He was reviled and persecuted and annoyed 
in all manner of petty ways by the vicious element that he 
tried to combat, but he was absolutely fearless and slackened 
his efforts not one iota in consequence. He not only voted 
the Prohibition ticket but he took the stump for the party. 
He labored in season and out of season to disseminate its 
ideas and to show the evils resulting from the liquor traffic. 
He acted as chairman of the county committee for years. He 
ran for Representative to Congress on the Prohibition ticket 
and for various minor offices. He organized, edited and pub- 
lished a Prohibition paper, "The New York Central News," 
himself doing most of the writing for its columns until, when 
it had become firmly established and had begun to pay finan- 
cially, he gave it away, although he still continued to contri- 
bute largely to its pages. 

He entered into personal relations with the drunken and 
debauched, encouraging and inspiring them to fight against 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 101 

their evil tendencies; inviting some to his home, instructing 
some in the elements of an education, supplying all who de- 
sired with good reading matter and good counsel, giving 
financial aid to the most promising — those who showed a per- 
sistent wish to reform and to become desirable citizens. 

Poverty was rife in this little town as well as drunken- 
ness. The readiness with which Mr. Hoxie always responded 
to any appeal for help is typified by a little incident which 
for a long time was a source of much amusement and good- 
natured chaffing on the part of his family. An unkempt, 
ragged fellow, quite evidently a knight of the road, one day 
appeared at the door. Mr. Hoxie responded to his knock and 
to his request for boots, gave the tramp his only pair, saying : 
"Here, take them, they are the only ones I have." The fellow, 
nothing daunted, received this offering with avidity and went 
on his way rejoicing. 

His proximity to the city and his activity in public affairs 
revealed to Mr. Hoxie a hitherto undreamed of debased con- 
dition in the politics of Oneida County, and he now not only 
began to oppose the saloons and the liquor interests, but he 
also began to fight political corruption. Letters written to 
his son, in the fall of 1888, show something of his attitude in 
these matters. 

"Yorkville, N. Y., October 27, 1888. 
''Dear R., 

"We have plenty of politics and a great deal of excitement on the 
subject in the neighborhood. The canvass between the Republicans 
and the Democrats of the county is being conducted on the lowest pos- 
sible plane. I went into the office of the yesterday [referring 

to one of Utica's daily papers] and one of the editors said to me, 'You 
know enough of the management of the old parties in the county to 
make you disgusted, but, if you knew as much as I do, it would make 
you sick!' On election day there will probably be more money spent 
in buying votes than ever before spent on such a day. The men who 
sell their votes, the men who buy them and the men who knowingly 
furnish money for that purpose are all alike violators of our laws, de- 
stroyers of republican institutions and criminals. If justice should 
prevail they would find themselves shortly in the penitentiary. What 
a comment on the character of our people, our public officers and our 
wealthy men. What transparent sham in all their pretended political 
virtue! Republicans in the county have more money and will therefore 
probably buy more votes than Democrats. But both will buy all they 
can and 'pot cannot call kettle black.' What young man, living in 



102 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

Oneida County, of really noble character can feel like joining either of 
these parties? The endorsement of such methods is and must be a 
greater evil to our country than the adoption of any of the measures 
of a public nature advocated by either party can counteract. The evil 
of liquor selling and drinking, enormous as it is, cannot be greater than 
such a wholesale corruption of the suffrage. Of course we Prohibi- 
tionists can do nothing but abhor and denounce such things and stand 
up and be counted. The canvass will soon be over and whichever party 
wins will make but little if any difference to me personally. Yet I 
confess I feel saddened over the inevitable triumph of the evil elements 
of society. 

"In our present condition of political affairs the saloon and its 
hangers-on hold the balance of power. Its men will be elected in state 
and nation. I have not the least idea that any material change will 
be inaugurated in the present policy of the government whichever 
party prevails. On general principles public welfare demands a reduc- 
tion of taxation. Both parties admit this but neither party will dare 
to offend the various monopolies that have arisen under the policy of 
the last twenty years, by doing anything practical for the relief of the 
masses of the people. It does not follow that we should be disheart- 
ened by these things. Our country is advancing, through other means, 
at wonderful strides. Higher views of moral obligations and of intel- 
lectual attainments are being rapidly diffused. An army of young 
men and of young women is being raised up that will have the neces- 
sary strength of character and the necessary exaltation of character to 
meet and overcome political corruption at no distant day. I do not 
expect to live to see that 'good time coming.' But that does not mat- 
ter. I expect my children to see it and I expect they will help to bring 
it about. I hope they will be careful to maintain the balance of judg- 
ment and the charity toward all that will be so important in this 
work. 

"I look forward to the time when both you and D. will be men of 
influence. I believe you will always stand up for the right. It is of 
little matter whether you become rich or poor but it is of great matter 
that you become truly men of honor, integrity and moral courage, that 
you keep your eyes clear, that you may recognize the nature of the 
sham honor, sham integrity, sham patriotism and sham morality with 
which you will probably find yourselves surrounded. Do not be caught 
by shams of any kind. Real wealth is of the character. That is the 
kind which goes with us beyond the grave. If you are tempted by 
show, remember such coin is spurious. It will not pass beyond this 
world. We all send love. 

Father." 

"Yorkville, N. Y., November 13, 1888. 
"Dear R., 

<4 You have requested me to keep you posted on the gymnasium. 
The young men have decided to run it again. I am president, further- 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 103 

"You inquire the cause of the falling off of the Prohibition vote 
in the state. Every possible pressure was brought to bear. Some who 
work in our mills were indirectly threatened with the loss of employ- 
ment. The tariff question was magnified out of all proportion. All 
sorts of falsehoods were published. Prejudices were appealed to. In 
this county stories were industriously circulated that the leading Pro- 
hibitionists were going to vote with either the Democrats or the Republi- 
cans. The falling off of our vote, while it is not a pleasant thing to 
contemplate, need not discourage us and I think will not discourage 
the party. Our party is a pure one. I should be ashamed, knowing 
what I do of their corruption, to belong to either of the old parties. 

"There were probably fifteen hundred corrupted votes in 

alone. I have no doubt more than two thousand men took part in the 
work of corruption and, were the laws to be executed, would find them- 
selves in the penitentiary. Many of these men call themselves respect- 
able and some of them are dubbed honorable. A man that has any 
degree of virtue cannot help feeling hostility and indignation toward 
a crime so loathsome. Why! I would rather stand alone and be a 
party of one single voter than to stand by either of the old parties and 
assent to such a foul crime. I hope you may ever feel as I do in such 
matters. A man who surrenders his moral sense to such deeds is not 
worthy the name. Success is a grand thing in a good cause and 
through worthy means but success, won by such means, is simply 
shameful; we have moral natures and the only true success is the 
triumph of the right. I want my children to always stand for the right 
under all circumstances. I would rather have them enthused with this 
idea than to have them become rich or renowned. . . ." 

Affectionately, 

Father." 

Together with his younger son, before the latter de- 
parted for college, Mr. Hoxie organized and helped to main- 
tain The Yorkville Athletic Club for the young men of the 
town, putting up a small building for that purpose. Pre- 
viously the street corners and saloons had been the only meet- 
ing places available for friendly intercourse and such an in- 
stitution was sorely needed. Here all were welcome to come 
for a social hour, to participate in games and plays and gym- 
nastic exercises, to read good books and papers and to listen 
to an occasional lecture or entertainment. 

After Mr. Hoxie's son left home for college and could no 
longer give his attention to its concerns, the club languished 
and was finally temporarily abandoned. But it was reorgan- 
ized again and at this time Mr. Hoxie writes to his son re- 
garding it : 



104 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

more I am a deputy sheriff of the County of Oneida. After the boys 
decided to start up again I thought that someone must have authority 
to protect the property and to insure good behavior. So I have quietly 
obtained the appointment. . . . 

"The boys have organized with a short constitution and a long set 
of by-laws. The constitution provides for five officers elected semi- 
annually. These officers constitute a board for the government of the 
club. The name of the association is Yorkville Athletic Club. . . . 

"The by-laws forbid all gambling, forbid the bringing of intoxicat- 
ing drinks into the gymnasium and the taking part in any of the amuse- 
ments or exercises of anyone who shows any sign of intoxication. 
Such, however, may come and sit still and sober up but may take no 
part. They forbid spitting upon the floor, stove or furniture, and also 
forbid injury to anything in the room. In general they provide that 
no ungentlemanly conduct shall be tolerated. 

"The first night after the adoption of the by-laws, one young 
man held a pipe in his mouth pretending to smoke, while the club was 
convened for the transaction of business. He no doubt did it to try 
the board of officers. One of the board got up and called attention to 
this act and asked if it should be considered orderly and gentlemanly. 
I put it to the decision of the house and an almost unanimous vote 
declared that it should not be so considered. I called the board to 
come to the table and asked what should be done with the offender. 
They imposed a fine of five cents. The young man declared he would 
not pay it. I then asked what should be done and the board voted to 
expel him at once. I then said to the young man that he would have 
to leave. He got up and took his hat. About two minutes after the 
adjournment of the business meeting he came back and wanted to be 
reinstated. I called the board together. They decided in a half minute 
that if he would pay his fine, he might come back. He did so, and as 
far as I can observe behaves himself as well as anyone. No one spits 
upon the floor (the most difficult thing to observe, probably) , and I 
have heard but one word of profanity. There is a membership of forty- 
one. Card-playing is allowed. The gymnasium is open every night 
and also on Sundays. It was a question with me whether I should 
allow card-playing on Sundays. After weighing the matter as con- 
scientiously as I knew how I decided that it might be allowed. 'The 
Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.' If the 
weight of probable benefit to these boys was for card-playing, rather 
than against it, I said to myself, as a Christian man I have no right 
to refuse it. 

"So far there has been no offense given that I have heard of. As 
the saying goes, 'we are not out of the woods,' but the prospect is 
encouraging. It looks as if good might result. I think it takes off at 
least half of the attendance on the saloons, both on Sundays and the 
evenings of other days of the week. A committee is making arrange- 
ments to have debates one evening each week. . . . The boys are 
now talking of trimming the rooms with evergreens to conceal the 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 105 

seats that have to be put overhead when not in use for lectures. I 
usually go over to the gymnasium a few minutes every evening and 
during the afternoons on Sundays. Up to the present time everything, 
so far as I know, has been conducted in strict accordance with the by- 
laws. Of course nearly all use tobacco, but they go way across the 
room to expectorate in a cuspidor, thus the stove and the floors are 
kept tolerably decent. I am hopeful for them. I shall try, if possible, 
to arrange matters so that the children can come in the afternoon — 
those who cannot pay the fees. I will write as further developments 
may occur. Next Monday evening is the time for paying dues for 
November. The board hopes to be out of debt then." 

It is impossible to estimate the amount of good resulting 
from this club or to know definitely the number of young men, 
employed in the cotton factories of New York Mills, who were 
given a permanent impetus to better living through its efforts. 
In later years there were some, at least, of its frequenters, who 
gladly bore testimony to its value as an inspiration in the 
development of their characters. 

At length the Salvation Army established a post at York- 
ville. Mr. Hoxie welcomed this innovation and gladly identi- 
fied himself with its workers. His motto was, "Deed, not 
Creed." He cared not what beliefs his fellow laborers enter- 
tained nor what means they employed, if they were worthy 
ones. He looked but to the fruits of their toil. Thus he 
entered heartily into the work of the Army, conforming to its 
methods, praying, speaking and singing with its members on 
the street corners, laboring with its half-reluctant converts, 
encouraging its back-sliders, opening his heart and his home 
to all who wished to enter, giving lavishly of his strength and 
his time and his material substance. No labor was too great 
for him, no means too humble, if thus he could render service 
to those unfortunate fellow mortals whom the Army sought 
to reclaim. In a letter to his son in September, 1895, apropos 
of the work, methods and belief of the Army, Mr. Hoxie 
writes : 

"Sunday I attended the Salvation Army meeting at eleven A. M. 
The meetings held at that hour are called holiness meetings. The 
services consist of prayers, readings from Scripture and exhortations 
to practical, every day uprightness of conduct and purity of heart. I 
have never heard from any pulpit such simple, straightforward advo- 
cacy of truth telling, honest dealing, careful speaking and of cleanly 
habits and cleanly thinking as I have listened to in these meetings. In 
the afternoon your mother and I both attended their services. This 



106 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

afternoon meeting is called a Christian praise meeting. They have a 
jolly time of it." 

The following year the Army did little in Yorkville except 
to protect and preserve its old converts from backsliding. 
Changes of officers and rivalry between the two factions, the 
Salvation Army and the Volunteers of America, being the 
cause of its slackened efforts there. At length the Army 
ceased to maintain a post in the village, and Mr. Hoxie sought 
other means through which to work for the uplifting of the 
community life about him. 

About this time a group of young men, working in the 
factories of New York Mills, appealed to him for help. 
These young people had begun to realize that there was little 
opportunity in their present employment and with the meager 
educational groundwork they possessed for them to advance, 
to get better jobs, to go into business for themselves or to 
become independent. They were all ambitious and at length, 
knowing Mr. Hoxie's kindness of heart and desire to help and 
benefit all his fellows, they ventured to ask him to instruct 
them in the elements of a business education. Although 
already overburdened with the work of his office and with 
other duties connected with his farm and business, he gladly 
responded to this appeal. He gave his time and energy, 
evening after evening, until his pupils were proficient enough 
to enable them to secure and hold such positions as they de- 
sired to occupy in the business world. Many years later, 
after Mr. Hoxie had become a resident of Chicago, he received 
a letter from one of these young men who, after telling of the 
business success of all Mr. Hoxie's former pupils in this 
group, says: 

"You cannot realize how many times I have thought of you and 
of your kindness when you, in your generous spirit, braved the cold 
and stormy weather and came evening after evening to our little school 
room to impart to us the knowledge which we had neglected to acquire 
in our younger days. All this you did without any compensation, ex- 
cept the knowledge that you were doing what your heart prompted 
you to do for the welfare of the young men of your home town. I 
think, if there were more Mr. Hoxies in the world who would take 
some interest in the young men there would be a great improvement in 
the coming generation. It is my sincere wish that you may be spared 
for many years yet to enjoy a noble and a useful life." 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 107 

In the late nineties a series of cottage prayer meetings 
were inaugurated in Yorkville, in which Mr. Hoxie was vitally 
interested, but these meetings did not reach a large number 
of the people. A place for public religious services was 
needed. Fortunately Yorkville had outgrown its little school- 
house and a new one was necessary. Mr. Hoxie induced the 
specially interested citizens to move the little old schoolhouse 
back a few yards, instead of tearing it down as had been pro- 
posed, and to attach it to the large new building. Thus was 
provided something which Yorkville had never possessed be- 
fore, a commodious room available for any public meeting. 
Through Mr. Hoxie's efforts this room was furnished with 
chairs, benches, tables and an organ, and he now began to 
agitate a subject which had long occupied his mind. He 
visited his neighbors and placed before them his ideas regard- 
ing the formation of some sort of an organization for public 
worship in the town. He felt that, if nothing more than a 
Sunday school for the little children could be established it 
would be a great step forward for Yorkville. A place of 
meeting was now available and all that was needed was the 
energy and enthusiasm and push of a few earnest workers to 
make a success of such an undertaking. Many of his townsmen 
were uninterested and even pessimistic regarding the matter 
but others were sympathetic. Finally, through his persistent 
effort and earnestness and his enthusiasm, he inspired a very 
few of his neighbors with the desire to help in such a project 
and, with the co-operation of two young women, fellow citi- 
zens, the Yorkville Society for Christian Work was organized. 
A Sunday school was convened for the children and young 
people every Sunday afternoon and this was followed by a 
preaching service for the older people. 

All through the early years of its struggle, Mr. Hoxie 
never gave way to discouragement, never for a moment 
doubted of its eventual prosperity and success. When, in the 
face of many disheartening difficulties, all other workers were 
ready to abandon the enterprise, he not only went ahead dog- 
gedly and determinedly with his own part of the work but 
he inspired the faint hearted, the hopeless and the depressed 
with his own undaunted courage and his own unflagging 
energy. 



108 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

This society finally took root in the hearts of the towns- 
people and all came to have a personal interest in what was 
affectionately spoken of by everyone, young and old alike, as 
"Our Little Church of Yorkville." Mr. Hoxie lived to see 
"Our Little Church" firmly established, after fifteen years of 
varying vicissitudes — years of hopes and fears, years of ela- 
tion and depression, years of promise and fulfillment. He 
lived to see it housed in a new and commodious structure, but 
he died before this edifice could be dedicated, a function in 
which he had fondly hoped to participate in spite of his 
eighty-seven years and his residence at a distance. 

In "Our Little Church of Yorkville" is a bronze tablet to 
the memory of Solomon Hoxie. "A memory," as one if his 
co-workers there has said, "of unusual strength and sweet- 
ness; a memory of one ever ready to assist in every good 
enterprise; a memory calling forth only tender, loving 
thoughts of him." 

Largely through Mr. Hoxie's efforts Yorkville became 
finally an incorporated village where order and decency prevail. 




SOLOMON HOXIE IN 1907 



CHAPTER II 

PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE 

Family letters written at this period show not only Mr. 
Hoxie's outlook on life, but also his insistent wish to encour- 
age and sustain others by the expression of a hopeful, opti- 
mistic philosophy. Many of these years, near the close of 
the last century, were years of great discouragement in mat- 
ters pertaining to his business affairs and of great anxiety 
because of the serious illness of his two sons. He must have 
been both anxious and depressed much of the time, yet he 
allowed not a glimmer of such feeling to appear in his letters. 
To his mother, who was not of a sanguine temperament, he 
writes at this time: 

"Do not look backward but forward. You have no idea how bright 
everything is when we look ahead. I realize this more and more every 
day. What matters it if everything in this world has not been just to 
our minds or our own lives just what we would have been glad to have 
had them? Our Father rules. He brings good out of everything for 
us and to us, if we will only receive it. . . . What a happy world 
this would be if we would all look to the compensations that we are all 
the time receiving. . . . How blind we are not to see the good 
things that always come to offset the bad! 

". . . It is a beautiful, pleasant morning and I realize that our 
Father is everywhere present. I can almost see Him with my eyes of 
flesh, and I feel His presence as really as I do the presence of my 
earthly friends. What a good Father He is and how restful we can be 
in His care! 

". . . It is not best for me to say much about the sympathy I 
feel for all who are in trouble. It can do them no good and can only 
make you feel sadder. I have an abiding faith in the future life and 
expect to meet all of our friends in a better world. I do not believe 
in those terrible torments that preachers seem to think necessary to 
advocate constantly. God is good. He knoweth our frame and He 
pitieth His creatures. The love of Christ constraineth me and it is 
strong enough, rightly seen, to constrain others. Why should my 
loving mother be thinking always upon the dark side rather than upon 
the bright side? Is it not sufficient to know that God is good? 

"This will not make you sad, I know. The future world is no 
dream but a plain reality quite as much as this world. We should not 



110 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

be constantly tormenting ourselves by saying we are not good enough 
for it. God knows better than we do. We will not mourn over His 
gifts to us. It is His will and that is enough. Let us accept of His 
goodness with thankfulness and cheerfulness. I believe He loves a 
cheerful receiver as well as a cheerful giver. 

"... I think I am growing happier as I grow older. It seems 
to me I was never more content with the events of life. I have largely 
given up my ambitions. I just simply rest my interests, my life, my 
family, my all in the hands of a kind Providence. I think I have seen the 
folly of struggling to be rich or great. I think the only ambition worth 
our attention is that of generosity, kindness and love. 

". . . We are all having a pleasant time, notwithstanding the 
troubles little and big that come to us. Such things come to everybody. 
They really need make none of us unhappy. Nobody need expect to go 
through life without more or less trouble. It depends a great deal on 
ourselves whether or not it makes us unhappy. I have things that I 
might be unhappy over but I think that I can say truthfully that I feel 
more at rest and happier than at any other period of my life. It seems 
to me I can see the Heavenly Father's care and love in all things. 'My 
times are in His hands.' My life, my friends, my all I leave to His 
care. I hope you feel that way. Your children and your friends and 
your life — all are in His care. Why should we try to carry burdens, 
to borrow trouble? I hope you will lay down all your troubles and 
pains, if you have not done so already. It is so foolish to live unhap- 
pily! What a good thing it is to rest, free from all anxiety, to just 
rest! 

"... I am not lonely for I see God in the clouds and hear Him 
in the winds and see Him in the flowers and hear Him in the songs of 
birds and in everything that I have to do with. 

" 'I know not where His islands lift 

Their fronded palms in air; 

I only know I cannot drift 

Beyond His love and care.' 
". . . Perhaps I ought not to write it but it seems to me that 
this world, leaving out the people, is a perfect world. The bad in it 
comes from the ignorance and willfulness of the people and not from 
anything in nature. The unhappiness comes mostly through the cruelty 
and selfishness of the people that are constantly striving with each 
other to get the biggest share of the good things that God is showering 
upon the world almost without limit. When we get down to the real 
facts we almost always find that those we call the fortunate people are 
the most unhappy people. There is probably more unhappiness caused 
by greed than by anything else. When we give up our greed how 
quickly we find ourselves at rest! Why should we not be content? 
Our Saviour says even the hairs of our heads are numbered; nothing 
can injure us, for our Father in heaven (a heaven not away off in the 
skies but right here near us and around us) careth for us. 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE m 

". . . It makes me laugh when I realize what a Father we have 
and what a beautiful world He has given us for our present home and 
what a glorious home is prepared for us. . . . You must think of 
nothing but being happy, being at rest. How good it is to be at rest! 
To give up the fighting and battling and scratching and pulling and 
hauling of this poor miserable world of greedy, greedy, greedy people! 
(Not God's world). I am trying to keep out of its whirlpool of strife 
as much as I can and to live in God's beautiful, restful world as much 
as in me lies." 

Referring to the death of an infant child of an acquaint- 
ance, he says: 

"The loss of such little ones is, we know, very painful and so is 
the loss of all our dear ones that go, one by one, but we must bear in 
mind that they only fall asleep to awaken in a better life. It is the 
way of the Infinite Love in whose hands we are, whether we wake or 
whether we sleep, whether we are in the flesh or out of it, whether we 
are in our clay houses or in our spiritual houses. It seems to me 
that the Infinite Love is around us and with us everywhere and under 
all circumstances. Why should we be sorrowful? Why need we be, 
even in what we may call our trials; or why need we mourn or why 
should we mourn? He worketh all things for our ultimate good. It 
is good to come into this world and good to live and good to fall asleep 
and good to awaken. It is all good, nothing but good. I do not know 
as you will think it is good for me to thus write. Nevertheless, I 
believe what I write; and, it seems to me, there would not be so much 
struggling to get our share, or more than our share, so much mourn- 
ing over our losses and crosses, if all who claimed to believe in Infinite 
Love tried to realize what they believe in. I ought not to have written 
that word, claimed. I ought to have written the word do, in its place. 
We all do believe in it. How can we help believing in it? We are 
surrounded by love, love, love at every step and at every moment. Why 
may we not rest in its sweetness and goodness? I laugh because of 
love. Oh, I do dislike long faces and old-fashioned preaching and 
groans and sighs." 

In spite of his long residence in Yorkville and his efforts 
for its betterment, Mr. Hoxie never felt fully reconciled to 
living within its precincts. He longed for the scenes of his 
childhood and early manhood. The old place in the Unadilla 
Valley was really home to him. He always spoke of it in the 
tenderest manner as "down home." About this he writes : 

"I am convinced that it was wise for me to move here, 
yet, when I am not well, I feel somewhat homesick for the woods and 
the hills, the wild flowers and the wild birds, where I used to live. I 
should not be surprised if, sometime, I came back. ... I am quite 
full of work and feel so tired at times. But I say 'courage up' and I 



112 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

suppose that is the way for us all to do. I feel sure that everything 
is for the best. . . . The older I grow the more I dread strife. 
I think it might be one of the happiest places in the world in the 
neighborhood where I used to live, if it were not for so much strife 
there. I wonder when I think of this strife. Yet I do not wonder 
when I think of poor human ambition. 

". . . Long ago I came to the conclusion that happiness does 
not depend upon the things we possess, or the people we know or what 
they say or think. Happiness is in loving, not our children alone, or 
our friends alone, but in loving others' children and other people as we 
love our own and as we love ourselves. Our good Father in heaven 
has made it so and we may try to find happiness otherwise as long as 
we have a mind to, but it will not be found by us. The selfish heart 
will be an unhappy heart, though it has all that it can grasp. And 
the unselfish heart will be the happy heart, though it has nowhere on 
earth to lay its head. We are all happy in just the degree of our 
unselfishness." 

Mr. Hoxie's religious views and inclinations at this time 
are set forth in letters written to his younger son, who was 
then, in the early nineties, an undergraduate student at Cor- 
nell University: 

"I see no reason why you may not unite with the Unitarian society 
of Ithaca. It is a matter that you must decide largely for yourself. 
Christianity is not a matter of creeds and not mainly of emotions. It 
is spiritual life, vitality, divine indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The 
pure in heart see God because they live. He is to them, 'Our Father.' 
He reveals himself to them in nature, in history, and, above all, in the 
character of Christ. The only objections that I have had against the 
Unitarians is that they seem to me to presume to take the dimensions 
of God and to measure the divine in Christ. The same objections lie 
against them that lie against other denominations that have been con- 
tending for a single idea. The Christian contends for vital life. His 
striving is to 'abide in the vine,' to be in union with Christ. 'He that 
loveth is born of God and knoweth God.' If you decide to unite with 
them, try to live a Christian life and leave contention, for its forms 
and doctrines, to others. I would give the same counsel were you to 
join any other denomination. It is indeed a great thing to be a true 
Christian. It involves denying one's self and the taking up of the cross 
daily. It is to be meek and lowly of heart. Among its fruits are love, 
joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, tem- 
perance. It is a great thing to be a Christian! 

". . . Let me quote a few of the sayings in George MacDon- 
ald's 'Elect Lady,' that have been a great comfort to me personally. 
'Good, endless good, was on the way to them all.' Let me change this 
a little and make it read: Good, endless good, is on the way to us all. 
'I do not make schemes of life, I live.' Again, 'If God did not care for 
His creature He would be no true God.' 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 113 

"... I often go to sleep with these lines from Whittier: 
'And so beside the Silent Sea 

I wait the muffled oar; 
No harm from Him can come to me 
On ocean or on shore.' 

". . . It is a very sweet experience to look back over the day 
and inquire, Have I been obedient to His will to-day? And then to just 
rest oneself in the arms of Him who pervades and controls all things. 

"... I am glad you write to me without reserve. I think you 
have the right plan of education in your mind but do not neglect your 
studies in the course. I admire your aspirations and ambitions. But 
do not open your mind much to others on these matters. . . . You 
refer to religious matters. I think it may be that you would like to 
know more fully your father's views. I will therefore inclose an essay 
recently read before the club in Utica. You will see that it is a brief re- 
view of two of Horace Bushnell's works. It is also a pretty fair statement 
of my religious views. . . . One thing in it I want to call your 
especial attention to. ... I refer to a peculiar sensibility. The 
New Testament calls this the Holy Spirit. When you have time read 
First Epistle of John in which it is called an unction from the Holy 
One. This sensibility leads one to see a glory in the character of 
Christ such as is not seen in so great a degree in any other character. 
It makes us love Christ's character and the possession of such a sensi- 
bility is the chief glory of a true Christian. In illustration of this I 
quote a few sentences from Bushnell: 

" 'What is loftiest and most transcendent in the character of God, 
His purity, goodness, beauty and gentleness can never be sufficiently 
appreciated by mere intellect, or by any other power than a heart 
configured to these divine qualities. And the whole gospel of Christ 
is subject in a great degree to the same conditions. It requires a 
heart, a good, right feeling heart, to receive so much of heart as God 
here opens to us. Indeed the Gospel is, in one view, a magnificent 
work of art, a magnification of God which is to find the world, and 
move it, and change it, through the medium of expression. Hence it 
requires for an inlet, not reason or logic, or scientific power, so much 
as a right sensibility. The true and only sufficient interpreter of it is 
an aesthetic talent, viz., the talent of love, or a sensibility exalted and 
purified by love. It is not my design to discard opinion, science, syste- 
matic theology or even dogma in the best sense of the term. I would 
only set the judgments of the natural life in their proper place — or 
rather in a place that is not most improper; for in proper truth all the 
thinkings, judgments, analyzings, opinions and the faculties by which 
they are wrought, should themselves be filled with the same quickening 
spirit, and exalted by the same faith that animates the heart; with 
that, also bathed in the radiance and indwelling light of God, so as to 
be themselves organs and vehicles of essential truth and life.' 

". . . If you want to recognize the reality of a Higher Power, 
who does listen to your earnest appeal for knowledge of the truth and 



114 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

strength to live according to it, as you say, — learn to see God immanent 
in all things. He is the life of your life. He has a thousand times 
more to do with you than you have to do with yourself. Trust Him. 
Love Him. When you get so you want to read 'God in His World' you 
will find some things in it that will make you recognize Him more and 
more. 

"I am glad that you are having such opportunities and that you 
have high ideals. We are here in this world to do the work that is at 
hand, not to dream of what may be in the future. In doing such work, 
the work that is at hand, development follows. Our Creator has de- 
signed that life should be intensely practical. The lives of all who have 
achieved anything worthy have been practical. Jesus said 'He that 
doeth the will shall know of the doctrine.' The way of development 
is in doing, doing each day, hour and moment the duty at hand. And, 
in this doing, our own selves are forgotten. He that saveth his life 
shall lose it. That is, he that is thinking of himself, his own growth, 
his development — but he that loseth his life in doing, doing, doing, shall 
save it. To him the growth, the development shall come. The habit 
of introspection, especially if it becomes morbid, is not a good habit. 
You are in school to do, to study, to acquire, with view to ability to 
do more. We do not add to our stature by taking thought but we 
develop in stature by the life that is given us. It is from a higher 
source than self. It is ours to use — to do with. Do not spend your 
time in thinking of yourself, your growth, your development, but think 
of your present duties — things that lie at your hand. The less you 
think about yourself, beyond the necessary daily care that you must 
have for your health of body, mind and spirit, the better. Work, play, 
think, study — in all these things do, but avoid introspection. Confine 
your aspirations and ideals to loving and serving your fellow-creatures, 
your brothers and sisters and your Father which is in heaven, forgetful 
of yourself. 

". . . If we could only live and love as God designed us to, 
what a happy world this would be. Nature and Christ are in harmony. 
Take no anxious thought for the morrow. Behold the lilies how they 
grow. Love one another. He that loveth is born of God and knoweth 
God. The meek inherit the earth. How all these things would be 
practical, if we were in harmony with nature and Christ. But things 
are out of joint and always will be out of joint until we become like 
little children, knowing no such thing as selfish strife for mastery and 
money. 

". . . It is a question with me whether I ought to 'preach' to 
you. Perhaps I have done too much in former letters. I will only say 
a word now. Be careful to look at things as they are. Not that I 
want you to imbibe the spirit of the present pushing, hauling, compet- 
ing world. But you must recognize that this spirit rules. To be 
Christ-like in this age, one must have the prudence of Christ as well 
as his love." 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 115 

This advice, regarding a hopeful attitude of mind as 
necessary to accomplishment, appears in one of Mr. Hoxie's 
letters, written to his son in 1893 : 

"Do not fret or worry or have any anxiety about us or about J. 
It is always unwise to raise fears in the minds of our friends. If J. 
should begin to doubt her ability to go through it would be one of the 
worst things that could come upon her. There is nothing so bad 
for health of body and mind as fear and hopelessness. And there is 
nothing so good as courage and hopefulness. The mind dominates the 
body. We are all greatly affected by the atmosphere of our friends, 
the physical atmosphere. Somehow such atmospheres go in letters, 
though the words may not seem to convey anything of the kind. We 
should all strive to fill our surroundings and our letters with the 
atmosphere of health." 

To his daughter, just beginning her work as a teacher, 
Mr. Hoxie writes in June, 1894: 

"I have come to think that this world is, after all, the best possible 
world for us, notwithstanding the seemingly unfavorable things that 
come to us. The assurance of this is a wonderfully uplifting influence. 
The more I have it the more calmly I can work and wait, and bear and 
wait, see others in trouble beyond my help and still wait. It has been 
a slow process for me to attain such an assurance. I think you can 
attain it, if you have not already, without struggling with darkness for 
so many years. 

"This world is the best possible world. Good is on its way to all; 
that way is through the complexities of our existence but from a 
Father that loves all. He is taking the only possible way to build up 
divineness in us. The only way that could be taken with beings that 
have freedom of choice. I never was so happy in my life as I am at 
this period, and I hope and trust and expect to grow happier and 
happier until I begin to die, as it is possible for everyone to do in his 
intelligence. Even then the darkness will be only for a little time. 
The light and joy are sure to come when the natural body is laid aside. 
If I could only give you the assurance that I have, but it must come to 
my children as it has come to me, simply by turning my eyes toward 
the sun. 

". . . While eating dinner mother and I discussed your worry- 
ing propensities. We both agreed that worrying is foolish and per- 
haps sometimes wicked; but how can we reach the highest enjoyment 
without having a little taste of it as a contrast? I do not know how 
soon I may get to worrying again, but this much I know. I have set 
up my Ebenezer that I will not worry. When the blues come I will 
fight. Now, do not say your father will weaken. He is not going to 
do any such thing, not if he knows himself. 

"I have been reading 'John Ward, Preacher,' aloud to your mother. 
Z. listens pretty well considering the doctrines. Last evening she was 



116 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

away so did not have to suffer having hell questioned. That word looks 
harsh put in a letter to you, but pardon your father for his irrever- 
ential use of it. No! It is not irreverential. That wickedness is and 
must be punished in all worlds, must be true; but God builds no hell 
for victims of a vengeance He never feels. Read the thirteenth chap- 
ter of First Corinthians. In such love there can be no worry. Love, 
love, love, must be the atmosphere into which you will finally come. 
Work hurts no one, if it is happy work. I hope you will not get hold 
of any other kind." 

In 1894 Mr. Hoxie writes to his son, then at the Univer- 
sity of Chicago: 

"You are made up very much on the pattern of your 'daddy.' 
You never will be able to have three or four things on your mind at 
one and the same time. 'This one thing I do.' I can do this one 
thing well. But I cannot do two things at the same time well. It no 
doubt results from extreme continuity in our mental habits. I cannot 
do my cattle business and write upon my essay to be read before the 
club during the same day, or week. I have got to drop one for the 
time being. Yet in my continuity is my strength. I think it is the 
same with you. You have not learned this fact. If you learn the 
lesson, do you not see that the experience you have passed through 
shows you where your strength lies? If you do not learn it from this 
experience you will probably have other similar ones. I fancy I have 
said enough. Take the language of St. Paul for your motto. "This 
one thing I do.' One thing at a time until it is finished. . . . 

"I am glad that you are through with your article and that it is 
coming out in due time. You must lift your thoughts from adverse 
criticism and remember that we all have to creep before we can walk. 
I realize that you have taken up a difficult study, that it must neces- 
sarily involve endless variety of opinions. I doubt if there can be 
established any sure or unquestioned principles in it, for many years 
to come. I think the deeper you go into it the less sure you will feel in 
regard to the doctrines of any School of Political Economy. While I 
say these things I do not underrate the importance of the study. In 
giving one of my children up to it, I feel, no doubt, somewhat like one 
who gives up a child to become a missionary — a missionary without a 
denomination back of him. Nevertheless, it is a high calling — one that 
may well be cherished and loved because of its promised service to the 
world. 

"... I want to counsel you to study style as well as matter. 
Take good care of yourself. Keep hopeful and trustful in that Power, 
beyond ourselves, that works for righteousness. You no doubt need the 
discipline that you are receiving and will be the better and stronger 
for it. . . . 

"I am more and more impressed as the years go by with the won- 
derful provisions in this world for our happiness — the air, the earth, 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 117 

the sky, society, home, friendship, love and the greatest thing of all 
the drawing and impelling force or power upward we call God." 

Referring to the ignorance and illiteracy of the mass of 
the common people, Mr. Hoxie says: 

"It is saddening. And yet it will not do to be discouraged. The 
evolution upward in the past has been exceedingly slow, but it has 
been sure. So now, there is progress undoubtedly, and in this fact we 
must rest and be satisfied. These reflections lead, or may lead, to an 
examination of our personal part in the work of advancement. Of 
course the 'bread and butter' question must not be lost sight of. We 
must eat and be clothed or we cannot live and be of service to the 
world. At my age personal ambition is mainly of the past. My love 
of approbation is pretty well put down. I have little, if any, love of 
wealth. But I have a strong desire to be of noble service within my 
narrow field. I want to help in the progress of the world and I feel 
that here is my responsibility. I have only a few more years left. I 
look to my children, not to help me personally, but rather to help in the 
progress of the world, to help forward the great desire of my heart. 
I doubt not you may have a work to do in this. It may be an unrecog- 
nized work so far as public attention is concerned, nevertheless, it is 
just as important as though it drew the attention of all the world. It 
is the calm, persistent but often unrecognized effort that tells and 
really brings genuine reward. It is my constant prayer that you and 
J. and D. may be of great service in the upward progress of the world. 
Of course you must have food and raiment and be comfortably housed. 
While I would have you have a reasonable care for these things, I 
would have you live to help in the upward progress of your fellow 
creatures — your friends, your enemies, your associates and companions 
in all the positions that you may occupy. 

"... I think back sometimes regretfully over the past at the 
little I have done for good to anyone. Perhaps, had I had other oppor- 
tunities it might have been different. Still I think I am as happy as 
the most of men. I believe opportunities may be opened in another 
life. I have no complaint to make. Could I understand the whys and 
wherefores I have no doubt that I should see that all had been for 
the best. I rest assured that this world is the best possible to ac- 
complish the end for which it exists. I will await a fuller revelation." 

On September 12, 1896, to his son, then in Germany, he 
writes : 

"This morning as I lay in my bed and looked out of the south win- 
dow of my room and saw the apple and maple leaves lighted up by 
the morning sunlight and the reflection of colors, you can have little 
idea of the joyfulness of the sight to me. What a wonderful world our 
Father has given us ! What overflowing riches, ever new and ever glor- 
ious! A word of counsel — an earthly as well as a heavenly paradise is 
near that man or woman who courts nature and is indifferent to the 
artificial that lays its claims on everybody. 



118 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

"The birds are beginning to leave us; in a few days more they 
will all be gone. This is not a sad thought. Something new comes in 
their place just as fruitful of joy as they have been. Your father 
hopes you are enough of a child to find happiness in all the changes 
of nature." 

Of his changing political views at this period he says : 

"I am slowly developing into a Socialist to the extent of hoping 
and believing that the time is surely coming When the means of pro- 
duction will be in the hands of the producing classes. . . ." 

On the death of a relative he writes: 

". . . If what we call death is simply a part of life, the reverse 
throwing of the shuttle in the weaving of life, of existence, it matters 
but little when or where or how it comes and it should not depress 
our friends. Notwithstanding, sadness results. I will not write a 
homily — only I wish all my children and all my friends could feel as 
I do, i.e., that death is like night to a coming day or like winter to a 
coming springtime. The positive side of all things is overflowing, 
abundant life. Life must have its downs as well as its ups or it would 
not be life. The shuttle is thrown back and forth to weave the woof, 
even of the finest material. To have life in the world there must be 
death in the world. There must be successes and reverses and the 
latter are fully as important as the former. The future is always 
bright to genuine nobility of character. 

". . . We all have to acquire through experience. If one could 
learn, really learn, from others' experiences, I should write you much 
about coming into harmony with our environment. I will say but 
little. I have learned to be happy by coming to see that the things 
that come to us, come through eternal wisdom. You will not see the 
truth of this now but you will sometime. So do not worry over plans 
for the future. 

". . . We are looking forward to seeing you in America, glor- 
ious America, in a few weeks. It does us good to learn that you look 
forward with pleasure to the thought of teaching as your life profes- 
sion. There is no profession in which you can be of more service to 
humanity. After all, service to the world is the noblest of all ends. 
I am proud of my children because they are all engaged in such serv- 
ice. They are not living the lives of drones in the great world-hive. 
We have visions of the brightest kind, a little farther on, for you. Your 
father is not going to preach but he will quote just this, 'We are per- 
fected through suffering.' " 

Three years later he writes to his son: 

"I am going to write to you about 'blueness.' I think this word 
even, should be tabooed by each and every member of my family, be- 
ginning with myself. The feeling should most positively be tabooed. 
We are not rich nor are we famous, but I do not know of a family, 
father, mother, daughter and both sons, that have less reason to use 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 119 

that word or to have that feeling. We ought, each one of us, to praise 
God every hour of our lives for the wonderful means of happiness con- 
stantly at our hands. And we ought to be golden, not blue. I sin- 
cerely hope you will not darken your life by such words and feelings. 
I have just passed my seventieth birthday and I am not going to cherish 
any such words or feelings; and, if I do not, why should you? 

". . . The Father of all is working out His good purposes in all 
things. Praise be to the immanent and transcendent God, the Father 
and Lover of us all! Rest and be contented. We cannot help being at 
rest when we realize that the Father is caring for us a thousand times 
more than we are caring for ourselves." 

In the same year he writes to his daughter : 

"Your mother has read to me a letter from you this evening, in 
which she reads between the lines that you are unhappy. She has now 
gone over to Z's, and I venture to write to you with a loving heart, 
although, you may think, with a muddled head. I cannot bring myself 
to believe that you are unhappy. You have your hopes and fears, your 
encouragements and discouragements; and so does every person, what- 
ever may be his surroundings or talents. These things are the warp 
and woof of every life. They are the threads that make up the cloth 
with which the garments of our souls are made. If there were no dis- 
couragements we should never know the joy of encouragement. If 
there was no night we should never know the freshness and the beauty 
of the morning. And thus I might go on contrasting things evil with 
the things we call good. In every step upward our feet are lifted to 
fall downward. These motions are in all progress — the putting forth 
and the reaction. Our Father has so ordained, and, I most assuredly 
believe it is the ordination of perfect wisdom and perfect love. The 
time will surely come when you will see as I do. You may trust my 
experience of many years (more than seventy of life's struggle), with 
comparatively few friends and little means. Success is seen to crown 
endeavors such as you are putting forth. It may not be just the kind 
that you think you would like, but it will be the kind that wisdom 
and love know is best for you." 

In another letter to his daughter, written in 1902, he 
says: 

". . . Now let me write a few things I have learned. There is 
always more joy in giving than in receiving. I do not mean giving 
money or presents, but the giving of one's self. You are giving your- 
self to the little ones under your care. If you were deprived of so 
doing, you would look back and remember the happiness of it. The 
most unhappy persons I ever knew were those who gave of themselves 
the least. 

"No man should ever long be unhappy for any failure he has made, 
except the failure to do righteously. You may not like that word, 
righteously, but it is the best and most inclusive word I can think of. 



120 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

As I now look back on more than seventy years of ups and downs, 
nothing brings any unhappiness to me except such failures. There 
are one or two things of this kind that, once in a while, come up to 
my memory, that make me unhappy. But they cannot be changed. 
I was made subject to 'vanity' and, if I had not failed, how would I 
be able to sympathize with others that fail? Hearts are bound together 
by failures and hearts are bound to the Father in heaven by failures. 
"... I am drudging away as usual, but am happier in so doing 
than I could probably be in any other way. I would like to do some 
things for the neighborhood, but I have little chance to work except by 
a patient, silent influence. I want my children to be happy and noth- 
ing would hurt me any more than to have any one of them unhappy." 

In still another letter to his daughter, written in 1902, he 
says: 

"I well remember the letter received from D. when his physician 
in New York announced to him that he had a fatal disease and would 
probably not live to exceed six months longer. He said: 'Everything 
has its compensations.' He was coming home to stay those months 
that were left to him on earth, with father and mother. 

"You, my dear girl, have a tremendous will. It is a good thing to 
have such a will. Now let me counsel you to let the storm have its 
way. God has not forsaken the world. 

'Evil is only the slave of Good; 
Sorrow the servant of Joy.' 

". . . Do not worry a single worry. The worry unfits you for 
just what you want to do. Of course you must not overdo. But turn 
your back to the storm instead of pushing against it. 

"... I have little doubt that I shall be elected to fill my present 
place another year, and possibly with an increased salary. Six months 
ago the times looked dark as to any such thing. The storm that pelted 
upon me was a heavy one. I said: 'I will be content whatever may 
come from it.' I scarcely lost a minute's sleep. I just yielded myself 
to rest; to that great Being who is immanent in each one of us. Not 
by force of will but by simple trust. I said: 'I must do my part'; 
that is, I must yield myself to rest, and I trusted that all would finally 
be for the best. . . . Think up hill! Look only on the hopeful side 
of life. Read hopeful books and love 'daddy' and 'mammy' and, above 
all, that good Being in whom you live. What a blessing life is, even 
amidst all kinds of discouragements! 

"With more love than words can express, a love that I am sure 
will survive the wreck of time. 

Father." 



CHAPTER III 
RECREATIONS AND INTELLECTUAL INTERESTS 

Although the middle years were filled full to the brim and 
overflowing with hard work there was yet a fragment of time 
left within their bounds for recreation and the cultivation 
of personal tastes. 

Flowers, birds, animals and children were a constant 
source of interest and enjoyment with Mr. Hoxie. He took 
keen pleasure in his flower garden in which he worked almost 
every day during the summer season. One of his chief de- 
lights was to make excursions to the nearby woods, from 
whence he returned laden with the plants of wild flowers and 
ferns which he set out about his grounds and garden. He 
was especially fond of pansies and always had a splendid big 
bed of these flowers, showing every imaginable variety of 
color in their companionable faces. These, as well as all the 
rest of his flowers, he appeared to cultivate largely for the 
pleasure he experienced in giving away their blossoms. 

He passed hours in watching the birds, listening to their 
music and making little houses and boxes for their nests, 
which he fastened to trees and buildings. The blue birds and 
wrens always took kindly to these places of refuge and they 
were scarcely ever untenanted. He constructed a fish pond 
near the house and stocked it with young fish. These crea- 
tures were never angled for and became quite tame, always 
rising to the surface of the water in search of crumbs or other 
food at the sound of an approaching step. His dog, Tobe, a 
thoroughbred collie of unusual intelligence, was almost a 
human companion to him, seeming to recognize a special sym- 
pathy between himself and his master, to whom he always fled 
for protection and defense, if reproved or punished by any 
other member of the household, or if frightened by any un- 
usual or inexplicable sight or sound. Tame cats abounded 
on the premises. His poultry followed him about like cade 
lambs and every animal on the farm seemed to recognize in 



122 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

him a special friend and protector. 

Mr. Hoxie made friends with all little children and rarely 
did one of these go out from his presence empty handed. A 
bouquet of his cherished blossoms, a specially fine apple, pear 
or melon, or some other equally desirable treasure, generally 
terminated a friendly visit or chance encounter with one of 
them. His heart was big enough to enfold every ragged and 
dirty street urchin. 

He retained his early interest in trees. The grounds 
about his Yorkville residence, when first occupied by him, 
were singularly bare of these natural beautifiers. But this 
lack was soon supplied, and ere long the place was the admira- 
tion of all his neighbors. Mr. Hoxie always felt that to plant 
a tree was really to confer a blessing upon posterity. His 
kitchen garden, as well as his posy bed, was an object of great 
interest and enjoyment. The fine vegetables he raised therein 
were as generously bestowed upon friends and neighbors as 
were his flowers. 

At the age of seventy years, Mr. Hoxie learned to ride a 
bicycle in order that he might accompany his children upon 
some of their wheel trips throughout the surrounding region. 
He also took a hand at tennis, for the first time, at about this 
age, so that he might join in other sports that interested 
them. 

But his intellectual interests took precedence of all his 
other recreations. To read and study his favorite books was 
not only pure joy to him but it was also the most complete 
diversion from the atmosphere of strenuous effort and anx- 
iety which filled his working hours. Of all his books, the 
Bible and "God in His World," by Henry M. Alden, were pre- 
ferred. With these two books he held daily and almost 
hourly converse. The writings of Horace Bushnell and of 
George MacDonald were prime favorites at this period of his 
life. Of the poets, Whittier, Wordsworth, Tennyson and 
Browning lay nearest to his heart. "Hypatia" and "Ivanhoe" 
were favorite stories, read and reread, over and over again, 
during these middle years. 

Fortunately, during the early years of his residence in 
Yorkville, he found congenial companionship in his intellect- 
ual interests, in a study club, made up largely of professional 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 123 

men in nearby Whitesboro. The personnel of this club was 
described, during the winter of 1917, by its only surviving 
member, Dr. Smith Baker, who says in an issue of the Utica 
Daily Press : 

"Then followed on the club's list the modest but stable Solomon 
Hoxie. Mr. Hoxie had pondered deep upon the practical aspects of 
religion and had sought guidance in the books of Henry Ward Beecher 
and Horace Bushnell and Theodore Munger and their like, with prayer- 
ful devotion. Never fluent in expression when at the club, yet he 
would occasionally flash upon the discussions beams of vitalizing light 
that would stir all the good that was in the heads and hearts of others 
to renewal of growth for many days. From Bushnell especially would 
he bring gifts of genuine inspiration; and some of his quotations from 
his beloved St. John were as pertinent as they were dynamic." 

Later, Mr. Hoxie became a member of the "Twenty Club," 
which held its meetings in Utica. This organization was 
composed almost entirely of Baptist ministers from Oneida 
and Madison Counties, the late Dr. William Newton Clark of 
Colgate University, being among its members. Here all mat- 
ters of religion and theology were openly discussed. Nothing 
could have been more congenial to Mr. Hoxie than to meet 
and talk freely with such men as these. A paper called 
"Christian Realism," written by Mr. Hoxie for this club, in 
1896, sets forth his own views and aspirations so comprehen- 
sively during this period of his life that it is here given in 
full. 

Of this essay Mr. Hoxie says, in a letter to his son, writ- 
ten November twenty-seventh, 1897 : 

"Yesterday your mother hunted up 'Rabbi Ben Ezra' and read it, 
then I read it and then Aunt Z. took the book home to read it. Your 
mother and I agree that it expresses the very best religion, real genuine 
Christian realism. By-the-by, you know that 'Christian Realism' was 
the subject of my last paper for the 'Twenty Club.' I think of having 
it printed for my children. It has no special literary merit and is 
really a personal apology or confession of faith." 

CHRISTIAN REALISM 
By Solomon Hoxie 
My subject easily lends itself to a dogmatic style. I have tried to 
avoid this. I assure the Club, that as far as I know myself, I have none 
of the dogmatic spirit. My essay is really an apology. 

Christian realism is defined in that deeply thoughtful book, "God in 
His World," as "the submission of all our conscious activities to the 
control and determination of the divine life." This seems to me to be a 



124 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

very full and correct definition. The author adds that "the divine life 
is chiefly manifested in Christ," and that "it is also manifest in nature 
and in man." That it is manifest in man, seems to me, to accord with 
the teachings of the Bible. Paul writes in the first chapter of Romans, 
"The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and 
unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness because 
that which may be known of God is manifest in them." From this I 
draw the inference that the altruistic beatings of the human heart, 
in every age and in every clime and in every man, are manifestations of 
the divine life. That the divine life is manifest in nature seems to me to 
also accord with the teachings of the Bible. "But I say unto you," said 
Jesus, "love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good unto them 
that despitefully use you and persecute you, that ye may be the children of 
your Father which is in heaven; for He maketh his sun to rise on the 
evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust." Thus 
God acts in nature. Thus is shown the divine life in nature. Nature 
sometimes appears to us dark and cruel, yet I trust and believe that 
behind all its manifestations there is the everflowing tide of divine life, — 
the divine love. Therefore I find myself unable to continue to hold the 
dogma of nature's depravity or that of man's total depravity. And with 
these dogmas go all their corollaries, imbibed in my earlier days from 
God-fearing teachers of Calvanism. 

What Does Christian Realism Involve? 
1. It does not involve pietism. Professor John Bascom defines piet- 
ism as piety vigorously expressed but in circumscribed form deemed dis- 
tinctly religious. Pietism grows out of what seems to me a fallacious 
idea, that there is a service to God in no way connected with service 
to God's creatures. Allow me to illustrate, by an anecdote. The Quar- 
terly Meetings of the Free Baptist Church, as a rule are held on three 
successive days, four times a year. The sessions are usually three in a 
day, and are devoted to sermons, essays, discussions of moral and reli- 
gious topics, prayer meetings and business conferences. Early on the 
opening day of one of these meetings, at which I was in attendance, the 
pastor of one of the churches rose with much solemnity, and addressing 
the chair said: — "Brother Moderator, I move that two days of our 
Quarterly Meetings be devoted to the service of God." A brother with 
perhaps too much of the humorous in his make-up, sprang to his feet, 
and with a twinkle in his eye, addressing the chair said, "I will second 
the brother's motion if he will include the other day, — we do not want 
to serve the devil on any day." It is needless to add that the motion was 
dropped, — but oh! what a whipping for impiety that humorous brother 
received, and what an appeal to God in his behalf was made in the open- 
ing prayer of the next session from the lips of that solemn brother. Evi- 
dently in his conception, the service of God was limited to praying, 
preaching, and devotional singing and perhaps fasting and alms-giving. 
This conception is a largely prevailing one. We listen to it in the ex- 
hortations of the Salvation Army, and in the prayer meetings of many 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 125 

of our Protestant churches. It prevails largely in the Roman Catholic 
Church, and probably in the Greek Church. It enters largely into our 
conceptions of Sabbath-keeping. A large class of intelligent Christians 
manifestly hold, that God has given us six days out of the week for 
services that are in no sense His, and has reserved one day for services 
exclusively His. Back of these conceptions lies the impression that God 
seeks His own glory, separate and distinct from any and all other beings, 
and that there is a service of ours that administers to that glory. This 
impression is more or less fostered from the pulpit and through the reli- 
gious press, — perhaps not often intentionally. It is manifest in all forms 
of asceticism; it is seen in all forms of dependence on rites and cere- 
monies; it is manifest in cultivating and magnifying religious emotions 
disconnected from love to God's creatures. Evidently it was a pietist who 
came running and kneeling to Jesus to whom he replied, "Go sell what- 
soever thou hast and give to the poor, . . . and take up thy cross 
and follow me." The sect of Pharisees, the most upright and devoted 
members of the church in the time of Christ, largely trusted in pietism. 
And their intense opposition, and even hatred of Christ, mainly grew 
out of their pietistic views of purification, of Sabbath-keeping, of alms- 
giving, of fasting and of prayer. Christ rarely prayed in public. This 
doubtless was one of their strong points against him. He seems to have 
recognized this in his vocal prayer at the grave of Lazarus, "Father, I 
thank thee that thou hast heard me; and I knew that thou hearest me 
always, but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may 
believe that thou hast sent me." It seems to me that the picture of the 
divine judgment which he drew, found in the twenty-fifth chapter of 
Matthew, had, at least, for one of its objects the uprooting of pietistic 
conceptions. How graphically and how emphatically he enforces the 
great principle that service to men, even to the very least, is service, and 
really the only service that humanity can render to the Judge of all 
nations. 

But are we not commanded to worship God, and is not worship 
service to God? Jesus worshiped God and taught his disciples to worship 
God. He said to the woman of Samaria, "The hour cometh and now is 
when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth ; 
for the Father seeketh such to worship Him," but in such worship the 
Father really serves us, not we Him. There is a transforming influence 
in true worship, but it cannot be that it transforms God. He is all-wise 
and all-good and needs no change of knowledge, of purpose, of character, 
nor of conduct. He knoweth what things we have need of before that 
we ask Him. The transforming influence is alone upon us. I quote 
again from "God in His World": "Wherefore then do we pray? If the 
divine life, waiting only our acceptance, taketh such mastery of us, 
wherefore do we pray? It is that we have hunger and thirst for this 
life — and these are prayer. It is that we do not simply submit our 
wills to His will but co-operate with Him — aspiring for the coming of 
His kingdom. It is our articulate response to the gracious articulation 
for us of the divine Word. It is an outspoken loving recognition of an 



126 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

outspoken love. It is the color and fragrance of the flower, the joy of 
the fruit which answers unto His quickening — the festival song of the 
vintage to the Lord of the Vineyard. We pray as our Lord prayeth and 
as He teacheth us to pray. God giveth and forgiveth without the asking; 
but the children ask. The heavenly Father knoweth whereof they have 
need before they ask Him. But their asking is the crying out of this 
need — especially for His gift of eternal life. They do not make petitions 
as to One who waiteth therefor, and is moved thereby; their asking 
is as spontaneous as His giving. They ask in Christ's name. It is not a 
condition imposed upon them, but their recognition of what unto them is 
a reality — that He is the way to life." 

I have not assumed and neither do I assume that pietism has had no 
use or place in the Providence of God. Says Professor Bascom, "It is hard- 
ly necessary to say that an effort to correct a method does not necessarily 
involve an oversight of the gains that have accompanied it, or of its 
unavoidable character as a transitional phase in development. . . . 
Asceticism has played an important part in the spiritual improvement 
of the world. It offers another illustration of the familiar fact that the 
road to truth is always one of error. . . . Ritualism arises in 
accommodation to a sensuous temper. It gives an artificial approach to 
God, when the soul is failing of ready access to Him. . . . This 
relation of rites to religion implies a disparagement of them and yet 
it involves their immense value in the history of the world." The pietism 
of wrought-up emotionalism is doubtless now, to-day, doing much good 
in the world in arousing certain classes to a sense of their sins and to 
hopes of recovery through Christ. Nevertheless none of these forms 
of pietism are Christian realism and their assumption to its place has 
been and still is of immense loss and injury to mankind. How strongly 
Paul declares himself against this assumption in his letter to the Gala- 
tians. "But now," said he, "after that ye have known God, or rather 
are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements 
whereunto ye desire to be again in bondage? Ye observe days and months 
and years; I am afraid of you lest I have bestowed upon you labor in 
vain." And how earnestly he calls his brethren back from such pietism. 
"Stand fast," said he, "in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us 
free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. ... Be 
not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth that shall 
he also reap. For he that soweth to the flesh (to the sensuous) shall 
of the flesh reap corruption ; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the 
Spirit reap life everlasting." 

2. Christian realism involves the holding of no special system or 
type of theology; but whatever the system or type that may be held it 
vitalizes it with love for mankind. When a theology is thus vitalized 
it easily throws off effete conceptions that cease to minister to this love, 
and easily takes on new conceptions that energizes the soul anew for 
the work of love. On a certain occasion Jesus rejoiced in spirit and said, 
"I thank thee, O! Father, Lord of heaven and earth because Thou hast 
hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them unto 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 127 

babes; even so Father; for it seemed good in Thy sight." The babes 
were receptive to divine love. Whatever theology they may have had it 
was thus vitalized. They probably had no fixed systems; while the 
prudent scribes and Pharisees and the philosophic Saducees had such 
systems all logically grooved and tongued, morticed and tenoned, so 
that every part fitted every other part to a nicety; but unfortunately 
there was little or no vitality of love in them. They failed to throw 
off old conceptions and to take on new ones though pressed to their very 
hearts by incarnate love. It seems to me that a child's theology to be 
thus vital must be such as conforms to a child's development and reason; 
that an uneducated man's theology to be thus vital must conform to an 
uneducated man's development and reason; that a philosopher's theology 
to be vital in him, must conform to his development and his reason; but 
to limit the philosopher's theology to that of the uneducated man or 
to that of the child, or to require the uneducated man, or the child 
to expand his theology to that of the philosopher, is to do violence 
to the hearts and souls of men. It is doubtful if any two persons can 
vitally hold exactly the same theological convictions. Why then should 
Christians of the same neighborhood separate one from another and re- 
fuse to work and worship with one another because of differences in the- 
ology in the face of that prayer of Jesus at the hour of his betrayal, 
that they all might be one as he and the Father were one? and as Saint 
Paul says, "With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, for- 
bearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit 
in the bonds of peace . . . till we all come in the unity of the faith, 
and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the 
measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." 

Some writer has said, "It is a strange anomaly that Christianity 
has brought freedom of thought and inquiry to the State, and still denies 
it to the Church." It seems to me that it is not only proper but com- 
mendable for members of the same church to hold different opinions on 
points of theology, at least until they all do reach the measure of the 
stature of the fullness of Christ, — a time probably far distant. And it 
seems to me that no covenant of faith or creed should be imposed as a 
condition of membership, except the covenant of common love and Chris- 
tian living: for the reason that all such impositions inevitably restrain 
thought and inquiry; and turn the activities of the mind into the more 
or less narrow channels of such covenants. This is not objecting to the 
right use of theology or of creeds ; it is only objecting to their wrong 
use. Says Lyman Abbott, "Those of us who are accounted as object- 
ing to creeds, object to them not because they involve a clear con- 
ception of religion. We are as far as possible from the agnostic 
who says all talk about God is sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. We 
hold that men ought to wrestle with the great problems of life. But they 
ought not to be satisfied to take anything that men thought in the six- 
teenth century or in the fourth century as final and conclusive. They 
are themselves to think. This thinking is vital and essential. Men 



128 THE LIFE OP SOLOMON HOXIE 

are made by their thoughts; the thoughts are the foundations on which 
the whole fabric is built." 

It seems to me a great weakness, in and to our churches, that the 
laity have so generally accepted creeds and systems of theology ready 
made for them. I believe this is why so many Christian men and women 
are today trembling in confusion and sorrow at the presence of theories 
of evolution and of the higher criticism. Having accepted without much 
thought the dogma that every book, chapter, and verse of the Bible are 
the words of God himself, hence infallible; and that Christianity de- 
pends on the maintenance of this view, they tremble for the stability 
of their cherished hopes of heaven. And I think that many of our 
educated young men and women are being pushed, through the influence 
of these dogmas, to the brink cf agnosticism. In view of these facts, I 
think that our leaders should specially study the theories of evolution 
and of the higher criticism without prejudice and conform their teach- 
ings to whatever appears to be the truth, regardless of former creeds. 
Are they not thus called, in this evidently great transitional period, 
that they may save the young and comfort the old? Can it be that true 
Christianity stands any danger from investigations in philosophy, or nat- 
ural science? And is it wisdom to refuse to listen to suggestions of 
changes in our theologies? It was unchanging theology that rejected 
Christ as he came to his own, the long-cherished church of God. 

On the relations of science to Christianity I trust you will pardon me 
as I quote at some length from a writer who is widely recognized both 
as a scientist and a Christian. I refer to Professor LeConte, of the Uni- 
versity of California. "We hear," says he, "much of the traditional con- 
flict between the Church and science. From every branch of such conflict 
science seems to come out victorious, and yet from every apparent defeat 
the Church has come out purer and stronger. The method of science 
is the method of reason and must be applicable to the whole domain of 
thought. It is already being applied and will continue more and more 
to be applied to the traditional beliefs of the Church. The effect will un- 
doubtedly be revolutionary, but also, I am convinced in the highest degree 
beneficent. Like all else human Christian beliefs were at first narrow, 
local, provincial. They have all along been slowly expanding. But the 
final effect must be, what it has ever been, only beneficent. The mission 
of science toward the Church is to elevate the plane of religious thought 
and test the validity of religious beliefs; to purify by driving out the 
false and low, to strengthen by verifying the true and noble. Let 
us consider very briefly an example of these effects. 

"The Conception of God. This, the most fundamental of all religious 
conceptions, has gradually changed from a gross anthropomorphism 
to a true Christian theism, and the change is largely due to science. 
There are three main stages in the evolution of the idea of God. First, 
a low anthropomorphism. He is altogether such a one as ourselves but 
larger and stronger. His action on nature, like our own, is direct. His 
will is wholly man-like — capricious and without law. The second stage 
is still anthropomorphism, but of a nobler sort. He is man-like but also 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 129 

king-like. He is not present in nature, but sits enthroned above nature, 
in solitary majesty. He acts on nature, not directly in person, but 
indirectly by physical forces and natural law. He interferes personally 
and by direct action only occasionally to initiate something new or rectify 
something going wrong. This idea culminated in the eighteenth century, 
and was in full accord with the scientific ideas then prevalent — pre-es- 
tablished eternal stability of cosmic order and fixedness of organic types. 
God was the great artificer, the supreme architect working as it were on 
foreign material and conditioned by its nature. He established all things 
as they were in the beginning, and they have continued substantially the 
same ever since. This conception still lingers in the religious mind, 
and is, perhaps, the prevailing one now. It is a great advance on the pre- 
ceding one, but alas! it removes Him beyond the reach of our love. We 
are His creatures but not His children. The last stage of the evolution 
of the conception of God is true spiritual theism. God is immanent, 
resident in nature. Nature is the house of many mansions in which He 
dwells. The forces of nature are the different forms of His energy, act- 
ing directly at all times and in all places, and determining all its phenom- 
ena. The laws of nature are the modes of operation of the omnipresent 
divine energy, invariable because He is perfect. He is again brought 
very near to us and restored to our love. In Him we live and move and 
have our being. This view has been held by noble men in all ages, espec- 
ially in early Christian ages, but is now at last verified, and well-nigh 
demonstrated by the theory of evolution. No other view is any longer 
tenable. 

"In our view of the nature of God," continues Professor LeConte, "the 
choice is not between personality and something lower than personality, 
namely, a blind, unconscious force operating by necessity, as a panthe- 
ist and materialist would have us believe; but between our personality 
and something immeasurably higher than personality as we know it. 
Our language is so poor that we have to represent even our mental 
phenomena by physical images; how much more then, the divine nature 
by its human image. Self-conscious personality is the highest thing we 
know or can conceive. We offer God the best we have when we call Him 
a person, and we know this falls far short of the infinite reality." 

We have in this extract three forms of conceiving God, — his char- 
acter and method of operation. I believe Christian realism refuses 
not to associate with either of them. This is not saying that I believe 
that they are equally exalted or equally true. Nor is it saying that 
we should be content to hold the first or the second or even the last. I be- 
lieve that Christian realism stimulates us to constantly seek to know 
more and more of and about God and of our relations to Him. 

But What Is Christian Realism? 

If it is neither pietism nor any special system or type of theology, 

what is it? Let us go to the New Testament for its definition. It is 

what Jesus and Paul, and John declare to us in such passages as the 

following: — I am come that they may have life 1 and have it more 



130 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

abundantly." "I am the resurrection and the life, . . . whosoever 
liveth and believeth in me shall never die." "If thy hand or thy foot 
offend thee cut them off and cast them from thee; it is better for thee 
to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands, or two 
feet, to be cast into everlasting fire." "In him was life and the life 
was the light of men." "I am crucified with Christ," said Paul, "never- 
theless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." It is very much more 
than what we ordinarily mean by character. As that old book, Ecce 
Homo puts it, it is "the enthusiasm of humanity," — the enthusiasm 
of unselfish love to our fellow beings, — the life of God. "It is 
Christ within you," said Paul, "the hope of glory." "It is the 
love of God," love such as God has, "shed abroad in the heart" — that love 
which is "the supreme law of existence and the ultimate principle of be- 
ing. 2 It comes not to destroy the law and the prophets of any past age; 
but to fulfill by going beyond. The law and the prophets require justice, 
but Incarnated Love goes beyond. Where justice demands the coat 
love gives the cloak also. The law and the prophets may require a 
certain standard of morality; but the realism of love lifts soul and body 
above lust. The law and the prophets reverence God, they shudder at 
the taking of His sacred name in vain; but Christian realism sees God 
in the heavens above and the earth beneath, in the mind and heart of 
man, and in man's wonderful works under divine leadership, and shud- 
ders to treat with irreverance any manifestation of Jehovah. The law 
and prophets demand tithes of all we possess; but Christian realism 
gives all it has and lowly whispers, 

"I can but give the gifts He gave 
And plead His love for love." 
Let us go beyond even these definitions. Christian realism either is, 
or it results in divine inspiration. "If any man will do His will he shall 
know of the doctrine," said Jesus, "whether it be of God or whether I 
speak of myself." What is divine inspiration if it is not the normal fac- 
ulties of the soul under the control and determination of the divine life 
— under the control of that love "which is the supreme law of existence 
and the ultimate principle of being?" I believe, every true Christian is 
possessed of inspiration, the same in kind, 3 as the inspiration of Moses, 



i A thoroughgoing Christian in a man with a stronger reason, kinder heart, 
firmer will, and richer imagination than his fellows — one who has attained to his 
height in Christ. A bigot, or a prig, or a weakling is a half-developed Christian, 
one not yet arrived at full age. What ought a Christian to read? Every book 
which feeds the intellect. Where ought he to go? Every place where the 
moral atmosphere is pure and bracing. What ought he to do? Everything that 
will make nobility of character. Religion is not negative, a giving up this or 
that but positive, a getting and a possessing. If a man will be content with 
nothing but the best thought, best work, best friends, best environment, he need 
not trouble about avoiding the worst. The good drives out the bad Christianity 
is not a drill; it is life, full, radiant and rejoicing. — Ian Maclaren. 

2 The central point of the Calvanistic theology is the sovereignty of God. In 
place of this Jonathan Edwards (America's greatest theologian) put the love 
of God. Both in his earliest and his latest writings appears the idea that the 
supreme law of existence and ultimate principle of being is love. — James W. 
Whiton in The Outlook. 

3 Manifestly, far from the same in degree — H. 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 131 

of Isaiah and Paul; that it is a divine insight that conies by giving the 
reason, the conscience and the attention up to the control and determina- 
tion of the divine life. It seems to me that the New Testament is full 
of teachings that warrant these conclusions. "If ye love me," said 
Jesus, "keep my commandments ; and I will pray the Father, and He shall 
give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even 
the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot conceive, because it seeth 
Him not, neither knoweth Him ; but ye know Him ; for He dwelleth with 
you, and shall be in you." "But the Comforter, which is the Holy 
Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all 
things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have 
said unto you." "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God," 
said Paul, "But ye," — the ordinary Christians in the Church of Rome — 
"are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God 
dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of 
His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the 
Spirit is life because of righteousness." Said the author of the First 
Epistle of John, "But ye," — ordinary Christians of his day — "have an 
unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things." And again, "But 
the annointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need 
not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of 
all things and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye 
shall abide in Him." I do not infer from such language that divine in- 
spiration is infallible or mystical, or that it was ever super-imposed 
from without on any being. God is unchangeable, and His laws are un- 
changeable, because they are perfect. It seems to me, God immanent 
in the human soul, and God immanent in all nature, and the fullness of 
God in Christ, recognized by the ordinary faculties of the human soul, 
received to govern and determine all the conscious activities of our being 
is a sufficient source and explanation of divine inspiration. I believe 
the most potent means to this inspiration, at least since the days of the 
apostles, are the records of the life of Christ and of his teachings, 
stripped of all additions, and of all traditions and of all scholasticism, 
Thus I magnify the value of the Bible far above the teachings of mystics 
or the teachings of Papal or Protestant Churches as our greatest means 
of divine inspiration, and therefore I welcome the Higher Criticism and 
rejoice in that undefined movement called the New Theology. But I am 
far from believing that any or all instrumentalities will be the means of 
building up an unchanging system of theology or of establishing unchang- 
ing forms of worship. Life, at least in this world, will always overgrow 
and bring to ruin again, theologies and methods of worship, just as liv- 
ing vines overgrow and bring to ruin trellises on which for a season they 
may be supported. But Christian realism will always remain the same. 

I sincerely believe that Christian realism has its disciples in all 
churches and outside of all churches; that it is manifest in the origin 
and work of all our beneficent institutions, and in all movements toward 
the recognition of the common brotherhood of man, though not always 



132 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

recognizing the common Fatherhood of God. It is laying strong hands 
on the art and literature and science of our day. It is struggling in 
politics, business and industry, — though it does not seem to be gaining 
much control in these departments of life. It has unlimited faith and is 
pressing on to bring all things into the heavenly kingdom. It is asking 
and receiving, seeking and finding, and knocking and being opened unto 
in all the vocations of life, — slowly indeed to our impatient vision, but 
perhaps as rapidly as possible in this world of ours — still in the process 
of creation by divine Wisdom and divine Love. 



PART III. 
CLOSING YEARS 



CHAPTER I 

THE FORMATION OF NATIVE AMERICAN 

BREEDS OF CATTLE 

The year 1905 not only saw the close of Mr. Hoxie's busi- 
ness career as Superintendent of Advanced Registry, but it 
also saw the termination of his connection with the little vil- 
lage which had been his abiding place for twenty-nine years. 
For he now, at the age of seventy-six years, gave up his home 
in Yorkville and removed to Ithaca, New York, to be with his 
younger son, Robert, who was a teacher in Cornell Univer- 
sity. 

Here he not only found congenial diversion and com- 
panionship in the atmosphere of Cornell University but he 
experienced great refreshment and delight in the natural 
beauty of his new surroundings. His health began to im- 
prove, and, almost at once, he found new interests and new 
fields of activity. 

In the very beginning of his career as a cattle breeder and 
importer he had manifested a lively interest in cross-breeding 
and in the formation of new breeds of cattle. As early as 
1879 he began to study, write and speak on this subject and, 
had it not been for his devotion to the advancement of pure 
bred Dutch cattle in this country, he would early have become 
an enthusiast on the formation of native American breeds. 

At the seventeenth annual convention of the American 
Dairymen's Association, in 1882, he delivered an address on 
this subject. He also spoke on several occasions before the 
Central New York Farmers' Club upon this topic. Through- 
out the twenty-five years of his connection with the Dutch- 
Friesian and the Holstein-Friesian Associations, he had pon- 
dered the subject and now, that he had leisure and was no 
longer bound to give his energies wholly to the advancement 
of the "black and whites," his attention began to center upon 
this theme of his early interests. In his endeavor to awaken 



136 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

enthusiasm for this work he wrote as follows to the New York 
Central Farmers' Club: 

"At one of your meetings in the winter of 1903 you will recall 
that great interest was manifested by the members present in the pos- 
sibilities of scientific breeding on the basis of native and grade stock 
and that resolutions were adopted, urging the formation of an American 
breed of dairy cattle. The present time is, I believe, a propitious one 
for action in the spirit of those resolutions. I therefore write this 
letter. I do not regard the project to form such a breed of dairy cattle 
a costly or hazardous one. With me it has long been a matter of ear- 
nest concern. Nearly a quarter of a century ago, in an attempt to 
arouse our dairymen to practical interest in it, I set forth the general 
reasons for such an undertaking and the strong probabilities, based on 
experience, of its success. The probabilities of success are now much 
greater than at that time, and the reasons then advanced are still more 
cogent. Allow me to set forth these probabilities and reasons very 
briefly, substantially as they were then presented: 

"It is a fact little known that many of our most prominent breeds 
of cattle are of comparatively recent origin and are simply the results 
of careful selection and breeding on a small scale. The improved 
Shorthorn breed, for example, originated with the Colling Brothers, 
who were tenant farmers in England. They commenced work for this 
purpose about the year 1780. They made the bull, Hubback, the initial 
point. His dam was a street cow, and Robert Colling purchased him 
for forty-two dollars. This breeder qlosed his work in 1810, twenty- 
seven years from the purchase of Hubback. He then sold his herd, I 
think, at auction. It consisted of forty-eight animals and sold for 
$35,580, an average of $741 per head. The bull, Comet, sold for one 
thousand guineas, about five thousand dollars. This illustrates the 
rapidity with which a breed may be formed. From the bull, Hubback, 
purchased in 1783 for forty-two dollars, to the bull, Comet, sold in 1810 
for five thousand dollars, was a mighty stride in twenty-seven years. 
The course pursued by the Colling Brothers appears to have been simple. 
They are reported to have been excellent judges of cattle and as having pur- 
chased the best cows that they could obtain that approached the type 
at which they aimed; as never parting with their best cattle as long 
as they continued breeding; and as constantly weeding out their least 
valuable animals, but as never giving any man a pedigree of any ani- 
mal in their herd as long as they remained in the business. It is 
assumed that they inbred to some extent. 

"The origin of the Hereford breed is largely, if not mainly, cred- 
ited to Benjamin Tompkins of Hereford County, England. He com- 
menced with two cows that possessed a remarkable tendency to take 
on flesh. From time to time he sold to other breeders, and, at his 
death his whole herd, consisting of fifty-two animals, including twenty- 
two steers, was sold at auction for $22,670, an average per head of 
$436. One bull sold for about $3,000, and several cows were sold for 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 137 

upwards of a thousand dollars each. Considering the number of cas- 
trated animals that necessarily brought only their value for beef, this 
sale was quite as remarkable as that of Robert Colling and illustrated 
again the rapidity with which a breed or herd and its reputation may 
be built up. In the formation of this breed, there appears to have 
been little attention given to color. In 1845, when a general herd 
book of this breed was established in England, it was regarded as ex- 
pedient to group the animals admitted to it into four classes: Mottled- 
Faced, Light Grey, Dark Grey and Red White-Faced. 

"The oldest family of the Ayrshire breed was produced by Theop- 
hilus Parton of Swinly farm, near Darley, Scotland, who took great 
pains to select a herd of superior cattle from the common cattle of his 
district. This foundation stock was of composite origin. Dutch, Al- 
derney and Teeswater blood had been imported and bred indiscrimi- 
nately, somewhat in our American style, with the original native cattle. 
This native breed is described by one who personally investigated the 
subject in Scotland as being 'of small size, ill-shapen, high-boned, 
coarse haired and of poor milking qualities.' The indiscriminate mix- 
ing had produced a class of cattle of 'larger size than the native breed 
and of better milking qualities, but possessing little uniformity.' If 
this description is correct, and I have no doubt about it, what advant- 
age had the district of Ayr, at that time, over any dairy district of 
New York or New England, at the present time, to produce a valuable 
breed of cattle? 

"With regard to other improved dairy breeds, for example, the 
Guernseys, Jerseys, Holstein-Friesian, Red Polled and Dutch Belted 
cattle, substantially the same may be said. They are all the product, 
within comparatively recent time, of careful selection from unim- 
proved stock of the sections in which they originated. 

"I have endeavored thus briefly to state the leading facts in the 
formation of breeds of cattle with which our farmers are more or less 
acquainted. They are all of foreign origin. Their introduction into 
this country has no doubt been of incalculable value. Other foreign 
breeds should be searched out and brought to this country, not, how- 
ever, with view of having Americans contented with foreign breeds. 
Our climates, our soils, and our ways of handling cattle are peculiar. 
The proposition that America needs American breeds of cattle, more 
perfectly adapted to our wants than foreign breeds, requires no argu- 
ment in proof. The impression that it requires ages to form a breed 
of cattle has hitherto operated to prevent any large effort towards the 
production of such breeds. Here and there an incipient germ of a 
breed has sometimes appeared but, not being carefully fostered, or 
from not being skilfully handled, in a short time it has generally dis- 
appeared in the common class we call native cattle. 

"A number of years ago there appeared in Massachusetts two of 
these breeds, or one breed with two names. They were called James- 
town and Creampot breeds. I remember reading short sketches of them 
in the United States reports of the Commission of Agriculture. If 



138 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

these sketches were accurate, they were undoubtedly beginnings of 
what might have been made very valuable American breeds. There ex- 
isted in Madison County, New York, in the section around East Hamil- 
ton when I was a young lad a valuable family of cattle called the 
Ackley breed. If my recollection of them is correct they very closely 
resembled the Sussex breed that, not many years ago was brought out 
in England, but I should judge superior to the latter breed in sym- 
metry of form. Had they been carefully preserved, I have little doubt 
they would have taken rank with Herefords and Shorthorns for beef, 
and, on account of their hardiness, withstood the climate of the North- 
west equal to the Galloways and West Highlanders. 

"From this very imperfect summary, we may draw some practical 
conclusions that may be applied to the formation of an American breed 
under your auspices, or, at least, give encouragement in this direction. 
The work of forming breeds is not one that requires ages upon ages. 
This idea has been fostered by various publications of parties inter- 
ested in different foreign breeds, each of course, anxious to trace his 
particular breed in all its present qualities to the original one that 
came out of Noah's Ark. Breeds may be formed from composite ma- 
terials. The universal contempt with which our agricultural societies 
and our agricultural journals treat our native, grade and cross-bred 
animals is not deserved. Similar classes of cattle are not so treated 
in Europe. Classes are there made for them and premiums offered, 
not only by local organizations, but by Royal Societies and Interna- 
tional Exhibitions. From composite materials nearly all European 
breeds of horses, cattle, sheep and swine have originated. 

"It may be asserted that we have breeds enough. With equal rea- 
son we might assert that America needs no more varieties of fruits, 
flowers, vegetables and grains, and it is sheer absurdity to attempt the 
formation of new and superior varieties. In the face of this we find 
men engaged in producing new varieties as a profession and they are 
meeting with marvelous success along this line. Reports of the suc- 
cess of the so-called wizzard, Burbank, and his work are typical of 
what is being done in a quiet way all over our country. Similar laws 
of reproduction and improvement prevail in the animal kingdom to 
those that prevail in the vegetable kingdom; and why may we not look 
for similar results? 

"We need American breeds of cattle. Our foreign breeds are not 
so perfectly adapted to our soils and climates that we do not need 
better ones and a greater number of them. Northern New England 
needs a breed of cattle as hardy as the West Highlanders of Scotland, 
of the size of Devons, yielding a generous supply of milk of the rich- 
ness of the Jerseys. Western New York, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois 
need a dairy breed of the size, constitution and flow of milk of the 
Holstein-Friesians with the quality of the Jerseys. Central New York 
and every locality supplying milk to our cities need a dairy breed giv- 
ing large quantities of milk of the texture of Holstein-Friesian milk, 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 139 

in other words, of small fat globules, and in quality closely surrounding 
four percentage of fat. 

"I have little doubt that you have cattle now in your hands in 
Central New York that may be made the foundation of a breed like the 
last described. It will cost breeders very little to experiment in this 
direction. The attempt to form such a breed would not interfere with the 
interests of valuable foreign breeds. There is such a thing as generous 
competition good for all parties engaged in it. It is opposed to that 
contemptible spirit that would crush out all attempts toward improve- 
ment. 

"There need be no fear of overdoing in such attempts. England 
with a territory not much larger than the State of New York, has more 
than a half-score of native breeds with herd books and other organ- 
ized means of improving and disseminating them; and every few years 
a new one appears and is brought to the front by its progressive 
breeder. They find room enough for all and in most cases a very 
profitable foreign demand for them. 

"The United States Department of Agriculture is an advocate of 
the formation of American breeds of domestic animals. The fifty- 
eighth Congress, at its second session, passed an act appropriating to 
that department $25,000 for investigations in animal feeding and breed- 
ing, in co-operation with state agricultural experiment stations. In 
planning work under this act, Secretary Wilson selected Iowa Station 
to undertake the formation of an American breed of sheep, the Station 
in Maine to undertake the formation of a superior breed of hens, and 
the Colorado Station to develop an American breed of carriage horses. 
His attitude on this subject is shown by the paper read by George M. 
Rommel, who was selected by him to represent the United States De- 
partment of Agriculture at a meeting of herd book secretaries held at 
St. Louis, August 12, 1903. I quote extracts from that paper: 

" 'With a fertile soil and an invigorating climate, rich pastures and 
abundant grain, we have here in the United States the conditions that 
have made North America the greatest grazing and feeding ground in 
the world. Yet we must confess with shame that we have no animal 
types that are distinctly American, except the trotting horse and the 
saddle horse, the lard hog, a family of Shorthorn cattle that is gradu- 
ally being lost, and various breeds of poultry. We underestimate the 
possibilities of our native animals when handled with system and 
perseverance. The word 'imported' still attracts us with an irresistable 
charm. For a hundred years we have been looking across the ocean 
for our breeding animals, while, if we but know it, all around us, like 
the fresh water in the story of the sailors in the mouth of the Ama- 
zon River, we have what we really need. We have imported thousands 
of animals to establish the improved breeds on our soil. Are we not 
rapidly approaching the time when we will mold and shape what we 
already have into products distinctly American? The Department of 
Agriculture stands ready to render all the assistance in its power to 



140 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

the breeders of the United States in their work of perfecting American 
breeding stock for American stockmen.' 

"The favorable attitude of the general government and the possi- 
bility of support from it in an attempt to establish an American 
breed of dairy cattle is not of itself the main reason which makes the 
present a propitious time for you to go ahead with this movement. 
There is a still more potent reason. At the present time you can 
secure the earnest co-operation of Cornell Agricultural Experiment 
Station and the wise leadership of Cornell's dairy professor, Mr. H. H. 
Wing. Such leadership will insure permanence to your work. As for 
me, I am still anxious to work for the advancement of the interest of 
American dairymen, and you may depend on me to help this matter 
forward to the best of my ability. 

"I should advise you to place at the disposal of Professor Wing, 
for scientific breeding, at least one hundred cows. The machinery for 
the selection of these cows has already been created in connection with 
a dairy survey of Central New York, which will be undertaken by me, 
the coming season, under the direction of Cornell Station. These 
cattle can be kept at home and the expense and labor of breeding them 
to selected bulls will be small. Perhaps Congress, during the com- 
ing season, may be called upon for funds to continue the work in Iowa, 
Maine and Colorado. If your Representative in Congress is informed 
of this work that you propose to undertake, it seems quite probable 
that support might be secured by him for this effort. Let us join 
hands at this propitious time for furthering a noble and far-reaching 
end." 

In October, 1905, Mr. Hoxie writes to a friend and for- 
mer associate: 

"I inclose copies of blank forms of an original movement — a dairy 
survey with a possible design of forming a new breed, producing milk 
ranging in quality between the Holstein-Friesian and the Channel 
Island breeds. I have felt for a long time that there was a place for 
such a breed. It is proposed that the work of forming such a breed 
be taken up by Cornell University Experiment Station, in connection 
with the New York Central Farmers' Club. Nearly two years ago 
this club passed resolutions to undertake such a project. I was urged 
by the members to take hold of the movement, but of course refused 
in view of the fact that my services were required for more firmly 
establishing the principle of Advanced Registration. 

"It would surprise you to know how greatly my health is im- 
proved. I feel the return of the vigor of ten or fifteen years ago. I 
am working from five to eight hours a day. After quite a good deal of 
urging by Mr. B., editor of the Holstein-Friesian World, I have con- 
sented to write a series of articles for him. The subject chosen is 
'Breeding, Selection and Management of Dairy Cattle.' 

"Thus you will see that I am not going to rot with old age or rust 
out. You can have little idea of my ambition to work for the good of 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 141 

my fellowmen — more especially for my fellows, the ordinary class of 
farmers and dairyman to whom my labors for many years have been 
consecrated." 

In a letter to his elder son, written the following spring, 
Mr. Hoxie says: 

"R. has recently received a work on sociology for review. I have 
read it and, at his suggestion, very briefly reviewed it for the Holstein- 
Friesian World, for which I have been writing since last fall. 

"I anticipate that I may be employed a part of the time next sum- 
mer in making a dairy survey of Central New York for the Agricul- 
tural College here. The hope of doing so has been better than any 
'doctor's stuff' for my health." 

The dairy survey, referred to in these letters was, how- 
ever, never undertaken by Mr. Hoxie, and his anticipations, 
regarding his own hoped-for part in serving the dairymen 
of the country in this connection were finally abandoned, 
although he continued for some time thereafter to publish 
articles on the formation of American breeds of cattle. 

In the fall of 1906, Mr. Hoxie's activities were diverted 
into new channels. His son was called to a position in the 
University of Chicago and thither his father accompanied 
him. At first Mr. Hoxie's health suffered by this change, 
and temporarily he lost interest in some things which pre- 
viously had engrossed his attention. 

After this change of residence he writes back to a friend 
in Ithaca: 

"The exceeding hot weather and the change of diet (we are in a 
boarding house) have nearly 'floored' me. We are waiting for the 
finishing of a house, which R. has rented, but we hope to get settled 
by the middle of next week. ... I hope to recover soon, at least 
a part of the energy I have lost. 

"Your poem was read to me by my son last Sunday. I think the 
time will come when you will take a more hopeful view of the future. 
As I have said to you, life is a farce to most of us if the future offers 
us no hope. Sometime when I feel better I will write more on this 
subject and return your poem." 

Again he writes to the same friend: 

"I am happy at the thought of a garden next summer. You will 
probably be surprised that I have spaded up nearly or quite an eighth 
of an acre of the toughest kind of sod for such a garden. Besides I 
have trenched the house-yard, or rather a large portion of it, to nearly 
two feet in depth. My mind is constantly dwelling on what I shall 
plant, how I shall arrange the rows and how cultivate them; and above 



142 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

all upon the crops that I expect. What do I care for money, except 
for the purchase of seed for my expected garden? What do I care for 
the world's approval, other than for my garden that I expect to have 
next summer? . . . If it were in my power to do good literary 
work for advancing the interests of my fellowmen, especially the com- 
mon people, the class . . . that I love; if it was in my power to 
thus advance Christian Socialism, I think I would forget my garden 
or if I could thus advance the new ideas that are constantly living in 
me or with me (in my brain or outside of it) in relation to new Amer- 
ican breeds of cattle, I think I would forget my garden. . . ." 




SOLOMON HOXIE AT 82 AND HIS GRANDSON 



CHAPTER II 
IDEAS AND ACTIVITIES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

With the energetic outdoor work of his garden, Mr. 
Hoxie's health began gradually to improve and with its im- 
provement came back all his old-time vigor and all his inter- 
est in life and in his fellows was renewed and intensified. 
Scarcely had he become accustomed to his new surroundings, 
however, when the most grievous blow fate had thus far dealt 
out to him fell with crushing weight upon his heart and spirit. 
His eldest son, one in whose happiness and success his whole 
life was bound up, was suddenly stricken, in full vigor and 
at the beginning of his best success, with a fatal malady and 
survived but a few days. 

Shortly before his death, Mr. Hoxie had said to him in a 
letter : 

"There is one thing more that I want to write about but I do not 
want to 'preach.' I have great assurance of a life beyond the grave. 
My conception of it is exceedingly interesting and pleasant to me. I 
want my children to acquire similar conceptions. While, as a matter 
of animal instinct, we cling to this life just as we ought to, I want 
them to feel with me that the present is only a short probation period 
and that, when disease or old age come and our work is completed 
here, we shall enter on a higher stage of life there. I want them to 
cultivate this feeling. The separation from one another will be only 
for a short time. In the meanwhile, let those that remain be cheerful 
and even joyful, not gloomy or faint-hearted." 

Little did he dream, at the time of this writing, that this 
dearly beloved one would precede him into the life of his "in- 
teresting and pleasant conception." But now he endeavored 
with all his might to maintain that cheerful attitude which 
he so firmly believed it is our duty and our privilege to main- 
tain in the face of such separation. All his letters of this 
period show how, in spite of his own loss, he put the thought 
of self aside in his endeavor to comfort and assuage the 
anguish of the remaining members of his heartbroken family. 
To his daughter he writes on the day following her brother's 
death : 



144 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

"Since receiving your telegram announcing that D. was at rest, 
many thoughts in regard to him and our relations to him have been 
on my mind. It may be a comfort to you for me to write a few of 
them. I sincerely believe in a life higher and better than this beyond 
the scenes of this world. If it is not so, what a farce is our exist- 
ence! . . . The majority of our higher critics hold that the book 
of Corinthians (the first Epistle of Paul) was written only a very few 
years after the Crucifiction of Jesus. Really sufficient time had not 
elapsed to warrant the creation of a myth in regard to His resurrec- 
tion. Paul wrote positively that He, Jesus, had appeared to many, in- 
cluding himself. I cannot think he was deceived or that he deceived 
others. One who suffered so much and labored so hard, without expec- 
tation of reward, to maintain that Jesus was raised from the dead must 
have been convinced beyond all possibility of doubt. His testimony 
alone would seem to establish the claim. In thus writing I am making 
no claim that he (Paul) was divinely inspired. 

"It seems to me that nature is full of hints — I think I may say 
positive teachings — in regard to our resurrection. They are innumer- 
able in every department. What is the butterfly but a resurrected 
caterpillar? 

"I think the apostle, Paul, taught that the resurrection of Jesus 
was a spiritual resurrection, not such as the church creed generally 
claims. . . . 

"D. is not dead but more alive than ever before. He is not away 
in some 'unearthly continent.' He is near us and does not wish us to 
mourn his translation. He has not lost anything — nothing of his noble, 
generous character, the education he acquired nor the love which filled 
his heart for us. 

"Soon after he was taken sick, it seemed to me that he would not 
recover, and I said at our table one morning, 'D. believes in a future 
life,' and then I quoted from Browning's Epilogue to Asolando, lan- 
guage that seemed to apply to him. 

What had I on earth to do 

With the slothful, with the mawkish, the unmanly, 

Like the aimless, helpless, hopeless, did I drivel 

Being who?' 

'One who never turned his back but marched breast forward, 

Never doubted clouds would break, 

Never dreamed, tho' right were worsted, wrong would triumph, 

Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, 

Sleep to wake.' 

"Are we not proud that he was such a brave, true man? Shall we 
refuse to look on the bright side of his death? The side that recog- 
nizes that he is more alive than ever before, that he still loves us and 
that he would gladly have us look forward with hope, if not with posi- 
tive joy, to the change that must come, not long hence to each one 
of us. 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 145 

"Let us comfort one another with the bright things in his life 
here, and in the bright hopes that we can certainly cherish of the life 
he now lives, invisible to our fleshly eyes." 

Again, the next day, he writes: 

"I have been lying down . . . and of course my children, espe- 
cially one of them, D., has been uppermost in my mind. At first, in a 
suffering way — in pain at what seemed a great loss to me. Then came 
to me, after a while, this thought — perhaps I may say message: 'He 
wants my love, as much as ever — perhaps needs it.' It impressed me 
strongly. . . . You can have but little idea of the effect that this 
'thought or message' had upon my heart. 'He wants my love as much 
as ever.' I really felt a great renewal of nearness to him. I was as 
conscious of his living in strong reality as when he was teaching in 
New York. It was a great uplift to me. I think I may truthfully say 
I rejoiced at his entrance on another field of existence. My conscious- 
ness of him ceased to be shadowy. It was as real and concrete as it 
has been at any time since he began his career in New York. As I 
have said, 'it is a great uplift to me.' 'He wants my love as much as 
ever,' and how happy I am and shall continue to be in giving him all 
the fullness of love of which I am capable. . . . 

"I believe D. is in as real a world as this one we are in which he 
has just left. His environment is higher and better than it was here. 
He has entered there to 'strive and thrive' as Browning says. We 
must bid him 'speed' in his work there whatever it may be. I sin- 
cerely believe that his work there will be more important than ever 
his work was here. He needs your love and my love to encourage him. 
You will give it to him fully and thus you will come into a conscious- 
ness of him as really as when he was with you. And you will rejoice 
and be happy in this experience. 

"Loving is the greatest thing that we can do for one another. It 
is the highest possible aid in helping to the attainment of supreme 
success — success in character building. . . . 

"I cannot bear to contemplate the dark side of any event that 
occurs to us or to anybody, anyhow or anywhere. And it is a sad 
thing to me that I cannot make others see the bright things that I 
see. D. is not away from us in the sense of distance in space. He is 
probably near to us now. The new environment into which he has 
entered is a spiritual one. Although he has a spiritual body, prob- 
ably formed to some extent here before he went away, without doubt 
that body moves with great rapidity. His elevation to the higher life 
affords opportunities for knowing our hopes and feelings so far as we 
are willing for him to know them. Our personality is undoubtedly 
protected against the knowledge of any other but our 'Father in 
Heaven,' in all environments of all worlds, so far as we wish to have 
it protected. Therefore I say he knows more about us now than ever 
before, so far as we are willing and glad for him to know. He cannot 
desire to have us mourn for him — to thus suffer pain. If there were 



146 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

no other reason for us to stop mourning this would be enough. He 
desires to have us recognize the higher conditions on which he has 
now entered — to rejoice with him at the greater opportunities for de- 
velopment and happiness that he now has. 

"I believe in a communion of all the good in all worlds and in a 
common employment. Perhaps this communion is rarely recognized 
by us on earth, but is more fully and frequently recognized by those 
in the spiritual body. You may ask what is this employment? As I 
conceive it, it is the advancement of life — that of ourselves and others 
in intelligence, love and happiness. I believe this was the chief aim 
of D., at heart, while in this earthly life. He loved his fellow crea- 
tures. . . . His love was unselfish. . . . He wanted everybody 
to have the opportunity of rising. ... He took his stand for 
humanity and never 'turned his back' from trying to advance its inter- 
ests. We ought to be proud that he thus bravely stood at his post. He 
strove for the common good of all who live in all worlds. . . . He 
has gone on in a higher school to be further educated and disciplined, 
to rise higher and higher in character and, I believe, in usefulness. 
. . . Really 'Death is the way to Life.' The death of D. is the way 
of his exaltation to the higher spiritual life and it is also the way of 
discovery of the noblest qualities of his life here. My dear child, you 
have not lost him. If you will only look on the bright side of the event 
you will realize that he has been exalted in your own heart. You can 
realize this by hope. 'We are saved by hope.' 

"Do not presume to pity him. He does not want you to. He 
wants you to turn your back to everything that he may have suffered, 
every error that he may have made, and to think of his perfection 
through error and suffering, and then look ahead to the eternal life 
beyond where we may enjoy his companionship forever." 

On the event of a family anniversary, soon after this, Mr. 
Hoxie again writes to his daughter: 

"To-day is mother's birthday. R. presented her with a dwarf 
rambler rose bush having seventy-one buds and flowers more than half 
in full bloom. L. gave her a large box of letter paper and envelopes. 
B. gave her a jacket, knitted of woolen yarn, almost as white and 
fluffy as new fallen snow. I gave her a good kiss accompanied with 
a two-pound box of candy. . . . Your present came earlier. She 
prizes it more than all the others — the picture of D., and this brings 
me to the thought that he may have been present with us as she re- 
ceived these gifts and was thereby made happy. If so, he rejoiced 
with us. Is it not better to believe so? Whether actually present or 
not, he was and is of that great invisible association, reinforced by 
all the loving ones on earth or in heaven, the secret of whose life is 
their childlike faith in the Real Presence — the Divine Presence here 
and now shaping our ends 'rough hew them as we may.' 

"... I sometimes think I must stop preaching from the same 
old text, 'Look on the bright side.' But it is a great transformer of 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 147 

life. It results, if thoroughly applied, in joy and health. It brightens 
the gloomiest experiences and makes them pass away like the passing 
of darkness before the rising sun." 

The following fragment is from a letter to his daughter, 
written a few months later : 

"You ought to see the flowers, such an abundance of them. The 
show of asters is wonderful and the morning glory vines are full of 
blossoms, some a deep golden, some orange and others a pale yellow. 
I came across some verses this morning that suited me 'to a T.' Here 
they are: 

'0 Earth! Thou hast not any wind that blows 
That is not music. Every weed of thine, 
Pressed rightly, flows in aromatic wine; 
And every little hedgerow flower that grows 
And every little brown bird that doth sing 

Has something greater than itself and bears 
A living word to every living thing, 

Albeit it holds the message unawares.' 
"What a blessing it is to be in harmony with the message of the 
birds and flowers! . . . D. loved them all. I think he still loves 
them and, with a higher perception than we have, still sees the beauti- 
ful flowers in our world, and listens to the songs of innumerable birds 
that inhabit our lands." 

In July, 1909, Mr. Hoxie passed his eightieth milestone. 
His general health continued to improve and the failure of 
his memory for words, which had been slightly noticeable, 
was now practically overcome. Most of his time was passed 
in working his large garden, a plot of waste land which he 
had cleared and fertilized, in reading his favorite books, in 
performing small tasks about the house and grounds and in 
corresponding with friends and relatives. 

To cousins, bereft of an aged mother, he writes: 

"When I was told that Aunt S. had 'fallen asleep,' the thought 
came rushing to my mind — 'sorry for her children but glad for her.' 
. . . I know something of the great pain that must follow this event 
— for you, for weeks, months and perhaps years. I feel the loss of 
my father and mother even now as I near the completion of my eight- 
ieth year. . . . 

"I have studied the relations we sustain to loved ones 'gone be- 
fore' to some extent and have come to the conclusion that we may con- 
tinue to commune with them through our prayers. Do not understand 
me that we are to pray to them, but that it is well-pleasing to 'Our 
Father who art in Heaven' for us to pray to Him for them. I have 
not ceased to thus pray to Him for my parents and D. I think thus we 



148 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

may have three parties in Divine Communion. In such communion I 
am sometimes humbled in thinking that I often failed in just apprecia- 
tion of them. At the same time I feel, as it were, their presence with 
me in a more deeply loving relation than when they were on earth with 
me. I am reminded often of the little things that I did at their re- 
quests as if they were replying to me. 

"I am not thus writing to lead you into like experiences — only this, 
I would have you feel that you are not shut off by death from com- 
muning with your dear father and mother, though always in the 
presence of our 'Father who art in Heaven.' 

"Of course you must know that I believe with the poet, Browning, 
that when we leave the shores of time it is not to be idle through all 
eternity, but that there is work for us beyond the grave. . . . The 
following, from Browning's writings, I think is published in every 
edition of his poems as the last one. It thus appears as a farewell to 
his friends left behind him. 

'At the midnight in the silence of the sleep-time 

When you set your fancies free, 
Will they pass to where — by death, fools think imprisoned — 

Low he lies who once so loved you, whom you loved so. 
—Pity me?' 

'Oh to love so, to be so loved, yet so mistaken! 

What on earth had I to do 
With the slothful, with the mawkish, the unmanly? 
Like the aimless, helpless, hopeless, did I drivel, 
—Being— Who?' 

'One who never turned his back but marched breast forward, 

Never doubted clouds would break, 
Never dreamed tho' right were worsted, wrong would triumph, 
Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, 
Sleep to wake.' 

'No, at noonday in the bustle of man's work-time, 

Greet the unseen with a cheer! 
Bid him forward, breast and back as either should be, 
'Strive and thrive!' cry 'Speed, — fight on, fare ever, 
There as here!' 

"How different are such views than St. Paul's that we are 'work- 
ers together with God' — not only in this life, but in that beyond the 
grave! Such a view removes, at least in my heart, the terror of death. 
I never wanted to be an idler, even in heaven, and I think your mother 
never wanted to be. Think of her, dear cousins, as more loving and 
more active, more beautiful and joyful than ever before. Also think 
of her as not far away from you." 

In responding to the letter of an Eastern friend he says: 
". . . True! 'About the only thing worthy of consideration is 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 149 

the approval of one's conscience.' . . . No medicine is better than 
good heavy doses of conscience. But I have to take such medicine in 
an overflowing bowl of optimism. Yes! You may call me a boy at 
eighty — a cranky one, too. But I hesitate to recommend crankiness to 
you. . . . 

"I have to go to the poets, such as Browning, Whittier, Lowell and 
Tennyson. Let me quote a few lines from the last named, the little 
poem entitled, 'The Higher Pantheism.' 
'The sun, the moon, the stars, the seas, the hills and the plains, — 
Are not these, O Soul, the Vision of Him who reigns? 

'Is not the Vision He, tho' He be not that which He seems? 
Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams? 

'Earth, these solid stars, this weight of body and limb, 
Are they not sign and symbol of thy division from Him? 

'Dark is the world to thee; thyself art the reason why, 
For is he not all but thou, that has power to feel 'I am I'? 

'Glory about thee, without thee; and thou fulfillest thy doom, 
Making Him broken gleams and a stifled splendor and gloom.' 

"I will not quote the next, the last verse. If you do not recall it 
and really want to know what it is, I will trust you to look it up. It 
is the medicine for my weakness and disease. I think the poets, many 
of them at least, are the prophets of the ages. They are possessed of 
what is sometimes called the divine afflatus. All men in their child- 
hood and youth are more or less gifted with it as Wordsworth seems to 
have held. 

"... A number of years ago I read the life of Huxley. As it 
was depicted by the author it seemed to be nearer the standard that 
Jesus of Nazareth set forth than I have succeeded in living. . . . 
Huxley stood for what he believed to be true. The truth, as one sees 
it, is one of the fundamental principles of Christianity. No man can 
maintain prejudice against truth and be a Christian in a full sense. I 
am now reading about the myths in the Bible. It may seem very 
strange to you, that, believing as I do that the Bible contains many 
myths and incorrect statements, I yet believe it the source of the high- 
est aspirations that I have or know. It is because of these aspirations 
that I know and confess my frailty. As I wrote in a former letter to 
you, if there is no further life beyond the grave, the universe is irra- 
tional." 

He writes to his son in October, 1910 : 

"Sunday, I took my October number of the 'Gospel of the Kingdom' 

and went to the Presbyterian church. Mr. came and told me 

that there would be no teacher for our class before the next Sunday. 
'Well, then,' I replied, 'I will go over to the Universalist church and see 
if they will not take up the study there.' You can hardly imagine my 



150 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

surprise to find the Universalists singing the old evangelistic songs — a 
dozen or more of them, such as 'Tell Me the Old, Old Story.' Another 
surprise followed. The minister seemed to preach a sermon taken 
bodily from 'God in His World.' What could it mean? Later I was 
introduced to him, a Mr. Alden, and then I learned that he was a 
nephew of Henry M. Alden, the author of the book I so admire. We 
walked together to Sixty-third street and he told me about his uncle. 
I learned that he, himself, was a great admirer of this uncle. . . . 
and that he was also something of a Socialist. Of course I was strongly 
drawn to him and I let him have my October number of 'The Gospel 
of the Kingdom' to examine. ... I have been reading 'Man and 
Superman' for the second time. It is not only an amusing but it is a 
wise play. 

"I had a bit of talk recently with Mr. ... I repeated 

these lines of Tennyson's to him: 

'Speak to him, thou, for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet — 

Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.' 

'I don't know,' he replied. 'Of course,' said I, 'I cannot prove my ex- 
istence, can you?' He seemed to admit that he could not. 'Therefore, 
shall we deny that we exist? Why demand absolute proof that God 
exists, or that we exist beyond the grave? Negativism. . . . 
allow me to coin that word . . . takes out of our lives the very soul 
of every laudable ambition. . . . The real man is spiritual. The 
body is his instrument, it may be his dwelling. Are we sure he was 
not, before the first evidence of life discovered by scientists? If we 
are not sure, how absurd is negativism. . . . Why cultivate it? 
. . . There has never been a particle of proof for negativism. Yet 
many have been ruined for this life by it. . . . Why talk of mysti- 
cism? Is there greater mysticism than in the belief that the grave 
ends all without a particle of proof? It is simply an assumption. 

"There is nothing the matter with me except trusting in the on- 
going universe (scientists call it cosmos). I call it God, assuming that 
there is more righteousness in it, or in Him, than in me, or that He 
knows more than I do. And further, I live and move and have my 
being in it or in Him. Jesus of Nazareth, the best man I ever heard 
of, confidently rested in Him and why should not I?" 

It was Mr. Hoxie's fate to identify himself, through life, 
with great, unpopular causes. In youth with the anti- 
slavery movement; later, with the Whig and Republican par- 
ties in their early struggles and the purity of their aims ; then 
with the Good Templars, in their fight against the drink evil. 
He stood with the Prohibitionists through that period of their 
existence when it required much heroism to endure the ridi- 
cule and revilement which were early heaped upon adherents 
of that organization. So now, when more than eighty years 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 151 

had passed over his head, he embraced the unpopular cause 
of Socialism and, from now on to the close of his life, his in- 
terest in this movement grew and developed. He became an 
enthusiast in what he called 'Christian Socialism.' He read 
all available books, papers and articles on Socialism. He con- 
tributed financially to the support of this movement and soon 
began to write articles upon this topic, for publication. His 
letters to friends were filled with allusions to socialistic theory 
and practice and with his own ideas regarding the move- 
ment. 

In answer to the question, "What is Socialism?" he 
writes : 

"Socialism as a spiritual movement is a burning, glowing, flaming 
passion for the welfare of mankind. As an economic movement, it is 
the culmination of the principles of democracy — the direction of eco- 
nomic forces for the welfare of mankind. It is also a political move- 
ment, developing in the enactment of laws and the establishment of in- 
stitutions the sole object of which is the welfare of mankind. It is 
moreover a party movement. It is called the Social Democratic party. 
It is advocated by a greater number of educated, unselfish men, in com- 
parison to its membership, than any other national party." 

In writing to a favorite cousin he says: 

"I have thought of sending you a book that has renewed my faith 
in Christ and in the Living God. . . . The book is entitled 'They 
Must, or God and the Social Democracy.' Allow me to quote a few 
words from it. Referring to the Social Democrats the author says: 
'They dream of an all-embracing brotherhood and, at the same time, 
care for the immediate help of the poor. They are dreamers and fanat- 
ics in the eyes of men, and yet accomplish what none of the sane have 
done. They are ridiculed and insulted for their fanaticism, yet feared 
for their activity. They are irresistible. They alone are living, force- 
ful, sound. They have the Living God. They do not pray to Him. 
. . . But they have Him in fact. Jesus acknowledged as his not 
those that say 'Lord, Lord!' but those who do the will of God. They do 
that will. They resist Mammon and preach a new world of love for 
all men. They halt at no impossibilities which men raise; they care 
not for limits. They know that the old order must fall. They be- 
lieve all things, hope all things, endure all things. This is their divine 
mark and seal.' " 

Later, in response to a sermon, advocating some liberal 
doctrine sent to him by this cousin, he writes : 

"... I am now urging Christian Socialism — that which Jesus 
taught, just as forty years ago I fought in my own soul for the teach- 
ings that your Dr. M. now so ably advocated. I am going to ask you 



152 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

to read the sixty-fifth chapter of Isaiah. I quote a few words: 'I am 
required of by them that asked not for me. I am found of them that 
sought me not. . . . For behold I create a new heavens and a new 
earth. . . . And they shall build houses and inhabit them; and 
they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. They shall not 
build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat. 
. . . They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for calamity'. 
Have these divine prophecies been fulfilled? Have we a right to 
look forward to a time when they will be fulfilled? The ful- 
fillment of these prophecies is just what the great International Social 
Democrat party are laboring for. The members of this party, very few 
of them, know that such prophecies are in the Bible, but God has written 
them in their hearts. 

"Fifty years ago, the Bible taught the principles that your Dr. M. 
now advocates. Yet it was a very small number that accepted these 
principles and generally these few were condemned at that time. 
Everybody else either held to the literal words or condemned them as 
absolutely false. Fifty years hence some Dr. M. may discover that 
God in the Old Testament and in the New Testament announces the 
great principles of Socialism. 

"You may recall the following lines from Lowell. I quote from 
memory: 

'Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne — 
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown, 
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own!' 
"You remember Jesus referred to the tombs of the prophets as being 
built by the children of those who slew them. Conservatism in all 
past ages has been regarded as a chief virtue. Dr. M. would not have 
been tolerated in the Seventh Day Baptist Church nor in the church 
of which I am a member twenty-five years ago, had such views as his 
been acknowledged." 

Again he writes to the same cousin, evidently referring to 
some question called up by previous correspondence: 

"Christian Socialism in America is organized in two societies, 'The 
Christian Socialist League and The Christian Socialist Fellowship. 
The latter receives members who belong to the churches, i.e. its mem- 
bership is limited to professors of religion, while the former receives 
all persons who willingly contribute to its object as stated in its con- 
stitution as follows: 'Its object shall be to carry to churches and other 
religious organizations the message of Socialism; to show the necessity 
of Socialism to a complete realization of the teachings of Jesus; to end 
the class struggle by establishing industrial and political democracy 
and to hasten the reign of justice and brotherhood on earth.' Any 
person who maintains this ground (professor or non-professor) may 
become a member, if he subscribes to this object and lives up to the 
other requirements of the League as expressed in the remaining arti- 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 153 

cles of its constitution. I am a member of this League and I have 
contributed money from time to time to the other organization, The 
Christian Socialist Fellowship, to help sustain its organ, 'The Christian 
Socialist'. . . . 

"On the first of this month. . . the League commenced pub- 
lishing a monthly journal called 'The Socialist Crusader.' I have a 
copy of it lying before me as I am writing. Its articles are short and 
telling. It contains the testimony of Frances E. Willard, given at 
the W. C. T. U. convention at Buffalo, N. Y., in 1897. She says: 'I 
am a Socialist. . . . Oh, that I were young again and it should 
have my life ! It is God's way out of the wilderness and into the prom- 
ised land. It is the very marrow and fatness of Christ's Gospel. It 
is Christianity applied.' I fully agree with her statements. It is the 
voice of the Holy Spirit in my heart. I know you believe in the New 
Testament and that there is a Holy Spirit that regenerates the human 
heart if allowed to do so. It is the spirit of Jesus. . . . 'And he, 
when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of right- 
eousness and of judgment.' It is not the letter of the Bible but the 
Holy Spirit, especially manifested in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, 
Luke and John and the Epistles of Paul and John, that we must receive 
and manifest to the world, that entitles us in the sight of God, to the 
name Christian. It is the spirit of unselfish love. Let me ask you a 
question. Does it not seem to you that professed Christians have 
largely lost this spirit? To-day selfishness is almost universal. Our 
business and politics, in the main, are systems of organized selfishness. 
. . . Socialism is Christianity applied. And Christianity pure and 
simple is unselfish love for every sentient being." 

In a letter written to a friend shortly after the preceding 
he says : 

"My zeal for the principles of Socialism is still increasing. Of 
course they must come gradually, one by one. The first, perhaps, an 
eight-hour law for women who work in mills and factories and better 
conditions for work. Then, perhaps, an employer's liability law for 
injuries due to neglect of employers. Then perhaps a law requiring 
municipalities to furnish work to all unemployed men and women and 
so on. Of course common ownership of land and factories will be 
among much later acquisitions. . . . You and I may depart before 
the dawn of a better day but our children, I trust, will see that better 
day. For one, I join with Whittier in his song: 

'Hail to the coming singers! 

Hail to the brave light-bringers ! 

Forward I reach and share 

All that they sing and dare. 

'The airs of heaven blow o'er me; 
A glory shines before me 
Of what mankind shall be, — 
Pure, generous, brave and free. 



154 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

'Ring bells in unreared steeples, 
The joy of unborn peoples! 
Sound, trumpets far off blown, 
Thy triumph is my own! 

'Parcel and part of all, 
I keep the festival, 
Fore-reach the good to be, 
And share the victory.' 



"Sometimes I seem to myself to be immeasurably happy. . . . The 
happiest man of any of whom I have knowledge. 
'I feel the earth move sunward, 
I join the great march onward, 
And take, by faith, while living, 
My freehold of thanksgiving.' " 

At this time he also writes: 

"I am living a strenuous life, although not a hard one. I get a 
few minutes, a half hour generally, to walk out for exercise. . . . 
I enjoy everything, unless too tired. And then I gather up something 
to keep the optimistic spirit going. I enjoy living." 

The family now moved to a residence nearer the Univer- 
sity, and Mr. Hoxie was forced to abandon the plot of ground 
he had so assiduously cultivated, and to begin his gardening 
anew upon unimproved soil. Nothing daunted, he earnestly 
renewed his outdoor labors. His garden plot was now suffi- 
ciently extensive, covering as it did about one-fourth of an 
acre, to enable him not only to supply his own family with 
nearly all kinds of vegetables which would grow and ripen in 
that locality but to contribute also to the support of others. 
And, as his one aim in life was still to be helpful and useful 
to others, he joyfully gave of his produce, not alone to friends 
and neighbors, but he sought out the needy in the vicinity 
and bestowed upon them also the fruits of his labors. To a 
friend he writes at this time: 

"Thus far, this season, I have had a very remarkable amount of 
produce from my garden. Bushels and bushels of corn, full three- 
fourths of which I have given away. Beans, beets, lettuce and so 
forth in great abundance I have distributed with the corn. I com- 
pleted planting over again nearly the whole ground for new crops 
last week." 

In spite of his increased manual work, he still continued 
to read widely and to write occasional articles for publica- 
tion. Much of his leisure was devoted to a blind and helpless 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 155 

neighbor. To whom he read and talked upon social, political 
and religious topics in an effort to encourage and cheer this 
unfortunate fellow creature. 

In 1911 Mr. Hoxie's life was brightened by the advent of 
a grandson to whom he became devotedly attached and as the 
baby developed they became almost inseparable companions. 
He writes to a friend at this time: 

"The boy is remarkaby bright and active both in mind and body. 
I think I never saw a more beautiful baby. . . . Every day I roll 
him out in his baby carriage in the street about the parks of the city. 
You can scarcely imagine how strongly he is held in our affection." 

It was about this time that Mr. Hoxie united with the 
Hyde Park church of the "Disciples of Christ," while still re- 
taining by permission his membership in the little Free-will 
Baptist church of his youth, the church which he served as 
pastor for many of the years of his early manhood. Now, 
once more, he had a church home and was happy in the com- 
panionship of congenial, broad-minded fellow workers. De- 
scribing this Church of the Disciples in a letter he says in 
part : 

"It is a great satisfaction to me to be allowed to be a member of 
two churches at the same time. . . . Two churches that differ in 
many respects from each other. The members of the Church of the 
Disciples are largely students and teachers in the University of Chicago. 
Its pastor, Dr. Edward Scribner Ames, is one of the teachers in that 
institution. His church is emphatically a working organization. It 
sustains a missionary in China and a home missionary in the city. 
Yet I doubt if there is a Baptist church within my knowledge that 
has fewer members who would generally be regarded as 'well off' in 
money or property of any kind. Entering the church building one 
passes through a small room containing, among other things, a box 
for contributions of money that alms may be given in secret, as Jesus 
commanded. During the hour of worship no collection is taken up. 
No one ever need know what is individually given." 

Early in his eighty-third year Mr. Hoxie again took up his 
pen in the interest of Holstein-Friesian cattle and their 
breeders. He began to write regularly articles for the "Hol- 
stein-Friesian Register." His contributions to this periodi- 
cal, dealing with a variety of topics, which his ripe experi- 
ence and years of study rendered him surpassingly able to 
expound, extended over a period of about four years. Re- 
garding this activity he writes to a former business associate : 



156 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

"I am interested to the extent of what ability I have left to do all 
that I can to advance the interests of our association. In so doing I feel 
that I thus advance the interests of the country." 

At about this time, Mr. Hoxie was also invited to write 
for the "Breeders' Gazette." The editor of this periodical 
said to him in a letter of May 18, 1912 : 

"Will it not be possible for you to supply us from time to time with 
articles of especial interest to the breeders of Holstein cattle? I have 
no particular line to suggest, but you are full of the matter and would 
have no difficulty in supplying us once every two or three weeks with 
an article of about twelve or fifteen hundred words on some topic of 
especial interest to breeders of the 'black and whites.' " 

In the same year, Mr. Hoxie writes to his old friend, Mr. 
K. N. Kuperus of Holland : 

"I am still working for the breed with my pen, writing for the 
'Holstein-Friesian Register,' and I have promised to write for the 
'Breeders' Gazette,' the largest journal on breeding in the world. 
. . . I am eighty-three years old. . . . My mind seems to hold 
out better than my body. ... I have worked for the Friesian 
breed, not for money but for the good of our dairymen and others. 
. . . As I look back I feel that I have 'fought a good fight.' " 

Later, in 1915 and 1916, Mr. Hoxie's pen was also solicited 
by the editors of the "Holstein-Friesian World" and the 
"Black and White Record." 

In the spring of 1913, Mr. Hoxie returned East to live in 
the vicinity of his old home. Though it wrung his heart to 
leave his son and his grandson and the companionship of 
many friends, possessing something of his broad outlook 
upon life, it seemed the expedient thing to do, and he tried 
to console himself for the privation that this change would 
bring to him by planning fresh activities for the betterment 
of his fellows in the changed surroundings. He had never 
quite given up the hope of sometime preaching again, and, 
just before he moved, he wrote in his journal: 

"In case I go to Edmeston, I will try to organize neighborhood 
circles of Disciples of Christ, using the monthly rituals of the Sunday 
School of Hyde Park Church, Chicago. Perhaps at the church at South 
Edmeston, Babcock's Mills, Columbus Quarter and other places, private 
houses, school-houses, etc. I could thus awaken religious interest, 
undenominational, making it contributory to the churches already or- 
ganized, Baptist, Methodist, or others." 

Mr. Hoxie was an enthusiastic advocate of church union 
and writes to a friend at this time: 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 157 

"I have become thoroughly impressed with the idea that our earth 
can never be Christianized until all churches are united simply in living 
the spiritual life. How earnestly Paul set forth this view in First 
Corinthians ! The spiritual view involves all righteousness — an active 
righteousness. Let every individual believe as he can believe. 'Other 
foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus 
Christ. But, if any man buildeth on the foundation gold, silver, costly 
stones, wood, hay, stubble; each man's work shall be made manifest; 
for the day shall declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire 
itself shall prove each man's work of what sort it is. If any man's 
work shall abide which he built thereon, he shall receive a reward. If 
any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself 
shall be saved; yet so as through fire. . . . Therefore let no one 
glory in men, for all things are yours; whether Paul or Apollos, or 
Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to 
come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's and Christ is God's.' It 
almost seems that the words of Paul that I have quoted are especially 
written for us in this present century. Our philosophers and scientists 
have been led of God in the discovery of great truths unknown to Paul 
or any other man of his day. Let every individual believe, one or 
more of them as he can; but he, himself, shall suffer loss if the fire of 
truth destroys one or more of them; yet he, himself, shall be saved. 
This I believe of all of us who are trying to bless the world. 

"To stand still, doing nothing, like those Christians who refuse to 
work together with God is an awful thing. Knowing the truth we 
shall receive many stripes, either in the present or in the future, if 
we do not work for it. Old and decrepit as I am, I am impressed that 
I must work, preach, if I can obtain the opportunity to do so. Jesus 
wisely awaited opportunity. Last evening I was invited to speak be- 
fore a farmers' club that holds its meetings in this village. Knowing 
that I would not be able to gain access to either of our church build- 
ings here, in connection with my topic, I opened with earnestly urging 
the spiritual life upon the attention of those present as the sole device 
for Christianizing our world. They listened, apparently with interest, 
while I interlarded agriculture with spiritual life for nearly two hours. 

"I am doing all I can, as it seems to me, to induce less selfishness 
in the community. . . . Among the books that I am trying to get 
into the hands of the people is the 'Twentieth Century New Testament.' 
. . . It is in our common vernacular. After you get used to read- 
ing the New Testament in the words in which we now write and talk, 
I am sure its revelations will be delightful to you. ... I hope this 
letter will find you at your life work of doing good to your associates, 
thus living as Jesus lived. It is the way of real life. Life for ever 
and ever. The one life of every true Christian, whatever his or her 
intellectual views. All who are living this life on earth or in heaven 
are comrades of one great community.' ... I believe in a 'Beloved 
Community' of similar souls. I hope I may yet be one among them. 
You will agree with me that qualification for it is not in dogmas but 



158 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

in ends for which we labor and live. ... I am trying to live in 
love. . . . God is in his world. The gospel of Christ is a gospel 
of release, release from fear and anxiety, release 'from the lien upon 
the soul of material possessions, from the strife of ambition, from the 
bonds of sin and from the power of death.' . . . 
" 'There is no good in life but love — but love, 

What else looks good is some shade flung from love, 
Love gilds it, gives it worth.' 
. . . 0, my brother, hold fast to the love of Christ! Do not imagine 
that doctrines can impart that love. . . . Live in love. Trust in 
love. The newest translation of the New Testament has this summing 
up of what makes a man a real follower of Christ: 'He who lives in 
love lives in God, and God in him.' 'Seek love, give love and leave the 
rest,' says the poet Robert Browning." 

In the year 1915 a great burden of anxiety fell upon the 
shoulders of one who was already bowed beneath the weight 
of many years of struggle, care and sorrow. Mr. Hoxie's 
daughter was stricken with a well-nigh fatal disease and was 
obliged to relinquish the companionship of her aged parents 
and the care of their home and to enter a far-distant hos- 
pital. In spite of his intense solicitude for her welfare and 
the loneliness to which her exile condemned him, Mr. Hoxie 
did not seek sympathy for himself but he buckled on anew 
the armor of his hope and courage and still went about the 
chief business of his life, his Father's business, the endeavor 
to help and inspire others. 

At this time he writes : 

"The great business of life is service to our fellow creatures. This 
I have held as paramount nearly all my life. . . . The love of man- 
kind seems to have been born in me. . . . Very likely you may 
wonder how I can be cheerful. ... I will tell you in as few words 
as I can. ... I have lost a son who was as precious to me as my 
own life. But I think of him as taken from foreseen evil and the best 
that is in me responds to the thought 'God is love.' I believe that all 
the universe is full of life, that the Being we call God is the soul of the 
universe, the mind of it just as our minds are souls of our bodies. And 
may I not draw upon my imagination? Here I go! There is no such 
thing as annihilation to matter or to mind. We shall live hereafter 
and love our friends. The variety of life in the hereafter will be in- 
finitely greater than it is upon this little, insignificant home here. 
Why not? Really all things are made for good. As Browning says: 

'The evil is null, is naught, is silence implying sound; 

What was good, shall be good, with, for evil, so much good more.' 

"At least I find myself happy amidst the unpleasant things of time 
here in thinking so. . . ." 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 159 

To his daughter, at a western sanitarium, he writes on 
June sixteenth, 1916: 

"There is nothing like hopefulness and courage to keep up our 
days in this world. No medicines are equal to peace, gentleness, pa- 
tience and goodness in keeping us alive. . . . But I feel sometimes 
that it is selfish to cling to this world. Why should I cling to it? I 
feel great assurance of a better, nobler, sweeter, fairer and purer life 
where D. is and I almost wish that I could be with him. Yet it is 
natural to love to live here. All the universe is mind. It is the only 
real existence." 

A few days after the above writing, while he was still 
doubtful of the ultimate recovery of his daughter and while 
he was nearing his eighty-seventh birthday, Mr. Hoxie was 
destined to experience the supreme sorrow of his life. His 
remaining son, the one most like himself in thought and as- 
piration, the one in whom his hopes and ambitions and de- 
sires culminated, met with a tragic death. Yet, in the face 
of this crushing calamity, he rallied and once more and 
almost for the last time he put aside the thought of self and, 
in spite of his own anguish of soul, strove to comfort the 
remaining members of his family. He had said, previous to 
this event, that he could not endure another death in the home 
circle, that he, himself, must be the next to go, but now, in 
this supreme crisis, he rallied to the standard of his life's 
ideal, to help and succor others. He said, "I can bear any- 
thing now," and, on the very evening of the day of this trag- 
edy he writes to the wife of his son: 

"Your telegram is received. ... I am comforted by the 
thought that R. is in a better world and is really nearer to us than he 
was in Chicago. I cannot come to you, yet I wish you could come to 
us. We want you and both the children near us. ... I know God 
will bless you and them. I fear that J. will not be as brave as you. 
But she, as well as you, is blessed in having a Heavenly Father who 
cares for all the great universe. He is the Cosmic Father and loves every 
creature that is from Him. Nothing is lost and all things are alive. 
Not a particle of the universe is beyond His control. He is love. He 
is law. He is life. He is the Eternal Goodness. Browning wrote: 
'Therefore to whom turn I but to Thee, the ineffable Name? 

Builder and maker, thou, of houses not made with hands! 
What, have fear of change from Thee who art ever the same? 

Doubt that thy power can fill the heart that thy power expands? 
There shall never be one lost good! What was shall live as before; 

The evil is null, is naught, is silence implying sound; 



160 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

What was good, shall be good, with, for evil, so much good more; 

On earth the broken arcs; in heaven a perfect round. 
'AH we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good shall exist ; 

Not its semblance, but itself; no beauty, nor good, nor power 
Whose voice has gone forth, but each survives for the melodist, 

When eternity affirms the conception of an hour. 
The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth too hard, 

The passion that left the ground to lose itself in the sky, 
Are music sent up to God by the lover and the bard; 

Enough that he heard it once: we shall hear it by-and-by.' 

"Read Browning's poem on his own death. It is always the last in 
all his publications. Read it and be comforted. Oh, how my heart goes 
out to you!" 

The next day, to his daughter, he writes : 

"About three o'clock, your telegram came. We knew you must 
have already received curs saying, 'We are all right ; do not worry 
about us.' We both of us believe and feel that R. is in a better state 
of existence than the one in which we now live. I have had experience 
that it seems ought to be convincing. Step by step, I have been driven, 
against my will, into Monism, i.e. the belief that the whole Cosmic 
Universe is a living thing. Even Haeckel is driven to this position. 
The Universe has all kinds of life. Scientists generally conclude that 
there are many kinds of life. The trees and flowers have life. The 
human consciousness is alive with a grade of life above the lower plane. 
It is intelligent life. R. was one of the noblest of men. I am so sure 
of his eternal welfare that I can scarcely conceive how any reasonable 
person can doubt after such a man as Haeckel is obliged to admit 
what he dees. 'That all things are alive, even the dust at our feet.' 

"I, personally, find that my life is really prolonged by the belief in 
Mcnism. Although I know that my arteries are hardening and that it 
may be truly said that I have heart disease, I may possibly live to be 
as old as my great grandfather was, who died at the age of one hun- 
dred and one. If I can only be useful and not have the trouble that I 
have referred to extended. The Cosmic Father has taken R. from the 
evil to come just as he took D. from the evil to come. The Cosmic 
Father loves all. Every grade of life is tending upward. Evolution is 
evidence of this fact. 

" 'There is a tide.' at least 'in the affairs of (some) men.' I be- 
lieve this was true of R.'s departure. . . . Rejoice, my dear child, 
that he was chosen through the will of the living universe. There was 
no way of hope for him. Our Father designed it all. . . . You will 
get over your illness and come home. Then we can talk of the won- 
derful character of R., the good that he has ever sought to do for the 
welfare of the oppressed and downtrodden. The University of Chicago 
will be a different one from its past because of the life and death that 
R. has given." 

A little later, Mr. Hoxie says in a letter to a friend: 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 161 

"R. was the most unselfish man I ever knew. He was a great 
lover of mankind and extremely tender toward all creatures that are 
liable to suffer pain. ... I am a great believer in unselfish love. 
You may possibly recall this fact. He, my son, was the most per- 
sistently unselfish lover with whom I ever became acquainted. He not 
only loved father, mother, wife and children, unselfishly, but extended 
his love, I sincerely believe, to all mankind. . . . He possessed the 
soul of religion. At the time of his death my daughter was in Roches- 
ter, Minn., recovering from an operation. ... It seemed to her 
father and mother very doubtful if she ever returned to us in this 
world, but she is with us now. How can I avoid being happy? My 
two sons, I trust and believe, are in a not far off heaven — a heaven of 
usefulness and happiness." 

To a dear cousin he says: 

"Jesus died to win us from selfishness. I cannot help believing R. 
has given up his life for the same purpose. Not that I presume to 
exalt him to the infinite importance of Jesus, but as a humble worker 
with Jesus. I am now past my eighty-seventh birthday and I am 
'going on,' as little children often say, 'to be older.' I am greatly 
broken but I am remarkably well and strong for a person of my 
age. . . . 

" 'Gone they tell me is youth, 

Gone is the strength of my life; 

Nothing remains but decline; 

Nothing but age and decay. 

Not so: I am God's little child, 

Only beginning to live, 

Coming the days of my prime, 

Coming the strength of my life, 

Coming the vision of God, 

Coming my bloom and my power.' " 

Mr. Hoxie survived the death of his son less than a year 
but these last months were marked by the same spirit of in- 
domitable courage, hope and unselfishness that had character- 
ized his entire life. His mind retained most of its original 
vigor and clarity to the very end and his vital interest in 
problems of the day abated not one whit in its intensity. His 
bodily weakness debarred him from much physical exercise, 
but he read almost continuously books on philosophy, religion, 
psychology, biography and history. Early in the year, he 
sent a much marked copy of Josiah Royce's "Problems of 
Christianity" to his daughter-in-law, with these penciled 
words: "Read and grow strong in the spirit of Christ, 
Loyalty to God and the Beloved Community." One of the last 



162 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

books in which he took an especial interest was the life of 
William Newton Clarke, a man whom he had known person- 
ally and whom he intensely admired. He was reading, almost 
at the last, the last volume of Woodrow Wilson's "History of 
the United States," when the book grew too heavy for his 
hands to hold and it was laid aside and never finished. 

Books had always been his solace and his best companions. 
When no longer able to read from them, he would ask for one 
to be brought to his bedside and it seemed to make him 
happy just to hold a dearly loved volume in his hand. The 
day previous to his death, when his mind became so weak- 
ened that he failed to recall the name of Whittier, who was one 
of his favorite poets, he called for his "Quaker Book" and 
listened eagerly to the reading of several poems which he 
selected. 

His thought for the comfort and good of others, his 
sweetness and gentleness of character persisted to the very 
end. He manifested an anxiety to give as little discomfort to 
those who nursed him as possible and he endeavored to ease 
the burden, which he foresaw for his family when he should 
be gone, by trying to plan out something of the future with 
his daughter. He deplored the inevitable separation but he 
begged his daughter to let him go willingly so that he might 
go in peace, for he longed intensely to put away the flesh, to 
be released and to go to meet his beloved sons. During the 
last days he repeated over and over these words from "God 
in His World," a book that had been his solace and almost his 
daily companion for nearly thirty years : "In every way our 
Lord's Gospel is that of Release — release from weariness, 
from care, from all solicitudes, from all questionings, from 
conflict, from all the maxims and traditions and command- 
ments of men, from all outward authority, from the lien upon 
the soul of material possessions, from the strife of ambition, 
from the bonds of sin and from the power of death." And, 
with this thought in his soul, "God's Good Man" went home 
to meet his loved ones. 

The life of Solomon Hoxie "was a magnificent achieve- 
ment, long, good and useful." He was thoroughly imbued 
with the spirit of service which made him defend the weak 
and helpless, inspire the ambitions, give hope to the de- 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 163 

pressed, encourage the downtrodden and strengthen the err- 
ing. All who knew him loved him. It was a privilege to call 
him friend and a real benediction to come into his presence. 
He looked on life from a mountain top. No one had higher, 
sweeter views of God and man and the ultimate destiny of 
humanity, but he labored with his fellows in the valley. At 
eighty-seven he was younger in spirit than any other person 
I have ever known and he kept his interests and enthusiasms 
to the very close of his life. He was unselfish to a fault. He 
cared nothing for material possessions, for things, but every- 
thing for people and ideas. "Why should I call anything 
mine," he often said. "It was the father's bounty that the 
prodigal spent." 

Sometimes it might have seemed to strangers that he 
wished to proselyte. When he experienced an inspiring 
thought, or discovered a new idea or theory which delighted 
his soul or appealed to his intellect ; or when he found a new 
author or a new book that soothed or uplifted his spirit, his 
great, glowing heart and his unselfish love made him so eager 
to share this idea, or thought or pleasure with others, that 
they too might know the joy of its possession, that he may at 
times have appeared to those who knew him least, to be 
trying to force his point of view upon others. But this was 
not true. 

After Mr. Hoxie's death a fried, Mr. William P. F. Fergu- 
son, in writing to the former's daughter, said : 

"For a thoughtful man to know Solomon Hoxie was to respect him. 
For any man who thinks and feels for his fellow men and dreams of the 
Better To-morrow, to come to know him well was to love him. 

"As I think back to the days when I much walked and talked with 
him, there are two things which strike me with special force: 

"First, his splendid, kindly tolerance. 

"Always, I realize, he was thinking on a plane higher and broader 
than that on which most of us with whom he talked were thinking — often 
far higher than we were able to think — but he never held himself above 
us; never jarred the conversation with an exposure of the ignorance or 
pettiness of another. If he tried to lift your thinking, it was never 
with any patronizing air. You seldom went away from him without a 
distinct sense of uplift, but so kindly was the hand that lifted that you 
probably never suspected that he had revised or corrected your thinking 
— never that he had discovered the paltry standards of your thoughts 
or your dim ideals. 



164 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

"The other, his utter lack of what you may call the spirit of the 
'propagandist.' 

"He Was indeed a propagandist of the highest, noblest order. He 
sowed seeds of truth, constantly; and few sowed with a better harvest. 

"When a new truth dawned upon him it was sheer desire to give 
others the joy that it brought him that sent him to tell somebody else. 
The attitude of forcing you to believe as he believed, of drafting you to 
the support of some theory in theology or some policy in politics was 
wholly absent. 

"He was a good soldier of the Better To-morrow, with all a soldier's 
courage in standing for what he saw as right; no pressure could force 
his assent to an error or his consent to a wrong, but he was no 'antag- 
onist,' no 'disputant.' His approach to every man to whom he had any- 
thing to tell was that of a joyful messenger bringing good news. 

"First and last he handed me many a book to read, some of them 
revolutionary as regards the world's common way of thinking; but I 
never felt that he was trying to 'convert' me. He gave me the chance 
to read the book, just as he set the chair for me by the fire on a cold 
day, or invited me to a seat at his table or to rest in the shade of his 
trees — upon the motion of a heart that loved to do kind things. 

"On his book-shelf, yonder, I see four worn copies of a book he 
found great joy in, 'God in His World.' He loaned that book constantly, 
not to shake faith in orthodoxy, not to win adherents to any sect or 
company, but because it had opened to him a field of glorious thinking 
and splendid discoveries, and he wanted to share the delight of it with 
others. 

"Solomon Hoxie walked a high path with God; he abode under the 
shadow of the Almighty in 'the secret of His tabernacle,' but no man 
with whom he went a mile or sat a moment ever felt a 'holier-than- 
thou' chill. When in his converse with others there was, as indeed there 
was sure to be, aught of intimation of the higher realm of things he 
knew, it was always in the tone and spirit of one who says, almost diffi- 
dently, 'I know where there is something beautiful; would you like to 
see it?' 

"In that Higher Life, beyond the divide, in which he so firmly and 
so joyously believed, I some way feel I would joy to have him take me 
around and point out the beauty spots and the glory heights and intro- 
duce me to the tall souls with whom he must now be 'walking in white.' 
And it will be like him, like him as we knew! him here, to be coming 
down, day and night — no, there is no night there; to be coming down in 
those everlasting mornings to the gates of pearl, to meet the earth souls 
as they come in and say: 'Come and see what nice things I have found 
here.' " 

Solomon Hoxie was one of those great, rare souls to be 
met with once in a lifetime. Deeply religious, living his re- 
ligion, the key note of which was love for his fellow men. 
Indeed the joy of loving and giving was his in prodigal de- 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 165 

gree. These words of the poet, which he often repeated, 
seemed written especially for him : 

"O, might I, in my exaltion, 

To all the world this joy impart; 
Would I might clasp the whole creation; 

Friends or strangers; foes or brothers; 
With ardent rapture to my heart." 



CHAPTER III 
A MODERN PATRIARCH 

"Without looking in the dictionary for a precise definition of the 
term, I judge it will apply properly to Mr. Solomon Hoxie, because I 
think of a patriarch as a man of prophetic vision combining the wisdom 
of the sage with the kindliness of one who loves his fellow men, all of 
which is true of Mr. Hoxie. He has always been more interested in 
others than in himself. Entirely foreign to his nature is the careful, 
calculating spirit that provides first for the welfare of 'number one.' 
His support of a cause has ever been prompted by regard for the cause, 
which, I suppose, is true of the world's best workers in every field." 

"Until I met him to-day in his own home, I had not seen Mr. Hoxie 
in nearly a decade. The last time was at the annual meeting of the 
Holstein-Friesian Association in Syracuse, near the close of his long 
term of service as superintendent of Advanced Registry. Then he 
seemed in a troubled mood. The duties of his office, which he had always 
taken very seriously, were evidently becoming too great a burden for 
one of his age to bear. Accordingly I was agreeably surprised in the Mr. 
Hoxie of to-day with whom I have just been spending a very pleasant 
hour. Though somewhat bowed in figure — but no more so than a dozen 
years ago — he walks with a quick firm step ; his eye is bright and his 
brow is untroubled. When he came to the door to meet me, and gave 
me a welcoming hand-clasp, I was wondering if he had actually grown 
younger during the years since I saw him before. His heavy gray beard 
is still dark in places and his long shaggy eyebrows are black. 'Except 
for my sight and hearing,' he remarked, 'I'm in pretty good shape. I 
can read fairly well, with the aid of glasses, but at a little distance I 
see several images where I ought to see only one. For instance, when 
I look at the moon, I seem to see parts of three moons.' His hearing, 
I found, was good enough so that we had not the slightest difficulty in 
visiting together, but though keenly interested in the topics suggested 
and perfectly willing to give me the information I asked for, he was 
evidently less ready of expression than in the past, and the little time 
allowed me between trains for our interview was regrettably short. His 
thoughts do not come as rapidly as when he was younger, but they are 
worth waiting for; and he looks back with clear vision over such a long 
span of years that his observations are valuable as well as interesting." 

"He is nearing the close of his eighty-sixth year and has, therefore, 
been a contemporary of all but four of the twenty-seven men who have 



Written in 1915 by E. M. Hastings as the result of an interview. 



168 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

filled the office of president of the United States. He was born July 
29th, 1829, at Brookfield, Madison County, N. Y., on his grandfather's 
farm which his father occupied as a tenant — an arrangement that was 
continued when the family removed, three and a-half years later to a 
farm acquired by the grandfather near Edmeston. Here Solomon and 
his brother Samuel grew up together and both, as we know, later became 
closely identified with early Holstein history in this country, the one 
eventually fulfilling a mission for the improvement of the dairy industry 
that will perpetuate his influence through the centuries. However, 
today I was mainly interested in learning some of the things that only 
Mr. Hoxie could tell me, and that are not already matters of record." 

"His school advantages, I gathered, were those of the average coun- 
try boy of his time. He attended district school for a time, and at eleven 
years old spent two terms in a select school at Leonardsville. 'I learned 
easily,' said Mr. Hoxie, 'and in the Leonardsville school (though per- 
haps I ought not to say it) had no trouble in doing the same classwork 
with the young men and women who were several years older than I 
was.' Solomon's desire for an education evidently led him to put forth 
every effort to make the most of the opportunities within his reach, for 
he spent one term at New Berlin Academy, attended, for a term, what 
was then known as the McGrawville College, and later spent three 
months in Madison (now Colgate) University. 

"Meanwhile, at seventeen, he had commenced teaching school during 
the winter-time and outside of teaching and attending school did farm 
work. For his first winter's teaching he was paid at the rate of eight 
dollars a month and 'boarded around." The next year his salary was 
increased to eleven dollars a month, these amounts being equivalent to 
the wages paid farm help at that time. He continued to teach, mainly in 
winter schools until after his marriage, filling positions, among others, in 
West Edmeston, Brookfield and Leonardsville. At twenty-nine he mar- 
ried Lucy P. Stickney, who was also a teacher. At this point in our 
interview Mr. Hoxie remarked, 'My wife is still living; she is here 
now, and I want you to meet her.' Whereupon he summoned the lady 
who for nearly three score years has been the partner of his joys and 
sorrows. She is now eighty years old, of remarkably attractive face; 
slight of figure but forceful, and still young in spirit. Mr. Hoxie ex- 
plained that when they were married, each was the possessor of a small 
amount of property — Some sixteen or seventeen hundred dollars, which 
it was agreed they should continue to hold independently, a fortunate 
arrangement whereby Mrs. Hoxie is now able to provide the home where 
they live, Mr. Boxie's money having been spent (as his friends well 
know) for various benevolent purposes. Like others of the world's most 
successful men, he has always been interested in more important things 
than making money. 

"The aged pair are fortunate in having a daughter, Jane Lincoln 
Hoxie, who is making it her special mission to care for her parents. 
For a dozen years this daughter was a teacher in the Felix Adler School 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 169 

of Ethical Culture in New York city. Some six or seven years ago, upon 
the death of her brother, who was a teacher in a school in New York, 
she gave up teaching, and established the family home in Edmeston. For 
a time Mr. and Mrs. Hoxie lived with their son, Robert F., who is a pro- 
fessor of Economics in the University of Chicago, but Mr. Hoxie told 
me that he prefers Edmeston to Chicago. The air is better in the quiet 
country village. 'Winter and summer,' he said, 'I sleep with my win- 
dows wide open.' The daughter is absent on a visit to Chicago now, but 
I saw her photograph, and also the pictures of her two brothers, a 
bright-looking trio, all three accomplished teachers and well up in their 
profession when the family circle was broken into. The death of the 
son must have been a severe blow to his parents, but in their mention 
of him now is no note of complaint at their bereavement. Mr. Hoxie's 
frame of mind was indicated in his answer to my question as to the 
number of children. 'I have three,' he said, 'that is to say, I have 
three children but one of them, a son, has died,' which reminded me 
of Wordsworth's 'We Are Seven.' 

"One cannot talk with Mr. Hoxie for very long without discovering 
that his is a religious temperament. At the age of seventeen he was 
impressed with the belief that he had a mission to perform in the social 
work of his community, and commencing as a lay preacher while still 
in his teens, he served for eight years as pastor of the little country 
church in his home neighborhood. This church was of the Free Baptist 
persuasion, and Mr. Hoxie is still one of its members, but his religious 
views are too broad to be circumscribed by the creed of any one organ- 
ization. 'When I went to Chicago,' he said, 'I joined a church there, 
with the understanding that I could at the same time retain my member- 
ship in my home church. Also, when I was in Yorksville, I became a 
member, in the same way, of a church there, in which I am still inter- 
ested, so that properly, at the present time, I belong to three churches/ 
and, he added, with engaging simplicity and seriousness, 'I would join 
them all if I could. By natural inclination I am a Quaker, and would 
have joined the Society of Friends if one of their churches had been 
within reach, but I united with the Free Baptists because theirs was 
the only church in my community. I am interested in every means of 
social welfare. I have even worked in the streets with the Salvation 
Army.' Personally, I have only admiration for those who, like Mr. 
Hoxie, are interested in every means of social welfare, and I am little 
concerned under what name such means are exerted, but Mr. Hoxie with- 
out knowing how broad or how narrow my own opinions might be, 
wanted me to understand his point of view, so he added, 'Doubtless you 
are surprised at my statement of religious views. Perhaps they are 
best shown in some of the poems of J. G. Whittier, such as "Our Master" 
and "The Eternal Goodness." ' Since it happens that the latter has long 
been one of my favorite poems, I was glad to discover in Mr. Hoxie a 
disciple of the Quaker Poet, whose creed is so well expressed in the 
▼erses named ; and certain of whose lines must now appeal to our aged 
friend with special force: 



170 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

I long for household voices gone. 
For vanished smiles I long; 
But God hath led my dear ones on 
And he can do no wrong. 

I know not what the future hath 
Of marvel and surprise, 
Assured alone that life and death 
His mercy underlies. 

And so beside the Silent Sea 

I wait the muffled oar; 

No harm from him can come to me 

On ocean or on shore 

I know not where his islands lift 
Their fronded palms in air; 
I only know I cannot drift 
Beyond his love and care. 

"The success of Mr. Hoxie's efforts as a preacher is shown by the 
fact that under his pastorate the membership of the little church was 
increased from fifty-six to more than one hundred and fifty, and in the 
four Sunday schools that were maintained under his direction he stimu- 
lated an interest in good reading by building up a community library 
consisting of books of the profitable kind — literature of accepted excel- 
lence and, in particular, scientific works, of which Mr. Hoxie has always 
been an interested student. He wished me to understand that he did 
not receive, nor would he accept, pay for his preaching during the first 
five years of his Columbus Quarter pastorate. Accordingly, while per- 
forming the duties of a home missionary, he continued to teach during 
the school year, and did farm work outside of school. So we may think 
of Mr. Hoxie as a leader in the important departments of activity in his 
neighborhood, not barring politics, for we find that for several years 
he held the office of Supervisor in his town. 

"It was his desire to help in a worthy cause that led to his first con- 
nection with the Holstein interests. A meeting had been called for the 
purpose of forming an organization that later became known as the 
Unadilla Valley Dutch Stock Breeders' Association, and Mr. Hoxie was 
invited to be present for the purpose of assisting and carrying out the 
purpose of the meeting. Always ready to help in any effort for progress 
he decided to attend and was made secretary of the organization, an 
office which he filled for many years with growing credit to himself and 
the society that came to assume a foremost place among the early organ- 
izations in this country devoted to the improvement of the dairy breeds. 
Eventually (in 1880) the interests represented in this society organized, 
with Mr. Hoxie as secretary and his brother, Samuel L., as president, the 
first Friesian herd book association in America. This was known as the 
American Association of Breeders of Thoroughbred Dutch or Friesian 



THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 171 

Cattle and its herd book was designated the Dutch-Friesian Herd Book. 
It thus appears that to Mr. Hoxie belongs a large share of the credit for 
the pioneer work that led to the organization of our present Holstein- 
Friesian Association of America. In this work Mr. Hoxie took the 
greatest interest from the very beginning and thereafter devoted his 
most earnest efforts during the best years of his life to the upbuilding 
of the wonderful breed represented by this organization. It is also worthy 
of special mention that it was largely due to Mr. Hoxie's influence that 
the breeders of Friesland organized a herd book association — the 
'Friesch Rundvee Stamboek,' at the head of whose list of 'Eereleden' I 
see, by the latest volume of this publication, stands the name of S. Hoxie, 
the only American that has been accorded this honor. 

"Prior to the organization of the Dutch-Friesian Association Mr. 
Hoxie purchased a farm in Yorkville (in 1876) where for some years 
he maintained a herd of pure bred Holsteins owned by the Unadilla Val- 
ley Stock Breeders' Association. In the fall of 1879 he visited Holland 
and brought over an importation of fifty calves and the following spring 
made a second importation consisting of more than a hundred head 
which were purchased for the Unadilla Valley Stock Breeders' Associa- 
tion and a company of breeders in Michigan. The next year, with Mr. 
Burchard of Hamilton, N. Y., and Mr. Paine of Ohio, he made another 
journey to Europe spending two months in Holland, six weeks in Guer- 
nsey and two weeks in England. On this trip he bought about fifteen 
Guernseys for his brother whose farm was located at Leonardsville. 
Referring to this transaction Mr. Hoxie remarks that he later asked his 
brother which of the two breeds he preferred, Holsteins or Guernseys, 
and his brother answered, 'Personally I like the Guernseys the better, but 
the Holsteins are a good deal more profitable,' a point which probably 
explains the phemnomenal growth of the Black-and- White breed in this 
country. 

"While maintaining the herd of which he had charge on his farm at 
Yorkville, Mr. Hoxie from the start kept a continuous record of the 
milk production of the cows under his charge, a plan which later cul- 
minated in the record system that has made our breed famous. It is 
well known that our Advanced Registry system owes its origin to the 
genius and perseverance of Mr. Hoxie. It was a flash of inspiration (for 
Mr. Hoxie tells me that the idea came to him like a flash) which sug- 
gested the plan of an Advanced Register in which to record animals of 
special merit. Concerning the development of this idea and its far- 
reaching influence, it is not the purpose of this article to attempt to 
record but it is worthy of note that at the outset Mr. Hoxie's plan was 
violently opposed by many breeders of prominence and others high in 
authority in the Holstein-Friesian Association. ***** i n a 
sketch concerning him written many years ago Mr. Hoxie is quoted as 
saying, ***** 'After the Advanced Register was given form 
it would have failed for a time had. it not received the support of such 
men as T. G. Yeomans and W. Brown Smith." It is now close to three 



172 THE LIFE OF SOLOMON HOXIE 

decades since the adoption by the Holstein-Friesian association of our 
present Advanced Register system. Mr. Hoxie, the originator, and for 
more than two-thirds of that time the man at the head of this system, 
has lived to see it develop into the most potent factor that has ever been 
devised for the improvement of the breed, and in addition has witnessed 
its adoption in modified forms by the other great dairy breed organiza- 
tions. 

"Mr. Hoxie's library and his favorite books, and the cottage in 
which he dwells, with its shrubbery and flowers, and the great maples 
that shade the village street — these are the pictures that come before 
me as I look back to my brief interview with the 'Grand Old Man' of 
the Holstein-Friesian Association. He walked with me to the corner 
by the postoffice — his step as firm and quick as my own — and as I turned 
to leave he gave me a message of appreciation and gratitude to the mem- 
bers of the association for remembering him with the annuity which 
was voted him three years ago, and which has proved most acceptable. It 
was characteristic that he should thank the association, but we all 
know that the obligation is the other way, and that the account cannot 
be squared, for the world is always indebted to its benefactors."