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Full text of "Upward steps of seventy years : autobiographic, biographic, historic : growth of reforms, anti-slavery, etc. : the world's helpers and light-bringers : spiritualism, psychic research, religious outlook, coming reforms"

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'-^4 



PRESENTED TO 

THE] XjIBE-^H,"Y" 

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 
QSL ■ i«<...j»<*Z^. 



•.,--/ffi,- 



f!''.-v 




UPWARD STEPS 



OF 



SEVENTY YEARS. 



AUTOBIOGRAPHIC, BIOGRAPHIC, HISTORIC. 



GROWTH OF REFORMS — ANTI-SLAVERY, ETC. — THE WORLD'S HELPEl <? 

AND LIGHT-BRINGERS — SPIRITUALISM— PSYCHIC RESEARCH — 

RELIGIOUS OUTLOOK— COMING REFORMS. 



BY 



.- i 



GILES B^^EBBINS, 

Editor and Compiler of** Chapters from the Bible of the Ages,^* a$id 

" Poems of the Life Beyond" ; Author of After Dogmatic 

Theology y WhatV^ ** American Protectionist's 

Mamtal,** ** Progress from Poverty. ''* 



** Take heart I— the Waster builds again — 
A charmed life old goodness haUi, 
The tares may perish, but the grain 
Is not for death."— ^A////>r. 

" The world has caught a quickening breath 
From Heaven's eternal shore, 
And souls triumphant over death 
Return to earth once more." — Lizzie DoUm* 



NEW YORK 
UNITED STATES BOOK COMPANY 

SUCCESSORS TO 

JOHN W. LOVELL COMPANY 

150 WORTH ST., COR. MISSION PLACE 



COPYRIGHT, 1890 
BY 

GILES B. STEBBINS 



DEDICATORY INTRODUCTION. 

It was my fortune to be bom in Massachusetts in 1817, 
in the days between the old and the new time, — ^before 
the coming of the great reforms that have healthfully 
shaken the nation in the past fifty years ; before the age 
of modem science and varied industry, and of larger 
freedom of religious thought and spiritual experience. 
In my New England childhood Puritanism largely gave 
its cast and aspect to life, for good and ill; now we 
breathe a new atmosphere. 

For a realistic picture of that old time, some autobio- 
graphic sketch of childhood and youth seemed best 

To give an idea of the growth of reforms, and how 
one led to another, a look at the grand anti-slavery move- 
ment, in which I was privileged to take part, at its 
mighty ** winnowing of the nation," and at the upward 
steps which have followed it, with biographic sketches of 
noble and true-hearted men and women whom I have 
known, seemed fit and useful. A look at the great 
religious changes and spiritual experiences of our time, 
and an outlook forward to coming light and needed 
reforms must surely help to inspire us to emulate the 
courage of those who have done well in the past, and to 
take up our needed tasks with a faith even stronger than 
theirs. 

Thus is the aim and scope of this work briefly given. 
Some fragmentary sketches of like aim, used here, and 
changed and added to, met with such favor years ago 
from good friends that I hope they, and possibly others, 
may take a cordial interest in this book. To those 
friends, near and far, it is gratefully dedicated. 

G. B. a 

Detroit, Mich., 

March ist, 189a 



CONTENTS. 



CHAP. 

Dedicatory Introduction 3 

I. — Ancestry — Childhood — Youth. — Birthplace — Spring- 
field, Mass. — Hatfield — Home Life— Oliver Smith — Sophia 
Smith— Self.Help 9 

II. — Old Time Good and III. — Religious growth — Reforms — 

Temperance 39 

III.— Transcendentalism. — Brook *Farm — Hopedale — North- 
ampton—Samuel L. Hill — W. E. Channing — Pierpont — 
Theodore Parker 51 

rv.— Ant I -Slavery. — Garrison—** The Fleas of Conventions " — 
Personal Incidents — H. C. Wright — ^C. L. Remond— 
George Thomi>son — Gerritt Smith — Abby Kelley Foster — 
Abigail and Lydia Mott — Abigail P. Ela— Josephine & 
GriffinCK. 72 

V. — ^The Friends — Quakerism.— Griffith M. Cooper— John and 
Hannah Cox — A Golden Wedding — Experiences of Pris- 
cilla Cadwallader — Lucretia Mott — McClintock— J T. 
Hopper — Thomas Garrett — Richard Glazier— Progressive 
Friends' Meetings 1 19 

VI.— The World's Helpers and Light Bringers. — ^John D. 
Zimmerman — W. S. Prentiss — Wm. Denton — E. B. Ward 
—Emily Ward — Benjamin F. Wade — H. C. Carey — Home 
Industry— Education, Scientific, Industrial, and Moral— 
"Religion of the Body" — Jugoi Arinori Mori — Peary 
Chand Mittra — ^President Grant and Sojourner Truth — 
John Brown — Helpful Influences — Great Awakenings . . . , 15X 

Vn.— Spiritualism— Natural Religion. — Experiences and In- 
vestigations — Slate Writing — Spirits described — Piano 
music without hands — A fact beyond mind reading — Lifted 
in the air — Spirit portraits — A Michigan pioneer's ex- 
perience — ^Looking Beyond — Future Life — Natural Me- 
diumship — Illumination — Blind Inductive Science 32S 



li CONTENTS. 

CHAff. PAGS 

VIII.— Psychic Science Research.— The Spiritual Body — ^Painless 
Surgery — Psychometry — Inspired Experiences — George 
Eliot — Helen Hunt Jackson — Prof. Stowe— Mrs. H. B. 
Stowe — Savonarola — Rev. H. W. Bellows — Dinah Mulock 
Craik — A Simple Michigan Maiden — Lizzie Doten — Read- 
ing German Philosophy — Record of an Hour's Experience. 264 

IX. — Religious Outlook— Coming Reforms.— A New Protes- 
tantism—Woman in the Pulpit— Rev. Horace Bushnell's 
" Deeper Matters " — Radicalism — Ethical Cultiu*e — 
Liberal Christianity— A Needed Leaven — Two Paths — 
Future Religion— Coming Reforms— Conclusion 285 



Upward Steps of Seventy Years. 



CHAPTER I. 

ANCESTRY — CHILDHOOD — YOUTH. 

«* The home of my childhood ; the haunts of my prime ; 
All the passions and scenes of that rapturous time, 
When the feelings were young and the world was new, 
Like the fresh bowers of Eden unfolding to view." 

Thomas Priftgle, 

Ancestry is like the roots of a tree. Something of the 
fibre and grain of the root crops out in branch and twig, 
in flower and fruitage. My maternal grandfather's farm- 
house still stands in the old town of Hatfield, Massachu- 
setts, on the western verge of the fertile meadows on the 
Connecticut river. Its great central chimney (fifteen feet 
square at the base), its small windows, low^-ceiled rooms, 
solid frame and steep roof, were unchanged a few years 
ago, but clad in new vesture of clapboards and shingles. 
Just inside the yard, in front, stood an elm — its trunk 
five feet through, and its branches reaching over the roof 
ot the house. A century ago, grandfather brought it from 
the meadow on his shoulder, set it in the ground, and 
lived to take his noon-day nap on the grass beneath its 
shade, when almost ninety years old. Fifty years ago 
the well behind the house was dug out anew. It stood 
just outside the barnyard fence, with the log watering- 



10 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

trough inside, and a spout between. I can see the cattle 
standing around that trough, sucking up the water as the 
bucket was emptied into it, waiting for the swift up and 
down swing of the old well-sweep to bring them a fresh 
supply, and clattering their horns and poking their heads 
over the fence if the ** hired man " failed to ply his task at 
the well-pole vigorously. When the diggers had reached 
down twenty feet, they came to the roots of the great 
tree, filling the earth with a network of tough fibres, which 
reached under the deep house-cellar, and met in the 
massive trunk of that tree sixty feet away. I won- 
dered with the rest, to see how far and how deep they 
reached. 

So our ancestral roots go back to * ' y e olden time " of 
simple and God-fearing New England, and even under 
the ocean to sturdy Saxons and hardy Normans in Eng- 
land On my mother's side I can only go back to her 
father, Ebenezer Fitch. His cousin, John Fitch, built 
the first steamboat, ran it on the Delaware in 1788 and 
1790, had no means to impair its broken machinery, and 
went to the wild west to die on the Ohio river. He sent 
a sealed packet to the Franklin library in Philadelphia, to 
be opened in thirty years, in which he said : **I die un- 
known and poor, but when this package is opened the 
whistle of the steamboat will be heard on every navigable 
stream in this country " — a prophecy born of faith, and 
fully verified ; for the genius of Fulton, helped by the 
money of the Livingstones, took up his work and carried 
it on. My grandfather had some of this inventive genius. 
I have often heard him tell the story of his millstone in 
the linseed oil mill, falling into the pit, and how he alone, 
three miles from any help, lifted the great stone, weigh- 
ing over a ton, twelve feet upward to its place. I re- 
member him as a white-haired old man, toward the close 
of a life of careful thrift, patient industry, and remarkable 
temperance in all things, *' Leave off eating just a little 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 1 1 

hungry," was his word and practice. His wife, my grand- 
mother, was a daughter of Deacon Taylor, of Suffield, Ct., 
— a busy man, with a farm, a blacksmith's shop, and many 
affairs of church and town in his trusty hands. He had 
the old New England habit of vigilant care and early 
work. Mother used to tell of making long visits at their 
house, and how the Deacon was up before the dawn in 
cold winter mornings, built the fire in the great kitchen 
fire-place, put on the tea-kettle, swept up the hearth, 
and then would open the chamber door which led up to 
a hall with sleeping rooms on either side, and call out 
in quick and clear tones : ** Boys I Gals ! '' and no boy or 
*'gar' waited for a second summons. 

A quaint story, and true withal, is told of an old-time 
courtship at his house. My grandfather, in the old revo- 
lutionary war, paid a substitute to do his fighting against 
the *' red-coat Britishers," and followed the useful voca- 
tion of teaming up and down the Connecticut from 
Hartford to his home. Among his many errands, he had 
one to Deacon Taylor, and left his team under the tavern 
shed one raw November day, and found his way to the 
house. He went to the kitchen door (in those days front 
doors were reserved for state occasions), and a blooming 
maiden opened it, and asked him in. The old folks were 
away, and she was at the big spinning-wheel, erect, 
radiant, and busy with her graceful and useful task. Of 
course she stopped to hear his message, and saw that he 
looked cold and a little worn. ** On hospitable thoughts 
intent." she asked him to wait and take a lunch ; set up 
the little square stand by his side, put on a plate, knife 
and fork,' rye bread, a dish of ** scraps,'' fresh and crispy, 
just from the trying of the lard, with a pumpkin pie, and a 
mug of cider to help out. He ate and they talked ; he 
felt refreshed in body and soul. Other errands followed, 
and in due time a wedding. Sons and daughters blessed 
the golden hour that led the father to that kitchen, and 



1 2 UPWARD STEPS OP SEVENTY YEARS. 

prompted the maiden, their dear mother, to set her best 
— pumpkin pie and scraps — before him. I never saw her, 
but heard much of her tender kindness and thrifty ways, 
and always thought my mother must be like her. 

Grandfather never felt quite sure of his * ' calling and 
election," and so never joined the church, but was a con- 
stant attendant, and kept up family prayers to the last. 
Often did I, when a child, kneel by my chair on that 
kitchen floor, and listen to his familiar petitions — always 
the same words earnestly repeated. It was no idle cere- 
mony, but his best way to look up for light and strength. 
Whoever has a better way, let him take it, and waste no 
time in slighting contempt of **the soul's sincere desire," 
even if expressed in strange and daily -repeated phrases. 

My paternal grandparents I never saw, but the Stebbins 
family — or Stebbing by English spelling — goes dimly 
back to one Nicholas de Stubbynge, in 1235, with some 
armorial crest of lion heads and the like, in Essex, and is 
clearly traced eight generations to one Rowland Stebbins, 
from England, the ancestor of all the race here. For over 
two centuries they were mostly farmers in decent con- 
dition. In 1774-80 the Wilbraham town records (in Mas- 
sachusetts, father's birthplace) show a score of them as 
stout soldiers in the war, as refusing to use British goods, 
and as paying their share of war costs, heavy for those 
days. The plaih names — Noah, Moses, Calvin, Enos, 
Aaron, Zadock and Eldad — tell their English lineage and 
their middling station in life. A sturdy, upright and 
downright company they were, little given to official 
honors or to large wealth, branching out sometimes from 
farm to pulpit, but everywhere inclined to do their own 
thinking. The women were strong, sensible, and earnest, 
with a tinge of finer grace in the later generations as I 
knew them, a rare sweetness tempering their strength. 
The English blood kept clear of any foreign mixture in a 
remarkable way ; healthy in body and soul, genuine in 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



13 



life and character. There were no mean members, few 
dull ones, some of marked power and insight ; on the 
whole, it was good blood because genuine and honest 

BIRTHPLACE — ^SPRINGFIELD, MASS. 

Opposite the north-west corner of Armory Square in 
Springfield, stood, sixty years ago, a long, one-story 
house, formerly a soldier's barrack, but neatly fitted up 
as a cottage for my father, who was paymaster's clerk in 
the government armory or gun factory. In the centre of 
that grassy square of twenty acres, a tall flag-staff rose 
above the trees, and from its top, on all gala days, floated 
the stars and stripes. Facing the square on its eastern 
side, and filling a part of its southern space, were the 
long shops in which hundreds of men worked at making 
muskets. The level plain dotted with houses, stretched 
back to low hills eastward with the Wilbraham mount- 
ains, but a few miles distant. Northward fifteen miles 
the Holyoke mountain range lifted up its billowy sum- 
mits against the sky. Just in the rear of the house the 
ground sloped down a hundred feet to the level of the 
broad meadows on which the town was mostly built, 
and its homes, half hid by great elms, the blue Connec- 
ticut winding through twenty miles of lovely valley, and 
the towering hills west, were all in sight, — one of the 
loveliest landscapes in the world, with its soft beauty 
lifted into grandeur as the eye rested on the mountains 
along its border. 

Around that home was the beauty of nature, and 
within it the diviner beauty of human life, well ordered 
in its daily doings. Very seldom did I hear a fretful or 
impatient word from father or mother — fortunate tempera- 
ment, and the repression and self-control in the very 
atmosphere of Puritanism wrought this fine result, which 
lasted through years of invalid life of my father, and 
the watching night and day of my mother, and kept their 



14 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 

last years serene and cheerful. An older and only sister 
never fretted at me or them, but held to her sweet saint- 
liness and useful cares as maiden, wife, and mother. 

I look up to these lives ; without them I could not see 
through the mists to their golden heights. The memory 
of such a home is a saving grace. 

Near us was the Arsenal, filled with thousands of 
muskets stacked upright in burnished order. When I read 
Longfellow's poem — 

"This is the Arsenal, from floor to ceiling. 
Like a huge organ, rise the burnished arms, 
But from their silent throats no anthems pealing. 
Startle the villagers with rude alarms — " 

I could see it all, as if it were but yesterday that I played 
as a child among these long corridors of silent weapons. 
This youth of the spirit tells of immortality, — it pertains 
to our innermost, where there is no death or decay. 

In rainy days the long, low garret was a chosen resort. 
There were piles of the Springfield Republican — of which 
my father was one of the early friends and founders — in 
which were charming stories by Rev. W. B. O. Peabody, 
the Unitarian clergyman of the town. What hours were 
those ! Lost to all care or thought of other things and 
living in the scenes of his creation. When I heard that 
minister read the hymns and preach on Sundays, his 
tender monotone and the spiritual beauty of his presence, 
set him apart from earth, and to me he seemed a celestial 
visitant. 

Homer's Iliad divided my garret hours with his stories, 
and I used to feel the wild struggle of the battle, see the 
descending gods, and hear the words of heroes and the 
pleas of women, until New England was in some dim 
distance, and old Greece was new and near. Years after 
in Hatfield, just at an age when a boy devours the books 
he happens to find, I had access to the town library of 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 15 

some five hundred well -selected volumes, and so, fortu- 
nately, read history and Scott's novels, and was saved 
from literary trash. In those days we had fewer books, 
and less unwholesome cramming and mental dyspepsia. 
Many books bring many dangers to those who have no 
wit or wisdom to keep clear of mental bogs, quicksands 
and moral whirlpools. For fair days there was "the 
dingle," a deep ravine with steep banks just north of the 
house, where I shared the sport of pushing, tumbling and 
rolling in the soft sand with other boys, until the master's 
ferule rapping on the window called us all to the school- 
house near at hand. 

• Nothing is absolutely forgotten ; every event comes up, 
again if but rightly evoked. The very bricks in our 
houses can, perhaps, whisper of what has passed within 
their walls before our day, were our poor ears fine enough 
to hear the story. Some things stand out in wonderful 
clearness the moment the mind turns to them. When I was 
about six years old the West Point cadets pitched their 
tents on the green before our house, camped for a week, 
went through their drills and marched to the sound of 
their famous band's music. I had seen soldiers and heard 
bands before, but these I see now, and hear the strains of 
their music stir and swell in the air. 

A young woman, a friend of my sister, went to Phila- 
delphia as teacher in a ladies' private school, and came 
home on a visit about the time of this cadet encampment. 
She took me to church with her and seated me by her 
side. The gracious kindness and sweet refinement of her 
manners, a certain delicate and noble purity in her very 
presence, seemed but the signs and proofs of an interior 
perfectness. The simple elegance of her dress, its soft 
gray hue tinged with blue, seemed the fit expression of 
those qualities. I sat in quiet content — a fine aura, 
luminous to my spirit, but invisible otherwise, radiating 
from the inner being of that true woman. Such is the 



l6 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

influence of personal presence. Children especially live 
"not by bread alone." Let all thoughtless people, who 
would put the little ones among ignorant and uncouth 
nurses to save themselves trouble, think of this. 

That Unitarian Church, with its chaste beauty of archi- 
tecture, its air of quiet refinement, the exalted spirit and 
tenderness of its minister, the peculiar mellowness of the 
tone of its Sabbath bell, is a living memory. A few years 
ago I went to its site, and only fragments of the red stone 
steps of its porch were left. Up the street stood a costly 
modern temple, less beautiful to my eyes than the old 
meeting-house. Our "slip " or common narrow pew, in 
that church was opposite the stately square pew of 
Jonathan Dwight, father to Mrs. George Bancroft. The 
scholar and future historian used to come there with the 
family, and it was a quiet amusement to me to watch 
him standing before the window in prayer time, and 
catching flies on its panes in his total absence of mind. 

In occasional visits to my cousins in Wilbraham, I 
would go across the road on Sundays to the Methodist 
meetings in the old schoolhouse. The shouts, groans and 
uncouth ways of preachers and hearers made all seem 
unlike a Sabbath service ; but one day Rev. Wilbur Fisk 
— then Principal of the North Wilbraham Academy, a 
Methodist Bishop since — came to preach, and his quiet 
manner made me feel that I was again '* going to meet- 
ing." The strong and lively companionship of those 
cousins, like brothers as they were, was good for me. 
After our active sports over the farm, and along the swift 
Scantic, foaming and rushing out of the mountain gorge, I 
used to be filled with strange feelings at night in listening 
to the moan of the wind in the pine forest on the mount- 
ain-side, always prophetic of a coming storm. That 
minor key in Nature's harmony, that wailing and fore- 
boding sound, brought apprehension to my soul. 

One of my earliest inward questionings came up as I 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



17 



used to look into the still water in brooks, where no bot- 
tom could be seen, or up into the unfathomable blue over 
all. An awe, which subdued but did not oppress, would 
come over me. With a stick I could touch the bed of the 
pool, but that wondrous sky, I felt that none could measure 
What was this, which I could think of, yet could not 
compass ? I felt that beyond sky and cloud stretched an 
expanse without end. 

My first knowledge of death brought a dread, but then 
came the thought that somehow, when I died, I should 
go out into that illimitable region beyond the clouds. This 
came from no teaching that I can remember, but from 
some inward sense — a child's intuition of immortality. 



HATFIELD. 



Sing on ! bring down, O lowland river, 

The joy of the hills to the waiting sea ; 

The wealth of the vales, the pomp of the mountains. 

The breath of the woodlands bear with thee." 

My father's delicate health compelled him to resign his 
place, kindly kept for him so long as recovery seemed 
possible, and we all moved to Hatfield, a quiet, old farm- 
ing town, twenty-five miles up the Connecticut, the home 
of my grandfather and uncle on the mother's side. The 
wing of a vacant farmhouse was rented, and life in the 
country began, yet not an isolated farm life. Along wide, 
grassy streets were ranged the houses, each with its home 
lot of a few acres, its orchard, garden and bams, and the 
farm was back in the great meadows by the river, some- 
times in fragments — lots a mile or two apart Great elms 
stood along the roadsides and in the yards, their branches 
reaching over the road and the house roofs. The people 
were all within a mile of the church and the post-office, 
and so near each other that visits could be made by easy 
walks. All this helped to make life pleasant. The solid 
old houses were built to stand, with huge, central chim- 

2 



1 8 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

neys, steep roofs, small windows, low rooms, massive 
frames, and little ornament without or within, — an occa- 
sional carved doorway with all sorts of queer oak leaves 
and grapes cut on the posts and overhead, telling of a 
touch of aristocracy in some very ** forehanded" family. 
There was one parish church, one " creed and baptism" 
for two centuries. The minister. Rev. Joseph Lyman, 
D. D., I remember well, — one of the last settled for life 
over the parish, after the old way, and who had preached 
Puritan theology to his flock for fifty years ; white-haired, 
austere, of sound judgment, good and true in his way ; 
more given to the terrors of the law than to the heavenly 
graces, with autocratic ideas of his office, a righteous 
ruler of the elect as God's vicegerent rather than a loving 
and brotherly teacher. Saturday forenoons he used to 
come to the schoolhouse **to catechise the children," to 
hear us repeat the lessons in the old primers ; quaint 
rhymes, telling how, 

*» In Adam's fall, 
We sinned all," 

were in those little primers, or abridged Westminster 
catechisms. Rude wood-cuts on the border, picturing 
Adam, Eve, the serpent and apple of the Hebrew story ; 
like illustrations of other couplets for the young, and knotty 
questions on fate and free-will, which nobody understood, 
and which were held as the mysteries of godliness. When 
that grave old clergyman entered the door, the hum of the 
schoolroom gave place to a hushed silence. No roguish 
glance or merry flash from any bright eyes of boy or girl ; 
no whittling or snapping of "spit balls," or faintest whis- 
per ; no twisting about on the hard benches, but all sat 
upright and still, intent on their books, or stealing awe- 
struck glances at the minister. When he left the cheery 
hum sprang up with new life, the joy of childhood and 
youth flashed out again like sunshine breaking through a 
cold, gray cloud. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 19 

Yet he would have perished at the stake by slow fire 
rather than have taught what he thought false. We may 
well honor and imitate his fidelity to conscience, while our 
thoughts widen, and we breathe a softer air. 

By the roadside stood the old brown schoolhouse, guilt- 
less of paint within or without ; in the little entry at one 
corner hung hats and bonnets and shawls, and the water 
pail with its tin cup stood on the floor. How ** dry" we 
used to get, how glad to go after a pail of water, and how 
often we asked to ** get a drink ! " It was a relief from 
sitting on hard benches, cramped behind desks, or swing- 
ing the feet, as the smaller ones did, with the floor out of 
reach. That entry opened into a low room thirty feet 
square, in which fifty scholars were crowded, with one 
teacher for all, from alphabet to algebra ; yet with brains 
and will a great deal was learned. The hardy and healthy 
lived and won ; the slender boy^ and delicate, flower-like 
girls yielded to the rude discomforts, and died, with none 
to tell why. 

When we were out at play and a stranger passed in his 
wagon, the boys would join hands and all bow, while the 
girls linked together and dropped a courtesy, — all rec- 
ognized by the traveler with a smile and a nod. The 
audacity of young America in our days might be toned 
down by some of these old customs. No tree or shrub 
stood near that schoolhouse ; not a blind or curtain to any 
window. The fierce winds of winter burst on it with full 
force, driving chill gusts through the rattling panes ; the 
burning sun of summer poured its fiery rays on roof and 
wall, and made the cramped room within a purgatory. 
The compensations were outside ; but a few steps north, 
in the middle of the street, between a fork of two roads, 
stood two magnificent elms, only some fifteen feet apart, 
their trunks five feet through, their widespread and inter- 
laced branches sweeping the chimney tops of two houses 
on opposite sides of the street, a hundred feet apart. A 



20 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

fairy world of foliage and bird-song, far up where no 
venturesome boy ever climbed ; a marvel of massive 
limbs and delicate tracery of twig and leaf, such as no 
artist ever chiseled on stone, in temple or cathedral ! For 
a hundred years, nature had wrought to perfect this master- 
piece, subtly gathering and shaping materials from earth, 
stream and air, lifting inorganic clods into organized 
symmetry, transfiguring coarseness into beauty, absorb- 
ing ** the early dew and the later rain/' calling down the 
upper air to help shape ethereal lightness in leaf and 
blossom, — all this a free gift to the group of schoolchildren 
that loved to stand on the grass, and look up, open-eyed 
and happy, not knowing why they were drawn and held 
there. 

** Beauty into my senses stole, 
I yielded myself to the perfect whole.** 

is what each one felt, but could not say. 

Compared to what was done elsewhere, New England 
was in advance in education. Plainly enough we can see 
the imperfectness of the old ways ; but our drill and 
mechanical routine, our external memorizing and puppet- 
show work, hamper personal development. Some of the 
best thinking and studying was done in those school- 
houses. Those were poor days for girls. Near us lived 
a man-r-a pillar in the church, good after his measure — 
who said : **To read and write and cypher as far as the 
rule of three, is enough for gals," and the deacon only 
spoke what many thought Woman was the helpmeet, 
man the head of the household, the ruler over wife and 
family. If she died a widow, her name was cut on a grim 
gravestone as a " relict " — a sort of appendage. Four 
miles from where that man lived who summed up what 
" gals " should know, stands the Smith College for women 
in Northampton, endowed with a half million dollars by 
a woman of his own town. Certainly we have reached 
better ideas. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SE VENTY YEARS, 2 1 

HOME LIFE. 

Our household ways were simple ; mother and sister 
did their own work, and after that sister left home, my 
mother had no help. All was neat, and in order, and 
due season. She had the New England ** faculty," and 
found time to read and visit. My father was kind but 
thorough, and trained me to do my work punctually and 
well. To build fires, saw wood, tend the garden, and do 
errands, was my work, to set tables for my mother 
also, and wipe dishes, bring water and pound the clothes 
on Mondays. These useful household tasks I enjoyed. 
A sense of duty and obedience, a thirst for knowledge, a 
love of order and decorum, a religious devotedness to the 
best ends, a feeling that success comes with industry and 
good aims, filled the atmosphere. I remember coming 
home from school one keen wintry afternoon, when 
father asked: **Have you brought the mail, my son.?" 
I answered : '*No. I forgot it" He quietly said: **I 
think you better go back after it." I knew that go I must, 
but went out in hot temper, which the biting cold soon 
cured. Then I thought : **It's tough, but he was right," 
and I ran swiftly over the snowdrifts and brought the 
mail back just as the warm supper stood on the table. 
No more was said, but all were kind and cheery, and 
I enjoyed the good things with a boy's keen appetite. 
I never forgot the mail again. 

Two or three summers I worked on a farm for a few 
weeks, for a friend of ours, a good farmer, who gave me 
a boy's task, and cared for me. I enjoyed it, learned a 
good deal that was useful, and he paid me just enough to 
make a lad feel a little pride in earning something. I 
can see now that it was my father's way of training me to 
industry. One autumn I husked corn for the owner of 
the farmhouse we lived in. The unhusked ears were 
piled up in the old corn-house and I was to husk and 
empty into the cribs for one cent a bushel. I enjoyed 
the work all by myself in those cool November days. I 



22 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

would finish my twelve bushels before noon, g^t my 
twelve cents from the prompt paymaster, and do chores 
and play and read the rest of the day. Once I husked 
twenty bushels by three o'clock, and the twenty cents, as 
token of such a stout day's work, g^ve great satisfaction ; 
in all, two hundred and forty bushels were husked, and 
two dollars and forty cents paid me. I doubt if ever boy 
or man enjoyed work more, and dollars were dollars, 
looking largfe in those times. 

Theodore Parker wrote : **I owe a g^at deal to the 
habit, early formed, of patient and persistent work." My 
good parents were training me to that habit, and I bless 
them for it. Father used to say : * ' Never depend on 
others to do for you what you can do for yourself." Self- 
help, self-dependence, and simple personal wants were 
wrought into my life as habits, — the good habits of New 
England in those days. To make others toil for you 
needlessly was wrong ; self-dependence brought self- 
respect and respect for others ; wasted time was sinful and 
pitiful, and personal display was weak vanity. These 
ideas sometimes ran to niggardly meanness, to hypocrisy 
and asceticism, but all this was but perversion and excess, 
1 saw them practiced by those whose hands were "open 
as day to melting charity," but vvhov^e hearts never ran 
away with their h<.^Us, and who must tirst know that 
their charity waa wiiivN I saw money paid for public 
%S*K^y \\\ no atintvHl mca^urvs but in just prt.>pv>rtion, by 
the same perJAoni*. and U\^rnv>U lutvr in lit<.\ that these 
gvKwl habitii mud<> suvh giliJi vHVi.vibKs und thvit a deep 
seniie of duty to J^Hivly iu>ii.^ivd the j^ivvrji, I huvv one 
man in minvi, a lumur vKvtvd bv hin b*,s^t nci^hbor^ to 
town office whish ho held t<.^ yvai?4» uv.vt bvvau^e the 
honoiJi or simull ^^vUiu Kd hiu\ K^ .^vsk ihcn\, but bccaus^e 
h<? fvU it a duty tv^ hv,*lp iu puM\v ^ituirn, <iud bvvause 
th(.KiC ncighbvUM k»»v\v lUi>., auyl K^K^vv ho OsHdd vdw^ys be 
Uvwit^d Many aiuvh luou wvw vlvstvvl tv s.^^ iu tho^ 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 23 

old town meetings — the best men, in the true sense of a 
much-abused term. 

Let the appeal to-day be for the stricken victims of 
yellow fever in our southern cities, for the sufferers by 
forest fires amidst the smoking ruin of home and farm on 
Lake Huron, or for some wise plan of education or 
needed reform, and help comes from New England as 
generously in proportion to her means as from any other 
quarter, and comes largely from those trained in these 
simple and self-helping ways, and filled and inspired 
with that sense of duty which is a grand element of the 
Puritan character. 

But, coming back to the home-lifa Once or twice a 
year a tailoress used to come into our family to make up 
garments — old ones revamped or new. I would often 
have a coat made from one of my fathers, and I used to 
think it was lucky for me to get finer coats in this way 
than I should have had otherwise. Pantaloons for lads 
were made with tucks around the bottom, to be let down 
as the rising youngster's limbs grew longer, and were 
capacious in other ways to allow for growth. Oliver 
Wendell Holmes's picture of the boy at Col. Sprowle's 
party, who came with his parents, clad in his new suit, 
"buttony in front and baggy in its reverse aspect," called 
to my mind a host of boys that I knew. The coming of 
this tailoress was a notable event, for she went every- 
where, and knew all about everybody, and could tell a 
great deal, if she would. The gravely pleasant maiden- 
lady, who came most to us, was a wise woman, and 
would not gossip ; yet she told us a good many innocent 
and curious things about the household ways of the 
village dignitaries, and of odd doings in some homelier 
families. Occasionally another tailoress came, a talking 
woman, full of news ; and then the children were content 
to sit in their small chairs and hear of all the strange say- 
ings and doings and all the grand ways of our neighbors. 



34 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

She meant well, and aimed to steer clear of dangerous 
things, but sometimes she "let the cat out of the bag," 
and a family secret went on the wings of the wind, and 
there followed it a stream of wrath, like a tongue of flame 
smiting her at every step she tooL Then she would be 
quiet, the storm would abate, her spirits would rise again 
and her poor tongue would tell ; and then another tempest 
from some other quarter would stir the air. 

A story spread about the town that one man employed 
the tailoress to turn his coats and remake them wrong 
side out, and this was a fruitful topic of talk and com- 
ment, as he was known to be ** very forehanded. " But 
when he paid freely for the burial expenses of a worthy 
laboring man, the gossip toned down a little, and when he 
was gathered to his fathers, and left a half million or 
more for wise charities, his thrifty ways were only spoken 
of to his credit 

I have always been glad that I lived in time to see, and 
be a part of, that old phase of New England life now 
passing out of sight Harriet Beecher Stowe, Oliver Wen- 
dell Holmes, and Nathaniel Hawthonie are the three 
writers who have given us the most of the real life of 
those times. Hawthorne's ^'Scarlet Letter** is a psycho- 
logical study and a revelation of Puritanism, and its char- 
acters stand in the sombre shadow or the white light of 
the authors imagination. HiA ** Houj4<^ of Seven Gables" 
give quaint pictures i>f home-life, and nv^w stiKUes of 
character in milder as^Mxts. lU^iuci** ** Klsic Vvniner** 
is a faithful pv>rtraiture of <.xlvl-limc wuvji und ihou^ts^ 
tingeil with the tine huv\^ of thv? wiitvi ja hunu^r. und fuU 
of instruction an well ha v^' hv^iUhv iuiviwxt Mrs. SK>we s 
•* Ministers Woiviug" in u uviiuu va ih^w^^ dav^ and 
places ; her **(>Kl Town KUK?* i^^ iSo vs^iiiubK^ life of th« 
Puritans, in its later pciivnls, uy^i on!\ iS.^t titv^ v.^^ il» sur^ 
face, but in its depths. Shv» h.is vlv»u i^^^ij^St ,mkI rv^v^-rt^nt 
appreciation of the virtu<?ii va k\uitauu>«iu> 4uj yv< i^ji uot 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 25 

blind to its faults. What was permanent she would 
uphold ; what was transient she would rate at its fleeting 
value. Wonderful is her story of the old-time life and 
habits — full of pathos and humor, its homely traits ver- 
itable indeed. 

Sam Lawson I knew for years, with another name. I 
can see him now, enough like hers to be of near kin ; 
tall, awkward, loose-jointed, a swift walker, but to no end ; 
an inveterate do-nothing, guiltless of a day's work for 
thirty years, — his good wife tried beyond endurance while 
he ranged the country over his circuit of some ten miles. 
He never spoke a vulgar or profane word, was temperate 
in habits, decent in deportment, religious in his odd way, 
led an aimless life, discussed grave topics in a grave way, 
yet nobody cared a straw for his opinions ; in short, was 
a Sam Lawson, a sort of decent vagabond, not possible 
elsewhere. Deacon Badger, of later date, and with a new 
name, was our neighbor, — a good Christian, devout, yet 
cheery ; orthodox, but with a twinkle in his bright eyes 
as he talked over the Sunday's sermon ; an Arminian 
slant in his theology ; a human goodness in his soul, that 
made the air around him warm. Miss Mehitable Ros- 
siter, too, had another name, as I knew her, but was 
veritably the same person Mrs. Stowe describes. I have 
been at the old parsonage, sat in the large, low-ceiled 
library, and listened to her sensible talk. I have seen 
her come into church on Sundays, and noted the deference 
people paid her, not only for herself, but because the 
blood of a race of pious clergymen was in her veins. 
The verisimilitude of this story gives it a great charm, its 
comprehension of the deeper issues of life gives it great 
value. So long as these books last, and they will be 
classic in coming times, the world will know New Eng- 
land in its earlier days. 

To finish my tasks and my lessons was always expected of 
me, but both were welcome and not heavy, and then came 



26 UPWARD STEPS OP SEVENTY YEARS, 

my blessed freedom. I could read or play, or wander off 
alone at my own will for hours, and was not interfered 
with or hardly questioned. To keep out of poor com- 
pany, and to tell a frank story, if asked, I knew was 
expected, and for the rest I felt I was tnisted, and would 
not betray that trust. A great help it is to be trusted ; 
growth of character comes from it. 

Rambles along the river side and in the great meadows, 
watching birds and all manner of wild things in the 
woiHis» and looking off at the Tom and Holyoke moun- 
tain ranges* lifted up so gnindly against the sky, were my 
delight* and a lore not of books came to me. Books I 
rt^avl eagerly* toa Up in an old apple tree in our yard 
Wft» u nice J^eat among the branches — back and foot rest, 
and place for bvK^ks. all of the curved and twining limbs 
• and thert^ I would sit for hours, looking up now and 
tht»n fh^n^ my rt^uding ti> the foliage around, or far up 
\\\\s> th<* grt^at bower of the spreading elms near by. A 
l\^vovitt» place was that ; it seemed as though one could 
^K'X U\VMX» out of the lHH>ks there than elsewhere. At 
\\\^\\\y when the house-rvnU' was best shelter, there was 
kind wpjm^val and warning, quiet tenderness with serene 
vvtmlvMn, but \^ever |n^ssioi\ ivr fretfulness. How fresh 
IhvMi^^ wtnUM evening re^uUngs of newspmpers come to 
\\\\\\\\ ^ The nvvHler\^ mng^^ines were not in being then. 
/V x^V^^ W%'^<N\*A* A%tti*«\ ch\nce and costly, was read 
bv ^ Ih^Ulv^vl «uul ?keU\ t cirvlcx but the people looked up to 
W ^^ U^ «*VH^^y\> nn^^ppuMv hrtble 5tt4*r. We had the Christian 
^HViV^^ \M^* vA^n^tv jM^H^r. i^nd a weekly New York 
Hhv'v^lv l\\M\\ whivK we ^.-^inevl knowKnlge of the great 
\\yMl\> Ovn \\vM^U\^^h vn\ole v^r my sister would read, 
\\ \\\\v y\S\NO\vM >»vnv\s>s xMui f^Ather r<^ie\l in his easy-chair, 
\\\\\\ \ <A \^\\ ^\\\ UtO^ ^tsv bo^nul the sK>ve. Si> we had 
\N\NHSsr \N\^\Uu < t'\^)iUxS ;^.s^ hVnch iitTdrs. Russian wars 
tuyyW'* Osy^ Us^^avn. ^^y\y^*^M^x xM vV^cnttJX «nd Pekin, and 
V\ Y^\s<^ ^ys \^^^^>^ ^x^HHx^^ . ^yvNt \n< yt\^t<^Uy. by telegram, but 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 27 

of weeks and months past ; not copious and graphic, as 
from "our own correspondent," but solid and without 
sensation ah'sm. Those evenings were no small part of 
my education, to which may be added occasional evening 
readings of books. Our household talks were in easy 
simplicity of language, but with no slang. We had pure 
English undefiled, with an occasional racy provincialism. 
A move to Wilbraham, east of Springfield a few miles, 
and a winter's stay there at the ample farmhouse of my 
uncle, Calvin Stebbins, was an event of moment. The 
house stood on a corner, facing south and west ; east- 
ward, the mountains, a thousand feet high, were near at 
hand, — rocky, forest-clad, mysterious ; immense then, 
but sadly dwindled after ten years' absence, and crossing 
the Alleghanies. The roar of the swift Scantic, breaking 
through the hills just south of the farm, could be heard. 
Westward spread the plains toward the meadows on the 
Connecticut — not rich soil or rich farmers, but plain livers 
and diligent workers from necessity. Such a man as 
Carlyle describes his honored father, was my uncle 
Calvin, only with larger powers, wider culture and more 
of what the sects call heresy, which is sometimes, as with 
him, the deepest religion. He had three boys about my 
age — from eight to twelve — and for me, with no brother, 
it was a great treat to be with them. Winter evenings 
we would all group around the kitchen table with our 
books — ^geography, Peter Parley's stories and the like — 
and the hour or two of reading and talk was a treat we 
all enjoyed, my uncle being the informal teacher and 
guide. Then he would say: **Come, boys, we are a 
little tired ; now some apples, and then to bed." One of 
us would go to the cellar and fill a milk pan with apples ; 
this was put on the table, another turned bottom up by 
its side, was the place for the tallow candle to stand. 
The apples were enjoyed, the parings duly put away, 
and then we scampered upstairs to our room, J-imped 



28 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

into the frosty beds, soon made them warm and cozy, 
and slept fearless of dyspepsia. Two of the brothers are 
still on earth. If I could call one from his medical practice 
among the Alleghany hills of south-western New York, 
and the other from his study as a California clergyman, 
I am sure both would say with me, that those evening 
lessons are not worn out or forgotten. 

Those evening readings of a few precious books well 
studied bring to mind the Hatfield Town Library, with 
its 500 volumes, few but prized, and the corner shelves, 
or the little cupboard in the wall, in many a farmer's 
kitchen, in those days, where the Bible and a scanty row 
of well-thumbed books were seen, — all faithfully and 
thoughtfully read, until no golden word was lost, no pearl 
of great price neglected. A change has brought us 
libraries, and magazines, and great newspapers, with 
nonsense and sensationalism mixed with matters of mo- 
ment, and we read as we eat, eagerly and fast, without 
discrimination, and with a fondness for the high-seasoned 
and unwholesome. 

I once knew a stout black boy, just at the hungry age 
when a lad will eat his weight every day, taken from 
his home in a southern city where his fare had been 
plain, and made table-waiter in a home of abundance. A 
jolly boy he was for a while. Pie and pudding, steak 
and preserves, and chicken, coffee and cake, tea and 
toast and ice-cream wore all consumed with eager joy 
and in goodly quantity, greatly to the amusement of the 
family; but at last nature rebelled. He lived, for he 
was tough and hearty, but he learned to choose from the 
abundance, and we all lost the sport of seeing all sorts of 
goodies eaten by the plateful, while his eyes were full of 
greedy glee. 

There are a good many boys, and girls, too, of all 
ages and H\ces, who rend much ns that boy ate. 

Our abundance of books nnd journals is good to 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 29 

choose from, and a wise choice is sadly needed. With it 
we can gain the thoughtfuhiess of our good ancestors 
with a wider range and more light than they had ; with- 
out it we shall live, for a season, in a world of sky- 
rockets and mock thunder, all to end in chaos of dust and 
ashes and void darkness. 

OLIVER SMITH. SOPHIA SMITH. — ELIZA ANN WARNER. 

** Though never shown by word or deed, 
Within us lies some germ of power. 
As lies unguessed within the seed, 
The latent flower.*' 

A frequent and welcome visitor at our home in Hat- 
field was Oliver Smith, a single man, about my father's 
age, simple in habits, social and cheerful. It was my 
delight to sit in my comer and listen to his talk, for he 
knew much of men and things, and his genial humor 
and sagacity attracted and instructed us alL He belonged 
to a notable family. At one time there were six brothers 
in the town, the youngest over sixty, the oldest over 
eighty. His home was with the elder brother, ** Squire 
Ben," near the meeting-house, in a great gambrel-roofed 
house with imposing dormer windows. Once or twice a 
year the parlor was opened for some great occasion, the 
close shutters thrown back, and the sunshine actually let 
into its stately space. To try to sit in the high-backed, 
hair-seat chairs, in which none but the watchfully upright 
could stay, and to look at the rich velvet wall-paper, 
with its regular rows of shepherdesses and poppies, was a 
great privilege. The family were above putting on airs. 
They had a decent sense of good blood and genteel 
breeding, yet their daily life was unpretending and care- 
taking. 

Oliver Smith was the rich man of that region, a banker 
and a money lender, just and honest, not giv^^to rob- 
bing the poor, but exact and thorough, ana expecting 



30 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

others to be so. He loaned money at six per cent., spent 
little, and the surplus grew large. I have known of his 
rendering men great service in money matters, in troub- 
lous times, on terms not burdensome to them, yet safe to 
himself, when a hard man would have coined wealth out 
of their want He was called penurious, his own ways 
were so plain, but I knew of his quiet charities, his left 
hand hardly knowing what the right hand did For 
praise or blame in such matters he cared little. On 
Mondays he rode to Northampton bank, four miles dis- 
tant, his old gray horse and green wagon familiar to all. 
It was rumored that he was worth almost half a million, 
nn immense sum then, equal to many millions now. He 
was, besides my father, the only reader of the Unitarian 
Christian Register in Hatfield, and this likeness of views 
probably helped to bring him to us. At last he passed 
uwny, an ag6d man, and then people first knew that he 
had an aim and purpose, long cherished and inspiring, 
the secret spring of his cheerfulness. He left the bulk 
of a half-million dollars in the hands of trustees, to be 
invcstod and used according to the terms of a long and 
ciirofully written will Gifts to poor and worthy girls at 
llirir marriage ; loans at low interest to young men at 
thoir majority, who had some useful trade or industry to 
purMuo, uud the education of worthy young people in 
k'ortain towns, were to be the chief uses of this fund, 
\\\\W\\ wuM to hist for a long time. So far the trustees 
have dono well, and a solid stone building in Northamp- 
ton, Is the otlico of the Oliver Smith Fund. Seen in the 
lijjht of this lifoh)ng purpose, his careful savings are no 
lonjjrr tho jfnispings of the miser, but the wealth of the 
bonrfrtotor, sticrotlly laid aside and dedicated to a good 
ond. 

I'.ll;{i Ann WanuNT, an adopted child of the Smith family, 
NVf\M lor a lon^ time his contidential secretary. An inti- 
malolVknul of my $i$tcr, her visits were always welcome. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVEXTY YEARS, 31 

She was tall and delicate, with hi^h forehead, dark eyes, 
wonderfully eloquent and tender, finely expressive features 
and a singular grace and charm of manners. Her intel- 
lect was superior, her spiritual life tranquil and deep. 
Her vivid imagination would dwell in a world of romance 
and delight, yet a strong sense of duty led her never to 
slight any daily task. She was a rare person, 

"Who did adorn, 
The world whereinto she was bom." 

I last saw her, gray-haired and in delicate health. I did 
not give my name, but she knew me after long years of 
separation. I found, as I expected, that time had ripened, 
but not impaired her excellence and the beauty of her 
character. 

Another worthy member of this family I knew, Sophia 
Smith, a niece of Oliver. Her father was a rich farmer, 
and Austin, Harriet and Sophia — all single — shared his 
wealth and made their home in the old house. The 
sisters were reticent and quiet, but once or twice a year 
they had a great party ; inviting fifty or sixty town-folks, 
young and old, to tea and an evening. The tall wax 
candles, the lofty brass andirons, the solid mahogany 
furniture and elegant tea service, gave us a glimpse of old 
style gentility, which we prized. Brother, sister,* and 
other kindred passed away, and their money came into 
Sophia's coffers, making her one of the wealthiest women 
in the State. She was orthodox in theology, earnest, sin- 
cere, and conscientious. I remember her mental strength 
and practical good sense, but she was not known to have 
any special interest in plans of education or culture of any 
kind. She kept her own counsels, and so was misjudged 
during her life. When she passed on it was found that 
she had left a half-million to build and endow the Smith 
College for women at Northampton, and seventy-five 
thousand dollars for a free Academy in her own town. 



^2 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

For years all this had been in her mind, and she had held 
private consultations with the best educators and lawyers, 
that all might be well and securely arranged. The written 
directions as to these useful institutions gave proofs of 
marked wisdom on her part. No doubt this lonely woman 
had many hours of enjoyment in maturing these plans, 
and thinking of the benefits that others would derive 
from them after she had gone from the earth — her neigh- 
bors meanwhile wondering whom she was hoarding her 
wealth for. That enjoyment would have been greater, 
and the prospects of lasting success increased, had she 
started these noble enterprises in her lifetime, and given 
them the help of her wisdom in their opening days. 
Peter Cooper was wise in this respect, and his wisdom 
brought happiness to his last golden hours. Miss Smith 
was not supposed to have any marked interest in the edu- 
cation of women, or any advanced views of the matter, but 
she must have thought much and well on those important 
subjects ; and while she was musing the sacred fire 
burned to some purpose. Passing through the College 
buildings a few years ago, noting the excellent devices 
and holps for the best education, and looking from the 
windows over the fine old town, and the lovely meadows 
nnil river beyond, it seemed true, as I thought of that 
prudent woman piling away her large income with no 
aj^parent object, and of this use to which it came, that : 
** It is the unexpected which happens." 

SKLF-HELP. 

To me the time was coming when I must pay my own 
expenses, and begin some lasting work, I wanted to do 
it, for that was the good way for all boys. If a lad, rich 
or poor, hung around aimless and idle, the saying was : 
**llo won't amount to nothin'." If he went to work it 
was said : "That boy's got grit, he'll make somethin'." 
I loved books, but did not look toward a college; farm- 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 33 

ing was too heavy for my strength, and so, in my four- 
teenth year, I went into the hardware store of Homer 
Foot & Co., wholesale importers and retail dealers in 
Springfield, at a salary of $50 a year and my board. 
After that it was my pride that I did not cost my good 
father a cent, and the fact gave me valuable self-re- 
liance. 

My employers always treated me well, and trained me 
in careful methods of business and prompt doing of my 
work. I remember their ways to me with grateful 
pleasure. I had a new enjoyment — the being trusted in 
matters of importance. I kept books, took charge of 
money, and the safety of the premises was left to me. I 
remember coming down one morning from my sleeping 
room to open the store, and finding that I had left the 
front door without bolt or bar all night ! Fortunately 
nothing was disturbed, but my carelessness filled me 
with inexpressible regret. I did not tell of it, but the 
door was never left unbolted again. 

Then came years in a country store in Hatfield, as 
clerk and partner. In long winter evenings, we had all 
public and private affairs discussed by the men who came 
in, — for the days of tavern lounging were going by, and 
decent men liked the store better than the bar-room. A 
curious incident comes to mind. One of the ** selectmen " 
of the town was a Universalist, the only man in the 
village who avowed the strange heresy that men were 
not burned forever for their sins. He was so good that 
one day an orthodox neighbor said to him : *'I can't un- 
derstand how you act so well, I shouldn't, if I believed as 
you do." A reckless and dissipated man near by was a 
hard swearer, where profanity was uncommon and dis- 
tasteful. He swore bitterly and defiantly, and there were 
murmurs of legal punishment. One day, in the store, he 
waxed violent in language in the presence of this Uni- 
versalist official, who soon left, and as he went out there 

3 



34 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

was a new outbreak of defiant oaths with the spiteful 
saying, ** I guess none of these town officers can tie my 
tongue." 

The selectman soon came in again and quietly handed 
out a warrant for his arrest Such a chop-fallen and 
amazed expression I Across the road came the trial, proof 
abundant ; five dollars fine, and bonds for good be- 
havior ; all settled, and the fine paid in an hour. For a 
month the poor man walked the streets with bowed head, 
subdued spirit, and sealed lips — humiliated and amazed 
Then he partly recovered, a small oath that nobody cared 
for would slip out sometimes, but the old fire was gone. 
The amazement grew among pious people how " that 
Universnlist " had courage to do such a good thing, and 
they nil gave him just credit for it. I liked mercantile 
life well enough, but left it without either large success 
or disastrous failures. It gave me valuable knowledge 
of mon and things. If a boy is to be educated for ten 
years, lot a part of it be on a farm, or in a mechanic's 
nho]) or storo, and then good work with his books, and 
l\o will have practical sagacity and common-sense, as 
Htn>ng foutidations for a broad and true culture. He will 
\\x} stn'oil from the poor dilettanteism, the affecting to 
look down on the world's great industries, too common 
runon^ tl\oso called educated men, but who are really 
K\\\\y \\\\\i oducutcd. (.'hanging the old couplet : 

*• All work rtnd !\i» Un^ks makes Jack a dull boy. 
All lHH>k* aiul no ^ivk makes Jack a mere toy." 

M\ioh was loarnod it\ that Hatfield store from the talk 
ol' !ncM\ nnd \vomon» Of quaint ways of speech there was 
f\lMn\dani ; ol* vulgarity and of slang but little. Their 
ronnnont!^ o»\ tho rttVairs of Church and State were not flip- 
\M\\\\ or wh(dl\u\\ i >no folt ai\d respected their earnestness, 
ovou tl\o\i^h tl\oy mijvht sometimes be narrow and imper- 
loi t, rho villrtj^ dignitaries had seen life in cities and 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 35 

in legislative assemblies, and acted well their part in the 
larger fields that make thought cosmopolitan. I well re- 
member the courtly grace of manner and the ease in con- 
versation of a venerable deacon — a hard-working farmer 
who could pitch on a load of hay as quick as any man. 

A few of the most cultivated and charming women I 
ever knew did their share of housework among that busy 
people, illustrating the unity of duty and beauty in their 
admirable lives. There were others, men and women, 
slaves to farm and kitchen, muckrakes and drudges, poor 
in spirit. I heard the daily talk of trade and politics, of 
social and religious life. 

Material for volumes of tragic and humorous story was 
in the family secrets that became known to the village 
merchant Strange revelations, for instance, touching 
women of respectable and pious families who lived in 
solid old farmhouses, went out but little, wore an air of 
toilsome and hopeless endurance, did their duty as wives 
and mothers, sank into enfeebled gloom, and died with lips 
sadly sealed ; victims of crushing passion and greed for 
gain on the part of husbands whom they felt in duty bound 
to obey in all things. All these were kept inviolate. My 
father early said to me: "Never reveal secrets," and his 
excellent advice was of great service. 

The village oddities were odd enough. One was a man 
of middle age, keeping bachelor's hall in his great sham- 
bling house a century old, who was of very regular habits 
in one respect ; — he drank a quart of rum daily for thirty 
years, on six days of the week. On Saturday night at 
sunset he stopped until Sunday at the same hour, and de- 
voted the totally abstinent hours of the Puritan Sabbath to 
reading the Bible by course. He visited the store often, 
coming in with a softly shambling gait to sit down and 
tell stories and moralize with sage severity. He was not 
vulgar or profane, but sensible and foolish in well-nigh 
the same odd sentence ; on the whole not an uninstructive 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



36 

visitor. One quiet Monday morning in the summer he 
stepped ill noiselessly and said: "How still you be 
Well, I've just read (he old book through the seventeenth 
time." I asked : " How do you know that?" And his 
answer was : "1 make a mark with a pen on the last leaf 
' when I finish, and then I go back and begin at the first 
Chapter of Genesis, and put in a mark each Sunday night 
where I stop." Thus hekept his thread of Sabbath Scrip- 
ture unbroken, and was ready to begin the steady task of 
the week — a quart of rum a day — on Sunday evening. 
His early training kept him sober one seventh part of the 
lime, and he had a great facility in quoting Bible texts. 
Once in five or six months he went to meeting — always 
dressed carefully in knee-breeches, long coat with brass 
buttons, an immense bell-crowned white hat. shoes with 
great silver buckles, and carrying a silver-headed cane. 
In this garb of a past generation he would walk solemnly 
into the meeting-house on Sunday morning, gravely re- 
turn the sober salutations of others, seat himself in some 
good pew, and listen to the sermon with an aspect of de- 
vout satisfaction and interest, worthy the oldest deacon of 
the church. 

He was a life long Democrat, in old Federal and Demo- 
cratic days, and has often told me how his persistence 
carried the State for his party. For seventeen years, 
Hon. Marcus Morton was the Democratic candidate for 
governor of Massachusetts, and was elected, at last, by a 
majority of one vote. Of course, every man who voted 
for him could say that he elected him. As this man of 
steady (drinking) habits told me his story, he said : 
" The town meetin's used to be held in the old meetin" 
house, and I began to vote for Marcus, and I stuck to 
him. I was not ashamed of my politics, and I got a good 
penman to write my ballot in big letters on a half-sheet 
of paper. I took my ballot in my hand, walked up the 
broad aisle with the rest to the ballot bo;c that stood on 



1 



I 



I 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 37 

the communion table under the pulpit, handed my sheet 
to the town clerk to put in, so that everybody could see it, 
and then went down the side aisle and went home ; for I 
never believe in hangin' round and makin' a noise election 
days ; tain't right Seventeen times I voted for Marcus, 
and I fetched him ! Git a good hold and stick to it, is 
my way." 

A strange fascination lingers around these early days, 
and around the aspects and ways of that old-time life 
which we love to recall, yet would not live over again. 
But I do not accept the theory that childhood and youth 
are the happiest periods of human existence. With 
wisely decent conduct each period brings its enjoyments, 
but our own misdeeds and 

•*The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," 

mar all this, and force us back to childhood for some 
partial compensation. A theology, faithless of man's 
progress, putting Eden in the world's infancy to be lost 
ere its prime, tends the same way ; leading us to despair 
of the deeper enjoyments of our maturer years — those 
years that should be full of interior light and peace. It 
is in life as in nature. The spring time is fresh and hope- 
ful in its glad beauty, but summer has richer wealth ; 
autumn its mellow glory, deeper than any tint of April 
skies ; and winter its enjoyment of garnered fruits and its 
sure hope of a new spring. Our later days bring enjoy- 
ments deeper than youth can know, and foregleams of an 
immortality glowing with a radiance which makes the 
light of Eden's garden pale and poor. Youth is the ripple 
and sparkle of the brook near its source, transparent and 
fresh ; age is the tranquil flow of the river, broad and 
deep as it nears the blue ocean. 

To tell of certain noble reforms of the last half century, 
and of some excellent persons I have known, is of more 



38 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 

consequence and interest than any continuous autobiog- 
raphy. So much of personal narration and experience as 
may add interest to these leading aims may be allowed, 
and no more ; therefore this chapter of childhood and 
youth must close. 



UPWARD ST£FS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 39 



CHAPTER II. 

OLD-TIME GOOD AND ILL — RELIGIOUS GROWTH — REFORMS. 

"Out from the heart of nature rolled 
The burdens of the Bible old ; 

«««««« 

The word by seers or sibyls told, 
In groves of oak or fanes of gold, 
Still floats upon the morning wind, 
Still whispers to the willing mind. 
One accent of the Holy Ghost 
The heedless world hath never lost.'' 

Enurson, 

Fifty years ago the old meeting-house stood in the 
centre of the broad street in Hatfield. It was a ** meet- 
ing-house,'* not a church, and '*to go to meeting" was 
the old phrase, in which was no tinge of Episcopacy. 
The high pulpit had steep, winding stairs by which the 
"sacred desk" was reached — a lofty place from whence 
the pastor looked down on his flock, his voice reaching 
them as from the high heavens. Over that pulpit was the 
great sounding board, theoretically to carry the spoken 
word out to the pews and walls, but having no effect of 
that kind, and really serving to set the busy brains of 
boys and girls thinking what would happen if it fell and 
crushed the poor minister beneath. 

Deep and high galleries ran around three sides, reached 
by two stairways in the corners. High above and built 
over those stairways, and reached by another flight of 
steps, were two great, square pews, seen from the whole 



40 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

gallery and from below. One was the ** pauper pew," 
and the other the ** negro pew," and the occupants were 
these poor pariahs of our Christian civilization, lifted up 
in these most conspicuous places to be stared at ! For 
more than a hundred years that was the only place dedi- 
cated to Sunday meetings. A few Methodists meeting in 
a poor school-house back in the swamps were tolerated, 
an occasional Universalist or Unitarian met no rude 
abuse, but felt a chill in the social air. The faith of the 
Puritans bore sway, and all else was dangerous heresy. 
Great changes have taken place. The Westminster 
Catechism is no longer a household book, and even the 
most orthodox hardly wish it back again. "The Day of 
Doom," that poetic description of '*The Great and Last 
Judgment," by Michael Wigglesworth, which was also a 
household book, in Puritan Massachusetts, two hundred 
years ago, would not be warmly welcomed in the home 
of the modern professor of religion. Its author says of 
that great day : 

** In vain do they to mountains say, Fall on us, and us hide 

From Judge's ire, more hot than fire, for who may it abide ? 

No hiding place can from his face, sinners at all conceal, 

Whose flaming eye hid things doth spy, and darkest things reveal." 

Infants are portrayed as having a plea made for them, 
but the stern answer comes from the Judgment seat : 

** You sinners are, and such a share as sinners may expect. 
Such you shall have, for I do save none but mine own elect. 

But unto you I will allow the easiest room in hell." 
What that is we learn as follows : 

** The least degree of misery there felt is incomparable; 
The lightest pain they there sustain is more than intolerable. 
But God's great power, from hour to hour, upholds them in the fire, 
. That they ^all not consume a jot or by its force expire. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 41 

With iron bands they bind their hands and cursed feet together, 
And cast them all, both great and small, into that lake forever. 
Where day and night, without respite, they wail and cry and howl. 
For torturing pain, which they sustain, in body and in soul." 

These are specimens from the Saurian age of theology, 
when infant damnation was preached from the pulpits, 
and all mankind were held totally depraved by nature, 
and a few only saved by special divine grace. Yet this 
writer has been called **aman of the beatitudes," and 
his daily life was kind and genial. In England, Puritan- 
ism did great service. It was a religious reform helping 
to break down old tyranny and to rebuke vice in Church 
and State. In New England it nurtured noble virtues as 
well as grave errors, and its advocates did a great work, 
but the world looked for more light, and the light must 
come. It was my good fortune to live on the border be- 
tween The Old Time and The New, to know personally 
something of the Pilgrim life and thought, and to know 
and feel thay 

«* The pure fresh impulse of to-day 
Which thrills within the human heart, 
As time-worn errors pass away, 
Fresh life and vigor shall impart." 

It is interesting and noteworthy to see how one step 
opened the way for another, by a moral and spiritual 
evolution corresponding to the steps of rock and clod 
along the spiral pathway reaching up to grass and flower 
and man. The intense earnestness of Puritanism stirred the 
soul and awakened thought, and the mandate of priest or 
council seeking to fetter that thought was as futile as an 
elffort **to bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades." 
Their restraint hindered for a season, but. the poor bar- 
riers broke at last, and each gap gave new vantage ground. 
Arminian tendencies crept in. The story is told of a coun- 
cil of ministers examining a young candidate in theology^ 
Olmd one of them, suspecting heresy, said sternly: *'I£ 



42 UPiVAKD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

things go in this way I must secede," whereat Dr. Lathrop, 
of West Springfield, a saintly preacher of generous views, 
replied : ** If our brother secedes we must proceed." But 
the heresy-hunter was right, for the young candidate was 
a Unitarian in less than thirty years. ^ 

Then came John Murray from England, cast on the 
Long Island coast as a shipwrecked waif, but found by the 
farmer who had seen him in a dream, and known him as 
the preacher for whom he had been guided by that vision 
to build a church, where the love of God sufficient to save 
all mankind should be proclaimed. Such a conception 
of the Divine goodness naturally led to a higher ideal 
of humanity, and William E. Channing, in his Federal 
Street pulpit in Boston, set forth with golden eloquence 
the worth, dignity, and capacity for endless culture of 
man, made in God's image and likeness. Old asperities 
softened, and the leaven kept working. Should man, heir 
of such a destiny and child of such a father, be made a 
slave in this boasted land of liberty ? Surely not. The 
Quaker element came in to emphasize this demand for 
freedom, and found voice in Whittier's word : 

**The one sole sacred thing beneath 
The cope of heaven is man. * 

Political and religious ideas were in unison, and so 
grew the anti-slavery movement — so small at first, so 
resistless at last I The equality of man involved that of 
won?an. A gifted Quaker, Lucretia Mott, went to London 
in 1840, as delegate to a World's Anti-slavery Convention, 
and was refused admission because she was a woman, 
and the injustice of that refusal gave new life and organic 
shape to woman's rightji. Kar out in the then distant wilds 
of Michigan, Elizaboth Murgarot Chandler made touching 
protest against the silonoo onfoa^ed on her sex by old 
custom and old Uiblo rK.Mulciing : 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 43 

**Sh2Ll] we behold unheeding, 
Life's holiest feelings crushed ? ^ 

While woman's heart is bleeding, 
Shall woman's voice be hushed ? " 

With this discussion came new views of the subjection 
of woman, pledged religiously to obey her husband as 
master, to look up to him after the manner of Milton's 
Eve. Marriage was discussed, much of truth, with some- 
thing of error, coming up. Theodore Parker said that the 
errors were **but the dust from the wagon wheels bring- 
ing home the harvest, " and surely higher conceptions of 
the sanctity of maternity, and of woman as the loving 
and equal helpmate of man, with the wife's right to her 
own person and property, have steadily gained ground. 

In the discussion of these questions many of the 
clergy held up the Bible as in favor of chattel slavery and 
woman's subjection, and this opened the way for new 
doubts as to the infallibility of the book. A popular 
clergyman in Maine, told his large audience that **it 
was a great misfortune for a minister to hold up a book ^ 
as contradicting the holiest feelings of humanity. " Henry 
C. Wright, with his usual power, put tlie case in the plain 
way of the fearless abolitionist : " If my mother was 
a slave, and I were told the Bible sanctioned her con- 
dition, I would put the Bible under my feet and make my 
mother free. " Thus did it become possible for Theodore 
Parker to stand before the largest Protestant audiences 
in Boston and preach in Music Hall for years, saying 
frankly and manfully that the Bible was a human book, 
valuable but fallible — to be judged by our reason, but 
never set up as authority over us. To-day liberal minis- 
ters, especially Unitarians, begin to take the same 
ground, and many of the people are in advance of most 
of the clergy. Atheism and agnosticism are reactions 
from the Jewish Jehovah and the dogmas of theology. 
Modem Spiritualism makes the future life real aiid near, / 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



biiidiag it to this by tlie strong ties of eternal law a 
undying human love, and gives us a natural religion a 
a spiritual philosopliy, rational, inspiring, and enlarging. 
It is an outgrowth and complement of New England 
transcendentalism, supplementing the intuitive ideas of 
that remarkable movement with facts and a psychological 
system which give them clearness and definite meaning. 

So the world moves, and must move. Trouble may 
sometimes come from the misuse of freedom of thought, 
but truth gains and charity grows. When the spring 
flood comes swelling and sweeping down some mountain 
stream, it carries along, and tosses up on the hilisi 
the floodwood and wreck that mark its course, and the 
loosened ice grinds to pieces whatever it strikes ; 
the flood subsides, the fertilized fields pay back n 
than all the losses, and the summer life and autumnal 
plenty are better than the reign of ice-bound winter. 
We can see, too, the dawn of the glad day when perse- 
cution for opinion's sake shall cease; when mankind 
shall recognize the benefit of progressive change, and 
learn 

"To make the present with the future merge, 
Gently and peacefully, aa wave with wave.'' 

Odd enough were some of the old protests against the 
autocratic authority of the t;lergy. The story comes down 
a hundred and fifty years of a Hatfield farmer — an eccen- 
tric but good man, one of the silent dissenters from 
orthodoxy, whose very silence brought suspicion — who 
was walking beside his ox-team and cart up the street, 
and met the minister. He saluted him with the same 
friendly respect he would show a neighbor, but the cus- 
tom was to lift the hat to the preacher, and this he did not 
do. The demand came: "Take off your hat. i 
which no attention was paid, when the minister raised his ' 
cane and struck the hat offfrom that rebellious head. The J 



I 




UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 45 

wearer quietly took it up and put it on again, stopped his 
team, set his long gad carefully upright in the grass, and 
let it go. It fell, pointing southwest, and he picked it up 
and went quietly on his way, the lookers on wondering 
what this new oddity meant In a few months he sold 
his farm and left for Connecticut ; in a year he came 
back and said : **When that priest knocked my hat off, I 
thougKtl would set up my ox-gad and see which way it 
fell, and move that way, and IVe found a place where I 
don't have to take off my hat to the priest." 

The parish minister used to be the arbiter as to all public 
meetings, and his word would open or close the doors to 
a lecturer on any topic of reform or religion. The anti- 
slavery movement broke up this, for their lecturers would 
speak for freedom in every parish, with or without con- 
sent of clergy. A general meeting of Congregational 
clergymen was called in West Brookfield, Mass., some 
fifty years ago to see what could be done. One of 
those present said : ** One of these itinerants came to my 
parish and advertised to speak. I took my hat and cane 
and walked up one side of the street and told my people 
not to go, and then down the other side in the same way, 
and nobody went" Others were less fortunate, and what 
to do was a vexed question. "A pastoral letter" was 
sent out to the churches, urging action, but it was met by 
a reaction disastrous to their efforts. Whittier wrote a 
ringing poem, of which a verse will show the quality : 

<* So this is all, the utmost reach 

Of priestly power the mind to fetter, 
When laymen think, when women preach, 

A war of words, a pastoral letter ! 
A ** Pastoral Letter," grave and dull — 

Alas ! in hoofs and horns and features. 
How different is your Brookfield bull, 

From him who bellows at St. Peter's.** 

A few years since a young clergyman told me of the 



46 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

advice of an old preacher to a group of clerical students. 
He said : ** Young men, never be priests, be ministers ; 
men helping other men, but not priests." He was wiser 
than those at West Brookfield. 

Reverence for sacred places and days was part of the 
old education, taught but mildly to me, but in the very 
air. One day, in my boyhood, I went alone to the meet- 
ing house on an errand, and lingered to walk up the silent 
aisles. Curiosity led me toward the pulpit, up its steps, 
inside and to the very desk, where I stood in the minister's 
place with my hands on the great Bible before me. At once 
a wave of feeling came over me as though I was a pro- 
fane trespasser on holy ground, and I ran down the steps 
and out of the door, fearful and ashamed. 

At home the Sabbath was free from the solemnity which 
ruled in many households. It was deemed a good day 
for rest and thought, beneficial as such, but not holy after 
the Jewish idea, and was kept quietly but not austerely. -/- 
A school-master who had boarded with us some time, 
changed his quarters to another family. On a Saturday 
morning he came in and said to my mother: **CanI 
stay here over Sunday ? Saturday night all the newspapers 
and books are put out of sight, and Scott's Bible and the 
New York Observer are brought out. Nobody can laugh 
or look cheerful, and I can't live there." He kept his 
Sunday in our warmer air. 

An elderly woman whom I knew well, a notable house- 
keeper, whose work was her life, used to sit by her west 
window Sunday afternoons, trying to read the Bible, 
dozing a little, and rousing up to look out and measure 
the height of the declining sun. At last she would venture 
to take down the almanac that hung beside the old clock 
by the loop of twine through its corner, find the time of 
sunset, and then look at the clock. When the sun's last 
rays shone she would give a stretch and a sigh of relief, 
rise up from her chair, go straight to the kitchen, get on 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 47 

the big kettle, and have her washing done before bedtime. 
To put on that kettle five minutee before sunset would have 
been held a sin. For rest and thought Sunday is good, 
but all days are sacred, all true work holy in a high sense. 

I had no doctrinal training, and cannot remember a 
time when I was ever taught to believe or disbelieve any 
creed or dogma. I heard the comments in the family, on 
preaching and church doctrines, which were usually frank 
but charitable, but was left to frame my own conclusions. 
I was never taught or influenced to dislike or distrust 
people for heresy, but rather to respect sincerity in all. 
My father read a short prayer each morning, and reverence 
for spiritual ideas was a part of my life. In morals and 
conduct the standard was high. A lie was terrible, a 
knavish trick was contemptible, vulgarity was shameful. 
Clean lips and a pure heart, frank and upright conduct, 
and a readiness always to bear my share of life's burthens, 
needed little enforcement by direct precept ; they were in 
the daily acts and in the very air of our home. To fall 
below their high requirements was to forfeit the affec- 
tionate confidence and respect of those most near and dear. 

For one thing I hold my father in especial reverence. 
In my youth he said to me : ** My son, never fear to hear 
both sides of all questions fairly, especially in religion. 
Be careful and thoughtful. Make up your mind without 
rash haste, but with a clear conscience. When you have 
decided, hold to your convictions firmly and honestly 
and without fear." Many times have I blessed his mem- 
ory for that weighty advice. It stands by me like a rock. 
At an early day I tested it, and him. I began to doubt 
eternal punishment, read the Bible, and thought it all 
over, and scripture and justice were with me. I went to 
my father and told him of my change of views. He 
questioned me a little, and then said : **Very well. If 
it seems right, hold to it like a man ; only be sure it 
seems right" And so, at twelve years old, a black cloud 



48 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

rolled away, and my good father's word was like a strong 
wind that broke it in pieces. 

A few years after I was in Boston and saw an ad- 
vertisement of a meeting of infidels in Chapman Hall, 
to be addressed by Robert Owen and others. An avowed 
infidel I had never seen, and the name was as fearful to a 
New England boy as was that of ** the black Douglas " to 
Scotch babies, whom their nurses frightened with it in 
bygone days. I found the hall in a labyrinth of crooked 
streets, fit place, it seemed, for such a meeting, and took 
a safe seat near the door. The audience was a surprise 
— intelligent and civil people, as good as the average. 
Several persons spoke, expressing opinions, wise or 
otherwise, and, at last, an elderly man — plain, square- 
built, with large head and kindly shrewd face — rose to his 
feet, and all listened with great attention. He stood with 
folded arms, talking rather than speech-making, and with 
beautiful clearness and simplicity spoke of the excellence 
of charity and active benevolence. Every word went 
home. I thought to myself, Paul wrote well of charity 
in his Corinthian Epistle, but this infidel Robert Owen 
is his equal. That hour did not change my religious 
belief, but it cleared away the mist of prejudice, and gave 
me new respect for courageous frankness. The fresh 
thought of my father's good advice sent me there, and I 
made lasting record in my memory of another obligation 
to him. 

TEMPERANCE. 

I well remember holding my father's hand when a child, 
as we walked up the broad street of Hatfield to the meet- 
ing-house one pleasant summer afternoon more than sixty 
years ago, to hear a temperance lecture by Dr. Jewett, the 
first ever given in the town. It made a strong impression 
on me, because some of the neighbors sneered at my 
father for going. And no marvel, for drinking distilled 
spirits was reputable, and the most pious indulged 5n it 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 49 

without rebuke. The old minister and the deacons kept 
pace with the wicked, and the toper quoted scripture and 
held up the preacher as his pattern in moderate drinking. 

A substantial townsman strongly opposed ** these new 
temperance notions," and told me his boyish experience. 
The minister then had a farm — the parish property, which 
he worked and used after the old fashion, — and the stout 
old Squire said to me : **When I was a boy I used to 
work for the minister sometimes. He drove things sharp, 
but he used me well. I used to turn his fanning mill while 
he shoveled in and took away the grain, until my arms 
ached. But about eleven o'clock he would set down his 
half-bushel on the barn floor and say : * Come, Elijah, let 
us go into the house and take something to comfort our 
hearts. ' I knew what that meant, and was glad to go. 
I would sit down in the kitchen while he went to the old 
cupboard to get out the black bottle and the sugar, and 
mixed a mug of toddy. Then he would say : ' Come, my 
lad, take hold,' and that was good stiff toddy, and plenty 
of it. I stick to the old way." And stick he did, with the 
story of the minister's toddy as a stronghold. 

Cider was freely used. I knew farmers who drank up 
forty or fifty barrels yearly — reputable citizens, not at all 
intemperate ! It was hard work to make these men give 
it up. They would plead against the great waste of apples 
in their orchards — useless save for cider-making — and 
make that waste an argument for their fiery thirst, growing 
as crabbed as their old cider, if too much urged. But a 
temperance lecturer reached their hearts by turning their 
stomachs ! He told them that the nine bushels of poor 
apples — knotty and wormy — that made a barrel of cider 
had a good half-peck of worms in them, which were 
ground and pressed in the pumice, and made about two 
quarts of worm-juice to give their cider a smart tang ! 
There was no getting away from this, and it made more 
impression than all other arguments and appeals. They 

4 



5« 



UPWARD STEPS 0J-' SEVENTY YEARS. 



had an internal sense of its truth when they heard it ! 

Years before my parents had taken the old-fashi 
square case bottles of liquors — then a part of the outfit of 
every hospitable family — from their sideboard, and ended 
the drinking custom in our home. When we moved to 
Hatfield it was the common custom to offer rum to neigh- 
bors when they called, and our omission was a great 
rudeness, about as marked as not to invite the caller to sit 
down. They found that I was plied with rum and sugar 
in this way, and were obliged to forbid my tasting liquors 
or cider, which was thought a queer prohibition. But a 
change came. The young minister was a temperance 
man. Habits altered, so that the son of an old farmer who 
had used up a barrel of cider weekly, told nie he did not 
use a barrel a year, with a farm and family larger thi 
father's. The temperance movement has wrought this 
change. Its farther progress must be on broader ground 
and with more knowledge. The idea of self-control, ot 
the supremacy of will over appetite and passion, of pure 
life leading, not only in drinking habits but in the use of 
tobacco, ill diet, and in other ways, must be made promi- 
nent. A study of physiology in schools and homes, in 
which the ruin of body and mind, wrought by drinking 
habits and by all violations of physical law, shall be made 
plain, must be a great help. Parents must teach their 
children the duty of making the pure body a consecrated 
temple for the spirit, and the wrong and shameful weak- 
ness and degradation of being controlled by perverted and 
abnormal appetite and passion must be emphasized with 
grave decision. Legislation has its work, but in all and 
through all, must be the guiding and inspiring idea and 
aim of a race well born, well bred, and strong in self- 
government. The word of Buddha, spoken twenty-five 
hundred years ago, is worthy of all acceptation to-day 
"If one man conquer a thousand times ten thousand men 
in battle, and another man conquer himself, the last is the 
it conqueror. 



I 
I 




UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 51 



CHAPTER III. 

rRANSCENDENTALISU — BROOK FARM, HOPEDALE, AND NORTHAMP- 
TON ASSOCIATIONS. 

**The good we do lives after us, 
The evil *tis that dies 1 " 

With the growth of transcendentalism in New England 
(1836 to 1850) came efforts for associations on the Fourier 
model, or in societies where families could live together, 
work in unity as stockholders, do away the jar of selfish 
competition, help to truer education, and cultivate frater- 
nal relations. The transcendentalist held intuition and 
reason as beyond and above books or creeds ; truth in the 
soul as above all outward authority ; institutions as helps 
and servants, to be maintained for good order, but never 
submitted to when they would compel conscience to 
yield to the wicked law. James Russell Lowell put this 
in glowing words, applied to the evil demands of the 
slave-power : 

*' Man is more than Constitutions ; better rot beneath the sod. 
Than be true to Church and State while doubly false to God.** 

In the presence of their ideas sectarian dogmatism was 
impossible, for the spirit of man — fluent, penetrative and 
ever fresh for new discovery — could not stop in the nar- 
row limits of a creed, whose claims, indeed, violated the 
inner sanctity, and so were sacrilegious. Inspiration was 
not a miraculous gift to Jewish prophet or early apostle, 
but a divine endowment for all who so lived as to win it 
Samuel Johnson put this in noble verse : 

** Never was to chosen race 

That unstinted tide confined ; 
Thine is every time and place. 
Fountain sweet of heart and mind 1 



52 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEAHS. 

Secret of -the morning stars, 

Motion of the oldest hours, 
Pledge through elemental wars, 

Of the coming spirit's powers. 

Rolling planet, flaming sun. 

Stand in nobler man complete, 
Prescient laws thine errands run. 

Frame the shrine for Godhead meet. 

* ♦ ♦ * 

In the touch of earth it thrilled ; 

Down from mystic skies it burned : 
Right obeyed and passion stilled, 

Its eternal goodness earned. 

Breathing in the thinker's creed. 

Pulsing in the hero's blood. 
Nerving simplest thought and deed. 

Freshening time with truth and good. 

* :|e :|e 4c 

Life of ages, richly poured. 

Love of God unspent and free. 
Flow still in the prophet's word, 

And the people's liberty." 

Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and a gifted company of 
co-workers, were the heralds of these views, and their 
winged words filled the upper air of New England 
thought, and went far over mountain range and sea. 
Theodore Parker's earnestness was lighted up, and his 
strong soul made cheerful and buoyant, by this flood-tide 
of spiritual life. Whittier's verse was full of it, for it was 
close akin and of like origin with his Quaker views. It 
spread like a contagious healthfulness, uplifting man and 
woman, enlarging thought, inspiring effort, and melting 
away the icy barriers of false conservatism. 

HOPEDALE. 

A new enthusiasm sprang up for useful and homely 
work done in fraternal spirit ; for a truer culture and a 
simpler life ; for a social state with more harmony and 
less antagonism, and Associations were formed to realize 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 53 

these ideals. They did not succeed, yet surely they did 
not fail, for those who engaged in them testify to enjoy- 
ment and benefit in an experience that has helped their 
Jater life. Hopedale Community in Worcester county was 
a stock enterprise, with capital and labor paid at adjusted 
rates. A hundred people or more were there, living in 
families, working together, with Adin Ballou — a wise and 
good man, widely known as an abolitionist, a Univer- 
salist minister and a Spiritualist — as a leading officer and 
religfious teacher, and E. D. Draper and others leading in 
business and education. They were practical workers on 
the farm and in mechanic shops, bound together by 
kindred religious views, and by interest in reforms — non- 
resistance, anti-slavery, temperance, etc. '' The Practical 
Christian" their neat little weekly journal, had a name 
telling their ideal. They kept united for years, and won 
respect by their integrity and fearless fidelity. It was 
pleasant to enjoy their hospitality and listen to the thought- 
ful discussions in their meetings. 

BROOK FARM. 

Brook Farm, at West Roxbury, was most noted, for there 
were George Ripley, Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, and 
others as gifted but less known. Theodore Parker used 
to walk over to the farm from his home. Emerson lighted 
up the old farmhouse with his serene smile, and Boston's 
transcendental thinkers went out to enjoy the rare society. 
I was there but once, and my distinct memory of per- 
sons is meeting George Ripley, just from the plough, with 
cowhide boots, coarse garments, gold glasses, a stout body 
equal to farm-work, and a noble head — the ploughman and 
the scholar oddly put together. This incongruity im- 
pressed me everywhere. Hoeing corn and reading Plato ; 
cleaning stables and writing essays ; learned talk arid 
calling haw and gee to the cattle ; milk-pans and artist's 
easels ; peeling potatoes and conning fine philosophy ; 



y 



54 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



making butter and poetry, seemed all in strangely fantas- 
tic conjunction. The talk and study were admirable, the 
homely work was awkward, for they were versed in the 
one and not in the other. Its life was not long, but it 
inspired many noble labors, and left memories full of light 
and strength. 

NORTHAMPTON. 

On the west side of the Connecticut river, just on the 
verge of the broad meadows, is the town of Northampton 
county seat of good old Hampshire county, with its great 
elms, winding streets, ample old mansions, elegant modern 
dwellings and neat cottage homes. For a hundred and 
fifty years it has been noted, not only for its beauty, but 
as the centre of a good deal of influence, the home of 
men of mark in Church and State, the seat of intelligent 
conservatism and elegant hospitality. Jonathan Edwards, 
the great preacher and thinker of his day, there taught the 
stern doctrine of depravity so total as to consign even the 
infant, dying "with the fragrance of heaven in its baby 
breath," to eternal fire. His meeting-house was swept 
aside to make room for an imposing wood building, a 
noble specimen of old church architecture, and that has 
given way to a great stone structure, more costly but less 
attractive. The creed is the same as in his day, but the 
old rigidity has weakened, as a little incident will show. 
A few years ago a friend of mine went to the minister of 
that church, who was chairman of the town library com- 
mittee, and asked him to take a copy of my ** Chapters 
from the Bible of the Ages " for the library. Edwards 
would have looked at its preface, and kept it for his 
private use or consigned it to the fire, but his successor 
put it on the library shelves to be read by the people. 

Ezekiel Pomeroy, a staunch Federalist in Jefferson's 
day, was told the State might change its politics. ** Well," 
said he, "I don't believe it; but if it does, this will be 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 55 

the last town to change, and I shall be the last man in it 
to vote anything but the Federal ticket." Such was the 
town in those days. 

Three miles west, on the banks of the swift Licking 
Water, stood a three-story brick cotton mill not used ; a 
saw mill, a small sewing-silk factory and a few dwellings. 
Along the stream was a belt of valley and meadow, on 
either side the slope of wooded hills and the spread of 
level plains — a right pleasant domain, with its paths 
winding amidst great pines and oaks and birch-trees, and 
bordered by laurels and wild flowers. Here the North- 
ampton Association of a hundred and fifty members, 
found an abiding place, in 1842 I think. It was a joint- 
stock company, factory and saw-mill and farm were car- 
ried on under a board of managers. 

The dwelling-houses were filled. The factory was 
divided into rooms with board partitions, a common 
dining-room and kitchen fitted up — all of the plainest. 
Social life was unconventional and free, going sometimes 
to the verge of propriety, but not beyond. I did not 
know, in a year's stay of a single grossly depraved or 
vicious person, and there were no tragic outbreaks of 
vice or crime. I never but once knew wine or liquor 
used on the premises. Vulgarity was less common than 
in the outer world, and the little swearing one heard was 
the emphasized indignation against meanness. They 
were thinking people who had gone out from the old 
ways. They came with an inspiring purpose — to make 
education and industry more fraternal in their methods 
than seemed possible elsewhere. They sought too, a 
larger freedom of thought, a place for hearing different 
view.s. No unity of opinion was asked or expected. 
There were anti-slavery ** come-outers " from the churches, 
those who sympathized with the liberal religious views, 
and a few atheists and materialists. 

There was a strange charm in the daily contact with 



I 

I 



56 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

persons with whom opinions could be freely exchanged, 
and no cold wave of self-righteous bigotry he felt. This 
and the hope for fraternal industry, free from excessive 
ide them cheerful amidst difficulty and discomfort 
There were many visitors — eminent persons in thought 
and literature, intelligent inquirers, and curious spies 
among these strange fanatics — and meeting them was a 
constant source of interest and amusement. One day 
Rev. Mr. Woodbridge, a grave D. D, from HadJey, came 
to see the silk-worms and their care-takers. He fell in 
with a young man named Porter, and asked : "What do 
you do here Sundays? " The answer was : ''We rest ; 
sometimes do some pressing work ; read, think, hold 
meetings, visit, amuse ourselves decently, and try to be- 
have as well as we do Mondays." The preacher asked : 
"Have you no minister?" and the reply was : "No. 
We all speak, if we wish to, women and all. We have 
no objection to a person speaking to us. You can come 
and say what you piease. We shall treat you well, but 
we may question you and differ from you." This was 
strange to a man whose pulpit words had hardly been 
questioned in his parish for forty years, and he said : 
" Do you all think alike ? How do you get along when 
you don't agree ? " The young man picked up a stick and 
rapped repeatedly on the same spot on a fence rail near 
them : then he rapped along the rail so that the sound 
varied, and said : "You notice when I rap on one spot 
the sound is monotonous ; when I move my stick it var- 
ies. Don't you like the variations f You are not foolish 
enough to quarrel with my stick, or with the rail because 
these sounds differ, but you like to hear them and to 
make up your mind which is best." The puzzled preacher 
went away, and doubtless had some deep studies over 
that new lesson in free inquiry. 

The Sunday meetings were always provocative of 
thought, usually interesting, but sometimes crude, They J 



UFWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 57 

were held in the factory dining-room, or on the hilltop 
under the shade of an immense pine. Wm. Lloyd Gar- 
rison spent some weeks there, and spoke often. The 
listening group, the speaker in its centre by the great 
trunk of the tree, his bold yet reverent utterances, the 
fragrance of the pines, the mountains far down the valley 
to the south-east, and the blue sky over all, seem like 
something of yesterday. N. P. Rogers, editor of the 
Herald of Freedom, used to come from his New Hamp- 
shire home to visit us, and was warmly welcomed. He 
spoke with charming simplicity and clearness, uttering 
the most startling heresies in a bland way, as though 
they must be as delightful to all others as to himself. 
Occasionally an orthodox clergyman would put in his 
word, heard respectfully, but criticised frankly. Women 
spoke at their pleasure, acceptably and well. A wide 
range of topics came up — practical, reformatory and 
religious. 

The daily work was done under direction of overseers, 
and here came the difficulty of keeping all up to the mark 
without the spur of necessity. A woman complained of 
this to a friend, who humorously said : '* Well, in asso- 
ciation you must learn to work for lazy folks " — a hard 
lesson which many would not learn, and justice did not 
demand. For a time all went well, but business troubles 
and poor management abated the enthusiasm, and a final 
breaking-up came. I look back with pleasure to that 
experience, and retain a strong fraternal feeling toward 
most who shared it. I was not there as a member, but 
to take lessons of some noted teachers. It was a study 
of character, as well as of books ; — marked individuality, 
moral courage, conscientious devotion to right, and 
warm sympathies abounded. I remember a wedding at 
the breakfast-table of the factory dining-hall, with no 
cake or cards, but brown bread and wooden chairs, and 
a Squire to mak^ all legal. The ripe wisdom and beau- 



58 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 

tiful tenderness finely set forth in words, or in delicate 
acts, by those who went from the wedding table to their 
work in mill or field or kitchen, made some weddings 
where silks and diamonds and shallow compliments 
abound poor in comparison. 

David Ruggles, manager of a successful water cure, sat 
at that table ; a colored man who, being blind, diagnosed 
diseased conditions by some fine power of touch, and 
won great regard from his patients and friends. I owe a 
great deal to him. 

William Adam was my principal teacher — a native of 
Edinburgh, and a graduate of its famed Scotch University. 
He went to Calcutta as a Baptist missionary, learned the 
native language of the Hindoo, and the old Sanscrit also, 
wrought in that field for years, and then became editor of 
the Calcutta Gazette, the journal of the English people in 
that far land. Coming to this country he was for a time 
Sanscrit Professor at Harvard University, and then came 
to the Association with his wife and family. In Hindo- 
stan he knew Rammohun Roy well, and helped him 
select from the New Testament the moral precepts of 
Jesus, to be translated for his countrymen. This eminent 
Hindoo, the founder of the Brahmo Somaj, was a Brah- 
min of high rank, learned and accomplished. He under- 
stood Greek and Hebrew, but wanted Mr. Adam's aid to 
make all surely correct. He was an inquirer for truth, an 
admirer of the New Testament morals and of the char- 
acter of Christ, but not a believer in Christianity as taught 
by the missionaries. His Mohammedan lineage on the 
mother's side made him a Unitarian, a believer in one 
God, as are all Mohammedans, and he was in unity with 
Theodore Parker in many respects. Mr. Adam noticed 
that he did not translate any of the New Testament mir- 
acles and asked why. The answer was : **That would 
throw discredit on the whole work, for the Hindoo mir- 
acles are so much greater than these that our people 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



59 



would say that a religion with only such poor wonders to 
support it must be far below theirs and not worth atten- 
tion. These precepts of Jesus must reach the Hindoos 
by their intrinsic merits." 

He afterwards visited England and was highly esteemed 
there, his presence impressing many with a higher sense 
of the courtly gprace and wide learning of the upper-class 
Hindoos. He passed away years ago, greatly honored 
and revered. 

Asking Mr. Adam about the Juggernaut festivals, he 
told me he had attended them several times ; that by some 
accident pilgrims might be crushed beneath the wheels of 
the great idol-car as it was drawn by ropes in many 
hands, but no pilgrim ever threw himself under the car 
to be crushed. Only flowers and fruits were offered to 
Juggernaut. Other festivals had cruel rites, but this 
never, for this was one of the kindly gods. So the old 
story in our Missionary Herald falls to the ground, for 
other testimony confirms that of Mr. Adam. Doubtless 
that story is honestly repeated and believed, but it started 
from the soul of some bigot 

SAMUEL L. HILL. 

** Than tyrant's law, or bigot's ban. 
More mighty is your simplest word, 
The free heart of an honest man. 
Than crosier or the sword." 

When the Association broke up, its financial affairs 
were in bad condition. One of its leading members, 
Samuel L. Hill, felt morally bound to see its debts paid. 
He was not bound legally, but his name had helped its 
credit, and he felt that he must make all good. To the 
creditors he said : **Give me time, and I will pay you 
all ; if you disturb me I cannot do it. " In ten years every 
dollar was paid, thousands more than he was worth on 
the start, He was a simple and unpretending man, plain 



6o 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



in his ways, of remarkable sagacity and tireless industry, 

his integrity and sincerity the highest, his moral courage 
unsurpassed, his kindness and wise benevolence beauti- 
ful, his sound judgment remarkable. He became the 
leading owner and manager of the Nonotuck Sewing Silk 
Company, enlarged their works, tilled with finest mechan- 
ism, and employing over four hundred persons. All that 
he took part in must be honestand thorough. There was 
no sham in him, and there should be none in his mills. 
His word was his bond, his credit undoubted, his promise 
unfailing. 

As the village grew the schoolhouse was too small. 
He said to the town committee : "Give me the old house, 
and I will build a better one." In a year his building 
was completed, ata cost of S35,ooo. The upper story of 
a wing was a neat hall, for the use of the Free Congrega- 
tional Society, and a library and reading-room free to the 
factory workers and others, and he paid largely to sustaia 
both. At a later time when all the schoolhouse was 
wanted, he paid over $zo,ooo toward building Cosmian 
Hall for the Society, and helped to sustain this unsectarian 
effort for the presentation of different opinions in religion, 
the advocacy of practical reforms by representative men 
and women, and the moral instruction and innocent 
recreation of the young. He also paid $4,000 toward a 
kindergarten school, open to all children. Olher men 
have paid money freely for public purposes, but few have 
been so unwearied as he was in well-doing^not known 
of men — or so fatherly in their constant care for others. 
If sickness or misfortune came to any, his help lighted 
their path as quietly and cheerily as the sunshine. If 
weakness or vice brought the trial, his warning was as 
faithful as it was kind; his sage suggestion was help to a 
better life, and not self-righteous rebuke. He helped the 
deserving to help themselves, and opened ways upwanj 



1 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. (m 

for the faithful and capable, instead of using them, and 
then pushing them down as selfish men often do. 

He was singularly thoughtful of all that might help the 
comfort or culture of the people. The factory girl had 
from him the same quiet respect any lady of the land 
would have ; boarding houses were planned for comfort 
and good behavior; the atmosphere was everywhere 
permeated by a fatherly influence, a sense of protecting 
kindness. In his good efforts he had the ready help of 
co-workers of like spirit, his son Arthur, A. T. Lily, man- 
ager in the mill, and others. The skilled labor needed 
called for good wages, and this helped to build up a taste- 
ful village of some 2, 500 people, intelligent and well 
behaved beyond the average. 

A few years ago a Christmas party was made for him 
in the Hall Not far below the village was a large cotton 
mill, owned by another company on the river, and many 
Irish Catholics were employed there ; but they had felt a 
kindly wisdom that knew no limits of creed, and they 
came to meet Protestants and heretics in all good will. 
They asked Father Hill to go to the foot of the stairs, and 
there was a nice sleigh, the gift of warm and honest 
hearts. 

He was so quiet and unpretending as not to be appre- 
ciated by strangers, but his goodness and greatness grew 
with intimacy. In the ** martyr days" of early anti- 
slavery, he was an abolitionist, with fidelity to conscience 
as firm as that of any Puritan. Thought of reputation or 
business prospects never turned his course or sealed his 
lips, and by his noble integrity he won the respect and 
confidence of all ; his success a lesson to all time-servers 
and moral cowards, his bravely persistent industry and 
courage a lesson to all weak and aimless souls. He was 
somewhat above middle-height, with a serviceable body 
built for useful work, a high and noble head, a serious 
aspect, plain and kindly manners, and the quiet ways 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

that we often see in men of large power. Hours and days 1 
at his hospitable home, quiet talks in his last years when ] 
illness kept him from active work, are well remembered. 

MRS. STETSON — SKLF-CONCEIT ABATED. 

One of the best things for a young man sometimes is 
to find out how little he knows. It takes down his self- 
conceit and settles him into deeper thinking. At the 
Association I had that lesson. I was at the age when s 
esteem is active, and was looking forward lo the study 
of theology. Of course I felt wise ! A Massachusetts ! 
youth who was a Whig, a Unitarian, and a prospective 
clergyman, would naturally have a fair share of compla- 
cent self-satisfaction. I had a room in a house partly 
occupied by Mr. Stetson and his family, from Brook- 
lyn, Ct Mrs. Stetson was a superior woman, a personal 
friend of Samuel J. May, and other early anti-slavery 
leaders. One evening in their room the talk turned on 
anti-slavery, and she quoted some Bible texts favoring 
freedom. Gravely and with oracular aspect I spoke of 
Paul and Onesimus, and of the apostle sending the slave 
back to his master. I can see yet the shade of amused 
pity thatspreadoverher fin e face as she heard me through. 
Then she took up the matter, and expounded the scrip- 
ture in the light of liberty. As she expounded I became 
utterly confounded. — perplexed and ashamed at my want , 
of knowledge and moral insight. That I, one of the lords ' 
of creation, should be made to feel so small by a woman I 
1. who hoped some day, like Scott's Dominie Sampson. 
" to wag my pow in the pulpit, " should be so humiliated 
by this woman, unlearned, as I supposed, in clerical lore ! 
She was kind, but that made it all the worse. My conceit I 
was all gone, and there really seemed nothing left of me. 
I could not sleep half the n ight, thinking of my confusion '< 

lid chagrin, but at last it dawned on me that it was a 
light, and the next day 1 went and heartily thanked he^. 




UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 63 

for her words. We became cordial friends and, having 
come into a teachable mood, I learned a great deal more 
from her. 

WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING. 

«« Thou art not idle; in thy higher sphere, 
Thy spirit bends itself to loving tasks; 
And strength to perfect what is dreamed of here, 
Is all the crown and glory that it asks,'* 

J, R, Lowell. 

In 1838, being in Boston over Sunday, a merchant 
with whom I dealt asked me to sit in his pew in the 
Federal Street Church, and hear Channing. The simple 
taste of the old meeting-house, and the fine aspect of a 
congregation of such people as would be attracted to such 
a man interested me. Soon the minister came — a man of 
middle stature and delicate form, drawing a little on one's 
sympathy by his physical feebleness before he spoke, but 
lifting all into a region of higher thought when he was 
heard. At first his utterance was somewhat faint and 
low, but soon that sweet, clear voice reached all in full 
distinctness, its fine cadences rising to earnest warning 
and entreaty, or falling to tones of tender sympathy, as 
naturally as the iEolian harp varies with the breeze. He 
seemed inspired by an exalted enthusiasm, looking 
toward the higher and more perfect life of which he held 
men capable, and calling others up to the clear height of 
his own thought. Men and women heard him as though 
some angel from the upper heaven spoke, and the hour in 
that church was sacred. 

Each fit word dropped into its place in the sentence 
naturally, each period was rounded but in full and fair 
perfection. The inspiration of his ideas seemed to 
set each word and phrase in harmony, as that of the 
musical composer sets note and cleft and bar in the scale 
to make a perfect and sustained strain of melody. 

It was a privilege to see and hear him. I could know 



64 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

better how his words had such uplifting power, and how I 
it was that those who knew him best loved and rever- 
enced him most The great central idea and glowing 
inspiration of his life was the capacity of man for eternal 
culture and spiritual growth, and the divine goodnes 
that has made the eternal life, here and hereafter, a fit 
field for that culture. In the day when New Englai 
weary of the grim despair of total depravity, needed 1o 
hear a fresh and living word, he spoke. 
Apostle to teach and emphasize the dignity of human 
nature, the capacity of man for spiritual culture, the beauty 
of that holiness of which we are capable, 
wretchedness of that vice "and weakness to which so 
many descend. 

JOKN 
•'Not there! Where then is he? 
The form I used to see 

Was but the raiment that he used to wear. 
The grave that now doth press. 
Upon that east- olT dress, 
la Imtihis wardrolie locked— he is not there." 

I first met Pierpont at his home in West Medford, Mass. , 
May ajd, 1861. He told me how a reaction in his favor 
had taken place, after his long and brave contest with the 
rum-selling pew-holders of Hollis Street Church, and how 
his Lyceum lectures and poems had grown in favor, but 
when he became a Spiritualist the calls for l^tures and 
poemsgrew less, and his Unitarian brethren, ■^iggKsaw*^ 
of them, cool toward hira. Of all this he mdde no com- 
plaint, but spoke of it with cheerful humor, yet it could 
not but affect him. This message he gave me, received 
in New York in i860, from Mrs. Hoy, a stranger : 

"My Brother : The world is full of signs and tests of 1 
_ «pirit power, and we will aot <iUow you to question tbiit J 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



65 



I wil 



which meets your outer and inner vision at every turn, 
for you know the flower-lip speaks it, and the leaf-tongue 
proclaims it I have passed away, yet the grave does 
not confine me. I am where I see more to do, and 
under more favorable circumstances, than when my soul 
was obliged to carry the burden of my body. Not that 
>-I despise the tenement, God forbid ! I parted with it as 
';Wfell-tried friends bid each other a final adieu. I am carry- 
ing out my intentions, and urging with good faith that 
freedom in Christ, which shall render man the worthy 
companion of the angels. Here I see no eye watching 
with distrust or envy; no cold reserve and formalities 
hich chill the heart's warm oufgushings. , , .but, by the 
;ht which surrounds all here, I see man in all his noble- 
id simplicity. Would that more could come into 
possession of this spiritual sight, which must inevitably 
raise the fallen — while as a self-adjusting principle, it 
must make man his own judge and saviour — God being 
within. It is not new, but the old, revived and relieved 
of all superfluous garniture which education has heaped 
upon it . . . With kindness ever, T. P." 



He thought the signature a mistake, not knowing who 
it meant, when the medium again decidedly signed "T. 
and further thoiight led him to see it was Theodore 
fcrker, from whom he had messages at other times and 



ears after, wife and myself boarded on the same 

;t, (i, i-jfiifreet, N,W.,) and near him, in Washington 

; then' holding an important place in the Treasury 

^epartment, and doing; full daily work, although over 

ghty years of age. We often called on him about five 

fclock, or just after his dinner hour when, refreshed by a 

sleep and by his meal, he enjoyed a visit One 

I afternoon we went to the door of his room and 

i all still. Looking in through the half-open door 



66 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



we saw him asleep on the sofa. Wife slipped in, laid a 
fresh rose on his breast, and we came away. Next day 
we met him on the avenue ; he stopped us, laid his hands 
on her shoulders, and said : "I've caught the sly rogue 
that slipped inlo my room when I slept yesterday, 
left a rose for me," — -all this with the grace and hum 
youth. Fifty years before he might have been a hand- 
some young man, but surely he was handsome as we 
knew him. Tall, erect his hair and beard fine and 
silvery, the fresh glow of health and temperate purity 
still giving ruddy hue to his cheeks, strangers in the 
streets stopped to admire him. In his delightful con- 
versation the culture of a scholar and poet, the brilliancy 
of a yoinig heart, the courage of a reformer, the wisdom 
of large experience, and the insight of a spiritual thinker, 
gave varied charm and instruction. One evening I heard 
him recite a poem of his awn at a temperance meeling. 

He came before the audience with a weary step, and 
began his poem in a broken and feeble voice, but a change 
soon came, and before he was half through his form 
dilated, his eyes flashed, his voice was deep and full, and 
the burden of a half century seemed rolled away, leaving 
him young and glorying in his strength. The conquer- 
ing spirit had lent the body, for the hour, something of 
its own immortal youth, so that all were spell-bound in 
surprised delight 

We saw him last one lovely summer morning at the 
comer of our street opposite the City Hall, and the statue 
of Lincoln, waiting for the cars to go to the Treasury 
building. He spoke cheerily of the beauty of the day ; 
said he was going to start for New England in the after- 
noon, and stepped on to the car as it came near, waving 
his hand and smiling his good-bye. In a few days he 
was acting as President of a meeting of Spiritualists at 
Providence, and just afterward passed serenely to that 
higher life for which he was ripe and fully ready. 



I 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 67 

THEODORE PARKER. 

THE PREACHER OF TRANSCENDENTALISM. 

** No boundless solitude of space, 

Shall fill man's conscious soul with awe, 
But everywhere his eye shall trace, 
The beauty of eternal law. 
«««««« 
And he, who through the lapse of years, 

With aching heart and weary feet. 
Had sought, from gloomy doubts and fears, 

A refuge and a safe retreat — 
Shall find at last an inner shrine, 
Secure from superstition's ban. 
Where he shall learn the truth divine, 
That God dwells evermore in man." 

Elizabeth Doten, 

Theodore Parker's earnestness and reverent spirit made 
all ordinary preaching poor. He emphasized the tran- 
scendent faculties of the soul, as above book or dogma, 
and was a moral hero. 

This heretic and iconoclast was one of the most deeply 
religious men in any New England pulpit. He rebuked 
cant, that sincerity might gain ground ; he broke beloved 
idols in pieces, yet 

** ' Twas but the ruin of the bad — 
• The wasting of the wrong and ill ; 
Whate'er of good the old time had, 
Was living still." 

None rejoiced in the life of the old-time good more 
than he, and few helped it so much — albeit he was held 
as a reckless destroyer. 

His natural manner in preaching — that of a man ad- 
dressing his fellow-men without any affectation in voice 
or style — impressed me favorably. He had the dignity 
and feeling fitting high themes discussed, but the **holy 
tone " of the parish priest was not heard — a happy relief ! 
The clergy ought to bless his memory for his great help 
in making pulpit ways natural. His frank and courageous 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY TEARS. 

I speech, not only of Pharisees in Jerusalem but in Boston, 
I of prevalent and popular wrongs in Babylon and New 
I York, was novel and refreshing. Again the clergy should 
I bless his memory for helping to emancipate the pulpit, 
] making it a place for voices not echoes, His theology 
' too had a fresh vitality; he told of a living and present 
word of God. Dean Stanley truly said of him ; " No man 
in this century made so deep a mark ou our religious 
thought" Surely no man made so strong and lasting 
impression on his hearers. His courage and sense of 
duty always led him to a sincere speaking out of his con- 
victions, at whatever cost This sincerity and fideUty 
gave him a power impossible without them, and made 
him the great preacher of the century. 

From 2,500 to 4,000 people were his deeply interested 
I hearers each Sunday in MusiJ Hall for ten years. 

He admitted the worth of Spiritualism as an agent in 
emancipating the human mind. Frothingham says : 
"He blamed the scientific men, Agassiz among them, for 
their unfair methods of investigating the phenomena ; 
rebuked the prigs who turned up their noses at the idea 
of investigating the subject at all, and admitted that Spirit- 
ualism knocks the nonsense of popular theology lo pieces, 
and leads cold, hard materialistic men lo a recognition of 
what is really spiritual in their nature." 
This I knew from conversation with him on this sub- 
I ject 

1 have heard him speak in anti-slavery and woman- 
siiRrage meetings — every word a blow, and the mark 
never missed. 

Visiting him at his home In Boston, I found this heroic 
soul tender as well as brave. His domestic life showed 
that side of his character which was notable too in his 
pviblic efforts in an undertone of sorrowing pity toward 
those he rebuked, and in the emotional parts of his relig- 
ious discourses. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEAKS. 69 

A devoted and true husband, a lover of the society of 
the best women, greatly fond of children, of whom he 
once said in a prayer that " the fragrance of heaven was 
in their baby-breath," his wealth of affection equalled his 
wealth of intellect 

Several times I spent an hour in his study. He was 
simple and sincere, so eager to learn that you almost for- 
got how much he knew. The plain ways of his early life 
on the farm never left him. That room on the fourth floor 
— the whole floor with its outlook over the city from front 
and rear windows — was filled with books ; plain shelves 
on the walls — and in every corner or nook hy door or 
window ; full shelves in racks in the middle of the floor ; 
piles on the floor, shelves along the stairways and in 
lower halls and closeta, an overflow and inundation every- 
where. To me the most interesting of all was a little 
bureau — very plain and small — such as a boy might have 
by the head of his bed in his little chamber in an old farm 
house^which stood beneath a window with an old Laiin 
Dictionary on it, and the name, "Theodore Parker, ejus 
iiber," in a boy's hand on its blank leaf That book he 
bought himself, and paid for it by selUnj huckleberries 
picked with his own hands 011 his father's farm, which he 
carried in his little tin pail on foot five miles to Lexington 
and sold for four cents a quart until he had laid away in 
that bureau drawer four dollars to pay for that dictionary. 
No wonder such a boy, grown to manhood, conquered 
difficulties and made that first book the seed-corn from 
which grew his great library; and did also ni\ich other 
work, books being only his tools. At the opposite end of 
the room was his desk, with its busts and statuettes of 
Jesus, Socrates and Spartacus, its flowers for fresh orna- 
ment, and its walls of books all about. The same stout 
md tender heart that led the boy with that little bureau 

f his bedside, to pick berries, and help his dear mother 

'\ her housework was in the man who wrought at that 



k 



UPIVAKD S7'£/'S OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

li^esk. He kept, too, the clean ways of his childhood, 
f iRtid we can say of him, as is said of the good knight, Sir 
Galahad in the romance of King: Arthur : 

• ' His stranglh wis as the strength of ten. 
Because hb heart was pure." 

THOMAS MCCIINTOCK. 

Going one Sunday to Junius Friends, meeting-house, 
near Waterloo, New York, I heard Thomas McClintock 
speak. He was a tall and slender man, with dark hair 
and eyes, finely expressive features, and an air of refined 
thought and benignant kindness. His ideas and state- 
ments impressed me as greatly like those of Theodore 
Parker, although I learned he had never read the works 
of that great preacher. Plainly enough he had reached 
substantially the same conclusions, at quite as early a 
day. I found he was one of the foremost among Hick- 
site Friends who publicly advocated and emphasized 
these views, and he met with an opposition from the 
.more conservative hke that which Parker encountered 
from the same class among the Unitarians. It was very 
interesting to note the growth and expression of like 
opinions in distant places and among different classes. 

Certain eras seem to he ripening seasons for new 
spiritual harvests. Thoughts pulse through the air with 
fresh intensity foreshadowing beneficent changes, even as 
the perfume of the blossom in spring prophesies the 
autumn's fruitage. 

The Boston preacher in the Melodeon and the Quaker 
that plain meeting-house in Central New York, un- 
known to each other, had wrought out the same proMems, 
and were possessed by the same ideas. Thomas 
McClintock was a druggist and bookseller, noted for the 
perfectness of his chemical preparations, and for his 
strict integrity. Certain of his townsfolk once came to 
expostulate with him ; not probably unfriendly in feeling, 



I 



1 

I 

1 
w 

b: 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 71 

they had strong dislike of liia heresy in theology, and of 
his anii-slavery position, and wished he might be silent 
on those topics. So they said, in substance : ' ' We come 
<ia you as friends, to warn you that your bold preaching 
Wd your open association with these heretics and fana- 
,tics will greatly hurt your business. We have no objection 
your having what opinions you please, but your 
j,Course is very distasteful to many people, and will injure 
yo\i." He replied : '■ I thank you for coming, but I was 
trained up to obey the monitions of the spirit, and be true 
to my best light. In private and in public I have always 
eipressed my opinions faithftilly, without aiming to give 
undue offence, yet without fear of man, and to do other- 
wise would be sinful and cowardly. I will bear your 
words in mind, but I must speak the truth, and abide the 
consequences, " 
They saw nothing could be done, and left He went 
1, treating all with courteous kindness, but not swerving 
from his straig;ht path of duty. For a time his business 
did suffer, and he saw why and how, but it made no dif- 
ference, and then the tide turned, and it more than came 
back ; prejudice yielded to respect, and that ripened into 
affection. In a few years he planned to leave and go 
to his native Pennsylvania with a son in business. Then 
the town's people came to him, of all sects aiid parties, 
urged him to stay, and offered substantial aid to enlarge 
his business. He thanked them, but felt obliged to leave, 
d did so, amidst regrets well-nigh universal. Thus 
ibpright courage wins at last. 

His home-life was delightful — a wife of fine culture and 
laracter, graceful and dutiful daughters, and their sur- 
pundings in that pure and quiet taste which gives a charm 
the houses of the best Quakers. 



72 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



CHAPTER IV. 

ANTI-SLAVERY — WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON. 

"Champion of those who groan beneath 

Oppression's iron hand ; 

In view of penury, hate, and death, 

I see them fearless stand.'* 

fVkittier. 

While at the Northampton Association I first knew 
William Lloyd Garrison, and began to understand the 
anti-slavery movement. There was to be a convention 
in the old church at Northampton, and notices were sent 
to the towns near, to be read in the pulpits. This was 
a good way to test the clergy. The abolitionists said 
their effort was religious in the deepest sense, their aim 
**to preach deliverance to the captive," and that the 
church and clergy were in duty bound to help. If a 
clergyman read a notice from his pulpit it showed his 
sympathy ; if not, he was held as blind or time-serving, 
practically an ally of slavery. They said to the ministers : 
*' If our way does not suit you, show us a better, but do 
something. Don't be like dumb dogs." 

In this instance a notice was sent to Hatfield, and I 
was at home with my father the Sunday it was read in 
the pulpit. It was handed to the young pastor by one 
whom he did not like to offend, yet he knew its reading 
would offend others ; so he coupled it with a warning 
not to go, as dangerous men and infidels were to be there. 
This facing both ways suited nobody. Before we were 
fairly off the steps of the meeting-house, one of the best 
church members said : ** I shall go and hear for myself" 
The warning was an invitation accepted by him and 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



73 



Ijbers. My father's advice to hear all aides, sent me 
fere, and 1 found a good audience, whose general intel- 
gence and decorum surprised me. Among the group 
of speakers on the platform in front of the pulpit was one 
quite bald, with a genial face, strong and hopeful, wear- 
; gold spectacles, simply but neatly dressed, of sub- 
bntia! clean-cut form, rather above the average sine, — 
S attractive and inspiring presence giving an impression 
clear-sighfed man who would go straight to the 
This was Garrison, the incendiary traitor of poli- 
fcians, the arch-inCdel of pro-slavery preachers ! He 
mke with intense ejrnestness, and great moral power, 
with entire self-poise, andin the bestspirit I thought, 
srily, the devil is not so black as he is painted," But 
B old prejudice was not gone. The next day my friend, 
I. Stetson,- — my Paul and Onesimus expounder, asked 
" How did you like Mr. Garrison ? " I replied : 
J spoke well. I guess he wasn't in one of his black 
ds." She laughed and said: "You will never see 
in a black mood," and I never did. Soon after this 
me a great convention in Boston, and I wanted to go, 
;t did not wish to ask my father for money to pay my 
Reuses. Fortunately, just in time, a message came to 
e from the great but ton -factory store at Haydenville, to 
ind help them take the yearly account of stock. I 
worked hard a week or more, came away with 
renty-five dollars in my pocket, independent as a mil- 
aire, and went to Boston for a week. In the old 
tarlboro chapel I heard Phillips. Garrison. Abby Kelly, 
Irker, PiOsbury, Pierpontand others. Such impassioned 
iquence ; such moral and s.piritual power ; such bold 
and warning : such exposure of iniquity in high 
; such tender pleading for the wronged and plun- 
I felt that they were right, and went home under 
fcviction. But I thought that possibly this splendid elo- 
e hadswept me off my feet, and resolved to wait a 



74 



UPWAKD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



fortnight, think it over quietly, 
lution was good, hut the end of n 
rae an avowed abolitionist. Thi 
of now, but it was not easy to r 



id then decide. The reso- 
Tiy appointed time found | 
s avowal is easy to tell 
lake then. The rising 



generation can form but a faint idea of the sway of (he 
slave power, the prejudice against abolitionists, and the 
contempt and hatred of the negro at that time. The pest 
reached everywhere, Hke the frogs of Egypt in the plague 
of Pharaoh. The reiajority of the clergy of all sects and 
sections, from Texas to Maine, held slaverj' as a divine 
institution, sanctioned by the Bible. The political parties I 
were its tools. I 

James G. Birney tells of a "Pastoral Letter" of the 
General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 
1836, to their churches and ministers, exhorting them : 

"To abstain from allabohtion movements and associa- 
tions, and to refrain from patronizing any of their publica- 
tions. , , From every view of the subject which we have 
been able to take, and from the most calm and dispas- 
sionate survey of the whole ground, we have come to the 
conclusion that the only safe, prudent, and scriptural way 
for us, both as ministers and people, to take, is wholly to 
rtfrain from this agitaiing subject." 

After Daniel Webster made his great speech in favor of 
the fugitive slave law Whittier said of him : 
"So lallen, 50 lost, the light withdrawn. 
Which once he wore! 
The glory from his gray hairs gone, 
Forever more ! 

0/all we loved and honored, nought 

Save power remains — 
A fallen angel's pride of thought, 

Still strong in chains. 



All else 



i goiic 



; fro. 



.thos 



I 



l/PiVARD STETS OF SEVENTY VEAKS. 



75 



Edward Everett, when governor of Massachusetts, ree- 
ded the legislature to pass a law against anti- 
■slavery agitation. Grave orthodox doctors of divinity in 
New England, were the clerical defenders of the slave 
system, and a Unitarian divine would send his mother 
(of brother) back into slavery to save the Union. The 
lesser lights did their part I remember once giving an 
anti-slavery talk on a packet boat on the Erie canal, at 
the request of the passengers, and after its close noticing 
a serioiis looking naan, with a clerical white neckcloth, 
talking quietly to single persons, book in hand. A man 
came to me and said: "That's a preacher defending 
slavery from the Bible." Of such preachers Whitlter 



■■ paid hypocrites, who turn judgment aside. 
And rob the holy book 
Of those high words of Irulh which seirch and bum, 
In warning and rebuke. 



I Their glory and their might shall perish, 

And their very name shall be 
I Vile before all the people, in the light 

Of a world's liberty." 
The pioneer abolitionists were devoted, plain in speech, 
ncompromisiiig and stern in rebuke. To make our 
judgment of them complete, to discern clearly the spirit 
and temper of the early anti-slavery advocates, whether 
Garrisonians or liberty-party men, we must put in con- 
nection with these stern rebukes of wrong something to 
show their feeling toward the wrong-doer, — -a feeling void 
of all vengeance or hatred, and ready to overcome evil 
with good. Here Garrison's words are in place. He 
said: 

"The slave-holders have impeached our motives, 
libeled our characters, and threatened our lives. No in- 
dignity is loo great to be heaped upon us : no outrage too 
shocking to be perpetrated ou our persons or property. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



evenge ! God helping us we 

fill and Christian means for 

liave system. Ours is thi 

Tuelty, of virtue ii 



, 76 

And now we will hai 
will continue to use 

e overlhrQW of their suicitia 
agitation of humanity in vi 

opposition to pollution, of holiness against impiety, 
is the agitation of thunder and lightning to purify a 
corrupt atmosphere, of the storm to give new vigor 
freshness to field and forest Ours is the incendiary spirit 
of truth, that burns up error, of freedom that melts the 
I fetters of the bondman, of impartial love that warms every 
breast with the sacred fire of heaven. Could any men 
I but those of extraordinary nnora! courage and endurance, 
I sustain unflinchingly a contest which requires such loss of 
reputation, and such hazard of property and life? The 
are the winnowing of the nation. When that slave-sy( 
I tern falls — as fall it must — we will repay them with rich 
jlessings. We will remove from them all source of alarm, 
md the cause of all insurrection ; increase the value of 
I their estates tenfold ; give an Eden-like fertility to tht 
I perishing soil ; build up the olB waste places and repair 
I all breaches ; make their laborers contented, grateful 
happy; wake up the entombed genius of invention, and 
the dormant spirit of enterprise ; open to them new 
sources of affluence ; multiply their branches of industry 
erect manufactories, build railways, dig canals ; establish 
schools, academies, colleges and all beneficent institu- 
tions ; extend their commerce to the ends of the earth, 
limagined amount; turn the tide of Western 
' adventure and Northern capital into Southern channels; 
unite the North and the South by indissoluble ties ; change 
the entire moral aspect of society ; cause pure and un- 
defiled religion to flourish ; avert impending judgments, 
ind secure heavenly blessings, and fill the land with 
I peace, prosperity and happiness I Thus, and thus only, 
' will we be revenged upon them — for all the evil they 



i 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



11 



are now doing, or may hereafter do to us — past, present 
and to come ! " 

It would hardly be possible to put in language a better 
statement of the benefits already beginning to be realized 
in the new South — benefits hailed and helped in fraternal 
spirit by the North. In the support of slavery all sections 
of our country had their share of guilt and blindness, and 
all can now join in repentance and reconciliation, — in the 
up-building of right and freedom. "Wisdom is justified 
of her children," and the good which we begin to realize 
from the downfall of chattel-slavery shows that the 
abolitionists were right and wise. That downfall came 
by a terrible civil conflict, because the people paid no 
timely heed to the noble company of men and women 
fitly called " the winnowing of the nation." 

It is mainly of Garrison as a beloved friend that I would 
speak. His remarkable history, from being mobbed in 
Boston, imprisoned in Baltimore jail, and called by all 
manner of evil names, to walking daily in the very 
streets where the mob sought his life, as an honored 
citizen, and being seen and heard everywhere with 
marked respect and reverence, is written elsewhere. I 
met him first at the Northampton Association, and his 
buoyant happiness surprised and delighted me. He had 
the heroic cheerfnlness that comes from unwavering faith 
in the conquering power of truth, and from devotedness 
to a high purpose. Good health, a happy temperament, 
and a well-ordered home, full of sympathy and affection, 
helped this unfailing joy of the spirit, which grew brighter 
amidst trial and abuse, and became a flame of heroism in 
hours of danger. The play of aline humor, the bright- 
ness of a sunny heart, and the strength of a great soul, 
gave varied interest to his conversation. He used to 
speak of owing much to his mother, who was turned out 
of doors by her Episcopalian parents in New Brunswick, 
because she joined the unpopular Baptist Church, in obe- 



yg UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

I dience to her own convictions. To know that anything 
I was right was to be sure of its triumph in fit time, aiid to i 
[ be ready to indorse it To find an error, no matter ho' 
\ sacredly revered, was to Icnow that it must die, and to 
i bear testimony against it al whatever cost. All this was 
I without empty boast or vain scoff, but with self-poised 
assurance, taking no council of " the fear of man which 
bringeth a snare.'' 
I Orthodox in his views from early education, he paid 
k less heed to creeds and more to deeds as years went on. 
\ The wicked use which the clerical upholders of slavery 
made of the Bible, as the bulwark of that "sum of ali 
villainies "—as John Wesley fitly called the slave-system 
— led him to study it more carefully, and to use witli 
great power its truly inspired utterances iu favor of 
I freedom. Many times I have heard him read : " Cry 
[ aloud and spare not, rebuke my people for their trans- 
gressions and the house of Jacob for their sins," and 
other like warnings of the Old Testament prophets, 
and the New Testament words : " I am come tn preach 
deliverance to the captive, and the opening of the prison 
. to them that are in bonds," in a most impressive andbeau- 
I tiful manner. It was worth going miles to hear his Bilile 
readings, yet the book was not infallible to him. He said 
\ that his new and rational views gave more force and 
I meaning to its nobler parts and made it of more value. 
His moral power with an audience was great. In old 
Faneuil Hall, in the presence of three thousand people, 
1 once heard him read a resolution, severely condemning 
an eminent State official for some pro-slavery act This 
man was popular, a good man in many respects, but 
lacked fidelity and courage for the crisis. The hall rang 
with outcries and hisses, Garrison meanwhile standing 
with folded arms, erect, resolute, quietly waiting his 
time. At last he was able to say: " Hear my reasons." 
. The tumult t^uieted, and for an hour his words were like 



UPWARD STEPS OF SE VEXTY YEARS. 79 

cannon balls healed at some glowing furnace. In closing 
he said: "If any one questions my statements, let him 
speak, nnil he shall have fair hearing." All was quiet as 
the grave while he waited, standing like a strong tower, 
and his final word rang out in the silence ; ■' My charge 
is true ; no man dare deny it." There were able men in 
that audience, ready in speech, and who were in sym- 
pathy with the person denounced. But for the ablest to 
take up that quarrel would have been as though some 
rash knave, without horse or armor, had entered the lists 
against Richard the lion-hearted, on his war-horse, dad 
in steel and armed with spear and sword. The blows of 
the sword of the Spirit are more resistless and terrible 
than the sweeping strokes of King Richard's trenchant 
weapon. Emerson said: "Eloquence is cheap in anti- 
slavery meetings." This was true, for the theme was an 
inspiration ; but in every meeting where Garrison was 
present his word was wanted to give completeness to the 
work. An early apprentice in a printing office, type-set- 
ting was always an enjoyment to him, and he was a 
rapid and correct printer. I have seen him set up his 
editorials without manuscript, as he often did. His home 
in Boston was in Di;( Place, near Washington Street, its 
rear windows looking out on Mollis Street Church, where 
John Pierpont preached. It was a hospitable home, and 
the pleasant days there are well remembered. He was 
very thoughtful of the comfort of others, and his wife 
equally so. In that household, so full of cheer and of 
simple and genuine kindness, one would not dream of 
the storm of abuse without, of the $5,000 reward of the 
Stale of Georgia for the person of the happy husband, or 
of the mobs howling at his heels in the streets, but a few- 
years before. It was a clean home, simply furnished and 
beautifully well ordered. There was no taint of wines 
or tobacco in its air, and a fine sense of moral purity, 
pervaded its sacred precincts. The children, four sons 



th( 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

daughter, were full of life, atid their buoyant spirits 
were never crushed, but they were admirably trained and 
dutifully obedient. 

White of necessity, the great work of his life was for 
the abolition of slavery, he was not of narrow mind. 
His delightful home talk showed healthy and wide inter- 
it, and enthusiasm for freedom of thought, the equality 
;0f woman, non-resistance and temperance, and his 
early public advocacy of these and like reforms is well- 
known. 

In later years, since the abolition of slavery, his home 
as in Roxbury— a part of Boston—the house high up on 
a pile of granite rocks, with the wild pines rooted in their 
crevices, yet the street cars not far away. There 1 made 
several visits, and had hours of inspiring talk. His wife 
invalid in her room, his own health uncertain, 
but his mind as clear, and his spirit as noble and sweet 
as ever, We talked much of Spiritualism, which he had 
believed for more than twenty years. 

At that house, in the last year of his life, I carefully 
noted down as he gave it this 

INTERESTING KXPER15KCE : 

Henry C. Wright, his old and valued friend and co- 
worker, had passed suddenly away, and Wendell Phillips 
and himself were made executors of his will. His body 
put in a vault at Pawtucket, awaiting a permanent 
burial, and several offers came from friends who wished 
to erect monuments in Mount Auburn and elsewhere. 
These were not accepted, as Mr. Wright was known to 
be averse to any display. Mr. Phillips had said to Gar- 
rison : "Do as you please, and I shall be satisfied." 
One day he visited a medium near Boston, with no 
thought of Henry C. Wright in his mind, but with a hope 
that another friend might be heard from. A spoken 
message came through the medium, purporting to be from 



i 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 81 

Wrig'ht, and Garrison was told he would soon 
! sick and would go to Providence for medical aid, 
was asked to visit the cemetery of that city, to buy a 
sin lot carefully described, and bury the body there. 
was ill soon after, aiidweut to Providence as foretold. 
There he saw another medium, a stranger, and a message 
was uttered, purporting to be again from his old friend, 
describing the lot, the trees and scenery about it, and a 
single tree on its border exactly as the other medium had 
done, and he was again urged to buy the lot and hasten 
the burial. He went to the cemetery, found a young 
man in the office, and asked to be shown the comer 
(north-east, 1 think) where this lot had been described. 
They went out to the place, and no such scenery or lot 
was there. He went away thinking it all a strange mis- 
take, and gave it up, yet was not easy in mind. A few 
days after he went again, found the Superintendent, asked 
if any small vacant lot for a single grave was for sale, 
and was told there was none. He then asked to see the 
north-east part of the grounds, and, as they started, 
noticed that they took a different direction from that of 
his former search. As they reached near the borders of 
the grounds, he began to recognize the scenery, soon saw 
the very tree, as described by both mediums, and just 
then the Superintendent said: "I had forgotten. There 
is a single lot for sale under that tree," The lot was 
exactly as described ; the former guide had taken a wrong 
path, the Superintendent's correct guidance led to the 
right spot, the medium's words were verified, the lot 
bought, and there the mortal remains of the veteran re- 
former rest 

In many minds religion is associated with conformity 
to popular outward standards — with belief in an infallible 
I holy Sabbath, a dogmatic creed, and the word 
■dained teachers. These are held as its bulwarks, 
:en them imperils it, to destroy them would be its 



82 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEAHS. ^ 

ruin. He who coiirurms is religious; he who does not 
is irreligious. Garrison was a non-conformist, yet one of 
the most truly religious men. He was not agnostic or 
materialistic, but afiirmed his clear and deep convictions ] 
as strongly as any Puritan of the olden time, yet without ] 
intolerance. He had knowledge of spiritual realities, 
rational faith, natural reverence, noble inspiration, a daily 
life, beautiful and heroic, a transition to the higher life, 
sweet and peaceful. Whittier's tribute, sent to his funeral , 
and read there, is simple truth in golden words : 

" The storm and peril overpast, 

The howling haU^shamed and still, 
Go, soul of Erenlom 3 take at last. 

The place which thou Tilone canst fill. 

Not for thyself, but for the slave. 

Thy words of thunder shook the world ; 
No selfish griefe or hatred gave 

The strength wherewith ihy bolts were hurled. 

From lips that Sina's trumpet blew, 

Weheard a lenrlerer undersong ; 
Thy very wrath from pity grew, 

From lore of man thy hate of wrong. 



Go leave behind the« all that mirs 

The work below of man for man 
With the while legions of the stars. 

Do service such is angels can. 

Wherever wrong shall righldeny, 

Or suffering spirits urge their plea. 
Be thine a voice to smile the lie. 

Ahand tosel the captive free I " 

The mission and life-work of William Lloyd Garrisoa4 
was to denounce chattel-slavery as the shame and peril of 1 
the land; to emphasize the sacredness and the safety I 
of human liberty, personal, mental, and religious, and to ■! 
demand that liberty for all ; to set an example of dauntless J 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 83 

coiirage;lokiiidleaflameof moraUieroism : In leach anew 
the posilive and conquering' power of right, whereby 
"one shall chase a thousand, and two shall put ten Ihoii- 
sand to flight." His task was like creating a soul beneath 
the ribs of death, but it was well done, and the country 

d the world owe much to him and to his co-workers^ — the 

ineer abolitionists. 



Of Mrs. Garrison I transcribe this tribute, given at her 
funeral by Wendell Phillips. He knew her better than I 
did, but ray clear remembrance of her admirable character 
and thoughtful kindness makes his every word true. He 
said ; 

" How cheerfully she took up the daily burden of life 
and effort. With what serene courage she looked into the 
face of peril to her own life, and to those dearer to her 
than life. Trained among Friends, with the blood of 
martyrdom and self-sacrihce in her veins, she came so 
naturally to the altar ! Sheltered in the jail, a great cily 
hungering for his life, how strong her husband must have 
been when they brought him his young wife's brave words : 
" I know my husband will never betray his principles." 
Helpmeet, indeed, for the pioneer in that terrible fight I 
The most unselfish of all human beings, she poured her 
strength into the lives of those about her. . . . A young 
mother, with the cares of a growing family, not rich in 
means, only her own hands to help, yet never failing in 
cheerful welcome, with rare executive ability, doing a great 
deal, and so easily as never to seem burdened ! . . . She 
made a family of their friends, and her roof was always a 
home for all ; yet drudgery did not check thought, or care 
narrow her interest She was not merely the mother or 

e head of a home; her own life am! her husband's moved 
d in hand in such loving accord, seemed so exactly one, 
t it was hard to divide their work. At the fireside, in 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVEN-TY VEAPS. 

the hours, not frequent, of relaxation, in scenes of stormy I 
debate, that beautiful presence of rare sweetness and dig- I 
nity, what an inspiration and power it was ! And then ( 
the mother — fond, painstaking and faithful, . . , She \ 
not dead. She is gone before. . . . She has joined the ' 
old band that worked lifelong for the true and the good. 
. . . We can see them bend over and lift htr up to them, 
to a broader life. She works on a higher level ; ministers 
to old ideas, guards lovingly those she went through 
life with." 



"the fleas of 
So Emerson wittily names the odd characters that hang 
around all reform movements in their pioneer days, 

Silas Lamson — white haired, with long beard, clad in 
unbleached flannel, scythe snath in hand and a loaf of 
brown bread under his arm — used to sit in anti-slavery 
meetings in Marlboro Chapel in Boston. Abby Folsom, 
too, was there with him, a good woman, a monomaniac 
on free speech, who would talk, in season and out, 
especially out. Often have I seen them, and their like, 
in such places. 

It seems as though every new and sweeping wave of 

spiritual life, not only stirred up the depths of thought, but 

that the folly and passion of poor humanity are also 

i swept along like froth on the wave The froth comes to 

I naught, but is troublesome enough while it lasts, Paul 

I had a deal of trouble with contentious and evil men, and 

with babbling and shallow women, for whom his Corin- 

thinn Kpistles were meant Luther was greatly vexed by 

foolish Proteslnnls loose in morals. Wesley was annoyed 

by canting nonsense nmon^ his Methodist people. The 

"fleas " stuck to nnti-slavery meetings, and they stick yet 

to later movements. Seasons of marked mental and 

' moral BCtfvity. and of noble and nccde<i reforms, also stir 

1 to new life the folly mid pervc^rtcd desires of unbalanced 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEAHS. 85 

people. In old anti-slavery days the pious and respect- 
able pro-slavery conservatives took the Lamsons and 
Abby Folsoms as types of the movement, foolishly ig- 
nored the self-poise and moral power of Garrison, GerrJtt 
Smith and others, and were blind to the great value of 
their aims. Blind conservatives and thoughtless people 
to-day hold " cranks " and frauds as types of temperance 
and woman-suffrage and spiritualism, and sit compla- 
cently while the open saloon blasts and bliglits their 
sons and desolates the homes of their daughters. False 
prophets can be traced from Judea to Chicago, from the 
days of Christ to our own time bad men have been full of 
the cant of piety, or of reform. Oar active age has its 
self-styled reformers, — noisy, often well-meaning but of 
light weight and erratic course. The clear insight, 
steady courage, and healthy outlook of the leaders 311 
wise reforms are quite unlike the "zeal without knowl- 
edge" we sometimes meet Especially is their hopeful 
and abiding f;uth, their religious trust iu the triumph of 
the right, unlike the gloomy pessimism which leads to 
blind striking in the dark, and to enervating hate and de- 
spair. The world's true prophets and great reformers 
still live. They are among iis and we fail to know 
them I 



^^Tne ci 



PERSONAL INCIDENTS AMD ACQUAINTANCES. 



,e anti-slavery movement was a signal illustration of 
le conquering power of conscience — of truth, spoken 
with dauntless courage. Here was the slave-system, 
strong in its control over 81,000, 000,000 invested in human 
beings — a great and hideous monopoly, Parties, sects, 
office-holders, and pulpits were in its hands. The people 
were inert, and their prejudices largely with the slave- 
holder. For one poor man to demand the immediate over- 
throw of this system seemed absurd. The world, then, even 
more than now, saw power only \\\ money and in the 



86 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

machinery of party and seel, and had small thought of a 
mightier power, spiritual and invisible. 

Conscience won ; politicians and pulpits gave way; 
parties broke in pieces, g-old was but dross as against | 
justice ; slavery went down, and the planter in Georgia 
joins the abolitionist in Massachusetts in rejoicing at its 
downfall. 

In the pioneer anti-slavery lecture field, from Maine to ^ 
Missouri and Delaware, I spent years in cities, towns, 
and country by-ways, travelled thousands of miles and 
spoke hundreds of times. A great book could be tilled 
wiih stories of hospitable homes, and warm welcomes, 
golden compensations for prejudice and contempt else- 
where, and inspiring helps in the great contest, 
derslood and disliked or hated by the outside majority, , 
the abolitionists had a warm side for each other ; and | 
this, with their intelligence, moral courage and fidelity, 
made their society both delightful and instructive. 1 J 
have often heard it said, and truly, that if their efforts j 
never freed a slave, the benefits of the culture of charac- 
ter for themselves would more than pay for all their | 
troubles and trials. People marvel at the growth of J 
Frederick Douglass, from ignorance lo his present 1 
eminence. He had twenty years of the best education f 
in America. No University could have given such scope I 
for mental and moral culture as the society of the e 
anti-slavery advocates, the heiiring of theirgreat speeches, j 
and the reading of such books as they, or his 
genius, might suggest. In Ihe light and warmth of such I 
an atmosphere his large faculties gained wealth ; 
freedom. 

One of my first journeys in the field was in 1845 — from I 
Hatfield to the Western Reserve in Ohio, to join Stephen 1 
S, Foster anil .Abby Kelley. for three months, 1 reached! 
Ashtabula with five dollars in my purse, and with the I 
supreme independence of youth, which made much or J 



I 

stai 

mo 
up 
"b 
dar 

i 

I hen 

righ 

I Met 

m 



UPiVARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 87 

tie of small moment. The great grove meetings were 
,11 of novel attraction. In one place I remember, where 
Ihousands gathered, a farm vagon used as a speaker's 
.stand, was taken to pieces in the night and its wheels 
and frame were scattered over the ten acre lot. In the 
morning after it was again put together, Mr. Foster stood 
up in it and said he had seen some courageous acts, 
"but the bravery needed to mob an old wagon in the 
dark was most wonderful 1 " There was a great laugh, 
and the wagon was thereafter safe. 

In private life S. S. Foster was gentle and true ; one of 
very kindest of friends ; in public his words had the 
[irectness and unbending sternness of the Puritan. He 
Puritan, in grain and temper, and early training; 
id study for the ministry iu an orthodox seminary in 
:w England deepened his inherited qualities. Their 
!ed he did not believe, but he scourged the upholders 
slavery, as John Knox in his Scotch pulpit scourged 
heretics, and, like John Knox, he called things by their 
ight names. The communion tables of Presbyterians, 
Methodists and others, reached from the sunny south to 
le pine woods of Maine, — all were "brethren in the 
together. The "Southern brethren" held and 
lught and sold slaves, were "man stealers ; " the North- 
■thren fraternized with them, kept silent as to their 
and called them Christiaiis. He charged the 
;an Church and clergy with being "a brotherhood 
of thieves," and made that the title of a widely-read 
pamphlet of fearful facts. This terrible logic startled the 
dullest, and was hard to escape from. If a good church 
member or preacher denied it, and wished a hearing, he 
was fairly and fully heard, but then came the crushing 
rejoinder. In Marlboro chapel, Boston, I saw him go to 
the platform carrying a pair of heavy sSave-shackles and 
iron collar, three-pronged and ugly looking. In due 
,e he spoke, rattling the shackles he said : "These are 



^^^pUie plattoi 
^^^^Hn iron C( 
^^^Hme he si 



88 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 

your bonds of Christian fellowship ; " holding up the 
great collar and clasping it about his neck, with its prongs 
standing out above his head, he continued: "And this 
is one of your tokens of Christian love I " and told where 
these came from, that none might doubt their genuine- 
ness. He was an agitator and did a needed work. 
Emerson's description of a strong orator well applies to 
him: "He mobbed the mob, and was more audacious 
than they;" but he was not recklessly destructive; he 
was only smiting down the bad, that the good might live 
all the better. Few did more for the final triumph of 
freedom than this strong and excellent man. 

In New Lisbon, Ohio, one nighta hundred of us stayed 
at the Quaker home of Mr. Garretson, sleeping in rows ' 
feet to feet on the floor, which was strewn with straw 
covered with coarse cloth. About midway in the rows 
were two tall Virginians, slaveholders, who had come ' 
over lo hear the abolitionists. Their feet almost touched, 
and one laughingly said : " Gentlemen, this is Mason and 
Dixon's line. No man crosses this in safely." They 
were manly characters, greatly interested, and well-be* | 
haved. The next day a not broke np the meetings for a 
time, and tilled the streets with dire threats. In this the 
Virginians took no part, but expressed a lofty and genuine , 
contempt for it Soon came a reaction, and great audi- 
ences kept the best order. 

Soon after this I visited Massilloii alone, and a mob | 
crowded the entrance to our hall, with tar kettle and a 
bag of featliers ready for use as I came out A group of ] 
men guarded mc. I walked near enough to the kettle to I 
touch it ; oalhs were plenty, but no act save a fusillade of \ 
bad eggs spallertng the sidewalk, but hitting nobody. 
I never feared a mob. I have no courage to boast of, 
but have several times walked quietly through groups of I 
angry men. shaking their fists in my face. A ludicrous J 
view of it always cnmo up in ray mind, which kept fright 1 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 89 

away, and it is almost impossible for a mob to touch a 
fearless person. 

In Phillipsville, now Belmont, among the hills of Alle- 
ghany County, New York, an egg thrown through the 
church door, struck me in the left eye. All night long a 
kind Presbyterian minister, Mr. Van Antwerp, watched 
by me and kept wet and cool cloths on the swollen and 
bleeding eye, and in two weeks I was happily well, and 
past what seemed a serious hurt There was great 
indignation among the people, and that poor Qgg was as 
good as a dozen able speeches. 

Going back to Ohio, a visit to the home of Joshua R. 
Giddings, at Jefferson, Ashtabula County, is well remem- 
bered. He entertained us and others, and took pan in 
our meetings, giving frank assent, and criticism as frank 
and fair. He was a brave man, unpretending and genuine, 
his manners those of a plain countryman who had seen 
enough of the world to be at ease. A strong man 
physically too, with an aspect and carriage showing that 
he knew no fear. An elderly man came to his door on a 
warm afternoon, whom he greeted as a friend. He 
seemed a little weary after a long ride from his farm. 
Mr. Giddings asked: ''Where is your horse?" **At the 
gate," was the answer, " and Til put him in your barn if 
there's room." *' You don't know about the stables. I'll 
put him in for you," said Mr. Giddings, and the good man 
rested while the really honorable Congressman stabled 
his horse. It was a simple act of neighborly kindness, 
and showed what manner of man he w^as. In the morn- 
ing our host said — after breakfast: "We have family 
prayers, but if any of you prefer to be in your rooms, 
there is entire freedom here." This was probably said, 
because he thought that Abby Kelley's Quaker education 
might make stated seasons of prayer distasteful to her. 
It showed a largeness that we liked, and we all stayed 
through the sincere faipily worship. He afterwards 



9° 



irptVASD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



became a Spiritualist, and his daughter Maria, who was! 
with him ill his last days at Montreal, told me that hisB 
faith and knuwledge gave him great light and strength, to* 
the last. 

I liked the Wesleni Reserve — the north-eastern OhioJ 
counties. The really best blood of New England went,! 
I here^e migrants from the middle class, upright audf 
thoughtful working people. 

On Lodi plains, in Michigan, five miles south of Ann I 
Arbor, lived Captain Lowrie, who found a new way ofB 
preaching the gospel. Over the gale to his yard, fast- T 
ened to posts high enough for a load of hay to pass under, 
was a wide board, on which was painted a white n 
one end, and a black man at the other, holding between J 
them a scroll with these words : "Are we not all breth- ! 
ren ? " This sermon, as he called it, went far and widet 
The daily stage would stop for passengers to read it ; 
travellers would go that road to see it; every neighbor's I 
child talked about it, and so the gospel, which the pulpits I 
failed lo preach, went forth from over that gateway. Had! 
he been a weak man, it might have been torn down, but I 
he had a sturdy will, and broad acres and full barns, and I 
was of a sort not safe to tamper with, and so it stood for | 
years. One man, at least, enjoyed it greatly, if I coi 
judge from the satisfaction with which Captain Lowrie told J 
me of the talk it made. 

In an interior town in Michigan, I gave their first anti-1 
slavery lecture to some thirty men in a small hall over a 
store, while a larger number were in the room below, to I 
hear through the open doors. The next day the talk I 
through the streets was that the marriage institution had.J 
been attacked, while only slavery, as destroying marriage, f 
had been alluded to. Fifteen years later. I went to thatJ 
town by invitation, spoke in a large hall filled with i 
leading people, and uttered the same sentiments withl 
their hearty applause. 




UrWAKD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 91 

A BKtLLIANT TEA PARTY. 

' The itiiierent life of an anti-slavery lecturer had its hard- 
ships and trials ; — wearying travel and exposure, fare alter- 
nating' from the choicest to the plainest, and constant 
meeting with bitter prejudice and abusive misiinderstanJ- 

But it had inspiring compensations as «rell ; — hospitality 
and help the most heartfelt, meeting the tried and true 
who dared toassai! an inhuman institution, close alliance 
with the gifted and noble in a sacred work. 

Occasionally came especially pleasant seasfins of en- 
joyment and refreshment. One of these comes to mind 
as a delightful memory. In 1851 or '52, during the 
second visit to this country of George Thompson, then a 
member of the British Parliament, an anti-slavery conven- 
tion was held in Syracuse, N.Y. Thelarge hall had been 
filled with an audience sitting spell-bound to hear a great 
speech from the noble English orator, and at the close of 
the afternoon Rev. Samuel j. May asked a goodly company 
to tea at his home. Some twenty of us walked a mile or 
so up the rising ground in the north-east part of the 
city, and stopped at his door to look down mi the fair 
scene below — town and country, mansions and cottages, 
shops and green fields, seen in the summer sunlight, 

Edmund Quincjy, with the grace of his old-time cour- 
tesy, Sojourner Truth, with her quaint and striking ways, 
George Thompson, full of life and heart, Abby Kelley 
Foster, earnest and attractive, Charles L. Remnnd, his 
dark face lighted up, his fine eyes radiant. Garrison, 
beaming with enjoyment, and his admirable wife; Fred- 
erick Douglass, noble of aspect and eloquent in private as 
in public, Benjamin Fish, my wife's father, a tall, Quaker- 
like figure, his genial face lighted up with appreciative 
pleasure, Samuel May, jr., steadfast as the Leicester hills 
of his happy Massachusetts home, James Miller McKim, 
smiling and serene, a gifted English lady, who greatly 



91 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY VEAPS. 



enjoyed the occasion with him, Charles B. Sedgwick, 
an eminent Syracuse lawyer, a true man, and Mrs. 
Stebbins and myself were of the company in the house. 
The genial host, and his good wife and her sister, min- 
istered to every want. 

At the tea-table what flow of fine humor softening the 
deep earnestness of speech, what grace and ease, natural- 
ness and fraternity 1 It was indeed "the best society," in 
a sense higher than the fashionable world can reach. 
Changing the poet's word a little one could say : 
'Twerc worlh ten years of common life. 
One glantc at their array. 

A wade through snowdrifts to a country schoolhouse, 
a bed in a room hke an iceberg, a bad egg flung in your 
face, even the mean talk of a pro-slavery politician or 
preacher could well be endured, cheerfully, if the thought 
of that rich hour of compensation came up. 

HEN'RV C. WRIGHT. 
" Down lo the dust be Slavery hurled ! 
All servile chains unbind ! " 
Before me lies the Autobiography of Henry C. Wright, 
a volume of four hundred pages, published in Boston, in 
1849, by Beln Marsh — whose little Cornhill bookstore, in 
the same room for years with the anti-slavery ofBce, was 
the place where all sorts of books on unpopular, yet 
excellent reforms and reformers, could be had, and where 
Bela Marsh himself, one of the best of men. i:ould always 
be seen. On the blank leaf of this book is written in a 
Sold, plain, ungraceful hand: "Giles Stebbins, from Ihe 
author, with kind regards. Hopedale, Mass., Nov. lylh, 
1853." The words call up my friend, I see him — tall, 
massive, with large head and a brain and build that 
showed — as I once told him, while he laughed a hearty 
assent — that "a good General had been spoiled to make 
an indifferent peace m.in," He was a notable figure at 
the early reform meetings in New England, and later in 



\ 



UPiVAlfD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



93 



the West. Bom in Ihe Housatotiic Valley, in Connecticut, 
in 1797. going to the wild woods and great hills of Otsego 
County, New York, in early childhood, reared in the 
school of plain-living and hard farm work, trained to do 
his duty honestly, going East to become a student of 
theology at Andover, graduating as an orthodox Con- 
gregational clergyman, doing admirable work among 
children as well as preaching to adults, struggling with 
doubts and fears and breaking his fetters at last to go out 
and stand alone and religiously seek for truth. All this 
and more, is told in his Autobiography — a" vivid picture 
of child life and later growth, and of the religious usages 
of that day. It was written in 1847, at Rochane Cottage, 
on the banks of Gare Loch, iu the West Highlands of 
Scotland, Ihe summer-home of the Patons of Glasgow, 
and of James Anderson— a son-in-law. Catherine Ander- 
son — "'my wee darling " as he called her — was a lovely 
child, who reciprocated his affectionate tenderness. The 
frontispiece of the Autobiography is a fine engraved 
portrait of himself sitting, with the child standing beside 
him, her head resting confidingly on his breast, and her 
face radiant with joy. He has told me of the beauty of 
Gare Loch, the bold mountain scenery about it, and the 
intelligence and kindness of the inmates of that cottage, 
so thai all seems familiar. 

When his clerical career was ending he knew Garrison 
and N. P. Rogers, went into the anti-slavery field with all 
the strength of his great soul, broke down in health, 
visited Great Britain, lectured in the cities, spent some 
months at Graefenberg water-cure, when Preissnitz had it 
in charge, talked all kinds of political and religious heresy 
to the titled nobles among its gfuests. and came home to 
take up his lifelong pilgrimage as an itinerant speaker in 
the reform field in this country. He was strong, direct 
plain in manners and speech, notsubtlein discrimination, 
but with a solid depth of conviction. He concentrated 



94 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

his thoughts on the subjects near his soul, and enforced I 
his views with small respect for things held sacred, but \ 
with hifjh reverence for what he held right 

He was always made welcome like a brother at the 
home of William Lloyd Garrison, and they were true and 
trusting friends to the last. As early as 1 835 his writing and 
speaking for non-resistance and anti-slavery began, 
temperance always claimed his attention. Marriage, par- 
entage, the sanctity of maternity, Ihe laws of heredity, he 
wrote and spoke on with marked effect Spiritualism en- 
listed his earnest efforts and advocacy in later years. I 
well remember his plain and strong language, startling by 
its directness and power, and softened by touches of tender 
feeling. Once at North Collins Yearly Meeting in Western 
New York, speaking to three thousand people he said: 
"When I die, as you call it I shall begin to live. 1 am 
not going to some place so far away that I never can get 
back, and I don't expect to sing psalms and shout Halle- 
lujah forever. I don't believe God is selfish enough, or 
fond enough of flattery, to want me or anybody to spend ' 
an eternity in that way. 1 love to work here, and to grow 
in wisdom and love, and I want a chance to work and 
grow over there. I shall want to see you, for I love 
you. I shall have something to do for you, I shall come 
back and help knock in the heads of your whisky barrels, 
and get the tobacco out of your foul mouths." 

His best work was with audiences of plain people in tl 
country. Once, in Northern Indiana, at a free hall ( 
Brushy Prairie, with a full hearing of farmers and their 
families, he had laid down the points of his argument in 
his plain way and then stopped and asked : 

"Now, friends, don't you see it?" and from all quarters 
came the response : "Yes, yes." With an air of satisfac- 
tion, impossible Co describe, he said in his deep and friendly 
tones : "I knew you would see it" 

This characteristic letter calls to mind like words I have 
heard &om him ; 



K' 



VPIVAKD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 95 

^ THE CAPE COD CAMP-MEETING Of SPIRITUALISTS AT HARWICH. 

Pawtucket, R. 1., July Z9lh, 1870. 
President of Cape Cod Carap-meetiiig of Spiritualists, 
il cannot be with you this year. Can I have the plat- 
a short time ? If so, 1 will say a word with pen and 
This is my speech ;— 
Cape Cod,— a hallowed name and place to nie. Nearly 
:y years ago I lectured there first. I have been there 
often since. I love her men, women, and children. For 
intelligence, courteous behavior, and frankness and heart- 
iness of manner, they are not surpassed by any part of our 
broad land. I never left them but with regret. I never 
returned to them but with gladness. My memories of her 
sons and daughters, in their homes and in conventions, 
pleasant, and only pleasant. 

Man — his nature, relations, and destiny — is my one 
■thought; his elevation and happiness, my one object 
man I mean woman also. The body is not the man ; 
but an incident to him. The death of the body is not 
the death of the man ; nor docs it change his relations, 
obligations, and duties. These are the same out of the 
body as in it. Down with all gods, doctrines, religions, 
and governments that tend to dishonor and degrade man. 
"Creeds, codes, and constitutions, churches and gov- 
ernments, are nonentities when they conflict with inter- 
nal conviction. * * * 

"From the high and holy platform of Spiritualism, we 
look upon the great battle of the race that is now being 
fought with a zea! and devotion never before known. 
The great issue is between God in man and the animal in 
man. A union of the two is essential to existence here ; 
but which shall have the mastery? To answer this is the 
mission of Spiritualism," 

At about seventy years of age, being in Pawtucket at the 
^A)|A.&imid, lie weutiutu hu carpenter's shop to talk 



96 UPWARD STEPS OF SEl'E.VTY YEARS. 

with him as he worked, sat down at the end of his bench 
and soon said : " Come and hold me up." At once 
change was seen, and in a moment he passed quietly 
away. His friend W. L. Garrison and others spoke at the 
funerai. 

CHARLES LENOX REHOND. 
" What tho' these eyes may ne'er beliold the liroe ? 
A coming age shall hail the Jubilee, 
When men of every caste, complexion, clime, 
Shall burst their chains, and stand in dignity sublime." 

W. L. Garrison. 

Forty years ago I attended a large anti-slavery conven 
lion at Upton, Worcester County, Mass. The discussion 
turned ou the interdependence and influence ou each other 
of the Southern cotton planters, and the merchants and 
manufacturers of New England, who "stuffed cotton in 
theirears," and would not hear theabolitionisls. Through 
all Charles Lenox Remond sat quiet, a flash of his eye or 
a hot glow of his swarthy cheek now and then show 
his feelings. At last he sprang to his feet, stepped forward, 
and began to speak with slow deliberation yet strong 
emotion, his tones rising and quickening as he went or 
His first words were; "What we have heard from Mi 
Garrison and others touching the ties of cotton that bind 
men in New England is all true. 1 am glad it has been 
said. But there is something beneath and behind all thi.'^. 
It is the everlasting cry, nigger! nigger ! I nigger 111" 
And then came, for a half hour, words, ringing like the 
bugle blast, flashing and rattling like sharp lightning and 
quick thunder, with the musical voice melting now and 
then into tones of saddest pity and tenderest entreaty, to. 
burst forth again with its full force of warning and rebuke. 
His frame trembled with emotion, the flashing eye smote 
and pierced us, and the echoes of that resonant voice came 
back from every corner of the great room as he closed and 



UPWARD S7-ErS OF SEi^ENTY VBAKS. 



97 



1^' 



sat down exhausted amidst a silence that might be felt, and 
in a moment came the reaction in an outburst of applause. 

^any times 1 have heard this impassioned orator speak 

that way, the wrong and contumely heaped on his race, 
. soul most deeply. 
'ear 1836. I think, a Committee of the Masaa- 

lusetts House of Representatives gave public hearing to 
petitioners for the repeal of " Ihe black laws," and the 

ilitical rights — soon granted — of the colored citizens, 
uel E. Sewall, an eminent lawyer, Wendell Phillips, 
C. L. Remond were to speak for the petitioners, and 
rge audience met at the State House to hear the ad- 
dresses, among whom was a Southern planter, an intelli- 
gent and cultivated man. He happened to find a seal near 
Mrs. Maria W, Chapman, of Boston, an eminent anti- 
slavery woman, Looking at the speakers he said to some 
one near: "What can that black fellow say?" Mrs. 
Chapman heard him, and turned to say : " I think, sir, 
you will find he has something worth saying." He bowed 
politely and replied : '" I shall hear him fairly. Madam." 
Sewell opened with his legal argument, Phillips followed 
■with an eloquent appeal, the Southerner listening with 

larked interest Remond came next, the occasion one 

stir his soul ; that hall rang with the clear tones of his 
voice, and he held legislators and audience spell-bound 
in wondering silence, the planter most surprised of all. 
At the close Mrs. Chapman turned to him and asked : 
"^Vhat do you think of the colored man .■* " His hearty 
answer was : " Madam, the black man wears the 
feather ! " 

Mr, Remond was descended from a free ancestry from 
the West Indies, He was of lithe and active frame and 
nervous temperament, singularly graceful and courteous 
in manners, and fastidiously neat and tasteful in person 

id dress, with a refinement that avoided all garish show. 
had times of moody despondency, the chafings of a 



P 98 UFiVARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

high spirit under the cruel prejudice that clouded his life ; 
but when the cloud lifted off he was a delightful compan- 

^jon, and lent new grace to any company. Born and at 
liome in Salem, Massachusetts, he once told me how he 
found himself ill at ease as a boy, among the rude and 
ignorant colored children, and how the white boys would 
not treat him decently, but he made the happy discovery 
that the horses in his father's stable reciprocated good 
treatment, and so he cultivated their friendship. This led 
L to a great fondness for horses, great skill in their manage- 
:nt, and the owning of beautiful animals that no white 
I man in Salem ever passed on the highway. 

He visited England and Ireland, and was treated with 
ttnarked alteution. He told me that only once while 
IfBbroad, did he see anything to remind him of any distinc- 
I tion based on color. A party of friends in London, were 
Ivisiting the Bank of England, and being shown through 

■ its great vaults and many rooms, when he noticed some 
f of the English attendants looking curiously at them and 

■ whispering among themselves. His quick suspicion led 
Ettim to think his dark face was their mark. At last one of 
Kthem called him aside and said: "Excuse me sir, but 
Ktnay I ask who that lady in your party is "—pointing to a 
Blady of Quaker lineage. The question was respectfully 

■ asked, and he replied : " That is Miss Neal from Philadel- 
|;phia," when his querist said: "Thank you. We were 
I all very anxious to know, for she resembles our Queen 
■Victoria very much." 

His last years were spent in Boston, where he was 
[highly esteemed by a choice circle of friends. 

GEOHGE THOMPSON. 

In the early anti-slavery days, about 1835, an eloquent 

' Englishman, who had caught from his friend Garrison, in 

London, the noble enthusiasm and earnest depth of 

conviction of the pioneer abolitionists, came I0 this coun- 

I try as a lecturer. His ability and power of speech and 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 99 

eminent personal character called out large audiences, and 
stirred the wrath of the "gentlemen of property and 
standing," in Church and State, who stood behind the 
vulgar mob that did their foul work. Those were the days 
when an eminent Baptist clergyman, in South Carolina, 
Rev. Wm. S. Plummer, D.D., said : " If the abolitionists 
will set the country in a blaze, it is but fair that they 
should have the first warming of the fire," and Boston men 
were plenty who would obey Carolina and stir the fire. 
Mr. Thompson was a reformer at home, a friend of 
England's toiling people, and afterwards a member of 
Parliament, from the Tower Hamlets working men's con- 
stituency in London. In this country he never advocated 
bloodshed or violence, or British interference, came as 
agent for no foreign Society, but spoke plainly in warn- 
ing and rebuke of our sins in the matter of slavery, in the 
spirit and method of Whittier's words to Virginia : 

** We wage no war, we lift no hand. 
We fling no torch within 
The fire-damps of the quaking mine 
Beneath your soil of sin." 

Yet he was mobbed, in Boston and vicinity, with such 
vindictive ferocity that his friends felt obliged to hide him 
and put him secretly on board a ship bound across the 
Atlantic. 

I have seen, at Mr. Garrison's house in Boston, one of 
the anonymous handbills flung about the city streets at 
the time, with these words printed in ominous black 
letters : 

$100 REWARD 

FOR THE NOTORIOUS BRITISH EMISSARY, 

GEORGE THOMPSON, 

DEAD OR ALIVE ! 

He visited this country again in 1848, spent some years, 
spoke to large audiences, was still hated by the pro- 






- . *. *- . 



• ■» 









loo UPWARD STEPS OP SEVENTY Y£AJIS. 

slavery element, but friends watched his path and immi- 
nent persona] dangef had gone by. 

During those years I met him and heard him speak 
often. Of commanding personal presence, he combined 
a graceful ease like that of Wendell Phillips, with au im- 
passioned and concentrated force like the sweep of a strong; 
wind, and his hearers were charmed to tenderness and 
sympathy, and then would hold their breaths until the 
whirlwind rushed by as his moods changed. 

After a speech he would go to his room, take a bath, 
have a cup of choice tea, which he always carried with 
him, and then come into a waiting group of friends one 
of the most genial companions, fascinating in conver- 
sation, an admirable story-teller, brilliant and animated, 
until past midnight 

I well remember an evening in Rochester, New York, 
hich he told of his journey from Calcutta to Delhi, 

id his interviews at the last named cily with the great 

"ogul and the Begum, his wife. 

Eight hundred miles, up the Ganges, and across plains 
and through forest and jungle where tigers haunted, he 
was carried in a palankin, its poles on the shoulders of 
four men, others with torches and baggage in front and 
r, journeying only at night, resting in bungalows in 
hot days, with natives sprinkling floorand walls, with 
tool water, and taking five weeks for the strange trip. 

len came processions, with elephants and howdahs and 
■aparisoned steeds, an oriental palace, visits lo the great 
audience hall, with its inscription, wrought in gold on 
the painted wall, in Arabic : "This is the palace of 
delight." Then came business of public moment, and 
then the return over the same route, watching stars and 
sky as he laid in his palankin hearing the low voices of his 
Hindoo bearers and attendants, and thinking of home and 
though in another planet 

It was like a chapter from the Arabian nights. 




UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. loi 

Giving a course of lecturoin Rochester he was the guest 
of Isaac and Amy Post, while the ** Rochester rappings/' 
were stirring the air with new wonder. Expressing a 
wish to know something of the matter, Isaac said : ** Thee 
can go with us anytime," and a night was soon fixed on. 
At the house where the seance was to be held were 
George Thompson, Isaac and Amy Post, Sarah D. Fish, 
my wife's mother, and three or four personal friends, with 
Mrs. Leah Brown, {nee Fox, now Mrs. Underhill of New 
York,) as the medium. All sat around the table in the 
lighted room, and in fit time Isaac Post said to Mr. I'homp- 
son : **Ask questions as we do," and he asked : *'Are any 
Hindoo friends present to say something to me?" The 
raps came to say yes, and call for the alphabet, when a 
gentleman wrote down, as they were rapped at in response 
to the repeated alphabetic letters, the following, d-w-a-r-k- 
a-n-a-t-h-t-a-g-o-r-e-e. Mr. Thompson and all the company 
thought and said that this jumble of letters had no mean- 
ing, but he took the paper in his hand, took in at a glance 
their connection, and exclaimed : ** DwarkanathTagoree ! 
My God is it you?" to which came emphatic response, a 
valued Hindoo friend, who was not in his mind, and 
whose name was not known, thus manifesting his 
presence. 

For a half-hour of deep interest he asked questions and 
all the answers he said were correct. At the close he 
asked: "Where did we meet last?" and the reply was 
rapped out : ** Regent Street, London," with the right 
number given. **What mood were we in? "was then 
asked, and the word ** Anger " came in response. ** That 
is true," said Mr. Thompson, ** we disagreed, and his 
illness ' prevented our settling our trouble." Then he 
asked : ** Do you still feel angry ? " and the prompt an- 
swer came : ' * No, dear friend, in the light of this higher 
life anger dies away. " 

That half-hour made a strong impression. In after 



loz 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVUNTY YEARS. 



years, with more experience and fhouglit, he became a 
lifelong Spiritualist. 

BERRITT SMITH. 
"Thine to work as well as pray, 
Clearing thorny wrongs away. 
Plucking up the weeds of sin. 
Letting heaven's warm sunlight in." 

Leaving the New York Central Railroad at Canastota, 
twenty miles east of Syracuse, the mail carriage takes 
one southward nine miles to Peterboro. Upward leads 
the road ; winding up the hills, following the course of a 
foaming mountain stream, getting glimpses of a broad 

mdscape of farms and forest north to the verge of Oneida , 
lake — which shines like a sea of molten silver in the dis- 
[ tance, passing dairy farms and rocky gorges, the village is 
I reached — a thousand feet above the starting place, where 
I the air is sweet and pure in summer, and the wintry winds 
have their own wild way. Around the pleasant vil 
green, with its grass and trees, are the homes of some four < 
hundred people, and on every side, hill and dale and 
dairy farms. On the north side of the green, in an ample 
epace of lawn and old forest trees, stood the family horn 
a spacious three-story wood house, with broad hall through 
the centre, and great pillars reaching up to its roof along 
the front piazzas. A garden, some acres in extent, abun- 
dant in useful vegetables and beautiful in flowers ; 
trees, reaches along either side of a swift, clear brook. 
I For twenty-five years, 1 visited that home occasionally, 
speaking on Simdays in the plain little free church across 
e green, meeting prized frieiids in the neighborhood, and 
enjoying the society of Gerritt Smith, his admirable wife, 
and their family and friends. It was a hospitable house, 
its doors open to many kimla of people, from the accom- 
plished and elegant to plain and homely men and women, 
coming to attend some reform convention, or old neigh- 
bors and prized friends. His acquaintance had wide 
range, and he always cherished a warm, neighborly feeling 



UPWARD STEFS OF SEVENTr YEARS. 103 

for the dwellers on the farms around who had interest in 
reforms and were devoted to religious ideas sacred to 
him. His tall and stately person aJid fine face beaming 
with good feeling, gave a princely air to his courtesy, 
bestowed impartially on all. 

In early life a believer in the prevalent orthodox the- 
ology, his views changed, but he always held in reverent 
respect all sincere opinions. Orthodox and heterodox 
aiilvc were his welcome guests, and there was frankness of 
speech, without controversy, I remember once at break- 
fast, when several visitors were present, 1 sat at his left 
hand, and a lady with whom I had enjoyed some interest- 
ing talk on his right The conversation turned on the 
narrow and bitter feelings so often manifested on religious 
subjects, and he said : " Here am I, suspected of being 
heterodox, yet quite orthodox after my fashion ; here is Mr. /^ 
Stebbins whom some people think a sort of pagan ; and 
^^^_here is this Catholic lady on my right. We are all good 
^^^■friends, and if that was the way of the whole world it 
^^^Bvould be a blessed gain of true religion. ' His natural 
^^^Kttverence was deep and earnest, and, while he could plainly 
^^^Rriticise error, he never showed, or felt, contempt for what 
^^^■bthers held sacred. Each morning the family met in the 
^^Vfiittiug-room, and when all was quiet he would rise and 
' repeat some hymn from memory, which all who chose 

would join in singing ; then he would repeat Scripture 
passages in the same way, the clear and deep tones of a 
fine voice, adding to their effect, and his brief prayer would 
follow, tender and beautiful, "the soul's sincere desire " 
I fo r spiritual light and strength. It was good to be there. 

^^^^L Mrs. Smith, at that morning hour, always dressed in 
^^^^Vhite, her winter garb of some fine woolen stuff of the 
^^^^pme spotless hue, a single fresh rose, worn on her bosom 
I —making contrast of color wifh her dark hair and white 

robes. Such a dress always seemed fit and appropriate 
beyond any other. It was her own choice, and seemed 



, I04 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



I the outward expression of her inner life. In a shaded 
F nook ill the garden was her summer-house — -a ruslic roof 
of bark and twigs just large enough to cover her table 
and a half dozen chairs ; with grass and flowers, the mur- 
muring brook and the great old trees around. With her 
favorite books she spent many hours there. In the cor- 
ner of the drawing-room was her rocking-chair and work- 
basket and a stand for books, works on Spiritualism 
usually among them, "Anna's crazy corner," as her 
lover-husband sometimes laughingly called it 

He was a sincere believer in free trade, basing his sup- 
port of that policy on Ihe broad ground of umversal phil- 
anthropy and fraternity. 

He was greatly occupied in practical reforms. Tem- 
perance had his lifelong advocacy. From the day when 
he invited an anti-slavery convention — good and true men 
mobbed out of Utica — to meet in Peterboro, and opened 
home and church to them, he was an abolitionist, with- 
out fear and above reproach. His courage, his generous 
help, his wise counsel and eloquent speech were of great 
value. His peculiar and val uahle way to reach his friends 
and others, was the publishing, in large quantities, of his 
advancing thoughts on reform and religion in form of 
letters to leading men or addresses, in leaflets or pamph- 
lets or newspaper articles, to be widely circulated. While 
he loved whatever truths the sects held, his own feelings 
can be well expressed in Emerson's hues : 

" I lilie 1 cliurch ; I like a cowl ; ,. . 

I love a prophet of the soul ; 

And on my heart monastic aisles, ' 

Fall like sweet strains oT pensive smfles. 

Yet not for all his faith can see, 

Would I that cowled churchman be." 
I found him diligent, sagacious and successful in busi- 
ness affairs, and giving sums, large or small, with care- 
ful judgment as well as benevolent spirit. Thus he could 
make donations reaching many thousands, and yet have 



UPWARD STEPS OF SE VENTY YEARS. 



105 



more to give. His mission — performed unconsciously, 
and therefore all the better — was to teach, by lifelong 
example, that persons of ability and wealth should devote 
their talents and means, in a spirit of religious conse- 
cration, to the freedom and uplifting of the people, and 
should have '*the courage of their convictions" amidst 
the enervating influences of outward abundance and ease. 

ABBY KELLEY FOSTER. 

One keen winter evening, fifty years ago, I was one of a 
group of a half dozen or more persons, sitting around the 
stove in a village store in Massachusetts. This group 
was a sort of informal club of ** stove warmers" met to 
discuss the affairs of neighborhood and nation, and had 
its opinions on matters of moment, — a sort of unwritten 
code wliich one of them jocosely called '* stove-pipe 
law." One article of the code was that abolitionists were 
fanatics, tainted with infidelity and quite uncanny. On 
this evening one of the company was just home from 
Boston, and said : *'I went to an abolition meetin' and 
saw Abby Kelley," whereat he was asked: **How did 
she look?" and answered : ** Well, she's a good-lookin' 
woman, not a bit like the peaked-faced old maid I ex- 
pected to see. She talked well, but she's hard on some of 
our big men, and she don't spare the preachers a bit. '' He 
was a " forehanded man," a church member, and was 
reputed to know a good deal. No comments followed, 
the smoke curled up around the stove-pipe, while silence 
reigned for a brief time, and the talk was of cattle, and 
queer old folks, as though the ** abolition meetin' " and 
the woman lecturer were about on par with the turnips 
that Deacon Graves fed his cattle on, or the old cloak 
that Aunt Tenty Dibbins had worn to meeting every 
cold Sunday for thirty years, and had just cast aside to 
come forth arrayed in the shining glory of a new black 
silk. 



Io6 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

I fearlessly confess now, the lapse of a half century 1 
making tt safe to do so, that I then had doubts about thiSil 
article of the old ' ' stove-pipe law " as to the abolitionists, , 
as did some others, but we waited in prudent silence. 

A few years after I fell in with these abolitionists, t 
under the sway of their " spell of light and powei 
met Abby Keiley, — a devoted woman consecrated to the 
service of the slaves, giving her life to the help of her 
abused and outraged sisters who could not speak for 
themselves. Never was consecration and self-abnegation 
more entire and unreserved. A favorite teacher in a 
school in Lynn under the charge of the Orthodox Friends, 
a member of that society, graceful and dignified in per- 
sona! presence and manners, winning many friends, she 
left all to go out as an anti-slavery lecturer, against the 
feelings and advice of many of the leaders in her Society, 
" facing a frowning world'" in days when a woman 
speaking as she did was followed by vile suspicions, a 
persecuted, not by the vulgar of mean estate, so much i 
as by those high in social hfe, pillars in church and \ 
state. 

Strong in argument, plain and searching in wamin 
and rebuice, tender in pathetic appeal, persistent in will, 
fervent in unfailing faith|her voice ringing out clear as a j 
silver bell, and easily heard by thousands in the open air 
her public w^ork was very effective. 

A mingling of sisterly and womanly feeling, noble dig- 
nity and high purity, won friends and gained her rever- ' 
ent respect. I have known pro-slavery preachei 
enough to criticise her. They were always fully heard, 
and then she would bury them under an avalanche of 1 
terrible facts mingled with Bihle texts, quote the tender ' 
passages of the New Testament, tell of the spirit of the i 
Nazarene, and hold Ihem up as the allies and helpers of 1 
proud and wicked oppressors until they were utterly I 






UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. J07 

discomfited and ashamed, gl»d to escape, and never 
venturing a second trial. 

The honest aiid faithful, of whatever creed, always 
had due honor. "Will you help break the bonds of the 
oppressed and let the captive go free?" was her lest 

lestion. 

Worcester, Mass., in \%%0, she attended the first ■ 
m-suffrage convention in New England, and was 

!led out to speak. Seeing the comparative ease of 
public-speaking for women, and the persona! respect paid 
to those present, she briefly alluded to her own trials in 
earlier days, and said, in such a way that many eyes* ^^ 
tilled with tears : " Bloody feet, my sisters, have marked ^^Q 
the paths that are strewn with roses for you." In Ohio, 
at a grove meeting, a young man led me aside to a 
fence corner and very earnestly asked : ".Does Abby 
Kelley believe in marriage?" I said, "Really I never 
asked her," and a sad look came over his face. I wick- 
edly enjoyed his grief, but soon relented and said : "All 
I know is that she told me lately that she expected soon to 
marry Stephen S. Foster," and it was pleasant to sec the 
id soul go away relieved and happy. Such power had 
gudice, and such power it yet has. 

ABIGAIL AND LYDIA MOTT, 
"No laurel wreath, no waving palm 
No royal robes ore ours; 
But evermore, serene and calm, 
We use life's ngblest powers." 
bme forty years ago two sisters left their Quaker 
me in Eastern New York to win support by their cour- 
ageous industry. They had good education of the plain 
country sort ; good home training in nsefu! work ; good 
Quaker teaching, which led them to follow the "inner 
" and be true to the right " through evil report and 
■oiigh good report." They found their way to Albany, 
opened a gentlemen's furnishing store, long known 




8 UrlVAKD STEl'S OF SEVENTY YEAJIS. 

for the excellence of its honest and skilful work. Theii 
principal capital was character, skill, and persistent effort,' 
Dependent on the public for patronage they 
swerved a hair's -breadth from what they held right 
gain the popular favor. With their nature and traJningr' 
they could not. They S(jld their goods, but never their 
principles. Obey conscience before all else, it is the 
voice of God in the soul, was written in their hearts and 
was the gospel of their lives. They were social, cordial 
with their friends, true as steel, clear-sighted and intelli- 
gent, not beautiful, yet attractive, their words and acts 
forceful from their weight of character. Their integrity 
and thoroughness won and kept customers ; 
swerving allegiance to duty drew a goodly company ofl 
the best persons around them, and these friends were 
held fast as by hooks of steel. They soon became 
known, and when they felt that they must take active] 
part in the anti-slavery movement they became notorious. 
To be an abolitionist then was to be branded as fanatic, 
infidel, and traitor, to lose social caste and personal 
reputation, but all this they counted as dross in compari- 
son with the golden worth of freedom's sacred cause. 

They would rent a large hail, advertise Garrison or 
Pillsbury, or some like Abolition fanatic, entertain them 
at their home, go with them to the lecture-room through 
sneering crowds or angry mobs, and laugh over their 
coffee the next morning as they read the caricatures 
sneers of the leading newpapers. Have women no 
mora! courage? They helped woman-suffrage, too, 
that shared the unpopularity of anti-slavery, and walked 
cheerfully upright under this added load. Never obtru- 
sive or needlessly antagonistic they stood in ihe front 
with serene self-poise and heroic cheer, and kept that 
place through years of trials. Their home-hke rooms 
over their store were known far and near How strength- 
ening and delightful was their hospitality] What abun-. 



I 
I 



UPWARD STEPS OF S£ VENTY YEARS. 



109 



dant cheer and simple life, shared with no apology, but 
freely and with heartfelt cordiality I Gentlemen finely 
bred, like Edmund Quincy and Wendell Phillips, felt it a 
great joy to be there, and plain wayfarers in the rugged 
paths of unpopular reforms found rest there. Susan B. 
Anthony loved the Molt sisters greatly. She found 
strength and wisdom in their fast friendship, and that 
rest and peace in their loving sympathy which the true- 
hearted need and crave. 

Dark hours came when the bravest and most eminent 
men went to these remarkable women for counsel and 
for courage. Thurjow Weed was their frequent visitor, 
and brought with him his most sagacious friends. 
Measures of high moment and great National importance, 
before and during the death-struggle of the slave power 
which we call the civil war, had their start in suggestions 
made in conversations in the (juiet rooms of these 
Quaker sisters. They lived to see and feel the turn of 
the tide, to be held in respectful reverence by those who 
had formerly maligned and abused them as mischievous 
Abolition agitators— a change so great that none can 
realize it save those who have passed through it. 

Abigail Mott's earthly life ended first, and Lydia fol- 
lowed her at the ripe age of near three score and ten. A 
letter from William Lloyd Garrison reached her on her 
bed in the last sickness, and she read it with a clear 
voice, but with eyes full of tears. A few days after it 
was read at her funeral at the request of the writer, and 
shows his close and appreciative friendship. Mrs. Phebe 
Willis, of Battle Creek, Mich., a sister, kindly allowed 
me to copy this admirable letter, which might as well 
apply to Abigail as to Lydia, so like were they, and held 
in such like esteem by the author. It is a beautiful 
tribute to the worth of a true woman, and opens to us 
the lesson of a life full of persistent effort, noble faithful- 
ness and gracious tenderness. 



UPIVAKD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



LETTER OF WM. LLOYD G 

Boston, Mass., June z2, 1875.— My very dear friend, 
Lydia Mott: A letter from dear Mrs. Jones {aiiolher 
sister) to my sou Frank brings the sad intelligence that 
the disease wliich you have struggled against so lon^ 
and so persistently threatens a fatal termination at a 
period not distant, but she bears witness to the re- 
markable brightness and cheerfulness of your spirit 
through all your sufferings, thus " dispelling, as far as 
possible, the gloomy atmosphere of a sick-room." This 
you have never failed to exhibit, in sickness or in health, 
no matter in what form trials may have come. Ever 
since our acquaintance I have seen in you such a com- 
bination of admirable qualities as is rarely found, en- 
titling you to the highest respect and the noblest appre- 
ciation. The circle of those whom I highly esteem and 
honor is a large one, including many on both sides of 
the Atlantic, but among them all it would be difficult for 
me to name one that should take precedence of yourself J 
in modesty of deportment, purity of heart, gentleness, F 
yet energy of spirit, moral courage of the grandest type, I 
self-abnegation and self sacrifice in the cause of benev-i 
olence and philanthropy. Your's has been a steady J 
adherence to principle, a quick disceniment between | 
genuine and spurious religion, fearless rebuke of eviM 
doers of the first rank, unfaltering faith in the ultimate^ 
triumph of the right, and a never-failing hopefulness i 
the darkest hours of the conflict. You have had a viti 
and active sympathy with, the poor and needy, especially^ 
with the millions now set free from cruel bondage at tlie'^ 
South, to whose deliverance you devoted your time and 
strength and substance in the face of a perverse and 
bitterly hostile public sentiment, thereby causing your- 
self to be regarded as a pestilent intermeddler : 
fanatical disturber of the peace. 
You were indeed an Abolitionist of the Abolitionist^ I 



brave, i 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 1 1 1 

igilant uii com pro mi sing, well-balanced, clear in 
iouiid ill judgment, a discenier of spirits, a many- 
sided reformer. 

What an isolation was yours for long years from the 
courtesies and enjoyments of social interchange and 
the sympathies of the community in which you dwelt I 
Bui it gave you no uneasiness or regret, save only as 
it indicated how all-pervadiiig was the slave-holding 
sentiment of the country. Happily you have lived to 
see every yoke broken, to witness an entire change in 
the public estimate of such labors and testimonies as 
your own to have all reproach taken away. 

And now, it appears, the hour draws nigh in your case 
for "the silver cord to be loosened and the golden bowl 
broken," A happy release it will be from all the pains 
of mortality. I am sure you are ready for translation, 
doubting nothing, fearing nothing, trusting in the infinite 
love in another sphere of existence as you have in this, 
and clearly perceiving that 

" Death Is the crown of life : 
It wounds to cure ; we fall, we rise, we reign ! 
L Spring Eram our fetters, fiisten in the skies. 

I This King of Terror is the Prince of Peace." 

r Should you precede me, my dear friend, take with you 
the renewed assurance of my profound regards and my 
best wishes for your future welfare and happiness to 
wliatever sphere you may be assigned. Hereafter I trust 
again to take you by the hand and to join the loved ones 
who have gone before. Affectionately and gratefully 
yours, 

William Llovd Garrison. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YMAJiS. 



4 



ABIGA.IL P. ELA. 
''The heart everopen to Charity's claim, 
Unmoved Eroni its purpose by censure or blame, 
WhUc vainly alike on her eye and her ear, 
Fell Ihe scorn of the keartless, the jesting and jeer." 

During our visit to Washington in 1867-8. my wife am 
myself first knew Mrs. Ela. My first memory of her i 
aa we met in the " old Capital prison " block, a row c 
solid old brick houses across the capital grounds, east 
ward, used as a prison in the civil war and since put 
order for dwellings. In a large room on the second floor, 
the magnificent dome and the noble east front of thi 
Capitol in sight from its windows, we used to sit by thi 
sofa on which rested a feeble invalid wrapped in shawls 
and propped up by pillows— feeble in body only, but 1 
a mental and moral health that made us almost forget hi 
physical illness. The deep brilliancy of her eyes, hi 
animated features, and a certain sense of life and powi 
in the faintest tones of her voice, had the effect of givir 
us strength and refreshing inspiration. Virtue went out 
from that strong and true spirit We afterwards made 
our home under the same roof in another part of the city, 
for some months during two winters. Her rooms 
on the first floor, and after our five o'clock dinner they 
were the prized gathering place of a company of her priv- 
ileged friends, when her strength would allow. She, 
would rest in an easy-chair, and her husband was 
ready to help her and added to the interest of the hour by 
his sterling sense, and clear sagacity of comment on pass- 
ing events. Those visits are fresh in memory. Com- 
mon-sense and judgment, and frank independence bright- 
ened by keen wit and ling;ed with a fine womanly grace 
shone out in her conversation. She never assumed to 
tench, yet much was always learned from her. She hadj 
fidelily to conscience and a readiness for every practical 



'1 

1 



mspi 



LTFIVAKD STEPS OF SEfA.VrV YEARS. 113 

duty, while her soul was filled with an abiding faith in Ihe 
triumph of truth and Ihe progress of man. Feehle as she 
was ill body, her sweet and strong spirit gave light and 
abiding life to the whole household. At last the lime came 
when she was unable to leave their New Hampshire home. 
I extract from the Concord Daily Monilor its fit tribute lo 
her worth. That room which is mentioned as her abiding- 
place for years her husband showed us photographs of, 
ai)d also of the views on the two sides from its windowzs 
of village streets and swift river, and towering hills near 
by. The Monitor said ; 

"She bore her long illness with remarkable patience 
and fortitude, and kept up her interest in public affairs 
and the reforms of the day, lo the closing hours of her 
life. Loving hands and hearts ministered to her every 
want during her protracted illness, and those nearest and 
dearest witnessed in her last years a superb illustration of 
owerofmiudovertheillsof the body. She possessed 
insight, in judging of the character and action of 

ipie, and an exleiisive knowledge of public affairs. 
No sham, political or religious, passed her keen 
[Spection without detection. She was one of the early 

iti-slavery women of tbis city, and a 'Garrisonian 
Abolitionist ' until .slavery was abolished. In the memor- 
able struggle in the old New Hampshire Anti-Slavery 
Society, for the right of women to participate in its 
business and discussions, she was one of the earliest and 
foremost for that right, and served on Ihe executive Com- 
mittee of the Society in its last years, She was one of 
,the women, who, under the name of the Concord Female ■ 
Anti-Slavery Society, addressed a letter of sympathetic 
support lo the late Hon, John P. Hale, when he broke 
from the democratic party on the occasion of the annex- 
ion of Texas, and in reply lo which he made use of the 

imorable expression, 'God makes women; milliners 

ike ladies. ' 




I 



114 UFWASD STEFS OF SETEXTY YEARS- ^ 

■'Mrs. da was an earnest supporter of the cause of 
temperance, and no less sa of tbeWomao SuSrage move- 
ment, serving as an officer of the N'ational Woman Suf- 
frage organizatioa until failing health compelled her to 
retire. Her bouse was the home of alJ workers in these 
and kindred reform movements which gave her a wide 
circle of acquaintances and friends. She had the courage 
of her convictions to a rare degree, and never compro- 
misted her opinions or .shrank from any duty they required 
of her. Her philosophy of human action could be 
epilomi^ed in this : ' Duty is ours ; consequences, God's." 
She took her position among the advanced liberals in the- 
ology from the lime when Theodore Parker stirred the J 
thenlogicnl conservatism of Boston and New England, as! 
the nngel of old stirred the pool that health might flow! 
from It ; ntul for the pnst live and twenty years has abided J 
111 the hope, joy, tind peace that comes to her from a.l 
bollofiii tlie (tpiritiinl philosophy. 

"Mm. Kla apciit much of her time, winters, in Wash-j 
InKloii, until her iucrensing iUucss, within four years, I 
rvitdoroti the journey too futiguing. For the past three I 
Niid a linir ywirw ulir left her house but once, for a short J 
rlilo, Iter mum hut w few times." 

lOSKrHINX S. GRih'INO. 

*< Vv4 the nHil ihikt elve* iniMt Erc«ly 
t^vun lu trvikstirv, kkth th« more : 
W*niM yow K«K> your 1*. yiiu Slid it. 
Ami (h Etvjntt fi^w yw WnJ tt. 



Trti 



/tftw Dtttm. 



IWN\ h* « C\>Mnn-(*cvil hrmtiouse and of Huguenot 
J«W*il «w \^* CuthptV Mvl^ Josephine &. Griffing inher- 
^f\ \\\* ^(rS ««mm> \\\ \\\\\y (Hid the rendiness for self- 
•BV^^I^tW »^ l>i» 1Vti\s»\ «n.i thip KivncU ProtestunL Trained J 
Wi A* «(ni|Ntv Wfty* \M 'M\\y («»4watry, giiided »nA inspired! 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



115 



by kindly and thoughtful pairents, well educated in the 
common way, of uncommon mental ability, fine physical 
health, and an admirable harmony of character, she was 
well equipped for the great work that came unsought to 
her in mature life. A graceful beauty of person, and a 
winning charm of manners, showed some strain of fine 
blood softening the hardy vigor of New England country 
life. 

I first knew her in Salem, Ohio, where much of her 
married and family life was spent. She was graciously 
hospitable in an admirably managed home, full of house- 
hold cares, a thoughtful and sweet-souled woman, greatly 
beloved and respected. She was soon after in the field 
as a speaker among the abolitionists, and had rare per- 
suasive power. Ohio and Michigan were her main fields 
of travel, and in storm or calm — storms coming fiercely 
sometimes in those days — she held her self-poise and 
high courage. I well remember how she faced an angry 
mob for an hour in Ann Arbor. I can see her on that 
plain, low platform, with only a little space around her 
vacant, and she, fearless, erect, radiant, speaking in clear 
tones that conquered wrath and even won a hearing part 
of the time. No lady in a parlor could have had finer 
poise of feeling and manner. 

She afterward did great service as a Loyal League 
organizer in the west. In the spring of 1864 she went to 
Washington, and her home and main life-work were 
there from that time. She "had a concern," using an 
expressive Quaker phrase, for the freedmen, saw imper- 
ative need for some large system for their help and pro- 
tection and future self-support, and thought out the idea 
of governmental help in some organized and effective 
way. Inspiring others the idea ripened into the Freed- 
man's Bureau bill, first prepared and offered in the House 
of Representatives by Hon. T. D. Elliott of Boston, after- 



UPWARD STEPS OP SEVENTY YEARS. 
ard modified and amended in the Senate by Charles 1 



I < 



The idea was hers. The efforts of these gentlemen, 
and others, are worthy of commendation. They con- 
tinued to be her friends. She did all possible then and 
afterward for the bill and for needed appropriations, and 
won tlie high respect and confidence of the public mea 
who knew her. From the heart and brain of this woman ] 
sprang the inspiring thought which gave life and being to I 
the Freedman's Bureau. 

I have heard Senator Benjamin F, Wade, of Ohio, give I 
this opinion several limes, and say that she ought to be | 
at the head of the bureau. That she never sought or ex- 
pected, but was ready to do service for it, as she did, in 
ways that were equalled by few and excelled by none. 
Her house was oil Capitol Hill, in sight of the north end 
of the Capitol, Spending some time, with my wife, in 
that city, from 1866 for sonne years, we oflen went to that 
house to see her daily work. Throngs of needy freed 
people, infirm and poor, were there, each case must be I 
carefully looked into and the worthy helped. Sometimes 
the bureau helped ; sometimes it came from private con- 
tributions which came to her from all over the land. Her 
work by day and her lar^e correspondence at night grew 
lo a wearing task, in which her daughters helped. 

There was no large salary, but plain life and heavy work i 
for the poorest of the poor. If a babe died in & hovel she I 
would go to see that all was decent, ami Stand beside the I 
little coffin at the grave to say a few words full of sweet [ 
strength, the music of her voice bivken by the sobs of I 
those around. She was their angel »^f mwey. They ttll 1 
knew and trusted her devotedly, and th« ntdcst treated j 
her with tender reverenct She saw the l«iW o* this host j 
becoming self-supporting, and, by «hI tVvn the bureau j 
and other sources laid plans for sending them north to I 
earn their living. We would sometimes gv> to the rail- J 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 117 

road depot at night to see her start for New York with a 
chartered car full of these freed people, she going to see 
they were put in right hands and coming back the next 
day. In this way she sent off seven thousand, of 
whom the larger part did well — a larger work of this 
kind than was done by any or all other persons or 
societies, and a task of great toil. 

Abraham Lincoln was her fast friend, and she could 
always see him, for he prized her counsel. We have 
often heard her speak of the depth of pathos and feeling 
in his eyes, and of a reverence for good women always 
marked in his manner. She was a saint in all eyes and 
hearts. The best clergymen were her friends and the 
stoutest heretics stood by her. Riding one day in the 
street-car in sight of her house, after her death, two rough 
men sat opposite me. One of them pointed to the house 
and said to the other: **A pious woman lived there; 
one of the genuine kind, I tell you," his voice growing 
tender and his aspect reverent as he spoke. 

One evening Clara Barton, the well-known army nurse, 
Mrs. F. D. Gage, and a few others met at Miss Barton's 
to open a plan for Mrs. Grifiing to travel and lecture to find 
greatly needed change and rest, and to get money which 
she needed. They were all sure of her success, and she 
listened for an hour to their hopeful words and then said : 
** I thank you; it maybe so, but I cannot leave these 
poor people/' and she never did, so long as strength 
lasted. 

An earnest advocate of woman suffrage she was a wel- 
come speaker and a prized helper in that great reform. 
Domestic in her tastes, an accomplished woman, fit to 
adorn and charm the finest society, giving her time and 
strength to service among the poor, she was indeed a 
Sister of Charity. In the spring, 1872, my wife sat with 
her dear daughters by her bedside when the last hour came 
— ^n boyr of such peace and lig:ht that it was rather the 



1 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

ascent of an angel to the skies than the gh>omy going 
down of a mortal to the tomb. 

This letter from William Lloyd Garrison, show 
estimate of this gifted woman, may fitly close this brief \ 
sketch. The beautiful chtrography of the letter, clear 1 
and perfect, shows the steady hand of the iinli-slavery 
pioneer, when nearly 70 years of age : 

RoxHUKV, Mass., March 4, 1872. 
G. B. Htkbbins— 

My ilear friend : I was glad to see the well-merited tributes paid by 
yourself and others to the memory of Mrs. Josephine S. GrifiiJig. Sin 
was for a considerable period actively engaged in the anti -slavery struggle 
in Ohio, where by her rare executive ability and pei^uasivencss as a 
public lecturer, she- aided greatly in enlightening and changing public 
sentiment and hastening the day of jubilee. With what unremittiug zeal 
and energy did she espouse the cause of the homeless, penniless, benighted, 
' starving freedmen, driven by stress of circumstances into the National 
capital in such overwhelming numbers; and what a multitude were be- 
friended and saved through her moving appeals in their behalf. How 
like an angel of mercy must she have seemed to them all ! No doubt the 
formation of the Freedman's Burta.u was mainly due to her representa- 
tions as to its indispensable necessity : and how much good it accom- 
plished in giving help and protection tu tlioaf who were so suddenly 
brought out of the house of bonda,ge. as against the ferocity of the rebel 
element, it is difdcult to compute because of its magnitude- She deserves 
to be grolefully remembereil among " the honorable women not a few," 
who, in their days have been— 

" Those starry lights of virtue that diffuse 
Through the dark depths of time their vital flame," 
whose self-abnegation and self- sacrifice for suffering humanity have been 
absolute, and who have nobly vindicated every claim made for their sex 
to full equality with men in all that serves to dignify humaTi iiatiire. Her 
rightful place is among ' the not>le army of martyrs.' for her tile was un- 
doubtedly very much shortened by her many cares aiid heavy responsi- 
bilities and excessive labors in behalf of the pitiful olijccts of her sympathy 
and regard. Very truly yours, 

William Iaohq Gakkisdn. 



I 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVEaWTY YEARS. 119 



CHAPTER V. 

THE FRIENDS — QUAKERISM. 

"Our footsteps sought the humble house, 
Unmarked by cross or towerinj^ steeple, 
Where, for their First-day gathering, came 
God*s plain and chosen people. 

««««««« 

How deep the common silence was ; 

How pure and sweet those woman faces, 
Which patience, gentleness and peace 

Had stamped with heavenly graces. 

When at the elder's clasp of hands. 
We rose and met beneath the portal . 

Some earthly dust our lives had lost, 
And something gained immortal." 

Harriet O. Nelson, 

The reading of Bancroft's description of William Penn 
and the early Friends, and of that noble book ** Barclay's 
Apology," had given me a high idea of Quakerism, but I 
knew nothing of Friends personally, until my connection 
with the anti-slavery movement. When travel in the 
lecture field opened wider acquaintance, I found these 
were friends indeed, and the simple beauty and genuine- 
ness of their hospitality was restful and cheering beyond 
expression. One of the first Quaker homes I visited 
was that of Effingham L. Capron, at Uxbridge, Mass. — a 
tall white-haired man, of noble aspect, commanding 
yet gentle, and of a fine courage fit to stand firm for a 
most unpopular truth. Husband and wife were help- 
mates, a sense of this was in the very air. Mrs. Garrison 
was the daughter of George Benson, an Orthodox Quaker 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



of Urge powers and great moral courage, and I saw 
her a fine type of womanhood ; strength, courage, large 
views, and yet no loss, but gain indeed, in the sweet 
graces of the wife and mother. A great work Quakerism 
has wrought for woman, and so for man, for we rise and 
fall together. 

Farther acquaintance with Friends gave new under- 
standing of Ihe practical benefits of their idea of the 
"inner light." The central germ of early Quakerism, 
that which gave it life and vital warmth, was, that in the 
soul is a divine light, which is our best and safest guide, 
above all books and creeds, or all forms and ceremonies, 
excellent,as these may be ; that all written gospels are to 
be judged by this primal gospel. This leads the Quaker 
to wait " in the quiet " for the " inward witness ; " to pay 
heed to "the voice of God in the soul ;" to make alt 
outward authorities of less value, all other guides less 
sure than Ibis. Priceless has been this central idea of the 
Quaker. Did Paul, as interpreted by orthodox authorilies, 
say it is a shame forwoman to speak in public, the inner 
light led (he Quaker to be just, and woman's persuasive 
voice has been heard in their meeting-houses for two 
hundred years. Did grave doctors of divinity make the 
Bible the bulwark of slavery, the inner light led Whittier 
to be true to freedom, and to give voice to the genuine 
Quaker sentiment when he charged the pro-slavery priest- 
hood with 

" Perverting, darkening, ctianging at they go. 
The searching truths of God," 

No doubt the Quakers have clouded the light by artifi- 
cial disciplines and dogmas, for no clas.^ of human beings 
have ever been wholly true to their highest id«al, but it 
has dispelled many a cloud. A lending elder in a great 
New York City meeting of Hicksite Friends said : "1 
had rather be aslave-holder than an nbolitionist.-showing 



1 



Mi 

I 

he 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 121 

lat his light had grown dim. Weighty members helped 
persecute and disown the anti-slavery advocates, in 
leir midst, but this did not put out the light in many 
souls, or seal their lips. 

I the daily conduct of private life, in honesty, tempcr- 

'&nce, simple friendliness and hospitality, and in mutual 

reverence between man and woman, the Quakers have 

profited more than they, or others, are aware, by their 

■ntral and inspiring idea. The societies of Friends are 

1 the wane ; as organized bodies they may cease 

be, but their truths will pass into other movements, 

with no golden seed-grain thereof lost No body of 

vonien of equal numbers has ever been of so 

much benefit to mankind, or helped so much to the 

loral and spiritual growth of the human family. 

Far beyond the Society of Friends has their influence 

ine. William Lloyd Garrison frankly owned that a little 

ract by Elizabeth Heyrick, an English Quaker woman, 

ipened clearly to him the wisdom of immediate eman- 

lipation, and gratefully acknowledged the fidelity of his 

rly Quaker co-worker, Benjamin Lundy. 

The peace principles of Friends are to win their 

Joodless and beneficent victory by national arbitration. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson preached at Newport and New 

Bedford, in 1827, and greatly priced the Friends he met. 

Mary Roach, of New Bedford, a thoughtful and intuitive 

Quakeress, was his near friend, and his difficulty as to 

lacrament and prayer as forms of worship, which led him 

lut from his Unitarian pulpit to a world-wide ministry, 

.ay be traced to these influences. Certainly his writings 

lave much in common wilh the views of Friends. 

Lydia Maria Child had great unity with the Friends, 
tnd was inspired by their doctrine of the voice of God 
.eard in the soul of Pagan as well as Christian to 
write her great work, The Progress 0/ Religious Ideas, a 
.Wo;Eii of great research, and the Qiat eSor^ to give fair 



UPWAtiD STEPS OF SEVENTY TEARS. 

statement and comparison of the world's great religions, I 
recognizing the unity and sympathy of the leading truths I 
in them all. This large-souled woman opened the path | 
which Max MtiUer and other eminent scholars have s 
explored with such rich results, and she was led to that ] 
opening work by her knowledge of Quaker views. 

So live and spread and last the teachings of Fox and 1 
Penn, of Woolmaii and Whiltier. 

Only once I have met the Quaker poet, forty years 
ago, at the anti-slavery office in Boston. I sat by him for 
an hour of pleasant talk. His fine simplicity, his strength 
tempered by sweetness, and the depth of his wonderful 
eyes, I well remember. Hewas then indelicatehealth, and 
did not expect to be long on earth. As we parted he took 
my hand and said in a quiet way with no touch of sad- 
ness in voice or manner, " I am glad to have met thee. 
We may not meet again, for I seldom go out. I am far 
from well, and my stay on earth will not probably be 
long." 

Fortunately he has lived to be a teacher of " the wisdom 
which is love." 

Something of other Friends whom I have known is 
worthy of note. 

GRIFFITH M. COOPER. 

In the winter of 1844 I first found my way to the home I 
of Griflith M. Cooper, in Williamson, Wayne County, I 
New York. A walk of five miles northward from Marion I 
brought me in sight 'of a lai^e stone farmhouse, built i 
after the Pennsylvania style, and standing some twenty! 
rods back from the west side of the road, with its bat 
and orchards on the south side. I followed the path in 1 
the snow to a side door, rapped.and a voice said : " Come 1 
in." 1 entered and found a Quaker-like man. of middle! 
age and stature, with ;i cleur eye, an expro8.sive face and I 
a prompt and decisive yet kindly manner, sitting by thel 



UPH'ARD STEPS OF SEVENTY VEAKS. ij] 

stove and mending a hariiess-straji. I gave my name and 
said: "I was told to call and see you." He n>sc, gavo 
me a friendly grasp of the hand, and replied : " 1 am glad 
to see thee ; take off thy coat and sit down. This in Eliza, 
' my wife" — as a tall, tine-looking matron camein. I waa 
t home at once, our talk flowed freely, we seemed like 
old a(;quaintances, and so began a long and cordial 
friendship. He was not a Qnaker by birth, but liy con- 
viction. His father was a captain in the navy, and lived 
to be over ninety. The son went from their New Jersey 
home a voyage or two as a boy in a merchant ship, and 
was sailing-master in a war-vessel, and a lieutenant 
I before he left the service, One day, at his house, he was 
I looking over files of old papers in his desk, and laughed 
I heartily as he opened a yellow sheet , and explained its 
f contents as being a copy of a brief but frank correspon- 
I dcnce between himself and a certain veteran Commodore 
who shall be nameless. It bore dale in 1815, din'ing our 
last war with Great Britain, He said, during a naval 
fight on Long Island Sound between some iif our gun- 
boats and some British war vessel that the Commodore 
was intoxicated. This reached that oEBcer's knowledge, 
and hence the letters, as follows : 

Sailing Master, G. M. Cooper.— Sir, did you say that I 

wasdrunk during the action with the Maidstone and the 
Sylph ? An early answer is requested. 

Yours, etc. , 

. . . Commodore. 
Spermaceti Cove, L. I,, Nov, 13th, 1813. 

Commodore. ... I did say you was drunk during the 
action referred to. 

Yours resp'y. 

G. M. CooPKK, 
B aS^v. i7th, t&i*. Saiung Mastkx. 



114 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY TEARS. ^H 

This prompt reply shows his frank fearlessness. He 
said that when the Commodore's letter came he thoug;h( 
his time of reprimand and disgrace had come, for it was 
a grave matter for a young subordinate to make such a 
charge against an old ofBcer ; but his second thought was : 
"It's true, and I'll say so," and his reply went back 
prompt as a musket shot. He waited, expecting a sum- 
mons daily, but none came ; no allusion ever was made 
to it, and a few months later, after he had taken leading 
part in some other naval fight, that Commodore, in his 
oflScial report, named him as worthy of merit for his 
bravery. He married, was home at Haddonfield, N. J., 
on a furlough, and met the Quakers, whose plain ways 
were matter for the j ests of a lively officer like him. He 
attended their meetiiigs, appreciated their worth, resigned 
his naval ofBce — where all promised a bright future, and 
joined the Friends in a year. When the strange news 
reached his father that sturdy maii-of-war's-man had a 
good laugh, and then swore stouUy : "Grif will make a 
good Quaker. He's first rate at anything he tries." 

Moving to Western New York at an early day he bought 
a large farm, built his solid home, took active part among 
the Hicksile Quakers, and soon became a leading minister, 
advocating his new opinions with earnest enthusiasm. 
commanding respect by his honor and thoroughness in 
business affairs, and winning friends by his fine social 
qualities. He visited the southern part of Erie County, 
below Buffalo, to altend Friends' meetings, and found that 
the Cattaraugus Indians were being led by the Ogdeii 
Land company (a rich corporation) to surrender their 
lands for poor pay. His knowledge of the world led him 
to see that this might be stopped, and his sympathy for 
the Indians roused him to action, He went first to his 
own Genessee yearly meeiing. but they were loo caulious 
to engage alone in so weighty a matter. He then went, as 
he told me, to Philadelphia, visited Dr. Parrish, an inflH^iv 




UPWARD STEPS OF SKl'ENTV YEAMS, ijj 

^1 Friend (the physician who attended John Randolph 
!f Roanoke, in his last sickness, when the (Jyiiij; Virginian 
;morse," on a card) laid his "con- 
■■ before him, went with him to the great assembly 
at RaceStreet yearly meeting of Friends, and there laid the 
case before them with such clearness that they decided 
J help. He then went to Baltimore yearly mcfting, and 
tad help pledged there, and Genesee meeting promised 
when he went back to them, and to his home. This 
was not a large salary, for Quakers are opposed, on 
kjnciple, to paying salaries for religious or philanthropic 
V)rk. He was simply to be paid modest expenses, so 
iflt he could devote so much time as might be necessary 
p this arduous task, and have his farm cared for in his 
isence. With the way thus open, he entered upon what 
e felt would be a difficult undertaking with his usual 
pilhusiasm and persistent vigor ; and for ten years 
^ent a large part of his time on the Cattaraugus 
;i Reservation, or in journeys connected with their 
iffairs. The Ogden Land Company had already obtained 
^ title from the Indians to the Tuscarora Reservation, a 
raluable tract of land near Buffalo, and could not be dis- 
Jarbed in that. They were partially in possession of a part 
!©f the Cattaraugus Reservation — which embraced many 
"thousand acres of fine lands on Cattaraugus creek^had 
removed a part of the Indian occupants to the then far 
west, in what is now Kansas, and were making great 
efforts to get full possession of all these lands. The 
ablest legal counsel, the shrewdest diplomatists, the most 
astute managers to lead the red men into their designs 
were employed, for the prize was a rich one. Against 
this combined power of talent and money our brave Qua- 
ker was almost single-handed on the start, But he had 
justice on his side, his knowledge of men was wide, 
his industry unwearied, and his Quaker directness and 
simple sincerity won the fast confidence of most of the 



ia6 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

Indians. He stayed with them, attended their meetings I 
in the great Council House — a rude wooden building I 
where they met in response to the call of runners who J 
went swiftly on foot over the Reservation to notify them I 
of these gatherings— kept notes by a stenographer of all I 
important speeches or action, and was well posted as to j 
the acts of the agents of the Land Company. 

Standing in the railroad depot at Rochester, New York, ■ 
with him as a train was starting westward, he touched my 1 
shoulder, pointed to a tall man just stepping into a 
and asked: "Does thee see that man?" He gave his I 
name, and said : "In Buffalo once he led me into the hall ( 
of a hotel and said to me: 'Mr. Cooper, if you will j 
home and stay on your farm, and attend to your own I 
affairs, you can have {60,000.' " What did you say to 
him? I asked : " I said, go to the devil with thy $60,000," 
— as near an oath as a Quaker could well come, 
often spoke of the decorum and order of these Council 
House meetings. Matters of the greatest importance, and 
on which there was strong feelings, were discussed, but I 
there was never disorder or dispute. One Indian would 1 
rise and state his views ; when he took his seat there 1 
would usually be a moment's interval and another would I 
follow, taking perhaps, the opposite view, seldom allud- 
ing to what had been said, and never in controversy but j 
only Ip make his own meaningplain. Very rarely it hap- 1 
pened that two would rise at the same time, but no con- 
test ever followed, one always yielded quietly to the ( 
other, He said that in order and fairness of statement, 
those Indian councils excelled any like gatherings of white j 
people, he ever attended. While with them he often spoke [ 
in Friends' meetings near by, and Indians would occa- j 
sionally behearers, but among them he never made efforts 
for their conversion. He talked familiarly of industry a 
honesty, and good habits, and respect for the squav 
pointed out matters in which the whites were their supe- j 



UPWAHD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEAKS. 



li? 



hE 

^^^p 



riors, and warned them agamst certain failing and vices 
of the white people. Of their Great Father he spoke as 
the Father of all peoples, but raised no controversy as to 
creeds or systems of faith. Several journeys to Washing- 
ton with Indian delegations were necessary, and inter- 
views with leading oflicials. One such interview he 
had with Martin Van Buren, then Secretary of State. 
They were alone. Mr. Van Buren had heard the Ogden 
Land Company's statements, and was influenced in their 
favor. He gave a version of a certain matter, evidently 
the Company's version, and yet he knew certain facts 
which would refute iL Our plain-spoken Quaker said : 
"Martin, what does thee say so for? Thee knows it is not 
so, when thee says it." Van Buren told this himself to 
friends, and said: "I like that Quaker. A man 
'ith the courage to tell me. in so frank and friendly a 
ly, that I don't tell the truth, I greatly respect" 
At last the victory was won ; the Land Company gave 
ip all their etForts ; Joshua Varney, a Quaker near the 
Reservation, went to the far west and brought back the 
Indians they had sent there— glad to see their old home 
again ; and a treaty with the United States Government 
left three thousand Cattaraugus Indians in full possession 
of Iheir domain, where their children are to-day. To 
Griffith M. Cooper, more than to any other man, do they 
owe this peaceful possession. 

It is fifty years or more since these events occurred. 
Dates are lost with the lost records which, as long as he 
lived, he carefully kept. What I give is from his own 
lips, and from those records as I saw them. For some 
time the Friends kept up a mission on that tract, another 
person being sent as his successor. He had some differ- 
ence of opinion with the Society, did not wish to seem to 
interfere with their agent, and, therefore, did not visit the 
Indians for years. At last, in response to many requests, 
he sent them word that he would be at the old Council 



1 irj'IVAffl) STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

House oil a certain Jay. iRuuners went out, the day was; 
fair, and the whole population was there— thousands went 
to see and hear and greet their old friend, and tears 
"from eyes unused to weep, "coursed down the s%v 
cheeks of his hearers. 1 have met those Indians sinc^ 
and the mention of his name lights up their faces, and, 
calls out expressions of respect and affection. I have: 
omitted to mention what he told me of their treatment of 
children. He never saw an Indian child whipped or 
abused. The little ones had large liberty out of doors, 
and therefore were not greatly troublesome. When a boy 
was wrong or ugly, he had seen the father take him by 
the hand, lead him one side, sit beside him on the grass. 
or on a fallen tree, and talk with him earnestly and 
gravely unti! the lad came back in better mood. The 
mothers would deal in like way with the girls, but he 
never saw an Indian parent lift a hand against a child, 
and never heard a threat or an angry word to the little 
ones. 

At a later day came up searching questions on theo^. 
logical matters, and the great anti-slavery reform. A mani 
of such active mind and sterling independence, wouId| 
pay small heed to any technical narrowness of Society-j 
discipline, or to any timid conservatism. Of course h« 
was a progressive thinker and an abolitionist Both these, 
especially the last, were grave heresies to "weighty 
members " of the Friend's Society to which he belonged. 
No charge was possible against his personal character, 
but he was after long effort, deposed from his ministry, 
which action was considered as a grave rebuke. On a 
corner of his farm he had given a lot on which to build a 
Quaker meeting-house, and usually attended there on first 
day, speaking to good audiences. When otticial noticai 
reached him that he was no longer minister, "after thi 
order of Friends," he attended the next meeting 
familiar house, took his usual place on the high seat a) 



I 




UrWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



129 



tthe head of the meeting, and was moved to speak at 
length and with great earnestness, not in criticism of the 
Society's action toward him, but in powerful advocacy of 
his own views. In closing he said : " 1 have met with 
yon liere fur years as a minister of our Society, and have 
aimed to speak to you freely and truthfully, according to 
my best light, claiming no authority over you, and asking 
you to speak freely in assent or dissent. Word now 
^^^«COmes from our elders that 1 am no longer a minister, 
^^^H^erefore I will take my seat among you and he a man." 
^^^^ptiiting the action to the word he stepped from the high 
^^^^eatand sat down in the audience. The meeting soon 
broke up, the customary hand-shaking was heartier than 
usual, and many voices spoke friendly greeting in trem- 

»bling and softened tones. In a few months the meeting 
was dead — the people had no unity with the action of the 
Society. He ceased to take any part in Friends' meetings, 
pr to call himself a member, although not formally dis- 
owned ; but he retained their manners and accepted still 
ttieir leading principles. He had, at the last, true and 
tried friends among the liberal members of the Society. 
The forms that fettered he could not abide, the spirit that 
gave life and growth was his. An early experience in the 
navy give him knowledge of its discipline, and he forcj- 
l)ly told of its despotic and aristocratic character. To be 
[ suhject toit, he felt, wascrushingandcalamitous. "But," 
liie would say, "it is a part of the war-system. War has 
I. its heroic side, yet it is despotic and cruel, a poor and 
rbarbarous way to settle disputes inevitahle as the world 
lis, but to end as men grow wiser. I know what it is, and 
\\ dread and abhor it," 

Once a year or more, wife and myself made a visit of 
tome days at the farmhouse. Many meetings I have 
attended in that vicinity, often gotten up by his active 
help and strengthened by his presence. Sparkling M'it, 
keen perception of pretence or folly, grave earnestness, 



tt 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



frank sincerity and wide knowledge of men and things 
gave his private talk a wonderful charm. Tlie career of 
Theodore Parker interested himmuch ; the cordial friend- 
ship with Lucretia Mott, Ge<irge Truman and others in 
Philadelphia was kept up ; he had a warm side toward 
Spiritualism. There was hospilality for more light in that 
house, and wife and sons and daughter had like views. 
Their kind and sincere friendship are gratefully remem- 
bered. 

At last absence interrupted those visits, and word came 
that our dear friend had passed peacefully away. Wifa 
and children, too, have all, save one, gone to that bourne 
.from whence travellers sometimes return. 



JOHN AND 1 

A few miles north of Kenuett Square, Chester County, 
[ Pa,, stands the solid brick farm-house where John and 
' Hannah Cox spent more than fifty years together. That 
homestead had an air of comfort and abundance. All 
around were the well-tilled fields and sunny hill slopes of 
the farm, with the ample old bams and out-houses near 
at hand by the road side. A grassy yard, with its roses 
and shrubbery and great overshadowing frees and old- 
fashioned brown picket fence ; the old orchard : the gar- 
den with its medicinal herbs, its small fruits, its vegetables 
and blooming flowers near thebee-hives. fiUy surrounded 
the dwelling. The house — with its narrow and irregular 
passage ways ; steep staircases ; cozy rooms — low-ceiled 
and with small windows ; cheery dining-room, with the 
old-fashioned blue figured ware on the table ; great 
kitchen ; odd nooks and corners ; furniture of old style 
and home-like plainness ; pictures, old and quaint, and 
of later and finer style ; mementoes of affection and 
friendship, and books from George Fox's/oamalto Parker 
and Emerson — was full of attractive interest, and was 
verily a home. There had sons and daughters been 



' bor 






UPH^ARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 131 

born, from thence hail some of them gone out to marry 
and settle near, while others remained — but this was the 
centre, the place of heart- warnnth and welcome and refuge 
;o all. John Cox was one of the steadfast men, indus- 
trious, of few words, of sound judgment, wise in advice 
■when urged to give it, but never offering it unasked— one 
of those whose worth and weight grow on acquaintance- 
His plain yet attractive features and solid frame typified 
his character. Hannah Cox, as I first knew her at sixty, 
p to over eighty years old, had grown large in per- 
son, and had open and animated features full of life and 
intelligence, finely expressive eyes, and an air of large 
motherliness. She was a mother indeed to the sick and 
distressed in the neighborhood. I remember well how 
she used to start out in her Jersey carriage with supplies 
of food and medicine for their needs. They had many 
visitors. Sometimes, in the old fugitive slave law days, 
■tiiey entertained slaves who came there in the still watches 
'of the night and were always kept and sent along in 
safety. It was a sayingamong a certaiiisort of persons ; 
"You might as well look for a needle in a hay mow as 
for a nigger in Kennett," and John Cox's farm was a hard 
:place to find them — that is, when they were "property" 
with faces set northward. Sometimes the visitors were 
of quite different degree. William D. Kelley of Phila- 
delphia, for instance, and his large-hearted wife, greatly 
prized their occasional visits. Edmund Quincy, that 
courteous gentleman of the old school from Boston, 
Jouml interest and instruction in the talk of the 
[Sntelligenf daughters who remained at home, as well as 
that of their parents. William Lloyd Garrison was 
welcome visitor and correspondent They had a 
■curious album in the sifting-room — a wax-plant trel- 
Ijsed up the walls and over the windows, on the leaves 
hich were pricked the names of their visitors, 
making a lasting autograph, and all a long and inter- 



132 



UPWARD STEPS OP' SEVENTY YEARS. 



I esting list In the early autumn of 1875 came their gold- 
Sen weiidhig, fortunately on a lovely day. Tallies were 
' spread in the yard under the trees ; seventy-five guests 
sat down ; speeches were fit and choice ; presents of the 
best kind— not gaudy tinsel or rich display, but books and 
pictures, and the fine simplicity of tasteful mementoes. 
Whittier sent a poem ; Bayard Taylor, their neighbor and 
friend from his boyhood, a letter and present from Ger- 
I many ; messages came from the South, from Philadelphia, 
\ Boston, New York and elsewhere ; and the golden wed- 
I ding testimonials added interest and heart-warmth to the ' 
[ household rooms. The letters and poems were printed 
in a choice private volume, which I saw at the house 
soon afterward. Bui a few months after, Hannah passed 
away, and her husband soon joined her, over ninety 
years old, she being about eighty-five. I was there last 
iri 1876, and spent a day with William Lloyd Garrison, in 
attendance at the Longwood yearly meeting of Progres- 
sive Friends, where he read a testimonial, prepared at the 
request of the meeting, touching the life and character of 
Hannah Cox. I remember how he emphasized the sug- 
geslion that in all probability she was present in spirit, 
though unseen by us, as she would feel drawn to visit a 
place in which she had long taken active interest. 

This family did their full share of work, in the fields 
and the household, after the usual farmer fashion, while 
their social life reached to the most truly cultivated per- 
sons. High thinking with plain living, give grace and 
power of character. 

SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE OF A QUAKER PREACHER. 

I have heard Priscilla Cadwallader preach in the meet- 
ings of Hicksite Friends in Rochester, New York. She was 
a tall, noble-looking woman, with an earnest and inspired 
manner that carried great weight. An elderly Quaker lady 
who was often her companion and nurse in sickness, told 



UPIVARD STEPS OF SEJ'E.VTY YEARS. 



m 



me of some remarkable experiences in the ministry of that 
gifted preacher. In Scipio, near Auburn, N. Y., she was 
once sick and in danger" and doubted about taking Thomp- 
sonian medicine, when a voice within, audible only to her, 
said, "Take it and thou shall live." She took it in peace- 
ful confidence, and was soon better. While at Hamburgh, 
near Buffalo, her friend saw her standing quiet, and look- 
ing intently into empty space, and asked, "What does 
. thee see? " and the answer was, " I see a tattered curtain 
g in the wind and falling in pieces. It is the Society 
I of Friends, which will soon decay and something else 
I will come in its place. I caai't see what, but something 
■ better." One night soon after, her friend woke in the 
I night, and heard her, through the open door of their 
' adjoining rooms, talking pleasantly andlaughing at times, 
for an hour, as though with some imaginary person, and 
told her in the morning, asking if she had dreamed, when 
she said in some surprise, "Did thee hear me?" and it 
Lwas not again spoken of. 

She once made a religious tour in Canada with Elihii 

I Coleman, of Rochester, N. Y., and his wife, with his 

|]Carriage and horses, from one Friends' meeting-house 

Lother. Going over on the steamboat they were 

r^rected by a respectable-looking stranger, to stop at a 

r certain hotel, a few miles from their landing place for 

night, and did so. It was a lonely place, but 

they were well treated and shown to their rooms for 

the night, but Mrs, Cadwallader felt no wish to sleep, 

found the room of the Colemans, waited quietly in 

her chair, without fatigue, and three times in the night 

I heard men come softly toward the room, and made 

Isome noise each time to show that some one was 

FUp at which they turned back. At early dawn she 

called up her friends, and they lefl, as she said she felt 

they must. Breakfasting at another hotel, she felt like 

telling her story, and was told their escape was fortunate 



134 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



' from a spot noted for foul play, and to which they were 
' doubtless directed liy a coufedergte on the boat. 

Riding soon after from one settlement of Friends to 
another, they came to a fork iii the road, and Coleman 
was about to lurn into the plain way where they had 
■ been directed to go, but she laid her hand on his arm, 
pointed to the other road, and said, " We had belter go 
on that awhile." He always obeyed her directions, and 
id so then, when Ihey came to a strange house, a mile 
or more distant, and she said, "Thee will please stop 
here and I will get out." She found a Quaker woman 
in the house, held a religious talk of an hour with 
her, greatly to this lone woman's spiritual help as no 
Friends' meetings were near, and (hen went back (o the 
carriage and said, " I think now we had best go back to 
the other road." 

Telling my friend, Henry Willis, of these experiences, 
he said : "In 1833, at the Cherry Street Friend's Meeting- 
House in Philadelphia, I heard Priscilla preach, and she 
said, ' A terrible war, one of the most fearful ever known, 
will rage in this country. I hear the martial music. I 
see two great hostile armies, both praying the same God 
for victory. It is fearful, but it will come.' Her hearers 
thought her wild, but it is accomplished. What is all 
this ' Fine intuition, delicate perception and feeling of 
danger and violence, subtle drawing toward the spiritual 
needs of a lonely woman, a stranger in a strange land, 
that finer foresight which we call prophecy, the real 
presence of guardian friends in a higher life. As the 
thoughtful woman who told me most that 1 have written, 
said ; "Spiritualism is Quakerism enlarged and revised." 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 135 

LUCRETIA MOTT. 
" Whose eighty years but added grace. 
And sainilier meaning lo her bee — 
The look of one who Imre awajr 
Glad tidings from the hills of day. 
While all our hearts went forth to meet. 
The coming other beautiful feet I " 

Twenty years ago Liicretia Mott visited some friends in 
I Washington, and was asked to speak in the Unitarian 
IChurch on Sunday morning. ]t was in the days when 
I Civil Rights and like measures were discussed, call- 
it more moral enthusiasm than usual. It was the 
told church, in the steeple of which hung the bell given to 
3 society by John Quincy Adams. Wife and myself 
* went a half hour before the time, and found the house"wBll 
filled. When the hour came it was with great difificulty 
that Mrs. Mott found her way through ihe crowded aisles 
to the pulpit. The house was packed with a remark- 
table audience^the most thoughtful intelligence from the 
I middle classes, the largest ability and the highest charac- 
' ter from those eminent in official rank. All listened with 
reverent attention. It was a simple appeal for fidelity in 
daily life and duty, with little mention of topics in con- 
troversy ; yetbrief sentences on some great matter seemed 
like volumes, and an ineffable tendeniess melted and 
I subdued all possible prejudice. 

Before an audience she had an air of commanding dig- 
nity, softened by womanly grace and sympathy. Her 
figure was slight and not above middle height, her features 
sweet, strong and beautiful, her manner of speaking direct 
liand natural, with few gestures. The simplest words had 
V significance, because they were her words, freighted 
withsomelhingof her own insight and uplifting power. 

For more than half a century that potent and persuasive 
voice was heard in many great meetings, pleading forthe 
enslaved negro, for woman's equality, for temperance, 



^^- New 

I: 



136 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

for liberty of conscience in religion andfidelity to the light 
within. During all.that time her social influence was large 
and delightful, and nieanwhile no duty of wife or mother 
or housekeeper was neglected. Her long wedded life 
with James Mott — a husband worthy of such a wife — was 
happy and harmonious. 

One of the last times we saw her was in the Centennial 
summer. We rode out on a lovely June day, to the beau- 
tiful suburbs of Philadelphia, to the home of her daughter 
Maria Mott Davis and Edward M. Davis. Sitting by an 
open window in her rocking chair, looking out on the 
wide space of grass and flo wers and sheltering trees, with 
her work-basket liy her side and busy sewing for the chil- 
dren, was our dear friend. Near her was a roll of hand- 
some rag carpet, the material for which she had prepared 
herself. Then, as in all her life, these household tasks 
were pleasant, and her industry was constant. Eighty 
years had begun to tell on the physical frame, yet she was 
erect as ever, and as clear in mind and spirit. An hour's 
talk showed the same fresh and lively interest in passing 
events, the same tender thoughts of friends far and near 
as in years gone by ; ivjth a word now and then of quiet 
and serene looking forward to the great change which she 
knew could not be far away. As we sat in the carriage by 
the steps of the porch, just ready to leave, she said: 
"Calharine, let me give thee a copy of my talk on woman, 
more than thirty years ago, the only word of mine ever 
put in print, in book or pamphlet," and then turned to- 
ward the door, tripping across the floor erect and bright 
asagirl.andsoon coming back with the pamphlet. In 1878 
shemadethelongjourneyto Rochester. New York, to attend 
the third decade meeting iti commemoration of the first 
woman's suffrage meeting in the country at SenecaFalls, 
York, June, 1848, and we met her at a private house 
eeveral times. She would lake her toast and lea, rest in quiet 

the sofa 3 half hour, ask tobe called up, come among U9 



I 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 137 

again fresh and charming as ever, and go across the yard 
to the Unitarian church where the Convention met, ready 
to bear her testimony to the waiting audience that filled it. 
She did a great work in breaking up the narrow way 
of Friends in '* keeping out of the mixture," and not join- 
ing with '*the world's people" outside, in any reform. 
Her leading idea she made a motto in later years : "Truth 
for authority, not authority for truth. " The breaking up 
of Quaker exclusiveness and of sectarian prejudice ; the 
advocacy of religious liberty ; noble efforts for reform 
and impartial freedom ; and the daily doing of kindly and 
useful deeds, made up her life-work, and strong intellect 
and perfectness of womanly character made it great and 
excellent 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY VEAPS. 



ISAAC T, HOPPER. 



^ 



It was my good fortune to meet Isaac T. Hopper several 
times — not only one of the best, but one of the hand- 
somest men I ever saw. His personal resemblance to the 
great Napoleon was so striking that Joseph Bonaparte, 
seeing him in the street in New York, exclaimed : "Who 
is thai man? Dress him in Napoleon's clothes and put 
him in Paris and he could raise a revolution and be hailed 
as my brother returned to France." 

His mental powers had a Napoleonic strength, used in 
far different ways. His fertility of resources and calm 
courage in baffling a slave-hunter were hke the Emperor's 
planning of a campaign, and he won more surely than 
Ihe great Frenchman, Lydia Maria Child has told the 
story of his ' ' True Life, " Wifeand myself once dined at 
his table in New York. He seemed like a well-kept man 
of fifty-five, the gray hardly seen in his dark hair. As 
we left he sent a message to her father — for they had been 
members of the same Friends' Society, co-workers in 
reform, and fast friends. Standing erect and vigorous 
before us, he gave me his farewell, and then turned to 
her and said : "Catherine, I want thee to tell thy father — 
Benjamin Fish — that I am within a few months of sev- 
enty-six years old, that my eye is not dim nor my natural 
strength abated, and I am as strong for war as ever." It 
was a good message to carry home. 

Truth compels me to say that this man was " disowned " 
by the Hicksite Friends in New York] The pro-slavery 
element could not abide his presence, but in trying to 
humiliate him, they but hurt themselves. To-day that 
Society would honor rather than disown such a man. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 
THOMAS GARRETT, 
" Happy he whose inward ear. 
Angel comfcirtings can hear, 
O'er the rabble's laughter ; 
And, while hatred's fagots bum, 
Glimpses through (he smoke discern. 
Of the good hcreatrer." 

WhitHer. 



I To be in the presence of Thomas Garrett was like 
breathing fresh and vitalizing air ; to enjoy his hospitality 
was like silting "in the shadow of a great rock in a 
desert land," The memory of visits to his home calls up 
his large personality and protecting care. He was the 
person from whom Harriet Beecher Stowe pictured 
Simeon Halliday, the fighting Quaker in Uncle Tom's 
Cabin. 

His long life was a lesson, teaching the eminent power 
of integrity, courage, fidelity to conscience, sagacity, 
persistent energy, and a most sweet and tender benev- 
olence. 

I Born and raised at Darby, near Philadelphia, among 
the Friends he was a member of the Hicksite Society, 
and retained their simplicity of dress and address to the 
last, although laying small stress on the limitations of 
discipline or sect. 
He engaged in trade in Wilmington, Delaware, as a 
hardware merchant, and was a man of steady industry 
and careful attention to business details, yet always found 
time and thought for the affairs of his society, for the 
reforms in which he was engaged, and for the wants of 
the poor and the enslaved. He was master of his busi- 
ness, but never allowed that business to master and 
enslave him, and thus he reached beyond it and made its 
success the means to higher and broader ends. He had 
admirable health, a firm and strong nervous system, great 
physical strength and endurance ; all well 6.tt.e;4. Xcniw?^ 



I40 UPWAKD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

I the dictates of a will strong, persisteut, and tenacious to a 

I degree, yet tempered by a judgment remarkably 

I dear, and made heroic by a religious obedience to c 

I science, which carried him above all fear, while the noble 

purity of his life kept him above reproach, save for opin- 

on's sake, and for that he cared Httle. 

In the midst of a slave-holding community, 

I days when abolitionism was heresy and treason of the 

darkest dye, and the helping of fugitive slaves to escape 

the worst of crimes, he was an open abolitionist, and the 

daily helper of fugitives. 

As a merchant, dependent on such a community, '. 
never sank to that moral cowardice which makes traders 
barter their opinions to gain custom, or cater lo evil prej- 
udices for material wealth. 

He never stinted, for he could not, the frankness of hia 

speech or the boldness of his rebuke ; yet his words w 

er barbed by personal malice or hatred. He would 

I lift the sinner above his sin — that was all. 

I once asked him, at his home, if slaveholders traded 

' with him. Pointing to a large store near by, he said : 

' Does thee see that shop ? These men know that they 

can tru.'it me, for I say what I think. They are afraid of 

men over there, for they know they don't say what 

I they think, and so they deal with me, yet hate my opin- 

; ions." 

Although at times he suffered financially, yet he i 
wavered, and so won at last. 

His house was a refuge and stopping-place for fugitive 
slaves, when detection would have been heavy fine 
imprisonment, and peril of violent death ; yet his i 
velous skill and vigilance baffled Ihat detection for years. 
listened once for a whole day to his stories of device 
md adventure, told with a simple straightforwardne; 
that made them doubly wonderful, and regret that they 
Y*iever will be widely known. He never would go out to 






UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



\ 



lC plantations after slaves, for his royal integrity spumed 
!e false pretenses he thought must be used, and his 
lagacity showed him a surer way. Through tried and 
true friends the slave found his way at night to his house, 
and thence northward, until his list of those who had thus 
fled "out of the gates of hell" reached over twenty-seven 
hundred names. 

At last he was detected. Coming home from a busi- 
ness trip to lower Delaware, some colored men asked for 
a ride in his carriage ; asking no questions, he granted it, 
and brought them a few miles. They got out at a cross- 
road and he came home. They were slaves, he had 
aided and abetted " in their escape, and there was great 
ly among the baser sort of slave-owners when "old 
abolition Garrett " was in their hands. He was fined to 
the full extent — some $3,000. When the judge had closed 
s long charge on the heinousness of the offense, Garrett 
id : "Is thee done, friend? " and when the judge said 
Yes," he replied : "I mean no disrespect to thee, for 
thee is doing the duly of thy office according to thy idea, 
but I must say that I shall feel in conscience bound to do 
this same thing again when the way opens." 

This fine, with other embarrassments, compelled him 
to suspend his business. After paying his debts he had 
but little left. And now came the triumph of character I 
Bankers and others, slaveholders and active helpers of 
such, quiedy assured him of their credit and means. He 
thanked them, waited awhile, accepted such help as he 
needed, and his new business grew far larger than the 
old. Years before his death he retired on a decent com- 
petence, and said to a friend : ' " Thee knows I am a plahi 
man; wife and I had be.st be simple, and I only want just 
a penny to give away now and then." 

His modest penny was a stream of daily benevolence, 
and frequent generous help to some good enterprise or 
unpopular reform. His wise kindness knew no Linxvte. iai\ 



' Ui 



UPtVAJiD STEPS Of SEVENTY YEARS. 



[ distinctions of race or sect, and the poor Irish loved him 
with all the enthusiasm of theirimpulsive natures. Even 

I their pitiful hatred of the negro, taught them in 
country, melted away under his influence, and they were 
ck and ready to help the fugitive if " Father Garrett ' 

j wanted them. 

once heard him tell with great glee, for keen 

I shrewd humor was part of his nature, of the escape i 
slave who was closely pressed by her pursuers, darted 
down an alley in the rear of his house, and was hastily 
thrust through a gate into his yard by a kindly Irish- 
man, who only had time to say, "Find Thomas Garrett 
Lud you're safe, shore." It was a dilemma, as 

I custom was not to take in fugitives unless there had 

I been previous notice and planning to keep the coast 
clear; but there the poor creature was at evening, and 
every policeman then acting- with the slave hunters knew 
she was there. Here was room for a little strategy, and 
he was equal lo the occasion. She was put into an upper 
room, fed and rested, talked with kindly and made 
strong in spirit. Some friends were visiting in the parloi 
lielow, fronting on the sidewalk, and the grate was made 

I bright and the shutters thrown wide open that all passers 

f by, police and slave hunters included, might look in. 
Thomas and his wife were cheery with the rest, until 
she said, "Please excuse me a little while and I'll soon 
he back," and went upstairs lo dress the fugitive in a cloak 
and bonnet of her own. Soon Thomas goes up and says to 
the woman : "Thee must take my arm, keep still, walk 
up like any white lady, don't be afraid, and I'll take thee 
out safe." Going back to the parlor, hat in hand and 
overcoat on, he says, "Please excuse me, too, a little 
while," steps to the stairs and calls : "Is thee ready?" 
when the wife stays up, and down comes the fugitive, 
with Quaker cloak and bonnet, and veil to protect from the 
chilly air, takes his arm, he opens the front door, and 



VrWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEAkS, 



U3 



they siep down to the sidewalk, and go quietly past two 
watchful policemen, Thomas making some witty remark 
to a passing lad, and saying, "How is thee?" to a 
tpoliceman whom he knew. They go on -a squareorlwo, 
iturn some corners, stop at a colored man's house, some 
mystic sign is made, and all is safe. He steps out of a 
back door, goes home another way, enters his rear yard, 
goes upstairs, and down to the parlor with his wife, and 
in a few weeks the grateful woman he had thus delivered 
finds a kind friend in Canada to write back her heartfelt 
blessings. "And the police all had a better night's sleep 
than if they had caught the poor creature— and felt better 
all next day, no doubt," said he with a cheery laugh, 33 
the story was ended. 

Sometimes he faced danger with a wondrous courage. 
Once he went into a chamber where armed men were 
guarding a fugitive, bound with ropes. Pistols were aimed 
and knives drawn upon him. but he had no fear, trusted 
to no weapons, and subdued and conquered all by the 
height of his moral courage, the blaze of his righteous 
indignation, and the marvelous power of his iron will. 
In sight of their deathly weapons he said; "Put them 
away, none but cowards use such things," and walked 
boldly to the slave, cut his cords with a penknife and led 
him out in safety and peace. 

Doubtless in such cases the lai^e proportions of his 
stalwart frame, and the sight of muscles strong; as 
iron, helped him, but the spiritual force of a heroic soul 
won the victory. I once asked him if he ever laid hands 
on a man. " No, "said he, " I once said to an impudent 
constable, 'If Ihee don't stop, I'll shake thee.'" Did he 
stop ? I asked. Wiih a quiet but hearty laugh he answered 
"Yes, he did." From early life he felt himself especially 
and divinely called l<i his auti-slavcry work and his help 
of fugitives, and that the Lord v(-as with him in his efforts. 
In bis religious opinions he took no counsel of man, ux 



144 



Upward steps of seventy years. 



.ny servile sense. By Quaker education and deep con- I 
' viction he sought ever to be true to the "light within." 
Reverent in spirit, if the many were with him he was 
glad ; if he was well-nigh alone, he held on his way i 
rejoicing. He took great interest in the yearly meeting 
of Progressive Friends, near Kennett, Pa. I once rode 
with him, on a June day, through twelve miles of pleasant 
farms from his home to their Longwood Meeting-Hoiise, 
and greatiy enjoyed his wise and witty talk. For years 
he helieved in the presence and communion of the spirits 
of loved ones, "not lost but only gone before." which is 
no marvel, as the spirit-world must seem very near to one 
living in the presence of its great truths, as he did. He 
always believed and advocated the religious and political 
equality of woman. His mental vigor and buoyant spirits 
held on to the end, and he passed peacefully to the higher ' 
life early in 1871, aged over seventy. At his funeral, the j 
loving request of the colored people of Wilmington that 
they might take charge of the simple ceremonies, was fitly ' 
granted, and they gathered in large numbers to mingle 
prayers and tears over all that was mortal of one they 
had known so long and loved so well 

Not only these, but thousands, of all classes and con- 
ditions, of ail sects and opinions, took part by their 
presence, and testified their respect and reverent affection. 

He was the American Apostle of courage in daily life 
md of practical good deeds, and his long career of 
steadfast bravery, and wise benevolei 
Epistle. 




upward steps of seventy years. 

Richard Glazier. 
"The Qiialtcr of the olden tiioel— 

How falm, a.nd Urm aJid true. 
Unspotted by its wrong and crime, 

He walked the dark eartli through." 



•HS 



l^^^^'In 1858 we found a home for three months with 
Richard Glazier of Ann Arbor, on his farm among the 
hills, two miles from town. He was a preacher among 
Friends, an early pioneer settler, a man of positive 
will, just and true, and of remarkable personal weight 
of character. He had a direct and searching way 
of appealing to the moral intuitions that disarmed 
all prejudice. I remember his going among merchants 
and others to get money to help a fugitive slave. He 
approached a man of well-known proslavery views, and 
said to him : " I have a black man at my house, who has 
fled from a bad master and wants his liberty. 1 am satis- 
fied his case is genuine. In thy heart thee is not a nriaa 
who wants any human being oppressed or badly treated. 
1 want thee to help this poor man. " The help was readily 
given, by him and others hke him, whom no one else 
would have thought of asking. I spoke in the Court- 
house one Sunday, the birthday anniversary of Thomas 
Paine, and aimed to give a just estimale of his character. 
I denied the current stories of his dissipated habits and 
wretched death, but felt that a part of the audience had 
little faith in my statements. At the close Richard Glazier 
rose^a famihar figure there, upright in attitude as in 
spirit, clad in plain Quaker garb, his broad-brimmed white 
hat on his head, his hands resting on tlie silver top of 
his stout cane planted firmly on the floor. Turning 
to me he asked : "Is there freedom for me to say a few 
words?" Of course there was, and all wanted to hear. 
He said in substance : "1 had a near friend, Willett Hicks, 
a Quaker well-known in New York city as a business man. 
He had a farm joining that of Paine at New Rochelle, 
10 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



146. 

I where he and hisfamilyspeiit tlieirsummers. Apathled 
' across the fields between their houses, and they passed 
and fro as neighbors. He was not a disciple of Paine, 
but knew him in this way. He has told me that »o more 
liquor was used in Paiue's house than in other farmhouses 
near, and probably not so much ; that he never knew Paine 
tobe filthy oriiitoxicated, or heard bad language from him, 
but that he was plain in his ways, civil and well-behaved. 
During his last sickness some of the family were at the 
house daily and never saw or heard of any of the strange 
scenes described. None were there at the hour of his 
death, but from a reliable person who was there, he was 
told that he passed away peacefully. " When my friend 
Glazier sat down, the audience was convinced. They 
knew him and believed hiin. 

Growing feeble in health he moved into the town near 
the grounds of the State University. He was seventy 
years old, wasting with consumption, but his mental 
powers clear as ever. In these last years we were told 
that he had softened in manners and was less severe in 
' judgment than in middle life, when he was more 
rigidly sectarian. Professor A, D. White, late Presient 
of Cornell University at Ithaca, New York, was near 
by and wanted to see my friend. It was planned that we 
should go together, and we found him propped up by 
pillows and able to converse, He asked Mr. White to 
sit beside him, expressed pleasure at the meeting, and 
then for a half-hour spoke with a wondrous weight— an 
authority as of one with long experience, and now so 
near the world of real life as to utter its higher and larger 
thought. With no reference to any doctrine or dogma, 
with no criticism or reflection on the errors of others in 
belief or practice, he dwelt on the idea of God, the 
Supreme Spirit in all ; the nearness and naturalness of the 
life beyond, its sure reality, and the glimpses we get of it; 
(Jbe/»j-Jceless worth of fidelity, sincerity, and moral courage, 



led ^H 
Lto ^H 



UFIVAICD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 147 

the sacredness of man's iimlieiiable rights, and the equality 
of woman. He said : "lam a Spiritualist, for God is a 
Spirit," and then more directly and personally addressed 
the listenerby his side, alluded to his large opportunities, 
his fine faculties and high responsibilities, and urged him 
to persistence and growth in his work of education, so 
that high and broad Ihiiikiug, steadfast courage, and 
noble harmony of character in his students, might be the 
result. We sat in reverent silence and rapt attention, for 
the impression made on us was deep and peculiar. Such 
an hour never came to us, never will again probably on 
earth. It was as though a wise aiid strong angel had 
spoken ; and well it might be, for he was very near that 
life where transfigured human beings are angels. The 
inspiration of the spirit gave hinn an understanding won- 
derful and impressive. A brief and easy conversation 
followed. Hesaid : "I am too weak to say more ; and we 
must pari," and we clasped hands pleasantly and left 
Standing by the gate Mr. White said : "What a loss tome 
that I never met that man before ! " In a week Richard 
Glazier passed quietly away, and hundreds gathered rev e- 
reiilly at the funeral to look on that still face — so calm and 
strong. 



VEARLY MEETINGS — PROGRESSIVE FRIENDS, 
" Earljr halh life's mighty question 



Thrilled within the heart of youth. 

With a deep and strong t^cseeching: 

What and wheue is tkuth ? " 



Ktyyears, ormore, agoadesirefor a larger freedom 
cussion of religious progress and practical reforms 
than the sects or parlies gave, led to the calling of yearly 
meetings, at Longwood, Pennsylvania and Waterloo, and 
North Collins, New York, the two first under the name of 
Progressive Friends, the last entitled Friends of Human 
Progress. The Waterloo meeting has ceased, the others 



are still kept up, tlie attendance large, yet not as great as 
in their earlier years. This is not from a decrease of 
interest in their aims, but because more doors are op>en 
elsewhere for free thought and speech. 

These movements started among the Quakers, whose 
quiet ways saved the free gatherings from turbulent dis- 
putes, and gave them decorous dignity, as well as liberty. 
A little later a commodious Free Church was buill in 
Sturgis, Michigan, lai^ely by Spiritualists of the more 
weighty sort, where for thirty-five years have been held 
the yearly meetings of the Harmoiiial Society — still useful 
and influential as well as interesting. At all these places 
meetings are held at other limes with more or less fre- 
quency, but the annua! gatherings are notable occasions, 
their general objects the sanie, the themes discussed vary- 
ing in different localities. A commiltee invites speak- 
ers, and makes the needed arrangements, all can take 
part in the discussions, and there is little formality of 
membership. The Longwood meeting-house stands 
amidst pleasant farms near Kennett, Chester county, the 
former home of Bayard Taylor at his "Cetlarcroft" farm, 
AnancientQuaker meeting-house near Waterloo was used 
for that meeting. A lai^e hall in a grove near the railroad 
is the North Collins gathering place, — hospitable people 
near, entertaining, doors and hearts open, and the social 
hours very pleasant. Anti-slavery, temperance, peace, 
woman-suffrage, religious ii^eas, Spiritualism, and other 
living questions were taken up, with eaniest utterance 
of differing opinions, and an avoidance of heated contro- 
versy. For instance, at Longwood 1 once heard an ortho- 
dox cleryman speak in favor of his idea of Christ's atone- 
ment, and Garrison reply, mutual respect ruling the 
hour. 

From a thousand to over four thousand vv-as the usual 
attendance at the rustic Hemlock Hall at North ColUns. 
There and at other like meetings I have met Oliver John- 



I 



UPWARD STEPS OF SErEATV VEARS. 



149 



son, Rev. Charles G. Ames, Rev. Samue! J. May, C C, 
Burleigh, C. D. B. Mills, Susan B. Anthony, Mrs. E. C. 
Stanton, W. L. Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Parker Pills- 
bury, George W. Taylor, Henry C. Wright, Sojourner 
Trulh, Seiaen J. Finney, Mrs. Lydia A. Pearsall and others, 
and have heard excellent words eloquently spoken. 

The good order and good conduct at the gatherings 
was remarkable. In the old anti-slavery days there 
were angry threats sometimes, hut never an outbreak. 
One morning I reached HemlocTt Hall to attend the North 
Collins meeting and met my friend Joseph Taylor. He 
came to the platform just before the meeting opened, and 
we shook hands. Something in his manner impressed me 
singularly. His tall and stalwart form seemed stronger 
than usua!, his face had an aspect of quiet resolution, he 
seemed like a charged battery, and look his seat on the 
platform, which he usually did not do. 

The meeting opened with a searching anti-slavery dis- 
cussion in which I look part, looking occasionally at my 
friend whosat erect and resolute as though ready to ''put 
ten thousand to flight." All passed along quietly as I 
supposed it would, and it was some days after, at Joseph 
Taylor's house, that he solved the riddle forme, "Did 
you know why I sat on the platform at the hall?" he 
asked, and I replied, no. "Well," said he, "1 heard 
that some fellows were going to fling you off the platform 
if you mads an abolition speech, and I kept close by to 
have a hand in the business. I thought it was well for 
"some fellows " that he did not "have a hand in," and 
my heart went out to my dear brave friend for his watch- 
fulness. 

I can see the old meeting-house near Waterloo, brown 
and bare in Quaker plainness, its grassy yard with the 
great forest trees, and the fruitful fields and orchards 
all around, as I saw it one pleasant June Sunday noon, 
thirty years ago. The shaded yard was full of people. 



ISO 



VPtVARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



fable-cloths were being spread on the grass, an abund- 
ance of food coming out of big baskets and piled on these* 
cloths by good women, while the pleasant talk of Iha'a 
waiting groups around cheered Iheir task. In one otm 
these groups was Samuel J. May, the gentle yet heroic J 
soul, of whom Theodore Parker said : "Where brother 
May is it is perpetual May." He was given a seat o 
the grass where he could lean against the trunk of a greatB 
tree, and when asked what he especially wanted spokefl 
of tea. A fragrant cup of his favorite beverage wasl 
brought him, food abundant and delicious came with \it\ 
and his aspect of happy and grateful enjoyment is perfect! 
as ever in my mind's eye. Many pleasant remembranceal 
of the goodly companionship of "the thoughtful and the| 
free "come lip in connection with these valuable meet- 
ings. They have served as excellent training-schools, 
teaching people to speak the truth for truth's sake, not 
for combat, to hear fairly diverse honest opinions, to dis- 
tinguish between orderly liberty and disorderly license, 
to be firm for the right and ready to gain more light 

At a later date grove meetings, and great camp meetings 
of spiritualists and the liberal denominations have been 
oi^anized; of which the popular newspapers make but 
slight mention. The total attendance at these meetings 
may be 250,000, or over. 




UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



CHAPTER VI. 

SOME OF THE WORLD's HELPERS AND LIGHT-BRINGERS. 

The world's saviours are the best men and women 
who have lived, and are living on earth. This "house of 
David" endures. Wise men without guile, holy mothers, 
useful Marthas and waiting Marys, are here, and will 
be. Seers and prophets, and leaders of men, dwell along 
our blue rivers and lakes, as others dwelt by Jordan 
and Genesaret. Life in Judea was made more divine by 
the presence of the carpenter's son, andthe fishermen and 
tent makers, of whom the Testament gives brief record, 
iife in America is made more divine by the presence of 
our best and truest Without Garrison and Parker, Abra- 
ham Lincoln, Lucretia Mott, Peter Cooper, and Harriet 
Beecher Stowe, onr light would be dim. Others, too 
many to name, have added to our imperishable wealth. 
Some of these are widely known ; some are unknown, 
Of the last Carlyle said : "These noble, silent men, 
scattered here and there, each in his own department ; 
silently thinking, silently working ; whom no morning 
newspaper takes notice of ; they are the salt of the earth. 
A country that has none, or few of these, is in a bad 
way ; like a forest which has no roots ; which has all 
turned into leaves and boughs ; which must soon wither 
and be no forest. " 

No land is betterrooted than ours, and the strong, deep 
roots hold the earth together and make our ground solid. 
There are more of these noble men and women than 
hopeless pessimists think. Of a few whom I have for- 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

tunately known I make brief record. Others as worthy 
must pass by. 

"Only remembered by whil they have done." 

It is impossible to write of those yet living among us ; 
they are too many, and their work here is not done. It 
would be invidious to select from them, but from such as 
have passed on we can choose freely, and they will not 
be troubled, even if they know it, as perchance thty 
may. 

JOHN D. ZIMMERMAN — THE MICHIGAN VILLAGE BLACKSMITH 

AN UNKNOWN GREAT HAN. 
"No longer with self or with nitxire at strife, 
The Eoul feels the presence of infinite Life : 
And the voice of a child or the hum of a t>ee — 
The somnolent roll of the deep-heaving sea — 
The mountams, uprising in grandeur and might — 
The stars that look forth from the depth of (he uight— 
All speak in one language, persuasive and clear. 
To liim who in spirit is waiting Eo hear. ' ' 

iiaiiV Dotfn. 

Thirty years ago or more I left the Michigan Southern 
Railway at Coldwater, rode north in a stage fourteen 
miles, crossed the St Joseph River, and went up the slope 
on its north side to the high table-land on which stood 
Union City, then a pleasant village of a thousand people, 
amidst beautiful farms and groves, now a much larger 
town. I went to find John D. Zimmerman. Turning east 
a short distance, his plain story-and-a-half house was in 
sight, facing south and overlooking the winding stream 
and the broad meadows. West from the dwelling was an 
orchard, in front great forest trees, east a grove of noble 1 
oaks in the deep yard of a neighbor. 

A rap at the door called out a strongly-built man, who ' 
gave his welcome word in a deep, rich voice, and with a 
bank simplicity singularly attractive, and the quiet kind,- 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



'53 



(less of his wife made the house a home. We stepped into 
iiy, low-ceiled southeast room, in which so many 
(pleasant hours were passed iu after days, and I noticed a 
Barge book-case in the corner, its contents costhig more 
uhan all the simply comfortable furniture around it. The 
" best books were there — all of Emerson's among them. 
The kind of books one finds in a house gives some gauge 
of the range and quality of thought of its inmates. As he 
II his arm-chair waiting for dimier I said : " You read 
merson, I see." His wonderful blue eyes lighted up, 
[0iid his mellow voice had new music as he replied : "Of 
■«Ourse 1 do, over and over again. " After dinner he said, 
I " I must go to my blacksmith shop," and I soon found 
I there stoutly swinging his hammer, as he did for 
forty years. His visible work was forging and shaping 
iron to useful ends ; this all could appreciate, and it was 
good and true; his invisible work was forging and shap- 
ing thoughts, this but few could so well appreciate, but it 
was good and true also. When both these go on together 
life is noble and commanding, as in his case. 

At night we went to the plain Congregational Church 

near by to find a good audience at an anti-slavery meelii 

So began one of the most delightful and beneficial 

I friendships of my life, to last for more than twenty years. 

^^^f After coming home that night he told me he had 
^^^Bibelonged to that church, but had changed his views and 
^^^Kwas not in unity with their creed. He felt that honesty 
^^^B<required that he should state his dissent, and soon a chui 
^^^■itiieeting was called, and one of the deacons asked him to 
^^^P^ttend. He went, asked if there were any charges against 
^^^ his conduct, and was answered : " None, we hold yoi 

high personal esteem, but our rules require that you should 
not be a member as you do not accept our doctrine 
The usual course in such cases involved a censure for 
fc'iheresy. He said : " I do not, and cannot, believe your 
treed. You who can, have a right to do so, which I re- 




'54 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVEN^TY YEARS. 



specL I offer a resolution, 
act as you please." and thei 



I will go home for you to 
ad and laid on the table a 
resolve as lol lows; Whereas, our brother John D.Zimmer- 
man has so modified his opinions that he cannot honestly 
continue to profess belief in our doctrines, therefore, 

"Resolved. That he be allowed to leave our member- 
ship. " 

r the good deacon, his next neighbor, came 
in and said they had passed the resolve unanimously, yet 
with much regret, and with the feeling that they should 
continue friends, as they did, without censure or casting 
reflections on either side. 

Years before a fugitive slave came to Zimmerman's 
house, and his claimant came soon after — not his owner, 
but an agent tit for such base work. Just at night he rode 
up to the blacksmith shop, sprang from his horse, walked 
up to its owner, who stood by his anvil, and shook his fist 
in his face, with threats and oaths. A blow from that stal- 
wart arm would have felled him to the ground, but 
Zimmerman said, "This is a case for law, not for a fight ; 
come with me to a justice." 

There was a quiet command in voice and eye that sub- 
dued wrath, and in five minutes they were peacefully on 
their way together to a law office, and the slave hunter 
was asked home for the night, but his host said: "I have an- 
other guest at my house. He shall treat you well, and 1 
expect you to treat him well. He is the man you claim 
as a slave.'' The astonished hunter of men did not see 
the other guest that night In the morning he was late, 
being worn out with long riding : his host went to call 
him and was asked into the chamber. A valise laid open 
on the bed, evidently to display a pair of fine revolvers 
and a bowie knife. Picking up a revolver Zimmerman 
remarked: "These are pretty fair weapons, but 
don't think much of them up here ; our rifles 
surer and have longer range." They met the slave 



1 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



155 



I 



;in the breakfast- room, who was greeted with a cool 
fnodby his claimant They were seated at tabic on 
de of their host, the Soulhenier conquered 
his prejudices, and all was quiet. This lasted some 
days, until one morning the colored man was gone, 
noneknew where. The bafHed pursuer swore and raved, 
but was told, with decided firmness, that such talk could 
not be allowed in a decent house, and so saddled his steed 
and went southward. The colored man was heard of a 
year after, and lived safely a long time in this Slate. In 
all the varied annals of underground railroad experiences 
no like case can be found. It illustrates the majesty of 
magnetic control and command, the great power of my 
friend's personal presence — a power which makes such a 
man, at his anvil and clad in leather apron, more imposing 
than a king on his throne, tricked out in his royal robes. 
In 1876 he spent a month in Philadelphia at the Cen- 
tennial. With a mind large enough to take in and compare 
its varied aspects, with practical skill in mechanism and 
a native taste for artistic beauty, the time was full of enjoy- 
ment and profit It took acomprehensiverange of thought 
to fully appreciate that Exhibition ; narrow and common- 
place people were dazed and confusedly pleased, but such 
a man would be enriched and instructed. While there he 
stopped at the Atlas Hotel — a vast temporary caravansary 
near the gronnds, holding a thousand guests or more. 
One Sunday its great central room had a platform and seats 
extemporized, and some hundreds sat to hear a sermon. 
He joined the rest and soon found that the preacher was 
laying out the "scheme ofsalvalion"in such a way as to 
send all the race into eternal torment, save a pitiful little 
company specially elected and saved. He felt indignant 
and stepped quietly to the platform while a hymn was 
being sung to ask the privilege of making a few remarks, 
which was rudely denied. Taking his seat again, he 
waited until the audience were dismissed, and then rose 



i 



g6 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



and said ; " I have something to say for a few minutes, 

and will ask such as choose to sit and hear me." The 
magic of that deep voice and a curious wish to hear, kept 
most in their places, and he said, in substance : "This 
Centennial is a sign of the fraternity of mankind, 
shows that we are drawing toward the era of peace on 
earth and good-will among men. Christian and Pagt 
all sects and races, come here from the four quarters of 
the earth in amity and mutual respect. This very room 
s decked wiih the flags of many nations, displayed to- 
gether in token of this unity of spirit. We live in the 
nineteenth century with its broad thought and growing 
charity, its willingness to search for truth wherever found. 
This poor man whom you have heard takes us back to 
the Dark Ages, and tells us of a God cruel and unjust 
enough to doom to the fiery pit forever almost 3II the 
human race. I protest against this Phariseeism, a 
against this horrible conception of the wrath of God and 
the wretchedness of man. I ask you to repudiate these 
degrading errors, to think of man's capacity for eternal 
(progress, to know that good deeds are the sure warrant 
of salvation before that God who is no respecter of per- 
[ow enlarging it is to see good men from every 
land and of every religion meeting here and learning 
much of each other, If you and I live so as to be fit for 
their society, we shall find them in heaven above." 

Doubtless he was deeply stirred and inspired. For 
fifteen minutes the people sat as though entranced, a 
the preacher was dumb with amazement. The next day 
manycame to express their gratitude, and their unity with 

ihis sentiments. A son of John Brown of Harper's Ferry 
was one of the first to thank him, and for hours others 
filled the time in like way. 
His life, as people saw it, was that of a steady work- 
man, whose work was honest; of a man whose word 
was good, whose practical judgment was sound, whoae 



I 



1""- 
1 not 






UPIVARD STEPS OF SE VENTY YEARS. 1 5 7 

presence and manners had a charm and power which was 
not understood, and who had some strange notions, but 
iho was greatly respected and esteemed. 

The great wonderland of thought in which he lived few 

lited with him. He read the best books — the ripest 
spiritua! thought of our day gaining most 
aiteiition. He did not read too much, and therefore 
could better inwardly digest his reading. He seldom 
spoke in public, and wrote little, but the little he said 01 
wrote had singular beauty. No richer thinker or con- 
versationalist in private did I ever meet. I used to wish, 
while listening to him as he sat in the winter evening, 
in. his old arm-chair, wijh liis feet before the fire ou 
a stool, that I could transport him to a circle of the best 
students and thinkers and enjoy their delight in his wise 
and charming talk. Emerson would have made a pil- 
grimage to Michigan to meet him had he known of him. 

His home was the place to know him. There his grace 
and wealth of life bloomed out in word and deed. To 
spend a day at that home was a pleasure and a privilege 
not to be forgotten. Taking no leading part in the affairj 
of the town, the toil in his shop, the duties and joys of his. 
home, and the golden hours spent in his own inner world 
divided his time. 

His knowledge of the great world's wants was wide, he 
felt the set of its tides, his interest in practical reforms was 
earnest, his views clear, his literary taste excellent In 
conversation his language was singularly choice, yet 
wholly natural and unaffected. His wonderful eyes were 
eloquent, his mellow voice thrilled with enthusiasm and 
its deep tones revealed the power of a great soul. He 
might well have said with the old poet : 

"My mind to me a kingdom is." 

iTherewas afine courtesyand simplicity in his manner, 
id a flash of fire and an uprising of power when awron^ 



I 



J58 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

was to be righted or a meauiiess rebuked Of no sect in 
theology he kept firm hold of the great foundations of 
religious faith, and felt that he knew of the life beyond 
and of the gates ajar between that life and ours on earth. 
The last lime that 1 saw him was on a bright day in Feb- 
ruary, not long before his departure. 

His working days were over, his time was full of 
thought, his spiritual nature ripening, his boolis openi 
new mines to be explored, his social faculties illuminated. 

Coming out of our room in the morning, wife am 
found him sitting in his easy-chair, the sun shining into 
the windows and tinging the clouds, with golden light 
He rose to greet us with a noble grace, his fine eyes 
lighted up eloquently, and he said ; "What a bright 
morning! The air is pure, and the good spirits are 
numerous, and hospitable, and busy all about us." 

In September, 1884, 1 was at Union City. Just at night 
I walked past the house and was glad to find its appear- 
ance unchanged. Going beyond it, along the roadside 
under the shade of the trees to enjoy Ihe outlook south- 
ward over the pleasant valley, and winding river, I 
turned back for one more sight of the home, and saw 
Mrs. Zimmerman in the yard — a surprise, as I had sup- 
posed she was absent Going into the familiar sitting- 
room I learned from her sonnething of the last hours on 
earth of her beloved husband. 

His illness was but short and not very painful ; his 
mind clear, and his command of language perfect to the 
last They hardly realized how near the end was, most 
of the family were with him, and he soon felt that the 
great change was near. His wife said to me ; "It was 
so wonderful to us all. Much as we loved him, it did not 
seem like a death-bed, but the whole air seemedfuU of a 
glory and beauty which gave us comfort and joy. All 
felt peace. It was a serene hour, Hesaidlome: 'Tell 
aU my friends that my faith is unchanged, and my views 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 159 

of life and immortality the same. As I draw near to the 
end all is more beautiful and peaceful' A clergyman, who 
was with them as a neighbor and friend, said he never 
saw so beautiful a death-bed. A neighboring woman some 
hours after, as she stood looking at the face, so noble in 
its sweet majesty, exclaimed ; *Can this be death !'" 
The poet's words are indeed true ; 

** The chamber where the good man meets his fate. 
Is privileged beyond the common walks 
Of life, quite in the verge of heaven." 

At the age of sixty-five, he passed away, in May, 1879. 

Such was John D. Zimmerman, the village blacksmith ; 
one of the most gifted of the goodly company of unknown 
great men and women who add far more to the wealth of 
life and to the peace and safety of the State than we 
realize. 

A LESSON IN MANLINESS AND INDUSTRY — WILLIAM S. PRENTISS. 

• 

** Such was our friend, formed on the good old plan, 
A true and brave and downright honest man I 
His daily prayer, far better understood 
In acts than words, was simply doing good. 
So calm, so constant, was his rectitude, 
That by his loss alone we know his worth, 
And feel how true a man has walked with us on earth.'* 

Whittier. 

We may well keep in mind the noble qualities of a 
goodly number of our Western pioneers — the men and 
women who toiled and delved in the solitude of forest or 
prairie, fraternally helped each other, met hospitably, and 
had that large manhood and womanhood which spurns 
all meanness and keeps home bright and the heart 
true. 

We owe. them a priceless debt Not only did ttve^ 



l6o UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

make our external comfort and abundance possible, but 
from them came some of the noblest and most beautiful 
elements of our civilization. 

William S. Prentiss was one of this illustrious company, 
great in heart and life, but unknown to fame, as are most 
of them. Abraham Lincoln belonged to the same com- 
pany, and the virtues of his public life were the virtues 
of his pioneer life practiced in a wider field. 

Sixty years ago young Prentiss went from Petersham, 
Worcester County, Massachusetts, to Cambridge to be a 
student in Harvard College. His health gave way, and 
he consulted Dr. John C. Warren, an eminent and saga- 
cious physician. The doctor learned his antecedents of 
parentage and vocation, and then said : ** Young man, 
you can take your choice, keep to your books and die, or 
fling them away, shoulder an axe, and strike into the woods 
and live." This was the truth in few words. The books 
were put aside, the whole current of his life changed, and 
the autumn of 1832 found him in Michigan with a slender 
purse but a stout heart, hunting kind for a farm. Going 
to the government land office in White Pigeon, in Southern 
Michigan, he found what lots were for sale, and struck 
off on horseback southwest, through oak openings and 
prairies, with map and compass in pocket and food 
and clothing in his saddle-bags. After a few days* 
search, he was riding along a slope of land falling south- 
west into a valley, and his horse sank deep in the soft 
ground among the trees where a spring moistened the 
earth. He got out of the bog with some trouble, found it 
was near noon, tethered his horse to browse among the 
twigs and grass, and seated himself on a fallen tree to 
take a lunch from his saddle-bags. Rested and refreshed 
his eye ranged over the pleasant valley. He explored 
hill and dale, found forest and spring, and open meadow 
and clear stream, good soil and a cheery outlook that 
gave a sense of heart-warmth. Finding the land unsold 



iini 
^^ his 

I aw 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. i6i 

he started back lo White Pigeon, entered a half section 
in LaGrange County, Northern Indiana, on Brushy 
Prairie, nine miles east of the county seat, and liuilt his 
log cabin on the slope, just below where he took that 
memorable Unich — the spring then found giving water to 
house and barns to this day. In a few years a comforta- 
ble farmhouse stood in place of the cabin, his patient 
and sturdy lal)or had helped to transfigure wild forest and 
field into blooming orchards and waving harvest fields, 
and other pioneers had made homes along the pleasant 
hillside. 

The year of his arrival he married Jane Mary Clark, a 
school-teacher from Sheffield, Mass. : sons and daughters 
grew up to dothem dutiful honor, and their wedded life of 
over forty years was full of cares yet full of cheer. He 
was grave, earnest, and practical ; she was sparkling, 
merry, and full of quaint fancies. He was of strong and 
solid frame, capable of great physical labors ; she was 
lithe, healthy, and active. Tliat fortunate variety made 
unity and harmony. Under her sportive gayety, as under 
sedateness was a vein of clear common-sense, 

d each bore a lover's share of the other's burdens. 

Wolves were plenty, Mrs. Prentiss once told me of 
ler first night alone in the cabin. Her husband was 
away to buy catde, and not a white person within five 
miles. The dozen sheep —precious to them when the 
fleeces, sheared, carded, spun, and woven by their own 
hands, were their main dependence for clothing — she 
drove from their pen into the cabin at night Hungry 
wolves howled outside, pawed under the door, and pushed 
their noses through its wide crack above the threshold. 
"Were you not afraid ? " I asked. " No, the door was 
strong and I had a good axe. It didn't worry me. " Indians 
were plenty, too, and sometimesa score of them slept onp*^. 

le cabin floor. They were a little troublesome, but 
11 



^^H 162 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. ^^| 

^^^H always friendly, and kept the same good faith that was ^^^ 

^^^P kept ^^1 

^^^B Few men did ao much hard work as Mr. Prentiss, and ^^| 

a fair compeleiice honestly won was his reward. Widows ^^| 

and orphans trusted their all to htm; the weak clung to ^^| 

him as a strong support. He was urged to take pubhc ^^1 



¥ 



a strong support. He was urged to take pubhc 
office, but declined, loving home life and the society of 
neighbor pioneers whose lolls he had shared and for whom 
he had a strong affection. Once only was he almost forced 
to be County judge, and the title stuck to him — for titles . 
n our Republican land stick like burs. 

For thirty years he kept up a correspondence with his 
college classmate and room-mate, Rev, Dr. Putnam, Uni- 
tarian clergyman in Roxbury, Mass., but they never met 
after he left college. Hon. John B. Howe and his accom- 
plished wife, and his brother James came early from Boston 
and settled in the neighboring town of Lima. A cordial 
friendship grew up between the families, their intimacy 
giving a ghmpse of the cultivated society of days in the 
East long gone by. James Howe nursed Mr. Prentiss like 
a beloved brother in his last illness, their attachment being 
singularly tender. 

In 1858 I made my first visit at that farmhouse, which 
became a familiar and homelike place. I can see my friend 
Prentiss in his stout old arm-chair, by his desk, in the cor- 
ner of the plain and ample sitting-room, near the open fire, 
I which they always kept up. There he sat and read and 
talked, his sagacious comnnents on men and things al- 
ways worth hearing. His life on that farm for forty years 
was a gospel of honor, faithfulness, kindness, and industry 
— such a gospel as our true-hearted pioneers have made 1 
indeed a divine service, helping us all the better to live, i 
BtOl 



WILLIAM DENTON. 



In i860, 1 heard his course of lectures on geology, 
[ Mtood on the platform, a lithe figure full of life and 1 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 163 

endurance, his rich voice rang out, clear and strong, 
his eyes lighted up, his features glowing and expressive. 
On the wall behind hung colored pictures of antediluvian 
scenery — huge beasts and birds, gigantic ferns, mud, slime, 
steaming water and veined lightning flashing in the murky 
air. He was master of his subject, the peer of the 
best on his great topic. Others equalled him in knowl- 
edge, but he had the poetic element, giving a charm 
to his impassioned eloquence. To me he was the first 
lecturer on geology in America. Yet for years he had 
little recognition. In the days of contest between geol- 
ogy and dogmatic theology, men, far his inferiors, spoke 
to pious and popular audiences, and won cheap fame and 
poor gold by professing to reconcile Moses and the gospel 
of the rocks, — a poor effort which hurt Moses, but made not 
a single scratch on the rocks. Now they are being recon- 
ciled in a better way, more to the satisfaction of both 
schools. Meanwhile Denton held on his own brave way 
and would never let thrift follow fawning. But he won 
at last, went to Canada and had eulogistic reports of his 
lecture in the Montreal Gazette, went to New England, 
settled his family at Wellesley, near Boston, and was con- 
stantly occupied as a lecturer and writer for years. Bom 
in England, nurtured in poverty, coming here poor in 
purse, but rich in courage, and rich, too, in the faith and 
loving heroism of an intelligent wife. 

An infidel of the old materialistic school, he came into 
Spiritualism ready in the use of the sledge-hammer, quick 
to strike hard at a defender of orthodoxy, sure to smite 
him down if he was a bigot. Time modified this, 
and made him larger in thought, more constructive in 
method, less fond of fighting small fry, but stronger 
than ever to meet an opponent when truth called for the 
contest. 

Forty years ago he gave lectures at a town in northern 
Ohio, and the church-folk went to Hiram Coll^'^^^ >«\vsx<^ 
James A. Garfield was a teac\vei, ^xv^ XiioM^V'^vccwopcwNjc^ 



: 



64 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 

defend the faith against the young evolutionist 1 have 1 
the story from an Illinois man, then an Ohio boy, at 

father's house Denton stayed. Garfield came, the 
debate began with a crowded house, the first night 
Denton came home, he said; "I like that man. 
is fair, honest and able. He holds out well, and is worth 
discussing with, which many are not." Several nights 
the discussion went on, not for victory but for truth. 
No vote was taken at its close, but each of the oppo- 
nents bore testimony to the fairness and sincerity of the 
other, and shook hands in mutual friendship amidst 
the cheers of the audience. Long after, when Garfield 
was in Congress, Denton lectured in Washington and 
the manly Congressman was a constant hearer and 
met him cordially. 

" Our Planet," "The Soul of Things" {s> work made 
up of valuable psychometric researches) '"Jesusashe Was," 
and a goodiy number of pamphlets were written by this 
constant worker. A few years ago he went to Australia 
to find a new field for his scientific exploration, found 
great delight in its strange flora and fauna and rocks, 
gathered a large collection to send home, went a hundred 
miles into the wild interior, was smitten by fever, and I 
died in a poor hut in the forest, with none present but 
natives who could not speak an English word, — his son | 
and nephew in search of him but a dozen miles away. 
He must be busy among finer strata in the Summer I 
Land. 

He was brave, and true and pure,^"Without fear and -j 
without reproach." 1 always felt as though in healthy j 
air when we met. 

It is note worthy that this man, accurate and scientific I 
in his search for facts, saw, years ago, the imperfectness I 
of Darwin and others, who only looked at the material j 
side of the universe and ignored its spiritual side, the j 
interior life and guiding will. 

He said: "An infinite and inteUigent spirit, in my .1 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 165 

opinion, presides over the universe, andnatural laws are 
its instruments/' 

EBER B. WARD. 

•* Cheerily on the ax of labor 

Let the sunbeams dance, 
Better than the flash of sabre, 

Or the gleam of lance ! 
Strike ! — with every blow is given. 

Freer earth and sky, 
And the long-hid earth to heaven 

Looks with wondering eye ! ** — Whittier, 

In 1863 I went to Detroit, spoke in a Union Club Meet- 
ings, met Eber B. Ward, who was its president, and spent 
much time for a- year or more in speaking in the State on 
the great issues involved in the civil war then going on, 
having his help in this work. At that time there were 
thousands of confederate soldiers, prisoners of war in 
Chicago, Johnson's Island, and other places. One day 
Mr. Ward asked me to call at his office, and said : ** I've 
been thinking of a way to do these men some good. 
They are on the wrong side, but there are a good many 
good men among them. In their prison life they have 
little to occupy their time, and will be willing to hear a 
man talk to them in a friendly way. If you could get to 
them, and tell them of the benefits of free labor, of educa- 
tion, of employment at fair pay, and that, while we don't 
claim to be perfect, our ways are the best, it would be a 
good move. You can make them feel that we have no 
ill-will toward them ; yet we are determined that the 
rebellion shall be put down, and slavery, its cause ended, 
so that we can all be on good terms and have lasting 
peace, and real union. Will you try it if I can open the 
way ? " I said I would. ** Well," said he, *' I'll write the 
Secretary of War and we shall soon find out." As he was 
well known personally by Secretary Stanton and Abraham 
Lincoln, I had little doubt of the result, but some "red 



i66 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



I tape" stood in the way, the plan was given up.ntid I lost I 
what would have been an interesting experience, and might 
have been a substantial good to the State. 

Our acquaintance grew gradually. I lilted him from ! 
the first, but he was greatly occupied. He asked me to his , 
house, and I went for a nighL He said to me in the I 
moning: "When you are in the city, come here without 
invitation. We have room enough, and if it happens not 
to be best for you to stay I will say so," After that I 
would step into the office and say : Shall I go to your | 
house ? and the answer was usually yes — sometimes no — 
with a reason given if he had time, if not none was given 
or needed. This frankness I enjoyed, and often wish 
there was more of it So we became lifelong friends. 

During the ten years, from 1864 to 1874, he was caring 
for large iron interests, lumbering, steamboats, and rail- 
road affairs, keeping six thousand men busy, and helping 
to competence a goodly number of worthy and diligent 
persons. Plain in manners, kindly and unpretending, 
giving ready hearing, yet deciding with a certain weight 
that closed the case, he was able to accomplish a great deal. 
Nothing seemed to worry him ; ordinary perplexities, over 
which a weak man would fret and waste his poor powers, 
he was too strong to be vexed by. To those in his employ, 
and near his person, he was cordial and friendly. As one 
of them said to me : "If you do your duly he's the best 
man in the world. If there's some mistake he'll always 
hear you explain it, but if you are lazy or crooked, you 
'walk the plank,' and no more said about you." 

A good friend to honest men, he would help them in 
trouble and wait for his dues ; but let a man try to cheat 
and he followed him like an Indian. 

Late one autumn a steam barge on Lake Superior 
had two boats in tow, laden with iron ore. Off the 
Pictured Rocks a sjiow storm struck them, and all sunk, 
ind eight lives were lost He found the men were single. 



VPtVARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



.67 



save the Captain, and that his family was in the city. 
His trusted sister Emily was asked to see them, and she 
reported the wife and children in such condition that they 
Id get along if the mortgage of five hundred dollars 
was lifted from the house. He drew a check for six 1 
dred dollars, his sister took it, paid the mortgage, and gave 
the rest to the wife to start on. But few knew of this 
good act or of many others. 

Ouc day a lame soldier came to the office for help, and 
showed me his testimonials. His face was his best proof 
ofmanhness. Mr. Ward was very busy writnig, butsaid : 
"I'll see him." As we entered the room its occupant 
looked up from his work, pushed a chair near the desk 
and said : " Sit down. " The soldier seated himself and 
handed out his hook of pledges, which was looked over 
for a moment, then came a kindly but searching glance 
at the man, a dive of Ihe left hand fingers into his ^ 
pocket, and a five dollar bill was laid on the book and 
handed to its owner, without a word. To his cordial 
thanks the response was a nod and a smile that seemed 
to say : "All right, but I'm very busy." As w^e came out 
the good-hearted soldier said to me : "I am glad of this 
help, for I need it, but I like that man better than the 
money ; his looks meant more than a good many people's 
talk." 

In the garden back of hJs ample and solid house were 
large glass houses — a thousand feet in total length — where 
were raised tons of choice grapes, freely given away ii 
their season, and kept fresh all winter in a fruit house. 
Every morning for some weeks he would bring a basket 
of fine black Hamburg and M'hile grapes to the office, go 
from one desk to another and lay out a luscious bunch or 
two, and set the basket in a corner by his chair to eat 
and hand out to others through the day. 

He once said to me : " I understand how workmen feel 
on this wages question. I am glad that I was once poor, 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

I for it helps me to know what poor people tlunk. But I 
I can't see what I can do better for these men than to hire 
them, and deal with them as we fairly agree. I must 
make money, or they would not have work. If I should 
hand over all the iron mills to them to-morrow, they 
would run them to ruin in a year or two. Co-operation 
is the only wise thing; if wages don't answer. Strikes 
are folly : labor unions, when used to protect their mem- 
bers from injustice, are right ; but when they dictate on 
what wages outsiders shall work they are wrong and 
tyrannical, No vote of labor unions can decide wages, 
for the laws of trade are stronger than all such votes. " 

The three hundred Wyandotte mill-men once struck, 
and seut a committee to him, asking higher pay. He said 
to them ; ' ' You remember that not long ago your wages 
were raised. 1 claim no credit for it, but the market Wbs 
upward, and I thought it fair and safe to do it Now you 
want higher wages when prices are falling. That is im- 
possible. Here is the price-current, and you will see by 
it that I am right Go home and tell the men that I 
always try to do the best I can, in justice to myself e 
the other owners, and to them, but this I cannot and shall 
not do." Ail this was said kindly, hut with a decision 
solid as a rock. They went home, made due report, and 
the next day all went cheerily back to their work. 

His solid person, deep chest plain face, and large he£ 
showed powerof physical endurance and strong character. 
Such men have a reserve of vital force and in case of need ' 
can put a mouth's work into a week and hardly feel it 

Broad shoulders carry large loads, and large brains put | 
those loads where they will do the most good. Some r 
get rich by selfish greed, trampling others down as they 
go up, or by some stroke of stock gambling ; Mr. Ward's 
business success came by dauntless courage, executive 
force, and immense will-power guided by sagacity j 
/oresighL His best enjoyment was to develop natural , 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 169 

resources ; to add to the common wealth as well as to his 
own by utilizing forests and mines and farms to employ 
labor and skill, and open the way to comfort and compe- 
tence, and a better life for others. He enjoyed success, 
but that enjoyment was illumined and humanized by a fine 
enthusiasm for the common weal, which banished narrow 
selfishness. If he won wealth, others must be lifted up 
meanwhile, and the whole land made fairer to dwell in. 

He foresaw that iron rails must give place to steel, and 
the first Bessemer steel rails rolled in this country were 
finished at the North Chicago Rolling Mill — in which he 
had a leading interest — May 24th, 1865, from ingots made 
at his Wyandotte mill, near Detroit. He foresaw that iron 
ships must navigate the lakes, and encouraged the Wyan- 
dotte ship yard, from which the genius of Kirby has 
launched steel steamboats staunch and beautiful. 

His ability to put aside cares and turn to social enjoy- 
ment and mental culture was proof of health and strength, 
and helped greatly to preserve them, for change of action is 
rest. At his tea-table he was full of social warmth, in the 
evening ready to look at some new book or talk of some 
new topic, in so fresh and easy a way that one would not 
dream he had any large affairs to carry along each day. 
With early schooling in books limited to a few months of 
the crudest kind, few knew that he was one of the best 
informed men, and one of the best judges of books in the 
State — books with thought and purpose that is ; merely 
fine writing or dilettanteism he cared little for. He would 
carry home a fresh work, look at its title and contents, 
turn over its pages and stop to read the main points and 
put it aside in an hour. I would manage to ask about it and 
find that the scope and gist of the writer were grasped and 
clearly held. That was all he wanted — details he would 
master, or not, as seemed best. It was a constant sur- 
prise to note how he kept up to the best thought on a wide 
range of topics, and how alive he was to the ^te^l^xv^^^^- 



I70 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



ments of the age, all the while keeping in steady motion 
a hundred engines in many mills and studying metallurgy 
and engineering to that end. 

No liquors or wines were ever kept or used as beverages 
in that house, no tobacco in any form. Hearty eating of 
healthy and simple food, regular habits, "early to bed 
and early to rise " made up his household ways. He exer- 
cised a large and kindly providence for family and friends, 
and his patient bearing of trial and hopeful cheerfulness 
were notable. It may be asked: Were there no faults? 
Certainly there were faults, marked as the man himself, 
but the nobler virtues and high qualities towered above 
and cast them in the shade, so that when he passed away 
a leading daily newspaper but uttered the feeling of the 
people in saying: '*No death since that of Abraham 
Lincoln has caused such deep feeling and sincere regret" 

He was seldom induced to speak in public and had no 
eloquence of voice or manner, yet had marked power and 
weight of speech in an emergency, and wrote with terse 
vigor in strong Saxon. 

Protection to home industry as opposed to the British 
free-trade policy, he advocated and helped, with steady 
persistence and in a large way that made him felt and 
known all over the land ; his advocacy based on a deep 
conviction that a fairly protective tariff policy was best 
for the people. 

For years he was president of the American Iron and 
Steel Association and visited its Philadelphia head-quarters 
when necessary. Often urged to be a candidate for 
political office he always refused — save in the Presidential 
campaign of 1868, when he was a State elector on the 
Republican ticket. 

In early life he was a skeptic in religious matters, 
having small faith in dogmas and tending toward mate- 
rialism ; at a later time he became a Spiritualist, facts he 
witnessed quickening his thoughts and changing hia 



VrWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 171 

f Tiews. He once said to me : " I ara only a cotnmon- 
Isense man, and this is a common-sense religion ; I like 
He was a contributor to the fund for the Index 
I newspaper, and for a time vice-president of the Free 
I Religious Association and also a supporter of Unitarianism. 
[.He gave away hundreds of books on religious and reform 
I topics. 

One evening, at the house, I told him of a plan long in 
my mind of compiling a work to be made up of chapters 
from the Sacred Books and bestideasof diffeient religions 
and peoples, to show the spiritual fraternity of man, the 
essential unity of religious ideas, Pagan or Christian, the 
inspirations of many seers and prophets, ancient and 
modern. After a few inquiries he said: "I like thai 
Supposeyoiigo to the/'os/a«rf7>-i5w«e, and see what it will 
cost to get it out." I found that the cost would be over two 
thousand dollars, and that some valuable books would also 
be needed. He told me to get duplicate copies nf all books 
wanted and he would pay for all and keep a copy of each, 
and see the work published. The offer was unexpected 
as well as generous. I set about my welcome, but 
arduous, task, and within two years (in 187a) an edition 
of two thousand copies was out, he advancing the money 
for a part of it, which he took and gave away, and giving 
me time to pay for the rest from the sales. Several later 
editions have gone out, and the "Chapters from the 
Bible of the Ages " has been a help to many. Its contents 
not being mine I can commend their value. 

To be satisfied that anything was right and just wa.i to 
support it frankly, and so worn an -suffrage won his active 
support. In i860, Wendell Phillips was to apeak in Detroit 
on anti-slavery. The streets were full of threats, and Ihe 
trustees of Young Men's Hall dared not open their doors 
lest the threatened property should be destroyed. Mr. 
Ward went to them, saying : "Open the Halt, I insure it, 
go on without fear." They did ao, awd a. W^t ».■*.&«»"* 



I 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



^^^^1 heard the lecture quietly, the brave and strong will of one 
^^^H man keeping the peace. When the civil war came his 
^^^H advice and help were prized in Washington and at home. 
^^^H At its close he went isoath, and met leading men there in 
^^^^1 friendly spirit, to urge on them the importance of varying 
^^^H their industry and building up manufactories. 
^^^H In 1S71 he bought a spacious corner lot, near the City 
^^^H Hall, at a cost of twenty thousand dollars, and planned 
^^^^P to erect a large building on it, with a free hall, where 
^^^f lectures on industrial science and like topics could be 
^^^1 given, and which should be open for reforms, for liberal 
^^H religion as well as orthodox, and for Spiritualism. 
^^H Reading and lecture rooms and a temperance restaurant 
^^H were also to be in the building. 

^^B His intent was to spend some $200,000 in this enterprise; 

the plans for bLiilding were begun, but the panic of 1873 
came, and he said all must be put aside, for his first aim 
was to keep his thousands of men employed, if possible, 
that they might be saved from distress. 

I sketch his character and aims in his business career, 
because he was a noble type of a class more numerous 
than many suppose — men of executive and organizing 
power, who would work for the common good, as well 
as for their own. Possibly some of these in the light of 
his labors, can do better than he did. 

In days gone by he would have been General in some 
great army, a dauntless conqueror, a hero in war. In 
our day he was a great captain of the industrial hosts, a 
hero of the chivalry of labor. 

In Januarj-, i87^came theswiftstroke of apoplexy — an 
instant change from vigorous life to bodily death on the 
sidewalk. 



1 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 173 

EMILY WARD — A HELPFUL PIONEER's EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY. 

On Saturday afternoon, March i6th, 1889, it was my 
good fortune to be present on a noteworthy occasion in 
Detroit, the eightieth birthday of Emily Ward, commem- 
orated by a goodly company. Not a fashionable party 
for gifts and display, but a gathering of the early friends 
of a venerable woman, and of those younger who hold 
her in loving reverence. 

**Aunt Emily," to many from Michigan far over the 
wide land; ** Grandmother " to twenty children and to 
their children, at her home and far distant, all children of 
her adoption, some of them of no kinship in blood. 
She never married, but her mother's death left her, at 
ten years old, her good father's friend and comforter, the 
child-mother of a brother and two younger sisters with 
a mother-heart that in after years, took home their 
children, and others left orphans, and a loving wisdom 
that trained them for useful lives and larger responsi- 
bilities. 

In a large chair at one end of the roomy parlor of her 
house, an ample matronly woman, with a plain, strong 
face made beautiful by its kindly radiance, her brown 
hair not yet whitened, with flowers and plants in 
windows and along the wall behind her, and some of her 
children near at hand, she sat four hours to shake hands 
and hold cheering talk with some two hundred persons. 
On the piano stood a vase holding 80 roses, from Chicago, 
on her table were many heartfelt letters from those, far 
and near, unable to be present. It was good to be there, 
for it was a heart-festival. 

The letters from her proteges were full of grateful 
affection. One wrote : * ' My life has widened since those 
happy days of your early care, but you are among the 
widening influences that have made me more of a man 
than I could otherwise have been." 

Another: "I have known the uplifting influence of 



■ 174 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 

Jyour strength and courage and nobility of character." 
B Coming to Michigan more than sixty years ago, settling 
Fon the St. Clair river, helping school and church in the 
r forest hamlet, nursing the sick, keeping the lighthouse on 
r Bois Blanc island near Mackinaw, dutiful, helpful and 
[ fearless amidst the toils and perils of pioneer life, inspir- 
[ iiig all, especially young men, to true and useful effort, 
I few lives have been so helpful. 

Her brother used to tell how the little family watched 
with admiring interest her Erst effort at bread-making 
when she was about twelve years old, from which time 
she managed that high art in the household. 

From bread-making to filling up the furniture of a 
score of great steamboats, and to the buildiiig of saw 
mills and iron mills, her help was ready, her advice 
always sought by that brother. A dauntless will, a wise 
head, a heart true and tender, and the magnetic power of 
|b strong personality gave her large influence. 

■ At the party she spoke humorously of offers of mar- 
laiage : 

■ "There wasn't an old widower for miles around," she 
rsaid, " whose first or second or third wife had left him 
I with a family of ten or twelve children, and who wanted 
I a woman to be a slave to him and a servant to his pro- 
f geny, but what came over and wanted to marry me. I 

uniformly declined the honor, however. I didn't have 
time to get married," 

Heart and hands were full, with the care of the many 
children whose destinies were so intimately linked with 
hers. 

One of her children, a niece, with a tall daughter stand- 
ing by her, said : 
1 "Aunt Emily's way of bringing up children was a 
homely old New England way, She believed in making 
children work, and she didn't believe in what she called 
'gadding about,' nor in a good many other things. If 



t/FWAJ^D STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 175 

one of us girls would say, * Can Ada and I, or Laura 
and I, or somebody else and I, go out for a little walk ? ' 
her answer wouldn't always be * yes. ' Very often it 
would be : *0h, want exercise, do you?' Well, you go 
out and weed that onion bed' : or, * You go out and pick 
strawberries for supper ' ; or, * You go upstairs and 
sweep.' And if one of the boys wanted to go over to 
somebody's house and play, it was : • You go out and 
tackle that woodpile ' ; or, * You can hoe those potatoes 
this afternoon.' 

'Gadding about,' dancing lessons, balls and parties, 
and other things which are contrived for the amusement 
of the little ones now-a-days, had no place in Aunt 
Emily's scheme of bringing up children. * You have the 
most beautiful river in the world at your door,' she would 
say to us. ' What more do you want?' What more did 
we want, surely. That was the most beautiful river in 
the world. Aunt Emily was a Puritan in some of her 
ideas, but motherless children were never happier than 
we were playing along the river shores, or rowing on its 
surface, and living all together in one house. Few chil- 
dren whose mothers are spared to them can be happier." 

A band of Saginaw Indians, in their war paint, suddenly 
came into the house one day when every man, save one 
cripple, in the settlement was gone to a town miles away. 
They demanded whiskey, then kept in every cabin, even 
by men like her father who never drank it She put her 
hand through the latch of the door where it was kept, 
armed herself with a broomstick, and struck stoutly all 
who came near. The chief said, in their tongue which 
she understood, "Leave her to me, I'll put her to sleep." 
This she knew meant her death, but she looked him 
steadily in the eye, stood firm and called to her sister 
outside : " Go and call the men," which stratagem led the 
Indians, after brief consultation, to leave in haste. She 
knew if they found the whiskey that all would be mur- 



176 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

dered. That same self-possession led her, in later years, 
to bleed her brother when he was smitten with apoplexy, 
and thus save his life for years. 

Here is a pleasanter story, as told to the children years 
ago. In another chapter is Reading German Philosophy, 
an experience of a different kind. 

** One day in June," said grandma, *' as soon as dinner 
was over, Sallie and a young woman named Margaret, 
who worked for Uncle Sam, and Uncle Sam's little boy 
and myself went across the river to the Canada side to 
gather wild strawberries that grew there in great abun- 
dance. We crossed in a row-boat, and when we got on 
shore we pulled the boat up high enough on the beach to 
prevent the waves from carrying it off. 

" We had a gay time filling our pails and baskets with 
the ripe fruit, and when we got through we were rather 
tired, and very leisurely took our way to the boat. We 
did not notice that the small boy had gone ahead of us. 
When we were nearly to the beach he came running 
toward us, shouting ; ' Boaty ! Boaty ! ' 

*' I knew in an instant that he had done some mischief, 
and I set my strawberries down and ran as hard as I could 
to the river. Sure enough, he had pushed the boat into 
the water, and it was floating off with the current. I 
waded into the water clear up to my neck, and as I could 
not swim I had to wade back. 

*'By this time the girls and the small boy were on the 
shore, and as I went back they set up a dismal wail, for 
the boat was gone, and there we four were miles away 
from any habitation, and with a fine prospect of spending 
the night in the woods, w^here wolves still roamed and an 
occasional Indian. 

*' We sat in a very melancholy plight, the girls crying, 
the boy looking doleful, and I thinking what to do. There 
was an island about a mile below, near the Canadian 
shore, and I thought the current would carry the boat to 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 177 

that island and strand her on its eastern point. How to 
get to that point was the question. There were no in- 
habitants for miles, and the sun was about going down. 
The only thing to do was to make a raft strong enough 
to pole down to the island and find the boat How to 
make the raft was another question. 

** I looked around the beach and found there was drift- 
wood of logs and long poles, such as pioneers use in 
building mud chimneys, and I thought we could make a 
raft with these if we only had something to tie them to- 
gfether. But there wasn't a string a yard long in the whole 
party, except those we used to hold up our stockings, as 
was the fashion in those days. But strings or no strings, 
that raft had got to be made, and what were sunbonnets 
and aprons and dresses and skirts for, if in an emergency 
they wouldn't tie a raft together ? 

**I told the girls my plan, and they said they didn't 
believe I ever would get that boat back in any such way. 
Still they went to work with a will because I wanted them 
to, and because it seemed to be the only way to get home. 
We took off some of our clothes and tied the logs together 
with the different garments. After a good deal of hard 
work a raft was completed with the aforesaid materials. 

''Luckily, the fashion of those days provided every 
woman with a long under-garment that hung down to 
her ankles and covered us more as to our necks and arms 
than many a fashionable belle of these times is covered 
by what she calls full dress. You may be sure such a 
raft was a frail affair to sail the waters of the great St. 
Clair river, and Sallie said she knew we would be drowned. 
It was only large enough for two, and Margaret and I 
went, leaving Sallie to the care of the boy. It required a 
brave heart to go or stay, for in the distance we could hear 
the occasional howl of a wolf, or a bear, and there was 
peril also by water. 

''The plan was that Margaret and I should stand and 



UPWARD STEPS OF SKVEA'TY YEARS. 



.78 

steer Ihe raft, but as sooji as we got away from the shore 
she was afraid to stand up, so she sat down and cried, and 
1 did the work, steering with aboard. The current helped 
lis a good deal, and after a time we could see the head 
of the island. There was an encampment of friendly 
Indians fishing and hunting, but we were not afraid of 
them. 

' ' By this time the full moon was up, and as soon as 
we could see the island we saw all the Indians on the 
shore gazing eagerly in our direction. They didn't seem 
to understand what it was Ihat was going toward them. 
But as we got nearer and nearer and the bright moon- 
light shone directly on us, they discovered that it was only 
two girls with simply one long garment on, and they 
screamed and shouted with laughter. I didn't care for 
that, for by this time 1 could see our boat, stranded about 
where I thought it would be. The Indians kindly helped 
us, and we soon reached the boat, untied our garments 
from the raft, and hastened back to Saliie and the boy. 
There we put on our wet clothes, placed the berries in 
the boat, and started for home. We agreed that we would 
slip hito the house by the back way, change our clothes 
and not tell of our adventure, and we did so. No one 
knew of it for some time. But Margaret had a beau to 
whom she told the story after a while, and as it was such 
a good one, and as he was a man, he told it to several, 
and so every one knew it in a little time, and we were 
well laughed at." 

The incident was utilized as the subject of a picture by 
John M. Stanley, the artist, who won reputation as a 
painter of Indian portraits. The picture now hangs in the 
parlor. It shows the moonlight on the wide, forest- 
fringed river, the two girls on the frail craft, and the 
figures of Ihe Indians in the distance. Mr. Stanley pre- 
sented it to her on her sixtieth birthday. 



1 

d ^ 



^^^ figures of the Ii 
^^^ sented it to her < 

^ ■ 




UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 179 

This poem, my contribution to the birthday testi- 
monial, was read to the assembled guests : 

The reason firm, the conquering will, 
The generous heart, the patient skill 
The good child-mother ten years old, 
Brother and sisters in her fold. 

The strong-souled nurse, whose words of cheer 
Gave hope to many a pioneer, 
When pain and sickness brought sad gloom 
To the log cabin's plain, bare room. 

Up the fair Straits of Mackinaw, 

In years long past the sailor saw 

On the lone shore, through the dark night, 

The lighthouse lamp blaze clear and bright. 

Each day a maid, lithesome and strong. 
With free step climbed the ladders long 
To trim that lamp, that its fair light 
Might guide to safety in the night. 

Love lent her wings to mount, to fly 
If need were, up that tower high. 
While her good father, on the ground. 
Less fleet of foot sure safety found. 

The household tasks were feir and free. 
Her steps had " virgin liberty; *' 
Books few and choice, thoughts large and high. 
The lake, the trees, the o'erarching sky, 

The daily tasks, were teachers meet; 
The inner light burned pure and sweet, 
Its radiance whiter than the glow 
From that tall tower on earth below. 

The Indian, feinting at the door. 
Gained health from herbs in her full store; 
Each spring with grateful reverence meet, 
His maple sugar, at the feet 



l8o UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

Of the " White Squaw " he gladly laid. 
And went back to hi»tbrest shade — 
Whatever be the outward hue 
The grateful heart is ever true. 

Sisters were wedded, babes were bom. 
The mother's hands grew pale and worn; 
Death came — a sacred sweet release, 
Sure rest from toil, and God's own peace. 

One mother-heart had room for all, 
The orphan kindred could not fall 
Out of the reach of fostering care. 
Of home, of comfort, guidance, prayer. 

The kinship of great souls is wide. 

Could all hearthunger be denied ? 

No, others not of kindred race 

By the broad hearthstone found warm place. 

Thus twenty children all had share 
In wise restraint, in fostering care. 
And their fair babes, in safe delight 
Beside the St. Clair's waters bright, 
Filled one dear home with love and light. 

A generous brother, with true heart, 
In all these cares bore useful part. 
And ever to his sister brought 
His plans and aims for her wise thought^ 

And now to this warm ample home. 
Through hospitable doors we come. 
Kindred and friends, on this good day 
Our best and truest word to say — 

Eighty years old ! ** Aunt Emily," 
*« Grandma," with reverent hearts we see 
The ripened fruitage of those years; 
Words are but poor, and our glad tears 

Must tell how deep our joy, how high 
Our hope, how strong our sympathy. 
May every added year on earth be blest 
And the great years of heavenly work be best. 



■UPWARD STEPS OF SEfEXTY YEAPS. 

BENJAMIN "^ WADE. 

" Than tyrant's law, or bigot's ban, 

More mighty is yuur simplest word; 
The free heart of an honest man, 
Than crosier or Ihe sword." 



I Benjamin F. Wade, United States Senator from Ohio, I 
knew well. E. B. Ward and Mr. Wade were warm 
friends, and no marvel ; for they were alike in contempt 
of shams, in frankness of speech, in plain manners and 
large powers, and they held strong convictions in com- 
mon, I was often with Mr. Wade. Some persons yon 
see all at once ; after the first interview they grow less 
rather than larger; with him it was the opposite, the 
more I knew him, the more there was of him. His 
hearty simphcity was always refreshing, his ready humor 
I and quaint speech never failed, and the clearness and 

^^^^ vigor of his views of persons and things gave strength 
^^^K and instruction. He was one of the best judges of men 
^^^H I ever met, and would give the measure of the ability and 
^^^k reliability of pnblic men with wonderful correctness. 
' Especially clear-sighted was he as to a man's integrity. 

Not suspicious, but gifted with intnition, no double dealer 
could trap him:with smooth words, or cheat him by any 
jugglery or sharp device. He saw the soul beneath, and 
so the smooth speech and the tricks went for nothing. He 
liked an open opponent, or a true friend, but a trimmer 
he despised, a trickster he held in contempt and would 
SCO ui^e stoutly. There was aflavor of healthy and whole- 
some naturalness in his ways. Once I told him of my 
long stage ride by the lake shore, from Buffalo to Ash- 
tabula, before railroads were built, and of the beating of 
the waves on one side and the roar of the wind in the 
forest, on the other, in the dark tempestuous night "I 
travelled over that road before you, and I took the Apos- 
tolic way," said he. "What way was thatf" 1 «&^«i&. 



l8j LfJ'fVARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 

''Afoot, and without purse or scrip," was the answer. 
"WhatI did you walk?" "All the way, over a hundred 
miles, and for a good reason, I had no money to pay for 
a ride." So he came to Ohio from the poor little farm at 
Feeding H|lls, near Springfield, Massachusetts. I doubt 
not he was as cheery and hopeful trudging along in that 
I wild region as he was in the senate chamber, for he had 
I a hearty courage that never failed. He told me of go 
a dinner at the White House, at which some twenty 
Senators and diplomats were present, with President Grant 
as host Being the oldest person, he was seated by Mrs. 
Grant, and the talk around the table turned on the 
religious views of those present, all speaking freely and 
without controversy, Mrs. Grant says to him: "Where 
do you go to church?" and he replied; "Idon'tgo 
anywhere." She was surprised, and said; "I know 
you area good man, Mr. Wade, andl supposed, of course, 
you went to church. Tell me, please, why you don't 
go." "Well, I don't care anything about most of their 
preaching. I've been in this city sixteen winters, an 
was never in a meeting-house here. It's all right for 
others to go, if ihey want to, hut this eternal hell and the 
devil and all that stuff I don't care about, and so I stay 
away." "Then yon don't believe in eternal punishment 
or in a devil ? "asked his earnest questioner, "Why, r 
how can I ? " he replied, and she thoughtfully said, ' ■ Well, 
I have doubts myself. " 

He was chained with intemperance and habitual and 
vulgar profanity, never paying any heed in a public way 
to these charges. In 1868 he wrote a private letter tii G. 
G. Washburn, editor Upper Sandusky Republican (Ohio), 
in answer to one from that gentleman. Mr. Wade's 
letter was not published until after his death, He salt 

"They speak of my profanity, which I utterly deny, to 
an extent more than is common with men of the world 
generally, though more, I admit, than can be justified. 
As to iij temperance, it is all false. I do not believe I was 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



■83 



J ever intoxicated in the course of a long life, nor do I be- 
lieve that in all that time I have ever drank one gallon 
of spirituous liquors — never had a taste for it, and 
touch it once a year, and never except for medicim 
Do you believe that if I was the profane, vulgar wretch 
that they represent me to be, the United States Senate 
would have made me their presiding officer, by a vote 
more than three to one over any and all the competitors 
for that position? The Senators knew me well, I had 
served with them through all our trialsand perils for more 
than sixteen years." 

In 1878 1 wrote a letter to the Detroit Post and Tribune, 
from which the following is an extract : 

I have known Mr. Wade for ten years, have sat at 
the same table with him for months, have been a frequent 
visitor at his rooms, and a guest at the Ohio home of him- 
self and his excellent wife, and have spent many hours, 
long to be remembered, with him. Surely I ought to 
know something as to what manner of man he was. 
During all those years there might have been a score of 
times or less when he broke forth into oaths in my hear- 
ing. He was too clean-souled a man to be a vulgar or 
coarse, habitual swearer. In rebuke of meanness, or 
treason to humanity, the expletives blazed out hot and 
heavy, as expressions of mora! indignation ; but the rare 
humor, quaint good sense and frank directness of his 
daily talk, had no such emphasizing. His ways reminded 
me of a word hi a speech of Rev. Owen Lovejoy, of 
Illinois, in a campaign in anti-slavery days, while he was 
a member of Congress. In some criticisms on profanity, 
Mr. Lovejoy said ; "I do not approve of swearing, but 
give me the man who swears for freedom, rather than the 
fellow who prays for slavery." I never saw wine or ■ 
I spirits on his table nor at his room ; never saw him go to 
a bar or saloon to drink, and never was told of his doing 
MO by any one who ever did see him. During a visit at 



I 



r 184 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

his home in Jefferaou, Ohio, in the last year of his life on 
earth, he was laughing about the stories told of his 
whiskey drinking and coarse profanity, and said: "I 
don't think I've drank the amount of a pint of liquor in 
thirty years ; " and Mrs. Wade, sitting by, said : " That 
is true. " 

Stopping over Sunday, I spoke in a hall near by, and 
he went with me in the moruing. When evening came, 
knowing that he seldom attended public meetings of any 
kind unless obliged to, and the November weather being 
raw and cold, I said to him : " Don't go out, I know you 
like to stay at home," and he replied in his hearty and 
humorous way, as he put on his overcoat ; " I'm a-going. 
You got the brush cleared up this morning, and I want 
to see which way you strike out of the woods." 
In Washington he kept the plain and simple ways of 
his early New England life, was singularly temperate in 
diet, had " early to bed, early to rise," as his molto and 
practice, and attributed his fine health largely to these 
wise habits. From the age of ten years he became a 
doubter of theological dogmas and authorities, and grew 
to doubt a future life — fortunately holding with grand 
fidelity to the practical duties of this. Within a few years 
he became a Spiritualist, and expressed to me at his home 
just before his last sickness, his satisfaction in the light 
his views gave him touching this life and the life beyond. 
Thus much in justice to the memory of a fearless and 
true man. 



■' Swart smitcrs of the glowing steel, ~ 
Dark feeders of the forge's Same. 
Pale watchers at the loom and wlieel, 
Repeal his honored name." 



I 

I In 1867 I had occasion to write Henry C. Carey, anda 

I ready reply came, in a fine delicate handwriting, beauti- 

I ful, yet not easy to decipher. A few months after I called 



A 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YE APS. 185 

at his home in Philadelphia, at his request, and thus be- 
gan a personal acquaintance to me very pleasant. I met 
him a score of times, and we kept up an occasional cor- 
respondence, I writing mainly for information, always 
cheerfully given. His house was in a block on Wal- 
nut Street, among the substantial citizens ; externally 
a plain brick structure with solid square stone steps, after 
the old Philadelphia fashion. Its rooms and halls were 
ample and comfortable. The large parlors on the first 
floor were his library and sitting rooms, where he saw 
visitors. I found him seated by a large table, busy 
among papers and books, but he rose quickly, came for- 
ward with eyes full of life and light, gracefully led me 
towards an easy seat, made himself at ease in an ample 
arm-chair, and then said: "YouVe come in good 
time. I am at leisure, and we can have a good talk." 
I was soon trying to answer his quick questions, 
and listening to his pungent criticisms of men and 
measures, his forcible massing of facts, and his lively 
narrations and pleasant anecdotes, softened occasion- 
ally by some touch of tender pathos. His youth of 
spirit and person surprised me. He was seventy-five, yet 
it was impossible to think of old age in that buoyant 
presence. He would be leaning back in his seat talking 
quietly ; suddenly some comment or suggestion would 
stir him, and he would spring up, stand erect, utter his 
opinions in a most decided and emphatic way, and quickly 
drop back to his seat and into the quieter tone of easy 
conversation. He was always a gentleman in the true 
sense — a cleanad-souled and high-minded man — and his 
manners had a touch of the stately ways of a past genera- 
tion, mingled with a cordial and sincere simplicity. Of 
good stature and well-knit frame ; his skin clear as that of a 
child, his black eyes brilliant and beautiful ; his features 
fine and firm, and an elastic r,eadiness in every motion, I 
felt that he must have inherited good health, and kept it by 



UPWARD STEPS OP SEVENTY YEARS, 

pure and temperate habits, so that the ripe enjoyments | 
of old age came naturally. My feeling was verified on 
learning the facts as tu his personal habits. The spacious 
rooms with wide open arch were, indeed, but one 
thousandsof volumes were ou their shelves; statuary an c 
choice pictures adorned them; the wealth of books, the 
inspiration of artistic beauty, and the ample breadth of 
space and lofty ceiling; seemed in correspondence i 
the man of broad thought and culture. At each succeed- 
ing interview my first impressions were still the same, bul 
I realized more fully his wealth of thought and informa- 
tion. Political Economy had been his leading study for 
over thirty years, and tlie accurate readiness of his knowl- 
edge of facts and dates and statistics, I never knew 
equalled. His reading was not cramming.such as deadens 
and narrows too many scholars, but was wisely used a 
help and inspiration to his own original thought His 
masterly writings on Soci;d Science and Protection to 
Home Industry were deeply sincere, and inspired by a 
behef that the well-beiiig of the people would be helped 
by carrying out his views in national legislation. 

While John Stuart Mill declared that " political economy 
only concerns itself with such phenomena of the social 
state, as take place in consequenceofthepursuit of wealth," 
and that : " It is essentially an abstract science, and its 
method is the li priori. It reasons, and must neces- 
sarily reason, upon assumptions, not from facts," Carey 
held it as connected with wealth of soul as welt as of | 
purse, as an aid to the best civilization most widely dif- 
fused among the people, and as illustrated by facts which 
verify and confirm its principles, as he held them. Both 
these men were sincere and able, but the " dismal gospel" 
of Malthus and Ricnrdo, upheld by Mill is in striking con- i 
trast with the hopeful and beneficent views of the unity of 
law and the progress of man as given by Carey ; and surely 
the reasoning "upon assumptions not from facts "of the i 



^I^i] 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



% 



.87 

iglishmaii is poor beside the solid facts and their under- 
lying principles as shown by the American. Not alone 

his leading study was Mr. Carey at home. He was not 
a man of one idea, but was interested in literature, in 
reform, and in the widening thought of the day. His 
many pamphlets and newspaper articles and his list o( 
large books tell the story of a busy life as a student and 
writer; while many friends, the most worthy and eminent, 
testify to his social and personal worth. 
I I never asked of his religious opinions, for it is not 
decent to peer into the sacred deeps of sincere souls, but 
better to wait until they open naturally. I sent him a 
book — my compilation of " Poems of the Life Beyond" — 
and wrote a note asking its acceptance as a testimony of 
my regard. Soon came back his reply, in that delicate 
'handwriting, the last note I ever had from him, and one 
'of the best and most pleasant He said : "I thank you 
'for the book. I like it. My philosophy does not put a 

an dead in the mud as the end" That was enough : I 
inew that true soul looked out into the ineffable light. 
Not long after, at his house, he alluded to our correspon- 
dence, and said : "I have had a vesper service in this 
.house every Sunday evening for years, and I invite you to 
come." A little puzzled, yet not quite liking to ask its 
nature or ritual, I thanked him, when he said smiling : 
"Everybody calls it my vespers, and so I take the name. 
Sunday evenings at five o'clock, it is understood that I am 
at home to my friends, and to tlieir friends. They fdl 
my rooms. We talk informally of whatever comes up, 
religious, political or any matter of thought or life. We 
never dispute. We discuss everything, we settle nothing. 
Men of all opinions are welcome and come. We take 
some simple refreshments, shake hands in good season, 
and I sleep well afterward, and hope the rest do." 

Much to my regret, I never was able to accept his invi- 
tation, for these assemblies were often made up of choice 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVRNTY YEARS. 

persons from far and near. In 1872, I think, he catne to 1 
Detroit with hia friend William D. Kelley, M. C, and | 
daughter, and they stopped a day at Mr. Ward's on their 
way to Lake Superior. The upper lake steamers left at 
night, and they wished to go up St. Clair river by liaylighi. 
and look a steamer to Port Huron in the morning to em- 
bark on their Lake Superior boat the next morning. Mrs, 
Stebliins and myself were with them. In Detroit and on 
the boat, we admired his bearing toward women. His 
politeness had the courtly grace of a past day, but it had, 
too, a tender and sacred reverence. His own beloved 
wife had long before passed away, and he had lived in the 
light of her dear memory. It seemed as though his feel- 
ings toward her had made all womanhood sacred to him. 
He had none of the Httle nothings with which some ex- 
ternally polite men try to entertain women, but talked to 
them on sensible things, in asensibleway, asthoughthey 
were to be respected and not merely flattered. 

At Port Huron the hotel-keeper was to call us at a sure 
hour, that Mr. Carey and the rest might have longer rest, 
yet be up in time. I was up before being called and went 
to his door in due time, to call him. Rapping h'ghtly. he 
answered, and 1 said: "Youhaveahalfhourtobe ready 
ill," when I heard him spring from his bed to the floor and 
come to the door as lightly as a boy, and few lads would 
have dressed sooner or as neatly as this rare old man. 
We all went to the boat and it was pleasant to see them 
start on such a fine morning, with the clear water spark- 
ling in the wake of the vessel, and the bright sun over 
all. 

In 1879 came the great change. No painful sickness, 
no mental decay, the pen busy to the last week and its 
record as clear as ever, "his friends meeting at his 
"vespers " up to the last fortnight. .ni.Ilii-; I,i:.ili.M;i ^\vee!ly 
peaceful. The great city of his hnm ■ '.■'■i'--i 1 ils 
of the honor and reverence due hi> nu" 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 189 

did many persons in distant States of our Union, and a 
choice company of eminent Europeans, his friends and 
correspondents. Those who knew him best had most 
tender regret that a dear friend was absent, mingled with 
satisfaction that his long life here had closed so naturally. 

^ MILWAUKEE. 

I In 1848-50 we were in Milwaukee a year or more. 
For some months I had editorial charge of the Daily Wis- 
consin in the absence of the editor, William E. Cramer. 
When he proposed that I should take his place for a lime, 
I said to him : "The Wisconsin is a Democratic paper, 
lam not a Democrat and cannot writein support of the 
party." His answer was : "There is no election pend- 
ing. Make a good newspaper, and let party matters go." 
This I was willing to undertake, and always remember 
his just and generous regard to my feelings with pleas- 
ure. That large and popular daily journal was a business 
and family newspaper, with Democratic tendencies rather 
than a party organ, so that the change in his absence, 
though noticeable, was not so great as if the sheet had 
been emphatic in its partisanship. 

I saw the iirst locomotive that ever was brought to 
Wisconsin rolled from the vessel's deck to the wharf and 
the near railway track, amidst the cheers of a gathered 
multitude. Our communication with the outside world 
was by steamers on Lake Michigan, or bystage. A part 
of the time we were in the family of Rev. Mr. Parsons, 
al! the other members, some twenty or more, being teach- 
ers and scholars in a school for the higher education of 
women, in which Catharine Beecher took much interest, 
and of which Mrs. Parsons was the leading teacher. The 
social life of the family was very pleasant 

Miss Beecher spent a fortnight with us, and we were 
all interested and amused by her frank originality, and 
strengthened by her earnest devotedness. She had the 




ipo rPlfAKD STEPS OF SEVENTY VEARS. 

noble idea of a consecration of life and efforts to worthyj 
objects, and her aim was woman's education and elevation' 
in the West. 

One evening a large meeting of leading citizens was 
held in a church to hear her views on education and her 
plans for the solid establishment of her school. These 
she had carefully prepared in manuscript, and engaged a 
gentleman to read it to the audience. This he tried to do, 
but, between the strange handwriting, poor lights and 
poor spectacles, made sad stumbling and awkward blun- 
ders — Miss Beecher meanwhile suffering martyrdom as 
she sat silent, with distressed face, and the hearers divided 
between the impulse to laugh at the reading and to pity 
her. To-day she would read her own address, and give 
it new sense and weight, as many then wished she had. 

Frederica Bremer came to visit a colony of Swedes, 
working pioneers on a new western land, stopped In the 
city on her way, and made her home with us a few days. 
In the parlor and at table we saw her often — a sincere 
and unpretending woman, kind and cordial, with a slight 
foreign accent that gave added attractiveness to her 
musical voice. She was hardly of medium stature, and 
had the broad cheek-bones and large features of her peo- 
ple — a plain face, yet refined and animated; eloquent 
eyes, and hands especially beautiful. Her presence gave 
a sense of light and warmth and tenderness. 

HOME INDUSTRY, 

" They are noble — they who bbor. 
Whether with the hand or pen, 
If their hearts beat true and kindly 
For llieir working fellow-men. 
And the day is surely coming — 
Loveliest since the world began — 
When good deeds shall be the patent 
Of nobility to mail! " 



on^H 

as [ 

I 



Two aspects of New E 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YE APS. 



191 



look back to boyhood and youth : one is its intellectual 
activity and religious earnestness, the other its industry and 
thrift in material things. The last is of too much impor- 
tance to be passed by ; is closely interlinked indeed with 
the first, each influencing and affecting the other. In that 
old hive there were few drones ; I remember many busy 
people but few idlers. Steady work, careful living, a 
little saved, a sure and steady gain, and a decent compe- 
tence at last, was the rule. No craze for gold mines or 
stock gambling had spread over the happy land, and each 
dollar must be won by honest labor. A young man came 
from the Berkshire hills to work on my uncle's farm 
at twelve dollars a month for seven months in the year. 
In the winter he went home, paid for his board by doing 
chores, and went to school, sometimes getting a little pay 
for chopping or teaming. The first of April he was 
promptly at the farmhouse to begin his summer's work, 
faithful and capable always. He had no bad habits, 
dressed decently, read a few books at odd hours, was 
well treated and respected, and for seven years this steady 
pull went on. Then he married, went to Ohio, bought 
his quarter section of government land, and was a rich 
farmer twenty years ago. He was a good type of a use- 
ful and honorable class. The long steady pull was the 
old way, and it brought the rich enjoyment of anticipation 
and the education of work — not merely the training of 
muscle and nerve, but the persistence of will and the dis- 
ciplined courage that comes with unwearied effort 

The day of great factories had not come, but there 
were a great many small mills and shops of many kinds 
in the little valleys along the mountain streams. Where- 
ever they grew up I could see new benefits to the near 
farmers, not only a lively market at hand, but a fresh 
activity of life, the boys with mechanical genius finding 
new^ work and new inspiration. I saw the growth of 
larger manufactories, and have picked berries along the 



192 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

Chicopee river, where thousands now work in the mills. 
I rode through the quiet pasture fields on the west bank 
of the Connecticut at South Hadley Falls, where there is 
now a great canal with abundant water-power, and where 
fifty thousand people gain a fair livelihood in the paper 
mills and wire works and woolen and cotton factories at 
Holyoke. I have seen those pastures become rich and 
valuable farms, with a ready sale at the mills close by 
for all they raise, even to cabbages and fallen apples. 
At first the factory Workers were from near home. " The 
Lowell Offering" was famed as the literary work of the 
girls in the mills. Whittier wrote of ** acres of girlhood, 
beauty by the square rod," in describing them coming 
out from their work and thronging the streets. Many a 
mortgage was lifted off from farms among the hills by the 
mill-wages of girls who came to their tasks fresh as the 
briar roses that grew by the brown fence in their mother's 
garden, and who went back with that freshness still on 
their cheeks and in their souls. Then came foreigners, 
mostly duller and of a lower grade, but their life here 
better than they ever knew at home. A factory is not a 
paradise ; the clatter of its mechanism is not the music 
of the spheres ; yet these varied employments are a ben- 
efit, full of the promise of a still better future. I went to 
the West and found the rich prairies on the Wabash 
slowly decreasing in their products, the market distant, 
the ** skinning " process going on, exhausting the grain- 
growing constituents of the soil, by sending its crops far 
away. I saw, too, that the farm life was dull and poor. 
This might be partly race and climate, but there was no 
variety of occupation, no scope for genius and skill. 
Genius, without scope for its exercise, is like the hands of 
the Hindoo fakir, which are strong and swift in motion 
before he clasps them over his head, bi^* w^^ak and par- 
alyzed after being thus held useless 1 ^b)^ 
years. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 193 

This was a valuable lesson. It taught me the need of 
i^ne varied industry and skill of farm, shop and factory. 
The meeting and mingling of these many life-currents, 
tinged and shaped by such wide mastery of man over 
nature's forces and materials, is full of benefit It is 
civilization and culture, wealth of soul as well as of 
purse. To the farmer it is increase of the product of his 
acres, economy of exchange, work of hand or brain for 
whatever gift of power or character his children may 
possess, instant and constant call for a variety of labor, 
and all the while the tide of inventive genius pulsing 
through the serene quiet of his life in the fields, saving it 
from narrowness or stagnation, that he may the more 
enjoy nature's beauty and the better make her forces 
serve him. We cannot have the best farming until we 
have the best manufacturing, in varied forms and mate- 
rials, near the farm, each an indispensable help to the 
growth and perfectness of the other. 

I visited the South, and saw there the effects of having 
but the one cotton growing industry ; impoverished soil, 
dull and degraded labor. The new South is beginning to 
change all this, by the building up of manufactures and 
the varying of farm products ; and the life of the people 
is already quickened and uplifted. They begin faintly to 
realize the blessings of a varied industry, that can only 
come to a free people, and was impossible under the old 
regime of slavery. 

In my earlier days, in Massachusetts, I saw seasons of 
prosperity and of trouble, and read, and heard from my 
father and others, how the first came with protective 
tariffs and the last with free trade, but the matter did not 
take strong hold on me. I saw it as a question of profit 
and loss for some rich men, or as a political party quar- 
rel. I was not a free-trader, but had no vital interest in 
the case. Becoming deeply engaged in the anti-slavery 

movement, I did not overrate its importance, but under- 

13 



194 UPWARD STEPS OP SEVENTY YEARS. 

rated that of economic questions. Wm. Lloyd Garrison 
and others of the abolitionists whom I greatly respected, 
inclined to free trade ; for their English anti-slavery friends 
were free-traders, and the movement there had a glamour 
of philanthropy, a promise — honestly made by some 
good men — of benefit to the working man ; as events 
have proved, **a promise made to the ear but broken to 
the hope." Most of the College teachers were free- 
traders, as the majority still are, but I saw that most of 
these men were also pro-slavery, educating young men 
in Greek and Latin, but not in common humanity. Those 
were the days when Theodore Parker said:. "The old 
Egyptians took four days to mummyize a dead body, but 
Harvard College takes four years to mummyize a living 
soul. " Therefore the proclivities of these learned pun- 
dits did not have great weight with me. I thought that 
if they could ignore chattel slavery so weakly, or fight its 
battles against the abolitionists with so much zeal, they 
could easily be led to teach plausible theories, instead of 
facts and home arguments far better, but not so easy 
to master. 

When our civil war began, I saw that slavery and free 
trade were the corner stones of the Confederate constitu- 
tion ; and when it ended, I saw them both broken in 
pieces. In due time my early and later observations had 
their effect, and political economy wore a new aspect, 
and had a deeper interest, as affecting the well-being of 
the people. I became an advocate of protection to home- 
industry, as opposed to t^ free trade. 

In 1865 I wrote a pamphlet: ** British Free Trade a 
delusion," published in Detroit and widely circulated — 
and have written other tracts and articles, and lectured 
on these subjects. In 1882-3 I prepared with much ca-re 
and labor, a book of two hundred pages : The American 
Protectionist's Manual — a condensation of facts and argu- 
ments for popular use, of which several large editions 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 195 

have been issued. On this important subject, as on every 
other, let each man be fully persuaded in his own mind, 
and for this, both sides should be examined. If you can- 
not meet the statements or ideas, on any subject, of those 
from whom you differ, look out for yourself, my good 
reader. Sometimes your facts may not be at hand, but 
if well grounded in your principles and sure that the 
facts can be had, that may answer. If you feel lame, 
both in principles and facts, it is time to revise your 
opinions and perhaps to change them. 

. SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION. 

** Work, brothers mine; work, hand and brain; 

We'll win the golden age again; 

And Love's millenial mom shall rise 

In happy hearts and blessed eyes. 

Hurrah ! hurrah ! true knights are we, 

In labor's lordlier chivalry." 

Gerald Massey, 

A people content with crude products and unskilled 
labor can never reach a high civilization. Skill, artistic 
taste, and training in the practical application of science 
and art to industry, are important elements in education. 
Such education must reach our schools — now too much 
devoted to an abstract intellectual drilling, which becomes 
cold and dull when separated from the work of life and 
from the moral sentiments. 

In the autumn of 1872 I gave an address on Scientific 
and Industrial Education in Toledo, Ohio, by invitation of 
the Trustees of the Toledo University of Arts and Trades. 
That institution, endowed by J. W. Scott, a pioneer citi- 
zen, has become a useful department of the public High 
School, with a large building filled with apparatus for 
working in wood and iron, architectural and mechanical 
drawing, cooking and dressmaking — all in successful 
operation to the marked benefit and enjoyment of the 
pupils. 



196 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

Visits there, and to some of our large technical schools 
in the East, have been a great pleasure and profit to nne. 
The address was reported in the newspapers, and had 
wide circulation in pamphlet from Detroit, and through 
the Government Bureau of Education at Washington. Ex- 
tracts from its opening pages will give, in brief, some 
thoughts on this important subject Details of such schools 
in Europe, and at home are omitted : 

**The Spanish Toledo, an old and decaying city on the 
banks of the Tagus, 2, 200 feet above the sea, amidst rocks 
and hills, was called **Toledom" — mother of people — by 
its Jewish founders. It was full of life under Moorish 
sway a thousand years since ; a splendid capitol under 
old Spanish Kings, noted for its famed sword-blades, 
its woolens, silks and leather ; but now it is reduced from 
200,000 to 16,000 inhabitants, representing an effete civ- 
ilization, smitten because it had fallen behind in art and 
science, and the culture and freedom of its people. 

This new Toledo, full of the fresh life of our young 
West, must move on and keep pace with the world's 
thought and life. Here we want education for all — the 
educing, the calling out, of every faculty and power, 
ready for the work of life, and fit to make that life noble 
and harmonious. 

We have made some progress in intellectual, moral and 
spiritual culture, with ample scope for more ; but our 
technical education, the drill of eye, hand and brain for 
artistic >\'ork, done with scientific exactness, is just 
beginning; yet we must have it to perfect that life, 
mingled of the ideal and the practical, which is before 
us all. It is sometimes said that a college spoils a student 
for practical duties. Let this all be changed, and let us 
shape our schools towards the wants and work and 
thought of our own time, taking what help we may 
from the past, but acting for the present, and looking to 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 197 

the future. This is the ideal of the University of Arts and 
Trades. 

This noble effort will not only add to your material 
wealth, which is important, but will lift up the standard 
of life. 

Such schools are a great want in our country, where 
there is such demand for scientific skill, practically 
applied to the development of our great natural resources, 
to carry us beyond the furnishing of raw materials and 
the ruder products of untrained labor and Titanic strength, 
to the finer and more artistic productions of skill and in- 
ventive genius. We want them to make our labor more 
productive, and at the same time to elevate its character, 
and thus enlarge the laborers life ; to save the waste that 
always results from crude and unskilled processes ; 
and to give us that mastery over nature's finer elements 
which is symmetry, beauty, permanence and strength 
in every product of the skilled worker. 

The natural aptitude and readiness of our workmen is 
remarkable, and if we can add to this the discipline and 
drill of scientific training, we are masters of the situation. 
We little think what advantage skill gives. Let a farmer 
raise but five per cent, more and better crops to the acre 
than his neighbor, and middle life finds the one far ahead 
of the other ; and in mechanism and manufactures the dif- 
ference is still more striking. A new process of mining 
or iron making, of weaving or dyeing, giving but a slight 
margin in quantity or quality of results, distances all com- 
petition, and gives a solid reputation that sells the product 
with no trouble. 

Krupp makes the best steel cannon in the world in his 
great shops in Essen, Prussia, and his buyers seek him 
and pay his prices, for quality is more precious than 
quantity, and the guarantee of a master of his art is better 
than gold. 

The honest excellence of our Western . woolen goods, 



198 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY TEARS. 

is becoming known and makes demand for them. Let us 
master chemistry as applied to dyeing, so that our colors 
shall be as fine and fast as those of the best French fabrics, 
and we conquer the world in peaceful strife, and this is 
the aim of technical instruction. 

Classical and literary culture are not to be slighted or 
undervalued, but they must be shaped to meet the life of 
to-day, not to feed a pedantic pride or to create a clois- 
tered exclusiveness. 

Modern culture must meet modern life, and the sway 
and power of science and art is a great element in that 
life. Our daily experience holds us close to facts, and 
keeps us in the realm of laws which science must know 
and obey, and apply, and gain mastery by that fine 
obedience. 

Our best colleges are recognizing this by the growth of 
their scientific departments and their more practical edu- 
cational tendencies, and a broader and truer scholarship, 
and a more generous humanity, will result therefrom. 
Let our public schools follow in the same line. 

Professional life is full. In every Western town or city 
are lawyers, physicians, and even clergymen, quite enough 
for the disputes of the people, or to minister to bodies or 
souls diseased, and many of these keep poor, and never 
reach even a decent mediocrity of place or influence, 
from the pedantry and narrowness of their culture and 
thought; but if a mine is to be opened, a factory built and 
managed, a railroad built and engineered, or a great farm 
to be carried on with adequate success, one must seek 
far and wide for the skill and power equal to such work. 

This is a question of character as well as dollars. 
Scientific schools will make mining, weaving, mechanism, 
engineering and farming as eminent and distinguished 
as what are called ** the learned professions," and we shall 
have a class of men and women cultivated in habits and 
manners, yet willing and able to take hold of the world's 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 199 

work with courage and hope, with skill and persistent 
power. 

MORAL EDUCATION. 

"And ye shall succor men, 
'Tis nobleness to serve ; 
Help them who cannot help again ; 
Beware from right to swerve." 

The beginning of all education is in the home. The 
life of maturer years, the work of heart and brain and 
hand in the world's wide field is its great University, with 
highest honors, largest attainments and saddest failures. 
While it is true that the larger part of our education is 
outside of all schoolhouses, that does not lessen the im- 
portance of the years of training within their walls. Not 
only is the practical element lacking in those years 
(which industrial and scientific education will supply), but 
the moral element also. In our blind zeal for intellectual 
cramming we neglect the foundations of character and the 
fine humanities. We wisely remit dogmatic theology to 
the pulpit, but shall ethics, and those natural religious 
sentiments which prompt us the sacred doing of duty be 
also banished or held unimportant? A larger proportion 
of crime than is supposed is perpetrated by men of good 
school education — keen brains and dull moral senses. 

In 1780 the Constitution of Massachusetts declared: 
** It shall be the duty of the legislature in all future periods 
of the commonwealth to cherish the interests of literature 
and the sciences and all seminaries thereof, to coun- 
tenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and 
general benevolence, public and private charity, industry 
and frugality, honesty and punctuality in their dealings, 
sincerity and good humor and all social affections and 
generous sentiments." 

We may well apply the spirit of that noble declaration, 
interpreted in the light of our day, to our school educa- 
tion. It would be Hke a stream of golden light making 



200 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 

clear the upward path of the student, from the primary 
lessons of lisping childhood to the highest exercises of the 
college graduate. 

We need in all our schools some affirmative teaching of 
the excellence of virtue, the hideousness and danger of 
vice and dishonesty, the joys of a clean and pure life, and 
the grandeur of self-control. What the method of this 
moral education shall be, cannot be discussed here, but 
that we greatly need it is plain enough. I have noticed 
that lessons of this kind are informally given in schools by 
women, more than by men. Often in later years they are 
affectionately remembered, and of great benefit. Send 
out the scholar with intellect and practical skill, and intui- 
tive moral sentiments developed and disciplined, and he 
is full-orbed and harmonious, ready for the highest and 
most useful work for the common good. 

THE RELIGION OF THE BODY. 

' * Do the works, and ye shall know of the doctrine, 
whether it be true or not," is inspired and inspiring 
philosophy — philo-sophia, to love wisdom, as the Greek 
roots of the word signify ; and to love a thing we must 
feel attracted to it, and then test it by trial, and so learn 
if it be indeed wisdom and worthy of lasting love. 

The old Romans had a good motto : "Mens sana in 
corpore sano " — a sound mind in a sound body. It might 
be enlarged so as to read, in our vernacular : A sound 
and pure mind and soul in a sound and pure body. 

For that sound and pure body, a good inheritance is a 
great help, and that goes back to ancestry and heredity 
and invests parental responsibility with high sanctity. 
But it is with bodily health as it is with any patrimony ; 
the heir may increase it to his own joy and that of others, 
or squander it by blind folly or in base misuse, as he is 
wise or otherwise. How are we using our bodily heritage ? 
JDoes health wax or wane with us? Duty to the soul is 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 20I 

well, but so is duty to the body. The first is impossible 
without the last. Did Simon Stylites, who stood on a 
pillar some forty feet high in the desert for a score of 
years, gain any spiritual wealth by such absurd bodily 
exposure } 

Did the old dirty monks, scourging themselves into 
semi-insanity, help themselves, or others, thereby.'^ Let 
all manner of Simons come down from their pillars, all 
manner of dirty men wash up and live clean, hoe corn or 
do something useful, and ^vfo^ a little thought to their 
bodies. Let the eternal life give new grace and gTande>(r 
meaning to each day here and now. To neglect bodily 
health and ignore good habits, while wrapt in ectasy over 
visions of the seventh heaven, is as though one kept fixed 
eyes on a distant mountain-top he was bound to reach, 
and so stumbled over unseen stones, and fell into yawn- 
ing chasms at his feet. The mountain-top never would 
be reached, but a poor battered dead body would be 
found lying among the ragged rocks at its foot 

Good readers, one and all, and especially those who 
have family responsibilities, do you study dietetic and 
sanitary laws } Do you learn what is healthy for the 
children, as you do what is best for your horses and cattle } 
Do you keep your daily food m pure air, or where it 
absorbes the miasma of some bad cellar or the pent air of 
bedroom or kitchen } Do you think how the invisible 
poisons are the most insidious and deadly, and your food 
may be fatally tainted from want of being kept where 
oxygen abounds .? Always have plenty of pure air in the 
pantry, and be sure no other gets there. 

Without fussiness, or pinning down all sorts of people 
to bran bread or anything else, we do want knowledge of 
good food and of clean and wholesome cookery. 

For some years, in my Hatfield youth, I boarded with 
Mrs. Polly Graves, while doing duty in a store near by. 
She was a conscientious and devoted Puritan, an excellent 



202 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 

housekeeper, not only in the matter of diet, but in wise 
and motherly care of her children. Housekeeping includes 
care of food and raiment, but it takes in much more. She 
cared for mind and soul as well as for body. There was 
always a fair but not large variety of well-prepared food 
on her table, occasionally changed to other kinds. She 
said : ** Husband jind I like variety, but not all piled on at 
once ; something good to-day and something else to- 
morrow. It saves trouble, and is better for us and the 
children." 

A good farmer has his stables well ventilated. He 
knows that cows and horses must have pure air. Does he 
know his children need it a great deal more, as the human 
body is more sensitive than that of the beast ? 

Does he keep all foul accumulations or bad odors far 
from his house, and especially keep his cellar clean and 
sweet, with all decayed vegetables removed.-^ Even a 
library of the best books is no antidote for the poison of 
spoiled cabbage in a cellar beneath ! Going to church 
will not clean the tobacco cancer, out of the system. The 
alcohol poison — a worse devil than the raging Satan of 
old theology — will work ruin even in palaces. 

All should have in mind the lofty ideal of self-poise and 
self-control — the supremacy of the soul over the senses. 

Theodore Parker, spoke of infants as *' bringing the 
fragrance of heaven in their baby breath." What a w^orld 
of beauty this would be if that bodily purity of the sweet 
babe could make manhood and womanhood, even to old 
age, as sweet. 

All this is what Parker called : *' The Religion of the 
Body." 

Of this religion a great revival should sweep over the 
land. Old-fashioned revivals are on the wane ; let this 
new-fashioned awakening to the need of good heredity, 
and clean and healthy bodies take their place. I once 
knew a pious man groaning with dyspepsia, and learned 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 203 

that his loving but ignorant daughter had brought him a 
piece of mince-pie at bed-time each night for years. I 
said to the poor man : '* If you had studied physiology 
more and theology in creeds less you would be healthier 
now," and he thoughtfully and sorrowfully answered, 
*♦! think it maybe." 

It is not ignoring spiritual culture, but giving bodily 
culture and daily habits their due place, that we want. 

The healthy and clean man has a clean atmosphere 
which is no barrier but an attraction to the best spiritual 
influences. 

Give us a great revival of this Religion of the Body. 
In remembrance of sour bread, meat raw or burned, coffee 
and tea weak as water or strong as lye, but all worthless, 
bad and stifled air, tobacco smell and smoke, and other 
odors not like those of Araby the blessed, which I have 
endured and still live, thanks to a tough ancestry ! this 
word is written. Would it could be '* known and read of 
all men," and women also. I do not forget the many 
beautifully ordered and healthful homes which are pleasant 
memories. 

JUGOI ARINORI MORI. 
JAPANESE RELIGIOUS VIEWS. 

In Washington, one evening in the winter of 1873, ^ 
attended a literary reunion at the house of Hon. Horatio 
King. The exercises of the evening were closed, and, 
as was the custom in those interesting meetings, the 
pleasant company of perhaps a hundred persons, were 
engaged in easy and animated conversation. I noticed 
a group of ladies and gentlemen hovering around a cen- 
tral figure which it was difficult to get a glimpse of. At 
last I saw a man, hardly of middle stature, of refined 
temperament and graceful deportment, with complexion 
and features that bespoke his nationality, his fine eyes as 



C'PIVAA-D STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

eloquent as his voice. Finding Mr. King I learned that ] 
this attractive foreigner was Jugoi Arinori Mori, Charge j 
d'Affaires from the Empire of Japan. I knew that he v 
sent to our country mainly to gain information touching j 
our education, material condition, habits, political and 
religious life, that Japan might better know our good ; 
ill, and had heard of him as well fitted for so importai 
mission. Being introduced I said I would like to call at I 
his convenience, giving a general idea of what was in my ■ 
mind. He replied : "Call at any time," and a few days | 
after, about ten o'clock, 1 found my way to his house in 
the west part of Ihe city, an ample mansion furnished in 
Japanese fashion, although, oddly enough, an Irishman 
opened the door for my entrance. In a f 
Arinori Mori came in, met me with simple t 
diality, and an hour's conversation followed, very inter- I 
esting to me, and which he seemed to wish to prolong / 
rather than to shorten. 

I said, substantially, that my wish was to inform him 
of some phases of our religious life with which he might 
not be familiar, and then tried to give him some idea of | 
Unitarianism, Universalism, Free Religion, Quakerism, 
and Spiritualism and natural religion. I Cold him that the { 
milh'ons among us who heldthese views were growing ii 
willingness to accept truth from Pagan or Christian, and | 
in a sense of "the sympathy of religious " and the spirit- I 
ual fraternity of the race. i 

He showed deep interest, and said that many of what 
we call evangelical clergymen had talked with him and 
given him books ; that he had been interested and helped 
by what they had said, and held their kindness i 
ful remembrance, and was now glad to hear these slate- I 
menls, and so add to his impartial knowledge of our I 
religious opinions. I asked if he could accept books 
from me, and he answered: "Certainly, with pleasure, 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 205 

any books you send me will be sent to the royal library 
at Jeddo." I asked : ** Of what use will books in English 
be there?" and he quickly replied : **Our educated peo- 
ple read your language, and you may be sure that your 
books will be read with much interest." 

On parting he cordially said : **Come again, when it 
suits you." 

In a few days I gathered together some forty volumes, 
among which I remember the admirable *' No Cross, No 
Crown," of William Penn, the works of William E. Chan- 
ning, the best of O. B. Frothingham, Epes Sargent, Hudson 
Tuttle, and others, aiming to get the ablest statements and 
illustrations of the views which we had discussed. I 
added my compilation of gospels from many peoples : 
"Chapters from the Bible of the Ages," which especially 
interested him. These I sent him, with a letter, to which 
he replied, speaking of **the value and usefulness of the 
books, not only to myself, but to my countrymen and 



women." 



These I presented as from E. B. Ward of Detroit, as I 
had been authorized to buy books for him and myself. 

M. Mori also sent me two copies of a pamphlet of his 
** Religious Freedom in Japan," addressed to **His Ex- 
cellency Saneyoshi Sanjo, prime minister in his imperial 
majesty's government," a finely written plea for a ** relig- 
ious charter for the empire of Dai Niphon," (Japan). In 
this he says that ** Matters of conscience and religious 
faith" are to be ** determined only by reason and con- 
science, not by force and violence. No man or society 
has any right to impose his, or its, opinions or interpreta- 
tions on any other in religious matters, since every man 
must be responsible for himself." He speaks of ** avoid- 
ing for our nation the misery which the experience of the 
world shows has followed state patronage of any form of 
religion," and asks that all religions shall be free, none 



2o6 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 

» 

interfered with, none have special privileges or favors, 
** and no action which may promote religious animosity 
be allowed within the realm." 

His dissent from state endorsement of any religion, 
Pagan or Christian, is clear, but he speaks of Christianity 
in most respectful and friendly terms. 

I visited him a second time, and the two hours were 
filled with earnest and interesting conversation, in which 
I gained much information. 

Not wishing to catechise him personally, I put this 
question : What are the religious opinions of those with 
whom you associate ? This, I thought, would bring an 
answer with an idea of the views and thoughts of the 
educated class of his people. He took the question to 
himself and replied : 

** Your Christian ministers have given me views which 
I prize highly. In the writings of Confucius and Buddha 
is much I find good, and our old Sintoo religion, the 
faith of our people, has truths also. I look over the 
whole ground,' and looking upward expressively," he 
added, **What a man believes is between his own soul 
and the powers above." In all this there was no flippancy 
but the free and reverent attitude of a seeker for light and 
truth. He said that while there was little religious persecu- 
tion in Japan he wanted the government to guarantee and 
protect the equal rights of all and %\\q privileges to none. 
We parted in friendly spirit, and I hold in high esteem and 
respect that gifted man, catholic in the large sense, Jugoi 
Arinori Mori. 



A HINDOO BOOK — PEARY CHAND MITTRA. 

A pamphlet of 200 pages printed in Calcutta — ** Spiritual 
Stray Leaves, " by Peary Chand Mittra, — is before me. Its 
author was a Hindoo merchant in Bombay, the details of 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVEXTY YEARS, 2oy 

whose large business were managed by his sons, that his 
own time might be mainly devoted to thought and study 
on religious subjects. He passed away a few years ago 
at the age of seventy, and this book was published in 
1879. ^t is of special value as the effort of a Hindoo to 
interpret the old faith of his native land and give the real 
significance of usages and opinions with which he was 
familiar. His own views give an interesting and sug- 
gestive idea of the moral and spiritual culture of an 
accomplished modern Hindoo, a free and reverent 
thinker. 

He is versed in ancient lore, and familiar with modern 
thought and literature, as his apt quotations from Euro- 
pean and American religious and scientific works show. 

The Psychology of the Aryas and Buddhists, God in 
the Soul, The Spirit-land, Soul-Revelations in India, 
Ancient Culture of Hindoo Women, and like topics, are 
treated. Going back to Vedic days he finds no caste, no 
transmigration of souls, but a high theism — an ethical 
and spiritual conception of a supreme and infinite Intelli- 
gence. The Upanishad says: ** Adore as Brahma the 
spirit who abides in the soul. . . . The thoughtful, know- 
ing what is eternal, do not pray for anything mundane," 
Says Peary Chand Mittra : **The constant devotion of 
Arya thought to Deity promoted spiritual culture ; and 
the soul when touched presented to many a Rishi psy- 
chological revelations, which not only prevented the 
growth of materialism and sensualism, but opened a vast 
field of idealism and spiritualism. . . . The most important 
teaching of the Aryas is that God is in the soul, and that 
the soul is the reflex of God. Its progression is gradual 
but endless. An old text says: ** Those who wish to 
know God see Him in their souls by governing the 
external and internal organs of sense by spiritual medi- 
tation, long suffering and internal tranquillity. 

The Aryas aimed at the splendor of the soul— thus 



20? UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 

ignoring empiricism and agnosticism, and anticipating 
the teachings of the Bible — * TJie Kingdojn of God is 
within you. ' " 

The Buddhist nirvana he holds not to be extinction or 
absorption, but a spiritual state^ an illumination higher 
than that of the senses — and this is held as. the original 
meaning of the word nirvana. 

On the subject of immortality we are told : *' The con- 
viction of the immortality of the soul was most vivid (in 
Vedic days). The recognition of the intervention of 
disembodied spirits and the offering of funeral cakes to 
the pitris presuppose the existence of the spirit land. 

**In the Rig Veda the mission of disembodied spirits 
* is to protect the good, to attend the gods, and to be like 
them. . . . On the paths of the fathers are eight and eighty 
thousand patriarchal men (spirits) who turn back to sow 
righteousness and succour it' Spirits were thought to 
hold communion with mortals, to spiritualize them grad- 
ually and thus extend the kingdom of God." 

In the Mahabharata, Veyas, a Saint, by force of his 
spiritual power, gave to a Hindoo prince, born blind, 
inner vision. At night, on the sacred banks of the 
Ganges, the spirits descended to him. His wife, Gand- 
hari, seeing her sons, was thrilled with joy. The sinless 
spirits, free from pride, spoke with mortals — wives, 
mothers, fathers, and friends. No grief nor fear. Happily 
passed the night, and at dawn the celestial visitors 
ascended. 

Of his own experience, our author says : **Any person 
really anxious to be spiritual is assisted by spirit friends, 
a fact I know from personal experience. The visits of 
spirits do not solely end in the external manifestations 
which they make to produce a conviction of their exist- 
ence. Such manifestations are the first stage of spiritual 
experience. The real work is to spiritualize those qual- 
ified to receive their aid, and the providence of God is 



upi(^a/;d stefs of seventy yeaks. 209 

clearly appreciated as we rise to a higher state. When 
divine effulgence is in the soul, creeds appear in their 
true colors. They are the outcome of some state of the 
sentient soul or mind, but not of the soul real or tranquil, 
which trauscends all creeds. Hence we should make 
large allowance for those who propagate or follow creeds ; 
they do not possess the splendor within ; they mistake 
darkness for light, or shadow for substance." 

The limit of space forbids farther quotations, hut these 
give a glimpse of the tine insight, the spiritual culture, the 
research and range of knowledge and the illuminated 
wisdom of Peary Chaiid Mittra, 

He was a Unitarian in his clear thought of the Divine 
unity. No educated man among the Hindoos has avowed 
any faith in the evangelical Trinitarian doctrine. With 
the Brahmo Somaj movement he was familiar and largely 
in unity. He was a spiritualist in the modern sense of 
the word, his personal experience for twenty years made 
spirit-presence familiar, and he vras fully versed in Ameri- 
can Spiritualism. 

Foreign interpreters of Hinduism have done us great 
service, but there is signal value in this native interpre- 
tation of the old faiths by one so gifted and discerning. 
His afiirmations are never dogmatic, but always clear 
and high. In these days of agnostic doubt we can turn 
to this oriental thinker for light and warmth touching the 
truths of the soul. 

Whenever one is deeply absorbed in any line of thought 
or research, all truths and facts, all ideas and principles 
in that line, seem to come to him like servants obedient 
to his call, — a strange rapport reaches over the world, 
through the ages, and beyond the stars, by which what 
he needs and calls for comes, ready to serve that part of 
his nature open to its service. 

How wonderful is Darwin's mastery of Ihefacts bearing 
OQ Evolution I Won by patient study ? Vra ; but won 



3IO UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

because his mind instinctively reached out into unknowi 
paths, and met the truths he sought coming to him liK? 
helping friends. Yet his analytical mood and methi 
while it gai'e him mastery of physical facts, did not 
his soul to interior ideas, and so he saw the external, 
saw matter and force and law, not mind and design. 

In the neat future, with our minds open to the inner life 
of things, we shall be receptive of more light, and shall 
reach still greater ends. I have heard with pleasure two 
series of lectures on Oriental Religions by accomplished 
scholars, liberal clergymen, both of whom passed with 
slighting haste the beautiful stories of angel help in Brah- 
mintc and Buddhist days, seeing no significance in them. 
"Having eyes they see not," must we say? Chand 
Mittra had anointed eyes, and saw far more in like 
incidents which he relates. 

Renan and his like wonid reject all " improbable 
impossible" Bible narrations, and interpret this so : 
sweep aside "the gifts of healing," the ange! visitants 
and the visions of seers and prophets which blind science 
cannot understand. This interpretation will go to the 
moles and bats, and a new glory will shine around these 
significant narrations. So will every page of history be 
read in a new light 

PRESIDENT GRAKT AND EOJOtniNER TRUTH. 

I knew Sojourner Truth more than forty yeare ago 1 
New England. She was then 70 years old, but seemedj 
hardly beyond the prime and glory of her womanhood.^ 
In those days Harriet Beecher Stowe described her « 
'■'the Lybian Sibyl," gifted with prophetic insight, i 
tall and erect like a strong and graceful African palm 
She would do more housework of the heaviest kind t 
two ordinary women, and yet be one of ihe best watchers 
by a sick-bed at nigbt. A sick man she lifted to the best 
place on his bed as easily and tenderly as a mother would 



like 
.s to V 



UPWARD STEPS OF SE VENTY YEARS. 2 1 1 

lift her baby, and the touch of her hand smoothing the pillow 
and stroking the fevered brow was health and quiet, while 
her word, "There, honey, you's easier now," had a strange 
power to ease and calm. 

Untrained in grammar or rhetoric, never able to read or 
write, there was a quaint disregard for set rules of speech 
in her public and private discourse, but no fine rhetori- 
cian could make his meaning plainer and few could equal 
her in power of expression or exuberance of imagery. 
A few years after the close ot the civil war I went with her 
to the Senate reception-room in the Capitol at Washington. 
She stood beneath the centre of its arched ceiling and the 
deep look of her wonderful eyes seemed to take in the 
beauty of pictured forms and glowing colors on its walls, 
as she said : *' Dis is like the pictured chambers of de 
New Jerusalem dat dey read about in de Book." Then she 
looked out of the window and saw the poor huts of the freed 
people not far away, and said in tender tones ; ** But they 
don^t have dem over there." A great gospel of divinity 
and of tender humanity seemed spoken in two brief sen- 
tences. 

It was my fortune to meet General Grant a few times 
before and after he became president. 

The story of an interview between these two remark- 
able persons will help to a higher sense of their merits. 

In the winter of 187 1-2 I spent some time in Washington, 
and about midwinter learned that Sojourner Truth was in 
the city. Had I not known her ways this would have 
been a surprise, for the long winter's journey from her 
home at Battle Creek, in the centre of Michigan, was a 
serious undertaking for a woman near her hundredth birth- 
day. But I knew that she always went **as the Good 
Spirit told her, " and that some strong feeling of duty to 
be done led her to the capital city. Her way opened not 
long after for some good service among the freedmen at 
the hospitals. I soon went to see her, and she said with 



212 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVEI^TY YBASS. 

great earnestness : "1 believe de good Lord sent yoi 
for you are de very one I wanted to see." Asking whal 
was specially wanted, she said : " I want to see 
President, and you can get me there. '' I told her that 
easier said than done, but I would try, and the next da; 
wrote a note to him, saying she wished to see him at 
some fit time, took it to the White House, sent it in to the 
business office, and a verbal message soon come baclj 
that any morning would suit. 

In a few days Sojourner, with two ladies, a venerable 
friend of Quaker birth and myself, went to meet the 
appointment, and I sent in a card, "Sojourner Truth and 
friends," which brought back in a half hour a messenger 
to escort us to President Grant's office. He sat at the end 
of a long table in the centre of the room, with documents 
piled before him, and just closing an interview with other 
persons. I stepped forward to introduce the party and 
to bring Sojourner beside the table. She had met Pres- 
ident Lincoln, and he, a born Kenluckian, could call her 
"Aunty" in the old familiar way, while Grant, though 
kindly, was reticent, and all was not quite easy at iirst 
But a happy thought came to her. Not long before the 
President had signed some bill of new guarantees of justice' 
to the colored people. She spoke of this with gratitude ; 
the thin ice was broken, and words came freely from 
both, for he was an easy and fluent talker, but had the 
wisdom of silence until the fit time came to speak. 

Standing there, tall and erect, stirred in soul by the 
occasion, her wonderful eyes glowed as she thanked 
him for his good deeds, and gave wise counsel in her 
own clear and quaint way. 

Her words were full of deep power and tenderness, and. 
he listened with great interest and respect, and told hi 
that he " hoped always to be just to all, and especialli 
to see that the poor and defenceless were fairly treated.' 
His manner told how much his heart was touched, 



I 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 213 

his softened tones showed how "the bravest are the ten- 
derest" She told him that his tasks and trials were 
appreciated, and that much faith was placed in his up- 
right doing of duty to the oppressed. 

Only great souls can comprehend true greatness, and 
these two understood each other. Nothing in the illustri- 
ous career of General Grant gave me a fuller sense of his 
largeness of heart and mind than his unpretending sim- 
plicity in this interview, while the fine and simple dig- 
nity of Sojourner Truth also gave me a fuller sense of 
her large womanhood. She said to him : '*I have a little 
book here that I call my book of life. A good many 
names are in it, and I have kept a place on the same 
page with Lincoln's for you to write your name.'' He 
replied : ** I am glad to put it there," and wrote his auto- 
graph in her precious little book. She then said : **It will 
do me good for you to have my photograph," and with 
evident pleasure he thanked her and selected one from 
several laid on the table. 

The conversation had lasted beyond the usual time, 
others were waiting their turn, and the proper time came 
to leave. The President rose from his chair and gave 
Sojourner his hand with a parting word of good will. 
This mutual respect between the President of a great 
republic and a woman born a slave and representing an 
oppressed people was admirable and inspiring. 

JOHN BROWN. 

** For, whether on the scaffold high, 
Or in the battle's van, 
The fittest place for man to die 
Is where he dies for man.** 

The story of the interview between President Grant and 
Sojourner Truth calls to mind some earlier experiences at 
the opening of the great contest which overthrew chattel 
slavery. The year before the civil war a serie§ of mobs 



ai4 UPWAKB STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

swept along from Albany to Michigan, — the last in Am 
Arbor, where I was speaking for an Independent Societjr; 
out of which has since grown the Unitarian Society 
University town. An Anti-Slavery Meeting was called 
our Quaker meeting-house, to be addressed mainly by 
Parker Pillsbury and Mrs. Josephine S.Griffing. In those 
days the demon of slavery writhed as though foreseeing 
it was soon to be cast out Wrath rose high, especially 
among such University students as were pro-slavery, and 
who hicited and led the mob. At last, in the evening'; 
came the crisis — shouts and threats, a fight or tw 
the surging crowd, students prominent in llie riot, 
dows and benches broken, stove-pipes down, and the 
occupants of the platform making their exit from the 
windows, as the crowd made any other way impossible, 

The next day a delegation of students came with 
offer to march armed, a hundred strong, to the house, 
said : "Come without arms," and they did right bravelyi 

We repaired the damages in part, and had a grand ai 
quiet meeting, the searching words of Pillsbury gladly' 
heard, the good town aroused and indignant, the better 
nature of some of the riotous students awakened, their 
leader soon after becoming a brave officer in the Union 
army, his soul in the great contest, and he, "in Ihe- 
battle's van," dying "for man." j 

The day on which John Brown was to "die for man^ 
on a Virginia scaffold came some months before this 
mob. I waited until the afternoon of the preceding day, 
hoping some steps might be taken for a public meeting 
which had lieen talked of. and then had handbills scat- 
tered about the town, with the heroic verse at the head of 
this article for a mono, advertising an afternoon meeting 
in the Court House, to be addressed by myself and others 
—hoping others might take part. Going to the place at 
the hour named I found the spacious hall packed, and 
crowds outside tin^ble to find room, The best people of 



I 



the 
lie. J 

Iter ■ 



^f in , 

I 



UPWARD STEPS OF' SEVENTY YEARS. 215 

the town were there, best in character as well as eminent 
in position and influence. The feeling was deep and 
earnest — a sense that a tempest must soon burst over 
the wide land, a readiness to meet its wrath. I spoke an 
hour and a half, and invited others to speak, hut none 
did, although several were called for by the audience. 
There was no applause, the feeling was too deep, but 
waves of the silent and intense emotion which had filled 
the verj' air for days seemed to sweep from heart to 
heart 

In those days we had tried to show that while labor was 
enslaved at one end of the land, it could not be justly 
honored in the other, and therefore the workingman 
should be an abolitionist 

It is told of Stephen S. Foster, that he once made that 
argument to a body of laborers who stood, clubs in hand, 
in the aisle of a New England church, where they went 
to mob him, so effectively that they listened quietly and 

leartily approved his views. 

ery has none and labor has been uplifted. A rise of 

wenty per cent, in wages from i860 to 1880, with lio cor- 
responding rise in the cost of the necessaries of life, is a 
phenomenon unknown before in the world, and our enor- 
mous increase in wealth of developed natural resources, 
and in products of farm and factory, during the same time, 
was never before equalled in any land. This great and 
phenomenal uplifting of labor and increase of wealth, 
closely followed our flinging off the incubus of slavery, 
and showed the upward step and quickening life of 
freedom. We have labor unions and other like organ- 
izations, impossible in the days of slavery when no 
money was saved to pay the costs of such great move- 
ments. We have a new sense of stewardship among the 
rich, — larger gifts for libraries and like efforts for the 
people's good by men like Andrew Carnegie and J.elan^ 
Stanfor4 of California, 



ai6 



UFIVAKD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



Not that we are by any means perfect; but under I 
freedom fraternity gains, as aristocracy grew proud, and [ 

despised labor under slavery. 

The upward path of the people is easier than was pos- 
sible when men and women were sold with cattle and 
horses on the auction block, and scourged and hunted 
with bloodhounds. 



MRS. SVBrL LAWRENCE^ — A LII 

These reminiscences of Ann Arbor call to mind a woman 
whose presence was light and peace, whose kindness 
never failed, and whose moral courage was high and 
constant, yet tempered by a sweet spirit that conquered I 
all prejudice. When a regiment of soldiers on their way ' 
to southern battlefields, needed food as they marched 
through the town, Mrs. Lawrence led a company of 
women into the street and stood with them by the way- 
side until every soldier was refreshed ; and if the stricken 
family of a fallen soldier ever needed help and solace, 
she was ready with effective aid and blessed words. 

In her home, with family and friends, she was the 
centre of noble and gentle influence, the industrious 
worker and care-laker in homely household tasks. 

She would walk serenely to the plain Quaker meeting ' 
house, where our Independent Society m.el each Sunday, 
and which was thought the hot-bed of all heresies. 

Her presence graced the unpopular anti-slavery meet- 
ings, and she stood steadfast for woman's suffrage, and for 
co-education in the University, then warmly discussed a 
opposed by conservatives ; yet those in the orthodox 
churches loved and reverenced her as a saint, and she w 
sought for and welcomed at fine social gatherings of the ' 
^hionable sort All hearts were won by her grateful 
recognition of the good which she found in all, and by a 
graciousness of manner void of nil pride and frankly 
sincere, which gave a fine charm to a beautiful and com- 
manding person. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 217 

She was the prophetess of coming womanhood, — 
serenely fearless and self-reliant, ready for all kindly and 
useful acts, wise and tender and true. Surely she had 
place among the world's light -bringers. 

HELPFUL INFLUENCES GREAT AWAKENINGS. 

Every life has its epochs and eras, all unknown to the 
world but all important to the individual. 

"My mind to me a kingdom is," sang the poet, and 
these marked and decisive hours shape the destiny of that 
kingdom. 

So far as our outer life is concerned we realize that : 

" There is a tide in the affairs of men 
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune." 

Sometimes that realization comes by catching the flood- 
tide, sometimes by being stranded in the ebb, and some- 
times we can look back and see how the currents, slightly 
diverged at first, set far apart. 

Once, in my early manhood, a correspondence led me 
very near to going South as tutor in a planter's family. 
Had I gone my career might have been like that of others 
from New England, — a family tutor, a favorite in society, 
accepting slavery as a matter with which fanatics must 
not interfere, and finally the husband of some slave- 
owner's fair daughter. 

Settled in life, tangled in the meshes of custom, with the 
politicians guarding ** the peculiar institution," and the 
clergy preaching ** cursed be Canaan," and saying with 
Rev. W. S. Plummer, D.D. : "If the abolitionists will set 
the country in a blaze it is but fair that they should have 
the first warming at the fire," I might have been swept 
along, trying to believe that I believed all this, looking up 
to Calhoun and not to Garrison, and fighting for the stars 
and bars. Some small thing, like a sunken stick or a 
stone in a little brook, turned the tide, and th^ current h^ 
$et far jn another direction, 



2i8 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 

So, too often, men drift, but a strong man stands and 
buffets and turns the tide — as a great rock in river or sea 
makes the waters sweep far over the shore and wash 
away the driftwood that the land may be fair and fruitful. 

To the inner life of all who really live, come influences 
that give cast and hue to thought, and mould character ; 
and a few great awakening hours, radiant with "the light 
that never was on land or sea." 

In my youth I had four friends, near and dear, four 
young women, somewhat older than myself. They were 
alike in nobility of character, unlike in their varied ex- 
cellenies. Good sense and delicate humor, fine wisdom 
apd ready wit, made the hours I spent with them valuable 
as well as delightful. They were country girls, not 
unused to household tasks in the kitchen, and never 
shirking their share of needed work, but duty and beauty 
were close allied in their lives. They read and thought 
and talked well, and could find some other expression 
besides **so lovely" for what they admired. They spoke 
'*pure English undefiled " by any such slang or cant as 
one hears, even in our **best society," and talked witK' 
an ease graceful because natural. Familiar as we were, 
I always looked up to them as to stars in the pure sky. 
For years we have not met. I know not that they are 
all on earth, but I know that their influence greatly helped 
me. 

That aw^akening hour, more than forty years ago, when 
I sat alone in a quiet chamber and read the last page of 
'* Barclay's Apology for the people called Quakers" is 
remembered as though it were but yesterday. 

It was borne in upon me then, as never before, that 
*' the word of God within " is above all creeds or books, 
and obedience to "the inward witness" more than all 
forms or ceremonies, and that : 

The outward symbols disappear 
From him wl^ose inward sight is cl^sMTt 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEAKS. 



rThe first hearing of Theodore Parker in the Boston 1 

Melodeon stands clear as a wave of light to-day. A true I 

man with a living soul, as devoutly reverent as he was | 

deeply hi earnest, and with his whole heart in every word, I 

stirred the souls of his hearers. They felt that reason and I 

conscience and intuition must be free, that the mind and ] 

soul of man must judge all books and creeds. It was a I 

Pentecostal season. Ever since the great truths of the I 

Bible have had more weight and higher significance to I 

me than before, for its errors do not dim their light or I 

wealien their power. That hour in the Melodeon broke I 

I the last fetters. 1 
An awakening day also was that in Boston when I first 

heard Garrison and Phillips, Burleigh, Abby Kelley and I 

others, at a great anti-slavery meeting. J 

It came like an electric thrill to a paralytic, the be- j 

numbed heart and mind were stirred to feeling and life 1 

by words vivid as the lightning's flash, strong as the rat- I 

tling thunder, and then soft and tender as the breath of ] 

an ^olian harp. I awoke to fit realization of the horrors I 

of chattel slavery, the supineness and guilt of its sup- I 

porters in church and State all over the land, the danger of I 

its continuance and the pressing duty of its abolition. I 

Dauntless courage, flaming eloquence, startling plain- I 

ness of warning and rebuke, devotedness to the cau.se of fl 

the poor and friendless, the tide of strong and free 1 

I thought, sweeping away all barriers of sect and party, I 

^^^^ holding man as more than constitutions, and righteous I 

^^^P deed above all written creed, moved and possessed me as I 

^^^R by some healthful enchantment, awakened high enthu- I 

^^^1 siasm, and changed the current of my thought and 1 
^^1 life. 

^^^H Years later the hearing of that tiny rap at the house of I 

^^^^M Isaac Post in Rochester lighted up my soul with a gleam I 

^^^H of supernal glory. It was so little and yet promised so I 
^^^Lipucb, aud jrears have well ful&lled that promise. ^<>'«^3^J 



i 



VFIVARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



^ 



like the click of a key opening the door into a palace fair 

and grand beyond imagination, where dwelt the bright 
iminorlals. Thai glimpse seemed loo bright to be real, 
was it not illusive? Reason and experience must test 
^at and it stood the test. Life "over there " is more real 
chan here. Gleams of celestial radiance light the path- 
way of the spirit on earth. Spirit commuiiion is normal 
to the open soul. The world will be the belter for it. 

Those illuminated hours were epochs, opening new 
eras in my life. Surely they were helpers and light- 
bringers. For the coming of such hours we must mingle 
with our fellows, bear our share of the world's burthens 
and do our share of its work, 

A strange and sad story, which cantie across the ocean 
fifty years ago, was that of Casper Hauser,— a young 
man found in a European dungeon, where he had been 
immured from childhood for some mysterious political 
reason ; a creature under a spell, to whom no awakening 
bad ever come ; a man in stature but a babe in helpless- 
ness, his soul and senses strangers iu a realm they were 
made to act and serve, and live and grow in. Better the 
rude savage, with the promise and potency for better 
things and the world open before him, than such a dead- 
and-alive victim in a prison. Dungeons of unnatural 
custom and creed make us Casper Hausers. Give us God's 
freedom, and a wide world to grow in, opening to better 
things. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS 221 



CHAPTER VII. 

SPIRITUALISM — NATURAL RELIGION. 

** Then shall come the Eden-days, 
Guardian watch from seraph-eyes, 
Angels on the slanting rays, 
Voices from the opening skies." 

Efn^son. 

To have seen the rise, to have taken part in the prog- 
ress, to have witnessed the victory of the anti-slavery 
movement was a great privilege. Stirred by a noble 
enthusiasm in that moral warfare, Whittier said to Gar- 
rison ; 

** My soul leaps up to answer thine. 
And echo back thy words, 

As leaps the warrior's at the shine 

And flash of kindred swords." 

Glorious and inspiring are the memories of those days, 
and of kindred reforms. 

Another great privilege has been mine : — to have wit- 
nessed the rise, to have taken part in the progress, and to 
see the good results of modern Spiritualism. 

These great movements are alike in their uplifting in- 
fluence, and one opened the way for the other. The first 
was a trumpet-blast, stirring heart and soul to help the 
helpless and to overthrow a giant wrong. 

The last is a great wave of spiritual light, opening the 
high heavens to our sight, bringing us near to our 
ascended friends, awakening the life within, opening 
the way for self-knowledge and self-reverence, for nat- 
ural religious growth, and wise practical reforms. 



j!2 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

All superstitious dread of ghosts is banished, all super- 
natural miracles are ended, and all facts come under the 
reiy;n of law. No being in heaven or earth can so 
bear the burden of our sins as lo atone for us and lessen 
our responsibility, but we must worn out our own salva- 
tion, helped to help ourselves by good men and angels. 
The horizon broadens, and is filled with golden light and 
warmth. We need not prepare to die, for there is no 
death, but can prepare to hve. 

It is an immense influence, deep and wide-spread, 
making the future life near and real. Its imperfections 
are inevitable in the study and thought of a matter so 
great and so new to us. Its end will be that man will 
learn to walk in the pathway of the spirit, and so gaiu in 
open and illuminated vision, in harmony of culture and 
development, and in fitness for a higher and larger life ou 
earth, and a brighter pathway to the skies. 

The rational study of Spiritualism includes a study of 
the inner life of man. No scientist or religious truth- 
seeker can be well prepared for hit work without this re- 
search and thought Neglecting or slighting them the 
ablest and best wander in a blinding haze, and " having 
eyes see not." The coming religion demands this study 
and is to rest on this spiritual basis, which alone endures. 
Those who neglect it will drift out of sight like floodwood. 

Supernal intelligences guide it human imperfections 
mar it, but it has helped many weary and waiting souls, 
and given light and strength to many noble lives. Its 
work has only begun, but it is already world-wide. 

The early Christians were called atheists. Forty years 
ago the abolitionists were misunderstood and misused, 
tlieir work only "a rub-a-dub agitation in country school- 
houses," as the great Daniel Webster said. The few who 
\ still live on earth are now justly appreciated. In due 
e the mists will clear away and the faithful advocates 
I of Spiritualism will win just « 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 223 

The preoccupied and the thoughtless, who fail to see 
the light will wait until they cannot avoid it. Pharisees 
and blind bigots seem strong to-day, but will be weak 
to-morrow. 

The great German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, in- 
tuitively foresaw spirit communion. A century ago he 
said: 

*' There will come a day when it will be demonstrated 
that the human soul throughout its terrestrial existence 
lives in a communion, actual and indissoluble, with the 
immaterial natures of the world of spirits ; that this world 
acts upon our own, through influences and impressions, of 
which man has no consciousness to-day, but which he 
will recognize at some future time.*' His prophecy is 
being fulfilled. 

The spiritual movement, wnth its facts, awakening 
thought, and quickening intuition, its science and philos- 
ophy, its religious element, sweeter and nobler than the 
supernaturalism of the sects, is a proof and result of 
the spiritual development of man. Its full power and 
meaning we fail to see. Under its sway, what breadth to 
the idea of man's being and destiny ! Its seers and 
teachers tell us that far back, when the first life stirred on 
this planet, the forces of nature worked in one direction, 
toward the evolution of man, not merely as a physical 
being, but as an heir of immortality. This carries us into 
an illimitable future, not of dread despair or the monotony 
of eternal and changeless adoration, but of celestial use- 
fulness, and growth in wisdom and harmony. Of that 
future we get such glimpses that we know our friends still 
live, and know us and love us, and can sometimes even 
come to us. 

Since 1852 I have been a believer in manifestations of 
spirit-presence tangible to the senses and verifying the 
soul's intuitive faith. I not only believe, but / know. 
All this was contrary to my wish or expectation at the be- 



UPfVARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

[ ginning. I have been compelleii to yield to resistless 
I proofs, or to l)e aiitrue to my own convictions and go 
I through my earthly life a craven soul with sealed lips. 
J During forty years I have attended hundreds of seances, 
} from Maine to Missouri, .sometimes with plain and trust- 
worthy people and a sprinkling of knaves and simple- 
tons, and sometimes with men and women of eminent ] 
wisdom and of world-wide fame. 

I have found a great body of solid fact and c 
truth. I have also found honest self-deceplion folly and 
\ depravity — useless chaff anil poisonous tares mingled with 
the wheat, but a healthful, winnowing going on. 

In the soul is the sense of sublimity and beauty. 
Mountain and ocean, rose and violet, respond to it and 
are needed by it In that mi^crocosmic soul is the sense 
of immortality, primal and lasting. Is it not helped in its 
growth by these extemal facts? We pity the blind who 
iss nature's beauty. Do not the spiritually blind n 



Coming home from a year's stay in Milwaukee in 1850 
we found Ueiijamiu and Sarah D. Fish, the parents of my 
wife, in Rochester, New York, among the eariiest investi- 
gators. We could not doubt their integrity, and knew 
?ir intelligence and freedom from credulity. New wt 
rs were revealed, and I waited for months in vain I 
Mr solution, having no faith in their alleged spiritual ' 
origin, and not caring to spend time in trying to solve the , 
mystery. My friend Isaac Post said lo me : " I want thee 
to come to our house to-night. Last night we had a circle, 
and it was rapped out that thee must come to-morrow and 
would hear the raps. I started out, on a cold December 
evening, for a long walk to his house. Reaching there I 
found the two mediums, the family, and two or three 
others whom I knew, and we sat around the table. For 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY VEARS. 225 

an hourtiot a rap was heard, and no manifestations came. 
All were disappointed, and we left the table. Isaac said ; 
"Perhaps thee may get a message yet. Sometimes they 
come when we are not sitting at the table." I ivaited a 
while and then put on my overcoat to go, but was urged 
to stay a little longer. At last, with coat buttoned, and 
cap and gloves on, I stood with one hand on the door- 
knob and said ; " I must go, for the M'alk is long. I am 
sorry, for your sake as well as for my own, that these 
spirits don't keep their promise." Just then Isaac said; 
"Listen ! " and surely there came strange noises. From 
under a bureau in the far corner of the room the raps were 
heard, with that singular quality of sound, indescribable 
yet marked, which distinguishes them from any rap by 
hand or implement Threip raps were repeated several 
times. I asked what to do, and was told to ask some 
question. What I asked is out of mind, but ready and 
correct answers came in such a way as to show an intel- 
ligent personality distinct and separate from any in our 
bodily forms. Soon came a peculiar series of raps, and I 
was told it meant good-night and I would get no more. 
In vain I questioned farther, no response came, and I 
started homeward. 

It was very simple, but very wonderful. It seemed 
like a summons to look farther, bringing to mind the New 
Testament injunction : "Ask and ye shall receive, . . . 
knock and it shall be opened unto you." I was not per- 
turbed or alarmed, and asked my questions as quietly as I 
would address a familiar friend. I knew the persons and 
the house, and felt sure that this was no work of theirs. 
One of the mediums was in a distant room, and the other 
sat quietly near me. I came to no hasty conclusion, but 
felt that here were facts to be looked at Walking home 
it semed as though I had caught gleams of white radiance 
from some supernal region, yet it might be the glamour 
'5 



226 



OFWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



of some illusion. The fact of intelligent responses 
strangely stirred me. 

I followed up this matter, endeavored to judge fairiy, 
never to accept anything contrary to reason and con- 
science, and to be sure that what 1 saw or heard would 
stand the teat of close scrutiny. The gaining knowledge 
of facts is a scientific process; the thoughts and ideas 
which these facts suggest may lead to self-knowledge and 
illumination, and to the immortal life and the Infinite 
Spirit I 

If the knowledge of a fact of spirit-presence only 
gratifies a love of marvels, it is of trifling use, even 
I 'worse than useless sometimes ; if it awakens heart and 
I mind to truer life it is priceless. 

Nothing in established science, not Evolution, for in- I 
'stance, is more fidly proven than the reality of spirit 
presence and power. The Evolutionist well says ; 
e are the facts, account for them in some other way, 
:ept my theory." The Spiritualist says the same of 
his facts and his theory, and with equal pertinence, i 
■Other ways of accounting for the facts fail in both cases, 
and Evolution and Spiritualism, kindred truths, both gain 
I and both will conquer at last. 

HO«B EXPERIZNCES. I 

On the evening of Sept. 29th, 1851, at the house of I 
Benjamin Fish, he was present with his wife, and my wife j 
myself, her two brothers. Albert and George, a 1 
domestic, Ellen. Isaac and Amy Post and Leah Fish, the 
medium. We sat in full light two hours around the large 
dining-table. In writing m y questions I sat at the end of | 
the table with my hand shielded from the medium's sight, 
and wrote fir.st : "Will my sister communicate?" to j 
which three raps responded "Yes." I then asked ; " If ] 
names are written will she respond to her own ? " I wrote j 
I Mary, Emeline, Eliza, etc., indifferent ways, — raps re- I 



1 

ises ^^H 
:>uld ^^k 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 227 

spondingf repeatedly to the second name, which was 
right. In like manner my father's and mother's names 
were readily given, and that of William, my sister's son. 
The name of her husband, Alexander, was given, and he 
was, and is, on earth. His name purported to come from 
his wife in the spirit-world. I asked if father would rap 
once for each ten years of his age, and then give the 
fractional years ; when there came seven raps, slow and 
strong, one quicker and less decided, followed by a faint 
sound that seemed like a part of the last. His age was 
71 years and five months. Mother's age, 58, came in like 
way, and then my sister's was given as 29 years. I asked 
if this was right, and raps said yes. I said I thought not, 
but again came an emphatic response that it was. Here 
was a mistake ; she was thirty-one, as I well knew. It 
was the only incorrect answer, and the error seemed 
firmly fixed in the mind which was communicating. The 
age of her son William, eleven years, came right 

I asked mentally: ** Shall I speak in public on this 
subject ? " and the raps gave alphabetic reply : ** Yes, you 
will." Whether my questions were vocal, written or 
mental, made no difference in the readiness of reply. 

Messages also came to others present. When about 
half through the power seemed to weaken, word was 
rapped by alphabet, without our wish or expectation : 
*'Wait, dear child, until we repair our telegraph," and 
after a short silence all went on with new vigor. Father 
spelled out : ''Giles, I want you to weigh the impor- 
tance of these things, you will soon know more." I asked 
my sister : "Can you touch me ? " and the ready answer 
was : " If I had the power you would not ask me more 
than once " — all by alphabetic raps. The table was moved 
a foot or two several times, with our hands laid lightly 
on it. 

At the close I said : " Will you all rap farewell ? " and 
there came one loud rap, two less loud but distinct from 



n'A/!D STEPS O/: SEi'K.VTy YEARS. 



each other, and one very gentle, all repeated together. 

Then the unexpected final word: "But ni)[ farewell, 

dear son, forever." The raps claiming to come from these 

four persons were as distinct in quality and volume, and 

as readily distinguished, as so many voices. In a good 

circle this is usually the case. Intelligence of invisible 

persons, power, design, a sense of the real presence of 

those purporting to he with us, marked these two valua- 

^^^_ ble hours, as they have like seasons in the lives of many 

^^^^L thousands, far over oceans and continents. Alt were 

^^^H spiritualists except the two young men, and they frankly 

^^^E said they could not understand it 

■ At Lake Pleasant Camp Meeting in 1878, on the plat- 

form in presence of 3CXX1 people, J. F. Baxter described a 
I large man who passed away suddenly, a person of marked 
mental power and great weight of character. He turned 
to me earneslly and said: "Do you remember what I 
said to you at my house about Justice being done me over 
the other side f '' This question, asked as though Baxter 
spoke for the spirit, at once brought the scene alluded to 
vividly to my mind. I asked the name, and " Ward " was 
given. I asked the first name, and Mr. Baxter said, 
' ' Eber. " Five years before. Eber B. Ward of Detroit had 
a paralytic stroke, and his life was saved for a time by the 
vigilant skill of his sister Emily. About a fortnight after 
I was at his house and he was lying on the lounge in the 
sitting room, as we talked together. No others were pres- 
ent, nor did I ever tell what was said, save to my wife and 
I his sister, He spoke of his condition, said he expected to 
I get better, yelVnew that any excitement or mistake might 
I send him out of his bodily life any moment; that he 
I wished to stay for reasons affecting his family and others. 
"As for myself," said he, " I have no special anxiety, for 
■ 1 shall get justice over the other side, and even if it may 
1 be hard nobody ought to shirk from it, in this world, 
n any world. I am ready to meet it, there or here, 




UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 229 

and I can't see why I should be anxious about death." 

All this was years before and far distant. The name 
might have been known, but not our conversation. 

The thought of supernal realms full of the wealth and 
glory of angelic human Hfe, of the dear immortals of 
whom we may gain glimpses in hours of open vision, or 
whose presence we may feel and know, and of the Infinite 
presence, fills the soul with joyful reverence. These rich 
experiences lift and light up the whole being, and their 
memory lives and glows for long years. They are like 
sweet strains of music, brief because one could not hear 
them long and live in the body, yet no earthly melody so 
thrills the heart as these voices from the spirit-land. 

That thought, and these experiences, will be strong 
helps, needed in our day, to give us a basis for thinking, 
with a clear insight of the meaning of this universe, 
which goes beneath the external view of Nature, even to 
guiding mind as well as to the matter it guides. Thus 
the way will open for a deeper philosophy, which will 
undermine the shallow foundations of agnosticism, and 
lead our *' scientific method" to take in mind as well as 
matter, and so be more perfect, and in unity with natural 
religion. That deeper philosophy must come. 

Atone time when we were at tea with Mrs. Leah Under- 
bill and her husband, at their pleasant home in New York, 
as we sat at the tea-table in the basement, Leah (eldest 
daughter of the Fox family of Hydesville, N. Y.,) said : 
'* We are quiet and alone, suppose we sit and see what 
comes." She rang the bell and the servant came in and 
cleared off the table, leaving no cloth over its top. It 
was an extension table, pushed together with just room 
for four of us to sit around it. In a moment, after we 
were quiet, sitting under the gas-light (faint yet distinct) 
with our hands resting on the table, came a shower 
of raps on the ceiling, the walls, the floor, our chairs, 
and the table. Our persons were patted and touched, 



!30 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEAHS. 



T 

^^^m all at the same time, not one and then another, as I 

^^^K though invisible hands caressed us. Indescribably soft 

^^^V and delicate, and then distincl and emphatic, were the 

^^^B rising and falling waves of these thousand sounds min^- 

^^^H L'ng together, pulsing and thrilling through the air. 1 

^^^1 For five or ten minutes this lasted. Soon there came 

^^^1 from amidst these many sounds a few more distinct, and 

^^V these gradually came to be known as five raps, as well 

^^^ recognized as so many voices, and each known from all 

r the others. The other sounds did not wholly cease, but 

I would die away softly and then grow distinct, never 

^^H making confusion orobstructing the hearing of these five. 

^^^h My father, mother and sister, and our two children, pur- I 

^^^1 ported to give us messages, and vocal or mental ques- 

^^" tions were answered with like readiness, the messages 
alphabeticnlly given. Mrs. Underbill rapidly spelling out 
letters and words given by the raps. For more than an 

^^^p. hour this went on, every answer clear and correct, and i 

^^L the sweet pbi}- of tender emotion making all beautiful. 

^^^P At last came the good-bye message, and all was silent 

^^H Mrs. Underbill has never, since her present marriage, 1 

F taken pay for seances, and never sits save to gratify and j 

I help her many friends. I 

^^^ After being convinced by many tests, I cared less for | 

^^^ them, and aimed to know more of the philosophy of life I 

^^H to which they lead, and to learn that one's own interior ] 

^^r culture and illumination, the opening of the soul to spirit- I 

I communion, and the harmonious development of thought I 

I and life was the lesson these tests brought us. I 

I Yet good manifestations of spirit-presence and power I 

^^H are always commanding and attractive. I 

^^^H Theological and scientific bigots judge spiritualisn:i by 1 

^^^1 its follies and frauds ; judge the popular sects in Christ- I 

^^^1 endom in that way and we sink them, one and all. 1 

^^^1 "lower than plummet ever sounded." But they are not 1 
^^^^K jSO judged. Under froth and scum wc see the clear watcM 



^■pre 
^^ oft 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



and the sweep of strong waves. The truth of spirit- 
presence and power must be made a reality in the minds 
of the people, afact which they habitually accept. Scieiice 
must admit it, and religion gain new inspiration from its 
;ptance. This is the work of the spiritual movement. 
The people in the spirit-life see this world ripening for it 
working to the same end. 

fy years ago, in a pleasant parlor in Washington, 
^I sat with a group of some six persons, friends and 
itances. around a marble-top table, beneath the 

iright gaslight. On (he table was a sheet of blank print- 
ing-paper ; on the paper a plaiichette ; on that the finger- 

ps of a gentleman and two ladies. The gentleman was 
aterialist, and had never seen a planchette; the ladies 

■ere spiritualists; one of them mediumistic at home, 
of the ladies met the gentleman for the first time at 
lea-lable, an hour before, when the siance was lirst 
proposed. Said the gentleman, "This is all a puzzle to 
me. 1 don't know what this thing will do or write. One 
of these ladies can't move it alone, or with me, but when 
the other touches it, off it goes, and if we touch it with 
Jier it goes better." 

[ It wrote in a bold and legible hand. They had no idea 
'what was being written until it came, most of the mes- 
sages took us all by surprise and none were untrue. 
Whether the sitters looked on, or did not see the instru- 
ment, made little, if any, difference. The room of a 
United States Senator, not a spiritualist, was overhead, 
and his name was written, and a wish that he should 
come. He came, and a political prediction was made to 
him, which he thought very improbable, but which was 
verified in due time. For an hour or more this continued. 
The name, residence, and occupation of the spirit pur- 
porting to communicate with the Senator were given. 
None of us had ever heard of such a person, nor had 
he, but some weeks after we learned that a mari of that 



I 



■ 2J2 UPIVAKD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

|.'Qaine had filled the place a thousand miles distant, which 
e told this spirit occupied when in this life. 
Sometimes the intelligences purporting to be presenter 
guiding will say that strange things are done to awaken 
attention and interest. 

I In the life beyond, as here, are all grades of thought 
lOnd character, for we begin in that life where we leave 
off here, but with more to uplift us. 



At Sunapee Lake, N.II,, I nnet an awkward and difBdent 
;young man, who wished some of ns to see what might 
.come to him, We went, at midday, to a tent near the 
lake and sat around a bench at its front. A tin dish was 
scoured, clean, pure water brought from the lake, he 
rolled up his sleeves to the elbows and washed hands and 
arms with soap, rinsing thoroughly in pure water in the 
basin. A large kerosene iamp was lighted, and put on 
the bench, turned up to a fierce blaze ; he took hold of the 
hot glass chimney and took it off, and put his hands over 
and into (he strong flame which curled between his fingers 
and covered both sides of his hands. He was in his 
normal state, and was certsiiiily the only unconcerned 
person present, for it seemed as though he was running 
a terrible and foolish risk. Taking his hands out of the 
fearful heat he laid them in mine immediately. They 
were as cold as ice nearly lo the elbows, the arms above of 
natural warmth. Not a mark on the skin, not a hair on 
■the back of the hands singed, and in five minutes or less 
the icy cold gave way to a lifelike warmth, and no signs 
of the fiery ordeal were left. He said, in a simple way, 
that this was the spirit power of a boy he knew who was 
drowned. As clairvoyance is finer and further reaching 
than the sight of our dull eyes, so the chemistry of the 
spirit-world may be more subtle than any we can reach 
with our poor retorts and crucibles. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



233 



I once cleaned and fastened together by a stout string 
two slates with a bit of pencil between them, laid them 
on a lounge ten feet from any person, and in full day- 
light, sat at the table in the centre of the room with my 
wife opposite the medium, and no other person present. 
In a short time she brought the slates, I opening them 
to find an intelligent message written on the inside. 
Through all this the medium sat without touching or going 
near the slates. 

I have found mental, vocal, or written questions an- 
swered with equal readiness. I once occupied fifteen 
minutes in a circle of six or eight persons, asking mental 
questions and getting ready and correct answers, by raps 
and the motions of a light stand, while the medium and 
all others present were saying that the raps and motions 
came without any meaning or system. I knew their 
meaning, as did the invisible intelligence present, but 
they did not Did they read my mind ? This was at a 
farm-house, a daughter the medium, but only in private, 
and my questioning was just after the close of a seance, 
the rest having left the light stand and sitting near by, 
surprised that the raps and moving should go on in such 
an irregular and useless way. 

But we must not forget the scientific solution of Profes- 
sor Carpenter of England. Doubtless '* unconscious cer- 
ebration," cerebrated the loud raps, and "mental pre- 
possession " prepossessed the stand to rise in the air and 
swing to and fro. Certainly no popular scientist in the 
world has given a better solution. 

Possibly it might have been the devil, as some grave 
clergymen still insist. I do not wish to lose respect 
for learned scientists and pious divines, but am sorely 
afraid I shall unless they stop talking such nonsense. The 
verdict of Prof. A. R. Wallace, F. R. S., given after careful 
and patient investigation, is in refreshing contrast to these 
foolish notions. He says: ''It (Spiritualism) demon- 



23-t 



UPsvAf:D STtrs of seventy years. 



slrates mind without braiii, and iiUelligence disconnected | 

from a material body It furnishes the proof of a 

future life which so many crave, and for want of which I 
so many live and die in anxious doubt, so many in | 
positive disbelief" 

STRIKING PERSONAL DESCRIPTIONS. 

Being in one of our cities ou the Atlantic coast in May, | 
rSgo, I went to spend tJie night at the home of a friend ' 
whom I had known for years. His wife I had met a few 
times. I knew that she had some mediumistic gifts, but 
they were never sliown in my presence. At the time 
of this visit I expected nothing of the kind, as they 
were busy preparing for a long journey. The husband 
was not home from his office, and the wife came in 
soon after my arrival, met me in the parlor, and sat down 
by the window, talking pleasantly of daily affairs. She j 
soon said : " I see by you a Quaker woman. She says 
she thinks as much of you as ever. She is feeble from 
age, not disease, and her life on earth was marked by I 
a constant and remarkable benevolence." Other details J 
of description made me kiiow the person and ask her | 
name. It was given after some delay — other persons being 
described meanwhile — as "Amy Post, Rochester, New 1 
York," with a special personal message for me to cany I 
to one of her family. 

Before this a sister of mine had been so described that \ 
I knew her, and then her name, Emeline, given as having ' 
been in the spirit-world a long lime, which was correct 

A man of marked and pecuhar beauty was then de- 
scribed as wishing me to know him— tall, spare, of a fine J 
and delicate organization, in poor health, and thought of I 
by all who knew him, or heard him preach, as a saint — ] 
of heaven more than of earth. Then I was told : "His 
vas William Peabody, with a long middle name 
K J cannot get He preached in Springfield, Massachusetts," 



UPWARD STEPS OF SJiVENTY YEARS. 



ni 



It was a striking desLTiption, in person and character, of 
Rev. Wm. Oliver Bourne Peabody, of Springfield, and 
brought back the days when, as a child, 1 sat in our pew 
in the Unitarian church in my native place, with my dear 
patents and sister, and heard his words as though from 
an angel from heaven. He was a poet and scholar, a 
man rich in spiritual gifts, greatly loved and reverenced, 
and the fine touches of the description were very iuter- 
esting. 

1 had no thought of any of these, no expectation of any 
such experience. The lady was in a perfectly normal 
stale, and talked of other matters while giving these des- 
criptions, which filled less than an hour. When the hus. 
band came iu she told him what had happened, and the 
subject was dropped. She said she did not know of the 
existence of any of these persons; all this came to me 
as a welcome gratuity, and the word of these intelligent 
people is held good as gold among their many friends. 

I once sat down by the window of J. V, Mansfield's 
room on Sixth Avenue, New York, at noon, he being 
twenty feet away, wrote a letter to a friend as though he 
were still in the body, folded and sealed it, called Mans- 
field, who came and sat down before me, laid his left hand 
fingers over the letter (in blank envelope), took paper 
and pencil and rapidly filled a sheet, which he pushed 
across the table to me. It was a clear and consecutive 
answer to mine, signed by my friend's name, each point 
and question of my epislle answered in their order, and 
with allusions to distant persons and events, and plans 
not known to Mansfield, not consciously in my mind, 
and not all known lo me. Here was power and personal 
intelligence beyond the ken of eiiher of us. 

Not as lawless miracles, but as natural facts in accord 
with spiritual laws do these things take place. Do we 
know all the laws of the world of matter, and its con- 
trolUng and ipterior world of mind ? - 



236 UPWAKD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



H. W. Thomas, the wiJely-kiiowii preacher of 
I'eoples' Church in Chicago, said to his two thousaud 
hearers : 

" To me this doctrine of the spirit-life, the immanence 
and presence of helping and guiding spirits, is a comfort- 
ing thought. It brings me into Uie presence of the 
ionumerable host that people the spirit-land. It gives- 
me a consciousness of the great fact of immorUlity. It 
gives mc a sweet consciousness that my friends live on. 
the other shore, and that, to me, they will come as min- 
istering angels in the dying hour, to receive the spirit, 
weakened and pale, and bear it to the love and the life- 

[lu reply to the assertion that angelic ministry and help- 
in the affairs of this world cannot be, because so many 
do not know it, he well answered : 
"The earth turned on its axis and swept round the 
sun on its orbit for thousands of years, and man knew 
nothing of it" 
In 1878 I saw Mrs. E. C. Simpson in Chicago, a well- 
known medium. We were total strangers. My uncle, 
Calvin Stebbins, of Wilbraham, Mass., who passed away 
severaly ears before, had his name given and characteristic 
messages written out on the slate. One of these was : 
■' He thought, when on earth, that spirits went but did 
not come again." I did not know his views, but sup- 
posed him to be a spiritualist, knowing he had paid some 
attention to the subject. The next week I saw his wife, 
in Detroit, who said that he was not convinced of spirit- 
intercourse, but had a firm faith in immortality. She 
had never been in Chicago ; her husband had never seen 
the west, and she spends most of her time in New Eng- 
land. The message touching his views was correct, yel 
contrary to my Ihoughl and exptclalion. How could my 
mind have influenced it? One of these written messages 
was strikingly characteristie of the vigor and clearness 



>f the^l 



[ 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



departed kinsman : "I find no hell or baby's 
as we used to talk of. 1 find over here common- 
sense and justice. Each man makes his own destiny. 
God has not destined any one to heaven or hell. Ah ! 
Giles, the abyss is bridged, and we are fortifying the 
arches under the bridge, daily, daily." 

In ways widely varied, all grades of thought and cul- 
ture are reached. Manifestations of power come to strike 
and awaken the dut! and dead in spirit, and transcendant 
grandeur and beauty of thought and speech, stir and uplift 
the most gifted and discerning, while higher manifesta- 
tions of intelligence and power combined are the despair 
of science. 

With high respect for the critical care of skilled and 
fair-minded scientists, I have no respect for those who 
sneer at what they cannot solve, or for the ridiculous 
pride which assumes that none outside of professional 
scientific circles are competent investigators. Pride and 
bigotry are the same in professor or in priest 

PIANO MUSIC W[THOUT VISIBLE HANDS. 

In the parlor of a farm-house east of Lockport, New 
York, I was one of eight or ten persons, neighbors and 
friends of the family ; the medium Miss Brooks of Buffalo. 
It being afternoon the room was darkened, the piano I 
locked and put the key in my pocket, and it was pushed 
back betrveen the windows, the side on which were its 
keys close to the wall. We sat in a semicircle around it 
wkh hands joined. The medium sat near the end of the 
piano, next me on one side, and I held the hand, on the 
other side of a !ady, the only piano-player present For 
an hour, or more (with the instrument locked), we had 
wonderful music, sometimes the keys and then the wires 
being swept as by unseen fingers. Now the sounds came 
soft as the dying strains of an <Eolian harp, and then 
bursting and rattling like sharp thunder, creaking ajid 



jjS UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY VEAkS. 

pounding in what was called a shipwreck piece, with i 
violence which threatened to ruin the instrument. 

All the while Miss Brooks sat quiet, as did all the rest! 
This was in the dark, but several times in Washingtoi 
D. C, I sal close by the piano, in full light, when fineJ 
music came from its keys and strings which no ociej 
touched, the visible pianist swinging on his stool ^ 
his face away from the instrument 

That pianist, Jesse Shepard, purported to play under ' 
the guiding inspiration of famed musicians, and I took 
pains to ask a lady, not a spiritualist, but a truthful, 
musical critic, to sit near, and she pronounced his ■. 
renderings of difficult operas, which she asked for, abso-^g 
lutely perfect, and the large and brilliant company filling-B 
the parlors, were intensely interested. While he played, F 
or sal near, I saw the piano rise a foot in the air. andl 
drop down agani, several times, his whole person in myV 
sight, so that I knew he had no muscular part in its 

George W. Taylor of Lawton, Erie Co., New York, ! 
reliable witness, tells me of a company of people in thcH 
house of Mr. Cobb, a well known resident of Dunkirk, ( 
with Mrs. Swain of Buffalo, a medium, among them. J 
The piano was badly out of tune, and was rolled, as h-f\ 
unseen hands, from its place by the wall into the midstB 
of the circle. 

Then began what seemed a tuning process, the pianffi 
being closed, the trying of its chords, the snapping and] 
twanging of its strings going on for some forty minutes.l 
The next day an expert musician, a friend in the family,! 
called and Mrs. Cobb played. He exclaimed: "Why,.^ 
your piano is perfectly in tune, when was that done?" 
She told him when and how, at which he replied : 
"Nonsense." Mrs. Swain is not a musician. 

In these cases we find skill, wide range of musical,! 

expression, a high order of intelligent design, and finffj 

I music without any visible cause, -J 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



^39 



If not spirit-presence and power, as it claims to be, 
what is it ? 

A FACT BEYOND MIND-READING. 

This narration was given me by George W. Taylor. I 
well knew his brother Joseph and wife, and Humphrey 
Smith and wife, and have had the same facts from them. 
With the little village of Shirley, 25 miles south of Buffalo, 
New York, I am familiar. 

About 1858, Mr. Taylor was in the Shirley post-office 
when Humphrey Smith came in, took out a letter, opened 
it and began to read, and exclaimed, *'It is from brother 
Cornelius, his wife Lucetta is dead," and started for his 
house near by, the group of persons in the post-office 
hearing him and noticing his agitation, he being an elderly 
man of Quaker ways, well known and much thought of. 
Taylor started immediately for his brother Joseph's 
house, near by, and saw him, and his wife Mary, daughter 
of Humphrey and Deborah Smith, sitting in their open 
door. Mary had occasionally been a slate-writer, not 
knowing what she wrote, but had declared that she would 
write no more, for she said the spirits, if they were 
spirits, did not tell the truth. The object of George in 
going there was to get a test, and he asked her to hold 
the slate and let the writing come. She refused, but her 
husband laid it in her lap, and put a pencil on it. She 
still refusing to write, her hand was moved and the 
message written : ** Charles' letter has come. Aunt Lucetta 
is dead." They read this and she exclaimed : ** It is not 
true," and hastily rubbed it out Again, and as though 
forced to it, she wrote the same message and again rubbed 
it out indignantly. Just then George saw Deborah Smith, 
coming over the brook with the letter in her hand, and 
motioned to her to hide it, which she did in her pocket, 
and to be silent. She came in and her daughter Mary at 
once wrote the same message on the skite a third tim.e^ 




no VPlVARt) STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 

anil rubbed il out, saying: " It is not true." Her moth i 
(hen spoke out : "It is true, Charles was at home at hi 
father's (at Rock Island, 111.) and he wrote the letter, 
his father Cornelius did not" Up to this point 
present but George liiiew of any letter, and he sup 
it was from Cornelius and not from Charles, yet these 
repeated messages were A-rillen, telling the exact fact of al 
matter of which the writer and her husband knew nolliing^j 
and giving what George supposed was a mistaken 
ment I have had, from Charles Smith, his statement of hisJ 
writing the letter for his father, he being present at hi 
mother's death and wishing to inform his uncle Humphrey,; 
and family immediately. In his surprise on its receipt,, 
Humphrey did not read the signature, supposing it was, 
of course, from his brother Comeliiis. 

This slate-writing by Mary, always claimed to be froi 
her beloved brother Giles, who had passed away 
California, years before. 

All these persons, were of superior integrity and intelli- 
gence, self-poised and healthy in mind. 

Mind-reading fails to solve this case. 



One evening in Ann Arbor, at the house of Judge V 
Lawrence, and in presence of several well-lin< 
sons, I sat about two feet from Henry Slade, both ourl 
chairs near the wall, but iiot touching it, and he hi full] 
view, and with no other person in reach or out of myfl 
sight. I soon felt myself and chair being raised inl 
the air, gently swinging and swaying. Sitting perfectly 
quiet I asked others to watch me and said 1 had no 
aiid was willing to go up to the ceiling. When suspendeijl 
a foot or more above the floor, and still rising, my chai 
caught under the corner of the marble mantle with a 
force as to break and tear apart the upper crosspJece ( 
the back:, when it dropped h^Vjly to tlie floou 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 141 

me with it of course. I rose gently as though lifted, but 
fell suddenly, as though the lifting power had ceased and 
its invisible connections had been broken. This was seen 
by others, Slade all the time being motionless, and all this 
I did not expect or think possible five minutes before it 
took place. 

I SPIRIT PORTRAITS. 

I ONCE told a friend of a spirit-artist, and he mailed 
a letter three hundred miles, to a stranger, asking for a 
portrait of a son, whose age and time of departure he 
gave. A year after, at their home, his wife showed me 
the portrait, sent ihem by mail, a month after they wrote, 
and which was recognized readily by his father, who 
knew not whose likeness it was thought to be, how or 
whence it came, or that it had been sent for. There was 
no other portrait, and never had been. A daughter, 
twelve years old, a natural seer, had told her mother of 
seeing a boy at her bedroom door, and described this 
brother who passed away before she was born. When 
the picture came, and the family were looking at it, this 
guileless child came in, looked over her mother's shoulder, 
and said, thoughtfully, "Mamma, that is the boy I saw 
at my door." 

There came also at the same time, a fine likeness, both 
in pencil, half life-size, of another son, whose portrait 
they had not asked for nor sent his name. 

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, I went to an artist's room 
in the afternoon to meet a quiet and sensible man, who 
mingled hltle with spiritualists, and, as he said, was not 
a spiritualist, yet felt that arisen artists helped him, he 
being engaged in business and in this work only inci- 
dentally. 

He sat down at a table in the middle of the light room, 

with crayons and cardboard in reach. I blindfolded him 

and stood over his shoulder, watch in hand. He caught 

16 




242 UPWAI^D STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

up a pencil, worked with incredible rapidity, tossed aside 
a picture to be<^in another, and then a third, finishing 
all in fifteen minutes, he being perfectly conscious, yet 
possessed and inspired. One picture was a portrait, the 
others landscapes, and they were a foot or more square. 
On the comer of each was written the spirit artist's name 
under whose guidance it purported to come — all being 
artists well known in France when on earth. 

I brought them home and took them to a competent 
and well-known artist, not a spiritualist, for his judgment. 
He said they were '* artists' sketches," and of real merit. 
Said I : ** Could you make them in fifteen minutes?" and 
he replied : *' Possibly, but doubtful." Then I asked; 
** Could you make them in that time with your eyes 
bandaged ? " and he said : *' No, nor in fifteen hours, nor 
could any artist on earth." 

These are but a few of many equally convincing ex- 
periences. Sometimes clairvoyance, or mind-reading, 
might account for what came, but often not, and only 
the real presence or guidance of some ascended friend 
could rationally solve the marvel. 

We are spirits clad in earthly forms, and these people 
from the higher life are spirits clad in celestial bodies, 
but with more fully unfolded faculties. Our own interior 
powers may account for some so-called spirit manifes- 
tations, but not for all. It may be asked : How are these 
things done ? Tell me how you think ; tell me how 
buds become flowers and blossoms fruit, or how we live 
and grow, and I may tell you. They are all as fully 
in accord with natural law as the blooming of the rose or 
the rush of this great globe we live on through the 
viewless air. 

The heart hungers for the real presence of the dear 
departed. The tenderest sympathies and affections, the 
deepest demands of the soul, and the loftiest range of the 
intellect, all reach toward the life beyond, and would make 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY VEAA'S. 243 

it interblend naturally and beautifully with our own daily 
life. Spiritualism meets these desires, and calls into 
action all these faculties in a harmonious search for 
truth. The facts of spirit-presence and power are the proof 
positive of immortality — outward experiences verifying 
the voice within which says: **Thou shalt never die!" 
They come in an hour when they are needed — to confound 
materialism ; to save all that is worth saving in dogmatic 
theology; to give us a new Bible exegesis, giving sig- 
nificance to the spiritual truths, the visions and experiences 
of the book ; to open the way for a more perfect psychol- 
ogy, a natural religion full of inspiration, and a more 
perfect spiritual philosophy. 

Can there be any rational psychology until we see man 
as a spirit, served by a bodily organization here, and by 
a finer body hereafter ? 

SELDON J. FINNEY — SPIRIT-EDUCATION. 

In 1858, while at Ann Arbor, Michigan, I became ac- 
quainted with this highly gifted man, whose brief and 
remarkable career was full of usefulness, marked by sur- 
passing eloquence in public and by remarkable private 
experiences. 

Born in Delaware County, New York, reared in the 
school of honest and decent poverty, he was, at early 
manhood, a working carpenter, in Plato, near Oberlin, 
Ohio. A manly youth of good habits, a skilful workman, 
sometimes speaking in Methodist class-meetings. It was 
in the early days of modern Spiritualism, about 1850, that 
a company of half-dozen persons, in Plato, he being one, 
agreed to sit an hour at stated evenings around a table, 
with hands laid on it, waiting for any possible manifes- 
tations, such as they had heard of but never witnessed. 
They knew and could trust each other, and acted in no 
trivial mood. For some weeks nothing occurred, but they 



144 



UPWARD STEPS or SEVENTY VEARS. 



H^ 0th 

^H but 

^^L edu 



did not give up. At last, as Finney and others told me, 
he found himself sitting in his chair by the table and the 
rest quietly gazing at him, as tfiough pleased and amazed. 
"What have 1 been doing ?"he asked, and the reply was: 
"Making an excellent speech for almost an hour." Of 
iiU this he was utterly unconscious, but agreed to meet 
them again, as usual. Thinking it over he did not like 
being unconsciously used, but decided to go on, so long 
as he was not harmed in mind or body and said nothing 
foolish or bad. Several times this experience was repeat- 
ed, his best friends assuring him that his talks were good, 
his health and power of mind and body gaining mean- 
while. Soon he was called out in the neighborhood, 
then to towns more distant, then for years to the cities 
from the seatoast to the Mississippi ; never a sensational 
speaker, always treating hig'h themes in noble ways, but 
always calling out large audiences by the power and 
beauty of an elofjuencc I never heard surpassed and seldom 
equalled, while his personal conduct and private life were 
above reproach. Of medium stature,lithe,erecf andstrong. 
blond complexion, rich voice, animated features and elo- 
quent eyes, he swayed and uplifted his hearers, was 
brave in rebuke and argument, rich in illustration, clear 
in insight, and noble in expression. 

At Ann Arbor I once sat before a man of superior 
intelligence while we listened to a speech from Finney 
on questions of moral and spiritual philosophy. My 
friend said to me, at its close : " 1 have heard our Univer- 
sity Presidents lecture on moral philosophy with pleasure 
and profit, but they never equalled this wealth and depth 
of thought." 

Let us look back and note the remarkable feature of his 

development, — his clairvoyant and spiritual education. ' 

Other cases of help from celestial teachers are not lacking 

but this may serve to illustrate the matter. His school 

education was quite limited, his reading good, but also 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



245 



quite limited, when he found himself in his chair as one 
awakened from a deep sleep, after an hour's speech of 
which he knew nothing. It was indeed an awakening 
hour, a new opening of his interior faculties leading to 
larger thought and deeper apprehension of things. What 
we call education is too much a cramming process, as 
though filling an empty receptacle. Here was a true 
educing process ; a calling out of the inner life ; an open- 
ing of ways by which the live thought could reach out 
and find and use what it wanted, by which his 
spirit felt its infinite relations and its immortal life. Along 
with his resolve to follow up these experiences, so long as 
no harm came, he had also a strong wish to get beyond 
the unconscious state, to know what he said and how he 
was moved or prompted to say it. He soon became 
partly conscious, was convinced that some outside intelli- 
gence helped him, and, at last, reached a state in which 
in public speaking he had full consciousness and normal 
use of all his powers, but at the same time a clear sense 
of inspiring help. Sometimes he felt it was some person 
in the spirit world, a heavenly visitant helping him to 
help himself, flooding his inner being with light and 
knowledge touching his lips as with fire from heaven's 
altar, enlarging his faculties to give hope and strength 
to their normal yet inspired exercise. Sometimes, with 
no consciousness of any personal help, he felt the tides 
of universal and impersonal truth sweep through his 
being. On some occasions, too, he was swept along, used, 
controlled, and guided in a semi-conscious state, by some 
strong spiritual personality whom he knew. Meanwhile 
he had private experiences of spirit presence and intelli 
gence of clairvoyance, the opening of the spiritual sight 
which were fully convincing and of great help. He read 
in a fragmentary way and in odd hours, the best thinkers 
in philosophy and science, made admirable notes, set 
down *' seed thoughts '* for essays and lectures, but never 



246 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

used note or manuscript in speaking. His aspect before an 
audience was always that of a man possessed and inspired, 
whose impassioned words came like the flow of a full 
stream. His appeal was ever to reason, conscience and 
intuition, his thought of man's infinite and divine relations 
and sacred daily duties, and he emphasized spirit-pres- 
ence and the immortal life as sure realities. All this I 
gathered from our frequent talks, and from hearing his 
discourses. 

Allowing for native genius, and for readiness in garner- 
ing knowledge in the usual way, something more is 
evident His great attainment ; his depth of insight ; his 
wide range of illuminated thought; his felicity and power 
of expression ; were results of direct spirit-education, of the 
opening of his interior faculties and intuitive perceptions by 
celestial teachers. 

Mark the suddenness of this transfiguring change and 
its constant growth. While that first unconscious speech 
was being made he was the same, yet not the same,as an 
hour before. A new influence had stirred his soul, a 
great change had come to his thoughts. Limiting dog- 
mas were all swept away, universal truths had taken 
their place. It was not theology with Methodist limita- 
tions, but a reaching into fields never before explored, the 
sweep and power of a larger utterance, that the group of 
friends heard with delighted surprise. 

In a single hour he far transcended his former self, 
and from that hour the change went on, with no lapse 
backward, but so steadily and rapidly that no wider range 
of reading or acquaintance can reasonably account for it, 
and that hour was not one of observation but of introver- 
sion, not one of outward and tangible help, but of inward 
and spiritual uplifting while the outer senses were locked 
up. Many times he was told that spirit teachers were 
educating him, and their work was well and wisely 
done. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 247 

Possibly breaks may be found in the externally scien- 
tific proofs of all this, although they are good of the won- 
derful development But can mind be measured by a 
yardstick, or soul weighed in a balance, or seen under a 
microscope, or tested in a retort? Most sapient scientists, 
your yardstick philosophy is indequate incases like this. 
Your solemn head-wagging over what it will not account 
for begins to look foolish to discerning people. You do 
good work in your way, but you cannot dissect a soul or 
measure God's universe. There are several things yet 
for you, and for all of us, to learn more of. Especially 
do you need to learn two things, — that celestial intelli- 
gences can sometimes be our light-bringersy and that to 
ridicule or repudiate what you cannot understand is what 
really wise men never do. 

Looking at the outward proofs, and at what we know of 
man's inner life and of spirit-intercourse ; and Selden J. 
Finney's growth, opening so suddenly and peculiarly and 
going on so grandly, can be rationally considered as a 
case of direct spirit education. 

How else can it be accounted for? 

The aim and method of this celestial teaching varies 
with temperament, but from before the day when Paul 
told of knowing a man, ** whether in the body or out of the 
body" he knew not, and could only say **God knoweth," 
'* caught up into the third heaven" and, hearing "un- 
speakable words," to our own time, it has been a part of 
the divine order of things, under the eternal laws. We 
may all be helped, often unconsciously, in like way. In 
special cases, like Finney's, the spirit-seers of the higher 
life may deem it wise to train a great soul to great ends. 
In his case the result-^the great impress on many minds 
made by him — justified their efforts. 

His mood helped him, but his wise celestial teachers 
guided him to its lofty and serene height. He was true 
and fearless, fettered by no superstition, realized that soul- 



' »48 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



knowledge is deeper than what the outer senses aloite 
can give, and so was in that "superior condition" in 
which the spirit is open to the ideas which sweep in tidal 
waves through the universe. 

Materialism was, to him, a fragmentary ahsurdity, and 
agnosticism the chill and blindness which came from 
standing in its gloomy shadow. 

Such was this maji as I knew him for years. Failing in 
health he went, with his good wife to the mountain 
ranch of her brother in California, rested and grew strong, 
was elected a member of the Legislature, and then of the 
Senate, made two great speeches in the last body, one for 
Woman Suffrage, and one for the Fifteenth Amendment 
to our National Constitution, for which that speech won 
an unexpected majority. His lifeless body was found 
soon after, on the ranch, with his gun by his side, its 
discharge probably an accident On January 13th, 1876, 
the Senate heard a fit eulogy by his successor, Hon. Mr. 
Rogers, and passed, by a unanimous rising vote, an 
endorsement of its view of his high character. 

Some day, it is hoped, his fragmentary writings may I 
be published. A sentence iTiust answer for the present : 

" The expanded earth and (he unfolded heavens are | 
manifestations of an Eternal Spirit, The rocks, hills, 
valleys, rivers, ocean, and stars gleam with the white 1 
splendors of the Divine Reason. The spiritual idea of | 
substance is arising from science. All bodies arc n 
proved to be only petrified forms of force : all forces are ] 
L proved, by their mutual transformality, to be only modes ' 
[ of the action of some common, simple, homogeneous, 
invisible or spiritual Power ; and all power is eternal, 
infinile, and divine .... The fraternity of souls and the I 
paternity of God rest, at last, on theidentily oftheoriginai I 
substance of each being. If human spirits are the chil- 
dren of God— if the idea of the fatherhood of God be not ^ 
a delusion — then the substance of the Creator is the fouo- 




UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 249 

dation of each soul. The identity of the primordial 
essence of the human and the Divine Spirit is the only 
logical basis ; and it is on this foundation alone that 
religion itself is possible. " 



"The glory of sun and stars is eclipsed by the glory of 

that reason, of that soul, that can weigh and measure 
sun and stars." 



REMARKABLE EXPERIENCE OF A MICHIGAN PIONEER AND RAIL- 
ROAD BUILDER. 

The followmg narrative of a remarkable experience, I 
noted down carefully when it was related to me in 1877, 
by Henry Willis, of Battle Creek, whom I had known for 
years as a man of frank integrity, uncommon energy \\\ 
business, practical sagacity, and temperate Quaker habits. 
He came from Pennsylvania to oversee the building of 
the Michigan Central Railroad, under State authority, 
from Detroit to Ypsilanti, and has been well known in 
this region since, enjoying a hale old age until past 
eighty years. Mr. Baldwin was the first locomotive builder 
in America, and gave name to the great locomotive works 
of Baldwin & Co., in Philadelphia. He was a cordial 
friend of Mr. Willis all his life. 

Obedience to the strange impulse, which, indeed, he 
could not resist, led Mr. Willis to save the life of his 
friend|, anpitwho felt that he had saved him, and became 
still firmer in his grateful attachment 

I give the words of Henry Willis as given to me at his 
house by himself. He has seldom told this strange story, 
and could only be induced to allow its publicity as a 
possible help to psychologic research and knowledge. It 
may help to show how spirit-influence is made to serve 
useful enda in life, sometimes highly important ends, Ixv 



250 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

emergencies we are helped, ordinarily left to our own 
ways, as is surely best for us. He said : 

** In July, 1838, Matthias W. Baldwin, of Philadelphia, 
Pa., came with me to Detroit, intending to start a branch 
locomotive building shop on Cass wharf, or river front 
We remained near three weeks in Detroit together. I was 
at that time engaged to build a railroad from Kalamazoo 
to Allegan, of which Sydney Ketchum, of Marshall, was 
President I think it was on a Thursday morning I left 
my friend Baldwin for Allegan ; he was to leave on a 
steamboat at ten o'clock of the same day for Buffalo and 
home. As I passed through Marshall, Ketchum re- 
quested me to go to Sandusky, O., and purchase pro- 
visions for our railroad men, as there were none to be had 
on our route, the country being new. I came on and 
stopped at Battle Creek to visit On Saturday and Sun- 
day I became very uneasy, and was frequently asked if I 
was unwell. On Monday morning I went east with 
some friends in their carriage, and attended a Quaker 
quarterly meeting at Richard Glazier's, near Ann Ar- 
bor. I was asked by many if I was unwell. My mind 
was much depressed, but I bore up and endeavored to be 
cheerful, and after meeting left for Sandusky in company 
with friends living near Adrian. We spent that night at 
Jacob Walton's, aiid still I was uneasy, and could not 
imagine the cause. At Tecumseh I stopped to take the 
stage and paid my fare to Sandusky, Ohio. The stage 
drove up within fifteen or twenty feet of the door of the 
hotel. I handed the driver my carpet bag, three passen- 
gers were inside, and as I put my foot on the step to get 
in I felt a heavy blow on the back of my neck, and the 
words '* Go to Detroit" were as audibly, but inwardly, 
heard as I ever heard anything. I turned to see who 
struck me. No one except the driver and passengers, all 
before me. was nearer than the hotel, 20 feet off. I stood 
astonished, and passengers and driver ghouted^ ' 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 251 

don't you get aboard." I said, ''Driver, hand me my 
bag." I took it, went to the hotel and asked the landlord 
who it was that struck me on the back of my neck. '*No 
one was nearer you than I, standing here in the door ; I 
saw you," said he, '* give a bound as you put your foot 
on the step, but no one struck you I know, for I was look- 
ing directly at you." ''What is the matter?" he asked, 
"I must go to Detroit," I said, "and cannot imagine 
why, or for what ; I have no business there." The Chi- 
cago stage drove up in a moment or two. I mounted the 
seat with the driver, and handed him 50 cents to drive his 
route as fast as he could. I repeated it with the next 
driver. When we drove into the upper end of Main 
street at Ypsilanti, I told him to go directly to the rail- 
road, not to stop at the stage office, and I would make it 
all right with Hawkins, the stage man. I felt as though 
I wanted to fly, so anxious was I to reach the station. 
As we turned out of Main street I saw an engine on the 
track. The engineer said to the fireman, as I afterward 
learned, " Let us go ; we can't find Willis." The fireman 
looked around, saw the stage, and said: "Stop ; Willis 
must be in that sta'ge." He jumped down, ran and met 
us some 300 feet off. I knew him, and said : " Why, 
Jack, what on earth is the matter ? " and he answered : 
"Baldwin fell down sick in the hotel two or three hours 
after you left last Thursday. His great wish has been to 
have you with him. We have been out for days to try 
and find you. Thi^ morning when we left it was doubt- 
ful if he lived till night." We went to Detroit as fast as the 
engine could go. I ran to the hotel, near where the Russell 
House now stands, and as I reached the head of the stairs 
the landlord and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Wales, Dr. Hurd and 
five or six of the servants were at the door. Dr. Hurd 
said : " He is gone." I pushed into the room, threw off 
V coat and applied my hands over his head 
Hiown the sides of bis face and negk a& vv^<:s^- 



jjj UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY VEAKS. ■ 

ously as I could for some five or six minutes, wlien 

he spoke : " Henry, where have I been ? Oh, how 
much 1 have wanted you with me I " Dr. Hurd said : 
'■ Well, if that is not bringing a man to life 1 " This 
action of mine, like magnetizing, I cannot accoinit 
for, 1 never did it before and never saw it done. He was 
in a trance or spasm, but not dead. Dr. Hurd toid ine 
his symptoms were those of a dying man. I remained 
^4^en weeks with him, never sleeping in all that time on 
:i:ept about four or five hours in Lewis Cass, Jr. 's, 
■hen C. C. Tron'bridge and Augustus Porter re- 
,e one night. I took him home on a cot to hi& 
family in Philadelphia, he not being able to sit 
for some eight or nine weeks. 1 think it was in 1844 
1845 I was at work in my nursery of fruit trees, at Battle 
Creek, with my mind then, as it often had been, on this 
strange, and to me unaccountable matter; — how I was 
some 60 miles from Detroit, going directly away to tlie 
South on important business, and why I should ha' 
changed my course, and a voice said to me : ■ ' The spii 
of Baldwin's father was after you to go and save his son 
and take him to his family." Down to this time I had 
never told a living being about this singular affair, not 
even Baldwin himself^ From the moment that I was 
thus notified in my nursery why I went to Detroit 
ceased to wonder, and was, and still am, convinced tl 
there was an invisible power, his father's spirit, that fol-' 
lowed me from the time I arrived at Battle Creek until I 
took Baldwin to his home. Spiritualism was not thought 
of at that time. I had never before been so singularly 
uneasy in my mind. The instant I took my carpet-bag, 
from the driver, at Teciimseh, I felt a relief, but wi 
exceedingly anxious to proceed to Detroit We ai 
at Ypsilanti two or three hours before the time for thi 
to leave for Detroit, hence the strangeness of my anxi< 
to get to U> 6 railroad, since I knew nothing of, 



his ^ 
:tle ■ 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



253 



being in waiting for me, nor did I think of an engine 
until we turned from Maine street and saw it some 80 
rods ofif. It is impossible for me to describe my feelings 
during four days and nights prior to my yielding to go 
to Detroit, nor did I even think of Baldwin, except to 
suppose he was on his way home. The instant I gave 
up to go I felt greater relief, but was very anxious to be 
off as fast as possible. 

LOOKING BEYOND. 

Early in 1890, going to Sturgis, Mich., to the funeral 
of my friend Mrs. Jane M. Prentiss, I learned from Mrs. 
Mary J. Peck something of the experiences of her mother's 
last illness at her house. 

Eighty-one years of age, with no bodily disease, but 
only a weariness which led her a few times to murmur, 
*'How long, O Lord, how long! " healthful in mind and 
serene in soul she waited for the change. 

For weeks before it came she had visions of her 
ascended husband and son, and of other friends, and her 
daughter by the bed-side would hear her quietly and 
pleasantly carrying on conversations with those whom 
none but the mother could see. Occasionally she would 
ask : '* Mother, who are they?" and rational and natural 
answers were always given. With all this was no fancy 
of a fevered brain, no excitement, but peace and cheerful- 
ness, so that ''grandmother's room" was a delightful 
place for children and intimate friends. Thus came the 
transition — light and peace but no fear. She had looked 
across the border, and her spiritual sight had been opened 
as the bodily eyes grew dim. 

Such experiences are frequent, but these were rarely 
beautiful and instructive. 

Professional pomposity, which fails to hide ignorance, 
exclaims: ** Hallucination ! Breaking faculties!" but 
deeper thought gives a wiser verdict. 



254 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

To realize that the people in the life beyond are simply 
living a life like ours, but in higher conditions, rolls the 
mists away. Doubtless gloom is there, — tlie gloom of 
souls yet in the shadow of their guilt on earth, but no 
despair to which hope can never come. The voices from 
the spirit-land are human and natural, for the only angels 
are those who were our friends and kindred here. 

That higher life we may understand even less than 
does the poor Hottentot our civilized ways. Well was it 
said; *' Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath 
it entered into the heart of man to conceive," its full 
glory. The child here has but faint conception of its 
coming manhood or womanhood. Birth is as great a 
mystery as death. Are there lying spirits ? Yes — those 
trained in falsehood here and not over their bad ways. 
'*Try the spirits," is good sense. Most of us, even the 
most sagacious, have been cheated here. Do we there- 
fore turn away from all intercourse with men, or lose all 
faith in them ? No, we keep on putting faith in the faith- 
ful and watching the untrue. The old magician claimed 
he could call up the dead to do his will at pleasure ; 
the spiritualist quietly waits their coming, which is not 
at his pleasure, or in his power to order. Nor is it always 
in their power to come, sometimes indeed it is impos- 
sible, for unswerving laws must be known and obeyed, 
and conditions observed more delicate than those to which 
any chemist here is subject 

FIRST MESSAGES AND RESPONSES. 

It is usually supposed that the first intelligent spirit- 
manifestations, recognized as such in our day, took place 
at the home of the Fox family, at Hydesville, New York. 
While it is true that the simple raps at that place first called 
wide public attention to this great matter, the first commu- 
nications accepted and responded to came some months 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 255 

before, at the home of Nelson and Lucina Tuttle, on 
their farm, some five miles north-west of Byron, Genesee 
County, New York. I give the facts as given me by Mr. 
Tuttle and Joseph C. Walker, at Byron, in October, 1875 > 
and noted down at that time. 

One evening in June, 1846, while prescribing for the 
sick in the mesmeric state, Mrs. Tuttle stopped and said, 
** I can go no farther, " and tears rolled down her cheeks 
as she turned and spoke to Mr. Walker. ** What I am 
about to relate you are not prepared to understand, nor 
should I be in my usual state. For the last few weeks, 
when magnetized, three spirits hover around me, urging me 
to give a communication for each one of us. One is your 
father, one is my husband's mother, and one my moth- 
er. Your father comes first and says : ' Tell my son Jo- 
seph I have stood by his bedside and witnessed his tears 
of sorrow for the past few nights. I say, Joseph, stand 
firm to what you know to be true. Those that are now 
your strongest opposers will become your warmest friends. 
[Mr. W. had, unknown to any one, felt great agony of 
spirit, having been told that he was * in league with the 
devil,' and questioned himself whether he should givQ up 
magnetism, in accordance with the wish and prayer of his 
brethren in the Baptist Church, or go on his own way. ] 
Often when you, an orphan boy, have sat down by the way- 
side and wept because you had no father to direct and guide 
you as other boys had, you little thought that I, your 
spirit-father, stood by. You well remember the place, 
between Cleveland and Medina, Ohio, where you were 
in this distress, and sat down on a log by the roadside 
in the woods and wept. I was there with you. [The 
place and circumstances were correct.] I have been a 
guardian angel to my little ones, whom I left so sor- 
rowfully in passing to my present home. I have been 
able to inspire and control you and keep you from evil. 
I looked for my Orthodox heaven and hell, but did not 



256 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

find them here. I have looked for the Orthodox devil, 
but do not find him in this beautiful clime. I have 
not seen God ; we can only see Him in Nature. As I 
unfold and develop, the Infinite unfolds in equal ratio," 
He said to his father, '* It will not answer to tell of this.*' 
and the reply was, ** Tell a few friends now, if you wish, 
but ere long you can tell all, and it will be more common. 
We here are making suitable preparations to produce 
tangible demonstrations to begin near you and to go 
round the world." (Here is the noteworthy statement that 
the people in the higher life had not yet completed prepa- 
rations needed to make deep and wide impression, but 
would soon be ready for that great work, a statement 
verified at Hydesville.) For an hour or more this 
lasted, until Mrs. Tuttle said : ** Your father steps back to 
give way for others, joyful that he has been able to com- 
municate. You must call Mr. Tuttle in (from the next 
room) and leave us, that his mother may communicate to 
him." For an hour that mother spoke to her son 
through Mrs. Tuttle. The son had little faith in a future 
life, but was convinced of his mother's presence, and wept 
joyful tears, as Walker had done before him. Mr. Walker's 
father had been gone twenty-five years. 

Next came a recall of Walker, who was directed to 
take pencil and paper and note down what Mrs. Tuttle's 
mother would say to her, that she might read and pre- 
serve it when in her normal state. It was given through 
her interior senses, and she had no external knowledge 
of what was said or done. At two o'clock in the morning 
she was brought out of the magnetic or clairvoyant state, 
surprised at the length of time that had passed, asked what 
had occurred, and was still more surprised when told, and 
wept over the message from her mother as she read it from 
the sheets written by Mr. Walker during its delivery. 

After this. Walker sometimes communicated with his 
father through Mrs. Tuttle, was told that the Hydesville 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YE APS. 



257 



Tappings were produced by spirits, and if he would go 
there he would convince him. He went, did not tell 
his name, saw Leah Fish, {nee Fox), asked his father, 
at the seance, **Did you ever communicate with me be- 
fore ? " and was told by raps, spelling the alphabet, 
** My son, you well remember the night I communicated 
to you through Lucina." 

For more than a year after these earliest messages, no 
one knew of them outside the family save a brother of 
Mrs. Tuttle, who was told the next day, came to the house 
at night and had a convincing message from his mother. 

FUTURE LIFE NATURAL. 

In his *' Conflict of Science and Religion," Draper says : 
— **That the spirits of the dead revisit the living, has 
been, in all ages, in all European countries, a fixed belief, 
not confined to rustics, but participated in by the intel- 
ligent If human testimony can be of any value, 
there is a body of evidence reaching from the remotest 
ages to the present time, as extensive and unimpeach- 
able as is to be found in support of anything whatever, 
that these shades of the dead do return." 

How shallow the learned ignorance of grave books we 
read, treating all these facts and ideas as ''survivals of 
savage thought I " In the childhood of man that savage 
thought was but the instinctive germ reaching toward the 
light. Modern thought, in the same line, is that germ 
growing to new beauty and reaching toward the fruitage 
of a riper spiritual age to come. 

In their higher forms, spirit manifestation and com- 
munion come to man in his finest and most harmonious 
development, and in this last and ripest of the centuries 
we have them as never before. 

The soul asserts its immortality I Well said the old 
poet : 

17 



258 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

** We fede within this fleshlie dresse. 
Bright shootes of everlastingnesse." 

That intuitive assertion is emphasized by '* the touch of 
a vanished hand,' giving a new sense of the naturalness 
of the future life. In one of her letters, Elizabeth Barrett 
Browning, who was deeply interested in these things 
of the spirit, said : 

** It seems to me that a nearer insight into the spiritual 
world has been granted to this generation, so that (by 
whatever process we get our conviction) we no longer 
deal with vague abstractions, half closed, half shadowy, 
in thinking of departed souls. There is now something 
warm and still familiar in those beloveds of ours, to whom 
we yearn out past the grave — not cold and ghostly as 
they seemed once — but human, sympathetic, with well- 
known faces. They are not lost utterly to us even on 
earth ; a little farther off, and that is all." 

Shakespeare gives the old dread and terror when he 
says : 

** It is the very witching time of night 
When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out 
Contagion to the world 1 ** 

In place of this is coming the sweet and sacred 
feeling of the lover and husband, described by that spirit- 
ually-gifted poet, Edwin Arnold : 

•* * She is dead ! ' they said to him. * Come away ; 
Kiss her and leave her — thy love is clay.' 



And they held their breaths, as they left the room 

With a shudder, to glance at its stillness and gloom. 

But he who loved her too well to dread 

The sweety the stately^ the beautiful dead^ — 

He lit his lamp and took his key 

And turned it, — alone, were he and she." 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 259 

It is a theory of some writer that invisible currents 
sweep through the upper air like great rivers, carrying the 
finer elements of tree and flower and earth far into the 
blue empyrean to build the spirit-world where are ** the 
many mansions " we are to occupy. Of this I know not, 
but is this theory any more wonderful, or any more 
matter of ridicule, than the fact, which every naturahst 
admits, that an invisible force pushes the sap each spring 
up the trunk of a tree and out to its finest topmost twigs 
to renew and freshen their growth I All the thousands 
who purport to come back to us tell of a real world and a 
natural life **over XhexQ,'' never of disembodied shades, 
but always of human form, not corruptible or subject to 
decay. They tell us too of tastes and occupations like 
ours, only higher, as the man is above the child. 

Primitive Christianity was a great spiritual revival ; 
every leading phase of modern spiritualism only dupli- 
cates the gifts of healing and prophecy, the help of 
angels, the speaking with tongues and the like in the New 
Testament. The resurrection of Christ, the rock on which 
apostles and disciples stood, has been many times dupli- 
cated by resurrections, or reappearances, brief as was that 
of Jesus, which was repeated several times, if the record 
be true. The early Christians had a deep assurance of 
immortality, not so often found to-day outside of spirit- 
ualists, and which is the great need of the world. Our 
*' modern thought," shallow and of the outer shell of 
thinors, has taken away the old foundations of faith, and 
gives us no food for the soul in their place. Those 
facts and experiences of primitive Christianity and these 
of modern spiritualism must be accepted together, with 
rational discrimination as to their genuineness, not as 
miracles but as signs of light from the spirit- world, or 
they must be discarded together as wild delusions, empty 
as the whistling wind. 



26o I/PIVARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YE APS. 

MEDIUMSHIP — ILLUMINATION. 

Mediumship is not a miraculous gift, but a susceptibility 
delicate to surrounding influences and yielding to their 
impressions, which is marked in certain temperaments, 
and of which none of us are totally destitute. The 
passive medium can be psychologized and controlled by 
some positive and strong spirit, as the masterful will of 
the psychologist here controls his negative subject. 

The true and self-poised medium deserves an appre- 
ciative respect not often accorded, but which will come 
with better comprehension of our inner life. Only as we 
know more of the life within, and seek its development, 
can we know most and best of the life beyond. 

There is, too, an illuminated and open vision without 
spirit-control, a clairvoyant seership before which the 
spirit-world and the life of profgooionnl persons here, lie 
open. This precious superior condition may come to us 
as the high result of pure life and spiritual culture. 

Mediumship, especially when professional and public, 
has its trials and perils. A sensitive person, meeting all 
kinds of people, and influenced by spirits of all degrees, 
is liable to be sorely taxed. All are not wise enough to 
be receptive of the good and repellant of the evil and 
unwise. 

To be blindly passive and negative, and not cultivate 
mind and will, or exercise judgment, leads to inane weak- 
ness. The best mediums pray in spirit for normal 
growth, — for interior illumination and self-tulture, for 
help to help themselves, for the opening of their owmi 
spirit-sight, and so gain health of body and mind. Public 
mediumship has been indispensable and valuable, and is 
still needed, but private mediumship has marked advan- 
tages in harmony and safety, and is more common than 
is supposed. I have witnessed beautiful manifestations 
in happy homes. Spirit communion is normal to the 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY VEAJ^S, 26 1 

open soul, and its highest conditions are in the sacred 
atmosphere of home and friends. 

We are immortal beings, in the eternal life now, and 
beyond the tomb is but the higher stage of that life. The 
denizens of the spirit- world no doubt help us at times 
when w^e are unconscious of their presence. What joy 
must it be to them to give us light and strength in our 
trials, or guidance in our noblest efforts ? 

With Lowell : 

** We see but half the causes of our deeds. 
Seeking them wholly in the outer world, 
Unconscious of the spirit- world which, though 
Unseen is felt, and sows in us the germs 
Of pure and world-wide purposes." 

To make such help from high heaven appear real and 
natural and a part of the Divine economy is the work 
of spiritualism. Whoever under pretence of medium- 
ship, ** steals the livery of the court of heaven to serve 
the devil in," must be sent into private life for sorely 
needed reform. 

It is said that many so called spirit-messages are com- 
monplace and inconsequent. Is the least sign of the 
presence of a departed friend trivial? The opening of 
what may be a deeply important conversation is usually 
inconsequent If these flippant investigators would wait 
and seek for deeper things, they might come, as they have 
to many; for messages of great importance, involving 
life and fortune and the affairs of nations, are on record. 
Was the saving of the valuable life of Matthias Baldwin, 
by the following of spirit-guidance by Henry Willis, as 
iold on another page of this chapter, inconsequent ? 

RELIGION AND MORALS. 

In 1880, G. W. Wyld, M.D., an able Englishman, 
wrote: **I believe that the philosophy and phenomena 
of Spiritualism are destined to remould science, philos- 



2 62 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

ophy, psychology, and dogmatic theology from their very 
foundations. . . . Phenomena which occur in the pre- 
sence of believers can, in five minutes, refute the material 
philosophy of thousands of years. . . . Although to 
me chiefly interesting in a psychologic and scientific 
point of view it must in a religious point of view be 
regarded with profoundest respect . . . because, if we 
contemplate the subject in its relation to matter we at 
once arrive at the conviction that materialism is a vulgar 
superstition. Yet this materialism is the outcome of the 
science of the 19th century ! " 

The religious opinions of Theodore Parker, the intuitive 
morals of Frances Power Cobbe, the transcendental views 
of R. W. Emerson, are in unison with the habits of thought 
of many intelligent spiritualists. While they may think 
that these gifted persons would have gained in depth 
and clearness of thought by a knowledge and acceptance 
of spirit manifestations, and of the views to which they 
lead, they find much in common with them, and are 
helped by their wise utterances. The transcendentalist 
would say immortality is a truth of the soul ; the spiri- 
tualist would grant that, but would verify that truth by 
the testimony of the senses. 

Spiritualists are a large company, millions of thinkers 
in as well as out of the churches, with little organization 
and only agreeing on their one central idea, the im- 
mortal life proved by spirit presence. 

That idea carries much else with it, and is spreading 
round the world. It is remarkable that with little discus- 
sion, almost all spiritualists favor the equal rights of 
woman, and the most intelligent are most earnest in 
behalf of this great reform. 

INDUCTrVTE SCIENCE BLIND. 

The attitude and spirit of many inductive scientists — ^an 
attitude slowly changing — may be seen by this extract 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 263 

from a Popular Science Monthly editorial a few years ago. 

**The first article of a scientific man's faith is that 
Nature never breaks her regularities, but holds true to an 
unalterable method of law. 

*'Now, the Spiritualist comes to him challenging his first 
principles. He denies his order of Nature as being un- 
alterable and says that he knows of that which is above 
Nature, that is greater than Nature, that interferes with it 
and breaches all its vaunted stabilities with infinite ease." 

No inquisitor of old Spain, no bigot, from the days of 
Cotton Mather and his witches to our own, has written 
anything more utterly contrary to the truth than this. 

Np jot or tittle of evidence does it rest on. Not a 
writer or speaker of any repute among the spiritu- 
alists has ever denied the ** order of nature as being 
unalterable," but one and all have affirmed that great 
truth. It is a cardinal principle of their philosophy, and the 
facts of spirit-power and presence they always describe 
as natural. 

Does the Science Monthly know the whole order of 
nature ? It is surely a matter of regret that a magazine of 
such real merit should adopt a method so unscientific as 
well as so unfair. In a day not far distant it will look 
back with regretful shame on its error. That error comes 
from the constant use of the analytic method in the study 
of material things. Intuition and the spiritual faculties 
are dwarfed, there is no harmony of development, the 
capacity to see the whole truth is lost 



264 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



PSYCHIC SCIENCE. 



'* Beyond the dim and distant line, 
Which bounds the vision of to-day, 
Great stars of truth shall rise and shine, 
With steady and unclouded ray." 

Lizzie Doten. 

We are entering on a new era. The future historian will 
mark the closing century as the era of intellectual freedom 
and activity, of opening spiritual light, of material develop- 
ment and inventive genius; and the century now opening 
as the era of spiritual culture, psychic science and research, 
and the harmonious development of man. 

** First the natural (or material) and then the spiritual," 
was the wise word of the Apostle. To know the inner 
life of man is to know his immortality, the inner life of 
nature and the being of God. 

This psychic research gives us proofs of man's in- 
terior powers and infinite relations — of magnetism, clair- 
voyance, psychometry ; the subtle and penetrative in- 
fluence of mind ; the wonders of that inner life of which 
the world has known so little, but which is now being 
studied and revealed as never before. 

THE SPIRITUAL BODY. 

Spiritual science and psycho-physiological research 
show us that the life and thought of man inhere in an in- 
terior and lasting organization a fine body of a substance 
invisible and super-physical, not in any gland or tissue or 
structure that death can dissolve. This is of the highest 
importance 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 265 

The spiritual body which Paul tells of is the fact of 
modern research. With it our personality is not lost by 
bodily death. We cannot be anything^ but ourselves after 
that event, any more than now. We shall not be formless 
and disembodied shadows. We cannot die. Paul says, 
** Although the outer man perish, the inner man is renewed 
day by day ; " suggesting the thought of an imperishable 
form within *' the outer man." 

On this matter a single testimony must suffice. Miss 
Myra Carpenter, a woman of capacity and character, 
writes of her mother's transition, as she saw itclairvoyantly. 
The mother had no fear of her coming change and wished 
the daughter to witness it. Miss Carpenter writes : 

'* Her last words were to me. Sitting in her room I 
soon become clairvoyant, when the painful scene of a 
mother's death was changed to a vision of glory. Beauti- 
ful angelic spirits were watching over her. I could feel 
them as material, and yet they conveyed a sensation which 
I can only describe by saying it was like compressed air. 
They stood at her head and feet and hovered over her. 
They did not appear with wings, as angels are commonly 
painted, but in the perfect human form, so pure and full of 
love, it was sweet to look at them. 

* ' I now turned my attention more directly to my mother, 
and saw the external senses leave her. First the power of 
sight departed, and then a veil seemed to drop over the 
eyes : and hearing ceased, and next the sense of feeling. 
The spirit began to leave the limbs, as they die first : and 
the light that filled every fibre of each part drew up tow- 
ard the chest. As fast as this occurred a veil seemed to 
drop over the part from whence spiritual life was removed. 
A ball of light was now gathering just over her head : and 
this increased so long as the spirit was connected with the 
body. The light left the brain last, and then the silver 
cord (connecting that light over the head with the body) 
was loosed The luminous appearance soon began 



266 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

to assume the human form ; and I could see my mother 
again ! But how changed ! She was light and glorious, 
free from disease and pain and death. She seemed to be 
w^elcomed by the attending spirits with the joy of a mother 
over the birth of a child. She paid no attention to any 
earthly object, but joined her companions and they seemed 
to go through the air. I tried to follow them, in the spirit, 
for I longed to go with my mother. I saw them ascend 
until they seemed to pass through an open space, when a 
mist passed over my eyes and I saw them no more. I 
soon awoke — but not to sorrow, as those who have no 
hope. This vision, far more beautiful than language can 
express, remains stamped upon my memory. It is an 
unfailing comfort. " 

In the Plymouth Church pulpit, so long occupied by 
Henry Ward Beecher, Joseph Cook, the widely known 
lecturer, gave the following facts as proofs of a future life. 

** Louisa May Alcott, watching with her mother by the 
deathbed of a dying and dearly loved sister says when 
the end came, she distinctly saw a delicate mist rising 
from the dead body. Her mother too saw this strange 
thing. When they asked the physician about it he said, 
' You saw life departing visibly from the physical form.' 
This was at Concord, Mass. 

*' Professor Hitchcock, of Amherst College, Mass., 
says he was present at the bedside of a dying friend. 
The eyes closed ; the last breath ceased : he was dead. 
Suddenly the eyes opened, light came back to them, 
then a look of surprise, admiration, inexpressible bliss ; 
then it soon passed away. 

** Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes in the preface to a book on 
visions, says that once, watching by a deathbed, the im- 
pression was conveyed to him that something — that is the 
word he uses — passed from the body into space." 

In their withdrawal from all attention to other objects or 
affairs, and the concentration of thought and sympathy as 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 267 

well as Sight, on their dying kindred and friends, these 
competent witnesses became partly clairvoyant, and saw 
imperfectly what Miss Carpenter saw more clearly, the 
separation of the spiritual body from the dying physical 
form. 

A few years ago I received a letter from an accomplished 
and sensible woman, telling of her husband's peaceful 
death. Two of the daughters stood at the foot of the bed 
and both saw, as they said,, the ** face illuminated — a pure 
white light from within," at the last moment fading away, 
soon, but not suddenly. 

PAINLESS SURGERY IN BYRON, NEW YORK. 

An appreciative knowledge and use of unseen healing 
agencies will assuage, and even sometimes banish, the 
pains of the body. 

'*The gift of healing," by the laying on of hands, is not 
miraculous, and it still endures, for natural law is never 
suspended. The following remarkable narrative illustrates 
this : 

Mrs. Lucina Tuttle and her husband Nelson Tuttle, of 
Byron, Genesee County, New York, I knew well, as I did 
Joseph C. Walker, and J. W. Seaver, a merchant in Byron. 
From these competent persons I had the report of the 
surgical operation which they all witnessed, as follows : 

Early in 1846, Joseph C. Walker taught school in the 
district where the Tuttles lived, and magnetized Mrs. 
Tuttle several times to cure the pain caused by a tumor 
on her left shoulder, and to prepare her for its removal by 
a surgeon. About the middle of February, at noon, Dr. 
J. M. Cole, of Batavia, N. Y. , J. W. Seaver, and a medi- 
cal student came to the house. Mrs. Tuttle was mag- 
netized by Mr. Walker two hours before the operation. 
The tumor, two and a half by three inches in size, was 
cut from its adhesion to the bone and taken out through 



268 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

an incision six inches in length made in the flesh for that 
purpose, the patient, meanwhile, sitting quiet, outwardly 
unconscious, no tremor of pulse or nerve, no flush in 
the face, no change in her respiration, no pain ! For 
three hours afterward she was kept in the same state, and 
when awakened, by the usual reverse or upward passes, 
had her first outward knowledge of the operation. While 
it was going on, however, she saw it clairvoyantly^ quietly 
described its progress, and told of its termination. Then 
and previously she described the tumor, as adhering to 
the bone. The surgeons thought otherwise, but acknowl- 
edged that the result proved her right, while they had 
been mistaken. Afterward the arm was kept magnetized 
part of the time to aid its cure, which was speedy and 
permanent. Mrs. Tuttle recovered from symptoms of 
consumption, grew robust, and enjoyed thirty years of 
busy and laborious life, in good health, save a slight deli- 
cacy of the lungs. This remarkable experience led to 
describing and prescribing for her friends, and ere long 
to a large medical practice, which came to her without 
any effort or advertising on her part. 

Such facts are timely in these hypnotic days, — hypno- 
tism being but another name for mesmerism or magnetism 
in certain forms. They will help to keep the underlying 
truth, and to sift out what is absurd in Christian Science 
and other like theories. 

Sometimes the invisible healers in the spirit- world, 
psychologize the visible magnetizer here, flooding his 
whole system with a health-giving and positive magnet- 
ism, which he imparts to others, and which conquers pain, 
and opens the way for that balance of circulation which is 
health. 

PSYCHOMETRY. 

Mrs. S. and myself had visited the plaster beds at Grand 
Rapids, and called at Lyons on our homeward way. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 269 

Spending" an evening with Dr. Jewett and wife, she gave 
fine illustrations of her psychometric power. I stepped 
across the road and took from our trunk, wrapped in paper, 
what I supposed was a piece of gypsum from the Grand 
Rapids beds. She held it to her forehead a few moments 
and began to tell its history. My mind went back 
to the beds from whence I supposed it came, but 
her description went another way. Evidently she was 
not influenced by me, but was reading the record of the 
stone she held wrapped in paper. She described the slow 
formation of a geode, or crystal, and its final location 
beneath rushing water. This puzzled us, until I took off 
the wrapper and found I had given her a limestone geode 
taken from beneath the Grand River ! Nature's inner 
history was an open volume to her. 

Forty years ago I wrote to J. R. Buchanan at Cincinnati, 
subscribing for his Journal of Man and expressing interest 
in his psychometric researches. We were strangers and I 
had never written him. He sent a reply which enclosed 
a description of my character, given by a young man, 
also a stranger, after quietly holding my letter, which he 
did not read, on his forehead, — he in a normal state at the 
time. The description was singularly correct as to lead- 
ing traits. Like experiments of my valued friend, 
William Denton, were of signal value. 

INSPIRED EXPERIENCES. 

** Hour after hour, like an opening flower, 
Shall truth after truth expand ; 
The sun may grow pale, and the stars my £ul, 
But the purpose of God shall stand.'' — Lizzie Doten, 

Very interesting and suggestive are the psychological 
experiences of gifted writers and speakers, rising to a 
superior condition in their best efforts, receptive of im- 
personal truths and susceptible to all spiritual influences. 



270 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YE APS. 

George Eliot began her story-writing with doubt and 
fear. She wrote a friend : 

**Mr. Lewes began to say very positively, 'You must 
try and write a story/ and at Tenby he urged me to begin 
at once. One morning, as I was thinking what should be 
the subject of my story, my thoughts merged themselves 
into a dreamy doze, and I imagined myself writing a story 
of which the title was, * * The Sad Fortunes of the Rev. 
Amos Barton." I was soon wide awake again, and told 
G. He said : * * Oh ! what a capital title ! " From that time 
I had settled in my mind that this should be my first story. *' 

It was soon written, and its success opened the way for 
others. Mr. Cross says : 

'* During our short married life our time was so much 
divided between travel and illness, that she wrote very 
little, so that I have but slight personal experience of how 
the creative effort affected her. But she told me that, in 
all that she considered her best writing, there was a 'not 
herself which took possession of her, and that she felt 
her own personality to be merely the instrument through 
which this spirit, as it were, was acting. Particularly she 
dwelt on this in regard to the scene in Middlemarch be- 
tween Dorothea and Rosamond.'* 

This ** dreamy doze,*' and the feeling that her own 
personality was ''merely the instrument " of " this spirit," 
indicate the impressible temperament susceptible of 
spiritual influx and illumination, combined, in her case, 
with mental powers of singular clearness and force, and 
with high moral qualities. 

Helen Hunt Jackson wrote the editor of Tlie Outing, 
in which her last poem, "The Rose Leaf* was pub- 
lished : "It was actually dreamed, so that I awoke with 
it on my lips.' Of her Indian story, Ramona,she said : 
" It was written through me, not by me." 

But a few days before her departure she wrote : "I 
want you to know that I am looking with almost an eager 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 



271 



interest into that 'undiscovered country.' ... I do not 
doubt we shall keep on working. Any other existence 
is, to me, monstrous. It seems to me also impossible 
that we shall not be able to return to this earth and see 
our loved ones. Whether we can communicate with 
them I doubt, but that we shall see them I believe." 

PROF. CALVIN E. STOWE. 

From the late biography of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe 
by Florine T. McCray these extracts touching the psychic 
experiences of her husband are given : 

*' The fact that Mrs. Stowe wrote to George Eliot, with 
whom she entered into an interesting correspondence 
at about this period, that Professor Stowe was the ' vision- 
ary boy,' whom she made the hero of 'Old Town Folks,* 
and that the experiences which she related were phenom- 
ena of frequent occurrence with him, and had been so 
even from his earliest childhood, makes relevant a notice 
of some of the psychological conditions which were pecul- 
iar to the scholarly man, one who was by temperament 
and trend of mind as far as possible from the credulity or 
hallucination commonlv attributed to believers in mani- 
festations that appear to be supernatural. 

*' Certain it is that Professor Stowe came into the world 
possessed of an uncommon attribute, which may be 
considered either as a sixth sense revealing hidden 
things, or as peculiar hallucination. The latter con- 
clusion is hardly compatible with his clear mentality and 
the sound judgment which he brought to bear upon this 
phenomenon itself, no less than upon all other topics. 

*' As a near-sighted child sooner or later becomes aware 
that it is wanting in the far sight which is common, so 
Calvin E. Stowe early inferred that his friends could not 
see absent things and departed souls as he did, and he 
became, as a young man, somewhat in awe of his power 
and loth to speak of it 



272 UPWARD STEPS OF SE VENTY YEARS. 

**In common with most other intelligent people, and 
especially so because of his strange experience, Professor 
and Mrs. Stowe became deeply interested in psychologi- 
cal manifestations, and with friends they evoked surpris- 
ing manifestations from'* Planchette, "and attended various 
so-called spiritualistic seances in New York. While in 
Rome, Mrs. Stowe, in company with Elizabeth Barrett 
Browning and others, received some surprising evidences 
of things occult and strange. 

*'Mrs. Stowe most feelingly interpreted the wave of 
Spiritualism, then rushing over America, as a sort of 
Rachel-cry of bereavement towards the invisible existence 
of the loved ones ; but her mature judgment, like that of 
her husband's, was against the value of mediumistic 
testimonies. 

''Professor Stowe also recounted to a friend an inter- 
view which he declared he had with Goethe, one day out 
under the trees. He intensely enjoyed the discussion 
with the great mind of the German Shakespeare, and 
reported a most interesting explanation which the author of 
Faust gave of the celebrated closing lines of the second 
part of that great work : — 

" All of mortality is but a symlx)l shown. 
Here to reality longings have grown ; 
How superhumanly wondrous, 'tis done. 
The eternal, the womanly love leads us on.'* 

It may be suggested that not to believe in Spiritualism, 
yet to see and converse with spirits is singular; but these 
excellent persons had their own reasons — good to them — 
the psychic facts are what we want. 

The New York Independent, in a notice of Mrs. Stowe's 
life by her son, says : 

''Impressive is the story how the Spirit of the Lord 
came upon her as she sat at Communion service in the 
college church at Brunswick : 



UPWARD STEPS Of SEVENTY VEAJtS. 773 

" Suddenly, like the unrolling of a picture, the scene of 
the death of Uncle Tom passed before her mind. So 
strongly was she affected that it was with difficulty she 
could keep from weeping aloud. Immediately on return- 
uig home she took pen and paper and wrote out the 
vision which had been, as it were, blown into her mind 
as by the rushing of a mighty wind. Gathering her 
family about her she read wliat she had written. Her 
two little ones often and twelve years of age broke into 
convulsions of weeping. " 

SAVONAROLA. 

That inspired man in Italian Florence four centuries 
ago— a Dominican monk, a Prior of St Marks, a religious 
reformer, facing even the Pope when he held him in 
error, rebuking Lorenzo the Magnificent , . . 

In that dissolute city he checked vulgarity for a time, 
so that psalms were heard instead of licentious songs, 
and this not by rigid laws, but by the uplifting power of 
his spiritual nature and ennobling speech. Noble women 
dressed plain, robbers gave back thegold they hadsto5en, 
children held to purity and sang of the angels, and coarse 
men grew decent The spell of a powerful and inspired 
personality was over all the life of the city, blessed so 
long as it could last, but the pitiful reaction came, and 
he died a martyr's death. . . . Savonarola's visions 
were real to him, more so than his monk's cell and the 
noise of the streets. They were the subjects of his ser- 
mons in the great Duomo, where thousands sat breathless 
or wept and sobbed beneath his words. His voice was 
like the pea! of thunder in rebuke of sin, like the song of 
angels when he saw the heavens opened, sweet and sad 
and low, when he touched all hearts by his tender com- 
passion. He prophesied events which the sorrowing 
people, after his death, said took place, and sometimes 



274 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

gave counsel not wise to follow. His sagacity was rare, 
yet he was human. 

The mistakes and limitations in which even the greatest 
are involved, the cast and hue of his own temperament, 
tinged and shaped his visions, but through all shone the 
glory of a spiritual light. After his torture, his prison 
was peopled with invisible beings who helped him to 
forget his pain, and he wrote sermons with the text, 
** In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust," while his mangled 
form and twisted limbs seemed almost useless. It was 
the supremacy of the spirit over the poor body. It was 
the ministry of angels. 

REV. HENRY W. BELLOWS, D.D. 

Rev. E. E. Hale, Boston, wrote this letter, in 1887, to 
Our Best Words, Rev. Mr. Douthit's journal in Shelbyville, 
III. 

My Dear Friend, — ^The sermon regarding which you 
write is in the new volume of Dr. Bellows' sermons. The 
title is * ' The Secret of the Lord. " 

Dr. Bellows often told the story of the birth of this 
sermon. He has told it to me, and my memory of it is 
accurate. 

He was to preach one of what we call "Theatre Ser- 
mons. " We had taken the Boston Theatre, the largest in 
Boston and one of the largest in the world, for religious 
services, Sunday evenings. Dr. Bellows had come on 
from New York to preach. 

He stayed, as he always did, at Dr. Bartol's house — 
which he used to call, in joke, ** Hotel Bartol." He 
preached somewhere in the morning, and after service 
came back to his room and took a pile of MSS. to select a 
proper sermon for the evening. As he did so, a voice 
behind him said, ''The secret of the Lord is with them 
that fear Him." Bellows turned and there was no one 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 275 

there. He said to himself, *' If I did not know what sort 
of things hallucinations are, I should regard that as a 
special call to preach on that text'' But in fact he did go 
on with his MSS. and picked out a sermon for the evening 
from among them. He went down to dinner and told the 
story, and the company fell to discussing hallucinations. 
In the evening he went to the theatre. With a company 
of gentlemen he went in upon the stage and took his 
seat Some other person conducted the devotional ex- 
ercises and read the Scripture. When it was time for the 
sermon. Dr. Bellows went forward with his manuscript, 
put it on the music stand which was provided for it, and 
as he opened it a voice behind him said audibly to him, 
*'The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him." He 
did not pause a moment He said to the vast congrega- 
tion, " I had intended to speak to you on another subject, 
bnt an intimation of a sort which I am not in the habit of 
disregarding suggests to me that I shall speak from the 
text : '* The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him." 

** I do not know where this text is precisely. You will 
find it among the Psalms not far from the beginning of 
the book of Psalms. " 

Then he preached substantially the sermon which you 
find in the collection. But till that moment he had never 
planned it nor in any way arranged it 

He was himself interested in the sermon. After he had 
preached it he wrote it out as we now have it I have 
seen the MSS., and I think there are eighty places noted 
on it where he had preached it I think he told me that 
he had never repeated any other sermon so often. 

I know he told me that more than seventy persons, 
most of them strangers, had come to him or had written 
to him to say that they went to hear him preach from 
curiosity merely, having before yielded wholly to skep- 
tical notions regarding the Being and Presence of God ; 
and that the view of this sermon of the Great Experiment 
of Human Life had recalled them to faith and worship." 



276 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES. 

Says : "My poems are composed when I am in a con- 
dition of mind that takes me out of myself. In fact I am 
wholly unable to write unless I am borne away by this 
influence." 

VICTOR HUGO. 

M. Laclede, his secretary and friend for long years, 
gives a letter he wrote to a mother heart-broken at the 
death of her child. **Be comforted, it is only a separa- 
tion, — a separation for us. The dead are not even 
absent : they are simply invisible. Every time you think 
of your baby-boy, he will be near you. " Laclede con- 
fesses Victor Hugo had a leaning to spiritualism. 

Light, a reliable and able spiritualist journal in London, 
says: ''He would say to his friends, "We do not die 
altogether, our individuality survives ; and, while I am 
talking to you, I am certain that all around me are the 
souls of all the dear ones that I have lost and who hear 
me." He could never quite reconcile himself to the fact 
that his favorite daughter, who was drowned, was realljr 
dead. He often thought he heard her footsteps in the 
house and her hand on the handle of the door, and wrote : 

** Silence I elle a parl6 ! 

Tenez voici le bruit de sa main sur la cl€ ! 
Attendez ! elle vient. Laissez-moi que j'^coute ; 
Car elle est quelque part dans la maison, sans doute ! *' 

In our tongue these lines read : 

" Silence ! she speaks ! 
There ! Her hand is on the door knob I 
Wait ! she is coming. Let me listen ; 
She is doubtless in the house somewhere ! *' 

His last hours were " in a sort of trance," in which all his 
past came up and he looked forward with exceeding joy. 



/ 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 277 

speaking in tender and thoughtful affection to those around 
him, clasping his little grandchild Jeannie in his arms, 
and saying : * * Be quiet, child, there is nothing to cry- 
about," — telling his family, **Isee light" 

Twenty years or more ago Mrs. HoUis-Billing, a well- 
known American medium, spent some time in London, 
and went thence to Paris with letters to Victor Hugo and 
others. She told me of sending her letter to him, of his 
coming the next day to take her home to dine, and of 
frequent visits and sittings with him. On a special occa- 
sion, when messages came, purporting to be from his 
mother, he was deeply affected, kissed her hand at parting 
while his tears fell freely, and said : **I am thankful for 
this precious gift from heaven." 

Mrs. Billing showed me a score of notes in his hand- 
writing, and dated from his home, — cordial invitations to 
visit the family and graceful expressions of friendship 
and regard. 

DINAH MULOCK CRAIK. 

In a noble poem, on All Saints' Day, at New Hope 
College Chapel, Oxford, a place rich in old English 
memories, its very air filled with the sweet influences of 
departed worthies and pulsing with the grand harmony of 
music, she said : 

** I shall find them again, I shall find them again, 
By the soul that within me dwells 
And leaps unto Thee with rapture free, 
As the glorious anthem swells, 

I hear a voice saying. What it says. 

I hear, — so, perchance; do they, — 
As I stand between my living, I ween. 

And my dead upon All Saints' day." 

As she stands between the two worlds light comes to her 



278 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

from both, and her rapt soul is lifted up in joy and rever- 
ence while she sings : 

"And I see, all clear, new heavens, new earth. 
New bodies, redeemed from pain, 
New souls, — ah ! not so with the souls that I know. 
Let me find, let me find them again ! " 

She feels that these visions must be transient, and says : 

"Only at times through the soul's shut doors. 
Come visits divine as brief.'* 

But these visits are so real that she cries out : 

** Linger a little, invisible host 

Of the sainted dead, who stand. 
Perhaps, not far off, though men may scoff, 
Touch me with unfelt hand. 

•* But my own, my own, yc are holding me fast. 
With the human clasp that I knew. 
Through the chorus clear, your voices I hear ! 
And 1 am singing with you." 

The ''glorious anthem," sounding through the dim 
secluded aisles of the old chapel has helped her until her 
inmost spirit speaks, the consciousness of immortality and 
of spirit-presence is clear, and triumphant voices are heard 
from the summer-land. 

As these voices cease and the vision fades away she 
says : 

" Only at times does the awful mist 
Lift up, and we seem to see, 
For a moment's space, the far dwelling place. 
Of these, our beloved and Thee." 



A SIMPLE MICHIGAN MAIDEN. 

I once met in a Michigan village, a girl of seventeen 
years, natural in the sweet simplicity of her maidenhood, 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 



279 



and of an excellent family. Her education was that of a 
good country school, her knowledge of society limited. 
She was diffident and shrinking in manner, and unused to 
public speaking, save on a few occasions, when she was 
led out by an irresistible influence which she could not 
understand. Some of her friends and myself went to a 
hall with her, a woman led her to the platform, and I sat 
near to see and hear. I saw that when she rose before the 
audience she was hardly able to stand, and shrank timidly 
from their gaze. In a moment came a transfiguring 
change ; drawing a deep breath, she stood erect, her 
features radiant, her timidity gone, and her first words 
full of power. 

For an hour she held all her hearers spell-bound by a 
discourse clear in thought, felicitous in expression, wide 
in its range of knowledge, uplifting in its eloquence — such 
a discourse as we seldom hear. At its close she dropped 
wearily to her seat, upheldby her friend for a moment and 
then came a few deep breaths and the inspired speaker 
became again the simple and timid girl. Asking her after- 
ward how she felt, she said, ''I knew little of what I said 
or of the hearers. It seemed as though somebody was 
talking through me." The ** not herself" of George Eliot, 
and this experience of this simple maiden are quite alike. 
Was it some guiding and inspiring intelligence, or some 
high mood in which the outer senses are chained that the 
spirit may better assert itself? 

LIZZIE DOTEN. 

A verse opening one of the admirable poems of my 
friend Lizzie Doten, spoken first and then written, is as 
follows : 

** God of the Granite and the Rose, 
Soul of the Sparrow and the Bee, 
The mighty tide of Being flows 
Through countless channels, Lord, from thee, 



38o UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

It leaps to life in grass and flowers, 

Through every grade of being runs, 
'Till from Creation's radiant towers 
Its glory flames in stars and suns." 

Floating through her mind for days, these poems took 
form, ** the avenues of the external senses closed or disused 
in order that the spiritual perceptions might be quickened, " 
and also that **the world of causes, of which earth and 
its experiences are but passing effects, might be disclosed 
to my vision, " as she says. Most of her poems came from 
**the sacred retreat " of her Inner Life, where she holds 
" conscious communion with disembodied spirits," and 
imperfectly gives their thoughts in her verse, usually, but 
not always, knowing from whom they come. 

Is this thoughtful and sincere woman right, or what is 
the truth ? 

READING GERMAN PHILOSOPHY. 

The following remarkable experience is given me by 
my friend Emily Ward of this city, — a woman widely 
known, and beloved, held also as of superior capacity 
and judgment, firm nerves, and clear mental faculties. 
Fifty years ago, or more, her father was lighthouse- 
keeper on Bois Blanc island, and she, a strong young 
woman, climbed the tall tower daily to trim the lamp, 
and cared for her father's comfort Her own graphic 
words best tell the story : 

*' It was a very lonely life there, no inhabitants except 
an old Frenchman and his wife, who worked for father. 
The nearest white people were at Mackinaw, twelve miles 
west across the straits, that were heaped with snow and 
ice all winter. Once a month we had letters from the 
outside world, that father went to Mackinaw to get — a hard 
journey. For five long months we were snow and winter 
bound, seeing no familiar faces save those in our home. 
When the ice did finally break up in the spring, and the 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 28 1 

first boat came close off the shore, you may be sure it 
was welcomed with joy ; for Uncle Sam and Eber's boat 
(her brother, the late E. B. Ward of Detroit) was sure to 
be first, and Eber would come, in his brisk, breezy way, 
and tell of the news from civilization and of the sisters 
and families. In 1841 we had none of their children with 
us. I don't know how we should have endured the lone- 
liness but for books and papers. Beside the few we had 
father used to borrow from a Mackinaw friend, and from 
the officers in the fort there. After the work was done, 
in the long winter nights, father and I would sit by the 
big blazing fire-place and read and read. 

*' Among the borrowed books was The North American 
Review, then a new periodical. I became so deeply 
interested in reviews of German philosophy that I longed 
to read the books they wrote about. Every night, after 
I went to bed, I would think over what the authors had 
written, and wish I could read the originals. But how 
could I? I could not even buy the books, nor did I know 
a word of German. But all things are possible to the 
longing and ardent soul ; and after a while my prayers 
for knowledge were answered in a most extraordinary 
way. I do not, and never have believed in what is 
ordinarily called Spiritualism ; but what I am going to 
tell you as truly happened as that 1 live and sit here to 
tell it. 

"One night, after being more depressed than usual by 
my lack of means for learning, and by my intense desire 
for this particular knowledge of German philosophy, I fell 
asleep. I could not have slept long when it seemed I was 
reading just what I wanted to. The book was before me. 
I was holding it. The text was German, yet I understood 
it. The joy of it woke me up, and I could have wept for 
disappointment that I had not read more. I got up and 
looked out of the window. The moon was shining full 
on the white snow, and the evergreen trees looked dark 



282 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

and lovely against all that brightness. As I looked the 
disappointment passed away, and I felt an indescribable 
sense of exhilaration ; a keener knowledge of life and its 
meanings rose up within me, and a heartfelt but unspoken 
prayer to the good Father in heaven welled up from my 

soul. 

" I laid down again, and fell asleep, and immediately 
began to read the same book. This time I did not wake 
up, but read all the rest of the night In the morning, 
when I woke, I felt so rejoiced at what had happened, 
and so in hopes that I should be permitted to read again 
that night, that the day went by like a robin's song. 

*' I thought over what I had read, and tried to fix it in 
my memory, and I prayed that God would bless me in 
this one way, if He never gave me anything more. That 
night, as I looked out on the peaceful stars, before I retired, 
I again felt that calmness of soul and greatness of thought 
that we have so seldom in our lives. It is, indeed, the 
spirit triumphing over the flesh for a few brief moments. 
As soon as I fell asleep I began the book again, where I 
had left off, and again read all the night. 

** After that the winter was no longer dreary or lonely, 
for every night I would read, and in the morning wake 
up refreshed and exhilarated. Any time during that winter 
I could have written out in the morning what I had read 
at night It certainly was the happiest winter I ever spent, 
and what I read made a very deep impression on my 
mind, and exerted a strong influence on my whole life." 

All this had been kept in mind carefully, and had indeed 
made an indelible impression, as such experiences usually 
do. 

They cannot be dismissed with a flitting and shallow 
thought, or with a sneer heartless as well as shallow. 
Science must respect them or be unscientific ; religion 
must realize their meaning or lose heart and life. The 
ripening insight of our day calls for more careful study 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 283 

of these things of the spirit Thus shall we reach a more 
harmonious development ; the intuitive and spiritual 
faculties will not be ignored, but will act in unison with 
the logical and intellectual powers and the discovery and 
application of truth will greatly gain, giving new wealth 
to life and new power to every wise reform. 

Spiritualism and psychic science constantly touch and 
blend, like different phases of one bright planet 

Spiritual thinkers, of whatever class or name, may well 
realize that we stand at the verge of a wide field, rich in 
promise and waiting to be explored, and that the hour is 
ripe for the exploration. 

The record of an hour's experience, taken from notes 
made at the time, forty years ago, will give a glimpse of 
what we have to learn, and of the benefits of such knowl- 
edge. A young woman, in a family I knew well in a 
western city, was ill with a perilous brain fever. The 
eminent physician in attendance said to her mother : **I 
can do no more, in any usual way. I see but one hope 
for your daughter's recovery. I can magnetize her and 
relieve the pressure on the brain. If you wish I will try 
it, or you can call in other physicians." She consented, 
and I was one of the few who witnessed the experiment 
Standing by her bedside he quickly passed his hands 
downward over her head and eyes, sometimes lightly 
touching the patient, sometimes not, and in fifteen 
minutes the flushed face and inflamed eyes were natural 
in color and expression, the pressure on the brain re- 
lieved, the circulation equalized and natural, the breathing 
quiet as that of a healthful child, as she rested half asleep, 
sweetly and cosily. The physician said : '* I will psychol- 
ogize (or hypnotize) her a few minutes," and a few passes 
of the hand and an effort of his will seemed to produce 
the result, so that she drank pure water as lemonade, 
when he called it by that name ; said it needed more sugar 
when impressed to do so, and enjoyed it greatly wlva^ 



a84 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

he said it was just right, although no sugar had been near 
it, and otherwise showed her subject psychologic con- 
dition. He said to her; "Can you go to your grand- 
father's and tell us what they are doing and how the 
furniture in the front room is arranged ?" She said she 
could, closed her eyes, and was as in a quiet sleep for 
fifteen minutes, and then began, in a low voice and a 
quiet way, to tell of persons she saw, of their occupation, 
and of the furniture in the rooms. 

The physician knew nothing of the grandfather's house, 
which was seven hundred miles east ; the mother had 
asked him to get the description from her daughter, and 
that description was afterward found to he correct in every 
particular. At the time the mother spoke out and said : 
*'What she tells about the furniture is wrong. I was 
there not long ago, and it was then placed in a different 
way," but she was found wrong and the daughter right, 
the furniture having been re-arranged since the mother's 
visit. The daughter's clairvoyant sight had opened, and 
gone beyond the psychologic power of the operating 
hypnotizer, and beyond his knowledge, or that of any one 
present. The physician then said : **You need rest; we 
will leave you to sleep an hour with your mother by your 
side." At the close of the hour she awoke, greatly rested 
and relieved, and her recovery was rapid and lasting. 

The intelligent and excellent family were connected 
with an orthodox church, and had no special knowledge 
of these psychic matters, the mother's anxiety for her sick 
child really leading to all this valuable experience. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 285 



CHAPTER IX. 

THB RELIGIOUS OUTLOOK — COMING REFORMS. 

** Clothe rae in the rose-tints of Thy skies 

Upon morning summits laid ; 
Robe me in the purple and gold that flies 

Through Thy shuttles of light and shade. 
Give me of the brook's faith, joyously sung 

Under clank of its icy chain ! 
Give me of the patience that hides among 

Thy hill-tops in mist and rain ! 
lift me up from the clod ; let me breathe Thy breath ; 

Thy beauty and strength give me ! 

Let me lose both the name and the meaning of death 

In the life that I share with Thee ! " 

Lucy Larcotn, 

For more than sixty years I have heard the preaching 
of different denominations in twenty States from Maine to 
Missouri. The sermon of 1890 is not the sermon of 1830. 
Dogmas are less emphasized and " carnal reason " is less 
decried ; doctrines have more reasonable interpretation, 
the wrath of Jehovah gives place to the goodness of God; 
thought is broader and charity grows ; practical reforms 
are more urged ; we hear less of Judea and the wicked 
Jews, more of our own land and the erring Americans. 

The shadow of the Dark Ages hangs over the Roman 
Catholic church. There are true and gifted souls in its 
communion, and conscience must be held inviolate, but 
the organized power of its ecclesiasticism is a standing 
menace to freedom and to the free education of the people ; 
its doctrine that the Pope is to be obeyed before any, other 
ruler or State authority strikes at the root of patriotism, 
loyalty, and order. Catholic means universal. The growth 



286 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

of world-wide thought and of freedom of conscience is 
the decrease of Roman Catholicism, as some of its best 
members begin to see. 

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, D.D., Dean of Westminster, 
an eminent and eloquent preacher in the English Episcopal 
church, came to our country a few years ago, and his 
words here show the tendency of his thought to a broader 
charity and fraternity. A published volume of his Ameri- 
can discourses is quoted from. Addressing the Episcopal 
clergy of New England, he said ; 

** The crude notions which prevailed twenty years ago on the subject of 
Bible inspiration have been so completely abandoned as to be hardly any- 
where maintained by theological scholars The doctrine of the 

Atonement will never again appear in the crude form common both in 
Protestant and Catholic churches in former times. A more merciful view 
of future punishment and of a hope of a universal restitution have been 

gradually advancing, and the darker view gradually receding 

The question of miracles has reached this point — that no one would now 
make them the chief or sole basis ofthe evidence of religious truth. .... 
I am persuaded that what is called Liberal Theology is the backbone of 
the Church of England, and will be found to be the backbone of its 
daughter church in America." 

To the students of the Union Theological Seminary in 
New York, under Presbyterian care, he said : 

** Do let me entreat you to look focts in the face, whether the focts of 
the Bible, of science or of scholarship. Do not be afraid of them. Com- 
pare the sacred volumes of the Old and New Testaments with the sacred 
volumes of other religions. Make the most searching investigation, with 
light from whatever quarter, as to the origin of the sacred books.** 

On the Conditions of Religious Inquiry he wrote : 

*^ The most excellent service that churches and pastors, authorities of 
State or of religion, universities or teachers, can render to the human reason 
in this arduous enterprise is, not to restrain or to blindfold it, but to clear 
aside every obstacle, to open wide the path, to chase away the phantoms 
that stand in the road.*' 

Speaking on the Nature of Man in a New York pulpit, 
his word was : 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 287 

** When for a thousand years the Christian church believed that the 
eternal weal or woe of human beings depended on the immersion of the 
human body or sprinkling the forehead in a baptistery or a font of water; 
when the regeneration of nations, in the Middle Ages, or even in the 
seventeenth century, was supposed to depend on the possession of a dead 
bone or a fragment of wood ; when Dodwell maintained that the soul was 
mortal, and that none but bishops had the power of giving it * the Divine 
immortalizing spirit ; ' when a celebrated English divine maintained, some 
fifty years ago, that the ordinary means by which a human being acquired 
immortaUty was by physically partaking of the bread and wine of the 
Eucharist, — these were all so many attempts to sink the spiritual in the 
material, to resolve the spirit of man into the material particles of meat 
and drink, of inanimate substances, and of things that perish with the 

using Whenever, whether in Catholic or Protestant, in heathen 

or Christian lands, the irrational, the magical, the inanimate, gives place 
to the reasonable, the holy, and the living service of the human soul to 
God, — there, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, 
the pure sacrifice, the true incense, is offered, by which alone man can 
hope to prevail with his Maker." 

Rev. Phillips Brooks, of Boston, a gifted and eminent 
Episcopalian, has an article in the Princeton Review of 
March, 1879, ^^ ^^^ Pulpit and Modern Skepticism, in 
which he says : 

** Doubts are thick around us in our congregations, and thicker still, out- 
side in the world. Skepticism is a very pervading thing. It evidently can- 
not be shut up in any guarded class or classes Ideas change and 

develop in all sorts and conditions of men ; the occupants of pulpits have 

their doubts and disbeliefs as well as others A large acquaintance 

with clerical life has led me to think that almost any company of clergy- 
men, talking freely to each other, will express opinions which would greatly 
surprise, and at the same time greatly relieve, the congregations, who 
ordinarily listen to these ministers How men in the ministry to- 
day believe in the doctrine of verbal inspiration which our fathers held, and 
how many of us have frankly told the people that we do not believe 

it ? How many of us hold the everlasting punishment of the 

wicked as a clear and certain truth of revelation ? But how many of us 

who do not hold it have ever said a word ? There must be no 

lines of orthodoxy inside the lines of truth. Men find that you are 
playing with them, and will not believe you, even when you are in 

earnest The minister who tries to make people believe that which 

he questions, in order to keep them from questioning what he believes, 



288 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YE APS. 

knows very little about the certain workings of the human heart, and has 
no real £Euth in truth itself. I think a great many teachers and parents 

are now in just this condition It is a most dangerous experi- 

ment." 

Such testimonies, from such sources, are significant. 
They show that theological dogmatism is a crime against 
humanity. 

The old Pharisaic spirit, which persecutes heretics in the 
'* I am holier than thou " spirit, still lives among bigoted 
sectaries, Protestant as well as Catholic. It blazed in 
hot wrath against early Universalism, it is brutish in its 
ignorant contempt of modern Spiritualism, but its flames 
grow fainter. The orthodox and evangelical churches 
have no religious fellowship or communion with Uni- 
tarians and their like, but the dividing walls weaken and 
their fragments get scattered, so that the liberal Congre- 
gation alist can hardly tell on which side of the line he 
stands. 

A NEW PROTESTANTISM. 

Great changes mark the religious thought of our day, 
greater than those of the days of Martin Luther. That 
Protestant Reformation was a grand onward step, but, 
with Protestant as with Catholic, it was authority for 
truth, Bible, or creed, or Papal decree above the soul. 
Now the spirit asserts itself, the soul is greater than Bible 
or Pope, truth transcends authority. The change is a 
revolution,— a New Protestantism. 

From miraculous revelation and inspiration in one book 
and one age only, the outlook is toward natural revela- 
tion and inspiration in all ages, among all peoples, and 
in more than one book. From the fall of man in some 
mythic Eden, a fall from which no rise is possible save 
to the few '* elect," we turn to his rise, here and here- 
after. 

Turning from original sin and total depravity, the great 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 289 

word of Derzhaven stands graven on the rocks toward the 
mountain-tops we would climb : 

** For in my spirit doth Thy spirit shine. 
As shines the sunbeam in the drop of dew." 

The heaven of harps and palm branches, of praise 
without works, and the fiery hell of eternal torment are 
fading away. In their place come the softened sheol, 
then future probation, then the spirit-world with its ample 
scope for nobler tasks than we can even dream of here. 

Leaving the narrow view which made Christianity from 
God and all other religions devices of Satan, we turn 
toward the sympathy of religions, — Veda and Dhamma- 
pada and Bible, valuable but not infallible ; milestones 
along the path. The miraculous Christ, second person of 
a mystical Trinity, dying to appease the wrath of the first 
person, and the bloody atonement, are being held as 
outworn and crude conceptions. **The man Christ 
Jesus," our elder brother, stands clad in the beauty of a 
holiness human yet divine. 

No marvel that many, reverently devoted to the old 
opinions, and lacking insight and courage to see that 
better must take their place, shrink from these great 
changes. Creeds are being studied and revised, inde- 
pendent preachers get large hearing. It is the awaken- 
ing day of the soul ; the old foundations are shaken and 
overturned. We may have respectful tenderness for the 
good of whatever faith, but none the less must truth 
sweep on. 

For safety and growth in grace we must be light- 
bringers. 

Man is no longer the tool and creature of institutions, 
in State or Church. They are made by him : if they help 
and serve him, it is well ; if not, **the breath that made 
can unmake." No divinity hedges around bishop or 
parish minister, book or doctrine. No **thus saith the 

1^ 



290 UPWARD STEPS OP SEVENTY YEARS, 

Lord " can enslave men ; thought must be untrammeled 
by external and arbitrary limitations that our ideals of life 
may enlarge. The best people in the churches care least 
for dogmas, the best preachers say least about them ; in 
good time they will die out Dogmatism is not religion. 
When creeds are forgotten and Bibles are helps, valuable 
yet human and fallible, there will be more ** peace on 
earth and good-will among men " than now. We can see 
already that the growth of spiritual freedom brings more 
healthful and natural piety. 

Psychological study reveals the wide sweep of man's 
spiritual relations and the splendor of human powers and 
possibilities, while science questions nature for fact and 
law. Dogmatic theology offers only the crude systems of 
a darker Past, and the poor stories of miracles wrought 
by an arbitrary power above law, — all to be believed, 
even if reason rebels and conscience abhors. We have 
the supremacy and sanctity of the soul, its instinctive 
call for "Light, more light!" and the grand search of 
science, wide as the world and through stars and suns ; 
while troops of bigots hold up all manner of conflicting 
dogmas, and vex the air with their senseless yet cruel 
outcries, — ** Believe and be saved. He that believeth 
not shall be damned." It is a growth more than a con- 
test With far less warfare of words than of old we are 
leaving these dwarfing finalities beneath us. We move 
on and toss back our broken fetters, not caring to dispute 
about the stuff they are made of. 

WOMAN IN THE PULPIT. 

A woman preach ! Amazement and pious indignation 
would have ruled the hour had such a step been proposed 
in the Hatfield meeting-house, in my boyhood. The 
solid old pulpit would have been shaken to pieces .by her 
profane weight Even the placid mood of the Unitarian 
people in the Springfield church of my parents would 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 291 

have been sorely vexed by so unwomanly a suggestion. 
A few years ago twenty women preached in this good 
city of Detroit one Sunday, mostly in popular orthodox 
churches, and their hearers really enjoyed their ministra- 
tions. The Puritans of New England, Whittier tell f us : 

** Flayed the backs of female preachers/* 

On that Sunday I sat in two orthodox churches among 
the descendants of those Puritans, and they were happy 
listeners to the gospel preached by women. 

** Theodore Parker said: "Our theology came from 
old monks, with heads like apes and necks Hke bulls, 
woman had no part in its creed-making. " 

The more need thatshehelp in its reform. Her coming 
religious position and influence should not be overlooked. 

The Homileiic Review, an evangelical magazine, fairly 
opened its pages in 1887 for a discussion of the question, 
** Shall women be licensed to preach ? " and Frances E. 
Willard made clear affirmative answer. 

She said: "It is men who have defrauded manhood 
and womanhood, in the persons of priest and monk and 
nun, of the right to the sanctities of home ; men who have 
invented hierarchies and lighted inquisitorial fires. . . It 
is men who have taken the simple, loving, tender gospel 
of the New Testament, so suited to be the proclamation 
of a woman's lips, and translated it in terms of sacerdo- 
talism, dogma and martyrdom. The mother-heart of God 
will never be known to the world until translated into 
speech by mother-hearted woman. Law and love will 
never balance in the realm of grace until a woman's hand 
shall hold the scales. 

* * Men preach a creed ; women will declare a life. 
Men deal in formulas ; women in facts. Men have always 
tithed mint and rue and cummin in their exegesis and 
ecclesiasticism, while the world s heart has cried out for 
compassion, forgiveness and sympathy. Men's preaching 



292 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY VEAKS. 

has left heads committed to a catechism and left hearts 
hard as nether millstones. " 

Among Friends women have always preached, and 
Liberal Christians hear them gladly. The Spiritualists 
always prized woman's ministrations, and Orthodox doors 
are slowly opening to her. Let her be true to her own 
convictions, and adopt the motto of Lucretia Mott of 
blessed memory : "Truth for authority, not authority for 
truth." 

REV. HORACE BUSHNELL's ' ' DEEPER MATTERS. " 

Forty years or more ago that able and earnest orthodox 
clergyman, Rev. Horace Bushnell, sat in a meeting of his 
Congregational clerical brethren in Hartford, Ct, and 
listened quietly to their discussion of sundry theological 
dogmas. At last his opinion was asked, and he said in 
substance : 

*• Brethren, it is not for me to say that these questions 
are trivial, but their vital importance is passing away. 
Graver and deeper matters loom up before us in the near 
future, not of election and reprobation, not of trinity or 
atonement, but we shall soon be asked. Is there a God 
or any Divine government ? Is there any future life ? And 
these questions we must be ready to meet, not by dog- 
matic assertions, but by argument and illustration that 
will satisfy reason and conscience, and awaken spiritual 
life." 

The condition of religious thought to-day justifies his 
sagacious foresight. 

The old dogmatic questions still linger but grow incon- 
sequent, serving as shadowy ghosts to frighten the fear- 
ful for a while. 

Is this dead world a self-acting machine ? Is man's life 
born of the body, kept up by its chemic tides, and to 
die with that body's death? Is there no ruling and 
designing mind ? Or is there a Soul of Things, an uplift- 
ing design, an immortal life for man ? Is Materialism or 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 293 

a Spiritual Philosophy to sway the future ? These great 
questions loom up before us, and go to the very founda- 
tions of our philosophy and our religion. The old disputes 
are dwarfed and trifling in comparison, and the old creeds 
give us no answer such as we need. A deeper philoso- 
phy, a more perfect science, an inspiring spiritual faith 
and knowledge, and a natural religion are to gain nobler 

growth in the search for truth now opening. They must, 
and will, help us to find fit answer to these grave questions. 

The scientific theory of evolution, for instance, is exter- 
nal and imperfect until it shall recognize an indwelling 
and designmg Mind, and include the idea that '*The in- 
tention of nature everywhere manifest is the perfection of 
man;" that star-dust, and crude matter and all lower 
types of life prophesy him, and that his life here prophesies 
his life hereafter. With such inclusiveness it will be per- 
fected, and will be the helper of a deeper religious faith. 

A divine plan and purpose is about us and in our very 
being. So opens the way for insight and trust, for hope 
and love and reverence, and for a better comprehension 
of things. 

The splendid researches of Darwin and others give us 
evolution as the working of force and law in the trans- 
figuration of matter. In spiritual science evolution is the 
Divine method, the positive power of mind using and 
guiding force and law, not merely to lift rock and clod to 
finer forms and higher uses, but also to guide man up the 
spiral pathway in an unending progressive development. 
By so much as immortal man is greater than the clod he 
treads on, spiritual science is greater and more complete 
than all merely inductive methods which only touch mat- 
ter and ignore the soul in man, and the Soul of things. 
These inductions have done, and are doing great service. 
They are not to be underrated, but it is high time we 
looked beyond them for larger and more perfect methods, 
of which they would be only a part 



294 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

Mind must marshal and array atoms and particles for 
their new departure up the spiral pathway. As in the 
growth of worlds and races through long ages, so it is in 
the annual transfigurations which surprise and delight us. 
God transmutes the dry seed and the black mud into the 
delicate hue and shape and the fine fragrance of the rose, 
because the divine Mind, working through the law of the 
flower's growth, vitalizes and refines the stuff it uses to 
reveal a gleam of the Infinite Beauty. 

Science says to-day that an all-pervading yet invisible 
ether must be, or its undulatory theory of light is im- 
possible. It did not say so yesterday. To-morrow it 
must say that an all-pervading and guiding Mind must be, 
or evolution is impossible. Sooner than we imagine the 
time is coming when a godless science will be an un- 
scientific absurdity. 

What ideas shall uplift and inspire man, helping to 
make to-morrow better than to-day ? What great truths 
of the Past shall we keep while putting its errors aside ? 

The old religions were not all false ; the old creeds not 
all error ; men and women who believe them have led 
noble lives. Underneath them were great and enduring 
truths, not to be cast aside or made light of. Ideas of 
Deity, duty and immortality were the light of Asia and 
Old Egypt, and of Europe in the Middle Ages, and that 
light will shine with a more golden glory as the clouds of 
superstition melt away and the spiritual nature of man 
asserts itself. 

Going to the Synagogue under charge of Rabbi Gross- 
man n in this city lately I witnessed the Sabbath-school 
exercises of three hundred children. The Rabbi read an 
anthem to be sung, the happy voices joined in the music, 
and the voice of the Jewish maiden who sat at the piano 
as leader was as rich and clear as might have been that 
of the saintly Rebecca the Jewess in Walter Scott's great 
story. The Rabbi said to the children : **The music is a 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 295 

thousand years old; the words, opening with: 'Hear, O 
Israel, the Lord is One ! ' were sung by the Israelites on 
the shore of the Red Sea three thousand years ago/' 

One seemed to hear the strains of harp and tinnbrel 
mingling with the songs of ancient Israel. The thought 
came up that even if our sight was clearer and our sky 
broader, the same ineffable light came through the clouds 
to them which we, and their descendants among us, may 
haply see more clearly to-day. 

We have a good deal of so-called ''advanced thought 
and radicalism." Those who not only reject the old 
theology, but have no spiritual faith in its place, no belief 
in a supreme Intelligence, an immortal life, or anything 
beyond the range of the outward senses claim to be 
most advanced and most truly radical. Is it an advance 
to wander away in the mists of materialism? Which 
has gone farthest in the path of wisdom and light Emer- 
son, who says ; 

** Ever fresh this broad creation, 
A divine improvisation, 
From the heart of God proceeds ; 
A single will, a million deeds, 

or those sceptics called advanced thinkers ? Radicalism 
is going to the root or origin of things. Is there no ruling 
mind there, or only mud out of which mind is to be 
evolved } 

Channing said : "I call that mind free which escapes 
the bondage of matter, which, instead of stopping at the 
material universe and making it a prison wall, passes 
beyond it to its Author, and finds in the radiant signa- 
tures which it every where bears of the Infinite Spirit helps 
to its own spiritual enlargement." These are deeper 
words than the shallow style of radicalism can give us. 

This is a day of Ethical Culture. Societies to that high 
end are organized, able discourses go out emphasizing 



296 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

nobler morals and a wiser daily life — aims surely worthy 
of all commendation. This movement ignores or holds 
inconsequent all discussion of a future life and a Supreme 
Mind as possible helps to its aims ; and treats of man as 
living here with no infinite relations, no inspiration from 
any sphere beyond this little ball we call our earth. Its 
exclusive this-worldliness is an extreme reaction from 
the equally absurd other-worldliness of old-time pietists. 
That extreme must be abandond ; for the highest and 
most vital thought of duty is only possible when we see 
that the basis of ethics and morals is in the immortal 
human spirit akin to the Divine Spirit The noble army 
of martyrs and reformers, from Paul and Silas in prison, 
with a friendly and powerful spirit opening its doors, to the 
patient and conquering endurance of William of Orange, 
and the heroic cheer of Lucretia Mott, fill us with a sense 
of the power and grace of the fearless doing of duty, 
of obedience to that sacred voice in the soul which says : 
*'I ought." Not to obey that voice is to be flippant and 
weak, shallow and worthless, in this world and in all 
worlds. 

No narrow this-worldliness dwarfed the thoughts of 
these great teachers and moral heroes. They felt that 
man's divine relations and the large scope of his immortal 
life must help to light his daily path and enlarge and 
enrich his ethics. Ethical culture must be spiritualized ; 
its air is too cold, its light too dim. Among its leaders 
are true men with noble aims, but their ideal of life is 
fragmentary. Can we learn most and best of duty by 
ignoring Deity and immortality and not using these great 
ideas as inspiring helps? Surely not. If we can, the 
morals of Christ, the great words of Socrates and of a long 
line of divine philosophers and inspired seers and poets 
have been too much exalted. 

Agnostic ethics are like the house built on the sand, 
spiritual ethics like the house built on the rock. ThQ 



PWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 297 

storm swept away the first, but the last was not shaken. 

LIBERAL CHRISTIANITY. 

How fares our Liberal Christianity ? At the heart of 
Unitarianism, Universalism and Quakerism are ideas of 
religious progress, and of the Divine beneficence. By 
these they have greatly profited. They have put aside 
errors and gained truths, and an increasing number 
among them are glad of this growth. Bibliolatry and 
lawless miracles are fading out and rational views taking 
their place. They have made a strong impression on 
the orthodox sects. Outside of Universalism are more 
Universalists than within. Channing and Parker have 
wide reading outside of Unitarianism. With no rigid 
creeds there is large diversity, much agreeing to disagree 
on non-essentials, and sometimes disagreement on deeper 
matters. A lack of the deep conviction, abiding faith, 
and strong earnestness of old Puritanism weakens the 
liberal religious movements. That same lack weakens 
modern evangelical churches even more. Fill the larger 
thought of to-day with that conquering spiritual strength 
of the olden time and the whole earth will be stirred. 

Great and needed emphasis is placed on character in 
religion, but character is based on thought. Make the 
foundation solid and the temple stands, ignore the base 
and the whole structure totters to its fall. 

The dogmatic creed was like a morsel of the bread of 
life in a great dish of dust and rubbish, all to be eaten, 
no dust sifted out, no change of diet allowed. It has had 
its day. But shall nothing stand in its place ? Is that 
morsel to be flung away with the rubbish? The world 
asks a man : ** What are your inspiring ideas and convic- 
tions?" If he says : **I don't know," he has no weight 
So it is with a body of men and women. 

Brief statements of great spiritual truths, the eternal 
verities which have come down the ages as our precious 



298 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

heritage, and cannot wisely be flung aside, must stand 
instead of the old superficial dogmas. They must be 
open to revision, and so end the poor game of heresy- 
hunting. *' Here we stand, to study these great ideas 
and to do our duty. We seek light, and, if need be, we 
move on to-morrow," will be their meaning. 

Thus will souls be vitalized and illuminated, while 
intellect has widest range, and reason is free. Thus will 
come foundation for character, solid and lasting ground 
for natural religion, definiteness of aim, and that depth of 
conviction which gives positive and conquering power. 

No doubter need be misused or coldly turned away, for 
there are noble souls who doubt and every conscience is 
inviolate. Hold up a steady light and ask all to come 
and see if it helps them. 

Affirm Deity, Duty, Immortality as primal truths of the 
soul, and the liberal faith grows stronger, its great work 
still greater, its firm pathway free from quicksands and 

fog. 

All religious movements must rest on spiritual founda- 
tions. 

Conversing with a Unitarian clergyman of large mind 
and heart, and manly courage, I said to him : Unitarians 
and other liberal religionists are in a peculiar situation. 
The old textual evidences of Deity and immortality are fad- 
ing, the external tendencies of science, dealing only with 
crude matter and blind force and ignoring spiritual causa- 
tion, are drifting your thought toward materialism. Sup- 
pose modern spiritualism to be true ; its proven facts, evi- 
dences through the senses of a great truth of the soul ; 
knowledge added to intuitive faith ; blessed manna for the 
heart-hunger of the bereaved. Would it not meet your 
great need? With your intellectual culture and large 
thought lighted up and made warm and vital in this new 
atmosphere, would you not gain a deep assurance, a con- 
quering and affirming power to supplant the old theology 



UPWARD STEPS OF' SEVENTY YEARS. 



I and put something stronger and more rational and uplift- 
ing in its place? 
After a moment's thought his deeply earnest answer 
was ; "We should be able to move the world with a 
mighty power." 
1 then said : " I have no wish to underrate the jood 
you have done. I try to take some part in that good work 
and to be one with you in it ; but it is for you to study 
and accept the higher aspects of spiritualism and live, or 
to hold the great matter off and die, bewildered and chilled 
hy fatal doubt. " 

I His answer was : " It may be so. Surely it is worth 
serious thought" 
The facts of spirit-presence have stirred the deeper life 
of millions. The leaven has spread round the world. A 
strong and vitalizing element is helping to uplift the 
religion of the future. It modifies and lights up the 
thought of many to-day who are unconsciously influenced 
by it 
Alfred R. Wallace in an article in the North American 
Jteview, said : " To the teacher of religion it (spiritualism) 
is of vital importance, since it enables him to meet the 
sceptic on his own ground, to adduce facts and evidence 
for the faith he professes, and to avoid the attitude of 
apology and doubt which renders him altogether helpless 
against the vigorous assaults of agnosticism and mate- 
rialistic science. Theology, when vlvitied and strength- 
ened by spiritualism, may regain some of the influence 
and power of its earlier years." 

Liberal Christianity, with no Bible or creed as authority, 
and no miracles of old supernaturalism, especially needs 
to be "vivified and strengthe:ned, " that it may escape the 
chill of materialism. 

It would be absurd to ignore the host outside the 
churches, far greater than that within, as though they had 
no spiritual life, uo religious thought, or influence. Among 






300 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

them are many thoughtful men and women, non-con- 
formists and non-church-goers, but eminent in goodness. 
They are truth seekers, often religious in a high sense, and 
their influence is great The trend of their thought is 
away from all binding and irrational dogmas. They 
sympathize with rational and enlarging religious ideas. 
They accept spiritualism, or turn toward materialism, or 
stand and wait for more light, living meanwhile lives of 
such kindness and fidelity as put to shame pious hypocrites 
and canting pretenders and win the respect of the good 
and true in the churches and outside. 

These sympathize with the New Protestantism, and 
add to its power. 

TWO PATHS — ^THE COMING RELIGION. 

The old dogmas and ecclesiasticisms will not die in a 
day. The walls of a great cathedral crumble slowly. 
But we are moving on, out from the old marshlands and 
leaden clouds, and have reached two diverging paths, be- 
tween which we are to choose, and one or the other of 
which we are to pursue. Along one path the traveller as- 
cends to heavenly highlands, leaving his pilgrim's burden 
of mortal sin behind, if he but look up and move on, and 
entering a more real life to learn more fully the signifi- 
cance of the poet's aspiration — 



** Nearer, my God, to thee ! 



>f 



Entering the other path the traveller goes down, soul 
and body, **to the undistinguished dust from whence he 
sprang," buried in the soulless clods, dead in the grasp of 
relentless force. Which shall we take ? The agnostic 
hesitates in enervating uncertainty, but the march of the 
coming host carries him along. Lacking faith in the sky 
he clings to the clod which his poor feet can feel, and 
is swept into the path which leads to his grave, which he 
follows with decent courage but with no heavenly light 
along the darkening way. 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 301 

All progressive religious thinkers may well bear in mind 
that they must choose between these two paths. They 
must hold to the Supreme Intelligence and the immortality 
of man or drift toward materialism. The two schools and 
methods of thought are not merely unlike, they are op- 
posite. If one is true the other is false. There need be 
no detraction of honest materialists. All sincere opinion 
deserves respect. But how is most light gained for daily 
work ? Which path is best for daily life ? How is religious 
growth or inspiration possible without spiritual ideas? 
* * How can two walk together unless they be agreed ? " 

We can unite in practical reforms, but to join in teach- 
ing Godliness and godlessness, deathlessness and death, 
spirit as king and matter as king, would be confusion 
worse confounded, ending in decay and disorganization. 

While dogmatism is smitten with sure decay, religion 
will be put on a basis deeper and more lasting. In the 
soul of man, its unity with the Infinite Soul, and the open 
way for truth from one to the other, will be its sure found- 
ations. That gifted seer, Selden J. Finney, said : — ^' There 
is no other universal Bible but the Creation and its informing 
Spirit. The human spirit or reason is the universal Bible 
rising into the language of love, justice, science, and 
philosophy. There is not a single pebble on the sea- 
shore, not a rock on the mountain-top, not a world, nor 
a fountain, nor a flower, but invites us to read a divine 
revelation. Is it not universal? Is it not universally acces- 
sible ? If you study an ear of corn you get swept into 
the cycles of universal life. You commence with that 
silken tassel, and you study the laws of vegetative growth, 
and before you are aware of it you are contemplating the 
everlasting genus of suns. Here is a universal revelation, 
the only one through which the Divine Intelligence ad- 
dresses the senses and, through them, the soul. 

* ' Religion is a process, full of love and wisdom, full of 
vital power and beauty. It is not a dead record. Man 



302 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

most resembles the divine nature when he copies, so to 
speak, the divine proceeding — when he so directs and 
eliminates and harmonizes his energies that the powers of 
the world can make naught but music through them. 

**To read a revelation, you must read it in the light in 
which it was written, or you never can read it at all ; and in 
order to read it in the light in which it was written, your private 
lamp must be kindled at the central sun of the world which illu- 
minates that revelation. It is the spiritual eye that must be 
touched with the vital energies of that everlasting love. 
We cannot read any divine revelation by any other light, 
by any other power. This view is very hopeful — it makes 
humanity divine." 

I seem to hear these texts of the coming gospel, as I 
heard them from the eloquent lips of my ascended friend. 

The great changes in religious and scientific thought, 
and external conditions, and the marked progress of 
noble reforms which I have seen and felt for more than 
sixty years make us breathe a new atmosphere, and fore- 
tell a better future. Doubts are more frankly expressed, 
and thus a healthful sincerity gains. Reason and con- 
science and intuition have more freedom, the inner life 
opens and the soul asserts itself. As the great debate 
goes on the negations of materialism, and the halting 
doubts of agnosticism will not satisfy the deeper wants 
of the spirit ; the materialistic philosophy will be too shal- 
low and fragmentary to fill the wide range of the enlarg- 
ing mind, and the unfolding spiritual nature. Not trou- 
bled about saving souls from future torment, the doing of 
good deeds, and the seeking for daily light along the path- 
way of the spirit can better fill our time. Thus we shall 
realize the high possibilities of interior illumination and 
normal spiritual culture, lifting life to diviner levels. 

The religion of the future and a Spiritual Philosophy will 
be in unison. "God in all and over all, and through all, 
forever," — an infinite Spirit using law as its servant to 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 303 

uplift all to higher uses and finer harmony, will be its 
central idea. Our sense of duty and fraternity must gain 
in depth and tenderness. With the assurance of an im- 
mortal life, near and natural, blending with our existence 
here and reaching to heights we know not of, must come 
a larger hope, a deeper faith verified by positive knowl- 
edge. 

The church of the future may have one name — The 
Church of the Spirit, as has been well suggested, — or its 
divisions may vary in name and in shades of thought, but 
it will be the free assemblage of men and women seeking 
to be more and to do more. Standing on firm ground and 
in heavenly light it must help to power and harmony of 
character, to practical righteousness, and world-wide 
charity. 

In place of the jangle of conflicting dogmas, will come 
the search for truth, the thinking wisely along spiritual 
lines, the doing of daily duty, the helping of all needed 
reforms, the deeper feeling that ** Love is the fulfilling of 
the Law," the Christ-like spirit of human brotherhood. 

COMING REFORMS. 

•♦ New occasions teach new duties. . . . 

Time makes ancient good uncouth ; 
They must upward still and onward, 

Who would keep abreast of Truth. 

John Milton wrote of days : ** When God shakes a 
kingdom with strong and healthful commotion to a general 
reforming," and of men rising up '*to gain farther, and 
go on some new enlightened steps for the discovery of 
truth." Such enlightened steps are always needed. To 
sit idly and read ** the legendary virtues carved upon our 
father's graves," is to make poor use of their example. 
They did the duty of their day, we should do the duty of 
ours still better. A few great upward steps are before us 
in the near future. The ** healthful commotion " of the 



304 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

discussion of these matters of vital moment stirs the air. 

PEACE MUST COME, 

instead of that "great duel of nations" which we call 
war. National arbitration must end the awful waste of 
human life, the bloody barbarism and fearful cost of that 
duel A gleam of golden light, glorifying the closing 
years of the century, and shining far into the future, is the 
arbitration pledge of the Pan-American Congress just made 
at Washington — a pledge of peace between the republics 
of this western world. Let us hope it may be kept 

THE SALOON MUST BE BANISHED. 

That curse and peril of our land must be blotted out 
Self-conquest, self-knowledge and culture must lift us 
above the folly and degradation of using intoxicating 
liquors, and above the sway of perverted appetite and 
passion. 

CAPITAL AND LABOR 

must be allies and never enemies. Within the past forty 
years inventive genius has filled the world with splendid 
mechanism, the use of which greatly increases our pro- 
ductive power, and calls for capital in large masses and 
labor in great armies. We are dazed by this sudden 
change, and the cry is raised that '* The rich are growing 
richer and the poor poorer," but we begin to see that the 
tendency and result of the new mechanisms and methods 
is better pay and shorter hours for labor. This is hope- 
ful, but the cruel greed of gain, the eager rush for great 
wealth, the selfish luxury and pride of power, and all 
blind hate and fear must give way to a spirit of fraternity. 
With that spirit ruling these new conditions can be so 
adjusted that the people's step shall be upward, and we 
can all prosper together. 
A brave and needed word was that of Andrew Car- 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS, 305 

negie : *'He who dies rich, and having done nothing for 
the good ^^the people, dies disgraced." 

WOMAN-SUFFRAGE 

must come, not last but first, if possible, to give needed 
help to the other great steps. With these steps taken, 
ways will open better for the righting of lesser wrongs. 

In 1859-60 a strong effort by a goodly company in Ann 
Arbor and elsewhere, in which it was my privilege to take 
part, topenjed the doors of our Michigan State University to 
women, /^^^6 prophecies of ill were doleful and direful, 
but the mistaken prophets now rejoice in the good results. 
While this discussion was going on, Professor Frieze of 
the University was, with the President and others, opposed 
to co-education. He was greatly respected and be- 
loved for his ripe scholarship, and for his kindness and 
sincerity. Some years after I met him on a street car 
in Detroit, and he said : "You remember I was opposed 
to women being admitted as students : I was honest in my 
fears and doubts." At once I replied : " I never doubted 
your sincerity or good intent," and he added : ** Now I 
am glad to say that I was mistaken. In scholarship and 
conduct and character the admission of women has brought 
help and good. " We shook hands cordially at parting, 
and my high regard for him was increased by the true man- 
liness of this admission of his mistake. 

In 1874 the question of woman suffrage was submitted 
to the people of Michigan, and we had 40,000 votes in its 
favor, after a short but excellent campaign. The liquor 
interest arrayed itself against us. '* Instinct is a great 
matter, " and it leads the liquor sellers to see the hand- 
writing of doom on their walls in this larger use of the 
moral power of woman. 

Prejudiced men and women, often not gifted with strong 

minds, conjure up strange fancies of shabby housekeeping 

20 



3o6 UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 

and family trouble in the homes of " strong* minded 
women." I have broken bread at the tables of Lucretia 
Mott and Lucy Stone, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and 
can testify to the important fact that it was excellent bread I 

Their families seemed contented and happy, and their 
homes beautifully ordered ! Mrs. Livermore and Lucy 
Stone are on the best terms with their husbands I Susan 
B. Anthony is an excellent cook, and likes it, too. She is a 
skilled and faithful nurse, and tenderly cared for her aged 
parents in their last years, yet she is suspected of having 
a strong mind ! These cheering facts are given to en- 
courage the poor in spirit Surely we ought always to 
help the weak. This is a poor, foolish world, if we only 
look on its weak side, but its stronger and braver side 
wins at last — the true "survival of the fittest." A load 
of cruelty and contempt is being lifted from womanhood. 
A higher sense of the sanctity of maternity, higher 
thoughts of marriage and heredity are coming to us, 
Woman finds more varied employ and a slowly rising 
scale of compensation. The light of dawn is visible. 
There can be no true civilization, or unity in the highest 
sense, without equality of rights. This great reform will 
go on, and will succeed. Womanhood and manhood, 
home life and public affairs, will be the better for it, and 
the change will come so quietly that the timid will look 
back and wonder at their fears. Subtle and indefinable is 
the difference, in mind and soul, between womanhood 
and manhood. The intuition of woman sees in advance, 
and illuminates paths which man pursues and works out 
We need both in all life's duties, that the perfect whole 
may be rounded out in full harmony. 

Pride and prejudice, false conservatism, blind selfish- 
ness, sectarian bigotry, vested interest and the cruel greed of 
gain, stand against these great coming reforms. A grow- 
ing fairness and largeness of discussion, a setting of 
the tides of religious thought toward duty to man, 



UPWARD STEPS OF SEVENTY YEARS. 307 

firm adherence to right and sacred devotion to its ser- 
vice, moral heroism, spiritual culture and illumination, the 
rising influence of woman, and far-seeing wisdom stand 
for them, and will win them all. On the side of right too 
is a mighty force, underlying and helping all human 
efforts. In scientific language we may call that force 
** The upward tendency which streams irresistibly through 
all things ;" in religious phrase it is the will of God that 
the right shall supplant the wrong — a purpose that knows 
no failure. 

The man on his farm or in his shop, the woman in her 
kitchen or parlor, feels the thrill of a large and noble life 
the sense of a divine consecration, if enlisted in the 
service of a great reform. To live in that atmosphere is 
like breathing pure air from the mountains. Lucretia 
Mott, Isaac T. Hopper, Garrison, Oliver Johnson, James 
G. Birney, Benjamin Fish, Gerritt Smith, and other anti- 
slavery pioneers whom I knew, kept up their active work 
beyond the allotted three-score and ten years, and then 
graduated to the higher life to take up some fit task with 
larger powers. 

Heroism is health. The sane soul is hopeful and 
strong and persistent It vitalizes the body, while the puri- 
fying power of a high purpose checks excess of appetite 
and passion and prolongs life on earth. ** Hitch your 
wagon to a star " is a good medical prescription as well 
as a quaint and wise ideal suggestion. 

A pessimist can never be a wise reformer. His creed 
of despair is a blind blunder, filling men with hate or 
gloom. The upward steps, not only of the last seventy 
years, but of all the centuries, have been led by brave and 
hopeful men and women, not by pessimists. The struggle 
may be severe but a great beneficence wins, a wise op- 
timism gives the inspiring word : 

"Ever the right comes uppermost. 
And ever is justice done." 



3o8 UPWARD STEPS OF SE VENl Y YEARS. 

CONCLUSION. 

My pleasant task draws to its close. It has filled man) 
cheerful hours at home, and these closing words an 
written in the rooms of a beloved friend and kinsman ir 
south-western New York. Looking out, the fields, clad in 
the fresh verdure of spring, the pleasant homes along the 
village street, the railroad track and the grand hills beyond 
are before me. Miles of landscape pictured on a tiny 
space in the retina of the eye, tint and shade of earth and 
sky and cloud reproduced beyond the poor skill of any 
human artist, and the whole made real to mind and soul 
in some way too subtle for us to grasp ! It is indeed 
wonderful, but in *' thought's interior sphere " are greater 
wonders. 

Memory unrolls a panorama before my mind's eye, 
reaching from the rocky hills and lovely valleys of my na- 
tive Massachusetts to Nebraska and Alabama, and giving 
views of wide spaces between. It opens, as my thought 
brings it out, to show the scenes of seventy-three years, 
all fresh as if painted yesterday. Its scenes are not in- 
animate. The dear parents and sister are in the old 
home, living and moving. Towns and cities on this 
magic picture are peopled. In pleasant homes, in halls 
and churches, I see the friends of other days. They are 
not silent The voices of the beloved and true-hearted 
sound across the years. I hear the very words they 
spoke. I feel their sympathy, and thrill under the sway 
of their eloquence, as in times long past 

The Past reappears, prophetic of a higher Future. It is 
hoped that this record of upward steps, and of the useful 
lives of some of the world's light-bringers, may help and 
interest those who read it If the enjoyment of the read- 
ing equals that of the writing it will be fortunate fprus all. 



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