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Full text of "The Walkers of Peterborough in New Hampshire : Concord, October, 1899"




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THE SMITHS AND WALKERS OF PETERBOROUGH, EXETER, 
AND SPRINGFIELD. 

/>V F. B. Sanborn. 




lELIAM SMITH, of Mon- 
eymar, in northern Ire- 
land, on his father's side 
Scotch, and English by 
his mother, emigrated to New Hamp- 
shire with the Scotch-Irish who set- 
tled Berry and Londonderry, Nut- 
field (now Manchester), and the 
Monaduoc townships, round the 
mountain of that name. He was 
in Peterborough (named for the gal- 
lant earl of that century) before 
1750, and there married, December 
31, 1 75 1, Elizabeth Morison, grand- 
daughter of Samuel Morison and 
Margaret Wallace (of Sir William 
Wallace's race), who had suffered in 
the famous siege of Derry. Eliza- 
beth herself was born in London- 
derry, N. H. She inherited and 
transmitted from her mother, accord- 
ing to family tradition, "all the wit 
and smartness of the Morisons and 
Smiths." Her most illustrious son, 
Jeremiah Smith, son of William, was 
born in a log house, near the present 
Smith homestead (which was built 
in 1770), Nov. 29, 1759; he was one 
of a large family, very few of whose 
descendants now remain in Peter- 
borough, which they almost founded, 
and long controlled, or shared its 
control. His elder brother, James 
Smith, of Cavendish, Vt., was the 
father of Sarah, who married James 
Walker, Esq., of Rindge, and was 
the favorite niece of Judge Smith ; 



a younger brother, Samuel vSmith, 
built the first factory in Peter- 
borough, and drew down the scat- 
tered village from the hilltops to the 
lovely valley where it now nestles, 
around the windings of its two 
rivers. 

Jeremiah, who lived to be called 
"the handsomest old man and the 
wittiest wise man ' ' in New Hamp- 
shire, was early designated for a stu- 
dious and distinguished career. 
Without neglecting the rude labors 
of his father's great farm, he read 
and remembered everything that 
came in his way. At twelve, when 
he "could reap as inuch rye in a 
day as a man," he began to study 
Latin with an Irish hedge-school- 
master ; at seventeen he entered 
Harvard college, but was drawn 
awa}' for two mouths to fight under 
Stark at Bennington. His captain, 
Stephen Parker of New Ipswich, the 
next hilltown, on the morning of the 
fight ordered the lad upon some duty 
that appeared to be safe, not wi.shing 
to have his neighbor's boy killed in 
his first campaign. But when the 
battle was hot, and vStark was charg- 
ing the Hessian intrenchments, Cap- 
tain Parker saw Jerry Smith by his 
side. "What are you here for?" 
" Oh, sir, I thought I ought to follow 
my captain." His gun was disabled 
by a British bullet; he caught 
another from a dying comrade, and 



Pl»L2« 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 



fought on till night; and then helped 
guard the Hessian prisoners in the 
Beuningtou church. Remaining at 
Cambridge two years, he was so 
little pleased with his instruction 
under Dr. L,angdon (a wise scholar, 
but with no gift for managing a 
college), that he migrated to Rutgers 
college in New Jersey, and there 



brilliant young Hamilton, to whose 
party in Congress he finally attached 
himself, when sent from the Hills- 
borough district in 1790 to represent 
New Hampshire at l^hiladelphia, 
where Washington was then carry- 
ing on the government. In the inter- 
val between 1781 and his congres- 
sional life he had studied law at 




graduated in 1780, about the time 
(August 30), that Dr. Ivungdon with- 
drew from his thankless labors to the 
little parish of Hampton Falls, where 
he spent the last seventeen years of 
his worthy life. 

Leaving college in debt, Smith 
remained at home for two years, and 
in that time, while driving cattle for 
Washington's army to Peekskill, he 
there met for the first time, the 



Barnstable and Salem, had private 
pupils, taught in a young ladies' 
school, and in Andover had among 
his pupils Dr. Abbot, afterwards of 
lixeter, and Josiah Quincj' ; been 
admitted to the bar at Amherst, 
N. H., in 17S6, against the wish of 
Joshua Atherton, grandfather of the 
democratic senator, and for three 
years, i788-'90, represented his na- 
tive town in the state legislature 



m 



at Coucord. Such rapid proniotiou 
for so young a man — he was not 
quite thirty-one when chosen to 
Conjjress — would have been reniark- 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. ■ 5 

At the age of thirty, then (June 



17, 1790), Smith was a member of 
the legislature for the third time, 
and was to conduct an impeachment 



able, had he not been well known against Hon. Woodbury Langdon, 
and won the confidence of his towns- one of the handsomest and ablest 
men and constituents by his integ- men of the time in New Hampshire, 




Judge Woodbury Langdon. 



rity, wit, eloquence, and good looks ; 
the last a thing never to be despised 
in the contention for popular honors. 
It was this confidence which caused 
him to be chosen for the prosecution 
of his old college president's cousin, 
the elegant and influential brother of 
Gov. John Langdon of Portsmouth. 



and then a justice of the highest 
court. Of Judge Langdou's char- 
acter, William Plumer, afterwards 
United States senator and governor, 
has given a varying opinion, but at 
the impeachment, he favored the 
accused, and voted against it. Four 
vears earlier, Plumer made this con- 



THE SMIIHS AND WALKERS. 



tribution to Judge Langdon's biogra- 
ph}', which, iu its maiu facts, was 
probably correct : 

" In the commencement of the Revolution, 
Woodbury I.angdon, Esq., was a Tory; one of 
the five who signed a protest against the war. 
In 1775 lie embarked for England, and was 
often closeted by the British minister. On his 
return to New York he was well accommodated 
in a British frigate. At New York the British 
imprisoned him ; but it is now understood that 
it was done to produce an opinion here that he 
was friendly to our Revolution. His princi- 
ples are formed by his interest, and his con- 
duct has changed with the times. He has 
been both Whig and Tory ; when he became a 
Whig, he inveighed with bitterness agailist the 
Tories. He is certainly a man of strong men- 
tal powers, of a clear, discriminating mind. 
He is naturally arbitrary, and has strong preju- 
dices. His sense of what is right, and his 
pride, form a greater security for his good be- 
havior, than his love of virtue." 

In 1790, Mr. Plumer, perhaps from 
a closer knowledge of Langdou, 
thought better of him, and disliked 
the . impeachment, which he thus 
characterized : 

" Articles of impeachment were exhibited 
against Woodbury Langdon for his not attend- 
ing the superior court in three counties, par- 
ticularizing Cheshire. Previous to this, long 
and fruitless, though virulent, attempts had 
been made to remove him from office, un- 
heard, and without notice, by an address of 
both houses to the President and council. The 
resolve to impeach passed the house by a 
small majority. The articles, after much 
debate, were molded into form, and carried 
to the senate who had resolved themselves 
into a court of impeachment, to meet July 28, 
1790, at E.xeter, for trial. ... I have lately 
paid Mr. Langdon a visit. His intuitive 
genius enabled him to give a more accurate 
account of the proceedings of the legislature at 
their last session, than nine tenths of the niem- 
bera present are able to do. He appeared to 
have a perfect knowledge of the part each 
member acted respecting the address and im- 
peachment ; the cunning and duplicity of 
Sherburne was insufficient to veil his conduct 
from the discerning eye of the judge. The 
more I see and know of Langdon, the more I 
admire his wit, penetration, judgment, and 
decision ; few men exceed Jiim. If he con- 
siders an object worthy of his attention, he 



pursues it with such unremitted attention as 
seldom fails of success. Tliose who have the 
best means of information, and are accustomed 
to think for themselves, are not satisfied with 
the impeachment; they consider it as flowing 
from motives not honorable." 

The associates of Smith in the 
conduct of this impeachment were 
Edward St. Loe Livermore and Will- 
iam Page ; they went before the 
New Hampshire senate, January 28, 
1 79 1, prepared to prosecute the of- 
fender, who was not present, and 
therefore was not arraigned. The 
elaborate speech of Smith was proba- 
bly not delivered ; it contained the 
substance of the charges, expressed 
with some wit, and is worth citing, 
in part : 

"A judge must disengage himself from all 
other business and employment, and devote 
himself to the duties of his office. There is a 
dictum in one of the books of reports, which, I 
suppose, will pass for very good law in this 
court, 'Ye cannot serve God and Mammon,' 
you cannot be a judge and a merchant. 'T is 
easy to guess, in this contest, which will get 
the mastery; if we look into the book of 
human nature, we shall find it written in 
very legible characters (Page i) that interest 
will prevail ; and that our judge' will be more 
solicitous about fitting out his brig, than about 
settling a knotty point of law. He will be too 
apt to be disposing of a cargo, when he should 
be dispensing justice. One end of legal deci- 
sion is to satisfy the parties ; but the parties 
never will be satisfied unless their cause has 
been coolly, deliberately, and fully heard. 
This a judge will never do, if he is entangled 
with private affairs; the parties think, and 
have been heard to say, that when the Hon- 
orable Judge Langdon's brig goes to sea, he 
will be more at leisure, ... If the brig 
sails, or arrives, in term-time, the inhabitants 
of Cheshire and Grafton need not expect to see 
the honorable judge. These are facts I do not 
mean to exaggerate." 

The truth was that Woodbury 
Langdon, like his brother, the illus- 
trious patriot, John I^angdon, who 
was so many times governor of New 
Hampshire, was a prosperous mer- 
chant, owning and sailing vessels 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 



from Portsmouth, and had more re- 
gard to his own ventures, at times, 
than to the public convenience. But 
he was a fair judge, notwithstanding, 
and was not to be discredited by a 
conviction and dismissal from office. 
He had just been appointed by 
Washington as federal commissioner 
of accounts, at Philadelphia, by 
reason of his acquaintance with 
financial affairs, and he sent in his 




resignation as judge in New Hamp- 
shire before his opponents could try 
him. Accordingly, late in January, 
1 79 1, Mr. Livermore, one of the 
managers of impeachment, offered, 
in the House at Concord, of which 
he and Smith were members, this 
vote, which passed : 

" Kcsolved, That the Managers appointed by 
aiid in behalf of the House of Representatives 
to manage the impeachment exhibited by this 
House against Woodbury Langdon, Ksq,, be 
instructed to enter a nolle fiiusa/ui to said 
impeachment." 

The Senate, meanwhile, which was 



to try the impeachment, had been 
thinking better of it, and on the 
17th of February, 1791, informed the 
house that " Ebenezer Smith, senior 
senator in the chair, and Nathaniel 
Peabodj', Ebenezer Webster" (father 
of Daniel), "John Bell, Amos Shep- 
pard, Peter Green, Nathaniel Rogers, 
Sandford King.sbury, and Joseph Cil- 
ley, Esqs., being present" (nine sen- 
ators out of twelve), "when the 
Senate for a moment reflect that the 
full force of a resolve or address, if 
carried into execution, can operate 
no further than to effect a removal 
from ofHce ; and that Mr. Langdon 
hath accepted of an important ap- 
pointment under tlie authority of the 
United States, which renders it in- 
convenient for him to execute, and 
highly improper that he should any 
longer hold said office as a justice 
of the superior court ; and that Mr. 
Langdon, impressed with these senti- 
ments, or some other viotivcs, hath, 
by a letter of the 17th of January, 
actually resigned said office, — the 
Senate, taking all circumstances into 
consideration, unanimouslj' voted. 
That it is not their duty to concur 
with the honorable House in their 
resolve or address asking for Mr. 
Langdou's removal." 

Commenting upon this whole af- 
fair, Plunier, in a letter to Judge 
Langdon, said (March 26, 1791), 
"Thus ended this mighty fuss, — 
disgraceful to the state, and vexa- 
tious to you. John Sam vSherburue, 
who last summer considered the 
prosecution as a popular measure, 
has lately been more cautious ; in 
the Jiouse he has voted with your 
friends, though he has manifested 
too much indifference to be con- 
sidered as one of them. George 



THE Si\JITHS AND WALKERS. 



Gains has been friendl)-, and did 
everything a man of his feeble in- 
tellect was able to do. Cieorge 
Wentvvorth, j^our other Portsmouth 
representative, always voted with us, 
aud that was as much as he was 
capable of doing. Col. William 
Page and James McGregor were the 
most bitter and persecuting ; they 
dealt in slander and calumny, both 
in public and private. The Presi- 
dent (Josiah Barllett) was in favor 
of the impeachment, but opposed to 
the address of remova'i. Nathaniel 
Rogers was zealous for you. Had 
the trial proceeded, some of the 
senators would have voted against 
you. Christopher Toppan (of Hamp- 
ton), Nathau Hoit, and Bradbury 
Cilley were active in your favor. 
Timothy Farrar is appointed your 
successor. I do not know liiui, but 
from his character he will be judi- 
cious aud useful." 

Judge Smith long outlived Judge 
L,angdou, who was more than twen- 
ty years older, and who died in 
1805. After three congressional 
terms of two years each, and one 
session of a fourth. Smith, who 
had married in Maryland Miss 
Eliza Ross, daughter of Mrs. Ariana 
(Brice) Ross, of Bladensburg, at the 
end of his third term, and visited 
Washington at Mt. Vernon, removed 
with his bride to Kxeter, N. H., 
where much correspondence was had 
as to what house he sfiould occupy. 
Writing to his friend Smith, Jan- 
uary 12, 1797, William Plumer of 
Epping said : 

" Yesterday I was at ICxeter, and conversed 
with Parker, I'eabody, Conner, etc., upon pro- 
cnririg a liouse for you. The mansion-house 
of the late General FoLsoin, with eight or ten 
acres of land, may be rented for $135 per 
annum. The house in which Dudley Odlin 



lived may be had cheaper; 'tis about So rods 
we.st of l.amson's tavern, a pleasant, healthy 
situation, It needs considerable repairs, but 
may be purchased cheap ; the governor (Gil- 
man) has the care of it. The houses in which 
Conner and young Odiorne lived may be had 
on reasonable terms; they are west of Kmery's 
office, but 1 thinii they would not suit you." 

In a letter to Miss Ross, a month 
before the wedding. Smith said, " My 
correspondent at Exeter has just 
written me that we can have a house, 
which he thinks will answer our pur- 
pose, for $40 a year. From the price 
I conclude it must be a very ordinary 
house ; but perhaps it will serve our 
purpose for a year or two, till we can 
accommodate ourselves better, either 
in buying or hiring." 

He failed to get the Folsom " man- 
sion," and yet did not content him- 
self for a dozen years with so cheap 
a house as he thus mentioned. 
Finally, in 1809, after holding the 
important offices of district attorney, 
United States circuit judge, judge of 
probate for liockingham, and chief 
justice of New Hamp.shii;e (1802 to 
1809), he purchased the fine estate, 
a little west of the village, on the 
road from Exeter to Epping aud 
Nottingham, which is associated with 
him in the recollections of his 
friends. 

The house, a large and substantial 
one, built by a Captain Giddiugs 
and represeuted in the next view, 
was much improved by the judge, 
aud beautified by trees aud gardens, 
while a magnificent wood of primi- 
tive piues, oaks, and maples covered 
the rear of his farm of 150 acres. 
He first occupietl this during his 
single year as governor, when he 
defeated the brother of his prede- 
cessor on the bench, the impeached 
Judge Langdon, by the small ma- 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 







I ii'llilii I I 



jorily of 369 ; but in Ihe following 
years lie was defeated by Governor 
Langdon with majorities of 1,157 in 
1 8 10, and 3,045 iu 181 1. These in- 
creasing negatives were hints to 
Judge Smith that he should with- 
draw from politics, and he devoted 
himself afterwards to the law, to lit- 
erature, and to the social and family 
affections, by which he is now best 
remembered. 

His eldest child, Ariana vSmith, 
was the charm of his Exeter home, 
and the unqualified delight of her 
father and friends. Born December 
28, 1797, and dying of consumption, 
June 20, 1829; she was of a gentle 
and accomplished nature, as unusual 
as her name theu was in New Eng- 
land. She had inherited that from 
a Bohemian branch of her grand- 
mother's family, the Brices of Mary- 
land ; and her cousin, Mrs. James 
Walker of Peterborough, who was 
with Ariana Smith in her last ill- 
ness, gave this cherished name to her 
own daughter born in the following 



! Judge Smith. 

November. Something of the same 
character must have gone with the 
name from the description which Dr. 
Morison, the cousin and biographer 
of Judge Smith, gives of this ever- 
lamented daughter : 

" Existence was to Ariana Smith a continual 
romance. Her personal appearance was pecul- 
iar to herself,— a clear, white complexion, con- 
trasting with her long black hair and eyelashes, 
— large, blue eyes, looking out with animation 
(rom a countenance always calm, indicating 
both excitement and repose.— all were such as 
belonged to no one else. She laughed, wept, 
studied, went through the routine of house- 
hold cares,— was not without some portion of 
feminine vanity,— loved attention, and was not 
indifferent to dress,— and yet she was like no 
one else. Her voice, subdued and jjassionless, 
contrasted singularly wilh the fervor of her 
words. Her enthusiasm might have betrayed 
her into indiscretion, but for her prudent self- 
control ; and her rare good sense might have 
made her seem commonplace but for her en- 
thusiasm. She had a b-minine high-minded- 
ness. She was equally ;a home among differ- 
ent classes of people ; with the most eminent 
she betrayed no consciousness of self-distrust, 
and with the humblest no pride or condescen- 
sion. Her cook she regarded not merely as a 
faithful servant, but as a sister; the poor stu- 
denl, unlormed, bashful, and desponding, soon 
felt at ease with her, looked with more respect 
on himself, and began to feel new powers and 
hopes. The charily which tliinketh no evil 
was not in her so much a cherished principle, 
as an original endowment ; disturbed some- 
times by momentary jealousies and rivalries, 
by wrongs received or witnessed, but quickly 
recovering itself, and going cheerfully along its 
pleasant path." 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 




In the absence of any adequate 
portrait of this lady, or of her elder 
cousin, Mrs. Sarah Walker, I have 
found, among the types of English 
beauty and grace, a face and pres- 
ence which recalls both to my fancy, 
— the lady of whom Charles Howard 
wrote these verses : 

Here is there more tlian merely common spell 

Of rosy lips and tresses darkly streaming ; 
O thou, by fairy Nature gifted well, 

What is it in thy picture sets me dreaming? 
Thee, fair as Portia in her beauty's prime. 

And true, or Beauty's smile hath lost its 
meaning. 
Thee may Regret, that sullen child of Time, 

I'ass, asshe goes hersad tear-harvestgleaning ! 



Surviving his wife and all the chil- 
dren of his first marriage, Judge Smith 
married again at the age of seventy- 
two ; and this second Mrs. Smith, 
mother of Judge Jeremiah Smith, now 
a law professor in Harvard University 
(born in 1S37), kept up the hospi- 
tality of the Kxeter home, and, after 
her husband's death in September, 
1842, of the still larger estate in Lee, 
N. H., where many friends will 
remember visiting her. During her 
residence in Exeter, which the 
Smiths left in the spring of 1842, the 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 



Walkers of Peterborough, to be near 
their kiiisnian, Judge Smith, and the 
youths, James aud George Walker, 
there fitting for college, took a house 
not far from the Judge's, where they 
lived two years. Mrs. Sarah Wal- 
ker, born at Cavendish, Vt., iu 1795, 
and married to James Walker in 
1819, was, as Dr. Morisou says, "A 
woman greatly beloved by all who 
knew her. There was no one out of 
his immediate family to whom Judge 
Smith was more tenderly attached. 
They died of the same disease, and 
within a few weeks of each other." 
Writing to her from Virginia in 1S36, 
he said, "You were always dear, aud 
now, iu the midst of the Alleghanies, 
are dearer than ever. The higher 
we ascend, the better we love one 
another. So be it, for this is the 
greatest earthly good." Writing to 
another niece, Ellen Smith, iu 1839, 
lie said, " Have you heard that your 
friend, Miss A., is going to instruct 
in an academy at W.? and it is said 
the situaiiou was procured for her by 
Mrs. Walker. Is there to be no end 
to the good deeils of that woman ? " 
She was indeed one who lived for the 



good of others, and whom those who 
knew her could not praise enough ; 
as her husband said, " Everybody in 
Peterborough loved her, and most 
of them were under some obligation 
to her." Few of her letters have 
been preserved; but her daughter 
cherished the last she received, on 
her birthday iu 1841 : 

" Mv Dear Ariana : Twelve years ago this 
very eveiiinf; I first pressed you to tny bosom, 
fervently thanking that Good Beinp; who, in 
answer lo my prayers, had given me a daiiprh- 
ter. O, I shall never forget the joy which 
filled my heart when j'onr happy brothers first 
greeted their little sister, how their eyes glis- 
tened with joy and love when they were per- 
mitted to take you in their arms ! Your father, 
too, looked with delight upon his infant 
daughter; I believe he nursed you more than 
both your brothers. I was feeble during your 
first year, and very often went to bed too wear}' 
to sleep, but your smiles paid for all ; and I 
looked forward to the time when you would be 
my companion, friend, and helper. 

"The world was bright to nie then, but sor- 
row came. Jly poor mother died ; then my 
dear brother John, and to fill my cup of bit- 
terness, my darling James was taken from 
me.' Can you wonder that I am changed ? 
Oh, no 1 But though our kind Father in 
Heaven has seen fit to afflict me. He has not 
left me comfortless. Though he has taken one 
dear child from me, two others, equally dear, 
are yet spared to bless and comfort me. 

' 111 August, 1S40. 





JAMES WALKER, ESQUIRE 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 



13 



" O, my dear Ariana, if you knew how very father (boril in I7S4, died Dec. 31, 

anxious I am to see you grow up a good and ^g ^ ^^^^ ^ ^^^^j^.^ ^f Ri„,,ge, and a 
useful woman, you would, from this tune lor- '^^' *= 

ward, try to amend every fault, and, by a care- first COllsiu of Dr. JanieS Walker, 

fui attention to the happiness of others, secure president of Harvard uuiversitv, and 

of Dr. W.J. Walker of Charlestown, 
Mass., a distinguished plu-sician, 
whose bequests have enriched x\m- 
lierst college. The father, grand- 
father, ansl uncles of Mr. Walker 



your own. 

" [Peterborough] Nov. Sth [1IS41J, 11 o'clock. 
Eve." 



Mrs. Walker died the next year ; 
Ariana being then at school in 




ihplace of George and Anna Waike 



Keene. She was of the warm- 
hearted, musical, .sj'mpatlietic Scotch- 
Irish race, akin to the Smiths, Mori- 
sons, Wilsons, Moores, etc., of that 
stock. Her brother, William Smith, 
I knew in later j-ears, the kindest, 
most amiable of men, born and living 
in Cavendish. 

James Smith Walker, oldest child 
of James Walker, died while in Yale 
college, at the age of nineteen His 



were soldiers or officers in the Revo- 
lution ; he was a student in Dart- 
mouth college along with Daniel 
Webster, graduating in 1S04, two 
years after Webster. He chose law 
for his profession, and settled in 
Peterborough about 1S14. 

A brother. Rev. Charles Walker, 
was for years a Congregationalist 
minister in New Hampshire and 
Massachusetts, dying in Groton, 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 



14 

Mass., in 1847. 'Squire Walker, 
as He was generally termed, soon 
acquired the confidence of the peo- 
ple of his native region, as Judge 
Smith had done, though a very dif- 
ferent man, with few popular quali- 
ties. His innate justice, sterling 
integrity, and firm opinions won re- 
spect, and his management of causes 
and of property entrusted to him 
made him successful in his pro- 
fession. His marriage with Sarah 



this house his two younger children, 
George and Anna, were boru, and 
from it they tripped, hand in hand, 
to the foot of the hill, near the man- 
sion of Samuel Smith, the Judge's 
manufacturing brother, to attend the 
private school of Miss Abby Abbot 
(now Mrs. H. Wood). She was a 
niece of the village pastor. Dr. Abiel 
Abbot (born 1765, died 1S59), whose 
lovely garden and orchard, by the 
riverside, overseen by the belfry of 




Smith, whose uncles and cousins 
were the leading men in Peterbor- 
ough, gave him social standing, and 
his simple way of life suited the hab- 
its of that town of "plain living and 
high thinking." In his early mar- 
ried life he occupied one of the older 
houses of the present village,— the 
Carter house, on the steep hillside 
overlooking the Contoocook from the 
northeast, and commanding that no- 
ble prospect of Monadnoc which (with 
a slight variation for the point of 
view), appears in our engraving, in 



the church where he ministered so 
long, appears in our engraving. This 
was the noontime playgrouud of 
Anna and her cousin, Abbot Smith, 
who lived with his grandfather Abbot, 
and from this hill town went to Exe- 
ter, Harvard, and the Divinity School 
before taking pastoral charge of a 
church at Arlington, where he died. 
The two cousins studied and read 
French and German together in later 
years, but in the decade from 1832 
to 1S42 were learning the English 
branches, under the direction of that 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 



15 



famous Abbot family, who all seem 
to have beeu destined for the educa- 
tion of the youug. Dr. A. Abbot 
was a first cousin of Dr. B. Abbot, 
for fifty years the head of Exeter 
academy, where, among his later pu- 
pils, were James and George Walker,^ 
as among his earlier were Webster 
and General Cass. It was Dr. Abbot 
of Peterborough, then preaching at 
Coventry in Cotmecticut, who per- 
suaded Jared Sparks, the future his- 
torian, but then a carpenter iu Mr. Ab- 
bot's parish, to go to the school at Exe- 
ter; and he carried the young man's 
box, slung under his parson's chaise, 
to the academy, while Spaiks went 
ou foot the whole way. This was in 
1809, and Abiel Abbot was on his 
way then to visit his brother. Rev. 
Jacob Abbot (also a good teacher), 
who had succeeded President L,ang- 
don in the parsonage of Hampton 
Falls in 1798. Miss Abbot, the 
teacher of the Walker, Smith, and 
Abbot children at Peterborough, was 
the daughter of Jacol) Abbot, and the 
elder sister of Miss Mary Anne Top- 
pan Abbot, who became the second 
wife of James Walker. 

It was this intermarriage between 
the Abbot and Walker families that 
gave me the privilege of my first 
acquaintance with Ariana Walker. 
Her stepmother had a sister, Mrs. 
Porter Cram, married in her father's 
old parish of Hampton Falls, and the 
eldest daughters of that family be- 
came the dear friends of Ariana, who 
often visited them, as well as her 
friends at Exeter and f^ee, sometimes 
spending weeks in the quiet rural 
scenery of the Hamptons, which she 
had loved when a child at Ivxeter. 



1836, both nttlK 



1S33, and George 



In the winter of iS49-'5o, Miss Cram 
(now Mrs. S. H. Folsom of Winches- 
ter, Mass.) had visited Peteiborough, 
and told her friend, always interested 
in poetry and romance, about a boy- 
poet at Hampton Falls — a school- 
mate of hers, — giving some samples 
of his verses at the age of seventeen. 
Miss Walker, then just twenty, took 
a deep interest in this youth from his 
verse and prose, and in the following 
summer, returning her friend's visit, 
she expressed a wish to see him. 
The two sat and looked at each other 
across the little church (July 22, 
1850), and Miss Walker wrote on 
her fan the favorable comment she 
wished to make for the friend beside 
her. The youth of eighteen was no 
less affected at this lovely vision, and 
the next evening called on Miss 
Walker at the ancient farmhouse 
where she lived. 

As it happens, I know exactly, 
from Anna's own pen, what was her 
attire when I first saw her, at church 
in Hampton Falls, in her white bon- 
net, and the same evening in her 
"pink barege." Writing to her step- 
mother from Springfield inJune(iS5o) 
she said, — 

' ' I have two new dresses, — a morn- 
ing dress and a pink barege ! The 
latter is very pirltv ; I am doubtful 
if it will be becoming, — but no mat- 
ter. My bonnet is a French lace, 
trimmed with a white watered rib- 
bon ; in the inside a ' ruche ' of white 
lace, dotted with blue, and with blue 
strings. So you have me, — dress, 
bonnet, and all." 

(Eater.) " Do you care about the 
vanities ' and would you like to know 
of my dress at Mrs. Day's party, where 
I had a pleasant evening? I wore 
my pink dress, made low in the neck. 



i6 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 








with a lace jacket comiug close up to 
the throat, — short sleeves, with slioii 
uudersleeves of lace, made like a 
baby's, — white gloves and mj' ' wed- 
ding' shoes." (That is, the shoes 
she had worn at her brother's wed- 
ding, the previous November.) "I 
had white and scarlet flowers in my 
hair, and a beautiful bouquet on my 
arm. Thej' say I looked my very 
prcllicst. — whicli isn't saying much; 
and even I agree that the pink dress 
is decidedly becoming, — which Sarah 
Walker considers a ' little triumph ' 
for her. So much, Mother dear, for 
the outward, which Father may pass 
over if he pleases." 



I saw her in the pink, without the 
flowers and the white slippers, and 
soon after in blue, which she more 
commonly wore, and with which she 
is most associated in my memory. 

The date was July, 1850. The 
impression on both our hearts was 
instantaneous, and never effaced ; it 
led to memorable conversations in 
the summer evenings, and two weeks 
later to the remarkable analysis of a 
nature not easy to read, and which 
only time could unfold to the general 
comprehension, or even to the youth 
himself ; but which was strangely 
open lo the sibylline insight of this 
fascinating person. 



THE SMITHS AND W A INKERS. 




F. B. Sanbojn 



TlIK CIIAKACTKR OK I'. H. S- AT 
KIOUTKICN. 

Mind analytic, the intellect pvedominatiiis? 
and governing the heart ; feelings do not often 
obtain the mastery. Intellect calm and search- 
ing, with a keen insight, equally open to mer- 
its and demerits. Much practical ability and 
coolness of judgment. He is unsparingly just 
to his own thought, and is not easily moved 
therefrom With great imagination he is not 
at all a dreamer, or if he is ever so, his dreams 
are not encivatini; and he has power to make 
them realities. He is vigorous, healthy, strong. 
Calmness of feeling as well as of thought, is a 
large element in his nature ; but there is fire 
rinder the ice, which, if it should be reached, 
would flame forth with great power and inten- 
sity. Imagination rich and vivid, yet he is 
somewhat cold ; wants hope, is too apt to look 
on the dark side of things. 

Has great pride. It is one of the strongest 
elements of his character. Values highly inde- 



pendence, and thinks himself ,nf>ahU- of stand- 
ing alone, and as it were npctrl from all others ; 
yet in his inmost soul he would be glad of 
some aiillioiily upon which to lean, and is in- 
fluenced more than he is aware by those whose 
opinions he respects. There is much religion 
in him. He despises empty [ornis without the 
spirit, but has large reverence for things truly 
; cvei cnccable. 

He is severe, but not more so with others 
than witli himself : yet he likes many, endures 
most, and is at war with few. His feelings are 
not easily moved, loves few — perhaps none 
\\'\W\eiilhusitisni . He is too proud lobe vain, 
yet will have much to stimulate vanity. He 
fancies himself indifferent to praise or blame, 
but is much less so than he imagines. He is open , 
and yet reserved ; in showing his treasures he 
knows where to stop, and with all his frank- 
ness there is still much which he reveals to 
none. 

lias much i nielleeliial entliusiasm. Loves 
wit, and is often witty ; has much humor too. 



i8 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 



sees quickly the ludicrous side of things, and 
though he wants hope is seldom sad or despond- 
ing. Has many noble aspirations yet unsatis- 
fied. Still seeking, seeking, groping in the 
dark. He wants Adcfinilc end for whicli to 
sUive Ilea I lily ; then his success would be SUKIJ. 
Much executive power, executes better than he 
plans. 

Loves the beautiful in all things. He has 
much originality ; his thoughts and tastes are 
peculiarly his own. Is impatient of wrong, 
and almost equally so of iinxbilily. Is gentle 
in spite of a certain coldness about him ; has 
strong passions in spite of his [general calm- 
ness of intellect and affection. A nature not 
likely to find rest, struggle is its native ele- 
ment ; wants a steady aim, iin(sl work, standing 
still is impossible ; but he must have a. great 
motive for which to strive. 

Aug. 5th, iS^o. 

Many contradictions in this analysis, but not 
more than there are in the character itself. 

This forecast of character was made 
after several long conversations, of 
which Anna (we soon got beyond the 
formality of titles) preserved a record 
in her journal, for she had formed the 
journalizing habit in childhood, and 
had it confirmed by the fashion of the 
day, among her Boston friends. Of 
our first evening (July 23), she 
wrote: 

" F. stayed until eleven, and yet I was 
neither weary nor sleepy, but rather refreshed 
and invigorated. He excused himself for stay- 
ing so late, but said the time had passed rap- 
idly. Gate seemed very much si:rpriscd that 
he had spoken so freely to a stranger ; I think 
he himself will wonder at it. The conversation 
covered so many subjects that I could not help 
laughing on looking back upon it ; he might 
have discovered the great fault of my mind, a 
want of method in my thoughts, as clearly as I 
saw his to be a want of hope. Hut talking with 
a new person is to me like going for the first 
time into a gallery of pictures. We wander 
from one painting to another, wishing to see 
all, lest something finest should escape us, and 
in truth seeing no one perfectly and appreci- 
atingly. Only after many visits and long fa- 
miliarity can we learn which are really the 
best, most suggestive and most full of mean- 
ing ; and then it is before two or three that one 
passes the hours. So we wander at first from 
one topic of conversation to another, until we 
find w'hich are those reaching farthest and 



deepest, and then it is these of which we talk 
most. My interest in Frank S. is peculiar ; it 
is his intellectual and spiritual nature, and not 
///H/if//"that I feel so much drawn to. I can't 
.say it rightly in words, but I never was so- 
strongly interested in one where tlie feeling 
was so little personal." 

It is not only at locksmiths that Love 
laughs ; he has an especial and iiUi- 
mate smile for the disguises which 
affection assumes in the minds of the 
young. From those happy evenings 
the future of the new friend occupied 
that gentle heart more than all other 
interests. She thought and planned 
for him wisely, and with the tact and 
generosity of which she alone had 
the secret ; while his affection for her 
easily persuaded him to adopt the 
course of study and of life which she 
suggested. Their correspondence 
continued when she went onward to 
her friend, Miss Ednah Littlehale 
(Mrs. E. D. Cheney), at Gloucester 
and Boston, and it was at Ednah's 
convalescence from a severe illness, 
that the declaration of youthful love 
found her, in her friend's apartment. 

So early and so bold an avowal fixed 
the fate of both ; they could never 
afterward be other than lovers, how- 
ever much the wisdom of the world 
pleaded against a relation closer thau 
friendship. But the world must not 
know the footing upon which they 
slood ; even the father and brother 
must imagine it a close friendship, 
such as her expansive nature was 
so apt to form, and so faithful to 
maintain. One family in Hampton 
Falls and one friend in Boston were 
to be cognizant of the truth ; and it 
was not clear, for years, to. the self- 
sacrificing good sense of the maiden, 
what her ultimate answer to the 
world might be. Hence misunder- 
standings and remonstrances from 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 



19 




those naturally dear to her, but not 
the dearest ; and on her part the 
most complete and unselfish devo- 
tion to the lover who would not re- 
nounce her, when she set before him 
illness, and the sacrifice of worldly 
success as the dower she must bring 
him. She had been suddenly at- 
tacked, in March, 1846, with a pain- 
ful and ill-understood lameness, which 
kept her for years from walking 
freely, and was accompanied by ner- 
vous attacks which often seenied to 
threaten her life. • This affliction had 
interrupted her education, and made 
her more dependent on the service of 
others than her high spirit could al- 
ways endure ; it also drew forth from 
her brother George, five years older 
than herself, a tender regard and con- 
stant care which, since the death of 
her mother, before she was thirteen. 



had inspired the most ardent sisterly 
affection. Her need of love was en- 
hanced by her limitalipns of health, 
and these also tended to develop in 
her character that patient sweetness 
which her portrait so well presents. 
Yet all this made it more difficult for 
her to decide the issue of betrothal 
and marriage. 

After nearly four years of this pleas- 
ing pain of the heart, — this .striving 
to satisfy every claim of love and 
duty, — when betrothal had been pub- 
licly declared, and marriage was only 
waiting upon time, she thus gave her 
allegory of the past and the future of 
our relation to each other : 

TIUC STOKV OF THIC V,0\ AND IIIS 

I'll']';. 

" 111 a lonely valley aiiioiiff Uie liills, where 
there were but few people, lived a beaiitifnl 
boy ; he teniled his father's sheep aiiioiig the 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 




hills, and labored (or him in the fields. These 
people led very simple lives, and the boy had 
only one treasure, which he loved above all 
other things, — a sort of pipe, curiously carved 
with beautiful figures, and furnished with 
many silver keys. When he was a babe at his 
mother's breast, an angel had one day come 
and laid this pipe in his cradle, and from that 
time he had kept it constantly near him. 
While he was a child he loved it because of 
its silver keys, which shone so bright in the 
sunshine, and seemed to light up all the room, 
and for the many curious figures carved upon 
it, among which he was always finding some- 
thing new and wonderful. But, as he grew 
older, he discovered that by breathing into this 
pipe he could produce strange and sweet 
sounds, — sweeter and more beautiful than any 
he had ever heard, even from the birds who 
sang in the forests among the hills. When he 
had made this discovery, he said nothing of it 
to any one, but took his pipe up into the most 
distant hills, where he kept his father's sheep, 
or out into the far-ofT fields, and there played 
over and over again these notes which had so 
much delighted him, adding new ones thereto, 
until at last he could play manj' most sweet 
strains of music, which he now perceived lay 
hidden iu the pipe the angel had brought him. 
At first, and for a long time, he did this only 
when among the distant hills, or far off from 
all neighborhood of men, but gradually, as he 
became more confident in his own skill, and 
more accustomed to the music which he made, 
he used to play more openly, wherever he 



might chance to be, and especially at even- 
ing, sitting before his fath&r's cottage, or, still 
oftener, by the shores of a little lake near by, 
on whose banks grew many flowering shrubs 
and waving trees, and which bore white water- 
lilies upon its bosom. 

" Here he would often sit and play until late 
in the night, and all who heard his music loved 
it, and jiraised him much for the skill which 
brought it fortli out of this little wocjden pipe. 
To them it was neither beautiful nor wonder- 
ful, and not different from any common shep- 
herd's pipe, e.xcept for its silver keys. But one 
day as he sat playing among the hills a bird 
stopped to hear him, and when he had ended 
she said: ' Who gave thee thy pipe and taught 
thee how to play upon it?' 'When I was a 
child,' he answered, 'an angel brought it and 
laid it in my cradle, and I have taught myself 
to play on it.' Then the bird said, shaking its 
head wisely, ' What thou playest is indeed very 
sweet and pleasant to hear, but there is far 
nobler mnsic hidden in thy pipe, and thou 
canst not find it until thou hast learnt the use 
of all the keys,' So saying, the little bird flew 
away. The boy looked at_ his pipe and was 
sorrowful, for there were many keys which he 
knew not how to use, nor could he discover, 
though he tried often and often and played 
more than ever before iu his life. And at times 
all the sweet strains he had prized so much be- 
fore became as nothing to him, so much did he 
long for the nobler music concealed in his pipe, 
\\-hich he could not draw forth. 

"Filled with these thoughts, he went one 



THE SMITHS AND ]\ ALKERS. 



21 



eveiiiiiK down to llie sliores of (he small lake, 
and sat there dejectedly, leaning his head on 
his hand, with his pipe Ij'ing silent by his side. 
When the flowers saw him so sad, they were 
grieved in heart, and said to him, 'Why art 
thou sad; and why dost thou no longer play as 
thou hast been used to do, coming down to 
us?' lUit he said, ' I do not care to night to 
play upon my pipe, for I know there is far 
sweeter and nobler music hidden in it, and I 
cannot find it because I know not the use of 
all the keys. Why should I dishonor it by 
playing so imperfectly on it? ' 

"Then the flowers all spoke to him, com- 
forting him, and some praised the music he 
had made, and ' did not believe there could be 
any so much sweeter hidden in the i)ii)e ; ' and 
they spoke so flatteringly of what he had done, 
and so lauded his skill, that he might well 
have been in some danger of forgetting (for a 
time, at least) all that the little bird had told 
him of the nobler music he had yet to learn. 
But when there was a silence, a little reed that 
grew close down to the waterside, and bore 
pale white flowers, some of whose leaves were 
torn or broken by the wind, began to speak. 
' Yes,' she said, ' it is true that thou playest 
very sweetly, and we have all loved to hear 
thee, and have kept the tones in our hearts ; 
but it is also true that far nobler and sweeter 
music is hidden in thy pipe. And since the 
angel of God has entrusted it to thee, thou 
canst not find rest in thy soul until thou hast 
learned the use of all the silver keys, and can 
call forth all the hidden power of melody which 
is shut up within it.' This she said in a quiet, 
calm voice ; and when she had ended the boy 
raised his head from his hands. ' Thou art 
right,' he said, ' I believe that thou art right ; 
but how shall I find a way to do this ? ' 'To 
him whose will is fixed,' answered the flower, 
' there is always a way ; but listen, and I will 
tell thee. I am only a little reed, but I know 
some things which are hidden from thee, and 
that which I know I will tell thee. Hid fare- 
well to thy father and thy mother, take thy 
pipe in hand and follow the little path which 
leads southward out of the valley, over a high 
mountain. Beyond that mountain is a countrj' 
very different from this, where many people 
dwell together, and among them thou wilt find 
some who will teach thee the use of the 
silver keys ; but the hidden music thou must 
find thy.self, for this pipe is thine own, and 
thiju only canst play upon it. Be faithful and 
brave, and all shall be well with thee ! ' 

" Then the boy's face flushed with feeling, 
and his eyes gleamed. ' All that thou hast said 
tome I will do,' he said, and rising, walked with 
firm steps to his home. When morning had 
come, he bade farewell to his father and 



mother, and, taking his pipe in his hand, pre- 
pared to set out on his journey. But first he 
went down again to the shores of the little lake, 
and said, ' 1 will take with me at the beginning 
some flower which I will wear in my bosom 
all the way, to keep me from the evil; 'and, 
bending down to the little reed, he said, ' Wilt 
lliou go with me and guard me from the evil ? 
I will shelter thee in my bosom from e\'ery 
storm, and will cherish thee most tenderly.' 
Then the little reed trembled as if a sudden 
wind had shaken her, and drops like dew- 
stood in her eyes. ' Would'st thou indeed 
take me with thee ? ' she said, in a voice made 
sweet by some inward emotion ' In the coun- 
trj' to which thou art going thou wilt find many 
beautiful flowers; I am only a pale reed, bent 
by the wind and rain.' But he said, 'I 
will have none but thee.' ' I will go with 
thee,' she said, bowing her head, ' but thou 
shalt not wear nie in thy bosom, but shall 
carry nie in thy hand ; only so will I go.' ' If 
I do not wear thee in my bosom, how can I 
shelter thee from the storms and the fierce wind "* 
nevertheless, it shall be as thou wilt,' and, 
stooping, he gatheied the little, pale blossoms, 
and, taking them in his hand, he set out on his 
journey. 




The Contoocook in Peterborough 



t^' 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 




" When he was come to the top of the moun- 
tain, he saw below him, as the little reed had 
said, a new and strange country where dwelt 
many people; andashe went on hisway.orwhen 
he rested for a time, as he often did, dwellinp: 
in many towns and cities, he found those who 
knew the use of some of the silver keys, and 
so learned more and more of the hidden music 
shut np in the heart of the pipe. His own 
heart was glad within him, and he rejoiced 
daily. Wherever he went, and in whatsoever 
place he dwelt, he kept his little reed always 
with him, carryinf; it when possible in his 
hand, and when it was not, laying it tenderly 
aside in some place where he could return to 
it again when his task was ended, lint one 
day, as he walked holding it fast, there came a 
sudden fierce wind, and bent the frail flower, 
and had nearly broken it from its stem. In- 
stinctively he put it in his bosom then, and 
shielded it from the storm. And he said, while 
he mourned for its pain, ' Why wilt thou not 
let me shelter thee thus in my bosom ? only so 
can I shield thee from the fierce wind and the 
rain; and. if thou refuse me, I will tell thee 
this surely,— that T will wear no other flower 
upon my breast all my life through.' But she 
answered, ' I am bent and faded, and the little 
beauty which I had at the beginning is gone 
from me ; if thou shouldst now wear me in thy 
bosom, I should be no ornament, but the con- 



trary. And how can I suffer thee to do as thou 
sayest? I.ay me, rather, softly aside in some 
quiet place, where thou wilt come sometimes 
to see me ; and take some other flower to 
wear.' ' No,' he said, ' I will have none but 
thee,'— and softly kissing the leayes of the 
pale flower, he placed it in his bosom. So 
when the storms came he sheltered it, and 
guarded it from the chill and the heat, and 
preserved it from harm. 

"And as he walked, he met one Mr. Worldly- 
wise (he who in former times talked with 
Christian by the way), who said to him, ' Why 
dost thou wear that little faded weed in thy 
bosom? I tell thee plainly, friend, it will 
greatly hinder thy success in the world, and 
will do thee much harm ; take my advice and 
throw it away from thee, now while it is yet 
time ! ' Then he answered,—' I will not part 
with my little reed,— no, not for all which thou 
couldst give me, were thy power ten times 
greater than it is. Did she not show me the 
way at the beginning, and teach me how to 
find out the music that was hidden in this pipe, 
which the angel of God entrusted to my keep- 
ing? ' Then he took his pipe and played glori- 
ously ; and as he played, the pale leaves of the 
flower shone as with a soft light, and the radi- 
ance fell down on the path before his feet. So 
they journeyed on together, but I saw not for 
how long, nor whether it was into joy or pain." 



41tftlt> 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 



Harken to yon pine warbler 

SinRinp: aloft in the tree 1 
Hearest then, O traveler, 

What he singeth to me ? 
Not unless God made sharp thine ear 

With sorrow sncU as mine, 
Out of that delicate lay couldst thou 

Its heavy tale divine. 

The touching parable was written 
in April, 1S54, at Springfield, where 
she is buried beside her brother 
George ; we were married in Peter- 
borough, the 23d of August follow- 
ing, in near anticipation of her 
death, which came August 31, 1854. 
Just four mouths after, in the same 
house, her father died. 

It was this house, in Grove street, 
with its "little wood opposite" up- 
on which her windows looked out, 
which is associated with her in my 
memory, and that of her surviving 
sister and her friends,— now alas! but 
few, out of the many who rejoiced 



in her companionship half a ceutury 
ago. The engraving shows it much 
as it then was, — one of two houses 
built by McKean, a skilful car- 
penter, about 1S44, and both now 
owned by the Livingston family. 
But when we visited the Walkers 
there, it had a green bank sloping 
down to the river, unobstructed by 
the railway and its apparatus ; across 
the amber water was the flower- 
encircled cottage of Miss Putnam, 
the " Lady Bountiful" of the village 
then, who gave Putnam Park to 
the public, and preserved the fine 
trees on her terraced river-bank. On 
the opposite side from this west front 
was the garden, — small but neatl}^ 
kept, and blooming in the season 
with Anna's favorite roses ; while 
the pine trees overhuug the narrow 
street, and waved a sober welcome 




Residence of Anna Walker, Giove Street. 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 



to their lover in the house, who 
could never have enough of ga/.iiig 
at them and the sky above, or of 
walking in their alleys, whatever the 
season. Her best-loved walk was up 
along the mill-stream, through what 
is now the park, to the little foot- 
bridge, commanding a romantic view 
of the waterfall and the forest-circled 
pool, shown in the engraving. How 
she idealized the pine maj' be seen in 
her earlj' poem, long since printed, 
but here copied. 

In looking over the journal of a 
friend. Miss A. C, she found and 
copied some verses on the pine tree ; 
she writes (September 7, 184S): "I 
also had a thought of the pine tree, 
and, poor as it is, I will write that 
here also. It stood looking up into 
the sky, as if saying, — 

" Upward and ever upward, 
While the storms pass me by, — 

Up through the lixhtuing flashes 
Longingly look I." 

Yet when the storm-wind blowelh, 

Gentle Pine Tree, 
Downward thine arms in jirotection 

Leanest thou o'er me. 

" Upward and ever upward, 
While the snn ridetli on high, 

Fearing not his bold glances, 
Longingly look I." 

Yet when the sun's glance is boldest, 

Gentle Pine Tree, 
Downward thy poor child to shelter 

Leanest thou to nie. 

This thought of the down-leaning 
of the trees is often with me, and it 
always gives me loving strength." 

Many descriptive sketches of the 
scenery in Peterborough are found 
in her letters and journals ; but I 
will only quote here those which 
picture the Coutoocook river from 
her orchardrbank, looking across 
towards Miss Putnam's cottage ; and 



the glen and forest leading up to the 
waterfall of the Nubauusit ("little 
waters" in tlie Indian's musical 
speech). They are from her unfin- 
ished romance of "Alice Easterly," 
written at the age of twenty : 

" .\ March night. Diirk and wild, not a sin- 
gle star in tlie clomlcd heavens, nothing but 
the impenetialjle gloom. I like such nights, 
especially when there is this life-full murmur 
in the air, which makes me constantly long for 
the uvcrwlulming tumult it seems tu iHirtend. 
1 will go out into this mystery. . . I went 
down to the willow tree, all there was wildly 
beautiful. The wind blew so that I could 
scarcely stand, and the willow bent beneath it 
until it touched the black waters at its feet. 
The river rolled on sluggishly, not noisily, 
calm, because it was too much swollen for foam 
orrijjple. I clung to the old elm on its bank, 
and looked down into the depths. I was per- 
fectly, e.NUltingly hajipy, and yet felt as if I 
should like to throw myself into the waves, 
that I might never wake out of. that feeling. 
The distant clock in the village sounded twelve, 
and I hastened back to my room." 

" May 7. I went out to-day into the deep, 
pine woods, striving to escape from the world, 
perhaps from myself. I lay down in the depths 
of the wood's heart, and looked up into the 
tliick branches of the shadowing trees. Not 
one of your clear, mild days, but a fine ming- 
ling of storm and sunshine which did my 
heart good. Kverything in the Dingle was 
finer than I had ever seen it, the little brook 
now dashing and foaming over its rocks, now 
stopping to rest and curdle in the hollows, and 
then on, on, on, wild, free, glorious. I rose 
and clambered up the rocks, with an ease that 
astonished and delighted me, higher, higher, 
higher yet, until I stood on the very summit. 
That was truly fine, the torrent beneath me, 
half-hidden by a veil of mist atul vapor, which 
a sudden gleam of sunshine changed to gold ; 
the dark shadows on the distant mountains, 
and changing and beautiful clouds above. Na- 
ture in her freest, her loveliest forms ! again the 
feeling of overwhelming life ! . . . .•\ftcr 
a time, a storm seemed gathering upon the 
nuiuntuins, and I descended into the ravine ; it 
came on so fiercely that by the time I reached 
the bottom, the rain was falling in torrents, 
and thunder rattled fearfully in the narrow 
gorge. The tempest came, swift, terrible, re- 
joicing in its strength. The lightning flashed 
through the gloom of the ravine, and the thun- 
der ecliocd with almost deafening roar. Sud- 
denly it ceased raining, and then the clcariu(j 



1862788 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 




away of the mists was glorious. The litlle 
brook, swelled by the storm, chanRed the as- 
pect of its beauty. It tumbled now over the 
stones without pausiuR, yielding to no obsti- 
nate rocks or hollows, but sweeping over them 
with a deep, resistless force. There was less of 
foam and spray, but a blue mist enveloped its 
course, and rendered it almost invisible from 
above. . . . When the tumult was over, I 
threw down my book and pencils, and, resting 
my head upon the soft, cool turf, lay watching 
the changing, beautiful clouds, and listening to 
the song of the waterfall, with a sort of dreamy 
pleasure which does not will itself into words." 



James Walker had come to Peter- 
borough in 1814, married in 1819, 
had two sons born in 1820 and 1824 ; 
in 1826 was active in the formaliou 
of a Unitarian religions society, 
which, in 1S27, invited Dr. Abbot to 
be its pastor, in the present church, 
which was dedicated in Februarjs 
1826, with a sermon by Dr. Walker 
of Charleslown, :Mass., afterwards 



president of Harvard,— a first cousin 
of James Walker. In 1S33 he was 
active, along with J. H. Steele, after- 
wards governor, and Dr. Abbot, in 
forming a town library, believed to be 
the oldest free municipal library in 
the world. From 182S Mr. Walker 
was town treasurer four years, and 
again five years, beginning in 1843; 
he was in the state legislature in 
i833-'34 and 1S44. 

TJiese public trusts show how he 
was regarded by his neighbors. His 
son George, graduating, like his 
father, at Dartmouth, but studying 
law at Harvard, held more and 
higher offices in Massachusetts and 
in Kurope. He began active law 
practice in Chicopee in 1846, and 
was counsel for the Cabot Bank, 
from which John Brown, not yet a 
soldier in the army of the Lord, bor- 



26 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 



rowed the money to carry ou the 
large business of a wool merchant in 
Springfield, where he then lived. 
George Walker removed to that citj' 
in 1849, the A'ear of his marriage 
with Sarah Bliss, only daughter of 
George Bliss, a prominent cilizen of 
western Massachusetts, and much 



In 1858 he became one of the staff 
of Governor Banks, was afterwards 
in the Massachusetts Senate, and 
before the Civil War was appointed 
bank commissioner of Massachusetts, 
an office which he held for years. 
In 1S65 he was sent abroad by Gov- 
ernor Andrew on a financial mis- 




connected with the extension of rail- 
roads from Boston westward. Mr. 
Walker entered actively into poli- 
tics on the Whig side, but when that 
paity died in 1855, he became one 
of the early Republicans, and was 
chairman of the Hampden county 
committee which raised funds in 1856 
for aiding; the freedom of Kansas. 



sion — being reckoned one of the per- 
sons best acquainted with the theory 
of finance — and was for many years 
afterward concerned in large bank- 
ing and telegraphic business, which 
caused him to remove from Spring- 
field to New York. 

In 18S0 he was appointed consul- 
general of the United States at Paris, 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 



where he remained seven years in 
office, returning to America in 1887, 
to establish himself in law practice at 
Washington, but died there in March, 
1888, after a short illness. He is 
bnried in the lovely cemetery of 
Springfield, which he was active in 
laying out and adorning, and where 
his wife and infant children, and his 
sister Ariana, are also buried. None 
of his family, or of his wife's family, 
now live in Springfield ; their gra\'es 
and their memory alone remain there ; 
and the same is true of the Walkers 
in Peterborough and the Smiths (of 
this branch) in Kxeter. James 
Walker, with his two wives and his 
infant daughter Edith, are buried at 
Peterborough ; his youngest daugh- 
ter and only surviving child, Martha 
Cotton Walker, now Mrs. Walter 
McDaniels, lives in Lowell, Mass. 
It is seldom that families, so con- 
spicuous in three New England 
towns as these three, so entirely pass 
away from all, in less than sixty 
years. 

In the graces and affections of 
domestic life, none of those here com- 
memorated excelled George Walker, 
and few have left a dearer memory. 
From earliest years he was distin- 
guished, like his mother and sisters, 
for tender and helpful sympathy with 
those related to him, and for cour- 
tesy and kindness to all. His rela- 
tion to his sister Anna, after the 
death of their mother, and in the 
feeble health and engrossing occupa- 
tions of their father, was peculiarly 
admirable and devoted ; and when 
she found herself more closely bound 
to another, this new tie was not al- 
lowed to weaken the fraternal affec- 
tion. He adopted the youth who 
had so unexpectedly become dear, 



as a younger brother ; and his deli- 
cate generosity in circumstances 
which often produce estrangement 
was never forgotten by those who 
experienced it. In his public life 
he was the same considerate and 
high-minded gentleman ; not regard- 
less of the. advantages which social 
position and moderate wealth give, 
but ever ready to share his blessings, 
instead of engrossing all within reach 
to himself and his circle. Without 
the commanding talents or decisive 
character which make men illustri- 
ous, and secure unchanging worldly 
fortune, he had, as Channing said of 
Henry Thoreau, "what is better, — 
the old Roman belief that there is 
more in this life than applause and 
the best seat at the dinner-table, — 
to have moments to spare to thought 
and imagination, and to those who 
need you." 

As for that gentle, self-forgetting 
and inspiring Person whom I of all 
men have the best rea.son to remem- 
ber, and whose long-vanished life has 
been here recalled, what can be said 
worthy of her memory? Something 
of her will be learned from that grace- 
ful portrait of her earlj^ womanhood ; 
something, perchance from her words 
herein cited ; but she was so much 
more than any one mood or aspect 
could imply, that the variety and vi- 
talitj' of her genius will hardly be 
suspected from its partial expression. 
As Chaucer saj's of his poet, 

Ceites, it was of lierle all that she sung. 

Affection and humility were her 
constant traits ; they led her to under- 
value that nature which none could 
regard without love and admiration ; 
but along with them went a serene 
courage and a high spirit not always 



28 



THE SMITHS AND WALKERS. 



knowu to dwell with lunnility. She 
claimed silently by her steady affec- 
tion what she was apt to renounce 
by her raagnaniniitj', — the devotion of 
hearts too much possessed with the 
magic of her vivacious thought and 
romantic sentiment ever to forget 
her. Needless, therefore, were her 
verses, addressed in moments of sad- 
ness to him who lived for nothing 
but her : 



Oh, leave nie not alone ! I cannot brook 
■ The winter winds, the cold and gloom of life; 
I need the sxinlight of a loving look 
To shine amid the darkness and the strile. 



Then leave me not alone ! some hope as fair 
As the pale windllower nestling in the shade, 

Shall live within my breast, and hiding there. 
Smile ont for thee when brighter joys shall 
fade. 

Wheu the venerable Alcott, her 
friend and mine, was composing his 
Sonnets, in tender recollection and 
spiritual recognition of the compan- 
ions of his life, young or old, he gave 
me the first two lines of the poem 
which follows, and ol^sired me to 
complete it, in memory of her whom 
we had lost till the light of a fairer 
world should shine. With this shall 
the chapter be closed : 



ARIANA SMITH WAI^KER. 

Sweet saint ! whose rising dawned itpon the sight 

Ivike fair Aurora chasing mists away ; 
Our ocean billows, and thy western height 

Gave back reflections of the tender ray. 

Sparkling and smiling as night turned to day ; 
Ah ! whither vanished that celestial light ? 

Suns rise and set ; Monadnoc's amethyst 
Year-long above the sullen cloud appears ; 

Daily the waves, our summer strand have kist, 
But thou returuest not with days and years ; 

Or is it thine ? yon clear and beckoning star 
Seen o'er the hills that guarded once thy home ; 
Dost guide thy Friend's free steps, that widely roam, 

Toward that far country where his wishes are ? 



/*^^^