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Margaret Fuller (search for this): chapter 3
He had less ideality than his sister, less enthusiasm, and far less moral courage; but he surpassed most of his profession in all these traits. He was Theodore Parker's first learned friend, and directed his studies in preparation for the theological school. Long after, Mr. Parker used still to head certain pages of his journal, Questions to ask Dr. Francis. The modest study at Watertown was a favorite Headquarters of what were called the transcendentalists of those days. Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Ripley, and the rest came often thither, in the days when the Dial was just emancipating American thought from old-world traditions. Afterwards, when Dr. Francis was appointed to the rather responsible and conservative post of professor in the Cambridge Theological School, he still remained faithful to the spirit of those days, never repressing free inquiry, but always rejoicing to encourage it. He was a man of rare attainments in a variety of directions, and though his great reading
Nat Turner (search for this): chapter 3
rather a fugitive description. The same year brought her to one of those bold steps which made successive eras in her literary life, the publication of her Appeal for that Class of Americans called Africans. The name was rather cumbrous, like all attempts to include an epigram in a title-page,--but the theme and the word Appeal were enough. It was under the form of an Appeal that the colored man, Alexander Walker, had thrown a firebrand into Southern society which had been followed by Nat Turner's insurrection; and now a literary lady, amid the cultivated circles of Boston, dared also to appeal. Only two years before (1831) Garrison had begun the Liberator, and only two years later (1835) he was destined to be dragged through Boston streeets, with a rope round his neck, by gentlemen of property and standing, as the newspapers said next day. It was just at the most dangerous moment of the rising storm that Mrs. Child appealed. Miss Martineau in her article, The martyr age in A
Wendell Phillips (search for this): chapter 3
erve as a sample of many. It was addressed to the last Anti-slavery Festival at Boston, and not only shows the mode of action adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Child, but their latest opinions as to public affairs:-- Wayland, Jan. 1st, 1868. Dear friend Phillips : We enclose $50 as our subscription to the Anti-slavery Society. If our means equalled our wishes, we would send a sum as large as the legacy Francis Jackson intended for that purpose, and of which the society was deprived, as we think, by dangerous it is to trust those who have been slaveholders, and those who habitually sympathize with slaveholders, to frame laws and regulations for liberated slaves. As well might wolves be trusted to guard a sheepfold. We thank God, friend Phillips, that you are preserved and strengthened to be a wakeful sentinel on the watch-tower, ever ready to warn a drowsy nation against selfish, timid politicians, and dawdling legislators, who manifest no trust either in God or the people. Yours fa
Theodore Parker (search for this): chapter 3
r, less enthusiasm, and far less moral courage; but he surpassed most of his profession in all these traits. He was Theodore Parker's first learned friend, and directed his studies in preparation for the theological school. Long after, Mr. Parker Mr. Parker used still to head certain pages of his journal, Questions to ask Dr. Francis. The modest study at Watertown was a favorite Headquarters of what were called the transcendentalists of those days. Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Ripley, and the rest came ary-part of which he bequeathed to Harvard College--was to me the most attractive I have ever seen,more so than even Theodore Parker's. His sister had undoubtedly the superior mind of the two; but he who influenced others so much must have influenceen the best in the city. It was finished in Wayland, with the aid of her brother's store of books, and with his and Theodore Parker's counsel as to her course of reading. It seems, from the preface, that more than eight years elapsed between the p
Susannah Rand (search for this): chapter 3
ther, a weaver by trade, was in the Concord fight, and is said to have killed five of the enemy. Her father, Convers Francis, was a baker, first in West Cambridge, then in Medford, where he first introduced what are still called Medford crackers. He was a man of strong character and great industry. Though without much cultivation, he had uncommon love of reading; and his anti-slavery convictions were peculiarly zealous, and must have influenced his children's later career. He married Susannah Rand, of whom it is only recorded that she had a simple, loving heart, and a spirit busy in doing good. They had six children, of whom Lydia Maria was the youngest, and Convers the next in age. Covers Francis was afterwards eminent among the most advanced thinkers and scholars of the Unitarian body, at a time when it probably surpassed all other American denominations in the intellectual culture of its clergy. He had less ideality than his sister, less enthusiasm, and far less moral coura
Mary Ann Johnson (search for this): chapter 3
very one who reads our history; and others, on the contrary, will say that the character of the book is quite too tranquil for its title. I might mention many doubts and fears still more important; but I prefer silently to trust this humble volume to that futurity which no one can foresee and every one can read. The fears must soon have seemed useless, for the young novelist soon became almost a fashionable lion. She was an American Fanny Barney, with rather reduced copies of Burke and Johnson around her. Her personal qualities soon cemented some friendships, which lasted her life long, except where her later anti-slavery action interfered. She opened a private school in Watertown, which lasted from 1825 to 1828. She established, in 1827, the Juvenile Miscellany, that delightful pioneer among children's magazines in America; and it was continued for eight years. In October, 1828, she was married to David Lee Child, a lawyer of Boston. In those days it seemed to be held neces
th, and perhaps Mrs. Child's letters would not now be hailed as they then were. Others may have equalled her, but she gave us a new sensation, and that epoch was perhaps the climax even of her purely literary career. Their tone also did much to promote the tendency, which was showing itself in those days, towards a fresh inquiry into the foundations of social science. The Brook farm experiment was then at its height; and though she did not call herself an Associationist, yet she quoted Fourier and Swedenborg, and other authors who were thought to mean mischief; and her highest rhapsodies about poetry and music were apt to end in some fervent appeal for some increase of harmony in daily life. She seemed always to be talking radicalism in a greenhouse ; and there were many good people who held her all the more dangerous for her perfumes. There were young men and maidens, also, who looked to her as a teacher, and were influenced for life, perhaps, by what she wrote. I knew, for i
Alexander Walker (search for this): chapter 3
, childish recollection of her next book, The coronal, published in 1833, which was of rather a fugitive description. The same year brought her to one of those bold steps which made successive eras in her literary life, the publication of her Appeal for that Class of Americans called Africans. The name was rather cumbrous, like all attempts to include an epigram in a title-page,--but the theme and the word Appeal were enough. It was under the form of an Appeal that the colored man, Alexander Walker, had thrown a firebrand into Southern society which had been followed by Nat Turner's insurrection; and now a literary lady, amid the cultivated circles of Boston, dared also to appeal. Only two years before (1831) Garrison had begun the Liberator, and only two years later (1835) he was destined to be dragged through Boston streeets, with a rope round his neck, by gentlemen of property and standing, as the newspapers said next day. It was just at the most dangerous moment of the risin
Swedenborg (search for this): chapter 3
ps Mrs. Child's letters would not now be hailed as they then were. Others may have equalled her, but she gave us a new sensation, and that epoch was perhaps the climax even of her purely literary career. Their tone also did much to promote the tendency, which was showing itself in those days, towards a fresh inquiry into the foundations of social science. The Brook farm experiment was then at its height; and though she did not call herself an Associationist, yet she quoted Fourier and Swedenborg, and other authors who were thought to mean mischief; and her highest rhapsodies about poetry and music were apt to end in some fervent appeal for some increase of harmony in daily life. She seemed always to be talking radicalism in a greenhouse ; and there were many good people who held her all the more dangerous for her perfumes. There were young men and maidens, also, who looked to her as a teacher, and were influenced for life, perhaps, by what she wrote. I knew, for instance, a you
Isaac Hopper (search for this): chapter 3
d noble labor were as daily breath, she had great opportunities. There was no mere almsgiving there, no mere secretaryship of benevolent societies; but sin and sorrow must be brought home to the fireside and to the heart; the fugitive slave, the drunkard, the outcast woman, must be the chosen guest of the abode,--must be taken and held and loved into reformation or hope. Since the stern tragedy of city life began, it has seen no more efficient organization for relief, than when dear old Isaac Hopper and Mrs. Child took up their abode beneath one roof in New York. For a time she did no regular work in the cause of permanent literature,--though she edited an anti-slavery Almanac in 1843,--but she found an opening for her best eloquence in writing letters to the Boston Courier, then under the charge of Joseph T. Buckingham. This was the series of Letters from New York that afterwards became famous. They were the precursors of that modern school of newspaper correspondence in which
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