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[79]

‘I happened,’ wrote Edmund Quincy to Richard Webb,

to1 call not long after his departure, and was invited, as one who had long stood in the relation of a brother to the family, to the chamber of death. It was the most striking scene I ever beheld. The body was surrounded by the surviving family; Maria standing, with all the composure and peace of a guardian angel, at2 its head, and his venerable father seated in resignation at his feet. The serenity of Mrs. Chapman was as perfect as I had ever seen it, and she told all the little incidents of the last few hours with the utmost tranquillity. Her sisters were not all as calm as she, but they all felt the power of her peace upon them.

At the funeral, she evinced the same tranquillity. Samuel J. May was invited to perform the usual services, at Chapman's request, not as a priest but as a friend, out of regard to the feelings of his father and mother. After he had made a prayer,3 Garrison, who had been told by Mrs. Chapman if he had any word to utter not to withhold it, made a very excellent address, to the no small astonishment of certain of the relatives, who had not looked for an anti-slavery lecture at such a time. Neither Mrs. C. nor any of the family put on mourning, which was a4 strange thing in a community where the chains of custom and public opinion are like links of iron.

‘A day or two afterwards, I went to town to see her, apprehending that when the excitement was over, a reaction might take place. But I found her in the same angelic peace that I had left her. She said she had no feeling of separation; that she had gone down with him to the brink of the River, and that he had gone over and she returned. And the household fell naturally back into its usual liveliness and helpfulness, without any effort or affectation.’5

With one more death we close the chapter. The Non-6 Resistant expired, on June 29, 1842, for want of means— conclusive evidence that the Non-Resistance Society was7

1 Ms. Jan. 29, 1843.

2 Mrs. H. G. Chapman.

3 S. J. May.

4 M. W. Chapman.

5 Hardly a number of the Liberator in the last two months of 1842 but shows traces of Mrs. Chapman's preternatural activity with pen and in deed. During Mr. Garrison's illness, she helped to fill his editorial page, and yet found time to foment the Latimer agitation (ante, p. 66), and to direct, as usual, the Anti-Slavery Bazaar. In short, she illustrated anew the force of a lesson which she early learned from an old sea-captain. ‘Talk of fast sailers!’ he would say. ‘I never saw a vessel that would sail without a great deal of assistance’ (Ms. May 23, 1840, M. W. Chapman to Louisa Loring).

6 Lib. 12.107.

7 Ante, 2.347.

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