appointed a commission to visit this island republic, to inquire into its conditions and report upon the question.
Of this commission Dr. Howe
was one, the others being Messrs. Benjamin Wade
and Andrew D. White
The commissioners sailed on the government steamer Tennessee
At parting the Doctor
said, “Remember that you cannot hear from us under a month; so do not be frightened at our long silence.”
A week later came reports of a severe storm in the Southern
A large steamer had been seen struggling with wind and wave, apparently at their mercy.
Some newspaper thought it might be the Tennessee
All the newspapers took up the cry: it probably was
; most likely she had foundered and gone down with all on board.
Mindful of the Doctor
's warning, our mother tried to disregard these voices of terror.
She went quietly about her work as usual, but none the less the days of suspense that followed were “dark indeed and hard to live through.”
We remember these days well, the resolute cheerfulness, the avoidance of outward sign of anxiety, the sudden lifting of the cloud when the good news came of the steamer's safe arrival.
The prayer of Santo Domingo
was not to be answered, spite of the favorable report of the commission: but the Doctor
had been so delighted with the island that when, a year later, he was asked to visit it in the interests of the Samana Bay Company, he gladly accepted the commission.