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[187] The year 1891 saw the birth of the Society of American Friends of Russian Freedom; modelled on a similar society which, with “Free Russia” as its organ, was doing good work in England.

The object of the American society was “to aid by all moral and legal means the Russian patriots in their efforts to obtain for their country political freedom and self-government.” Its circular was signed by Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Julia Ward Howe, John Greenleaf Whittier, James Russell Lowell, George Kennan, William Lloyd Garrison, Henry I. Bowditch, F. W. Bird, Alice Freeman Palmer, Charles G. Ames, Edward L. Pierce, Frank B. Sanborn, Annie Fields, E. Benjamin Andrews, Lillie B. Chace Wyman, Samuel L. Clemens, and Joseph H. Twitchell.

James Russell Lowell, writing to Francis J. Garrison in 1891, says: “Between mote and beam, I think this time Russia has the latter in her eye, though God knows we have motes enough in ours. So you may take my name even if it be in vain, as I think it will be.”

It was through this society that she made the acquaintance of Mme. Breschkovskaya,1 the Russian patriot whose sufferings and sacrifices have endeared her to all lovers of freedom. The two women felt instant sympathy with each other. Mme. Breschkovskaya came to 241 Beacon Street more than once, and they had much talk together. On one of these occasions our mother was asked to play some of her own compositions. Her fingers strayed from one thing

1 Now (1915) a political prisoner in Siberia: she escaped, but was recaptured and later removed to a more remote place of imprisonment.

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