to our hearts; this, though we were there only three years, and though it was there that we children first saw the face of sorrow.
It was an heroic time.
was in constant touch with the events of the war. He was sent by Governor Andrew
to examine conditions of camps and hospitals, in Massachusetts
and at the seat of war; he worked as hard on the Sanitary Commission, to which he had been appointed by President Lincoln
, as on any other of his multifarious labors: his knowledge of practical warfare and his grasp of situations gave him a foresight of coming events which seemed well-nigh miraculous.
When he entered the house, we all felt the electric touch, found ourselves in the circuit of the great current.
So, these three years were notable for us all, especially for our mother; for beside these vital interests, she was entering upon another phase of development.
Heretofore her life had been domestic, studious, social; her chief relation with the public had been through her pen. She now felt the need of personal contact with her audience; felt that she must speak her message.
She says in her “Reminiscences” : “In the days of which I now write, it was borne in upon me (as the Friends say) that I had much to say to my day and generation which could not and should not be communicated in rhyme, or even in rhythm.”
The character of the message, too, was changing.
In the anguish of bereavement she sought relief in study, her lifelong resource.
Religion and philosophy went hand in hand with her. She read Spinoza