our town honored the distinguished statesman by naming one of her school buildings for him.
It adds to the interest of local and general history
to recall the fact that John Brown
(before 1859) was a guest at the home of George L. Stearns
, and received sympathy and encouragement from the host and his wife.
If he could only have looked down the years to see Doctor Booker T. Washington1
that fine specimen of the despised race he really died for, entertained by our high-minded citizens and listened to by the largest audience ever gathered in Medford
, how his soul would have been cheered; but John Brown
only saw the promised land from the top of Mount Pisgah
No choicer spirits, singly or in companies, ever gathered in any home in this town than were found in the home of George L. Stearns
Men and women of the noblest type, ready to sacrifice themselves and their property for the good of mankind, distinguished lawyers and writers, were those who were welcomed within those hospitable walls, and I doubt if our towns-people were ever really cognizant of what transpired there, or were in touch with the inmates of the red house on the hill who formed a little world apart by themselves.
George S. Hillard
, Moncure D. Conway
, and greater lights like Rufus Choate
, Wendell Phillips
, Ralph Waldo Emerson
, Bronson Alcott
and Julia Ward Howe
were guests of the Stearns family.
Later came Julian
, son of Nathaniel Hawthorne
, a school friend of one of the sons.
Lest we forget what the country and our state owes to this man, of whom we ought to be proud as being a citizen of Medford
, let us recall with gratitude these verses from Whittier
's tribute to George L. Stearns
He has done the work of a true man,—
Crown him, honor him, love him.
Weep over him, tears of woman,
Stoop manliest brows above him!