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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, chapter 6 (search)
as of actual events stranger than any novels. He was the breaker, so report said, of many hearts, the disappointer of many high hopes,--and this in two continents; he was the most variously gifted and accomplished man I have ever known, acquiring knowledge as by magic,passing easily for a Frenchman in France, an Italian in Italy, a Spaniard in Spanish countries; beginning his career as a radical young Unitarian divine, and ending it as a defender of despotism. He was also for a time a Roman Catholic, but died in the Church of England. The turning-point of Hurlbert's life occurred, for me at least, when I met him once, to my great delight, at Centre Harbor, I being on my way to the White Mountains and he returning thence. We had several hours together, and went out on the lake for a long chat. He told me that he had decided to go to New York and enter the office of A. Oakey Hall, a lawyer against whom there was then, justly or unjustly, some prejudice. I expressed surprise and
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, chapter 8 (search)
rated to Boston,--but I was gradually brought into amicable relations with many of the others, and had no reason to complain. I was on the school committee until I was dropped, during the Know-Nothing excitement, for defending the right of a Roman Catholic father to decide which version of the Scriptures his child should read in school. Twice I have thus been honorably dismissed from school committees; for the same thing happened again in Newport, Rhode Island, ten years later, in consequence of the part I took in securing the abolition of separate colored schools. In both cases I was reinstated later; being appointed on a special examination committee in Worcester together with a Roman Catholic priest, and on the regular committee in Newport with a colored clergyman; thus bringing my sheaves with me, as a clever woman said. I had a hand in organizing the great Worcester Public Library, and was one of its early board of trustees, at a time when we little dreamed of its expansion an