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Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life 142 2 Browse Search
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3 4 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Letters and Journals of Thomas Wentworth Higginson 2 0 Browse Search
Laura E. Richards, Maud Howe, Florence Howe Hall, Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910, in two volumes, with portraits and other illustrations: volume 1 2 0 Browse Search
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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Letters and Journals of Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Chapter army life and camp drill (search)
Chapter army life and camp drill Very little is known as to the training of the regiments which took part in the Civil War. From Wentworth Higginson's letters one gets an inkling of how the Massachusetts youth went to work to learn the drill. He was then living in Worcester, and on January 24, 1861, wrote: January 24, 1861. I do not propose that the regiment which I am planning should be called anti-slavery in special, or have a platform or a policy; if others attribute these things, it is their own affair. I expect men to join me from personal sympathy with me; if they ask for pledges, of course none will be given them. . . The only way for anti-slavery men to share in the control is to share in the sacrifices. .... All I ask, now, is an opportunity to fight, under orders, carrying with me such men as I can raise. I will risk the rest; having faith in the laws of gravitation. Our two military companies were both ordered; one has gone to Boston, and not a person i
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, I: Inheritance (search)
rtain traits and habits. Confining ourselves, for instance, to the successive Stephen Higginsons, born in Salem,— Wentworth Higginson's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather,—we find them all upright and fearless, actively interested in the geortitude the sorrows that came to her, the most bitter of which was the fate of her son Thacher. This youth, whom Wentworth Higginson called his gayest and most frolicsome brother, went on a voyage to South America and the ship was never heard from nor cease burning a nightly beacon. It would seem that those days must have been longer than ours when we read of Mrs. Higginson's daily doings. Not only did she care for a large household, entertain a great variety of visitors, walk from Cambri Boston to make calls or do errands, but withal she accomplished a vast amount of valuable reading. Of his mother, Colonel Higginson always spoke with the most tender and reverent affection. In an article of his called The Woman Who Most Influence
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, III: the boy student (search)
III: the boy student In his college days, Wentworth Higginson was uncomfortably tall, shy, and reserved. He presented a curious combination of qualities—intellectual precocity with immaturity of character, and a marked love of study with great fondness for athletic sports. He was given to self-analysis, inclined to be somewhat sentimental, and, partly owing to his extreme youth, was not popular among his fellow-students. His only intimate friend in the freshman class was Francis E. Pare their mark includes Henry F. Durant, the founder of Wellesley College. An intimate friend who entered college two years after Wentworth was Levi Thaxter, later the ardent student of Browning and FitzGerald. He did much to guide wisely young Higginson's literary tendencies. The lifelong friendship between Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Edward Everett Hale also began while they were undergraduates. In some of the former's unpublished notes is this comparison:— There was a curious pa
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, IV: the young pedagogue (search)
young pedagogue Shortly before graduation, Wentworth Higginson began looking about for employment, and in Juoolmates were still asleep. In these years Wentworth Higginson seems to have been somewhat of a dandy, rejoi After six months in this unsatisfactory position, Higginson decided to leave the school and to become a privatay was eventful, because under new influences Wentworth Higginson rapidly developed and matured. There was a lntance of a few months the cousins became engaged, Higginson being then a youth of nineteen. One of the abso here and is said to be by some one of the name of Higginson. The young poet adds, It's quite exciting, is n'ts—I will be Great if I can. While in Brookline, Higginson tried to live freely and simply like the birds and course of talks to the boys on animals. In 1852, Higginson wrote to Harriet Prescott:— When I was of yoy history repeats itself, for a few years ago, Colonel Higginson's doorbell was tremblingly rung by a young rel
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, V: the call to preach (search)
V: the call to preach Wentworth Higginson wrote to his mother, August 25, 1843:— If fortune offers nothing better I mean to do this: Go to Cambridge. Take a proctorship. Live with the strictest economy. I can place my minimum at $300—$100 to be got by my proctorship and the rest by literary labors—. . . So I may regard it as from this day settled! That I need not study a Profession. No Law! Hurrah! And this is his estimate of necessary expenses:— Board, not over$about her. And on the back of one letter his mother wrote these touching words:— He is the star that gilds the evening of my days —and he must shine bright and clear—or my path will be darkened. Soon after announcing his new plan, Higginson moved to Cambridge and wrote to his betrothed:— I shall live very unobtrusively and probably have no intimates, but I shall have a world made up of you and books and nature and myself and a great touch of unknown human nature in th
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, VI: in and out of the pulpit (search)
male Industry. Besides this local work, Mr. Higginson often preached and lectured in other placebe closed in consequence. Of this interest Mr. Higginson wrote to his mother in 1851:— I haveaims and instrumentalities. This club, as Mr. Higginson wrote later, was valuable as an attempt tochildren, now a wife and mother, says that Mr. Higginson was connected with many of the most joyousay with the minister told his parents that Mr. Higginson was a real boy; which meed of praise the l Prescott, now Mrs. Spofford. She writes, Mr. Higginson was like a great archangel to all of us thryport to lecture. In the winter of 1848, Mr. Higginson wrote to his mother of Professor Agassiz:—ims, the runaway slave, back to Savannah. Mr. Higginson's frequent sermons on the abolition of sllaim to the waves. I have suggested, said Mr. Higginson, the Isles of Shoals. They are peopled byLeighton, with her necklace of sea-shells, Mr. Higginson wrote:— There is no passion so begui[21 more...
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XIV: return to Cambridge (search)
which, as Emerson says, every hour brings book or starlight scroll. At breakfast got letters from England, one from W. Sharp about sonnets of mine for his book of American sonnets—another from——asking about my literary methods for his pupils. Then came the copies of Italian version of my history and finally (next day) Mrs. Hood's news that she had The open Garden ready—her name for illustrations of Outdoor Papers. There has always been a confusion in the public mind between Colonel Wentworth Higginson and his cousin, Major Henry Higginson, and musicians sometimes applied to the former for a position in the Symphony Orchestra. He was wont to say that he received everything that was intended for his cousin except cheques. Reporting to his family in their absence various funny stories that he had heard, he added, But best of all was the news that several New York papers have just printed advance puffs of the Symphony Orchestra headed by my picture. He wrote to his brother-in-
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XV: journeys (search)
late Shah of Persia and the present Colonel Wentworth Higginson figured. At Salisbury, he encoungined him with a note-book. In Paris Colonel Higginson said the best thing he did was to go to ture King of Sweden. At Sorrento, wrote Colonel Higginson, we called on Marion Crawford the novelint in the south of England. From Wells, Colonel Higginson went to Glastonbury partly to see Mrs. Cfelt under bonds to keep silence, all of Colonel Higginson's sympathies were with the Boers. Nothiough the Southern States. On account of Colonel Higginson's war experience, he felt a little doubtdly injured in the Civil War appealed to Colonel Higginson's sense of justice; and he interested hin to addresses, one of which was made by Colonel Higginson. It was a striking scene, this mass of thern gentleman laid a benignant hand on Colonel Higginson's shoulder and exclaimed, Say what you p On his return from this memorable trip, Colonel Higginson found that he was somewhat criticized by[10 more...]
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XVI: the crowning years (search)
XVI: the crowning years In 1889, Colonel Higginson began what proved to be a four years task of editing, with Mrs. Mabel Loomis Todd of Amherst, Emily Dickinson's poems and letters. Of this work he wrote Mrs. Todd:— I can't tell you how much I am enjoying the poems. There are many new to me which take my breath away. mily Dickinson, but take from me a living companionship I shall miss. After the volume of letters was published, of which Mrs. Todd was the principal editor, Colonel Higginson wrote to her November 29, 1894:— Emily has arrived. They sent her to Sever's book store where I rarely go and where she might have hid forever in a cudoor or under the piano cover? Well! what an encyclopaedia of strange gifts she was. During these years of fascinating though strenuous editorial labor, Colonel Higginson was also engaged on various pieces of original work. He wrote in July, 1890:— I am now to correct proof of three books– Epictetus, American Sonnets a
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, Chapter 39: the debate on Toucey's bill.—vindication of the antislavery enterprise.—first visit to the West.—defence of foreign-born citizens.—1854-1855. (search)
or the true nobility of talent and character which you manifest in your public career. You once wrote to me that my writings had done somewhat to interest you on the subject of slavery. I lay that up as a precious reward for my efforts. Wentworth Higginson says the same. In desponding states of mind, when my writings seem to me so very imperfect, and all the efforts of my life so miserably fragmentary, a pleasant voice sings in the inner chamber of my soul, But you have not lived in vain; Charles Sumner and Wentworth Higginson are working gloriously for humanity, each in his own way, and they both say you have done something to urge them onward. As soon as Sumner arrived home from Washington, at the close of the session in March, 1855, he began the preparation of an address on The necessity, practicability, and dignity of the Antislavery enterprise, with glances at the special duties of the North. Works, vol IV. pp. 1-51. The title recalls that of Dr. Wayland's sermon on
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