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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, chapter 4 (search)
village in which it existed; but both had their day of glory, which was Commencement Day, now a merely academic ceremonial, but then a public festival for eastern Massachusetts. It has been so well described by both Lowell and John Holmes that I will not dwell upon it in detail. The streets were filled with people, arriving frooment, and then roll out his stentorian Ha! Ha! Ha! By Jorge! in a way to add still further to the list of unexpected phrases, and to make the dusty room in Massachusetts Hall jubilant for that day. President Quincy was popular among us, but lost direct weight in our minds through his failure of memory and the necessity of co and Italian sculptors, and was practically the founder of the Normal Art School in Boston, and of the whole system of art instruction in the public schools of Massachusetts. He was my room-mate during the senior year, and a most attractive person; handsome, refined, manly, without brilliant gifts, but with the most cultivated tas
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, chapter 6 (search)
, where he had been detailed as nurse. The other had been educated at West Point, and had served in the Florida Indian wars; he was strikingly handsome and mercilessly opinionated; he commanded the first regiment of heavy artillery raised in Massachusetts, did much for the defense of Washington in the early days of the Civil War, and resigned his commission when Governor Andrew refused to see justice done — as he thought-to one of his subordinates. His name was William Batcheldor Greene. t. There was, perhaps, some tendency that way in the blood, for I rejoice to recall the fact that after Judge Sewall, in 1700, had published his noted tract against slavery, called The selling of Joseph, the first protest against slavery in Massachusetts, he himself testified, six years later, Amidst the frowns and hard words I have met with for this Undertaking, it is no small refreshment to me that I can have the Learned Reverend and Aged Mr. Higginson for my Abetter. This was my ancestor,
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, V. The fugitive slave epoch (search)
ould approach him in front. (All this I take from notes made at the time.) The curious thing was that although there was a state law of 1843 prohibiting every Massachusetts official from taking any part in the restoration of a fugitive slave, yet nearly all these employees were Boston policemen, acting, so the city marshal told meyet worse,--mere talk and discussion; but it seemed to me, at least, that something must be done; better a failure than to acquiesce tamely as before, and see Massachusetts henceforward made a hunting-ground for fugitive slaves. All hopes now rested on Stowell, who was to arrive from Worcester at six P. M. I met him at the trai as heroically as I had nearly relinquished my umbrella at the Boston Court-House. The Burns affair was the last actual fugitive slave case that occurred in Massachusetts, although for some years we kept up organizations and formed plans, and were better and better prepared for action as the call for it disappeared. I was for s
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, chapter 8 (search)
the elements, and in our own good souls the fire. Of every storied bay and cliff we will make something infinitely nobler than Salamis or Marathon. This pale Massachusetts sky, this sandy soil and raw wind, all shall nurture us. ... Unlike all the world before us, our own age and land shall be classic to ourselves. The passagehand, but the Transcendental movement of itself could not directly have created it. Neither its organ, The Dial, nor the avowed successor of that magazine, the Massachusetts Quarterly review, --announced by Theodore Parker as being the Dial with a beard, --ever achieved a wide circulation. Fortunately, in the natural progress of teeply interested in the problem of discharged convicts, having in that direction one experience so interesting that I must find room for it. In another town of Massachusetts I had known a young man of most respectable family, who, after a series of skillful burglaries, had been sent to prison on an eight years sentence. He had th
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, VII. Kansas and John Brown (search)
Worcester; and of these we in the end furnished three. First, however, I was sent to St. Louis to meet a party of Massachusetts emigrants, under Dr. Calvin Cutter, who had been turned back from the river by the Missourians, or Border Ruffians, are suspected of tampering with correspondence. I also spoke on Kansas matters by request, before the legislatures of Massachusetts and Vermont, and was nominated by the Worcester Republicans for the state legislature on the issue of Kansas sympathym in raising the money, and he seemed drawing toward the consummation of his plans, when letters began to come to his Massachusetts supporters from Hugh Forbes, already mentioned, threatening to make the whole matter public unless we could satisfy cn to some one else, probably in Congress,--but perhaps never forwarded. It read as follows: There are two persons in Massachusetts, and I think only two, who, if summoned as witnesses, can explain the whole of Brown's plot. Their names are Franci
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, chapter 10 (search)
slave-holding nation or entirely a free labor nation. Either, Seward said, the plantations of the South must ultimately be tilled by free men, or the farms of Massachusetts and New York must be surrendered to the rearing of slaves; there could be no middle ground. Lincoln had said, in the controversy with Douglas, A house dividedment of freed slaves, and wished me to be its colonel. It was an offer that took my breath away, and fulfilled the dream of a lifetime. This was long before Massachusetts took steps in the same direction; Kansas was, however, enlisting a regiment of free negroes, and three similar regiments, formed by the Confederates in Louisiare thus saved from all solicitude such as beset for a time the mind of that young hero, Colonel Robert Shaw, when he took the field, six months later, with his Massachusetts colored regiment. When I rode over to his camp to welcome him, on his first arrival, he said that while I had shown that negro troops were effective in bush-
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, chapter 13 (search)
on that there never was an honester body of men, on the whole, than the two Massachusetts legislatures with which I served in 1880 and 188 . If there has been a seriis day, any organized corporation which had such a controlling influence in Massachusetts as have certain railways, according to rumor, in Connecticut and Pennsylvannal nomination and afterwards spoke in his behalf in five different states, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey, and was brought closely ed Mugwumps — an almost exaggerated unselfishness, at least for a time; in Massachusetts, especially, it was practically understood among them that they were to askleasantest to be associated was the late Governor William Eustis Russell of Massachusetts. Carrying his election three successive times in a state where his party w the election of John Davis Long, now Secretary of the Navy, as governor of Massachusetts in 1880, he asked me to act on his military staff; and although I had not k