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Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, V: the call to preach (search)
to be useful so he be true and bold. . . . I am an enthusiast now, I know. So much the better. Whoever was in the highest degree useful without being such? In these years of thought and study, Wentworth wrote many verses, some of which were published in periodicals. This led to the dream of being a poet. His few hymns which are included in American and English collections of sacred song and are still sung in churches were written at this time. One day, many years later, he met his Worcester contemporary, George F. Hoar, on the street, who asked him if he was the author of the hymn containing the lines— And though most weak our efforts seem, Into one creed these thoughts to bind. Upon Mr. Higginson's assenting, Mr. Hoar said that he considered this hymn the most complete statement of Christian doctrine that was ever made. In that early period the young man exclaimed, Oh, heavens, what would I not give to know whether I really have that in me which will make a poet, or w
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, VI: in and out of the pulpit (search)
igginson had fancied his preaching days were over, he received in 1852 an invitation to take charge of a Free Church in Worcester, an organization which the influence of Theodore Parker had just brought into existence. This society was composed of a whole was imbued with strong anti-slavery sentiments. Mr. Higginson wrote to a friend:— They want me to stay at Worcester where there are 600 come-outers and a very thriving city and a clear Free Soil majority and no anti-slavery preaching, and 40 conventions in a year. Rather to my own surprise, he wrote from Worcester in May, 1852, I find myself likely to assume the charge of a new Free Church in this city, on a plan resembling Mr. Parker's in Boston more nearly than any otd come. And it will very probably be so. Later he told his mother:— I was yesterday offered $1200 to give up Worcester and be Secretary to the Temperance Committee for another year. . . . There is a feeling of the necessity for a vigilant
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, VII: the free church (search)
this test of increased social distinction. Worcester is a great thoroughfare, and there are alwayheological students and continued into these Worcester years, was destined to end in sorrow. Aftercrous. He wrote to his Aunt Nancy:— Worcester, June 29, 1858. I spoke in Springfield onrbed in the larger interests of life. To Worcester there came from time to time people whom it ounces me as leader of the forlorn-hope from Worcester. I had a pathetic scene at Syracuse with His love of boating found a happy outlet at Worcester where he was instrumental in organizing a bohe had owned at Newburyport went with him to Worcester, and he wrote to his mother: This afternoon, the river and went to dinner. Every one in Worcester supposed we should be beaten, but we beat thterprises he enlisted a band of enthusiastic Worcester youth. His unusual gift for interesting youost unexpected tribute to his public work in Worcester. This was a bequest of five hundred dollars[6 more...]
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, VIII: Anthony Burns and the Underground railway (search)
. Officer will be sent up, for I cannot answer for his life in the streets of Worcester. . . . Send for me if you want me again. I am thankful for what has been don minutes before the Boston train started, was chosen lest the Freedom Club of Worcester should interfere and prevent the arrest. When Mr. Higginson was arraigned be policeman named Butman, who had been instrumental in Burns's arrest, went to Worcester to find evidence against those concerned in the riot. The Worcester people wWorcester people were so enraged by this uncalled — for visit that Butman's life was in danger, and the pastor of the Free Church risked his own by helping him escape. The event was —and which certainly worked up some scenes of my life, as the Butman riot in Worcester, with some power? It was a time when fugitive slaves frequently needed ass of the correspondence between the active abolitionists of that day:— Worcester, Sept. 14, 1860. The bearer, Capt. Stewart—sometimes known as Preacher St
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, IX: the Atlantic Essays (search)
We suspended housekeeping awhile, for my wife's health, and have been boarding since New Year's at the queerest old rambling Hotel, one of the few old things in Worcester . . . . We are so very nicely placed here at the Lincoln House, M. is quite delighted. We have a pleasant parlor on Elm St. with a little bedroom and a large was written from Bangor:— I am writing behind the bar; many men here— they come up and read our names in the book and wonder what brings so many here from Worcester. One says, Higginson. He's the great abolitionist from Worcester, he who had the fuss in the U. S. Court—is that Theo. Brown beneath? It ought to be Theodore Worcester, he who had the fuss in the U. S. Court—is that Theo. Brown beneath? It ought to be Theodore Parker. And in the delight which this excursion gave him, he exclaimed:—I am very happy and feel ready to mount up with wings as eagles. Mr. Higginson wrote an account of this expedition for Putnam's Magazine, the article purporting to be written by a woman. The author amused himself by sending a copy to each member of th
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, X: a ride through Kansas (search)
free and slave States for the possession of the Territory of Kansas was at its height. There was then a reign of terror along the Kansas border, the advocates of slavery victimizing the Free-State settlers. An enthusiastic meeting was held in Worcester to welcome Mr. Higginson home and promote emigration to Kansas, and an earnest appeal was made for volunteers, rifles, and blankets in aid of the Free-State emigrants against whom the Missouri River was blockaded. It is amazing, wrote the impale by which the passage might yet be opened to free emigrants. In these frequent articles for the newspapers, Mr. Higginson not only reported the progress of the different groups of emigrants, but called for funds. Soon after his return to Worcester, the city hall was crowded with eager listeners to hear the report of his trip and an account of the exciting events which were transpiring on the Missouri River. He wrote to his mother:— Our parties are getting safely on beyond Iowa Cit
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XI: John Brown and the call to arms (search)
in-law, aged 20 and 16, need help greatly. Meetings were held in Boston and Worcester, in which Mr. Higginson took part, to plead for help for Brown's family. An souri. This project was therefore abandoned. On Mr. Higginson's return to Worcester, he was offered a position as major of the fourth battalion of infantry. Thise this philosophy in the face of such experiences as the following:— Worcester, Aug. 1861. We had Col. Leonard's regiment on their way to the war also, as called out and the irrepressible ex-clergyman opened a recruiting office in Worcester. He wrote, March 3, 1862:— The day after the call for 9 months troops ised slowly here, and I decided that I never could hold up my head again, in Worcester or even elsewhere, if I did not vindicate my past words by actions though tarwith a sweet curiosity. To his mother, he wrote:— Lincoln House, Worcester, Sept. 7, 1862. I have my commission and we go into barracks when they are<
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XII: the Black regiment (search)
been called Higginson Hall but the painter objected telling the proprietors that the other Colonels might take offence, so that immortal honor was lost. Instead, the proprietor is one of six (all black) who have made up $60 to buy a sword to be presented me on New Year's Day. December 28, he wrote:— We are busy with preparations for New Year's Day. My sword has come, but I have not seen it— it was selected by Frank Shaw and cost $75. This with my captured one and the one given at Worcester will be a memorial, when the war is over, of my share in it. After the presentation of this sword he reported:— Jan. 8, 1864. Did I tell you that after the New Year's Festivals, the little Tribune correspondent came to me for my wemarks (he is English, 3 feet high; and a goosey) and the inscription on my sword. I could not give him the former but the latter was easily made visible. It ran thus Tiffany & Co. New York. These three swords entwined with a faded sash are <
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XIII: Oldport Days (search)
gering traces of my army ailment; and added:— I have felt that perhaps I should gradually recur to that blissful mood of life in Nature in which I lived at Worcester just before the War. In the Army I was constantly in the presence of nature, but the weight of responsibility submerged it altogether and I can now only look bact man—P. less showy with black beard-W. coarser looking, with auburn beard and still burnt with powder. Colonel Higginson had been more or less associated in Worcester with Dr. E. E. Hale, who was for a time the only clergyman in that city who was willing to exchange with the pastor of the Free Church. I had such an amusingne thing that makes it hard for me to . . . write anything about those days, though sooner or later I shall do it all . . . . It seemed like a dream to go to Worcester and see how three years had restored my young recruits to their old places in shops &c., and swept away all traces of those stirring days. Yet the Old Guard of
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XIV: return to Cambridge (search)
looked around and discovered with alarm that the child of four was fast asleep. After that he decided to ride alone. When Margaret was still a small child we spent three successive summers on a farm in Holden, Massachusetts, a village near Worcester. It was Colonel Higginson's delight both there and in Cambridge to amuse Margaret's little friends by making bonfires and roasting potatoes and apples in the embers. He wrote to his sister: We have now a cow, calf, dog, two white fantail pigillips Brooks who preached at St. John's Chapel. A curious result of this meeting was the arrival at our home, on the same evening, of six bottles of wine labelled For a man who has the courage of his convictions. There happened to be in Worcester in this very year a reunion of the Company which Colonel Higginson had recruited. It was a bewildering evening and night, he wrote, living back 21 years in an hour. The youngest member of the Company who enlisted at 17 is far grayer than I.
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