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Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XII: the Black regiment (search)
till to be see . . . . As I sit in my tent door and adjudicate contested cases where the lingo is almost inexplicable, and the dusky faces grow radiant and sometimes majestic with eager expression, I seem like Rajah Brooke in Borneo; or like Whittier's lost Southern playmate: The dusky children of the sun Before me come and go Who should drive out to see me to-day but Harriet Tubman [the escaped slave, who rescued many of her race and conducted them to freedom] who is living in Beadrawback. Camp life was brightened at this time by the arrival of the Quartermaster's baby, and later Colonel Higginson wrote a paper called The Baby of the Regiment which was printed in Our Young Folks, afterwards in Army Life, and included in Whittier's Child Life in Prose. The author wrote to his wife in February, 1864:— Our ladies are quite alarmed at a Department order inquiring as to the number of officers' wives in the regiment—it is feared they are to be sent North, which heaven
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XIII: Oldport Days (search)
fall in love with him, delicate and feeble as he is physically. Of a farewell dinner given for Wilkie Collins in 1874, Colonel Higginson wrote:— There were only eight literary men there and I remember noticing how much brighter were Mr. Whittier's eyes than those of anybody else, though he looks old and thin and sick. On this occasion he first saw Mark Twain who impressed him as something of a buffoon, though with earnestness underneath; and when afterwards at his own house in Hartforht and make about $450 by the trip—beside the interest and satisfaction of it, which pays for itself. His lectures nearer home often gave him pleasant glimpses of the life of old friends. At Amesbury, he wrote to his sisters, I staid with Whittier who . . . seems brighter than I expected in his loneliness. . . . He has a singular companion—a wonderful parrot, 30 years old, an African parrot Quaker colored with a scarlet tail. The only sensible and intelligible parrot I ever saw, and we h<
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XV: journeys (search)
onfirmed what I had heard that there is a strong reaction against Dickens—it is not the thing to admire him, his subjects are thought commonplace and his sentiments forced. Walt Whitman among their set is the American poet; the taste for Miller has passed by and though he is here his poetry is forgotten. He was thought original and characteristic and when he came to parties with trousers thrust in his boots, he was thought the only American who dared do in England as he would do at home. Whittier was unknown they said, and Lowell only through the Biglow Papers. Swinburne calls him no poet but a critic who tries to write poetry. (13-14 June) I spent in Conway's Convention which was very interesting and called out strong character and ready speaking. I was on the committee too to draft the Constitution which differs somewhat from our Free Religious Association (as does the name Association of Liberal Thinkers). The best known people in it were Voysey (a small and narrow soul who
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XVI: the crowning years (search)
the Military History was off his hands he wrote, Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic, Book and Heart, and Old Cambridge. In 1900, he began a Life of Longfellow for the American Men of Letters series, and in 1902 wrote a biography of Whittier, recording in July, Have worked for ten days on Whittier—averaging 1000 words daily. The French writer, Th. Bentzon (Mme. Blanc), after visiting this country in the nineties, wrote an account of Colonel Higginson which was translated with thWhittier—averaging 1000 words daily. The French writer, Th. Bentzon (Mme. Blanc), after visiting this country in the nineties, wrote an account of Colonel Higginson which was translated with the inapt title, A Typical American. The 1902 diary says:— Received proof of A Typical American, by Madame Blanc; a London translation into English sent me for revision. I regard this as the greatest honor of my life, in a literary way—--to be treated so fully in the Revue des Deux Mondes by so able and so distinguished a woman and then to have it fully translated and published in London. Of course it gratified me, even if sometimes overstated and undeserved, gratified more than such p
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, Bibliography (search)
Editorials. (In Index, Woman's Journal.) 1874 (Newport) The Baby of the Regiment. (In Whittier, comp. Child Life in Prose.) Reprinted from Army Life in a Black Regiment. 1870. How the AmII. Contents: Ralph Waldo Emerson. Amos Bronson Alcott. Theodore Parker. John Greenleaf Whittier. Walt Whitman. Sidney Lanier. An Evening with Mrs. Hawthorne. Lydia Maria Ch02 [Life of] Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (In American Men of Letters.) [Life of] John Greenleaf Whittier. (In English Men of Letters.) Horace Elisha Scudder: A Memorial. (In American Acadublished in the same periodical for 1904, form the volume Part of a Man's Life. Garrison and Whittier. (In Independent, Dec.) The Place of Whittier Among Poets. (In The Reader's Magazine, Feb.. (In Independent, Feb. 21.) Literature (1857-1907). (In Atlantic Monthly, Nov.) John Greenleaf Whittier. (In Independent, Dec. 19.) Literature at Off Tide. (With others.) (In Literature o<
ys, 262; charm of military life, 262, 263, 282; translates Epictetus, 263; edits Harvard Memorial Biographies, 263, 275; as a public speaker, 263-66, 273; visits Whittier, 266; visits Emerson, 266; and the Boston Radical Club, 267, 263; religious toleration of, 268; his Creed, 268-70; influence of Emerson, 270; various honors, 270re, 3. Western Reserve University, confers degree on Col. Higginson, 377; Higginson lectures at, 382. Whitman, Walt, 336; Higginson quotes, 395. Whittier, John Greenleaf, 336; Higginson visits, 98, 266; described, 259. Whittier, John Greenleaf, 424; Higginson at work on, 386. Williams, Henry, 233. Wilson, John. SeeWhittier, John Greenleaf, 424; Higginson at work on, 386. Williams, Henry, 233. Wilson, John. See North, Christopher. Woman and the Alphabet, or Ought Women to learn the Alphabet? 407; inquiry about, 156; influence of, 156, 157. Women and Men, 308, 418. Woman Who Most Influenced Me, The, 7, 421. Woman's Suffrage, rights of women, 73, 92, 93, 137, 138, 141; convention, 134-36, 266; Bill, 296, 297; in England, 331,
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Walcott Boynton, Reader's History of American Literature, Chapter 4: the New York period (search)
who grew up on his poetry as a boy, just before Longfellow stepped into his tracks, can testify that the diet he afforded, though sparing, was uplifting, and, though it did not perhaps enrich the blood, elevated the ideal of a whole generation. He first set our American landscape to music, naming the birds and flowers by familiar names. He first described the beauty of the Painted Cup, for instance, without calling it Castilleia, and he sang the snowy blossoms of the Shad-Bush which even Whittier called the Aronia-- When the Aronia by the river Lighted up the swarming shad. Professor Woodberry finely says of the Puritans, Their very hymns had lost the sense of poetic form. They had in truth forgotten poetry; the perception of it as a noble and exquisite form of language had gone from them, nor did it come back until Bryant recaptured for the first time its grander lines at the same time that he gave landscape to the virgin horizons of the country. Harper's magazine, July, 1
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Walcott Boynton, Reader's History of American Literature, Chapter 5: the New England period — Preliminary (search)
These two great novels, moreover, were written from the point of view of the moralist rather than of the literary artist. Ramona is in all points of literary finish far superior to Uncle Tom's cabin, of which Mrs. Stowe herself used to say that she left her verbs and nominative cases to be brought together by her publishers. I well remember in the latter case the enthusiasm with which the story was read at the North, first appearing in chapters in the National era, then edited in part by Whittier; and that this feeling, beginning with those already convinced of the wrong of slavery, extended itself rapidly to others. The reception of Ramona was as decisively cordial, though on a scale less vast; it indeed reached foreign countries hardly at all. So purely in the spirit of a tract was Uncle Tom conceived that it is hard for those who do not remember the absorbing interest which its theme at that time possessed, to understand the enthusiasm with which it was received, both here an
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Walcott Boynton, Reader's History of American Literature, Chapter 6: the Cambridge group (search)
morable highway in America. Longfellow and Whittier. The American traveler in England who takeakes it the more interesting to remember that Whittier was born within five miles of the old Longfelgfellow had the habits of a man of the world, Whittier those of a recluse; Longfellow touched reformake him one of the most permanent. John Greenleaf Whittier. Whittier, like Garrison,--who firse from Holmes — tumbled about in libraries. Whittier had, on the other hand, the early training of of common life so absolutely in his hands as Whittier. Had anything been wanting in this respect, not rear or Harvard College teach. John Greenleaf Whittier was born in Haverhill, Mass., on Dec.ccess. Personally, my first interview with Whittier was in my student days, soon after my graduat with flame. It is only in this respect that Whittier resembles Burns. His character was as firm, le and healthy way of living. Longfellow and Whittier — who died Sept. 4, 1892 undeniably lacked th[13 more...]<
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Walcott Boynton, Reader's History of American Literature, Chapter 7: the Concord group (search)
lf remember how limited a circle greeted the reprint in the enlarged edition of 1841. When Poe, about 1846, wrote patronizingly of Hawthorne, he added, It was never the fashion, until lately, to speak of him in any summary of our best authors. Whittier once told me that when he himself had obtained, with some difficulty, in 1847, the insertion of one of Hawthorne's sketches in the National era, the latter said quietly, There is not much market for my wares. It has always seemed to me the grea of time which sifts out genius is an uncertain quantity. In the Boston of that period it was fancied quite easy thus to sift it out — but it proved that while men were right in attributing this gift to Emerson, Longfellow, Holmes, Lowell, and Whittier, the critics were quite wrong in denying it to Thoreau, who was generally regarded as a mere reflection of Emerson. Mrs. Thoreau, the mother, thought with quite as much justice that it was Emerson who reflected her son; but the weight of opinio
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