The Project Gutenberg EBook of Reminiscences, 1819-1899, by Julia Ward Howe This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Reminiscences, 1819-1899 Author: Julia Ward Howe Release Date: May 30, 2010 [EBook #32603] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK REMINISCENCES, 1819-1899 *** Produced by Juliet Sutherland and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at Julia Ward Howe. FROM SUNSET RIDGE: Poems Old and New. 12mo, $1.50. REMINISCENCES. With many Portraits and other Illustrations. Crown 8vo, $2.50. IS POLITE SOCIETY POLITE? and other Essays. With a Portrait of Mrs. Howe. Square 8vo, $1.50. HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO. BOSTON AND NEW YORK. REMINISCENCES 1819-1899 BY JULIA WARD HOWE WITH PORTRAITS AND OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY The Riverside Press, Cambridge 1899 COPYRIGHT, 1899, BY JULIA WARD HOWE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED CONTENTS CHAPTER I. BIRTH, PARENTAGE, CHILDHOOD II. LITERARY NEW YORK III. NEW YORK SOCIETY IV. HOME LIFE: M Y FATHER V. M Y STUDIES VI. SAMUEL WARD AND THE ASTORS VII. M ARRIAGE: TOUR IN EUROPE VIII. FIRST YEARS IN BOSTON IX. SECOND VISIT TO EUROPE X. A CHAPTER ABOUT M YSELF XI. ANTI-SLAVERY ATTITUDE: LITERARY WORK: TRIP TO CUBA XII. THE CHURCH OF THE DISCIPLES: IN WAR TIME XIII. THE BOSTON RADICAL CLUB: DR. F. H. HEDGE XIV. M EN AND M OVEMENTS IN THE SIXTIES XV. A WOMAN'S PEACE CRUSADE XVI. VISITS TO SANTO DOMINGO XVII. THE WOMAN SUFFRAGE M OVEMENT XVIII. CERTAIN CLUBS PAGE 1 21 29 43 56 64 81 144 188 205 218 244 281 304 327 345 372 400 XIX. ANOTHER EUROPEAN TRIP XX. FRIENDS AND WORTHIES: SOCIAL SUCCESSES 410 428 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS PAGE Julia Ward Howe From a photograph by Hardy, 1897. Frontispiece 4 8 12 46 68 138 152 158 166 176 230 246 254 262 270 Sarah Mitchell, Niece of General Francis Marion and Grandmother of Mrs. Howe From a painting by Waldo and Jewett. From a miniature by Anne Hall. From a miniature by Anne Hall. From a miniature by Anne Hall. Julia Ward and her Brothers, Samuel and Henry Julia Cutler Ward, Mother of Mrs. Howe Samuel Ward, Father of Mrs. Howe Samuel Ward, Jr From a painting by Baron Vogel. Florence Nightingale From a photograph. The South Boston Home of Mr. and Mrs. Howe From a painting in the possession of M. Anagnos. Wendell Phillips, at the Age of 48 Theodore Parker From a photograph lent by Francis J. Garrison, Boston. From a photograph by J. J. Hawes. Julia Ward Howe From a painting (1847) by Joseph Ames. Samuel Gridley Howe, M. D. James Freeman Clarke John Brown From a photograph by Black, about 1859. From a photograph by the Notman Photographic Company. From a photograph (about 1857) lent by Francis J. Garrison, Boston. John A. Andrew From a photograph by Black. Julia Ward Howe From a photograph by J. J. Hawes, about 1861. Facsimile of the First Draft of the Battle Hymn of the Republic From the original MS. in the possession of Mrs. E. P. Whipple, Boston. 276 Ralph Waldo Emerson 292 From a photograph by Black. 292 302 328 376 386 406 432 440 Frederic Henry Hedge, D. D. Samuel Gridley Howe, M. D. From a photograph lent by his daughter, Charlotte A. Hedge. From a photograph by A. Marshall (1870), in the possession of the Massachusetts Club. Lucy Stone From a photograph by the Notman Photographic Company. Maria Mitchell From a photograph. The Newport Home of Mr. and Mrs. Howe From a photograph by Briskham and Davidson. Thomas Gold Appleton From a photograph lent by Mrs. John Murray Forbes. Julia Romana Anagnos From a photograph. REMINISCENCES CHAPTER I BIRTH, PARENTAGE, CHILDHOOD I have been urgently asked to put together my reminiscences. I could wish that I had begun to do so at an earlier period of my life, because at this time of writing the lines of the past are somewhat confused in my memory. Yet, with God's help, I shall endeavor to do justice to the individuals whom I have known, and to the events of which I have had some personal knowledge. Let me say at the very beginning that I esteem this century, now near its close, to have eminently deserved a record among those which have been great landmarks in human history. It has seen the culmination of prophecies, the birth of new hopes, and a marvelous multiplication both of the ideas which promote human happiness and of the resources which enable man to make himself master of the world. Napoleon is said to have forbidden his subordinates to tell him that any order of his was impossible of fulfillment. One might think that the genius of this age must have uttered a like injunction. To attain instantaneous communication with our friends across oceans and through every continent; to command locomotion whose swiftness changes the relations of space and time; to steal from Nature her deepest secrets, and to make disease itself the minister of cure; to compel the sun to keep for us the record of scenes and faces, of the great shows and pageants of time, of the perishable forms whose charm and beauty deserve to remain in the world's possession,—these are some of the achievements of our nineteenth century. Even more wonderful than these may we esteem the moral progress of the race; the decline of political and religious enmities, the growth of good-will and mutual understanding between nations, the waning of popular superstition, the spread of civic ideas, the recognition of the mutual obligations of classes, the advancement of woman to dignity in the household and efficiency in the state. All this our century has seen and approved. To the ages following it will hand on an inestimable legacy, an imperishable record. While my heart exults at these grandeurs of which I have seen and known something, my contribution to their history can be but of fragmentary and fitful interest. On the world's great scene, each of us can only play his little part, often with poor comprehension of the mighty drama which is going on around him. If any one of us undertakes to set this down, he should do it with the utmost truth and simplicity; not as if Seneca or Tacitus or St. Paul were speaking, but as he himself, plain Hodge or Dominie or Mrs. Grundy, is moved to speak. He should not borrow from others the sentiments which he ought to have entertained, but relate truthfully how matters appeared to him, as they and he went on. Thus much I can promise to do in these pages, and no more. I was born on May 27, 1819, in the city of New York, in Marketfield Street, near the Battery. My father was of Rhode Island birth and descent. One of his grandmothers was the beautiful Catharine Ray to whom are addressed some of Benjamin Franklin's published letters. His father attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the war of the Revolution, being himself the son of Governor Samuel Ward, of Rhode Island,[1] married to a daughter of Governor Greene, of the same state. My mother was grandniece to General Francis Marion, of Huguenot descent, known in the Revolution as the Swamp-fox of southern campaigns. Her father was Benjamin Clarke Cutler, whose first ancestor in this country was John De Mesmekir, of Holland. SARAH MITCHELL (MRS. HOWE'S grandmother) From a painting by Waldo and Jewett. Let me here remark that an expert in chiromancy, after making a recent examination of my hand, exclaimed, "You inherit military blood; your hand shows it." My own earliest recollections are of a fine house on the Bowling Green, a region of high fashion in those days. In the summer mornings my nurse sometimes walked abroad with me, and showed me the young girls of our neighborhood, engaged with their skipping ropes. Our favorite resort was the Battery, where the flagstaff used in the Revolution was still to be seen. The fort at Castle Garden had already been converted into a pleasure resort, where fireworks and ices might be enjoyed. We were six children in all, yet Wordsworth's little maid would have reckoned us as seven, as a sister of four years had died shortly before my birth, leaving me her name and the dignity of eldest daughter. She was always mentioned in the family as the first little Julia. My two eldest brothers, Samuel and Henry Ward, were pupils at Round Hill School. The third, Francis Marion, named for the General, was my junior by fifteen months, and continued to be my constant playmate until, at the proper age, he joined the others at Round Hill School. A few words regarding my mother may not here be out of place. Married at sixteen, she died at the age of twenty-seven, so beloved and mourned by all who knew her that my early years were full of the testimony borne by surviving friends to the beauty and charm of her character. She had been a pupil at the school of Mrs. Elizabeth Graham, of saintly memory, and had inherited from her own mother a taste for intellectual pursuits. She was especially fond of poetry and a few lovely poems of hers remain to show that she was no stranger to its sacred domain. One of these was printed in a periodical of her own time, and is preserved in Griswold's "Female Poets of America." Another set of verses is addressed to me in the days of my babyhood. All of these bear the imprint of her deeply religious character. Mrs. Margaret Armstrong Astor, of whom more will be said in these annals, remembered my mother as prominent in the society of her youth, and spoke of her as beautiful in countenance. An old lady, resident in Bordentown, N. J., where Joseph, ex-king of Spain, made his home for many years, had seen my mother arrayed for a dinner at th i s royal residence, in a white dress, probably of embroidered cambric, and a lilac turban. Her early death was a lifelong misfortune to her children, who, although tenderly bred and carefully watched, have been forced to pass their days without the dear refuge of a mother's heart, the wise guidance of a mother's inspiration. A dear old cousin of my father's, who lived to the age of one hundred and two years, loved to talk of a visit which she had made in her youth to my grandfather Ward, then resident in New York. She had not quite forgiven him for not allowing her to attend an assembly on which, being only sixteen years of age, she had set her heart. Years after this time, when such vanities had quite gone out of her mind, she again visited relatives in the city, and came to spend the day with my mother. Of this occasion she said to me: "Julia, your mother's tact was remarkable, and she showed it on that day, for, knowing me to be a young woman of serious character, she presented me on my arrival with a plain linen collar which she had made for me. On a table beside her lay Law's 'Serious Call to the Unconverted.' Don't you see how well she had suited matters to my taste?" This aged relative used to boast that she had never read a novel. She desired to make one exception in favor of the story of the Schönberg-Cotta family, but, hearing that it was a work of fiction, esteemed it safest to adhere to the rule which she had observed for so many years. Her son, lately deceased, once told me that when she felt called upon to chastise him for some childish offense, she would pray over him so long that he would cry out: "Mother, it's time to begin whipping." Her husband was a son of General Nathanael Greene, of Revolutionary fame. The attention bestowed upon impressions of childhood to-day will, I hope, justify me in recording some of the earliest points in consciousness which I still recall. I remember when a thimble was first given to me, some simple bit of work being at the same time placed in my hand. Some one said, "Take the needle in this hand." I did so, and, placing the thimble on a finger of the other hand, I began to sew without its aid, to the amusement of my teacher. This trifle appears to me an early indication of a want of perception as to the use of tools which has accompanied me through life. I remember also that, being told that I must ask pardon for some childish fault, I said to my mother, with perfect contentment, "Oh yes, I pardon you," and was surprised to hear that in this way I had not made the amende honorable. I encountered great difficulty in acquiring the th sound, when my mother tried to teach me to call her by that name. "Muzzer, muzzer," was all that I could manage to say. But the dear parent presently said, "If you cannot do better than that, you will have to go back and call me mamma." The shame of going back moved me to one last effort, and, summoning my utmost strength of tongue, I succeeded in saying "mother," an achievement from which I was never obliged to recede. A journey up the Hudson River was undertaken, when I was very young, for the bettering of my mother's health. An older sister of hers went with us, as well as a favorite waiting-woman, and a young physician whose care had saved my father's life a year or more before my own birth. After reaching Albany, we traveled in my father's carriage; the grown persons occupying the seats, and I sitting in my little chair at their feet. A book of short tales and poems was often resorted to for my amusement, and I still remember how the young doctor read to me, "Pity the sorrows of a poor old man," and how my tears came, and could not be hidden. JULIA WARD AND HER BROTHERS, SAMUEL AND HENRY From a miniature by Anne Hall. The sight of Niagara caused me much surprise. Playing on the piazza of the hotel, one day, with only the doctor for my companion, I ventured to ask him, "Who made that great hole where the water comes down?" He replied, "The great Maker of all." "Who is that?" I innocently inquired; and he said, "Do you not know? Our Father who art in heaven." I felt that I ought to have known, and went away somewhat abashed. Another day my mother told me that we were going to visit Red Jacket, a great Indian chief, and that I must be very polite to him. She gave me a twist of tobacco tied with a blue ribbon, which I was to present to him, and bade me observe the silver medal which I should see hung on his neck, and which, she said, had been given to him by General Washington. We drove to the Indian encampment, of which I dimly remember the extent and the wigwams. A tall figure advanced to the carriage. As its door was opened, I sprang forward, clasped my arms around the neck of the noble savage, and was astonished at his cool reception of such a greeting. I was surprised and grieved afterwards to learn that I had not done exactly the right thing. The Indians, in those days and long after, occupied numerous settlements in the western part of the State of New York, where one often saw the boys with their bows and arrows, and the squaws carrying their papooses on their backs. The journey here mentioned must have taken place when I was little more than four years old. Another year and a half brought me the burden of a great sorrow. I recall months of sweet companionship with the first and dearest of friends, my mother. The last summer of her life was passed at a fine country-seat in Bloomingdale, which was then a picturesque country place, about six miles from New York, but is now incorporated in the city. My father was fond of fine horses, and the pets of the stable played no unimportant part in our childish affection. The family coach was an early institution with us, and in the days of which I now speak, its exterior was of a delicate yellow, known as straw-color, while the lining and cushions were of bright blue cloth. This combination of color was effected to please my dear mother, who was accounted in her time a woman of excellent taste. I remember this summer as a particularly happy period. My younger brother and I had our lessons in a lovely green bower. Our French teacher came out at intervals in the Bloomingdale stage. My mother often took me with her for a walk in the beautiful garden, from which she plucked flowers that she arranged with great taste. There was much mysterious embroidering of small caps and gowns, the purpose of which I little guessed. The autumn came, and with it our return to town. And then, one bitter morning, I awoke to hear the words, "Julia, your mother is dead." Before this my father had announced to us that a little sister had arrived. "And she can open and shut her eyes," he said, smiling. His grief at the loss of my mother was so intense as to lay him prostrate with illness. He told me, years after this time, that he had welcomed the physical agony which perforce diverted his thoughts from the cause of his mental suffering. The little sister of whose coming he had told us so joyfully was for a long time kept from his sight. The rest of us were gathered around him, but this feeble little creature was not asked for. At last my dear old grandfather came to visit us, and learned the state of my father's feelings. The old gentleman went into the nursery, took the tiny infant from its nurse, and laid it in my father's arms. The little one thenceforth became the object of his most tender affection. He regarded all his children with great solicitude, feeling, as he afterward said to one of us, that he must now be mother as well as father. My mother's last request had been that her unmarried sister, the same one who had accompanied us on the journey to Niagara, should be sent for to have charge of us, and this arrangement was speedily effected. This aunt of ours had long been a care-taker in her mother's household, where she had had much to do with bringing up her younger sisters and brothers. My mother had been accustomed to borrow her from time to time, and my aunt had threatened to hang out a sign over the door with the inscription, "Cheering done here by the job, by E. Cutler." She was a person of rare honesty, entirely conscientious in character, possessed of few accomplishments, but endowed with the keenest sense of humor. She watched over our early years with incessant care. We little ones were kept much in our warm nursery. We were taken out for a drive in fine weather, but rarely went out on foot. As a consequence of this overcherishing, we were constantly liable to suffer from colds and sore throats. The young physician of whom I have already spoken became an inmate of our house soon after my mother's death. He was afterward well known in New York society as an excellent practitioner, and as a man of a certain genius. Those were the days of mighty doses, and the slightest indisposition was sure to call down upon us the administration of the drugs then in favor with the faculty, but now rarely used. JULIA CUTLER WARD (MRS. HOWE'S mother) From a miniature by Anne Hall. My father's affliction was such that a change of scene became necessary for him. The beautiful house at the Bowling Green was sold, with the new furniture which had been ordered expressly for my mother's pleasure, and which we never saw uncovered. We removed to Bond Street, which was then at the upper extremity of New York city. My father's friends said to him, "Mr. Ward, you are going out of town." And so indeed it seemed at that time. We occupied one of three white freestone houses, and saw from our windows the gradual building up of the street, which is now in the central part of New York. My father had purchased a large lot of land at the corner of our street and Broadway. On a part of this he subsequently erected a house which was considered one of the finest in the city. My father was disposed to be extremely careful in the choice of our associates, and intended, no doubt, that we should receive our education at home. At a later day his plans were changed somewhat, and after some experience of governesses and masters I was at last sent to a school in the near neighborhood of our house. I was nine years old at this time, somewhat precocious for my age, and endowed with a good memory. This fact may have led to my being at once placed in a class of girls much older than myself, especially occupied with the study of Paley's "Moral Philosophy." I managed to commit many pages of this book to memory, in a rather listless and perfunctory manner. I was much more interested in the study of chemistry, although it was not illustrated by any experiments. The system of education followed at that time consisted largely in memorizing from the text-books then in use. Removing to another school, I had excellent instruction in penmanship, and enjoyed a course of lectures on history, aided by the best set of charts that I have ever seen, the work of Professor Bostwick. In geometry I made quite a brilliant beginning, but soon fell off from my first efforts. The