Heralds of Freedom: Chapter 21: Part 1: Come Let Us Part 1884-1891
Heralds of Freedom
The Hutchinson Family Singers

- Chapter 21  Part 1  Come Let Us Part  1884-1891 -

Hutchinson Family Singers Web Site



[1846 Margaret Gillies sketch of the Hutchinson Family quartet]



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Come Let Us Part
1884-1891
Chapter 21  Part 1


John's group gave a few concerts from December into early 1885.   "Mrs. Hutchinson and her little boys,"  said one paper,  "won rounds of applause. . . .   Although little Jack, a boy of five years of age, showed great natural ability and skill, yet it remained for Richard, a little tot of three summers . . . to more than astonish his hearers.  No one can conceive of the marvellous voice possessed by that child and his ability to carry a tune to its close, until he has heard him sing.  We never heard such singing by one so young."

In August, John visited the Pattons, for they were about to leave on a trip to Idaho.   Just a few months earlier, the Boston Evening Transcript marveled at how lightly time had touched Abby  -  she "retains in middle life all the charm of manner and the attractiveness which marked her golden youth."

John and his family spent much of September singing for temperance,  including two days of mass meetings in Philadelphia.

That year,  "boy hoodlums"  ran all over the Hutchinson property, disturbed a series of Sunday open-air concerts, and raided the apple orchard.  "The nuisance,"  said John,  "finally became so great that my janitor was appointed a special policeman.  That solved the difficulty and the trouble ceased."

Around this time, the Campbells moved from New Mexico back to Massachusetts to be near Fanny, whose health was not good.  On November 26, John's family, including all his descendants, gathered for a Thanksgiving Day celebration at Daisy Cottage.

In November,  John gave several concerts with Lillie  -  then his most frequent singing partner;  and in December his company filled engagements in New Hampshire.

"On May 31st [ 1886 ],"  said John,  "Lillie and her boys left for the West, going to her old home in Chicago. . . .   I let them go with my blessing, but my heart went after them, and during the years that have passed since I have lost no opportunity of seeing them in whatever part of the land they happened to be."

John was anxious about Fanny.   "During 1886 my wife's health became alarming.   Consumption had fastened upon her, and it was evident that she could not hope for permanent recovery.  Yet, as is so often the case, she kept about most of the time, visited friends and received their visits, and hoped for the best."

On June 14, John left for Minnesota on business.   Stopping in Chicago, he visited Lillie's home and played with her boys.  Lillie came to Hutchinson on probate matters connected with Henry's land, and there was no way John was going to miss the opportunity to lure her into a concert or two.  "The lady,"  said the Glencoe Register,  "possesses a voice, the equal of which is seldom heard anywhere off of the highest operatic stage."

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"John's group gave a few concerts from December into early 1885":   After Henry's death,  John was busier than ever at home.   His surviving concert company seems to have made fewer appearances and seldom traveled very far afield.

"Mrs.  Hutchinson  and  her  little  boys,   said  one  paper,   won":   John Wallace Hutchinson, Story of the Hutchinsons (Tribe of Jesse), 2 vols. (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1896), 2:132).

According to the 1900 United States Census, Richard D. Hutchinson was born in December 1882.

"Just  a  few  months  earlier,   the  Boston  Evening  Transcript":   J. F. D., "Some Old Friends," Boston Evening Transcript, May 9, 1885, p. 5 col. 1.

"That year,  boy hoodlums  ran all over the Hutchinson property":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:135).  Cf. John W. Hutchinson, "The High Rock Question," Lynn, MA: s.n., December 31, 1879, in Item 63r, Ludlow Patton's Hutchinson Family Scrapbook, Wadleigh Memorial Library, Milford, New Hampshire.

"Around this time,  the Campbells moved from New Mexico back":   Viola Hutchinson Campbell, Memories of a Busy Life (Plymouth, MA: privately printed [ The Rogers Print (Shop) ], 1926), 77, 84; "Not Insane," Boston Daily Globe, July 26, 1900, p. 12 cols. 7-8.

A fine photograph of John and his grandchildren appears in John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2: opposite page 132).  The likeness of Richard D. Hutchinson in this photograph is the only picture of him I ever recall seeing, though everyone else was photographed often.

Those descendants of Richard with whom we have been in contact,  either directly or through a third party,  seem to know nothing at all about him.

"On May 31st [ 1886 ],  said John,  Lillie and her boys left":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:138).

It is not commonly known for certain what drew Lillie back to Chicago, though it may have been simply the lure of her parental home and nearness of her brothers.  Whether that was it or she got a job offer, nonetheless soon enough she was a featured singer in a Chicago church.  Circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that it was the Millard Avenue Baptist Church, and her future daughter-in-law, Ethel Morgan, in a taped interview, said that Lillie received the highest salary that was paid for this work in those days.

"During  1886  my  wife's  health  became  alarming":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:136).

"The lady,  said the Glencoe Register,  possesses a voice":   Glencoe (MN) Register, n.d., in John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:139-140).


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Back in Massachusetts,  Viola reported that her mother's health seemed to improve.  Then,  "for various reasons,"  the Campbells thought it best to move to Boston.

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On November 29, Daniel McKeever was reading the New York Times.   Glancing at the wedding announcements, he noticed that his son had gotten married.   Oh?   Later that day, the Times received a note saying, "In reference to the announcement of the marriage of McKeever and Loveridge . . . I beg to say that steps have already been taken to annul the marriage on proper legal grounds."

Earlier that year, the Pattons summered, as usual, at the Hutchinsons' North River Road homestead in Milford.  Marietta Loveridge and her family also were there.

Marietta Caroline Bartlett was Sister Rhoda's daughter from her first marriage, to Isaac A. Bartlett.  Isaac died when Marietta was but an infant, and Jesse Hutchinson, Sr., became her guardian.  Jesse Sr. died seven years later.  After that, records pertaining to Marietta appear to be scarce.  In 1860, the United States Census recorded her at Orramel Whittlesey's Music Vale seminary in Salem, Connecticut: the first school in the United States dedicated to the subject of music.  Marietta may have been training to be a music teacher.

Marietta Bartlett, in 1866, married New York banker Henry Loveridge, a native of England.  Marietta and Henry Loveridge had just one daughter, Marion.  By this time, the Loveridges, McKeevers, and Pattons were all neighbors in Orange, New Jersey, and Henry Loveridge had become president of the Maryland Coal Company.

Young  William D. McKeever  was a guest of the Loveridges at the homestead for a couple weeks in the summer of 1886.

Back in Orange, McKeever continued seeing Marion Loveridge.  In November, according to Rev. Theodore C. Williams of New York's All Souls' Church,  "A lady of high standing in this city called upon me on the morning of the 22d, and made arrangements for me to marry the young couple in the evening at my house.   I agreed to do so.  Such marriages are by no means rare."  Marion asked McKeever to come to the Pattons' home around 6 PM.   His accounts of this story could hardly be called consistent; but a passage from the same article seems to have a ring of truth.  "When I got there, instead of being shown into the parlor and meeting Marion, as I expected, I was directed to another room and confronted by Dr. Howe.  He charged me with having got Marion in trouble. . . . "

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"Then,  "for various reasons,"  the Campbells thought it best":   Viola Hutchinson Campbell, Memories of a Busy Life (Plymouth, MA: privately printed [ The Rogers Print (Shop) ], 1926), 91.

"Glancing at the wedding announcements,  he noticed that his son":   "Married," New York Times, November 29, 1886, p. 5 col. 7.

"Later  that  day,   the  Times  received  a  note  saying":   "Wedded at Short Notice," New York Times, November 30, 1886, page 1 cols. 5-6.

"Earlier  that  year,   the  Pattons  summered,   as  usual,   at":   The Pattons were close to Rhoda's daughter Nellie, who resided at the homestead.  The Pattons had a long history of contributing to the upkeep of the homestead and helping with the expenses.  For an early documented example, see "Mr. Ludlow Patton has been improving the Hutchinson homestead," s.l.: s.n., [ handwritten: 1886, ] in Item 89r, Ludlow Patton's Hutchinson Family Scrapbook, Wadleigh Memorial Library, Milford, New Hampshire.

"After that,  records pertaining to Marietta appear to be scarce":   Available records regarding Marietta Bartlett are not especially plentiful even before Jesse Sr.'s death.

Many sources spell Whittlesey's given name Oramel.

Cornelius H. Patton, a relative who would go on to be very important in the lives of Ludlow and Abby, married Maine native Pauline Whittlesey, whose father was born in Connecticut.  Further study would be needed to determine whether there is a connection between the families of Orramel and Pauline Whittlesey; but Whittlesey is not a particularly common surname, both these Whittleseys spell the name the same way, and this is an intriguing coincidence.

"In November,  according to Rev. Theodore C. Williams of New York's All Souls' Church":   "Wedded at Short Notice," New York Times, November 30, 1886, page 1 cols. 5-6.

Dr. Joseph W. Howe was a close friend of the Pattons, and his name turned up occasionally in connection with Henry Hutchinson.  Evidently Henry and Dr. Howe were buddies and sometime travel companions.  It appears that the doctor's friends called him  "Doctor Howe"  as if it were a nickname.


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"At 7 o'clock Mr. McKeever and Miss Loveridge appeared,"  said Rev. Williams,  "accompanied by the girl's mother, the lady who had called upon me in the morning, and a gentleman. . . .   I made the couple man and wife, and as they were both of age, no one can question the marriage."

"There were several rumors afloat about the case yesterday,"  said the Times.  "As to one that Mr. McKeever intended to bring damage suits against Dr. Howe, Mrs. Patton, and others who figured in the hasty ceremony, the talk . . . may crystallize soon, judging from what is said by the plaintiff's lawyers.  It was further rumored that when Mr. McKeever had shown his whole hand the other side would begin counter-suits for damages."  "The fight,"  said a follow-up story,  "is expected to hinge upon the meeting held just prior to the ceremony in the house [ at ] No. 33 West Sixteenth-street.  Young McKeever alleges that he was entrapped there by a note from Miss Loveridge, and that Dr. Joseph H. Howe . . . threatened to shoot him or send him to State prison if he did not consent to a marriage without unnecessary delay.  At this interview were at least four persons, while the ceremony was witnessed by the same number, not including the minister and contracting parties.  It is their unanimous testimony that there was no coercion, duress, or fraud."

On December 22, McKeever left work and went to see Douglas Campbell, attorney for the Loveridge and Patton families.  The essence of their conversation was that McKeever professed his love for Marion and proposed that they live together as husband and wife.  Campbell presented the matter to Marion and her mother; her father was away on business.  Marion received the news very well.  Campbell got back to McKeever the next day, saying he would like to talk with Henry Loveridge before he considered the matter resolved.  But that evening, the couple sent their parents a message, saying,  "As we have tried our best to please you all by living away from each other, we have at last decided to please ourselves by living together."

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Evidently by 1886, the long-standing dispute over ownership of a parcel of land near the summit of High Rock was settled.  John made a curious reference to  "the court's decision that the deed given to Brother Jesse was only a life-lease, though Jesse had purchased and paid for the land in good faith. . . ."   On New Years Eve at the Lynn Assembly, James N. Buffum referred to himself as the owner of High Rock.  "This made my blood boil,"  said John,  "and at the close of his speech I took the floor and reminded the audience that it was the Hutchinson family which had for years owned the rock and kept it open to the public."

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"At 7 o'clock Mr. McKeever and Miss Loveridge appeared":   "Wedded at Short Notice," New York Times, November 30, 1886, page 1 cols. 5-6.

"There were several rumors afloat about the case yesterday":   "M'Keever's Hasty Wedding," New York Times, December 2, /1886, page 8 col. 3.

"The  fight,   said  a  follow-up  story,   is  expected  to  hinge":   "Quickly Seeking Freedom," New York Times, December 1, 1886, p. 2 col. 6.

A couple years earlier, Abby Patton gave her New York City address as 31 West 16th Street.

Several of the parties to this meeting at the Pattons' Manhattan home lived or seem to have lived quite disappointing lives or worse hereafter.  For instance, Dr. Howe, his wife, their only child, and their only (future) grandchild all died young and/or tragically.  Dr. Howe's family line appears to be extinct, following the death of his daughter at age 29.  Even the building itself, decades later when occupied by artists of various descriptions, suffered a very large, fiery, and fatal explosion.

"But that evening, the couple sent their parents a message":   "Love Laughing at Law," New York Times, December 25, 1886, p. 8 col. 3.

Legal efforts to have this marriage annulled were stopped at Will McKeever's request, and he and Marion must have been living together in 1887 at least.  This union, though, was not long-lived  -  in a manner of speaking, law may have gotten the last laugh  -  and Hutchinson family records seem never to mention William McKeever.  -  Ever.   (See "Love Laughing at Law" headline noted above.)

The McKeever family possibly may have drifted apart.   When Will's sister got married, the only McKeever other than herself mentioned in the New York Times report of her wedding was her father.  She and her marriage-family received a good deal of news coverage thereafter; and in article after article gathered for this study, the name, McKeever, is conspicuously absent.

In 1887, Helen McKeever, a great-granddaughter of Sister Rhoda, was born to Marion.   Helen may have become a bit mysterious.  Evidently in the late decades of the 20th century, a member of Helen's own family tried to research her for a family history; and according to available documents, the family historian got nowhere.  It appears that she never even learned Helen's birth name.

In the early 1890s, Marion and Helen McKeever were named often in newspaper articles, without the slightest hint that Helen had a father and without any reporting of what became of him.

Carol Brink seems to have confounded Marietta Loveridge with her daughter Marion.  See Carol Brink, Harps in the Wind: The Story of the Singing Hutchinsons (New York: Macmillan, 1947), 274.  The Loveridge and Patton families were very close neighbors in Orange.  Only at a much later date were Marietta Loveridge and Ludlow Patton reported to reside in the same house, Marietta being recorded in the census as the head of household.

Apparently Brink's Hutchinson Family papers were separated from her other production materials, probably making it impossible to examine her correspondence and her notes from interviews with descendants.  If so, this is a major loss.

"John made a curious reference to  the court's decision":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:140).

"This made my blood boil,  said John,  and at the close":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:140).

The ownership dispute may have ended,  but it appears the feud with Buffum was still raging.


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When Lillie moved back to Chicago she may have thought her touring days were over; but then on October 12, 1886, she married Rev. Robert Henry Morgan, a traveling evangelist.  The Reverend, who was commonly called Henry Morgan, was once a sea captain before becoming a member of the clergy, having sailed the ocean about eight times.  One of his longest ministries is said to have been in Australia.  Evidently in recent years Rev. Morgan was the pastor at Chicago's Millard Avenue Baptist Church, Lillie's home church and the one that lately employed her as a singer.  Lillie and Henry met, fell in love, and married.

Rev. Morgan, at some point, went home to Wales to attend a conference where the main line of talk was that you don't reach souls in big churches, you have to preach in the streets.  And he was converted.  It must have been around the time he married Lillie that Rev. Morgan began an eight or nine year traveling evangelical campaign.  Fortunately for Lillie, her experience as a touring Hutchinson Family concert singer prepared her for this nomadic life.

John, on one of two trips to Hutchinson in 1887, went looking for Lillie in Chicago.   He quickly learned that she was in Minneapolis.  He met her and they went to Hutchinson together.  After John got the foundations started for two houses on Park Place, he went home.  On his way, he looked up the Morgans in Springfield, Wisconsin, giving a concert with Lillie and her boys.  They parted at Chicago.

As work on Tower Cottage started, Fanny involved herself in the process  -  though she had been quite ill for several years.  She kept busy, said John,  "selecting the plans, specifying the style of finish, and arranging for the furnishing."

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On February 2, 1888, John spoke and sang at a woman suffrage gathering at Boston's Horticultural Hall.  Julia Ward Howe was among the participants.  John liked to change one word in Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic."  He would sing,  "As he died to make men holy let us live to make men free."  His granddaughter, Kate Campbell, remembered once hearing them argue over it.  Howe turned to the little girl and asked,  "Katie, will you sing it as I wrote it?"   "Yes," answered Kate, with a smile.

John wrote in his diary,  "Wife has had a hard week; thinks she must go."   Fanny had been suffering from consumption since well before Henry died, with symptoms that were sometimes better, sometimes worse.  "On the 28th of February,"  said John,  "we moved into Tower Cottage.  Fanny was at this time so weak that I took her in my arms from Daisy Cottage to the new home."

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"When Lillie moved back to Chicago she may have thought":   "Marriage License," signed by Lewis Raymond, Minister of the Gospel, and license witnessed by M. W. Ryan, Clerk of the County Court of Cook County; copy courtesy of Barbara Hazzard.

"On his way, he looked up the Morgans in Springfield, Wisconsin":   Lillie either would have been pregnant at this time or she would have had an infant son.  According to the 1900 census, Robert J. Morgan was born in Wisconsin in September 1887.

"As work on Tower Cottage started,  Fanny involved herself":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:144).

"John liked to change one word in Howe's  Battle Hymn":   Carol Brink, Harps in the Wind: The Story of the Singing Hutchinsons (New York: Macmillan, 1947), 203.

"John wrote in his diary,  Wife has had a hard week":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:146).

"Fanny had been suffering from consumption since well before":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:146); Viola Hutchinson Campbell, Memories of a Busy Life (Plymouth, MA: privately printed [ The Rogers Print (Shop) ], 1926), 83.


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John went to Washington for the fortieth anniversary of the Seneca Falls woman's rights meeting.  Then his return to Lynn in April was delayed by illness.  When he got home, he found Fanny's health was much worse.  The immediate family took care of her; and Jerusha, Brother Judson's widow, came down from Milford to help.  In her later years, Jerusha gave generously of herself, visiting neighbors and loved ones in times of trouble, and nursing them during illnesses.

On Friday, May 4, 1888, Fanny Hutchinson died at Lynn.  In her last moments, the family sang to her "The Sweet By and By" and "The Shining Shore."  Her passing was peaceful.  "One of her parting requests,"  said John,  "was that the inscription on her gravestone should be 'She hath done what she could.'"

On Sunday, September 16, 1888, Joshua's widow Irene died of consumption.  The Farmers' Cabinet said,  "She bore her long sickness with great patience and fortitude."  Her death was followed just a few months later by the loss of Judson's widow.  Jerusha died on Friday, December 28, 1888.  "In 1870,"  said the Farmers' Cabinet,  "she became the wife of  Dr. S. S. Stickney,  with whom her life was happily passed until his decease, July 10, 1878.  Since that date her life has been spent in the home of Mrs. Dearborn, which has been made glad by her presence. . . . "

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Out West on January 10, 1889, Sister Abby sang with Lillie Morgan and her boys in San Francisco at the Y.M.C.A.   Evidently Lillie's trio began performing on the Pacific Coast during the 1887-1888 season and was active in the West until at least 1892.  Lillie, Jack, and Richard toured with Rev. Morgan  -  they singing, he preaching.  They performed in churches, in public halls, and out of doors including on town and city streets.  Lillie played a portable organ, Jack played a cornet, and all three sang.  Probably they appeared often under Rev. Morgan's name; and it seems the music group, itself, was simply called the Hutchinson Family.  They toured through every part of the United States and were among the longest-running of the family's many ensembles.

Lillie and Rev. Morgan also had a family of their own.   The most readily available news articles make no mention of their children being part of the vocal group.   But according to Morgan family accounts, the Morgans' sons, Bob and Albert, did sing with Lillie and the Hutchinson boys until the Morgans were old enough to say  "No."

Returning to the Pattons, around this time, a writer heard Abby and Ludlow sing at a hotel in Santa Fé.   "It is no exaggeration,"  she reported,  "to say that, although nearly sixty, she still retained the engaging manner and spiritual beauty of her youth, and that her voice had lost none of its rich melody."

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"In her later years, Jerusha gave generously of herself":   "Milford Locals," Amherst, NH, Farmers' Cabinet, January 3, 1889, p. 3 col. 3.

"One  of  her  parting  requests,   said John,   was  that":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:148-149).  Notice that John wrote: "Fanny B. Patch was born in Antrim, N.H., June 27, 1823." (Emphasis added.)  See also "Death of One of the Hutchinsons," New York Times, May 11, 1888, p. 4 col. 5; originally published in the Worcester Spy, May 10, 1888.

The records at hand fail me, but I am quite confident in my memory that Fanny was interred at the Eastern Burial Ground in Lynn.

"The Farmers' Cabinet said,  She bore her long sickness":   Amherst, NH, Farmers' Cabinet, September 20, 1888, p. 3 col. 3. See also "Milford Locals," Amherst, NH, Farmers' Cabinet, September 27, 1888, p. 3 col. 3.

Members of Joshua's family lived quite private lives, so little is commonly known of Irene's history.  If you are aware of a likeness of Irene and would be willing to share your information, please use the contact link toward the bottom of the page to e-mail us.  Same for if you know of the burial site of Irene or her and Joshua's children.  Joshua was buried in Milford's Union Street Cemetery.  One son, Justin Edwards Hutchinson, was buried at St. Patrick's cemetery in Amherst, New Hampshire.  Accessible notes from this study do not say where Louis K. Hutchinson was buried nor do published obituaries, but recollection has it that his remains may be at the family cemetery by the North River Road Hutchinson family homestead in Milford.  The other Joshua Hutchinson family burials may be currently unmarked or the location may not be generally known.

"In 1870,  said the Farmers' Cabinet,  she became the wife":   "Milford Locals," Amherst, NH, Farmers' Cabinet, January 3, 1889, p. 3 col. 3.

No sources uncovered in this study identify the final resting place of either Jerusha or her daughter Jennie.  Sources disagree greatly about Brother Judson's burial place.  If you have information regarding any of these questions and you would be willing to share what you know, please e-mail us by way of the contact link toward the bottom of the page.  Kate was interred at the West Street Cemetery.

"Out West on January 10, 1889, Sister Abby sang with Lillie":   Several short pieces, San Francisco, CA, in Item 92r, Ludlow Patton's Hutchinson Family Scrapbook, Wadleigh Memorial Library, Milford, New Hampshire.

"It  is  no  exaggeration,   she  reported,   to  say":   Grace Julian Clarke, "A Famous Family of Singers," [ Chicago ] Dial 21 (October 16, 1896): 223.

Grace Giddings [ birth name Julian ] Clarke was a granddaughter of Hutchinson family friend Joshua R. Giddings.  She contributed one of the more memorable critiques of John's book, Story of the Hutchinsons.

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Frances B. Patch Hutchinson (1822-1888)
Irene Fisher Hutchinson (1810-1888)
Jerusha Hutchinson Stickney (1825-1888)


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In February, John went to Washington for the inauguration of Benjamin Harrison.   He stayed at the home of Frederick Douglass; and, as Douglass' guest, John attended the new president's first reception.  During this stay, or not much later, they took part in a civil rights meeting at the African-American church on L Street, John singing and Douglass speaking.

In 1889, Nationalist Clubs were organized in many American cities, inspired by the success of Edward Bellamy's utopian book, Looking Backward.  John immediately joined the Lynn club, and he remained with this movement as long as it lasted.

In September, John, Abby, and Ludlow went with S. T. Pickard to see John G. Whittier in Danvers.   "As we rode up to the house,"  said John,  "we could see the straight figure of the aged poet, clad in his light coat and Quaker hat, among the shrubbery.  He was viewing the autumn foliage, and presented a picture indeed.  As we approached, he cautiously turned, and glanced in our direction.  Recognizing us, he hastened to the carriage, helped Abby out, and gallantly escorted her into the house.   A wood fire was burning on the hearth, making an agreeable impression of homelikeness as we came in from the chilly September air."  Family members asked the visitors to sing.  Oddly, the poet had never heard the Hutchinsons sing "The Furnace Blast."  When they finished, Whittier remarked,  "Well, if thee sang that song to the soldiers and pro-slavery generals with the unction and spirit that thee has just sung it, I do not wonder that thee had thy expulsion."

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Concert-goers were hearing much less of the Hutchinsons these days.   The only opportunity most Americans had to hear them was being provided by Lillie and her boys in the West.  This general absence, which is said to make the heart grow fonder, may have caused the wave of nostalgia for the Hutchinson Family that was apparent in much of the country for close to a decade.

Many articles about the singers were published in popular newspapers and magazines.  Then, too, there was a show involving impersonations of the Hutchinson brothers, performed at Providence on November 12, 1889.   A reporter for the Providence Journal interviewed Samuel B. Spinning, the former Tribe of John bass singer; and the article that followed was reprinted in newspapers from New England to the Midwest, and perhaps beyond.  "The whole history of the once-celebrated Hutchinson family of vocalists came up before me afresh, their travels and immense success. . . .   No quartet in the world was ever so popular as that consisting of the original Hutchinson brothers.  Like no other vocalists that ever appeared in public, they could sing enthusiasm right into an audience."

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"John immediately joined the Lynn club,  and he remained":   John said he was a socialist and he was closely identified with the Nationalist movement.  His book mentions singing at Nationalist meetings; and it contains letters and a poem from various Nationalists, including Edward Bellamy, himself.

"As  we  rode  up  to  the  house,   said John,   we  could  see":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:157).

"The whole history of the once-celebrated Hutchinson family":   "The Hutchinson Family: Recollections of the Famous Band of Concert Singers," New York Times, November 17, 1889, p. 13 col. 3; originally published in Providence (RI) Journal, November 15, 1889.

Samuel B. Spinning was hardly a master of Hutchinson family lore, unfortunately, and it is advisable to use his comments in the Providence Journal article with caution.  Nonetheless, I have included several of his observations and memories in this work, and I consider those passages to be generally dependable.

Spinning sang with John's company for several years, and he also sang with Asa.  Spinning was in a position to know a lot, and some of what he did know is of a fair degree of importance to Hutchinson Family history.  Significant bits of information about Samuel Spinning have come to light late in 2006 and in early 2007, so perhaps a fuller capsule sketch of his life and/or career could be possible later.


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A couple weeks later, disaster struck in Lynn.   "On November 26th,"  recalled John,  "Lynn's great fire occurred, nearly the entire manufacturing district being destroyed . . . and many families being rendered homeless.  The burned district was directly in front of my house, and the view of the conflagration from the summit of High Rock was simply magnificent, especially after the darkness had come on.  It was an immense smoking, seething, blazing mass of fire, the smoke streaming miles out to sea, a veritable pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night."

"On the 19th of December,"  said John,  "the Nationalists held their first anniversary in Tremont Temple, Boston.  Edward Bellamy, the author of 'Looking Backward,' was present and spoke.   I sang the  'People's Advent,'  creating a great furore."

On February 15, 1890,  John was in Washington for Susan B. Anthony's seventieth birthday celebration.

The Hutchinsons had a few friends who rivaled them for eccentricity.   One was George W. Putnam, who was their business agent for a while in the 1850s.  Putnam was quite concerned about his attire, and at times he would select a Harlequin's hat for just the right look.  He wrote often for The Liberator, though John called him a "free-soiler."  The Hutchinsons sang his songs, "Ridden by the Slave Power" and "Wax Works."  Putnam was Charles Dickens' personal secretary during his 1842 American tour.  Years later, he was an agent for Gerrit Smith.  Putnam invented a type of canvas chute for use as a school fire escape.  In the summer of 1890, he attached one of his chutes to a window of John's house, Tower Cottage, running it down into Highland Square and giving demonstrations.

By this time, John had resumed work on the Hutchinson Family history.   In November, he went to New York, where he spent many days looking over the manuscript.  Abby had been setting down some of her own recollections.  Probably John browsed through Ludlow's scrapbook, refreshing his memory about one event or another, and copying passages that he might want to quote.

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John planned a seventieth-birthday party for January 5, 1891.   The day turned stormy, and many who wished to attend had to stay home.  Guests began arriving at 4 PM; and a few stragglers were still turning up late in the evening.  John and Abby greeted friends and family in the parlor as they came.  "One of the odd occurrences,"  we are told,  "was the occasional inquiry for 'Sister Abby' by some one who failed to recognize the charming and youthful singer of long ago in the small, gray-haired and piquant lady with whom he was at that moment conversing."

Charles E. Mann wrote a detailed account of this event, with an interesting sketch of Abby.  "A quick, nervous, care-taking woman, she would not sit, but stood by the organ, pressing the keys as she sung, and occasionally raising one hand to mark the time or gesticulate."   "[S]he was everywhere present,"  added John,  "seeing just who ought to put in a word here, and what song should be sung there.  She was the life of the occasion."

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"On November 26th,  recalled John,  Lynn's great fire occurred":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:158).  See also "Shoe Factories in Ashes," New York Times, November 27, 1889, p. 1 col. 5; "The Great Fire in Lynn," New York Times, November 28, 1889, p. 2 cols. 1-2.

Such massive fires were not unheard of  -  far from it.  Two days later, another great fire struck in Boston.

"On the 19th of December,  said John,  the Nationalists held":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:158).  See also "Hope for the Toilers," Boston Daily Globe, December 20, 1889, p. 5 cols. 3-4.

The Globe article extensively reported the Nationalist convention.  In addition to Bellamy's speech, an especially powerful address was given by Edward Everett Hale.  John sang with a Mrs. Niles.  See "For a New Social Gospel," Boston Herald, December 20, 1889.

Not much later,  John met Gerald Massey,  the author of  "The People's Advent,"  then on an American tour.

"Putnam was Charles Dickens' personal secretary during":   It seems likely this connection through George W. Putnam was instrumental in opening the doors of the Dickens household to the Hutchinson Family in 1846.  The Hutchinsons made the acquaintance of Putnam well before sailing for England, and Dickens was so amused by Putnam that he was probably quite eager to see what Putnam's friends would be like.

"In November, he went to New York, where he spent many days":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:163).

"Abby had been setting down some of her own recollections":   Until the book was given the title, Story of the Hutchinsons, probably quite late, it was simply called a Hutchinson Family memorial.  We know from an earlier source that Abby had been helping gather material for the project: e.g., Parker Pillsbury to John W. Hutchinson, January 17, 1885, in John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:338-340).  And we know from a letter that she had been recording her own memories.  See Abby Hutchinson Patton to John W. Hutchinson, July 17, 1892, in John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:387).

Some of Abby's unpublished and quite useful writings,  quoted in this work,  may have come from her original notes for the Hutchinson Family memorial.  It would certainly be my guess.

"The day turned stormy,  and many who wished to attend":   For such a memorable event, John seems not to have planned it very far in advance, judging from his own account of when he sent invitations; and this impression seems supported by the late dates on the letters of regret that appear in Story of the Hutchinsons.  Many of those who were invited could not come on account of distance, poor health, or a combination of the weather and advanced age.

"One of the odd occurrences,  we are told,  was the occasional":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:168).

This phenomenon of people failing to recognize Abby amused her.   It seems to have started as early as the late 1840s, and it continued for the rest of her life.  When she was in England with Ludlow, Abby wrote,  "Several friends have brought out our old daguerrotypes, and in mine is hardly the faintest look of the present countenance.  It will be rather a sad affair if when we lay off the mortal coil, those who have gone before us do not recognize us. . . . "   Source: Abby Hutchinson Patton to Henry J. Hutchinson, London, July 5, 1874, in John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:370-373).  Yet photos of Abby taken in mid-life strongly resemble a slightly cartoony sketch of her made in the early days of the quartet.  One might wonder whether her appearance changed and then changed back somewhat.

"Charles E. Mann wrote a detailed account of this event":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:164).

Original publication: The Seventieth Birthday Anniversary of John W. Hutchinson: (Tribe of John and Jesse,) at Tower Cottage, High Rock, Lynn, Mass., January Fifth, 1891 (Lynn, MA: Nichols Press - Thos. P. Nichols, 1891).  A bit later the reader will become acquainted with Fred Nichols, a son of Thomas P. Nichols who printed this 70th birthday booklet for John.

Later, Charles E. Mann would become John's final collaborator on Story of the Hutchinsons.   Much of Mann's account of the birthday party was copied into John's book.

"A quick,  nervous,  care-taking woman,  she would not sit":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:165).  This is an intriguing and highly unusual description of Abby Hutchinson Patton.

"She was everywhere present,  added John,  seeing just who":   John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:277).


Page 8

Those in attendance were a fascinating group.   Theodore D. Weld was there  -  one of the few remaining early abolitionists.  Hutchinson family friends George A. and Charlotte J. Thomas came down from Portland.  Rev. Jesse H. Jones of Abington was in attendance; and author and social reformer Abby Morton Diaz was not to be kept away by a winter storm.  Charles P. Birney was there.  Charles O. Beede also came.  After James N. Buffum died, it was Beede who purchased his property on High Rock, including, by all appearances, the parcel of long-disputed ownership.

Judson's grandsons  -  the Dearborn Quartet  -  sang a greeting song, and Master of Ceremonies Charles E. Mann called the company to order at 7:30.  The first speaker was Theodore Weld.  By reputation, Weld was remarkable  -  even excessive  -  in his modesty about his activities in the cause of abolition.  Thus, it must have delighted the company when, at Abby's suggestion, he reminisced about his experiences in the antislavery agitation.

Rev. S. F. Smith  was in Chicago at the time and invoked geography as his reason for failing to appear.  After his letter of regret was read, the company sang his famous song,  "America" ("My country 'tis of thee").

Late in the evening, Brother Noah's son Lucius gave what was said to be a ringing speech.   We may judge that John and company had a wonderful time, for the party did not break up at the appointed hour.  When it finally ended, the singers gathered at the organ and sang  "Old High Rock."

A few days after his birthday party, John got back to work on his book.   He discovered that hundreds of manuscript pages were missing.  He spent much of 1891 reproducing his earlier work.

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"Theodore D. Weld was there  -  one of the few remaining":   "First, because of his great age and noble work, should be mentioned Theodore D. Weld, of Hyde Park, the co-worker of all the great Abolitionists, in personal appearance the prototype of Bryant, now eighty-seven years old.  With him was his daughter-in-law, Anna H. Weld, and her son Louis."  Source: John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:167).

Weld family genealogy is well beyond the scope of this book.   Yet one quirk seems worth noting.  Information found at FamilySearch.org, Rootsweb.com, and in the books available through HeritageQuest Online does not include any reference to Theodore D. Weld's son, Charles Stewart Weld, getting married and having children.  Yet he was married to this very Anna H. Weld who John just mentioned, according to census records, and the couple did have a son named Louis Weld.  Louis, in turn, married and had children.  Charles S. Weld died sometime between 1900 and 1910.

Why it is that the Charles S. Weld branch of the Weld family appears to have been missed in several family histories is a bit of a mystery.

"Charles  P.  Birney  was  there":   Was C. P. Birney a guest of Judson's daughter Kate; or, perhaps, did he first meet his future wife on this joyous occasion?

"After James N. Buffum died,  it was Beede who purchased":   Elizabeth Hope Cushing and others, Historic Landscape Report: High Rock Reservation, Lynn, Massachusetts (Boston: Boston Univ., American and New England Studies Program, 1986), 18-19.

The presence of Beede suggests that the feud was over.

"He discovered that hundreds of manuscript pages were missing":   Story of the Hutchinsons was over twenty years in the making and had a colorful history of its own.  The missing pages, as far as is known, were never found.  John must have started rewriting four or five of the early chapters at this time.  Most of the work that was published, though, came from his collaboration with Charles E. Mann, which began possibly as early as 1894.

Since John had been collaborating with Abby,  it seems about certain that some portion of her work was lost with the lost manuscript pages.



Heralds of Freedom

Behold the day of promise comes,  full of inspiration

The blessed day by prophets sung for the healing of the nation

Old midnight errors flee away, they soon will all be gone

While heavenly angels seem to say the good time's coming on

The good time, the good time, the good time's coming on

The good time, the good time, the good time's coming on

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Alan Lewis. Heralds of Freedom: The Hutchinson Family Singers.
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Table of Contents
Massachusetts, MA, Mass.; Minnesota, Minn., MN; New Hampshire, N. H., NH; New Jersey, N.J., NJ. Essex County, Hillsboro County, Hillsborough County, McLeod County. Lynn Massachusetts, Hutchinson Minnesota, Amherst New Hampshire, Milford New Hampshire, Mont Vernon New Hampshire, Orange New Jersey, City of New York City. Cellist, cello, fiddle, fiddler, melodeon player, violin, violinist, violoncello. Baptist, Christian Science, Christian Scientist, Congregational, Congregationalist, Methodist, Unitarian Universalist. The Book of Brothers, Carol Brink Harps in the Wind: The Story of the Singing Hutchinsons, Carol Ryrie Brink, Carol R Brink, Dale Cockrell Excelsior: Journals of the Hutchinson Family Singers 1842-1846, John Wallace Hutchinson "Story of the Hutchinsons (Tribe of Jesse)", "Story of the Hutchinsons", Joshua Hutchinson A Brief Narrative of the Hutchinson Family, Philip Jordan, Philip Dillon Jordan, Philip D Jordan Singin Yankees, Phil Jordan, Ludlow Patton The Hutchinson Family Scrapbook. Index: Singing Yankees. 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930. Birth, born, death, died, divorce, divorced, maiden, marriage, married, single, unmarried. Ancestry, www.ancestry.com, the Boston Globe, family history, genealogy. Abolition, abolitionism, abolitionist, anniversary, anti-slavery, antislavery, audience, band, biography, chorus, church, the Civil War, company, compose, composer, composition, concert, convention, entertain, entertainment, folk music, folk songs, folksongs, group, harmony, High Rock in Lynn, Hutchison, instrument, instrumental, lyricist, lyrics, meeting, musician, N E, NE, NEMS, New England Music Scrapbook, Northeast, Northeastern, the Old Granite State, practice, profile, program, quartet, rehearsal, rehearse, religious left, repertoire, research, the Revels' Circle of Song, show, singer, social reform, social reformer, song writer, songwriter, stage, equal suffrage, suffragette, equal suffragist, impartial suffrage, impartial suffragist, temperance, tour, the Tribe of Jesse, trio, troupe, verse, vocal, vocalist, woman's rights, women's rights, words. Gertrude. Abby Anderson, Abby Hutchinson Anderson, Abby H Anderson, Samuel Anderson, Samuel Gilmore Anderson, Samuel G Anderson, Catherine Campbell, Catherine Livingston Campbell, Catherine L Campbell, Kate Campbell, Kate L Campbell, Cleaveland Campbell, Cleaveland John Campbell, Cleaveland J Campbell, C J Campbell, Cleave Campbell, Henry Campbell, Henry Douglas Campbell, Henry D Campbell, H Douglas Campbell, H D Campbell, Harry Campbell, Lewis Campbell, Lewis Averill Campbell, Lewis A Campbell, Viola Campbell, Viola Gertrude Hutchinson Campbell, Viola Campbell, Viola G Campbell, Viola Campbell, Viola Hutchinson Campbell, Viola H Campbell, Elizabeth Chace, Elizabeth B Chace, Lizzie Chace, Lizzie B Chace, Abby Hutchinson, Abby J Hutchinson, Asa Hutchinson, Asa Burnham Hutchinson, Asa B Hutchinson, David Hutchinson, Elizabeth Hutchinson, Elizabeth Chace Hutchinson, Elizabeth C Hutchinson, Lizzie Hutchinson, Lizzie Chace Hutchinson, Lizzie C Hutchinson, Fanny Hutchinson, Fanny B Hutchinson, Henry Hutchinson, Henry John Hutchinson, Henry J Hutchinson, Jerusha Hutchinson, Jerusha Peabody Hutchinson, Jerusha P Hutchinson, Jesse Hutchinson Jr, Jesse Hutchinson Junior, Jesse Hutchinson Jun, John Hutchinson, John Wallace Hutchinson, John W Hutchinson, Joshua Hutchinson, Judson Hutchinson, Adoniram Judson Joseph Hutchinson, Judson J Hutchinson, J J Hutchinson, Kate Hutchinson, Kate Louise Hutchinson, Kate L Hutchinson, Mary Hutchinson, Mary Leavitt Hutchinson, Mary L Hutchinson, Noah Hutchinson, Noah Bartlett Hutchinson, Noah B Hutchinson, Rhoda Hutchinson, Sarah Rhoda Jane Hutchinson, Rhoda J Hutchinson, Viola Hutchinson, Viola G Hutchinson, Abby Patton, Abby Hutchinson Patton, Abby H Patton. Donomore. Charles Beede, Charles Otis Beede, Charles O Beede, C O Beede, Charles Birney, Charles Parks Birney, Charles P Birney, C P Birney, James Buffum, James Needham Buffum, James N Buffum, J N Buffum, Kate Dearborn, Kate Louise Hutchinson Dearborn, Kate L H Dearborn, Kate Hutchinson Dearborn, Kate H Dearborn, Kate Louise Dearborn, Kate L Dearborn, "Eight Hours", Edward Hale, Edward Everett Hale, Edward E Hale, E E Hale, Dr Joseph Howe, Dr Joseph William Howe, Dr Joseph W Howe, Dr J W Howe, Dr J Howe, Dr Howe, Doctor Howe, Lucius Hutchinson, Lucius Bolles Hutchinson, Lucius B Hutchinson, L B Hutchinson, Rev Jesse Jones, Rev Jesse Henry Jones, Rev Jesse H Jones, Rev J H Jones, Marietta Loveridge, Marietta Caroline Bartlett Loveridge, Marietta Bartlett Loveridge, Marietta B Loveridge, M B Loveridge, Marietta Caroline Loveridge, Marietta C Loveridge, Mary MacDonald, Mary E MacDonald, the Madison Square Theater, the Madison Square Theatre, Manhattan, Charles Mann, Charles Edward Mann, Charles E Mann, C E Mann, Mary McDonald, Mary E McDonald, William McKeever, William D McKeever, W D McKeever, Will McKeever, Millard Avenue Baptist Church, Millard Ave Baptist Church, Rev Robert Morgan, Rev Robert Henry Morgan, Reverend Robert Henry Morgan, Rev Robert H Morgan, Rev R Henry Morgan, Rev Henry Morgan, Rev Morgan, Capt Robert Henry Morgan, Captain Robert Henry Morgan, Capt Henry Morgan, Capt Morgan, Robert Morgan, Robert J Morgan, R J Morgan, Mary Mowbray, Mary E Mowbray, Rev Cornelius Patton, Rev Cornelius Howard Patton, Rev Cornelius H Patton, Rev C H Patton, Rev C Patton, Rev Patton, Samuel Pickard, Samuel Thomas Pickard, Samuel T Pickard, S T Pickard, George Putnam, George Washington Putnam, George William Putnam, George W Putnam, G W Putnam, Santa Fé New Mexico, Santa Fe New Mexico, Samuel Spinning, Samuel B Spinning, S B Spinning, Jerusha Stickney, Jerusha Peabody Hutchinson Stickney, Jerusha P H Stickney, Jerusha Hutchinson Stickney, Jerusha H Stickney, Jerusha Peabody Stickney, Jerusha P Stickney, Dr Simeon Stickney, Dr Simeon Smith Stickney, Dr Simeon S Stickney, Dr S Smith Stickney, Dr S S Stickney, Dr Stickney, 31 W 16th St, 31 West 16th St, 31 West 16th Street, 31 West Sixteenth Street, Charlotte Thomas, Charlotte J Thomas, George Thomas, George Albert Thomas, George A Thomas, G A Thomas, Louis Weld, Louis Dwight Harvell Weld, Louis D H Weld, Louis Dwight Weld, Louis D Weld, Louis Harvell Weld, Louis H Weld, Theodore Weld, Theodore Dwight Weld, Theodore D Weld, T D Weld, the West Village, Rev Theodore Williams, Rev Theodore C Williams, Rev T C Williams, Rev Williams, With Lightsome Heart. William Daniel McKeever. Heralds of Freedom: The Hutchinson Family Singers: Chapter 21: Part 1: Come Let Us Part 1884-1891
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