Hutchinson Family Singers Web Site
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In October of 1865, John started on a tour through Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, where he ended the year. His company included Fanny, Viola, little Judson, and Milton Clark. Next, they went to Washington. On February 11, 1866, they sang in the closing exercises of the Christian Commission.
John's group followed with concerts in Baltimore, and then they proceeded through Pennsylvania to Lake Superior.
By this time, Ludlow Patton was in the midst of a highly successful business career. We know, though, from Abby's letters that she little valued the life of leisure this would allow. After she sang with John and campaigned for Lincoln, her public activities seem to stop for a couple years. Then in 1863, Abby founded a kindergarten at Orange, New Jersey. In the spring of 1865, Ludlow and Abby sold Dawnwood, their home in the Oranges.
On May 10, 1866, the woman's rights anniversary took place at Dr. Cheever's church in New York. One of the resolutions changed the organization's name to the American Equal Rights Association, with an evident broadening of its main purpose. Abby served on the Association's Executive Committee, and Ludlow was elected its treasurer. The involvement of the Pattons in the American Equal Rights Association, in particular, is strong evidence that Abby's health continued to make a comeback.
After the town of Hutchinson was burned, Henry acquired a very valuable parcel of land. He spent 1864-1865 farming and making improvements on his property. Then he became connected with the engineering corps that was surveying the route of the St. Croix and Lake Superior Railroad, through northern Wisconsin from the St. Croix River to the Great Lakes. "When we started for Lake Superior," said John, "the survey was in progress. When we reached Superior City it had been completed, and at our hotel we found my son Henry, together with Lewis A. Campbell, nephew of John C. Campbell, the chief engineer of the survey."
Henry and his new chum went with the singers to Milwaukee. John's company had profitable engagements all along the way. They visited copper mines and sang for the miners - in one dramatic instance, 700 feet below the earth's surface. "The sails on the lake," said Viola, "were most delightful, encouraging romance, and by the time we reached Milwaukee the summer had waned and I had met my fate. My brother's friend had become my friend."
"The main theme of speech and song," said Viola, was the loss": Viola Hutchinson Campbell, Memories of a Busy Life (Plymouth, Mass.: privately printed
During the war, the Christian Commission - a private group - provided, to Union soldiers and their families, services and supplies that were not available from government sources.
"Then in 1863, Abby founded a kindergarten at Orange, New Jersey": Henry Whittemore, The Founders and Builders of the Oranges (Newark, NJ:
"One of the resolutions changed the organization's name": "The May Anniversaries: Woman's Rights Convention," New York Times, May 11, 1866, p. 8 cols. 1-3.
"Abby served on the Association's Executive Committee, and Ludlow": Abby: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage, eds., History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. 2, 1861-1876 (New York: Arno and New York Times, 1969), 2:309n. Original edition, New York: Fowler and Wells, 1882. Ludlow: Ida Husted Harper, The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, Vols. 1 and 2 (Indianapolis: Bowen-Merrill, 1898), 1:260 n. 1).
"After the town of Hutchinson was burned, Henry acquired": A fine photograph of Henry appears in John Wallace Hutchinson, Story of the Hutchinsons (Tribe of Jesse), 2 vols. (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1896), 2: opposite page 126.
"When we started for Lake Superior, said John, the survey": John W. Hutchinson (1896, 1:433).
Both John's and Viola's books identify John C. Campbell as a brother of Judge William W. Campbell. For some details of his life, see "John C. Campbell," New York Times, March 27, 1890, p. 5 col. 3. Ludlow Patton was the treasurer of the St. Croix and Lake Superior Railroad. See Viola Hutchinson Campbell, Memories of a Busy Life (Plymouth, Mass.: privately printed
"The sails on the lake, said Viola, were most delightful": Viola Hutchinson Campbell, Memories of a Busy Life (Plymouth, Mass.: privately printed
This trip led the singers toward Hutchinson. Meanwhile, Lewis Campbell parted from them at Milwaukee, traveling, instead, to Toledo, Ohio, where he planned to start a business.
"This was our first experience in facing the clear cold of 30 degrees below zero," said Viola, "but we never suffered from colds, though we had to run with the horses to keep from freezing when lost on the prairies at two o'clock in the morning."
Sometimes we reached an outlying church where an audience was gathered waiting for our appearance. We would arrive a little late perhaps - father with his mustache and long beard dripping with icicles and the rest of us glad to be there, but none the worse for our experience. Without waiting for a change of attire we would begin our concert singing like birds, as clear as the air we had been breathing, and afterwards ready for a good beef steak supper at some friendly hotel, and sleep, oh, so soundly, after the long day in the open.
On Thursday, January 24, 1867, Nellie Hutchinson, daughter of Asa and Lizzie, died in New York. We know little of her life. Abby Patton wrote that little Nellie had great, blue eyes and a sweet smile, and that she was the household pet.
That summer, Asa and his family moved from Lynn to their farm in Minnesota - to help "make the price of breadstuff cheaper" - arriving at Hutchinson on July 3. Though Asa had maintained his residence at High Rock for more than a decade after Hutchinson was founded, he always had a great interest in the town, made frequent visits there - some quite long - and actively promoted investment and settlement. Asa's High Rock house was rented out, as were the other cottages, except of course for John's residence.
During the 1866-1867 season, after Kate Hutchinson finished teaching school in Columbus, Ohio, she joined Brother Joshua and Walter Kittredge to form a trio. "Hutchinson Family" was displayed in large letters on their bills, which no doubt brought them much attention; and Kittredge's name was another important draw - he being the composer of the greatly-admired "Tenting on the Old Camp Ground."
"This was our first experience in facing the clear cold": Viola Hutchinson Campbell, Memories of a Busy Life (Plymouth, Mass.: privately printed
"On Thursday, January 24, 1867, Nellie Hutchinson, daughter of": Abby Hutchinson Patton to Asa B. Hutchinson and family, Dawnwood, South Orange, NJ, February 18, 1862, in Items 122r-122v, Ludlow Patton's Hutchinson Family Scrapbook, Wadleigh Memorial Library, Milford, New Hampshire.
Nellie was buried at the Eastern Burial Ground near High Rock in Lynn, Massachusetts.
"That summer, Asa and his family moved from Lynn to their farm in Minnesota": Oliver Dennett Hutchinson to Elizabeth Hutchinson Fournie, Rugby, North Dakota, April 27, 1940. This letter is in the possession of descendants of Dennett Hutchinson.
In the 1870 United States Census, Asa and family were enumerated at Glendale, McLeod County, Minnesota.
"Though Asa had maintained his residence at High Rock": Philip D. Jordan, Singin' Yankees (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1946), 214.
"Asa's High Rock house was rented out, as were the other cottages": Asa: Elizabeth Hope Cushing and others, Historic Landscape Report: High Rock Reservation, Lynn, Massachusetts (Boston: Boston Univ., American and New England Studies Program, 1986), 12. John: Since John was away much of the time on concert tours that were frequently long, Fanny B. Hutchinson must have taken a great deal of responsibility for the High Rock property - particularly after the departure of Asa and his family.
A poster for their concert on Thursday evening, May 23, 1867, gives a broad view of their repertoire. There were many longtime selections from Joshua's solo concerts, such as "A Brother Is Dead," "Excelsior," "The Good Old Days of Yore," "Hark! I Hear an Angel Sing," "If I Were a Voice," "The Millennium," "Mrs. Lofty and I," "O Had I the Wings of a Dove," "The Popular Creed," "The Song of Labor," and "There Must Be Something Wrong." They sang songs from the war, such as "The Battle Cry of Freedom" and "The Union Wagon." Kittredge added quite a few of his own compositions, notably "The Curiosity," "Life's Cares," and "Tenting on the Old Camp Ground."
John did not mention conflicting concert dates, so it seems likely that the three troupes avoided competing for audiences.
The Legislature of Kansas that year [ wrote John ] voted to submit to the people three propositions for amendments to the Constitution, one to strike from it the word "white," thus enfranchising all male citizens of the age of twenty-one years, without respect to color; another striking out the word "male," thus enfranchising all women of the age of twenty-one years, without regard to color; third, restricting the elective franchise to loyal persons. The result of the action was to inaugurate one of the historic political battles of our time, the first contest for woman suffrage in this country.
Lucy Stone put John in contact with Samuel N. Wood, who was promoting all three amendments. "I had been requested to sing as many suffrage songs as possible in the coming campaign, but found on examination that the national hymnology was surprisingly deficient in that class of poetry. I therefore wrote to a large number of our American song-writers, asking contributions to the cause. The responses were not
Before John left for the West, he received word of Viola's engagement. He reached Toledo on May 29. "I spent the next two days," he confessed, "persuading Viola to postpone her wedding, and go with Henry and myself on the Kansas campaign. When she finally consented, she decided to go home first, and to return and meet me in Kansas September 1st."
John and Henry traveled to Milwaukee, arriving on June 4. Through July, father and son sang their way west. "Finally," wrote John, "we arrived in Hutchinson on July 27th, and put up at Pendergast's Hotel. At this point Henry became dissatisfied with the situation, and quit my company for the time being. A new bridge was being built, and his services in laying the foundation were besought by the contractor."
"A poster for their concert on Thursday evening, May 23, 1867": "Grand Concert," s.l.: s.n., May 23,
Joshua sang many of Judson's songs. One might imagine that his voice was particularly well suited for them.
"They sang songs from the war . . . The Union Wagon": John Hogarth Lozier, "The Old Union Wagon," first line of text: "In Uncle Sam's dominion, in Eighteen Sixty-One, The fight between Secession and Union was begun," first line of chorus: "Hurrah for the wagon, the old Union wagon!" (Cincinnati: J. Church, Jr., n.d.
"The Legislature of Kansas that year [ wrote John ] voted to submit": John W. Hutchinson (1896, 1:436-437).
"I had been requested to sing as many suffrage songs as possible": John W. Hutchinson (1896, 1:438).
"I spent the next two days, he confessed, persuading Viola": John W. Hutchinson (1896, 1:439).
"Finally, wrote John, we arrived in Hutchinson on July 27th": John W. Hutchinson (1896, 1:445).
John found the hotel unsuitable for music-making; so on the 28th, he went looking for another place. He ran across an old log cabin - the first one built in Hutchinson. The lower story was being used by a blacksmith, and the stairs were gone. So John climbed a ladder and went in a window. He shoveled cinders off the floor and covered it with hay. He laid a carpet over the hay, improvised a bed by the wall, and hung canvas for a window curtain. Finally John set up his melodeon. As he touched the keys, the words, "the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man," came to mind. He wrote a couple verses then went to bed.
"Waking in the morning, and putting [ the canvas ] aside," he said, "the sun streamed in and I felt glorified. I arose and resumed work at the instrument." John sent to the Detroit Post to have
It was easy [ he wrote ] to secure the co-operation of the boys of Hutchinson, who drew my carriage along the main street. In the carriage I put up my melodeon, and lighted it up. Boys were less skittish than horses under such conditions. So I went singing through the street and did not lack for an audience. When I reached the hotel I saw Henry, who had not yet resumed negotiations, sitting with his feet on the window-sill. When I had finished what I ever after called my
This was the public debut of Brother John's most popular original song, "The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man."
On the 11th, John left for Kansas - amazingly enough, with Henry. They went across the prairies of Iowa and through Missouri; and, true to family tradition, they sang all the way. "We would bait our horses on the road," said John, "having grain in our carriage, and pluck ears of corn and roast them for a lunch. Our custom on entering a village was to shout out as we passed along that there would be a concert that evening in the largest hall or church."
On August 31, John and Henry reached Kansas. The suffrage campaign was officially opened on September 2 by a great convention in Atchison, with singing by the Hutchinson Family.
Viola wrote that one number, "The Kansas Suffrage Song," was written especially for her to sing.
Clear the way, the songs are floating;
Elizabeth Cady Stanton would lecture in a town and then announce a concert by the Hutchinsons. About a week later, the group would come and sing, finding the arrangements already made. John recommended to Susan B. Anthony that they hold frequent temperance meetings. Such gatherings took place at Atchison, Lawrence, Ottawa, and other Kansas communities. John was not alone in connecting the woman suffrage campaign with that movement. The Kansas Temperance Society, for instance, took the position that the votes of women were needed to restrain the liquor trade.
"Waking in the morning, and putting [ the canvas ] aside, he said": John W. Hutchinson (1896, 1:447).
John W. Hutchinson, "The Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man" (s.l.: John W. Hutchinson, 1868).
"It was easy [ he wrote ] to secure the co-operation of the boys": John W. Hutchinson (1896, 1:449-450).
"We would bait our horses on the road, said John, having grain": John W. Hutchinson (1896, 1:449-450).
"Viola wrote that one number, The Kansas Suffrage Song, was written": "Kansas Suffrage Song," tune: "Old Dan Tucker," lyrics:
For the lyrics, see Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage, eds., History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. 2, 1861-1876 (New York: Fowler and Wells, 1882; New York: Arno and New York Times, 1969), 2:934.
"The Kansas Temperance Society, for instance, took the position": "Politics in Kansas," New York Times, October 12, 1867, p. 2 col. 2.
Many old abolitionists were staunch supporters of woman's rights; but a split was taking place in the ranks. Some thought suffragists should make an all-out effort now to win the right of voting for women. Others, such as Garrison and Phillips, argued that advocates of equal suffrage should win the vote for the black man first. "October 3d," said John, "I wrote to Wendell Phillips, at Susan's request, stating the promising condition of the work and hoping to enlist his sympathy and co-operation." But - "Susan and he had not been in sympathy for some reason and he seemed disposed to let her fight her own battles."
Woman suffrage advocates were facing stiff opposition, too, from without. Opponents, meeting in Lyon County, resolved
That, in our opinion, some of the pernicious effects of this proposition, if practically carried out, will be to make every home a political caucus room, to disturb domestic peace, to destroy the unity of families, to ignore the institution of marriage, to introduce the doctrine of free love, to demoralize society, to invite from the quiet and sacred precincts of home to the political field, men and women as competitors in the strifes, agitations, prejudices and passions of political life.
Rev. I. S. Kalloch, who was acquainted with John, was the leading adversary of woman suffrage in Kansas, though he favored recognizing the right of black men to vote. As election day approached, opposition to woman suffrage grew. Still, the ever-hopeful Hutchinsons continued singing their suffrage songs.
John, a gregarious man, was quite willing to forgive and forget past differences and disputes. He made an exception, though, for George Francis Train.
At the last convention in Kansas Mrs. Stanton and Train were to speak, and we were to sing. Before it opened I got word that Mr. Train was not quite ready to go on, and desired me to go ahead and sing. I returned a message that when the meeting was organized I would sing. I did not consider my family either a brass band or an orchestra.
Train's behavior often went well beyond mere eccentricity, and he had a divisive habit of resorting to racial slurs.
The Hutchinsons' participation in the Kansas woman suffrage campaign ended with them, in company with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, singing at the polling places in Leavenworth. One of the songs they sang was "Right Over Wrong," their versatile reform anthem.
"October 3d, said John, I wrote to Wendell Phillips, at Susan's request": John W. Hutchinson (1896, 1:452).
Garrison's lack of support must have been particularly disappointing, since he had long been on record as believing that the cause of woman and the cause of the slave were identical. See "Woman's Rights Convention," New York Times, May 14, 1858, p. 5 cols. 2-3.
"Opponents, meeting in Lyon County, resolved That, in our opinion": "The Woman's Suffrage Movement in Kansas," New York Times, September 15, 1867, p. 3 col. 6. This resolution offers an excellent start toward a list of the fears of those who opposed voting rights for women.
"Rev. I. S. Kalloch, who was acquainted with John": John W. Hutchinson (1896, 1:463, 2:79); "Politics in Kansas," New York Times, October 12, 1867, p. 2 col. 2.
"At the last convention in Kansas Mrs. Stanton and Train were to speak": John W. Hutchinson (1896, 1:479). On the same page, John wrote, "For a year or two after the Kansas campaign, the question of the extent to which suffragists should endorse Train almost eclipsed the main issue."
"Train's behavior often went well beyond mere eccentricity": E.g., William S. McFeely, Frederick Douglass (New York:
"I got to know all those noble women well," said Viola. "Each was my roommate while stopping at hotels enroute and I surely felt like a veteran."
This once-promising campaign failed. Nonetheless, the following spring, the American Equal Rights Association "Resolved, That the thanks of this association are due to the brave men in Kansas who, in defiance of party machinery, cast one-third of the entire vote of the State for woman suffrage."
John's family made another tour through Kansas, singing for temperance. Around the middle of December, they started for home. "The months spent in Kansas," said John, "were among the most pleasurable of our long concert experiences. Added to the other emotions which made the work pleasant, was the saddening reflection that this was probably the last season with my
Horseback riding over the prairies with old admirers, [ she said ] skating on the Mississippi River at St. Paul, Minn., then down to St. Louis, Mo., where we were boating on the same river within a week, back through Illinois and finally reaching Chicago, where it seemed all the friends I ever knew had congregated, many of whom I never saw again. Mr. Campbell joined us
This trip ended on March 8, 1868. "Scarcely four weeks were left," said Viola, "for perfecting my modest preparations for my approaching
On April 15, Viola Hutchinson and Lewis Campbell were wed at the Free Church in Lynn. "I can record," wrote Viola, "that my bridegroom was all any girl could ask for."
After Viola left for her new home in Toledo, John met a man who asked him to call and hear his daughter sing. John found sixteen-year-old Graziella Ridgway to be a fine vocalist and an excellent pianist. And though he did not see fit to mention it, she was also beautiful. Not much later, she started on a tour as a member of John's company.
"I got to know all those noble women well," said Viola": Viola Hutchinson Campbell, Memories of a Busy Life (Plymouth, Mass.: privately printed
"Nonetheless, the following spring, the American Equal Rights Association": "The American Equal Rights Association," New York Times, May 15, 1868, p. 5 col. 4.
"The months spent in Kansas, said John, were among the most": John W. Hutchinson (1896, 1:458).
"Horseback riding over the prairies with old admirers, she said": Viola Hutchinson Campbell, Memories of a Busy Life (Plymouth, Mass.: privately printed
Viola always called her husband "Mr. Campbell."
"Scarcely four weeks were left," said Viola, "for perfecting": Viola Hutchinson Campbell, Memories of a Busy Life (Plymouth, Mass.: privately printed
"By the day of Viola's wedding, a delegation of Campbells arrived": Like the Hutchinsons, the Campbell family was renowned and exceptionally interesting. Many Civil War scholars will instantly recognize the name of one of Lewis Campbell's brothers, Cleaveland J. Campbell. Brother Douglas Campbell, perhaps the most intriguing member of the family, had an association with the Pattons, probably of long standing, and with other Hutchinsons including Sister Rhoda's daughter, Marietta Loveridge. It is a bit of a frustration that, while Douglas Campbell fits into this story in his capacity as a practicing attorney, readily available biographical sketches concentrate heavily on his historical writings. Of these, he was and still is best known for Douglas Campbell, The Puritan in Holland, England, and America: An Introduction to American History, 2 vols. (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1892). He was a speaker and activist for Republican candidates and causes. Douglas Campbell had the honor, though at the same time the sad duty, of filling in at a public meeting for Theodore Roosevelt, by greatly lengthening his own speech, on what was the darkest time of the future president's entire life: the night his mother and his first wife died.
Biographical sketches say that the Campbell brothers suffered greatly in Civil War military prisons. Lewis A. Campbell was freed in a large prisoner exchange. See "From Annapolis," New York Times, March 8, 1865, p. 2 cols. 1-2, at column 1, bottom of the page.
"I can record, wrote Viola, that my bridegroom was all": Viola Hutchinson Campbell, Memories of a Busy Life (Plymouth, Mass.: privately printed
"After Viola left for her new home in Toledo, John met a man": This is a shortened version of the odd way John told the story. But it is quite possible he was already acquainted with Thomas Ridgway and maybe even acquainted with Graziella. The Ridgways were former residents of the village of Milford, New Hampshire, a community not unknown to John.
George H. Taylor was born in Williston, Vermont, on January 4, 1821 - the exact same date as John W. Hutchinson. Largely self-educated and taking a particular interest in chemistry, by the time he turned age eighteen Taylor was working as a teacher; but before he had reached age twenty-one - at which time he is said already to have been Williston's first superintendent of schools - he was suffering from chronic, difficult-to-understand, and evidently impossible-to-treat health problems. So, he began researching his medical troubles for himself, and he developed a lifelong interest in physiology. This led to studies at the Medical Department of Harvard and at the New York Medical College, where he graduated in 1852. Taylor started work at the New York City Water Cure - a facility the Hutchinsons visited. A bit later, an 1853 classified advertisement shows that Dr. Taylor was then already involved in the hygienic movement in medicine. He established his own practice; and not much after this, he was joined for a time by his brother, Dr. Charles F. Taylor.
Early in his career, George Taylor encountered a curious belief that women's bodies were particularly susceptible to disease. He found no evidence to support this notion; and much of his work was devoted to promoting the health of women.
George Taylor developed a system of exercise therapy, and later he learned of institutions in Stockholm that used similar methods. His brother Charles sailed to England in 1856 to study the Ling system of Swedish movements with Dr. Mathias Roth; and in 1858, George traveled to Sweden to observe them firsthand with Lars Gabriel Branting who directed the Royal Gymnastic Central Institute at Stockholm, Sweden, having succeeded his own teacher, Pehr Henrik Ling.
Once back in New York, Dr. Taylor founded the Remedial Hygienic Institute. Prescribed exercises and massage were at the heart of what became known as the Swedish movement cure. His 1860 book was promoted as "the first complete work on this subject published in America." Be that as it may, a New York Times reviewer was skeptical, to say the least, ending with this judgment: "It is not clear that a season at a gymnasium would not be the best 'movement' cure, - for Ling's system is merely exercise in calisthenics - nothing more." The potential value to one's health of the Swedish movements had been given far more extensive and enthusiastic consideration in a New York Times editorial a year earlier.
Dr. Taylor invented a steam-powered mechanical massage device which he introduced in 1864. Later, his clinic at 67 West 38th Street became known as the Improved Movement Cure Institute.
At some point Dr. Taylor's wife, Sarah E. L. Taylor, became the owner of an establishment on the northwest corner of Madison Avenue and 58th Street, which she called the Hotel Branting - named, no doubt, for Lars Branting. Right around the turn of the 20th century, it was described as a six- and seven-story structure on a lot measuring 100.5 feet on the avenue and 95 feet on the street. Dr. Taylor's Movement Cure operated out of this place for years, and evidently the Hotel Branting became its best known location. Sarah leased the building to Joseph A. Nutter for ten years starting April 1, 1891, and this seems to mark or at least approximate the date of retirement of the Taylors.
"George H. Taylor was born in Williston, Vermont": Though Dr. George H. Taylor's middle name often has been given as Henry, evidence shows that it was actually Herbert.
The Taylors represent easily one of the most fascinating families encountered in this study. William George Langworthy Taylor, the son of Dr. George H. Taylor and his wife
A grandson, Edward Langworthy Taylor, was involved in theater in New York City and Paris, and he is said to have done some teaching at the University of Nebraska. Research for this book turned up one lone Web site which gave Edward Taylor's name as Edward Isaac Langworthy Taylor. That source gave no indication as to why it differs from other renderings of the name. The one brief obituary located in this study is from a newspaper which serves the area around Taylor's summer home. See "Edward Taylor Memorial Rites Held Thursday," Estes Park (CO) News, May 17, 1974. Other, probably different notices from his main-home area, from his childhood home of Lincoln, Nebraska, and from his place of death seem likely, and Variety may be worth checking. One could surmise from the Estes Park obituary that Taylor's death came suddenly and unexpectedly, though, he being in his mid-70s, it must not have been a total surprise. The notice added that there were "no immediate survivors." If this is so - and I see no reason to doubt it - then, as far as is known, the line of George and Sarah Taylor came to an end with the death of Edward L. Taylor. Apparently little if any research has gone into the history of this branch of the Taylor family, and several online sources have Dr. George H. Taylor curiously confounded with a Massachusetts man named George H. Taylor.
A genealogy handed down in the family of Dr. Charles Fayette Taylor says nothing at all about him having any brothers or sisters. The best family history information available for Dr. George H. Taylor comes from his wife's kin, the Langworthy family. See William Franklin Langworthy, The Langworthy Family (Hamilton, NY: William F. and Othello S. Langworthy, 1940), 119. It, too, makes no mention of Dr. George H. Taylor having brothers or sisters. Only quite recently have I learned that Dr. Taylor had, in addition to his brother Charles, at least one sister and most likely two. There may be other siblings we simply do not yet know about. A niece wrote a local history booklet which, judging from a reading of the most apropos section plus multiple uses of the HeritageQuest Online search device, seems to have made no reference to either of her esteemed physician uncles. See Odella Fay Wright, A History of the Town of Williston (Williston, VT: The Historical Committee, 1913). As intriguing as the Taylors were, and no doubt still are, individually, the 19th-century and early 20th-century representation appears to have been nothing at all like a tightly-knit family.
By the end of this section about the Movement Cure, the reader should have a sense that the Taylors were quite bright. Another of the children of George and Sarah Taylor lived to become an adult, and she was an excellent example of this brilliance. Flora Mabel Taylor was an exceptional scholar, being particularly strong at Vassar College in the fields of biology and mathematics. She graduated with the class of 1895; and she was said, at one point, to have been class president.
After graduation, Flora was active in the New York History Club and in charitable work with the Church of the Messiah, which is now known as Community Church of New York. In addition, she took graduate courses in mathematics at Barnard College, where she met Jonathan Brace Chittenden who was already a well-known mathematician and who would become even better-known in future years. Flora was engaged to marry
For general information, see "Flora M. Taylor," New York Times, September 11, 1897, p. 7 col. 6.
As far as I know, this is the first published explanatory, historical account, of any greater length than a few sentences, of Dr. Taylor's Improved Movement Cure Institute. If you know of a comparable or larger earlier work and you would be willing to share your information, please e-mail us by way of the contact link toward the bottom of the page.
"Largely self-educated and taking a particular interest": Unfortunately, Williston school-system records do not go back anywhere near far enough to help us with this phase of George H. Taylor's life and career.
"This led to studies at the Medical Department of Harvard and": National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 77 vols. (New York:
The New York Medical College closed in 1864, and it should not be confused with a later medical school by the same name.
"Taylor started work at the New York City Water Cure - a facility": The latest New York City Water Cure advertisement that came to light in this project, featuring the name of Dr. George H. Taylor, was "The N.Y. City Water Cure," New York Daily Tribune, January 31, 1853, p. 3 col. 2. After that the ads only gave the name of
"An 1853 classified advertisement shows that Dr. Taylor": "Hydropathic and Hygienic Institute," classified advertisement, New York Daily Times, July 16, 1853, p. 6 col. 6.
"He established his own practice; and not much later": Dr. Charles Fayette Taylor had a distinguished career in medicine and may be best remembered for developing a form of treatment for Potts disease: tuberculosis of the spine. One reason most of us have never even heard of Pott's disease is that it has been addressed quite successfully, but we can be thankful we have no firsthand experience with it. Dr. Charles Taylor was a prolific inventor of medical devices including his famed "spinal assistant" which is better known today as Taylor's splint. Dr. Charles F. Taylor was an associate of Theodore Roosevelt's father, and he was a founder of the New York Orthopedic Dispensary. See "Orthopaedic Dispensary," New York Times, October 13, 1866, p. 8 col. 6. Committing its own history coherently to writing does not appear to be a specialty of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital; but it seems that Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center was one of the hospitals that merged to form this new organization, and Columbia Presbyterian's orthopedic surgery branch traces its origins back to the New York Orthopedic Dispensary. Though Dr. George H. Taylor is of far greater interest in connection with the history of the Hutchinsons, Dr. Charles F. Taylor seems to have been the more famous of the Taylor brothers in his lifetime and the more widely remembered today.
Charles Fayette Taylor's son, Henry Ling Taylor, was a well-known New York City-area orthopedic surgeon. A search of the New York Times Archives turned up an interesting sidelight: Dr. Henry L. Taylor was a passionate advocate of the benefits of good posture and was quite active in the American Posture League. Sample headline: "League Puts Feet in Three Classes; Dr. Taylor Says Some Are Straight, Others Pigeon Toe and Bow Leg. Most Shoes Unscientific. American Posture Meeting Also Finds Improper Chairs Torture a Suffering Public."
Charles F. Taylor's grandson, also named Charles Fayette Taylor, took an early interest in internal combustion engines and aviation, worked for Orville Wright, and, after a long career in engineering, may be best remembered as the principal developer of the air-cooled "whirlwind" engine for Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, generally taken to be the first airplane to fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. His son Phil once told me that
"Early in his career, George Taylor encountered a curious belief": George H. Taylor, Health for Women: Showing the Causes of Feebleness and the Local Diseases Arising Therefrom; With Full Directions for Self-Treatment by Special Exercises (New York: American Book Exchange, 1879), 22-23. Those who need more information, not just a source citation, will want to read the entirety of Chapter 2, "The Pelvic Contents Have No Exceptional Tendency to Disease," pp. 22-29.
"George Taylor developed a system of exercise therapy": George H. Taylor, Health for Women: Showing the Causes of Feebleness and the Local Diseases Arising Therefrom; With Full Directions for Self-Treatment by Special Exercises (New York: American Book Exchange, 1879), 225-230, 233-238. Dr. Taylor's initial step toward developing his own exercise therapy system was as far removed as it could possibly be from the stuff of which glamorous medical dramas are made. But it is significant to our understanding of his practice that the two examples given in these pages of his book are from a period when he was developing his own movement cure system and before Charles Taylor studied with Mathias Roth and before George Taylor, himself, studied with Lars Branting. On page 236 he wrote, "This, it will be noticed, was previous to the attainment of that full and unequivocal certainty respecting these principles that is now possessed; and also before the invention of the facilities which have since been found so necessary to carry forward these principles to their greatest practical successes. With the simplest means, however, I had the gratification to see the patient improve with great rapidity." In other words, these two cases are from his early period of practical experimentation. According to Dr. Taylor on page 230 of Health for Women, several of these early-to-mid-1850s "movements" are among those he described in his 1879 book.
It has been my understanding for some time that Dr. George H. Taylor studied with Lars G. Branting at the Royal Gymnastic Central Institute, and it still seems likely that this is true. It is worth noting that the Movement Cure Institute's best known location was Manhattan's Hotel Branting - which was owned by
"His brother Charles sailed to England in 1856 to study": Charles Taylor: Dictionary of American Biography, 18:317-318; "Death List of a Day: Dr. Charles Fayette Taylor," New York Times, January 27, 1899, p. 7 col. 6.
Definition: "[E]xercises or motions, prescribed with strict reference to definite therapeutic effects, have received the appellation of movements." Source: George H. Taylor, Health for Women: Showing the Causes of Feebleness and the Local Diseases Arising Therefrom; With Full Directions for Self-Treatment by Special Exercises (New York: American Book Exchange, 1879), 152.
George Taylor: National Cyclopædia of American Biography, 5:494. Dr. Taylor returned to New York from Europe in July 1858. Source: "Passengers Arrived," New York Times, July 27, 1858, p. 8 col. 6.
Dioclesian Lewis, a good friend of the Hutchinsons who was most often known as Dio Lewis, was a proponent of fitness and therapeutic exercise. Originally, John had planned to devote an entire chapter of Story of the Hutchinsons to his temperance work with Dio Lewis, which gives some idea how close they were at one time. The Woman's Christian Temperance Union formed in the aftermath of one of Dio Lewis' campaigns. But as a temperance worker, Lewis remained faithful to the moral suasion approach, while John and many others in the movement eventually switched from suasion to prohibition. John and Dio Lewis may have drifted somewhat apart. Nonetheless, back in 1863, long before any such possible split over strategy, Lewis published Dio Lewis, Weak Lungs, and How To Make Them Strong; Or, Diseases of the Organs of the Chest, with Their Home Treatment by the Movement Cure (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1863). On April 17 of that year, he lectured at Cooper Institute in New York City on his own "New Gymnastics." See Dio Lewis and Moritz Kloss, The New Gymnastics for Men, Women, and Children (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1862). Lewis' involvement in physical education and health-giving exercise must have exerted a strong influence on his friends, the Hutchinsons, and may have strengthened Abby's interest in the movement cure.
"Prescribed exercises and massage were at the heart": Dr. Taylor's establishment was noted for providing therapeutic exercise and massage. Interestingly, he wrote about massage, including vibratory massage, and kneading as forms of passive exercise. See George H. Taylor, Health for Women: Showing the Causes of Feebleness and the Local Diseases Arising Therefrom; With Full Directions for Self-Treatment by Special Exercises (New York: American Book Exchange, 1879), 151-152, 204-205. Dr. Taylor also thought it was important for patients to understand their ailments and medical remedies, so his movement cure included something akin to what in more recent years has been called patient teaching. For instance, Dr. Taylor wrote, "The disease should be fully explained to the invalid, so that she can comprehend its origin and workings; for without her intelligent co-operation the successful treatment of her case is almost impossible." See George H. Taylor, Health for Women: Showing the Causes of Feebleness and the Local Diseases Arising Therefrom; With Full Directions for Self-Treatment by Special Exercises (New York: American Book Exchange, 1879), 29.
In the early days of the World Wide Web, a recipe of Mrs. Hattie Jones, matron of the Remedial Hygienic Institute, was readily accessible online. It was for a treat called apple gems.
It has been said that the Movement Cure Institute featured a health-food kitchen and that Dr. Taylor counseled his patients on nutrition. Both points are quite interesting. The latter, though, could be a misreading of excerpts from Dr. Taylor's writings, taken out of context. He periodically used the word, nutrition, in reference to the blood circulating nutrients to muscles and nerves. This is a somewhat difficult point to document, since it appears, in varying degrees of specificity, scattered throughout the writings of Dr. Taylor. But, for instance, see George H. Taylor, Health for Women: Showing the Causes of Feebleness and the Local Diseases Arising Therefrom; With Full Directions for Self-Treatment by Special Exercises (New York: American Book Exchange, 1879), 37, 55-56, 91, 148, 202-204, 227-228. If you know anything about the Movement Cure Institute having a health-food kitchen or about Dr. Taylor teaching his patients about nutrition and you would be willing to share your information, please e-mail us by way of the contact link near the bottom of the page.
The Langworthy genealogy's list of some of the Movement Cure Institute's celebrity patients includes several known friends of members of the Hutchinson family:
"His 1860 book was promoted as the first complete work": "The Swedish Movement-Cure," classified advertisement, New York Times, June 28, 1860, p. 3 col. 6.
George H. Taylor, M.D., An Exposition of the Swedish Movement Cure (New York: Fowler and Wells, 1860).
"Be that as it may, a New York Times reviewer was skeptical": "Miscellaneous Issues," New York Times, August 4, 1860, p. 2 col. 2.
"The potential value to one's health of the Swedish movements": "Health and Scientific Exercise," New York Times, August 11, 1859, p. 4 cols. 3-4.
"Dr. Taylor invented a steam-powered mechanical massage device": "Death List of a Day: Dr. George H. Taylor," New York Times, December 12, 1896, p. 8 col. 2.
The words, "massage," "masseur," and "masseuse," did not come into common use until well after Dr. Taylor's Movement Cure began treating patients. The doctor spoke of the care-giving staff of the Movement Cure Institute as nurses, operators, and assistants. Passages in his writings imply that operators did most of the massaging. A Harriet Beecher Stowe biography includes a helpful passage from one of Stowe's letters written during a stay at the Movement Cure Institute. See Joan D. Hedrick, Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 367. But one word in that excerpt is almost certainly wrong, perhaps from a typographical error or a mistaken reading of tricky handwriting - an easy thing to do. We know nothing of the senses of humor of Dr. Taylor and his staff; but rather than "ribbing" Stowe, they almost certainly "rubbed" or massaged her. In the United Kingdom in those days, people who performed massage were often called "rubbers." Dr. Taylor taught his patients to treat their own ailments through prescribed exercises. But many of his patients needed help with this work, while some required or benefited more from passive exercise. It is both fitting and quite charming that Institute staff who did the helping were called patient assistants.
"At some point Dr. Taylor's wife, Sarah E. L. Taylor, became": We may date with confidence the Movement Cure Institute's relocation to the Hotel Branting to the year 1873 or very early 1874, though specific documentation of the building's purchase has been elusive and research on this question continues. Evidently New York City hotel keepers met with particular financial pressures by October, following the Panic of 1873 in the financial markets. Speaking both of specific hotels and of the hotel business in general, a very instructive New York Times article said,
"Sarah leased the building to Joseph A. Nutter for ten years": "Landlord Nutter Fails: No Longer Manager of the Madison Avenue Hotel," New York Times, December 24, 1892, p. 3 col. 4.
An 1892/1893 New York City directory gave the address of the Improved Movement Cure Institute as 71 East 59th Street. Dr. George H. Patchen was listed as the resident physician and director.
Nutter called his new enterprise the Madison Avenue Hotel. But the timing of his takeover was inopportune. He found himself with high expenses and increasing nearby competition, notably including the new Hotel Savoy. The Madison Avenue Hotel endured but under different management.
We know a little of what Sister Abby expected to gain from Dr. Taylor's therapeutic program by way of an 1872 letter.
New York Times book reviewers may not have been the only ones to send up the movement cure. A one-scene sketch titled "The Movement Cure" - no doubt a musical - was presented at New York City's Olympic Theatre in the 1870s by a well-known minstrel performer, Andrew Jackson Leavitt. Abby Patton's first cousin,
Abby's level of public activity picked up considerably after the war. In 1868, she became a founding member of Sorosis, one of the pioneering women's clubs. She was active on the Executive Committee of the American Equal Rights Association, and she sang with John and Henry at the anniversary meeting at Cooper Institute in New York on May 14. On the 29th, John, Abby, and Henry sang for the Free Religious Association at Tremont Temple in Boston. At Pine Grove Cemetery in Lynn on the 30th, they participated in the first national celebration of Memorial Day.
Mary Hutchinson died at Milford on Sunday, September 20, 1868. According to a death notice, she "had the psalms and hymns of Watts by heart, so that she never needed the printed page, and was so fond of them that lines, couplets and verses would find their way into her ordinary conversation, often with amusing
Her funeral took place at the schoolhouse near the family homestead. She was buried beside her husband in the family lot on North River Road in Milford. A hymn book was placed in her coffin.
Though she lived a private life, the legacy Mary left her family, the community, and her country was considerable. No doubt her children would have lived totally different lives, had they not learned the love of music at her knee.
"Dr. George H. Patchen was listed as the resident physician": If you know of a published source that gives a good overview of the life and the career of Dr. George Henry Patchen and you would be willing to share your information, please e-mail us by way of the contact link near the bottom of the page. We have scattered bits of information about him and his family from here and there as well as a very short capsule biography from the Web, but we could not do justice to his history based on our current resources. Dr. Patchen's sister and her ex-husband would likely interest many of the readers of this book.
One of our e-mail correspondents has memorabilia of the family of Dr. Patchen and his wife Laura which she would like to pass on to a descendant. And it seems likely there are living descendants. If you are one and you may be interested in these materials, please e-mail us about it via the contact link toward the bottom of the page. We have no information as to what is included nor how extensive this collection may be. But when we were helping with the search for descendants, we found that a grandson, Bruce Patchen, died quite tragically. A family historian would certainly want to know about this if he or she does not know already. This news story would have been of more than regional interest and must have made the network television news.
"Nutter called his new enterprise the Madison Avenue Hotel": "Landlord Nutter Fails: No Longer Manager of the Madison Avenue Hotel," New York Times, December 24, 1892, p. 3 col. 4.
"Sarah E. L. Taylor sold the building early in 1899": The Madison Avenue Hotel changed hands again in late 1901, amid speculation that a new hotel or apartment building might be constructed on the site. After this, the history of the property becomes much harder to track by way of the New York Times - the New York City journal which is most widely accessible.
"As I wished to make myself strong against all work to come": Abby Hutchinson Patton to Henry J. Hutchinson, New York, October 24, 1872, in John W. Hutchinson (1896, 2:367).
We are not told exactly when and how Abby first learned of Dr. George H. Taylor, but it is quite possible she made his acquaintance as early as 1852-1853 when he worked at the New York City Water Cure. It seems highly likely that Abby was one of Dr. Taylor's Remedial Hygienic Institute patients starting in the late 1850s. But since direct documentary evidence is lacking, I am noting other possibilities here. For instance, medium Kate Fox of the Fox Sisters - more than a passing acquaintance of the Hutchinsons - practiced her art at the Improved Movement Cure Institute, beginning in the mid-1860s. This may have been an attraction for Abby, as well as for other members of the Hutchinson Family. And records of the American Equal Rights Association show that Dr. Taylor donated money during Ludlow Patton's term as treasurer.
Evidently Abby's interest and confidence in the movement cure lasted the rest of her days. Late in October 1892, her appearance was so worrisome that her brother John wrote in his diary, "Abby will not stay long in this world." Even then, when her health was fragile to the extreme, she resorted to Dr. Taylor's Improved Movement Cure Institute and boarded nearby. Abby's reliance on the Institute during her final struggle to keep body and soul together is a principal reason why it is given so much attention and space in this work. It was at the time Abby sought treatment at the Movement Cure Institute in October 1892 that she experienced the first in a series of strokes which ultimately took her life.
Two books - one by the wife and the other by the son of Dr. George H. Taylor - may have been overlooked by modern researchers on spiritualism. They are:
"A one-scene sketch titled The Movement Cure - no doubt a musical":
Andrew Jackson Leavitt wrote and published numerous one-scene sketches, a percentage of which seemingly would not have been out of place on the minstrel stage. One might imagine that their contents made other Leavitts, as well as his Hutchinson cousins, more than a little uncomfortable.
According to catalog records of libraries that hold "The Movement Cure," it dates from the 1870s and was presented at the Olympic Theatre in New York City. A nearly full-page 1874 survey of the city's theaters listed one
A short obituary said, "[A]s a song and sketch writer he became well known and, although several times he tried to manage productions, he made his greatest success as an artist." See "Andrew J. Leavitt, the Minstrel, Dead," New York Times, February 3, 1901, p. 7.
Andrew Jackson Leavitt's career in entertainment could be a worthwhile topic for further research.
"According to a death notice, she had the psalms and hymns": "A Mother in Israel," s.l.: s.n., n.d., in John W. Hutchinson (1896, 1:471). Ludlow Patton identified this piece as having been published in the Advance, probably the Chicago Advance, which was edited by his brother, William Weston Patton. See Item 62v, Ludlow Patton's Hutchinson Family Scrapbook, Wadleigh Memorial Library, Milford, New Hampshire.
Mary [birth name Leavitt] Hutchinson (1785-1868)
In August, Viola visited her mother and father; and on the 19th, John accompanied her to Toledo. Then he went to Illinois, where the Republican campaign committee had arranged for him and Henry to work with Senator Richard Yates. The committee would provide halls and advertising; then the Hutchinsons would sing at political meetings and also give paying concerts. Appearances followed at Champaign, Danville, Decatur, Bloomington, Kankakee, and Lockport. One of their pieces was Walter Kittredge's satirical song, "The Curiosity," which evidently they adapted so as to bring in characters and issues of the present campaign.
"One of their pieces was Walter Kittredge's satirical song": "The Curiosity," tune: "Dearest May"
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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