By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Heroines of Service - Mary Lyon, Alice Freeman Palmer, Clara Barton, Frances - Willard, Julia Ward Howe, Anna Shaw, Mary Antin, Alice C. - Fletcher, Mary Slessor of Calabar, Madame Curie, Jane Addams
Author: Parkman, Mary Rosetta
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Heroines of Service - Mary Lyon, Alice Freeman Palmer, Clara Barton, Frances - Willard, Julia Ward Howe, Anna Shaw, Mary Antin, Alice C. - Fletcher, Mary Slessor of Calabar, Madame Curie, Jane Addams" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


[Illustration: Mary Lyon]





    Author of "Heroes of Today," etc.




    Copyright, 1916, 1917, by

    _Published September, 1917
    Reprinted April, 1918;
    Reprinted August, 1918._





From time immemorial women have been content to be as those who serve.
_Non ministrari sed ministrare_--not to be ministered unto but to
minister--is not alone the motto of those who stand under the Wellesley
banner, but of true women everywhere.

For centuries a woman's own home had not only first claim, but full
claim, on her fostering care. Her interests and sympathies--her mother
love--belonged only to those of her own household. In the days when much
of the labor of providing food and clothing was carried on under each
roof-tree, her service was necessarily circumscribed by the home walls.
Whether she was the lady of a baronial castle, or a hardy peasant who
looked upon her work within doors as a rest from her heavier toil in the
fields, the mother of the family was not only responsible for the care
of her children and the prudent management of her housekeeping, but she
had also entire charge of the manufacture of clothing, from the spinning
of the flax or wool to the fashioning of the woven cloth into suitable

Changed days have come, however, with changed ways. The development
of science and invention, which has led to industrial progress and
specialization, has radically changed the woman's world of the home.
The industries once carried on there are now more efficiently handled
in large factories and packing-houses. The care of the house itself is
undertaken by specialists in cleaning and repairing.

Many women, whose energies would have been, under former conditions,
inevitably monopolized by home-keeping duties, are to-day giving
their strength and special gifts to social service. They are the true
mothers--not only of their own little brood--but of the community and
the world.

The service of the true woman is always "womanly." She gives something
of the fostering care of the mother, whether it be as nurse, like Clara
Barton; as teacher, like Mary Lyon and Alice Freeman Palmer; or as
social helper, like Jane Addams. So it is that the service of these
"heroines" is that which only women could have given to the world.

Many women who have never held children of their own in their arms have
been mothers to many in their work. It was surely the mother heart of
Frances E. Willard that made our "maiden crusader" a helper and healer,
as well as a standard bearer. It was the mother heart of Alice C.
Fletcher, that made that student of the past a champion of the Indians
in their present-day problems and a true "campfire interpreter." It was
the woman's tenderness that made Mary Slessor, that torch-bearer to
Darkest Africa, the "white mother" of all the black people she taught
and served.

The Russian peasants have a proverb: "Labor is the house that Love lives
in." The women, who, as mothers of their own families, or of other
children whose needs cry out for their understanding care, are always
homemakers. And the work of each of these--her labor of love--is truly
"a house that love lives in."


    CHAPTER                                                     PAGE

       I  MARY LYON                                                3

      II  ALICE FREEMAN PALMER                                    31

     III  CLARA BARTON                                            61

      IV  FRANCES E. WILLARD                                      89

       V  JULIA WARD HOWE                                        119

      VI  ANNA HOWARD SHAW                                       151

     VII  MARY ANTIN                                             185

    VIII  ALICE C. FLETCHER                                      211

      IX  MARY SLESSOR                                           235

       X  MARIE SKLODOWSKA CURIE                                 267

      XI  JANE ADDAMS                                            297



    Mary Lyon                                         _Frontispiece_

    Mary Lyon Chapel and Administration Hall                      17

    Alice Freeman Palmer                                          36

    College Hall, Destroyed by Fire in 1914                       53

    Tower Court, which Stands on the Site of College Hall         53

    Clara Barton                                                  79

    Frances E. Willard                                            94

    The Statue of Miss Willard in the Capitol at Washington      103

    Mrs. Julia Ward Howe                                         133

    Anna Howard Shaw                                             167

    Mary Antin                                                   201

    Alice C. Fletcher                                            227

    Mary Slessor                                                 253

    Marie Sklodowska Curie                                       280

    Madame and Dr. Curie and Their Little Daughter Irene         289

    Jane Addams                                                  299

    Polk Street Façade of Hull-House Buildings                   309

    A Corner of the Boys' Library at Hull House                  309


    Anything that ought to be done can be done.




"What is my little Mistress Mary trying to do?" The whir of the
spinning-wheel was stilled for a moment as Mrs. Lyon glanced in surprise
at the child who had climbed up on a chair to look more closely at the
hourglass on the chimneypiece.

"I am just trying to see if I can find the way to make more time,"
replied Mary.

"That's not the way, daughter," laughed the busy mother, as she started
her wheel again. "When you stop to watch time, you lose it. Let your
work slip from your fingers faster than the sand slips--that's the way
to make time!"

If busy hands can indeed make time, we know why the days were so full
of happy work in that little farm-house among the hills of western
Massachusetts. It takes courage and ceaseless toil to run a farm that
must provide food and clothing for seven growing children, but Mrs. Lyon
was never too busy or too tired to help a neighbor or to speak a word of

"How is it that the widow can do more for me than any one else?" asked
a neighbor who had found her a friend in need. "She reminds me of what
the Bible says, 'having nothing yet possessing all things.' There she is
left without a husband to fend for her and the children, so that it's
work, work, work for them all from morning till night, and yet they're
always happy. You would think the children liked nothing better than
doing chores."

"How is it that the harder a thing is the more you seem to like it,
Mary?" asked her seat-mate in the district school, looking wonderingly
at the girl whose eyes always brightened and snapped when the arithmetic
problems were long and hard.

"Oh, it's lots more fun _climbing_ than just going along on the level,"
replied Mary. "You feel so much more alive. I'll tell you what to do
when a thing seems hard, like a steep, steep hill, you know. Say to
yourself: 'Some people may call you Difficulty, old hill; but I know
that your name is Opportunity. You're here just to prove that I can do
something worth while.' Then the climbing is the best fun--really!"

It is a happy thing to be born among the hills. Wherever one looks there
is something to whisper: "There is no joy like climbing. Besides, the
sun stays longer on the summit, and beyond the hill-tops is a larger,
brighter world." Perhaps it was the fresh breath of the hills that gave
Mary Lyon her glowing cheeks, as the joy of climbing brought the dancing
lights into her clear blue eyes.

The changing seasons march over the hills in a glorious pageant of
color, from the tender veiling green of young April to the purple mists
and red-and-gold splendor of Indian summer. Every day had the thrill of
new adventure to Mary Lyon, but perhaps she loved the mellow October
days best. "They have all the glowing memory of the past summer and the
promise of the spring to come," she used to say.

How could one who had, through the weeks of growing things, worked
together with rain and sunshine and generous earth for the harvest but
feel the happy possession of all the year at the time when she saw
bins overflowing with brown potatoes, yellow corn, and other gifts of
fields and orchard? She could never doubt that, given the waiting earth
and faithful labor, the harvest was sure. Duties and difficulties were
always opportunities for higher endeavor and happier achievement.

There was no play in Mary Lyon's childhood except the play that a
healthy, active child may find in varied, healthful work done with a
light heart. There was joy in rising before the sun was up, to pick
weeds in the dewy garden, to feed the patient creatures in the barn,
and to make butter in the cool spring-house. Sometimes one could meet
the sunrise on the hill-top, when it happened to be one's turn to bring
wood to the dwindling pile by the kitchen door. Then there was the
baking--golden-brown loaves of bread and tempting apple pies. When the
morning mists had quite disappeared from the face of the hills, the blue
smoke had ceased to rise from the chimney of the little farm-house.
Then was the time to sit beside Mother and knit or weave, sew or mend,
the garments that were homemade, beginning with the moment when the
wool, sheared from their own sheep, was carded and spun into thread.
For holidays, there were the exciting mornings when they made soap and
candles, or the afternoons when they gathered together in the barn for a

Beauty walked with Toil, however, about that farm in the hills. Mary had
time to lift up her eyes to the glory of the changing sky and to tend
the pinks and peonies that throve nowhere so happily as in her mother's
old-fashioned garden.

"May I plant this bush in the corner with your roses?" asked a neighbor
one day. "It is a rare plant of rare virtue, and I know that in your
garden it cannot die."

As the labor of her hands prospered, as her garden posies blossomed, so
the wings of Mary Lyon's spirit grew. No matter how shut in the present
seemed, no hope nor dream for the future died in her heart as the days
went by.

Her plans only took deeper and deeper root as she worked and waited
patiently for the time of flowers and fruit. There were few books to be
had, but these yielded her of their best. There was opportunity for but
few scattered terms in distant district schools, but she learned there
more than the teachers taught.

"Anything is interesting when you realize that it is important," she
used to say. And to Mary everything was important that was real. She
learned not only from books, but from work, from people, from Nature,
and from every bit of stray circumstance that came her way. It is said
that when the first brick house was built in the village she made a
point of learning how to make bricks, turning them up, piling them on
the wheelbarrow, and putting them in the kiln. She was always hungry to
know and to do, and the harder a thing was the more she seemed to like
it. Climbing was ever more fun than trudging along on the level.

The years brought changes to the home farm. The older sisters married
and went to homes of their own. When Mary was thirteen her mother
married again and went away with the younger children, leaving her to
keep house for the only brother, who had from early childhood been her
best comrade. The dollar a week given her for her work was saved to pay
for a term in the neighboring academy. She also taught in a district
school for a while, receiving seventy-five cents a week and board.

The nineteen-year-old girl who appeared one day at the Ashfield
Academy somehow drew all eyes to her. Her blue homespun dress, with
running-strings at neck and waist, was queer and shapeless, even judged
by village standards in the New England of 1817. Her movements were
impulsive and ungainly and her gait awkward. But it was not the crudity,
but the power, of the new-comer that impressed people. Squire White's
gentle daughter, the slender, graceful Amanda, gave the loyalty of her
best friendship to this interesting and enthusiastic schoolmate from the
hill farm.

"She is more alive than any one I know, Father," said the girl, in
explanation of her preference. "You never see her odd dress and sudden
ways when once you have looked into her face and talked to her. Her face
seems lighted from within--it isn't just her bright color and red-gold
curls; it isn't even her merry laugh. I can't explain what I mean,
but it seems as if her life touches mine--and it's such a big, warm,
beautiful life!"

The traditions of this New England village long kept the memory of
her first recitation. On Friday she had been given the first lesson
of Adams's Latin Grammar to commit to memory. When she was called up
early Monday afternoon, she began to recite fluently declensions and
conjugations without pause, until, as the daylight waned, the whole of
the Latin grammar passed in review before the speechless teacher and
dazzled, admiring pupils.

"How did you ever do it? How could your head hold it all?" demanded
Amanda, with a gasp, as they walked home together.

"Well, really, I'll have to own up," said Mary, with some reluctance, "I
studied all day Sunday! It wasn't so very hard, though. I soon saw where
the changes in the conjugations came in, and the rules of syntax are
very much like English grammar."

Studying was never hard work to Mary, because she could at a moment's
notice put all her attention on the thing at hand. Her busy childhood
had taught her to attack a task at once, while others were frequently
spending their time thinking and talking about doing it.

"No one could study like Mary Lyon, and no one could clean the
school-room with such despatch," said one of her classmates.

It seemed as if she never knew what it was to be tired. She appeared to
have a boundless store of strength and enthusiasm, as if, through all
her growing years, she had made over into the very fiber of her being
the energy of the life-giving sunshine and the patience of the enduring
hills. Time must be used wisely when all one's little hoard of savings
will only pay for the tuition of one precious term. Her board was paid
with two coverlets, spun, dyed, and woven by her own hands.

"They should prove satisfactory covers," she said merrily, "for they
have covered all my needs."

On the day when she thought she must bid farewell to Ashfield Academy
the trustees voted her free tuition, a gift which, as pupil-teacher,
she did her best to repay. The hospitable doors of Squire White's
dignified residence were thrown open to his daughter's chosen friend,
and in this second home she readily absorbed the ways of gracious
living--the niceties and refinements of dress and manners for which
there had been no time in the busy farm-house.

When the course at the academy was completed, the power of her eager
spirit and evident gifts led Squire White to offer her the means to go
with his daughter to Byfield Seminary near Boston, the school conducted
by Mr. Joseph Emerson, who believed that young women, no less than their
brothers, should have an opportunity for higher instruction. In those
days before colleges for women or normal schools, he dreamed of doing
something towards giving worthy preparation to future teachers. It was
through the teaching and inspiration of this cultured Harvard scholar
and large-hearted man that Mary Lyon learned to know the meaning of
life, and to understand aright the longings of her own soul. Years
afterward she said: "In my youth I had much vigor--was always aspiring
after something. I called it longing to study, but had few to direct me.
One teacher I shall always remember. He taught me that education was to
fit one to do good."

On leaving Byfield Seminary, Miss Lyon began her life-work of teaching.
But with all her preparation for doing and her intense desire to do, she
did not at first succeed. The matter of control was not easy to one who
would not stoop to rigid mechanical means and who said, "One has not
governed a child until she makes the child smile under her government."
Besides, her sense of humor--later one of her chief assets--seemed at
first to get in the way of her gaining a steady hold on the reins.

When she was tempted to give up in discouragement, she said to herself:
"I know that good teachers are needed, and that I ought to teach. 'All
that ought to be done can be done.'"

To one who worked earnestly in that spirit, success was sure. Five years
later, two towns were vying with each other to secure her as a teacher
in their academies for young ladies. For some time she taught at Derry,
New Hampshire, during the warm months, going to her beloved Ashfield for
the winter term. Wherever she was she drew pupils from the surrounding
towns and even from beyond the borders of the State. Teachers left their
schools to gather about her. She had the power to communicate something
of her own enthusiasm and vitality. Bright eyes and alert faces
testified to her power to quicken thought and to create an appetite for

"Her memory has been to me continually an inspiration to overcome
difficulties," said one of her pupils.

"You were the first friend who ever pointed out to me defects of
character with the expectation that they would be removed," another
pupil wrote in a letter of heartfelt gratitude.

At this time all the schools for girls, like the Ashfield Academy and
Mr. Emerson's seminary at Byfield, were entirely dependent upon the
enterprise and ideals of individuals. There were no colleges with
buildings and equipment, such as furnished dormitories, libraries, and
laboratories, belonging to the work and the future. In the case of the
most successful schools there was no guarantee that they would endure
beyond the lifetime of those whose interest had called them into being.

Miss Lyon taught happily for several years, often buying books of
reference and material for practical illustration out of her salary of
five or six dollars a week. The chance for personal influence seemed the
one essential. "Never mind the brick and mortar!" she cried. "Only let
us have the living minds to work upon!"

As experience came with the years, however, as she saw schools where a
hundred young women were crowded into one room without black-boards,
globes, maps, and other necessaries of instruction--she realized that
something must be done to secure higher schools for girls, that would
have the requisite material equipment for the present and security for
the future. "We must provide a college for young women on the same
conditions as those for men, with publicly owned buildings and fixed
standards of work," she said.

This idea could appeal to most people of that day only as a strange,
extravagant, and dangerous notion. Harvard and Yale existed to prepare
men to be ministers, doctors, and lawyers. Did women expect to thrust
themselves into the professions? Why should they want the learning of
men? It could do nothing but make them unfit for their proper life in
the home. Who had ever heard of a college for girls! What is unheard of
is to most people manifestly absurd.

To Mary Lyon, however, difficulties were opportunities for truer effort
and greater service. She had, besides, a faith in a higher power--in a
Divine Builder of "houses not made with hands"--which led her to say
with unshaken confidence, "'All that ought to be done can be done!'"

[Illustration: Mary Lyon chapel and administration hall]

It was as if she were able to look into the future and see the way time
would sift the works of the present. Those who looked into her earnest
blue eyes, bright with courage, deep with understanding, could not but
feel that she had the prophet's vision. It was as if she had power to
divine the difference between the difficult and the impossible, and,
knowing that, her faith in the happy outcome of her work was founded on
a rock.

It took this faith and hope, together with an unfailing charity for
the lack of vision in others and an ever-present sense of humor, to
carry Mary Lyon through the task to which she now set herself. She was
determined to open people's eyes to the need of giving girls a chance
for a training that would fit them for more useful living by making them
better teachers, wiser home-makers, and, in their own right, happier
human beings. She must not only convince the conservative men and women
of her day that education could do these things, but she must make
that conviction so strong that they would be willing to give of their
hard-earned substance to help along the good work.

Those were not the days of large fortunes. Miss Lyon could not depend
upon winning the interest of a few powerful benefactors. She must enlist
the support of the many who would be willing to share their little. She
must perforce have the hardihood of the pioneer, no less than the vision
of the seer, to enable her to meet the problems, trials, and rebuffs of
the next few years.

"I learned twenty years ago not to get out of patience," she once said
to some one who marveled at the unwearied good-humor with which she met
the most exasperating circumstances.

First enlisting the assistance of a few earnest men to serve as trustees
and promoters of the cause, she, herself, traveled from town to town,
from village to village, and from house to house, telling over and
over again the story of the Mount Holyoke to be, and what it was to
mean to the daughters of New England. For the site in South Hadley,
Massachusetts, had been early selected, and the name of the neighboring
height, overlooking the Connecticut River, chosen by the girl who was
born in the hills and who believed that it was good to climb.

"I wander about without a home," she wrote to her mother, "and scarcely
know one week where I shall be the next."

All of her journeying was by stage, for at that time the only railroad
in New England was the one, not yet completed, connecting Boston with
Worcester and Lowell. To those who feared that even her robust health
and radiant spirit could not long endure the strain of such a life, she
said: "Our personal comforts are delightful, but not essential. Mount
Holyoke means more than meat and sleep. Had I a thousand lives, I would
sacrifice them all in suffering and hardship for its sake."

During these years Miss Lyon abundantly proved that the pioneer does
not live by bread alone. Only by the vision of what his struggles will
mean to those who come after to profit by his labors is his zeal fed.
It seemed at the time when Mount Holyoke was only a dream of what might
be, and in the anxious days of breaking ground which followed, that
Miss Lyon's faith that difficulties are only opportunities in disguise
was tried to the utmost. Just when her enthusiasm was arousing in the
frugal, thrifty New Englanders a desire to give, out of their slender
savings, a great financial panic swept over the country.

Miss Lyon's friends shook their heads. "You will have to wait for better
times," they said. "It is impossible to go on with the undertaking now."

"When a thing ought to be done, it cannot be impossible," replied Miss
Lyon. "_Now_ is the only word that belongs to us; with the afterwhile we
have nothing to do."

In that spirit she went on, and in that spirit girls who had been her
pupils gave of their little stipends earned by teaching, and the mothers
of girls gave of the money earned by selling eggs and braiding palm-leaf

"Don't think any gift too small," said Miss Lyon. "I want the twenties
and the fifties, but the dollars and the half-dollars, with prayer, go a
long way."

So Mount Holyoke was built on faith and prayer and the gifts of the many
who believed that the time cried out for a means of educating girls who
longed for a better training. One hard-working farmer with five sons
to educate gave a hundred dollars. "I have no daughters of my own," he
said, "but I want to help give the daughters of America the chance they
should have along with the boys." Two delicate gentlewomen who had lost
their little property in the panic, earned with their own hands the
money they had pledged to the college.

Even Miss Lyon's splendid optimism had, however, some chill encounters
with smallmindedness in people who were not seldom those of large
opportunities. Once when she had journeyed a considerable distance to
lay her plans before a family of wealth and influence in the community,
she returned to her friends with a shade of thought on her cheerful
brow. "Yes, it is all true, just as I was told," she said as if to
herself. "They live in a costly house, it is full of costly things, they
wear costly clothes--but oh, they're _little bits of folks_!"

Miss Lyon, herself, gave to the work not only her entire capital of
physical strength and her gifts of heart and mind, but also her small
savings, which had been somewhat increased by Mr. White's prudent
investments. And for the future she offered her services on the same
conditions as those of the missionary--the means of simple livelihood
and the joy of the work.

"Mount Holyoke is designed to cultivate the missionary spirit among its
pupils," declared an early circular, "that they may live for God _and do

Always Miss Lyon emphasized the ideal of an education that should be
a training for service. To this end she decided upon the expedient
of coöperative housework to reduce running expenses, to develop
responsibility, and to provide healthful physical exercise. Long before
the day of gymnasiums and active sports, this educator recognized the
need of balanced development of physical as well as mental habits.

"We need to introduce wise and healthy ideals not only into our minds,
but into our muscles," she said. "Besides, there is no discipline so
valuable as that which comes from fitting our labors into the work of
others for a common good."

One difficulty after another was met and vanquished. When the digging
for the foundation of the first building was actually under way,
quicksand was discovered and another location had to be chosen. Then
it appeared that the bricks were faulty, which led to another delay.
After the work was resumed and all was apparently going well, the walls
suddenly collapsed. "Then," said the man in charge, "I did dread to see
Miss Lyon. Now, thought I, she will be discouraged."

As he hurried towards the ruins, however, whom should he meet but Miss
Lyon herself, smiling radiantly! "How fortunate it is that it happened
while the men were at breakfast!" she exclaimed. "I understand that no
one has been injured!"

The corner-stone was laid on a bright October day that seemed to have
turned all the gray chill of the dying year into a golden promise of
budding life after the time of frost.

"The stones and brick and mortar speak a language which vibrates through
my soul," said Miss Lyon. "I have indeed lived to see the time when a
body of gentlemen have ventured to lay the corner-stone of an edifice
which will cost about fifteen thousand dollars--and for an institution
for women! Surely the Lord hath remembered our low estate. The work will
not stop with this foundation. Our enterprise may have to struggle
through embarrassments for years, but its influence will be felt."

How lovingly she watched the work go on! When the interior was under
way, how carefully she considered each detail of closets, shelves, and
general arrangements for comfort and convenience! When the question
of equipment became urgent, how she worked to create an interest that
should express itself in gifts of bedroom furnishings, curtains,
crockery, and kitchen-ware, as well as books, desks, chairs, and
laboratory material! All sorts and conditions of contributions and
donations were welcomed. One was reminded of the way pioneer Harvard was
at first supported by gifts of "a cow or a sheep, corn or salt, a piece
of cloth or of silver plate." Four months before the day set for the
opening, not a third of the necessary furnishing had come in.

"Everything that is done for us now," cried Miss Lyon, "seems like
giving bread to the hungry and cold water to the thirsty!"

On the eighth of November, 1837, the day that Mount Holyoke opened
its door, all was excitement in South Hadley. Stages and private
carriages had for two days been arriving with road-weary, but eager,
young women. The sound of hammers greeted their ears. It appeared that
all the men, young and old, of the countryside had been pressed into
service. Some were tacking down carpet or matting, others were carrying
trunks, unloading furniture, and putting up beds. Miss Lyon seemed to
be everywhere, greeting each new-comer with a word that showed that she
already knew her as an individual, putting the shy and homesick girls to
work, taking a cup of tea to one who was overtired from her journey, and
directing the placing of furniture and the unpacking of supplies.

It might well have seemed to those first arrivals that they must
live through a period of preparation before a reluctant beginning of
regular work could be achieved, but in the midst of all the noise of
house-settling and the fever of uncompleted entrance examinations
the opening bell sounded on schedule time and classes began at once.
What seemed, at first glance, hopeless confusion became ordered and
stimulating activity through the generalship and inspiration of one
woman whose watchword was: "Do the best you can _now_. Do not lose one
golden opportunity for doing by merely getting ready to do something.
Always remember that what ought to be done can be done."

This spirit of assured power--the will to do--became the spirit of those
who worked with her, and was in time recognized as "the Mount Holyoke

"I can see Miss Lyon now as vividly as if it were only yesterday that I
arrived, tired, hungry, and fearful, into the strange new world of the
seminary," said a white-haired grandmother, her spectacles growing misty
as she looked back across the sixty-odd years that separated her from
the experiences that she was recalling.

"Tell me what you remember most about her," urged her vivacious
granddaughter, a Mount Holyoke freshman, home for her Christmas
vacation. "Was she really such a wonder as they all say?"

"Many pictures come to me of Miss Lyon that are much more vivid than
those of people I saw yesterday," pondered the grandmother. "But it
was, I think, in morning exercises in seminary hall that she impressed
us most. Those who listened to her earnest words and looked into her
face alight with feeling could not but remember. Her large blue eyes
looked down upon us as if she held us all in her heart. What was the
secret of her power! My dear, she _was power_. All that she taught, she
was. And so while her words awakened, her example--the life-giving touch
of her life--gave power to do and to endure."

The young girl's bright face was turned thoughtfully towards the fire,
but the light that shone in her eyes was more than the reflected glow
from the cheerful logs. "It is good to think that a woman can live like
that in her work," she ventured softly.

The grandmother's face showed an answering glow. "There are some things
that cannot grow old and die," she said. "One of them is a spirit like
Mary Lyon's. When they told us that she had died, we knew that only her
bodily presence had been removed. She still lived in our midst--we heard
the ring of her voice in the words we read, in the words our hearts
told us she would say; we even heard the ring of her laugh! And to-day
you may be sure that the woman-pioneer who had the faith to plant the
first college for women in America, lives by that faith, not only in her
own Mount Holyoke, but in the larger lives of all the women who have
profited by her labors."


    Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
    And grow forever and forever.



This is the story of a princess of our own time and our own America--a
princess who, while little more than a girl herself, was chosen to
rule a kingdom of girls. It is a little like the story of Tennyson's
"Princess," with her woman's kingdom, and very much like the happy,
old-fashioned fairy-tale.

We have come to think it is only in fairy-tales that a golden destiny
finds out the true, golden heart, and, even though she masquerades as
a goose-girl, discovers the "kingly child" and brings her to a waiting
throne. We are tempted to believe that the chance of birth and the gifts
of wealth are the things that spell opportunity and success. But this
princess was born in a little farm-house, to a daily round of hard work
and plain living. That it was also a life of high thinking and rich
enjoyment of what each day brought, proved her indeed a "kingly child."

"Give me health and a day, and I will make the pomp of emperors
ridiculous!" said the sage of Concord. So it was with little Alice
Freeman. As she picked wild strawberries on the hills, and climbed the
apple-tree to lie for a blissful minute in a nest of swaying blossoms
under the blue sky, she was, as she said, "happy all over." The
trappings of royalty can add nothing to one who knows how to be royally
happy in gingham.

But Alice was not always following the pasture path to her friendly
brook, or running across the fields with the calling wind, or dancing
with her shadow in the barn-yard, where even the prosy hens stopped
pecking corn for a minute to watch. She had work to do for Mother.
When she was only four, she could dry the dishes without dropping one;
and when she was six, she could be trusted to keep the three toddlers
younger than herself out of mischief.

"My little daughter is learning to be a real little mother," said Mrs.
Freeman, as she went about her work of churning and baking without an
anxious thought.

[Illustration: Alice Freeman Palmer]

It was Sister Alice who pointed out the robin's nest, and found funny
turtles and baby toads to play with. She took the little brood with her
to hunt eggs in the barn and to see the ducks sail around like a fleet
of boats on the pond. When Ella and Fred were wakened by a fearsome
noise at night, they crept up close to their little mother, who told
them a story about the funny screech-owl in its hollow-tree home.

"It is the ogre of mice and bats, but not of little boys and girls," she

"It sounds funny now, Alice," they whispered. "It's all right when we
can touch you."

When Alice was seven a change came in the home. The father and mother
had some serious talks, and then it was decided that Father should go
away for a time, for two years, to study to be a doctor.

"It is hard to be chained to one kind of life when all the time you are
sure that you have powers and possibilities that have never had a chance
to come out in the open," she heard her father say one evening. "I have
always wanted to be a doctor; I can never be more than a half-hearted

"You must go to Albany now, James," said the dauntless wife. "I can
manage the farm until you get through your course at the medical
college; and then, when you are doing work into which you can put your
whole heart, a better time must come for all of us."

"How can you possibly get along?" he asked in amazement. "How can I
leave you for two years to be a farmer, and father and mother, too?"

"There is a little bank here," she said, taking down a jar from a high
shelf in the cupboard and jingling its contents merrily. "I have been
saving bit by bit for just this sort of thing. And Alice will help me,"
she added, smiling at the child who had been standing near looking from
father to mother in wide-eyed wonder. "You will be the little mother
while I take father's place for a time, won't you, Alice?"

"It will be cruelly hard on you all," said the father, soberly. "I
cannot make it seem right."

"Think how much good you can do afterward," urged his wife. "The time
will go very quickly when we are all thinking of that. It is not hard
to endure for a little for the sake of 'a gude time coming'--a better
time not only for us, but for many besides. For I know you will be the
true sort of doctor, James."

Alice never quite knew how they did manage during those two years, but
she was quite sure that work done for the sake of a good to come is all

"I owe much of what I am to my milkmaid days," she said.

She was always sorry for children who do not grow up with the sights and
sounds of the country. "One is very near to all the simple, real things
of life on a farm," she used to say. "There is a dewy freshness about
the early out-of-door experiences, and a warm wholesomeness about tasks
that are a part of the common lot. A country child develops, too, a
responsibility--a power to do and to contrive--that the city child, who
sees everything come ready to hand from a near-by store, cannot possibly
gain. However much some of my friends may deplore my own early struggle
with poverty and hard work, I can heartily echo George Eliot's boast:

    "But were another childhood-world my share,
    I would be born a little sister there."

When Alice was ten years old, the family moved from the farm to the
village of Windsor, where Dr. Freeman entered upon his life as a doctor,
and where Alice's real education began. From the time she was four she
had, for varying periods, sat on a bench in the district school, but for
the most part she had taught herself. At Windsor Academy she had the
advantage of a school of more than average efficiency.

"Words do not tell what this old school and place meant to me as a
girl," she said years afterward. "Here we gathered abundant Greek,
Latin, French, and mathematics; here we were taught truthfulness, to be
upright and honorable; here we had our first loves, our first ambitions,
our first dreams, and some of our first disappointments. We owe a large
debt to Windsor Academy for the solid groundwork of education that it

More important than the excellent curriculum and wholesome associations,
however, was the influence of a friendship with one of the teachers, a
young Harvard graduate who was supporting himself while preparing for
the ministry. He recognized the rare nature and latent powers of the
girl of fourteen, and taught her the delights of friendship with Nature
and with books, and the joy of a mind trained to see and appreciate. He
gave her an understanding of herself, and aroused the ambition, which
grew into a fixed resolve, to go to college. But more than all, he
taught her the value of personal influence.

"It is people that count," she used to say. "The truth and beauty that
are locked up in books and in nature, to which only a few have the key,
begin really to live when they are made over into human character.
Disembodied ideas may mean little or nothing; it is when they are 'made
flesh' that they can speak to our hearts and minds."

As Alice drove about with her father when he went to see his patients
and saw how this true "doctor of the old school" was a physician to the
mind as well as the body of those who turned to him for help, she came
to a further realization of the truth: It is people that count.

"It must be very depressing to have to associate with bodies and their
ills all the time," she ventured one day when her father seemed more
than usually preoccupied. She never forgot the light that shone in his
eyes as he turned and looked at her.

"We can't begin to minister to the body until we understand that spirit
is all," he said. "What we are pleased to call _body_ is but one
expression--and a most marvelous expression--of the hidden life

                        "that impels
    All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
    And rolls through all things."

It seemed to Alice that this might be a favorable time to broach the
subject of college. He looked at her in utter amazement; few girls
thought of wanting more than a secondary education in those days, and
there were still fewer opportunities for them.

"Why, daughter," he exclaimed, "a little more Latin and mathematics
won't make you a better home-maker! Why should you set your heart on
this thing?"

"I must go, Father," she answered steadily. "It is not a sudden notion;
I have realized for a long time that I cannot live my life--the life
that I feel I have it within me to live--without this training. I want
to be a teacher--the best kind of a teacher--just as you wanted to be a

"But, my dear child," he protested, much troubled, "it will be as much
as we can manage to see one of you through college, and that one should
be Fred, who will have a family to look out for one of these days."

"If you let me have this chance, Father," said Alice, earnestly, "I'll
promise that you will never regret it. I'll help to give Fred his
chance, and see that the girls have the thing they want as well."

In the end Alice had her way. It seemed as if the strength of her
single-hearted longing had power to compel a reluctant fate. In June,
1872, when but a little over seventeen, she went to Ann Arbor to take
the entrance examinations for the University of Michigan, a careful
study of catalogues having convinced her that the standard of work was
higher there than in any college then open to women.

A disappointment met her at the outset. Her training at Windsor,
good as it was, did not prepare her for the university requirements.
"Conditions" loomed mountain high, and the examiners recommended that
she spend another year in preparation. Her intelligence and character
had won the interest of President Angell, however, and he asked that she
be granted a six-weeks' trial. His confidence in her was justified; for
she not only proved her ability to keep up with her class, but steadily
persevered in her double task until all conditions were removed.

The college years were "a glory instead of a grind," in spite of the
ever-pressing necessity for strict economy in the use of time and
money. Her sense of values--"the ability to see large things large
and small things small," which has been called the best measure of
education,--showed a wonderful harmony of powers. While the mind was
being stored with knowledge and the intellect trained to clear, orderly
thinking, there was never a "too-muchness" in this direction that
meant a "not-enoughness" in the realm of human relationships. Always
she realized that it is people that count, and her supreme test of
education as of life was its "consecrated serviceableness." President
Angell in writing of her said:

    One of her most striking characteristics in college was her
    warm and demonstrative sympathy with her circle of friends.
    Her soul seemed bubbling over with joy, which she wished to
    share with the other girls. While she was therefore in the most
    friendly relations with all those girls then in college, she
    was the radiant center of a considerable group whose tastes
    were congenial with her own. Without assuming or striving for
    leadership, she could not but be to a certain degree a leader
    among these, some of whom have attained positions only less
    conspicuous for usefulness than her own. Wherever she went, her
    genial, outgoing spirit seemed to carry with her an atmosphere
    of cheerfulness and joy.

In the middle of her junior year, news came from her father of a more
than usual financial stress, owing to a flood along the Susquehanna,
which had swept away his hope of present gain from a promising stretch
of woodland. It seemed clear to Alice that the time had come when she
must make her way alone. Through the recommendation of President Angell
she secured a position as teacher of Latin and Greek in the High School
at Ottawa, Illinois, where she taught for five months, receiving enough
money to carry her through the remainder of her college course. The
omitted junior work was made up partly during the summer vacation and
partly in connection with the studies of the senior year. An extract
from a letter home will tell how the busy days went:

    This is the first day of vacation. I have been so busy this
    year that it seems good to get a change, even though I do keep
    right on here at work. For some time I have been giving a young
    man lessons in Greek every Saturday. I have had two junior
    speeches already, and there are still more. Several girls from
    Flint tried to have me go home with them for the vacation, but I
    made up my mind to stay and do what I could for myself and the
    other people here. A young Mr. M. is going to recite to me every
    day in Virgil; so with teaching and all the rest I sha'n't have
    time to be homesick, though it will seem rather lonely when the
    other girls are gone and I don't hear the college bell for two

Miss Freeman's early teaching showed the vitalizing spirit that marked
all of her relations with people.

"She had a way of making you feel 'all dipped in sunshine,'" one of her
girls said.

"Everything she taught seemed a part of herself," another explained. "It
wasn't just something in a book that she had to teach and you had to
learn. She made every page of our history seem a part of present life
and interests. We saw and felt the things we talked about."

The fame of this young teacher's influence traveled all the way from
Michigan, where she was principal of the Saginaw High School, to
Massachusetts. Mr. Henry Durant, the founder of Wellesley, asked her
to come to the new college as teacher of mathematics. She declined the
call, however, and, a year later, a second and more urgent invitation.
Her family had removed to Saginaw, where Dr. Freeman was slowly building
up a practice, and it would mean leaving a home that needed her. The
one brother was now in the university; Ella was soon to be married; and
Stella, the youngest, who was most like Alice in temperament and tastes,
was looking forward hopefully to college.

But at the time when Dr. Freeman was becoming established and the
financial outlook began to brighten, the darkest days that the family
had ever known were upon them. Stella, the chief joy and hope of them
all, fell seriously ill. The "little mother" loved this "starlike girl"
as her own child, and looked up to her as one who would reach heights
her feet could never climb. When she died it seemed to Alice that she
had lost the one chance for a perfectly understanding and inspiring
comradeship that life offered. At this time a third call came to
Wellesley,--as head of the department of history,--and hoping that a new
place with new problems would give her a fresh hold on joy, she accepted.

Into her college work the young woman of twenty-four put all the power
and richness of her radiant personality. She found peace and happiness
in untiring effort, and her girls found in her the most inspiring
teacher they had ever known. She went to the heart of the history she
taught, and she went to the hearts of her pupils.

"She seemed to care for each of us--to find each as interesting and
worth while as if there were no other person in the world," one of her
students said.

Mr. Durant had longed to find just such a person to build on the
foundation he had laid. It was in her first year that he pointed her out
to one of the trustees.

"Do you see that little dark-eyed girl? She will be the next president
of Wellesley," he said.

"Surely she is much too young and inexperienced for such a
responsibility," protested the other, looking at him in amazement.

"As for the first, it is a fault we easily outgrow," said Mr. Durant,
dryly, "and as for her inexperience--well, I invite you to visit one of
her classes."

The next year, on the death of Mr. Durant, she was made acting president
of the college, and the year following she inherited the title and
honors, as well as the responsibilities and opportunities, of the
office. The Princess had come into her kingdom.

The election caused a great stir among the students, particularly the
irrepressible seniors. It was wonderful and most inspiring that their
splendid Miss Freeman, who was the youngest member of the faculty,
should have won this honor. "Why, she was only a girl like themselves!
The time of strict observances and tiresome regulations of every sort
was at an end. Miss Freeman seemed to sense the prevailing mood, and,
without waiting for a formal assembly, asked the seniors to meet her
in her rooms. In they poured, overflowing chairs, tables, and ranging
themselves about on the floor in animated, expectant groups. The new
head of the college looked at them quietly for a minute before she began
to speak.

"I have sent for you seniors," she said at last seriously, "to ask your
advice. You may have heard that I have been called to the position
of acting president of your college. I am, of course, too young; and
the duties are, as you know, too heavy for the strongest to carry
alone. If I must manage alone, there is only one course--to decline.
It has, however, occurred to me that my seniors might be willing to
help by looking after the order of the college and leaving me free for
administration. Shall I accept? Shall we work things out together?"

The hearty response made it clear that the princess was to rule not
only by "divine right," but also by the glad "consent of the governed."
Perhaps it was her youth and charm and the romance of her brilliant
success that won for her the affectionate title of "The Princess";
perhaps it was her undisputed sway in her kingdom of girls. It was said
that her radiant, "outgoing spirit" was felt in the atmosphere of the
place and in all the graduates. Her spirit became the Wellesley spirit.

"What did she do besides turning all of you into an adoring band of
Freeman-followers?" a Wellesley woman was asked.

The reply came without a moment's hesitation: "She had the life-giving
power of a true creator, one who can entertain a vision of the ideal,
and then work patiently bit by bit to 'carve it in the marble real.'
She built the Wellesley we all know and love, making it practical,
constructive, fine, generous, human, spiritual."

For six years the Princess of Wellesley ruled her kingdom wisely. She
raised the standard of work, enlisted the interest and support of those
in a position to help, added to the buildings and equipment, and won the
enthusiastic cooperation of students, faculty, and public. Then, one
day, she voluntarily stepped down from her throne, leaving others to go
on with the work she had begun. She married Professor George Herbert
Palmer of Harvard, and, (quite in the manner of the fairy-tale) "lived
happily ever after."

"What a disappointment!" some of her friends said. "That a woman of such
unusual powers and gifts should deliberately leave a place of large
usefulness and influence to shut herself up in the concerns of a single

"There is nothing better than the making of a true home," said Alice
Freeman Palmer. "I shall not be shut away from the concerns of others,
but more truly a part of them. 'For love is fellow-service,' I believe."

The home near Harvard Yard was soon felt to be the most free and perfect
expression of her generous nature. Its happiness made all life seem
happier. Shy undergraduates and absorbed students who had withdrawn
overmuch within themselves and their pet problems found there a thaw
after their "winter of discontent." Wellesley girls--even in those days
before automobiles--did not feel fifteen miles too great a distance to
go for a cup of tea and a half-hour by the fire.

[Illustration: College Hall, destroyed by fire in 1914]

[Illustration: Tower Court, which stands on the site of College Hall]

Many were surprised that Mrs. Palmer never seemed worn by the
unstinted giving of herself to the demands of others on her time and
sympathy. The reason was that their interests were her interests. Her
spirit was indeed "outgoing"; there was no wall hedging in a certain
number of things and people as hers, with the rest of the world outside.
As we have seen, people counted with her supremely; and the ideas which
moved her were those which she found embodied in the joys and sorrows of
human hearts.

Mrs. Palmer wrote of her days at this time:

    I don't know what will happen if life keeps on growing so
    much better and brighter each year. How does your cup manage to
    hold so much? Mine is running over, and I keep getting larger
    cups; but I can't contain all my blessings and gladness. We are
    both so well and busy that the days are never half long enough.

Life held, indeed, a full measure of opportunities for service.
Wellesley claimed her as a member of its executive committee, and other
colleges sought her counsel. When Chicago University was founded, she
was induced to serve as its Dean of Women until the opportunities for
girls there were wisely established. She worked energetically raising
funds for Radcliffe and her own Wellesley. Throughout the country her
wisdom as an educational expert was recognized, and her advice sought
in matters of organization and administration. For several years, as a
member of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, she worked early
and late to improve the efficiency and influence of the normal schools.
She was a public servant who brought into all her contact with groups
and masses of people the simple directness and intimate charm that
marked her touch with individuals.

"How is it that you are able to do so much more than other people?"
asked a tired, nervous woman, who stopped Mrs. Palmer for a word at the
close of one of her lectures.

"Because," she answered, with the sudden gleam of a smile, "I haven't
any nerves nor any conscience, and my husband says I haven't any

It was true that she never worried. She had early learned to live one
day at a time, without "looking before and after." And nobody knew
better than Mrs. Palmer the renewing power of joy. She could romp with
some of her very small friends in the half-hour before an important
meeting; go for a long walk or ride along country lanes when a vexing
problem confronted her; or spend a quiet evening by the fire reading
aloud from one of her favorite poets at the end of a busy day.

For fifteen years Mrs. Palmer lived this life of joyful, untiring
service. Then, at the time of her greatest power and usefulness, she
died. The news came as a personal loss to thousands. Just as Wellesley
had mourned her removal to Cambridge, so a larger world mourned her
earthly passing. But her friends soon found that it was impossible to
grieve or to feel for a moment that she was dead. The echoes of her life
were living echoes in the world of those who knew her.

There are many memorials speaking in different places of her work. In
the chapel at Wellesley, where it seems to gather at every hour a golden
glory of light, is the lovely transparent marble by Daniel Chester
French, eternally bearing witness to the meaning of her influence with
her girls. In the tower at Chicago the chimes "make music, joyfully to
recall," her labors there. But more lasting than marble or bronze is the
living memorial in the hearts and minds "made better by her presence."
For it is, indeed, people that count, and in the richer lives of many
the enkindling spirit of Alice Freeman Palmer still lives.


    Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,--
    Himself, his hungering neighbor, and Me.

        "The Vision of Sir Launfal."--LOWELL.


"A Christmas baby! Now isn't that the best kind of a Christmas gift for
us all?" cried Captain Stephen Barton, who took the interesting flannel
bundle from the nurse's arms and held it out proudly to the assembled

No longed-for heir to a waiting kingdom could have received a more royal
welcome than did that little girl who appeared at the Barton home in
Oxford, Massachusetts, on Christmas Day, 1821. Ten years had passed
since a child had come to the comfortable farm-house, and the four big
brothers and sisters were very sure that they could not have had a more
precious gift than this Christmas baby. No one doubted that she deserved
a distinguished name, but it was due to Sister Dorothy, who was a young
lady of romantic seventeen and something of a reader, that she was
called Clarissa Harlowe, after a well-known heroine of fiction. The name
which this heroine of real life actually bore and made famous, however,
was Clara Barton; for the Christmas baby proved to be a gift not only
to a little group of loving friends, but also to a great nation and to

The sisters and brothers were teachers rather than playmates for Clara,
and her education began so early that she had no recollection of the way
they led her toddling steps through the beginnings of book-learning. On
her first day at school she announced to the amazed teacher who tried to
put a primer into her hands that she could spell the "artichoke words."
The teacher had other surprises besides the discovery that this mite of
three was acquainted with three-syllabled lore.

Brother Stephen, who was a wizard with figures, had made the sums with
which he covered her slate seem a fascinating sort of play at a period
when most infants are content with counting the fingers of one hand. All
other interests, however, paled before the stories that her father told
her of great men and their splendid deeds.

Captain Barton was amused one day at the discovery that his precocious
daughter, who always eagerly encored his tales of conquerors and
leaders, thought of their greatness in images of quite literal and
realistic bigness. A president must, for instance, be as large as a
house, and a vice-president as spacious as a barn door at the very
least. But these somewhat crude conceptions did not put a check on the
epic recitals of the retired officer, who, in the intervals of active
service in plowed fields or in pastures where his thoroughbreds grazed
with their mettlesome colts, liked to live over the days when he served
under "Mad Anthony" Wayne in the Revolutionary War, and had a share in
the thrilling adventures of the Western frontier.

Clara was only five years old when Brother David taught her to ride.
"Learning to ride is just learning a horse," said this daring youth, who
was the "Buffalo Bill" of the surrounding country.

"How can I learn a horse, David?" quavered the child, as the
high-spirited animals came whinnying to the pasture bars at her
brother's call.

"Catch hold of his mane, Clara, and just feel the horse a part of
yourself--the big half for the time being," said David, as he put her on
the back of a colt that was broken only to bit and halter, and, easily
springing on his favorite, held the reins of both in one hand, while he
steadied the small sister with the other by seizing hold of one excited

They went over the fields at a gallop that first day, and soon little
Clara and her mount understood each other so well that her riding feats
became almost as far-famed as those of her brother. The time came when
her skill and confidence on horseback--her power to feel the animal she
rode a part of herself and keep her place in any sort of saddle through
night-long gallops--meant the saving of many lives.

David taught her many other practical things that helped to make her
steady and self-reliant in the face of emergencies. She learned, for
instance, to drive a nail straight, and to tie a knot that would hold.
Eye and hand were trained to work together with quick decision that made
for readiness and efficiency in dealing with a situation, whether it
meant the packing of a box, or first-aid measures after an accident on
the skating-pond.

She was always an outdoor child, with dogs, horses, and ducks for
playfellows. The fuzzy ducklings were the best sort of dolls. Sometimes
when wild ducks visited the pond and all her waddling favorites began to
flap their wings excitedly, it seemed that her young heart felt, too,
the call of large, free spaces.

"The only real fun is to do things," she used to say.

She rode after the cows, helped in the milking and churning, and
followed her father about, dropping potatoes in their holes or helping
weed the garden. Once, when the house was being painted, she begged to
be allowed to assist in the work, even learning to grind the pigments
and mix the colors. The family was at first amused and then amazed at
the persistency of her application as day after day she donned her apron
and fell to work.

They were not less astonished when she wanted to learn the work of the
weavers in her brothers' satinet mills. At first, her mother refused
this extraordinary request; but Stephen, who understood the intensity
of her craving to do things, took her part; and at the end of her first
week at the flying shuttle Clara had the satisfaction of finding that
her cloth was passed as first-quality goods. Her career as a weaver was
of short duration, however, owing to a fire which destroyed the mills.

The young girl was as enthusiastic in play as at work. Whether it was a
canter over the fields on Billy while her dog, Button, dashed along at
her side, his curly white tail bobbing ecstatically, or a coast down the
rolling hills in winter, she entered into the sport of the moment with
her whole heart.

When there was no outlet for her superabundant energy, she was genuinely
unhappy. Then it was that a self-consciousness and morbid sensitiveness
became so evident that it was a source of real concern to her friends.

"People say that I must have been born brave," said Clara Barton.
"Why, I seem to remember nothing but terrors in my early days. I was a
shrinking little bundle of fears--fears of thunder, fears of strange
faces, fears of my strange self." It was only when thought and feeling
were merged in the zest of some interesting activity that she lost her
painful shyness and found herself.

When she was eleven years old she had her first experience as a nurse.
A fall which gave David a serious blow on the head, together with the
bungling ministrations of doctors, who, when in doubt, had recourse only
to the heroic treatment of bleeding and leeches, brought the vigorous
young brother to a protracted invalidism. For two years Clara was his
constant and devoted attendant. She schooled herself to remain calm,
cheerful, and resourceful in the presence of suffering and exacting
demands. When others gave way to fatigue or "nerves," her wonderful
instinct for action kept her, child though she was, at her post. Her
sympathy expressed itself in untiring service.

In the years that followed her brother's recovery Clara became a real
problem to herself and her friends. The old blighting sensitiveness made
her school-days restless and unhappy in spite of her alert mind and many

At length her mother, at her wit's end because of this baffling,
morbid strain in her remarkable daughter, was advised by a man of
sane judgment and considerable understanding of child nature, to throw
responsibility upon her and give her a school to teach.

It happened, therefore, that when Clara Barton was fifteen she "put
down her skirts, put up her hair," and entered upon her successful
career as a teacher. She liked the children and believed in them,
entering enthusiastically into their concerns, and opening the way
to new interests. When asked how she managed the discipline of the
troublesome ones, she said, "The children give no trouble; I never
have to discipline at all," quite unconscious of the fact that her
vital influence gave her a control that made assertion of authority

"When the boys found that I was as strong as they were and could teach
them something on the playground, they thought that perhaps we might
discover together a few other worth-while things in school hours," she

For eighteen years Clara Barton was a teacher. Always learning herself
while teaching others, she decided in 1852 to enter Clinton Liberal
Institute in New York as a pupil for graduation, for there was then
no college whose doors were open to women. When she had all that the
Institute could give her, she looked about for new fields for effort.

In Bordentown, New Jersey, she found there was a peculiar need for some
one who would bring to her task pioneer zeal as well as the passion for
teaching. At that time there were no public schools in the town or,
indeed, in the State.

"The people who pose as respectable are too proud and too prejudiced to
send their boys and girls to a free pauper school, and in the meantime
all the children run wild," Miss Barton was told.

"We have tried again and again," said a discouraged young pedagogue. "It
is impossible to do anything in this place."

"Give me three months, and I will teach free," said Clara Barton.

This was just the sort of challenge she loved. There was something to
be done. She began with six unpromising gamins in a dilapidated, empty
building. In a month her quarters proved too narrow. Each youngster
became an enthusiastic and effectual advertisement. As always, her
success lay in an understanding of her pupils as individuals, and
a quickening interest that brought out the latent possibilities of
each. The school of six grew in a year to one of six hundred, and the
thoroughly converted citizens built an eight-room school-house where
Miss Barton remained as principal and teacher until a breakdown of her
voice made a complete rest necessary.

The weak throat soon made it evident that her teaching days were over;
but she found at the same time in Washington, where she had gone for
recuperation, a new work.

"Living is doing," she said. "Even while we say there is nothing we can
do, we stumble over the opportunities for service that we are passing by
in our tear-blinded self-pity."

The over-sensitive girl had learned her lesson well. Life offered moment
by moment too many chances for action for a single worker to turn aside
to bemoan his own particular condition.

The retired teacher became a confidential secretary in the office of
the Commissioner of Patents. Great confusion existed in the Patent
Office at that time because some clerks had betrayed the secrets of
certain inventions. Miss Barton was the first woman to be employed in a
Government department; and while ably handling the critical situation
that called for all her energy and resourcefulness, she had to cope
not only with the scarcely veiled enmity of those fellow-workers who
were guilty or jealous, but also with the open antagonism of the rank
and file of the clerks, who were indignant because a woman had been
placed in a position of responsibility and influence. She endured covert
slander and deliberate disrespect, letting her character and the quality
of her work speak for themselves. They spoke so eloquently that when
a change in political control caused her removal, she was before long
recalled to straighten out the tangle that had ensued.

At the outbreak of the Civil War Miss Barton was, therefore, at the very

The early days of the conflict found her binding up the wounds of the
Massachusetts boys who had been attacked by a mob while passing through
Baltimore, and who for a time were quartered in the Capitol. Some of
these recruits were boys from Miss Barton's own town who had been her
pupils, and all were dear to her because they were offering their lives
for the Union. We find her with other volunteer nurses caring for the
injured, feeding groups who gathered about her in the Senate Chamber,
and, from the desk of the President of the Senate, reading them the home
news from the Worcester papers.

Meeting the needs as they presented themselves in that time of general
panic and distress, she sent to the Worcester "Spy" appeals for money
and supplies. Other papers took up the work, and soon Miss Barton had to
secure space in a large warehouse to hold the provisions that poured in.

Not for many days, however, did she remain a steward of supplies. When
she met the transports which brought the wounded into the city, her
whole nature revolted at the sight of the untold suffering and countless
deaths which were resulting from delay in caring for the injured. Her
flaming ardor, her rare executive ability, and her tireless persistency
won for her the confidence of those in command, and, though it was
against all traditions, to say nothing of iron-clad army regulations,
she obtained permission to go with her stores of food, bandages, and
medicines to the firing-line, where relief might be given on the
battle-field at the time of direst need. The girl who had been a "bundle
of fears" had grown into the woman who braved every danger and any
suffering to carry help to her fellow-countrymen.

People who spoke of her rare initiative and practical judgment had
little comprehension of the absolute simplicity and directness of her
methods. She managed the sulky, rebellious drivers of her army-wagons,
who had little respect for orders that placed a woman in control, in the
same way that she had managed children in school. Without relaxing her
firmness, she spoke to them courteously, and called them to share the
warm dinner she had prepared and spread out in appetizing fashion. When,
after clearing away the dishes, she was sitting alone by the fire, the
men returned in an awkward, self-conscious group.

"We didn't come to get warm," said their spokesman, as she kindly
moved to make room for them at the flames, "we come to tell you we are
ashamed. The truth is we didn't want to come. We know there is fighting
ahead, and we've seen enough of that for men who don't carry muskets,
only whips; and then we've never seen a train under charge of a woman
before, and we couldn't understand it. We've been mean and contrary all
day, and you've treated us as if we'd been the general and his staff,
and given us the best meal we've had in two years. We want to ask your
forgiveness, and we sha'n't trouble you again."

She found that a comfortable bed had been arranged for her in her
ambulance, a lantern was hanging from the roof, and when next morning
she emerged from her shelter, a steaming breakfast awaited her and a
devoted corps of assistants stood ready for orders.

"I had cooked my last meal for my drivers," said Clara Barton. "These
men remained with me six months through frost and snow and march and
camp and battle; they nursed the sick, dressed the wounded, soothed the
dying, and buried the dead; and, if possible, they grew kinder and
gentler every day."

An incident that occurred at Antietam is typical of her quiet
efficiency. According to her directions, the wounded were being fed with
bread and crackers moistened in wine, when one of her assistants came to
report that the entire supply was exhausted, while many helpless ones
lay on the field unfed. Miss Barton's quick eye had noted that the boxes
from which the wine was taken had fine Indian meal as packing. Six large
kettles were at once unearthed from the farm-house in which they had
taken quarters, and soon her men were carrying buckets of hot gruel for
miles over the fields where lay hundreds of wounded and dying. Suddenly,
in the midst of her labors, Miss Barton came upon the surgeon in charge
sitting alone, gazing at a small piece of tallow candle which flickered
uncertainly in the middle of the table.

"Tired, Doctor?" she asked sympathetically.

"Tired indeed!" he replied bitterly; "tired of such heartless neglect
and carelessness. What am I to do for my thousand wounded men with
night here and that inch of candle all the light I have or can get?"

Miss Barton took him by the arm and led him to the door, where he could
see near the barn scores of lanterns gleaming like stars.

"What is that!" he asked amazedly.

"The barn is lighted," she replied, "and the house will be directly."

"Where did you get them!" he gasped.

"Brought them with me."

"How many have you?"

"All you want--four boxes."

The surgeon looked at her for a moment as if he were waking from a
dream; and then, as if it were the only answer he could make, fell to
work. And so it was invariably that she won her complete command of
people as she did of situations, by always proving herself equal to the
emergency of the moment.

Though, as she said in explaining the tardiness of a letter, "my hands
complain a little of unaccustomed hardships," she never complained of
any ill, nor allowed any danger or difficulty to interrupt her work.

"What are my puny ailments beside the agony of our poor shattered
boys lying helpless on the field?" she said. And so, while doctors and
officers wondered at her unlimited capacity for prompt and effective
action, the men who had felt her sympathetic touch and effectual aid
loved and revered her as "The Angel of the Battlefield."

One incident well illustrates the characteristic confidence with which
she moved about amid scenes of terror and panic. At Fredericksburg,
when "every street was a firing-line and every house a hospital," she
was passing along when she had to step aside to allow a regiment of
infantry to sweep by. At that moment General Patrick caught sight of
her, and, thinking she was a bewildered resident of the city who had
been left behind in the general exodus, leaned from his saddle and said

"You are alone and in great danger, madam. Do you want protection?"

Miss Barton thanked him with a smile, and said, looking about at the
ranks, "I believe I am the best-protected woman in the United States."

The soldiers near overheard and cried out, "That's so! that's so!" And
the cheer that they gave was echoed by line after line until a mighty
shout went up as for a victory.

The courtly old general looked about comprehendingly, and, bowing low,
said as he galloped away, "I believe you are right, madam."

Clara Barton was present on sixteen battle-fields; she was eight months
at the siege of Charleston, and served for a considerable period in the
hospitals of Richmond.

[Illustration: Clara Barton]

When the war was ended and the survivors of the great armies were
marching homeward, her heart was touched by the distress in many
homes where sons and fathers and brothers were among those listed as
"missing." In all, there were 80,000 men of whom no definite report
could be given to their friends. She was assisting President Lincoln in
answering the hundreds of heartbroken letters, imploring news, which
poured in from all over the land when his tragic death left her alone
with the task. Then, as no funds were available to finance a thorough
investigation of every sort of record of States, hospitals, prisons,
and battle-fields, she maintained out of her own means a bureau to
prosecute the search.

Four years were spent in this great labor, during which time Miss
Barton made many public addresses, the proceeds of which were devoted
to the cause. One evening in the winter of 1868, while in the midst
of a lecture, her voice suddenly left her. This was the beginning of
a complete nervous collapse. The hardships and prolonged strain had,
in spite of her robust constitution and iron will, told at last on the
endurance of that loyal worker.

When able to travel, she went to Geneva, Switzerland, in the hope of
winning back her health and strength. Soon after her arrival she was
visited by the president and members of the "International Committee
for the Relief of the Wounded in War," who came to learn why the United
States had refused to sign the Treaty of Geneva, providing for the
relief of sick and wounded soldiers. Of all the civilized nations, our
great republic alone most unaccountably held aloof.

Miss Barton at once set herself to learn all she could about the
ideals and methods of the International Red Cross, and during the
Franco-Prussian War she had abundant opportunity to see and experience
its practical working on the battle-field.

At the outbreak of the war in 1870 she was urged to go as a leader,
taking the same part that she had borne in the Civil War.

"I had not strength to trust for that," said Clara Barton, "and declined
with thanks, promising to follow in my own time and way; and I did
follow within a week. As I journeyed on," she continued, "I saw the
work of these Red Cross societies in the field accomplishing in four
months under their systematic organization what we failed to accomplish
in four years without it--no mistakes, no needless suffering, no waste,
no confusion, but order, plenty, cleanliness, and comfort wherever
that little flag made its way--a whole continent marshaled under the
banner of the Red Cross. As I saw all this and joined and worked in it,
you will not wonder that I said to myself 'if I live to return to my
country, I will try to make my people understand the Red Cross and that

Months of service in caring for the wounded and the helpless victims
of siege and famine were followed by a period of nervous exhaustion
from which she but slowly crept back to her former hold on health. At
last she was able to return to America to devote herself to bringing
her country into line with the Red Cross movement. She found that
traditionary prejudice against "entangling alliances with other powers,"
together with a singular failure to comprehend the vital importance of
the matter, militated against the great cause.

"Why should we make provision for the wounded?" it was said. "We shall
never have another war; we have learned our lesson."

It came to Miss Barton then that the work of the Red Cross should
be extended to disasters, such as fires, floods, earthquakes, and
epidemics--"great public calamities which require, like war, prompt and
well-organized help."

Years of devoted missionary work with preoccupied officials and a
heedless, short-sighted public at length bore fruit. After the Geneva
Treaty received the signature of President Arthur on March 1, 1882, it
was promptly ratified by the Senate, and the American National Red
Cross came into being, with Clara Barton as its first president. Through
her influence, too, the International Congress of Berne adopted the
"American Amendment," which dealt with the extension of the Red Cross to
relief measures in great calamities occurring in times of peace.

The story of her life from this time on is one with the story of the
work of the Red Cross during the stress of such disasters as the
Mississippi River floods, the Texas famine in 1885, the Charleston
earthquake in 1886, the Johnstown flood in 1899, the Russian famine
in 1892, and the Spanish-American War. The prompt, efficient methods
followed in the relief of the flood sufferers along the Mississippi in
1884 may serve to illustrate the sane, constructive character of her

Supply centers were established, and a steamer chartered to ply back
and forth carrying help and hope to the distracted human creatures who
stood "wringing their hands on a frozen, fireless shore--with every
coal-pit filled with water." For three weeks she patrolled the river,
distributing food, clothing, and fuel, caring for the sick, and, in
order to establish at once normal conditions of life, providing the
people with many thousands of dollars' worth of building material,
seeds, and farm implements, thus making it possible for them to help
themselves and in work find a cure for their benumbing distress.

"Our Lady of the Red Cross" lived past her ninetieth birthday, but her
real life is measured by deeds, not days. It was truly a long one, rich
in the joy of service. She abundantly proved the truth of the words: "We
gain in so far as we give. If we would find our life, we must be willing
to lose it."


    Instead of peace, I was to participate in war; instead of
    the sweetness of home, I was to become a wanderer on the face
    of the earth; but I have felt that a great promotion came to
    me when I was counted worthy to be a worker in the organized
    crusade for "God and Home and Native Land."... If I were asked
    the mission of the ideal woman, I would say it is to make the
    whole world homelike. The true woman will make every place she
    enters homelike--and she will enter every place in this wide



There is no place like a young college town in a young country for
untroubled optimism. Hope blossoms there as nowhere else; the ideal ever
beckons at the next turn in the road. When Josiah Willard brought his
little family to Oberlin, it seemed to them all that a new golden age of
opportunity was theirs. Even Frances, who was little more than a baby,
drank in the spirit of the place with the air she breathed.

It was not hard to believe in a golden age when one happened to see
little Frances, or "Frank," Willard dancing like a sunbeam about the
campus. She liked to play about the big buildings, where father went
every day with his big books, and watch for him to come out. Sometimes
one of the students would stop to speak to her; sometimes a group would
gather about while, with fair hair flying and small arms waving, in a
voice incredibly clear and bird-like, she "said a piece" that mother had
taught her.

"Is that a little professorling?" asked a new-comer one day, attracted
by the child's cherub face and darting, fairylike ways.

"Guess again!" returned a dignified senior. "Her father is one of the
students. Haven't you noticed that fine-looking Willard? The mother,
too, knows how to appreciate a college, I understand--used to be a
teacher back in New York where they came from."

"You don't mean to say that this happy little goldfinch is the child of
two such solemn owls!" exclaimed the other.

"Nothing of the sort. They are very wide-awake, alive sort of people, I
assure you,--the kind who'd make a success of anything. The father wants
to be a preacher, they say--wait, there he comes now!"

It was plain to be seen that Mr. Willard was an alert, capable man and a
good father. The little girl ran to him with a joyful cry, and a sturdy
lad who had been trying to climb a tree bounded forward at the same

"I trust that my small fry haven't been making trouble," said the man,
giving his free hand to Frances and graciously allowing Oliver to carry
two of his armful of books.

"Only making friends," the senior responded genially, "and one can see
that they can't very well help that."

The Oberlin years were a happy, friendly time for all the family. While
both father and mother were working hard to make the most of their
long-delayed opportunity for a liberal education, they delighted above
all in the companionship of neighbors with tastes like their own. After
five years, however, it became clear that the future was not to be after
their planning. Mr. Willard's health failed, and a wise doctor said that
he must leave his book-world, and take up a free, active life in the
open. So the little family joined the army of westward-moving pioneers.

Can you picture the three prairie-schooners that carried them and all
their goods to the new home? The father drove the first, Oliver geehawed
proudly from the high perch of the next, and mother sat in the third,
with Frances and little sister Mary on a cushioned throne made out of
father's topsyturvy desk. For nearly thirty days the little caravan made
its way--now through forests, now across great sweeping prairies, now
over bumping corduroy roads that crossed stretches of swampy ground.
They cooked their bacon and potatoes, gypsy-fashion, on the ground, and
slept under the white hoods of their long wagons, when they were not
kept awake by the howling of wolves.

When Sunday came, they rested wherever the day found them--sometimes on
the rolling prairie, where their only shelter from rain and sun was the
homely schooner, but where at night they could look up at the great tent
of the starry heavens; sometimes in the cathedral of the forest, where
they found Jack-in-the-pulpit preaching to the other wild-flowers and
birds and breezes singing an anthem of praise.

[Illustration: _Photo by Brown Bros._

Frances E. Willard]

It was truly a new world through which they made their way--beginnings
all about--the roughest, crudest sort of beginnings, glorified by the
brightest hopes. Tiny cabins were planted on the edge of the prairies;
rough huts of logs were dropped down in clearings in the forest.
Everywhere people were working with an energy that could not be
daunted--felling trees, sowing, harvesting, building. As they passed by
the end of Lake Michigan they caught a glimpse of a small, struggling
village in the midst of a dark, hopeless-looking morass, from which they
turned aside on seeing the warning sign _No bottom here_. That little
settlement in the swamp was Chicago.

Northward they journeyed to Wisconsin, where on the bluffs above Rock
River, not far from Janesville, they found a spot with fertile prairie
on one side and sheltering, wooded hills on the other. It seemed as if
the place fairly called to them: "This is home. You are my people. My
fields and hills and river have been waiting many a year just for you!"

Here Mr. Willard planted the roof-tree, using timber that his own ax
had wrested from the forest. Year by year it grew with their life.
"Forest Home," as they lovingly called it, was a low, rambling dwelling,
covered with trailing vines and all but hidden away in a grove of oaks
and evergreens. It seemed as if Nature had taken over the work of their
hands--house, barns, fields, and orchards--and made them her dearest
care. Here were people after her own heart, people who went out eagerly
to meet and use the things that each day brought. They found real zest
in plowing fields, laying fences, raising cattle, and learning the ways
of soil and weather. They learned how to keep rats and gophers from
devouring their crops, how to bank up the house as a protection from
hurricanes, and how to fight the prairie fires with fire.

Frank Willard grew as the trees grew, quite naturally, gathering
strength from the life about her. She had her share in the daily tasks;
she had, too, a chance for free, happy, good times. There was but one
other family of children near enough to share their plays, but the
fun was never dependent on numbers or novelty. If there were only two
members of the "Rustic Club" present, the birds and chipmunks and other
wood-creatures supplied every lack. Sometimes when they found themselves
longing to "pick up and move back among folks," they played that the
farm was a city.

"'My mind to me a kingdom is,'" quoted Frank, optimistically; "and I
think if we all put our minds to it, we can manage to people this spot
on the map very sociably."

Their city had a model government, and ideal regulations for community
health and enjoyment. It had also an enterprising newspaper of which
Frank was editor.

Frank was the leader in all of the fun. She was the commanding general
in that famous "Indian fight" when, with Mary and Mother, she held the
fort against the attack of two dreadful, make-believe savages and a dog.
It was due to her strategy that the dog was brought over to their side
by an enticing sparerib and the day won. Frank, too, was the captain of
their good ship _Enterprise_.

"If we do live inland, we don't have to _think inland_, Mary," she said.
"What's the use of sitting here in Wisconsin and sighing because we've
never seen the ocean. Let's take this hen-coop and go a-sailing. Who
knows what magic shores we'll touch beyond our Sea of Fancy!"

A plank was put across the pointed top of the hen-coop, and the children
stood at opposite ends steering, slowly when the sea was calm and
more energetically when a storm was brewing. The hens clucked and the
chickens ran about in a panic, but the captain calmly charted the waters
and laid down rules of navigation.

Perhaps, though, the best times of all were those that Frank spent in
her retreat at the top of a black oak tree, where she could sit weaving
stories of bright romance to her heart's content. On the tree she nailed
a sign with this painted warning: "The Eagle's Nest. Beware!" to secure
her against intruders. Here she wrote a wonderful novel of adventure,
some four hundred pages long.

But this eagle found that the wings of her imagination could not make
her entirely free and happy. She had to return from the heights and the
high adventures of her favorite heroes to the dull routine of farm life.
She was not even allowed to ride, as Oliver was.

"Well, if I can't be trusted to manage a horse, I'll see what can be
done with a cow and a saddle. I simply must ride _something_," Frank
declared, with a determined toss of her head.

It took not only determination, but also grim endurance and a sense of
fun to help her through this novel experiment, which certainly had in it
more excitement than pleasure. However, when her father saw her ride by
on her long-horned steed, he said with a laugh:

"You have fairly earned a better mount, Frank. And I suppose there is
really no more risk of your breaking your neck with a horse."

That night Frank wrote in her journal:

"Hurrah! rejoice! A new era has this moment been ushered in. Rode a
horse through the corn--the acme of my hopes realized."

In the saddle, with the keen breath of a brisk morning in her face, she
felt almost free--almost a part of the larger life for which she longed.
"I think I'm fonder of anything out of my sphere than anything in it,"
she said to her mother, whose understanding and sympathy never failed

Perhaps she loved especially to pore over a book of astronomy and try to
puzzle out the starry paths on the vast prairie of the heavens, because
it carried her up and away from her every-day world. Sometimes, however,
she was brought back to earth with a rude bump.

"When I had to get dinner one Sunday, I fairly cried," she said. "To
come back to frying onions, when I've been among the rings of Saturn, is

She didn't at all know what it was for which she longed. Only she knew
that she didn't want to grow up--to twist up her free curls with spiky
hair-pins and to wear long skirts which seemed to make it plain that a
weary round of shut-in tasks was all her lot and that the happy days of
roaming woods and fields were over.

Through all the girlhood days at "Forest Home" Frank longed for the
chance to go to a real school as much as she longed to be free. Oliver
went to the Janesville Academy, and later to Beloit College, but she
could get only fleeting glimpses of his more satisfying life through
the books he brought home and his talks of lectures and professors. She
remembered those far-off days at Oberlin as a golden time indeed. There
even a girl might have the chance to learn the things that would set her
mind and soul free.

It was a great day for Frances and Mary Willard when Mr. Hodge, a
Yale man who was, like her father, exiled to a life in a new country,
decided to open a school for the children of the neighboring farms. On
the never-to-be-forgotten first day the girls got up long before light,
put their tin pails of dinner and their satchels of books with their
coats, hoods, and mufflers, and then stood watching the clock, whose
provokingly measured ticks seemed entirely indifferent to the eager
beating of their hearts. At last the hired man yoked the oxen to the
long "bob-sled," and Oliver drove them over a new white road to the new
school. The doors were not yet open.

"I told you it was much too early," said Oliver. "The idea of being so
crazy over the opening of a little two-by-four school like this!"

"It does look like a sort of big ground-nut," said Frank, with a laugh,
"but it's ours to crack. Besides, we have a Yale graduate to teach us,
and Beloit can't beat that!"

"Let's go over to Mr. Hodge's for the key, and make the fire for him,"
suggested Mary.

There was an unusually long entry in Frank's diary that night:

    At last Professor Hodge appeared, in his long-tailed blue
    coat with brass buttons, carrying an armful of school-books and
    a dinner-bell in his hand. He stood on the steps and rang the
    bell, long, loud, and merrily. My heart bounded, and I said
    inside of it, so that nobody heard: "At last we are going to
    school all by ourselves, Mary and I, and we are going to have
    advantages like other folks, just as Mother said we should." O!
    goody-goody-goody! I feel satisfied with the world, myself, and
    the rest of mankind.

This enthusiasm for school and study did not wane as the days went
by. "I want to know everything--_everything_," Frank would declare
vehemently. "It is only _knowing_ that can make one free."

The time came when she was to go away to college. Wistfully she went
about saying good-by to all the pleasant haunts about "Forest Home." For
a long time she sat on her old perch in the "Eagle's nest," looking off
towards the river and the hills.

"I think that as I know more, I live more," said Frank to her mother
that night. "I am alive to so many things now that I never thought of
six months ago; and everything is dearer--is more a part of myself."

[Illustration: The Statue of Miss Willard in the Capitol of Washington]

The North-West Female College, at Evanston, Illinois, was Frank's
alma mater. Here her love of learning made her a leader in all her
classes; and her originality, daring, and personal charm made her
a leader in the social life of the students. She was editor of the
college paper, and first fun-maker of a lively clan whose chief delight
it was to shock some of their meek classmates out of their unthinking
"goody-goodness." She was known, for instance, to have climbed into
the steeple and to have remained on her giddy perch during an entire
recitation period in the higher mathematics.

In her days of teaching, Frank was the same alert, free, eager-minded,
fun-loving girl. First in a country school near Chicago, and afterward
in a seminary in Pittsburg, she was a successful teacher because she
never ceased to be a learner.

"Frank, you have the _hungriest_ soul I ever saw in a human being. It
will never be satisfied!" said one of her friends.

"I shall never be satisfied until I have entered every open door, and I
shall not go in alone," said Frank.

In all of her pursuit of knowledge and culture she was intensely
social. She was always learning with others and for others. A bit from
her diary in 1866 reveals the spirit in which she worked:

    I read a good deal and learn ever so many new things every
    day. I get so hungry to know things. I'll teach these girls
    as well as possible.... Girls, girls, girls! Questions upon
    questions. Dear me, it is no small undertaking to be elder
    sister to the whole 180 of them. They treat me beautifully, and
    I think I reciprocate.

"Miss Willard seems to see us not as we are, but as we hope we are
becoming," one of her girls said. "And so we simply _have_ to do what
she believes we can do."

No one was a stranger or indifferent to her. When her clear blue eyes
looked into the eyes of another, they always saw a friend.

Through these early years of teaching Frances Willard was learning not
only from constant study and work with others, but also from sorrow. Her
sister Mary was taken from her. The story of what her gentle life and
loving comradeship meant to Frank is told in the first and best of Miss
Willard's books, "Nineteen Beautiful Years," which gives many delightful
glimpses of their childhood on the Wisconsin farm and the school-girl
years together. Soon after Mary's death "Forest Home" was sold and the
family separated. Frank wrote in her journal at this time:

    I am to lose sight of the old familiar landmarks; old things
    are passing from me, whose love is for old things. I am pushing
    out all by myself into the wide, wide sea.

The writing of the story of Mary's life, together with essays and
articles of general interest for the papers and magazines, "took the
harm out of life for a while." In all her writing, as in her teaching
and later in her public speaking, her instinctive faith in people was
the secret of her power and influence as a leader.

"For myself, I liked the world, believed it friendly, and could see no
reason why I might not confide in it," she said.

When another sorrow, the loss of her father, threatened to darken her
life for a time, a friend came to the rescue and "opened a new door" for
her--the door of travel and study abroad. They lived for two and a half
years in Europe, and made a journey to Syria and Egypt. During much of
this time Miss Willard spent nine hours a day in study. She longed to
make her own the impressions of beauty and the haunting charm of the

"I must really enter into the life of each place," she said, "if it is
only for a few weeks or months. I want to feel that I have a right to
the landscape--that I'm not just an intruding tourist, caring only for
random sight-seeing."

But Miss Willard brought back much more than a general culture gained
through a study of art, history, and literature, and a contact with
civilization. She gained, above all, a vital interest in conditions of
life, particularly those that concern women and their opportunities for
education, self-expression, and service. The Frances E. Willard that the
world knows, the organizer and leader in social reform, was born at this
time. On her thirtieth birthday she wrote:

    I can _do_ so much more when I go home. I shall have a hold
    on life, and a fitness for it so much more assured. Perhaps--who
    knows?--there may be noble, wide-reaching work for me in the
    years ahead.

It seemed to Miss Willard, when she returned to her own country, that
there was, after all, no land like America, and no spot anywhere so
truly satisfying as Rest Cottage in Evanston, where her mother awaited
her home-coming. A signal honor awaited her as well. She was called to
be president of her alma mater; and when the college became a part of
the North-Western University, she remained as Dean of Women.

At this time many towns and cities of the Middle West were the scene of
a strange, pathetic, and heart-stirring movement known as the Temperance
Crusade. Gentle, home-loving women, white-haired mothers bent with toil
and grief, marched through the streets, singing hymns, praying, and
making direct appeals to keepers of saloons "for the sake of humanity
and their own souls' sake to quit their soul-destroying business." Their
very weakness was their strength. Their simple faith and the things they
had suffered through the drink evil pleaded for them. A great religious
revival was under way.

In Chicago a band of women who were marching to the City Council to
ask that the law for Sunday closing of saloons be enforced were rudely
jostled and insulted by a mob. Miss Willard, who had before been
deeply stirred by the movement, was now thoroughly aroused. She made
several eloquent speeches in behalf of the cause, which was, she said,
"everybody's war." Her first instinct was to leave her college and give
her all to the work. Then it seemed to her that she ought to help just
where she was--that everybody ought. So, just where she was, the young
dean devoted her power of eloquent speech and her influence with people
to the cause. Day by day her interest in reform became more absorbing.
She realized that the early fervor and enthusiasm of the movement needed
to be strengthened by "sober second thought" and sound organization.

"If I only had more time--if I were more free!" she exclaimed.

Then the turn of events did indeed free her from her responsibility
to her college. A change of policy so altered the conditions of her
work that she decided to resign her charge and go east to study the
temperance movement. The time came when she had to make a final choice.
Two letters reached her on the same day: One asked her to assume the
principal-ship of an important school in New York at a large salary;
the other begged her to take charge of the Chicago branch of the
Woman's Christian Temperance Union at no salary at all. The girl who
had worshiped culture and lived in books decided to accept the second
call; and turning her back on a brilliant career and worldly success,
she threw in her lot with the most unpopular reform of the day. Frances
Willard, the distinguished teacher, writer, and lecturer, became a

"How can you think it right to give up your interest in literature and
art!" wailed one of her friends and admirers.

"What greater art than to try to restore the image of God to faces that
have lost it?" replied Miss Willard.

Those early days in Chicago were a brave, splendid time. Often walking
miles, because she had no money for car-fare, the inspired crusader
"followed the gleam" of her vision of what this woman's movement might
accomplish. Where others saw only an uncertain group of overwrought
fanatics, she saw an organized army of earnest workers possessed of
that "loftiest chivalry which comes as a sequel of their service to the

"I seemed to see the end from the beginning," she said; "and when one
has done that, nothing can discourage or daunt."

Miss Willard often said that she was never happier than during this
time, when her spirit was entirely free, because she neither longed for
what the world could give nor feared what it might take away. She felt
very near to the poor people among whom she worked.

"I am a better friend than you dream," she would say in her heart, while
her eyes spoke her sympathy and understanding. "I know more about you
than you think, for I am hungry, too."

Of course, in time, the women discovered that their valued leader did
not have an independent income as they had imagined (since she had
never seemed to give a thought to ways and means for herself), and a
sufficient salary was provided for her. But always she spent her income
as she spent herself--to the utmost for the work.

The secret of Miss Willard's success as a speaker lay in this entire
giving of herself. The intensity of life, the irrepressible humor, the
never-failing sympathy, the spirit that hungered after all that was
beautiful shone in her clear eyes, and, in the pure, vibrant tones of
her wonderful voice, went straight to the hearts of all who listened.
She did not enter into her life as a crusader halt and maimed; all of
the woman's varied interests and capacities were felt in the work of the

"She is a great orator because in her words the clear seeing of a
perfectly poised mind and the warm feeling of an intensely sympathetic
heart are wonderfully blended," said Henry Ward Beecher.

Miss Willard was not only a gifted speaker, whose pure, flame-like
spirit enkindled faith and enthusiasm in others; she was also a rare
organizer and indefatigable worker. As president of the National Union,
she visited nearly every city and town in the United States, and, during
a dozen years, averaged one meeting a day. The hours spent on trains
were devoted to making plans and preparing addresses. On a trip up the
Hudson, while everybody was on deck enjoying the scenery, Miss Willard
remained in the cabin busy with pad and pencil.

"I know myself too well to venture out," she said to a friend who
remonstrated with her. "There is work that must be done."

Under Miss Willard's leadership the work became a power in the life and
progress of the nation and of humanity. There were those who objected
the very breadth and inclusiveness of her sympathies and interests, and
who protested against the "scatteration" policies, that would, they
said, lead to no definite goal.

"I cannot see why any society should impose limitations on any
good work," said this broad-minded leader. "Everything is not in
the temperance movement, but the temperance movement should be in

In 1898 the loyal crusader was called to lay down her arms and leave the
battle to others. She had given so unstintedly to every good work all
that she was, that at fifty-eight her powers of endurance were spent. "I
am so tired--so tired," she said again and again; and at the last, with
a serene smile, "How beautiful it is to be with God!"

In the great hall of the Capitol, where each State has been permitted
to place statues of two of its most cherished leaders, Illinois has put
the marble figure of Frances E. Willard, the only woman in a company
of soldiers and statesmen. In presenting the statue to the nation, Mr.
Foss, who represented Miss Willard's own district in Illinois, closed
his address with these words:

    Frances E. Willard once said: "If I were asked what was the
    true mission of the ideal woman, I would say, 'It is to make
    the whole world home-like.'" Illinois, therefore, presents this
    statue not only as a tribute to her whom it represents,--one of
    the foremost women of America,--but as a tribute to woman and
    her mighty influence upon our national life; to woman in the
    home; to woman wherever she is toiling for the good of humanity;
    to woman everywhere who has ever stood "For God, for home, for
    native land."


    We have told the story of our mother's life, possibly at too
    great length; but she herself told it in eight words.

    "Tell me," Maud asked her once, "what is the ideal aim of

    She paused a moment, and replied, dwelling thoughtfully on
    each word:

    "To learn, to teach, to serve, to enjoy!"

        _Life of Julia Ward Howe._


Two little girls were rolling hoops along the street when they suddenly
caught them over their little bare arms and drew up close to the
railings of a house on the corner.

"There is the wonderful coach and the little girl I told you about,
Eliza," whispered Marietta, pushing back the straw bonnet that shaded
her face from the sun and pointing with her stick.

It was truly a magnificent yellow coach, pulled by two proud gray
horses. Even Cinderella's golden equipage could not have been more
splendid. Moreover, the little girl who sat perched upon the bright-blue
cushioned seat wore an elegant blue pelisse, that just matched the
heavenly color of the lining, and a yellow-satin bonnet that was clearly
inspired by the straw-colored outer shell of the chariot itself. The
fair chubby face under the satin halo was turned toward the children,
and a pair of clear gray eyes regarded them with eager interest.

"She looked as if she wanted to speak!" said Marietta, breathlessly.
"Oh, Eliza, did you ever see any one so beautiful? Just like a doll or a
fairy-tale princess!"

"Huh!" cried Eliza, the scornful; "didn't you see that she has red hair?
Who ever heard of a doll or a princess with red hair?"

"Maybe a witch or a bad fairy turned her spun-gold locks red for spite,"
suggested Marietta. "Anyway, I wouldn't mind red hair if I was in her
place--so rich and all. Wouldn't it be grand to ride in a fine coach and
have everything you want even before you stop to wish for it!"

How astonished Marietta would have been if she could have known that the
little lady in the chariot was wishing that she were a little girl with
a hoop! For even when she was very small Julia Ward had other trials
besides the red hair. Nowadays, people realize that red-gold hair is a
true "crowning glory," but it wasn't the style to like it in 1825, at
the time this story begins. So little Julia's mother tried her best to
tone down the bright color with sobering washes and leaden combs. One
day, however, the child heard a visitor say, "Your little girl is very
beautiful; her hair is pretty, too, with that lovely complexion."

Eagerly Julia climbed upon a chair and then on the high, old-fashioned
dressing-table, so that she could gaze in the mirror to her heart's
content. "Is that all?" she cried after a moment, and scrambled down,
greatly disappointed.

Eliza and Marietta would have been truly amazed if they had known that
the little queen of the splendid coach had very little chance for the
good times that a child loves. In these days I really believe that
people would pity her and say, "Poor little rich girl!" She was brought
up with the greatest strictness. There were many lessons,--French,
Latin, music, and dancing--for she must have an education that would
fit her to shine in her high station. When she went out for an airing,
it was always in the big coach, "like a little lady." There was never a
chance for a hop-skip-and-jump play-hour. Her delicate cambric dresses
and kid slippers were only suited to sedate indoor ways, and even when
she was taken to the sea-shore for a holiday, her face was covered with
a thick green veil to keep her fair skin from all spot and blemish.
Dignity and Duty were the guardian geniuses of Julia Ward's childhood.

Her father, Samuel Ward, was a rich New York banker, with a fine
American sense of _noblesse oblige_. He believed that a man's wealth and
influence spell strict accountability to his country and to God, and he
lived according to that belief. He believed that as a banker his most
vital concern was not to make himself richer and richer, but to manage
money matters in such a way as to serve his city and the nation as a
whole. In those times of financial stress which came to America in the
early part of the nineteenth century, his heroic efforts more than once
enabled his bank to weather a financial storm and uphold the credit of
the State. On one occasion his loyalty and unflagging zeal secured a
loan of five million dollars from the Bank of England in the nick of
time to avert disaster.

"Julia," cried her brother, who had just come in from Wall Street, "men
have been going up and down the office stairs all day long, carrying
little wooden kegs of gold on their backs, marked 'Prime, Ward & King'
and filled with English gold!"

Mr. Ward, however, did not see the triumphal procession of the kegs;
he was prostrated by a severe illness, due, it was said, to his too
exacting labors. Years afterward, Mr. Ward's daughter said that her best
inheritance from the old firm was the fact that her father had procured
this loan which saved the honor of the Empire State.

"From the time I was a tiny child," said Julia Ward, "I had heard
stories of my ancestors--colonial governors and officers in the
Revolution, among whom were numbered General Nathanael Greene and
General Marion, the 'Swamp Fox' whose 'fortress was the good green
wood,' whose 'tent the cypress-tree.' When I thought of the brave and
honorable men and the fair and prudent wives and daughters of the line,
they seemed to pass before my unworthy self 'terrible as an army with
banners'--but there was, too, the trumpet-call of inspiration in the
thought that they were truly mine own people."

If a sense of duty and the trumpet-call of her forebears urged little
Julia on to application in her early years, she soon learned to love
study for its own sake. When, at nine years of age, she began to attend
school, she listened to such purpose to the recitations of a class in
Italian that she presently handed to the astonished principal a letter
correctly written in that language, begging to be admitted to the study
of the tongue whose soft musical vowels had charmed her ear. She had
not only aptitude, but genuine fondness, for languages, and early tried
various experiments in the use of her own. When a child of ten she
began to write verse, and thereafter the expression of her thoughts and
feelings in poetic form was as natural as breathing.

If you could have seen some of the solemn verses entitled, "All things
shall pass," and, "We return no more," written by the child not yet in
her teens, you might have said, "What an extraordinary little girl! Has
she always been ill, or has she never had a chance for a good time?"

It was certainly true that life seemed a very serious thing to the
child. Her eyes were continually turned inward, for they had not
been taught to discover and enjoy the things of interest and delight
in the real world. New York was in that interesting stage of its
growth that followed upon the opening of the Erie Canal. Not yet a
city of foreigners,--the melting-pot of all nations,--the commercial
opportunities which better communication with the Great Lakes section
gave caused unparalleled prosperity. In 1835 the metropolis had a
population of 200,000; but Broadway was still in large part a street of
dignified brick residences with bright green blinds and brass knockers,
along which little girls could roll their hoops. Canal Street was a
popular boulevard, with a canal bordered by trees running through the
center and a driveway on either side; and the district neighboring on
the Battery and Castle Garden was still a place of wealth and fashion.

It is to be doubted, however, if Julia Ward ever saw anything on her
drives to call her out of her day-dreaming self. Nor had she eyes for
the marvels of nature. The larkspurs and laburnums in the garden had no
language that she could understand. "I grew up," she said, "with the
city measure of the universe--my own house, somebody else's, the trees
in the park, a strip of blue sky overhead, and a great deal about nature
read from the best authors, most of which meant nothing at all. Years
later I learned to enjoy the drowsy murmur of green fields in midsummer,
the song of birds and the ways of shy wood-flowers, when my own children
opened the door into that 'mighty world of eye and ear.'"

When Julia was sixteen, the return of her brother from Germany opened
a new door of existence to her. She had just left school and had begun
to study in real earnest. So serious was she in her devotion to her
self-imposed tasks that she sometimes bade a maid tie her in a chair
for a certain period. Thus, in bonds, with a mind set free from all
temptation to roam, she wrestled with the difficulties of German grammar
and came off victorious. But Brother Sam led her to an appreciation of
something besides the poetry of Schiller and Goethe. He had a keen and
wholesome enjoyment of the world of people, and in the end succeeded in
giving his young sister a taste of natural youthful gaiety.

"Sir," said Samuel, Junior, to his father one evening, "you do not keep
in view the importance of the social tie."

"The social what?" asked the amazed Puritan.

"The social tie, sir."

"I make small account of that," rejoined the father, coldly.

"I will die in defense of it!" retorted the son, hotly.

The young man found, however, that it was more agreeable to live for
the social tie than to die for it. And Julia, beginning to long for
something besides family evenings with books and music varied by
an occasional lecture or a visit to the house of an uncle, seemed
to herself "like a young damsel of olden times, shut up within an
enchanted castle." When she was nineteen she decided upon a declaration
of independence. If she could only muster the courage to meet her
affectionate jailer face to face, she thought that the bars of his
prejudice against fashionable society must surely fall.

"I am going to give a party--_a party of my very own_," she announced to
her brothers; "and you must help me with the list of guests."

Having obtained her father's permission to invite a few friends "to
spend the evening," she set about her preparations. This first party of
her young life should, she resolved, be correct in every detail. The
best caterer in New York was engaged, and a popular group of musicians.
She even introduced a splendid cut-glass chandelier to supplement the
conservative lighting of the drawing-room. "My first party must be a
brilliant success," she said, with a smile and a determined tilt of her

A brilliant company was gathered to do the débutante honor on the
occasion of her audacious entrance into society. Mr. Ward showed no
surprise, however, when he descended the stairs and appeared upon
the festive scene. He greeted the guests courteously and watched the
dancing without apparent displeasure. Julia, herself, betrayed no
more excitement than seemed natural to the acknowledged belle of the
evening, but her heart was beating in a fashion not quite in tune with
the music of the fiddles. When the last guest had departed she went,
according to custom, to bid her father good night. And now came the
greatest surprise of all! Mr. Ward took the young girl's hand in his.
"My daughter," he said with tender gravity, "I was surprised to see
that your idea of 'a few friends' differed widely from mine. After this
you need not hesitate to consult me freely and frankly about what you
want to do." Then, kissing her good night with his usual affection, he
dismissed the subject forever.

Julia's brief skirmish for independence proved not a rebellion, but a
revolution. Her brother's marriage to Miss Emily Astor introduced an era
of gaiety at this time; and when the young girl had once fairly taken
her place in society, there was no such thing as going back to the old
life. "Jolie Julie," as she was lovingly called in the home-circle,
became a reigning favorite. Even rumors of her amazing blue-stocking
tendencies could not spoil her success. It was whispered that she was
given to quoting German philosophy and French poetry. "I believe she
dreams in Italian," vowed one greatly awed damsel.

However that might be, "Jolie Julie" certainly had a place in the dreams
of many. Her beauty and charm won all hearts. The bright hair was now
an acknowledged glory above the apple-blossom fairness of her youthful
bloom. But it was not alone the loveliness of the delicately molded
features and the tender brightness of the clear gray eyes that made
her a success. Notwithstanding the early neglect of "the social tie,"
it was soon plain that she had the unfailing tact, the ready wit, and
native good humor that are the chief assets of the social leader who is
"born to the purple." Besides, Miss Ward's unusual acquirements could be
turned so as to masquerade, in their rosy linings, as accomplishments.
Her musical gifts were not reserved for hours of solitary musing, but
were freely devoted to the pleasure of her friends; and even the lofty
poetic Muse could on occasion indulge in a comic gambol to the great
delight of her intimates.

Miss Ward soon tried her wings in other spheres beyond New York. She
found a ready welcome in Boston's select inner circle, where she made
the acquaintance of Longfellow, Emerson, Whittier, Holmes, and other
leading figures in the literary world. Charles Sumner, the brilliant
statesman and reformer, was an intimate friend of her brother, and
through him she met Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, who not long after became
her husband.

From both Longfellow and Sumner Miss Ward had heard glowing accounts of
their friend Howe, who was, they declared, the truest hero that America
and the nineteenth century had produced and the best of good comrades.
He had earned the name of "Chevalier" among his friends because he was
"a true Bayard, without fear and without reproach," and because he
had, moreover, been made a Knight of St. George by the King of Greece
for distinguished services during the Greek war for independence. For
six years he had fought with the patriots, both in the field and as
surgeon-in-chief. While in hiding with his wounded among the bare rocks
of the heights, he had sometimes nothing to eat but roasted wasps and
mountain snails. When the people were without food, he had returned
to America, related far and wide the story of Greece's struggles and
dire need, and brought back a shipload of food and clothing. Having
relieved the distress of the people, he had helped them to get in touch
with normal existence once more by putting them to work. A hospital was
built, and a mole to enclose the harbor at Ægina. Then, after seeing
the hitherto distracted peasants begin a new life as self-respecting
farmers, he had returned to America.

[Illustration: Julia Ward Howe]

At this time he was doing pioneer work in the education of the blind. As
director of the Perkins Institution, in Boston, he was not only laboring
to make more efficient this first school for the blind in America,
but he was also going about through the country with his pupils to
show something of what might be done in the way of practical training,
in order to induce the legislatures of the several States to provide
similar institutions for those deprived of sight. In particular, Dr.
Howe's success in teaching Laura Bridgman, a blind deaf-mute, was the
marvel of the civilized world.

One day, when Longfellow and Sumner were calling upon Miss Ward, they
suggested driving over to the Perkins Institution. When they arrived
the hero of the hour--and the place--was absent. Before they left,
however, Mr. Sumner, who had been looking out of the window, suddenly
exclaimed, "There is Howe now on his black horse!" Miss Ward looked with
considerable eagerness in her curiosity, and saw, as she afterward said,
"a noble rider on a noble steed."

In this way the Chevalier rode into the life of the fair lady. As the
knight of the ballad swung the maiden of his choice to the croup of his
charger and galloped off with her in the face of her helpless kinsmen,
so this serious philanthropist and reformer carried off the lovely
society favorite, in spite of the fact that he cared not at all for her
gay, care-free world, and was, moreover, twenty years her senior. The
following portion of a letter which Miss Ward wrote to her brother Sam
shows how completely she was won:

    The Chevalier says truly--I am the captive of his bow and
    spear. His true devotion has won me from the world and from
    myself. The past is already fading from my sight; already I
    begin to live with him in the future, which shall be as calmly
    bright as true love can make it. I am perfectly satisfied to
    sacrifice to one so noble and earnest the day-dreams of my youth.

Dr. Howe and his bride went to Europe on their wedding-trip--on the same
steamer with Horace Mann and his newly made wife, Mary Peabody, the
sister of Mrs. Nathaniel Hawthorne. The teacher of Laura Bridgman was
well known in England through Dickens's "American Notes," and people
were anxious to do him honor. Dickens not only invited the interesting
Americans to dinner, but he offered to pilot Dr. Howe and his brother
reformer, Horace Mann, about darkest London and show them the haunts of
misery and crime which no one knew better than the author of "Oliver
Twist," "Little Dorrit," and "Bleak House." The following note, written
in Dickens's characteristic hand, shows the zest with which the great
novelist undertook these expeditions and his boyish love of fun:

    My dear Howe,--Drive to-night to St. Giles's Church. Be
    there at half past 11--and wait. Somebody will put his head
    into the coach after a Venetian and mysterious fashion, and
    breathe your name. Follow that man. Trust him to the death.

    So no more at present from

    Ninth June, 1843.         THE MASK.

It had been the plan to go from England to Berlin; but Dr. Howe, who
had once incurred the displeasure of the king of Prussia by giving aid
to certain Polish refugees, and had, indeed, been held for five weeks
in a German prison, was now excluded from the country as a "dangerous
person." This greatly amused Horace Mann, who remarked, "When we
consider that His Majesty has 200,000 men constantly under arms, and can
in need increase the number to two million, we begin to appreciate the
estimation in which he holds your single self." When, some years later,
the king sent Dr. Howe a medal in recognition of his work for the blind,
the Chevalier declared laughingly: "It is worth just what I was obliged
to pay for board and lodging while in the Berlin prison. His Majesty is

After traveling through Switzerland, Italy, and France, the Howes
stopped for a second visit to England, where they were entertained for
a time by the parents of Florence Nightingale. A warm attachment sprang
up between them and the earnest young woman of twenty-four.

"I want to ask your advice, Dr. Howe," said Miss Nightingale, one day.
"Would it be unsuitable for a young Englishwoman to devote herself to
works of charity in hospitals and wherever needed, just as the Catholic
sisters do?"

The doctor replied gravely, "My dear Miss Florence, it would be unusual,
and in England whatever is unusual is apt to be thought unsuitable;
but I say to you, go forward, if you have a vocation for that way of
life; act up to your inspiration, and you will find that there is never
anything unbecoming or unladylike in doing your duty for the good of

After the Howes had returned to Boston and settled down to the
work-a-day order in the Institution the young wife's loyalty to the
new life was often sorely tried. She loved the sunshine of the bright,
gracious world of leisurely, happy people, and she felt herself chilled
in this bleak gray place of sober duties. If only she could warm
herself at the fire of friendship oftener! But all the pleasant people
lived in pleasant places too far from the South Boston institution for
the give and take of easy intercourse. Dr. Howe, moreover, was much of
the time so absorbed in the causes of which he was champion-in-chief
that few hours were saved for quiet fireside enjoyment.

"I hardly know what I should have done in those days," said Mrs. Howe,
"without the companionship of my babies and Miss Catherine Beecher's

The Chevalier loved to invite for a weekly dinner his especial group
of intimates--five choice spirits, among whom Longfellow and Sumner
were numbered, who styled themselves "The Five of Clubs." These dinners
brought many new problems to the young hostess, who now wished that some
portion of her girlhood days lavished on Italian and music had been
devoted to the more intimate side of menus. However, she was before long
able to take pride in her puddings without renouncing poetry; and to
keep an eye on the economy of the kitchen and her sense of humor at the
same time, as the following extract from a breezy letter to her sister
Louisa can testify:

    Our house has been enlivened of late by two delightful
    visits. The first was from the soap-fat merchant, who gave me
    thirty-four pounds of good soap for my grease. I was quite
    beside myself with joy, capered about in the most enthusiastic
    manner, and was going to hug in turn the soap, the grease,
    and the man, when I reflected that it would not sound well in
    history. This morning came the rag man, who takes rags and gives
    nice tin vessels in exchange.... Both of these were clever
    transactions. Oh, if you had seen me stand by the soap-fat man,
    and scrutinize his weights and measures, telling him again and
    again that it was beautiful grease, and that he must allow me a
    good price for it--truly, I am a mother in Israel.

The hours spent with her wee daughters were happy times. Sometimes
she improvised jingles to amuse Baby Flossy (Florence, after Florence
Nightingale) and tease the absorbed father-reformer at the same time:

    Rero, rero, riddlety rad,
    This morning my baby caught sight of her dad,
    Quoth she, "Oh, Daddy, where have you been?"
    "With Mann and Sumner a-putting down sin!"

Sometimes she sang little bedtime rhymes about lambs and baby birds,
sheep and sleep; and, when the small auditors demanded that their
particular pets have a part in the song, readily added:

    The little donkey in the stable
    Sleeps as sound as he is able;
    All things now their rest pursue,
    You are sleepy too.

As soon as Dr. Howe could find a suitable place near the Institution he
moved his little family into a home of their own. On the bright summer
day when Mrs. Howe drove under the bower formed by the fine old trees
that guarded the house, she exclaimed, "Oh, this is green peace!" And
"Green Peace" their home was called from that day. The children enjoyed
here healthful outdoor times and happy indoor frolics--plays given at
their dolls' theater, when father and mother worked the puppets to a
dialogue of squeaks and grunts; and really-truly plays, such as "The
Three Bears" (when Father distinguished himself as the Great Big Huge
Bear), "The Rose and the Ring," and "Bluebeard."

In the midst of the joys and cares of such a rich home-life, how was it
that the busy mother still found time for study and writing? For she
was always a student, keeping her mind in training as an athlete keeps
his muscles; and the need of finding expression in words for her inner
life became more insistent as time went on. One of her daughters once

    "It was a matter of course to us children that 'Papa and
    Mamma' should play with us, sing to us, tell us stories, bathe
    our bumps, and accompany us to the dentist; these were the
    things that papas and mammas did! Looking back now with some
    realization of all the other things they did, we wonder how they
    managed it. For one thing, both were rapid workers; for another,
    both had the power of leading and inspiring others to work; for
    a third, so far as we can see, neither wasted a moment; for a
    fourth, neither ever reached a point where there was not some
    other task ahead, to be begun as soon as might be."

Life with the beloved reformer was often far from easy, but there were
never any regrets for the old care-free days. "I shipped as captain's
mate for the voyage!" she said on one occasion, with a merry laugh that
was like a heartening cheer; and then she added seriously, "I cannot
imagine a more useful motto for married life." Always she realized that
she owed all that was deepest and most steadfast in herself to this
union. "But for the Chevalier, I should have been merely a woman of the
world and a literary dabbler!" she said.

A volume of verse, "Passion Flowers," was praised by Longfellow and
Whittier and won a wide popularity. A later collection, "Words for the
Hour," was, on the whole, better, but not so much read. Still, the woman
felt that she had not yet really found herself in her work. She longed
to give something that was vital--something that would fill a need and
make a difference to people in the real world of action.

The days of the Civil War made every earnest spirit long to be of some
service to the nation and to humanity. Dr. Howe and his friend were
among the leaders of the Abolitionists at the time when they were a
despised "party of cranks and martyrs." It was small wonder that,
when the struggle came, Mrs. Howe's soul was fired with the desire to
help. There seemed nothing that she could do but scrape lint for the
hospitals--which any other woman could do equally well. If only her
poetic gift were not such a slender reed--if she could but command an
instrument of trumpet strength to voice the spirit of the hour!

In this mood she had gone to Washington to see a review of the troops.
On returning, while her carriage was delayed by the marching regiments,
her companions tried to relieve the tensity and tedium of the wait by
singing war songs, among others:

    "John Brown's body lies a-moldering in the grave;
      His soul is marching on!"

The passing soldiers caught at this with a "Good for you!" and joined in
the chorus. "Mrs. Howe," said her minister, James Freeman Clarke, who
was one of the company, "why do you not write some really worthy words
for that stirring tune?"

"I have often wished to do so," she replied.

Let us tell the story of the writing of the "nation's song" as her
daughters have told it in the biography of their mother:

    Waking in the gray of the next morning, as she lay waiting
    for the dawn the word came to her.

    "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord--"

    She lay perfectly still. Line by line, stanza by stanza,
    the words came sweeping on with the rhythm of marching feet,
    pauseless, resistless. She saw the long lines swinging into
    place before her eyes, heard the voice of the nation speaking
    through her lips. She waited till the voice was silent, till the
    last line was ended; then sprang from bed, and, groping for pen
    and paper, scrawled in the gray twilight the "Battle Hymn of the

And so the "nation's song" was born. How did it come to pass that the
people knew it as their own? When it appeared in the "Atlantic Monthly"
it called forth little comment; the days gave small chance for the
poetry of words. But some poets in the real world of deeds had seen
it--the people who were fighting on the nation's battle-fields. And
again and again it was sung and chanted as a prayer before battle and a
trumpet-call to action. A certain fighting chaplain, who had committed
it to memory, sang it one memorable night in Libby Prison, when the
joyful tidings of the victory of Gettysburg had penetrated even those
gloomy walls. "Like a flame the word flashed through the prison. Men
leaped to their feet, shouted, embraced one another in a frenzy of joy
and triumph; and Chaplain McCabe, standing in the middle of the room,
lifted up his great voice and sang aloud:

    "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!"

Every voice took up the chorus, and Libby Prison rang with the shout of
'Glory, glory, hallelujah!'"

Later, when Chaplain McCabe related to a great audience in Washington
the story of that night and ended by singing the "Battle Hymn of the
Republic," as only one who has lived it can sing it, the voice of
Abraham Lincoln was heard above the wild applause, calling, as the tears
rolled down his cheeks, "Sing it again!"

It has been said that what a person does in some great moment of his
life--in a moment of fiery trial or of high exaltation--is the result of
all the thoughts and deeds of all the slow-changing days. So the habits
of a lifetime cry out at last. Is it not true that this "nation's song,"
which seemed to write itself in a wonderful moment of inspiration,
was really the expression of years of brave, faithful living? All the
earnestness of the child, all the dreams and warm friendliness of the
girl, all the tenderness and loyal devotion of the wife and mother,
speak in those words. Nor is it the voice of her life alone. The
trumpet-call of her forebears was in those stirring lines. Only a tried
and true American, whose people had fought and suffered for freedom's
sake, could have written that nation's song.

Julia Ward Howe's long life of ninety-one years was throughout one of
service and inspiration. Many people were better and happier because
of her life. It was a great moment when, on the occasion of any public
gathering, the word went around that Mrs. Howe was present. With one
accord those assembled would rise to their feet, and hall or theater
would ring with the inspiring lines of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

The man who said, "I care not who shall make the laws of the nation, if
I may be permitted to make its songs," spoke wisely. A true song comes
from the heart and goes to the heart. A nation's song is the voice of
the heart and life of a whole people. In it the hearts of many beat
together as one.



    Nothing bigger can come to a human being than to love a
    great Cause more than life itself, and to have the privilege
    throughout life of working for that Cause.



A young girl was standing on a stump in the woods, waving her arms and
talking very earnestly. There was no one there to listen except a robin
a-tilt on a branch where the afternoon sun could turn his rusty brown
breast to red, and a chattering, inquisitive bluejay. All the other
little wood folk were in hiding. That strange creature was in the woods
but not of them. She belonged to the world of people.

The girl knew that she belonged to a different world. She was not trying
to play that she was a little American Saint Francis preaching to the
birds in the forests of northern Michigan. She was looking past the
great trees and all the busy life that lurked there to the far-away
haunts of men. Somehow she felt that she would have something to say to
them some day.

She raised her clasped hands high above her head and lifted her face
to the patch of sky that gleamed deep blue between the golden-green
branches of the trees. "There is much that I can say," she declared
fervently. "I am only a girl, but I feel in my heart that some day
people will listen to me."

A gray squirrel scampered noisily across the dry brown leaves and
frisked up a tree trunk, where he clung for a moment regarding the girl
on the stump with shining, curious eyes.

"Saucy nutcracker!" cried the child, tossing an acorn at the alert
little creature. "Do you too think it strange for a girl to want to do
things? What would you say if I should tell you that a young girl once
led a great army to victory?--a poor girl who had to work hard all day
just as I do? She did not know how to read or write, but she knew how
to answer all the puzzling questions that the learned and powerful men
of the day (who tried with all their might to trip her up) could think
to ask. They called her a witch then. 'Of a truth this girl Joan must
be possessed of an evil spirit,' they said. 'Who ever heard of a maid
speaking as she speaks?' Years afterward they called her a saint. She
was the leader of her people even though she was a girl--Now I don't
mean, fellow birds and squirrels, that I expect to be another Joan of
Arc, but I know that I shall be something!"

Anna Shaw's bright dark eyes glowed with intense feeling. Like the maid
of whom she had been reading, she had her vision--a vision of a large,
happy life waiting for her--little, untaught backwoods girl though
she was. Her book led the way down a charmed path into the world of
dreams. For the time she forgot the drudgery of the days--the plowing
and planting and hoeing about the stumps of their little clearing, the
cutting of wood, the carrying of water. She walked back to the cabin
that was home, with her head held high and her lips parted in a smile.
But all at once she was brought back to real things with a rude bump.

"What have you been doing, Anna?" demanded her father, who stood waiting
for her in the doorway.

"Reading, sir," the girl faltered.

"So you have been _idling_ away precious hours at a time your mother
has needed your help?" the stern voice went on accusingly. "What do you
suppose the future will bring to one who has not proved 'faithful in

The girl looked at her father without speaking. She knew that her share
in the work of the household was not "little." Her young hands hardened
from rough toil twitched nervously; the injustice cut her to the quick.
Couldn't her father imagine what holding down that claim in the woods
had meant for the little family during the eighteen months that he
and the two older boys had remained behind in the East? In his joy at
securing the grant of land from the Government, he already pictured the
well-conditioned farm that would one day be his and his children's. "The
acorn was not an acorn, but a forest of young oaks."

In a flash she saw as if it were yesterday the afternoon when their
pathetic little caravan had at last reached the home that awaited
them. She saw the frail, tired mother give one glance at the rude log
hut in the stump-filled clearing, and then sink in a despairing heap
on the dirt floor. It was but the hollow shell of a cabin--walls and
roof, with square holes for door and windows gaping forlornly at the
home-seekers. She heard the wolves and wildcats as she had on that first
night when they had huddled together--helpless creatures from another
world--not knowing if their watch-fires would keep the hungry beasts
at bay. She saw parties of Indians stalk by in war-paint and feathers.
She saw herself, a child of twelve, trudging wearily to the distant
creek for water until the time when, with her brother's help, she dug a
well. There was, too, the work of laying a floor and putting in doors
and windows. Like Robinson Crusoe, she had served a turn at every
trade; to-day that of carpenter or builder, to-morrow that of farmer,
fisherman, or woodcutter.

As these pictures flashed before the eye of memory she looked at her
father quietly, without a word of defense or self-pity. All she said
was, "Father, some day I am going to college."

The little smile that curled his lips as he looked his astonishment
drove her to another boast. The dreams of the free calm woods and the
heroic Maid of Orleans had faded away. Somehow she longed to put forth
her claim in a way to impress any one, even a man who felt that a girl
ought not to want anything but drudging. "And before I die I shall be
worth $10,000," she prophesied boldly.

However, the months that succeeded gave no sign of any change of
fortune. A sudden storm turned a day of toil now and then into a
red-letter day when one had chance to read the books that father had
brought with him into the wilderness. Sometimes one could stretch at
ease on the floor and dreamily scan the pages of the "Weekly" that
papered the walls. There was always abundant opportunity in the busy
hours that followed to reflect on what one had read--to compare, to
contrast, and to apply, and so to annex for good and all the ideas that
the books had to give.

It was clear, too, that there were many interesting things to be seen
and enjoyed even in the most humdrum work-a-day round, if one were able
to read real life as well as print. Could anything be more delightful
than the way father would drop his hoe and run into the house to work
out a problem concerning the yield of a certain number of kernels
of corn? The days would go by while he calculated and speculated
energetically over this problem and that, leaving such trivial tasks as
planting and plowing to others. Then there were the weekend visitors.
Often as many as ten or a dozen of the neighboring settlers--big
lumbermen and farmers--would come on Saturday, to spend the night and
Sunday listening to her father read. When it was delicately hinted that
this was a tax on the family store of tallow dips, each man dutifully
brought a candle to light the way to learning. It never seemed to occur,
either to them or to the impractical father, who liked nothing better
than reading and expounding, that the entertainment of so many guests
was a severe tax on the strength and patience of the working members of
the household.

But life was not all labor. There was now and then a wonderful ball at
Big Rapids, then a booming lumber town. When it was impossible to get
any sort of a team to make the journey, they went down the river on a
raft, taking their party dresses in trunks. As balls, like other good
things in pioneer experience, were all too rare, it was the custom to
make the most of each occasion by changing one's costume at midnight,
and thus starting off with fresh enthusiasm to dance the "money musk"
and the "Virginia reel" in the small hours.

"Our costumes in those days had at least the spice of originality," said
Miss Shaw with a reminiscent smile. "I well remember a certain gay ball
gown of my own, made of bedroom chintz; and the home-tailored trousers
of my gallant swain, whose economical mother had employed flour sacks,
on which the local firm-name and the guarantee, '96 pounds,' appeared
indelibly imprinted. A blue flannel shirt and a festive yellow sash
completed his interesting outfit."

When Anna Shaw was fifteen she began to teach in the little log
schoolhouse of the settlement for two dollars a week and "board round."
The day's work often meant a walk of from three to six miles, a trip to
the woods for fuel, the making of the wood fire and the partial drying
of rain-soaked clothes, before instruction began. Then imagine the child
of fifteen teaching fifteen children of assorted ages and dispositions
out of fifteen different "reading books," most of which she had herself
supplied. "I remember that one little girl read from a hymn-book, while
another had an almanac," she said.

As there was no money for such luxuries as education until the dog-tax
had been collected, the young teacher received one bright spring day
the dazzling sum of twenty-six dollars for the entire term of thirteen
weeks. In the spending of this wealth, spring and youth carried the day.
Joan of Arc and the preaching in the woods were for the time forgotten;
she longed above everything else to have some of the pretty things that
all girls love. Making a pilgrimage to a real shop, she bought her first
real party dress--a splendid creation of rich magenta color, elaborately
decorated with black braid.

Perhaps she regretted all too soon the rashness of this expenditure, for
the next year brought hard times. War had been declared, and Lincoln's
call for troops had taken all the able-bodied men of the community.
"When news came that Fort Sumter had been fired on," said Miss Shaw,
"our men were threshing. I remember seeing a man ride up on horseback,
shouting out Lincoln's demand for troops and explaining that a regiment
was being formed at Big Rapids. Before he had finished speaking the men
on the machine had leaped to the ground and rushed off to enlist, my
brother Jack, who had recently joined us, among them."

Anna Shaw was now the chief support of the little home in the
wilderness, and the pitiful sum earned by teaching had to be eked out
by boarding the workers from the lumber-camps and taking in sewing,
in order to pay the taxes and meet the bare necessities of life. With
calico selling for fifty cents a yard, coffee for a dollar a pound,
and everything else in proportion, one cannot but marvel how the women
and children managed to exist. They struggled along, with hearts heavy
with anxiety for loved ones on the battle-fields, to do as best they
could the work of the men--gathering in the crops, grinding the corn,
and caring for the cattle--in addition to the homekeeping tasks of
the daily round. It takes, perhaps, more courage and endurance to be a
faithful member of the home army than it does to march into battle with
bands playing and colors flying.

When, at the end of the war, the return of the father and brothers
freed her from the responsibility for the upkeep of the home, Anna Shaw
determined upon a bold step. Realizing that years must pass before she
could save enough from her earnings as country school-teacher to go
to college, she went to live with a married sister in Big Rapids and
entered as a pupil in the high school there. The preceptress, Miss Lucy
Foot, who was a college graduate and a woman of unusual strength of
character, took a lively interest in the new student and encouraged her
ambition to preach by putting her in the classes in public speaking and

"I vividly remember my first recitation in public," said Miss Shaw. "I
was so overcome by the impressiveness of the audience and the occasion,
and so appalled at my own boldness in standing there, that I sank in
a faint on the platform. Sympathetic classmates carried me out and
revived me, after which they naturally assumed that the entertainment I
furnished was over for the evening. I, however, felt that if I let that
failure stand against me I could never afterward speak in public; and
within ten minutes, notwithstanding the protests of my friends, I was
back in the hall and beginning my recitation a second time. The audience
gave me its eager attention. Possibly it hoped to see me topple off the
platform again, but nothing of the sort occurred. I went through the
recitation with self-possession and received some friendly applause at
the end."

After this maiden speech, the young girl appeared frequently in public,
now in school debates, now in amateur theatricals. It was as if the
Fates had her case particularly in hand at this time, for everything
seemed to further the secret longing that had possessed her ever since
the days when she had preached to the trees in the forest.

There was a growing sentiment in favor of licensing women to preach in
the Methodist Church, and Dr. Peck, the presiding elder of the Big
Rapids district, who was chief among the advocates of the movement, was
anxious to present the first woman candidate for the ministry. Meeting
the alert, ardent young student at the home of her teacher, Dr. Peck
took pains to draw her into conversation. Soon she was talking freely,
with eager animation, and her questioner was listening with interest,
nodding approval now and then. Then an amazing thing happened. Dr. Peck
looked at her smilingly and asked in an off-hand manner:

"Would you like to preach the quarterly sermon at Ashton?"

The young woman gasped; she stared at the good man in astonishment. Then
she realized that he was speaking in entire seriousness.

"Why," she stammered, "I can't preach a sermon!"

"Have you ever tried?" he asked.

"Never!" she began, and then as the picture of her childish self
standing on the stump in the sunlit woods flashed upon her, "Never to
human beings!" she amended.

Dr. Peck was smiling again. "Well," he said, "the door is open. Enter
or not, as you wish."

After much serious counsel with Miss Foot and with her own soul, Anna
Shaw determined to go in at the open door. For six weeks the preparation
of the first sermon engaged most of her waking thoughts, and even in her
dreams the text she had chosen sounded in her ears. It was, moreover, a
time of no little anguish of spirit because of the consternation with
which her family regarded her unusual "call." One might as well be
guilty of crime, it appeared, as to be so forward and unwomanly. Finding
it impossible to bring her to reason in any other way, they tried a
bribe. After a solemn gathering of the clans, it was agreed that if she
would give up this insane ambition to preach, they would send her to
college--to Ann Arbor--and defray all her expenses. The thought of Ann
Arbor was a sore temptation; but she realized that she could no more be
faithless to the vision that had been with her from childhood than she
could cease being herself.

The momentous first sermon was the forerunner of many others in
different places, and when at the conference the members were asked to
vote whether she should be licensed as a local preacher, the majority of
the ministers raised both hands!

She was, however, still regarded as the black sheep of the family, and
it was with a heavy spirit that she plodded on day by day with her
studies. Surely nobody was ever more in need of a friendly word than
was Anna Shaw at the time that Mary A. Livermore came to lecture in Big
Rapids. At the close of the meeting she was among those gathered in a
circle about the distinguished speaker, when some one pointed her out,
remarking that "there was a young person who wanted to preach in spite
of the opposition and entreaties of all her friends."

Mrs. Livermore looked into Anna Shaw's glowing eyes with sudden
interest; then she put her arm about her and said quietly, "My dear, if
you want to preach, go on and preach. No matter what people say, don't
let them stop you!"

Before Miss Shaw could choke back her emotion sufficiently to reply,
one of her good friends exclaimed: "Oh, Mrs. Livermore, don't say that
to her! We're all trying to stop her. Her people are wretched over the
whole thing. And don't you see how ill she is? She has one foot in the
grave and the other almost there!"

"Yes," said Mrs. Livermore, looking thoughtfully at the white face that
was turned appealingly toward her, "I see she has. But it is better that
she should die doing the thing she wants to do than that she should die
because she can't do it."

"So they think I'm going to die!" cried Miss Shaw. "Well, I'm not! I'm
going to live and preach!"

[Illustration: _Photo by Brown Bros._

Anna Howard Shaw]

With renewed zeal and courage she turned again to her books, and, in the
autumn of 1873, entered Albion College. "With only eighteen dollars as
my entire capital," she said, "and not the least idea how I might add to
it, I was approaching the campus when I picked up a copper cent bearing
the date of my birth, 1848. It seemed to me a good omen, and I was sure
of it when within the week I found two more pennies exactly like it.
Though I have more than once been tempted to spend those pennies, I have
them still--to my great comfort!"

At college she was distinguished for her independence of thought and
for her alert, vigorous mind. When, on being invited to join the
literary society that boasted both men and women members instead of
the exclusively feminine group, she was assured that "women need to be
associated with men because they don't know how to manage meetings," she
replied with spirit:

"If they don't, it's high time they learned. I shall join the women, and
we'll master the art."

Her gift as a public speaker not only earned her a place of prominence
in her class through her able debates and orations, but it also
helped pay her way through college, since she received now and then
five dollars for a temperance talk in one of the near-by country
schoolhouses. But such sums came at uncertain intervals, and her board
bills came due with discouraging regularity. A gift of ninety-two
dollars, sent at Christmas by her friends in Big Rapids, alone made it
possible for her to get through the term.

Though the second year at Albion was comparatively smooth sailing
because her reputation had brought enough "calls" to preach and lecture
to defray her modest expenses, she decided to go to Boston University
for her theological course. She was able to make her way in the West;
why was it not possible to do the same in the place where she could get
the needed equipment for her life work?

But she soon found what it means to be alone and penniless in a large
city. Opportunities were few and hungry students were many. For the
first time in her life she was tempted to give up and own herself
beaten, when a sudden rift came in the clouds of discouragement. She
was invited to assist in holding a "revival week" in one of the Boston

It was soon evident that one could live on milk and crackers if only
hope were added. The week's campaign was a great success. If she herself
had not been able to feel the fervor and enthusiasm that the meetings
had aroused, she could have no doubt when the minister assured her that
her help had proved invaluable--that he greatly wished he were able
to give her the fifty dollars, which at the very lowest estimate she
deserved--but alas! he had nothing to offer but his heartfelt thanks!

When Miss Shaw passed out of the church her heart was indeed heavy. She
had failed! "I was friendless, penniless, and starving," she said, "but
it was not of these conditions that I thought then. The one overwhelming
fact was that I had been weighed and found wanting. I was not worthy."

All at once she felt a touch on her arm. An old woman who had evidently
been waiting for her to come out put a five-dollar bill in her hand. "I
am a poor woman, Miss Shaw," she said, "but I have all I need, and I
want to make you a little present, for I know how hard life must be for
you young students. I'm the happiest woman in the world to-night, and I
owe my happiness to you. You have converted my grandson, who is all I
have left, and he is going to lead a different life."

"This is the biggest gift I have ever had," cried Miss Shaw. "This
little bill is big enough to carry my future on its back!"

This was indeed the turning point. Here was enough for food and shoes,
but it was much more than that. It was a sign that she had her place in
the great world. There was need of what she could do, and there could be
no more doubt that _her_ needs would be met. Even though she could not
see the path ahead she would never lose heart again.

The succeeding months brought not only the means to live but also the
spirit to make the most of each day's living. "I graduated in a new
black silk gown," she said, "with five dollars in my pocket, which I
kept there during the graduation exercises. I felt special satisfaction
in the possession of that money, for, notwithstanding the handicap of
being a woman, I was said to be the only member of my class who had
worked during the entire course, graduated free from debt, and had a new
outfit as well as a few dollars in cash."

Miss Shaw's influence as a preacher may be illustrated by a single
anecdote. In the months following her graduation she went on a trip to
Europe, a friend having left her a bequest for that express purpose.
While in Genoa she was asked to preach to the sailors in a gospel-ship
in the harbor; but when she appeared it was evident that the missionary
in charge had not understood that the minister he had invited was a
woman. He was unhappy and apologetic in his introduction, and the
weather-beaten tars, in their turn, looked both resentful and mocking.
It was certainly a trying moment when Miss Shaw began to speak. She had
never in her life felt more forlorn or more homesick, when all at once
the thought flashed through her that back of those unfriendly faces that
confronted her there were lonely souls just as hungry for home as she
was. Impulsively stepping down from the pulpit so that she stood on a
level with her hearers, she said:

"My friends, I hope you will forget everything that Dr. Blank has just
said. It is true that I am a minister and that I came here to preach.
But now I do not intend to preach--only to have a friendly talk, on a
text that is not in the Bible. I am very far from home, and I feel
as homesick as some of you men look. So my text is, 'Blessed are the
homesick, for they shall go home.'"

Then out of the knowledge of sea-faring people which she had gained
during summer vacations when she had "filled in" for the absent pastor
of a little church on Cape Cod, she talked in a way that went straight
to the hearts of the rough men gathered there. When she saw that the
unpleasant grin had vanished from the face of the hardest old pirate
of them all, she said: "When I came here I intended to preach a sermon
on 'The Heavenly Vision.' Now I want to give you a glimpse of that in
addition to the vision we have had of home."

After her return to America, Miss Shaw was called as pastor to a church
at East Dennis, Cape Cod, and a few months later she was asked to hold
services at another church about three miles distant. These two charges
she held for seven happy years, rich in the opportunity for real service.

Feeling the need of knowing how to minister to the bodily needs of
those she labored among, Miss Shaw took a course at the Boston Medical
School, going to the city for a part of each week and graduating with
the degree of M.D. in 1885. When some one who knew about her untiring
work as leader and helper of the people to whom she preached, asked
her how it had been possible for her to endure so great a strain, she
replied cheerfully, "Congenial work, no matter how much there is of it,
has never yet killed any one."

During the time of her medical studies when Miss Shaw was serving as
volunteer doctor and nurse to the poor in the Boston slums, she became
interested in the cause of woman suffrage--"The Cause" it was to her
always in the years that succeeded. A new day had come with new needs.
She saw that everywhere there were changed conditions and grave problems
brought about by the entrance of women into the world of wage-earners;
and she became convinced that only through an understanding and sharing
of the responsibilities of citizenship by both men and women could the
best interests of each community be served. She, therefore, gave up her
church work on Cape Cod to become a lecturer in a larger field. For a
while she devoted part of her time to the temperance crusade until that
great leader of the woman's movement, Susan B. Anthony--"Aunt Susan," as
she was affectionately called--persuaded her to give all her strength to
the Cause.

Without an iron constitution and steady nerves, as well as an unfailing
sense of humor, she could never have met the hardships and strange
chances that were her portion in the years that succeeded. In order
to meet the appointments of her lecture tours she was constantly
traveling, often under the most untoward circumstances--now finding
herself snow-bound in a small prairie town; now compelled to cross a
swollen river on an uncertain trestle; now stricken with an attack of
ptomaine poisoning while "on the road," with no one within call except a
switchman in his signal-tower.

Perhaps more appalling than any or all of these tests was the occasion
when she arrived in a town to find that the lecture committee had
advertised her as "the lady who whistled before Queen Victoria," and
announced that she would speak on "The Missing link." When she ventured
to protest, the manager remarked amiably that they had "mixed her up
with a Shaw lady that whistles."

"But I don't know anything about the 'missing link'!" continued Miss

"Well, you see we chose that subject because they have been talking
about it in the Debating Society, and we knew it would arouse interest,"
she was assured. "Just bring in a reference to it every now and then,
and it'll be all right."

"Open the meeting with a song so that I can think for a minute and then
I'll see what can be done," said Miss Shaw pluckily. As the expectant
audience, led by the chairman, sang with patriotic fervor "The Star
Spangled Banner" and "America," the shipwrecked lecturer managed to
seize a straw of inspiration that turned in her grasp magically into a
veritable life-preserver. "It is easy," she said to herself. "Woman is
the missing link in our government. I'll give them a suffrage speech
along that line."

Miss Shaw has labored many years for the Cause. She worked with courage,
dignity, and unfailing common sense and good humor, in the day of small
things when the suffrage pioneers were ridiculed by both men and women
as a band of unwomanly "freaks" and fanatics. She has lived to see the
Cause steadily grow in following and influence, and State after State
(particularly those of the growing, progressive West) call upon women
to share equally with men many of the duties of citizenship and social
service. She has seen that in such States there is no disposition to
go back to the old order of things, and that open-minded people freely
admit that it is only a question of time until the more conservative
parts of the country will fall into line and equal suffrage become
nation wide.

Her days have been rich in happy work, large usefulness, and inspiring
friendships. Many honors have been showered upon her both in her
own country and abroad; but she has always looked upon the work
which she has been privileged to do as making the best--and the most
honorable--part of her life.

Once, while attending a general conference of women in Berlin, she won
the interest and real friendship of a certain Italian princess, who
invited her to visit at her castle in Italy and also to go with her to
her mother's castle in Austria. As Miss Shaw was firm in declining these
distinguished honors, the princess begged an explanation.

"Because, my dear princess," Miss Shaw explained, "I am a working-woman."

"Nobody need _know_ that," murmured the princess, calmly.

"On the contrary, it is the first thing I should explain," was the reply.

"But why?" demanded the princess.

"You are proud of your family, are you not?" asked Miss Shaw. "You are
proud of your great line?"

"Assuredly," replied the princess.

"Very well," continued Miss Shaw. "I am proud, too. What I have done I
have done unaided, and, to be frank with you, I rather approve of it. My
work is my patent of nobility, and I am not willing to associate with
those from whom it would have to be concealed or with those who would
look down upon it."

Anna Howard Shaw's autobiography, which she calls "The Story of a
Pioneer," is an absorbingly interesting and inspiring narrative. It
gives with refreshing directness and wholesome appreciation the story
of her struggles and her work, together with revealing glimpses of some
of her comrades in the Cause; it is at once her own story and the story
of the pioneer days of the movement to which she gave her rich gifts of
mind and character. In conclusion she quotes a speech of a certain small
niece, who was overheard trying to rouse her still smaller sister to
noble indifference in the face of the ridicule of their playmates, who
had laughed when they had bravely announced that they were suffragettes.

"Aren't you ashamed of yourself," she demanded, "to stop just because
you are laughed at once? Look at Aunt Anna! _She_ has been laughed at
for hundreds of years!"

"I sometimes feel," added the Champion of the Cause, "that it has indeed
been hundreds of years since my work began; and then again it seems so
brief a time that, by listening for a moment, I fancy I can hear the
echo of my childish voice preaching to the trees in the Michigan woods.
But, long or short, the one sure thing is that, taking it all in all,
the fight has been worth while. Nothing bigger can come to a human
being than to love a great Cause more than life itself, and to have the
privilege throughout life of working for that Cause."



    Where is the true man's fatherland?
      Is it where he by chance is born?
      Doth not the yearning spirit scorn
    In such scant borders to be spanned?
    O yes! his fatherland must be
    As the blue heaven wide and free!



You know the story of "The Man without a Country"--the man who lost his
country through his own fault. Can you imagine what it would mean to be
a child without a country--to have no flag, no heroes, no true native
land to which you belong as you belong to your family, and which in turn
belongs to you? How would it seem to grow up without the feeling that
you have a big country, a true fatherland to protect your home and your
friends; to build schools for you; to give you parks and playgrounds,
and clean, beautiful streets; to fight disease and many dangers on land
and water for you?--This is the story of a little girl who was born in
a land where she had no chance for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness." Far from being a true fatherland, her country was like the
cruel stepmother of the old tales.

It was strange that one could be born in a country and yet have no
right to live there! Little Maryashe (or Mashke, as she was called,
because she was too tiny a girl for a big-sounding name) soon learned
that the Russia where she was born was not her own country. It seemed
that the Russians did not love her people, or want them to live in their
big land. And yet there they were! Truly it was a strange world.

"Why is Father afraid of the police?" asked little Mashke. "He has done
nothing wrong."

"My child, the trouble is that we can do nothing right!" cried her
mother, wringing her hands. "Everything is wrong with us. We have no
rights, nothing that we dare to call our own."

It seemed that Mashke's people had to live in a special part of the
country called the "Pale of Settlement." It was against the law to go
outside the Pale no matter how hard it was to make a living where many
people of the same manner of life were herded together, no matter how
much you longed to try your fortune in a new place. It was not a free
land, this Polotzk where she had been born. It was a prison with iron
laws that shut people away from any chance for happy living.

It is hard to live in a cage, be it large or small. Like a wild bird,
the free human spirit beats its wings against any bars.

"Why, Mother, why is it that we must not go outside the Pale?" asked

"Because the Czar and those others who have the power to make the laws
do not love our people; they hate us and all our ways," was the reply.

"But why do they hate us, Mother?" persisted the child with big, earnest

"Because we are different; because we can never think like them and be
like them. Their big Russia is not yet big enough to give people of
another sort a chance to live and be happy in their own way."

Even in crowded Polotzk, though, with police spying on every side,
there were happy days. There were the beautiful Friday afternoons when
Mashke's father and mother came home early from the store to put off
every sign of the work-a-day world and make ready for the Sabbath. The
children were allowed to wear their holiday clothes and new shoes. They
stepped about happily while their mother hid the great store keys and
the money bag under her featherbed, and the grandmother sealed the oven
and cleared every trace of work from the kitchen.

How Mashke loved the time of candle prayer! As she looked at the pure
flame of her candle the light shone in her face and in her heart. Then
she looked at the work-worn faces of her mother and grandmother. All the
lines of care and trouble were smoothed away in the soft light. They had
escaped from the prison of this unfriendly land with its hard laws and
its hateful Pale. They were living in the dim but glorious Past, when
their father's fathers had been a free nation in a land of their own.

But Mashke could not escape from the prison in that way. She was young
and glad to be alive. Her candle shone for light and life to-day and
to-morrow and to-morrow! There were no bars that could shut away her
free spirit from the light.

How glad she was for life and sunlight on the peaceful Sabbath
afternoons when, holding to her father's hand, she walked beyond the
city streets along the riverside to the place where in blossoming
orchards birds sang of the joyful life of the air, and where in newly
plowed fields peasants sang the song of planting-time and the fruitful
earth. Her heart leaped as she felt herself a part of the life that
flowed through all things--river, air, earth, trees, birds, and happy,
toiling people.

It seemed to Mashke that most of her days were passed in
wondering--wondering about the strange world in which she found herself,
and its strange ways. Of course she played as the children about her
did, with her rag doll and her "jacks" made of the knuckle bones of
sheep; and she learned to dance to the most spirited tune that could be
coaxed from the teeth of a comb covered with a bit of paper. In winter
she loved to climb in the bare sledge, which when not actively engaged
in hauling wood could give a wonderful joy-ride to a party of happy
youngsters, who cared nothing that their sleigh boasted only straw and
burlap in place of cushions and fur robes, and a knotted rope in place
of reins with jingling bells.

But always, winter and summer, in season and out of season, Mashke
found herself wondering about the meaning of all the things that she
saw and heard. She wondered about her hens who gave her eggs and broth,
and feathers for her bed, all in exchange for her careless largess of
grain. Did they ever feel that the barnyard was a prison? She wondered
about the treadmill horse who went round and round to pump water for the
public baths. Did he know that he was cheated out of the true life of a
horse--work-time in cheerful partnership with man and play-time in the
pasture with the fresh turf under his road-weary hoofs? Did the women,
who toiled over the selfsame tasks in such a weary round that they
looked forward to the change of wash-day at the river where they stood
knee-deep in the water to rub and scrub their poor rags, know that they,
too, were in a treadmill?--Sometimes she could not sleep for wondering,
and would steal from her bed before daybreak to walk through the dewy
grass of the yard and watch the blackness turn to soft, dreamy gray.
Then the houses seemed like breathing creatures, and all the world was
hushed and very sweet. Was there ever such a wonder as the coming of a
new day?--As she watched it seemed that her spirit flew beyond the town,
beyond the river and the glowing sky itself--touching, knowing, and
loving all things. Her spirit was free!

Sometimes it seemed that the wings of her spirit could all but carry
her little body up and away. She was indeed such a wee mite that they
sometimes called her Mouse and Crumb and Poppy Seed. All of her eager,
flaming life was in her questioning eyes and her dark, wayward curls.
Because she was small and frail she was spared the hard work that early
fell to the lot of her older, stronger sister. So it happened that she
had time for her wonderings--time for her spirit to grow and try its

Mashke was still a very little child when she learned a very big
truth. She discovered that there were many prisons besides those
made by Russian laws; she saw that her people often shut themselves
up in prisons of their own making. There were hundreds of laws and
observances--ways to wash, to eat, to dress, to work--which seemed to
many as sacred as their faith in God. Doubtless the rules which were
now only empty forms had once had meaning, such as the law forbidding
her people to touch fire on the Sabbath, which came down from a time
before matches or tinder-boxes when making a fire was hard work. But all
good people observed the letter of the law, and, no matter what the need
of mending a fire or a light, would wait for a Gentile helper to come to
the rescue.

One memorable evening, however, Mashke saw her father, when he thought
himself unobserved, quietly steal over to the table and turn down a
troublesome lamp. The gleam of a new light came to the mind of the
watching, wondering child at that moment. She began to understand that
even her father, who was the wisest man in Polotzk, did many things
because he feared to offend the prejudices of their people, just as he
did many other things because of fear of the Russian police. There was
more than one kind of a prison.

When Mashke was about ten years old a great change came to her life.
Her father decided to go on a long journey to a place far from Polotzk
and its rules of life, far from Russia and its laws of persecution and
death, to a true Promised Land where all people, it was said, no matter
what their nation and belief, were free to live and be happy in their
own way. The name of this Promised Land was America. Some friendly
people--the "emigration society," her father called them--made it
possible for him to go try his fortune in the new country. Soon he would
make a home there for them all.

At last the wonderful letter came--a long letter, and yet it could
not tell the half of his joy in the Promised Land. He had not found
riches--no, he had been obliged to borrow the money for the third-class
tickets he was sending them--but he had found freedom. Best of all, his
children might have the chance to go to school and learn the things that
make a free life possible and worth while.

Mashke found that they had suddenly become the most important people in
Polotzk. All the neighbors gathered about to see the marvelous tickets
that could take a family across the sea. Cousins who had not thought of
them for months came with gifts and pleadings for letters from the new
world. "Do not forget us when you are so happy and grand," they said.

"You will see my boy, my Möshele," cried a poor mother again and again.
"Ask him why he does not write to us these many months. If you do not
find him in Boston maybe he will be in Balti-moreh. It is all America."

The day came at last when every stool and feather-bed was sold, and
their clothes and all the poor treasures they could carry were wrapped
in queer-looking bundles ready to be taken in their arms to the new
home. All of Polotzk went to the station to wave gay handkerchiefs and
bits of calico and wish them well. They soon found, however, that the
way of the emigrant is hard. In order to reach the sea they had to go
through Germany to Hamburg, and a fearful journey it proved to be. It
was soon evident that the Russians were not the only cruel people in the
world; the Germans were just as cruel in strange and unusual ways, and
in a strange language.

They put the travelers in prison, for which they had a queer name, of
course--"Quarantine," they called it. They drove them like cattle into
a most unpleasant place, where their clothes were snatched off, their
bodies rubbed with an evil, slippery substance, and their breath taken
away by an unexpected shower that suddenly descended on their helpless
heads. Their precious bundles, too, were tossed about rudely and steamed
and smoked. As the poor victims sat wrapped in clouds of steam waiting
for the final agony, their clothes were brought back, steaming like
everything else, and somebody cried, "Quick! Quick! or you will lose
your train!" It seemed that they were not to be murdered after all, but
that this was just the German way of treating people whom they thought
capable of carrying diseases about with them.

Then came the sixteen days on the big ship, when Mashke was too ill part
of the time even to think about America. But there were better days,
when the coming of morning found her near the rail gazing at the path of
light that led across the shimmering waves into the heart of the golden
sky. That way seemed like her own road ahead into the new life that
awaited her.

The golden path really began at a Boston public school. Here Mashke
stood in her new American dress of stiff calico and gave a new American
name to the friendly teacher of the primer class. Mary Antin she was
called from that day, all superfluous foreign letters being dropped off
forever. As her father tried in his broken English to tell the teacher
something of his hopes for his children, Mary knew by the look in his
eyes that he, too, had a vision of the path of light. The teacher
also saw that glowing, consecrated look and in a flash of insight
comprehended something of his starved past and the future for which
he longed. In his effort to make himself understood he talked with
his hands, with his shoulders, with his eyes; beads of perspiration
stood out on his earnest brow, and now he dropped back helplessly into
Yiddish, now into Russian. "I cannot now learn what the world knows;
I must work. But I bring my children--they go to school for me. I am
American citizen; I want my children be American citizens."

The first thing was, of course, to make a beginning with the new
language. Afterward when Mary Antin was asked to describe the way the
teacher had worked with her foreign class she replied with a smile, "I
can't vouch for the method, but the six children in my own particular
group (ranging in age from six to fifteen--I was then twelve) attacked
the see-the-cat and look-at-the-hen pages of our primers with the
keenest zest, eager to find how the common world looked, smelled, and
tasted in the strange speech, and we learned!" There was a dreadful
time over learning to say _the_ without making a buzzing sound; even
mastering the v's and w's was not so hard as that. It was indeed a proud
day for Mary Antin when she could say "We went to the village after
water," to her teacher's satisfaction.

How Mary Antin loved the American speech! She had a native gift for
language, and gathered the phrases eagerly, lovingly, as one gathers
flowers, ever reaching for more and still more. She said the words over
and over to herself with shining eyes as the miser counts his gold. Soon
she found that she was thinking in the beautiful English way. When she
had been only four months at school she wrote a composition on _Snow_
that her teacher had printed in a school journal to show this foreign
child's wonderful progress in the use of the new tongue. Here is a bit
of that composition:

    Now the trees are bare, and no flowers are to see in the
    fields and gardens (we all know why), and the whole world seems
    like a-sleep without the happy bird songs which left us till
    spring. But the snow which drove away all these pretty and
    happy things, try (as I think) not to make us at all unhappy;
    they covered up the branches of the trees, the fields, the
    gardens and houses, and the whole world looks like dressed in a
    beautiful white--instead of green--dress, with the sky looking
    down on it with a pale face....

At the middle of the year the child who had entered the primer class in
September without a word of English was promoted to the fifth grade. She
was indeed a proud girl when she went home with her big geography book
making a broad foundation for all the rest of the pile, which she loved
to carry back and forth just because it made her happy and proud to be
seen in company with books.

"Look at that pale, hollow-chested girl with that load of books," said a
kindly passer-by one day. "It is a shame the way children are overworked
in school these days."

The child in question, however, would have had no basis for
understanding the chance sympathy had she overheard the words. Her
books were her dearest joy. They were indeed in a very real sense her
only tangible possessions. All else was as yet "the stuff that dreams
are made of." As she walked through the dingy, sordid streets her
glorified eyes looked past the glimpses of unlovely life about her into
a beautiful world of her own. If she felt any weight from the books she
carried it was just a comfortable reminder that this new Mary Antin and
the new life of glorious opportunity were real.

When she climbed the two flights of stairs to her wretched tenement her
soul was not soiled by the dirt and squalor through which she passed. As
she eagerly read, not only her school history but also every book she
could find in the public library about the heroes of America, she did
not see the moldy paper hanging in shreds from the walls or the grimy
bricks of the neighboring factory that shut out the sunlight. Her look
was for the things beyond the moment--the things that really mattered.
How could the child feel poor and deprived when she knew that the city
of Boston was hers!

As she walked every afternoon past the fine, dignified buildings and
churches that flanked Copley Square to the imposing granite structure
that held all her hero books, she walked as a princess into her palace.
Could she not read for herself the inscription at the entrance: Public
Library--Built by the People--Free to All--? Now she stood and looked
about her and said, "This is real. This all belongs to these wide-awake
children, these fine women, these learned men--and to _me_."

Every nook of the library that was open to the public became familiar
to her; her eyes studied lovingly every painting and bit of mosaic. She
spent hours pondering the vivid pictures by Abbey that tell in color
the mystic story of Sir Galahad and the quest of the Holy Grail, and it
seemed as if the spirit of all romance was hers. She lingered in the
gallery before Sargent's pictures of the "Prophets," and it seemed as if
the spirit of all the beautiful Sabbaths of her childhood stirred within
her, as echoes of the Hebrew psalms awoke in her memory.

[Illustration: © _Falk_

Mary Antin]

When she went into the vast reading-room she always chose a place at
the end where, looking up from her books, she could get the effect of
the whole vista of splendid arches and earnest readers. It was in the
courtyard, however, that she felt the keenest joy. Here the child born
in the prison of the Pale realized to the full the glorious freedom that
was hers.

"The courtyard was my sky-roofed chamber of dreams," she said. "Slowly
strolling past the endless pillars of the colonnade, the fountain
murmured in my ear of all the beautiful things in all the beautiful
world. Here I liked to remind myself of Polotzk, the better to bring
out the wonder of my life. That I who was brought up to my teens almost
without a book should be set down in the midst of all the books that
ever were written was a miracle as great as any on record. That an
outcast should become a privileged citizen, that a beggar should dwell
in a palace--this was a romance more thrilling than poet ever sung.
Surely I was rocked in an enchanted cradle."

As Mary Antin's afternoons were made glorious by these visits to the
public library, so her nights were lightened by rare half-hours on the
South Boston Bridge where it crosses the Old Colony Railroad. As she
looked down at the maze of tracks and the winking red and green signal
lights, her soul leaped at the thought of the complex world in which
she lived and the wonderful way in which it was ordered and controlled
by the mind of man. Years afterward in telling about her dreams on the
bridge she said:

"Then the blackness below me was split by the fiery eye of a monster
engine, his breath enveloped me in blinding clouds, his long body shot
by, rattling a hundred claws of steel, and he was gone. So would I be,
swift on my rightful business, picking out my proper track from the
million that cross it, pausing for no obstacles, sure of my goal."

Can you imagine how the child from Polotzk loved the land that had
taken her to itself? As she stood up in school with the other children
and saluted the Stars and Stripes, the words she said seemed to come
from the depths of her soul: "I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the
Republic for which it stands--one nation indivisible, with liberty and
justice for all." Those were not words, they were heart throbs. The red
of the flag was not just a bright color, it was the courage of heroes;
the white was the symbol of truth clear as the sunlight; the blue was
the symbol of the wide, free heavens--her spirit's fatherland. The child
who had been born in prison, who had repeated at every Passover, "Next
year, may we be in Jerusalem," had found all at once her true country,
her flag, and her heroes. When the children rose to sing "America," she
sang with all the pent-up feeling of starved years of exile:

    I love thy rocks and rills,
    Thy woods and templed hills.

As the teacher looked into the glorified face of this little
alien-citizen she said to herself, "There is the truest patriot of them

Only once as they were singing "Land where my fathers died," the child's
voice had faltered and died away. Her cheek paled when at the close of
school she came to her teacher with her trouble.

"Oh, teacher," she mourned, "our country's song can't to mean me--_my_
fathers didn't die here!"

The friendly teacher, whose understanding and sympathy were never
failing, understood now:

"Mary Antin," she said earnestly, looking through the child's great,
dark eyes into the depths of her troubled soul, "you have as much right
to those words as I or anybody else in America. The Pilgrim Fathers
didn't all come here before the Revolution. Isn't your father just like
them? Think of it, dear, how he left his home and came to a strange land
where he couldn't even speak the language. And didn't he come looking
for the same things? He wanted freedom for himself and his family, and
a chance for his children to grow up wise and brave. It's the same
story over again. Every ship that brings people from Russia and other
countries where they are ill-treated is a _Mayflower_!"

These words took root in Mary Antin's heart and grew with her growth.
The consciousness that she was in very truth an American glorified her
days; it meant freedom from every prison. Seven years after her first
appearance in the Boston primer class she entered Barnard College.
After two years there and two more at Teachers College, she entered
the school of life as a homemaker; her name is now Mary Antin Grabau.
Besides caring for her home and her little daughter, she has devoted her
gifts as a writer and a lecturer to the service of her country.

In her book, "The Promised Land," she has told the story of her life
from the earliest memories of her childhood in Russia to the time when
she entered college. It is an absorbing human story, but it is much
more than that. It is the story of one who looks upon her American
citizenship as a great "spiritual adventure," and who strives to quicken
in others a sense of their opportunities and responsibilities as heirs
of the new freedom. She pleads for a generous treatment of all those
whom oppression and privation send to make their homes in our land. It
is only by being faithful to the ideal of human brotherhood expressed
in the Declaration of Independence that our nation can realize its true
destiny, she warns us.

Mary Antin was recently urged to write a history of the United States
for children, that would give the inner meaning of the facts as well as
a clear account of the really significant events.

    "I have long had such a work in mind," she wrote, "and I
    suppose I shall have to do it some day. In the meantime I _talk_
    history to my children--my little daughter of eight and the
    Russian cousin who goes to school in the kitchen. Only yesterday
    at luncheon I told them about our system of representative
    government, and our potatoes grew cold on our plates, we were
    all so absorbed."

In all that Mary Antin writes and in all that she says her faith in her
country and her zeal for its honor shine out above all else. To the new
pilgrims who lived and suffered in other lands before they sought refuge
in America, as well as to those who can say quite literally, "Land where
my fathers died," she brings this message:

"We must strive to be worthy of our great heritage as American citizens
so that we may use wisely and well its wonderful privileges. To be alive
in America is to ride on the central current of the river of modern
life; and to have a conscious purpose is to hold the rudder that steers
the ship of fate."



    Ho! All ye heavens, all ye of the earth,
        I bid ye hear me!
    Into your midst has come a new life;
    Consent ye! Consent ye all, I implore!
    Make its path smooth, then shall it travel
        beyond the four hills.

            _Omaha Tribal Rite._

        Translated by Alice C. Fletcher.


A great poet once tried to look into the future and picture the kind of
people who might some day live upon the earth--people wiser and happier
than we are because they shall have learned through our mistakes and
carried to success our beginnings, and so have come to understand fully
many things that we see dimly as through a mist. These people Tennyson
calls the "crowning race":

    Of those that eye to eye shall look
    On knowledge; under whose command
    Is Earth and Earth's, and in their hand
    Is Nature like an open book.

You see he believed that the way to gain command of Earth is through
learning to read the open book of Nature. That book is closed to most
of us to-day, but we are just beginning to spell out something of its
message, and as we begin to understand we feel that it is not a strange
speech but our own true mother tongue, which ears, deafened by the noise
of the busy world, have almost ceased to hear and understand. There
comes a time, however, when we feel "the call of the wild." We long to
get away from the hoarse cries of engines, and the grinding roar of
turning wheels, to a quiet that is unbroken even by a passing motor horn.

Have you ever found yourself for a happy half-hour alone among the great
trees of the friendly woods? You must have felt that in getting near to
Nature you were finding yourself. Did not the life of the trees, of the
winged creatures of the branches, of the cool mossy ground itself, seem
a part of your life?

Have you ever climbed a hill when it seemed that the wind was blowing
something of its own strength and freshness into your soul? Did you not
feel as if you were mounting higher and higher into the air and lifting
the sky with you? Have you ever found yourself at evening in a great
clear open place where the tent of the starry heavens over your head
seemed nearer than the shadowy earth and all the things of the day?

This is the story of a girl who loved to listen to the deep chant of
the ocean, to the whisper of the wind in the trees, and to the silence
in the heart of the hills. She came to feel that there was a joy and a
power in the open--in the big, free, unspoiled haunts of furtive beasts
and darting birds--that all the man-made wonders of the world could not

"If I am so much happier and more alive," she said to herself, "in the
days that I spend under the open sky, what must it be like _always_
to live this freer life? Did not the people who lived as Nature's own
children in these very woods that I come to as the guest of an hour or a
summer, have a wisdom and a strength that our life to-day cannot win?"

Again and again the thought came knocking at her heart: "The men whom we
call savages, whom we have crowded out of the land they once roamed over
freely, must have learned very much in all the hundreds of years that
they lived close to Nature. They could teach us a great deal that cannot
be found in books."

Alice C. Fletcher grew up in a cultured New England home. She had the
freedom of a generous library and early learned to feel that great
books and wise men were familiar friends. They talked to her kindly and
never frightened her by their big words and learned looks. She looked
through the veil of words to the living meaning.

She was, too, very fond of music. Playing the piano was more than
practising an elegant accomplishment--just as reading her books was more
than learning lessons. As the books stirred her mind to thinking and
wondering, so the music stirred her heart to feeling and dreaming.

It often seemed, however, that much that her books and music struggled
in vain to bring to her within walls was quite clear when she found
herself in the large freedom of Nature's house. The sunshine, the blue
sky, and the good, wholesome smell of the brown earth seemed to give a
taste of the

    Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
    Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

Once in her reading she came upon the story of the scholar who left
Oxford and the paths of learning to follow the ways of the wandering
gypsies in order that he might learn the natural wisdom they had won.
"Ah," she said to herself, "some day when I am free to live my life in
my own way I shall leave my books and go out among the Indians. Our
country should know what its first children saw and thought and felt. I
shall try to see with their eyes and hear with their ears for a while
and I shall discover, in that way, perhaps, a new world--one that will
be lost forever when the Red Men are made to adopt all the tricks and
manners of civilized life."

The time came when she found herself free to realize this dream.

"You don't mean to say you are really going to live with the Indians?"
her friends exclaimed.

"How else can I know them?" she replied quietly.

"But to give up every necessary comfort!"

"There is something perhaps better than just making sure that we are
always quite comfortable," said Miss Fletcher. "Of course, I shall miss
easy chairs and cozy chats, and all the lectures, concerts, latest
books, and daily papers, but I'm glad to find out that all these nice
things are not really so _necessary_ that they can keep me from doing a
bit of work that is really worth while, and which, perhaps, needs just
what I can bring to it."

At this time Miss Fletcher's earnest, thoughtful studies of what books
and museums could teach about the early history of America and the
interesting time before history, had given her a recognized place among
the foremost scholars of archeology--the science that reads the story of
the forgotten past through the relics that time has spared.

"Many people can be found to study the things about the Indians which
can be collected and put in museums," said Miss Fletcher, "but there is
need of a patient, sympathetic study of the people themselves."

In order to make this study, she spent not only months but years among
the Dakota and Omaha Indians. From a wigwam made of buffalo skins she
watched the play of the children and the life of the people and listened
to their songs and stories.

"The Indian is not the stern, unbending wooden Indian that shows
neither interest nor feeling of any sort, as many people have come
to think of him," said Miss Fletcher. "Those who picture him so have
never really known him. They have only seen the side he turns toward
strangers. In the home and among their friends the Indians show fun,
happy give-and-take, and warm, alert interest in the life about them."

The cultivated New England woman and distinguished scholar won their
confidence because of her sincerity, tact, and warm human sympathy.
She not only learned their speech and manners but also the language of
their hearts. Her love of Nature helped her to a ready understanding of
these children of Nature or Wakonda--as they called the spirit of life
that breathes through earth and sky, rocks, streams, plants, all living
creatures, and the tribes of men. The beautiful ceremony by which,
soon after his birth, each Omaha child was presented to the powers of
Nature showed this sense of kinship between the people and their world.
A priest of the tribe stood outside the wigwam to which the new life
had been sent, and with right hand outstretched to the heavens chanted
these words in a loud voice:

    Ho, ye Sun, Moon, Stars, all ye that move in the heavens,
        I bid ye hear me!
    Into your midst has come a new life;
        Consent ye, I implore!
    Make its path smooth, that it may reach
        The brow of the first hill.

Next the forces of the air--winds, clouds, mist, and rain--were called
upon to receive the young child and smooth the path to the second hill.
Then hills, valleys, rivers, lakes, trees, and all growing things were
invoked, after which the spirits of birds, animals, and all moving
creatures were summoned to make the path smooth to the third and fourth
hills. As the priest intoned the noble appeal to all the powers of the
earth and air and bending heavens, even those who could not understand
the words would know that the four hills meant childhood, youth,
manhood, and age, and that a new life was being presented to the forces
of the universe of which it was a part. So it was that each child was
thought of as belonging to Wakonda--to the spirit of all life--before he
belonged to the tribe. For it was not until he was four or five years
old that he gave up his "baby name," such as Bright Eyes, Little Bird,
or Baby Squirrel, and was given a real name and received into the life
of the people.

Miss Fletcher soon became interested in the music of the Indians. Her
trained ear told her that here was something new. The haunting bits
of melody and strange turns of rhythm were quite different from any
old-world tunes.

"At first it was very hard to hear them," said Miss Fletcher. "The
Indians never sang to be heard by others. Their singing was a
spontaneous expression of their feeling--for the most part, religious
feeling. In their religious ceremonies the noise of the dancing and of
the drums and rattles often made it very hard to really catch the sound
of the voice."

Day after day she strove to hear and write down bits of the music, but
it was almost like trying to imprison the sound of the wind in the

"Do you remember," said Miss Fletcher, "how the old Saxon poet tried to
explain the mystery of life by saying it was like a bird flying through
the windows of a lighted hall out of the darkness to darkness again?
An Indian melody is like that. It has no preparations, no beginning. It
flashes upon you and is gone, leaving only a teasing memory behind."

While this lover of music was vainly trying to catch these strangely
beautiful strains of melody, the unaccustomed hardships of her life
brought upon her a long illness. There was compensation, however, for
when she could no longer go after the thing she sought it came to her.
Her Indian friends who had found out that she was interested in their
songs gathered about her couch to sing them for her.

"So my illness was after all like many of our so-called trials, a
blessing in disguise," said Miss Fletcher. "I was left with this
lameness, but I had the music. The sigh had become a song!"

You have, perhaps, heard of the great interest that many learned people
have in the songs and stories of simple folk--the folk-songs and
folk-tales of different lands. Did you know that Sir Walter Scott's
first work in literature was the gathering of the simple ballads of the
Scottish peasants which they had long repeated just as you repeat the
words of "ring games" learned from other children?

Did you know that most of the fairy stories and hero tales that you
love were told by people who had never held a book in their hands, and
were repeated ages and ages ago before the time of books? Just as it
is true that broad, flowing rivers have their source in streams that
well up out of the ground, so it is true that the literature of every
nation has its source in the fancies that have welled up out of the
hearts and imaginations of the simple people. The same thing is true of
music. Great composers like Brahms and Liszt took the wild airs of the
Hungarian gypsies and made them into splendid compositions that all the
world applauds. Chopin has done this with the songs of the simple Polish
folk. Dvorák, the great Bohemian composer, has made his "New World
Symphony" of negro melodies, and Cadman and others are using the native
Indian music in the same way.

Just as the Grimm brothers went about among the German peasants to learn
their interesting stories, just as Sir George Dasent worked to get the
tales of the Norse, so Alice Cunningham Fletcher worked to preserve the
songs and stories of the Indians. Others have come after her and have
gone on with the work she began, following the trail she blazed. All
musicians agree that this native song with its fascinating and original
rhythms may prove the source of inspiration for American composers of
genius and give rise to our truest new-world music.

Much of Miss Fletcher's work is preserved in great learned volumes, such
as "The Omaha Tribe," published by the National Government, for she
wrote as a scientist for those who will carry on the torch of science
into the future. But realizing that the music would mean much to many
who cannot enter upon the problems with which the wise men concern
themselves, she has presented many of the songs in a little book called
"Indian Story and Song." We find there, for instance, the "Song of the
Laugh" sung when the brave young warrior recounts the story of the way
he has slain his enemy with his own club and so helped to fill with fear
the foes of his tribe.

We find, too, the story of the youth who begins his life as a man by a
lonely vigil when by fasting he proves his powers of endurance.

The Omaha tribal prayer is the solemn melody that sounded through the
forests of America long before the white man came to this country--a cry
of the yearning human spirit to Wakonda, the spirit of all life.

Try to picture Miss Fletcher surrounded by her Indian friends,
explaining to them carefully all about the strange machine before
which she wants them to sing. For the graphophone was a field worker
with her--for a time her chief assistant in catching the elusive
Indian songs. Perhaps there could have been no greater proof of their
entire confidence in her than their willingness to sing for her again
and again, and even to give into the keeping of her queer little
black cylinders the strains that voiced their deepest and most sacred
feelings. For Indian music is, for the most part, an expression of the
bond between the human spirit and the unseen powers of Nature. It must
have been that they felt from the first that here was some one who
understood them because she, too, loved the Nature they knew and loved.

While Miss Fletcher was thus happily at work she became aware, however,
that there was keen distress among these friends to whom she had
become warmly attached. Some of their neighbors, the Ponca Indians,
had been removed from their lands to the dreaded "hot country"--Indian
Territory--and the Omaha people feared that the same thing might
happen to them, for it was very easy for unprincipled white men to
take advantage of the Indians who held their lands as a tribe, not as

Always on the frontier of settlement there were bold adventurers who
coveted any promising tracts of land that the Indians possessed. They
said to themselves, "We could use this country to much better advantage
than these savages, therefore it should be ours." They then would
encroach more and more on the holdings of the Indians, defying them
by every act which said plainly, "A Redskin has no rights!" Sometimes
when endurance could go no further the Indians would rise up in active
revolt. Then what more easy than to cry out, "An Indian uprising! There
will be a massacre! Send troops to protect us from the mad fury of the
savages!" The Government would then send a detachment of cavalry to
quell the outbreak, after which it would seem wiser to move the Indians
a little farther away from contact with the white men, who now had just
what they had been working toward from the first--the possession of the
good land.

Miss Fletcher realized that the only remedy for this condition was for
each Indian to secure from the Government a legal title to a portion
of the tribal grant which he might hold as an individual. She left her
happy work with the music and went to Washington to explain to the
President and to Congress the situation as she knew it. The cause was,
at this time, greatly furthered by the appearance of a book by Helen
Hunt Jackson, called "A Century of Dishonor," an eloquent presentation
of the Indians' wrongs and a burning plea for justice.

There was need, however, of some practical worker, who knew the Indians
and Indian affairs intimately, to point to a solution of the problem.
The conscience of the people was aroused, but they did not know how it
was possible to prevent in the future the same sort of wrongs that had
made the past hundred years indeed "a century of dishonor." Then the
resolute figure of Miss Alice Fletcher appeared on the scene. She was
well known to the government authorities for her valuable scientific
work. Here was some one they knew, who really could explain the exact
state of affairs and who could also interpret fairly the mind of the
Indian. She could be depended on as one who would not be swayed by mere
sentimental considerations. She would know the practical course to

"Let the Indians hold their land as the white men hold theirs," she
said. "That is the only way to protect them from wrong and to protect
the Government from being a helpless partner to the injustice that is
done them."

[Illustration: Alice C. Fletcher]

Now, it is one thing to influence people who are informed and interested
and quite another to awaken the interest of those who are vitally
concerned with totally different things. Miss Fletcher realized that
if anything was to be actually accomplished she must leave no stone
unturned to bring the matter to the attention of those who had not
heretofore given a thought to the Indian question and the responsibility
of the Government. She presented a petition to Congress and worked early
and late to drive home to the people the urgent need of legislation
in behalf of the Indians. She spoke in clubs, in churches, in private
houses, and before committees in Congress. And actually the busy
congressmen who always feel that there is not half time enough to
consider measures by which their own States and districts will profit,
gave right of way to the Indian Land Act, and in 1882 it became a law.

There was the need of the services of some disinterested person to
manage the difficult matter of dividing the tribal tracts and allotting
to each Indian his own acres, and Miss Fletcher was asked by the
President to undertake this work.

"Why do you trust Miss Fletcher above any one else?" asked President
Cleveland on one occasion when he was receiving a delegation of Omahas
at the White House.

"We have seen her in our homes; we have seen her in her home. We find
her always the same," was the reply.

The work which Miss Fletcher did in allotting the land to the Omahas
was so successfully handled that she was appealed to by the Government
to serve in the same capacity for the Winnebago and Nez Percé Indians.
The law whose passage was secured by her zeal was the forerunner the
Severalty Act of 1885 which marked a change in policy of the Government
and ushered in a better era for all the Indian tribes.

"What led you to undertake this important work?" Miss Fletcher was asked.

"The most natural desire in the world--the impulse to help my friends
where I saw the need," she replied. "I did not set out resolved to have
a career--to form and to reform. There is no story in my life. It has
always been just one step at a time--one thing which I have tried to do
as well as I could and which has led on to something else. It has all
been in the day's work."

Miss Fletcher has been much interested in the work of the Boy and Girl
Scouts and in the Campfire Societies, because she feels that in this way
many children are brought to an appreciation of the great out-of-doors
and win health, power, and joy which the life of cities cannot give. For
them she has made a collection of Indian games and dances.

"Just as the spirit of Sir Walter Scott guides us through the Scottish
lake country and as Dickens leads us about old London, so the spirit of
the Indians should make us more at home in the forests of America," said
Miss Fletcher. "In sharing the happy fancies of these first children of
America we may win a new freedom in our possession of the playground of
the great out-of-doors."



    I am ready to go anywhere, provided it be forward.


    God can't give His best till we have given ours!



Among all the weavers in the great factory at Dundee there was no girl
more deft and skilful than Mary Slessor. She was only eleven when she
had to help shoulder the cares of the household and share with the frail
mother the task of earning bread for the hungry children. For the little
family was worse than fatherless. The man who had once been a thrifty,
self-respecting shoemaker had become a slave to drink; and his life was
a burden to himself and to those who were nearest and dearest to him.

"Dinna cry, mither dear," Mary had said. "I can go to the mills in the
morning and to school in the afternoon. It will be a glad day, earning
and learning at the same time!"

So Mary became a "half-timer" in the mills. At six o'clock every morning
she was at work among the big whirling wheels. Even the walls and
windows seemed to turn sometimes as the hot wind came in her face from
the whizzing belts, and the roar of the giant wheels filled all her day
with din and clamor.

But as Mary worked week after week, she learned more than the trick
of handling the shuttle at the moving loom. She learned how to send
her thoughts far away from the noisy factory to a still place of
breeze-stirred trees and golden sunshine. Sometimes a book, which she
had placed on the loom to peep in at free moments, helped her to slip
away in fancy from the grinding toil. What magic one could find in the
wonderful world of books! The wheels whirled off into nothingness, the
walls melted away like mist, and her spirit was free to wander through
all the many ways of the wide world. And so it was that she went from
the hours of work and earning to the hours of study and learning with a
blithe, morning face, her brave soul shining through bright eager eyes.

"When we're all dragged out, and feel like grumbling at everything and
nothing seems of any use at all, Mary Slessor is still up and coming, as
happy as a cricket," said one of the girls who worked by her side. "She
makes you take heart in spite of yourself, and think it's something to
be glad over just to be living and working."

"It's wonderful the way your hand can go on with the shuttle and do the
turn even better than you could if you stopped to take thought," Mary
would explain. "That leaves your mind free to go another way. Now this
morning I was not in the weaving shed at all; I was far away in Africa,
seeing all the strange sights the missionary from Calabar told us about
last night at meeting."

Heaven was very near to Mary Slessor, and the stars seemed more real
than the street lamps of the town. She had come to feel that the
troubles and trials of her days were just steps on the path that she
would travel. Always she looked past the rough road to the end of the
journey where there was welcome in the Father's house for all His tired
children. There was, moreover, one bit of real romance in that gray
Scotch world of hers. The thrill of beauty and mystery and splendid
heroism was in the stories that the missionaries told of Africa, the
land of tropical wonders--pathless forests, winding rivers under
bending trees, bright birds, and brighter flowers--and people, hundreds
of black people, with black lives because the light of truth had never
shone in their world. She knew that white people who called themselves
Christians had gone there to carry them away for slaves; and to get
their palm-oil and rubber and give them rum in exchange--rum that was
making them worse than the wild beasts of the jungle. How Mary Slessor
longed to be one to carry the good news of a God of Love to those people
who lived and died in darkness! "Somebody must help those who can't help
themselves!" she said to herself.

"The fields are ripe for the harvest but the laborers are few," one of
the missionaries had said. "We fear the fever and other ills that hide
in the bush more than we fear to fail in God's service. Men have gone to
these people to make money from the products of their land; they have
bought and sold the gifts of their trees; they have bought and sold the
people themselves; they are selling them death to-day in the strong
drink they send there. Is there no one who is willing to go to take life
to these ignorant children who have suffered so many wrongs?"

These words sank deep into Mary Slessor's heart. But it was plain that
her mission was to the little home in Dundee. She was working now among
the turning wheels all day from six until six, and going to school in
the evening; but she found time to share with others the secret of the
joy that she had found, the light that had made the days of toil bright.
The boys that came to her class in the mission school were "toughs" from
the slums of the town, but she put many of them on the road to useful,
happy living. Her brave spirit won them from their fierce lawlessness;
her patience and understanding helped to bring out and fortify the best
that was in them.

Once a much-dreaded "gang" tried to break up the mission with a battery
of mud and jeers. When Mary Slessor faced them quietly, the leader,
boldly confronting her, swung a leaden weight which hung suspended
from a cord, about her head threateningly. It came nearer and nearer
until it grazed her temple, but the mission teacher never flinched. Her
eyes still looked into those of the boy's--bright, untroubled, and
searching. His own dropped, and the missile fell forgotten to the ground.

"She's game, boys!" he cried, surprised out of himself.

And the unruly mob filed into the mission to hear what the "game" lady
had to say. Mary Slessor had never heard of the poet, Horace; but she
had put to the proof the truth of the well-known lines, which declare
that "the man whose life is blameless and free from evil has no need of
Moorish javelins, nor bow, nor quiver full of poisoned arrows."

As in her work with the wild boys of the streets, so in her visits
to the hopeless people of the dark tenements, Mary Slessor was a
powerful influence because she entered their world as one of them,
with a faith in the better self of each that called into new life his
all-but-extinguished longing for better things.

"As she sat by the fire holding the baby and talking cheerily about her
days at the mills and the Sabbath morning at chapel, it seemed as if
I were a girl again, happy and hopeful and ready to meet whatever the
morrow might bring," said a discouraged mother to whom Mary had been a
friend in need.

"It is like hearing the kirk-bells on a Sunday morning at the old home,
hearing your voice, Mary Slessor," said a poor blind woman to whom Mary
had brought the light of restored faith.

For fourteen years this happy Scotch girl worked in the factory for ten
hours each day, and shared her evenings and Sundays with her neighbors
of the mission. Besides, she seized moments by the way for study and
reading. Her mind was hungry to understand the meaning of life and the
truths of religion. One day, in order to find out the sort of mental
food she craved, a friend lent her Carlyle's "Sartor Resartus."

"How are you and Carlyle getting on together?" he asked quizzically when
they next met.

"It is grand!" she replied with earnest enthusiasm. "I sat up reading
it, and was so interested that I did not know what the time was until I
heard the factory bells calling me to work in the morning."

Thus her mind was growing and expanding, while her spirit grew through
faithful work and loyal service. Her simple, direct speech had an
eloquent appeal that went straight to the heart. In spite of an
unconquerable timidity that made her shrink from platform appearances,
her informal addresses had wide influence. Once she rose in her place at
a public meeting and gave a quiet talk on the words: _The common people
heard him gladly._ "And," it was said, "the common people heard _her_
gladly, and crowded around, pleading with her to come again."

In 1874, when every one was stirred by the death of David Livingstone,
Mary Slessor's life was transfigured by a great resolve. The years had
brought changes. Her father was dead, and her sisters were old enough to
share the burden of supporting the family.

"The time has come for me to join the band of light-bearers to the Dark
Continent," said Mary, with a conviction that overcame every obstacle.
"It is my duty to go where the laborers are few. Besides, there must be
a way to work there and send help to mother at home."

She knew that the missionaries were given a stipend to support them
in the manner of the country from which they came. "I shall as far as
possible live on the food of the country," she said. "It may be that
by sharing to a greater extent the conditions of life of the people, I
can come to a fuller understanding of them and they of me. Besides, it
will not be so hard to leave home if I can feel that I am still earning
something for mother."

So Mary Slessor went, after a few months of special preparation to
teach the natives of Calabar. She was at this time twenty-eight years
old. Ever since she was a mere slip of a girl, she had longed to serve
in that most discouraging of fields--"the slums of Africa," it was
called. The people who inhabited that swampy, equatorial region were
the most wretched and degraded of all the negro tribes. They had for
ages been the victims of stronger neighbors, who drove them back from
the drier and more desirable territory that lay farther inland; and of
their own ignorance and superstitions, which were at the root of their
blood-thirsty, savage customs.

It was in September, 1876, that the vessel _Ethiopia_ sailed out of
the clean, blue Atlantic into the mud-colored Calabar River. At its
prow stood Mary Slessor, gazing soberly at the vast mangrove swamps and
wondering about the unknown, unexplored land beyond, where she should
pitch her tent and begin her work. Though white men had for centuries
come to the coast to trade for gold dust, ivory, palm oil, spices,
and slaves, they had never ventured inland, and the natives who lived
near the shore had sought to keep the lion's share of the profit by
preventing the remoter tribes from coming with their goods to barter
directly with the men of the big ships. So only a few miles from the
mouth of the Calabar River was a land where white people had never gone,
whose inhabitants had never seen a white face. It was to this place of
unknown dangers that Mary Slessor was bound.

For a time she remained at the mission settlement to learn the language,
while teaching in the day school. As soon as she gained sufficient ease
in the use of the native speech, she began to journey through the bush,
as the tropical jungles of palms, bananas, ferns, and thick grass were
called. Her heart sang as she went along, now wading through a spongy
morass bright with orchids, now jumping over a stream or the twisted
roots of a giant tree. After the chill grayness of her Scottish country,
this land seemed at first a veritable paradise of golden warmth,
alluring sounds and scents, and vivid color. Now she paused in delight
as a brilliant bird flashed through the branches overhead; now she went
on with buoyant step, drinking in the tropical fragrance with every
breath. Surely so fair a land could not be so deadly as it was said. She
_must_ keep well for the task that lay before her. She could not doubt
that each day would bring strength for the day's work.

With two or three of the boys from the Calabar school as guides, she
made the journey to some of the out-districts. Here a white face was a
thing of wonder or terror. The children ran away shrieking with fear;
the women pressed about her, chattering and feeling her clothing and her
face, to see if she were real. At first she was startled, but she soon
divined that this was just the beginning of friendly acquaintance.

Miss Slessor soon showed an astonishing mastery of the language, and an
even more amazing comprehension of the minds of the people. She realized
that the natives were not devoid of ideas and beliefs, but that, on
the contrary, certain crude conceptions, strongly rooted through the
custom and tradition of ages, accounted for many of their horrible
practices. They put all twin babies to death because they believed that
one of them was a demon-child whose presence in a tribe would bring
untold harm on the people. They tortured and murdered helpless fellow
creatures, not wantonly, but because they believed that their victims
had been bewitching a suffering chief--for disease was a mysterious
blight, caused by the "evil eye" of a malicious enemy. When a chief died
many people were slaughtered, for of course he would want slaves and
companions in the world of spirits.

It was wonderful the way Mary Slessor was able to move about among the
rude, half-naked savages as confidently as she had among her people
in Scotland, looking past the dirt and ugliness to the human heart
beneath, tortured by fear or grief, and say a word that brought hope
and comfort. She feared neither the crouching beasts of the jungle nor
the treacherous tribes of the scattered mud villages. Picking her way
over the uncertain bush trails, she carried medicine, tended the sick,
and spoke words of sympathy and cheer to the distressed. Sometimes she
stayed away over several nights, when her lodging was a mud hut and her
bed a heap of unpleasant rags.

The people soon learned that her interest went beyond teaching and
preaching and giving aid to the sick. She cared enough for their welfare
to lead them by night past the sentries of the jealous coast tribes to
the factory near the beach, where they could dispose of their palm oil
and kernels to their own profit. She won in this way the good will of
the traders who said:

"There is a missionary of the right sort! She will accomplish something
because she is taking hold of all the problems that concern her people,
and is working systematically to improve all the conditions of their

One day she set forth on a trip of thirty miles along the river to visit
the village of a chief named Okon, who had sent begging her to come.
A state canoe, which was lent by King Eyo of Calabar, had been gaily
painted in her honor, and a canopy of matting to shield her from the sun
and dew had been thoughtfully erected over a couch of rice bags. Hours
passed in the tender formalities of farewell, and when the paddlers
actually got the canoe out into the stream it was quite dark. The red
gleam of their torches fell upon venomous snakes and alligators, but
there was no fear while her companions beat the "tom-tom" and sang, as
they plied their paddles, loud songs in her praise, such as:

    "Ma, our beautiful, beloved mother is on board!
            Ho! Ho! Ho!"

Such unwonted clamor no doubt struck terror to all the creatures with
claws and fangs along the banks.

After ten hours' paddling, she arrived at Okon's village. A human skull
stuck on a pole was the first sight that greeted her. Crowds gathered
about to stare and touch her hand to make sure that she was flesh and
blood. At meal times a favored few who were permitted to watch her eat
and drink ran about, excitedly reporting every detail to their friends.

For days she went around giving medicines, bandaging, cutting out
garments, and teaching the women the mysteries of sewing, washing, and
ironing. In the evenings all the people gathered about her quietly while
she told them about the God she served--a God of love, whose ways were
peace and loving kindness. At the end they filed by, wishing her good
night with much feeling before they disappeared into the blackness of
the night.

These new friends would not permit her to walk about in the bush as she
had been used to doing. There were elephants in the neighboring jungle,
they said. The huge beasts had trampled down all their growing things,
so that they had to depend mainly on fishing. One morning, on hearing
that a boa constrictor had been seen, bands of men armed with clubs
and muskets set off, yelling fearsomely, to hunt the common enemy. But
more terrible to Mary Slessor than any beast of prey were the skulls,
horrible images, and offerings to ravenous spirits, that she saw on
every side. How was it possible to teach the law of love to a people who
had never known anything but the tyranny of fear?

"I must learn something of the patience of the Creator of all," she said
to herself again and again. "For how long has He borne with the sins and
weakness of His poor human children, always caring for us and believing
that we can grow into something better in spite of all!"

After two weeks in "Elephant Country," Miss Slessor made ready to return
to the mission. Rowers, canoe, and baggage were in readiness, and a
smoking pot of yams and herbs cooked in palm oil was put on board for
the evening meal. Scarcely had they partaken, however, when Mary saw
that the setting sun was surrounded by angry clouds, and her ear caught
the ominous sound of the wind wailing in the tree-tops.

"We are coming into a stormy night," she said fearfully to Okon, who was
courteously escorting the party back to Old Town.

The chief lifted his black face to the black sky and scanned the
clouds solemnly. Then he hastily steered for a point of land that lay
sheltered from the wind. Before they could reach the lee side, however,
the thunder broke, and the wild sweep of the wind seized the canoe and
whirled it about like a paper toy. Crew and chief alike were helpless
from terror when Mary took her own fear in hand and ordered the rowers
to make for the tangle of trees that bordered the bank. The men pulled
together with renewed hope and strength until the shelter of the bush
was reached. Then springing like monkeys into the overhanging branches,
they held on to the canoe which was being dashed up and down like a
straw. The "White Mother," who was sitting in water to her knees and
shaking with ague, calmed the fears of the panic-stricken children who
had buried their faces in her lap, and looked about in awed wonder at
the weird beauty of the scene. The vivid flashes of lightning shattered
the darkness with each peal of thunder, revealing luxuriant tropical
vegetation rising above the lashed water, foaming and hissing under the
slanting downpour of the rain, and the tossing canoe with the crouching,
gleaming-wet figures of the frightened crew.

This was but one of many thrilling adventures that filled the days of
the brave young missionary. When the appeal came, no matter what the
time of midday heat or midnight blackness, she was ready to journey for
hours through the bush to bring succor and comfort.

Once the news came that the chief of a village had been seized by a
mysterious illness. Knowing that this would mean torture, and death,
perhaps, to those suspected of having enviously afflicted him by the
"evil eye," she set off along the trail through the dense forest to use
all her influence to save the unfortunate victims.

[Illustration: _Courtesy of George H. Doran Company_

Mary Slessor]

"But, Ma," the people would protest, "you don't understand. If you
god-people not punish evil, bad ones say, 'God-ways no good!' Bad
ones go round cast spells with no fear. No one safe at all."

Of all their superstitious fears, the horror of twin babies was the most
universal. With great difficulty Miss Slessor managed to save a few
of these unfortunate infants. At first some of the people refused to
come into the hut where a twin child was kept; but when they saw that
no plague attacked the place or the rash white "Ma," they looked upon
her with increased respect. The "White Mother" must have a power much
greater than that of the witch-doctors.

The witch-doctors knew a great deal, no doubt. When a man had a
tormented back they could tell what enemy had put a spell on him.

"Oh, yes, Ma, the witch-doctor he knows," declared a chief who was
suffering with an abscess, "just see all those claws, teeth, and bones
over there. He took them all out of my back."

But if "Ma" did not understand about such spells, she had a wonderful
magic of her own; she knew soothing things to put on the bewitched back
that could drive the pain away and make it well. The influence of the
healer was often stronger than the influence of the witch-doctor and the
superstitious fears of all the tribe. Again and again her will prevailed
in the palaver, and the chief to please her would spare the lives of
those who should by every custom of the land be put to death.

"Ma" required strange things of them, but she was the best friend they
had ever had. When she stood up before them and spoke so movingly it
seemed as if she would talk the heart right out of the sternest savage
of them all! She made them forget the things that they had known all
their lives. Who would have believed that they would even dream of
allowing a chief's son to go unattended into the spirit-world? Yet
when she begged them to spare the lives of the slaves who should have
been sent with him, they had at last consented. And it didn't take a
witch-doctor to tell one that a twin-child should never be allowed to
live and work its demon spells in the world. Still they allowed her to
save some of them alive. It was said that prudent people had even gone
into the room where the rescued twins were kept and had touched them
without fear. They had been almost persuaded that those queerly born
babies were just like other children!

The "White Mother" of Calabar always had a family of little black
waifs that she had rescued from violent death or neglect. Besides the
unfortunate twins, there were the children whose slave mothers had died
when they were tiny infants. "Nobody has time to bring up a child that
will belong to somebody else as soon as it is good for something," it
was said. So the motherless children were left in the bush to die.

Mary Slessor loved her strange black brood tenderly. "Baby things are
always gentle and lovable," she used to say. "These children who have
had right training from the beginning will grow up to be leaders and
teachers of their people."

For twelve years Miss Slessor worked in connection with the established
mission at Calabar, journeying about to outlying villages as the call
came. It had for long been her dream, however, to go still farther
inland to the wild Okoyong tribe whose very name was a terror
throughout the land. Her mother and her sister Janie, who together made
"home" for her, had died.

"There is no one to write and tell all my stories and troubles and
nonsense to," she said. "But Heaven is now nearer to me than Britain,
and nobody will be anxious about me if I go up country."

In King Eyo's royal canoe she made the journey to the strange people.
Leaving the paddlers, who were mortal enemies to the Okoyong tribe, at
the water's edge, she made her way along the jungle trail to a village
four miles inland. Here the people crowded about her greatly excited.
They called her "Mother," and seemed pleased that she had come to them
without fear. The chief, Edem, and his sister, Ma Eame, received her in
a friendly fashion. Her courage, frankness, and ready understanding won
favor from the beginning.

"May I have ground for a schoolhouse and a home with you here?" she
asked. "Will you have me stay as your friend and help you as I have
helped the people of Calabar?"

Eagerly they assented. It would be a fine thing to have a "White
Mother" in their country.

"Will you grant that the house I build shall be a place of refuge for
those in distress--for those charged with witchcraft or threatened with
death for any other cause? Will you promise that they shall be safe with
me until we can consider together their case?"

The people looked at the strange white woman wonderingly. Why should she
ask this thing? What difference could it make to her?

"All life is precious," she said simply, as if she had read their
thoughts. "I am here to help you--to care for those who are sick or
hurt, and I must be allowed to see that each one who is in any sort of
trouble is treated fairly. Will you promise that my house shall be a
place of refuge?"

Again they gravely assented. So, greatly encouraged, she returned to
Calabar to pack her goods and prepare to leave the old field for the new.

All her friends gathered about her, loudly lamenting. She was surely
going to her death, they said. Her fellow workers regarded her with
wonder and pity. "Nothing can make any impression on the Okoyong save
a consul and a British gunboat," they declared. But Mary Slessor was
undaunted. She stowed her boxes and her little family of five small
waifs away in the canoe as happily as if she were starting out on a
pleasure trip. To a friend in Scotland, she wrote:

    I am going to a new tribe up-country, a fierce, cruel
    people, and every one tells me that they will kill me. But I
    don't fear any hurt--only to combat their savage customs will
    require courage and firmness on my part.

The life in Okoyong did indeed require fortitude and faith. Remote
from friends and helpers, in the midst of that most dreaded of all the
African tribes, she patiently worked to lighten the darkness of the
degraded people and make their lives happier and better. With her rare
gift of intuition she at once felt that Ma Eame, the chief's sister, had
a warm heart and a strong character.

"She will be my chief ally," she said to herself, and time proved that
she was right. A spark in the black woman's soul was quickened by the
White Mother's flaming zeal. Dimly she felt the power of the new law
of love. Often at the risk of her life, should she be discovered, she
kept the missionary informed in regard to the movements of the people.
Whether it was a case of witchcraft or murder, of vengeance or a raid on
a neighboring tribe, "Ma" was sure to find it out; and her influence was
frequently strong enough to avert a tragedy.

As at Calabar, she found that the greatest obstacle in the way of
progress was the general indulgence in rum, which the white people gave
the natives in exchange for their palm oil, spices, rubber, and other

"Do not drink the vile stuff--do not take it or sell it," she begged.
"It is like poison to your body. It burns out your life and heart and
brings every trouble upon you."

"What for white man bring them rum suppose them rum no be good?" they
demanded. "He be god-man bring the rum--then what for god-man talk so?"

What was there to say? With a heavy heart the White Mother struggled
on to help her people in spite of this great evil which men of the
Christian world had brought upon these weak, ignorant black children.
And she did make headway in spite of every discouragement. "I had a lump
in my throat often, and my courage repeatedly threatened to take wings
and fly away--though nobody guessed it," she said.

For years this brave woman went on with her work among the wild tribes
of Nigeria. As soon as she began to get the encouragement of results
in one place she pressed on to an unworked field. Realizing that her
pioneer work needed to be reënforced and sustained by the strong arm
of the law, she persuaded the British Government to "take up the white
man's burden" and (through the influence of consuls and the persuasive
presence of a gunboat or two) assume the guardianship of her weak
children. In spite of failing health and the discouragement of small
results, she went from one post to another, leaving mission houses and
chapel-huts as outward signs of the new life to which she had been a
witness. "I am ready to go anywhere, provided it be forward," was her
watchword, as well as Dr. Livingstone's.

There are many striking points of likeness between the careers of these
two torch-bearers to the Dark Continent. As children both had worked
at the loom, studying hungrily as they toiled. Both did pioneer work,
winning the confidence and love of the wild people they taught and
served. No missionary to Africa, save Dr. Livingstone alone, has had a
more powerful influence than Mary Slessor.

When at last in January, 1915, after thirty-nine years of service, she
died and left to others the task of bearing on the torch to her people,
Sir Frederick Lugard, the Governor-General of Nigeria said:

"By her enthusiasm, self-sacrifice, and greatness of character she has
earned the devotion of thousands of natives among whom she worked, and
the love and esteem of all Europeans, irrespective of class or creed,
with whom she came in contact."

She was buried in the land to which she had given her long life of
service. At the grave when the women, after the native fashion, began
their wild wail of lament, one of them lifted up her voice in an exalted
appeal that went straight to the heart:

"Do not cry, do not cry! Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Ma
was a great blessing."

Of all the words of glowing tribute to her faithful work, we may be sure
that none would have meant more to the lowly missionary than this cry
from the awakened soul of one of her people of the bush.



    One truth discovered is immortal and entitles its author
    to be so; for, like a new substance in nature, it cannot be



You would hardly think that a big, bare room, with rows of battered
benches and shelves and tables littered with all sorts of queer-looking
jars and bottles, could be a hiding-place for fairies. Yet Marie's
father, who was one of the wise men of Warsaw, said they were always to
be found there.

"Yes, little daughter," he said, "the fairies you may chance to meet
with in the woods, peeping from behind trees and sleeping in flowers,
are a tricksy, uncertain sort. The real fairies, who do things, are to
be found in my dusty laboratory. They are the true wonder-workers, and
there you may really catch them at work and learn some of their secrets."

"But, Father, wouldn't the fairies like it better if it wasn't quite so
dusty there?" asked the child.

"No doubt of it," replied the professor.

"We need one fairy more to put us to rights."

At a time when most little girls are playing with dolls, Marie was
playing "fairy" in the big classroom, dusting the tables and shelves,
and washing the glass tubes and other things that her father used as he
talked to his students. "I think we might see the fairies better if I
make all these glasses clear and shiny," said Marie.

"Can I trust your little fingers not to let things fall?" asked her
father. "Remember, my funny glasses are precious. It might cost us a
dinner if you should let one slip."

The professor soon found that his little daughter never let anything
slip--either the things he used or the things he said. "Such a wise
little fairy and such a busy one!" he would say. "I don't know how we
could do our work without her."

If Professor Ladislaus Sklodowski had not loved his laboratory teaching
above all else, he would have known that he was overworked. As it
was, he counted himself fortunate in being able to serve Truth and to
enlist others in her service. For the professor's zeal was of the kind
that kindles enthusiasm. If you had seen the faces of those Polish
students as they hung on his words and watched breathlessly the result
of an experiment, you would have known that they, too, believed in the
wonder-working fairies.

It seems as if the Polish people have a greater love and understanding
of the unseen powers of the world than is given to many other nations.
If you read the story of Poland's tragic struggles against foes within
and without until, finally, the stronger surrounding countries--Germany,
Austria, and Russia--divided her territory as spoil among themselves
and she ceased to exist as a distinct nation, you will understand why
her children have sought refuge in the things of the spirit. They have
in a wonderful degree the courage that rises above the most unfriendly
circumstances and says:

    One day with life and heart
    Is more than time enough to find a world.

Some of them, like Chopin and Paderewski, have found a new world in
music; others have found it in poetry and romance; and still others
in science. The child who dreamed of fairies in her father's classroom
was to discover the greatest marvel of modern science--a discovery that
opened up a new world to the masters of physics and chemistry of our day.

Marie's mother, who had herself been a teacher, died when the child was
very small; and so it happened that the busy father had to take sole
care of her and make the laboratory do duty as nursery and playroom.
It was not strange that the bright, thoughtful little girl learned to
love the things that were so dear to her father's heart. Would he not
rather buy things for his work than have meat for dinner? Did he not
wear the same shabby kaftan (the full Russian top-coat that looks like a
dressing-gown) year after year in order that he might have material for
important experiments? Truth was, indeed, more than meat and the love of
learning more than raiment in that home, and the little daughter drank
in his enthusiasm with the queer laboratory smells which were her native
air and the breath of life to her.

The time came when the child had to leave this nursery to enter school,
but always, when the day's session was over, she went directly to that
other school where she listened fascinated to all her father taught
about the wonders of the inner world of atoms and the mysterious forces
that make the visible world in which we live. She still believed in
fairies,--oh, yes!--but now she knew their names. There were the rainbow
fairies--light-waves, that make all the colors we see,--and many
more our eyes are not able to discover, but which we can capture by
interesting experiments. There were sound-waves, too, and the marvelous
forces we call electricity, magnetism, and gravitation. When she was
nine years old, it was second nature to care for her father's batteries,
beakers, and retorts, and to help prepare the apparatus that was to be
used in the demonstrations of the coming day. The students marveled at
the child's skill and knowledge, and called her with admiring affection
"professorowna," (daughter-professor).

There was a world besides the wonderland of the laboratory, of which
Marie was soon aware. This was the world of fear, where the powers of
Russia ruled. In 1861 the Poles had made a vain attempt to win their
independence, and when Marie was a little girl (she was born in 1867),
the authorities tried to stamp out any further sparks of possible
rebellion by adopting unusually harsh measures. It was a crime to speak
the Polish language in the schools and to talk of the old, happy days
when Poland was a nation. If any one was even suspected of looking
forward to a better time when the people would not be persecuted by the
police or forced to bribe unprincipled officials for a chance to conduct
their business without interference, he was carried off to the cruel,
yellow-walled prison near the citadel, and perhaps sent to a life of
exile in Siberia. Since knowledge means independent thought and capacity
for leadership, the high schools and universities were particularly
under suspicion. Years afterward, when Marie spoke of this reign of
terror, her eyes flashed and her lips were set in a thin white line.
Time did not make the memory less vivid.

"Every corridor of my father's school had finger-posts pointing to
Siberia!" she declared dramatically.

When Marie was sixteen, she graduated from the "gymnasium" for girls,
receiving a gold medal for excellence in mathematics and sciences. In
Russia, as in Germany, the gymnasium corresponds to our high school, but
also covers some of the work of the first two years of college. The name
gymnasium signifies a place where the mind is exercised and made strong
in preparation for the work of the universities.

The position as governess to the daughters of a Russian nobleman was
offered to the brilliant girl with the sweet, serious eyes and gentle
voice. As it meant independence and a chance to travel and learn the
ways of the world, Marie agreed to undertake the work.

Now, for the first time in her life, the young Polish girl knew work
that was not a labor of love. Her pupils cared nothing for the things
that meant everything to her. How they loved luxury and show and gay
chatter! How indifferent they were to truth that would make the world
wiser and happier.

"How strangely you look, Mademoiselle Marie," said the little Countess
Olga one day, in the midst of her French lesson. "Your eyes seem to see
things far away."

Marie was truly looking past her pupils, past the rich apartment, beyond
Russia, into the great world of opportunity for all earnest workers. She
had overheard something about another plot among the students of Warsaw,
and knew that some of her father's pupils had been put under arrest.

"Suppose they should try to make me testify against my friends," said
the girl to herself. "I must leave Russia at once. My savings will
surely take me to Paris, and there I may get a place as helper in one of
the big laboratories, where I can learn as I work."

The eyes that had been dark with fear an instant before became bright
with hope. Eagerly she planned a disguise and a way to slip off the very
next night while the household was in the midst of the excitement of a
masquerade ball.

Everything went well, and in due time she found her trembling self
and her slender possessions safely stowed away on a train that was
moving rapidly toward the frontier and freedom. No one gave a second
thought to the little elderly woman with gray hair and spectacles who
sat staring out of the window of her compartment at the fields and
trees rushing by in the darkness and the starry heavens that the train
seemed to carry with it. Her plain, black dress and veil seemed those
of a self-respecting, upper-class servant, who was perhaps going to the
bedside of a dying son.

"I feel almost as old as I look," Marie was saying to herself. "But
how can a girl who is all alone in the world, with no one to know what
happens to her, help feeling old? Down in my heart, though, I know that
life is just beginning. There is something waiting for me beyond the
blackness--something that needs just little me."

It was a wonderful relief when the solitary journey was over and the
elderly disguise laid aside. "Shall I ever feel really young again?"
said the girl, who was not quite twenty-four. But not for a moment did
she doubt that there was work waiting for her in the big, unexplored

During those early days in Paris, Marie often had reason to be grateful
for the plain living of her childhood that had made her independent
of creature comforts. Now she knew actual want in her cold garret,
furnished only with a cot and chair, like a hermit's cell. She lived,
too, on hermit's fare--black bread and milk. But even when it was so
cold that the milk was frozen,--cold comfort, indeed!--the fire of her
enthusiasm knew no chill. Day after day she walked from laboratory to
laboratory begging to be given a chance as assistant, but always with
the same result. It was man's work; why did she not look for a place in
a milliner's shop?

One day she renewed her appeal to Professor Lippman in the Sorbonne
research laboratories. Something in the still, pale face and deep-set,
earnest eyes caught the attention of the busy man. Perhaps this strange,
determined girl was starving! And besides, the crucibles and test-tubes
were truly in sad need of attention. Grudgingly he bade her clean the
various accessories and care for the furnace. Her deftness and skill
in handling the materials, and a practical suggestion that proved of
value in an important experiment, attracted the favorable notice of the
professor. He realized that the slight girl with the foreign look and
accent, whom he had taken in out of an impulse of pity, was likely to
become one of his most valuable helpers.

A new day dawned for the ambitious young woman. While supporting herself
by her laboratory work, she completed in two years the university
course for a degree in mathematics, and, two years later, she won a
second degree in physics and chemistry. In the meantime her enthusiasm
for science and her undaunted courage in the face of difficulties and
discouragements attracted the admiration of a fellow-worker, Pierre
Curie, one of the most promising of the younger professors.

"I love you, and we both love the same things," he said one day. "Would
it not be happier to live and work together than alone?"

And so began that wonderful partnership of two great scientists, whose
hard work and heroic struggle, crowned at last by brilliant success,
has been an inspiration to earnest workers the world over.

Madame Curie set up a little laboratory in their apartment, and toiled
over her experiments at all hours. Her baby daughter was often bathed
and dressed in this workroom among the test-tubes and the interesting
fumes of advanced research.

"Irene is as happy in the atmosphere of science as her mother was,"
said Madame Curie to one of her husband's brother-professors who seemed
surprised to find a crowing infant in a laboratory. "And if I could
afford the best possible nurse, she could not take my place! For my baby
and I know the joy of living and growing together with those we love."

What was the problem that the mother was working over even while she
sewed for her little girl, or rocked her to sleep to the gentle crooning
of an old Polish folk-song whose melody Chopin has wrought into one of
his tenderest nocturnes?

[Illustration: Marie Sklodowska Curie]

The child who used to delight in experiments with light-waves in her
father's laboratory, was interested in the strange glow which Prof.
Becquerel had found that the substance known as uranium gave off
spontaneously. Like the X-rays, this light passes through wood and
other bodies opaque to sunlight. Madame Curie became deeply interested
in the problem of the nature of the Becquerel rays and their wonderful
properties, such as that of making the air a conductor for electricity.
One day she discovered that pitchblende, the black mineral from which
uranium is extracted, was more _radioactive_ (that is, it gave off more
powerful rays) than the isolated substance itself, and she came to the
conclusion that there was some other element in the ore which, could it
be extracted, would prove more valuable than uranium.

With infinite patience and the skill of highly trained specialists in
both physics and chemistry, Madame Curie and her husband worked to
obtain this unknown substance. At times Pierre Curie all but lost heart
at the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in the way. "It cannot be
done!" he exclaimed one day, with a groan. "Truly, 'Nature has buried
Truth deep in the bottom of the sea.'"

"But man can dive, _cher ami_," said his wife, with a heartening smile.
"Think of the joy when one comes up at last with the pearl--the pearl of

At last their toil was rewarded, and _two_ new elements were separated
from pitchblende--polonium, so named by Madame Curie in honor of her
native Poland, and radium, the most marvelous of all radioactive
substances. A tiny pinch of radium, which is a grayish white powder not
unlike coarse salt in appearance, gives out a strange glow something
like that of fireflies, but bright enough to read by. Moreover, light
and heat are radiated by this magic element with no apparent waste of
its own amount or energy. Radium can also make some other substances,
diamonds for instance, shine with a light like its own, and it makes
the air a conductor of electricity. Its weird glow passes through bone
almost as readily as through tissue-paper or through flesh, and it even
penetrates an inch-thick iron plate.

The Curies now woke to find not only Paris but the world ringing with
the fame of their discovery. The modest workers wanted nothing,
however, but the chance to go on with their research. You know how
Tennyson makes the aged Ulysses look forward even at the end of his life
to one more last voyage. The type of the unconquerable human soul that
ever presses on to fresh achievement, he says:

    All experience is an arch where-thro'
    Gleams that untravel'd world, whose margin fades
    Forever and forever when I move.

So it was with Pierre Curie and his wife. Their famous accomplishment
opened a new world of interesting possibilities, a world which they
longed above all things to explore.

Their one trouble was the difficulty of procuring enough of the precious
element they had discovered to go on with their experiments. Because
radium is not only rare, but also exceedingly hard to extract from the
ore, it is a hundred times more precious than pure gold. It is said
that five tons of pitchblende were treated before a trifling pinch of
the magic powder was secured. It would take over two thousand tons of
the mineral to produce a pound of radium. Moreover, it was not easy to
secure the ore, as practically all the known mines were in Austria, and
those in control wanted to profit as much as possible by this chance.

"It does seem as if people might not stand in the way of our obtaining
the necessary material to go on with our work," lamented Pierre Curie.
"What we discover belongs to the world--to any one who can use it."

"We have passed other lions in the way. This, too, we shall pass," said
Madame Curie, quietly.

They lived in a tiny house in an obscure suburb of Paris, giving
all that they possessed--the modest income gained from teaching and
lecturing, their share of the Nobel prize of $40,000, which, in 1903,
was divided between them and Professor Becquerel, together with all
their time and all their skill and knowledge, to their work.

For recreation they went for walks in the country with little Irene,
often stopping for dinner at quaint inns among the trees. On one such
evening, when Dr. Curie had just declined the decoration of the Legion
of Honor, because it had "no bearing on his work," his small daughter
climbed on his knee and slipped a red geranium into his buttonhole,
saying, with comical solemnity: "You are now decorated with the Legion
of Honor. Pray, Monsieur, what do you intend to do about it?"

"I like this emblem much better than a glittering star on a bit of red
ribbon, and I love the hand that put it there," replied the father, his
face lighting up with one of his rare smiles. "In this case I make no

Other honors, which meant increased opportunity for work, were quietly
accepted. Pierre Curie was elected to the French Academy--the greatest
honor his country can bestow on her men of genius and achievement.
Madame Curie received the degree of Doctor of Physical Science, and--a
distinction shared with no other woman--the position of special lecturer
at the Sorbonne, in Paris.

One day in 1906, when Dr. Curie, his mind intent on an absorbing
problem, was absent-mindedly hurrying across a wet street, he slipped
and fell under a passing truck and was instantly killed. When they
attempted to break the news to Madame Curie by telling her that her
husband had been hurt in an accident, she looked past them with a white,
set face, and repeated over and over to herself, as if trying to get her
bearings in the new existence that stretched blackly before her, "Pierre
is dead; Pierre is dead."

Now, as on that night when she was leaving Russia for an unknown world,
she saw a gleam in the blackness--there was work to be done! There was
something waiting in the shadowy future for her, something that she
alone could do. As on that other night, she found her lips shaping the
words: "The big world has need of little me. But oh, it will be hard now
to work alone!" Then her eyes fell on her two little girls (Irene was
now eight years old and baby Eve was three), who were standing quietly
near with big, wondering eyes fixed on their mother's strange face.

"Forgive me, darlings!" she cried, gathering her children into her arms.
"We must try hard to go on with the work Father loved. _Together_ is a
magic word for us still, little daughters!"

Everybody wondered at the courage and quiet power with which Madame
Curie went out to meet her new life. She succeeded to her husband's
professorship, and carried on his special lines of investigation as
well as her own. The value of her work to science and to humanity may
be indicated by the fact that in 1911 the Nobel prize was again awarded
to her--the only time it has ever been given more than once to the same

At home, she tried to be father as well as mother. She took the
children for walks in the evening, and while she sewed on their dresses
and knitted them mittens and mufflers, she told them stories of the
wonderland of science.

"Why do you take time to write down everything you do?" asked Eve one
day, as she looked over her mother's shoulder at the neat note-book in
which the world-famous scientist was summing up the work of the day.

"Why does a seaman keep a log, dearie?" the mother questioned with a
smile. "A laboratory is just like a ship, and I want things shipshape.
Every day with me is like a voyage--a voyage of discovery."

"But why do you put question marks everywhere, Mother!" persisted the

It was true that the pages fairly bristled with interrogation points.
Madame Curie laughed as if she had never noticed this before. "It
is good to have an inquiring mind, child," she said. "I am like my
children; I love to ask questions. And when one gets an answer,--when
you really discover something,--it only leads to more questions; and so
we go on from one thing to another."

When Madame Curie was asked on one occasion to what she attributed her
success, she replied, without hesitation: "To my excellent training:
first, under my father, who taught me to wonder and to test; second,
under my husband, who understood and encouraged me; and third, under my
children, who question me!"

[Illustration: Madame and Dr. Curie and their little daughter Irene]

It is the day of one of Madame Curie's lectures. The dignified halls of
the university are a-flutter with many visitors from the world of wealth
and fashion. There, too, are distinguished scientists from abroad, among
whom are Lord Kelvin, Sir Oliver Lodge, and Sir William Ramsay. The
President of France and his wife enter with royal guests, Don Carlos
and Queen Amélie of Portugal, and the Shah of Persia. The plodding
students and the sober men of learning, ranged about the hall, blink at
the brilliant company like owls suddenly brought into the sunlight.

At a given moment the hum of conversation dies away and the assemblage
rises to its feet as a little black-robed figure steps in and stands
before them on the platform. There is an instant's stillness,--a hush
of indrawn breath you can almost hear,--and then the audience gives
expression to its enthusiasm in a sudden roar of applause. The little
woman lifts up her hand pleadingly. All is still again and she begins to

She is slight, almost pathetically frail, this queen of science. You
feel as if all her life had gone into her work. Her face is pale, and
her hair is only a shadow above her serious brow. But the deep-set eyes
glow, and the quiet voice somehow holds the attention of those least
concerned with the problems of advanced physics.

Bank and wealth mean nothing to this little black-robed professor. It
is said that when she was requested by the president to give a special
demonstration of radium and its marvels before the Shah of Persia,
she amazed his Serene Highness by showing much more concern for her
tiny tube of white powder than for his distinguished favor. When the
royal guest, who had never felt any particular need of exercising
self-control, saw the uncanny light that was able to pass through plates
of iron, he gave a startled exclamation and made a sudden movement that
tipped over the scientist's material. Now it was the Lady Professor's
turn to be alarmed. To pacify her, the Shah held out a costly ring from
his royal finger, but this extraordinary woman with the pale face paid
not the slightest attention; she could not be bribed to forget the peril
of her precious radium. It is to be doubted if the eastern potentate had
ever before been treated with such scant ceremony.

In 1911, Madame Curie's name was proposed for election to the Academy
of Sciences. While it was admitted that her rivals for the vacancy were
below her in merit, she failed of being elected by two votes. There was
a general protest, since it was felt that service of the first order
had gone unrecognized merely because the candidate happened to be a
woman. It was stated, however, that Madame Curie was not rejected for
this reason, but because it was thought wise to appoint to that vacancy
Professor Branly, who had given Marconi valuable aid in his invention
of wireless telegraphy, and who, since he was then an old man, would
probably not have another chance for the honor. As Madame Curie, on
the other hand, was only forty-three, she could well wait for another

Since the outbreak of the present war the world has heard nothing new
of the work of the Heroine of Radium. We do not doubt, however, that
like all the women of France and all her men of science, she is giving
her strength and knowledge to the utmost in the service of her adopted
country. But we know, also, that just as surely she is seeing the pure
light of truth shining through the blackness, and that she is "following
the gleam." When the clouds of war shall have cleared away, we may see
that her labors now, as in the past, have not only been of service to
her country, but also to humanity. For Truth knows no boundaries of
nation or race, and he who serves Truth serves all men.



    The Russian peasants have a proverb that says: "Labor is
    the house that Love lives in"; by which they mean that no two
    people, or group of people, can come into affectionate relation
    with each other unless they carry on a mutual task.

        JANE ADDAMS.


Do you remember what the poet says of Peter Bell?

    At noon, when by the forest's edge
    He lay beneath the branches high,
    The soft blue sky did never melt
    Into his heart: he never felt
    The witchery of the soft blue sky!

In the same way, when he saw the "primrose by the river's brim," it was
not to him a lovely bit of the miracle of upspringing life from the
unthinking clod; it was just a common little yellow flower, which one
might idly pick and cast aside, but to which one never gave a thought.
He saw the sky and woods and fields and human faces with the outward
eye, but not with the eye of the heart or the spirit. He had eyes for
nothing but the shell and show of things.

This is the story of a girl who early learned to see with the "inward
eye"; she "felt the witchery of the soft blue sky" and all the wonder
of the changing earth, and something of the life about her melted
into her heart and became part of herself. So it was that she came to
have a "belonging feeling" for all that she saw--fields, pine woods,
mill-stream, birds, trees, and people.

Perhaps little Jane Addams loved trees and people best of all. Trees
were so big and true, with roots ever seeking a firmer hold on the good
brown earth, and branches growing up and ever up, year by year, turning
sunbeams into strength. And people she loved, because they had in them
something of all kinds of life.

There was one special tree that had the friendliest nooks where she
could nestle and dream and plan plays as long as the summer afternoon.
Perhaps one reason that Jane loved this tree was that it reminded her of
her tall, splendid father.

[Illustration: Jane Addams]

"You are so big and beautiful, and yet you always have a place for
a little girl--even one who can never be straight and strong," Jane
whispered, as she put her arms about her tree friend. And when she crept
into the shelter of her father's arms, she forgot her poor back, that
made her carry her head weakly on one side when she longed to fling
it back and look the world in the face squarely, exultingly, as her
father's daughter should.

"There is no one so fine or so noble as my father," Jane would say to
herself as she saw him standing before his Bible-class on Sundays. Then
her cheek paled, and her big eyes grew wistful. It would be too bad if
people discovered that this frail child belonged to him. They would be
surprised and pity him, and one must never pity Father. So it came about
that, though it was her dearest joy to walk by his side clinging to his
hand, she stepped over to her uncle, saying timidly, "May I walk with
you, Uncle James?"

This happened again and again, to the mild astonishment of the good
uncle. At last a day came that made everything different. Jane, who had
gone to town unexpectedly, chanced to meet her father coming out of a
bank on the main street. Smiling gaily and raising his shining silk
hat, he bowed low, as if he were greeting a princess; and as the shy
child smiled back she knew that she had been a very foolish little girl
indeed. Why of course! Her father made everything that belonged to him
all right just because it _did_ belong. He had strength and power enough
for them both. As she walked by his side after that, it seemed as if the
big grasp of the hand that held hers enfolded all the little tremblings
of her days.

"What are these funny red and purple specks?" Jane asked once as she
looked with loving admiration at the hand to which she clung.

"Those marks show that I've dressed millstones in my time, just as this
flat right thumb tells any one who happens to notice that I began life
as a miller," said her father.

After that Jane spent much time at the mill industriously rubbing the
ground wheat between thumb and forefinger; and when the millstones
were being dressed, she eagerly held out her little hands in the hope
that the bits of flying flint would mark her as they had her father.
These marks, she dimly felt, were an outward sign of her father's true
greatness. He was a leading citizen of their Illinois community by
right of character and hard-won success. Everybody admired and honored
him. Did not President Lincoln even, who was, her father said, "the
greatest man in the world," write to him as a comrade and brother,
calling him "My dear Double D'ed Addams"?

Years afterward, when Jane Addams spoke of her childhood, she said that
all her early experiences were directly connected with her father, and
that two incidents stood out with the distinctness of vivid pictures.

She stood, one Sunday morning, in proud possession of a beautiful new
cloak, waiting for her father's approval. He looked at her a moment
quietly, and then patted her on the shoulder.

"Thy cloak is very pretty, Jane," said the Quaker father, gravely; "so
much prettier, indeed, than that of the other little girls that I think
thee had better wear thy old one." Then he added, as he looked into her
puzzled, disappointed eyes, "We can never, perhaps, make such things as
clothes quite fair and right in this hill-and-valley world, but it is
wrong and stupid to let the differences crop out in things that mean so
much more; in school and church, at least, people should be able to feel
that they belong to one family."

Another day she had gone with her father on an errand into the poorest
quarter of the town. It had always before seemed to her country eyes
that the city was a dazzling place of toy- and candy-shops, smooth
streets, and contented houses with sleek lawns. Now she caught a glimpse
of quite another city, with ugly, dingy houses huddled close together
and thin, dirty children standing miserably about without place or
spirit to play.

"It is dreadful the way all the comfortable, happy people stay off to
themselves," said Jane. "When I grow up, I shall, of course, have a big
house, but it is not going to be set apart with all the other big homes;
it is going to be right down among the poor horrid little houses like

Always after that, when Jane roamed over her prairie playground or
sat dreaming under the Norway pines which had grown from seeds that
her father had scattered in his early, pioneer days, she seemed to
hear something of "the still, sad music of humanity" in the voice of
the wind in the tree-tops and in the harmony of her life of varied
interests. For she saw with the inward eye of the heart, and felt the
throb of all life in each vital experience that was hers. It would be
impossible to live apart in pleasant places, enjoying beauty which
others might not share. She must live in the midst of the crowded ways,
and bring to the poor, stifled little houses an ideal of healthier
living. She would study medicine and go as a doctor to the forlorn,
dirty children; but first there would be many things to learn.

It was her dream to go to Smith College, but her father believed that a
small college near her home better fitted one for the life to which she

"My daughter is also a daughter of Illinois," he said, "and Rockford
College is her proper place. Afterward she may go east and to Europe in
order to gain a knowledge of what the world beyond us can give, and so
get a fuller appreciation of what life at home is and may be."

Jane Addams went, therefore, to the Illinois college, "The Mt. Holyoke
of the West," a college famed for its earnest, missionary spirit. The
serious temper of her class was reflected in their motto which was the
Anglo-Saxon word for lady--_hláfdige_ (bread-kneader), translated as
_bread-giver_; and the poppy was selected for the class flower, "because
poppies grow among the wheat, as if Nature knew that wherever there was
hunger that needed food there would be pain that needed relief."

The study in which she took the keenest interest was history,--"the
human tale of this wide world,"--but even at the time of her greatest
enthusiasm she realized that while knowledge comes from the records of
the past, wisdom comes from a right understanding of the actual life of
the present.

After receiving from her Alma Mater the degree of B. A., she entered
the Woman's Medical College in Philadelphia to prepare for real work in
a real world, but the old spinal trouble soon brought that chapter to
a close. After some months in Doctor Weir Mitchell's hospital, and a
longer time of invalidism, she agreed to follow her doctor's pleasant
prescription of two years in Europe.

"When I returned I decided to give up my medical course," said Jane
Addams, "partly because I had no real aptitude for scientific work, and
partly because I discovered that there were other genuine reasons for
living among the poor than that of practicing medicine upon them."

While in London Miss Addams saw much of the life of the great city from
the top of an omnibus. Once she was taken with a number of tourists to
see the spectacle of the Saturday night auction of fruits and vegetables
to the poor of the East Side, and the lurid picture blotted out all the
picturesque impressions, full of pleasant human interest and historic
association, that she had been eagerly enjoying during this first visit
to London town. Always afterwards, when she closed her eyes, she could
see the scene; it seemed as if it would never leave her. In the flare of
the gas-light, which made weird and spectral the motley, jostling crowd
and touched the black shadows it created into a grotesque semblance of
life, she saw wrinkled women, desperate-looking men, and pale children
vying with each other to secure with their farthings and ha'pennies the
vegetables held up by a hoarse, red-faced auctioneer.

One haggard youth sat on the curb, hungrily devouring the cabbage that
he had succeeded in bidding in. Her sensation-loving companions on the
bus stared with mingled pity and disgust; but the girl who saw what she
looked on with the inward eye of the heart turned away her face. The
poverty that she had before seen had not prepared her for wretchedness
like this.

"For the following weeks," she said, "I went about London furtively,
afraid to look down narrow streets and alleys lest they disclose this
hideous human need and suffering. In time, nothing of the great city
seemed real save the misery of its East End."

[Illustration: Polk Street façade of Hull-House buildings]

[Illustration: A corner of the Boys' Library at Hull-House]

This first impression of London's poverty was, of course, not only
lurid, but quite unfair. She knew nothing of the earnest workers who
were devoting their lives to the problem of giving the right kind of
help to those who, through weakness, ignorance, or misfortune, were
not able to help themselves.

When, five years later, she visited Toynbee Hall, she saw effective
work of the kind she had dimly dreamed of ever since, as a little
girl, she had wanted to build a beautiful big house among the ugly
little ones in the city. Here in the heart of the Whitechapel district,
the most evil and unhappy section of London's East End, a group of
optimistic, large-hearted young men, who believed that advantages mean
responsibilities, had come to live and work. While trying to share what
good birth, breeding, and education had given them with those who had
been shut away from every chance for wholesome living, they believed
that they in turn might learn from their humble neighbors much that
universities and books cannot teach.

"I have spent too much time in vague preparation for I knew not what,"
said Jane Addams. "At last I see a way to begin to live in a really real
world, and to learn to do by doing."

And so Hull-House was born. In the heart of the industrial section of
Chicago, where workers of thirty-six different nations live closely
herded together, Miss Addams found surviving a solidly built house with
large halls, open fireplaces, and friendly piazzas. This she secured,
repaired, and adapted to the needs of her work, naming it Hull-House
from its original owner, one of Chicago's early citizens.

"But we must not forget that the house is only the outward sign," said
Miss Addams. "The real thing is the work. 'Labor is the house that love
lives in,' and as we work together we shall come to understand each
other and learn from each other."

"What are you going to put in your house for your interesting
experiment?" Miss Addams was asked.

"Just what I should want in my home anywhere--even in your perfectly
correct neighborhood," she replied with a smile.

You can imagine the beautiful, restful place it was, with everything in
keeping with the fine old house. On every side were pictures and other
interesting things that she had gathered in her travels.

Of course, Miss Addams was not alone in her work. Her friend, Ellen
Gates Starr, was with her from the beginning. Miss Julia Lathrop, who
is now the head of the Children's Bureau in Washington, was another
fellow-worker. Soon many volunteers came eagerly forward, some to teach
the kindergarten, others to take charge of classes and clubs of various
kinds. They began by teaching different kinds of hand-work, which then
had no place in the public schools.

"One little chap, who was brought into the Juvenile Court the other day
for breaking a window, confessed to the judge that he had thrown the
stone 'a-purpose to get pinched,' so they would send him to a school
where 'they learn a fellow to make things,'" Miss Addams was told.

Classes in woodwork, basketry, sewing, weaving, and other handicrafts
were eagerly patronized. There were also evening clubs where boys and
girls who had early left school to work in factories could learn to make
things of practical value or listen to reading and the spirited telling
of the great world-stories.

One day Miss Addams met a small newsboy as he hastily left the house,
vainly trying to keep back signs of grief. "There is no use of coming
here any more," he said gruffly; "Prince Roland is dead!"

The evening classes were also social clubs, where the children who
seemed to be growing dull and unfeeling like the turning wheels among
which they spent their days could relax their souls and bodies in free,
happy companionship and get a taste of natural living.

"Young people need pleasure as truly as they need food and air," said
Miss Addams. "When I see the throngs of factory-girls on our streets in
the evening, it seems to me that the pitiless city sees in them just two
possibilities: first, the chance to use their tender labor-power by day,
and then the chance to take from them their little earnings at night by
appealing to their need of pleasure."

One of the new buildings that was early added to the original Hull-House
was a gymnasium, which provided opportunities for swimming, basket-ball,
and dancing.

"We have swell times in our Hull-House club," boasted black-eyed
Angelina. "Our floor in the gym puts it all over the old dancehalls for
a jolly good hop,--no saloon next door with all that crowd, good classy
music, and the right sort of girls and fellows. Then sometimes our club
has a real party in the coffeehouse. That's what I call a fine, cozy
time; makes a girl glad she's living."

Hull-House also puts within the reach of many the things which their
active minds crave, and opens the way to a new life and success in the

"Don't you remember me?" a rising young newspaper man once said to Miss
Addams. "I used to belong to a Hull-House club."

"Tell me what Hull-House did for you that really helped," she took
occasion to ask.

"It was the first house I had ever been in," he replied promptly, "where
books and magazines just lay around as if there were plenty of them in
the world. Don't you remember how much I used to read at that little
round table at the back of the library?"

Some good people who visit the Settlement in a patronizing mood are
surprised to discover that many of "these working-girls" have a taste
for what is fine. Miss Addams likes to tell them about the intelligent
group who followed the reading of George Eliot's "Romola" with
unflagging interest.

"The club was held in our dining-room," she said to one incredulous
visitor, "and two of the girls came early regularly to help wash the
dishes and arrange the photographs of Florence on the table. Do you
know," she added, looking her prosperous guest quietly in the eyes,
"that the young woman of whom you were inquiring about 'these people'
is one of our neighborhood girls? Those who live in these dingy streets
because they are poor and must live near their work are not a different
order of beings. Don't forget what Lincoln said, 'God must love the
common people--He made so many of them.' You have only to live at
Hull-House a while to learn how true it is that God loves them."

"Nothing has ever meant more real inspiration to me," said a student of
sociology from the university, who had spent a year in the Settlement,
"than the way the poor help each other. A woman who supports three
children by scrubbing will share her breakfast with the people in the
next tenement because she has heard that they are 'hard up'; a man who
has been out of work has a month's rent paid by a young chap in the
stock-yards who boarded with him last year; a Swedish girl works in
the laundry for her German neighbor to let her stay home with her sick
baby--and so it goes."

"Our people have, too, many other hardships besides the frequent lack
of food and fuel," said Miss Addams. "There are other hungers. Do you
know what it means for the Italian peasant, used to an outdoor life in
a sunny, easy-going land, to adapt himself to the ways of America? It
is a very dark, shut-in Chicago that many of them know. At one of the
receptions here an Italian woman who was delighted with our red roses
was also surprised that they could be 'brought so fresh all the way from
Italy.' She would not believe that roses grew in Chicago, because she
had lived here six years and had never seen any. One always saw roses
in Italy. Think of it! She had lived for six years within ten blocks of
florists' shops, but had never seen one!"

"Yes," said Miss Starr, "they lose the beauties and joys of their old
homes before they learn what the new can give. When we had our first art
exhibit, an Italian said that he didn't know that Americans cared for
anything but dollars--that looking at pictures was something people did
only in Italy."

A Greek was overjoyed at seeing a photograph of the Acropolis at
Hull-House. He said that before he came to America he had prepared a
book of pictures in color of Athens, because he thought that people
in the new country would like to see them. At his stand near a big
railroad-station he had tried to talk to some of those who stopped
to buy about "the glory that was Greece," but he had concluded that
Americans cared for nothing but fruit and the correct change!

At Hull-House the Greeks, Italians, Poles, and Germans not only find
pictures which quicken early memories and affections, but they can give
plays of their own country and people. The "Ajax" and "Electra" of
Sophocles have been presented by Greeks, who felt that they were showing
ignorant Americans the majesty of the classic drama. Thanksgiving,
Christmas, and other holidays are celebrated by plays and pageants. Nor
are the great days of other lands forgotten. Garibaldi and Mazzini, who
fought for liberty in Italy, are honored with Washington and Lincoln.

Old and young alike take part in the dramatic events. A blind patriarch,
who appeared in Longfellow's "Golden Legend," which was presented one
Christmas, spoke to Miss Addams of his great joy in the work.

"Kind Heart," he said (that was his name for her),--"Kind Heart, it
seems to me that I have been waiting all my life to hear some of these
things said. I am glad we had so many performances, for I think I can
remember them to the end. It is getting very hard for me to listen to
reading, but the different voices and all made this very plain."

The music classes and choruses give much joy to the people, and here
it seems possible to bring together in a common feeling those widely
separated by tradition and custom. Music is the universal language of
the heart. Bohemian and Polish women sing their tender and stirring
folk-songs. The voices of men and women of many lands mingle in
Schubert's lovely melodies and in the mighty choruses of Handel.

As Miss Addams went about among her neighbors she longed to lead them to
a perception of the relation between the present and the past. If only
the young, who were impatiently breaking away from all the old country
traditions, could be made to appreciate what their parents held dear; if
the fathers and mothers could at the same time understand the complex
new order in which their children were struggling to hold their own.
When, one day, she saw an old Italian woman spinning with distaff and
spindle, an idea came to her. A Labor Museum, that would show the growth
of industries in every country, from the simplest processes to the
elaborate machinery of modern times, might serve the purpose.

The working-out of her plan far exceeded her wildest dream. Russians,
Germans, and Italians happily foregathered to demonstrate and compare
methods of textile work with which they were familiar. Other activities
proved equally interesting. The lectures given among the various
exhibits met with a warm welcome. Factory workers, who had previously
fought shy of everything "improving," came because they said these
lectures were "getting next to the stuff you work with all the time."

Hull-House has worked not only _with_ the people but _for_ them, by
trying to secure laws that will improve the conditions under which they
labor and live. The following incident will speak for the fight that
Miss Addams has made against such evils as child labor and sweat-shop

The representatives of a group of manufacturers waited upon her and
promised that if she would "drop all this nonsense about a sweat-shop
bill of which she knew nothing," certain business men would give fifty
thousand dollars for her Settlement. The steady look which the lady of
Hull-House gave the spokesman made him wish that some one else had come
with the offer of the bribe.

"We have no ambition," said Miss Addams, "to make Hull-House the largest
institution in Chicago; but we are trying to protect our neighbors from
evil conditions; and if to do that, the destruction of our Settlement
should be necessary, we would gladly sing a Te Deum on its ruins."

The girl who saw what she looked on with "the eye of the heart," had
become a leader in the life and the reforms of her time. "On the whole,"
one writer has said of her, "the reach of this woman's sympathy and
understanding is beyond all comparison wider in its span--comprehending
all kinds of people--than that of any other living person."

Jane Addams has won her great influence with people by the simple means
of working with them. Her life and the true Hull-House--the work itself,
not the buildings which shelter it--give meaning to the saying that
"Labor is the house that love lives in."


Transcriber's Notes:

Simple typographical errors were corrected.

Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant
preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.

This book contains double quotation marks within double quotation marks.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Heroines of Service - Mary Lyon, Alice Freeman Palmer, Clara Barton, Frances - Willard, Julia Ward Howe, Anna Shaw, Mary Antin, Alice C. - Fletcher, Mary Slessor of Calabar, Madame Curie, Jane Addams" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.